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Mistakes made by affiliate marketers

Evadav

h1c

Contributor
Joined
Jun 22, 2020
Messages
28
Hi,

What if we build a list of mistakes to avoid for beginners and also for advanced affilaite marketers..

So what mistakes have you made in affiliate marketing ?


PS: If there are many replies, we can gather these mistakes in a single post (to be updated as long as there are more)

EDIT : Summary of common mistakes that beginners and advanced affiliate marketers should avoid:

Mistakes for Beginners in Affiliate Marketing:

  1. Choosing the wrong niche: Selecting a niche solely based on potential profitability without considering your own interests or expertise can lead to difficulties in creating compelling content and connecting with your audience.
  2. Not researching affiliate programs: Failing to thoroughly research and choose reputable affiliate programs can result in poor commission rates, payment issues, or even partnering with fraudulent schemes.
  3. Ignoring audience needs: Neglecting to understand your target audience and their needs can lead to irrelevant content and low conversion rates. Take the time to research and engage with your audience to provide value.
  4. Over-promoting: Bombarding your audience with excessive promotional content can come across as spammy and untrustworthy. Balance your promotional efforts with valuable and informative content.
  5. Not disclosing affiliate relationships: Being transparent about your affiliate relationships is essential for building trust with your audience and complying with legal requirements. Clearly disclose when you're promoting affiliate products or receiving commissions.
  6. Not focusing on a scalable traffic source: Instead of spreading efforts across multiple traffic sources, it's important to identify and focus on a scalable traffic source that aligns with your niche and target audience. This allows for more effective optimization and growth.
  7. Unrealistic expectations of quick success: Expecting immediate success, such as hitting high-profit campaigns within a few months of starting affiliate marketing, can lead to disappointment and frustration. It's essential to set realistic goals and understand that success takes time and effort.
  8. Underestimating the need for investment: Believing that significant profits can be generated with minimal investment can lead to financial challenges. Recognizing the importance of cash flow and allocating appropriate resources is crucial for sustainable growth.
  9. Neglecting networking with fellow affiliates: Building relationships and networking with other affiliates can provide valuable insights, support, and collaboration opportunities. Isolating oneself from the affiliate community can limit growth and learning opportunities.
  10. Not forming a close mastermind group: Creating a mastermind group with trusted peers, where you can openly share details, exchange ideas, and work collaboratively, can be highly beneficial. Collaboration and support from like-minded individuals can accelerate progress and problem-solving.
  11. Shiny object syndrome: The temptation to constantly chase new ideas and strategies can be distracting and counterproductive. It's important to focus on a few proven methods or niches and develop expertise in those areas rather than spreading oneself too thin.
  12. Giving up too early: Persistence and consistency are key in affiliate marketing. Success often comes with time and experience, and giving up too soon can prevent you from reaching your full potential. Staying committed and continuously learning from failures can lead to eventual breakthroughs.
  13. Not working hard enough: Affiliate marketing requires dedication and effort. Underestimating the amount of work required and expecting significant results with minimal effort can lead to disappointment. Competition exists, and putting in the necessary hours and effort is often necessary to stay ahead.
  14. Direct linking without a landing page: Failing to use a landing page and relying on direct linking can limit your ability to pre-sell and engage your audience effectively. A/B testing landing pages can often yield better results.
  15. Rushing to launch campaigns: Launching campaigns hastily without proper preparation, research, and testing can lead to suboptimal results. Taking the time to plan and execute campaigns strategically is essential for success.
  16. Affiliates being overly demanding or rude: Some affiliates may cross boundaries by contacting you at inappropriate times or displaying disrespectful behavior. Establishing clear communication channels and setting expectations can help mitigate such issues.
  17. Affiliates crossing personal boundaries: It's crucial for affiliates to maintain professionalism and respect personal boundaries. Stalking or invading personal privacy is unacceptable behavior and should be addressed promptly.
  18. Affiliates not being transparent or honest: Dishonesty can harm the affiliate-manager relationship and damage the reputation of both parties. It's important for affiliates to communicate openly and honestly about their traffic sources and methods to maintain trust and integrity.
  19. Lack of vertical focus: Jumping from one vertical to another without dedicating enough time and effort to understand and optimize each one can hinder your progress. Choosing a specific vertical or niche and becoming an expert in that area can lead to better results and improved campaign performance.
  20. Insufficient focus on traffic types: Each traffic type has its own nuances and optimization strategies. Not dedicating enough time to master a particular traffic source or type can limit your understanding and ability to maximize its potential. By focusing on specific traffic types, you can develop in-depth knowledge and effectively optimize your campaigns.
  21. Spread too thin across multiple opportunities: Trying to tackle too many opportunities at once can result in a lack of focus and diluted efforts. It's important to prioritize and concentrate on a select few opportunities that align with your goals and expertise. By focusing your resources and energy, you can increase your chances of success.

Mistakes for Advanced Affiliate Marketers:

  1. Failing to diversify income streams: Relying heavily on a single affiliate program or product can make your earnings vulnerable to changes in the market. Diversify your income by partnering with multiple programs or exploring other monetization strategies.
  2. Neglecting analytics and tracking: Not closely monitoring your performance metrics can hinder your ability to optimize your campaigns. Use analytics tools to track conversions, click-through rates, and other key metrics to identify areas for improvement.
  3. Disregarding SEO and organic traffic: Overemphasizing paid advertising while neglecting search engine optimization (SEO) and organic traffic can limit your long-term success. Invest in optimizing your website and content for search engines to attract organic traffic.
  4. Ignoring emerging trends and technologies: Staying up-to-date with the latest industry trends and technological advancements can give you a competitive edge. Ignoring new opportunities, such as influencer marketing or emerging platforms, may hinder your growth.
  5. Not nurturing relationships with affiliates and partners: Building strong relationships with other affiliates, influencers, and industry partners can lead to collaboration opportunities, knowledge sharing, and mutual growth. Neglecting these relationships can limit your network and potential growth.
  6. Messed up bids and budgets: Making errors in setting bids and budgets can lead to overspending or underspending, resulting in ineffective campaigns or depleting your budget too quickly. Paying close attention to these details is crucial for campaign success.
  7. Pausing campaigns too early or too late: Finding the right balance in pausing campaigns is essential. Ending campaigns prematurely can prevent you from gathering enough data to make informed optimizations, while pausing them too late when they are not performing well can waste resources.
  8. Copying filters without checking: Carelessly copying filters without verifying them can unintentionally redirect your valuable traffic to the wrong destinations, such as broken pages or ineffective SmartLinks. Always review and double-check your settings to avoid such issues.
  9. Not setting caps: Failing to set caps on your campaigns, such as daily spend caps or conversion caps, can result in overspending or exceeding your desired targets. It's important to define and monitor these caps to maintain control over your campaigns.
  10. Depositing money and not using it before the network closes: Depositing funds into a network but failing to utilize them in a timely manner can be problematic, especially if the network closes down unexpectedly. Regularly assess the viability and reliability of the networks you work with.
  11. Not adding payment details and missing out on earnings: Forgetting to add your payment details to a network can lead to missed payments or delays in receiving your earnings. Make sure to provide your payment information promptly and keep it updated as needed.
  12. Not focusing on a scalable traffic source: Instead of spreading efforts across multiple traffic sources, it's important to identify and focus on a scalable traffic source that aligns with your niche and target audience. This allows for more effective optimization and growth.
  13. Unrealistic expectations of quick success: Expecting immediate success, such as hitting high-profit campaigns within a few months of starting affiliate marketing, can lead to disappointment and frustration. It's essential to set realistic goals and understand that success takes time and effort.
  14. Underestimating the need for investment: Believing that significant profits can be generated with minimal investment can lead to financial challenges. Recognizing the importance of cash flow and allocating appropriate resources is crucial for sustainable growth.
  15. Neglecting networking with fellow affiliates: Building relationships and networking with other affiliates can provide valuable insights, support, and collaboration opportunities. Isolating oneself from the affiliate community can limit growth and learning opportunities.
  16. Not forming a close mastermind group: Creating a mastermind group with trusted peers, where you can openly share details, exchange ideas, and work collaboratively, can be highly beneficial. Collaboration and support from like-minded individuals can accelerate progress and problem-solving.
  17. Not keeping track of billing and accounting: Neglecting to stay on top of financial aspects, such as payment terms, accepted payment methods, and click flow, can create confusion and potentially result in delayed or missed payments. Maintaining clear communication and documentation is important.
  18. Operating as a solo media buyer without a team: Managing multiple campaigns single-handedly can become overwhelming and limit your ability to scale efficiently. Building a team or outsourcing tasks to virtual assistants and specialists can help alleviate the workload and improve productivity.
  19. Not utilizing automation tools and software: Failing to leverage automation tools like Voluum Automizer or TheOptimizer can hinder campaign optimization and slow down your progress. These tools can automate various tasks, such as blacklisting placements and managing budgets, to streamline your operations.
  20. Neglecting a media buying plan: Operating without a well-defined media buying plan can lead to aimless campaigns and inefficient resource allocation. Planning your approach, targeting, and funnel strategy in advance can significantly improve your chances of success.
  21. Failing to monetize opportunities: Overlooking opportunities to monetize and maximize revenue potential can result in missed earnings. Always explore avenues to monetize your traffic and capitalize on different offers or partnerships.

Mistakes as an Affiliate Manager:

  1. Affiliates being overly demanding or rude: Some affiliates may cross boundaries by contacting you at inappropriate times or displaying disrespectful behavior. Establishing clear communication channels and setting expectations can help mitigate such issues.
  2. Affiliates crossing personal boundaries: It's crucial for affiliates to maintain professionalism and respect personal boundaries. Stalking or invading personal privacy is unacceptable behavior and should be addressed promptly.
  3. Affiliates not being transparent or honest: Dishonesty can harm the affiliate-manager relationship and damage the reputation of both parties. It's important for affiliates to communicate openly and honestly about their traffic sources and methods to maintain trust and integrity.

Points to consider:

  1. Long-term vision: Instead of focusing solely on short-term gains, it's essential to have a long-term vision for your affiliate marketing business. Understand that success is not guaranteed with any single campaign and that the industry is constantly changing. By planning for the future and diversifying your efforts, you can mitigate the risks associated with relying on a single campaign.
  2. Continuous learning and adaptation: Affiliate marketing is a dynamic industry, and staying ahead requires continuous learning and adaptation. Keep up with industry trends, explore new verticals and offers, and refine your strategies. By staying agile and proactive, you can navigate changes in the market and consistently find new opportunities for growth.
  3. Building a strong foundation: Rather than relying solely on specific campaigns or offers, focus on building a strong foundation for your affiliate marketing business. This includes developing skills in various aspects of the industry, nurturing relationships with networks and partners, and continuously optimizing your processes. A strong foundation provides the flexibility and resilience needed to weather changes in the market.
  4. Patience is key: Affiliate marketing is a long-term game that requires patience and persistence. Results don't typically come overnight. It's important to set realistic expectations and understand that success takes time. Give yourself the opportunity to learn, optimize, and refine your strategies before expecting significant results.
  5. Avoid jumping from niche to niche: Impatience can lead to a cycle of constantly changing niches or networks in search of quick success. This lack of commitment and focus prevents you from truly understanding and maximizing the potential of a specific niche or campaign. Instead, allow yourself enough time to gather sufficient data and make informed decisions before considering changes.
  6. Educate yourself: Knowledge and education are crucial in affiliate marketing. Take the time to learn about the industry, best practices, and various strategies. Understanding the fundamentals will give you a solid foundation to navigate challenges and adapt to different situations. Invest in courses, books, online resources, and mentorship programs to enhance your skills and knowledge.
  7. Put in the work: Affiliate marketing requires effort and dedication. It's not enough to rely solely on the success stories of others. You must be willing to put in the work, experiment, and adapt to different scenarios. This involves continuous learning, testing, and optimization to find what works best for you and your target audience.
 
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Traffic Company
My Two cents as I m also following the newbie journey after, 20 years of coding exp.
1.Refreshing the tracker every 2 minutes to check for conversions



2.Not running the campaign long enough to real test it's potential & decide it's done and dusted






3. Not reading entire @Luke guide with detailed instruction "Read Through this"



4.Expecting CPA marketing is fun to wrok with & needs no time , it needs full dedication and count every penny you spend.
 
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1.Refreshing the tracker every 2 minutes to check for conversions

Oh man am I guilty of this. As with any behavior modification, it's good to think of alternative behaviors to replace the bad behavior. I have to remind myself that spying on landing pages, learning to code my own landing pages, working on copy and angle ideas, gathering images/icons to be used, and studying FAs are much more productive behaviors.
 
Not tracking the cash flow

It's important to ensure a campaign could be run sustainably (not pausing a campaign as to await for the payout). Therefore, all factors such as refund rate, allowance rate, profits/loss and payout period need to be incorporated. Leverage could also be considered such using credit card etc, but only for a profitable campaign. If money is the problem right from the start, then start saving (by having a job etc).
 
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Here is one. While waiting for a campaign review, don’t start it immediately if it is new and/or you modified the minimum bid! More than a couple of times I saw my budget depleted a couple of hours later because I missed a zero in my bid!
 
Testing four or five offers and calling it quits. You need to test a lot more offers.

When do you consider a geo is a waste of your time and call it quits? Example... I am testing Egypt and Malaysian traffic. They are dirt cheap (I guess for a reason). I ran a dozen top offers on Monetizer and even resorted to smartlinks and I can not get a single conversion! It is so odd.. I have tried some more expensive geos and they convert so much more easily. The funny thing is that on Monetizer, the offers say they convert at better than 1/100. 🤷‍♂️
 
I wrote a post about a month ago that talked about some mistakes we all make (and some of the reasons we make them):

The 'moral' of that post is that I think it's a mistake to try to succeed in this business without a solid plan and commitment to a rational strategy.

But let me just put something else out there for the philosophical minded...

I think that trying too hard to avoid mistakes is a mistake. There never has been and never will be a clear-cut forumla for success in this business, so you need to go on a journey of discovery and find 'what works for you'. Being afraid of making mistakes will stifle your confidence and progress on this journey. Of course, you need to learn from your mistakes - making the same error again and again is a problem. But if I'm ever in doubt about whether a campaign I want ro run is going to be successful or not, I'd prefer to run it and see what happens. This often reveals the fact that I've made some mistakes and this is awesome because now I can tweak my processes and try not to make the same mistakes again next time.

I reckon you'll enjoy this video:

 
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"It's good to learn from their mistakes, but it's better to learn from others mistakes."

There are many topics talking about mistakes to avoid. Maybe, it would be of use to compile these posts in a single one (with keeping sources/references).
 
Start with one single landing page - it is better to have several options so that you can make a split test and understand which one is better. Otherwise, you can decide that the offer is bad, but it won't be about the offer.

Take creatives made by other people without changing anything - it is better to add uniqueness to them, because the same creative can convert well and become familiar to the audience and they will not react to it again.
 
This thread is going to be super useful and we can all laugh about it later 😅

- Messed up the bids and spent all of my money (e.g. bid 0.4 instead of 0.004). Instant dead.
- Messed up daily budgets (e.g. $4,000 instead of $400). Instant dead as well haha.
- Paused campaigns too early and then had to come again and re launch them to have enough data to optimize.
- Paused campaigns too late, when they had no possibility from the beginning.
- Copying filters without realizing I'm redirecting all of my good traffic to a SmartLink or broken page.
- Not setting caps
- Depositing money without using it and later realize the network has closed.
- Not adding my payment details and realizing you have a few hundreds or thousands in a network that hasn't paid you


I'll think of a few more later but this is going to be fun!
 
Will talk mostly about Mindset failures:

-Not focussing on a traffic source that can be scaled big.
-Thinking i'd hit my first 4 figs campaign in just few months of starting affiliate marketing.
-Thinking I could make a lot of money with little money (i did not think about cash-flow).
-Not networking with fellow affiliates.
-Not forming a close mastermind with 1-2 people where we would share every single detail (and trust each other) and crack stuff together (thinking i could do all alone).

Might add more later.
 
A lot of the stuff here is relevant but some are honestly unavoidable (like setting the wrong bids by accident, I think to this day we still have that issue from time to time). However so far I like this post the most:

Will talk mostly about Mindset failures:

-Not focussing on a traffic source that can be scaled big.
-Thinking i'd hit my first 4 figs campaign in just few months of starting affiliate marketing.
-Thinking I could make a lot of money with little money (i did not think about cash-flow).
-Not networking with fellow affiliates.
-Not forming a close mastermind with 1-2 people where we would share every single detail (and trust each other) and crack stuff together (thinking i could do all alone).

Might add more later.


Most of the "mistakes" I'm seeing these days especially when training VA/interns is that most of it is expectation and mindset. Affiliate is not easy at all and all the success stories you hear are the filtered success of the 90% that has failed.

Mistakes I've definitely made and hear a lot about:
  • Shiny object syndrome - Don't try to test every single idea you hear about/come across. Many ideas in affiliate can work and are ever green but you need the "expertise" edge to make it work. So just stick with a few things at most.
  • Giving up too early - I started affiliate many years ago but gave up for a while. If I stayed with it since then probably doing much better than I am now. (I mean Facebook use to let me run the shittiest looking ads). Also I think success in this space is usually exponential (you start of doing like single digit days consistently but before you know it, you'll hit $xxx/day since you just "figured it out").
  • Not working hard enough - People seem to think putting in 1 hour of work a day will get you to making $xxx/day. Fact is due to low barrier to entry for affiliate, your competition is also the guys that are working 8 hours+ a day or have a team. So hard to see you beating them with minimal work no matter how clever you are (or maybe I'm not big brain enough to compensate so I'll go with hard work).

Honestly the above is probably applicable to 99% of all industry/crafts you want to make $$$ in.
 
Here are the mistakes I made as an affiliate myself and also what affiliates make from a perspective as an affiliate manager at my job.

As a beginner affiliate myself:
  • Direct linking. I made this mistake during beginner days. Always having a landing page with you and A/B test landing pages vs. direct linking. 9 times out of 10 having a landing page will help you.
  • Rushing to get a campaign live.
As an advanced affiliate myself:
  • Not keeping track of billing/accounting. This situation was a recent one. One of the direct advertisers I was sending traffic to on their sweepstakes offers. The affiliate manager never responded back to me. There are going to be days where you're on your own without someone assisting you. If I were to go back, I would have answered these important questions.
    • "What are your payment terms? What payment methods do you accept"
    • What's the click flow, when does the click get converted on?
  • Not having a team. Another recent one. Being a solo media buyer is great but once you are managing 20+ campaigns it starts to get tough. Last week I was struggling to get Auto Insurance, Crypto/Forex, Concealed Gun Carry, and iOS/Andriod offers live. There are traffic networks that already have optimization automation ability (Zeropark, EvaDav, Pushground, PropellerAds). I also recommend using the following software and tools to help you.
    • Voluum Automizer or TheOptimizer. This software allows you to automate campaigns such as blacklisting placements, pausing campaign after test budget, increasing bids on certain placement.
    • Fiverr. Great place to hire virtual assistants, graphic designers, web designers.
  • Not developing a media buying plan. I think this is the most most most important one ever. Plan your attack here's an example funnel plan for a health insurance pay per call campaign. Which also gives me my 2nd tips, Always monetize where ever you go.
As an affiliate manager:
  • Affiliates Annoying the affiliate manager. It's extremely rude. Sometimes I get text messages at 3 AM EST in the morning.
  • Affiliates stalking people. Yes, some affiliate managers look attractive for sure, but it doesn't mean you add me on Instagram and stare at my headshot photos, try to find my real phone number.
  • Affiliates Not being honest. I caught a ton of affiliates sending traffic from sources they weren't allowed to use. This is especially true in the pay per call space where an affiliate said he wanted to send traffic through google call-only ads. After 3 hours I already caught him sending call center traffic. Even worst this affiliate was sending fraudulent mystery shopper calls. Be honest with us 100%, ask us if you want to send traffic through an unknown source.
Edit: I got more stuff to add my friend is rushing me to go to a restaurant lol.
 
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above all said. I recon that one of the biggest mistakes is not being into the topic. I've met so much people who didn't know what is s2s integration, API key, token, macro, test conversions, pixel firing etc. And moreover, they tried to persuade me in doing it all wrong ... It would be way more easy and efficient if all beginners could just read basic rules and basic terms first, then go to affiliate forums, like Afflift of course, then jump into the biz with respect to their more experienced partners. Because even if you didn't get smth from the 1st shot, you can always ask politely for help and explanation. I do respect those who ask, not push:)
 
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