Wednesday, May 23, 2007

20 Reasons Why You Will Never Live Off Your Affiliate Income!

Why is it that the top 10% of affiliate marketers earn 90% of all affiliate income, with the remaining 90% left to fight over the 10% of scraps left? What are the millionaire affiliate marketers doing which is different to you?

While there are a number of ways of improving your affiliate marketing offerings, you first need to appreciate where you may be going wrong before you can improve. Listed below are the 20 most popular reasons why you are not living off your affiliate income, what to avoid and how to attract more affiliate sales.

1. Lack Of Traffic To Your Site

Many many people fall into the simple trap of thinking, add some affiliate links to my site, and over time I will surely get some sales. Why? What is the reason behind this way of thinking?

Unless you actually have traffic coming to your own site (and the more focused the traffic the better) it will be nearly impossible for you to create a regular income stream.. True, you may get the odd sale once a month, but this is not enough, you need to aim higher and bring visitors to your site to stand ANY chance.

2. Poor Affiliate Products

You would not believe that amount of people who do not actually research what they are looking to sell. There are millions of affiliate products out there, and while there are a lot of high quality offerings available, there are also lots of low quality products. If you would not buy it, why should anyone else?

3. Priced Too High

This goes back to the age old argument of selling one high valued product, and taking a commission, or selling more low value products and taking a greater number of smaller commissions. Research has shown that the one factor which can scupper a sale is the price - if it is too high your potential customer will be turned off straight away.

Why not mix a number of low value and high value products? If your visitors buy a low value product and it works, you have more chance of them returning (with more trust in you) and even contemplating buying a higher value product. The trust factor is very very important.

4. Low Commissions

As mentioned above, it can often be more lucrative to sell lower value products (with reasonable commissions), but you need to ensure you are being remunerated properly for your leads. Why send hundreds of customers to an affiliate site where they pay you only a few cents a lead? Who is the big winner in this situation ? Certainly not you!

You need to balance the commission on offer against the amount of traffic which you can send, and the split of income between yourself and the owner of the affiliate program. Do not sell be too keen to pass over your users for small returns.

5. No Investment

In order to advertise your affiliate links you will need to put some of your own money upfront, either advertising your site or your affiliate links. Those who think that traffic will just fall into their lap are kidding themselves. You need quality focused traffic, and you need potential customers to see your link before your competitors. The affiliate marketing world is very competitive and you need to ensure that you gain maximum exposure. Adsense and PPC programs are very good ways of advertising your site, and while they can be expensive, they can reap massive rewards.

6. Quality Content

Even if it takes a while longer to establish yourself in the affiliate marketing world for certain products, always ensure that you offer quality, not quantity and certainly not rubbish. One poor looking affiliate site, one bad experience and you customers will disappear over night. If you promote rubbish on your site, what does that say about you and your respect for your customers?

As they say "the cream will always rise to the top"!.

7. Lack Of Feedback

If you are looking to forever improve your site, your offerings and the image and reputation of your site, you need to encourage feedback from your customers. Is there a problem with the product they bought? Were they happy? What could be improved?

Everyone likes to have a moan, but if you actually ask and listen to their concerns, their questions, they will respect you for it - they may not thank you, but they will appreciate it. Any improvements which you are able to make, any comments you are able to pass on to the affiliate program owner, will all ensure you receive less complaints in the future.

8. No After Sales Service

Similar to feedback, it is essential that you at least offer some form of after sales assistance (where relevant) to ensure that your customer is able to get the most out of their purchase, whether this be an eBook, Software or the latest Mobile Phone.

A sympathetic ear is always appreciated, and interaction with your customers has been shown to be the best way of building up a relationship - let them know that you are human!

9. Hard Sell

As well as high prices, the so called "hard sell" is guaranteed to put off any potential customers. Do not push the offers down their throats, be subtle, be helpful, but do not exert any pressure - even if you have the best product in the world. The hard sell does not work, and your reputation will not be enhanced.

10. Not Relevant To Your Site

It is essential that your build your affiliate program offerings around the subject of your site. There is no point in listing baby wear affiliate links on a site about mobile phones. The more relevant the affiliate links on your site the more chance of actually bringing in some commission.

If you can get your readers excited about a certain subject and then show them an affiliate link for a suitable product, you will have a great chance of them clicking on the link. Keep the site AND your affiliate offerings focused .

11. Old Products

The world of affiliate marketing is moving all of the time and it is essential that you keep your affiliate products up to date. Selling yesterdays favourite affiliate product will not earn you big bucks - sell today's favourite and tomorrow's favourite and you are talking.

It is vital that you regularly visit your affiliate link providers to ensure that you are offering the best and most up to date products around. Failure to do so and you customers may well look elsewhere, and you will have lost a potential sale.

12. Cookie Time Limits

Many of today's better affiliate programs will actually offer you a set time, during which any customers you pass over will be eligible to earn you commission. Where you are promoting affiliate links which may offer a vast array of products, which will keep members coming back time and time again, you need to ensure that the cookie is of a suitable length.

The cookie is basically the marker which will be attached to the user, to confirm that they were sent via your affiliate link. Some sites offer cookie lengths up to 365 days, while some may offer short 10 days periods. If a customer, originally from your site, were to buy a product after the cookie period was over, you would receive NO commission.

This is an area of affiliate marketing which is often overlooked - do not make the same mistake, and end up selling yourself short.

13. Links Do Not Work

Of the thousands of affiliate links available there are hundreds which will become invalid, or have been replaced, every day. There is nothing worse than clicking through to a non-existent link, and this does not give a very professional impression of your site. Always check that your links are valid, even on a monthly or weekly basis, and ensure that old invalid links are either replaced, or deleted asap.

14. Know Your Customer

There are a variety of statistic and traffic programs available which will give you an insight as to where the majority of your traffic is coming from - i.e. which country, browser, etc.

It is essential that you make use of this information and tailor elements of your affiliate products towards the majority of your customers. Currency is one of the major elements which you need to consider, because this is something that can put off a prospective buyer if they are dealing in a currency which they are not familiar with.

As a rule of thumb, the US dollar is the more popular currency on the internet, and seems to have a universal acceptance. Research has shown that while UK sterling buyers are willing and comfortable dealing in dollars, many Americans are not comfortable dealing in sterling (or any other foreign currency).

While you will never get this element totally correct, you need to appeal to the masses, which will most probably require offering products in US dollars.

15. Presentation

How you present and expand on your affiliate offerings has a massive effect on how successful you will be. A simple 3 word text link will be no where near as successful as an article detailing in the product, and the affiliate link at the end. Tease your customers with details, make them want the product and then offer the affiliate link when they are thinking about the product.

16. Do Not Try To Trick Your Customers

There have been many many instances of people being duped into clicking on affiliate links, and while 99% of these result in no sales, 99% of your visitors who have been "duped" will not return to your site. Trust is a major element of any business and it is essential that you treat your visitors with respect and honesty.

You may hear about people making big bucks in the short term with dubious tactics, but these people will never have a long term income stream. They will always be found out, and one bad review of your site on the internet can soon spirally into hundreds - effectively black listing your site from a mass of would be visitors.

17. No Free Products? Is Your Mix Correct?

While it may sound strange advising people to give away free products in the same area in which they are trying to sell products, there is some sense in the madness. If you are able to give away quality free products to your visitors, your trust factor with these customers will rise sky high. The more trust they have in you, the more often they will visit the site, and the more comfortable they will be actually buying a product via your affiliate links.

Too many webmasters seem to throw themselves straight into the market without a strategy, and this initial optimism soon dies with many giving up. You will not build up a quality income stream overnight, it will take time, you will have to build up trust, and be patient.

18. Have You Tested The Product?

If you were selling one of your own products, you would have tested the format, the product and the feedback before launch. It should be no different with affiliate links - ensure you are familiar with the offering, how it is presented, the standard of service and if it actually delivers what it promises.

The type of products which may need the most investigation, and possible purchase, are eBooks and software downloaded from the internet. If it works for you, and is clear and concise then you can do no more, although if it does not work, or does not do what it promises, you should not be promoting it.

19. Internet Feedback - Forums, etc

Before you sell any product it is essential that you search the internet to see if there has been any negative feedback about the provider or the product. Popular sites such as and are very useful sites to search. They often provide great feedback about affiliate providers and products.

Know you product, know your customers, and you have a firm basis for success!

20. Do You Really Know What You Are Talking About?

There are many many products on the internet which are being sold by people who do not even have a basic understanding of what they are selling. Many are blinded by the commission figures, the potential for sales, and forget about researching the actual product.

A focused site with a good knowledge base, and unique content will go a long way towards building up a rapport with your readers, increasing the trust they have in you, and ultimately increasing your chances of a sale. Even a bit of basic knowledge about a product goes a long way, although the more professional you come across, and the more information you can pass to your readers, the better.


While there are many reasons as to why your affiliate sales may not be what you expected, you probably have the basis of a good income stream. Small changes to the presentation, your promotion of the site, and your mix of products can and will have a massive effect on your sales. If you do the basics well, the rest will follow, and once you have the basis of a good affiliate sales income, you can replicate this time and time again on other sites.

Multiple, smaller income streams, are more consistent than one large income stream which may well stop tomorrow if a competitor beats you to the market. Spread the risk, and increase the reliability of your income - but do not forget to reinvest back into your site, your design and your affiliate offerings, do not stand still as the market is forever on the move!

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home