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Top 5 Affiliate Marketing Mistakes Most People Are Afraid to Talk About


I have promoted thousands of ads for affiliate marketers with our various advertising services. I have seen what they have done wrong and what they have done right. I also run my own affiliate programs for both classifiedsubmissions.com and coolmarketingsoftware.com. I have over 4000 affiliates in these programs and pay out commissions every month.

Affiliate Marketing Mistake #1 Building Somebody Else’s List Instead of Their Own

You are not going to just sign up for an affiliate program, buy some advertising, send it to your affiliate page and make sales. You will lose money. If you are sending traffic to a site with an opt in form you are building the list for the owner of the site not you. The owner can then market a multitude of products to your prospects. 

He probably is more than happy to pay you commissions on your sales because you are building his own list and the list itself is worth more than the initial sale you brought in (if you even did make a sale) because he can market to those leads over over.

Affiliate Managers are Happy to Let You Build Their List for Them. I Know I am One.

I know this is true because I own and affiliate program and this is exactly what I do. I am thrilled if you buy advertising and promote my website and I am glad to pay you.

However, from your perspective there is a problem. You are not building your own list. If you do not make your money back directly from the advertising you paid for then you have lost money and you have nothing to show for it.

A better strategy is to get your own website and autoresponder and to promote YOUR list and YOUR website. Then you can promote a multitude of offers yourself to this list.

Why Not Build Your Own List Then You Can Market Multiple Affiliate Offers Over and Over?

To do this you will need the following.

  1. A blog or website. You can get one here.
  2. An autoresponder service. You can get one here.

Put your autoresponder forms everywhere. Collect opt in emails every way you can. You can get fancy squeeze pages that cost a fortune that is fine. If you want to learn how to make one that is high quality and does not have expensive recurring fees see here.

Affiliate Marketing Mistake #2 Expecting Immediate Results

This only way to get immediate sales it to have a big list of subscribers who know and trust you and to send out an email broadcast to them. That is it. So if you do not have a big list of people start building see mistake #1. It is really difficult to buy advertising and to expect to make your money back right away.

I hardly buy any advertising and when I do I expect to wait one month to see any sales. Why? Because it has been proven that people need multiple exposures to your product or service  before making a decision. After one month the prospects who have subscribed to my autoresponder series will start to get to know my service and me.

It is then that people will start to buy. I do not expect to spend money on advertising and to immediately get my money back. If I can break even in a month I consider my advertising to be a huge success.

If I Can Even Break Even With Advertising After One Month I Consider This a Huge Success!

Why? Because I still have the list I built from the advertising. I can market them something else. I can invite them to join my affiliate program. I can ask them to visit my YouTube videos to get them ranked higher.

You see I do not think in terms of just making my money back from one promotion. I think in terms of getting the most out of my prospects in all areas and building synergy.

Affiliate Marketing Mistake #3 Not Offering Personal Service

Are you broke? Do you not have a list? Are you just a small fry in your industry? I will tell you how to beat the big corporate competition. You have to be willing to do what other people are not willing to do to be successful. If you ain’t got no customers put your phone number on your site and pick it up when people call.

Put Your Phone Number on Your Site, Answer it, Talk To People and Offer Real Personal Service. They Will be Shocked!

They will be in shock. People are so used to being treated like a number with robo calls and email only service if that. If you offer true personal service you will kick your competition’s derriere big time.

I know because I have done it multiple times. When I used to book bands I would drive to the people’s houses, always at night, dress professionally and make my presentation. My competition, would just send a tape in the mail. (This was in the 90’s folks) 9 times out of 10 I got the sale and my competition did not. Why? Personal service! We have completely lost that.

If You Offer Personal Service You Will Beat The Bigger Competition Almost Every Time!

When I started my online businesses my phone numbers were always on my site and I talked to people. Yes, I know every biz opp on the planet says that “we do all the work for you”, “you do not have to talk to people,” “you do not have to sell.” Blah, blah, blah.

If You Are Starting From Scratch You Need to Do What Other People Are Not Willing to do To Be Successful

I am here telling you something else. You have to talk to people and treat them like people. You have to sell and you have to work to be successful!

If you are not willing to do any of that frankly I do not have time for you. 

Affiliate Mistake #4 Not Building Your Own Community

One of the best ways to learn is to teach. If you really want to be successful. Start your own community teaching people and interacting people within your niche. Here are some ideas.

  1. Start your own blog and make one blog post per day about something you want to learn about. Want to learn about getting more traffic? Do your research and write your finding in your blog post. I guarantee you will become an expert.
  2. Start your own YouTube channel. It is free and great seo and exposure. Always put links to your blog and subscription form so that people can subscribe to your list.

    Put out how to videos like the blog posts teaching people what you would like to learn. You will learn by teaching and you will start to be known as an expert in your field. I use Screen Cast O Matic to make screen shot videos. It is a great deal! No affiliate link here. There is a free version with watermark and a pro version for as little as $1. per month. See here.

  3. Start your own podcast.
  4. Start your own forum. Put ads for your various affiliate programs on your forum and of course always have your autoresponder subscription forums. The most popular forum software is Vbulletin. If you need hosting for the forum I recommend IOZOOM.
  5. Start your own Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus accounts all around your niche and post your blog posts and videos.
  6. Start your own classified ad site. You can market to everybody who posts and the site will get good traffic on it’s own. Everybody is looking for free advertising. I recommend Osclass classified ad software. It is free. I have 11 sites that use it. Here is one.

Yes all this takes work. Being successful takes work. All my successful affiliates think creatively and are concerned with building their list and community.

Everything above works synergistically. Your blog will help your YouTube channel and vice versa. You can interlink your forum with your classified site with your blog with your social media channels and now you start to generate your own quality organic traffic which Google loves. More and more people will subscribe to your newsletters. You will learn yourself from your blog posts and get better.

Affiliate Marketing Mistake #5. Being Just Like Everybody Else

Ok say you are promoting a popular affiliate program. Are you just promoting the same corporate website as everybody else? How are you different? I am an affiliate for Article Video Robot. It is software which turns articles into videos. I have made over $10,000 as an affiliate with this program. I think you are better off doing your own videos in your own voice but many people are camera shy and do not have English as their first language.

I wrote and blog post about the software here and I offer a discount code.

I have also done many videos talking about the product and I have included links to the articles in my autoresponder series. I do not just promote the affiliate link link everybody else. 

You can go even further. You can offer your own bonuses to people who sign up through your link. It can be in terms of personal coaching, advertising, software, or just plain old personal relationship and service like I talked about in mistake 3. Use your imagination. Let’s see what is in between your ears! Surprise me and let me know what original ideas you have come up with to add personal value to your affiliate offers.

I am sure there are more affiliate mistakes but this should get you going an give you some ideas. Let me know your thoughts and be sure to join our newsletter.