Five Things Not to Do when Working with Affiliate Programs


Working with affiliate programs can be a great way to monetize a blog or other online venture. As well as providing you with a new income stream, affiliate networks can help to inspire new content ideas and deliver value to your readers. Those pay per sale clicks can soon add up to create a semi-passive income, paying dividends for all those early days of effort. But it can be a steep learning curve to begin with. And while there are lots of things you can and should do to maximise the success of your venture – writing killer content, social media promotions, email marketing. There are an equal number of things that you really shouldn’t do it if you want your online affiliate program work to succeed.

Five Things to Avoid when Working with Affiliate Programs

Don’t lie

Talk to anyone who’s made a living through working with affiliate programs and the one thing they’ll all tell you is that authenticity is key. You may think that you’re a good liar, but your readers will see through fake news, reviews and content instantly. The best way to build a strong income stream is to build trust. Your fans need to see you as an authority in your chosen area. If you appear to be dishonest in any way, that trust will immediately evaporate. And loss of trust means loss of income.

Don’t break the rules

All affiliate programs have rules. When you sign up to your chosen program you will be informed of what those rules are. Don’t break them. Most of these rules will be really easy to abide by. They may relate to the messages the brand does or does not want associated with them. Or revolve around minor technicalities. And they will definitely include a no-click clause – you can guarantee that if you try to generate revenue by clicking your own links you’ll be out of the scheme in seconds. But whatever the rules are, flout them, and you’ll have lost your affiliate partnership program membership.

Don’t work with products or services that you don’t understand

This one really carries on from the first point. If you want to be authentic and talk with any authority, you need to work with affiliate programs that tie in with your established niche. Finding the best content and affiliate products for your niche is essential if you want to make sales. Although you may find more lucrative affiliate programs in other sectors, promoting inappropriate content just won’t work. So, if your blog is about relationships, explore the potential of dating affiliate programs, rather than those relating to finance or wellbeing.

Don’t rely on your blog alone

In theory, it is possible to make money through affiliate programs by solely promoting links on your blog. But you’ll find that by looking to external platforms, you can dramatically increase your income. Social media is obviously a great place to promote your content. But you can also use forums to get your work seen. Creating guest content for other blogs or websites can work well too. And you might be able to arrange a reciprocal agreement, so another blogger creates content for you in return. Win win.

Don’t spam

Aside from the fact there are numerous regulations now in place to prevent spam. And the fact that ISPs have developed increasingly sophisticated algorithms to block spam. The main reason that you want to avoid spamming your audience, whether via social media or their inboxes, is because you’ll lose them. The public lost patience with spam content back in the early noughties. By filling fan’s social media streams with junk, you’ll lose credibility, followers and sales potential. Just don’t do it!

Earning with affiliate programs isn’t hard. You need to put in some groundwork. You need to be creative. And you need to demonstrate common sense. Do those things, and it won’t take too long to build a successful affiliate business.