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Top 3 Affiliate Marketing Mistakes You'll Want to Avoid

Updated on December 20, 2015

Affiliate Marketing

1) Sign up is usually free

2) Make money selling products you use/recommend

3) No limit to possibilties

4) Earn a passive/secondary income

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a sales/performance based marketing where businesses allow "affiliates" to market and sell the business's products or services. Each affiliate is given a specific code used to track their individual sales. This code is placed within each affiliate link (URL). The affiliate will then get a commission (either % or fixed price) on each sale but when the affiliate link was used.

Affiliate marketing is a great way for people like you and me to make money selling other people's products.

Many people make full-time livings as affiliate marketers and the possibilities of making money this way are endless. Google, Amazon, and eBay, are some of the largest affiliate networks around and many people make tens of thousands of dollars each month just from selling their products.

Even within this hub, I've included a few products from Amazon (of which I'm an affiliate marketer). When someone clicks on one of these affiliate links and then buys a product, I will get a small commission from the sale.

Most companies these days allow affiliates to sell their products. It's a great way for businesses to make a lot of money without exhausting their resources or hire salesmen to sell their products or services.

With affiliate marketing...everyone wins.

However, there are 3 major mistakes most new affiliates will make and I'm here to guide you so you can avoid spending years of frustration and confusion like I did!

Taking surveys is a waste of time!
Taking surveys is a waste of time!

Make More, Do Less

Many people are desperate to make extra money online and while there are ways to do this (taking surveys, watching advertisements, and playing games), the money you'll make from doing these tasks is very little compared to how long you'll actually spend doing them.

Taking a 15-minute survey and getting paid $1.50 really sucks.

Hopefully this article will inspire you to start making money elsewhere, unless making $6 an hour taking boring surveys is fun to you.

Are you an experienced marketer?

Which Affiliate Program Is Your Favorite?

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Mistake 1: Thinking You'll Make Money Fast

Don't get me wrong. Affiliate marketing is a great way to make a lot of extra money on the side. But when you think you're going to make $1,000 your first day because you have a lot of friends or you're a great salesman, you might be in for a rude awakening.

There have been times where I find a product I can definitely sell, I get my affiliate URL, and start pasting that link everywhere and then realize no one is going to buy that product or it was a waste of time promoting that service.

Let me give you an example...

Let's say you love using Pinterest; You have a lot of followers and everyone loves your Wedding Dresses board. You'd probably make some pretty great money by signing up for a wedding dress affiliate program and pinning a few dresses (using your affiliate link), right? Wrong.

Pinterest has done a great job at stealing sales from their users. Pinterest is a business too, remember?

Anytime you add your affiliate link within Pinterest, they strip out your affiliate code and replace it with theirs. Then, when someone buys the product you've posted, Pinterest makes the sale, not you.

However, Pinterest has posted they do this in their terms and conditions so you really can't do anything about it.

Here's another example...

You LOVE Amazon. You buy products from them every week. You buy a product that you absolutely love and decide to sign up for the Amazon affiliate program so you can make a little extra money selling your favorite Amazon products to friends and family.

You find a product to sell using Amazon's affiliate dashboard, copy your affiliate link, and paste it within an email you send to everyone you know.

Your mom clicks the link and is taken to Amazon to buy the product. Before she clicks "buy now", she gets side-tracked, takes a phone call, goes to another website, sees a different Amazon affiliated product that she remembered she needed, clicks the other website's affiliate link, buys both products, and you end up losing the sale. The other website makes both sales because she clicked their link before purchasing rather than her just purchasing your product immediately after clicking your link.

Can you see how frustrating affiliate marketing can be?

These two reasons are why you shouldn't assume you're going to be a millionaire overnight with affiliate marketing. It takes a lot of time and energy figuring out the best tactics to ensure you end up being the last link clicked before users buy a product.

You'll always want to make sure you affiliate yourself with products you actually use, rather than selling "what's hot." If you try to sell products that are "in right now," chances are there will be A LOT of competition and you'll never make any sales.

Mistake 2: Doing What Others Do

I've spent thousands of hours implementing what "professional marketers" have taught me only to find myself frustrated, discouraged, and right back where I started.

Most affiliate marketers will blatantly tell you they make money from getting people (just like you) to buy their products. They promise to teach you their ways but require you to buy their product before you gain access to their "secrets." Why? Because that's how they make money!

So my next piece of advice is this... DON'T do what others are doing. Make up your own strategies. Try new things. Think offline. Try things that people say won't work. Why? Because you could be the next person to try something new and be the first to make $1,000,000 from it. Who knows?


Mistake 3: Thinking It's Going To Be Easy

Professional marketers (you know, the ones making $100,000 a month blogging) will tell you affiliate marketing is anything but easy.

Most of those men and women who make it seem really easy, don't tell you how many years they've spent building their business.

The behind the scenes work is fascinating, especially when bloggers and marketers are open and honest about how far they've come.

There is a really great documentary sponsored by Clickbank (Livingdotcom presented by Yekra) that shows the lives of about 14 different internet marketers and entrepreneurs that show you what they've done over the last 10+ years to make it where they are today. I highly recommend watching this film if you're serious about learning from others.

One of the best internet marketers I've found is Derek Halpern of Social Triggers. He mixes psychology with marketing to create an awesome masterpiece. Check out the video below on how he creates products that sell.

Social Triggers - Derek Halpern

© 2014 Michael

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