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Affiliate Marketing: Top Five Monetization Mistakes

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Here are five affiliate marketing mistakes to avoid:

One: Monetizing Too Early

This mistake is well known to be a mistake--and yet new webmasters make it every day, by the thousands. Don't be just another lemming in this thundering herd. Trying to monetize your website before it's ready can hurt your rankings at the search engines, make you look like a charlatan, and get you blackballed from content distribution networks like StumbleUpon.

How do you know when it's time to monetize? Well, it's judgment call and you're the judge, but the time should come only after you're indexed by both Google and Yahoo. If you're looking for hard numbers, 25 pages of decent content is one possible benchmark.

Two: Recommending Garbage Products/Services

How do you like it when a friend tells you to run out and buy something, then you go out and buy it, then it's an utter piece of crap? That's about how much people like webmasters who recommend products or services that suck.

Don't make it all about the dollars in a narrow sense. Make it all about the dollars in a grand sense, by recommending products or services that provide real value.

Three: Doing This for Your Health

We don't understand these people: webmasters who have a good audience and are obviously trying to monetize their website (look at all the AdSense, isn't it pretty?), but they consistently send visitors to other websites without even trying to monetize the referral. Bloggers are particularly guilty of this grave sin against profitability.

Such people may be doing their visitors a service and may have incoming links galore as a result of their "pristine reputation" for "unbiased views"--but that stuff doesn't pay the bills, does it? No, it doesn't. Use your links wisely. They don't need to (and shouldn't) lead only to your affiliate partners, but they definitely should mainly lead to your affiliate partners.

Unless you're doing this for your health, in which case we admire you.

Four: Forget About the Future

Yes, constantly hearing about how Twitter and Facebook "change everything" can be highly annoying. But don't underestimate these little brats, because they may, over time, change a whole lot of things about the affiliate marketing business.

Already, we are starting to see some of the potential of affiliate marketing on Facebook, as friends recommend friends buy products, and then friends get paid. This stuff isn't full-grown now, but it's growing. Smart affiliate marketers are paying attention. Are you?

Five: Make Gut Decisions

When you're playing poker, there are times when going with your gut is the best decision of all. When you're engaging in affiliate marketing, going with your gut is idiotic.

Thanks to the powerful affiliate marketing tracking tools available today, any affiliate marketer can know, instantly, what links are working, where inbound traffic is coming from, the conversion rate of each click, and a whole panoply of other vital statistics.

If you're not consistently looking at these numbers and making decisions based upon them, instead preferring to rely on your unerring instincts, your competitors are happy.

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