Affiliate marketing has taken over as one of the hottest marketing and niche marketing trends. When utilized correctly, affiliate marketing can be a great strategy to boost your bottom line. But on the other side of the coin, there are also niche marketing affiliate mistakes to avoid.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing has become a buzzword in the past few years, and like most buzzwords, it’s prone to being thrown around with minimal understanding of what it actually means.  When people hear the phrase “affiliate marketing,” they immediately think of big, easy, passive profits; but as the adage goes, if something is too good to be true, it probably is.  Affiliate marketing can be a wonderful strategy, but only if you understand what it means and how to use it (and not use it).

Essentially, affiliate marketing works like this: you host an ad or otherwise promote a product on your website.  The product’s home-company sees a boost to their profits, because you’ve helped spread awareness for that product.  As a reward, you make money, too.  You might earn a commission, not unlike a traditional salesperson, or you might earn a fixed amount per referral.

The appeal (and consequent popularity) of this system is obvious.  It has the potential to net you significant earnings, and you barely have to lift a finger.  Unfortunately, that isn’t always how it goes.

Niche Marketing Affiliate Mistakes

If you make poor choices in your marketing affiliate efforts, you may find that your profit stream is a disappointing trickle (if it flows in at all).  Here are some basic mistakes niche marketers make:

1. They Choose Bad Affiliates

Here’s another adage to remember: “Choose your friends wisely.”  An affiliate is roughly synonymous with an associate or partner, so if you choose a bad one, you’ll suffer by proxy. What makes an affiliate bad?  It could be any number of things.  They may have a poor reputation because they sell subpar products, or use unethical business practices.  Conversely, they may be completely obscure and of little to no use to you.

2. They Don’t Know the Market

It takes minimal effort to promote a product on your website, so it becomes very easy to simply launch into an affiliate marketing program without bothering to do proper research in advance. Take the time to look into the product you’ll be affiliated with.  Is anyone actually buying it?  Is the market surging, or completely limp?  Affiliate marketing is of little benefit when the market itself is stagnant.

3. They Ignore SEO

Featuring an affiliate is not a magic cure-all.  No one will ever come across your affiliate marketing program if they are unable to find your site in the first place.  It brings to mind yet a third saying, this time from the airline industry: “Always put on your own oxygen mask first.” You can feature the hottest product on the planet, but if your website is hidden on page 18 of Google’s results, no one will be any wiser.  Put some SEO work into your site to make it clearly visible to shoppers — then worry about affiliate marketing.

If you would like to find out more about ways that hiring a consultant can benefit your small business, I invite you to contact me.  I have been helping professional service providers such as CPAs, attorneys, and financial services providers focus their business development efforts on profitable micro-niches for over 10 years.  Email me at

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