Many people wanting to earn an online income start with affiliate marketing. It’s easy to understand and doesn’t require much start up capital. It’s also easy to make mistakes. Here’s a few of the most common ones.
Choosing the wrong niche. You need something with sufficient demand but not too much competition. Do your research first. There are plenty of paid tools that can help you identify niches you can succeed in, but a good starting place would be to use the Google keyword tool and search engine. They’re both free.
Not choosing the right product. Here there are several things you need to be aware of.
- Don’t promote offers based solely on affiliate commission. You need to make sure the product you’re promoting is a good fit for your website. If you’re website focuses on parenting, then promoting fitness equipment will simply mean there’ll be no match between your traffic and your offer and you’re unlikely to make any sales.
- Look at the vendors website. If it’s not very appealing, do you really want to be promoting their product? You may be able to drive traffic to the site, but if you wouldn’t buy from it, why would anyone else? If the site includes a sign up form, move on and promote something else.
- What promotional material does the vendor offer to help you promote the product? The best vendors realise that successful affiliates mean they too will be successful. Therefore they help their affiliates to promote the product by providing tools such as banner ads and email copy.
- Satisfy yourself that the product is selling well. If you’re selecting the product from an affiliate network you should be able to view statistics such as earnings per click and monthly earnings. If you’re selecting from a site such as Amazon, see if it’s on the best sellers list and take a look at customer reviews.
Choosing too many products. It’s so easy to apply for affiliate links that many people apply for many. This leads to a lack of focus and resources being spread to thinly. Instead choose one product and dedicate yourself to it. Don’t move on to another product until the sales start coming in.
Not using the product. It’s best if you promote products that you use yourself. You’ll be able to be more positive about the product, giving convincing reasons why the product should be bought, but also being honest about any shortfalls it may have. Of course, it’s not always possible to buy before you promote, but you should never sell something you don’t understand or care about. If you haven’t used it, make sure you conduct extensive research first.
Poor website design. Many new affiliates try to monetize their website any way they can. As well as promoting the product, their site also displays other monetization tools such as banner ads and Google adsense ads. These just provide an opportunity to distract your visitors. Furthermore, if your site is cluttered it looks unprofessional and people who find it are likely to leave. If you’re not comfortable designing your site outsource it to a professional.
Not promoting your own site. The phrase “build it and they will come” may work in Hollywood, but it doesn’t apply to affiliate marketing. You need to make sure your site is optimised and promote it to a targeted audience.
Poor copy. It’s simply not enough to list the product features. This reads too much like a technical spec. and is generally dry and boring. You need to be pre-selling the product. Don’t focus on the features but instead bring out the benefits. Capture your viewer with a compelling headline. Tell them the problems the product will solve and the difference it will make to their lives. Make your copy visual by including images and, if possible, videos. If you have testimonials, include them.
Not capturing prospects details. If you don’t build your own list, you’ll always be working for someone else. Each time you want to make a sale you’ll be starting from scratch. Capture your prospects details and then you can market future offers directly to them. Who knows, one day those offers may be your own products.
Not following up. Once you have a list, send offers to it. You’ve worked hard to build your list, now it needs to work for you. If your list simply sits in your autoresponder, it’s a wasted asset.
Failing to treat it as a proper business. Affiliate marketing is easy to get into and much of the marketing around it promotes the huge commission that can be earned. This leads many people to think it’s easy. Just put up a website and collect the cash. Afraid not. It takes a lot of hard work to become successful. You need to recognise that, build a plan and put in the graft!
So there you have it. Now you know some of the most common mistakes, you know what to avoid. Here’s to your future commissions.
Over To You: Are you an affiliate marketer? What mistakes have you made? What mistakes have you seen others make?