Stealth Traffic Formula – The Pitfalls of Affiliate Marketing
After months and months of thinking you've finally decided to make that leap of faith. You've decided to leave your job and tell your boss what you REALLY think of him and the job you hate so much. You've made the decision to jump into affiliate marketing full time and start your own online business. Good for you! Now let's be honest here. Affiliate marketing can make you a lot of money and does not have a lot of risk in most cases, but it does take some time and it will take some work. I know, we do not like work, but anything that is worth it does require some type of work and energy on our end.
Still, the world of affiliate marketing can be your answer to figuring out what to do with your life, but you need to have some direction. There are a lot of different programs out there and a lot of different resources. Some that are good and some that are not so good. Affiliate marketing may sound easy depending on who you learn from, but you need to be careful and take small steps so you can avoid the many affiliate marketing pitfalls that exist. These pitfalls can ruin your business and can have you back on your bosses doorstep begging for another chance. We do not want that now do we?
People like to be in control of their fate. We like to feel as if we have control of our lives and that we determine the outcome. So when the chance to start your own business presents itself you may get excited over the idea of a new venture. Sadly, this heightened level of excitement can also cause you to overlook some key points in your tactics and agreements with affiliates companies.
See, whenever you decide to want to be an affiliate for a company you'll have to sign something called a agreement. In this agreement we have terms and conditions which are clearly spelled out for both parties. One party is you and the other is the company who's product or service your promoting. Now, a new affiliate may just sign without giving this a second thought, but it's not the best thing to do. See, some companies and I use the word "some" will try to hide things. This is pretty rare as most companies like to do everything above board, but you need to look out for this still. Some companies may want to hide something and if they did they would put it in terms and conditions. Why? The terms and conditions are quite long and they know most people do not read them.
You have to think of what you do as a business and would sign paperwork related to a physical business without signing it first? I hope not because you could get in a lot of trouble and it's no different for the online world. If you do not read the terms and conditions carefully you could end up with a big disappointment and a serious lost of earnings.
Another problem newbies to affiliate marketing have is that they do not understand the language of our business. You need to research and understand the core fundamentals before really jumping into the game. It does not take long to learn this stuff, but it will make you a more effective and smarter affiliate in the long run. If you decide to sign up for a affiliate marketing program that is commission based then you need to make sure you understand the term Revenue. Btw, most affiliate programs are commission based and depending on the programs you can make anywhere from 25 percent to 50 percent.
The term revenue can be a pretty big pitfall if your not paying attention. The company you want to promote for may advertise 7-10% contracts for all sales, but it may "forget" to define revenue. See, most eligible affiliate programs will figure your commission out based on the gross value of the sale. In laymen terms this means the amount of money the site will get at the end of the sale. As a new affiliate this may sound great to you, but you may be in for trouble if you do not read this part of the agreement very carefully. In most cases, the amount of a sale usually excludes debt and credit card payments. In some cases they also may exclude delivery charges or any other misc surcharges. So what you thought was a really awesome commission is not disappearing in front of you. So make sure you look for this stuff in your agreement and if you have questions contact someone from the company who is usually the affiliate manager.
Affiliate programs are all different and some are pretty laid back and give affiliates a lot of room to work with and others are pretty strict in their own definition of the term revenue. In some cases your affiliate commission could be based off the profit margin of a product you sold. For instance, let's say you sell a 20 dollar product and the company makes 10 bucks off of it. Well you will not receive 10 or 20 dollars. You'll receive a small percentage of 10 dollars instead of the 20 dollars which seriously eats into your profit margin.
I know I may sound like a broken record, but always read your affiliate agreements. In the beginning I lost a lot of money because I just did not know any better.
Another pitfall to look out for most affiliates never think about is returns. Ah, the dreaded refund. This will mess your business up if you do not understand how this works and how it affects your sales. Many affiliate companies only pay taxes on sales that are completed and not refunded. They usually usually wait 30 to 60 days to pay you to make sure the item has not been returned. If they paid you as soon as the sale is made they could lose millions because if the customer refunded they know lost money paying you and never received money from the sale. When someone returns an items in most cases you lose your commission. This can really hurt if you worked hard for that commission, but it's just part of the game we call affiliate marketing. So as a rule of thumb always check out the companies return policy your promoting for. You need to know what rights you have.
Well, those are just a few of the pitfalls that can happen in this business. Affiliate marketing can really be a great way to make money, but you have to be willing to do what it takes just as if this was a physical business. In yoursite.com Shaun Smith's breaks down all the pitfalls of affiliate marketing so you can have a successful online business. You'll also learn how to start from the ground up and take your affiliate marketing skills to the next level.
In the end you could have the lifestyle you always wanted, but it will take some time. Just remember to act on what you learn and network with others in this game as well. You can learn a lot from others who have already been where you were. Also, maybe your old boss will come to you for a job one day. Now that is what I call a golden moment.