Affiliate marketing is a great way to earn a little extra money. And, in some cases, it can even turn into a full-time gig. However, you have to get it right from the start and avoid the many pitfalls that lurk ahead. We’ve put together a list of several of the biggest factors that could harm your chances of success, or blow it out of the water completely. Let’s get started right away.
You Don’t SEO
Affiliate marketing depends a lot on SEO or search engine optimization. It’s how your website gets found on the web, and the amount of visitors you get can often have a direct correlation to the amount of products you sell. So, it makes sense to look at your SEO when it comes to organic and paid searches. If it isn’t right, be sure to fix it.There will be nobody there to buy anything if you don’t.
You SEO Too Much
That said, a lot of affiliates think that if you pull in enough traffic, you will earn a fortune. But it doesn’t work like that. What happens when you click through to a search result and find a horrible looking site with no redeemable features? You’ll just go somewhere else, right? Well, your visitors are no different. Your site has to look professional, clean, and safe to use, or you won’t get the clicks you need to earn a crust. Hire a web designer to help you out with this critical aspect of your business.
You Don’t Think ‘E-Commerce’
There is a tiny difference between an affiliate marketer and a retailer. Affiliate marketers are middlemen; it’s true. But so are retailers. Most of the products you see in a shop – either online or offline – are made by somebody else. But retailers have the knack of selling things with their own stamp of approval. And, that’s exactly what you should be doing, too. Get an ecommerce agency in to have a look at things for you and listen to their advice. They might tell you to spruce up your sales copy, or improve your layout. Do it – and your sales will see a significant improvement.
You Sell Too Much
Focus on a few products, rather than a shop full. The more you have to market, the more work it will be for you, and in the end you won’t be able to manage. Affiliate marketing works best when it is based on dedicated campaigns, which can receive your full focus and attention. It’s the little tweaks here and there that could make the difference. If you have too much on your plate, you just won’t see them.
You Try To Sell All The Time
In the golden years of affiliate marketing, you could get away with some brazen tactics. However, as the consumer has got used to the Internet, they have become savvier with it. People just don’t go for the hard sales pitches anymore, and when they see them, they often run a mile. You have to soften your prospects up a little. Tell them something they need to know and mark yourself out as an authority on your subject. Give something away – an e-book, for example. Then, when they are good and ready, they will come back to you, and you can dazzle them with the greatest sales pitch the world has ever seen.
You Fail To Test
Even though you will have improved your website a great deal by now, it doesn’t guarantee success. There are still things that will need to be changed, and you do this through thorough and regular testing. Use your analytics software to identify what is working and what isn’t. Make tweaks here and there, and go with the winner. Things will change all the time, and you need to keep tightening things as they do. They might be little adjustments, but put them all together and you can make great strides.
You Fail To Track
Tracking is essential to successful affiliate marketing. This is especially true because your market could stretch across the entire world, and incorporate a vast number of people. If you track them, you will get to know who they are. You’ll know where to find them, and learn what pushes their buttons. It won’t be long before you have a picture of your ideal customer. And then – and only then – will you be able to create the perfect message for them to nail more sales.
A few years ago, affiliate marketers began to realise they could make a lot of money from getting clicks on ads. But, what if they weren’t getting any clicks at all? Well, as is the case with any burgeoning industry, they started cheating. They would send bots to their own website and generate clicks by the dozen, and, of course, they would get paid. Until, that is, the companies that were paying them began to sit up and take notice. So, avoid cheating. It’s easy to do, and it might make you a quick buck for a short time. But you will get caught eventually, and the threat of being sued will become very real.
It’s also a good idea to avoid lying. Again, you might fool a few people and earn some money, but the damage it will cause to your reputation will be significant. You could find yourself on the banned list for all the major affiliates, which will cut off your income stream. You could get a nasty shock when you check out your reputation on one of the many reputation services on the web. Be truthful, honest, and it will take longer to make money. But it will be all the sweeter for it, and you will have a better business proposition going forward.
OK, so there you have it. Some essential affiliate marketing tips that should see you through the early stages of your business. Feel free to leave some of your own in the comments section below – we are always keen to hear from you!