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3 Affiliate Marketing Mistakes You Should Steer Clear Of

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affiliate marketing mistakes

Some affiliate marketing mistakes should be avoided. Instead, most affiliates tend to discuss, argue, and even go to great lengths to prove their point.

No one cares about opinion; every affiliate only wants success.

As with most businesses, there are a few basic things you’d need to do to succeed.

Agreed that ingredients like passion, determination, guts, staying organized, learning all the time, and high levels of productivity and a wee bit of craziness are all a must.

But, for affiliate marketing, I see way too many debates on things that are non-issues. Too much talk revolves around aspects that should never be even be discussed. All these non-issues take up your mind space, slow you down, make you less productive, and dilute your focus.

While I understand that are almost always multiple ways of doing achieving the same results in affiliate marketing, some are good while others are dodgy.

Some work well and some don’t.

You have no way to know what works and what doesn’t until you actually do something.

Whether you do or not, there are a few affiliate marketing mistakes you should steer clear of. Stop discuss them completely.

Here are some of those:

Thinking about those “hats”

There was a time when you could be smart: manipulate search results, chase hacks down and get quick results, look for low-hanging fruits, and do all sorts of “black hat” bullshit, and you’d see some quick wins. That was at least a decade ago. Today, none of that works. Google is way smarter than a bunch of dorm-dwelling marketers.

Facebook is upping the ante and it’ll come down real hard (and quick) on you to ban your account for good.

If you thought and hoped that you are into affiliate marketing for the long-haul, then you don’t want to think of hats. You are better off (and it’s easier and faster) to actually put in 100% white hat techniques.

You might take more time to do it but you’ll be safe, secure, and you’ll be unstoppable.

Direct linking

When you do affiliate marketing, you don’t want to rely on hope or luck. You can’t get to winning campaigns by shooting in the dark. Using direct linking in your campaigns is certainly shooting in the dark.

Direct linking, in fact, is not even allowed on some of the most popular traffic sources like Google Adwords and Facebook.

Bing allows direct linking for now, but I am sure that’s going to change soon.

Direct linking gives you no control on the marketing workflow. By linking directly to your merchant offers, you are depending on the merchant for how fast the landing pages load, how effective those landing pages are, and every single moving part in that workflow (from images to copy; from CTA to how those elements are organized).

Here’s an even bigger drawback with direct linking: you can’t ever build your own list. You’d never know who buys what, who clicks, and who’s passing through the funnel.

Sadly, you are the one who’s spending time and effort as an affiliate to make that visitor click through in the first place.

Talking about building a list…

Not thinking in terms of “lifetime audience”

You can argue all you want, but not building a list is a sin.

Consider a typical CPA affiliate marketing workflow:

— Pick an offer
— Switch on a traffic source
— Bring visitors in
— Have them click on a button
— They arrive on the offer page
— Visitors signup or buy
— You make money

Guess what happens to Bob who just signed up as a lead on the offer you were promoting? He instantly gets into the merchant’s sales funnel; not yours.

I see impatience as one of the major reasons why affiliates don’t even bother with this crucial part of their affiliate marketing business.

Most affiliates want to see the first dollar pop in after their campaigns are launched.

Nothing wrong with that. Wait for your first dollar or two.

Then, instantly change your workflow into something where you are actually building your list and depending on email marketing to make those signups, leads, and mobile app installs happen.

Are you still getting on forums to argue about these affiliate marketing mistakes?

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Affiliate Tips

Affiliate Marketing Scams to Avoid Online

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Affiliate marketing is a legitimate business. Many marketers out there are making their living from affiliate marketing of products and services. 

There are various legit affiliate marketing business programs and training courses in the market. 

However, amidst genuine business and learning opportunities, there is a lot of grey matter that comprises of scams and bogus schemes. Such bad elements in the market often make people believe that affiliate marketing is a scam, but that’s not always true.

In this article, I will cover two main aspects of the negative side of affiliate marketing:

  1. Common affiliate marketing scams to watch out for
  2. How to avoid online affiliate marketing scams

Common Affiliate Marketing Scams to Watch Out for

1. Multi level marketing or MLM programs

Multi level marketing or MLM programs

There are various Multi-level affiliate marketing programs that sell products or services that pay little commission. Such programs want affiliates to enrol more affiliates in the program, and that is what most of the commissions are attached to. 

Such programs may seem attractive to begin with, but in the long run, they are not profitable for affiliates. The time and energy you spend on a program like this can be spent on a genuine program that will earn you affiliate revenue for a long time.

2. Affiliate marketing pyramid schemes

Affiliate marketing pyramid schemes

These are the most dubious affiliate scams. They offer no service or product. The whole model is based on getting more affiliate through existing affiliates. An affiliate program joining fee is generally charged by such programs. Your initial investment is distributed to the affiliates who helped in enrolling you. You dive in the same vicious cycle of enrolling other affiliates to earn commissions.

Affiliate marketing pyramid schemes should be avoided, period! You can use that time and money in setting up a genuine affiliate marketing business or on learning affiliate marketing methods that will earn you real money.

3. Paid affiliate programs

scam Paid affiliate programs

Like pyramid schemes, there are other affiliate programs that have paid entry. These programs have products or services to sell, but they charge a fee from affiliates to join the program. Often, such programs turn out to be scams that collect a small fee for joining, but often to not give back what is promised.

You can easily find free affiliate programs online. There are many reputed affiliate programs that are free to join and that offer transparent dashboards displaying the clicks and sales you drive for them.

4. Become rich quick affiliate scams

Become rich quick affiliate scams

This is an age old trick in the book. Many affiliate programs promise that they will make you rich in a few days, weeks or months. They show shiny offers and reports, so that you are lured into subscribing to their programs, but at the end of the day, they turn out to be full of empty promises and substandard products.

You can become rich quick by genuine effort. It doesn’t always have to be hard work, but it has to be the right type of work. You will have to put in what is required to succeed at affiliate marketing. Avoid chasing fluffy programs and promises to waste your time and energy.

5. Inflated Income reports

Inflated Income reports

One thing common about many fake affiliate programs and scams is that they display affiliate income reports of their affiliates, that are either inflated or fake. Sometimes such reports are true but they misrepresent the earning of an average marketer on their platform.

Always use your instinct and discretion to assess such reports. Do not be bedazzled by statistics that seem too good to be true.

6. Substandard or fake products

fake products sold by affiliate marketing scams

Always pay attention to the quality of the products you will promote through affiliate marketing. Do not fall into the trap of affiliate programs promising to pay high commissions on the sale of substandard products. Some products like AdFly and Pat Flynn are often categorised in this section, because of their unclear offering.

You can be successful at affiliate marketing only if you are selling genuine products and services. Marketing substandard products will require more time, energy and money and will not get you the desired returns in the long run.

7. Affiliate Marketing Training to Get 10,000 visitors per day

online marketing course scams

Not only affiliate marketing programs take you for a ride, but you will also find affiliate marketing training courses out there that promise to teach you the tricks to get 10,000 and more visitors on your website quickly. Some of these courses are genuine, but many of them are full of empty promises. These training programs come in the form of ebooks, podcasts, elearning programs, and more.

Always use your discretion in recognising genuine learning opportunities. Even if you can get less than 10,000 visitors a day to begin with while learning valuable affiliate marketing lessons, choose a legit place to learn.

8. Upselling of affiliate marketing courses

upselling affiliate scams

In the affiliate marketing training world, another trick that is popular is upselling of actual courses. Such marketing programs generally push a beginner affiliate marketing course that is priced low. They list the curriculum and all that you can achieve through what you learn. Such form of affiliate marketing lies and mislead beginners into buying programs that are not worth it.

Once you purchase the low-priced affiliate marketing course, you will, more often than not, be upsold the actual course. Your first purchase will most likely be useless without the final product that is priced high. You can stay away from such courses and try free affiliate marketing courses or courses that have good reviews online.

How to Avoid Online Affiliate Marketing Scams

Now that we have listed the most common affiliate marketing scams and lies in the market, I will talk about the most basic and easy ways to identify an online affiliate marketing scam and avoid it.

1. Visit their company’s website

visit affiliate program websites

Always visit the company website of the affiliate marketing program to assess how genuine the the company is. Check the reviews on their website, see how old the company is, read about their existing affiliate network, read about their payment methods, etc. If a company is not clearly revealing their policies and methods, it’s most certainly hiding something. Online marketing scams often leave a lot of loopholes in the information they display. Read between the lines, if any form of essential information is missing from their website.

2. Google It

Google affiliate marketing programs and scams

Always do a Google search about an affiliate program. When you Google a program, you will come across news, website pages, reviews, and much more about that program. Look at up to 2nd or 3rd page of the Google search engine results to learn about your affiliate program’s legitimacy.

3. Read Reviews

read reviews about affiliate programs

Try to find and read reviews about your affiliate program. If it’s a good program, you’ll know by the kind of review people have written, and if it’s a bad program or a scam, then you will most definitely find a lot of reviews about that, too. You can visit forums like Warrior Affiliate to read what people have to say about your chosen program. Reddit and Quora are also good sources to learn about programs and courses.

4. Follow your gut – Is it too good to be true?

Follow you gut about affiliate marketing scams

After you have done the required online research, follow your instincts about a program and their products and services. If something seems too good to be true, then stay away from it. The internet reveals a lot about any product or service if you do the right research. Always know a program well to dive in and start marketing their products as an affiliate or to subscribe to their affiliate marketing courses.

So, if you’re wondering. ‘is affiliate marketing legitimate?’ The answer is, ‘Yes’. But you have to be careful in selecting a program that is genuine and trustworthy.

I hope this guide about identifying and avoiding affiliate marketing scams is helpful. If you have any specific questions about any particular program, then leave a comment below.

Stay tuned for more affiliate marketing-related content.

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Affiliate Tips

Top 12 Tips to Create an Affiliate Marketing Ebook

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Affiliate marketing ebooks are often used to market and sell products. However, the book can’t be all about sales. It has to be educational, entertaining and value-driven.

In this article, we will explore the best ways to create affiliate marketing books that help boost your affiliate marketing sales.

As a bonus, I will also cover a short list of best affiliate marketing books and resources at the end of this article. (Unrelated to this article, but will help you in promoting your affiliate marketing book.)

1. Choose a product niche for your affiliate marketing ebook

choose niche - affiliate marketing ebook

First of all, choose an affiliate product niche that you know about. It’s important to write about a topic you are good at. You can always get to know more about a product through research, as long as you have an interest in the topic and would love to learn about it. 

Also, ensure that the product you’re choosing has a good market. Your effort will be worth it if the product has a good demand in the market.

2. Find the right affiliate programs

choose an affiliate program

Identify good and reliable affiliate programs that offer the affiliate products you chose. 

There are five things to look at while choosing an affiliate program—Program’s brand positioning, product offering, commission rate, cookie duration and payment methods.

There are many reliable affiliate programs out there. Some give great commissions, some have longer cookie durations, while some have such good brand reputation that they make up in volume what they lack in commission rates.

Some good affiliate programs out there are Amazon Associate program (includes Amazon ebook affiliate program), Powerhouse Affiliate Program (our very own), CJAffiliates, ShareASale, etc.

3. Make a sheet of affiliate links

sheet of affiliate links

This step is optional, but I always suggest that you make an Excel or Google Sheet of your selected affiliate links. This helps you find all the relevant products links in one place.

It doesn’t have to be an exhaustive list. Choose the products carefully, so that you can plan your affiliate marketing ebook around them.

4. Write a working title of your ebook

writing a title of your ebooks

Do some research on Amazon Kindle Store and see what books in your niche have good reviews. This will give you an idea about what people like to read about.

Write a few working titles for your ebook. Choose one to start with. This will make the base for creating an outline for the book and writing it. A title works as a broad theme that you keep in mind while writing the book. It can give a book direction. 

For example, if my ebook is for selling home products, then I can write a book called ‘Organize Your Home and Save a Year of Your Life’ or ‘A Clean Home to Declutter Your Personal Life’.

You can always change the title of your ebook later, if you feel like it. You can also skip this step and start without a working title. It is recommended, but not compulsory.

5. Read a few popular ebooks in your niche

read ebooks in your niches

Read a few popular ebooks in your niche to understand what people like. This will help you write better by understanding what users want to read. It will also give you writing ideas. You can always write on an existing topics from a fresh perspective.

6. Create an outline of your affiliate ebook

create an outline of your book

To make your writing process more streamlined, it is best to create an outline for it. This will save you time while writing and editing the book. This is how the best writers write their books. They create a wireframe of the book and then start writing.

This will also help you plan where to add your affiliate links and suggestions so that the readers are convinced to purchase those products.

7. Write your ebook or hire a freelancer

writing affiliate marketing ebook

This is the most important step of this whole exercise. Write your ebook to genuinely help people on a subject. You can even write your book to entertain the readers. Either way, your book should deliver real value to your audience.

Many people end up writing affiliate marketing ebooks that are too salesy. This can put off readers and get you bad reviews on Kindle and other ebook stores. Promote your affiliate products passively in the book.

Create a story or a theme that readers can relate to. Once they feel connected with you, you are more likely to sell affiliate products to them.

If you are busy or think that writing is not something you are good at, you can even hire a freelancer to write the affiliate marketing ebook for you.

8. Add affiliate links to your ebook

add affiliate links to ebook

Add affiliate links to your ebook at the right places. Do not add links where the pitch is to salesy. Always be subtle in your promotions. Deliver content value to readers while suggesting an affiliate product.

9. Edit and proofread the ebook

proofread affiliate ebook

Some people are really particular about spelling and grammar. Edit and proofread your book or take the help of a professional to do so. People can give a book bad reviews just because of some punctuation or grammatical mistakes.

10. Design your ebook and format it

design your ebook

Once you have written your ebook, format it as per the requirements of Amazon Kindle Store or other such ebook stores. Format your book neatly. Use readable fonts and heading styles. Convert your ebook to PDF and other acceptable formats.

11. Publish your ebook for affiliate products (and pricing)

publish your ebook

Once your book is ready, publish it on Amazon Kindle Store and other such places. You can give your ebook for Free to begin with, till it gathers some good reviews. Later, you can increase the price, as you like.

People tend to download Free ebooks a lot. So, starting with an affiliate marketing free ebook is always a good idea. Some books do well even if they are paid, but to get to that point, it’s good to gather some good reviews.

12. Promote your ebook

promote your ebook

Once you have created and published your ebook, promote it through various modes. You can create a website for affiliate marketing ebooks.

Search engine optimizing your website will help you get traffic through search engines. You can even promote your ebook through paid Ads on search engines and social media. Organic social media promotions can also help.

Best Affiliate Marketing Books and Resources

best affiliate marketing books

Also, as I promised, here’s a list of some of the best books on affiliate marketing. There are also various free affiliate marketing courses to help you learn how to promote a website.

  1. Ebook (Paid): Affiliate Marketing: The Beginner’s Step by Step Guide to Making Money Online With Affiliate Marketing by Kevin Ulaner
  2. Ebook (Paid): Passive Income: Ideas – 35 Best, Proven Business Ideas for Building Financial Freedom in the New Economy – Includes Affiliate Marketing, Blogging, Dropshipping and Much More! by Chandler Wright
  3. Ebook (Paid): Affiliate Marketing: How to make money and create an income by A Anderson
  4. Ebook (Free): The Beginner’s Affiliate Marketing Blueprint: How to Get Started For Free And Earn Your First $10,000 In Commissions Fast! (Make Money Online With Affiliate Marketing in 2019 Beginners Edition) by Alex Marketing
  5. Online course (Free): Powerhouse Affiliate Marketing Course by Joey Babineau

All the best with your ebook affiliate marketing project and feel free to leave a comment below if you have any queries.

Stay tuned for tips and tricks on affiliate marketing.

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Affiliate Tips

The Fastest and Best Way to Learn How to Sell Affiliate Products

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learn how to sell affiliate products

When you begin an affiliate marketing website, it seems like a mammoth task to learn how to sell affiliate products. It doesn’t have to be that way.

I understand that the task can seem overwhelming with so many things required to be done and learnt. 

Here are all the things that one needs to learn to sell affiliate products:

  1. Choosing a niche for the products to sell
  2. Creating a website for affiliate marketing (plus hosting the website on a good web host)
  3. Finding the right affiliate networks and programs to work with
  4. Creating content for the website
  5. Promoting the website through various organic, social and paid channels
  6. Analyzing website and campaign data to optimize content and Ads
  7. Monitoring the industry and market to find the right promotional and sales opportunities

All this can’t be learned in a day, but it’s good to remember that…

Rome was not built in a day!

You are not building an architectural wonder, but building an affiliate website is no less than making art.

There are various Gurus and websites teaching how to sell affiliate products. However, not many are authentic and not many really reveal the real best ways to sell affiliate products.

After being burnt by taking advice from many such affiliate gurus, I found a simple and free way to learn how to market affiliate marketing products. 

How I Started to Learn How to Sell Affiliate Products

starting to sell affiliate products

When I started my Edtech affiliate marketing website, I started learning from top marketing gurus in the world, by subscribing to their online content.

Their methods helped me set up a basic website and promote it moderately. There was still a gap in where I wanted to be. I was getting some traffic on the website, but I could not sell my affiliate products.

I had recently quit my job and I needed a project that actually helped me get back on my feet. It was a lot of struggle, but I kept at it.

I researched the market and realised that there was a lot of potential which I could tap if I had the right knowledge.

I was mostly experimenting with the tips and tricks revealed by these marketing Gurus, as I wasn’t able to spend on taking their paid services or courses.

Meanwhile, I also dabbled with courses and tips from ‘not so genuine’ marketing gurus out there.

How the ‘Gurus’ of Affiliate Marketing were Full of Empty Promises

teachers of affiliate marketing

There are some genuine marketing Gurus out there, while many are just out there to mint money. They sell their half-baked ideas or overpriced courses which do not reveal the actual ways to success.

Here are few types of promises and claims you’ll find online from such Fake Gurus:

  • Learn how I make $10,000 per month with affiliate marketing.
  • How to earn $1,000,000 per year with affiliate marketing.
  • How to get from zero to 100,000 visitors on your website per month.

And so on.

Over time, I have become wiser to not blindly follow the methods charted out by such Gurus, as they are often trying to sell their expensive programs.

They rehash the same old content available online and make bold claims about them discovering the best ways to sell affiliate products.

So, amidst a sea of such deceptive teachers, where do you go to actually learn affiliate marketing?

How to really learn to sell affiliate products?

In this post, I will reveal my experience and the place I learned how to market affiliate products.

Where I Learned How to Sell Affiliate Marketing Products!

where to learn how to sell affiliate marketing products

After going through all the available resources I mentioned above, I finally found a straightforward way to do things.

I signed up for a Free affiliate marketing course, which had clear deliverables. Well, since it was free and I had nothing to lose, I signed up for the course.

This is what I received from it:

  • A guide on who to create an affiliate marketing website (free templates for the website)
  • Tested methods on promoting an affiliate website through SEO, Paid Ads, and Social channels
  • An affiliate marketing Forum to discuss related topics (this is a great resource to learn from other’s successes and failures)
  • A step-by-step strategy to set up CPA campaigns that are cost-effective
  • A long-term strategy to make your affiliate website profitable

What I liked about this course is that there were no tall claims or unrealistic goals. It simply gave advice on the best practices to follow to sell affiliate marketing products and it worked!

The course is PowerHouse Affiliate’s Free affiliate marketing training.

It allows beginners and Pros to find the best way to sell affiliate products through its learning resources like:

Live case studies, Forums, Webinars, Access to affiliates and coaches, and other training material

There are over 85,000 people benefitting from their training.

They also suggest the best tools you can use to host, run and promote your affiliate website.

Did I Learn How to Market Affiliate Products? Did I Succeed?

how to market affiliate products successfully

I learnt a lot of things about how to sell affiliate products through this free course.

I not only improved my website, but I also moved to a better web host, which helped me get better rankings on the search engines.

The web and promotional tools suggested by PowerHouse Affiliate are freely available in the market, it’s just a matter of someone pointing them out to you.

I designed my promotions and campaigns strategically, as defined by the course, to get great click through rates.

Now, I attract relevant traffic of up to 150,000 users to my website each month. We all know that getting traffic is not everything. I had to work on my CTAs and content structure to convert that traffic.

I optimized the content for better results and inculcated some tips from affiliate experts I got connected to through the course. This helped me increase the conversion rate.

Now, my income ranges from $8000 to $15,000 a month. (Not to brag! 🙂

I am taking the time to share my experience so that other affiliates out there do not have to go through the same gruesome journey of spending a lot of time and money in learning what can be learned for free and in little time.

The only tip I will give to affiliate marketers out there is to Start Learning TODAY!

Do not delay the process of learning how to sell affiliate products, and do it through legitimate courses and sites.

You might find some hurdles, but it will be all worth it in the end.

Consider this post as a testimonial and my way to thank Powerhouse Affiliate for being a platform that cares about teaching actual affiliate marketing methods that work!

I hope you all find success in earning satisfactory affiliate income. 🙂

Ciao!

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