Affiliate marketing is currently one of the most popular business models. Often described as a win-win situation, it allows online retailers to encourage entrepreneurs or marketers to promote products on their behalf in exchange for a commission. For the retailers, expensive and often inefficient marketing budgets are eradicated in one fell swoop. For the marketers, there is considerable scope to set up a lucrative turnover because the amount of traffic they can generate and steer towards the retailer purchase pages directly correlates to the effort they are prepared to put into their promotional campaign. All this requires is strong web content and enthusiastic customer engagement. So much for the positives. What are the risks of this form of affiliate marketing?
Don’t expect to get rich quick
First of all, it’s that sense of the need to build a customer base over a period of time that means many affiliate marketers expect too much too soon. The greatest risk to your program is that you haven’t done enough preparation when it comes to engaging with your audience. It is not a case of simply posting computer code from the retailer into your own website and hoping the money will start rolling in.
In the first instance, it will take some time for you to find the right program for your website. The first product you choose to promote will not necessarily be a successful one that you should stick with. At least it is free to sign up to the vast majority of these programs so you can do a certain amount of experimentation in the early stages. You might apply to use a dozen affiliate programs, even some involving popular brand names, only to discover how little income is being generated for your website. It’s all about researching, testing and fine-tuning your promotional skills.
Weak content = poor traffic
When it comes to any aspect of the Internet, content is crucial, but this is especially the case when it comes to affiliate marketing. If you don’t publish engaging articles then you will simply not attract viable customers. Remember, it’s not just a case of posting links. What you are promoting on your blog or website has to be part of a holistic experience. This approach means that whatever product or service you are promoting has to be envisioned in terms of the benefit to your readers. Ideally, you want to nurture the impression you are an expert on your topic; certainly not some random salesperson. Your content has to be continually revised and updated to give the impression of a dynamic operation.
Not getting paid
One of the greatest risks facing affiliate marketers is the possibility of not getting paid the commission they are entitled to after sending sales or leads towards the retailer. The important point is to establish a positive relationship with the retailer from the outset, reading the small print of whatever affiliate program you sign up to and making sure both parties are well aware of their responsibilities.
Another risk facing the affiliate marketer is the fact that the commission structure can change at any time. This is where the retailer holds all the cards as you have merely signed up for the program, so you have no say in how it will evolve. Therefore it makes sense to hedge your bets and be prepared to shop around when it comes to signing up to affiliate programs. Affiliate networks like TopOffers offer all sorts of options. You always have the option to shop around and join a different program.