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Don't Get Overly Ambitious
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when getting started is signing up for too many affiliate programs at once and trying to market them all. If you start out this way, you can be very easily overwhelmed and your ability to promote any of the products well will suffer. At first, just choose a few quality products by understanding the needs of the market and finding what fits in with your site's niche.
Take Advantage of Various Sources of Traffic
It's very common for affiliate marketers to display ads solely on their websites. Although there isn't anything wrong with this in and of itself, you should be aware that there are all kinds of alternate sources of traffic that you can take advantage of to promote your products. After all, the more traffic you direct to the sales page, the more likely you will be to make sales. For example, you can use Google AdWords to direct traffic to your products' sales page. All you have to do is create an ad with your sales page URL as the link. It's important to remember that this method will require you to keep a constant eye on your conversion rate in order to make sure that you're bringing in more money than you're spending on the campaign.
Test, Track and Measure
Many online marketing experts recommend that you use multiple avenues of product promotion in order to determine what works and what falls flat. Split testing and measuring how well each campaign performs allows you to decide on the more appropriate course of action. Just tweaking a few things can have a dramatic impact on how much you make. Be sure to experiment with the placement of ads on your site since they'll be more noticeable in some areas. In most cases, your affiliate programs will provide you with statistical data, but there's no reason why you shouldn't take advantage of your own software for tracking conversions.
Research Product Demand
No matter how hard you try, if the product that you're promoting isn't in demand, you're not likely to get many sales. It's recommended that you take the time to do some basic research to see if a particular product is something that your audience would be interested in. If you receive a considerable amount of traffic, you may want to try conducting a poll or survey to find out directly from you customer base.
Find a Good Merchant
Every time you promote something through affiliate marketing, you're also vouching for the business or the person who sells the product so don't take your selections lightly. If your audience purchases a product that you've recommended to them and they're not happy with it, it can seriously hurt your reputation. They're probably not going to take any more of your advice and may even recommend that others stay away from your site as well. If you go with products that are sold by reputable companies with a record of quality, you'll benefit from improved customer satisfaction.