Fewer than ten percent of affiliate marketers are successful in their online ventures. Those in the unsuccessful majority frequently blame their lack of profits on bad luck, or allow themselves to believe that there’s some big secret that the successful bloggers know. They chase that one high paying program, or the “secret marketing technique” that will allow them to strike it rich.
Mistake number one is thinking that success in affiliate marketing is based on luck. In truth, it takes hard work, research, and lots of testing to achieve success. Read on to learn about some more common affiliate mistakes, and how you can avoid them.
Choosing the Wrong Program
Don’t jump on a program because it promises to be a “hot new product”, or because it offers huge commissions. Choose established products with a good market share, and a good reputation. The exception to this is if you genuinely believe that a new product will be a success. It’s easier to sell something if you truly believe in it than it is to push a product just because you want the money from the sale.
Limiting Yourself to One Program
While it’s a good idea to launch and grow one site at a time, limiting yourself to one income source is never a good idea. Once your first site is ticking over, launch another site and start promoting other programs. This protects you from Google penalties, traffic fluctuations and the unexpected closure of (or change to) one of the programs you are a member of.
Expecting Traffic to Magically Turn into Sales
When you first launch your website, you might think that getting traffic is the toughest hurdle, but it’s not. The real challenge is turning that traffic into sales. You can’t expect your visitors to simply click a link and spend money just because you want them to. You need to actually sell the product to them. This could require more than one interaction with your website. Design and test some different landing pages, each offering something of value to the visitor. Use mailing lists, ebook downloads, and your RSS feed to slowly introduce your visitors to the products you’re offering. The more your visitors see of your website, the more receptive they will be to sales.
While it’s true that search engines have gotten a lot better at understanding the content of even rather poorly designed web pages, that doesn’t mean that you can completely ignore SEO. To get conversions, you must first get traffic – and your best chance of getting traffic is to work on both your on and off-site SEO.
Thinking that Success is Permanent
Once you’ve built your affiliate website, you need to nurture it with fresh content and steady promotion. Many marketers put too much stock in the idea of a “passive income” and assume that a site full of “evergreen” articles will earn them a steady income forever. In truth, search engines love fresh content, and readers are more likely to trust a website with recently updated articles than one full of old content, even if that content is timeless.
Affiliate marketing requires consistent effort, research, and analysis. The good news is that if you’re willing to put the effort in, you’re already ahead of 90% of the people trying to get their big break in the industry.