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  1. #1
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    June 9th, 2010
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    Worst Mistake You Ever Made
    As a newb, it's been challenging to me to think of a good question to ask--I don't want to repeat the old "tell me everything" question that gets nowhere and accomplishes nothing.

    So here's a question that might really help me and other newbies.

    What is the single worst mistake you've made--something that maybe no experienced person would do, but that a newbie might "fall for?" (Maybe we could call it "pitfalls I didn't avoid.")

    Thanks in advance for any and all answers.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Daniel M. Clark's Avatar
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    It's not a mistake I've made, but one that I've seen newcomers make - buying get-rich-quick eBooks. Don't do it. There are legitimate training courses and materials out there, but 99.9% of what's out there is junk that only exists to separate you from your $27 or $47 or $97 or $297.

    See the pattern? Your first clue: if it ends in 7, it's a red flag. It's a supposed marketing tactic that these people all believe in, that if they end it with a 7 you're more likely to buy it. That should tell you the amount of respect they have for their customers. Some of the legitimate resources price their stuff this way, too, so it's not something that should rule out your purchase, but it is something to consider, I think.
    Daniel M. Clark
    Tech Manager
    Greg Hoffman Consulting

  3. #3
    http and a telephoto
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Working with the wrong company that ends up not paying you.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager Resume Companion's Avatar
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    From a merchant's perspective, getting into a price war/competing on price. because there is always someone out there who is willing to continue lowering their price until both of you are unprofitable. Its better to sell a premium product to 10 people then a cheap product to 50 people, IMO
    Howard Chai, Affiliate Manager
    Email: [email]affiliate@resumecompanion.com[/email]
    Website: [URL="http://resumecompanion.com"]ResumeCompanion.com[/URL]
    SAS Program Link: [URL="http://www.shareasale.com/shareasale.cfm?merchantID=26342"]Join Now[/URL]

  5. #5
    Banned Snowfinch's Avatar
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    I actually have 4 mistakes I made as an affiliate marketer which I regret ever day of my life.

    1. Beginning my affiliate marketing career with Linkshare. Leaving Linkshare. Rejoining Linkshare because I thought they had changed.

    2. Putting all my eggs in one basket. That is to say I did not attempt to have more than one merchant with the products or for the niche I intended to promote.

    3. Choose a niche(s) and starting sites dedicated to them for which only one merchant had the products I intended to promote. Some merchants basically have a monopoly on certain products or services. If something goes wrong, you have no merchant to replace them with and you have to redo your entire site. Always have a backup plan.

    [Removed]

    I know you wanted a single mistake, but those the 4 I regret the most.
    Last edited by MichaelColey; June 9th, 2010 at 04:28 PM. Reason: Removed unrelated point.

  6. #6
    Member esnagel's Avatar
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    January 1st, 2008
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    The worst mistake I made was spending too much time trying to figure out what other people were doing. Even if I had all of their keywords & ad copy, I couldn't replicate what they do. Similarly, if you had my keyword list & ad copy, you couldn't replicate what I do.

    Don't worry about other people - work on your own projects.

  7. #7
    http and a telephoto
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    Quote Originally Posted by esnagel View Post
    The worst mistake I made was spending too much time trying to figure out what other people were doing. Even if I had all of their keywords & ad copy, I couldn't replicate what they do. Similarly, if you had my keyword list & ad copy, you couldn't replicate what I do.

    Don't worry about other people - work on your own projects.
    This is golden advice.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  8. #8
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    May 8th, 2007
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    Spending money on AdWords without knowing what I was doing.

  9. #9
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    My biggest mistake? Her name was...


  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador affninja's Avatar
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    December 11th, 2005
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    Being cheap and not making site upgrades until it was too late. I thought "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

    Then it broke.

    Had I been proactive, I could have saved tens of thousands in lost revenue.
    Your Ad Here.

  11. #11
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Doing an "rm -r" in the wrong directory, on the wrong server.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  12. #12
    http and a telephoto
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey View Post
    Doing an "rm -r" in the wrong directory, on the wrong server.
    Oh ouch!!!! (Yes I know what that means. Only did it once myself )
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  13. #13
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Trying to do too much too quickly, and spreading myself too thin.

    And I repeat that mistake daily.
    Kevin Webster
    twitter: levelanalytics

    Kayak Fishing
    Web Analytics and Affiliate Marketing

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador Daniel M. Clark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey View Post
    Doing an "rm -r" in the wrong directory, on the wrong server.
    The one and only time I ever did that was when I was working at Johnson Space Center, doing network support at building 30 (that's Mission Control). I did a rm -r on the wrong directory, wiped out some critical files, and crashed the International Space Station.

    Okay, that's not true. The Station was fine. The files were pretty important though, and sent us scrambling for a backup. It was a pretty tense afternoon, to say the least.
    Daniel M. Clark
    Tech Manager
    Greg Hoffman Consulting

  15. #15
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
    Trying to do too much too quickly, and spreading myself too thin.

    And I repeat that mistake daily.
    I can certainly relate to that.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

  16. #16
    Affiliate Manager ParadigmWilliam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
    Trying to do too much too quickly, and spreading myself too thin.

    And I repeat that mistake daily.

    I do this a lot. Sometimes I just look back and say if I only did one thing. But then it would drive me crazy.

    Big Mistake - Working with a sleazy CPA network.
    [URL="http://www.manageaffiliatelinks.com/"][COLOR="Red"][B]Manage Affiliate Links[/B][/COLOR][/URL] - Redirect Dead, Expired, or Broken Links

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  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador CathyM's Avatar
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    I once bought links in a couple of high page rank directories a few weeks before google went after paid directories. My site received a minus 40 penalty for 2 years (that hurt). However, I did create a new site about a similar subject and it luckily picked up some .edu links and continues to do well.

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador
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    Great question!
    I think my main mistake is not doing enough research before I start campaigns.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
    Trying to do too much too quickly, and spreading myself too thin.

    And I repeat that mistake daily.
    I am guilty of this too.

  19. #19
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    One of my biggest mistakes was when I got involved with some HYIP programs and I lost all my invested money.

    I also got involved with programs that didn't work out.. now I stick to what I know best, internet marketing and freelancing...

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by seymourbutts View Post
    spending money on adwords without knowing what i was doing.
    +1

  21. #21
    Outsourced Program Manager AdZaz's Avatar
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    Finding a successful, profitable niche, then spending (wasting) time trying to find another rather then improving efforts on the one I had found.

    Now I think of it like starting a fire by rubbing two sticks together, if I see even a little ember burning (i.e. a trickle of cash) I will focus on turning that ember into a fire before moving on to the next niche...
    Greg Netland - Outsourced Program Manager
    @: info [at] AdZaz [dot] com

    Hot New Program JOIN TODAY!
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  22. #22
    15 years and counting
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    My first mistake was to think I could duplicate over and over my first profitable website (around 1997) with different products to make it really, really big. It doesn't work that way. It's much better to find a unique strategy for each website.
    I don't think you have the freedom to make too many mistakes, now. If you do, you're out of the game, fast.

  23. #23
    15 years and counting
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    Quote Originally Posted by loxly View Post
    Working with the wrong company that ends up not paying you.
    I made that mistake with Linkshare and a few of their (bankrupted) merchants in 1999/2000. I lost $300K in commissions not paid. I didn't care at that time. It would be harder these days.

  24. #24
    Affiliate Manager cmunns's Avatar
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    This may be in my opinion the most important thread I've seen so far, learning from our mistakes is part of the process...learning from others' mistakes is just plain smart!

    Being cheap and not making site upgrades until it was too late. I thought "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."
    I cringe everytime I see sites in need of a makeover. People forget how much credibility you get by just having a well maintained and clean looking site.
    Affiliate Manager
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  25. #25
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    Those adwords!
    Quote Originally Posted by markwelch View Post
    +1
    I liked it when I stopped my Adwords campaign, and got a bill the following month. That was fun. Lesson learned: Triple check because Google likes to squeeze you dry.

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