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  1. #1
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>There are many pitfalls that can keep you from enjoying success as an Affiliate.


    Here are some of the more common mistakes which can
    keep your Affiliate checks from getting any bigger than a few dollars.


    Ignore them at your own risk!


    1. You sign up for dozens of Affiliate Programs.

    2. Too many Affiliate banners all over your website.

    3. What traffic you get to your website soon surf away due to the slow loading pages.

    4. Surfers to your site see nothing but banners for unrelated products and services on a site that looks like a big flashing garage sale sign.

    5. Rely on just banners to sell the Affiliate Program products and services.

    6. Not telling your site visitors enough about the products or services you're selling.

    7. No personal testimonials about any of the products or services you're selling.

    8. Not realizing that text links work better than banners.

    9. No use of autoresponders to automate the selling process.

    10. Not setting up 5 to 7 follow up letters on an autoresponder.

    11. Relying completely on the ad copy the Affiliate Owner gives you.

    12. Not testing your ad copy before spending significant dollars on advertising.

    13. Relying only on mass submission software or paid services to mass submit your affiliate site to search engines and directories.

    14. Not hand submitting your website to the top 10 search engines and directories.

    15. Not creating a personal website and just sending prospects straight to your Affiliate website.

    16. Believing you can get rich quick promoting Affiliate Programs.

    17. Using only free methods of advertising.

    18. Not using a signature file at the end of every email you send out, for whatever reason.

    19. Believing you can buy a CD of email addresses and spam your sales letter to millions of people to make sales.

    20. Not answering the questions and concerns of potential customers in a timely manner.

    21. Thinking that an Affiliate commission of less than 10% of the selling price is going to create huge checks.

    22. Treating your business as a hobby.

    23. Not advertising offline.

    24. Not thoroughly reading all training material supplied by the Affiliate Owner.

    25. Not owning or using the product or service you're trying to sell.


    Your success as an Affiliate requires hard work, dedication, a professional attitude, learning how to market effectively and consistent persistence.

    Reflect on the above common mistakes, then take the appropriate action to adjust your marketing strategies. If you include a dose of common sense and a genuine desire to succeed you'll soon enjoy the success you deserve. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Quoted with permission from George Spellwin
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  2. #2
    Full Member ahmar's Avatar
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    Great post Haiko! Thanks for sharing with us.
    <DT>[size=1][color=navy]"The best measure of a man's honesty isn't his income tax return.[/color][/size]<DT>[size=1][color=navy]It's the zero adjust on his bathroom scale." Arthur C. Clark[/color][/size]</DT>

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador
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    Very good post Haiko.

    I have been doing affiliate marketing for 2 1/2 years now, and I am still guilty of quite a few of those mistakes listed.

  4. #4
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    Bulls eye...
    Andy Rodriguez Consulting, Affiliate Program Management and Consulting Services, Since 2001
    www.andyrodriguez.com | E: abw@andyrodriguez.com | P: (888) 931-ANDY (2639) | Skype: affiliatedoctor | AIM & MSN: AffiliateDoctor | Subscribe To Our ABW Forum Posts | Follow me on Twitter | Join Our Affiliate Programs

  5. #5
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    Hehe, gotta admit I kinda winced on #4, one of my sites is the tackiest you will ever see. It should be the poster child for what not to do, .
    Following everyone else is a GREAT way to become average.

  6. #6
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    These are common mistakes done by an affiliate, I agree. Now, what about mistakes done by a merchant, an affiliate manager, our fellow affiliates and competitors, and our dear networks. They all impact the level of the checks we're getting for our work.

  7. #7
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Great post! I have some questions/comments about some of these however.

    9. No use of autoresponders to automate the selling process.

    Sorry, but what does this mean exactly?

    10. Not setting up 5 to 7 follow up letters on an autoresponder.

    I guess this goes with #9 - please clarify.

    15. Not creating a personal website and just sending prospects straight to your Affiliate website.

    Does the personal website does not have links, but only content or product info? Does the personal website get more of the traffic?

    16. Believing you can get rich quick promoting Affiliate Programs.
    NO NEED FOR EXPLANATION HERE!
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  8. #8
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Great post, although I have to disagree with some of the points.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>1. You sign up for dozens of Affiliate Programs. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>I sign up for hundreds of affiliate programs. Even more dangerous would be relying on just a single affiliate program. You have to diversify.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>9. No use of autoresponders to automate the selling process.

    10. Not setting up 5 to 7 follow up letters on an autoresponder. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>I've never been a fan of autoresponders. They're intrustive (especially the ongoing ones) and not necessary. Give people what they want on your web site and get them to the merchant's site.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>14. Not hand submitting your website to the top 10 search engines and directories. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>That's good for everything but Google. The latest theory is that it's best to let Google find your site on it's own.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>15. Not creating a personal website and just sending prospects straight to your Affiliate website. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>A personal site certainly isn't necessary, nor is it effective. A well designed affiliate site converts.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>21. Thinking that an Affiliate commission of less than 10% of the selling price is going to create huge checks. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>This is patently false. I earn some huge checks from low-commission merchants. I know one affiliate who earns over $100,000 per month from a single program that pays about 3%. I'm currently building a site in a niche where the merchants typically don't pay over 5%.

    All of the other points are excellent points!
    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

  9. #9
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Michael Coley -
    I'm currently building a site in a niche where the merchants typically don't pay over 5%. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    I'm making over $20K a month in commission with a merchant paying me only 5%, it's also a niche market. It works but maybe not for everybody. You really need to have a customer base or the expertise.

  10. #10
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    I don't like # 9 and # 10 just because I hate spam.

    And I agree with Zeus.

    There are more things that can cause our affiliate checks from getting any bigger than what they're lately.

  11. #11
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> 9. No use of autoresponders to automate the selling process.

    10. Not setting up 5 to 7 follow up letters on an autoresponder. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Unfortunately, you can't do it anymore. It was working fine 3, 4 years ago. I had a wonderful list of satisfied customers and they were buying more at each mailing. The spammers have killed that way of doing business. I don't even remember last time I sent a mailing.

  12. #12
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Great post Haiko just touching the do's & don'ts in this industry. A nice section at ABW spurring on some debates, votes and educational discussions would be a BEST PRACTICES list ...and a WORSE PRACTICES list. Entries onto those 2 lists would be via open discussions followed by voting on them by the group. That way existing and new ABWers could click to these 2 informative lists from the front page.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  13. #13
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    Some of the things a few affiliate managers did last week to help me?
    One (indy) gave away one of my sites URL like an example for an other affiliate, sure enough I had a clone a few days later.
    An other, on CJ, did sales testing thru my affiliate links without telling me. I never had such a pattern of reversals during a full week. One (a product manager) on Performics called me to add more links for Christmas to his principal ( I did great last year), I asked him why I was not getting paid on the last sales for them, partner fee showing as "0" for sales over $100. I'm still waiting for the answer, it was on Monday.
    On LinkShare, one did a good job to convince me to add their product line, it was a good fit for my sites, two months later they were gone, I had several thousand in commission, not sure it was a mistake or not, all sales were cancelled.
    I had the surprise to see all my links redirected to Yahoo with a ShareaSale merchant, the same day, Yahoo subsidiaries or whatever (PositionTech and Oversure) were stealing again my money. The same night an other merchant launched their new web site and all my affiliate links went dead.
    It's also a teasing for Andy (Rodriguez). I know it doesn't happen to professionals like him. I'm glad to see him and (others) on ABW.

  14. #14
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Zeus:
    Some of the things a few affiliate managers did last week to help me?
    One (indy) gave away one of my sites URL like an example for an other affiliate, sure enough I had a clone a few days later.
    An other, on CJ, did sales testing thru my affiliate links without telling me. I never had such a pattern of reversals during a full week. One (a product manager) on Performics called me to add more links for Christmas to his principal ( I did great last year), I asked him why I was not getting paid on the last sales for them, partner fee showing as "0" for sales over $100. I'm still waiting for the answer, it was on Monday.
    On LinkShare, one did a good job to convince me to add their product line, it was a good fit for my sites, two months later they were gone, I had several thousand in commission, not sure it was a mistake or not, all sales were cancelled.
    I had the surprise to see all my links redirected to Yahoo with a ShareaSale merchant, the same day, Yahoo subsidiaries or whatever (PositionTech and Oversure) were stealing again my money. The same night an other merchant launched their new web site and all my affiliate links went dead.
    It's also a teasing for Andy (Rodriguez). I know it doesn't happen to professionals like him. I'm glad to see him and (others) on ABW. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Zeus....

    Still waiting buddy, still have the bottle of Vintage Dom you sent me 2 years ago un-opened. We decided to wait till you were in town to pop the cork. Stil in it's sealed case on my bar.

    Thanks for the kind words...

    When will you be in town agian? Monty's still calls...

    Sorry to hear about your AM mishapps above...let's do a call so i can tell you about a few private offers I have going on with a few of my merchant accounts. I want to add to your revenue stream so you can stay "grounded" and enjoy Miami more often..

    Good seeing you actively posting again, take care...
    Andy Rodriguez Consulting, Affiliate Program Management and Consulting Services, Since 2001
    www.andyrodriguez.com | E: abw@andyrodriguez.com | P: (888) 931-ANDY (2639) | Skype: affiliatedoctor | AIM & MSN: AffiliateDoctor | Subscribe To Our ABW Forum Posts | Follow me on Twitter | Join Our Affiliate Programs

  15. #15
    15 years and counting
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    Can't believe you still have that bottle, Andy. I can't keep any for that long. I've a love and hate relationship with Florida, lost one house, two cars and 10 years of memory with Andrew, lost an other house and everything else in Vero Beach, lately. I'm moving North, Atlanta, but I'll be back.
    Last time I had a sip of Dom it was in Reims, with Moet & Chandon, I made them rich, or maybe it's the opposite. I'll call you next time I'm around. I miss South Florida, already.

  16. #16
    Full Member BrattyKitty's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> 1. You sign up for dozens of Affiliate Programs. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I can't see any other way to find the good ones.
    I have several of each merchant in many categories.

    The decent ones win the exclusive spot for the category and then, I throw everything I have promoting them.
    Never argue with an idiot.
    The person watching, may not be able to tell the difference!

    :female: :star: :envelope: [url="http://www.bridalbasics.ca/"]:weddingca[/url]

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador
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    They missed the rule about breaking rules.

  18. #18
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Sorry but, where do I start?!

    First I'll ditto Michael Coley's objections. Except for the one about the commissions. Accepting cheap commissions erodes the percentages for the whole industry. Plus it's unsmart to sell anything for 3%, when there are so many things that pay better!

    So I agree with Spellwin that cheapskate merchants are to be avoided, although for different reasons than the article states.

    And I agree with the points about having more than just banners, and what basically means to add some meat to the presentation.

    Now, *my* objections.

    #s 9 and 10 (autoresponders):

    First, these pro-autoresponder points seem to assume that the affiliate can tell if a particular person has bought or not. This is, of course, not the case!

    Personally I think autoresponder marketing should DIE. Spam me like that and I never come back, nor do I buy.

    The site should be able to convince the prospect to buy, *without* pestering them to death later with emails!

    #20. Not answering the questions and concerns of potential customers in a timely manner.

    Customers shouldn't be asking the affiliate any questions or voicing concerns to them. The customer should be able to tell that they are not on a merchant site, and therefore should be directing their whines at the actual merchant. If the relationship is clear, no gripes at all should be arriving in the affiliate's email.

    24. Not thoroughly reading all training material supplied by the Affiliate Owner.

    (I assume that means the affiliate *program* owner, since affiliates themselves are not owned!) The so-called "training materials" all say the same, very basic, things. Read one set, you've read 'em all! So skip it unless the merchant has shown some extraordinary insight into something.

    15. Not creating a personal website and just sending prospects straight to your Affiliate website.

    Hasn't this guy SEEN most personal sites?!

    Anyway I think that putting people through a personal site first is patently wrong. The prospects should go right to the affiliate site--exactly the reverse of what he suggests!!! If he was doing brick-n-mortar, trying to sell cars, would he make prospects go on a house tour first?!

    25. Not owning or using the product or service you're trying to sell.

    Ha, ha, ha!!! That one's truly ridiculous. I promote over 100,000 products. If the average product ticket was $10, that'd mean a 1MM investment! And most of the things I push cost a lot more than that! How rich does that guy think affiliates are, anyway?

    LOL I'm not pushing some teensy niche, my sites are more like Wal-Marts, and I could VERY comfortably retire on what it'd cost to "buy or use" everything on my sites. And if I had that kind of money, I certainly would BE retired!

    As for #16, Believing you can get rich quick promoting Affiliate Programs.

    Of course you can--just like you "can" win the Lotto. The problem comes when people think it's likely, or "for sure" that they'll get rich quick. Remembering the actual odds is important.

    Spellwin did manage to get a couple of points right, as I mentioned near the beginning of this post--but he sure missed the mark a lot. It seems more like his background is in old-line direct mail promoting, NOT affiliate marketing.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  19. #19
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    This list is somewhat laughable in that it is a rewrite of The 25 Ways That Can Cause Failure as an MLMer. This list was published by various MLM gurus in the past. This list is not an original work. Some of the items pertain only to MLM and not at all to afilliates.

    Gene
    TCS

  20. #20
    Full Member ahmar's Avatar
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    I feel the 25 points mentioned by Spellwin are general points and given as a guidline rather than any hard and fast roles. You can always bend them as per your requirements. I agree with your objections except for the following points those really depend on situation:

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>#s 9 and 10 (autoresponders):

    First, these pro-autoresponder points seem to assume that the affiliate can tell if a particular person has bought or not. This is, of course, not the case! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I agree on not to spam the customer with follow up emails, that is irritating. But if you do have a email address on your website e.g. support/sales@XYZ.com then it wouldnt hurt to have a autoresponder at least confirming the receipt of customer's email even if it says "We have received your request and our support/sales staff will get back to you within 24 or 48 hrs". At least the customer knows when to expect the reply.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>#20. Not answering the questions and concerns of potential customers in a timely manner.

    Customers shouldn't be asking the affiliate any questions or voicing concerns to them. The customer should be able to tell that they are not on a merchant site, and therefore should be directing their whines at the actual merchant. If the relationship is clear, no gripes at all should be arriving in the affiliate's email. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    First of all I dont think most of the people can tell a difference if they are on affiliate site or merchants site. So as long as the customer is on our site they are our customer. One more thing to keep in mind most of us make datafeed sites with up to 4 tier and sometimes customer only lands on merchant's site when they decide to add to cart. What if they have a question before they decide to buy? What if you run a coupon site and your coupons are not working properly (we all know it happens sometimes)? Customer may choose to write to get more info on any product or to alert you that your 10% off coupon taking them to 5% off page. So till the customer is on your site they are your customer and if they send an email they expect a timely reply as well. So now its up to affiliates to reply to them and convert one time customer to repeat customer or just ignore them and even loose 1 time sale.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>As for #16, Believing you can get rich quick promoting Affiliate Programs.

    _Of course_ you can--just like you "can" win the Lotto. The problem comes when people think it's _likely, or "for sure"_ that they'll get rich quick. Remembering the actual odds is important. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    To win a Lotto one doesnt have to be an Affiliate. 2nd point is more realistic and I guess thats what he is trying to say as well.
    <DT>[size=1][color=navy]"The best measure of a man's honesty isn't his income tax return.[/color][/size]<DT>[size=1][color=navy]It's the zero adjust on his bathroom scale." Arthur C. Clark[/color][/size]</DT>

  21. #21
    Full Member brianboru's Avatar
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    Great post. Thanks. I am/have been guilty of many.

  22. #22
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Cool! I've been wanting to post this for days, and didn't want to start a new thread or search to see if it's already been done... so here it is...

    READ ABW!!!!!!
    READ BETWEEN THE LINES AT ABW!!!!!

    Except for the few top-secret tricks we all have - and I bet we all have the same top secret tricks, but since we won't reveal them, we'll never know!!...

    The entire roadmap of how to be a successful affiliate is here on this website.

    The only problem is

    it's scattered thruought (once again Haiko - we need a spellchecker!!) 100 posts on 100 threads in 100 forums - but it's here if you're willing to look for it.

  23. #23
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    thanks haiko for the thread.


    17. Using only free methods of advertising.

    This is prob why I am not getting hits or earning anything.
    I am on limit budget so I have no choice but to use free methods of advertising.

  24. #24
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Ahmar's comments with ">>" my responses without.

    >>First of all I dont think most of the people can tell a difference if they are on affiliate site or merchants site.

    Mine says "click here to go to MerchantX" so it's pretty obvious

    >>One more thing to keep in mind most of us make datafeed sites with up to 4 tier and sometimes customer only lands on merchant's site when they decide to add to cart. What if they have a question before they decide to buy?

    That's a different setup than I've got, although I've seen it occasionally when looking at the Google listings.

    On my sites, there's no "add to cart." I tell 'em right out, "we are affiliated with..." "go to [this link] to buy..." There isn't that confusion as to who is who.

    >>So till the customer is on your site they are your customer and if they send an email they expect a timely reply as well.

    I only got emailed ONCE by a customer in 5 years. The merchant was out of stock of the item she wanted and she wanted to know when the thing would be back in. I did reply quickly and politely, but it struck me how pointless the exchange was! After all, I had no idea when, or if, the item would ever be back in stock. And the merchant hadn't updated their feed in 1 1/2 years, so there was no clue there.

    (Strangely enough, soon after that incident, that merchant began to regularly update their feed and now is one of the most conscientious about it!)

    >>So now its up to affiliates to reply to them and convert one time customer to repeat customer or just ignore them and even loose 1 time sale.

    I'm not really proposing "ignoring them." Rather, I just don't put my email on most of my sites to begin with! But if an email manages to get through, I'll answer it, provided it's not some guy in China trying to sell me 10 tons of fertilizer from his chicken plant (I actually got a proposal for that)!
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador darkstar7's Avatar
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    Great Post. Lots of good info but it appears to have info for mostly niche marketers instead of mall marketers.

    The info about talking to your customers is a big key to success. Because if you steer them correctly they will trust you and use your site again.

    The info about too many banners will become a non-issue with the ever increasing bandwidth of broadband. Back in the bad ol' day of dail-up, sparce use of banners was necessary for fast loads. Broadband cures this.

    We need to help each other. Our industry is just beginning. The more trust from the general public we can generate. The more money we all can make. Someone from ABW is going to become the next captain of our industry. But there is lots and lots of room for everyone in this pond (the world).

    All in all good post.
    Luke
    Have you promoted your brand name today?

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