If you already know about affiliate marketing this article is probably not for you. But hey: we’ve all been beginners at some point!
Affiliate Marketing can be very profitable, but it’s always easy to make some mistakes that can ruin your chances for success.
I started on this business as an affiliate quite some years ago -before I joined AffiliRed– and perhaps, if I had been given this advise before, I would be swimming in gold now. But that’s a another story.
So let me briefly explain what you shouldn’t do if you want to become a successful affiliate:
1. Not buying a domain name
If you are really thinking of becoming a top-notch affiliate, start buying a domain name for your project.
Domain names are cheap, so do not fret about it. Avoid free hosting sites and domains and get a real one.
2. Buying keywords-domain-names for SEO purposes.
Don’t go for keyword domains, get a real brand:
“Cheap-london-hotels.com” sounds rather spammy, and you do not want to look spammy, right?
Trivago, Tripadvisor, Amazon… these are real brands which will also allow you to expand you business in the future.
Get an easily brandable domain name for your project. Full stop.
3. Not focusing on your project: visitors and content
It’s very common to spend too much time thinking and working on how to get traffic, or looking at statistics, and not focusing on your site.
Provide valuable content and visitors will come.
Whatever your niche is, make sure the information is up to date and updated regularly, otherwise it will become useless. And no one spends time on useless websites. Do you?
4. Focusing too much on SEO
Make sure that when you set-up your website you’re doing it properly and that it’s SEO friendly, but do not overdo.
Go for the old school techniques: follow HTML standards, make your site crawable and use your keywords once in the <title> tag, once again in the heading and yet again in the body. Full stop.
Many affiliates spend more time on SEO than on the website content itself. But your visitors are not looking for SEO: they’re looking for engaging content.
5. Become over passionate about Statistics
You must analyse your statistics and understand your visitors so you can focus your project and get more converting visitors.
But again: do not overdo. Check your statistics once a day and then go back and work on your site.
6. Putting all eggs in one basket
Carefully choose some merchants to promote, not just one or two. So in the event of one of this merchants stopping its affiliate campaign you still get income from the others.
Work with different networks, not just one.
Use additional revenue channels, not just affiliate programmes: Adsense maybe a good option. Just go and find the one that fits your needs.
7. Not focusing on usability and speed.
Make your site quick to load and easy to use. Once you’re done, make it quicker and easier again.
Speed is everything on the internet: if your site or your links doesn’t load quick enough visitors will go back and switch to another website.
And then you’re done.
8. Not taking control of your affiliate links
It happens more than often that an Advertiser switches networks, or that they stop their affiliate programmes. If you do not happen to have your links centralized then updating them will become a nightmare.
Use some PHP or the programming language of your choice and make your links easily updatable.
Affiliate Networks usually allow you to build your own links, and this can be used to have a simple function which can then be updated to either switch network or merchant.
9. Not linking to the specific product page
Linking always to the advertiser’s homepage is useless. Bounce rates are higher when you do that. And you want your clicks to convert.
If you’re writing about the new iPad then deep-link to the specific iPad page at -let’s say- Amazon, and not the homepage. This is very much likely to convert than if the visitor has to search for the product himself.
10. Not educating yourself
Affiliate marketing is a serious business. And as in any business you need to keep yourself updated.
The internet is full of forums, articles and resources to gain knowledge about affiliate marketing or online marketing in general.
This is a continuously evolving business and as such it requires you to keep learning every day. Take it or leave it.
Extra-bonus: reading too many bulleted-list articles.
Bulleted-list articles may help you getting visitors to your site, but you won’t find the formula to become rich that easily 😉