7 DO's & 7 DON'Ts of Affiliate Marketing

7 Do’s and 7 Don’ts of Affiliate Marketing

On January 6, 2019, I once again had the privilege of joining Jeannine Crooks of Awin and John LoBrutto of Liquid Web for a 1-hour panel at Affiliate Summit West (ASW19) in Las Vegas, NV. There we shared seven things to do and seven things to not do in affiliate marketing. This panel was designed to be introductory level and affiliate/publisher-focused.

Within the presentation, the following external resources were referenced on our slides:

  • Use advanced affiliate network assets including coupon code tracking. Some of these tools are ideal for getting credit for sales you influence when you cannot (or cannot easily) embed affiliate links. Some great places to use exclusive tracked coupon codes include social media platforms, print media, and word of mouth venues like podcasts, videos, and personal referrals.
  • Some helpful third-party tools for affiliates to use include the following:
    • Affluent Analytics so you can track transactions across multiple affiliate networks.
    • FMTC (data from more than 20 affiliate networks; has over 170K affiliate links including an extensive database of coupon codes) / Coupilia (coupon and deal aggregator with data from over 25K merchants via 24 affiliate networks). FMTC also features some great searchable resources including their Merchant Hub with thousands of affiliate programs you can join. Don’t forget to check out their OPM Directory also.
    • Datafeedr (API that allows you to import products from affiliate product catalogs into a WooCommerce shop or build your own price comparison tools and more; over 450 million products across more than 14K retailers).
    • Automatically convert direct links to affiliate links with Skimlinks or VigLink (recently acquired by Sovrn) so you can earn from thousands of affiliate programs without having to join each one individually.
    • AMNavigator Blog — over 1,300 posts about affiliate marketing!
    • Use WordPress for your website’s content management system. It’s free, open-source software with an extensive base of free and premium “plugins” to do many things (including easier affiliate marketing link management through plugins like Pretty Links or ThirstyAffiliates).
    • There are WordPress plugins to help with FTC compliance such as FTC DisclosureFMTC Affiliate Disclosure, Review Disclaimer, WP Affiliate Disclosure, or MWW Disclaimer Buttons.
    • For WordPress SEO, consider using  Yoast SEO or SEOPress.org (both have free and premium options) or get in on the pre-launch special for Bruce Clay SEO for WordPress.
  • Don’t rely fully on social media and free video hosting services like YouTube to maintain your content. Those are “rented” and not owned space. Be sure to develop your own base of customers — including email lists (or maybe even group SMS or text messaging lists). Consider Vimeo or VooPlayer to host your own videos.

With my fellow panelists permission I’m sharing our presentation slides below. We covered the following “7 do’s and 7 don’ts” for affiliate marketing success:


  1. Prefer Networks Over In-House
  2. Use Technology & Best Practices
  3. Create Customer Loyalty
  4. Develop SEO Relevance – Be Current
  5. Use Metrics to Understand Revenue
  6. Use Unique Offers / Landing Pages
  7. Read Advertiser Correspondence


  1. Only Work with Amazon
  2. Use Google Analytics for Affiliate Tracking
  3. Confuse Traffic with Shoppers
  4. Write Content Solely for Google
  5. Get Lost in the Metrics Weeds
  6. Only Use Banner Ads*
  7. Wait to Start Affiliate Marketing

*Sources for this slide include the following:

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