Saturday, April 28, 2012

Affiliate Marketing: Five Mistakes I Made Early On

Monroe ParkMonroe Park (Photo credit: The Library of Virginia)
If you want to become successful in any career, you are going to make mistakes. It is unavoidable. Internet marketing and affiliate marketing are two areas that truly are a minefield of possible mistakes. In short, there is the potential of screwing up at nearly every decision point.
In the five years since I first started to make money online, I have made hundreds of mistakes. Some have been small errors, while some have probably cost me thousands of dollars. Below is a list of errors that I made and I hope you can learn from them.
1. The Autoresponder Problem - When people start out, they don't think that they need a list. Then for the next few months or years, they neglect to build a list until it dawns on them that they could have been leveraging this list for ideas or for possible additional commissions the entire time. Or people did what I did when I started out. They think that they can handle the list on their own through whatever product their web host offers.
Bottom line: Spend a little money to save yourself from future headaches. Go with a company that provides this service for you.
2. Promoting the wrong program - The first product I ever bought online was a book. The book was only about $10 and--according to the pitch--if I took the secrets in the book, I would make millions. Well, the book only taught me how to promote the book in forums. I learned nothing except "buyer beware." Thankfully, I never signed up for a cash gifting program in my early days.
Bottom line: Google a program for honest reviews about the product. Just do a quick Google search and in no time you will be able to piece together what the product/program is all about.
3. Lost Sales Because I Lost My Credit Card - This one is my favorite. I remember it well. I spent time putting together my first ebook and sold it on a forum. I made a killing, but after a few days the sales dropped down to zero. I couldn't figure out what was wrong. So I contacted eJunkie (they were processing all the orders). Turns out my credit card was no longer valid. You see, a few weeks before I lost my card and had it replaced. I neglected to update my online accounts. I lost a few thousand dollars with that mistake.
Bottom line: Make sure you are organized at every turn. Check and recheck.
4. I Took Success for Granted - This is probably one of the universal mistakes new internet marketers make. Each signs up for a program, thinking that it will be an immediate passive income stream. When I first started out online, I expected as much. I thought because I bought a product that I would soon see the benefits. I soon learned differently.
Bottom line: Like most things worth doing in life, you should expect to put in a good amount of effort if you want to succeed at internet marketing.
5. I Killed a Website - I killed a website way before its time. Back in 2006, people were doing relatively well financially. I had put a lot of time and effort into a personal finance website that was earning me quite a lot of money. By the middle of 2008, I just got bored with it and killed the project entirely. Shortly thereafter, the economic crisis began and my website had a ton of products that could have made me a ton of money. But because I killed the site, I lost all of my leverage in the community.
Bottom line: I put a lot of work into the site, I should have been more careful in ending the project.
I want to say "learn from my mistakes" or "don't make the mistakes I did." Unfortunately, you will make mistakes--and gloriously so. The only way that we can really develop our skills and hone our talents is by sharpening them with a mix of successes and failures. That's the most effective way to learn.
Jay Monroe is passionate about people making money online by creating smart passive income streams. He believes that it is something everyone can participate in, regardless of education level. Follow his free step-by-step approach to financial success.
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