I have been in the Affiliate Marketing business for a few years now and I have made my fair share of mistakes along the way.
I learn the hard way in my journey to success in the Affiliate Marketing industry, and I feel obliged to share this information to help you avoid these grave mistakes.
Deadly Mistake #1: Trying to Reinvent the Wheel
When you are new to Affiliate Marketing, you wouldn’t know what to expect, and the worst thing to do create something “Unique” without proper thought.
Unique is good, don’t get me wrong, but if it doesn’t generate any results for you then I see no point on being unique. I am sure you agree with me on this.
There are so many niches in the online world and in each niche there are already established systems that are proven to work.
What I simply mean is there are many successful Affiliate Marketing websites in every niche.
The first thing you should do when you start a new Affiliate website is to identify those websites that are well established in the niche.
If you follow the way how those successful websites work, I am sure you can achieve the same level of success in time.
I am not saying to copy those websites word for word, that’s plagiarising and it contravenes the copyright law, what I am saying is that you should learn from those websites on the following things:
- The Customer/Reader experience
- Understand the first impression when you visit those websites
- What kind of keywords are those websites ranking for
Tip #1: The Customer/Reader Experience
To me, this is the most important thing you have to understand from those successful websites.
This basically means the flow of the content from the moment a Customer/Reader enters the website till he/she leaves by making a buy decision or clicks on the affiliate link.
In order to understand the Customer/Reader Experience, you have to put yourself in the shoe of a customer/reader.
Do not view those websites with the mindset of a business owner because you will not gain the perspective.
Make sure you jot down all those feelings that you have while experiencing the flow of the website, if you need a second person’s opinion, you can ask your friends or family to go through those websites.
The main purpose for this exercise is to understand how those websites captures the attention of their Customers/Readers and how they entices them to buy something or click on the Affiliate Link.
Use this information that you have gathered from those websites and implement it into your site.
Tip #2: First Impression Counts
The attention span of a person on a website is 3 seconds, if you can’t catch the attention of the person within that 3 seconds, you have lost the customer.
Understand how those successful websites capture their customer’s attention and how they draw them to the contents of the website.
Similarly, you should put yourself in the shoe of the customer and visualize what captures your attention. Take notes on the things that capture your attention in the first 3 seconds and put this information to good use.
Once you have implemented those things to your website, make sure you test it out by asking your friends or family to check out your website.
Tip #3: What kind of keywords are they ranking for?
These successful websites have already paved the way for your website. They already show you what kind of articles you should write and the keywords you should be ranking for.
You must think that I am crazy right? Competing with those successful websites. Let me share with you my story:
When I first started my website, I was researching on my competitors (those successful websites) who are well established for years before my time, to be honest, I was intimidated initially to go against them.
Those websites already ranked very well for the those keywords that I wish to rank for, but that didn’t stop me from writing an article which is even better and offers more information to my readers.
Search engines are conditioned to rank articles that prove to be valuable to its readers.
Soon enough, the search engines notices my articles and I soon became the biggest competitors of those successful websites.
So have no fear in competition, you will never know if your article will rank better than your competitors.
Deadly Mistake #2: Taking care of your own interest
I understand the main reason for creating an affiliate website is to make money, and in order to make money, people have to buy products from you.
Well, if your mindset is focused on selling products, then you are making a grave mistake.
Promoting products online is unlike the old days where you a bag of products to the doorstep of your prospects.
When it comes to promoting a product online, it is all about content marketing.
To be clear, content marketing is not about SEO or keyword stuffing, it is about providing useful information to your readers.
The first thing you want to do when you are trying to sell or promote a product online is to create trust between you and your readers.
There is a saying that the best way to sell a product is not to sell them, seems contradicting? It is actually not.
You need to understand is the mindset of your readers, what are they thinking, what are they looking for online, what are their problems, are they looking for remedies or solution, etc.
Only when you understand your readers, you can then tackle their issues, gain their trust, and offer them a solution.
To gain a person’s trust online, your contents in the article must contain information on the problems that your readers are facing, relate those problems to your personal experience or someone else’s experience, and how you or that person find a remedy or solution to the problem.
People tend to believe what you say if you or someone else have personal experience with the problem.
Tip #4: Write Articles for your readers, not for search engines
So if you are writing articles for search engines, you should stop now because the very search engine you are writing for will penalize you on your rankings.
Google especially, will only rank articles if they believe that your article actually help your readers. So when you are writing an article, be genuine in helping your readers and you will be rewarded with search engine rankings.
Deadly Mistake #3: Choosing the Wrong Niche
I have seen so many novice Affiliate Marketers make this deadly mistake that causes them to quit the business eventually.
When you are new to making money online, you would have thought that selecting a niche that has a huge market and has the most affiliate products is the best decision you would ever make.
The fact is that if you select a niche that you are not interested in, no matter how big the market is or how profitable the affiliate products can be, you will not progress far.
The big advantage of setting up an Affiliate Marketing Business is you can select any niche you want, so why select one that you are not interested in?
To be honest, if you select a niche based on your passion, you wouldn’t mind continuing your business even if you are not making money because it is your interest and it is what you like to do.
Well, I am not saying that you should continue on a losing business, but what I mean is you wouldn’t mind going through the hardship to find success on your passion project.
Tip #5: Choose a niche based on your passion
If you select a niche that you are not interested in, the chances are you will give up whenever you face hardship, because you will have no interest in finding out the core problems of your business, and solving them would be a hassle for you.
That is why I highly recommend that you select a niche based on your passion rather than following the mass and statistics.
Deadly Mistake #4: Improper Keyword Research
Imagine writing an article without doing a proper keyword research, and you soon realize that your article is not ranking anywhere on the search engines.
Wouldn’t your efforts be wasted? A fellow member of Wealthy Affiliate recently came to me and ask if I could review her website because she could not get any traffic, even after six months of hard work.
So I did a thorough review on her website and found out that all the keywords that she is trying to rank for being either has too little traffic or has too many competitors.
Worst of all, she was trying to stuff tonnes of keywords into the first few paragraphs of the article, there are no focus on one main keyword.
My advice to her was to do a proper keyword research and rank for one main keyword (I will tell you why below). A proper keyword simply means that it has at least 50 average searches a month, and has not more than 150 competitors.
If you want to have a proper keyword research tool, you may try the tool below. I have been using this tool for a very long time and it has helped most of my articles to rank on the first page of search engines:
An example below of a good keyword:
“Avg” simply means Average Searches per month and “QSR” simply means the number of competitors trying to rank for the particular keyword.
These low competition keywords are basically called “Low Hanging Fruit” keywords. Many people have the mindset of competing for keywords that have a lot of average searches, but it is a grave mistake especially when you are new to online marketing.
Tip #6: Focus on ONE Main Low Hanging Fruit Keyword
If you write so many articles, and none of them are ranked on the first few pages of the search engines, it only means that your article is not seen anywhere and there will be no traffic coming into your website.
No traffic means no sales, simple as that. So, I would highly recommend that you focus your time and energy on targeting “Low Hanging Fruit” keywords.
One misconception that beginner marketers have been that they always thought that whatever keywords they are trying to rank for, the Search Engines will rank those keywords according to their expectation.
The truth is Search Engines will only rank your article based on the keywords THEY think your article deserves, so do not waste your time stuffing keywords into your articles.
Focus on ONE MAIN KEYWORD and the content flow, and let the Search Engines decide on what other keywords your article deserves.
Deadly Mistake #5: Not Educating yourself enough
If you are new to online marketing and you do not have a proper guidance, chances are, you will reach a point where you do not know how to move on.
This happens to many novice Affiliate marketers when they were first introduced to Affiliate Marketing educational programs that do not provide a proper guideline or a framework to follow.
The most important thing for a beginner is to have a solid foundation in order to progress further, without that, the chances of a beginner failing in the business are very high.
I have been through the stage where I bought many courses and followed many self-proclaimed Gurus but they lead me to nowhere. Each “Guru” claimed that their “system” will generate money for you on auto-pilot.
I did not make any money and worst of all, I do not have any take away (any education whatsoever) from the Gurus. Luckily, whilst searching through the internet jungle for Internet Marketing education, I found an educational program that has got me to where I am today.
Well, I am not here to promote the educational program but if you are interested to know what program it is, you can check out this review.
Tip #7: Always continue to educate yourself
Education does not stop when you start making money. Most importantly, even if you have some success on your website, you should continue to educate yourself and update your website as you go along. Never be complacent in your online business.
Deadly Mistake #6: Chasing the wrong Cars
Before this, I talked about how not educating yourself will cause you to fail in your business.
Now, I am talking about educating yourself too much that will cause a great impact on your business. This is a common mistake for Affiliate Marketers who already see some results, and are desperate to bring the business to the next level.
Like myself, when I was earning $200-$300 a month, I was so desperate to achieve a $1,000 a month, so I bought educational programs and courses, one after another, thinking that each one of those programs can give me a breakthrough result.
One thing for sure, those courses did not lead me to anywhere (thanks to the educational program I am in), because at that point, I was already knowledgeable enough to create a breakthrough, I just didn’t know that yet.
The time and attention wasted on those other programs brought my progress to a halt. I could have focused my energy on the things that are already working for my website.
I know that getting more education is good, but getting educated on the things that you already know contradicts stuff (for example, generating traffic, I jolly well know that the best source of traffic is from Search Engine Results and secondary traffic or the second best traffic, is from social media, but I kept buying courses on “How to generate Traffic”).
Tip #8: Focus on things that you already know
So, I advise that when you already have some success on your website, focus on the things you already know.
Put some attention on finding knowledge on things that you do not know, but do not neglect on the fundamental things that brought you to your little success.
Deadly Mistake #7: Wrong Design and Loading Speed
Just how many times you enter a website and left immediately, because you were so turned off by the website’s design or because the website was not loading fast enough?
We, as humans, are becoming more and more impatient on the internet because of the advancement in the technology. I still remember I used to wait almost half an hour to load an email when I was using a 56K dial up connection.
Nowadays, everyone expects everything to be loaded within seconds on the internet, and because we are so used to that lightning speed, it made us impatient on the Internet.
So if your website is not loading within seconds, you know that you would lose a lot of prospective customers.
One thing I always advise novice Affiliate Marketers to do is to keep the number of plugins (if you are a wordpress user) as low as possible.
Otherwise, figure out what is making your website loading slowly, and tackle on that issue.
When it comes to the design of the website, it has to be consistent throughout.
What I mean is the domain name must match with the design (background) of your website, your fonts that you use throughout the website must be consistent, the overall design of your website must give the impression of “I know what this website is about” within seconds.
It would be weird if your domain name has a very serious vibe, but your contents and design of your website are all about kids’ stuff right?
This mismatch of website design turns people off and as you know, people’s attention span on a website is 3 seconds. If you can’t capture their attention within 3 seconds, they will simply leave your website.
Tip #9: Check out your competitor’s website to get ideas
It is hard to tell you exactly how to create a consistent design because each website has its own characteristics, but I would advise you to skim through your competitors’ websites (those that are successful) to understand what kind of design and feel they are going for, use that to your advantage.
Hope you won’t make the same mistakes…
So there you go, the list of Mistakes I have made when I was a novice Affiliate Marketer.
I hope you do not make the same mistakes I have made, and you could learn something from this article. If you find my article helpful, please, help to share it with your friends and family by clicking on the social media buttons (Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus) below.
If you have any questions you would like to ask, please feel free to leave a comment below and I will be happy to discuss it with you.