Affiliate marketing is one of the best online money making opportunities out there. The top 10 percent affiliate marketers in the world have six-figure incomes. A majority, though, make no more than $10,000 a year.
Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts. The industry has four core players: the merchant (also known as ‘retailer’ or ‘brand’), the network (that contains offers for the affiliate to choose from and also takes care of the payments), the publisher (also known as ‘the affiliate’), and the customer. The market has grown in complexity, resulting in the emergence of a secondary tier of players, including affiliate management agencies, super-affiliates and specialized third party vendors.
So, if you’re one of those affiliate marketers making under $10,000 a year, it is possible you’re making some of the affiliate marketing mistakes that we talk about here. Many give up affiliate marketing in frustration because of these mistakes. Recognizing your mistakes and realizing where you are going wrong is the first step towards achieving affiliate marketing success.
Affiliate marketing overlaps with other Internet marketing methods to some degree, because affiliates often use regular advertising methods. Those methods include organic search engine optimization (SEO), paid search engine marketing (PPC – Pay Per Click), e-mail marketing, content marketing and in some sense display advertising. On the other hand, affiliates sometimes use less orthodox techniques, such as publishing reviews of products or services offered by a partner.
Selling products that have nothing to do with the theme of your website – It is important for there to be a connection between what you are selling on your website and its theme. If you blog about books and post book reviews, then you are better placed trying to sell books on Amazon. What you wouldn’t want to do is to sell weight loss products. You should sell products that are relevant to your niche.
Affiliate marketing is commonly confused with referral marketing, as both forms of marketing use third parties to drive sales to the retailer. However, both are distinct forms of marketing and the main difference between them is that affiliate marketing relies purely on financial motivations to drive sales while referral marketing relies on trust and personal relationships to drive sales.
Not being discriminating about your traffic – As an affiliate marketer, you are better off selling to a particular niche, however small, rather than marketing your products to a much larger, general audience. For example, if you are selling books, it is far better to market your products at niche social media sites such as GoodReads.com, rather than on Twitter. You will get a lot of visitors from Twitter, but the conversions remain low.
Not researching your target audience – As an affiliate marketer, you should really conduct a thorough study on your target customers. You must truly understand which demographic they belong to, what are their tastes, passions, what motivates them and so on. It helps to read books on the psychology of a buyer and on the intricacies of selling online.
Not blogging or having a great blog – It’s not enough just to display products on your website. There should be a story behind the product, which tells the buyer why the product is so great and gives him or her valuable information about it. A great blog showcases your passion for the products being sold by you, which adds credibility and authority – which is what your buyers look for. You shouldn’t come across as just a salesperson; you should present yourself as an expert.
Not selling great products -You can do all you like as an affiliate marketer, but if the products you’re selling are not good enough or have no demand, there isn’t much that can be done. Research the products and their earning potential very deeply before taking them on as an affiliate marketer. Aim for the maximum payout rates.
Getting on the wrong side of Google – The worst mistake you can make as an affiliate marketer is to follow tactics such as duplicating content, keyword stuffing, buying backlinks with the hope of getting your site higher in the search results. This never works out well and you will certainly be caught by Google. It is a far better idea to stick to the rules or to the Google Webmaster Guidelines at all times. Always follow the best SEO practices and try to grow your site through a combination of organic SEO and Pay-Per-Click advertising.
Not engaging with your visitors – If you fail to engage or interact with your visitors, they won’t care about you, as simple as that. If someone comments on a blog post, be sure to respond immediately. Encourage people to offer suggestions or ask for information.
Being on the wrong affiliate network – This is just as bad as selling the wrong products. If you have chosen the wrong affiliate networks, no matter how hard you try you’ll never make much money. So, do your research till you find what you are looking for, an affiliate network with a great profit potential.
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