When I first started in affiliate marketing, all I wanted
was to just make money. Off I ran in every direction,
trying everything, with no real idea of the mistakes I was
making that could very well affect my chances at long term
Through my years of experience with both affiliate
marketing and teaching other affiliate marketers, I have
come to the conclusion that there are 7 big mistakes new
affiliate marketers make.
Let’s talk about these mistakes in more detail.
1) Selling Rather Than Helping:
Yes, the word “marketing” is part of the phrase affiliate
marketing, but for the most part, our job as an affiliate
is not to sell — that is the job of the sales page our
affiliate links lead the reader to.
When I first started, my overwhelming (and totally naive)
impulse was to fill my pages with words and links that
screamed “BUY THIS NOW!”. I didn’t help the reader learn
why they should have this product. I only wanted them to
click a link which would hopefully lead to a commission for
People want to hear from other people when making a
decision to buy a product or not — that’s why the reviews
on Amazon products are so powerful. Those reviews are
genuine feedback from people who (usually) have absolutely
nothing to gain if someone buys that product or not.
When we talk more like an unbiased reviewer rather than a
high-pressure salesperson, we will find we make more sales
and people will come back for advice on other products in
2) Too Many!
This is another big mistake I made when starting out —
joining any and every affiliate program I came across.
While I absolutely do believe in cultivating multiple
streams of income when working online, there is a point
where you have too much to deal with and it becomes
Choose your affiliate programs wisely and don’t overload
3) Not Testing:
Whenever I choose to promote a Clickbank offer (for example)
, I put myself in the shoes of a potential customer and opt
in to test the vendors’ follow up sequence.
I learned this the hard way.
Nothing breaks a reader’s trust more than being led to a
promotion that will blow up their inbox. Put yourself in
the shoes of a potential customer and see what will happen
if they follow your advice.
4) Not Tracking:
This was a BIG mistake I made when I first started out. I
began my affiliate marketing career using free-to-make web
pages on a site called Squidoo (and I still do this to this
I am fond of promoting Amazon products on these pages, but
would forget to use unique tracking affiliate links on each
Why is this a mistake? Very simple — when you make a sale,
you want to know WHERE the sale came from. This enables you
to know which pages are converting well so you can grow and
scale that campaign.
Creating a unique tracking ID for an Amazon link is easy.
Simply log in to your Amazon affiliate dashboard, click
“Account Settings” at the very top on the right, then click
“Manage Tracking IDs”. From there you can make a new
tracking ID so you can track which web page/campaign sold
what. You can learn more about using Amazon’s Tracking IDs
Yes, making any commission is cool, but knowing where and
how you made that commission is what makes you a better
marketer. It lets you grow and scale your campaigns — as
opposed to working blindly.
5) Not Comparing:
One of the best converting tactics I use to sell affiliate
products online (especially physical products from Amazon)
is to compare the “main” product with two other similar
When people are in buying mode for a physical product, they
tend to have their options narrowed down to 2 or 3 and need
help making the choice that is best for them.
By comparing the “3 Best Widgets For _______”, I not only
help my readers make a choice, but I also have my affiliate
links there for THREE products instead on only one.
Over time, when I track that web page, I will be able to
see which product is most interesting to readers and move
the best converting product to the top of the page for
Comparison web pages are not only very popular and helpful
for readers, they are also very profitable for you.
6) Make Money Online Products:
Perhaps you’ve seen this before. You’re in a “learn online
marketing” type forum. A person publishes a post
complaining that they can’t make a dime online. But in
their signature line they have something along the lines of
“I Made 50 Million Dollars with This” followed by their
It happens all the time. Please, don’t be that person.
If you’re new and you want to promote products in the Make
Money Online arena, don’t make false claims that it made
you money. In fact, don’t make false claims at all!
Sure, talk about the benefits of the product/training —
maybe even why it sounds awesome to you — but don’t try to
trick people. You will ruin your credibility.
7) “Oh Look! A Butterfly!”
This is the biggest downfall for any new affiliate marketer.
In fact, it can cause really big issues for seasoned
affiliate marketers as well.
It is all too common to be working on one thing when all of
a sudden, something “shiny” comes through your inbox or is
mentioned in a forum you frequent. Then off you go chasing
some new idea to make money online.
Ignore the “butterflies” that are sure to fly by on a
constant basis. They will just distract you from your
project/campaign at hand. One completed and profitable
campaign is worth so much more than 50 almost half-finished
campaigns or projects.
Affiliate marketing is a business that requires self-
motivation and focus. For many of us, these are learned
skills. Once you are aware of the the mistakes that can
cause a lack of profits and productivity, you will be
better able to grow your business and be profitable long-
Best of luck!
About The Author: Jennifer Ledbetter aka "PotPieGirl" is
most known as an affiliate marketer who went from zero
to six-figures a year starting with all free methods like
she teaches at Click here.
See more articles by Jennifer Ledbetter