Affiliate Marketing – 6 Tips
Affiliate marketing can be a great way to make money, provided that you have some realistic expectations and some basic understanding about how the market and the industry works. Far too many people decided that they want to work online from home and jump into affiliate marketing with both feet without realizing that the learning curve can be steep, that patience can be required and that you’re going to have to occasionally spend some money.
Don’t get me wrong; affiliate marketing has a lot going for it and I love working from home. But I’ve learned a lot about making money online over the years and I’ve had to learn some lessons the hard way. If I knew ten years ago what I know now, I’d be making more money, and I’d have a lot fewer projects that didn’t work on my resume. While there are no guarantees that you will succeed if you try affiliate marketing, you’ll certainly do better in affiliate marketing if you keep the things listed below in mind.
6 Affiliate Marketing Tips
1. You’re not going to become an affiliate marketing millionaire overnight, or likely, at all. For the most part, sales pitches for affiliate marketing products that promise fast riches are a thing of the past, but we still see a few products offering to help people get rich quickly. These products spend more time showing pictures of models in bikinis standing on the beach, or sports cars, or yachts than they do talking about whatever it is you’re going to do to make money. In reality, anything involving the Internet is going to be work and it’s going to take time, because the search engines have gotten a lot more sophisticated over the years. There was a time when you could build a Website today and have it at the top of the search engine listings tomorrow, but those days are long gone. If you’re going to make money online, it’s going to take time and it’s going to require patience. It’s also going to be worth it. You likely won’t become an affiliate marketing millionaire, but it’s certainly possible to earn a living, and for most people, that’s good enough.
2. Not everything works – The ability to make money in affiliate marketing is a moving target. That’s partly because the search engines are always changing and partly because affiliate programs change and partly because of changes in the market. If you’re going to be making money with affiliate marketing, you’re going to have to recognize that what works today may work tomorrow, but it may not work in six months or year from now. Back in 2009, I was earning a lot of money promoting electronic cigarettes as an affiliate. The product was hot and new and mostly available only via the Internet. I did well…until the product became available in every convenience store in America. Just like that, my commissions dropped to zero. I could provide a number of examples of other situations where something used to work and doesn’t anymore, but you get the idea – things change, and you’re going to have to learn to recognize that and change with them or you’ll be left behind.
3. Watch out for scams – Sometimes, a bad idea is disguised as a good one. I once bought an inexpensive ebook about how to make money promoting dating sites. The book came with a pre-built Website along with dozens of photos of attractive models that I could use on the site and a recommended dating program to promote as an affiliate. I spent several hundred dollars setting up a number of Websites and months trying to draw traffic to them, only to discover that the dating site I was promoting wasn’t very good. What was the scam? The guy who sold me the ebook wasn’t actually promoting a dating site, he was being paid $200 by the dating site for signing up new affiliates. He made a fortune…selling his book to suckers like me.
4. Affiliate marketing does require money – There are lots of ebooks and courses out there that talk about how you can earn a lot of money online in affiliate marketing without spending or investing any money. That’s not true; anything you do in affiliate marketing is going to cost you some amount of money. You’re going to need money for domain names and Web hosting and some paid tools that help make your job easier and a few other odds and ends that pop up from time to time. You can’t make a living in affiliate marketing without spending something. With practice, you can learn to minimize your costs, but some outlay of cash will always be inevitable.
5. 90% of your work will involve getting traffic – You can’t earn a dime in affiliate marketing without traffic to your Website. The best Website in the world is useless if you have no visitors, and getting visitors to your site can be difficult. Yes, it’s true that a site that is well optimized for Search Engine Optimization can draw traffic from search engine queries alone, but if you’re in a market with any competition, you won’t be the only one trying to optimize your Website for the search engines. It isn’t possible for everyone to have the #1 position on Google’s home page, so that means that you’re going to have to learn about buying ads, or obtaining links from other sites to yours, or learning about using social networking to drive traffic to your site. In the end, affiliate marketing is all about traffic. If you have visitors coming to your site and you’re not making money, you can change your site until you find something that works. If you have no traffic, the best Website will earn nothing.
6. Learn where to get help – There are lots of sites that can offer help for those who realize that they need to know more about affiliate marketing. There are expensive courses that can teach you what you don’t know, but there are also ways to learn about affiliate marketing for free. Learning from others and interacting with those who have learned the hard way can save you a lot of time.
Affiliate Marketing Summary
Affiliate marketing and working from home are great. But you have to be realistic. You’re not going to get rich overnight in affiliate marketing and you’re not going to do it without working and you are going to make some mistakes. Once you learn and accept these things, you’ll do just fine.