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Why Your Affiliate Marketing Strategy Sucks (and How to Fix Them)

With technological advancements comes the drive to think of new and innovative ways on how to earn money in an online setting. Affiliate marketing is one of these ways, and a lot of online entrepreneurs nowadays are totally into it.

According to the Affstat 2015 Affiliate Marketing Benchmark Report, the growth of affiliate marketing has been off the charts. 23.63% of respondents have started affiliate marketing in 2014 compared to 10.96% of them who started the year before.

Despite its increasing popularity, however, affiliate marketing will not help you solve your online income woes. This is especially true if you do not put in the work necessary to run a profitable campaign.

affiliate marketing

“Affiliate marketing is a kind of performance-based marketing,” says Jamie Spencer in this post at “With this form of marketing, business owners reward affiliates for each customer brought to the company through the affiliate’s independent advertising endeavors.”

Success in affiliate marketing comes from the number of sales you can make with your different campaigns. Therefore, you have to not only put the effort in developing and implementing your plan, but also find the most effective strategies to make sure that your audience will buy from you.

If you think you are doing the right things with your affiliate marketing but are not generating enough profit, think again!

You may not know it, but you could be the one to blame for the weak and unstable income you are receiving!

Here are some symptoms that your business might be experiencing at the moment—which could also be indicators that your affiliate marketing strategy indeed sucks.

Writing “safe” reviews

Going back to the AffStat report, blogging (57.37%) is the third most popular method that affiliate marketers use to drive site traffic, just behind SEO (66.14%) and leveraging social media networks (60.16%).

Part of your blogging strategy should be publishing new content on a regular basis. This includes writing reviews about your affiliate products.

Ideally, your reviews should encourage your readers to buy the affiliate product you are selling. This includes writing a positive review about the product. After all, there is a slim chance that users will purchase the item from you after giving it a bad review.

However, the problem that may rise from writing affiliate reviews is its insincerity.

There will be no transaction if customers do not purchase through affiliate links. This is the reason marketers write positive ones even if the product is the worst thing they’ve encountered in their whole life.

Because you are focused on making a sale, you write things that your readers want to hear even if it is not true. You write a positive review about an affiliate product because it has a high commission rate, not because it offers a solution to your audience.

Through fake positive reviews, customers could fall victim to scams and online fraud.

Fix: As the saying goes, honesty is the best policy. If you cannot write a positive review about a particular product, best not to write a review at all. Alternatively, find other affiliate products that you feel strongly about and review them instead.

As far as writing your reviews is concerned, there is no one way of doing it. However, here is a piece of advice from Loz James at Content Champion when writing product reviews: “[M]ake your reviews a little of both the factual and the feel good. Keep them a little reserved and never over-hyped, but positive in nature, fascinating and interesting, to leave the reader better informed and feeling good about making the right buying choice.”

Another tool that you should consider using when writing your reviews is Grammarly. Since communication is key when it comes to your blog posts, you need to make sure that you are exactly writing what you are thinking

Grammarly helps you achieve this by not spotting grammar errors but also points out phrases that you may have unintentionally plagiarized. This lets you clean up your writing to provide a clear message to your readers about the product.

No clear CTA

CTA, also known as call to action, is what would make your customers decide if they would purchase your product or not. If you do not make an effective one, you will not be able to generate a positive response from users.

In fact, the real problem is not because the CTA is not as efficient as it could be. It is because there is no CTA at all!

Without a CTA, your audience is like a headless chicken running directionless. CTA provides your readers with a direction, one that leads to landing a sale with your site. Without it, you can kiss profit goodbye!

Fix: The obvious solution is to learn the best practices in creating your CTA. This post by Megan Marrs a WordStream should give you a good idea of what makes an effective CTA.

Also, be persuasive in what you are going to put in your call to action button so that you can improve your response rate. A real call to action option would make customers immediately do a particular act.

Not formulating an effective strategy

Jumping into the affiliate marketing pool may be fun, but hardly the smartest idea ever.

You can do affiliate marketing, make mistakes, and learn along the way. Alternatively, you can develop an affiliate marketing plan to keep the errors low and maximize your sales.

Successful affiliate marketing requires a fool-proof strategy. Without one, you would not be able to foresee at least what you are going to need and do. You have to have fresh ideas all the time; a good marketing strategy would be the lifeline of your business.

Fix: Developing an affiliate marketing plan from top to bottom is of utmost important. This post by Carissa Payne at Acceleration Partners should provide you the breadth of what you plan should cover.

Arguably the most important thing that all marketers need to realize when developing a plan is to determine your audience. “Is the goal to drive incremental sales, increase overall revenue, or work with smaller long-tail affiliates with a niche audience,” asks Carissa. “In affiliate marketing, each would require a different approach.”

Once you have an outline of your affiliate marketing strategy, try experimenting with them. Find out if the ideas you have listed down are feasible and realistic. For example, conducting A/B tests would help you compare the different marketing strategies you’ve formulated, and which one of them applies to your business.

Getting ahead in affiliate marketing can be tough, but with the right marketing plan, strategies and focus, you would surely be able to keep your business from turning into shambles.

Content marketer during the day. Heavy sleeper at night. Dreams of non-existent brass rings. Writer by trade. Pro wrestling fan by choice (It's still real to me, damnit!). Family man all the time.

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