Most every online marketing professional starts out doing affiliate marketing. The reason is really quite simple. It is one of the top ways of earning income online. Affiliate marketing allows everyone a chance to make a profit through the Internet - even the novice Internet user. They are easy to join, easy to get started in, and you are paid commissions on a regular basis.
Problem is that most often, those would be success affiliate marketing professional (noticed I said would-be) tend to have three things in common when it comes to mistakes in their efforts. And these mistakes ultimately rob them of a large portion of their profits on a daily basis, its best to avoid these affiliate marketing mistakes as all costs, if you can. If you are coaching others in online success, be sure you cover these with them if you are getting them involved in any affiliate program that you are involved with, since it will ultimately affect your paycheck as well.
Mistake One: Participating in the wrong affiliate programs.
Anyone that has done affiliate marketing knows what I am talking about here. We have all wanted to make fast money online like the 'gurus' say you can. And while making money fast online is possible, it does not happen for everyone at the same speed of light that we all hope for. The main reason is that we choose the wrong affiliate marketing programs. These are programs that are widespread and most everyone has heard about them or been exposed to them already. Even though there may be a high profit on each referral or sale, as demand goes, demand for something will only be as good as the satisfaction of the customers that have used it. Make sure the program, product, or service that you market is reputable and a good track record with customer service.
As a branding professional, I strongly recommend that you first scrutinize whatever you choose to be an affiliate for against your core values and personal or company brand values. Do you want to be known as someone promoting something that will ultimately be considered worthless, unpopular or overpriced? Would you sell it to your mother or a loved one in clear conscience?
I personally only enter into affiliate programs that have a product or service that personally appeals to me, and that I can talk about from personal experience. Promoting a product you are passionate about has a very motivating affect on a would-be customer or client to that product.
One of these sorts of affiliate programs that I actively promote is GVO because I know their products well. It is a hosting company that offers a suite of online marketing tools that work for any industry or online marketing program. Practical speaking, I use GVO to host all of my 22 websites all under one low priced monthly hosting plan for only $45/mth. And, Joel (one of the owners) used to be a direct competitor of mine, and I know him to be a straight up guy and serious about making people successful using his products and services.
My point here is that it is important that you have this sort of underlying belief in the products and services that you offer others. When you do have a conviction about the product or service, it's easy to promote it. This is the type of affiliate program you want to look for - one that you really believe in and can get behind and promote in good conscience.
Mistake Two: Getting involved in more affiliate programs than you can manage.
Affiliate programs are very easy to join. If you find the right ones, they can be highly profitable. The idea of having a wide range of offerings for customers (visitors to your Website or storefront), can be a temptation for many who do not have experience in either multiple administration responsibilities or the adequate personal management skills that are needed to properly appropriate time.
Having multiple income streams really appeals to most people who are excited about making money online. And truly, it is a great way to pad your losses if you have one affiliate program that is not producing as you thought it would. However, unless you are highly organized and focused (which few people are), joining multiple programs and trying to promote all of them at the same time might be too overwhelming.
The byproduct of one's inability to concentrate on each affiliate program often prohibits them from maximizing the potential of any of the affiliate programs they are attempting to promote. I suggest that unless you have really good management skills of your time, that you start out working actively in only one program until you see how much time and energy it will take to produce the income you wanted to receive from it.
There are no 'get rich quick schemes' out there in cyberspace that are legal, so you can expect that whatever you set your hands to will take time to grow. Are you willing to do the daily consistent tasks required of you in order to see your affiliate business grow? If so, I suggest doing only one at a time until you really get the hang of things.
Mistake Three: Be a believer in the product you are marketing! (THIS IS A BIGGIE FOLKS!)
Have you ever seen someone in a retail store trying to sell things that just were not something they would personally buy? I see it all the time. It's like they just have no motivation or excitement in selling what they are there to sell. Aside from the fact that they are most likely working for minimum wage, and are in retail as a result of not being able to do or find anything else, a big part of the reason they are not highly enthusiastic about what they are selling is that they do not own it and/or use it themselves.
If you want to be convincing in your presentation and persona as someone who really believes in what you are doing (marketing to others), you really need to be using it yourself. It's that simple. I know a young woman that is about to launch a health related site, and one of the products that she will be an affiliate for is a Vita-Mix blender. She is excited about it because she is the happy owner of one and swears by it. Her ability to sell it will be like a walk in the park on a spring day - easy and enjoyable to do.
OK, true confession here. For a short very short season of my life, I sold cars. Yes. You are reading a blog written by an EX "used car salesman." In defense of the car dealership that I worked at, they are among the most reputable of all in the city where I was, but I am telling you what. I am fully convinced that to sell used cars you need to be either a pirate, a scoundrel, or a thief. I saw stuff being rolled out off of that lot that should have never been sold to anyone. I mean if they had of been horses we were selling, you would of had to shoot them. That's how bad they were.
As careers go, mine as a 'car salesman' was short lived (about a year), in that management did not like me telling people who came to buy a car that the car they wanted to buy was a lemon or that the financing they were getting themselves into was going to bury them for 5 or 6 years, and no way to get out of it. My point here is that I HATED SELLING CARS, and didn't really believe in the types that I was selling most of the time; and it ultimately came out in my presentation to potential customers. Sheeeesh... I must have given up $50,000 in commissions simply because I didn't believe in what I was selling and could not be enthusiastic about it as a result. The result was a very short lived (for which I am eternally thankful) season slinging metal on a car lot - no offense to any car sales people that might be reading this.
So the moral of the story is that if you are going to be successful at selling anything, including Affiliate marketing products or services, you must first like the product and use it yourself IF you want to convince others they will like it and appreciate it. Take the time to try the product or service personally first before you sign up as an affiliate to see if it is really delivering what it promises. Then you can offer it to others in good conscience, and that invisible subconscious buying trigger in every customer will click on, and you will make tons of sales - whether online or in person.