Don’t Do These! 9 Common Mistakes Affiliate Marketers Make Before They Succeed
The world of affiliate marketing can sometimes have a steep learning curve. For the beginner this can seem daunting and seeing others in the industry who are absolutely killing it can be sometimes demoralising when you aren’t seeing results.
However, in most cases the most successful affiliate marketers have been in the game for a long time and they all carry the scars of past mistakes. Mistakes are part of the learning process – there’s no getting around that. You will make mistakes. So, I’ve written this post to help you along the way and eliminate some of those potential mistakes to make path to success a little less rocky.
- Confusing mistakes with failure
This is a big one. It’s all too common for new affiliate marketers to confuse mistakes they make as outright failure. It can be hard to overcome early mistakes and to get over the first hump. If you can learn to live with your mistakes and actually learn something, then you will be more likely to succeed in the future. Don’t take things to personally and just keep plugging away – if it costs you money (it usually will), try to put it down to training costs!
- Not knowing the product/service
If you don’t know the product, how can you sell it? It’s usually a good idea for affiliate marketers to use a product and get to know it where practical. In addition to regular discussions with your affiliate manager, consider getting in touch with the producers or service-providers and obtain accurate demographic data and insights into the most effective marketing channels.
- Not knowing the target market
The most successful affiliate marketers understand the importance of knowing the customer you are targeting. This comes down to that dirty ‘R’ word – research. The more research you conduct before you get started the better you’ll be able to understand what their needs are. You’ll have an advantage over a lot of other marketers when it comes to constructing an offer and writing well-angled copy.
- Not taking the time to educate themselves
If you want to get ahead in affiliate marketing then it’s imperative that you take the time to educate yourself. It can be all too easy to get tunnel-vision on what you’re working on. How do you know you’re doing the right thing? Sometimes reading a blog post (such as this one) can give you that “aha!” moment and can help turn your marketing efforts around. If you’re struggling to make any headway then consider taking some time to learn something new. It’s important to note that this shouldn’t be confused with ‘shiny object syndrome’ (see below). Knowing when to educate yourself is also important.
Useful blog resources for the latest news from the affiliate blogosphere:
- Forgetting to build a list
The money is in the list. This is one of the classic phrases that you’ll constantly hear in the internet-marketing world and for good reason. Building a database of customers who are willing to spend money is absolutely the best way to create a long-term business.
You could start with an email service provider who offer a ‘free’ starting list like Mailchimp who allow you to send to 2,000 subscribers at a time without charge and the grow from their.
- Not split-testing
Split testing is one of the best ways to improve your conversion rates and is something new marketers often neglect. Instead of creating one landing page and hoping for the best, try creating two and then pitting them against each other. Using simple software, such as Clickthroo you can test different landing pages to see which has the best results or to test entire webpages, try Optimizely or VWO
In addition, split-test your ad creative, your angles, your offers, and even your affiliate network (as some track conversions better than others).
- Not tracking results
Tracking website results is so simple but you’d be surprised how many affiliate marketers don’t use some form of analytics. Analytics allow you to see where traffic is coming from and also see which traffic converts the best which then allows you to adapt your marketing strategy accordingly. You should be tracking everything, identifying profit opportunities and then scaling these.
Useful affiliate tracking tools:
- Not offering value to the end-user
Too many new affiliate marketers only focus on getting the sale. Of course, getting the sale is what will keep your business running and without the sale you don’t have a business. The key is to ensure that you are offering true value to the customer. Writing content that actually offers useful advice and information about products and services will help inform the reader and they’ll actually be more likely to buy. Customers can be turned off by the hard-sell so make sure that you’re offering value and you can’t go far wrong.
- Lack of focus (shiny object syndrome)
Shiny object syndrome is a common problem amongst internet marketers. Staying focussed on the right things can make all the difference in business. Try to avoid losing track when you get a new email promising you 10,000% revenue increase – chances are it will only result in you wasting time.