In the last couple of years since I've mentioned I'm an affiliate marketer there is a lot of interest from my visitors to follow the same path. I have to say I'm very surprised and proud of many of you. I know I've purposely made it very clear that affiliate marketing isn't sweet. But despite this many of you have tried your hands at it. So I applaud you!
However how folks are going about it has been troubling. So I decided to share some insight that will help you avoid a lot of mistakes I see folks making!
1. Having a website doesn't mean jack!
When I was coming up, (yes I know I'm sounding very old right now.) building a website was a lot more difficult than it is now. You really had to grasp HTML and such. But now if you just "Google" free website builders (preferably using SwagBucks or Irazoo so you can make some money doing it. 😉 You'll find tons of companies that will help you build a website in literally 5 minutes. If you know how to use a word-processing software you'll probably know how to use many of the free website builders out there.
But here's the thing, this isn't like the movie "Field of Dreams" . If you build it, THEY WON'T NECESSARILY COME! There is this misconception that just having a website will make you money! No it won't. Your new website is now one of the millions out there. Now how will anyone find it? Well most of us use Google to find what we're looking for. Guess what? If your website isn't showing up when I type a keyword chances are I'm not going to find your site and neither are the millions of web surfers out there. That's a lot of potential money you're now missing! Obviously you won't reach everyone out there but you're still missing a fraction of those folks who can make you a boat load of money!
How do you solve this issue?
Learn about internet marketing, keyword research and Search engine optimization (SEO). Let's say your niche is about "Self Help"! It doesn't make sense to have people who are interested in Porn visiting your website. Ideally what you want is folks that have raised their hands telling you they want information about self help. Well on the web the way folks raise their hand is by going to Google and typing in "self help". If your training is in order then your website will be one of the first 10 in the results that come up. If you lack the training your website won't even be in the first 100 and that means you're dead in the water.
You basically created a website that no one knows about. So you need more than just having a website. You better learn the skills to have droves of targeted people coming to your site that already want what you have to offer. It's a lot easier to make money that way than it is to chase after people!
2. Your content or lack of it sucks!
I know that's harsh but that's real talk. I can say this lovingly to you because I was in your shoes. Granted, my content still isn't the greatest either. But I know enough to be dangerous and have you reading this. Too often I visit new would be affiliate websites and all I see is banners and advertisements slapped all over the site. Look, you already know I'm all about making money and seeing you guys do the same. So I don't really have a problem with ads all over a site. Make your money boo boo! My issue is that there isn't any value being provided to the user in addition to the ads. Sites like that are like a selfish kid that doesn't want to share. It's all about them and receiving.
I don't know about you but I don't really like spending a lot of time with selfish people. They're taking more than they give. Well that's what happens when people visit a site that doesn't have any real content. They clearly see you're just about your interest and not helping them with their problems. So guess what? Folks leave your site and don't come back. So even if your site is covered in banners and ads, you're probably not going to make consistent money long term.
How do you solve this issue?
Start writing content that you would want to read! Or think about your articles like giving advice to your mom or a close friend. If your mom was asking your advice on a given movie or product, what would you tell her? Would you just say, hey just buy it! Or would you give her some real feedback and tell her the things you liked and disliked about the product or movie she's planning to buy? If you don't have any mommy issues, chances are you would provide her balanced information so she can make an informed decision.
You know what happens when you do this? People begin to trust you. They think to themselves this person is a straight shooter, I need to keep coming back to them for more information. Don't believe me? Most of you reading this site are return visitors. That ain't by chance folks! So when you're writing content on your website, think about a friend or someone you love and the conversation you would have with them. If your content doesn't sound like that conversation, then you've failed and no one is really going to enjoy reading your stuff.
And here's another powerful tip! Be about it and don't just talk about it! In the work at home niche there is a lot of folks out there that want you to sign up for stuff under them. Obviously it's because it makes them money. Again I ain't mad at that! You should make money if you introduce me to a great product, service or company that helps me achieve something! Where folks are messing up is that they're running around making ridiculous claims about a company but have never tried the company! They're just saying that stuff to get a check! Don't be that person! I've discovered I get far more people taking action on stuff I recommend when I show them that I've actually worked with the company. And if you really want to get people taking action under you, you show proof via video or screenshot!
Psychologically people get excited when they see someone like themselves achieving some success. They can't help but feel that hey if this babbling idiot (that's me) can do it, why can't I? So folks are more prone to join what you recommend. That's why with many of my recommendations, I'll wait a few weeks or even months before I post an article. Why? Because I want to show proof something works. Sure it may delay me from making some money with that program for a while. However it doesn't matter because I will make it up once I write an article with proof. That article will now be there longer than the weeks or so I waited to launch it. It will continue to make me money for many moons to come provided I apply the right internet marketing techniques to stay in front of the people that would be interested in it!
So the take away from this is write content as if you were writing to a friend or someone you care about! If you do this people will connect with you and follow whatever you recommend and won't mind that you're making money because you're helping them solve a problem. Stop just haphazardly slapping banners and links on your website and thinking that's affiliate marketing, it's not and your results will make this clear if you don't believe me.
3. Picking the wrong niche!
So a lot of times after people read my simple Simon blog and hear how much money I make, folks can't help but feel that they can do the same thing. I mean the exact same thing! I can't even hate on that. After all I'm the one preaching that you can! But here's the problem. I live and breath this work at home industry (aka niche). It's something I've always had a passion for even before I had two popular work at home websites. I literally get a rush from finding new ways to make money at home. Even if I didn't have these sites I would still be hunting for that next work at home fix. I'm what some might refer to as a work at home junkie. As such, my passion comes through in my writings in particular on this blog. The folks that actually take the time to read my body of work usually can tell that I literally walk the walk and talk the talk. Then there are some people that just get into this particular niche because they know it can make them a lot of money. And you know what? That selfish motivation tends to wreak in their content or lack of content (see point number 2 if you skimmed over it). As a result, they don't see anywhere near the success I have been blessed to experience with this niche.
How do you solve this issue?
Create a website that you actually have a strong passion for or a lot of experience with! For instance another passion of mine is technology! If I were to start all over again or if I had more time, I would create a blog on various technology topics. I literally live and breathe technology. In my circle of friends and family, I'm the go to guy when folks need advice about gadgets or computer issues. (Trust me that's not always fun!) I buy all the latest gadgets and I read technology sites religiously probably more than I read about work at home stuff (Shame on me, I know!) So technology would be a good fit for me because I already spend a lot of time in this niche for fun! That's a perfect compliment when starting a business. The reason is because, in most cases when you first start a business you aren't really seeing a lot of profits if at all. If you pick a niche you're aren't really passionate about, how likely are you to stick with it when you aren't seeing money? Be honest with yourself, I'll wait…..
Well if you were being realistic, most of you would agree that you would give up pretty easily. So why get started on the wrong foot by picking a niche that you aren't really passionate about. You are more likely to succeed if your business is already in line with something you love and do for fun. So with the technology niche example, even if I don't see the money right away, I don't really care because I would still be reading about new technology or buying new gadgets for fun. Eventually as I stick with the business I will see some type of ROI assuming this niche is one where money can be made. So ultimately don't just pick a niche because someone else tells you it's hot or you see others doing well with it. Chances are you won't do as great because you don't have the same passion they do. Focus on what your passion or expertise is and work around that. And by the way, everyone has a passion or expertise. You just may not have thought of it that way. If you know how to stretch a dollar with coupons and other methods, then you're an expert at money saving and could create a whole site about this. Then find affiliate programs about coupons, or price comparison shopping, or discount clothes, electronics, etc. If you love dogs, you can create a site about a specific breed of dog and discuss what you love about them and what you don't. Then you can probably promote products related to that niche like organic pet food, obedience courses, clothes, etc.
The key here is to focus on something you already love or know a lot about that you might just do for fun. Then just apply affiliate marketing to it and see if you can turn that passion or expertise into dollars. Chances are if you stick with it and you will because it's something you love, you will eventually find success!
4. Giving up too quickly!
It amazes me how many people will tell me hey I tried affiliate marketing for a month and I didn't make a dime so I'm giving up. Really folks? Can you imagine how life would be if everyone gave up because they hit some obstacles? Children would never learn how to walk, talk or ride a bike. You would never be able to keep a job because you couldn't figure some problem at work. Folks would drop out of elementary school because they failed a test.
Tony Robbins said something very interesting about failure. He argued there is no such thing as failures, there are only results. Granted some of the results aren't desired but ultimately they are just outcomes based on actions. Once you get a result, it's simply a matter of making some adjustments until you get a different set of results. You continue to do this until you get the results you want. That's the difference between people that are successful and those that aren't. Like most of us they don't like the idea of "Failure" either but that doesn't stop them from taking action and continuing to do so until they succeed!
When I first got into the work at home industry, I tried various ways of reaching people; Flyers, business cards, advertising on my car, classifieds,etc.. Some worked well and others didn't. I just kept on adjusting based on the feedback I was getting from my efforts. But for the most part I never gave up until I got the desired result which was to work at home full time. It took me longer than it should have because I was stubborn and never invested in myself in terms of training. But can you imagine if I would have given up after a month or so? A lot of you would have missed out on the various ways I have shown you how to make money or worst still some of you would be victims of scams! And on my end I would have missed out on seeing every moment of 3 year old's childhood.
How do you solve this issue?
Look, no one likes to fail. But you have to change your mindset about failure. Most successful people were serial failures! This includes Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Donald Trump, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and many other folks! So If you've run into some failures then you're in good company. It's just a matter of pushing through the pain. And as I said earlier, if you pick a niche you're passionate about or love, you're less inclined to give up when you do run into a brick wall. Are you starting to see the method to my madness? I'm not just pulling this out the air folks!
5. Lack of Training!
As I alluded to before one of my biggest mistakes as a budding affiliate marketer was trying to learn everything on my own! Boy, was that stupid! I probably wasted years of mistakes that could have been profitable if I would have just invested in some good training material from folks that are already knew what they were doing. No, but my stubborn and cheap ass wanted to try to learn everything on my own for free. After all you can find damn near anything on the internet for free if you know how to look and do it long enough. However I later realized how much time I wasted and the many mistakes I made because of this type of mentality. Although I've been in this industry for a decade or more, I didn't really see a turning point until my last 3-4 years in the business. You know what the difference was? I started taking part of the money I earned at my regular 9-5 and my own half ass way of doing affiliate marketing and investing in tons of internet marketing courses. I think I literally spent several thousand dollars during that time.
That in itself was a huge mistake as well because I fell for the big internet marketing guru product launches that were big back in the day. These guys would literally charge several thousand dollars for out of date interviews, seminar presentations, tons of dvds or poorly recorded audio. Don't get me wrong, I'm the type of person that has trained myself to always find a gem in a pile of crap. It may be a small gem but I tend to be able to make that gem work really well for me especially when I couple it with other gems I may find along the way. But the fact of the matter was I was overpaying for training especially when most of the material required that you buy more stuff to apply the crap that they were teaching you.
I've learned from that experience as well! Don't be an internet marketing course whore. That's a syndrome where you keep buying the latest shiny thing that you think will be the magic bullet to all your financial woes! There aren't any magic bullets or push button solutions! Like anything good in life, your ass is going to have to work to achieve the success you want. But here's the thing, don't work harder! That's right, you read that correctly! I want you to work smarter than I did!
How do you do this?
Learn from the mistakes of others. If I told you that you shouldn't go into that dark alley because you might get hurt, would you do it anyway? If you have any sense you would say probably not. Well that's what a lot of you are doing when you decide to create a website and just slap some banners and links on it and call it affiliate marketing. Fortunately when you do that you won't get mugged but you won't really make any money or be successful either. And isn't that the whole point of why you decided to get into this business? If that's the case, then learn from my mistake. Don't spend months or the years I was bumbling around the web trying to learn this stuff on your own. Seek out the help you need so that you can avoid a lot of the pitfalls I encountered and thus find success a lot faster than I did!
So what's next?
Currently Wealthy Affiliate offers a no cost standard membership to their website! In the past you would get a 7 day or 1 month trial. But honestly it was never enough to implement what they were teaching you. Now you can stay as long as you wanted and access the standard membership training and areas. The premium membership offers more but that's something you can consider and work your way up to later.
At the end of the day even if you don't take action on this great offer, I hope you picked up some jewels in this article. These observations I have laid out are real and aren't just my Jeidi Mind Trick affiliate marketing mobo jumbo. I'm confident if you make adjustments based on the stuff I laid out earlier, you'll be in a way better place than most people trying to succeed in this business. Or feel free to ignore it and continue to get more of what you have been. You're in control either way.
Alright enough of the babbling! Hope you found this article useful. If so, let me know below. If not that's cool too. Speak to you soon!