There are many mistakes to avoid when you first start your Affiliate Marketing business, in this article I will discuss the 3 top mistakes, which in my opinion are the first to avoid if you want to truly achieve success in the affiliate marketing industry.

1. Using the Wrong Tools.

Just like any trade, if you use the wrong tools in your business, your results will suffer, so it is imperative, especially when you first start out that you make use of the proper tools. So in the following paragraphs I will explain a little about the kind of tools you should be using as a professional Internet/Affiliate Marketer. One common thing I see new marketers do is to not take their business seriously in the beginning and start out by “playing” at marketing, they do not want to invest in the proper tools until their business has taken off and they can be sure of success, let me tell you one thing, you HAVE to invest, and project a professional image, in your business immediately or you will face a perpetual struggle.

For example, you need to invest in a real domain name, website hosting and an auto responder. If you try to get by using a free web hosting service you will be leaving a lot of sales on the table. One of the reasons for this is your online credibility. I am sure you would agree that a domain name like – – provides a much more professional look and feel than say – – if you had to choose a website to visit when searching for a solution, then I am sure the first URL would be the choice of most people, because it gives you the impression immediately that you would find your answer, or at least find some expert advice or info. Having a generic but market specific domain name is the key here, even better if your domain name contains the specific keywords you are targeting

Auto responders are another absolutely vital tool to have in your arsenal, as you have to have a way of capturing the contact details of visitors to your site, otherwise you are just wasting traffic. Most sales are not made on the first visit. People are coming to you in search of information first, so in order for you to give it to them you have got to capture their name and email address so you can follow up with them, an auto responder makes this process simple. Now the scope of this article does not cover specific tool service providers, but if you would like to know my recommendations for hosting, domain name registration and auto responders then you can find this on my blog.

2. Targeting the Wrong Market.

This is probably the most common mistake made by beginners, and unfortunately it’s also the one thing that can kill your business almost before it has begun, even if you are doing everything else right. This mistake usually manifests itself in choosing a target market, which is too broad, and by the way, this is an easy trap to fall into when you look at all the options available. What happens when your market is too broad and how do you know? Well, for start, your conversion rates will be low, you may be driving a lot of traffic, but because it is too broad, your sales aren’t where they should be, so you need to look at two things here to address this problem:-

1. Your Product.
2. The Keywords you are using.

There needs to be close match between these two, after all it’s not just about targeting the product to the market, so lets have a quick look at some examples of proper and improper marketing: –

• Market too broad.

Lets say you are in the dating and relationship niche (a very lucrative niche it is as well, by the way) one of the biggest mistakes you could make would be to target keywords like “dating advice” or “dating tips” as the basis of driving traffic, because whilst these are relevant terms they simply aren’t targeted enough. Why not? You might say, well think about the number of people who might be searching using those particular keywords, the market is absolutely massive, people searching in this particular market have an almost unlimited number of options, so unless you have an unlimited budget to drive a massive amount of traffic to compensate, and you have something very special to offer, most of your efforts will be wasted.

• Proper Targeting

Still in the dating/relationship market then, but now we are going to narrow it down. A good example in this particular market would be to target men who are looking to learn how to attract women. Straight away here you can see you have narrowed your target by excluding women. Now this changes everything, it changes the sites you advertise on and the keywords you use in your PPC Campaigns. Your no longer going after “dating advice” or “dating tips” any more, instead you could target more specific keyword phrases, like

“Attract women” or maybe “date a model”, you get the idea, it makes it a whole lot easier to match up your market and product almost perfectly.

Even your auto responder follow-up messages will be easier to compose, because you can now focus on the one subject that you know your audience is most interested in. This makes it quite simple to give them exactly what they want.

3. Driving the Wrong Kind of Traffic.

Another problem encountered by beginners to affiliate marketing is actually knowing HOW to generate targeted traffic in the first place. This results in all too often falling victim to the many scams out there that promise to send you millions of visitors for $99, but don’t produce results. Most of these are software systems that will produce a lot of phony hits to your website which makes it look like you have received what you paid for. The best advice to give to anybody who is new to affiliate marketing is to tell them to learn about the following proven methods of traffic generation:

• Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising.
• Article marketing
• Social networking
• Blog posting, forum commenting and groups.

Now again it is outside the scope of this short article to go into detail regarding the above mentioned traffic generation strategies but briefly, in terms of cost, simplicity and time, they can be broken down as follows: –

PPC – Can generate traffic quickly, but can be very costly if you don’t know what you are doing. Relatively simple to set up depending on the network you are using

Article marketing – Can generate a lot of targeted traffic but over a relatively long period of time. Great for providing a constant stream. Can be quite time consuming but is FREE traffic.

Social Networking. – Again not a quick strategy, and once started, to have any effect must be maintained, but can generate some fantastically targeted traffic and again it is FREE traffic.

Blog posting, forum commenting – Again this traffic is FREE, but can be time consuming. Great for market research as it is a superb way of interacting with your target market to find out what their problems are. I have used forum posting and commenting in particular in the past, and continue to do so today, to generate new product ideas on a regular basis.

So you see, generating traffic is not just paying for clicks, there is a definite strategy involved and you need to have multiple traffic generating strategies in place, and your strategies need to allow you to target your market head-on.