2 Most Common Affiliate Marketing Mistakes
Copyright 2014 Donovan Baldwin
First of all, let me say without hesitation that I have been making money online as an affiliate marketer for over a decade. I love affiliate marketing and am somewhat successful at it, but, before I would recommend it to anyone else, I have to advise them about two major pitfalls which trip up new affiliate marketers.
1. Starting without any training
2. Not tracking advertising campaigns
The average person tooling around the Internet is going to come across some web page, often offering a product in which they are interested, with a message which says, more or less, "You can make money just by sending people to our website.
Many will ignore this, some will think, "Hmmmm! Maybe..." and go no further, but a few will say to themselves, "I like this product, the website is interesting, attractive and full of information." Generally within a few moments, this person will become convinced that if they only get their own affiliate link, they can make money...lots of money...simply by getting people to view the product or offer.
The art of getting people to view a particular website or offer is called Internet marketing. It is an extensive field, and not one easily conquered by an amateur. Even once someone gets to a website, only a few are actually going to buy or sign up for something.
Unless you have the luck of the Irish, all of them, you are probably NOT going to be able to post your affiliate link a few places on the Internet and start making a lot of money...or even a little.
Successful affiliate marketing comes about by understanding and putting into practice many different methods and techniques. It is NOT impossible, but it is more complicated than it appears at first.
In his great book (unfortunately out of print but available from time to time at Amazon), "Big Al's Super Prospecting: Special Offers & Quick-Start Systems", author and successful network marketer Tom "Big Al" Schreiter brings up an important point. He asks the question, "They train burger flippers, don't they?"
So, you have just signed up for a real business opportunity. It sounded great, but what do YOU really know about Internet marketing? Do you know what a "search engine friendly" web page is? Do you know anything about SEO (search engine optimization) or SEM (search engine marketing).
It is not impossible to learn all these skills, and others, on your own, but you will almost certainly need to learn them to be successful as an affiliate marketer. While you can do a lot of the research yourself, if you are willing to spend a few dollars to make many more, you should invest in some sort of affiliate marketing training AND Internet marketing training.
They are not always the same thing, and, unless you go to college and get a degree in online marketing, they are probably going to be colored by the experiences of the persons offering the training. However, it is better to spend fifty bucks and have some solid training in affiliate marketing and Internet marketing than it is to pay what I have always called "accidental tuition".
Frankly, many of us who have, over time, learned how to make money online have arrived at our points of knowledge by spending a lot of money on failed advertising campaigns and worthless programs. In fact, before learning whatever it is I know about these topics, I, like many others, spent about five thousand dollars.
So, step one for affiliate marketing success is to get some training.
As I said, you can do a lot of this on your own, but it is time-consuming and many people are going to tell you how they did it and tell you that's how YOU need to do it. However, each person, product, time, and marketing combination is unique and you need to learn the basics and apply them to your sitution.
One lady, Rosalind Gardner, is considered the queen of affiliate marketing and has put her knowledge into one of the best books on affiliate marketing around, "The Super Affiliate Handbook". This is a downloadable ebook which sells for only $27. It has not been updated for a while, but the basics are sound and include a wide range of training and tools for the beginning affiliate marketer.
On the other hand, a great affiliate marketing training site can be found at www.affilorama.com. AFFFF offers a $1, 30-day trial. After that, they can get kind of pricey, but, as they say, you get what you pay for, and they offer one of the best affiliate marketing training programs around.
You might also want to look at Google Sniper. They show you step-by-step exactly how to make money online.
Okay, you need training, but I also said you need to track your advertising campaigns.
This may seem simple to the newbie, but, the fact is, that tracking ad campaign performance is tricky.
First of all, you are probably going to have to create many ads at many websites. Second, most affiliate programs will only tell you how many hits (some will not even give you that), and how many sales you made.
You will have absolutely NO IDEA where your visitors came from, much less who bought what, unless you use some sort of ad tracking software.
The good news is that there are several decent, free ad tracking tools you can use. Most free ad trackers, however, have limits, and are usually given away in hopes that people will sign up for more services and reporting functions after having tried the free version for a while.
Still, you can find a free ad tracker which will at least get you started and I will give you a short list of those. If you DO really get into affiliate marketing, however, you will eventually need a high class, professional ad tracker.
While there are several, my own choice is ProTrackerPlus.
You can read a review of ProTrackerPlus here. You can actually visit their website at www.protrackerplus.com. One reason I recommend them first is that not only are they one of the best ad trackers and their program is used by many professionals, but they also offer a free tracker for the beginner. So, if you do decide to upgrade at some later date, you will already have a base of knowledge and data and will not have to start over.
You can see a free ad tracker at work by following either of these links. They will open in a new window. If you want to use their tracker, you will have to sign up for their program(s) but they are free. I will present each link using the same web page with different free ad trackers, which will appear at the top of the page.
Easy Downlines Offers several services and some advertising training.
Vital Viral Pro Downline builder with many services.
Affiliate Marketing Resource Websites
TE Command Post
About The Author:
Donovan Baldwin is a Dallas area freelance writer and Internet marketer. A University Of West Florida alumnus (1973) with a BA in accounting, he has held several managerial positions and run his own business. After retiring from the U. S. Army in 1995, he became interested in Internet marketing and developed various online businesses. He has been writing poetry, articles, and essays for over 40 years, and now frequently publishes articles on his own websites and for use by other webmasters. Get free advertising at xtramoney4me.net/free_advertising/adlandpro.html.
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