10 Common Affiliate Marketing Mistakes You Might Be Making

10 Common Affiliate Marketing Mistakes You Might Be Making 1

Affiliate Marketing is one of the lucrative ways to make passive income online. But it’s not as easy as it looks. Most of the people who start affiliate marketing cannot make it a passive income stream.

There could be several reasons for failing in affiliate marketing. Most of the time, it’s some common mistakes that hinder success.

As an affiliate marketer, I’ve made some of the mistakes. But I was able to fix those up. Here I’ll be sharing a list of affiliate marketing mistakes that bloggers make. 

Now let’s dive into the details of these mistakes.

1. Not Understanding How The Affiliate Sales Will Be Generated

Most of the bloggers fail in affiliate marketing because of not understanding how the sales will be generated. I’ve seen bloggers with great blog posts failed miserably because of this.

Having quality blog posts is not enough to generate affiliate sales. You need to understand how these posts can help you to make affiliate sales.

For example, let’s say you have written a great post on Topic X, but you haven’t put any affiliate links on the post. Even if you place affiliate links, there is no clear call to action.

Do you think this post is going to generate sales for you?

No, the chance is meager. You need to optimize your posts for affiliate marketing.

Another important thing is understanding which types of blog posts are driving more sales. Not all the types of blog posts get sales.

Here are some best types of blog posts that are proven to drive more sales:

  • “List Of Alternatives” Post.
  • “Coupon Codes & Sales” Post.
  • “List of Best X or Best X for Y” Post.
  • “Comparison” Post.
  • “Product/Service Review” Post.
  • “How To” Post.
  • “Ultimate Resources” Post.

Try these types of posts. And I am pretty sure you will see good sales.

Also Read: A Step-by-Step Guide to Monetizing Your Blog With Affiliate Marketing

2. Promoting The Wrong Products/Services

Getting affiliate sales is hard. Choosing the wrong products/services makes it harder.

So how do you know if a product/service is right or wrong for you to promote?

It depends on several factors. Let’s see some of the factors:

  • The product/service is not relevant to your niche. For example, it’s irrelevant to promote an SEO tool on a recipe blog.
  • The product/service quality is not good, but it offers high commission rates. Avoid these types of products. Even if you get some sales, in the long term, it will decrease your credibility.
  • The product/service is new on the market. Always remember, popular products convert better.

So always try to promote the products/services that are relevant and popular in your niche.

3. Not Having Proper Knowledge of The Products/Services That Your Are Promoting

It’s not like you have to use and test all the products/services that you are promoting on your blog. But it’s essential to have proper knowledge of the affiliate products/services.

This way, you will be able to solve your readers’ problems in better ways. For example, if you are promoting HostGator on your blog, you need to know how HostGator can help in starting a blog and other services of HostGator.

And if possible, it’s better to test the products/services before promoting it on your blog. It will increase your trustability.

It’s a common mistake that almost every affiliate marketers make.

But this mistake can turn out to be a big one if you are not using an affiliate link management system for a while.

Imagine, someday, your highest revenue-generating affiliate program decides to change its affiliate platform, and they want you to use a new affiliate link.

How would you change all the affiliate links that you’ve inserted on the blog posts?

You’ll have to find and change the links manually.

But if you are using a link management plugin, you can do it within one minute.

Here’s how it works.

Affiliate Link Management plugin allows you to cloak your affiliate links. The idea is to hide your affiliate link with URL redirection.

Most of the time affiliate links are ugly like this one –


After cloaking it, it will be something like this one –


Now, whenever a company changes their affiliate link structure, all you need to do is changing the affiliate link from the plugin dashboard. And the change will be applied to all links.

Cloaking is not the only benefit of using an affiliate link management plugin. Here are some other benefits –

  •  You can add affiliate links automatically to the specified keywords.
  • You can check your affiliate links’ clicks statistics.
  • You can change affiliate links based on geo locations and more.
  • And most importantly, it makes your affiliate links SEO-Friendly.  

Now the question is, which plugin should you use to manage your affiliate links?

There are several plugins out there. ThirstyAffiliates and Pretty Links Pro are the most popular. I use and recommend ThirstyAffiliates.

5. Not Having A Balance Between Informational & Promotional Posts

After getting some sales from promotional posts, many bloggers start to double down on promotional posts only.

It’s a wrong strategy. You need to have a balance between promotional and informational posts. If you are not sure what these post types mean, here’s an example.

While promotional posts mostly talk about affiliate products and services, informational posts provide helpful information.

Both types of posts are essential for a blog. Just make sure that you have the right balance.

6. Not Writing Honest Reviews

Writing review posts is a great way to generate affiliate sales. But this should not be the only purpose of review posts.

People read review posts before making a purchase decision. If you don’t write an honest review, people will end up buying the wrong product/service.

You may win in the short term, but on a long term basis, it will decrease your credibility. And you will end up losing readers.

So whenever you write a review post, make sure to mention all the pros and cons of the product/service.

7. Not Building Relationships With Affiliate Managers

Affiliate Managers are the people who help affiliates to optimize their contents for better sales and send exclusive offers & news. They can even increase your affiliate commission rate.

So building a relationship with affiliate managers is a must. Here are some tips for building a relationship with them.

  •  The very first thing to do is, send an email to your affiliate manager and ask him/her to help you. They are very helpful, and they would be happy to help you.
  • If they offer a video meeting, don’t miss that chance. It’s the best way to build a relationship with them.
  • Don’t hesitate to email them whenever you need them.
  • Try to connect them on LinkedIn and other social sites.
  • And always show your potentiality to them.

So follow these tips and maintain a good relationship with your affiliate managers. It could potentially increase your affiliate conversions and commissions.

8. Neglecting Keyword Research & SEO 

You cannot get success in affiliate marketing without organic traffic. Organic traffic converts better than any other traffic source.

The best way to get organic traffic is by optimizing your blog posts for SEO. And SEO starts with proper keyword researching.

Keyword Research is the process of finding the words and phrases that people use to find a particular thing. I’ve already written about how to do keyword research for your blog posts.

Once you’ve found the proper keyword for your blog, the next thing is On-Page SEO. Here are a few things you should do before publishing a blog post.

  •  Select a catchy meta title. The title is the first thing that people see in the SERP.s You need to make sure that it grabs searcher attraction.
  •  Then write an attractive meta description. It’s the second thing that people notice in SERP.
  •  Make sure that the post URL contains the main keywords and keep it short and simple.
  •  Use heading tags properly.
  •  Add images and videos to blog posts. Never publish a blog post without having any image.
  •  Add internal and external links. Try to add at least one external link.
  •  Add LSI Keywords in your blog post.
  •  Make your blog post engaging. We use Ultimate Blocks to make blog posts better and engaging.

After publishing the blog, start promoting it on social media and other platforms.

It takes some time to get rank in Google. In the meantime, try to get some backlinks for your blog post.

Once you start getting traffic from Google search, you will start getting affiliate sales.

9. Not Building An Email List

A common mistake that every blogger makes.

Though the main purpose of building an email list is not generating affiliate sales only, a list can help you to build an audience that will buy products from you.

Your list is immune to Google updates. Even if Google starts sending less traffic, you can get traffic from your list.

Most of the bloggers don’t build the list for mainly two reasons –

  1. Don’t bother to create an ebook or course for list building.
  2. Don’t want to invest money in Email Marketing Service.

Here’s how you can solve the problem.

  1. Choose a popular blog post from your blog and turn it into an eBook. And then ask your readers to subscribe to download the eBook.
  2. Get started with MailChimp. It offers you to have 2000 subscribers in the free plan.

This way, you can get started with list building.

10. Not Using The Right Affiliate Marketing Tools 

Affiliate Marketing is a business. You need to use the right set of tools to make it successful. 

There’s no ultimate list of tools. Here are the tools that I use and recommend. 

  • WPX Hosting: One of the best and affordable managed WordPress hosting. It has increased my blog speed.
  • Astra: One of the fastest WordPress themes.
  • Ultimate Blocks: A Gutenberg blocks plugin to create better and engaging blog posts.  
  • WP Coupons & Deals: This plugin helps me to protect my affiliate sales from coupon code posts.
  • WP Table Builder: A drag and drop table builder to make comparison tables, list tables, and more. 
  • Thirsty Affiliates: The best Affiliate Link Manager Plugin that hides your affiliate links and makes those pretty.
  • SEMrush: An all-in-one SEO tool to find profitable keywords. 

Check: 11 Best WordPress Plugins For Smart Affiliate Marketers


So these are some affiliate marketing mistakes that I’ve seen people making. Even I’ve made some of those mistakes.

If you are making any of these mistakes, I’d recommend you to fix it up as soon as possible.

Now I’d like to hear from you. Have you made any other mistakes that I haven’t mentioned in the post? Share your experience via comment.

And if you found this post useful, please help me by sharing this post on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.

10 responses to “10 Common Affiliate Marketing Mistakes You Might Be Making”

  1. Paul Watson Avatar

    The not writing honest reviews is a big one – I see so many bloggers who write ‘clickbait’ posts simple bagging every product but the one they want to sell. People notice that and click away anyway.

    Thanks for your list – well worth the read for any newbie


    1. Istiak Rayhan Avatar
      Istiak Rayhan

      Exactly. It won’t work in the long run.

      However, glad to know that you found the post useful.

  2. Nikola Roza Avatar

    Super post, Istiak,
    I have made quite a few of these common mistakes, and also a variation of one. You say use a plugin to cloak links (I do- Pretty Links) but their dashboard is really cluttered and hard to navigate.
    I’ve made such a mess out of my cloaked links, I don’t know what’s what, and I intend to eschew Pretty Links for a better plugin.
    Any suggestions?

    1. Istiak Rayhan Avatar
      Istiak Rayhan

      Yes, Thirsty Affiliates is the best option out there.

  3. Jessica Jones Avatar


    Powered up reading this blog post!

    It’s never been easy to succeed in affiliate marketing. It is most crucial to choose the product or service to promote. The less competitive but reliable one can even lessen our marketing efforts.

    Above all, there are successful affiliate marketers in the arsenal like Kulwant who are readily available to help others. Identify the inspiration, follow and break the barriers.

    Sure, the affiliate marketing mistakes listed here are terrible. Let the serious marketers stay of those. Glad about your heads-up, Istiak!

  4. Chayan Chakrabarti Avatar

    Hey ISTIAK,
    I really appreciate the efforts you have given to make this post easily understandable. Building an email list is very important for any blogger. Along with that they should also focus on creating a balance between informational & promotional posts.

  5. Amit Kumar Bansal Avatar

    Great knowledgeable Information, I am surfing for the same topic, I found some valuable things. Keep sharing.

    1. Istiak Rayhan Avatar
      Istiak Rayhan

      Hi Amit, great to know that you found the post valuable.

  6. Riad Avatar

    Thank you so much Istiak for this great informative post. I just started my blog 3 months ago. I have made some mistake. This post helps me a lot to understand how different types of post work on a blog. Now I’m pretty clear that I have to follow this different post types properly. Which is one of the big mistake on my blog :(

    1. Istiak Rayhan Avatar
      Istiak Rayhan

      Glad you found the post helpful. I’d also recommend you to read this post: https://roadtoblogging.com/mistakes/

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