The #1 Mistake New Affiliate Marketers Make

Affiliate marketing is NOT hard. In fact it’s formulaic in many ways and that’s a good thing because it means that many successful (and now wealthy) affiliate marketers have come before you to figure out the pathway to success.

In this business, you DO NOT need to reinvent the wheel. And although the systems are formulaic nobody is going to give you the exact formula that’s going to work perfectly for your affiliate marketing business. Nor should they.

Even if they did it probably wouldn’t work anyways since the key to your success will only be determined by you. There will be lots of trials, errors, successes, and failures as you find your own way. There will be lessons learned and opportunities lost but if you can survive financially during this period you’ll have a great chance of winning in the end. When you figure out the formula for affiliate success in your business it will be uniquely yours. And when you finally get there it will be a great day for you trust me!

Although there’s no magic formula, there are elements in a successful affiliate formula that you cannot do without. One in fact is so important that it almost always will doom an affiliate marketing business if it’s not implemented and executed both purposely and consistently.

In fact, the majority of new affiliate marketers make the huge mistake of skipping over this critical element altogether… 

That element? List building

Why List Building Will Be Your Top Source Of Affiliate Income

A well-accepted rule of thumb in affiliate marketing is that every email address on your list on average is worth about a buck a month but only if you’re building your list correctly, providing value consistently, and targeting the right folks with the right offers.

Think about that statistic for a moment. If you have 1000 people on your list you can be making on average $1,000 from that source each and every month. 5000 people = $5,000 per month. I recently read Dotcom Secrets by Russell Brunson and he claims to have over 500,000 people on his primary list and makes – you guessed it – an average of $500,000+ per month from it.

Affiliate marketing success relies heavily on your ability to drive traffic to your affiliate offers. Duh! But not all of your traffic is considered equal. In fact, far from it.

There are three primary types of traffic that you will send to your websites and offers:

  1. Traffic That You Own
  2. Traffic That You Do Not Own But Control
  3. Traffic That You Do Not Own And Don’t Control

Of those three traffic types the first one, traffic you own, is by far the best kind of traffic. In fact, your goal will be to turn the other two traffic types into traffic that you own as quickly as possible.  Let’s define that these traffic types mean.

1. Traffic you own is your list, social media followers, and customers. What makes this traffic source so valuable is once you own it you don’t have to pay any more money to communicate with them any time you like. No SEO to do, ads to pay for, or PPC costs.

When you send an email, post a message, or publish a blog post you’ll generate traffic instantly to your site or your offers. It’s quite literally ‘traffic on demand’. When you send offers to your list the money you generate is pure profit!

2. Traffic you do not own but control is traffic that you pay for. For example if you run a PPC ad with Google they own that traffic but since you’re paying them for it you control where that traffic is sent. This type of traffic includes:

  • PPC ads
  • Banner ads
  • Email ads
  • Native ads
  • JV traffic
  • Social media mentions

This traffic is nice but since you’re paying for it you better be sending it to a squeeze page to turn it into traffic you own and nowhere else. This is what list building is all about!

3. The final traffic type is traffic you don’t own or control. This is traffic that arrives at your site from several different places including:

  • Organic search results (Google, Bing, Yahoo are the big 3)
  • Social media sources
  • Youtube or other video channels
  • Guest blogs or linked comments on other blogs

Just like the paid traffic sources your goal is to turn this traffic into traffic you own before they leave your site and you’re left with no trace they ever arrived. List building strategies will teach you how to do just that!

Photo Credit: XoMEoX Flickr via Compfight cc

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