While getting their feet wet, these four mistakes can drown an Affiliate Marketer
As I showed in one of my previous posts, there are several myths about affiliate marketing that seem to lure people to this line of work. Those that don’t understand how it works tend to fall for the belief that this business will bring them great fortunes in less than a fort-night. Alas! They dream of being an instant “super affiliate” because of all the hype. Now while some of these stories can be true, it seems everyone new to this business seems to have it in their head that their journey into internet marketing is going to bring them instant fame and fortune.
There is no doubt that there can be a financial reward at the end of the proverbial marketing rainbow. However, it tends to be more of a journey as a gardener, as one who constantly watches over what’s been planted and maintains a regiment of routine maintenance in order to reap a harvest. Just as bumper crops can allow for a farmer to enjoy the kind of existence that would not be possible under ordinary seasonal circumstances, so is the way of the affiliate. Gardeners must learn the ins and outs of what works and what doesn’t when utilizing certain growing methods, fertilizers and routines. So goes the same for the marketer. But, glossing over the “Affiliate Marketing for Dummies” guideline book isn’t going to cut it. One must cover ALL aspects of affiliate marketing from A to Z to prospect a profit. One quickly realizes along the way that,
while this business is lucrative, there is absolutely no easy money in it.
Ignorance of this one fact alone is perhaps the main reason why people fail miserably in their first run at an internet business. They aren’t aware of those who have wasted time, effort and far too many resources attempting to pursue a life of ease. So they go into affiliate marketing armed with nothing but some fantastical notions of riches swimming in their heads, not so much as realizing they’re bound to flub up just enough to cause their own downfall.
Affiliate marketing is not as simple as it appears in the sound bites, (ie. an affiliate promoting a merchant’s wares through his website and getting paid for it). You also have to understand the market and the customers at hand. Without arming oneself ahead of time, it’s only a matter of time before failure sets in. By learning from other marketers mistakes, we can dispel the “doom and gloom” speak that comes from incorrect perceptions based on bad experiences. Like any other business, there are Do’s and Don’ts involved. If you want to make each step count when starting out, familiarize yourself with some of these mistakes beforehand.
Mistake #1 – Lack of Knowledge about SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
The first and foremost mistake affiliates make is not having the proper knowledge concerning basic, yet important principles involved in their new internet business. When attempting to build an online presence, one needs to be able to be “discovered” on the web. We’re talking here about the affiliate marketer’s understanding of what we would call “key” matters regarding search engines in particular, more specifically, “keywords” that lead customers to their site. Follow this link for more on keyword research.
Affiliate marketing involves advertising, and advertising through the internet wouldn’t be what it is today without the existence of search engines (ie. Google, Yahoo and Bing for starters). What every affiliate has to do is to make these search engines his or her “best friend” by taking the time to study search engine optimization (SEO) very closely. In this way, we are able to understand what to do when it comes to building a better website and ultimately how we will use it to engage with our visitors.
Mistake #2 – Banner Stuffing
We’ve all seen it. As of late, it’s probably one of the worst trends in internet marketing. Go to any number of websites that utilize this ever-so-popular title theme that I used on this post, for instance – “5 things you should know and didn’t know about…”, especially in the celebrity news niche and you’ll find it rampant with no remorse. It should be very obvious to you once you arrive. but just in case the your eyes are now “banner blind” to it…
The next common mistake that newcomers make is that of “stuffing” their sites with fancy, clickable banners that simply do not provide enough information, if any, about the product or service they are trying to promote. The best way for affiliate marketers to battle this problem is to provide good quality site content alongside or shall we say “hand-in-hand” with these banners. Just plastering banners all over your site (you know the type, we see them all the time out there), will not get you sales. It is important for your customers to know and understand the features of a product or service. Well thought out and relevant, valuable content will allow them to realize what it is you will be providing.
Mistake #3 – Promoting Only One Product
Probably the third most common mistake is that there are affiliates who focus on promoting only one product, thinking their meal ticket is going to come by making a million in sales from one great idea. Consequently, the marketer’s customers are not given enough options to choose from. One always runs the risk of generating fewer sales as compared to having more options for customers ponder about. It is always better to give them a few better alternatives than to give them only one way to skin a cat.
Mistake #4 – Promoting Too Many Products
The fourth (though by no means whatsoever final) mistake made most often, is that there are way too many affiliates who try promoting way too many products. As a result, customers are confused and end up becoming so overwhelmed that it’s nearly impossible to make a final decision. It’s best to give them only the top choices. Stick to products and services that best suit your level of expertise, allowing you to capitalize on being the “go-to” in your industry. You may also want to consider your audience’s preferences. Does this fit with the people I want to serve? Can my customers afford this? Is this an appropriate product given the rest of my product line? And be honest with yourself. Is it a waste of money? In the end, it’s not yours but your customer’s choice to make. Try your hardest to make this choice their easiest.
All in all, affiliate marketers have a tendency to set themselves up for failure when they do not put forth enough effort to learn and understand everything involved in the industry that they belong to. Taking the necessary steps to educate yourself and become an expert in your field will prove to be beneficial to everyone involved in the long run. There is no fast path to success. Taking a stroll along a well traveled path is likely to end up at a well known destination. Therefore, learning from those that came before you will keep you from making the same mistakes that they did. You’ll be all the more happy for taking that road once you do!
My Best to your Successful Journey,
Please be sure to leave a comment below and follow this path over to the place I decided to make my final destination!