While affiliate marketing may seem like a straight and narrow road that doesn’t veer too often, it is actually the opposite of that. There are countless sharp curves and roundabouts that can send your efforts in the wrong direction and ultimately crash.

Before racing into affiliate marketing, you must do plenty of research and learn from those who came before you. Part of this learning process is learning what not to do.

If you are new to affiliate marketing or just haven’t found your efforts to be very successful, read on to discover five common mistakes that new affiliate marketers make.

Selling Rather Than Helping

While the word “marketing” is certainly part of the phrase affiliate marketing and an aspect of what you do as an affiliate, it is not your job to sell. Instead, as an affiliate, it is your job to tell people why they should be buying a product—actually selling it is the job of the sales page that consumers are redirected to if they click on your affiliate ad/link.

When deciding whether to buy a product or not, consumers want to hear from other people about their experiences with it—this is why reviews on sites are so powerful, such as Amazon
As an affiliate, you are not selling an item, but instead telling the consumer why they should buy it.

Promoting Too Many Services or Products

You’d assume that promoting the most products would bring in the most commission, but actually, that isn’t the case. This is partially due to consumers only being interested in useful products, and seeing low-grade products on your site, or merely a bunch of different products, will lose your credibility and customers.
Also, promoting too many services and products allows you very little room to schedule an ad for each product, ultimately diminishing products’ exposure and shortening their chances of being purchased.

Not Testing

As an adult affiliate, it is important to know and understand what happens once a consumer clicks on an ad located on your site. Are they taken to the company’s website where they can then purchase the product, or are they required to sign up for a mailing list to then only be bombarded with emails and promotions in their inbox?
It is vital to test these things out in order to prevent yourself from promoting an ad that causes nothing but headaches and, in turn, will ultimately lose your customers and traffic to your site.

Not Having a Blog or Website

Promoting products through mailing lists, social media platforms or paid advertisements will not make you a successful affiliate marketer. What will, though, be having a blog or website that can promote the affiliate products on your behalf.
Your website or blog helps establish your uniqueness to potential clients and gives them a “face” behind the promotions—ultimately establishing confidence among your website visitors.
It can help establish loyal customers that find themselves perusing your site on a weekly basis in order to catch up on your latest content and check out any affiliate products that you may be promoting.

Promoting Products Without Using Them

While many affiliate marketers do this, it is highly discouraged if you wish to be a truly successful affiliate. Promoting products or services that you haven’t used yourself leaves room for disappointment from consumers in not only the product but then also in your site for recommending it.
As an affiliate, you should aim to only promote products that you have used yourself and ultimately stand behind in confidence. Not only will this create loyal customers who know that you only promote the best around, but also give them comfort in knowing that you’ve used it and approved it.