VIEWS: 3 PAGES: 3 POSTED ON: 1/20/2011
We all make mistakes, it's a fact of life. It's no big deal in the whole scheme of things as long as we learn from our mistakes and move forward. The same goes with affiliate marketing since everyone will probably make mistakes at first, but as long as you fix them, it's no big deal. However, some mistakes are much more costly than others and we are not just talking monetary costs. These mistakes are the ones we only discover years down the road after we have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars and more importantly, wasted valuable time doing something that was totally the wrong way to do things. Recently, one of my biggest mistakes in affiliate marketing hit me front and center. Although I make a very comfortable living as a full-time affiliate marketer, this mistake has cost me significantly over the years. Perhaps a brief rundown of the common mistakes many affiliate marketers make would prove helpful. Some of these mistakes are: - you forget to build a list - you fail to track your affiliate links/traffic - you don't develop your own unique selling position - you link directly to your affiliate link instead of going thru an interior keyworded page - you ignore MSN and Yahoo - you forget to diversify your affiliate products/networks Plus, the one major mistake many beginning affiliate marketers make: they try to sell products directly to potential customers. This is not the way to proceed on the Internet. You must try to solve a problem first and then sell later. Most people using the web want to solve a problem, anything from how to lose 50 pounds to finding the right student laptop for a son or daughter. They want help solving a problem first and foremost. Your goal as an effective affiliate marketer is to solve their problem for them... selling should always come second or as a by-product of this whole interaction. Help first - sell later. By giving advice and help, you establish your credibility and trust-worthiness with your potential prospect. It is a win-win situation, they get valuable helpful information to solve their problem and you end up with a sale or a friend. This whole idea of pre-selling is a very effective method for affiliate marketing but is a common mistake many beginners make or rather fail to do. So if you're just starting affiliate marketing make sure it is not a mistake you're making. But my biggest mistake had nothing to do with those discussed above; from the get-go I was building my lists, linking to keyworded interior pages, optimizing for all the search engines, diversifying my affiliate products/networks. Most importantly of all, I was "pre-selling" by helping my potential customers with online guides, e-courses, advice... and only selling as a fall-out from all this online trust building. All these steps worked wonders for my online marketing and my bank account... However, I missed one key factor or element in my affiliate marketing. I didn't "leverage my returns" or rather I didn't max out what I could get from my affiliate marketing efforts. I settled for what the affiliate networks were offering... this ranged from 2-3% up to 50-70% commission on a sale. All good money, considering all you had to do was find the customer for the client/company and they would handle all the rest such as order taking, delivery, customer service... all you had to do was deliver the potential customer to their affiliate link. Let me explain further, for years I was satisfied with this arrangement because it suited me to a "T". It gave me an easy lifestyle anyone would envy: own boss, work at home, automatic income while I slept. All you had to do was deliver traffic to your affiliate links to earn a comfortable income online - no headaches, no hassles - just receive your countless checks each month. But there was one problem, these were only one-time sales, i.e. most affiliate sales thru the major affiliate networks like Commission Junction, Linkshare, Shareasale... only paid you commission once and that's it. Now, why was that a problem? Well, in one of my niches I was selling/promoting a service where I knew the customers I were delivering would be long-term paying customers earning those companies money for years to come... I was only getting a one time sale and perhaps a bonus incentive if I worked really hard. My Biggest Affiliate Mistake This was my biggest mistake: not going after long-term residual affiliate income from the start. Like most affiliate marketers, I concentrated all my marketing on getting that one-time sale. I eventually realized my mistake and approached the companies involved, a few even gave me private deals with "residual income" for the life of the client. Now, which companies do you think I will be concentrating most of my marketing efforts on in the future? But why stop there? I could further leverage my affiliate income even more by offering a "white label" or a co-branded service thru my own website. It would greatly increase my share of the sale and give me long-term revenue. I believe, this is where many affiliate marketers drop the ball, they don't fully explore "white label", "co-branded products", "full resell rights", "back-end profits" and "residual income" when they think of affiliate marketing. Now some may argue this is more of a "hands-on" arrangement and may involve more work on your part but the rewards will be well worth it; for instead of getting a one time sale you could be building long-term residual income for years to come. Likewise, you should try to "leverage your returns" when picking affiliate products or programs to promote; if possible, always go for those with residual income. Don't make the mistake of settling for less, always check out the maximum return you can get on your affiliate marketing. Investigate special private deals or arrangements with your affiliate partners and bargain for a bigger share of the pie. Like me, you may be pleasantly surprised at the results.
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