In this post, I’ll share 7 crucial writing mistakes to avoid as a beginning affiliate marketer that’ll set you up for failure if you ignore them. These apply for all forms of social marketing from creating a blog with affiliate links in bedded in the content to one-pagers you drive content to.
After reading this post you’ll know:
- The main copywriting mistakes beginning affiliate marketers make.
- How to fix these mistakes.
- Literature that can help you with learning the basics to effective writing.
1. Not learning about direct-response copywriting
To successfully promote affiliate products you’re asking your leads to believe a lot.
You ask them among other things to believe:
- You’re a trustworthy person
- The affiliate company is trustworthy
- That they personally will benefit from the bought product
- and a lot more.
The only way you’re going to achieve this is through effective communication. This seems pretty simple but there are a lot of people paying thousands of dollars to write quality sales pages because they know the smallest of subtleties in wording can be the difference between making millions or not making any sale.
Direct response copywriting is based on psychological concepts that can raise the chances of getting sales immensely. I’ve made a post in which I advise a few books you can read to learn at least enough about copywriting that you don’t shoot yourself in the foot. You can read it by clicking here.
2. Focusing on Features instead of benefits
People that aren’t into sale often think buying a product is a logical decision but that isn’t true. It’s an emotional decision, the justification for buying it that comes afterward is most of the time logical. This is why focusing on the features of the products you’re promoting is a surefire way to fail in marketing affiliate products.
Focus on the benefits because these are the things that’ll stimulate the emotions necessary to get people to buy products.
Examples such as
- How they’ll feel after they bought it
- What they’ll achieve with the help of the products
- How other people will view them
- and more.
If you need a camera to vlog for example but you don’t know anything about cameras a salesman talking about all the specs isn’t going to get you excited to buy a camera. You need to actually see what kind of footage you can make with it to stimulate emotions.
This is the same for any product. So focus on the benefits!
3. Not defining and researching your target audience
Not everybody is “into” the same things. This is why it’s important to define and research your targeted audiences. The last point I made was about the emotions that are needed to buy something. Target the wrong people and all the benefits you came up with will have no effect.
A trick I learned a long time ago is to create ‘customer avatars’. These are imaginary people that you create with characteristics as real as possible to use as a measuring tool to identify which leads would fit into that group.
You should come up with things as:
- Their Frustrations
- Their goals
- Their doubts
- Influences in their surroundings
- and more.
I made a post about creating customer avatars which you can read if you click here.
4. Lack of connection between your sales page and the affiliate companies website
This is a rookie mistake I see on a lot of sales pages made by starting affiliate marketers. Website visitors are very good at spotting incongruences instinctively. Most of the time when I let people look at early versions of sales letters I sometimes wrote they got this feeling that something was off but they couldn’t put their finger on it. This can turn into doubt which will make you miss out on sales.
An example I saw last month was from someone that offered a simple 4 step program that would help you with your email marketing but the moment you clicked on the link you were directed to a website with a 10 step program. It doesn’t seem like much but thoughts can creep into their mind like:
- Am I on the right website?
- Is this really the same program?
- Is this program really as simple as was said?
- I don’t know if I have the time to go through 10 steps instead of 4?
I’ve seen things as small as a change in colors drop the conversion rate. So try to be as consistent as possible with the end destination and if any change happens there warn your website visitors beforehand.
5. Writing like your publishing scientific articles
When I studied at my University I was taught to write scientific articles and to this day I’m really grateful for learning that but writing like this will in most cases not amount to anything in the world of sales. Scientific articles are written in such a way that it doesn’t relate to most people since the majority of the world aren’t scholars.
The most effective way to write is the way average people speak. We like to communicate with actual people with who can build actual relationships.
It’s summer vacation all your friends are on vacation and you’re sitting at home doing nothing because
you don’t have the income to pay for trips to foreign places.
Aren’t you sick of watching videos of your friends living it up on vacation while you’re stuck at home
broke and bored?
You see the difference? The first example doesn’t sound like a normal conversation. Could you imagine being in the middle of a conversation and someone says that? Something would feel off, right? So don’t do it online either.
6. Lack of a symbol of relatability
What makes direct-response copywriting so powerful is the psychological foundation the craft is built upon. You’ll learn exactly what makes buyers tick. You’ll learn about common frustrations, goals, weaknesses doubts and a lot of other factors that you’ll have to take into account when selling products or promoting affiliate offers.
One of those factors is relatability. You can have all these arguments that your products are working and can be beneficial to people that buy them, but the one thing you’re going to have made clear that it will work specifically for the person looking at your offer.
I can totally see this work for other people but I have….. so I don’t know if it will work for me.
This is why a symbol of relatability is something very powerful to incorporate into your writing. I know a symbol of relatability sounds like this grand thing but its just something that shows your product works for people that aren’t perfect.
In a lot of instances, the symbol that’s being used on sales pages is a person that has tried the product. The sales page gives you a view of his history up till the point he found the product. The point of this is to show some of his mistakes to drive through that this isn’t a perfect person.
This can be yourself or another person. Seeing someone like that succeed with the help of what you have to offer will give people in doubt confidence that they’ll also be able to succeed.
7. Lack of scarcity elements in your writing
Scarcity elements are elements that communicate to the reader that your offer is temporary which will make them more inclined to buy the moment they see your offer. At first, I thought it wouldn’t be a big deal if I don’t use them but I saw a big difference in conversions the moment I started using scarcity elements.
I thought people that won’t buy right away but are interested will eventually come back and buy the products. This isn’t true. The internet is so crowded with people offering and promoting products that it’s easy to get distracted by other websites.
There are multiple ways to create scarcity. The one I see the most is by giving discounts for a limited time. When you don’t want to spend a lot of money or the discount offer is almost too good to be true you’ll think twice before clicking away.
other things that can be used are
- Limited time bonuses
- A limited amount of applicants that can sign up
If you’re creative with it there are a lot of things that can be used to induce scarcity in your offers. For those that have WordPress websites, there are a lot of free plugins in the WordPress plugin directory that can provide you with these scarcity elements and there also plugins such as Thrive Leads that can help.
How can I make sure I’m always writing effective copy?
There are two ways to go. You either:
- Hire someone that has experience writing good copy
- Learn the basics to write good copy.
Want to go with option number 1? Then I suggest you search on Google for some good copywriters.
If you want to learn the basics of copywriting I got a few suggestions that you might want to look in to.
The foundation of effective copywriting is about sales and the psychology of the buyer because of this most of the old theory about copywriting is still relevant today. Whether it is for a magazine on a landing page effective copy will always be effective copy for the most part.
Book #1: Tested Advertising Methods — John Caples
Tested advertising Methods is probably one of the best books to read when it comes to copywriting. It won’t give you an exact structure for writing your sales pages but I think that’s a good thing. Structures like that can easily become crutches that can intervene with your development as a writer.
The book will give you thousands of tested things that you can incorporate in your copy. It will show you what good copy looks like and what bad copy looks like and after reading the book you’ll know the exact differences between the two so you’ll make sure you never write bad copy.
Book #2 Cashvertising — Drew Eric Whitman
Cashvertising written by Drew Eric Whitman is a really nice add-on to have next to tested advertising methods. The difference between the two is that T.A.M. talks about methods they tested while Cashvertising is about the customer psychology behind the words.
Drew says in his book that great copywriters use a lot of psychological tricks that help increase sales and he’s giving all the secrets. The reason I like this book is that at the end of the book they have this checklist with everything a great sales letter should be incorporated in it. It makes writing great copy that much easier.
Nothing is new under the sun. A lot of copy that’s being written is inspired by old copy. Luckily there are a lot of what we call swipe websites on the web that contains all kinds of examples of good copy. The reason I like swiped.co is that they not only show you copy but they’ve also analyzed most of it so you don’t have to. You can learn a lot from just going through the website and reading all kinds of copy.
Till this day I still visit websites like these when I’m looking for some copy gems or when I’m bored ( yeah… I have no life).
Join a community
This last suggestion isn’t really one for copywriters even though there are a lot of online communities for copywriters but this post is meant for affiliate marketers. Communicating with like minded people will help a lot when it comes to developing the skills needed to become a great affiliate marketer. They can look at your sales/promotion pages and give you a lot of feedback.
This why I recommend you take a look at Wealthy Affiliate an online platform with more than a million people that you can ask for help. They also provide you with technical support and FREE training courses.
Check out my 2018 Wealthy Affiliate review By Clicking Here
That’s all for today.
I hope that this post will help with making less writing mistakes and contribute to you making more money online.
See you at the next post!
20 thoughts on “7 Crucial Writing Mistakes To Avoid As A Beginning Affiliate Marketer”
This was such a useful article to read. I am going to try to get more scarcity into my offers, because I can see how this will make my readers want to buy now, so thank you very much for inspiring me. I will make sure to think of your tips when I write my next article and I have bookmarked this post.
Glad to hear this post inspired you. As a tool scarcity is one of the most powerful ways to convert people.
If you need some more tips check out the category digital conversion on my blog. You’ll find all kinds of helpful content there.
Great article on writing. This is the most difficult part of my blog. Some really good points that I learned from your article. Thank you for sharing this. I found myself focusing a lot on specs and fail to create emotions with my words.
I have bookmark this post and will keep coming back to learn more about writing.
Thank you for sharing.
Thanks for the comment. Glad you liked the post. Emotions really are everything for bloggers like us.
Hope to see you at my next post!
Very good post and great info.
This is where lots of people fail, they write something, but they don’t do it correctly.
It looks like a robot and in the end they think they fail and they even perform worse.
Honestly, some things you’ve mentioned I did also in the start, but in the end and after each post I got better and better.
You also need to look in the mirror and see what you can do better in it.
Great post and thanks for sharing!
Thanks for the comment. I agree about it taking time. The more you get comfortable with writing, the more personal your writing becomes.
Thanks for pointing out these mistakes to avoid if one is to be successful in affiliate marketing> I believe these are some of the mistakes a lot of new marketers make and quit too early because they feel like affiliate marketing does not really work. I believe that the best way to start is always by equipping yourself with knowledge. One can never learn too much. Another mistake which a lot of new guys make is jumping right in with high expectations forgetting that in order to achieve great results one has to start by working really hard!
Thanks for the comment. I definitely agree with the high expectation thing being one of the reasons a lot of people quit. When I started I also thought I’d be making money after three months. It’s only because I vowed to myself that I wouldn’t quit until I made money that I made it this far.
I loved the fact that you picked out these “pitfalls” that are so easy to fall into, especially when starting out in your business. Simply understanding that a buying decision in based on emotions rather than logic, seems a very strange concept, until we analyse our own purchasing experiences.
Who can actually say that they buy something because they “need to” rather than want to?
In my experience language and your written tone, is key to building a relationship with your readers. The examples you gave about the vacation is striking, when you read it side by side.
I’ve been a member of Wealthy Affiliate for 3 years now and I have to agree that it is a wonderful platform. If you want to learn to write freely and keep ahead of the game, there is no better community, out there to learn from.
Thank you for really interesting and engaging article!
Thanks for the comment. It’s good to see that the importance of tone is being acknowlegded in the affiliate marketing community. I think copywriting is something wel all can take advantage of.
Great article Rogier!
I’m a affiliate marketeer without the writing experience you have. I would like to learn to become a good copywriter so I can write effective articles. I have technical knowledge, but I want to convert that into good written articles and explain the benefits instead of just summing up the technical features, as you said. This for me is the hardest part and probably alot of other marketeers have the same issue.
The 7 tips you outlined in your article motivates me to work on my writing skills.
I’ll add the books to my wishlist, hopefully for Christmas! 😉
Thanks for the comment. If there’s one thing making money online has taught me it’s that copywriting is one of the most valuable skills out there. Let me know if you need some help along the way!
Writing has always pique me. I always wondered what I was doing wrong. Now I know where i got it wrong and what to do now as I came across the Seven Crucial Writing Mistakes To Avoid As A Beginning Affiliate Marketer. This site outlines all the things I’ve been missing!
The second mistake outlined( focusing on features instead of benefits) is so me. I used to think people want to know more about a product or service now I know it is better I focus on the benefits to my customers.
Is there a community you can recommend for one to join to perfect ones writing skills? Thanks
There aren’t many online communities that I know of that are dedicated to direct-response copywriting. I’d advise you to take a look at the book I recommended and if you have the money check out the copywriting course at digitalmarketer.com also practice a lot writing salesletters for imaginary products and you’ll do just fine.
There are a lot of thing about marketing that we should all know. Your page helps with that, leading others to make the right decision when becoming a marketer. The community that I have enjoy is with WA, there is none like it.
Thanks for the comment. WA indeed is a great platform to get online marketing training.
I wish you the best of luck.
Rogier | Real Digital Success
This was a great read. Tons of awesome information. It is so amazing to see how important writing skills are because if you word it the wrong way people will not be interested so having the ability to write well even though it may not be perfect is so important.
I am still trying to improve my writing skills because I am not a natural but what I do sometimes is as I do my research in my niche I look at other writers that have authoritative sites and check out how they write to improve my writing skills.
Thanks for the comment. Indeed writing can make or break your sales. Looking at other writers is a great way to find out
what works and what doesn’t. I’m planning to write an ultimate guide to direct-response copywriting somewhere in the next few months.
So look out for that.
Rogier | Real Digital Success
Thanks for writing this article!
I am new in blogging and I try to learn something new every time. I am familiar with #2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 but I am struggling with #1 and #7.
It would be nice if you can write an article to how to get better on those, but for now, I will get Tested Advertising Methods and Cashvertising to learn more.
Thanks again for writing this article.
Thanks for the comment. Good to hear you liked the comment. I’m planning to write an ultimate guide to direct response copywriting in the next few months so look out for that.
When it comes to #1 those books will help you a lot. When it comes to #7 you have to put yourself in your potential customer’s shoes and think about what they’re missing out on every day by not joining.
For example, ranking a brand new website is hard because search engines want to monitor your website for a while to avoid spammy websites from making it into their ranks.
So the longer you wait with joining and creating a website the right way, the longer it will take to actually make money.
Just find out what people want from your product and amplify the fact that they’re missing out on it every day because they aren’t taking action and buying your product.I hope that helps.
Rogier | Real Digital Success