7 Affiliate Marketing Mistakes New Bloggers Make

Affiliate marketing mistakes. Who hasn't made any?

Affiliate marketing is one of the many income streams for bloggers and online entrepreneurs.

Some bloggers are so successful with it that affiliate marketing becomes their major income stream.

But if you're struggling to make money with affiliate marketing, you're likely making some of the following affiliate marketing mistakes.


7 affiliate marketing mistakes

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[Disclaimer: Some links in this post contain affiliate links. This means I get a commission if you purchase the product through my link at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases.]

Before we go any further, do you want to be more productive with your affiliate marketing efforts? Then check out my Affiliate Marketing Tracker and Planner here.

1. One of the most common affiliate marketing mistakes is starting late

If you want your blog to be your business, start adding affiliate links to your blog from the beginning. There’s no reason to wait. Your blog doesn’t need to be perfect and you don’t need to have 100000 visitors for you to start making money through affiliate marketing.

I had only a couple of blog posts when I started making some money with the help of these resources, though I love the way this course explains how to do affiliate marketing for beginners.

They showed me you didn't have to have a big blog to make money.

If you start too late, you’re missing out on money-making opportunities and you’re going to have a headache when you introduce affiliate marketing links to ALL your earlier posts.

Also, if you are paying for your tools, your blog is costing you money, so start using affiliate marketing to pay for your tools and expenses.

2. Choosing low commission products

This is the second of the affiliate marketing mistakes in this list because it stops you from making more money with every link/click.

If you want to maximise how much money you make with affiliate marketing, you must look at products that give you a higher commission.

For example, Amazon affiliates is one of the most popular affiliate programs. It’s easy to apply to, everybody knows Amazon and trust it and people all over the world will be happy buying from Amazon.

But Amazon affiliate commissions are some of the lowest.

And Amazon cookies are some of the shortest, so you only make money if your readers buy something within 24 hours.

Should you still apply to become an Amazon affiliate?

The answer is yes, because there are things you can do that will make you money each week.

It also works for most niches and there are times of the year when being an Amazon affiliate really pays off.

But don't apply if you have less than 10 posts, use it to complement other programs and don’t put all your efforts into this unless you have a very specific Amazon niche website.

Where can you get higher commissions?

You can become an affiliate for a digital product. For instance, if you have used something like this Easy Marketing Planner, this Smart Blog Planner or this Blog By Number course, you can have access to their affiliate program. Their commissions are much higher (between 25% and 40%)  and their cookies are much longer.

Or use Shareasale to find products that pay more than 15% commission, like Tailwind. Here's a blog post to help you choose the most profitable programs.

3. Worst affiliate marketing mistake ever? Not using affiliate programs with recurring payments

Ideally, you should start with products that give you recurring payments, because it will build up over time.Yes, it does start as a small amount,  and you need to wait until it gets to the minimum payment to get paid.
The good thing about these programs is that you keep getting paid for months, even years.

For me, the recurring payments come from programs like Drip or Tailwind.

Affiliate Marketing Tracker

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4. Joining too many affiliate programs

Another of the affiliate mistakes most people make is to join too many programs when you are starting. But you can’t spend enough time on each one of them to do it properly.

Focusing on 2 or 3 products is going to help you be more effective.

You’re better off writing a series of blog posts about one or two products than writing lots of different blog posts about different products.

It’s easier for you to batch your writing and create outlines of all the things you need to address, so will be more productive with your writing.

They can also help you reduce your bounce rate if you have a series and you will be keeping more people on your site for longer.

But the main reason for this is that you can become overwhelmed with all the work you need to do if you join too many programs or want to promote too many products.

My greedy affiliate marketing mistake

Last October, I had just joined several programs and was planning all my posts and emails but I didn’t think that Black Friday was around the corner. Then I started getting bombarded by emails from affiliate programs with all their offers and their instructions about what to do, what emails to send and when, what to schedule on Twitter and Facebook, etc.

And I wasn’t just doing it for this blog but for others too!

I did my best and was very happy with the sales we achieved in the end, but it was a bit mad for a while.

Thrive Leads Shortcodes will not be rendered outside the content area when editing a Page with Thrive Architect

5. Not having a plan

The same way you have a plan for your blog content, a plan for your emails and a plan for your social media you should ALSO make a plan for your affiliate marketing, hence my tracker.

I plan everything on my calendar so I know what is going on every month. When I get a notification from one of my affiliate programs I can now see where I can include an email or a blog post and it helps to keep me sane. This also helps you make the most of your content.

Because when you link your affiliate marketing plan to your content, social media and email plans, you make the most of your time. It helps you decide when to publish a post about this or that, when to promote it on social media, when to send emails and to which subscribers…

>>>You'll love these affiliate marketing resources<<<

6. Not using affiliate links in social media

Yes, we all know that you cannot depend on social media because they keep changing things and what’s allowed one day is not allowed the next. Just like Pinterest has now banned affiliate links that redirect and left a lot of people unable to make money the way they used to.

But when they are allowed, one of the affiliate marketing mistakes people make is not to use them on autopilot. Take people directly to the product you’re using and not just to your blog posts. It works really well for impulse buys, products that solve a problem, like this Body Back Buddy

I have SocialBee and Tailwind's SmartLoop set up to post my evergreen affiliate links to social media and this is making me affiliate sales regularly without me having to do anything. This complements whatever you make through blog posts and you are taking the reader directly to the sales page.

7. Bombarding your email list during sales season

This isn’t just one of the most common affiliate mistakes but one of the most annoying for your readers.

Let’s imagine there’s a sales campaign by Drip, you’re an affiliate and want to make the most of it so you prepare a few emails to promote the current promotion.

Yes, it’s a great time to make sales, but what usually happens at this time is that your readers are being emailed by every other blogger to sign up to Drip through their link.

So you’re competing for your readers’ attention and, if we’re going to be honest, they’re going to end up fed up with all the emails.

It makes more sense to include relevant emails in your autoresponders so you can be making sales all year round and not just during sales seasons.


You’re always going to make mistakes when you start something new. And you really need to try lots of different things and if that means you are going to make some affiliate marketing mistakes, so be it. You will learn from them.

And you also need to learn what your readers like and what they don’t. So starting early, having a clear focus and a plan can help you make more money in the long run.

What are your worst affiliate marketing mistakes? Tell me in the comments so we can all learn.

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    1. It’s easy to get carried away with new ideas but it’s always best to start with a plan and focus on a smaller number of things.

  1. I think I’ve probably done every single one of these mistakes 😀 But 2020 brought a whole new mindset for me and I’m embarking on a new try with affiliate marketing equipped with a plan. Remains to be seen whether it works.

    1. It’s so much easier to be successful with affiliate marketing with a plan cos you know what you have to focus on. Best wishes!

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