Affiliate marketing is the perfect way to start an online business from home. Compared to other online businesses, it doesn’t take long to learn the basics and get started, it requires a tiny investment, and you can get started straight away.
Offline businesses can’t compare as there’s usually a substantial investment needed, while your online affiliate marketing business can be launched for around £20. Just a £10 domain name and £20 per month for hosting a website is all that’s needed to begin earning.
Perhaps the main selling point of an affiliate marketing business is the fact you’re in control of how fast you grow and the earnings can be sky high, if you’re prepared to put the work in. However, with all the online hype surrounding making money online, too many potential affiliate marketers fall for the ‘get rich quick’ promises.
So, let’s start with some home truths: No, your new business will not be making huge profits overnight. Yes, you can start building your business quickly and it won’t be long before you’re earning.
However, you need to approach this sensibly, stay focused and most important of all, avoid the five common mistakes outlined below.
Start smart and as Phil Coleman from global self-service platform ClickSure explains, how quickly your affiliate business grows and how much you earn all depends on you.
Here are five common mistakes new affiliates make and how you can avoid them.
1. Buying into the ‘get rich quick’ promise
Unfortunately the dazzling, hypnotic hype of the get rich quick Guru’s, can lure people into believing they can simply sit back and watch the profits start rolling in, with zero effort.
However, as any successful business owner, on or offline, will tell you, making a living from your own business takes hard work, dedication and grabbing as much expert help as you can. These tips are a great example.
As a new affiliate, don’t buy into the hype! Affiliate marketing will not make you rich overnight, but if you stay focused, stick to a solid plan, keep learning and work hard, the sky really is the limit.
2. Neglecting the niche
Many new affiliates try and promote as many products as they can, from various niches, wrongly believing the more varied their offering, the more potential customers they could have. That’s not the best approach however.
Choosing a narrower ‘niche’ market is a far better idea. Smaller markets are more focused and targeted, making them much easier to build your site around. Affiliate marketing revolves around earning commissions from promoting other peoples products and when you know your exact target market, it’s much easier to attract visitors who are likely to buy.
Over 50 per cent of the top affiliate marketing programmes fall into four categories: fashion, sports, health and beauty and travel. Within these broader niches are lots of popular sub-niches and it’s these that the most successful affiliates focus on. Rather than ‘Health’ for instance, focus in on popular sub-niches such as weight loss, cardio fitness, muscle growth etc, or laser target with health problems like acne, hair loss or bad breath.
There are millions of people searching for info, help and solutions in all of these sub-niches and as a successful affiliate you can make a great living simply guiding your visitors towards them.
3. Underestimating the importance of content
It’s simple, if you’re not creating your own unique pre-selling content to promote your partners’ products, you won’t convert visitors into sales. Just building a website in your niche and filling it full of links to products isn’t enough.
Google will recognise and rank a website much higher if it’s filled with quality, useful content that relates to your niche. Potential customers will also want to engage and buy from a website that offers such content and shows your knowledge of the market.
Finally, it’s important to think of the potential advertisers that you need to promote for. They want affiliates with good quality sites which rank well and fit their market. So it’s simple. Always write your own content, make sure it’s in depth, high quality and pre-sells the products you are promoting where needed.
If you don’t know how, make it a priority to learn. You’ll find all the free help you need online and mastering content writing will drive your success more than anything else.
4. Not being proactive
There are so many new affiliate marketers who build their website, add their content, hook up their affiliate links then sit back and expect visitors to pour in. It’s not going to happen. Just as with any business, you have to be proactive.
At first you should focus on continually adding helpful new content and attracting targeted visitors. The more content your site has, the more attractive it will be to visitors and the search engines, so it’s time well spent and will payoff as you grow. The more visitors you get, the more your income will rise.
Once you start getting results, don’t take your foot off the gas. Keep searching for different tactics to try, as this will ensure you keep improving your results. Keep what works and ditch what doesn’t. Staying proactive also means if a traffic source begins to perform badly, you have others ready to replace it.
So keep informed and up to date with your niche, create regular new content, try different sources of traffic and always keep an eye on new product trends.
5. Giving up
One of the main reasons new affiliates give up too early is because they have unrealistic expectations. As we’ve already said, many dream they will be rich overnight, when in reality it can take weeks or even months to see any success. It’s easy to say but don’t give up!
Write out a daily plan and try you best to stick to it. Learn as you move forward, not instead of moving forward and make good use of any expert information you can find. Remember to focus on quality content, try different traffic sources and only promote legitimate useful products and the results will come.
Further reading on affiliate marketing
Nominations are now open for the British Small Business Awards 2017, the leading event celebrating the brightest stars in the SME sector. Click here to enter, and make sure you get involved today using the hashtag #BSBAwards. Good luck!