Gearing Up For Affiliate Marketing Success – By Andrew Wee

by FeedFront Staff on August 7, 2009

While every affiliate marketer coming into the industry has aspirations to be like one of the top affiliates, it isn’t exactly a walk in the park for many. Informal research shows that a large proportion of new affiliates enter the industry expecting that success will fall into their lap, only to discover that reality is vastly out of synch with the picture of success they see themselves in.

Fact #1: Drop the dream and focus on affiliate marketing as a real business.

You might have read blog posts about affiliates buying a new house off the efforts of their Christmas campaign, or going for vacations funded by their marketing efforts every other month.

While it’s true that this is their lifestyle now, you will discover that many of these affiliates have been working at this for some time, and they have paid their dues along the way.

It pays to talk to an active affiliate at an event like Affiliate Summit and hear how they got started and their lessons learned along the way. Other resources include podcasts on the GeekCast.fm network or even my Friday Podcast series (WhoIsAndrewWee.com/podcasts).

You’ll often learn that any aspiring affiliate will face a variety of challenges and obstacles as they build their business. Dealing with and overcoming these challenges are an important part of becoming successful.
Often, it helps to think of yourself as a business owner, rather than an affiliate, who might be focused on shorter term, arbitrage-style marketing campaigns.

Fact #2: Build expertise; but more importantly, be an active affiliate.

It’s strange that some affiliates will use paid promotion methods like Pay-Per-Click or Pay-Per-View advertising without having read the documentation or guides that reside in the respective systems’ training area.

Relying on secondhand information on blogs or forums can create a world of pain, especially if the campaign goes south. It’s important to be informed and understand your promotion method, especially if you’re investing time and resources into it.

On the other hand, learning and mastering a new promotion method can be quite intimidating, especially since there seem to be multiple tips, tricks and strategies you can use to make each method work. This can paralyze affiliates and result in their avoiding PPC or other forms of marketing because it seems “too complex”.

However, the only way to get over this hurdle is to actually do it; investing time to set up a campaign, allocating a budget and measuring the results.

In many cases, you can expect your first couple of campaigns to be in the red. Achieving the break-even point on your commissions vs. marketing spend should be your first target.

One unhealthy way to look at your marketing spend is as a loss or even “throwing money into the gutter”. Take broader perspective and see that you are paying to collect market data, which you can use to refine and optimize your campaign into a profitable one, and you are taking steps to build a concrete business.

Andrew Wee focuses on blogging, affiliate marketing and social traffic generation and blogs at http://WhoIsAndrewWee.com.

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