I love affiliate marketing! In my opinion it is truly one of the most powerful ways for the average person to make the kind of income that is generally only dreamed about.
However, like in all business, it is easy to forget that this same excitement and increase in desire for financial freedom comes with its pitfalls. Like a double edged-sword, it cuts both ways. By settling down and taking a deep breath you will be able to avoid some of the most common mistakes new and excited affiliates make as they enter the affiliate marketing arena.
The Top 3 Affiliate Marketing Mistakes
1) Joining Every Affiliate Program You Find
When you start out in your affiliate marketing business the most common mistake you will be tempted to make results in overkill. I joined every affiliate program under the sun in a variety of niches right away and my brain melted down as a result. I figured that the more affiliate programs I was a member of the more income I could make. While this sounds reasonable it actually is not productive.
Having multiple streams of income coming from several different affiliate programs and niche markets is the goal, but if you try to promote every single affiliate program at the same time you will work your behind off and see nothing in return. The result of this will be that you will have many different affiliate programs all running at their minimum potential. This generally means little to no income.
Focus on one type of affiliate program that pays out at least 50% first and maximize it in as many ways as possible. Do this and you will see a very healthy return on your time and will have learned so much more in the process.
2) Choosing The Wrong Affiliate Program
I learned this the hard way early on. In my rush to make millions by breakfast the next day, I neglected to search to see if the affiliate program I was promoting even had a product that someone would buy. Anyone can start an affiliate program for under $100 and sell whatever they want. Without even taking the time to understand my target market, or even finding out if there WAS a target market for my affiliate program, I wasted a lot of time trying to sell the right products to the wrong people and vice versa.
Also, it is important to do a little research on the affiliate program itself. Who runs the program? Do they have a phone number or a point of contact if you have any problems at all? Are they accessible? I am still waiting to be paid several hundred in commissions from a merchant who has yet to respond to my requests for payment. You will want to make sure that the merchant will actually pay you first!
3) Not Buying the Product or Using the Service Yourself
Now, this one does not matter as much with affiliate programs selling physical products such as shoes or clothing, or even name brand merchandise that we are all familiar with. This mistake is referring mostly to information products, which sometimes tend to have a higher price than they are really worth.
Don't sell garbage! The short term gains are not worth the degradation of your reputation in the marketplace! The only real way to know if an information product you are selling is a quality product is to buy it and use it yourself, OR to request the ability to review it from the merchant.
If you are selling information in a niche that you know nothing about, it will be difficult for you to judge the quality of the information. Get a qualified third party to confirm for you. You have to decide early on that you are building a business that will stand the test of time and not a fly-by-night trashy operation.
I speak so adamantly about these topics because I paid dearly for failing to correct these mistakes over the course of several years. The lure of easy money kept me from realizing my full potential early on.
If you can always keep this in mind and avoid these mistakes from the beginning you will build a beautiful and thriving affiliate marketing business, and will be able to become a top performer in any affiliate program you chose to associate with.
Adam Bauthues is a successful entrepreneur both in the online and offline arenas. To learn more about why affiliate marketing is considered the easiest and most efficient way to earn money online, and how you can dominate any affiliate marketing niche no matter your current level of knowledge, please visit: http://www.affiliatemonthly.com