As the clocked ticked over to 00:01 on January 1st, 2016, I realized that I'd been working as an affiliate marketer for 18 years, and moreover, that I started trading online 20 years ago.
I could never have imagined that online marketing, or affiliate marketing, in particular, would support me so well over that length of time… especially in light of the mistakes I've made over 20 years.
Yet, I've survived.
I've more than survived. I created a lifestyle for myself which I could never have enjoyed had I continued with the ‘day job'. 🙂
To celebrate, I'm going to spend the next 12 months blogging about the affiliate marketing mistakes I and others have made — and that you can avoid through the benefit of our experience.
So, let's get started…
Affiliate Marketing Mistake #1: Blindly Jumping off a Cliff
Since I started teaching affiliate marketing back in 2001 – 2002, what has concerned me most are those who get in touch with me to say they've spent hundreds or thousands of dollars to do ‘this, that and the other' to start an online business but have yet to see a penny of that returned, and are only now seeking information from an affiliate marketing expert for the first time.
Seriously, would you jump off a cliff without knowing how high the cliff is; whether there is water at the bottom of the drop or if there are rocks lurking just beneath the surface of that water?
I should hope not!
Well, you can't start a successful affiliate marketing business with that approach either.
There are simply too many mistakes that can ruin your business before you even start. Here are 10 of the worst mistakes that beginners make…
- Starting with the notion that an online business can be started for free. Hint: It's not free, but it's not expensive either.
- Thinking that making money online is quick and easy. Achieving real success in business requires time and effort.
- Thinking that successful affiliate marketers don't actually need their own websites.
- Believing affiliates should have hundreds of niche websites.
- Purchasing a monthly subscription to a service that sells you a website which supposedly promotes the latest and greatest product wanted by millions the world over and that the sellers will market your website by listing it on hundreds of search engines.
- Buying into a program that supposedly sells the best-ever method to get their site listed on Google to attract millions of visitors with little or no effort on their part.
- Thinking that it's a ‘waste of time' to build a client list.
- Failure to do niche market research, i.e. choosing a niche that is too big, too small or worst — choosing no market at all and trying to sell everything to everyone.
- Promoting products that are irrelevant, of poor quality, or incompatible with their niche market.
- Failing to connect with their audience through social media.
Let me tell you… NONE of these approaches to building an affiliate marketing business is sustainable over the long-term and rarely do they see rewards in the short-term either.
To avoid those affiliate marketing mistakes, you need to avail yourself of training from those who excel in their field of expertise, i.e. affiliate marketing, blogging, social media marketing, and email marketing to name just a few of the important aspects of becoming a successful affiliate marketer.
You also need to seek out training (and a trainer) that suits you best. Consider the following questions.
- Is the trainer currently active in affiliate marketing, i.e. was the latest article on their affiliate marketing blog posted 4 years ago? Yes, I found a few of those ‘trainers' in my search for affiliate marketing training courses.
- Do you prefer to learn through reading, audio or audio/visual methods?
- Do you want a guided program that issues lessons on a weekly basis; or, are you an independent learner who prefers to go through the training at your own pace?
- Do you want a program that is completely available to you from the start or one that keeps you subscribed by doling out bits at a time? 🙂
The point is to do some serious research to find the training that works best for you.
I can recommend a few affiliate marketing training programs that have been around for a long time and whose students have been successful by following their advice.
- Affiliate Blogger PRO – This is the multi-media program that I started to add aduio and visuals to the text in my Super Affiliate Handbook. This course is structured to appeal to mature self-starters who want to save money by setting up their own blogs. The entire course is available as soon as you sign up, and you may graduate yourself at any time.
- Affilorama – Affilorama offers written and video lessons, tools, tips and support allowing complete beginners to build up a successful affiliate marketing business from scratch. Their instruction and tools are sold separately, as 3 different products.
- Blogging Masterclass – Blogging course on Udemy for Basic & Newbie bloggers who are looking to build a successful blog as well as Intermediate bloggers who are looking to access critical resources for massive blogging success & achieve affiliate marketing ninja status.
- Affiliate Summit, the grand-daddy of learning opportunities for affiliate marketers, which you can either attend in person in January (Las Vegas) or July (east coast), or via a virtual conference pass.
That might seem like a lot to think about when you're just starting out, but as the old saying goes – Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail.
Do your homework and become a successful affiliate marketer!
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