I’m not sure what the most common affiliate marketing mistakes are, but I saw an article by Jeff Herring today that clearly illuminated a big one. Jeff Herring (as he explains in this blog post) had the unfortunate experience of having YouTube disable his videos. Jeff wasn’t at fault and is contesting the shut down, but it clearly illustrates a common mistake affiliate marketers make.
YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Flickr and all things Google are not owned by you. You may have an account, and like Jeff Herring, you may be doing exactly what they want you to be doing. But the reality is you’re renting space.
Failing to understand that is the common mistake affiliate marketers make. They spend time hocking their products through these mediums WITHOUT capturing the contact information of those who are interested in what you’re talking about. Failing to use YouTube, Facebook and Twitter as traffic drivers to your website and opt-in form will trip up your long term plan.
Imagine if Jeff had spent his time telling you about great products he endorses and then sent you through his affiliate links directly to those products? You would never be able to reach these people again. There would have been no information capture.
You may be saying “adding a step between the video and the sale will reduce the number of sales”, am I right? Because that wouldn’t be right at all.
Teasing a product in a video and then sending them to your website where they can get more information about the product and be further sold shouldn’t decrease the number of sales whatsoever. But more importantly, that extra step of information capture allows you to follow-up on your original information, provide more details, social proof and benefits.
Not only that, information capture gives you the opportunity to give your audience more useful information – when you want to provide it.
Jeff is a master at information capture, thus I was able to hear about his unfortunate circumstance through an e-mail he sent out. (That’s great transparency, community building and relationship making as well)
When you’re building your affiliate marketing strategy, don’t forget that you don’t own much of what you do on the internet. There was a day when MySpace and AOL were king – but how much are 5,000 friends on MySpace and your AOL Keyword worth today? YouTube videos can create a great constant flow of income – until people start using a new site or YouTube randomly shuts down your account.
And think of all the time you spend on these sites? Without driving your friends, fans and leads to some sort of lead capture funnel – all those hours of hardwork will someday be worth nothing. (In fact, I wrote a book called TwittrGlitch to help you secure your Twitter account from hackers, shut downs and other problems to avoid this exact situation).
One of the most common affiliate marketing mistakes that you can make is assuming that your web properties are your own. Don’t make that mistake and always be planning for the next Facebook Killer to come along and destroy what you’ve built.