One of the best places to start with making money online might be with affiliate products. If you are already using certain products, why not tell your audience about these products or services and share the benefits? Affiliate marketing has gained a lot of popularity lately but it is important to take these affiliate marketing mistakes in mind.
Now, with that said, it’s important to mention that affiliate marketing is no walk in the park, either. It’s certainly easier than pulling off a Jeff Walker-style massive product launch, but, like anything else, there are plenty of pitfalls just waiting to consume you and your money. Do yourself a favour: heed what I say and avoid those pitfalls.
Common Affiliate Marketing mistakes
Mistake #1: Selling for the sake of your own profit
This should go without saying, but introducing a product to your audience and vouching for how good it is should come from your own honest and genuine experiences and opinions. Even if you have not used it personally, at the very least, you should only recommend products that people you trust have enjoyed and recommended.
It’s easy to get sucked in with the big shiny affiliate price tag but if you were to promote products that aren’t reputable or ones that you don’t necessarily like, then chances are you will lose the trust of your audience.
Be honest with your audience. Don’t sell for the sake of generating profit because your audience will be able to tell. If you lose that trust, it will likely you will never get it back.
Mistake #2: Choosing a Bad Product to Promote
Not all products are created equal. In fact, that is probably the driving motivation behind your decision to sell affiliate products: for the most part, you have accepted that there are plenty of high-quality products already on the market; and, if you create your own, it might not compare favorably.
Make sure that the affiliate products you have chosen live up to the expectations of your audience. The products should have features that would “wow” your audience. If your audience follows your advice and get a product that you are an affiliate for, then discover that it doesn’t do what they expected, they will likely not trust you if you were to promote something to them in the future.
If you decide to pick your product off of a list on an affiliate marketplace such as Clickbank, select very carefully. Rather than selecting the product with the highest commission, look for ones that have the highest popularity and ratings.
Mistake #3: Picking a Low Converter
If you select an affiliate product that is a low converter, you are likely to benefit less.
Take, for instance, conversion rates. Not all product creators hire a top-notch copywriter. In fact, many of them just write their own copy. Many also don’t hire someone to do graphs for the sales page. Instead, they try to do their own. The end result? The page looks hideous, the copy contains major errors, and the product converts poorly.
Before you start promoting any particular product, read the sales page carefully and compare it with others. Do you feel compelled to buy? Did the graphics throw you off? Did the copy fail to reel you in for the catch? These can all amount to fatal errors for both the seller and you. You cannot help the seller at this point, but you can avoid his product and find a better one. Do yourself a favor: choose your products carefully.
Mistake #4: Selling Snake Oil for a Snake Oil Salesman
If your audience is interested in learning more about keto diet from you, don’t go and start promoting an affiliate product about personal finance.
This pitfall is especially important to avoid if you have a list. All it takes is a bad product promotion and you could end up losing your loyal customers.
Even though you may be tempted to promote the next “biggest launch,” make sure you don’t jump into anything, or your audience will likely get turned off.
Consistency also applies to the frequency of your affiliate promotions. Imagine your audience never hears from you and suddenly, you wouldn’t stop telling them about this “new product that they should buy”. They will likely be surprised and unfollow or subscriber from you.
Plan ahead of time and be consistent in your online marketing efforts. No one wants to be that annoying person that comes to you only when they want to take advantage of you.
Mistake #5: Picking Products that Offer Low Commissions
Let’s be honest for a second. You are running a business. You need to make money.
Don’t waste time on promoting products that only offer a tiny commission. It will likely waste your time in the end and your time could be better spent doing money-generating activities.
For example, you might have a health and fitness blog and you want to promote a protein bar brand that you love. The protein bar itself might only cost a few dollars and the commission is obviously going to be low.
While you might want to avoid creating big affiliate promotions around this product, you can still include your protein bar in your blog posts, websites, or whenever you tell someone about it. You can also consider finding an option to promote these protein bars in bulk, for example in boxes of 24 bars or 48 bars instead, to increase the commission.
An alternative is to reach out to these companies that offer low commissions. Let them know how much you enjoy their products and want to let your audience know. This might result in them increasing your affiliate and even sponsoring your mentions.
Mistake #6: Failing to Collect Leads
Always, always, always capture leads. Rather than generating traffic through pay per click, search engine optimization, and other methods and then sending that traffic to your affiliate link, you should make an effort to convert them into list members first. Why? Two reasons: simple mathematical reasoning and the collective experience of many marketers.
The simple mathematical reasoning goes something like this: virtually everyone who would have purchased the product will opt in to your mailing list. And many who definitely would not have purchased the product will opt in to your mailing list. Instead of converting at a rate of around 1-3% (in affiliate sales), you will convert between 15 and 40% of visitors (to your mailing list). From there, you will get the chance to contact the willing buyers and the more reluctant. Additionally, once they’re on a list, this is no longer a one-off effort. You get the chance to market to them again and again for months or even years.
As a marketer, one of the best tools you have available is your list. Always, always, always use your list over the one-off sale.
Mistake #7: Ignoring the Importance of Timeliness
In business in general, the quick often outcompete those endowed with greater resources. Today, Google is no longer a small company with meager revenues, but in the past, it emerged from nowhere to outcompete massively well-endowed rivals; and it did so with cunning.
How does this apply to you? Successful affiliate product promotion requires you to do more than simply slap an affiliate link in an email and send it out to a couple thousand people. If you expect them to actually buy, your email should be newsworthy – not promotional.
If you can genuinely write your email as if it were a news announcement, you are far more likely to draw interest than if you send a link to an Internet marketing ebook that was written in 1998 and wasn’t particularly popular then.
You need to find product launches that qualify as an “event.” Find something so big that people follow the event and comment on it. If you can find such a product (say, the iPhone of Internet marketing products), it is critical that you engineer your own build-up and release, centered on the build-up and release of the product. You will want to make sure that your list members purchase from you, rather than from another list owner.
To make it short and sweet: pay attention to the clock and the calendar. If there’s a big launch coming up, you need to capitalize on it quickly. There may not be a second window for opportunity. So take it when you have it.
Mistake #8: Ignore Important Numbers
Another common affiliate marketing mistake is that marketers fail to make many of the small—yet important— calculations needed in order to run a business and ensure you are in profit. For instance, many affiliate marketers will completely ignore the portion Clickbank extracts from each sale. Instead, they’ll simply look at the price and the commission.
Additionally, many will ignore conversion rates, pay per click bids, and the amount of time they put into projects. They’ll also fail to make realistic estimates of how much promotional efforts will cost; and how much of a risk they’ll be. They’ll glaze over all of these minor details and devote the majority of their time to daydreaming about the riches they will rake in.
Unfortunately, affiliate marketing doesn’t work like that. If you’re paying too much for traffic; if your conversion rates are too low; if you put too much time into projects that don’t have high yields – the outcome is bad. Your numbers won’t add up. At the end of the day, month, or year, you may end up in debt, rather than profit. And since you’re a sole proprietor, not a CEO of a corporation, that means you don’t get paid at all. Even worse, you might lose some of your own money that you worked hard to get.
So how does all of this come together? As you read, there are seven common pitfalls in affiliate marketing. If you fall into them, your affiliate marketing will put you in debt, rather than making you wealthy.
So how can you avoid these mistakes, make better decisions, and ultimately become wealthy via affiliate marketing? First, start by selecting products that are actually good. As I mentioned previously, a low demand product will make few sales, no matter how hard you try to promote it. If the demand isn’t there, you can’t create it. Don’t try it.
Next, within the niches that are in high demand, look for a product that is actually a winner. Find something that converts very well. You can do this by looking for high-popularity, high-gravity products on Clickbank. You can also do this by scanning sales pages to find ones with extraordinarily compelling copy, good bonuses, and reasonable prices.
In addition to choosing a product that is likely to convert well, you will also want to make sure that the claims are reasonable and that the seller is credible. One bad product could seriously knock you down a few pegs with your list members. Making a single sale and losing an otherwise repeat-buyer is rarely worth it.
Once you start generating traffic for your affiliate marketing campaigns, remember to drive it to an opt-in form – NOT to your affiliate link. If you send the person directly to an affiliate link, you are likely to never hear from that person again, whether or not it results in sale. Collecting leads is critically important. If you fail to do so—as many affiliate marketers do—you are leaving a lot of money on the table relative to the amount you are spending.
Last, do yourself a favor and keep track of conversion rates, bid prices, commission rates, product broker fees, and all the other little numbers that affiliate marketers prefer to ignore. Knowing, understanding, and tweaking these numbers could be the difference between profit and debt. You can ignore them if you want, but doing so will not improve your business.
With all of that said, you’re now ready to take a crack at affiliate marketing. There are a lot of risks involved, but you already know the big seven; avoid these, and you’ll sail through into profit, following the trail of past super affiliates.