Common Affiliate Marketing Mistakes
When you’re starting out trying to work online from home, it’s pretty common to put the cart before the horse when it comes to prioritizing what it is you need to be doing. We all make mistakes; it’s part of the process. Still, if you can avoid the most common affiliate marketing mistakes, you’ll have a head start when it comes to becoming successful in your online business. Today, we’ll cover a few common affiliate marketing mistakes that happen to everybody and how you can avoid them.
Focusing on money – Everyone wants to make money online, and newbies have a tendency to focus on that aspect of affiliate marketing from their very first step. While making money online is the ultimate goal, starting by concentrating on the money should not be the first thing you do. Lots of affiliate programs try to emphasize the ease with which you can make money online using their tools or promoting their products, but remember – they’re trying to recruit affiliates!
You can’t just buy a domain, put up a single page with an affiliate link on it and wait for the money to roll in. Before you can make any money at all, you need to have a Website with real content. Without it, the search engines will ignore your site and visitors will have no reason to pay you a visit. If you don’t have visitors, you won’t make any money. Don’t worry about getting affiliate links on your site on day one. Affiliate marketing is not a sprint; it’s a marathon. The site you build today will be there tomorrow and next week and next month. Start with small steps and work on creating an interesting, informative site with things people will want to read. Then you can add the affiliate links and start making money.
Getting started with content – It’s hard creating content, especially if you’re not someone with a lot of experience writing. Coming up with a 400-1000 word article just once can be daunting, but how do you do it day after day? Here are a couple of tips that may help:
- Find a Website on a similar topic to yours. Browse through it and find topics that are covered by that site. Jot them down. Find an article directory, such as Ezinearticles.com. Do a search for your topic. You can find articles there about your subject. Copy the URLS and when you want to write a new article, use one of those as inspiration. Do not copy the article! You need to have unique content. You can use existing articles to give you ideas, but make sure your content is unique.
- Lists are good – “5 Ways to Shorten Your Work Day” or “Top 3 Tips for Baking Cakes.” Lists of tips and suggestions are often easier to write than one single article. You can have an introductory paragraph, followed by a paragraph about each tip, followed by a closing paragraph. There are lots of articles like that at article directories, so you can use those for inspiration.
Not having a schedule – Building up a Website from scratch takes time and it can be frustrating to work on it without seeing an immediate reward. The rewards come in time, because the search engines favor sites that have real, meaningful content and sites that have been online for a while. What you need to do is come up with a schedule and stick to it, with the understanding that the rewards will not be instantaneous. If you can add two pages or blog posts a day, five days a week, you’ll have a 500+ page Website within a year. If you have a Website with 500 pages of useful content, you will be drawing traffic from the search engines. But this won’t happen if you don’t come up with a schedule for adding to your site on a regular basis and sticking with it. It’s about patience. Yes, there are shortcuts, such as automatic content generating software, but the search engines can recognize that sort of thing and you will be penalized for it. Consistency is the key. Decide whatever pace you think is best for you and stick with it. It will pay off in the long run.
Obsession with the now – It’s common to worry about Web traffic statistics, or search engine rankings or clicks on your affiliate links and everyone does that. When you’re just starting out, it’s easy to forget that you’re working on a long-term project that should eventually pay off and continue to do so for years to come. The time you spend today wondering why your site isn’t in Google’s index or why your affiliate links aren’t getting enough clicks is time you could spending doing more research and creating quality content. The search engines like content. Affiliate links? Not so much. Google and Bing are much more likely to rank sites with useful, helpful content, so give them what they want. As long as your content is interesting, of sufficient length (400-100 words per page; more is generally better) and on-topic, your rankings and your traffic should naturally improve with time. Google knows that it takes time to build a good, content-rich Website and they reward those who do it the right way.
Overdoing SEO – We haven’t talked much about Search Engine Optimization yet, but SEO is about making sure that when you create a page or a blog post, the search engines understand, without a doubt, what that page or post is about. It’s really easy to overly focus on making sure that you mention your page’s main keyword 23 times or however many times you determine you need it mentioned, and that can lead to awkward content that reads poorly because you tried to shoehorn some keyword into your paragraphs so many times that it reads like gibberish. Decide what your page is about. Write about that. Make sure the content is clear and coherent and covers the topic thoroughly. Then you can worry about SEO. There’s a time and place to worry about SEO, but you shouldn’t obsess over it. The search engines can spot over-optimized Web pages and rest assured, they will not reward you for them.
To minimize newbie affiliate marketing mistakes, you should consider joining Wealthy Affiliate. This training program takes you by the hand and shows you, step-by-step, how to build effective moneymaking Websites. You can join Wealthy Affiliate for free.
It’s not possible to avoid all of the common affiliate marketing mistakes, but if you can keep them to a minimum, you’ll have more fun and get better results.