Avoid the Path to Affiliate Marketing Failure





The lure of affiliate marketing

An increasing number of people are lured into affiliate marketing and you might very well be one of them. This lure is the result of affiliate marketing being one of the most effective means of generating a full-time income via the Web, without the need for a huge investment of money to get started. The business of affiliate marketing is primarily based on agreements between merchants and affiliates, as both groups benefit from the arrangement.

Similar to other business types, success in affiliate marketing depends on the affiliate’s advertising, promoting and selling strategies. Everyday, as the affiliate marketing industry expands, competition heightens as well, so an affiliate marketer must be creative enough to employ unique and effective ways that will convince potential buyers to purchase, or avail themselves of, the merchant’s products and services being offered by that affiliate.

Compared to traditional advertising practices, affiliate programs are more effective, risk-free and cost-efficient; but there is still a great deal of failure experienced by a large number of affiliates, and those not familiar with the business often wonder why. However, when they understand that affiliate marketing is a “you-get-out-what-you-put-in” kind of business, the explanation for such failure becomes more apparent – although there are other less apparent reasons.

Preparation begets success

The most critical aspect in any affiliate program is advertising; but many affiliate marketers fail in this area because they either refuse or are unable to put in the time and hard work required to excel in this most important aspect of the affiliate marketing business, or any other kind of business. And although it helps to be lucky, a business person cannot merely rely on luck to succeed as an affiliate marketer, but rather to understand that the business of affiliate marketing is much more than just directing customers to a website.

For example, if you are interested in becoming an affiliate marketer, and want to earn big money, you have to devote the necessary time and a great deal of hard work, as well as to invest the money necessary to promote those products and services entrusted to you by the merchants from whom you expect to receive commission payments.

As mentioned earlier, there is very stiff competition in any kind of marketing, and affiliate marketing is no different; but commitment to your objective, hard work, and consistent promotional activity will help you keep pace with that competition and operate a profitable affiliate business.

On the other hand, if you are uninspired, unmotivated and/or unwilling to do what it takes to achieve success, the results you get will be unacceptable due to unpreparedness; because lack of preparation is almost always the reason for failure in affiliate marketing, whether the individual is a merchant or an affiliate.

When research is a success tool

Keep in mind also that part of preparation is research; and this is true for merchants as well as affiliates. Merchants must be highly selective in choosing the right affiliate websites for their affiliate program; and in order to be sure that they have the best choices, they must have exhausted all means in looking for highly interested affiliates whose sites (theme and content) are compatible with the products and services they provide.

Affiliates must make sure that visitors to their websites match those customers whom they’ve targeted as most ideal for the content they provide, as well as the kind of products/services they promote; and the affiliate marketer must likewise research good-paying merchants before they sign up with a particular affiliate program. In addition, an affiliate must ensure that a merchant’s products/services match his/her interests so that s/he can devote full attention and dedication to the program.

An affiliate can obtain valuable information by joining affiliate forums, comparing different affiliate programs and reading articles on affiliate marketing where s/he can get tips from more experienced affiliate marketers on how to choose the best merchants and select products with high conversion rate.

The website is a very important tool in the overall affiliate marketing strategy; and as an affiliate marketer, you should plan carefully on what kind of website you’re going to have; from a catchy and memorable domain name to the design, lay-out, content, and ads, your website must be conducive to the kind of affiliate business you expect to conduct if you expect to succeed.

Marketing to your targeted audience

Some visitors to your affiliate website will be particular about what they see at first glance and therefore, if they consider your site to be unattractive they won’t read through the content, even if your site has many interesting things to say and offer.

Conversely, there are visitors who want information more than anything else; and affiliate marketers with “rich-content” web sites will usually be the ones who attract this group of visitors and prosper as a result, because the content improves traffic to those site.

Websites with high quality content and relevant keywords as well as valuable and useful information about a particular product, as opposed to empty and hyped-up advertisements, —allow their owners to earn big in affiliate marketing even when they’re asleep. An important point to remember is that if you can’t sustain the interest of your site visitor, you won’t be able to lead him/her to your merchants’ site; and no click-through (to a merchant’s website) often means no sale and thus, no income for you.

Selecting a top level domain name is crucial to the success of the affiliate program. That having been said, there are many affiliate websites that do not appear in the search engine results because they are deemed by affiliate managers as personal sites; meaning that major search engines and directories would think of your website as transient and thus, they won’t list it in the directory; so before you decide on the domain name, know first what you are going to promote.

Knowledge creates a competitive edge

However, the domain name is not always the website title, and many affiliates fail to attract visitors because their websites are not appropriately named; and even when they feature the exact products customers are looking for, those customer might think the site is not relevant and therefore won’t enter the site.

Above all, an affiliate marketer must be willing to learn more about his/her business on an ongoing basis; because there is still a lot to learn, so any affiliate marketer who expects to achieve success must continue to educate him/herself so s/he can improve marketing strategies. Many fail because they don’t grow in the business and they are merely concerned about earning a quick buck; but if you want long-term and highly satisfactory results, you must take time to learn the ins and outs of this business.

Continuing to improve your knowledge, especially about the basics of affiliate marketing ranging from advertising to programming, web page development, and search engine optimization techniques will certainly provide some of the motivation and staying power needed to achieve success. Likewise, study the needs and wants of your website users and how different merchants compete with each other.

Keep on trying; and don’t get disappointed if your first attempts do/did not pay off. Thousands are attracted by the possibility of generating huge incomes through affiliate marketing, and as a result of this attraction, they sign up in any affiliate program without carefully understanding every aspect of the business. When they don’t get instant results, they quit and sign up for another program and repeat the process of just copying links and referring them to others.

When you sign up for an affiliate program, don’t expect to achieve instant success and get rich quick. Make sure to work on your advertising strategies and other pertinent aspects of the affiliate marketing business; but most important, be patient, because you will never know how much you can get if you don’t persevere.

Choosing the Right Affiliate Marketing Mentor





Affiliate marketing mentorship

A good affiliate marketing mentor is someone who has already achieved success in his/her own affiliate marketing business and is willing to share the knowledge – both experience-based and otherwise – s/he has acquired about this business, from the viewpoint of both affiliate and merchant. But being able to choose the right affiliate marketing mentor to follow and emulate, especially when such choosing involves payment of a fee or other costs, is not easy; and it is for this reason that we wanted to share a few thoughts about this topic with you.

It is important that you know what programs, features and methodologies an affiliate marketing mentorship package should encompass, and understand why the mentor offers a particular set of items in such a package. Keep in mind that affiliate marketing has been a popular Web-based business for decades, and it is still among the most viable business types pursued by online entrepreneurs today.

That having been said, however, there is still a large section of the population that knows little or nothing about affiliate marketing; and most people who have recently discovered this business assume that they can easily make big money in a short period of time (overnight?) with little or no work; but this assumption is no more accurate than the one which suggests that owning and operating a successful home-based business requires only a phone and a computer with Internet access.

Balancing affiliate links and banners

The point is that, achieving success in the affiliate marketing business is not an easy task and certainly will not happen overnight. On the contrary, management of an affiliate marketing business has been compared to an ongoing assignment where you need to learn new methods and test various advertising strategies and tactics, whereby the affiliate may even need to sign up with numerous affiliate programs just to determine which merchants performs best.

Another misconception that exists about affiliate marketing is that more affiliate links and banners placed on a website translates to more commissions earned; but too many links and banners on a single website will more likely have the opposite effect in the sense that visitors will see an unattractive pile of non-sensical and unappealing content, and therefore leave that site for another which provides interesting content that is of more interest to them.

Of course there is a way in which to promote multiple affiliate products on your website if you really want to do so; but you would have to make sure that the promotional links and banners jive with the theme and topic of your site, as well as your niche-specific content. Keep in mind also that three or four affiliate links on your site should really be enough to attract a visitor’s attention, depending on the size of your web page.

Affiliate marketing mentor defined

There are affiliates who think that if they add affiliate materials to their site, they can make sales right away; and maybe they just don’t know that affiliate marketing is more about advertising than anything else, because if there’s no traffic coming to a given site, chances are that sales from that site will be non-existent. So the important thing to remember is: the more exposure (through advertising) an affiliate link, or the site on which affiliate links are displayed receives, the more activity these links are likely to generate.

If you want to get involved with, or you’ve already joined, an affiliate program but you are among those who harbor the above misconceptions about this type of business, then you really might need a mentor to help you figure out where to start and what to do in order to achieve success.

The word mentor is defined in dictionary as “a wise and trusted counselor or teacher.” So an affiliate marketing mentor would essentially be an individual who has acquired sufficient affiliate marketing wisdom and knowledge to be trusted as a competent teacher. In other words, such a person is an expert in the field and therefore can give expert advice and guidance as well as supervision to another person.

So when we say affiliate marketing mentors, we refer to experienced counselors that have made affiliate marketing their specialty. Of course, it is good for an affiliate marketing mentor to know and apply some theories and generalities regarding your business, but there’s nothing more helpful and effective than telling the client what works today and identify those things that could probably work in the future, including new trends, trend changes and other such market-related data.

Measuring a mentor’s success

A mentor should be a source of knowledge for his/her clients, and the first one to instruct those clients on how to generate more affiliate income. S/he also needs equipped with the keys to success for affiliate marketers as well as for merchants, and be able to guide clients as they try to do the things that can help boost their profit margin, because once they do well in their business, they will, no doubt, give credit to the mentor for the role s/he played in their success.

More succinctly put: Client Success Equates to Mentor Success!

There are some articles on affiliate marketing which states that, in order to be triumphant in the affiliate marketing business, the affiliate needs to encompass and develop these traits: persistence, patience and thirst for knowledge. And part of a mentor’s job to help clients develop and nurture these traits within themselves.

Once the clients have developed the abovementioned characteristics, it will become easier for the mentor to explain to them that attaining success in affiliate marketing requires an investment of hard work, some money and a substantial time commitment. These traits will also teach them to persist and never to give up on their goals and objectives.

Moreover, before a mentor trains his/her client to be proficient in search engine optimization, link exchanges, email marketing, newsletter marketing, reciprocal exchanges and advertising in forums, s/he should first become an expert in these fields. They will surely find it hard to learn these things alone and without supervision from the one they trust to have this knowledge. So the mentor must make sure that s/he is knowledgeable in these areas before accepting any invitation to be a mentor to someone else.

No easy task

Yes, being an affiliate marketing mentor is significantly more difficult than starting an affiliate marketing business, but mentorship can be very rewarding, especially if the mentor’s client achieves great success. The mentor, understanding that a client’s failure equates to the mentor’s failure, must do everything in his/her power to do the very best s/he can to put clients on the road to success.