12 mistakes affiliates make

Affiliates struggling to earn $100 a month often find it hard to believe that other people could possibly earn as much as $10,000 or even $100,000 a month in commissions.

Believe it. Big commissions do happen. And you can expect to hear about even bigger commissions.

Forrester Research predicts that affiliate programs and affiliate networks will produce $280 billion annually in e-commerce sales by 2008.

In most programs, 5% of the affiliates generate the vast majority of the sales. If you're not in that 5% and want to be, you'll have to change what you're doing.

Here are 12 mistakes you could be making, and how to fix them.

1. Are you telling people how to make money on the Internet when you don't know how yourself?

Perhaps - just perhaps - you can succeed at this, but it's the most obvious trap into which new affiliates fall. You join a few affiliate programs and set up a site offering Internet marketing tips, work-from-home tips, instant-business tips, or be-your-own-boss tips.

The advantages of doing this include having great products to promote, high commissions and lots of help from Internet marketers.

However, if you do this, you face two massive challenges.

   1. You'll have hundreds of thousands of web pages out there competing with yours.

   2. You're competing with the planet's best marketing EXPERTS. Some of the brightest brains in Internet marketing are working full-time to grab the attention of your target audience.

I'm not saying you can't succeed in this field, but if you're new to affiliate programs, this is definitely NOT the best place to begin. If you're struggling, find a less well traveled path.

You don't have to abandon your existing website. Just launch a new one based on a new theme. Later, when you've learned more and really have something to offer, it will be time to revamp your marketing tips site.

Choose a new theme. Try a new niche.

April 8, 2004

Comments (22)

Said this on August 14, 2006 At 03:13 pm
Dear Mr Gardyne,
This is a truly wonderful site i am greener than green when it comes to internet marketing thank you very much i will use this site as the bench mark.
Said this on September 12, 2006 At 11:31 am
Excellent Mr Allan... I'll be desperately waiting for similar articles
Chris Raynes
Said this on September 17, 2006 At 01:42 am
Your link to Kate Schultz' book is sending me to the wrong item on amazon; Poor Richards e-mail by Chris Pirrilo ?? BTW, you COULD make the comment box a little wider ??? 22 char wide is pretty squeezed!! It makes it hard to edit my comments.

[Chris, Sorry about the faulty link. I don't think Kate's book is available any more. I used a redirect to send the links to another good book on email marketing. Thanks for the good idea on the comments box. Much appreciated! We've done what you suggested. Allan.]
Cindy Harris
Said this on September 30, 2006 At 02:17 pm
Can I be an affiliate of an affiliate program or can someone else link to my affiliate program?
Many Thanks,
Cindy Harris

[Cindy, You can join affiliate programs and you can set up your own affiliate program. A really good place to ask questions is on our affiliate forum. Allan.]
Said this on October 2, 2006 At 04:25 pm
"I once read a report which claimed that my success with the SiteSell affiliate program is due to the fact that I've signed up thousands of sub-affiliates. That suggestion was just a silly guess - and it's utter rubbish."

Makes sense to me. I have a team of Sitesell sub-affiliates, too. Let's just say, if I could borrow Zorro's whip for a day, I'd put it to good use. :-)

But it's my own fault of course. I think to succeed with sub affiliates, it helps if you act like a good sales manager. Perhaps those of us that don't, can't expect much.

And all this is with "internet marketing" - that dubious arena where it's oh so easy to confuse affiliates with customers in the first place. In many niches, 2 tier programs are even less impressive, from my experience.
Said this on March 23, 2007 At 03:42 am
Hi Allan, This is one of the most enlightening articles I have read online. Thank you so much for this priceless information for beginners like me.

[Thank you! I'm glad you found it useful. Allan.]
Joe Fales
Said this on June 8, 2007 At 01:21 pm
Hi Allan
Just wanted say your site is very helpful and I am going to follow your directions. I am a newbie but had a small business for 25 years. Looking forward to building this one. I have got things off the internet for years.
Thanks for the info
Said this on June 14, 2007 At 12:40 am
Hi Allan,
I really like your site. I'm a new affiliate and would like to know what is considered a small or large site? For example, I have a new site that has 387 articles/content so far and I keep adding more every day. Some is my own writing, though I do use articles from ezine. I have clickbank, adsense, ebay, searchfeed, and amazon ads on my site. Is 387 pages considered a big site? Also, is it okay to write a short but descriptive endorsement about affiliate products that I'm promoting on my site? How much word count does it have to have?
Thank you,
[A site of 387 pages is a very useful size. However, what's much more important than the number of pages is the quality of the articles, and the quality of the links to your site. Writing an enthusiastic endorsement of a product is one of the most effective ways to achieve sales. If you write a 300 or 400 word page on a product, that will give you useful content for the search engines to find, but even a short paragraph added to an existing page can be useful. Our affiliate forum is a good place to ask questions. We have lots of friendly, helpful forum members. Allan.]
Said this on June 29, 2007 At 12:02 pm
So how can i get on aboard?

[If you're new to affiliate marketing, I suggest you click on the "Beginners" link at the top left of this page. Allan.]
Arrey Ashu
Said this on August 20, 2007 At 03:08 pm
If there such number of people with make money websites, that means there is gold in that field. I believe you target a small number of people, you make little. If there was no money to be made with make money programs, then people would not be making sites related to that topic. Who says we have to get traffic only from the search engines? Pay per click is becoming too expensive, getting high ranking on first pages is becomine complex. But there are other cheaper ways to get massive traffic to your website especially when you just have it launched. The first thing you need is branding, make people know your site, when you get them to visit, try to capture their emails. Use media buys, advertise on thousands or millions of websites nation wide, worldwide if you want to and pay as little as .05 a click... or buy placements on websites and pay as little as .01 per click. Depending on how much you want to spend, you can get your website seen before you even get listed in search engines. I am new but i have made about 610 dollars promoting stubhun via this means... and i spend 50 bucks. Good luck guys.
Said this on August 23, 2007 At 10:33 pm
Speaking of having a useful site... Few things are as annoying as having to click for a *paragraph* of content every few seconds. Your page takes a couple seconds to download each time, presumably with all the ads --and that's with high speed! And all we get for our trouble is a tiny morsel of info, then we have to click, and click, and click.... Personally, I don't think this is overdelivering. I feel manipulated and frustrated by your site, and others like it. Result: I don't trust you, and I wouldn't buy from you. This may be something to keep in mind when endeavouring to create a useful, preselling website.

[Excellent point. When we revamped this site, I spread a few of the articles over several pages. You're right - it was a mistake. Allan.]
cindy brown
Said this on November 29, 2007 At 07:37 pm
Can someone please tell me why I'm having problems registering on the forum? I've never, ever had a problem joining any forums before so I don't know what the problem is. I filled the necessary info out and wait for the e-mail appl link but it never get sent. Yes, I even checked my bulk mail. Any suggestions?????

[It sounds as though the notification email is being dumped somewhere between us and you. Try signing up for a Gmail account with Google and using it. Allan.]
Said this on December 29, 2007 At 10:28 am
Mr. Gardyne
First I have to say, your site is incredible. I've been spending several hours here just reading and lurking and hopefully learning. In fact I don't seem to be able to stop reading! I finally just had to copy some of the page links in an email to myself, so I can come back to them, later to avoid overload on my brain. I'm new at affiliate marketing, and new at trying to blog, so I appreciate all the helpful info you're providing here. I hope to visit back here often, and I may need to now write an article/blog post, promoting your site! Thank you so much for all the helpful info you're providing here!

[Glad you're finding AssociatePrograms.com useful. A link would be really appreciated - I love free publicity. Allan.]
Said this on January 21, 2008 At 02:06 pm
Dear Mr Allan
i am from africa, now in the usa and new to the internet world. through a lot of research and reading i found out that the affiliate marketing is good business. i came across your website.. when doing research about this marketing bussiness and i see how you have explained and solved some asked questions.. pls mr allan ..how do i start and become a pro like you? in the affiliation marketing cause i dont know my left from right
thank you

[As with any business, you start by learning the basics, and you don't move on until you've conquered the basics. Your first goal should be to earn $1. That's the hardest step. I've written a free Affiliate Programs Tutorial for people who are starting out. Click on the "Beginners" link at the top left of the page to find it. Allan.]
Said this on May 6, 2008 At 06:52 am
Hi Guys we use full portal which i have found www.1webmall.com
Said this on June 18, 2008 At 02:50 am
Dear Allan
Some of the links in your google adsense advert is broken, can you check your main data feed to be sure all is well?

[Thanks for the alert, but if links in an AdSense ad are broken, that problem is caused by the advertiser. Allan.]
Said this on July 7, 2008 At 12:42 pm
Dear Allan,
I would first like to comment on mr anonymous 11 I found the comments absurd, we all have freedom of choice, any helpful information of this nature is bound to give you confidence to get started, and besides if someone offers you a piece of fresh toast you don't throw it back in his face because it's got no jam on it!

Help please, I am 56yrs old and run a small business with my wife, but we need another income when things are slack. I recently learned to use the computer from scratch, I am not very good but would like to get started as an Affiliate and hopefully improve as I go. I saw an ad for Affiliate Junktion and decided to join up. I accepted and paid for a domain and hosting package. At that point, with all respect to them, I changed my mind and decided not to send in the receipt but use the site myself. They of course don't know, so I have not wasted their time. I have only three pages Allan! I have chosen a great theme close to my heart, so the site will contain products I really believe in, and I am customising the site right now.

Can I get anywhere with that size of site, and if so how many products can I hope to promote. Is there some kind of connection between the
wording in the small ads, like the ones you have at the side, and the product links that earn you the commission. How on earth do you collect e-mail addresses from people clicking into you site, or can you only do this by encouraging people to e-mail you for further information.
Thanks Allan, Jerry.

[A 3 page site would have one advantage - it should give you plenty of time to promote the site. However, it would have a HUGE disadvantage - it would contain very little content to attract free traffic from search engines. Very small sites are often used by affiliates who buy advertising to attract people to their site, but I don't recommend that approach for beginners. Over all, the larger the site, the more visitors you are likely to get. When building a site, you have to ask yourself: "Why would someone want to link to this site?" Links to a site are the lifeblood of a site which gets free traffic. Links help you get ranked highly in search engines. If you simply write about products you like, you probably aren't creating a site other people will want to link to. When deciding how many products to promote, try to see things through the eyes of a typical visitor. Your job as an affiliate is to help that person decide what to buy. Your job is also to provide useful, helpful information that person is actively looking for. Google AdSense, which is free to join, provides contextual ads. They are automatically relevant to the content on the page. We have an AdSense section on our forum. The simplest way to collect email addresses is to have a newsletter and use a service like Aweber or GetResponse or SBI which will provide the form you can paste into your page where people can sign up for your newsletter. Another way is to have what is called a "squeeze" page on which you give away a free report and people have to hand over their email address to get it. Aweber or GetResponse make this easy. If you click on the "Beginners" link at the top left of this page, you'll find a lot of introductory affiliate information. Start with my free Affiliate Program Tutorial. Allan.]
Said this on May 10, 2009 At 01:52 pm
am thru chapter 3 so far. seems very good. Thanks... I'm very excited to get it finished and get after it.
Said this on June 2, 2009 At 09:19 am
Excellent Articles! Excellent Website! Thanks so much for your contributions and generosity. I will most certainly recommend your website to others without hesitation!
Said this on April 8, 2011 At 02:02 pm
Just because your computer and download time wasn't fast enough doesn't mean that it's that way for everyone. It was just fine for me and the information was extremely useful! OK, I'm realizing I'm responding to a person from almost four years ago but I don't really care. People should take into consideration there own inefficiencies and not think that their issue effects everyone.
Said this on August 22, 2011 At 11:26 am

Hey, awesome tips. I plan to have my own affiliate network.This would help a lot of people :).


Said this on January 24, 2013 At 09:05 am

Just a quick post to holler at ya Allan.  Your article was an awesome refresher course in affilate marketing.  Brushed away a lot of cobwebs.  Awesome posting.

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