Mistake #3: Giving your friend’s product a glowing review without actually being familiar with your friend’s product. This happens a lot in the affiliate marketing (and book marketing) world unfortunately. It’s a “scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” type of situation. By all means, give your friend a glowing review, but if you haven’t actually read their book or taken their course or tried their product, don’t talk about it as though you have. Readers deserve honest recommendations! (Here’s an example of me helping to announce the launch of my friend’s book while being clear I hadn’t read it.)
Another thing to consider is that even if you break even on the first sale, you're still winning. All you need to do is create more content about other problems that target market may have following the same principle and queue them one after the other. For example if we target women that want to lose weight they may also have wrinkle problems, digestion problems, diabetes, aging problems etc. We can easily create a chain of issues we run the email list through, let them opt in for what matches their issues and make several sales to that audience.
Giving away a free informational product such as an e-book, an email series or a mini course is a popular tactic many affiliate marketers use. Usually, your readers will have to provide their email addresses to receive the product from you. You can then use this to sell to them via email marketing. Additionally, an informational product can generate interest in the actual product you're trying to sell. If your product is popular enough and brings enough traffic to your site, you could also monetize the traffic in other ways, such as AdSense.
Now most affiliate programs have strict terms and conditions on how the lead is to be generated. There are also certain methods that are outright banned, such as installing adware or spyware that redirect all search queries for a product to an affiliate's page. Some affiliate marketing programs go as far as to lay out how a product or service is to be discussed in the content before an affiliate link can be validated.
In the past, large affiliates were the mainstay, as catch-all coupon and media sites gave traffic to hundreds or thousands of advertisers. This is not so much the case anymore. With consumers using long-tail keywords and searching for very specific products and services, influencers can leverage their hyper-focused niche for affiliate marketing success. Influencers may not send advertisers huge amounts of traffic, but the audience they do send is credible, targeted, and has higher conversion rates. 

What this article teaches you is that if you produce something that is shareable and interesting, driving traffic to it is MUCH easier. You can use social media, you can run link building, you can share it on niche communities and nobody is going to ban it or downvote it. Actually, if your front end is great value, people will share it around without you asking. Then all you have to do is offer a free downloadable resource in this piece of content (that does not decrease its shareability as it's more free goodies) and THEN start selling via email follow up.

Great tips! Since I just started blogging in January I am still really just getting my toes wet in affiliates. However, I did notice that pictures and real life demonstrations of the product really help. For instance, I have several food posts where I talk about my favorite cook books and show what I have cooked out of them, and then included amazon links, sure enough I sold a few cook books.

I got a question about the funnel. You were talking about the first page to be a blog page. I interpreted it as having you own blog(website), that should compete with other expert website. I was wondering if the first step of your funnel can be the opt-in page. The blogs that refers to the opt-in page are guestblogposts on expert websites, so multiple ways of traffic and seo. So you are only building an opt-in page, thank you page, landing pages etc on your website, but no blog to become an expert. Is that something you can do? Or is that not Google friendly or most expert websites are against?
Mistake #3: Giving your friend’s product a glowing review without actually being familiar with your friend’s product. This happens a lot in the affiliate marketing (and book marketing) world unfortunately. It’s a “scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” type of situation. By all means, give your friend a glowing review, but if you haven’t actually read their book or taken their course or tried their product, don’t talk about it as though you have. Readers deserve honest recommendations! (Here’s an example of me helping to announce the launch of my friend’s book while being clear I hadn’t read it.)
When beginning your affiliate marketing career, you’ll want to cultivate an audience that has very specific interests. This allows you to tailor your affiliate campaigns to that niche, increasing the likelihood that you’ll convert. By establishing yourself as an expert in one area instead of promoting a large array of products, you’ll be able to market to the people most likely to buy the product.
Websites consisting mostly of affiliate links have previously held a negative reputation for underdelivering quality content. In 2005 there were active changes made by Google, where certain websites were labeled as "thin affiliates".[30] Such websites were either removed from Google's index or were relocated within the results page (i.e., moved from the top-most results to a lower position). To avoid this categorization, affiliate marketer webmasters must create quality content on their websites that distinguishes their work from the work of spammers or banner farms, which only contain links leading to merchant sites.
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