The Red Flags of Affiliate Marketing

May 24, 2019 BY Dave Bird - Get free updates of new posts HERE
Although many people might not believe it, the affiliate channel is still one of the most lucrative marketing niches around.
However, affiliate marketing remains a difficult craft to master, and there is the occasional red flag out there that people need to look out for. The most vulnerable publishers are those who are new in the affiliate space and are keen to hit the ground running, and we hear plenty of stories of them being tripped up whilst making their first steps in the industry.

Here at Monetise we’re always introducing new affiliates to our network – however creative their traffic pathway is – and we want them to be safeguarded from any hazardous pitfalls that may be out there to help them avoid getting into any bother!

Below are some of the more common affiliate marketing red flags.

1. Sub-par Training

It’s natural for new affiliates to enrol in a spot of training to gain some inside knowledge before they set off on their journey in the industry. There are tens of thousands of people out there who are looking to catch newbies in their web, whether they’re selling a course, an e-book, or perhaps a series of webinars. Have your wits about you, and be sure to do your research before you pick your method of training. Alternatively speak to your account manager – here at Monetise all of our AMs have vast experience of the industry, and will be able to identify which course will be the right one for you.

Make sure you’re selective with any training courses you decide to enrol on.

2. Poor Offer Selection

It’s very easy for affiliates to jump onto a network and pick out the offers that provide the highest payout, and most of the time that can lead to a significant puncture to any enthusiasm when they struggle to convert. It’s essential that you are not led by profit-hungry account managers that want you to promote the big money-spinners. Instead, pursue offers that convert easily because they are a better fit for your traffic.

3. Brand Bidding

Advertisers hate it when affiliates outrank them with PPC ads that target the same keywords as them, because they don’t want to be paying out for leads that would’ve been acquired by their in-house marketing efforts.  Do not be tempted to compete with big brands on their own keywords, as this is likely to result in a swift pause, and a black mark on your account that could prohibit you from running further campaigns.

4. Cheap traffic isn’t always good traffic

When starting out in affiliate marketing it’s natural to want to save money where you can and usually this means choosing a cheap traffic source to promote your campaigns. The most cost-effective traffic sources tend to be pop traffic or some other form of pay-per-view (PPV) advertising. Now, we’re not saying networks have a complete blanket ban on these types of traffic, but they’re probably not the best ones to pursue if you’re looking for campaign longevity. They can, however, be useful if you want to split-test lots of different ad types and campaigns, so we’d probably suggest giving them a try while you dip your toes in the affiliate waters.

5. Bad choice of Affiliate Network

Anybody that isn’t us, basically.

Although tongue-in-cheek, the bottom line is if something is too good to be true, you are better off being suspicious about it. Make sure you shop around and find a network you can trust. My colleague Ricky has written a great blog on things to look out for in a trustworthy network, and will provide a helping hand into selecting a network that is right for you.

If you are new to affiliate marketing and looking to work with an established network who have been going for over a decade, sign up to be a publisher today!

Do you know or have experienced any other affiliate marketing red flags that we’ve missed? Let us know in the comment section below!

Written by Dave Bird
Dave is the founder of Monetise and obsessed with all things relating to performance marketing. He oversees network operations and specialises in lead generation.