Brian Schwartz

Senior Staff Writer at Venerate Media Group

Are you struggling to get your affiliate marketing business off the ground? Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to make money online. Why? You can start part-time with little or no money – and you don’t have to ship a product – ever. With an affiliate marketing business, your job is to promote. This means you can concentrate on one task and really fine tune your efforts. Your risk in the affiliate marketing business is low but, to turn it into a viable full-time business, you have to avoid certain pitfalls. Here are the most common affiliate marketing mistakes that keep people from making big affiliate marketing profits.

Believing You Can Get Rich Quick Through Affiliate Marketing

The internet world is a sea of business opportunities and get-rich-quick schemes. One common affiliate marketing mistake new marketers make is to throw up a few affiliate links on their website and eagerly wait for the profits to roll in. When the profits don’t come, they throw in the towel and move on to the next hot money-making opportunity that lands in their mailbox. Some people make very large amounts of money in the affiliate marketing business, but it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme.

How to avoid this? To be successful in affiliate marketing, stay focused, and learn everything you can about marketing affiliate products. Test new ways of marketing your products until you find a winning formula. Read case studies of people who have been successful and how they did it. But don’t be distracted by offers that come through email promising they’ll make you millions overnight. They won’t.

Not Offering Value to Your Customers

Are you giving your customers value? Some affiliate marketers blanket their website with a sea of banners and affiliate links, and offer little valuable information on their website to encourage viewers to stick around. What information they do provide is nothing more than a veiled sales pitch for the products they’re promoting. This approach almost never works. Google gives priority to sites that offer quality. People buy from online sites they trust, and to get that trust you need to build a relationship with your viewers. One way to do that is to offer credible information – not sales pitches. When viewers see you’re offering something useful, they’ll start to think of you as a trusted expert and will feel comfortable buying what you recommend.

Blindly Choosing Affiliate Products

Selecting the wrong products to promote is one of the more common affiliate marketing mistakes. Some affiliates choose affiliate products based on their commission structure, while knowing nothing about the product. The quickest way to destroy credibility is to recommend a product that doesn’t work. Research the company and product thoroughly before promoting it. Read reviews on the product – and try it yourself. It’s hard to be convincing about a product you’ve never used. Don’t promote affiliate products you’re clueless about even if they offer a huge commission.

Not Building a Customer List From the Beginning

Many beginning affiliate marketers don’t focus on list-building – but they should. Building an email list of potential buyers gives you the chance to market to them again and again as you add new affiliate products to your list. There’s a saying in the online marketing world that “the gold is in the list.” This applies to any type of marketing, especially affiliate marketing.

To get a customer’s email address, offer them a free report in exchange for their email address. That way, you’ll provide your customers with useful information, while building a list of potential buyers for the future. You can use an autoresponder service to automatically send a free report when a website visitor opts in. Treat your email addresses with care. Don’t email customers with offers for products that aren’t relevant to their needs and interests, and don’t contact them too often.

The Bottom Line?

You’ll ultimately sell more products in your affiliate marketing business if you keep the best interests of your customer in mind. Inform them, nurture them – but don’t spam them with offers. Be patient too. Building an affiliate marketing business takes time.

Affiliate marketing can be a lucrative business, if you do it right. Unfortunately, some marketers take the wrong approach and then wonder why they fail. Here are four affiliate marketing mistakes that can cost you profits.

Brian Schwartz
Online marketing veteran with a focus on consumer acquisition in multiple verticals. Detailed and creative with experience operating within cross-functional teams. Specialized in partner recruitment, negotiations, campaign execution and optimizing existing relationships. A stickler for good design and user experience, proficiencies in Photoshop and HTML with an Optimizely Platform Certification. Startup entrepreneur mindset with corporate experience.