The fact of the matter is…
There is an aspect of affiliate marketing that many seasoned affiliates – those who are struggling and some who have found success in varying degrees – are hesitant to discuss due to a perception that disclosure would make it more difficult to attract newcomers (newbies) to the business. This particular aspect is the cold hard fact that over 90%, but less than 95% of affiliates will actually make less than $100 a month; and those who exceed earnings of $100 a month, but haven’t reached the pinnacle of success, probably comprise another 8% to 9% of the affiliate workforce, leaving only one to two percent at the elite status of super affiliate marketers.
It is therefore important for any aspiring or newbie affiliate marketer to understand that s/he should not count on making a full time income unless and until s/he is able to acquire the tools, resources, online marketing skills and relationships necessary to launch the type of affiliate marketing business that will be sustainable for the first few years, and could eventually generate revenue on a consistent enough basis considered enough to meet the high bar of success as it pertains to the affiliate marketing business.
Basic elements and traffic flow
The basic elements required for kicking off an affiliate marketing career are:
- A good web site that converts!
- Adequate search engine optimization (SEO)!
- Interesting if not compelling content!
- Website visitors, or traffic in AM jargon!
- Supporters: returning visitors who like you (via your site)!
- Reputable and reliable merchants
- Great products to promote!
The one thing an affiliate marketer must have in order to succeed is a constant flow of traffic from which s/he could establish relationships which will produce the base of followers/supporters some of whom, with minimum prodding or coersion, will purchase products via the affiliate’s website. However, this traffic-to-relationship-to-buyer conversion is a lot easier said than done, which is one of the reasons that over 90% of affiliates make $100 or less a month. Consider this ratio for a moment: 1:200 is the number of visitors who will buy products via a typical affiliate’s website!
So unless the affiliate is promoting high-end luxury products with big price tags (cars, yachts, jewelry, real estate, etc.), s/he will need a substantial traffic flow on a daily basis, and that’s where adequate SEO can be instrumental in getting that affiliate’s website listed in the search engines (preferrably on the first page) so more people will be able to find it. That having been said there is a misconception about affiliate marketing that oo many people buy into, and when they learn the truth about how they should actually do affiliate marketing it is often too late.
Dispelling the misconception
But contrary to popular opinion – or misconception – affiliate marketing is not a get rich quick type of program; and success is not achieved by placing a few product links and banner on a website (poorly optimized or not) and then money will start rolling in; and those who hold this belief should not be surprised if they never make a single sale or any money at all. There is a lot of time, work and creativity involved in developing and nurturing a successful affiliate marketing business, some of which have alreay been mentioned above; and even when the time and work have been put in, there is still more to be done.
Understand also – if you are that aspiring affiliate marketer – that there are no guarantees of success, or even that you will ever make your first $100 or how long it will take you make; because, as with every other affiliate marketer, how much money you make depends solely on how much time, effort and money you are willing to put in. If you are a quick learner and really good at affiliate marketing, you could make 2,000 in 2 years; and this is based entirely on whether or not you’re starting from 0 with another full time job that prevents you from devoting a lot of time to your affiliate marketing program.
In view of everything already said on this page, if you decide to give affiliate marketing a try, you would be doing so with the realization that it is not an easy business; but you should also know that the toughest part are the challenges you will be confronted with in the first five to six months; and if you check your stats and see that you are only making a few dollars, you might find yourself wondering if all the hard work was worth it; but the important thing to remember is to stay committed with your hard work, and the commissions should start growing as you keep working.
Practical expectations, realistic results
One of the biggest factors in affiliate marketing is the traffic that goes through your website; because even though you’ll get a lot of traffic passing through your website, only a fraction of the traffic will be buyers. The key however, is knowing your visitors and then being able to determine which affiliate programs you can offer to meet their needs. There is also the concept of pre-sale, which is the ability to put your visitors in the required mindset for them to actually click on one or more of your prduct links.
By sticking with affiliate marketing, you’ll learn more and more over the years; but you shouldn’t expect to be the best when you first start out, it will take a lot of hard work and dedication. Just keep in mind that by putting the time and effort into your programs, and building the necessary relationships and base of supporters, you’ll be well on your way to making it in the very profitable and exciting world of affiliate marketing, even if you have to endure a few years of growing pains before seeing measureable and/or acceptable results. Good luck!