Affiliate marketing, just like all the other forms and denominations of marketing, is not an exact science. Much of your success will depend on the affiliate marketing mistakes you make or avoid and the lessons you learn from them.
Now that you’ve decided to start or get better at this, let’s take a tour to see the common errors affiliates have been making and what possible solutions there are. Not always we must learn from our own mistakes, right?
Why do Affiliates Fall into Some Common Traps?
We all make mistakes; that’s inevitable. Unlike the commonly accepted perception, our brain can process information correctly. However, especially in this age of information overflow, too much ‘noise’ is going into our brains. Thus, it’s not so much about the miscalculations of our brain, but rather the errors in the information our brain receives that take us on the path of making mistakes.
In the case of affiliate marketing, this 'noise' mostly consists of misperceptions related to the affiliate's role and the outcomes they can achieve from working as affiliates.
Admit it, you’ve probably seen the image of a blogger-affiliate lying on a beach with a laptop many times, drinking some exotic cocktail while money is flowing into his/her account. Easy money - that’s a common association but a misperception with affiliate marketing.
Before we go deep into identifying the most common affiliate marketing mistakes, let's understand: affiliate marketing is easy to do—and easy to do wrong. Anyone can get a link and promote it from behind the scenes or seemingly unbiased. How about being a successful affiliate marketer who earns an audience and prominent income in the long run? That takes learning, work, and much effort.
So, let's put aside the associations and stereotypes we have in our minds, even if they are very appealing, and let's face reality.
Top 5 Common Affiliate Mistakes Every Affiliate Needs to Avoid
So, we will list first the top mistakes in affiliate marketing and then dig in deeper:
Selling, rather than helping!
Not having a deep understanding of what you’re selling
Ignoring quality of content for your type of audience
Picking the wrong product/service
Being afraid of failure
Now, let’s go through the list one by one.
1. Selling, rather than helping!
Of course, monetizing your effort is more than natural. We work to satisfy our innate desire to create, to let it out, to enjoy the process, and naturally enough, to earn our living. It’s more than reasonable to try to visualize potential income as a result of your effort. But this should not be the start or not even the second stop in your venture through the affiliate world.
One of the biggest affiliate marketing mistakes is that around 99% of new affiliates plan their monetization system FIRST. Unfortunately, this is not how you should do things! Unless you create enough value for your audience, they will not be willing to pay and you should not expect to get income. In the beginning, you have to input a lot of time, means, and effort with NO income. Like all the other businesses, what you do needs to become a real value for others to make them willing enough to pay for your "services."
Thus, if you are serious about this, think of it as helping rather than selling. Don't look at the process as a mere pipeline of money inflow. To start on the right foot, see the sides of it that attracted you to affiliate marketing. If it were only the money, you could have initiated many other money-incurring projects. But your choice stopped at affiliate marketing. So, think better.
2. Not having a deep understanding of what you’re selling
A common affiliate marketing mistake made by many affiliates is to go for a product or service that will earn them high commissions without actually knowing the product or the service. Many try selling products or services without digging deep into their details and without trying/using it themselves. This is going to kill your effort right there on the spot.
Before you enter the woods, take a map and a compass, know where you are heading to, or you will get lost. Don't fall into the assumption that you can convince people into paying money for something that even you don't have a complete idea of or enjoy. If possible, study the product, meet the people who make it, go deep into the pluses and minuses. It will help you to be open, honest, and clear with your audience-market.
As a Ucraft affiliate, you might want to try and test the builder first. Know the nuances, advantages, and possible shortcomings of the product to better explain and "sell" it to your target audience.
3. Ignoring the content quality for your type of audience
So, once I prepared a beautiful speech. I was proud of myself and was so excited to finally present it to my audience. One very integral element I forgot to consider, however, was the type of content that was right for my audience type.
Not to go into details that will bore you, let's call it an epic failure. Not only was I disappointed in the reaction and results my speech yielded, but I was also discouraged from writing any more speeches again.
One of the most costly affiliate marketing mistakes is failing to match the content you provide with the audience using/engaging with that content.
To avoid such errors, provide regular, high-quality content keeping in mind the audience you "talk" to. And that's an important consideration. Content is vital for successful marketing, in general. But each audience type has its type of successful content - insightful and actionable.
Therefore, anytime you want to write a piece of content, make sure there are a purpose and solution. Put yourself in your potential buyers’ shoes and imagine what would interest them and how to deliver that piece of information to them. If you want to learn more about content creation, read this guide, and choose what works best for you and your audience!
To do this, of course, you need to make sure you know you've "met," you've found your target audience. Focus your writing on your readers’ intent, putting them first. Instead of explaining features, focus on benefits to the user.
4. Picking the wrong product/service
I'm sure you saw many times a product/service on sale whose high discount did not trigger you - you didn't see the point in selling or buying it.
Considering the vast options you have, choose the product to promote wisely. And by saying this, we do not mean the products that will earn you more commissions. This stands for the other most common mistake affiliates make: picking a potentially superior product just because there might be more money in it.
Keep in mind: if the topic itself doesn’t drive you on its own, it’s not worth it. When an affiliate product and niche are just right for you, it drives you up and inspires you to create more marketing activities around it.
Additionally, do not get overambitious from the start. Remember that affiliate marketing is going to take a lot of your time. So, commit more time to a single product, rather than splitting the current time into many products and not allocating enough to all. You can always expand product by product and grow your business over time. Make sure that you give each campaign the individual attention it needs to succeed.
5. Being afraid to fail
In our previous blog about affiliate marketing and how to start it, we spoke about the cons of this business: competition. So, once and for all, know that you are facing high competition. Many others like you with similar skills are going to hit the same road.
It would help if you were tough, strong, and determined to survive the competition. In the online marketing world, there is absolutely no such thing as failure. Learning how to market to people online is hard, the least to say, and the best way to learn is through trial and error.
Try, test, and re-test, and then repeat. Be attentive to see what works for you and emphasize it, while ditching what doesn't. As an affiliate marketer, you will always have projects that go nowhere and make no money. On the other hand, there will be those that make money for years and years as they replicate the effort repeatedly. It comes with experience.
If failure gets you down, you’ll never make it to understanding and succeeding in affiliate marketing.
A Guide for Ucraft Affiliates to Avoid Mistakes
As a leading website building company Ucraft has its Affiliate Program to make sure those who have used and liked the builder are able to share their experience and earn money in return. In our previous blog, we spoke about the details of how to become a prominent Ucraft Affiliate with the opportunity to gain a 25% recurring commission from each person you send our way.
Now it’s time to learn about possible mistakes and how to avoid them on your way to succeeding as a Ucraft affiliate.
Although we spoke about this above, it's worth emphasizing the idea for Ucraft affiliates in particular: know the field you will be promoting. Ucraft is a website builder. If you are uninterested in the digital world and not tech-savvy, there is no point in wasting time on the digital world and devices; it is probably not for you.
You will be talking about creating websites, building online stores, and working with digital design. You will be encouraging people to transfer their activities into the digital world. It would help if you were interested in it yourself, the least to say. Moreover, it would be best if you were keen on trying and investing your own time and effort in exploring the builder.
Hence the follow-up guide: try the builder for yourself. Dive into it, find the nuances, reach out to the support team, know how they interact with customers. You are going to need all of these tips to share with your audience. They will appreciate and will take your word as it is.
And you know what else they will appreciate. Openness: that’s key. Do not overpraise the product, do not fall into the trap of wanting to sell it just to get your commissions. People always feel when others are trying to use them. And they definitely feel when they receive real and unbiased information.
Now a final touch to becoming a better Ucraft affiliate and avoiding the common affiliate marketing mistakes: know and identify your target audience. Well, don’t just spread the word around and expect to have results. Take it to the next level by identifying and classifying your potential target market. Who would need to build a website, what are the benefits of creating a website with Ucraft, and who would benefit from it most? Ask these questions and find the target.
Beyond that, our support team is by your side to guide and assist you in the process.
To wrap up the post, I choose not to repeat and summarize the already said information. Instead, I'll give you one of my most valuable tips: never stop learning and testing.
When working as an affiliate marketer, you need to be on top of things to keep your eyes and ears wide open for news in the business. In the online world, change happens quickly, and if you are not as quick, you will have a hard time keeping up with the standards.
Always being aware of online trends, ranking factors, and whatnot is hard and challenging. But the result of all challenging encounters is also very rewarding. Educate yourself and your audience, read, learn, and success will come after you, not the other way around. Avoiding these common affiliate marketing mistakes is just the first step. You might make others. Do not let discouragement put you down! Test and learn until you reach your goals!