All Things oDesk
April 26, 2010 by oDesk

Affiliate marketing can be a profitable business if it’s done right, but there are many mistakes that can ruin your chances for success. Here are the top ten affiliate marketing mistakes to avoid in your campaign:

10. Thinking you’re going to get-rich-quick.

Affiliate marketing is by no means a golden ticket to endless, effortless wealth. On the contrary, it takes work to promote your site, get traffic and generate click-throughs. If you are looking to make tons of money without doing any work, then affiliate marketing probably isn’t for you.

9. Assuming people will just come to your site.

There are millions of websites on the internet to choose from, so you can’t just sit and wait for traffic to come to yours. You have to be proactive by using techniques like link building, SEO and social media marketing if you want to get your site noticed and get people clicking on your affiliate links.

8. Bombarding your audience.

If your users see more ads than they do content, they will most likely not be coming back any time soon. And too many banners can make a page confusing and unorganized. Pick a few good affiliate partners that are within your niche, and stick with them.

7. Not providing enough material.

Just as you shouldn’t litter your page with too many ads that may confuse and annoy your readers, not providing them with enough interesting and useful material may also have an adverse effect on your marketing efforts. Less is more, but don’t make your page so bare that it’s boring or you’ll soon find your traffic dwindling and your affiliate income almost non-existent.

6. Not measuring your campaign’s performance.

How can you know if what you’re doing is working unless you’re regularly monitoring the results? Analyzing your individual campaigns is critical to determining whether you’re on the right track or if you need to make any changes or adjust your strategy.

5. Not gauging your competition.

Affiliate marketing isn’t a cut-throat business. But there are certainly others out there that are trying to do the same thing as you. Learn from them — what mistakes are they making, and what seems to be working for them? A little healthy competition can do wonders for your bottom line.

affiliate marketing trusting4. Not selecting your affiliate partners with care.

You wouldn’t want your name or business associated with a criminal, would you? Well, partnering with an affiliate manager that has less than ethical practices or a bad reputation is much the same, and can have a negative impact on your audience. As in every other area of life, be careful who you associate with.

3. Not providing quality content.

Getting traffic to your site is half the battle, however keeping them coming back is even more important. Many affiliate marketers make the mistake of filling their sites with stale, irrelevant or outdated material. If readers aren’t getting value out of the content you are providing, they probably won’t be back and they certainly won’t be likely to refer anyone else to your site.

2. Not understanding what you’re promoting.

When you partner with an affiliate manager, you are effectively promoting their product or service. That being the said, you should take the time to learn about your affiliates and understand exactly what it is that they offer. Remember, your users will trust you and your opinions, so make sure you provide them with educated and valuable information.

overselling1. Over-selling to your audience.

The whole point of affiliate marketing is to make money. But nobody likes a pushy salesperson. You don’t want your visitors to lose interest because all of your posts are sales pitches. Instead, you want to develop a feeling of trust and confidence, so that you engage your audience and provide them with advice and assistance. It’s been said before: Help first, sell later. Position yourself with this in mind and you’ll see sales happen naturally.

If you do the work, affiliate marketing can be a lucrative way to make money. But it’s not fool-proof, nor is it simple. By being aware of the common mistakes listed above, you will be less likely to follow in the footsteps of those who have failed at this business, and much more likely to be one of the success stories.

Interested in learning more about affiliate marketing? The oDesk Affiliate Program is targeting small- to medium-sized businesses and is quite generous:

 

 

• We pay $50 for each new business that signs up and verifies a credit card
• We pay
$0.50 for each freelancer who applies for a job