I was reading a blog post written by an up and coming entrepreneur the other day and he was explaining how he’d progressed, over a period of 8 months, to the point where he was earning more than $5,000 per month with his blog. His post was titled, “How I Made Over $5000 Online In One Month Writing For Others.” While this young man’s post had nothing to do with affiliate marketing, it was one of the opinions expressed in the comments that really got my attention.
I thought he explained it very well and I’ve challenged myself to meet or beat his earnings. And – this is important – I made that decision based entirely on the information he provided in that one blog post and a brief PDF he was giving away for free.
Generally, after I read a really good post, I like to at least scan the comments to see what everyone else thought. (Naturally, I like to leave a little comment love, too.) I was impressed with this young man’s business method so I headed to the comments to see what everyone else thought.
This guy covered his method in one post and a free PDF, so imagine my surprise when I came upon a comment – probably from some newbie – berating the blogger for bragging that he made $5,000 but not telling how he did it. Was the guy blind? It was all right there in black and white! What more did he want?! Actually, this blogger went above and beyond, as far as I was concerned. Jeez!
This commenter went on to complain about all of these big shot bloggers who make all of this money and when you ask them how they did it they’re never willing to share their secrets! Waahhhhh!
Anyway, that one little comment got me thinking. I remember when I was new to Affiliate Marketing. And I remember how frustrating it was trying to learn to set up blogs and write articles and choose the right niche and the right products. I also remember how many dead blogs a left lying around the cyberspace.
But I also remember spending a lot of time and money devouring every bit of information I could get my hands on. So for that newbie out there, who obviously needs to have something surgically removed from his nether-regions, and others who might be struggling, here are 3 roadblocks to affiliate marketing success. And only you can do something about removing them from your path.
1. You don’t have the necessary skills or knowledge.
What did you do for a living before you started trying to earn money working online? Were you a construction worker, a waitress, a school teacher, an accountant? Did you have anything at all to do with sales? Do you have a college degree in marketing or business? Do you understand the research involved in marketing? And do you know how to write – can you spell, do you know the rules of grammar, and can you write engaging, informative content?
Learning to make money with affiliate marketing involves a colossal learning curve. In your previous job you probably only had to learn one aspect of the business. But you’re running your own business now and there’s a lot more to it than just setting up a blog with an affiliate banner at the top. If you want to be successful it’s your responsibility to learn what you need to know and you have to learn it one-step-at-a-time so you can build a solid base of knowledge. But it’s NOT that blogger’s responsibility to teach you. His method works – if you already know the basics.
2. You’re still think it’s going to be easy
You’re probably working online because you thought it would be cool to work from home, in your jammies, with the TV blaring in the background and one window open to iTunes. Yeah. It’s cool alright. I wear my jammies, too. Because I don’t have time to worry about what I’m wearing while I’m in the privacy of my own home – I’m too busy making money! And I had them turn off my cable TV 2 years ago!
You’re running your own business now and like it or not, you’re probably going to have to work harder than you’ve ever worked before. You have to be the designer, the marketing department, the sales department, the inventory control department, the secretary, receptionist and finance officer. You think that 40-hour a week job was tough? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. One of your roadblocks to success is you still think it’s all rainbows and lollipops.
3. You’re target market is too broad
Maybe you’ve been at this for awhile, you’ve learned everything you need to know and you’re giving it everything you’ve got, but you’re still not being successful. If that’s the case, take another look at your target audience.
One of the most difficult aspects of affiliate marketing is learning to identify your target audience and the path you need to follow to reach them. The first inclination for most affiliate marketing newcomers is to try to reach as many people as they can with the least amount of work. But the Internet doesn’t work that way.
The Internet is one huge, very noisy marketplace and you can’t just stand in the middle of it and hope that everyone there listens to your little message. Each post on your blog, each article you submit, every link you build, needs to be directed at one specific, very targeted group of people. You need to know every feature and benefit of your product and then you need to know who has a need for each feature and benefit.
Once you’ve defined each individual feature and all of its benefits, and once you’ve defined your target audience for that one specific feature, then all you need to do is determine the best way to get that buyer’s attention. That’s where your market and keyword research comes into play. Do they hang out in forums or Facebook? Should you market to them with articles or PPC advertising? What’s the straightest line between your product and your buyer?
It’s all comes down to Marketing 101. Define the features and benefits of your product. Identify your target audience. And eliminate all the obstacles between the product and the consumer. Oh, and get out of those jammies while you’re at it!
What roadblocks have popped up in the middle of your path to success?