7 Affiliate Marketing Myths and Facts

June 6, 2010 by  
Filed under Affiliate Marketing Tips

Affiliate Marketing: 7 Myths and Facts

Affiliate marketing has the reputation of being a gold mine of financial wealth with little or no work involved to attain these tremendous riches. While you can earn a substantial income as an affiliate marketer, there is work involved particularly now because the popularity of affiliate marketing has grown to the extent that a marketer will likely have tremendous competition. This makes doing your research and establishing a niche vitally important.

Once you start researching affiliate programs in greater detail, you’re likely to come across a number of myths about this kind of business. It’s easy to see why some of these myths have come about. Some people always want to believe in the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, in this case, that affiliate marketing programs are something capable of earning them a great fortune overnight.

In this article we will identify some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding these programs, and attempt to clear up some of the confusion around those myths. Discovering what the most common assumptions are can help you achieve greater success in your affiliate marketing efforts.

Affiliate Marketing Myth: Affiliate marketing is a “no-brainer”. This is most definitely not the case. It’s true that affiliate marketing programs will generally eliminate or automate many of the technical tasks that come with promoting and selling another company’s products and services. But selecting and configuring the best programs for you is not necessarily a simple decision, and there is no one program that is best for every single person.

Fact: You will most certainly need to use your brain to succeed as an affiliate marketer.

Affiliate Marketing Myth: I only need to join one good affiliate program. You might be tempted to identify the affiliate program that seems to be the best fit for your website. However, consumers generally like to do at least a little bit of comparison shopping, so you will want to give them some choice. You may want to consider marketing a few products that are in direct competition with one another (assuming that the terms of each affiliate program permit you to do so).

Fact: You will want to focus your efforts on marketing programs that complement one another. For example, if you run a culinary-focused website, then you could market cookware alongside affiliate offers for specialty ingredients and cookbooks.

Myth: The more affiliate programs I have, the better. If one affiliate program is not enough, then you should try to maximize the number you have, right? Wrong. If there are too many choices, then some potential customers may feel overwhelmed or confused, or perhaps that you haven’t carefully screened your affiliate partners. These potential customers are most often likely not to purchase through you at all.

Fact: Your patrons want to rely upon you to provide only the best affiliate offers to them when you have too many affiliate programs, you risk credibility.

Myth: Affiliate marketing is easy; it practically runs itself. Affiliate marketing does give you the opportunity to make money easily without many of the complications and difficulties associated with direct marketing. But like any other business or professional pursuit, your success depends largely upon the effort you put forth.

Fact: In order to maximize the effectiveness of your affiliate programs, you will need to monitor how many of your customers are considering (or clicking the links for) your affiliate programs, and how many of those are actually following through to purchase. Sometimes moving an affiliate link or graphic to a different part of your webpage will greatly increase your success rate, but you need to have the data available to be able to make comparisons of effectiveness.

Myth: Affiliate marketing is a money-making machine. You can definitely add to your bottom line by incorporating a few carefully-selected affiliate marketing programs to your website. However, be aware that there is a great deal of competition among the affiliates of each particular program, and there is only a certain amount of consumer spending to go around.

Fact: Make sure you have reasonable expectations as you begin affiliate marketing (because you can earn a decent return on your efforts), so that you don’t become frustrated and quit before the program gets going.

Myth: I’ll have to spend too much money promoting my affiliate programs. It’s true that to be a successful affiliate marketer you’ll need to do some promotional activities. The mistake some marketers make is focusing on quantity over quality. Rather than trying to increase the total number of potential customers who see your affiliate products, you will want to try to increase the total number of quality potential customers who see them. You can achieve this (and keep within a carefully considered budget) by careful Pay-Per-Click advertising, and by focusing on building a quality subscriber base, rather than simply promoting the products themselves.

Fact: Careful budgeting, testing, and planning will help you make financially sound, and profitable, decisions.

Myth: I’ll be able to tell right away whether my affiliate marketing efforts have been successful. This is rarely the case. In fact, it is very hard to predict exactly how long it will take for your affiliate programs to be successful.

Fact: You may need to spend some time and effort learning how best to promote your program, or your program may simply involve products that have a longer sales cycle.

The Internet has so many myths about how to achieve success in affiliate marketing that new marketers will likely become confused about what’s true and what isn’t. Do detailed research on any program you’re considering joining, and then jump in. The success of your affiliate marketing programs it entirely dependent on your hard work. There are a variety of ways to market affiliate products including via quality informative content, paid advertisements and pay per click campaigns, and all of those ways require a good head on your shoulders and careful tracking and assessment.

If you have patience and work hard, you’ll be able to achieve the results you want.

Jeremy Gislason is a leading expert on membership sites, marketing and online business. For more Business Strategies, Resources and Affiliate Program Software visit: http://www.memberspeed.com

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