Are You Making Any Of These 20 Embarrassing Affiliate Marketing Mistakes?


Affiliate marketing is definitely one of the major ways of trying to make money online. It’s a system where affiliates help merchants promote or market their products and/or services.

The affiliates are provided with a special special link or code to use in their marketing. This code is used to track the traffic and sales that comes through their efforts.

The essence of this code is also to help determine the amount of commission that would be paid to the affiliate as compensation.

Affiliate marketing is a business model that many have found attractive over the years. Most successful bloggers and internet marketers have gotten grips of this business but others are still struggling with the concept.

Truth be told, if you become an affiliate and do things right, you can become successful selling other people’s products and/or services. However, if you keep making mistakes in the process and doing things wrong, you will not achieve much success.

Mistakes are usually bad for everyone and some can be very devastating. That’s why it is better they are avoided from the onset, especially embarrassing mistakes. Doing such mistakes could be the reason YOU are not making progress with trying to make money on the Internet with affiliate marketing.

The following are 20 embarrassing mistakes to avoid when trying to make money online with affiliate marketing. These ideas will help you become more cautious of what is needed to succeed as an affiliate marketer.


1 – Not learning about different facets of affiliate marketing

Before you start thinking about making money from affiliate marketing, you must have adequate knowledge of how the system works.

In fact, this should be one of the first things you do.

Affiliate marketing, as a system, has many facets, such as:

  • choosing the best programs to promote,
  • getting approved to promote the products,
  • providing content around the product,
  • placing your affiliate links rightly,
  • accessing commissions,
  • handling complaints,
  • etc


You must get ample knowledge of these facts if you really want to succeed.


2 – Thinking you will become a millionaire overnight

If you think that you will become rich overnight when you start affiliate marketing then it’s time you had another serious rethink.


Affiliate marketing requires a lot of hard work and it could take time before you develop a system that would start yielding money for you.

Most people are misled into thinking that they can just start making money like others once they sign up with a program and place a link on their website. It doesn’t work like that.

Agreed there are some systems like the one I am using here, which can work very quickly, but most systems out there take time.

Even this system I am using needs one to take ACTION. It won’t work if I don’t take any action. Writing high quality articles like this and promoting them in the right places is just one of such actions.

I certainly won’t become a millionaire overnight but if I keep going, I will eventually make a lot of money from affiliate marketing overtime.

Same thing with you or anyone else who is really serious about putting the time and effort needed to succeed with the right affiliate program.


3 – Doing what everyone else is doing and failing at

It is a mistake of affiliate marketing if you get stuck with the idea of doing things like others.

You need to put up your extra thinking cap and be creative.monitor-1280219_640

Sometimes it is your creativity that will help you come up with better ways of doing things, in terms of coming up with the right content, design and promotions.

Avoid the mistake of following what everyone else is doing and failing with.


4 – Not knowing enough about the product being promoted

For me, this is a big mistake that could cost the affiliate marketer big time and resources.

Not knowing the product you are promoted well enough is not just a mistake, it is a disaster. You would be able to convince others better into buying a product if you have used and tested it yourself.

So, before you start promoting that product, ensure you know it well enough.

For example, I first spent time to study this system I am using before I started promoting it. I watched the many videos in the members’ area and understand exactly how it all works, before I started promoting it.

You should do the same, for any product you decide to promote. It’s just common sense and it will work better for you.


5 – Joining too many affiliate programs

You need concentration for effective result when it comes to affiliate marketing.

If you decide joining every program you come across, then it is confusion. You will never make maximal impact on any program and this could affect your success.

Therefore, concentrate on just one or few programs where you have the potential to explore your greatness.

If you are currently signed up to dozens of programs, perhaps it’s time to pick just one or two to focus on.

Of course you can always move on to other programs, but after spending good time on one or two.

Didn’t the greats say focusing on one or few things work better than on dozens or hundreds of things? That’s very true.


6 – Using duplicate content on your website

If your affiliate website is often filled with content copied from other affiliates’ websites or from review sites, this is not always good.


Your tactics could be frowned at by the search engines, especially Google.

This could also earn your penalty.

Try to be original in the content you publish to promote a product. Google still frowns at duplicate content!


7 – Running your affiliate website in a “free” host and domain

You will not be seen as a professional if you decide to do affiliate marketing under a free host or by using a free domain.

Invest in “self-hosted” blog or website if you want to be taken seriously as an affiliate marketer.

The good news is that you don’t have to spend much buying domain names and signing up for a hosting plan.

You can get started with as little as $10 or less for a domain name and $5 per month or less for a good host.

Make this investment today as part of your initial startup cost and you would be taken seriously.


8 – Failure to do proper keyword research

In whatever product or service you have decided to promote as an affiliate, keyword research is important.

Well done keyword research means you can identify the words and phrases people use in searching for the product and use such words in your content.


Ultimately, you will increase your chances of getting more traffic if your keyword research is good.

Remember, keyword research is an essential part of search engine optimization (SEO) and you need this optimization to improve your search engine visibility.

And yes, even if you don’t like to do SEO, it’s important if you put content out there.


9 – Not sticking to a particular niche

One mistake that is common with many affiliate marketers is picking too many different niches at the same time.

Jumping from one niche to another doesn’t pay well for affiliates.

You should not be distracted by the appeals of just any niche you think is profitable.

If you do this, you will not excel.

Instead, you are better off sticking with a particular niche, mastering it, before moving to another.

This way you improve your chances of making money with affiliate marketing.


10 – Not working with the right mentor

It is a mistake to engage in affiliate marketing alone, especially if you have no prior experience in it.


If you have access to, or the opportunity of, meeting a mentor then you definitely should utilize it.

Mentors are those who are already succeeding in what you want to do or be. They are also willing guide you do the same.

Find a mentor so that your journey to becoming successful with affiliate marketing would be shorter and less painful than it would have been without one.

Take your time and find the “right” mentor today!

I did and am happy with my decision.


11 – Promoting products you know nothing about

You should know about the products and/or services you want to promote.


While it’s good to be passionate about the product and/or service you have chosen to promote, knowing about them is a good first step.

That’s very important when it comes to affiliate marketing.

If you don’t know anything about the products and/or services you are promoting, then it becomes easier to get overwhelmed when you face obstacles along the way.

You will find it more fun when promoting a product you have at least some knowledge, interest or passion for.

That can give you the inner inspiration to do all the hard work necessary for success.


12 – Not taking time to learn approval requirements of merchants

It is a big mistake not learning what is required to get approved by an affiliate program.

If you are not acquainted with what is required and how to provide what you should, then you could be rejected from the onset.

So, ensure you read the terms of service of any program you have decided to join and meet their demands.

The faster you obey their TOS, the faster you will get approved, and the faster you will start making money with their programs.


13 – You don’t offer incentives

Affiliate marketing today is quite competitive.

You must endeavor to develop ways to stand out and beat the competition.

One of the strategies you can adopt is to offer incentives to your potential prospects.

This could be in the form of discounts, bonuses, free eBooks, etc.

The more incentives you provide, the more appealing your offer can be to potential customers.


14 – Not having your own “Sales Page”

It’s not always compulsory but if you can, you should have your own sales page, especially if you think the sales page of the vendor is lacking one thing or another.

This helps sometimes, rather than always relying on that provided by the merchant.

Having your own sales page sometimes allows you to stand out as a professional. You would be able to control the message and the tone of your persuasion.

So, if you can, create your own sales page, control the message and let the audience see you as an expert.


15 – Not helping visitors solve their problem

You should be helping visitors or potential customers from your website solve the problems they have.


As an affiliate marketer, you don’t only make recommendations for a product, you help the audience know what benefit they will enjoy from it.

You should use your site or blog to provide solutions, answer their questions, and assuage their concerns.

Therefore, ensure you have an effective feedback and response system in your affiliate marketing model.

The more solutions you provide, the more trust you engender!

And of course, this leads to more sales, on the long term.


16 – Not branding your business

If you can, you should be running your affiliate marketing business as a brand.

This way you will be seen as unique and professional.

You can have your own voice, your own design and your own content.

People should be able to identify you from the crowd.

It would be a mistake if you just follow the crowd like every other affiliate marketer.

17- Buying cheap low quality traffic 

If you want to excel in affiliate marketing then you really need to invest in the right quality traffic.

Without good quality traffic you are not going get the kind of conversion you want.

There are paid traffic and there are non-paid traffic. The former offers better quality and ROI than the latter.

This also applies to solo ads. Getting cheap low quality traffic and cheap low quality solo ads for your business means you are not going to get the best.

Remember, you get what you pay for, hence invest in quality traffic.

And in most cases, you can only get this if you pay for it.

As a beginner you can utilize cheap services but with time make the right investment in good quality paid traffic and good quality solo ads.


18 – Not joining or learning from the right affiliate groups

The journey of affiliate marketing should not be embarked upon alone.

You need to be acquainted with industry news and trends. Interacting with other affiliates is a good step in the right direction when it comes to knowing what is going on in the industry.

Join affiliate groups where you get to share views and ideas with people of like minds.

The ideas you get from these groups are going to help you make better decisions for growth.


19 – Not promoting your affiliate marketing business well

It is one thing to have blog or website where you operate as an affiliate. But, it is quite another thing to promote that business.


It would be a mistake to just be publishing reviews about a product and expecting people to click your link.

If you don’t promote your content you are not going to excel.

You should put into practice promotional strategies like SEO, email marketing, and social media marketing, etc.

The more you promote, the better your chance of success with affiliate marketing.


20 – Not willing to invest money in the right type of tools

There are tools out there that can help you save time and energy while doing affiliate marketing.

You need these tools to fast-track your affiliate marketing success.

These tools can include:

  • keyword research tools
  • niche finding tools,
  • SEO and back linking tools,
  • idea generation and content editors,
  • landing page creation tools
  • social media scheduling tools,
  • etc.


Invest in the right tools today and see how you excel in your affiliate marketing.



So, these are 20 mistakes you should not be doing with affiliate marketing.

You can excel as an affiliate marketer but you need to know what it takes and apply the rules.

Success with affiliate marketing doesn’t happen overnight but with the right strategies and hard work, you will eventually succeed!

Right now I am signed up to this awesome system and I am making money with it. You can too, if you check it out here.


  1. Hi Gavin,

    I haven’t ordered the platinum version through you yet as I said I would. I had to step out quickly last night. I’m at work now but will order when I get back home tonight.

    I’ll post here after I order.

    I replied your message and asked if your 1,000 word article bonus is still available when I order tonight?

  2. Hi Gavin,

    I did it, 🙂

    Here are the details

    Purchase Details:
    Product: 30 Days To Making Money Online (Platinum Version)
    Price: $299.00
    Payment Id: AP-599383062L1234529

    I got a bunch of emails from Kingged after the payment, and I got logged in. There’s too much information to process now, I’m off to bed now, will process it all tomorrow.

    I’ll post the payment details on the 30 days post and tell that you referred me.

    Thank you.

  3. I haven’t read all the comments but if it hasn’t been mentioned, the number one mistake of an affiliate marketer is not building a list to market to. This is in fact the most important factor of creating an affiliate business. Without building a list and a proper funnel your affiliate marketing dream will just be a dream.
    Gordie Chase recently posted…Did you know that Online Marketing and MMO are the lowest converting niche’s?My Profile

  4. Hi Gavin

    The post is really awesome: a lot of mistakes that harm affiliate marketing, and all of them are really serious and made by many young marketers.

    For sure, the lack of knowledge within the sphere is the key mistake that leads to the majority of other erros. It is extremely importan to understand what affiliate marketing is and its basic facets.

    This leads to thinking that you can earn money in a second without making any serious efforts, or trying to use techniques everyone is using, not making a detailed analysis of the product you are working with, etc.

  5. Hey Gavin,

    This would be a great checklist for all of us affiliate marketers.

    I think the biggest mistake I’m making right now is not doing proper keyword search. I was using keyword planner, but I wasn’t getting enough targeted traffic.

    I just purchased Long Tail Pro a couple of weeks ago and I will start implementing it and adding better keywords on older posts.

    Thanks for sharing Gavin! Have a great weekend!
    Sherman Smith recently posted…How Can Solopreneurs Promote Their New Blog Posts?My Profile

  6. Hello Gavin,

    This is an excellent post! I have definitely been guilty of #5. I had to tell myself to slow my roll. I was in way too many affiliate programs and was really feeling overwhelmed. So, now I am only concentrating on a few. It’s so easy to get caught up because you see one affiliate program and then you like it and then you see another and it can really get crazy if you don’t get it under control.

    Thanks for sharing this with us!
    Maketta recently posted…What Are You Struggling With?My Profile

  7. Not bad, although I’m not sure I agree with all of it. I don’t think you need expensive mentors or time-wasting groups to make a success of what is a simple business model.

    The one tool you absolutely need to have is an autoresponder. If you are direct linking and only giving yourself one chance to persuade someone to buy, you are making the task infinitely more difficult than it needs to be.

    Aweber and GetResponse are the autoresponders most people talk about, but my favourite is They are double opt-in only, so they are trusted by ISPs and have the highest deliverability rate in the industry. They also have a flat rate monthly charge which won’t keep rising as your subscriber numbers grow.

    Should you keep the option to use single opt-in gimmicks? No. there is no point. It is true that you will build a list more quickly if you do, but it will be a list of deadbeats. If someone is not prepared to click one link to get your free content, what is the probability that they will fill out a credit card form and buy your paid content? Those subscribers will bloat your list, give you higher charges if you are with a tiered-payment AR, and make your statistics look for worse than they should be.

    Whichever service you decide upon, the autoresponder is the most important tool any affiliate marketer will ever use.

  8. Hi Gavin,

    Glad to read another one of your articles. I definitely will have to make sure I don’t make these mistakes.

    I like the tip on helping your readers solve their problems.

    I think if we can find out what the main problems people have in a niche, and then find relevant affiliate programs that solve those problems, then referring them to the affiliate program should be easier and more profitable.

    We know the problems and can point them to the right direction for the solutions.

    Another great article my friend. Looking forward to interacting with you here on Kingged!

    Your friend,


  9. Hi Gavin,

    I’m currently working with a friend of mine as an affiliate marketer. I’m also very new to this type of thing, and would not be interested if it wasn’t for him being such an awesome guy. So, the tips you provided are very relevant to me, helpful and encouraging. Thank you so much for the very helpful insight. I will be putting your suggestions into practice. 🙂
    Artice Upchurch (A.D. Upchurch) recently posted…7 Ways To Improve Customer Retention With Social MediaMy Profile

  10. Hello Gavin,

    Thank you for sharing this very helpful and insightful mistakes to avoid in affiliate marketing. Wow, this is some post. Very detailed. Filled with a lot of things for me to mull over a bit.

    I’ve personally found a lot of challenges, and mistakes I’ve made along the way.

    I think the hardest part is picking the right affiliate product to promote.

    I think I could work on having a better sales page, too.

    Thanks for sharing!

  11. Hi Gavin,

    Wow…you have written an excellent article! I know I have made just about every mistake you have written about. I really fell for the one of thinking I would be making a lot of money quickly. I finally realized that I need to be working within a system of like-minded people to succeed.

    Learning to market online is a lot more complicated than most people think. A lot of newbies are under the impression that all you have to do to get rich is build a website. I found out the hard way that you can’t just have a website sitting on the internet and expect to make money.

    I’ve learned that the most important thing is to learn how to drive traffic to your site by providing content that has value. Your article is an example of this. Thank you for writing it.
    Susan Woodard recently posted…How to Choose the Right Affiliate ProductMy Profile

  12. Hi Gavin,

    Affiliate Marketing, aka the scary way to make money.

    Great insight into what not to do. I’ll admit being excited many times about getting into affiliate marketing and then being scared off by the complexity of each program.

    Thanks for clearing up some of the most challenging points – especially connecting with a company that will walk you through their program. It’s really too difficult to maneuver many systems yourself.

    I’m new to but am intrigued by the endless possibilities. I plan to read, listen and learn before wading into the deep end again. I’ll be keeping this post handy so I’ll be sure to stay on the right path when I’m ready.

    Thanks for the excellent lesson.


  13. Hello Gavin,

    These 20 points sum up 20 holes in the bucket.
    And Leaky buckets needs fixes and not more traffic.

    I committed Mistake #5. And I know how messy the things are now.
    It’s really very hard to focus on the actual business and results in heavy losses.

    One thing I would like to add here, Not Using Targeted advertising is also a blunder mistake. You should not target selling hair oil to a bald guy!

    Thanks for share, really amazing article.
    Pratyaksh Somani recently posted…Best Gmail Tools you must UseMy Profile