First off, I want to start by saying that virtually every affiliate marketer will make a mistake or two, you, me even the ‘gurus’ – it’s part of being human. Mistakes are good, they teach us to learn. There are many mistakes though that can be prevented by learning from others. Here are some that I have come across during my time in this game.
1. Spamming. Spam is basically unsolicited email. Recipients do not want to receive it if they did not ask for it; it’s annoying and wastes people’s time. They have every right to complain about this to the ISP so be careful. An affiliate marketer does not want this associated with them and their business; it can be very detrimental. If you see offers on the Internet for a million emails sent for $50 or something turn away – its spam, bottom line. Use respected email ad campaigns.
2. Not Building a List. We’ve heard it all before, so I am not going to say it again. But without a list an affiliate marketer really is throwing money away. All affiliate marketers should first and foremost concentrate on building their list. This should be the number one priority when starting out.
3. Not Responding to Emails & Comments. If people have made the effort to comment on your blog then at least have the decency to thank them! Also, with emails make the time to respond. I have a rule which is 24 hours, this works both ways. I try to respond to all my emails within 24 hours, also I expect the same from others – if not I’m gone. Even a simple ‘Thanks for sending your email, I aim to get back to you within 48 hours’ is better than no contact at all. Why should people trust and buy from an affiliate marketer who can’t be bothered to reply when contacted?
4. Over using free marketing tools. Now I like a bargain sure, a freebie even better. But there are some things that you just have to pay for. A decent web host and email autoresponder are two. It does not look very professional if websites have silly domain names with the free host’s name after it, also the free email autoresponders sometimes come littered with ads and can be unreliable. Hostgator & Domain Monster for my hosts. Aweber is the number one autoresponder.
The Affiliate Marketer Errors Don’t Stop There…..
5. Overusing pop-ups. The occasional pop-up is ok – just. I personally do not really like them and tend not to over use them. I understand that they can be effective but overusing them will just drive people away. Also, don’t forget its 2012 now and a huge number of people will be viewing your site on their phones or tablets. Trying to close a pop-up on a phone can be a pain and ultimately will drive visitors and potential customers away.
6. Not checking your links. Affiliate marketers should check all their links from time to time. I have experienced in the past links going down, or the company changing its site etc. Often they will not inform you, so you will be throwing money away if you are sending people to bogus sites or broken links. Also, don’t forget to use links where you can. It’s amazing how many options there are to drop a link in now and again that affiliate marketers miss.
7. Doing Everything Yourself. The old saying jack-of-all-trades and master-of-none applies here. Simply put, hire an expert if you think you may struggle in a certain field. A site will benefit from a professionals touch now and again. Affiliate marketing is not a quick thing to set up. There is SEO, web design, social media, online promotion, offline promotion, back links, content, plus more all to consider. You are a super hero if you do it all by yourself.
8. Not Keeping Records. Life as an affiliate marketer can bring in multiple income streams. You have to keep a close record of your dealings and have knowledge of when you are expected to get paid. Not all companies use the same payment system. So you could find yourself waiting for a PAYPAL payment, funds paid straight into your bank or even a cheque in the post. Keep tabs on when you made the withdrawal transaction and chase them up if they are not paid on time!
9. Not Ever Using any Products you are Promoting. I know this is a tough one, but some affiliate marketers think it’s easy to set a site up, write some half-arsed reviews that they have copied from elsewhere and the cash will start rolling in. This is unlikely. It’s very beneficial to actually use some of the products you are promoting; this way when questions pop up you will be able to answer, massively increasing your chances of making a sale. Specific niche sites work better than the affiliate sites that try to promote everything from designer dog collars to digital cameras. I would more likely buy from an affiliate marketer who has knowledge in a specific field than one that tries to sell everything.
10. Jacking it all in. Giving up is the easy option. Life as an affiliate marketer can and will have its bad days. But it’s a learning curve, that’s what great about this business. Once you great a killer review and earn some decent revenue from it – remember this day. Someone once said “Rome wasn’t built in a day” – very true in this business.
Are there any more mistakes that you know of or have even made yourself?! Don’t be afraid to share them in the comments section below!