Affiliate marketing is a fantastic way to generate passive income. It has become more popular in the past several years, and the opportunities are endless.
However, many beginners make crucial mistakes when it comes to affiliate marketing, especially when they create affiliate marketing websites for the first time.
To avoid bitter disappointment, here are seven deadly (and common) affiliate marketing mistakes that you should avoid when starting an affiliate marketing website.
1. Picking the wrong products/niche
Live by the niche, die by the niche.
The niche (and products) you choose to enter and promote will become the bread and butter of your success.
Many affiliate marketers either choose niches that are way too competitive, or simply aren’t profitable enough.
You can get an idea of the competitiveness of a particular niche by scanning the SERP to see what websites come up.
It’s important to narrow down as much as you can within a niche, as there will be less competition.
For instance, your niche might be the PS5, which will be far less competitive than the general gaming console niche.
It’s also important to consider the products that you’re promoting, because if you’re getting a small commission on a £10 gaming headset, you’ll have to get thousands of sales to make a decent amount of money.
Imagine the commissions on this sale!
The other reason why picking the right niche/products is important is because the fixed costs remain the same.
Hosting and domain costs, as well as variable costs like content writing will be the same no matter if you’re promoting a £10 product or a £1,000 product.
2. Not being organised
Whilst this is a general life mistake, it’s no different in affiliate marketing.
Let’s say you have an affiliate site with 500 product reviews, and the only thing you update each year is the title of the post.
But you don’t even check to see if your affiliate links still work and that the products are still available.
Many affiliate marketers assume that once an affiliate link is live on their website, it’s fine to leave it alone forever.
That’s simply not the case, and you should regularly monitor your affiliate links (and links on your website in general) to make sure they still work.
3. Poor quality content
Content is king.
Great content is king.
The content on your affiliate website should be written so well that it will actually persuade people to click through and purchase the products that you’re promoting.
I see so many affiliate sites that don’t care enough about the quality of the content they are producing, but rather just the volume of articles.
Having poor quality content won’t help your commissions – trust me 😉
4. Poor website design
This is arguably more important than the previous affiliate marketing mistake, because a poor website design might lead people to bounce straight away.
Whether the pages take ages to load, the content is filled with ads, or the website is difficult to navigate through, you are hurting your commissions (and rankings).
Invest time into the design of your affiliate website, as you want to sustain it over multiple years. Treat your website design like an investment.
5. Not building personas/communities
When it comes to futureproofing an affiliate website, creating personas to represent your site, as well as communities, will help increase its authoritativeness.
Think about it, is Google going to reward an affiliate marketing website when all of the posts are authored by someone without a profile picture?
The answer is no.
Even more importantly, the users will find it odd and sketchy.
Consider creating social media profiles for your affiliate sites – some popular ones are Facebook pages, Instagram, and Twitter profiles.
6. Choosing the wrong affiliate partner
This step is very important when it comes to how profitable your affiliate marketing website will be.
Different affiliate partners have their own commission rates, as well as cookie policies, so it’s important that you look around before opting with the first one you see.
Many beginners will choose Amazon as their affiliate partner because they’re a trusted brand and it’s easy to sign up for their programme.
However, they have significantly reduced their commission rates in 2020.
Do a Google search for “affiliate partner yourniche” and see what comes up, just so you are aware of the potential affiliate partners for your niche.
7. Not tracking website performance
This is one of the most important things to do when you have an affiliate website.
If you don’t track your website performance, you won’t be able to establish how much traffic certain pages are getting.
You might have a post that you think is so great and will get you so much money, but in reality it doesn’t generate any traffic.
It’s important to set up Google Analytics and Google Search Console so you can determine how your website is performing.
By doing this, you’ll also find opportunities to target new keywords and create supporting content for your money pages.
Affiliate marketing isn’t going anywhere soon, and whilst it is extremely profitable, you must be aware of common mistakes that people make – especially when they start out.
Hopefully after reading this article, you have now learned what you shouldn’t do if you’re going to set up an affiliate website.
If you’ve set one up and are looking for advice on how to optimise your affiliate website effectively, it’s worth seeking an SEO consultant to help you.