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20 Reasons why you won't live off affiliate Income.

Discussion in 'General Business' started by NewTier, Nov 2, 2007.

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Do you own a website with affiliates as an option?

  1. yes

    17 vote(s)
    53.1%
  2. no

    15 vote(s)
    46.9%
  1. #1
    While there are a number of ways of improving your affiliate marketing offerings, you first need to appreciate where you may be going wrong before you can improve. Listed below are the 20 most popular reasons why you are not living off your affiliate income, what to avoid and how to attract more affiliate sales. Please discuss this and post your ideas.





    1. Lack Of Traffic To Your Site



    Many many people fall into the simple trap of thinking, add some affiliate links to my site, and over time I will surely get some sales. Why? What is the reason behind this way of thinking?



    Unless you actually have traffic coming to your own site (and the more focused the traffic the better) it will be nearly impossible for you to create a regular income stream.. True, you may get the odd sale once a month, but this is not enough, you need to aim higher and bring visitors to your site to stand ANY chance.



    2. Poor Affiliate Products



    You would not believe that amount of people who do not actually research what they are looking to sell. There are millions of affiliate products out there, and while there are a lot of high quality offerings available, there are also lots of low quality products. If you would not buy it, why should anyone else?



    3. Priced Too High



    This goes back to the age old argument of selling one high valued product, and taking a commission, or selling more low value products and taking a greater number of smaller commissions. Research has shown that the one factor which can scupper a sale is the price - if it is too high your potential customer will be turned off straight away.



    Why not mix a number of low value and high value products? If your visitors buy a low value product and it works, you have more chance of them returning (with more trust in you) and even contemplating buying a higher value product. The trust factor is very very important.



    4. Low Commissions



    As mentioned above, it can often be more lucrative to sell lower value products (with reasonable commissions), but you need to ensure you are being remunerated properly for your leads. Why send hundreds of customers to an affiliate site where they pay you only a few cents a lead? Who is the big winner in this situation ? Certainly not you!



    You need to balance the commission on offer against the amount of traffic which you can send, and the split of income between yourself and the owner of the affiliate program. Do not sell be too keen to pass over your users for small returns.



    5. No Investment



    In order to advertise your affiliate links you will need to put some of your own money upfront, either advertising your site or your affiliate links. Those who think that traffic will just fall into their lap are kidding themselves. You need quality focused traffic, and you need potential customers to see your link before your competitors. The affiliate marketing world is very competitive and you need to ensure that you gain maximum exposure. Adsense and PPC programs are very good ways of advertising your site, and while they can be expensive, they can reap massive rewards.



    6. Quality Content



    Even if it takes a while longer to establish yourself in the affiliate marketing world for certain products, always ensure that you offer quality, not quantity and certainly not rubbish. One poor looking affiliate site, one bad experience and you customers will disappear over night. If you promote rubbish on your site, what does that say about you and your respect for your customers?



    As they say “the cream will always rise to the top”!.



    7. Lack Of Feedback



    If you are looking to forever improve your site, your offerings and the image and reputation of your site, you need to encourage feedback from your customers. Is there a problem with the product they bought? Were they happy? What could be improved?



    Everyone likes to have a moan, but if you actually ask and listen to their concerns, their questions, they will respect you for it - they may not thank you, but they will appreciate it. Any improvements which you are able to make, any comments you are able to pass on to the affiliate program owner, will all ensure you receive less complaints in the future.



    8. No After Sales Service



    Similar to feedback, it is essential that you at least offer some form of after sales assistance (where relevant) to ensure that your customer is able to get the most out of their purchase, whether this be an eBook, Software or the latest Mobile Phone.



    A sympathetic ear is always appreciated, and interaction with your customers has been shown to be the best way of building up a relationship - let them know that you are human!



    9. Hard Sell



    As well as high prices, the so called “hard sell” is guaranteed to put off any potential customers. Do not push the offers down their throats, be subtle, be helpful, but do not exert any pressure - even if you have the best product in the world. The hard sell does not work, and your reputation will not be enhanced.



    10. Not Relevant To Your Site



    It is essential that your build your affiliate program offerings around the subject of your site. There is no point in listing baby wear affiliate links on a site about mobile phones. The more relevant the affiliate links on your site the more chance of actually bringing in some commission.



    If you can get your readers excited about a certain subject and then show them an affiliate link for a suitable product, you will have a great chance of them clicking on the link. Keep the site AND your affiliate offerings focused .



    11. Old Products



    The world of affiliate marketing is moving all of the time and it is essential that you keep your affiliate products up to date. Selling yesterdays favourite affiliate product will not earn you big bucks - sell today’s favourite and tomorrow’s favourite and you are talking.



    It is vital that you regularly visit your affiliate link providers to ensure that you are offering the best and most up to date products around. Failure to do so and you customers may well look elsewhere, and you will have lost a potential sale.



    12. Cookie Time Limits



    Many of today’s better affiliate programs will actually offer you a set time, during which any customers you pass over will be eligible to earn you commission. Where you are promoting affiliate links which may offer a vast array of products, which will keep members coming back time and time again, you need to ensure that the cookie is of a suitable length.



    The cookie is basically the marker which will be attached to the user, to confirm that they were sent via your affiliate link. Some sites offer cookie lengths up to 365 days, while some may offer short 10 days periods. If a customer, originally from your site, were to buy a product after the cookie period was over, you would receive NO commission.
    SEMrush


    This is an area of affiliate marketing which is often overlooked - do not make the same mistake, and end up selling yourself short.



    13. Links Do Not Work



    Of the thousands of affiliate links available there are hundreds which will become invalid, or have been replaced, every day. There is nothing worse than clicking through to a non-existent link, and this does not give a very professional impression of your site. Always check that your links are valid, even on a monthly or weekly basis, and ensure that old invalid links are either replaced, or deleted asap.



    14. Know Your Customer



    There are a variety of statistic and traffic programs available which will give you an insight as to where the majority of your traffic is coming from - i.e. which country, browser, etc.



    It is essential that you make use of this information and tailor elements of your affiliate products towards the majority of your customers. Currency is one of the major elements which you need to consider, because this is something that can put off a prospective buyer if they are dealing in a currency which they are not familiar with.



    As a rule of thumb, the US dollar is the more popular currency on the internet, and seems to have a universal acceptance. Research has shown that while UK sterling buyers are willing and comfortable dealing in dollars, many Americans are not comfortable dealing in sterling (or any other foreign currency).



    While you will never get this element totally correct, you need to appeal to the masses, which will most probably require offering products in US dollars.



    15. Presentation



    How you present and expand on your affiliate offerings has a massive effect on how successful you will be. A simple 3 word text link will be no where near as successful as an article detailing in the product, and the affiliate link at the end. Tease your customers with details, make them want the product and then offer the affiliate link when they are thinking about the product.



    16. Do Not Try To Trick Your Customers



    There have been many many instances of people being duped into clicking on affiliate links, and while 99% of these result in no sales, 99% of your visitors who have been “duped” will not return to your site. Trust is a major element of any business and it is essential that you treat your visitors with respect and honesty.



    You may hear about people making big bucks in the short term with dubious tactics, but these people will never have a long term income stream. They will always be found out, and one bad review of your site on the internet can soon spirally into hundreds - effectively black listing your site from a mass of would be visitors.



    17. No Free Products? Is Your Mix Correct?



    While it may sound strange advising people to give away free products in the same area in which they are trying to sell products, there is some sense in the madness. If you are able to give away quality free products to your visitors, your trust factor with these customers will rise sky high. The more trust they have in you, the more often they will visit the site, and the more comfortable they will be actually buying a product via your affiliate links.



    Too many webmasters seem to throw themselves straight into the market without a strategy, and this initial optimism soon dies with many giving up. You will not build up a quality income stream overnight, it will take time, you will have to build up trust, and be patient.



    18. Have You Tested The Product?



    If you were selling one of your own products, you would have tested the format, the product and the feedback before launch. It should be no different with affiliate links - ensure you are familiar with the offering, how it is presented, the standard of service and if it actually delivers what it promises.



    The type of products which may need the most investigation, and possible purchase, are eBooks and software downloaded from the internet. If it works for you, and is clear and concise then you can do no more, although if it does not work, or does not do what it promises, you should not be promoting it.



    19. Internet Feedback - Forums, etc



    Before you sell any product it is essential that you search the internet to see if there has been any negative feedback about the provider or the product. Popular sites such as www.sitepoint.com and forums.digital point.com are very useful sites to search. They often provide great feedback about affiliate providers and products.



    Know you product, know your customers, and you have a firm basis for success!



    20. Do You Really Know What You Are Talking About?



    There are many many products on the internet which are being sold by people who do not even have a basic understanding of what they are selling. Many are blinded by the commission figures, the potential for sales, and forget about researching the actual product.



    A focused site with a good knowledge base, and unique content will go a long way towards building up a rapport with your readers, increasing the trust they have in you, and ultimately increasing your chances of a sale. Even a bit of basic knowledge about a product goes a long way, although the more professional you come across, and the more information you can pass to your readers, the better.



    Conclusion



    While there are many reasons as to why your affiliate sales may not be what you expected, you probably have the basis of a good income stream. Small changes to the presentation, your promotion of the site, and your mix of products can and will have a massive effect on your sales. If you do the basics well, the rest will follow, and once you have the basis of a good affiliate sales income, you can replicate this time and time again on other sites.



    Multiple, smaller income streams, are more consistent than one large income stream which may well stop tomorrow if a competitor beats you to the market. Spread the risk, and increase the reliability of your income - but do not forget to reinvest back into your site, your design and your affiliate offerings, do not stand still as the market is forever on the move!
     
    NewTier, Nov 2, 2007 IP
    Anduril66 likes this.
    SEMrush
  2. Union

    Union Peon

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    #2
    Great tips. Awesome linkbait!
     
    Union, Nov 2, 2007 IP
  3. NewTier

    NewTier Notable Member

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    #3
    Yes, it is. ;)
     
    NewTier, Nov 14, 2007 IP
  4. topnotchcomedy

    topnotchcomedy Banned

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    #4
    ...I like the post, it's got lots of good stuff in it

    But still affiliate marketing is one of the biggest things on the net - I know from experience it's much easier to get off the ground then some adsense income.
     
    topnotchcomedy, Nov 14, 2007 IP
  5. cool_78

    cool_78 Guest

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    #5
    My biggest problem is the lack of traffic. If i have lots of hits per day, I could generate a nice income from affiliates.
     
    cool_78, Nov 14, 2007 IP
  6. netpox

    netpox Active Member

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    #6
    I dont really use many affiliates, adsense seems to be the only thing that pays good for me.
     
    netpox, Nov 14, 2007 IP
  7. pondlife

    pondlife Peon

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    #7
    Nice article - and probably all these reasons are why I use AdSense instead - it's smaller money than affiliates but it comes in more consistently..
     
    pondlife, Nov 15, 2007 IP
  8. jschuman

    jschuman Active Member

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    #8
    Good article. Lack of traffic is #1 on any list for sure.
     
    jschuman, Nov 15, 2007 IP
  9. t2000q

    t2000q Prominent Member Premium Member

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    #9
    yup pretty much wraps it up with that topic, lots of been there done thats for me there
     
    t2000q, Nov 15, 2007 IP
  10. meknassi

    meknassi Well-Known Member

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    #10
    Thanks man.
     
    meknassi, Nov 15, 2007 IP
  11. manishma

    manishma Guest

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    #11
    Thanks Bro ... Now to the Green thing
     
    manishma, Nov 15, 2007 IP
  12. bestsoftworks

    bestsoftworks Peon

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    #12
    ... Don't forget to ask for the sale. Many salespeople pitch a product and never ask the client to buy it. Many customers would have purchased if they were asked to.

    Also...proof your website's text. Typos and spelling errors can be a red flag to customers.

    David Beyer
     
    bestsoftworks, Nov 15, 2007 IP
  13. cfoozel

    cfoozel Peon

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    #13
    Good tips!! I'm new to affiliate marketing.
     
    cfoozel, Nov 15, 2007 IP
  14. LawnchairLarry

    LawnchairLarry Well-Known Member

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    #14
    Great tips! Cheers!
     
    LawnchairLarry, Nov 18, 2007 IP
  15. janvv

    janvv Peon

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    #15
    Excellent post. I'll surely take them into account as one of my upcoming projects includes an affiliate section.
     
    janvv, Nov 18, 2007 IP
  16. junosama

    junosama Active Member

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    #16
    Not bad at all, I think its better to find an affiliate company with a high payout, I promote a company that sells male enhancement products and their commissions are $175. You will make less sales then promoting a cheap product but you only need to sell half a dozen per month to be doing well and with some targeted traffic and a website that converts well, the sky is the limit.
     
    junosama, Nov 18, 2007 IP
  17. jobic

    jobic Peon

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    #17
    Totally agree with number 20. Lots of people just start promoting affiliate products, and after a day or two when it fails they hop to another one, thinking it sucks.

    I think every affiliate should pay for the product he's going to promote, know it inside out and then he can promote it in a better and more informed way. Helping the customers along the way.

    I just think it would lose it's appeal, if you had to buy a product in order to promote it.

    Nice tips though, useful stuff.

    thanks,
    jobic
     
    jobic, Nov 19, 2007 IP
  18. freshwrite

    freshwrite Peon

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    #18
    Great tips, thank you.
    We are starting in affiliate business here, still plenty of work and trying to cope with the everyday job at the same time. I find it hard to make it produce some money unless investing some much time in it.
     
    freshwrite, Nov 19, 2007 IP
  19. tmark938

    tmark938 Active Member

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    #19
    tmark938, Jan 18, 2008 IP
  20. Barefootsies

    Barefootsies Well-Known Member

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    #20
    Good tips for the noobs just getting into that stuff. I like how it clarified that you need to make an investment.

    Bravo sire.
     
    Barefootsies, Jan 18, 2008 IP