When you start learning how to become an Amazon affiliate marketer there are a few things to avoid. I know because I’ve been guilty of just about all of them. Having spent years honing my affiliate marketing skills I can now recognize a lot of mistakes I made on earlier websites.
We all learn from experience so I can’t say it’s been a bad thing. But…if I could’ve avoided those mistakes I would have. If you’re learning how to earn money as an affiliate right now, take these tips on board and enjoy making money online faster than many of us did in the past. Let’s take a look at the 17 biggest mistakes new online affiliate marketers make…
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- The biggest mistakes…
- 1. Choosing a Niche You Don’t Feel Passionate About
- 2. Not Writing Engaging Blog Posts
- 3. Creating Short Posts – Not Enough Words
- 4. Promoting Too Many Products
- 5. Using Too Many Affiliate Links
- 6. Combining Ads with Affiliate Links on a New Site
- 7. Taking on Too Much
- 8. Promoting Low Quality Products
- 9. Not Being Helpful to Your Readers
- 10. Recommending High Ticket Items
- 11. Too Much Hype
- 12. Losing Focus on Your Niche
- 13. Not Offering Product Comparisons
- 14. Letting Your Site Become Stale
- 15. Not Tracking Your Affiliate Links
- 16. Using Another Person’s Review as Your Own Content
- 17. Expecting to Make Money in the First 24 Hours
The biggest mistakes…
1. Choosing a Niche You Don’t Feel Passionate About
At first you’re enthusiastic and full of optimism. I can hear you saying, “I can take on any niche I choose!”
Just remember, you’ll need to give commitment to that website or YouTube channel for months and years from now.
Once you’ve learnt how to become an Amazon affiliate, you’ll start making money and you’ll want to grow the site to really benefit from it.
Starting and maintaining a website is a long term commitment.
If you can choose a niche you already have an interest in, it makes it so much easier to do research and write content. Especially after the first few twenty blog posts.
I guess if your niche started making huge money for you from the beginning then you’d stay interested in that niche, whether it was your passion or not.
But somehow it never happens that way. If it’s not a niche you’re interested in, it tends to evidence itself on your website, on Facebook and YouTube. Readers sense your lack of enthusiasm and turn to other sites for their information, entertainment or research.
Take this seriously because I’ve personally wasted hundreds of hours on niches I’ve abandoned over the years. Choose something you can feel passionate about.
2. Not Writing Engaging Blog Posts
We’re all guilty of this one. But when you start learning how to become an Amazon affiliate there’s a tendency for lots of people to write about what interests them and not what their readers want or need to see.
What do you need to consider?…
Posts need to be attractive to the reader. They should be easy to read and straight forward to navigate.
You should consider using appealing colors and not creating white text on a dark background which is difficult to read after the first few words.
If it is not well-written you’ll lose readers but if it’s not set out correctly this will equally lose readers.
If English is not your first language consider hiring someone to proof read your content before publishing. This is not essential but it can make a big difference to your engagement rates on posts.
Research your niche, find out what the buzz is on social media and what problems your niche target audience are facing. These are the things to create blog posts on.
Sure you can write about your own personal experience too. Just make sure it ties in with an engaging post your readers are hungry for.
3. Creating Short Posts – Not Enough Words
When you first think about Amazon affiliate commissions you think about images of products and lots of affiliate links.
Don’t be tempted to lose sight of the number of words you use in a post.
If you’re only going to write 150 or 200 words per post, think again.
In my experience the absolute minimum for any post should be 300 words. Desirably a post should really be at least 600 words.
This is my rule-of-thumb but as you cruise around the interwebs you’re going to see some people recommend an even higher number of words as a minimum.
It’s easy to fill up a page with pictures (and don’t get me wrong, images are important) but when you’re starting a new site, you need longer posts. Lots of content. More words.
Learning how to become an Amazon affiliate means taking on a lot at once. I know this, I’ve been there. But don’t skimp on your number of words.
Short posts with many images and lots of affiliate links often look spammy to readers and search engines. Try to avoid them.
4. Promoting Too Many Products
Let me explain this one.
When you start learning how to become an Amazon affiliate, you need to build trust with your audience.
If you’ve started an email list and you’re promoting a new product every day you’re going to lose your readers’ trust.
People will see right through you for what your’re doing (desperately trying to earn as much as possible for yourself). You’re not adding value.
However, if you have an affiliate website and you’re providing a review on one product per post this is different.
Sure, go ahead and write lots of reviews.
But even here, there is a limit. You can’t be promoting a different product on every new post you create.
Try to mix it up. Write an interest piece. Try to give your audience something amusing or interesting without trying to sell to them.
5. Using Too Many Affiliate Links
When you start building your site it’s going to be obvious to Google, other search engines, and your readers that there isn’t a lot of content on there.
If you fill your blog posts with lots of links it’s not going to look like you’re offering much value.
Sure, when you’re learning how to become an Amazon affiliate it’s tempting to use lots of links. But search engines as well as humans want to see that you’re adding value.
Is there something interesting in this post?…If yes, they’ll stick around and keep reading.
If all your pages are full of links it looks low quality and spammy. With too many affiliate links on a new site you’ll lose traffic, not gain it.
6. Combining Ads with Affiliate Links on a New Site
Now this is just my opinion and I’m sure there are many affiliate marketers out there who will disagree but…when you start your website you want your posts to look clean.
If they are crowded with too many ads mixed in with affiliate links, it gets messy.
And on top of that, you’ll get confused. Choose one strategy and stick with it at the beginning.
If you’re trying to learn how to become an Amazon affiliate, then stick to affiliate marketing, not advertising revenue.
Besides, using something like Google AdWords to monetize your site at the beginning is really not going to produce any earnings. You won’t have enough eyeballs on your content.
And if you’re planning on joining a big advertising network you’ll need tens of thousands of viewers to your site before you’ll even get accepted to place ads on your site.
Keep your site looking clean, easy to navigate and give your readers what they want to see.
7. Taking on Too Much
This happens when a newbie starts building multiple sites before they’re earning money on any one of them.
When you’re learning how to become an Amazon affiliate, stay focused on one site until it becomes successful.
Or at least until you’ve given it enough of a chance to succeed.
Each site needs a lot of your attention at the beginning.
Setting it up and getting it to a viable financial position takes all your concentration.
8. Promoting Low Quality Products
If at all possible, test the product yourself before you promote it as an affiliate. When you’re learning how to become an Amazon affiliate this is important.
If there is no chance of your getting hold of it personally, you’ll need to do thorough research. This is what determines whether you’ll succeed in affiliate marketing.
If you promote a product that turns out to be low quality and your readers have trusted you enough to buy it, they’ll quickly remember who you are for all the wrong reasons.
If you’re promoting low quality products you’ll kill off your business before it even gets going.
9. Not Being Helpful to Your Readers
If you start with the mindset of helping your readers then you’ll naturally avoid the hard-sell approach.
A hard-sell will turn readers away from your site and send them running to your competitors.
If you can identify a problem your readers face, and solve it, you’re not only being helpful but they’ll jump at the chance to purchase through your affiliate link.
This is the ideal outcome for everyone involved.
It’s a win-win situation.
10. Recommending High Ticket Items
This is a double-edged sword.
A high ticket item is appealing because it can yield more commission per sale. But if you don’t make any sales, it isn’t earning you any affiliate commissions at all.
You need to be smart about this one.
If the product is $600, how many people can afford it?
And if it’s at that price level, isn’t the competition going to be greater? You’ll need to assess this in your niche.
Electronics is a good example. There are many high ticket items but it’s a very competitive niche overall. If you happen to niche down to a very specific area where you can provide value to your readers this may be a way to still compete on a higher priced product.
The safer way to go is to not make the mistake and simply choose lower priced items to begin your affiliate marketing career.
11. Too Much Hype
If everything you write is “the best“, “the greatest“, “not-to-be-missed” then your readers are going to tire of your hype.
Instead of promoting everything as the next best thing since sliced bread, try to include interest pieces to mix it up.
Alternatively, you could include a review about a product that is not-so-great but at the end of the review you can give a suggestion for a product that is better.
This will make you look more genuine and make your posts more engaging.
12. Losing Focus on Your Niche
It’s so tempting. You see something you like, something with a high price tag and big commission percentage and you start promoting it on your site.
If you include reviews on products that have nothing to do with your niche, you’re going to lose trust.
This not only confuses your reader but it also confuses search engines.
This mistake applies to content in general as well as product reviews.
Don’t suddenly write about something that interests you but is off-topic for your niche.
13. Not Offering Product Comparisons
First, you need to include product reviews to sell the product. People will not buy something unless they know what it is and why they need it.
Second, you’ll need to make comparisons to get the sale.
There is always an alternative product on Amazon and if they can’t decide which one’s best for them they will probably stop and walk away from their laptop. You’ll lose the chance for their affiliate commission.
You can use comparison tables but if this is beyond you when you’re first learning how to become an Amazon affiliate, then you can do the comparison within your written content.
14. Letting Your Site Become Stale
I read a statistic that the majority of people who start a blog don’t continue after 30 days. And most of those who remain, drop off after 60 days.
That’s not a whole lot of commitment.
Can you commit to your website for more than 2 months?
If you start building a site and it’s still new and you let it sit without any progress for weeks or even months you’re never going to gain any momentum in search engine rankings.
If your site looks suspiciously stale or even deserted, readers will sense this and turn away, looking for something more current.
The internet is about getting information instantaneously. Readers want to know that what they’re reading is current. If not, they’ll find what they want in a click.
And if your site is stale, you won’t be the one getting those clicks.
15. Not Tracking Your Affiliate Links
Until you start making sales, this point is given very low priority.
But once you do start making commissions it is too time consuming to have to change all your links to track them.
When you start learning how to become an Amazon affiliate you should use unique tracking affiliate links on at least every site you own.
Preferably you should use them on each post or for each product.
At first when you only have one site and only a few posts, tracking is often not a problem and is low priority. As your site grows and the number of sites you manage increases, you’ll be thankful you implemented separate tracking links.
16. Using Another Person’s Review as Your Own Content
This one is going to get you into big trouble – with Amazon, with search engines and with other blog owners.
You can’t take reviews from someone else and use them as your content.
Test the product yourself and write a genuine review. If this is impossible, do many hours of research and then write your review without plagiarizing your competition.
17. Expecting to Make Money in the First 24 Hours
This is unrealistic, even the first few weeks is too hopeful.
Sure, I recently launched a site on 1 August and started earning Amazon affiliate commissions in September, but that was with years of experience.
Don’t start with lots of affiliate links expecting to make sales.
In fact, Amazon asks you when you apply to be an affiliate whether you have a website with more than 500 visitors per month.
From my experience this is a good figure to use as a measure of when to expect sales to start.
At the beginning, get high quality content on your site, start building traffic and then focus on links once you hit that 500 visitors per month target. I know it works for me.
17 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Learning How to Become an Amazon Affiliate
Whether you’ve just starting to learn how to become an Amazon affiliate or whether you’ve been trying for some time, you need to understand the basics.
By avoiding these 17 mistakes you’ll be a long way ahead of your competition.
Take advantage of other people’s experience whenever you can and you’ll be earning online faster than they did.
Best of luck and keep learning.