Have you been struggling to make money in affiliate marketing?
Maybe you’ve just started, but aren’t sure that you are heading in the right direction or maybe things just don’t seem to be working like they should.
If you are new to the field, it’s worth checking that you aren’t making any of these major affiliate marketing mistakes, because they can seriously undermine your long-term (and short-term) success.
1. Giving Up Too Easily
Being successful in affiliate marketing takes time and effort. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t know this or don’t fully consider it when they first get involved.
It’s very easy to run off that initial excitement and enthusiasm for a while then gradually stop working on your affiliate marketing as that excitement wears off.
I’ll agree, it can be frustrating to keep working on affiliate marketing when it doesn’t feel like you are getting anywhere.
Yet sometimes this is simply what you need to do.
Affiliate marketing actually has a low success rate, but this isn’t because the process itself doesn’t work. Instead, it’s because most people who get into it don’t anticipate the amount of work involved and just give up.
Realistically, it can take anywhere from a month to two years to earn profit through affiliate marketing.
Some of the big names today started off slowly, while others started off fast.
How long it is before you earn money online is to do with you and you alone – no one can tell you how long it will take.
However, even if you aren’t making money, there are other ways you can measure whether you are being successful. You can look at the traffic to your site, and you can also review any user feedback if you have received some.
If it really is taking much longer than you would expect to get anywhere with your site, the answer isn’t to stop trying. Instead, you need to look for advice from people you trust.
By this I mean people experienced in affiliate marketing.
Don’t think that you can buy the ‘next big thing’ internet marketing product and hope that will give you the answers you need.
Most of the time these products are scams. Even when they aren’t, the information they provide isn’t necessarily useful, or different than what you already know.
I have always found the community at Wealthy Affiliate a good place for advice and if you have a mentor or a colleague in internet marketing, then they may also be a good person to ask.
2. Poor Market Choice
Theoretically, you can make money in just about any niche out there, but some are much harder than others.
Unless you are experienced at internet marketing, trying to compete in some of the big money markets is simply not a good idea.
The bigger a market is, the more competition there is in it.
When you’re just starting out, there is simply no way you can compete against these large sites – many of which have had years of experience.
You are better off looking for markets with less competition. They may have lower traffic, but at least you have a chance of getting some of the traffic, while you really don’t have a chance for high competition markets.
If you have chosen a challenging market, then your main options are either to start over with a new market or to attempt to find a new angle that no one else has taken. For example, you might start looking at more obscure keyword options.
Just be warned, regardless of the angle you choose, if you are in a highly competitive area, making money will be difficult especially at first.
3. Hype and Overselling
The whole point of affiliate marketing is to sell products, but one of the most common affiliate marketing mistakes is to overhype and oversell everything.
I’m sure you’ve seen sites like that – where the writer talks about how wonderful the product is and how you should buy it right now, without really telling you anything about it at all.
Most people won’t buy something if they are being pushed into the purchase.
They also won’t purchase if it’s clear that you are strongly biased towards what you are promoting.
Now, with affiliate marketing, you will always have a bias, as you do want people to buy the products you get paid to promote.
However, this doesn’t stop you from being legitimate with your reviews and your sales pitches.
Realistically, any review you write should consider the good and the bad points of what you are reviewing. After all, nothing is perfect. No matter what you are reviewing, there will be a fault somewhere and your readers already know that.
You will always make your best sales when your audience actually trusts you.
This means you have to be honest with them – and to do this, you actually need to know the product you are promoting. If you don’t, your promotion will always end up unrealistic and dishonest, and your readers will be able to tell.
It also means that you have to provide for them.
If your entire site is sales pitches for one product or another, then your audience won’t have any reason to stay on your website. This isn’t good for sales.
So, you need to write content that actually helps the viewer and provides them with the information that they are looking for.
One important way to think about your job is that you are trying to solve problems that your readers are having. The product you are promoting is part of the solution to the problem, but the information you provide is also part of it.
4. Not Planning
People who start to be successful at affiliate marketing often try to expand that success outwards using the same approaches and techniques that they did originally, but this doesn’t always work.
Realistically, you need to take a step back and plan for your site, not only for the present, but also for the future.
If you are planning to have the same affiliate marketing site for a long time, then the decisions you make now will influence the success of the site later.
This means that you need to do some serious research and look at how you plan to make profit in the future and whether the positioning of your website has the potential for long term success.
One important aspect of this planning is working out whether you plan to offer your own product now or at a later date. Likewise, you might want to consider whether you plan on offering a single affiliate product on your site or multiple.
Promoting a single product has its advantages, because it means that your site can be entirely geared towards this product.
However, the disadvantage is that you become reliant on the company that you are affiliated with.
If you are planning to focus on a single product or company, you want to be sure that the company is one that will stick around in the long-term. You also want a company that gives you decent commissions and has good terms.
If you don’t, the company that you are promoting will end up hindering your success, which is never a situation you want to get into.
Affiliate marketing is a field that just about anyone can get into, but it isn’t simple. Instead, there is a lot to learn and a lot to get right.
Going into affiliate marketing based on the perspectives of a handful of blogs or websites is a really bad idea.
One of the problems with this approach is that every author has slightly different opinions about the best ways to make money through affiliate marketing, and sometimes the perspectives that one author teaches will conflict with another.
Because of this, one of the best approaches is to start off with an affiliate marketing training program.
Now, this type of program won’t teach you everything you need to know, but it will provide you with a large amount of information. One important thing is that you will end up knowing enough about the field to spot what advice is legitimate on other sites and what isn’t.
However, when you are looking for training sites it’s important to find a site that actually offers quality training that is up to date.
My personal favorite is Wealthy Affiliate. Even though the site has been around for a while, it is constantly updated, both with training from its authors and from the community.
While the site does offer free websites and step-by-step training, I think the most valuable part of the site is the community aspect. This community provides people with a group of people (some experienced, some inexperienced) that they can interact with and ask for advice or direction.
Using a community like Wealthy Affiliate can help you to minimize the mistakes that you make with your affiliate marketing and maximize your potential for profit.