How You Can Avoid The 3 Most Common Affiliate Marketing Mistakes

When looking for an effective and powerful way to earn an income online affiliate marketing is a natural fit. This is a program that is on a level playing field anyone can make money. Affiliate marketing offers regular commissions and a simple sign up process. It is no wonder that many people are giving this business a try.

Anyone in business will tell you there are land mines along the way and affiliate marketing is no different. And like any other business, you can learn about the possible pitfalls by studying what others have experienced before you. You learn what the common mistakes are and how to avoid them, saving lots of money.

Mistake number 1: Choosing the wrong affiliate program

In their excitement to get started with affiliate marketing, many people make the mistake of rushing to grab the first “hot” program. The first part of this mistake is choosing a product that they have no interest in. To sell something effectively you should have some passion for it.

Affiliate programs have many products to choose from so try to find one you have at least an interest in. Couple this with careful planning and you are well on your way to success.

Therefore, number one choose a product you are interested in. Number two research the consumer demand out there. Now you are ready to begin marketing a product you are passionate about and that is in demand.

Mistake number 2: Joining too many affiliate programs

The ease of joining affiliate programs lead many people to run out and join many programs at one time. Increasing the number of affiliate programs they are involved in to try to make lots of money quickly. However having several affiliate programs is no guarantee of increased income.

We all want to have multiple streams of income; nevertheless joining many affiliate programs will not automatically equal that. Besides, it will be hard to really do a good job promoting if your attention is spread out over many programs.

What are the end results? You make a lot less money with your affiliate program than you initially expected. Your needs would be better served by concentrating more of your efforts on one or two affiliate programs. Choose an affiliate program that offers you at least a 40% commission. Then put all your hard work into promoting one affiliate program until it is profitable. At this point, you can turn to the next affiliate program on your list.

Slow and steady wins the race, isn’t that the moral of the tortoise and the hare? Especially in affiliate, marketing a steady pace is preferred over a flurry of activity. All indications point to affiliate marketing being around for a long time to come.

Mistake number 3: Not buying the product or using the service

To effectively and convincingly promote a product or service you should have personal experience with it. When you have tried a product and service, you will naturally exude exuberance about the product. It will be easy for you to describe the way the product functions and all the great aspects of it. Your passion and enthusiasm will bubble over and you will be able to create a desire in your potential customers.

It is a good idea to try the product before you sign up as an affiliate. Nothing would be worse than promoting a product that you later find is horrible. You will ruin your credibility with your customers. Instead, try it before they buy it and you will build a loyal customer following as well as begin making good money.

Do not make the same mistakes that dozens of other affiliate marketers have made. These traps have cost them dearly, not only in initial sales but in residual income as well. When you study these mistakes and learn from them, you will be way ahead of the game.

Spending your time correctly will be the difference between success and failure. Time spent analyzing your marketing strategy is time well spent. Pull all this together and you will be able to earn a great online income.


  • Ivan Ng

    Reply Reply October 18, 2008


    Your blog is very informative.

    Please visit my blog and give your expert comments.


    Ivan Ng

    Ivan Ngs last blog post..Games Arcade

  • Brian Carelse

    Reply Reply October 18, 2008

    Hey Reed,

    It is so true, many online business people start out with great expectations joining all the affiliate programs they can.

    They reason that a supermarket is better than a specialized shop.

    That is true offline, but online niche marketing is the thing that makes money. You have to target your client with pin point accuracy. Then give them what they looking for.

    Offline – many options makes for a great shopping experience

    online – many options makes for confusion!

    Affiliates who specialize and target a niche will make money sooner or later .. hopefully sooner.

    Really enjoying your posts.

    Your friend

    Brian Carelse

    Author of The Email Butler – Organize Your Inbox

    Author of The Revolutionary Internet Marketing System – marketing your business automatically!

  • Ginger

    Reply Reply October 18, 2008

    Interesting View, Thanks!
    What do you think on tools such as PPCBully?
    Should it help affiliates being effective in PPC Affiliate marketing
    Regards, Ginger

  • James and Helen

    Reply Reply October 18, 2008

    We agree with Brian and found out the hard way that too many were going out of business faster than we could go in but finally found one that has not gone out of business that is doing very well for us. Thank YOU Reed.

  • Peter

    Reply Reply October 18, 2008

    Hallo Reed,
    As I always pray, get in touch with content and act only when you have read the overhyped Sales of curds and is gone by. No one is telling the poor tobeaffiliates what is coming on them. Which avalanche of workload has to be done to be an working affiliate. Brian Carelse in his comment is absolutly right. To be an affiliate he should know at least something about the product he is supporting and keeping in mind ” support is not affiliate “. The background in your Blog is the fear that someone is getting the point who is the winner ? Only the owner of the product and not the affiliate with his work !!!

  • normz2

    Reply Reply October 18, 2008

    You cover some good points about affiliate marketing. I find myself getting envolved in too many affiliate markets. It would be better to get involved with fewer and concentrating on the better ones.

  • Reed, your words are very true. It seems rather annoying indeed to read blogs where virtually every blog article is a review of some product. Seems like some of the awful review sites that may generate revenues from beginners, but long-term everyone loses…

    I also prefer slow but steady growth, and I have found that only in months where economy was an issue sales ARE dropping. When we maintain a positive outlook on life everything works. So, somehow, our mental perspective shines through what we write.

    Thanks for the inspiration. 🙂

    Henrik Blunck – Denmarks last blog post..Build Your Own E-book Empire

  • Kenny Ritchie

    Reply Reply October 18, 2008

    I cannot agree more than with point 3 that has to be the most important point that has been published on the blog Reed.

    I cannot stand the fact that you can get upto 10 identical emails for the same product launch within hours. It makes you want to unsubscribe from marketers lists.

    No matter how much you respect them or like their products.

    Kenny Ritchies last blog post..Two easy to make research mistakes

  • Timothy Millar

    Reply Reply October 18, 2008

    Hey Reed,
    Quit talking about me like that,just kidding, Even though I have trodden the very path you speak of. Now through trial and many errors I have made my choices and truly plan to stick to them. Yes I still have more than one, but they are totally different aspects of the Market and I have the knowledge and the drive to do both. One will feed the other as I progress
    “To The Top” Have a wonderful Day Reed.
    “The Leprechaun”

    Timothy Millars last blog post..I am not doing this

  • Matthew Lord

    Reply Reply October 18, 2008

    Reed this is good information for the affiliate marketing novice, as well as others who are not having the success they desire. I believe in promoting three products and no more than that to start with. After that you can expand your efforts to engage a larger audience.

  • PV Reymond

    Reply Reply October 18, 2008

    Hi Reed,

    It is a GREAT post.

    Sadly theses are 3 common mistakes that most affiliates make and for this reason they don’t make any money.

    I have to confess that I made the mistake number 2 when I first got started, I joined a lot of affiliate programs thinking that I would make more money.

    Of course, the end result was that I didn’t make any money. Fortunately I realized that I was doing the wrong thing and I changed my approach.

    So, if you are getting started read very well this post because it could save you time and money.

    ^PV Reymond

  • Rick Ellwood

    Reply Reply October 18, 2008

    Hi Reed,
    I am glad you have underlined the position I am happen to be in at the moment.I started with a great product from Michael Cheney back in May this year and have entered into two or three membership sites and bought around $3000 to $4000 of online products and tools they recommend etc and I have yet to complete Cheney’s training programm ! I wish I had just stuck with that but I’m sure 99.99% of us fall prey to the bug of wanting to find that system thats going to fit us like a glove.I don’t regret what Ive bought because that lesson has to be learnt in one way or another, I now have to focus on my marketing
    gloves…one for each hand and opt out of a couple of membership sites and re-invest those funds into my two chosen area’s.Glad I opted into yours by the way 🙂
    Stay Focused

  • Ouida Hull

    Reply Reply October 18, 2008

    Thanks, Reed,

    I’ve done both of the first 2, but pray tell, how do you try out a program before you buy it?


  • James

    Reply Reply October 18, 2008

    Hey Reed

    Good Post. For those who are just getting started Reed is one to follow stick around and
    you will get educated by a good teacher who’s
    very sincere about helping others travel down the right path.

    See Ya

  • Michelle

    Reply Reply October 19, 2008

    Great Tips!

    Michelles last blog post..Extreme Clickbank Tactic Makes $109,151 In 30 Days!

  • Thomas UKM

    Reply Reply October 19, 2008

    Hey Reed,’s especially true when a newbie get started online and trying to do everything that is imaginable…and finally the result is almost equal to zero.


    Thomas UKMs last blog post..A Quick Review On Google Chrome…

  • Eric Alexander

    Reply Reply October 19, 2008

    Hi reed,

    It’s a great service that you are providing ! I mean giving valuable advice to those who are new to Affliate Marketing. Hope to see more of the same.

    Best Regards

    E. Alexander

  • Wayne Bell

    Reply Reply October 19, 2008

    Another great post Reed and some awesome advise. Being in affiliate marketing myself for over five years, we have found two programs that stand out head and shoulders above the rest. If interested, you can check them out here:>

    If anyone is thinking about using Adsense to supliment income on their wesite, I urge you to go to:>
    and discover the Pros and Cons of using Google Adsense. You can also find a Great Alternative Adsense programe at:>
    Hope you find this info helpful.


    Health, Happiness And Success
    Wayne & Susan Bell
    “Searching The World To Bring You The Best Online”

  • Barry

    Reply Reply October 19, 2008

    Thanks Reed,
    It is exactly as you say,I have made that same mistake.Having a Web Store (if that is what it is called),I need to add content to many pages and to get content and banners etc for those products it seems that you need to join as an affiliate.Having purchased many products (most of which have not helped me at all),tools, affiliate programs and freebies,one eventually ends up with an overload of e-mails and info.With all this overload and not knowing who or what product to trust and all the frustration I then “threw in the towel”.Having done this I eventually realised I need to go back to the “drawing board” and not give up halfway.
    Maybe many have gone though the same frustrations as I have we need to do as you have said, slowly and steadily and step by step.
    Thanks again Reed,

  • Richard

    Reply Reply October 19, 2008

    Still regularly hitting my No1 most visited blog, Reed, and for good reason. Another excellent post (Focus IS the key) – keep ’em coming!

  • shiva

    Reply Reply October 19, 2008


    Fantastic – my cloud is clear

    thanks again

  • admin

    Reply Reply October 20, 2008

    @Ivan thank you

    @Brian agreed you need to pin-point your customers

    @Ginger I don’t think I’ve used PPCBully so can’t give an opinion.

    @James and Helen glad you found something successful

    @Peter I actually believe the affiliate and the merchant both win from affiliate programs however the merchant generally wins more

    @normz2 yes it would be better to concentrate on those that are making money for you

    @Henrik yeah it’s amazing how many “review” site there are out there and they are mostly just to sell

    @Kenny I’ll agree that does get annoying but it’s a strategy that works really really really well for the product owners

    @Timothy we all make mistakes I make them all the time if we aren’t making mistakes we aren’t succeeding you can achieve your dreams!

    @Matthew thanks keep us posted on your success

    @PV thank you

    @Rick I agree I think most people are looking for that “magic pill” and it makes it really hard to succeed when you are constantly searching

    @Ouida if you can prove that you can make sales for them then generally you can get a free copy

    @James thank you

    @Michelle thank you

    @Thomas that is very true

    @Eric keep coming back there’s plenty more to come

    @Wayne thank you

    @Barry yes I think many people fall for that same “scam” if you will and it makes it really hard to succeed

    @Richard thank you 🙂

    @Shiva you are welcome

  • Geoff Dodd

    Reply Reply October 20, 2008

    Hi Reed,

    Great article, dude. I joined way too many affiliate programs and STILL do. But also, if I specialize a bit and provide a different DEAL for customers, it works fine. For example, incentivization like giving away 397 dollars worth of software to anyone who purchases the main product through my affiliate link. Bonuses work to differentiate you from ten thousand other affiliates.

    Geoff Dodd

  • admin

    Reply Reply October 20, 2008

    @Geoff glad to hear you do bonuses that is a fantastic way to stand out.

  • HPG Inc

    Reply Reply October 24, 2008

    I love your blog Reed. Keep up the good work. Great post!

  • Jorge EZ Affiliate

    Reply Reply October 24, 2008

    Hi Reed,

    I did the #2 mistake MANY times; I signed up for a gazillion affiliate programs and used 2 or 3 🙂

    I wish I would have read this 4 years ago 🙂


    Jorge EZ Affiliates last blog post..What to Look for Before You Buy a Website Builder

  • admin

    Reply Reply October 25, 2008

    @HPG thanks

    @Jorge a lot of us made those mistakes

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