We all make mistakes, and mistakes are a great way to learn.
But the problem comes when you continue to make the same mistake over and over again and you don't even realise it. Affiliate marketing can become problematic if you don't know where you're going wrong.
We're going to take a look at some of the most common mistakes affiliate marketers are doing and they don't even realise it.
Not Building an Email List
Putting your eggs in one basket is probably one of the worst things you can do as an affiliate marketer. You need to use as many tools and resources you have at your fingertips to stay afloat, and make money online.
The belief that search engines will always be there to send you traffic is a common fallacy. Another common misconception is that email lists aren't that useful anymore.
With new algorithms always in the works, you need to safeguard your website and business by using as many tools as you can to sustain your business.
An email list is one of the simplest things you can build up yourself if you have little to no budget, and if a simple plan is put in place. After that you can use your email list to draw in more customers.
Trusting in Search Engine Traffic
As mentioned in the previous point it's not very smart to rely on just one way to get your traffic and customers.
You need to be utilising as many different ways as you can think of to generate traffic for your website.
Organic traffic can come from social media, advertising, communities, the list goes on. Use them all.
Being Confident in Your Own Skills
If you've decided to go down the affiliate marketing route to make money you must have some idea of your own skill set and what you need to do to get the job done.
Having the confidence and passion to continually log on to an affiliate market is vital if you want to make any money from affiliate links.
If you like a challenge, you'll thrive on affiliate marketing.
Affiliate Marketing is Not a Get Rich Quick Scheme
Making money online is just like making money offline, it all takes time. There are no shortcuts or easy ways to do it.
If anyone tells you differently they're lying.
Above all you need truck loads of patience to make this work, because you're going to be faced with all kinds of problems.
But along the way you'll see the seeds you've sown turning into green shoots, and eventually you'll start reaping the benefits of all your hard work.
Be a Problem Solver
Selling is good to a point, but you need more than that if you're going to get people to trust you.
People love it when you can answer a question, or solve a problem they have.
That's why you need to gradually build-up trust with your audience so that people can get to know who you are.
You can use social media to post surveys or ask your followers questions.
Trust is what sells.
Not All Affiliate Networks Are Made the Same
Every man and his dog is creating some kind of affiliate network, and that basket is full of lots of rotten apples.
One of the first things you need to work out is what it is you're going to sell. Once you know that you can start to research the best networks that provide the particular service or product.
There are thousands of get rich quick style affiliate networks out there that will tell you how easy and fast it is to make money and a quick buck, but some things are harder to sell than others.
A lot of these networks are unorganised and have no clue about what they're promoting to you.
When I first started out I used a number of programs thinking I could easily make money from multiple places. Each program you use and product you choose to sell requires content and work.
Choose one affiliate network like Amazon Associates or ShareaSale that you can rely on and stick to it, then slowly build up and do only what you can manage.
Juggling Too Many Balls
Being a good affiliate marketer means choosing the right network to sell products from.
In your mind you're thinking you need to have at least two or three to start with and build up from there.
Whatever your choice you need banners and links to sell your products. The more networks you take on the more work you start making for yourself which is counterintuitive to what you're doing.
You need to keep your affiliate marketing plan as simple as you can, and streamline if need be.
Focussing on one particular product or company will make your life so much easier and will help you build-up your affiliate marketing skills at the same time. Not to mention, it will help you get to know the affiliate network you're using.
This will help build your confidence, and people will start to buy from you when they see your confidence in how well you write about a particular product or service.
Look for High Quality Products and Books
Selling a recommended product is better than selling a one that is little-known to most people.
You're working with a tough crowd these days in affiliate marketing. Most people switch off from any advertising in front of them.
So how do you get around this kind of blindness?
You do this by finding the kind of product that you know people will buy time and time again.
Again I come back to Amazon as an easy way to promote good quality products and books that you know have been reviewed and bought.
You also have access to everything on an Amazon website when someone clicks on your link.
Not Creating Enough Content for Your Website
An essential part of affiliate marketing, this can include anything from videos, blog posts to podcasts. All of which need to be posted regularly.
The more people trust your website the greater chance you have of having your website bookmarked, which means people will continue to come back.
Creating regular content should be one of your first priorities when you start your affiliate business.
Your Content Should Be More Than Just Reviews
Writing reviews on products you've used is a good thing, but your customers and readers want more.
You need to know what they like reading and what problems they have.
In other words you need to connect with your visitors and create in-depth readable content regularly.
Inadequate Tracking and Testing of Affiliate Links and Data
Earlier we touched on the amount of dishonest affiliate networks out there that will stop at nothing to make money for themselves but not their affiliates.
This is why tracking and testing your data and links is hugely important. From the outset you should be learning about what sells and what doesn't, and you can only do that through your metrics.
If a campaign isn't going the way you want it to, don't delete it. Look closely at what you've done and learn where it is you might have gone wrong.
With regular checks on your metrics you should have no problem guessing where your problem lies.
Having Too Many Irons In the Fire
Biting off more than you can chew is the same synonym as above, it means you're focussed on too many things at one time.
This can be the start of a downward spiral, and things not being good enough, and eventually having no confidence in what you set out to do. Make money.
What you need is a simple plan, with a couple of affiliate products or networks and a website idea that you know will work, because you're passionate about it already.
Consistency is the key to success, along with good content regularly to draw people in.
Mob or herd mentality is an easy thing to fall into, especially if you're new to the internet.
Of course you want to be as good as, if not better than the competition. But at what price?
You need to find your own way and your own voice, and that can only be done through hard work and mistakes.
Nobody's perfect, we all make mistakes, but at the end of the day, making mistakes, even big ones, helps you see where you've been going wrong.
Never think things are going to just happen if you follow a particular online guru.
Life doesn't work that way.
There's nothing wrong with being your own man/woman.
Being Ad Heavy
Advertising does play a key part in making money, but filling your website with them is a recipe for disaster.
The problem with advertising is that ads are made to distract the reader to buy. Which quickly pulls readers off your website, and all the content you've produced.
Unfortunately a lot of bloggers have made it their business to fill their websites up with this kind of advertising, and it is really off-putting.
The last place anyone wants to look for useful information is a website full of pop-up ads and flashy ads. More often than not it makes the website owner look really desperate, and the website cheap.
With so many ads your website will lag and search engines will find it difficult to load up your page. Which isn't good for your SEO.
Keep your website clean and simple, with one ad on your homepage and affiliate links where necessary.
Rome Wasn't Built in a Day
Or you could say big things have small beginnings, either way you look at it, it all takes time and patience.
The most successful affiliate marketers online started where you are now, at the bottom.
Expecting quick results is a recipe for disaster, and will never happen.
It's true most people won't even give a year before they decide to give up. It doesn't work like that. It never has.
If you start out with a get rich quick mentality you're going to be disappointed.
Big things have small beginnings.
Keep It Simple
That's the key, keep your strategy simple, start small and build up your affiliate skills from there.
You'll need a constant supply of passion, commitment and knowledge, but in the end you'll succeed.
Because you stayed the course.
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