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3 Common Mistakes that Will Crush Your Affiliate Marketing Profits

Aug 17, 2007
As an affiliate marketer, I have made many mistakes over the years. Some I have learnt from and others I still continue to make from time to time. What can I say? I'm a slow learner.

Affiliate marketing is the easiest business to get into when setting up your own online home business. This is so because you don't need your own product, you don't take care of the after-sales process, you don't even have to worry about payment processing. This is all done on your behalf. Your job is to refer prospects to the sales website and collect your check at the end of the month.

Sounds easy, right?

Well compared to setting up your own product or service, affiliate marketing is a lot more straight forward. However, there are a few pitfalls that could seriously damage your profits if you don't take them into consideration when getting started.

Here are three of the most common mistakes that are familiar to all affiliate marketers:

1. Not Using the Product or Service Beforehand - This is quite obvious really! If you haven't used a product or service then how are you going to effectively sell it to others? Don't get me wrong, I have sold products in the past without knowing what I was selling and have indeed made some sales but this is the wrong way to go about an affiliate marketing business. Not only will you quickly lose the trust of your email list members but it is simply not as effective as when you can give an honest review of whatever you are offering.

You don't always have to buy the product. Try contacting the product owner, explain that you wan't to help them sell their product and ask for a copy in order that you may review it. They won't always comply. The more successful you have shown to sell products in the past the more likely they are to send you a complimentary copy. If all else fails, buy the product, you will soon make your money back in affiliate sales.

2. Promoting the Wrong Affiliate Product - I see affiliate programs out there offering commissions as low as 5% on $30 products. Personally I would not go near these. Some internet marketers will offer commissions as high as 75% to get you to sell their wares. 50-75% is common for info products and this is what you should be aiming for when starting out.

It is also prudent to check how successful sales of the product has been. You can be almost certain that if there are a lot online marketers selling a service that it has proven it's ability to sell to a target market. Clickbank also list their affiliate products in order of sales ability so this is a good place to start.

If you chose a product with either low commissions or a crappy sales record then you will be losing a lot of money on both counts. The important thing to remember is that you can make a lot more money out of the same workload IF you make the right decisions.

3. Joining too Many Affiliate Programs - This is one I am personally guilty off but I'm learning to focus my resources and am finding more success doing this. Have you checked your email inbox lately? No doubt it is filled with the latest hot offers. 99% of these are being sold by affiliate marketers.

It is all too easy to sign up for every new service that comes along promising instant profits for affiliates. You could find yourself a member of tens of affiliate programs and no further on in terms of increased income.

Find a suitable product, following the credentials in step 2 and focus on this. At least wait until you are making a profit in one program before moving on to another.

If you follow the steps above you will be off to a great start in the affiliate marketing arena and will significantly maximise your profits. You will certainly start off on a better track than most burgeoning affiliate marketers.
About the Author
Mal Keenan is editor and publisher of Best Rated Home Based Businesses Newsletter.
For An Online Home Business You Can REALLY Believe In Check Out: Top Home Base Businesses
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