Monday, April 21, 2008

4 Common Affiliate Mistakes

by Ryan Smith

Affiliate marketing is considered one of the most lucrative means to make money that is online today. Yet there are myths surrounding this that have confused, confounded, and completely discouraged people from trying. For some odd reason, people assume that once they start into a given affiliate program, they will be rolling in cash in just a few weeks or so, if not overnight.

It is misconceptions like this that cause people to become disillusioned and give up.

Truthfully, affiliate marketing can be financially rewarding. There are those who have gone the distance to live the kind of lives they otherwise would not have been able to. But then, there are many others who have failed miserably and cannot understand why.

Those that succeeded, reaped the rewards from seeds planted by the thousands. In other words, they promoted ceaselessly and at every opportunity. They used many and various means to get the word out about their product. Plus, they stayed within the limits of their program's rules regarding advertising.

Those that failed may have thought that the rewards would come easily. They believed that all they had to do was join and the money would come rolling in. They, somehow, got the idea that there was no work involved. This misconception alone has hurt a lot of people. Like any business, it requires a lot of work to get any affiliate business started, and even more to reach the goals that they may be dreaming of.

To dispel some of the myths and gloom regarding this lucrative market let's take a look at the 4 most common myths and their respective truths. It is also important to recognize that there are do's and don't's regarding affiliate marketing that must be adhered to at all times.

The first is that it takes advertising and lots of it to promote any affiliate program. Probably the first and best place to start is promoting to the search engines. This involves two things; being search engine optimized and having original content. This knowledge alone can mean all the difference in a good website and one destined to fail. Another point here is to always use what is known as "white hat" tactics in your search engine marketing.

Other tactics, known as "black hat" tactics work. But, when the search engines catch up with you, they will punish you severely with search engine penalties up to and including blacklisting. When that happens, it will spell the end of your site.

The second mistake involves overfilling websites with banners without any corresponding information. To the site's visitors this can be both a distraction and source of great confusion. To avoid this, one must give detailed information regarding each banner so that his potential customers can make informed decisions regarding each product.

The third mistake is that the marketer promotes only one product. The mistake here is that it leaves the potential customer with no other choices. A good rule here is to provide some variety by adding other services.

The fourth mistake is exactly the opposite of the third. By giving the customer too many choices, it becomes confusing and often times the customer makes no choices at all. They are simply overwhelmed. The best approach here is to choose the best products available. In this way, you leave it up to the customer to decide which is the best choice.

Ultimately, it is the affiliate's responsibilty to understand the rules in this industry. Success or failure is determined by how well they understand them and how to use them to their best advantage.

About the Author

RP Smith is the owner of the website