Affiliate marketing is a type of referral online marketing where you do not have to offer any products or services of your own.
Instead, you partner up your website or blog with an affiliate – or several of them – and simply refer your visitors to that seller. In return, you make a commission every time someone clicks a referral link on your site or makes a purchase. Sounds simple enough, right?
Sadly, things are a bit more complicated than they seem. Unfortunately, many newcomers to the world of affiliate marketing make the same rookie mistakes that prevent them from earning as much as possible.
Keep on reading to learn about the most common assimilated marketing mistakes and how to avoid them.
Neglecting the quality of your content
Once you become involved with affiliate marketing, your first instinct might be to make the number of conversions and sales your top priority. But, unfortunately, doing so would be a mistake.
As a prospective online marketer, you should know that your content is your product. People will come to your site or blog in search of something meaningful, engaging, or fun.
Creating low-quality content just for the sake of stuffing it with affiliate links will only drive your visitors away and make them less likely to engage with your site. People feel when they are being pandered to, and they tend to dislike that.
Make your visitors your number one priority. If you create content worth reading, people will be more likely to click on an affiliate link and thus earn you some money.
Selecting the wrong niche
It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there in the affiliate marketing realm. Everybody wants their piece of this booming industry. Unfortunately, this makes it much harder for your site or blog to stand out from the crowd, particularly if you select a too competitive niche or one that is not profitable enough.
Pick a specialty that goes well with the rest of your content (i.e., don’t promote fishing equipment on your website that is all about Norwegian folk music). Once you do that, try to narrow your niche as much as possible. For instance, instead of promoting all of the current cellphones, focus your efforts on promoting just one maker, or, even better, just one model.
Finally, consider how much commission you can make per unique click or complete acquisition. Imagine getting a small percentage on every cheap paperweight sold via your site – you would have to facilitate thousands of sales before making any substantial money.
Ignoring site design
This one seems like a no-brainer, but it bears repeating: if your site is hard to use and difficult to navigate, the chances are that people won’t stick around long enough to read any of your content, let alone complete a purchase.
As the Internet is getting faster, people are getting more and more impatient – so much so that fifty percent of potential visitors will leave a website if it takes more than two seconds for it to load. Other factors, such as the ease of reading your content, the number of pictures on each page, and so on, play equally important parts in making your site more or less appealing.
Treat your website design as an investment, especially if you aim to make money off affiliate marketing. The easier your site is to use, the more time people will spend browsing it, thus increasing your site’s ranking and, potentially, your earnings.
Underestimating your visitors
Keep in mind that people, in general, are more competent than they seem. If they notice that you are training to sell them a product or service that you don’t know much about, they won’t hesitate to leave your site without completing a purchase.
Whatever you are promoting, do your best to stay in the loop and on top of it. Check communities such as Quora and Reddit and see what is currently hot in your niche. Look through relevant blogs and forums and use Google alerts to remain informed about what you are promoting.
The bottom line is – be honest with your visitors. That way, you will earn their trust and make them more likely to engage with your content. Doing so will raise your conversion rates and also improve your Google ranking.