When running an affiliate marketing program, it is important to keep an eye out for sites that aren’t the right fit. But beyond being the right fit, you also want to watch for other warning signs that the affiliate might generate the wrong types of leads. It is important to set the expectations in advance so you aren’t stuck cleaning up the mess later. Keeping affiliates in the loop about industry standards will minimize risk and allow you to have peace of mind. Let’s look at some of the most common mistakes that affiliate marketers make that will generate low quality leads.

Mistake 1: Not doing research

When choosing an affiliate program, there are several crucial components for affiliates to consider that could drastically impact the overall experience – and it involves some serious research before diving in.

  • Highest payout. Sure it is tempting to go with the program that has the highest payout, but that might also mean that finding leads for the product or service is a lot more difficult (maybe overall revenue will end up being a lot lower).
  • Time consumption. Think about the time commitment. If the industry is constantly changing, and the site needs constant updates, will the affiliate be able to keep up? Will you have to hold their hand through everything?
  • Site visitors. How much do you know about their current site visitors and what their demographics are? What are they interested in? What types of content do they click on most frequently? These are all questions that you should try to answer before getting started. Ideally the product or service being promoted is strongly correlated.
  • Level of interest and knowledge. Most likely, the affiliate will be writing the majority of the copy for their affiliate site, if not all. It is important that they are either willing to learn about the industry or already know a decent amount about it. If they have no interest, it could come across in their writing.

Mistake 2: Having an unprofessional or cluttered website.

Sure, it sounds great to cram tons of ads and banners on affiliate sites
– then the affiliate will make more money, right? No, they are most
likely hurting the site by making it look like spam. If the website
doesn’t look trustworthy, why would someone entrust it with their
contact information or credit card information. Simplicity is key.
Affiliate sites should be clean and concise. At first, at least, I
would suggest focusing on promoting one product or service. Then
thinking about expanding, but only if it makes sense.

Mistake 3. Having irrelevant content.

Site content should relate to what you are selling/promoting. Sure, if
you are promoting phone systems, the entire website does not need to be
about phone systems – but it can be. The affiliate site can be about
purchasing managers or office administration – or other topics where the
relationship with phone systems is clear.

Mistake 4: On to the next one.

Once an affiliate has decided on an affiliate program and start
generating leads, it is easy to get carried away with the momentum of
the project. It’s exciting to make money off a website – especially if
they are seeing results right away! But there are a lot of nuances to
being an affiliate marketer and it is important to learn how to optimize
a site before they start creating another affiliate site altogether.
How else can they learn from their mistakes? And it’s much easier to
make adjustments on a smaller scale – especially since the rules of SEO
are constantly changing. Encourage affiliates to give themselves time
to grow the site before jumping to a new project.

Mistake 5: Failing to promote.

Promotion is extremely important for an affiliate website. Use SEO,
PPC, traditional marketing, and content efforts to get the word out
about your website.

  • SEO. Make sure that they have optimized their metatags, titletags,
    H1, keyword density, and meta descriptions to improve the page rank.
  • PPC. Encourage affiliates to start out with some basic
    pay-per-click advertisements to draw in more views to their page. Just
    warn them to calculate ROI carefully.
  • Marketing. Have them send out emails or newsletters to get
    previous visitors to come back to their site. That way, they will build
    up some loyalty.
  • Content. Adding fresh content to their site can be a great tool
    to promote. The more relevant information that you have on the site
    about the topic, the more you will prove your credibility.

Can you think of more affiliate marketing blunders that we should have included? Comment below and let us know!