9 Common Affiliate Marketing Mistakes Costing You Thousands

9 Common Affiliate Marketing Mistakes Costing You Thousands

When starting out as an affiliate marketer, it’s likely you’ll make some common affiliate marketing mistakes.

But the thing is, that’s ok and it’s part of the process that 99% of people will go through.

As a new entrepreneur, there’s a lot to learn and it can take a while to find the path to success.

I’ve made many of the common affiliate marketing mistakes myself and even now after making over 7 figures, the learning never stops!

masterclass - Become A Content creator_banner_3

As an affiliate partner of various brands and sponsored content, HerPaperRoute may earn commission on qualifying purchases. Disclaimer | Advertise With Us

9 Common Affiliate Marketing Mistakes Costing You Thousands Every Day

Affiliate marketing and making money online is a fast-moving environment and just when you get a handle on one thing, there’s another new piece of software or way of doing things to learn about.

It’s hard to keep up, believe me, I know!

My best advice is to not beat yourself up if you make a mistake or multiple mistakes.

Just know it’s part of the process and failure actually will teach you a lot.

Just don’t be the type of new affiliate marketer who throws in the towel and gives up after a few months.

Acknowledge what you did wrong, learn from it, and move on.

If you’re really new to affiliate marketing, here’s a quick overview of what it actually is.

What Is Affiliate Marketing And How Does It Work?

Affiliate marketing is an arrangement between an online retailer or product owner and an affiliate.

masterclass - Become A Content creator_banner_3

The affiliate promotes a product and will receive a commission when someone buys through their unique link.

Here is a simple overview of the affiliate marketing process;

  • – Sign up for an affiliate network or apply to a private affiliate program
  • – Choose a product or service that will help your audience
  • – Apply to be an affiliate for the product. Rules on what you need to be accepted will vary between products, eg; do you have a blog, have you purchased the product, what country you live in…
  • – Once accepted, get your unique links and banners
  • – Start promoting the product on your blog, on your social media accounts, by word of mouth, and through your email list
  • – Once someone buys through your link, you will make a commission

It sounds simple right!?

Even though the process is simple, you do need to take time to learn the basics, choosing a great product and building up trust with your audience.

People will not buy from you straight away.

Common Affiliate Marketing Mistakes You Need To Avoid

Why you suck at affiliate marketing mistakes to avoid

Mistake #1 – Having A Short Term Goal Over A Long Term Mindset

It’s so hard not to listen to the ‘’gurus’’ who stand in front of a Ferrari and tell you they made enough money to buy it in a few months.

You have to realize, most of these people are not telling the whole truth!

They have probably put years of hard work behind the scenes they don’t show you.

You have to think long-term when you’re starting as a beginner affiliate marketer.

While it’s entirely possible to start making some affiliate commissions in a few months, it’s more likely you’ll have to build your brand up over 6-12 months before you see substantial monetary gains.

Mistake #2 – Not Having A Business Plan

If you start out as a beginner affiliate marketer without a plan, it’s likely you’ll flit about doing random things but never do anything consistently.

To build any business online or off, you need to take consistent action and as time moves on, use other strategies to drive things forward.

Think about a top athlete. Does she just do random exercises each day and just work out now and again!?


She has a plan and she sticks to that plan consistently until she is the strongest, fastest, and best at what she does.

Without a plan, she’d never get to where she needs to be and the same goes for you starting an affiliate marketing business.

Fail to plan, plan to fail!!

Mistake #3 – Only Thinking About Making Money

This is one of the really common affiliate marketing mistakes.

It’s hard to not think about money if you have debts piling up or have lost your job.

I’m sure we can all relate – making money is important and it makes life a lot better to have more of it. 

The thing is, the whole world is a ball of energy and our thoughts are energy.

If you’re constantly putting out thoughts into the universe about not having money, being stressed about money, or needing money fast, it’s likely you will repel money.

Sounds crazy right?

It will probably also mean, you’ll only see potential customers as ATM machines, instead of someone to who you can give value and help improve their lives.

Disengage from the making money thoughts all the time and focus on building your brand, building your authority in a niche, and helping your potential customers.

The money will follow.

Mistake #4 – Not Investing In Yourself

In today’s world, many people go to university or college for 4-6 years, and come out the other side with a qualification they can’t get a job with.

Plus find themselves in tens of thousands of dollars in debt!

Or, some people will spend $400 on a night out and another $300 on a pair of shoes, and $700 for a Luis Vuitton bag.

Whereas investing a few hundred dollars in yourself to buy a course to give you the exact blueprint and support you need to build a successful business, would actually get you there faster.

As a beginner affiliate marketer, investing in a course run by a marketer who is living the life you want, is one of the best investments you’ll ever make.

As well, ensure that you invest in the right tools to run your affiliate marketing business.

It’s not throwing money away. It is an investment in YOU, your business, and your knowledge.

If you take action on what the course teaches you, you may make the invested money back and more in 6-12 months’ time.

Mistake #5 – Being Too Scared To Go Out Of Your Comfort Zone

My client told me one time that when she first started as a beginner affiliate marketer, she told me a story of how when she did her first Facebook live, she had to get drunk because she was so scared.

She said she’d avoided it for months as she was too terrified to do it.

But she remembered that to be successful, you have to do things that other people aren’t willing to do and success lies outside of your comfort zone.

If you want to be a professional football player, staying at home lying on the couch in your comfy zone will get you nowhere.

You have to practice daily sometimes early in the morning when everyone else is in bed.

People watch more videos today than ever before, so if you’re scared to be on camera, now is the time to get over that fear and start doing videos.

If you’re scared to do something as an affiliate marketer, remember you’re not the first one to ever feel that way.

The only difference between successful and unsuccessful affiliate marketers is that they were willing to go the extra mile to reach their goals.

To be successful, you have to do things that other people aren’t willing to do. Know that success lies outside of your comfort zone. Click to Tweet

Mistake #6 – Not Building An Email List

Not collecting email addresses is another common affiliate marketing mistake.

Getting your audience onto an email list fast is essential, to continue building up a relationship.

Because then can follow up with promotional campaigns for your affiliate products also.

By not getting someone onto your email list, it’s likely you’ll never see them again.

People will rarely buy from you when they first become aware of you.

Build your email list by offering valuable lead magnets that solve a problem.

Some examples of great lead magnets are;

  • – Free EBook
  • – Cheatsheet/bundle of printables
  • – Email challenge/simple guide
  • – A free trial
  • – Swipe files

Mistake #7 – Not Having Actual Real Conversations With People

It took me a while to learn this.

I used to be so focused on writing content on my blog or posting something amazing, I’d forget to actually speak to people in real time.

Yes, you need to put out valuable posts on social media, but you also need to focus on the human side — having real relationships and conversations with people.

My business really grew once I started offering live “office hours” for my community over Zoom.

This is where my students and subscribers join me in a group call and ask me any questions they have about growing their businesses. (Make sure you are on my email list if you want to be invited to our next one!)

What can you offer your audience in real time?

Ask people what their dreams and desires are. Ask why they haven’t achieved what they want in life yet. Ask what they are struggling with.

Showing people you actually care about their problems will help you immensely.

There are too many people in the affiliate marketing world and in real life who just see people as cash machines.

Don’t be one of them.

Mistake #8 – Trying To Be On Every Social Media Platform

This will be a big factor in your success as a beginner affiliate marketer.

Some of you may have full-time jobs, some may have families or some may just have a lot of commitments going on when you’re trying to set up your new business.

If you try to be on every social media platform at the start, you’ll cause yourself to get overwhelmed, and stressed.

…And it may possibly make you want to give up.

I’ve been there myself — overwhelm is real!

Choose one social media platform to start and master it. This could be YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, or any other platform you enjoy using the most.

Commit to 1-2 hours a day or whatever spare time you have to post on your chosen platform, build up a tribe and consistently give value.

As you progress and build up an audience, then think about adding another social media platform to your arsenal.

Just make sure you’re able to handle the posting schedule and remember you don’t need to be on every platform to make money in affiliate marketing.

Related reading:

Mistake #9 – Letting Failure Get You Down

This is probably the most common affiliate marketing mistake of them all.

Every successful person has failed in their life but the reason they succeeded, in the end, was — they kept going.

Michael Jordan the famous basketball star, got kicked off his high school team because his coach said he didn’t put enough effort in.

Instead of giving up, he practiced every day for an hour for the next year before school.

This helped him hugely improve and showed his coach he really wanted to get back into the team.

At the end of the year, he got back into the team, went on to play for professional teams, and became one of the best basketball players of all time.

If he’d let that first failure get to him and given up, he never would have realized his full potential and he certainly never would have gone on to become as famous and successful as he did.

There will be setbacks, you will have failures, and you will get frustrated.

But use the frustrations to fuel you on.

Channel the anger and disappointment into creating something even more awesome.

See failure as an opportunity to learn, not a time to throw the towel in.

Conclusion — Common Affiliate Marketing Mistakes To Avoid

We are all human, and making mistakes is ok.

Hopefully, by reading through the common affiliate marketing mistakes in this article, you can avoid a few of them.

Have you already made any of the mistakes I talked about? Did I miss any you think should be on the list?

Just don’t let mistakes or setbacks hold you back.

Usually, success is waiting just around the corner, for the strong few who don’t let mishaps hold them back.

Leave me a question below if you need help getting started with affiliate marketing.

Now, read my guide on how to start affiliate marketing with no money, exact steps for beginners.

surprised woman with dollar bills exposing the biggest affiliate marketing mistakes

entrepreneur planner profit business planner notion

Similar Posts

One Comment

  1. I love how you normalize the experience by saying “we are all human” and “making mistakes is okay.” This takes the pressure off and creates a safe space for learning and growth.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *