by Andrew GowansThe following article is one of a series of articles which focus on Affiliate, Article and Internet Marketing. All of the articles are based on real experiences and research done over twenty years as a personal and business coach. They are also written in response to questions which I have been asked as well as address common challenges that people have with affiliate marketing, article marketing, internet marketing or running an online business in general. I sincerely hope that you find the following information of value. One idea, one tip, one clue can make all the difference.
Affiliates, Are You Making These Big Mistakes?
As with most things in life, the majority of mistakes we make are from inexperience. Affiliate marketing is no exception. I know, I have been there. I have thought that I could make as much money as I could as quickly as I could with the least amount of effort.
I have ended up being disillusioned, frustrated, even angry that I have not made serious money within a few days.
For those that are new to affiliate marketing, the whole internet thing can seem too good to be true. Running a real business from home that makes you more then enough money to live on.
It is true. It is possible. However, when you read about some of the top internet and affiliate marketers making thousands overnight, there is one very important thing that you need to bear in mind. These guys have served their time. It takes three common but necessary attributes to succeed in affiliate marketing. It takes hard work, dedication and the ability to focus, focus on what's important.
So, what are the big mistakes we should avoid when building an affiliate marketing business?
Well, the first answer is in the question. We need to focus on building a business, not trying to make a quick buck.
Making mistakes when you start a new business are quite common. It's happens to all of us, so don't get bent out of shape when it does. Even when the business is established, more mistakes will be made. What separates the successful from the also rans is how we deal with the mistakes. With patience and due diligence, many of the mistakes that are made can be avoided quite easily.
What is it then that makes some affiliate marketing businesses work and makes many affiliate marketing businesses fail?
Patience is vital. Building on the point I made earlier, the best affiliate marketers have taken time to build their customer base. The people that are truly making $10,000 a month and more in affiliate marketing spent years getting there, not weeks or months, years.
You need to stick at it. In the past, I have dropped affiliate programs because they were not making me money quickly. It wasn't their fault, it was mine. That doesn't mean that we should stick with an affiliate program for ever. We need to track performance over time, make sure we do enough research before selecting the affiliate program we wish to promote and give it a fair go.
You need to make sure that you effectively pre-sell the product, detail the benefits (not the features) and show how this product solves your visitors' problem. Also, change your website content on a regular basis, update your site at least weekly.
Decide what's right for you. I know it can be tempting to go for the 'big commissions', 60%, 70% and in some cases now even 100%. Try and make your life as easy as possible. To pre-sell effectively, you need to, at the very least, understand the affiliate program you are thinking about promoting.
Practical examples - if you know a lot about fitness or weight loss there are a number of programs you can subscribe to and you will have the expertise to pre-sell most effectively. On the other hand, if you have no knowledge at all of mechanics, it could be extremely difficult to sound convincing and credible to your visitors just because you want to promote a racing car program offering 80% commission. You get the drift.
O.K. lower commissions mean lower earnings. Believe me, however, in the long run once your credibility and expertise is known, you will look forward to repeat business and will be more profitable over time.
Another huge mistake that many affiliate marketers make is trying to promote too many programs at once. By doing this, it makes it very hard to provide solid pre-selling content relating to all of these programs at once. The net result is that site visitors end up being totally confused as to what it is your site is really about and what preferred action you wish them to take. Your visitors end up leaving your site without buying.
You should only subscribe to two or three programs at once.
This will allow you to focus on these programs so you can start earning affiliate revenue sooner rather than later. Patience is, again, very important. Either through inexperience or fear of not making any money, it may seem that the best thing to do is load your web pages with a score of affiliate programs. Don't. If your website is focused on providing related but limited solutions to help your visitors deal with the problem that attracted them to your site initially, You will stand a far better chance of making sales.
Be aware of the competition in your chosen area of expertise. Even if you are focusing on tight niche, it is likely that you will have competitors who are also promoting the same or similar affiliate programs. Also, be aware that visitors will visit a number of sites that may come up after a search for their chosen keywords.
Your job is to be as unique as possible. Don't use the same copy as everyone else because it was supplied by the merchant of the affiliate program. Write your own content, add value, build credibility and trust. Over time, visitors will know who to go to, who provides added value and who they will buy from. Make it you.
Building your targeted list is an absolute must.
Think about it. You have a great site, you get tons of visitors, you do a fantastic job of pre-selling, your visitors take your call to action and then what? You send them off to the merchant's site who sells the product.
Great, you get the commission ONCE. The merchant captures the buyers' details and you don't! Massive mistake. You have got to try and capture your visitors' details by inviting them to sign up for your newsletter, course, free giveaways for example. Once you have captured their details because they opted to do so, you now have the opportunity to contact them regularly without spamming. But...
You want to keep them subscribed. So, again, make sure you are adding value, providing solid information, keeping your subscribers well informed as well as recommending your products (as long as they are totally related). Make the effort, differentiate yourself from the others, and you will get the rewards you deserve.
Finding help and resources for making money online or by affiliate marketing are some of the most sought after subjects on the internet. Our Independent Affiliate Review Site gives that much needed help and resources for ordinary people who want to run extraordinary businesses.
About the Author
If you are looking for more than just an affiliate program, more in depth articles of the series, are available at Independent Affiliate Reviews where we go into some depth on some of the more important aspects of affiliate programs and how to choose the best one.