Simple Affiliate Marketing Do’s and Don’ts

affiliate marketing do's don'ts

Simple Affiliate Marketing Do’s and Don’ts

As a follow-up to the Affiliate Marketing Success series, I cover some effective but simple affiliate marketing do’s and don’ts. Even though practical tips for any affiliate, this is targeted for novices or anyone thinking about becoming an affiliate marketer.

When beginning the journey as an affiliate, it can be hard to know just where to start. Also what you need to do to be successful. Just as important, there are a number of things you shouldn’t do as well!

This article covers both, so you can avoid many of the mistakes that are often made by most beginners to give you an edge.

Let’s get started,

DODo’s

Only promote high-quality products that you personally find interesting and would consider purchasing yourself. This is for several reasons:

  • If you believe in the value of the product, it will help you do a better job of promoting it.
  • By having an interest in the product will give you a better understanding of what might draw others to it as well.
  • You will be more believable when promoting it.
  • It’s easier to promote products you feel passionate about.

Check out the tools and tips that vendors have on the Affiliates pages of their sites. Good vendors will often include useful information about the best ways to promote their products, including product images, suggestions for related keywords, and more.

Test out your affiliate links and ad campaigns regularly to make sure they’re working properly. Any number of things can happen including product updates, changes, discontinuation, even leaving that network. When these things happen, you can make the appropriate changes to your links.

Before you get started, invest time researching different promotional techniques. A good resource to get started with is my 4 Steps to Affiliate Success series. Select a few that you find interesting. You can then refer to article posts on this site, or do a search on the Internet for specifics to learn more about each promotional technique.

Just remember:

  • Be flexible with your selected techniques. And be willing to make changes if something isn’t working. Each technique works differently depending on the type of product being promoted and your select market. What worked for you in the past may not work in the future. Also the business of online marketing changes very quickly, so you always need to be ready to adjust to market trends, new products, and other unforeseen circumstances.
  • Keep a copy of all your affiliate links on file. This can be done on your computer or other safe place. It’s also a good idea to include a note about each product the affiliate link corresponds to, and any additional details you want to remember about the product. Not all affiliate sites, like Clickbank, keep copies of your affiliate links. To remember and have easy access to them, you’ll need to keep a list yourself.
  • Choose an unoffending name for your account. When selecting your name, it’s possible that customers can see it in your link (depending on the affiliate program). So make it something non-offensive so that it’s one less excuse for them not to purchase through your link.

DONTDon’ts

  • DON’T SPAM. Examples of Spamming is when you send out a promotional email to a large number of people without their permission. Or when you continually send out unrequested email to the same people over and over. Either way, you are jeopardizing a number of things including your reputation! Plus many affiliate program vendors take spam complaints very seriously. This can result in your permanent suspension from the program and loss of any earnings you made. Also, a number of websites, social networks, forums, blogs, and ISPs (Internet Service Providers) also take reporting of spamming seriously. So you may quickly find yourself banned from a number of popular places where you can promote products if you become blacklisted as a spammer.
  • Don’t use “negative” advertising campaigns. Some affiliates have been lead to believe that it’s okay to use ads like “Is Product XYZ a Scam?” to draw attention. And then link directly to the product. I strongly recommend avoid using this method of advertising altogether. First of all, many vendors hate it when others attempt to associate their product to a scam. And if they catch you doing this, they can request affiliate program sites like Clickbank or JVZoo to ban you from promoting their product and any future product. If this happens, not only does your advertising efforts go to waste, but you won’t be able to promote other vendor’s product listed on the site. It’s always better to highlight benefits of a product right off the bat, instead of creating fear about a product and then trying to sell a customer on the product anyway.

Other things to be aware of:

  • You don’t need to purchase the product to promote it. It’s not mandatory for you to purchase a product to sell it. Although, it is helpful when you do have the product and use it. Because it can lead to new ideas on how to promote the product and help you better relate it to your potential buyers.
  • When offering bonuses, don’t offer cash or cash equivalents (such as gift cards) for customers who purchase a product through your affiliate link. Instead it’s better if you offer customers other types of bonuses, like additional eBooks, training video or help guide, if they purchase through your affiliate link.
  • Don’t expect to generate a lot of traffic at first when using free promotional techniques.While free promotional methods such as search engine optimization (SEO) and social media networks can eventually lead to tons of traffic, when beginning you’ll most likely not drive much traffic to you site or offer using these methods. Realize that these methods take time to build up your efforts, reputation, and search engine rankings.
  • Don’t use Black-hat SEO techniques. This is the kind of marketing strategy that will get your site banned from search engine listings as well as running the risk of being permanently removed from affiliate programs and killing revenue for your site.
  • Don’t hesitate to change the things which are not working. Tactics and planned campaigns might sound good on paper, but when you get into it, you may find that your results are not quite what you expected. Also the results you achieved with a product might be different from that of your buyers who are saying the product is not working. You should acknowledge it and offer them alternatives which will reestablish trust in your advice.

Final Thoughts…

This is by no means the full list of do’s and don’ts for affiliate marketing! However, by keeping these tips in mind as you move forward with your affiliate marketing efforts will give you a better chance at success.

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About Michel

Michel has actively been online as an Internet and affiliate marketer since 2009. He has experience with many systems and programs that he has used throughout those years, finding some to be great and many not so good. He’s learned what works, and what doesn’t work and is willing to share it with you. And it is always changing!
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12 Comments

  1. Hi Michel,

    These are excellent points and absolutely vital for affiliates.

    The point about only promoting high-quality products is such an important one. What I would add to this is the potentially damaging effects that can occur if you promote something that’s rubbish or something from a less-than-stellar vendor. All it takes is for you to lend your name to one bad product and that can leave a very bad taste in the mouth of your buyers and can damage your reputation. I’ve seen Marketers lose swathes of subscribers in one fell swoop because of this and have their name muddied in the process. Of course, this can happen at any time simply due to circumstances beyond out control, but it definitely makes sense to take the time to do that extra bit of due diligence before settling on a product to promote.

    I’m also glad you highlighted that negative campaigns are not the way to go. This is something I see a LOT, especially on YouTube and I get frustrated by this even as a buyer. If I am doing research on a product I want to see a genuine review and not some fake negativity drawn up simply to generate interest to the ad. In fact, all that does is ensure that I will not click on any of that person’s links at all and stay clear of them in future.

    Additionally, I see people posting videos on YouTube that use currently hot products as keywords for their videos that have absolutely nothing to do with the product in their title. When I see that, the person gets reported as it’s incredibly misleading.

    Thanks for putting together these great tips, Michel. All affiliates need to take these on board, take them to heart and apply them.

    »Glenn«

    »Glenn«

    • Thank you for visiting and your comment, Glenn, always insightful.

      I agree with your statement potentially damaging effects that can occur if you promote something that’s rubbish or something from a less-than-stellar vendor. All it takes is for you to lend your name to one bad product and that can leave a very bad taste in the mouth of your buyers and can damage your reputation. As I mentioned in the article if this should happen to occur, you should acknowledge it to your customers and offer them alternatives which can help to reestablish trust in your advice. 🙂

  2. More great tips Michel, thank you. I think it is also common sense to market to others in a way that you would like to be marketed to as well. Plus we have to remember that it takes time to get any type of website and business off the ground and running, no quick fix tactics are going to get you there any faster.

    • Thanks for visiting and commenting, Sue 🙂

      Good advice about marketing to others as though it is being directed at you (or someone you deeply care about). That way you will be customer helpful oriented rather than strictly profit motivated. And no doubt that it does take time to get a business going along with consistency and effort. The only businesses that I’ve seen turn a respectable profit in under two years are franchises that take a million or more up front to get started. 😉

  3. Great list, Michel. I hadn’t thought of giving cash or gift cards as bonuses but I certainly agree that it’s not the thing to do. Your tips are very insightful.

  4. Insightful hints and tips as always Michel.

  5. Michel, super list for newbies (like me). With so much conflicting information around the ‘web’ it is nice to find some genuine advise that is explained in a way all can understand – not too techie!!
    Thanks for sharing.

  6. Great tips Michel, and the advice about changing what isn’t working is particularly good; it’s not something you commonly hear, but it’s absolutely true!

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