Don't Overthink Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing has a strong component of K.I.S.S., or "Keep It Simple Stupid." It's always sad to see new affiliates attempting to outsmart the system instead of just going with what works.
This is not to say that you can't innovate and put your heart and soul into making your affiliate marketing operation better than the ones that came before it.
But at the same time, be careful about getting too cute because it can quickly lead to you becoming too broke.
Overspending on Web Design
Possibly the worst thing you can do as a beginner affiliate is to overspend on Web design.
If you don't have experience making websites, you may think that it would be so cool to have a spinning picture on your front page that dances a tragicomic jig a la Mr. Bojangles, but most likely all you're doing by hiring someone to make that happen is sticking a steak knife in the heart of your affiliate marketing business before the thing is even properly born.
How much is too much to pay for Web design?
Of course "it depends," but that doesn't mean we can't talk numbers.
For a simple, relatively static website, $1,200 should be sufficient.
For a website that includes interactive elements and database issues, you're looking at a $2,000 limit unless you're really experienced and know exactly what you want.
Over those limits, you're overspending for web design if you're in the beginner stages. Unfortunately, too, Web designers are not the most reliable bunch (no offense), so you may find yourself in a position of paying too much for something that never gets finished.
Find and Join the Best Affiliate Programs
We talk a lot about how being successful in affiliate marketing is only possible when you can control your time and spend it in a high value way.
Affiliate marketing can become a black hole that sucks up your whole life and gives you no money in return if you waste time on stuff that has no potential to add to your bottom line.
For example, and we hate to say this because we was an English major in collegee, spell-checking and grammatically correcting your articles is not necessarily a great use of your time. Yes, you want to maintain a high quality, but you don't want to overdo it.
One task that is ALWAYS worth your time is find and join the best affiliate programs. This is why we've spent so much time reviewing the best dating, retail, health, and web hosting affiliate programs. Because remember: if your affiliate partners suck, you suck!
If you join programs that better convert visitors into customers, and pay more money per sale, then you are giving yourself a great chance to become profitable in affiliate marketing.
But often truly stellar affiliate marketing programs don't just show up on your doorstep with a bow around them. You have to go out and look for the best deals.
Sometimes you may even have to make the best deal, for example when you negotiate with an affiliate manager to gain a higher commission than they normally give.
It's Not Rocket Science
The fact of the matter is that affiliate marketing is not rocket science. Yes, there are advanced techniques that super affiliates use to make more money than their more average counterparts.
But if you look a little closer, you may find that these advanced techniques are based upon profoundly K.I.S.S.-based principles.
The best businesses are simple at their core and affiliate marketing is one of them.