Getting started in affiliate marketing isn’t easy. Most beginner affiliate marketers think they’ll write a blog, sprinkle in some banners and make instant riches, giving their boss the finger. It doesn’t quite work that way. While a substantial income is in the realm of possibility, try to avoid these early year pitfalls that trap most new affiliate marketers in a purgatory of low earnings and no growth.
1. Unrealistic Expectations
Many beginner affiliate marketers read the stories (and most of them frankly are untrue) about guys making thousands of dollars per day from a spare bedroom, working only an hour a day. This has never really happened, even in the “gold rush” days. Set realistic traffic and income expectations.
2. No Budget Plan
Be sure that you aren’t overspending on hosting, traffic (if you’re buying), unnecessary plugins, etc. Set a reasonable budget for yourself and don’t spend on things you don’t need. Stop buying “miracle traffic software” it doesn’t exist, or if it does, it’s not going to cost $40. Save the $40 and use that for some ad campaigns or a decent security script. If you’re just starting out, use a free or lower priced option for scripts and work your way up to paid plugins/scripts. Keep hosting at a fine balance of quality without overspending when you first start out. It’s always easier to scale up hosting to try and pare it down after getting too much hosting for your needs.
3. Lack of Focus
Set up a budget and a plan. Stop trying to do everything at once and avoid jumping from trend to trend. You’ll end up with 15 half complete projects and nothing done. Focus on 2-3 things at once at most. Keep your project in your sites until it launches.
4. No Testing and Tweaking
You should constantly be testing traffic, landing pages and ad placements. Don’t get too nervous and change your website every 5 minutes, but give yourself some room to test out new ideas, placements and testing without changing your overall site (unless the results tell you otherwise). Don’t always assume that what failed today will fail tomorrow, but that what works today could be goose egg tomorrow. So, constantly test and weak, then measure the results. If something works, figure out and increase that. If something’s not working, then figure out why and change it. Also, test and tweak with certain periods in mind. Test something for one week and measure each day. You may find that something that trends or works well on Tuesdays and Wednesdays is a bust on the weekends.
5. No Plan
All of these other factors matter little if there’s no plan in place. Make a plan. What type of site will you create? Will it be a single site or a network? If a network, how will the sites connect? What type of budget do you have? What are you hosting needs? What skills do you have that you don’t have to outsource or pay for? If you already have a decent sized budget, how will you spend it (see Number 3)? What types of traffic will you have or need?
There are many more things that can be easily overlooked, but these are the big 5. Do some homework and be prepared to actually work at it.
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