If you’re getting into affiliate marketing, there’s a very probable reason why you want to do so: you want to make money.
Perfectly understandable; why else would you want to invest your time and effort into affiliate marketing? Don’t allow your desire to make money prohibit you from making irrational or rushed decisions, or falling for too many of the same mistakes that other amateur affiliate marketers make.
Here’s the truth: When you first get into affiliate marketing, you will make mistakes. Everybody does. You just don’t want to make too many of them to the point that you’re simply wasting your time at trying to be an affiliate marketer. So to help you out there, in this step we’re going to list out some of the biggest mistakes that new affiliate marketers make and how you can avoid them early on in the game:
1. You Sell to People Instead of Helping Them: You don’t want to sell things to users. You want to help them. Remember that this is one of the key elements of blogging like we discussed before. When people come to your blog, they come because they want to be helped and find answers and solutions to their questions and problems.
Therefore, you should avoid filling up your website with links and phrases such as “Buy Now!” or “Get Yours Today!” because these kinds of advertisements feel forced. People will see through them and realize that you’re just trying to make a quick buck off of them and when they realize this, your blog will seem less credible, and just like that, your traffic decreases.
Keeping in line with this, you want to ensure that your content is high quality and caters to the needs of your reader base. Help them first, and advertise to them second.
2. You Don’t Test Out Your Ads: All of your ads need to be tested by you before you put them up on your blog. Testing your ads doesn’t just mean clicking the ad and confirming that it leads to the website or product that’s being marketed. It also means that the ad doesn’t annoy the user in any way.
What’s going to happen when the user clicks the ad and is lead to the product, only for their e-mail inbox to blow up each day with all kinds of annoying promotions? That customer isn’t going to be clicking any more of your ads anytime soon. Your ads need to lead the customers to the product being advertised and that’s it. Test out each ad you put up.
3. You Put up Too Many Ads: We talked about this in the overcrowding step. Websites that are filled to the brim with ads aren’t just annoying, they’re downright ugly and they turn people away.
Be very careful and strategic in how you set up your ads. They should be kept to a minimum and out of the way while still being visible for the user to see. Remember that one way to ensure this happens is to write a review of the product being advertised and then link the banner or ad on the review page of that product.
4. You Don’t Track Your Progress: We just talked about this one in our last step. The only way you can determine how successful you have been as an affiliate marketer is to track your progress.
Remember what those key performance indicators are and how to track them: cost per acquisitions, leads, conversion rates, first-time visitors, likes and comments, revenue, and so on. Set up an excel spreadsheet to track each of these KPI’s. Not doing so is a clear sign of an amateur because it shows that you do not have complete control over your affiliate marketing campaign.
5. You Don’t Help Your Readers Make a Choice: Most people searching for a product will be looking at multiple different brands or models of that product. They may narrow their section to two or three options and then encounter some level of difficulty in choosing which of those two or three they really want. By stepping into helping them with your advertisements, you’ll stand a much greater chance of leading them to purchase one of the products and in turn earning you a commission.
Let’s say that someone is on the market for a baseball bat and they come to your sports blog. You could put up an advertisement for a specific brand or model of a baseball bat, or you could put an advertisement for “Top Three Baseball Bats” that leads them to an article on your blog where you review the top three baseball bats on the market. Then, you have your affiliate links there for all three of those baseball bats instead of only one.
Right then and there, the reader gets to compare the pros and cons of each baseball bat and have the link to each one once they have made their decision. If you were to only review one baseball bat and have the affiliate link for it, the reader may not click the link because they want to keep researching. Even if they do end up buying the specific baseball bat you had in the review, they may access the product page for it by a link other than yours.
By offering the buyer options and comparing the pros and cons of those options a review, you speed up the buying process for them and stand a greater chance of earning a commission on a sale. Doing this repeatedly ensures that you’ll be able to grow your affiliate marketing campaign faster and become more profitable over the long term.