Online marketing can be a great way to earn a little extra money or a lot of extra money, but avoiding a few minor affiliate marketing mistakes can get your business on the right path.
While the process of starting an online affiliate marketing business can be very lucrative and relatively simple to start, learning what to do, and what not to do, can seem a bit overwhelming at times, especially to a beginner.
Most of these mistakes will not be catastrophic to your business, but you should avoid them just the same. When it comes down to things you should avoid, there isn’t one specific set of rules to follow or a secret formula that will guarantee your success, but avoiding a few of these pitfalls can help your business along the way as you continue to grow.
Selling Vs Helping
The idea of starting an affiliate marketing business in the first place is to make money, right? It is, but you should not put all your focus solely on just customer sales and conversions.
The last thing you want to happen if for people getting annoyed at you because you remind them of a pushy used car salesman with a bad haircut.
If you can put yourself in the shoes of the prospective buyer, and produce high quality content, based around solutions to problems they may have, you will start to gain their trust and the commission from the sales will come naturally.
Choosing The Wrong Product (For You)
Choosing a product just for the potential money, compared to choosing a product that you love, is a fine line.
There are millions and millions of products you can choose to promote as a starting point for your online business, so you need to select your product very wisely.
The first step to get your affiliate marketing business off the ground is to choose your niche starting point, but If you see a product that you want to promote just because you know it is making money for other internet marketers, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should promote it too.
If you are trying to create and build a business around a specific topic based on the profit potential, or a niche that really doesn’t interest you much, it will be hard for you to generate enough interest on your part day after day, and you will eventually get bored with it and quit.
If you have a real passion for a certain hobby or interest, it should be pretty simple to keep adding interesting and relevant content to your website that is related to your niche. You would be surprised at how much information and knowledge you could provide to your audience, if you concentrate on a specific topic that you truly know something about.
Your customer will be able to feel your enthusiasm through your content when you choose a niche that you are truly passionate about, which will be beneficial for both you and your audience.
Then again, if you want to create a business around a hobby or a skill you may have, it is important to find out if there is a need for your niche and if it is something you could profit from.
Promoting Poor Quality Products
Promoting a low quality product is a big no-no in affiliate marketing. When you are recommending a product on your website to a customer that is of poor quality, you risk losing your credibility, and the trust of your customer. Once this happens you will lose that customer for ever.
People would much rather pay a higher price for a quality product, than pay for an inexpensive product that is cheaply built and doesn’t do what was advertised.
When you promote a quality product that has a valuable impact on your customer, you will start to develop the trust between you and your audience.
Would you ever recommend a product or a company to friends or family if you were not satisfied?
Probably not, unless you don’t like them 🙂
But if someone is happy with their purchase and their overall experience, they are more likely to spread the word and tell others about you.
Too Many Products - More Isn't Always Better
While it seems like the more products that you promote, the more money you will make in the end. However, it usually doesn’t work like that, especially if you are just in the beginning phases of building out your business and your website.
Trying to juggle too many products at once can be a big mistake for an internet marketer. Often times you can become distracted by promoting too many products and doing too many things at one time, instead of concentrating on just a few things.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t offer help and insight on more than one item. There is nothing wrong with writing reviews and promoting a tent, sleeping bag, or a campfire stove, if your niche is related to camping equipment. But there is no need to start writing and writing reviews about nutritional supplements if it doesn’t have anything to do with your business.
Every visitor who clicks on your website is a potential customer, and they are expecting to find something of value there to help them. It’s not likely that they are interested in both camping equipment and nutritional supplements.
Try to start with just a couple of products at first and go from there. You can always expand your products to smaller sub niches as your business continues to grow.
You definitely don’t want to bite off more than you can chew.
Not Doing Your Homework
When you become an affiliate for a company and start promoting their products or services, it’s can be really difficult to write a high quality review if you don’t know much about that particular product.
Ideally, it would be beneficial if you actually had a real life experience, good or bad, with the product. That way you can give an honest review, along with your personal opinion based on your true knowledge.
But that also doesn’t mean that you have to go out and purchase every single product before you do a review. It’s okay to do your own thorough research and come up with an in depth review that could help your audience. You can get your information from other online reviews, youtube videos, or the company or manufactures website.
As and example, if you go into BestBuy looking to buy a new TV, you are looking for advice from somebody who works there who can tell you the pros and cons with a certain TV you might be interested in. Do you think that employee has personally bought each TV on display?
Of course not.
He or she took the time to learn about each TV that they sell in order to help you decide which one you might choose. Again, you don’t have to be an expert at everything you promote, but you can quickly lose the trust of your customer is you are not providing them with quality information.
Creating A Messy Website
Not having an appealing website to the human eye and a website that is hard to navigate through can be a big downer for everyone who visits your site.
Having a slow, sluggish, and sloppy (say that 3 times fast) website with a bunch of annoying ads, can make your website look like a cluttered mess, which will make your visitor leave your web page faster than you can say “where did they go?”
Nobody will expect you to have a fully functional professional website from the get-go. Your website will be pretty basic when you first get up and running, but it will continue to evolve over time. Don’t think that you need to spend money to hire a professional to design your website when you can do it yourself.
Yes I said you can do it yourself. Building a website is really simple now with all the information and tools that are available to you.
More on that later.
Not Providing Interesting & Fresh Content
One of the pitfalls with affiliate marketing is you won’t always get a repeat customer, as you usually lose that buyer after the sale. It’s not that you did anything wrong, it’s just the nature of the beast.
So, once someone lands on your web page, your goal is to keep them there as long as possible. You do this by providing interesting and engaging content, and adding new information on a regular basis.
If you don’t provide them with useful information, while giving them boring content, you take the chance of losing that potential customer, and you can be sure they won’t recommend you to anyone else.
Again, when creating your content, it’s always best to look at it from the customers point of view. Remember, they are the ones that found you, and they are looking for help from you to solve whatever problems that they may have.
You don’t have to be an expert at writing, but just make sure to keep your content fresh and up-to-date and that it has enough awesome information to keep your readers connected to what you are writing about.
Not Learning (How & Why)
Not learning how to do affiliate marketing the right way, and not learning why something is not working for you.
The internet is full of so many articles and information related to affiliate marketing and “how to make money online” opportunities that it makes your head spin.
When it comes to affiliate marketing, recognizing what works and what doesn’t, is a major factor when it comes to winning and losing in the online game.
Just because something worked 5 years ago or 2 years ago, or 6 months ago, doesn’t mean it is going to work next year or even next month.
Because the industry is a revolving door and constantly changing, it’s important to keep up with these changes, stay educated, and start tweaking your business here and there as it’s needed.
As with any business, you are going to make some mistakes and have some failures along the way, which is okay, as long as you learn from them and don’t keep doing the same thing over and over if it is not working for you.
Once you begin thinking that you already know everything there is to know about internet marketing, and aren’t willing to change or take advice from others, you are doomed to fail.
It is always best to get the right training and follow what other successful affiliate marketers are doing to achieve their online success.
Neglecting Basic SEO
With almost 4 billion people surfing the net every day of the year, and having the opportunity to find millions and millions of websites, what do you think the chances are that they find you?
Not very good!
Unless you do some easy and basic steps that will help get your web pages to the top of the search engines.
There are basically two ways to attract visitors to your website. One is through paid advertising, like GoogleAds, which can be very expensive for someone who is just starting and on a shoe-string budget.
The other way is through search engine optimization or SEO. Because of this free source of traffic, SEO is the choice for most bloggers who want to bring more traffic to their website.
There are things you should be doing to every page or post that you publish on your website to enhance the chances of your web pages showing up higher in the search engine results pages (SERPS).
By not doing a basic SEO check of your pages and posts, there is a good chance your site will be buried so far down in the SERPS that nobody will ever find you.
Do yourself a huge favor and make SEO a big part of your overall online strategy.
Expecting Too Much Too Quick
Like I mentioned at the beginning of the page, making money with affiliate is a nice opportunity for anyone who wants to make extra money online.
Some people are happy just to make a few hundred bucks a month if that’s all they want. Then there are others who are killing it, making thousands to tens of thousands of dollars and more each and every month. And then there are those who make the big fat Zero!
Why do some succeed and most fail?
It’s not because affiliate marketing is expensive or hard to get started, it’s because most people are looking for to make the quick buck and they want overnight success. When it doesn’t happen that way, they quit.
Most people work a 9 to 5 job the majority of their lives while punching that dreaded time clock every single day. It’s only natural to want to make money the “easy” way.
With that said, anybody that tells you that you can make a boat load of money with affiliate marketing, or any other online business without putting much effort into it, is completely lying to you.
There is a real opportunity for you to make decent money with affiliate marketing, but you need to have the patience while your business grows. Doing the hard work at the beginning of your business will help you reap the rewards of your business down the road.
These are just a few of the common affiliate marketing mistakes that people make when they are in the beginning stages of their business. It is so important to research and track the progress of your online business continuously, and find out what is working for you and what isn’t.
If you are still struggling with coming up with a profitable niche, creating a website, attracting visitors to your website, and ultimately making money, I would encourage you to take the time to read about my #1 recommended training program for affiliate marketers.
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