by Scott Roy
Affiliate marketing can be a lucrative work-at-home business opportunity if you do it right. Unfortunately too many beginners and even some more experienced affiliates tend to make some core mistakes that hinder their ability to earn an income. In this article I will discuss six mistakes you should avoid if you want to be a successful affiliate.
1) Waiting Too Long to Put Up Your Site
Many affiliates fall into the trap of fixing and tweaking their website and waiting too long to make it live. I was certainly guilty of this when I first started affiliate marketing. In building my affiliate website I would constantly be adding pages that I might need in the future and tweaking content that I'd already written. Meanwhile, no one was visiting my site because I hadn't put it up yet. Now I'm not suggesting you quickly put up a bad site, but you should establish early what your basic website requirements are, and put the site up once they are met. After that, you can continue to work on it while people are visiting and your search engine rankings are building.
2) Thinking that Your Website is Complete
Once you have your site up and it is just the way you like it then it's done right? Wrong! You must constantly be adding new content and updating the site. Search engines like Google prefer sites that update their content regularly and will come back to them often for indexing. If a website is static for too long it can begin to drop its search engine ranking for your keywords. Moreover, if your content never changes, there is no encouragement for people to revisit your website. In both cases, visitor counts will drop resulting in fewer people clicking your ads, converting to leads, and making you money. Remember, your site is never complete.
3) Joining the Wrong Affiliate Program
There are literally thousands upon thousands of merchants with affiliate programs. It is up to you to find merchants with products that relate to your website's content. For example, if your website is about gardening, then having banner ads that read 'Web Hosting at Great Prices' probably won't get many clicks. Why? Because most gardeners visiting a gardening website really don't care about web hosting at that time. In comparison, if you have an ad reading 'Gardening Tools at Great Prices' you are more accurately targeting your visitors and as a result will get more clicks.
4) No AdSense on Your Site
Lots of affiliates fail to use Google AdSense on their websites. I know first hand that you can earn massive amounts of money by simply putting a snippet of code on your site! If you aren't familiar with AdSense, it is an advertising technique developed by Google that allows them to place targeted ads next to your content. It's free to join and when someone clicks one of these ads, the advertiser pays you for the click.
5) Failing to Promote Your Affiliate Website
Too many affiliate marketers put together their website to promote merchant products but don't actively try to get new visitors. Unfortunately, the old adage, "Build it and they will come" most definitely does not refer to websites. A lot of time must be spent promoting your affiliate website so that you always have visitors coming to your site and buying the products you are promoting.
Concentrate on getting your website's link included on websites, preferably those with a high page rank. Join forums, make helpful posts, and have a link to your site in the signature. Write articles relevant to your website and include your link in your bio. Join Google AdWords to have your ad show up for targeted search results and thousands of sites related to your content. Whatever techniques you use, just make sure you promote.
6) Spreading Yourself Too Thin
I have heard some affiliates say that they have lots of sites and none of them are making any money. So what do they do? They make another site in hopes that it will be the one that works. Some people have different views on this but I would recommend only running a few sites but running them well. Make sure you give yourself enough time to properly make, maintain, and market your site. If you run 40 websites then you can only spend 1 hour/week on each. This isn't enough time to do anything productive. If you only have 4 websites then you can spend a full 10 hours/week maintaining and marketing them which will result in far more visits.
In Conclusion ...
By avoiding the six mistakes I've discussed in this article, you are more likely to succeed in your efforts as an affiliate marketer. In no time flat, you'll be making the kind of money that will allow you to quit your job and work-at-home full time. Best of luck!
Scott Roy, B.A. is a web development and Internet marketing specialist. With years of affiliate marketing experience under his belt, Scott is well versed in the field. He currently runs Residual Income Finder, a directory that lists affiliate programs paying long-term commissions.