Our article today will be addressing three of the most common mistakes affiliate marketers can make when starting out in this business. These are not the only mistakes that newbie affiliate marketers make, but it serves to highlight that mistakes can be costly and that marketing, both offline and online is a part of the continuous learning process.
Before we begin we will presume that you know the basics of what affiliate marketing is and how it works. Equally we will presume that you are aware of what it is not i.e. it isn't a push button; get rich quick system, no matter what the marketing gurus tell you. To be successful, it will require a fair bit of input, normally referred to as work.
Now that we have cleared the air let's take a look at our "mistakes".
Mistake No. 1 - Choosing The Wrong Affiliate Product.
When starting out in this business most beginners tend to wear their rose tinted glasses simply because the business model looks so easy. After all what could be easier, pick a product, stick it up on the web, sit back and wait for the money to roll in. Well, that's what the gurus tell you. This is usually the first hurdle where most wannabees fall by the wayside. They just dive in, head first, with no plan or having carried out any due diligence.
They usually hear about the latest fad or widget and jump on the bandwagon to cash in. Sadly, in the real world, once a product has become highly popular, usually via the media then it's too late and it will have been well covered by both the online and offline sellers and you will be extremely lucky to make any income. Any income you might make will just be the scraps from the latecomers.
It's always better when starting out, to focus your efforts on what is actually working in the markets, rather than on something that is untried. This means choosing a product that is in an evergreen market or niche. Evergreen, if you are not familiar with the term, refers to something that will sell all year around and is not dependent upon seasonal trends.
This all sounds very straightforward, "so where to you find these wonderful cash machines?" I hear you say.
This is where the work bit comes into play. You will need to carry out some serious research, probably online but even possibly offline too. If you are just starting out then I would recommend choosing a product that appeals to you. This could be related to a hobby or interest or even something related to your work or career, assuming you enjoy your work or career.
You are far more likely to research a product that you are interested in than something that bores the pants of you. Do remember, your niche should have a reasonably sized market, obscure niches with low numbers of interested people is probably not a good place to try and make money as an affiliate.
Mistake No. 2 - Too Many Affiliate Programs.
This is a classic of many newbie affiliate marketers. After all it stands to reason that if you can make say $100.00 per month from a single affiliate product then 50 affiliate products will make you wealthy in no time at all.
Oh, that it was that easy. Such thinking may be a long-term goal and there's nothing wrong with that, however, you will definitely need to learn how to walk before you can run. Setting up an affiliate campaign and getting it right so it makes a reasonable income can take quite a bit of time, energy and resources. Multiple programs can have the opposite effect of draining your energy, enthusiasm and more importantly your precious resources. Do bear in mind that not all affiliate commissions are equal, there will be both winners and losers.
If you want to avoid this mistake then focus on one affiliate product at a time. When starting out use your first product as a learning curve for making all of your mistakes. If and when it is successful and you have mastered the process, then and only then move on to your next product.
Just another good tip before we leave this subject and it again concerns your choice of an affiliate product. Try to choose a product that has a good, realistic commission. No point putting all of your efforts into products that will pay out very low to poor commissions.
Where do you find such products?
As a guideline e.g. digital products on the Clickbank platform offer very high commissions, 40% to 80% is not uncommon. Alternatively physical products, on say Amazon, may only offer 8%. Make sure you carry out your due diligence before committing to any affiliate program.
Mistake No. 3 - Not Knowing Your Product.
Once again this is a real classic and is carried out by most newbie affiliate marketers. Well, once again it seems so obvious, you see what you think is a good product and just sign up. Not realizing that a good sales letter or sales pitch can disguise many a rubbish product.
To be fair, it's not always practical or possible to actually purchase a product in order to try it out for a fair review. Large physical products such as white goods and intangible products such as insurance policies etc. are totally impractical.
However, if you are going to promote a product or service then you should make yourself fully aware of its benefits and features along with as much relevant information you are able to provide.
Fortunately when it comes to large physical products or intangible services then the vendor will usually have all of the relevant information that you will require. You as an affiliate will just need to avail yourself of that information.
If however your are promoting digital products or low-value consumable type products then it would be wise to purchase a sample and find out if it does what it claims. This can be especially true if you are promoting digital ebooks since so many of them today are "spun' versions and totally unreadable.
As an affiliate, your primary purpose is to provide potential customers with as much relevant information about the product or service you are promoting, that it has your full trust and is a totally credible item.
It's no different than if you were in a department store and the salesperson provides you with all of the relevant information on a particular product that you are interested in. You expect the salesperson to be totally knowledgeable and enthusiastic about that product. The store management will have trained their sales staff to be totally conversant with the products, otherwise they wouldn't sell anything.
Never assume that just because your customers are online and not face to face that they cannot pick up on a genuine sales pitch and equally spot insincerity and indifference when they encounter it.
Ignore these common pitfalls at your peril; You have been warned.
You now have a few of my Affiliate Marketing success secrets. If you would like to learn some more then just head over to http://terrydeeonline.com/blog and get them with my compliments.