Top 10 Things to Avoid in Affiliate Marketing Websites
Don’t get scared if you find yourself guilty of making one (or more) of the following practices listed as things to avoid in affiliate marketing websites.
We learn from failure, not from success!
– Bram Stoker, Dracula
Here is the plan: if we make an error, we learn from it and do it better. 🙂
By the end of this article, you’ll have a clear idea of what you’ll need to improve on your website to get drastically better results.
So let’s get started.
1. Choosing a Niche You Dislike
This one was a mistake I made right at my beginning as an affiliate marketer. And I’m not the only one, I see this happening over and over again.
In my case, it was not that I disliked the niche (“Running 5K”, see image above).
I just didn’t like it enough to do all the necessary research and immersion. After some time, I found myself in a position where I didn’t have any energy to keep growing the website I created.
At this point, some people even consider giving up the entire idea of affiliate marketing. But that’s a huge mistake!
You just need to find a niche you like enough (if you’re passionate about it, even better!). Read more tips and Learn a Simple 4-Step process for choosing a Blog Niche.
2. Not Creating Content Consistently
You need to understand right from the beginning that one of the most important aspects of creating a successful blog is writing quality content consistently.
Don’t think that you’ll get tons of organic traffic to your website only by posting a page every two weeks or so.
Better if you think 2 or 3 times per week.
And note the word I used “consistently”. What I mean by this is that you keep the pace.
Don’t write 5 posts one week and none on the next.
One could think “but that’s an average of 2.5 per week, that’s good”. No, it’s not!
Google likes consistency.
That’s why you should come up with a schedule. Program yourself, according to your available time, to keep creating and publishing new content on a regular basis.
And on a quick note, remember that we’re talking about quality content here. You don’t need to be a professional writer (of course not!) but you do need to offer valuable information.
Think of yourself as a problem-solver. Your readers have problems and you write articles with suggestions on how to solve them.
It’s this simple! Quality and Consistency.
If you’re having a hard time thinking of ideas to write about, you’ll get some insights on this post.
3. Turning Every Page Into a Sales Pitch
It’s no secret that our overall goal as affiliate marketers is earning money from our websites. As in any business, money naturally plays an important role.
But turning every single page/post into a Sales Pitch is a terrible mistake! The immediate effect is scaring your readers away.
They will get the impression that your only purpose is monetizing and will never trust what you’re saying. You need to show your visitors exactly the opposite, that your main goal is to help them.
Money is a consequence that will come once you build trust. And believe me, at that point, your readers will be happy to click and buy through your affiliate links.
So, balance things out. Provide lots of value and also create monetization opportunities.
Some people say the ratio should be around 6:1. I think it largely depends on your niche and audience, but for sure that you should offer more value than sales pitches.
4. Placing the Same Affiliate Link All Over the Website
If you choose ‘article X’ as your main promoting product you may feel tempted to add its affiliate link whenever you get a chance throughout your website.
For instance, my top recommendation is a leading Internet Marketing platform – called Wealthy Affiliate – where basically anyone can get up-to-date training and build a successful online business.
I feel so passionate about it that I want to let everybody know that it can truly transform their lives. But if I simply add my affiliate link to several of my posts Google will penalize me.
The solution? I keep my affiliate link at only a couple of places within my entire site (one is my Wealthy Affiliate Review).
Whenever I think my visitors will benefit from knowing more details about this platform I direct them to my review. From there they’ll be able to access the affiliate link if they want to.
The internal links used are actually liked by Google. And overall, this will be one of many aspects to positively affect my rankings. 🙂
5. Non-Relevant Ads
Picture this, you’re searching for a solution to your baby’s colic. Google suggests a blog post that you quickly open and start reading.
You soon realize that it’s quite hard to focus on the instructions you’re getting, not because of your newborn’s cry, but because of banners all over, advertising Cruises to the Caribbean islands. (Oh, how you wanted to be in such a paradise right now!)
That makes you annoyed, right? It bothers so much that one of the results may be that you leave the website without reading the entire content.
So, if you decide to have Ads on your website, be careful with the ones you choose.
The more relevant they are to your content the better.
6. Writing Too Long Paragraphs
Writing a post is different than creating a scientific paper or a novel. Some rules just don’t apply to the blogging world.
Not only the language needs to be a conversational one but also, paragraphs can’t be as long.
These are simple steps to please our readers. Most people nowadays get bored easily and don’t like long texts.
That’s why even one-line paragraphs are perfectly fine when writing a blog. As a rule of thumb, 1-3 short sentences per paragraph is ideal.
Whenever you start putting down your ideas try to break them down into chunks of information. This way, your visitors won’t feel “tired” just by looking at your post.
Another effective technique is making use of bullet lists.
Images are also great! They give a smoother feeling while someone is reading your article. We’re going to talk more about this in item #10, below.
7. Not Checking for Grammar and Spelling Errors
Okay, everyone makes mistakes while writing. But if you keep making lots of mistakes every single article you post, your readers will most likely leave your website.
So please, make sure to read your posts at least a couple of times before publishing them.
Also, I highly recommend that you run a spelling checker of your choice and immediately correct any mistakes.
Lots of Online Marketers use Grammarly on a regular basis. Even the free version works wonders!
Being careful with your grammar and spelling will only create a better user experience and overall more engagement.
8. Misleading Titles
The other day, I came across a post with a catchy title:
“My ‘Product X’ Scam Review – System Exposed!”
>> Please note that I decided not to reveal the product name as it’s not important to prove my point here.
Of course, I couldn’t help myself but to click the link and read what they had to say. The title indicated something terribly negative so I thought I’d better check it out before buying it.
Can you imagine what the article said?
You probably guessed it right. Only POSITIVE things and at the end, naturally, I found an affiliate link.
Now, I believe a lot of people click that link and eventually buy the product.
But let’s face it, this is totally misleading and not very honest. I felt betrayed and ‘trust’ is something that doesn’t cross my mind when thinking about that website.
If you value your audience and plan on building a long relationship based on mutual confidence, don’t ever do such a thing.
In my opinion, all content has to be accurate to the best of your knowledge. And that includes the titles you use.
9. Writing Superficial Reviews
Before writing a review do your homework, research the product, test it as much as possible, read other people’s opinions and testimonials.
It’s good that a review reflects your own view of a product but it shouldn’t be limited to it.
When visitors get to your Review post they most likely have already done quite a lot of research themselves. They’re at that point of the Purchase Lifecycle where they’re almost ready to make the final decision.
It’s up to you to give the information they need to clear all remaining doubts so that they can complete the buying process.
If you only write few lines of superficial content, your reader will look for a more thorough article elsewhere. That’s why you should consider writing at least 1,500 words reviews.
Read more details about how to efficiently write reviews on this post.
10. Not Paying Attention to Design
Your website design is a very important aspect of your business.
Imagine that you’re at a filthy, messy store buying a present and you suddenly realize that there’s a much neater gift shop next door. Wouldn’t you leave the first place to go to the second one?
The same applies to websites and their visitors.
Pay attention to your site’s appearance and make sure it offers a great flow to your visitors. Their experience needs to be as pleasant as possible.
Here are essential things that you should keep in mind:
- Font size can’t be too small making it hard to read your content
- Colors should be this simple: white background & black (or gray) fonts
- Don’t overuse colors throughout the website (titles in red, widgets in blue, links in purple… you get the picture)
- Although most themes offer a wide range of cool features, you don’t have (and shouldn’t) use all of them. Keep things simple. The main focus is your content.
- Headline sizes vary from a theme to another. Sometimes an H1 headline is too large. If that your case, use H2 instead.
- Like me mentioned in item #6 above, images play an important role in making your posts look nicer and easier to read. Use pictures and graphs to better illustrate your ideas.>> A good practice is to add an image above the fold on every article.
- If you’re serious about your online business, you should consider your Brand extremely important. You want people to recognize your website as a trustworthy source of information, right?
The way you present your blog is a huge part of it. You can read more tips on how to create a killing logo on this post.
Bonus Tip: Engage With Your Readers
I believe that you agree with me that – as a website owner – getting traffic to your blog is one of the most important tasks you have. Am I right?
Well, let’s say you increasingly attract more visitors and they start asking questions, leaving comments.
Two things will happen if you DON’T create the habit of answering those comments:
- Those people will get the impression that you don’t really care about them and their doubts/problems.They’ll tend to find it less pleasant to be on your site than it used to be.
- Other readers will see that you don’t answer the comments and will think that your website is abandoned.
You have to think of comments as extra content being added to your posts. Whatever is written in that area counts when Google indexes new keywords and ranks your pages.
Thus, you should not only answer every comment you receive, but you should also do it with great care. Give more valuable information, direct people to other pages of your website, and make new recommendations.
Ask for your audience’s opinion and feedback, engage with them. You’ll see that this will pay off in more traffic.
There you have it. Now you know what to avoid on your website.
Taking a step further…
If you are anything like me, learning “what to avoid” isn’t enough.
We know that to be successful we need Winning Methods and Strategies, right?
That’s why I highly suggest that you – like myself and over 1.3 million other people have already done – join Wealthy Affiliate now.
It’s a brilliant platform that will help you, at your own pace, build and grow your business into a successful one.
I’m also a WA member. And I’ll make sure that, once you join it by clicking the link, I’ll be there to support you every step of the way.