It’s widely proven that affiliate marketing can generate huge profits monthly. But many people don’t ever get to achieve the financial success they expect from this online business model. Why? Because they make some avoidable mistakes that kill their chances of success.
Let’s look at some of the commonest affiliate marketing mistakes among beginners, which you must avoid if you want to be successful.
1. Being desperate
Because your goal is to make money, it’s usually very tempting to try to “force” your audience to purchase your affiliate offers. But that’s always counterproductive because it will only send the wrong signals.
Avoid being in a hurry to start selling (offer value first). Avoid littering your blog with your banner ads. Avoid repeating the “Click here to buy my affiliate offer” statement unnecessarily in your content. Avoid telling lies about—or hyping—the offers you’re promoting. And avoid slapping up your affiliate links all over the web in the name of promotion.
All these won’t help you make sales. What will help you are the two things I revealed in the beginning lessons (honesty and generosity).
2. Not reading affiliate terms and conditions
Don’t rush to join any affiliate program until you’ve taken your time to read their terms and conditions. To be frank, the “Affiliate Terms and Conditions” page is usually very long and boring. But it’s strongly recommended you read it, so you don’t regret later. The page help you understand what to expect, what not to expect, what you’re allowed to do, and what you’re not allowed to do when you register for that program.
For example, some affiliate programs don’t allow promotion via Google Adwords, mailing lists, and incentivization. So you need to know the rules binding affiliate programs that you register for, so you won’t run into problems with them.
3. Promoting too many offers
Well, in business they say it’s good to spread your risk. But as an affiliate marketer, you shouldn’t overdo it. Don’t promote more than two different products of the same kind at a time. If you bombard your audience with too many options, you’ll get them confused, and they won’t make any choice in the end.
So, promote just one or two offers of a kind. And if you’re promoting two, tell them the differences between both as well as the pros and cons of each. This way, they’ll trust your recommendation and feel more at ease buying your offers.
4. Not tracking your results
You’ll miss a lot of important information if you don’t track where your affiliate sales are coming from. In other words, you need to track which of your promotion efforts are proving effective in generating sales.
Are you recording more purchases from SEO traffic, mailing list traffic, forum marketing traffic, or social media traffic? Only tracking can help you figure out the answer. Why is tracking necessary? It will help you understand what strategies are working for you, so you can focus more on those strategies to get even more results.
5. Not building a mailing list
Most strategies for generating traffic will only fetch you one-time visitors who will rarely buy your affiliate offer on their first interaction with your site. But if you collect their emails using a mailing list, you’ll be able to interact with them from time to time, gain their trust, and ultimately convince them to buy whatever you promote as an affiliate marketer.
6. Not investing money
No doubt, you’ll need to invest money on certain things, especially web hosting for your self-hosted WordPress blog. Starting out on a free-hosted Blogger blog would be counterproductive. Do you think your visitors would purchase a web hosting plan, if you—their role model—is using a Blogspot blog? They won’t!
If you avoid spending money on necessary things, you won’t get the results you expect.
7. Not testing your affiliate offers
Before you promote any product or service, it’s strongly recommended that you test it by purchasing it for yourself. Test every aspect of it to ensure that it’s really worth recommending to others. Only if you’re satisfied with it should you can go ahead to promote it. If you’re not, just ditch it. Don’t promote anything that you won’t use yourself.
Now, testing a service should nothing or next to nothing, depending on what you’re promoting. If you’re promoting a physical product you can simply request a review sample from the manufacturer or distributor. Another option is to order a unit with the aim of returning it for a full refund after trying it out for a few days.
For digital products or services such as software packages and web hosting plans, you can easily register get a trial package. If that is limited in functionality, pay for the complete package and request a refund after few days.
8. Succumbing to distractions
Many affiliate marketers fail because they get swayed easily by distractions. Truth is, the Internet abounds with e-books and other products promising to reveal “money-making formulas”. You can get thousands of them online, but you won’t take any action in the end. Why? Because you’ll be overwhelmed with all the information and you’ll spend all your time trying to become a “know-it-all”. They call that “information overload”. It doesn’t help. It only blocks your path to success.
9. Being lazy
Nobody can achieve success through laziness. But many affiliate marketers don’t take their business seriously, and that’s why they fail in the end. To become successful, you must not just be good at strategic planning, but you must also be hardworking, diligent, and dedicated. Why? Because you have a lot to implement, and you can’t just do things anyhow.
So, come up with a plan detailing when you’ll set up your blog; when you’ll write your free e-book; when you’ll set up your mailing list; when and how frequently you’ll publish new posts; which traffic generation strategies you will adopt and how you’ll implement them; and which strategies you’ll adopt to increase sales. Then, more importantly, stick with the plan, and implement everything therein. That’s the only path to success.
Now you know the most likely mistakes you can make as an affiliate marketer. Avoid them as much as possible. I wish you all the best.