Affiliate marketing is one business model almost anyone can begin because it has little to no overhead in startup costs. The model greatly benefits from a wide selection of products and services which gives many options for turning the model into a very profitable venture.

Unfortunately, due to the ease of the startup, many new comers to affiliate marketing haphazardly approach the model without fully understanding what’s in store years down the road. These individuals make assumptions about their business (and the affiliate model) which lead them to an unfortunate end.

The goal of this article is not to hand out tips but to warn you of potential pitfalls; here are six of the most dangerous assumptions you can make about the affiliate marketing business.


#1: It’s a passive model

Affiliate marketing can be a passive income model but you’ll do a major disservice to your business if you sit back and wait for commissions.

You have to be out there, every day, building traction.

  • Create fresh content for readers, search engines, and social shares
  • Advertise your best money-making pages on Google Adwords, Facebook, and others
  • Work with business associates on profitable product launches

The passive model comes into play when you’re away from your work but when you’re in the fray you should try your best to draw attention to your message. If anything, spend just an hour or two, each day, doing active promotion for your brand – a few simple actions can have a profound impact on business.


#2: Traffic means everything

Traffic is garbage without some form of conversions whether it is a share on a social network, signing up to your email list, or buying an affiliate product/service.

There is an extensive amount of traffic generation methods which will efficiently grow visitation to your website and marketing campaigns but what you should work on is the conversions.

  • Test and optimize headlines for greater impact
  • Roll out landing pages to aid in list building
  • Keep your social profiles present and easy to follow
  • Work on reviews for products and services (and continually link them in the content)

You’re not running an affiliate marketing if all you do is drive traffic – you need to make sales. The traffic is the beginning but it’s what you get your visitors to do after they’re on your page that truly matters.


#3: Content is “good enough”

Content marketing is a very powerful tool for gaining search rankings and fueling your social media interaction but it’s not enough if you wish to make an impact in affiliate marketing.

There seems to be an idea that having content is “good enough” to get found and build authority but it goes well beyond simply pushing out some 500 word blog post once a week.

The true factors that will build toward your affiliate success comes from your ability to build a community through your content, effectively brand yourself in your niche, and stand out from the crowd.

Content can certainly aid your progress into these areas but you need to promote your work as if it were a product – get it found, respond to readers, and leverage it into bigger works.


#4: It’s a solo mission

One word: networking.

You can certainly conduct an affiliate venture on your own but there will be a time when you hit a proverbial glass ceiling due to the limits of your skills, budget, and motivation.

Building a network allows you to tap into a wealth of skills and expertise. The people to whom you associate will be there when you’re doing a larger promotion and aid in the marketing campaign, they will give you insights about your work, and keep you motivated for trying new, exciting projects.

All that’s needed is your willingness to connect with people and build relationships – do this and you’ll have opened an immense amount of opportunities in your business.


#5: Go for the big sales

It’s true: six-figure affiliate marketers can move volume and capitalize on the bigger launches.

You should certainly follow the tactics of the big-time marketers in your niche but don’t rule out the smaller sales.

Eliminating products or services that bring in single digit commissions may not look (or feel) that great when comparing to the earnings of others but there’s a reason to have these on your site:

  • It allows you to earn from those that can’t make a major investment
  • You’re able to leverage these smaller products/services into bigger commissions

First off, keep in mind that not everyone has a couple thousand dollars to invest in one of the bigger product releases nor do they have money to burn on those hovering around $100 – $200. Keeping a variety of lower-priced items on your site will allow them to pick up a great deal without breaking the bank – you’ve got unlimited “shelf” space on your site so there’s no reason not to have them available.

Secondly, inexpensive products and services open the gates to larger sales because the people buying them may eventually increase their investment into your niche. It’s the equivalent of selling a “starter” kit of some product which gets the individual hooked on the idea but, over time, they itch to explore the bigger and better offerings.


#6: There’s no room for competition

With enough time, networking, and producing content you will feel the urge to create an information product of your own, no doubt. You’ll start digging around to see what’s on the market and feel down when you realize there are plenty of products that match your ideas – you go into shock and give up on the project because you feel the market has already been taped.

Just because there are products on the market doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a go, too.

No matter the competition there’s always room for improvement. Don’t feel that the market has been tapped just because of a few products are out there. You’ll build real authority when you have something to sell so don’t hold back and get your ideas into a product (or service).