This is also a big one. Doing keyword research the wrong way is only slightly better than not doing it at all. Because you can still make huge mistakes.
The most common one is chasing high volume, head keywords and eschewing keyword difficulty for dreams of what might be.
Let’s say you run a brand new coffee website and you decide to target the keyword “coffee”. You chose it because your KW tool showed that it’s searched for bazillion times per month.
All that sweet traffic hitting your site, targeting that keyword was a superb idea, no?
Second, you don’t really want to rank for those terms. Because the search intent behind “Coffee” is ambiguous at best. You could end up with a load of tire kickers on your site not buying anything and leaving en masse.
Here’s the BIG SECRET of keyword research done right:
You don’t want as much traffic as possible. You want as much converting traffic as possible.
That a big difference as it’s much better to have a thousand buying visitors that a million onlookers, those that never buy but always leave, never to return.
How to Beat?
Spend some time and find keywords that, when you rank for them for will bring you targeted traffic and sweet revenue.
That page only gets ~100 visitors per month. But since it’s so highly targeted, a few of those convert every month earning me passive income.
#4- Not Doing On-Page SEO
Google ranks web pages based on two largest ranking factors:
Links are covered in the section below, but here I want to talk about relevance, AKA On-page SEO. On page SEO is simply using your target keyword (that you found using a keyword tool- see point above) in several strategic places of your article, irregardless of the article length.
Keyword at the beginning of the article (above the fold, first hundred words. Bonus if you write it in boldface)
Keyword 2-3 times though out the article
Keyword in the concluding paragraph
And that should do it. Granted this is not all you can do as you can boost your relevancy scores with NLP writing; with TF-IDF,; using toools like Surfer SEO. But it’s still a huge step forward and a must if you want to rank your article for anything.
Google need directional cues you know- it’s (still) just a machine 😉
#5- Not Building Links
Links are the Internet’s currency of success.
They are what separate the winners from the losers and I advise that if you want to be the former and not the latter- you start building links as soon as possible.
Now, it is possible to start too soon and get your new site in Google’s sandbox for suspicious activity. So, wait until you’ve built your first hub of 20 or so good articles; and then go out and start promoting them.
Is it hard to build links for a website?
Oh yeah! Yes it is.It’s the hardest thing you’ll have to do to grow your biz. And that’s great news for you because link building is something most people dread doing; and AVOID doing. And that leaves room for you and infinite growth ahead.
How Can I Start?
Start with simple guest posting. It’s very easy to do as you’ll still be writing articles and sharing your knowledge, only for someone else now. Those articles will have link(s) pointing to your site of course, but the much bigger benefit to you is that you’ll be able to connect with other webmasters from your niche. This will open up a whole slew of new opportunities for you.
Here’s a guide that can help you get started, and coincidentally, it’s a guest post I wrote for Moss Clement, a friend of mine and excellent blogger.
The problem is that behind that sweet success you see are years of struggles, tears, sweat and disappointment. This you don’t see.
All of them building blocks of success with the strong foundation of doing something you’re really passionate about. That person that has success payed the price by doing the thing they loved, for free, for a long time, sometimes VERY long time.
You’ll never be able to replicate their success simply because you won’t be inspired to push on when it gets though, and money is a lousy and empty motivator.
Sorry to burst you bubble, but I said it for your own good.
The good news is that if you pick something you love, there no reason why you can’t be the next success story.
You could even inspire someone else.
How to Beat?
Choose a niche that you dream about when you close your eyes to fall a sleep.
#7- Picking the Wrong Products
This mistake ties in nicely with the last one. Even when you get the niche right, you still can choose the wrong products and blow you chances of making commissions.
The two common errors you can make are:
Picking the most expensive products just because the commissions will be bigger. This is a mistake as “most expensive” is not synonyms with “the best”.
Not using the products you promote.
Even if you promote a reasonably priced, popular product, you still need to be using it to be able to promote it honestly.
Because if you don’t own it you’ll have to gather data from others and thus regurgitate what’s already been said.
And your lack of knowledge will show because you’ll be competing with folks who own and use the same product.
And they love it too!
I promote Wealthy Affiliate. And my review is super thorough honest and full of stuff only a member could get his hands on.
People can see that and this they trust me more.
Here’s a nice example of an ALL review affiliate site.
How to Beat?
Set up a content schedule that forces you to write both reviews and supporting articles.
#9- Writing Only Reviews
Reviews are great and all, but there certainly exists a case of “too much of a good thing=BAD“.
So it is possible to make a mistake and write only a few reviews; but it is far more common to see websites that are ALL reviews. Basically, ever new article is either a review where they bash a certain product (and promote a better alternative); or is a glowing review of a another product with an even brighter CTA “Buy Now”
Those kind of sites obviously exist to lure people to buy and even the common internet user gets this. So don’t fall into a trap of writing only reviews. It doesn’t work and what’s more Google will demote your website in Search if they think you don’t provide value to the web.
And reviews, which are almost always biased anyway, are not that valuable.
Sorry to burst your bubble, it’s for your own good 😉
How to Beat?
Write reviews for sure, but don’t let them pass 10% of total content on your site. That way you’ll be both profitable and in safe waters with Google penalties.
#10- Not Having a Review Template
You’ve always got to have a review template at the ready, because you will be writing many reviews, successful affiliate as you are. So your writing process needs to be streamlined as much as possible The goal for you as an online business owner and it’s principal writer, is to be able to research your topic, then whip out your trusty review template and then write and write and just fill in the blanks.
And the result of that amusing and effective exercise will be a highly converting article posted on your blog to get new leads, while you’re off doing something else to grow your biz. Because like we just said, you can’t just be publishing reviews all day long.
Where Can I Find a Good Review Template to Use?
Here, you can borrow mine. Though I must warn you, you asked for a good template, but mine is excellent 😀
Intro[ Here you will learn…
What is X and how it can help you
Product X features
Product X price
What I like (Pros)
What I don’t like (Cons)
#11- Promoting Irrelevant Products
All products are relevant… to their target audiences. So if your niche is spirulina, you better write about spirulina only, and you better promote sprulina pills for weight loss.
And if you niche is civet coffee, then you know you should promote coffee only, but even then only coffee made from beans that came from rear ends of certain animals.
And if you’re into XBox gaming, then you certainly won’t be promoting coffee on your site. Except maybe in the content of “drink more coffee as caffeine keep you awake and alert to play more games” 😛
I trust you get it by now.?
Only niche products reviews belong on your awesome site.
#12- Copy/Pasting Product Pages Info
Affiliate marketing is hard work, I know. And it’s so tempting to go into lazy mode and just copy and paste the things you need from the product sales page.
I mean it’s all good since it’s from the page that’s highly relevant, and since it’s copied there’s no way to mess it up and display the wrong info, right?
Well, nice try! You almost had me there, but no! Copying someone’s work is the worst thing you could do to you affiliate blog and to your review articles.
For several reasons:
First, that is duplicate content and Google hates content duplication. They don’t want to index the stuff, let alone rank it. It’s because it’s a waste of resources to them (hint:costs them $$$)
Second, Product pages are generally a boring lot and copying from them will make your review a snooze fest.
Third, where is the added value there? Where is your original input when you’re just copying what’s been said a thousand times before you (thank other lazy bloggers for that).
The best reviews in the world are a right mix of info that needs to live on that page, and your original input written in your unique writing voice.
The former anyone can get, but the later is what’s yours only and what will get you ranked in Google.
How to Beat it?
#13- Littering Your Reviews With Affiliate Links
Have you ever come across a page that looks like this?
I said “plastering ads everywhere”. But I should’ve said “making ugly banners that take up your sidebar and distract folks from your content”. Visuals work and attractive professionally-designed visuals work even better, but that doesn’t mean you should turn your site into a freak show, a mélange of colors one needs 5m to get used to.
Be ruthless with anything that distracts from your content, and no, and it doesn’t matter that those banners will have embedded affiliate links, because no one’s gonna click on them.
Banners don’t work
Because people have developed selective ad blindness
Because having too much ads makes you look desperate
because images are hard to load and people will slower internet connections will bounce before even seeing your page and your content…
Honestly, banner ads are more trouble than they’re worth.
Related- the one way to make banners be unobtrusive and work for you is to use Advanced Ads plugin.
#16- Spamming Niche communities With Your Affiliate Links
Niche communities like Reddit, Quora, Stack Exchange and forums exist for folks to gather around and share their knowledge and experience about their favorite topics. They do not exist so you can go and bombard them with your affiliate links. In fact all of them strongly forbid blatant self promotion and when you’re caught, you will be show the virtual door.
How to Beat It?
Don’t be a spammer; be a member. Contribute value to the community, ask awesome questions, give helpful answers and become known as someone who genuinely contributes and who happens to have a site. When you can do that, then you can post links to your blog posts or videos and no one will think it strange or fishy. In fact they’ll want to support you by:
subscribing to your list,
sharing your content,
commenting on your blog posts,
buying using your affiliate links.
So make your life as a marketer 10x easier and give before you get.
Your email list is like a safety net that protects you from the harsh reality that is ranking in Search Engines today. You need that safety cord around you so know you’re protected, come what may. And so you know that you can move out your comfort zone with your marketing efforts (that is when and where all growth happens).
So, if you’e not building your list right now, don’t despair 🙂 it’s never too late to start.
But I can’t help you there as this is a mistake I’m still very guilty of.
If you’ve ever fallen for any online scam, then you must remember vividly how it stunged that the immediate, fast solution didn’t work at all and you were left with no money earned, no refund given, and no clue what to do next.
I don’t’ blame you. The allure of “instant” is mighty strong and yours truly fell for a scam or two in his newbies days.
Affiliate marketing is a business mode that works but does not work fast.
No legitimate business model does.
What comes before success is you putting in the work, and work requires time.
Time for Google to rank you.
Time for folks to trust you.
Time to make and collect commissions.
How to Beat it?
Ground your expectations first. Then still try your best to beat them.
#19- You Think it’ll Take Forever
On the other hand, maybe you think building an online business has to take forever.
Maybe you’ve heard the phrase “my overnight success took 10 years” and you took that literally.
Here’s a news flash for you.
It doesn’t have to take that long!
In fact, depending on the niche you choose (competitiveness) and how hard and smart you work you could see decent success in 1 year. You could be full time in 2 years.
Bonus- Common Partnership Marketing Mistakes and Pitfalls- A Mini FAQ
I did my research and came up with these 7 common questions folks ask about affiliate marketing. To be honest, quite a few are worried to start because they think they’ll make a fatal mistake and ruin their chances for good.
That’s not a good way to thin about it as almost any mistake can be remedied, and regret sting much more as we get older…
Before I get too personal, here are the questions…
a) What are the Most Dangerous Affiliate Marketing Mistakes I Could Make?
All mistakes can be remedied, but these 3 holes are hardest to dig yourself out of.
#1- Starting with a free site– If you start your biz on a free platform you will face an impossible task of attracting and converting ice-cold traffic. Folks who don’t pay attention to your content and you affiliate offers, but to your cheap templated design, your sub-domain and your lack of professionalism that screams from every page of your FREE site.
The remedy is to invest into basic hosting and setup your site the proper way.
#2- Writing only reviews– you’re trying too hard to sell.
“Why should I trust you? This other site has a tonne of content that teaches me this and that and you’re just trying to sell to me. What are you hiding? Are you really an expert”?
It’s scary is it not?
The remedy is to build trust by helping for free first, and then selling later.
#3- Your articles are minefields– you’re trying to trick your visitors to click; you’re hoping for them to click on your links and leave.
Instead ease off with affiliate links and make your site an experience to remember and bookmark.
b) Do I Absolutely Need to Start With a Self-Hosted WordPress? Can’t I Start for Free and Then Redirect Later?
Hey, you do what you must. I understand what it’s like to be in a position of not being able to invest even for basic hosting. In that case I have two recommendations for you
WordPress.com. They offer excellent free websites you can use as much as you want. You’ll also be able to purchase a domain and go premium with their service or make a copy of your site and redirect it to self hosted WP.
Note: Wealthy Affiliate offers a premium package too, but you ‘don’t need to pay to use SiteRubix.
c) I Like To Write Off The Cuff- Do I Really Need a Review Template?
Yes, you need it!
Review templates are there to make you job easier. You will be writing a tonne of reviews and over time it will get repetitive and boring. So it’s best to get it done quickly and you get it done fast with a template, where you know exactly what you’re going to write and in what order.
It’s work almost on autopilot.
d) How Can I Quickly Check If My Niche Is Popular? I Don’t Want To Write For Crickets!
Go to Amazon and enter a keyphrase. We’ll use Turmeric as our example:
See how many turmeric products you can promote. Over 3000!
So this is a quick indicator that this niche is popular since so many different companies are competing for the market.
e) Can I Promote Related Products, and Not Just From My Niche?
Yes you can. In our example above Turmeric is the niche. But related niche would be Ginger. You could promote Ginger-made products no problem and here are some keywords to get you thinking:
Turmeric vs Ginger- which one is healthier?
Is Ginger better than Turmeric for X?
How to combine Turmeric and Ginger for maximum healthy boost?
f) What Makes My Review Unique? Aren’t We All Saying The Same thing?
Well, yes you are. You’re all repeating the info from the sales pages. But what makes your review different and unique compared to all others in the world is your writing voice and your experience with the product you’re reviewing.
No one else has that.
Conclusion- 19 Affiliate Marketing Common Mistakes- You’ll Have None of That!
Now that you know all you need to know about affiliate marketing common mistakes, you have no excuse not to use this knowledge to your advantage.
And I really mean it- to YOUR advantage.
Most people that start today will fall for these traps like clockwork, and many will never dig themselves out the hole; and if you can avoid them, (and I know you can), you’ll be not one or two, but twenty steps ahead of everyone else. Leave me a comment below.
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