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Top 12 common myths about affiliate marketing

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For people who have no experience with affiliate marketing, earning money online by sharing links might seem unrealistic or even dubious. But affiliate marketing is not only about sharing links and it isn’t necessarily about creating advertisements either. We’ve decided to challenge some common misconceptions about affiliate marketing so you don’t let them stop you from trying.

1. It’s too late to start affiliate marketing

With affiliate marketing being advertised all over the Internet, it might seem that you’re too late to join the club. However, it’s quite the opposite and now is probably the best time to become an affiliate. Why? While it has never been easy to succeed, you don’t need to have years of sales experience or strong programming skills to begin.

Naturally, you’ll have to put some work in by creating a web page or social media profile, placing links and tools, delivering valuable content, and building trust with your community. This takes time and effort, but isn’t impossible.

Another fear that might stop you from becoming an affiliate is the misconception that competition is too high. Is it? First, there are more and more new companies emerging every year, so the choice of advertisers to promote is constantly expanding. Second, there may be a lot of mediocre websites, but blogs that bring value to others never remain unattended.

If you focus on providing value to your community instead of worrying that the market is too saturated, success won’t take long.

2. More traffic = More profit

This is one of the most popular misconceptions about affiliate marketing. Sure, traffic is what every webmaster is hoping for, but it isn’t the only key to success. You might have hundreds of visitors coming to your website every day, but without the right placement of tools and links, traffic won’t convert into sales. To succeed, avoid these affiliate marketing mistakes:

  • Lengthy page loading time: According to Neil Patel, 50% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. Users quit the site before seeing any content.
  • Overloaded site design: The design must be simple and engaging to help users focus on the content.
  • Non-engaging content: You must create high-quality, valuable content and organically integrate links to the products or services that you are promoting. If the content is not valuable and overloaded with affiliate links, it will not convert.
  • Lack of keywords: Does your content contain relevant keywords (both long-tail and short-tail) that help search engines match your website to relevant queries?

3. Not many niches are profitable

Affiliate marketing is not only about selling clothes online. There are many offers in different niches from travel to eCommerce to loans to dating. 

To what extent a certain niche will be profitable in your case depends on your audience and promotional techniques. For example, if you mostly target millennials, you won’t sell many high-end products, such as cruises or trips to luxury resorts. On the other hand, once you find out what your readers are really after, it won’t take long to start making sales.

4. Affiliate marketing is expensive to start

This is one of the biggest myths about affiliate marketing that you need to be aware of. It’s quite the opposite in reality. To begin with, you can create your website for free. There are many website builders and hosting servers that offer free plans. You can write content yourself or invite guest bloggers and free authors to drive traffic through SEO. Moreover, many CPA marketing and blogging courses are publicly available, so you’ll be able to learn independently.

Sure, without any investments, it will take longer to achieve success. But, in this regard, affiliate marketing is less expensive than any other business types, as you don’t need to engage in production, delivery, and so on. 

5. You need technical skills

Another affiliate marketing myth concerns the skills that affiliates “should” have to run a digital business, such as strong technical skills. It is not necessary to have such skills. You can start with a social media account and, as time passes, you will learn how to expand and create your blog. You will explore SEO and learn everything you need to know over time.

Even if you decide to build a website right from the very beginning, it won’t require deep technical expertise. Website builders such as WordPress or Wix allow users to create a blog in a matter of hours.

6. It’s all about the advertiser

Choosing a reputable advertiser is half the battle. Sure, clients will only make purchases if you offer them high-quality products and credible merchants. But that’s not all. You’ll also need to present your offer in the best way possible and promote your blog in order to reach a wider audience.

For example, if you place a link in an unlikely place, readers might not even notice it (let alone make a purchase) even if you link to popular brands, such as Booking.com or Skyscanner. But, if you get serious about promotion, research your target audience, find relevant keywords and topics and provide valuable advice, even a lesser-known advertiser will bring you sales.

7. Affiliate marketing is not a serious business strategy

Can you really expect big bucks to come your way by simply sharing a couple of links on your blog? Your income depends on the time and effort you invest. Over time, this can become your main revenue stream. Over 80% of affiliates make more than $20,000 yearly. Furthermore, 57% of bloggers earning over $50,000 per year monetize their blog through affiliate marketing.

Advertisers also consider affiliate marketing a serious strategy, as the tactic generates up to 30% of all sales. In 2020, the estimated annual spending in affiliate marketing will reach $12 billion.

8. The higher the commission rate, the more you will earn

When looking through offers, you might be tempted to select advertisers with the highest commission rates. However, this doesn’t always equate to higher profits. Pay close attention to other factors, such as conversion rates, earnings per click, advertiser reputation, support, available promotional tools, and more.

9. Affiliate marketing is the same as advertising

According to the Millennials survey, 84% of millennials do not like advertising. However, affiliate marketing is not the same as advertising, as the practice is based on trust and communication. As an affiliate, you’ll be expected to recommend products that you tried and enjoyed by providing valuable content. Readers will come for your useful tips and personal experience because they don’t want to waste time and money trying everything themselves.

10. Affiliate marketing is a source of passive income

To be successful in affiliate marketing, you will have to constantly drive traffic, improve SEO, deliver content, communicate with your audience, and more. Naturally, you can outsource some of these functions, but you will still have to monitor all activities and respond promptly. It is almost impossible to convert affiliate marketing to a 100% passive source of income.

11. You can earn fast

One of the most common affiliate marketing misconceptions is that you can earn money fast. While this might be true if you already have a website with high traffic and an established audience. Otherwise, you’ll have to put in a lot of work before earning your commissions. Some affiliates make $100 their first month, while others start earning only after a few months of work. This can be one of the biggest obstacles for newbies, as many of them quit affiliate marketing if they don’t see fast results. 

12. You need a blog to get started

You can start with a blog, social media page, mobile application, traffic arbitrage, and so on. The easiest way might be to use your social media profile, which will already have some traffic and readers. Focus on bringing value to your community and post affiliate links where appropriate.

The key to success is building trust with your community. People might need to visit your page several times before making a purchase. It doesn’t really matter what kind of web page you have, focus on your audience and bring them value.

Don’t let these myths stop you from earning

Do you still think that affiliate marketing is a mystical way of earning money by doing absolutely nothing? We’re glad that you don’t anymore. Affiliate marketing is an absolutely legitimate way to earn a living, but to succeed you’ll need to invest a lot of time and effort. Unlike other business strategies, affiliate marketing is easy to begin, doesn’t require much financial investment, and can be either your side job or a full-time occupation.