If you are new to Affiliate Marketing (AM) or just now deciding whether it’s for you, you’re probably wondering what kinds of problems you might face on the road ahead.
The good news is that the problems new affiliate marketers face are not insurmountable and most are quite common. The bad news is, the primary issues you’ll face simply take time to overcome. I say bad news because most of us don’t want to hear that it takes time.
Traffic, Traffic, Traffic
Yes, the first problem 99% of marketers face is getting traffic! In fact, it’s probably the biggest reason most marketers fail or give up.
If you’re looking to get free traffic, which is what most marketers want, you’re going to be relying on your content and associated keywords to generate traffic for your website. The problem is that your website is new and you are just getting started building content.
All new websites go through a period of earning trust with the search engines, especially Google. Some call it the Google Sandbox. Basically, during the first 3 to 6 months the search engines are getting to know your website. They’ll be crawling your website from time to time looking for new content, looking to see how genuine your content is, and looking to see if it’s quality content.
This is the biggest thing that takes time and keeps your site from ranking high enough to start getting traffic. So, going into this endeavor with the understanding that you’re going to through this period of waiting… Will help set realistic expectations.
During this time your focus should be on creating content consistently. By consistently, I mean adding a new article/post at least 3 times a week. That’s going to generate around 12-15 pieces of new content each month and that’s what you want the search engines to see.
Don’t make the mistake of spending hours and hours trying to get your website perfect. You can follow these simple steps to get your website set up easily. Beyond this basic setup, your focus needs to be creating content consistently.
Once your website is off the ground and you start making a little bank, you can start looking into some paid methods like PPC (Pay-Per-Click) and email lists.
Choosing Your Niche Market
Choosing a niche is going to be one of the first things you’re going to do. Many new marketers will get hung up on this immediately, while some will already have a great niche picked out.
I’ll let you in on a secret here. DON’T pick a niche just because you’ve seen someone else making money at it. Why, because it’s likely not something you are passionate about. Your niche needs to be something you’re passionate about because it will make it easy for you to write about as you likely know a lot about it. You just need to make sure you can monetize it with recommended products or services.
This makes it a lot easier for you to gain trust with your visitors and become an authority in your niche. So, this takes a big hurdle out of your way.
If you still aren’t sure what your niche should be, take a look at this helpful article on choosing a niche.
Finding Quality Keywords (The Low Hanging Fruit)
Understanding and using keywords is another one of the problems new affiliate marketers face. This is also an aspect of your business that’s better learned earlier rather than later.
Keywords or keyword phrases are the terms that your visitors are typing into Google, or any search engine, to find the information they’re searching for. So, each piece of your content should be written around a keyword or keyword phrase. This could be some like “best running shoes” if your niche was about running for example.
The keyword should be used in the title of your content, the introduction, once or twice in the body of the content, and in the conclusion or summary. This is how the search engines know that your article is something that would be useful to put into the search results for someone searching for that particular keyword.
The Low Hanging Fruit
What is the “low hanging fruit”? By this term, we are referring to keyword phrases or what we call “long-tail keywords” that have lower search volume and less competition.
For example, if we go after keywords that are more general in nature like “best running shoes”, the traffic will be much high which you would think would be good, however, higher volume means more competition and less targeted.
By going after keywords that have lower search volume that is more targeted to your niche, you have less competition and a higher chance that your articles will rank high in the search engines where you’re likely to get more traffic. So, a keyword and article targeted around “best running shoes for heavy men” is very specific and has lower search volume and less competition.
How do you find these keywords? You use a keyword research tool. Here at Affiliate Cash 101 we have a free keyword research tool for those on a budget. We also have a Keyword Generator tool that can help you find even more keywords related to your niche.
Using our keyword research tool (found in our SEO Studio tool) you’ll want to look for keywords that have a search volume of 250 to 1,000 since we use multiple sources for our results. If you use a tool like Jaaxy (a professional keyword research tool, which is highly recommended), you’ll want to find keywords that have a search volume greater than 50 and QSR (Quoted Search Results) less than 100.
For more information and examples of keywords and how to use them, please see this article.
Creating Quality Content
Quality content is what makes you an authority in your niche. This means creating content that is useful to your readers and provides them the quality information they’re looking for. Quality content also generates search engine (free traffic) traffic to your website. You have to remember that as an Affiliate Marketer your first goal is to help the visitor find what they’re looking for. Product sales and commission come later after you’ve earned their trust.
What is the hallmark of quality content?
- Unique content written in your own words. Google is very smart and can spot duplicate content in an instant.
- Detailed content of at least 1,000 words, but preferably 1,500 to 2,000 words minimum.
- Content that is relevant to the search terms and your niche (more on that in a minute).
- Content that answers the question the visitor is asking.
- Not salesy or spammy. Your articles should not be sales pitches. And you shouldn’t always have affiliate links in your articles.
Now, content can be useful tips and tricks. It can be advice on dealing with a pain point in your niche. Or my favorite, a product review. Product reviews are great and they convert very well. Comparing product A with Product B, or C, or D, and listing all of their features is a great way to do a review.
You recommend your top pick and at the same time, you can also be an affiliate for all the products. Some people will always buy one of the other products vs your top pick, so why not make off them too. Just make sure your reviews are complete and provide everything your reader would want to know about it.
What If I’m Not A Writer?
Some people just aren’t writers and I can understand that, but it can be something you learn how to do. I recommend that you write your own content in the beginning. It does require some work on your part, but it’s free, and it will help you understand your niche better. For more information see this article on content creation.
Later on, you can outsource your article writing to one of the many freelancing services that are out there. Of course, you can outsource it from the get-go, but you’ll be investing some additional cash into your business that could be saved for other things.
Relevancy & Conversions
I’ll finish my top 5 list of problems new Affiliate Marketers face with Relevancy & Conversions. This is an often over-looked problem area that plagues newcomers to the business.
Many think that relevance only applies to PPC, but this is far from the truth. Whether it’s a PPC campaign or just an SEO’d article, there is a flow of relevance.
It flows like this:
==> User searches for the keyword “best running shoes for heavy men”
==> User clicks on your review “Top 5 Best running shoes for heavy men – You can’t go wrong”
==> User reads your review which details the top 5 best running shoes for heavy men and why they are best for heavy men.
==> User clicks one of your affiliate links to a top running shoe for heavy men
==> User buys the product
So you see, each step in the process relevant to each of the others. If you keep this flow intact with a relevant keyword you’ll most likely convert. But if there is a break in the flow of relevance at any stage, you won’t convert.
It’s a pretty basic concept, but you’ll see new and experienced marketers fail to keep the flow of relevance time and time again. Here is another resource on understanding the flow of relevance.
Understanding some of the top problems new Affiliate Marketers face will help set your expectations appropriately and help you avoid these pitfalls at the same time.
It’s easy to get discouraged when you don’t see the traffic coming in or you’re getting traffic but it’s not converting. Tackling these top 5 problem areas upfront will help you make it through these initial stages of building your AM Marketing business.
Remember, it takes time to build any business. If you can make it past the first six months to a year, most of your competition will have already quit. Stick with it, you can do it! I’m rooting for ya!
To Your Massive Success,
PS. Scroll down and leave any comments or questions. I’d love to hear from you.