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20 Tips to Avoid Failure in Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing can be tough to get into; it’s a good business showing continual growth consistently. Many people earn passive income as Affiliate Marketers. However, one common mistake some people make is they think they can start earning income immediately, and they are not prepared to put in the hard work that goes into their business.

This article will discuss the 20 tips to avoid in affiliate marketing and show you how to rank better with Google. Spend some time reading the tips to help you on the path to success.

1. Choosing an unsatisfactory niche that is not right for you

When you choose a niche, you need to choose something that you are passionate about, including having a great deal of knowledge and experience in using the product. Otherwise, you could choose the wrong niche, which can prove to be challenging then you begin writing your posts. 

It is ideal to choose something you love doing or using, such as a hobby, product, or activity you are involved in, such as netball or golf.

2. Publishing your posts that is of low quality

I’m an affiliate marketer, and I have learned that the focus of success is writing lots of content for your site; this will help you acquire more traffic and retain your visitor’s attention. 

As your visitors land on your site and start reading your post, they can quickly tell if you are experienced with the product or making a sale. The most crucial factor here is building trust with your audience by providing helpful information.

Common Mistakes in written posts

Publishing content that is not helpful or useful or lacks action is a common mistake of beginners to affiliate marketing.

It’s essential when you write and publish content that has a purpose and a solution. In your introduction, add a hook such as a story or cool facts and make sure you frequently post, even if it’s only once a week.

So, strive to create high-quality content; using keywords with “low hanging fruit” a few content posts will not provide traffic or future income.

Once you have successfully written your masterpiece, you need to 

  • Share it on social media
  • Add it to your email list

3. Not keeping up with Evergreen content

Evergreen tree

Balance your site content with “sustainable evergreen content”. 

Not sure about this; let me explain. Evergreen content that remains constant search queries over time. For instance, How to’s or the best accounts for saving money. What is not evergreen is seasonal information such as Christmas cake recipes or footy results. What is evergreen, according to an article on Semrush are posts based on

  • How-to Guides
  • Listicles
  • Helpful tips
  • Reviews on products
  • Informational guides
  • Pillar pages
  • Video
  • Interviews
  • Buying guides
  • Glossaries
  • FAQs
  • Case Studies
  • Research Studies Checklists
  • Testimonials
  • Tools
  • Calculators

Competing in evergreen content can be tricky, but it can have a long-term value that has a significant amount of link building. 

Also, when you update your posts, it is a good practice to include these elements:

[2021 Edition] or [Updated for 2021] in the post title (Source: Intergrowth)

To provide value to your site, consider writing a few top-of-the-funnel informative posts.

4. Disregarding the principles of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)


Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) use strategies to help you improve your rankings organically and place your website strategically where you will get the most out of organic traffic.

After all, you need to make a good impression of your website. SEO is there to help you by going over your website to clean and optimise your headings, images, formatting, and layout so that Google will accept your website as trusted.

When you are ready to publish a new post, here are is a list of things to do to make Google happy and for people to find your post.

  • Aim to optimise your title tag
  • Add your meta description for your potential readers

WordPress has the All In One Search Engine Optimisation to fill in the tags and meta description.

  • Add your internal links and external links

Internal links will guide your readers to other related posts on your site, and External links will show Google credibility and authority to someone else’s site.

It would be best if you took the time to go through your posts to find links to other posts across your site.

5. Unreasonable income expectations

Many people expect to earn vast amounts of money through commissions every month because they read about it on the internet from influencers. Sadly, for newbies, this is not so. But to reach that level, you will have to commit in time, effort, and money. Including spending a great deal of time doing 

  • Research
  • Writing lots of content
  • Revising old posts
  • Building integrity

Write lots of content as your build; your website does take a great deal of time, patience and dedication. During your first year, don’t expect to earn vast amounts of money.

6. Ignoring your website performance

When you go to your website, you will see SEO Tools and something like this below. As you can see, SEO is saying to me that I don’t use enough transition words, so this is an area where I need to make some improvement. Everything else has a green tick indicating other areas are good.

SEO Results

When I log into View Details, my website performance will show in percentages how I’m going.

  • Publishing Frequency: the more you post, the more your site will be current and will relate to better user experience and rankings
  • Visitor Engagement (Comments): The more comments you get, your site’s trust and authenticity become. Motivate your guests to leave a comment under your content.
  • Plugins: Too many plugins, tend to slow your page loading times, which can deter your users from coming back to your site. You are advised to keep your plugins to a maximum of 5 so that your site remains healthy.
  • Google Ranked: Is your website indexed in 
  • Content Quality and Variety: It’s advisable to write 1500+ posts. However, it’s essential not to have all your content the same length. You will need to write
    • Natural voice, conversational
    • Be thorough with your content
    • Provide an explanation
  • Your Engagement: reply to your visitor’s comments; this will build trust in how your content is regarded and show visitors that you are providing answers and acknowledging them.
  • Site Trust: As your website grows, the search engines will begin to trust your site more. If you are new at building your site, it will not be trusted until you prove that you offer quality and helpful content while engaging readers. How to build trust with search engines is essential to the welfare of your business
  • Website Feedback: the more feedback you request, the better it is for your site.

7. Not keeping up-to-date with changes in affiliate marketing

Time for change
Keep up with changes in Affiliate Marketing.

Because we are all so busy, finding time to keep up-to-date with changing trends in affiliate marketing can be time-consuming, but did you know that there is a much quicker way to do this; it’s called Google Alerts.

Google Alerts monitors the web for interesting new content.

You create an account and provide them with your details.

Google Alert will inform you via email of emerging trends, strategies, market analysis, and more topic ideas to keep current marketing trends.

8. Lack of knowledge on promoting products or services

When your readers come to your website to read one of your posts, they can tell when you do not understand the product knowledge or services.

To get a better understanding of products and services, you can

  • Subscribe to industry newsletters
  • Join company forums
  • Stay up to date by accessing Google Alerts
  • Find out what questions people are asking on Quora or Reddit
  • To earn your readers trust and maintain their Engagement, you need to educate yourself and gain advanced knowledge of your niche.

9. Losing focus on helping others 

Helping others

It’s so easy to lose focus on helping others. Instead, we tend to focus on making money. Unfortunately, we end up with poor results, and our readers tend to view our site as sales. 

It would be best if you didn’t lose sight of providing helpful and valuable information. Put your readers first and focus on user benefits.

Adding too many ads in a post will frustrate your readers. 

So what is considered a point of no return to your readers:

  • Banner Ads
  • Pop-ups are intrusive
  • Outbound sales tactic

They all add to a no-return by your audience.

10. Disregarding or Failing to Notice Site Speed

According to Intergrowth, “bounce rates increase by 50% if your web page takes longer than 2 seconds to load.” So what happens to our readers? Well, they become impatient and exit or bounce out.

If you find your bounce rate is pretty high, then Intergrowth advises accessing to check out the breakdown of what could be causing your site to be loading slow.

At times a slow site can be because of the server. 

  • response times
  • large files
  • method of content delivery

If you are a WordPress user, then these plugins could help:

  • Tiny PNG to compress your files
  • WP Rocket for content delivery
  • Cloudflare CDN

The recommendation is for your site to load in under 2 seconds, but quick loading times are not always possible.

11. Overlooking content readability

Dog attempting to read the laptop screen.
Dog attempting to read the screen on the bed

What is Content Readability All about?

Content readability is a text written in a language that is easy to read and measured based on several factors, says Vivian at SEOPressor in her blog. 

  • Speed of perception
  • Perceptibility in peripheral vision
  • Visibility
  • Reflex Blink technique
  • Rate of work (e.g., Reading speed)
  • Eye movements
  • Fatigue in reading

If your post is easy to read and understand, then you will have good readability. The algorithm used is the Flesch-Kincaid readability score.


Flesch-Kincaid works this out for you, and the score ranges from 0-100. If your score is 60 and above, that is good. The higher the score, the better.

Insert an image of the readability score from the AIO SEO

As you can see, there is one mistake that can impact my SEO which means I need to improve behaviour on my page, such as

  • Page on time
  • Exit rate
  • Bounce rate
  • Social signals

So what do readers want?

To improve your bounce rate and exit rate, readers want

  • Easy to read text
  • Information fast and easy to find

How to improve your content readability

  • Use short, simple words
  • Do not use long or complex words
  • Use short sentences. Bread long sentences into shorter sentences by using contractions
  • Write as if you are having a conversation with a friend
  • Your font is much easier to read in sans-serif, Arial or Helvetica
  • The preferable font size is 16 pixels
  • Headers and subheaders are slightly bigger fonts that are displayed in a hierarchy layout. For Instance: H1, H2, H3, H4, H5
  • Use correct formatting and Hierarchy: Use headers, subheaders, tables, bullet points, text highlights such as italic, bold or underline.
  • Using images can help break up to boredom of your written post and excitingly present your article. So how many photos can you have on a post? Well, according to SEOpressor, the golden rule is one image for every 100 words that add value and is relevant to your post.
  • Use Transition words such as “similarly”, “but”, “in addition to” and “for instance”. Transition words help your readers to understand how ideas connect, and it helps your writing to flow.

12. Signing up too early to Affiliate Programs

Amazon Affiliate Program

Once you have built your website and written about 20 posts to satisfy affiliate programs you wish to join, for instance, Amazon, you can choose affiliate products to write reviews on, such as Kettles or footballs.

Try not to select too many products; this is often the downfall of newbies being ambitious or over- enthusiastic. Kasia Perzynska at LiveChat provides us with some advice.

  • Start small
  • Provide quality and not quantity
  • Select a handful of products that you have knowledge about our experience in using and focus on them
  • Spend more time on that single product which will help to create actions on affiliate sales
  • As you progress over time, you can expand your market niche

To succeed, ensure you provide individual attention to each campaign

13. Neglecting to test or compare products, services or tools before promoting them

Trying different ways to campaign your message

  • Ads on social media, 
  • Adwords
  • Email campaigns

Explore new marketing opportunities, and don’t be afraid to experiment. You can test a great deal.

  • Plain text vs HTML emails
  • Try different subject lines to hook your users
  • Approach the same pain points differently for the same buyer persona
  • Create personalised messages for each group of users

14. Not collecting emails from the beginning

Tiles that spell email
Collect Emails

I’m one of these people who started affiliate marketing and failed to build an email list initially, mainly because no one told me the importance of saving email addresses. So why is it essential? Keeping an email address allows you to connect with your visitors so you can send them information on

  • Your latest article
  • Send affiliate offers
  • Share information about yourself to help build trust

Scaleo offers further advice.

  • Start building your email list immediately
  • Sign up for an email marketing service to either Aweber or MailChimp. Both have free starter plans
  • Build a list and compose emails
  • Organise an opt-in form on your site

15. Not offering freebies such as a newsletter, a free ebook or report to the audience

As an affiliate marketing assistant, your role is to provide people with 

  • provide valuable information 
  • engage with your audience
  • build trust and integrity
  • don’t be salesy

Your main goal is to build integrity and authority in your niche as an expert you recommend.

As you start building authority in your niche on a particular product, your visitors will begin to check out the information and perform a call to action, a sale is made, and you will get a commission.

16. Everyone wants to make money

Light bulb in the hand with Dollar sign written on bulb

The main reason for starting affiliate marketing is to earn passive income. So what can you do to improve traffic to your site?

  • Do market research on your keywords
  • Are you able to add something?
  • Check-in Quora or Reddit for any questions that need answering or any valuable information that you can include in your post.
  • Continue to write comprehensive blog articles to become the best in your market niche.

17. Not continuing or upgrading your learning

Learning never stops, and as an affiliate marketer, you continue to learn about so many changes, for instance:

  • News in money marketing 
  • Online trends
  • Ranking factors in SEO
  • Education
  • Online Guides
  • New Products

18. Your website is poorly designed

When building your website, be aware that a low-quality site is not a good idea to have. To create a website for free, for example:

These platforms also have paid versions.

What is a bad user experience?

When a reader comes to your website to read one of your articles, they can face several issues that force them to look elsewhere, and your bounce rate will increase, which is not good. Some problems that will stop your readers from returning to your site will include

  • Slow page speed
  • Too many ads
  • A messy template that turns your readers off

What does my potential audience want in a website?

It’s essential to provide your possible audience with 

  • Memorable experience
  • Clean, friendly and cheerful website

Kasia Perzynska at LiveChat has provided us with some questions for you to consider:

  • Site Navigation: Is it easy?
  • Your sections: are they easy to find?
  • On-site elements: does your design highlight them?
  • Do your posts have Call to action?
  • Is your website design clear and simple?
  • Is your website responsive?

19. Not tracking website performance in Google Analytics or Google Console

Another common mistake by affiliate marketers is not using Google Analytics or Google Console as a tracking tool.

If you don’t use website tracking tools, how will you know what is going on

Google Analytics

Get Started with Analytics

Google Console

Google Search Console

Both tools measure the performance of your site.

20. Lack of strategies such as backlinks

When it comes to building links related to our niche or service, they should be relevant and from trusted, authoritative websites.

Arfa says backlinks are essential to our post because they

  • improve our position in Google Ranking
  • Our posts can be indexed faster
  • help to build a relationship with other influencers and bloggers
  • referral traffic increases and
  • your web page and website establishes authority

Arfa advises “always go for natural building strategies” and “always go for natural link building”.

Arfa Nazeer of She Means Blogging has provided us with steps to get free quality backlinks, including a link to download and read more in an ebook written by Debbie Gartner.

In Conclusion

We all make mistakes in affiliate marketing, but this is how we learn. Don’t be afraid of making errors because we find new ideas to help improve our business performance.

We hope you find the tips we have provided helpful and valuable in avoiding making mistakes and successfully building a solid business. 

There are so many more mistakes to avoid making that is not said here, and if you have made some you would like to mention, please leave a comment below. We would love to hear from you.


  • Norman Richards

    Thank you so much for sharing this information, there is so much that goes on with this type of business and if you are not careful you can really mess up with leaving one or more of these key elements out. Thanks so much for sharing. I have booked marked this post because it is so helpful.

    • Yvonne Bray

      Hello Norm
      Thank you so much for reading my post. It was longer than I usually, and there is so much more that I could have been added then it would have been much longer. I’m glad you are bookmarking my post and that you are finding the tips helpful.

  • Rowan McLeod

    This was a fantastic post! As I read on I could see you expressing your advice in your own words like short and quick, easy to read and accessible. Readability is so important and I think many do not fully see how much it is!

    I got many insights from reading your article today, to focus more on SEO and backlinks plus revise some older posts that are still relevant but do not get as many visitors as before when first posted. Thanks Yvonne!

    • Yvonne Bray

      Hi Rowan, I’m so happy you have found my post useful an relevant to you. I have been learning a great deal about backlinks and I never new how important and relevant they still are until I did my research.

  • Christine

    This was really helpful! I think that many give up because they make the mistake of thinking that the money will come rolling in at once. I sometimes fail at the last point, checking my Google Analytics and Google Search Console stats, but I do remind myself to check it once in a while. I should do it more often though. Just one question, what are pillar pages?

    • Yvonne Bray

      Thank you Christine. A pillar page from what I have learned is regarded as a high level piece of content that broadly overviews a main topic an Links to out in depth article about specific subtopics. It’s like a table of contents also known as a power page and the cluster pages act like chapters. I find this explanation with out an example a bit confusing but I learning to come to terms with the meaning.

  • Yvonne Bray

    Hi Yvonne,

    I have just tried again to submit a comment and I am still getting a blank page after ‘submitting it.
    SO I don’t think it has gone through.

    Here is my comment, and you can add it manually from your dashboard.
    Good luck getting it sorted out.


    Thanks for a great list of tips to help us improve our website performance.

    I am guilty of several lapses….. The most important one is not working on an email list. and this means that I have not developed any of my own products to offer as a free giveaway yet.

    I also need to focus more on SEO and generating some backlinks.
    There is so much to learn and it seems the learning never stops. But I guess this will always be the case as the internet environment is always evolving, and our job is to try and keep up with it all.

    Many thanks for sharing 🙂


    • Yvonne Bray

      Hi Andrew
      Sorry, you are having problems with the comments section. I have copied your message and pasted it in. I, too, have an issue with my email list. When I first started doing posts for my website, I never knew the importance of making an email list or creating something to give away. But now, I am going to be looking at this soon.

      I agree with you that there is so much to learn; there are endless possibilities to help get our websites up and running successfully. I do like the idea of backlinks.

      All the best, Andrew.

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