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The 7 Most Common Mistakes Made in Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Marketing – The Best Place to Start
Everyone has to start somewhere. And, for neophyte Internet marketers, the best place to start may be with affiliate products. Rather than going through the laborious and expensive process of creating your own product (of dubious quality) and then trying to market it to the masses, why not start by finding a product that is well put-together and comes from someone who already has a high degree of credibility? You could save a lot of time, money, frustration, and will power; and you could make money in the process, too—in fact, really, really good money. Many top Internet marketers today still sell affiliate products, even though they make a killing off of their own. Why? Because it’s still fantastic money and little effort is required.
Now, with that said, it’s important to mention that affiliate marketing is no walk in the park, either. It’s certainly easier than pulling off a Jeff Walker-style massive product launch, but, like anything else, there are plenty of pitfalls just waiting to consume you and your money. Do yourself a favor: heed what I say and avoid those pitfalls. In this section, I will go over the top 7:
Pitfall #1: Choosing a Bad Product to Promote
Not all products are created equal. In fact, that is probably the driving motivation behind your decision to sell affiliate products: for the most part, you have accepted that there are plenty of high-quality products already on the market; and, if you create your own, it might not compare favorably.
If you decide to pick your product off of a list on Clickbank, select very carefully. Rather than haphazardly selecting the product with the highest commission, look for ones that have the highest popularity and gravity ratings. If a lot of people are buying them often, they must be better than other products for sale within that niche.
In addition to picking good products within niches, you will also want to look for good niches. Here’s a stupid tip that will illustrate my point nonetheless: don’t sell garden hoses in the winter. No one will buy. Focus on products that a lot of people want; and if their popularity just surged, now is the best time to get in the market.
Pitfall #2: Picking a Low Converter
As an affiliate marketer, your goal is to profit from the hard worker others have done; and from the money they have spent on copywriters, product developers, and software. If you select a product that underutilizes these advantages, you are likely to benefit less.
Take, for instance, conversion rates. Not all product creators hire a top-notch copywriter. In fact, many of them just write their own copy. Many also don’t hire someone to do graphs for the sales page. Instead, they try to do their own. The end result? The page looks hideous, the copy contains major errors, and the product converts poorly.
Before you start promoting any particular product, read the sales page carefully and compare it with others. Do you feel compelled to buy? Did the graphics throw you off? Did the copy fail to reel you in for the catch? These can all amount to fatal errors for both the seller and you. You cannot help the seller at this point, but you can avoid his product and find a better one. Do yourself a favor: choose your products carefully.
Pitfall #3: Selling Snake Oil for a Snake Oil Salesman
This pitfall is especially important to avoid if you have a list. All it takes is one erroneous product promotion and you could end up with a mass exodus from your list. Again, don’t make this error.
Even though you may be tempted to promote the next “biggest launch,” make sure you don’t buy into just anything. Several marketers have lamented their choices to promote the Rich Jerk’s latest offering after list members complained that his sales page was loaded profanity and sexist comments. Don’t be one of these guys. Make sure you carefully inspect anything before you promote it to your list. Unless you happen to be the Rich Jerk, you probably don’t want people to think you’re just that—a rich jerk.
Additionally, avoid jumping on the affiliate product bandwagon for major promotions. Instead, wait until the buzz dies down slightly; and then release a comprehensive review (something most affiliate marketers do not provide) of the product. This has a much better chance of getting sales for you; and it will also help you to maintain credibility.
Last, avoid promoting products that make outrageous and fallacious claims. As Carl Sagan once said “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” In most cases, these snake oil peddlers cannot provide you with any extraordinary evidence, but they do make the claims. Avoid promoting them and becoming associated with them.
Pitfall #4: Picking Products that Offer Meager Commissions
If you’re marketing to a list of people, they’re only going to consider so many product offers in a given period of time, so select the ones you promote wisely. If you promote something that only generates a 25% commission for you, then you’re leaving a lot on the time. In reality, you could probably find a similar product that offers a 50% or 75% commission.
In terms of the actual dollar value of the commission – don’t sweat that as much. While many top name Internet marketers now say that they concentrate on promoting high-ticket items (since only a few sales will generate a lot of money), you can still make a killing selling relatively cheap reports. The rising popularity of the $7 report is testament to this fact.