The Biggest Mistakes Affiliates Make – And How To Avoid Them
There's no denying that we're all going to make mistakes building and growing an online affiliate marketing business (hell any online business). It's all part of the process.
But there's no need to make it any harder than it has to be. So today I want to share with you what I feel are the biggest mistakes affiliates make and how you can avoid them.
Why Listen To Me?
Yeah, so why should you listen to me? Well, I've been doing this online affiliate marketing thing for a very long time. I started way back in 2003 and I've been earning a full time income as an affiliate marketer since 2005.
And during that time I made plenty of mistakes - but I've always learned from them which keep me moving forward. Some people think that making mistakes is failing and sure you can look at it like that.
But I always saw it and still do see it as learning. If you’re failing forward, that's the learning part you're going to be just fine.
Ok, in my experience here's the top 3 mistakes affiliate marketers make.
1) Creating Prospect Loss
Most affiliate marketers create prospect loss by sending people directly to their affiliate website. You don't want to do that. You want to send people to your website first and then direct them to your affiliate site.
I understand why affiliates do this. They want to make money. So the logic would dictate that you send people to the affiliate site.
Well here's the problem with that.
The average conversion rate on most websites is around 2%. Yes there are sites that do higher but the average is around 2%.
So that means out of 100 people that you send directly to your affiliates site - 98 of them will leave that site for whatever reason and will be lost to you forever. And the same average conversion numbers apply to your own website. 98 out of 100 people will leave your site too.
So how do you reduce your prospect loss?
You have a lead capture system set up on your site. You build your mailing list!
Look at my site. My homepage is a soft capture (landing) page. I call it soft because there are links on the home page. If it was a true capture page there would be no links at all.
Look at my sidebar - I have an optin form to capture email addresses. When you get to the bottom of this post you'll see an image that's another optin to capture email addresses.
And even when you leave my site a optin bar slides from the top of my site to try and get your email address one last time. I want you on my mailing list because I know how important it is to build my mailing list.
Sure not everyone is going to join my subscriber list and not everyone is going to join yours either- but if you do things right a lot of people will.
And it's these people who otherwise would be lost to you. You now have the opportunity to build a relationship with them. And as people know, like and trust you they will buy from you.
And if you're sending people to directly to your affiliate website you don't have the opportunity to build your mailing list, let alone build a relationship with people.
I'm sure you're a wonderful person and you represent some fantastic products or services. But guess what?
Most people online have no clue how wonderful you are, let alone who you are or how fantastic the products or services you're representing are.
But by having them on your mailing list, they can get to know you and yep you can get to know them.
Go look at your affiliates website, I bet they have some sort of capture system on their site. And by sending people directly to your affiliates site you're helping them build their mailing list.
And by doing that it's doing you no good. Well yeah you could get a sale out of it, but if they don't buy anything but do decide to join your affiliate mailing list. You loose.
And you loose because any products their promoting through their email marketing will not be credited to you. So stop building their list. Focus on building yours.
Successful marketing is built on relationships and yep this takes time. But your business will be built on more solid foundation. Plus you'll come to find that your mailing list will become your biggest asset.
I'm reducing my prospect loss by building my mailing list - and you should be doing the same.
I did a post where I go into detail of how to build your mailing list. So when you're done reading this post you can head over to that one by clicking here.
2) Banners And Flashy Crap
You want to make sure you have a nice clean site that's easy to navigate and has a clear message. So forget about all the flashy banners and stuff.
You don't want your site to look like a circus. You may think it's cool to have that fancy slider and those flashy banners - but the majority of people could care less about that stuff and most people simply find stuff like this annoying.
When I come across a site like this no matter how great the information is I'll just leave and go find another website that does not give me a headache. People like to see a clean, clear and easy to understand website.
People are at your site for information, not fancy graphics. So don't fall into that trap thinking the more pimped out your site is the better it is. Believe me it's not.
Instead of flashy graphics use text links research has proved that text links are more successful than flashy banners. And the reason is text links can be placed naturally within your content.
You've seen me do it within this post. Did you find these text links annoying or distracting? I doubt it.
Also it's a speed thing.
Having all those flashy graphics, sliders and such slows down your websites loading time. Not only do people want a site that loads quickly. But Google uses site speed as one of its ranking signals.
Not only that, a slow loading site does have a negative effect on conversions. And that's because people just won't stick around waiting for your site to load.
However, the faster your site loads, the better your conversions will be, plus the better ranking of your site within the SERP's.
If you're not sure how fast your site is loading. Google has a cool little tool you can use to check your sites site speed. And if your site is not as fast as it could be you'll be shown what's slowing things down and how to fix it.
3) Not Being Up Close And Personal With The Affiliate Products You Market
When it comes to representing a product or service, and that's what you're doing as an affiliate credibility is really high up on the list.
And if you don't own and use the products or services that your representing - how credible are you?
Personally - you're not credible at all. How can I trust what you say about a product or service if you're not using it yourself?
For me you know what's going through my head? I'm thinking - "You don't own this product, but you want me to buy it anyway? What are you stupid?"
Credibility means everything. Not only that, owning and using the products and services you're affiliate with gives you a much deeper knowledge of the product.
And not just the good qualities of the product but the bad things as well. So when you're talking about your affiliate products you can give people a well rounded and objective review of these products.
I'm an affiliate of the wealthy affiliate. And I have intimate knowledge of the wealthy affiliate. Is the wealthy affiliate perfect? is it for everyone? I would love to think so, but the reality is it's not.
And because I'm a member and have the relationship and knowledge of the wealthy affiliate I'm can talk about anything that has to do with the wealthy affiliate (good or bad) and what it has to offer.
There's nothing you can't ask me about the wealthy affiliate that I don't know the answer too or can find out.
So using the wealthy affiliate as the example who would you trust more when it comes to representing the wealthy affiliate? Me or someone that's not a member?
Every single product and service I represent I own and use. There's no way I could recommend something to you or anyone if I'm not a owner and user of the product.
And because of that, not only can I sleep at night - but no one can question my credibility on the products and services that I represent as an affiliate.
Affiliate marketing in my opinion is by far is the best way to build a thriving online business. But like I said early it will take hard work and determination to build that business.
So don't make things any harder then they have to be.
And yes there are other mistakes that new affiliates make, but these 3 are at the top of my list.
So moving forward....
- Send people to your site first and build your mailing list
- Forget all the flash. Just have a nice clean easy to navigate website
- Own and use the products you're affiliate with
Do this and you'll be well on your way to building a thriving affiliate marketing business.
I hope you found this post helpful. If so, feel free to share this post with your audience, and if you have any questions or comments please leave them below.
I believe in you!
Oh and here's that optin image for getting you on my mailing list I talked about.