7 Affiliate Marketing Mistakes You’re Probably Making (And How to Fix Them)

With the holidays just around the corner, maximizing your affiliate income is probably on the mind! But are you making these affiliate marketing mistakes? 

Time and time again, I have seen these same affiliate marketing mistakes with my blog coaching clients. The good news is, they’re all easy fixes. So read on and make sure you aren’t making these affiliate marketing mistakes and get ready to boost your sales! 

1. You’re Not Linking Enough

Probably the #1 mistake I see most bloggers make when it comes to affiliate marketing is simply not linking enough.

By this I mean, you write a post about a product and you link it once, maybe twice. 

It may feel redundant to you, but in reality people need a lot of options so make sure you are trickling in that affiliate link in numerous places throughout the post! 

After all, if you place it at the top, and someone reads the whole post, then they have to scroll all the way back to find the link.

You don’t want to stuff your links either; just make sure they are interspersed throughout your article. 

2. You’re Not Linking the Image 

Now that you’ve sprinkled some text links throughout the post, make sure you also add the link to your images! 

People are actually more likely to click through an image to get to the product, so this is a huge opportunity you may be missing out on.

When I first started blogging, I only added a link to some images, not all. There was no rhyme or reason, I was just in a rush and feeling lazy half the time. 

After I took Michelle’s course, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, she mentioned this huge missed opportunity and—she was right! I now ALWAYS make it a point to link my images (when appropriate).

TIP: Make sure you set your links to open in a new tab and make them “nofollow”. You can easily do this by checking the box in WordPress to open in a new tab and edit the html for nofollow. 

3. You’re Promoting The Wrong Product

Affiliate marketing is somewhat of a learning curve; you have to take the time to analyze what’s working with your audience and what’s not. Then, adapt.

If you notice your audience is only buying products you recommend under $100, then it may be a mistake to continue promoting luxury products. Pay attention to what they respond to and make sure you are promoting products that will solve your audience’s problem! 

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4. You’re Not Telling the Reader Enough

One reason your reader may not be buying (beside budget) is that they simply haven’t been convinced from you that this is something they need. 

It’s your job as a blogger and affiliate marketer to make a compelling case for why someone needs something! 

If you’re trying to sell a winter sweater, point out everything including fabric, fit, sizing, quality and more. Answer all the reader questions so all they have to do is just buy. 

The same goes for any services you may be promoting: you have to be thurough in your review and clearly communicate that if they want the same results, all they need is whatever it is you used. 

One example is my post on how I quadrupled my email list without blogging. How was I able to do that? Well, I used my favorite email provider, ConvertKit, that basically let my email list grow on auto-pilot.

I could just leave it at that, but an entire post and case study on the subject is far more compelling and convincing. Demonstrate to the audience how something works, why they need it and how it will solve their problem.

RELATED: How to Make Money Blogging

5. You’re Promoting Too Many Products

Here is something that personally drives me batty: I keep seeing these lists float around Pinterest on 50+ or 100+ affiliate programs to join. Why?! Honestly, if you’re just starting out you do not need to focus on 50+ programs.

First, unless you blog about everything under the sun (which I don’t recommend) it’s hard to promote so many things. Your audience will feel a lack of trust, which won’t inspire them to purchase. 

Second, while it’s great to experiment a bit, you’ll see faster, and better results, if there is some familiarity built. When someone sees me talk about a product again and again, it makes them think “Wow she sure does talk about that a lot, she really must like it!” 

If you’re just starting out, try focusing on just a few until you get your feet wet and really understand how affiliate marketing works. 

6. Not Including a Call to Action

Yes, you have to hold your reader’s hand and tell them what to do. Sometimes a simple “Click here” or “Buy now” button is all you’ll need for this! 

It can be incredibly effective and doesn’t take any extra time when writing your blog posts.

RELATED: How to Make an Extra $500 a Month on Your Blog

7. Having Unrealistic Expectations

I left this one for last for a reason: it is one of the top affiliate marketing mistakes I see and complaints I get from bloggers who don’t understand why they aren’t making a full-time living yet. 

It’s really essential to understand what you’re promoting, the conversion rate, percentage you get and potential of that product.

If you are pushing a $20 Amazon dress, which nets a 4% commission rate, you’re making about .80 per dress sold. You’d have to sell a TON of dresses, or hope the reader clicks on and buys a lot more than just that, in order to make $100 just off that one recommendation. 

Conversely, if you’re recommending something like an e-course, which often nets a 40-50% commission, you’ll make anywhere from $40-$100+ per sale! You’ll need a lot less traffic and conversions to make your money goal. 

This is another reason it’s so important to define your blog niche, and make a solid affiliate marketing strategy that’s realistic. 

BONUS Affiliate Marketing Tips 

If you want to learn more about affiliate marketing, I have two courses I recommend to my blog coaching clients: 

For newbies, Michelle’s course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing is a great start. It covers literally everything you need to know in an easy-to-digest way, and it’s super affordable at under $200. Click here to learn more about this course. 

If you already have an understanding of affiliate marketing, then I suggest Carly’s course, Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers: Everything You’re Missing. I LOVED this course and would highly recommend it to any blogger. She includes case studies of her email marketing tactics and makes some suggestions I hadn’t seen in any other course before. Click here to learn more. 

I hope this helps you avoid these affiliate marketing mistakes! What are some that you see? Let me know in the comments below. 

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  1. Thank you very much for your helpful advice. I intend to put it into practice!

  2. Great article. I’ve been blogging for a short while but know loads about affiliate marketing. Its great reading that what you think you know is actually the right things to be doing.
    My biggest problem at the moment is I spend more time messing with making my website pretty than I do actually writing my blog posts. I’m very good at procrastinating!

  3. Great article! I have been blogging for just over a year and found this very helpful!

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