At first glance, affiliate marketing seems incredibly simple. You don’t need your own product, you don’t even need your own website. All you need to do is encourage strangers to purchase something and in return, you can get a cut of the profits.
Unfortunately however, sooner or later, most people realise that making a living from affiliate marketing isn’t as easy as it sounds. In fact, only around ten percent of would be affiliate marketers manage to turn a profit from the activity.
Should you find yourself venturing into the world of affiliate marketing for the first time, you can greatly increase your odds of success by avoiding the most common beginners mistakes. Here are eight things not to do when promoting other peoples products online.
Overly Competitive Niches
There’s a lot of money to be made in the weight loss niche but unfortunately there’s a lot of competition too. And if you’re new to affiliate marketing, that competition has one hell of a head start.
Affiliate marketing beginners are very much advised to choose low competition niches. There might be less money in such niches but the money that is there can be made a lot easier. The key to affiliate marketing is to start small.
All Theory, No Practice
Before you start marketing your first product, it makes sense to read a book or two. Unfortunately, many would be affiliate marketers get caught up in trying to read everything they can about the subject before they start out.
The best way to learn affiliate marketing is to learn through doing. You’ll learn more from your mistakes than any book could ever teach you. Affiliate marketing theory can only take you so far, you need to put those theories into action.
Trying to Purchase Shortcuts
There’s a lot of money to be made online by selling magic tricks to affiliate marketing beginners. For every one product that will genuinely help you on your road towards affiliate marketing success, there’s ten products based upon nothing but lies.
There are no shortcuts when it comes to driving traffic and increasing conversions. And anyone that tells you otherwise is trying to sell you something that you’d be mad to purchase.
Trying the Hard Sell
Many affiliate marketers start out hyping and glamorizing the products that they sell. This is completely the wrong way to go. Consumers aren’t stupid, they know when they’re hearing a sales pitch. And when they hear one, they tend to run the other way.
While it might sound counterproductive, the best way to sell a product is to write an unbiased and honest review about it.
Too Many Ads and Links
In a similar fashion to the hard sell, covering your website or blog in links might seem like a good way to boost sales but in reality, it tends to have the opposite effect. When the average web user visits a page that’s covered in links and flashing lights, their most likely reaction is to immediately click the back button.
You can’t make money in affiliate marketing without affiliate links but they must be used in moderation.
Promoting the Wrong Products
If you plan on attaching your name to your affiliate marketing exploits, promoting poor products isn’t just unethical, it’s bad for business. If you want repeat readers i.e. you’re pushing your affiliate links with a blog or an authority site, you need to be very careful when choosing the products that you promote.
Nothing can kill reader loyalty faster than recommending a low quality product. There’s plenty of money to be made in promoting high quality products and services. Why promote something that you don’t believe in?
Using Low Quality Content
If you want to make money in affiliate marketing, you need high quality content. Many beginners, and even some professionals, try to cut corners in this department and in the long term it always hurts their profits.
Google is getting better and better at recognising, and subsequently punishing, low quality content. Regardless of whether you create it yourself or outsource the task, you need high quality content if you want to make real money.
Jumping from Project to Project
Finally, when you decide to promote a particular product, it’s important for you to stick with it for at least a month or two. Jumping from product to product, from unfinished website to unfinished website, is the very opposite of progress.
There’s nothing wrong with being ambitious but when you start a promotional campaign, you need to see it through. Very few promotional campaigns make money straight away, a little bit of patience is therefore very much required.
You can thank John Miller for this insightful post. He enjoys blogging on topics related to SEO, PPC advertising, link building and internet advertising. You can visit his website to read more about him and his work.