The majority of beginning Internet marketers fail within six months.
The cause? There are many, but the most common one that I’ve noticed is this:
They drown in opportunity.
Mark Cuban coined that phrase. Respect the Cuban.
Newbies can be so eager to make their first dollar in profit that they simply try to do too much.
“I want a hamburger. No, cheeseburger. I want a hot dog. I want a milkshake. I want potato chips.”
Spalding Smalls from Caddyshack represents your typical newbie, wanting everything.
And what does bitchy little Spalding end up getting?
“You’ll get nothing and like it!”
Intense focus is a key trait of the rare affiliates that are able to make it out of newbie purgatory.
Don’t try to run every offer on every traffic source.
You simply can’t.
Most networks have thousands offers (in this case over 1800), and there are a multitude of traffic sources that you can pair with each one.
I struggled with this as a beginner. First I wanted to run a PPV campaign. After only one failed go at it on LeadImpact, I switched to PPC. Then PPM. Then I switched offers. It never ends.
Dabbling like this only leads to frustration and more failure.
As a newbie, do your research before starting your first campaign, and when you do, stick to your guns.
You can tweak any campaign to profitability, so don’t search for instant winners.
You are much better off learning how to optimize a losing campaign than profiting off the bat.
“What?! Bullshit!! You’re saying that making money is bad??”
As a newbie, you should be looking to cultivate the core skills needed to jumpstart a long term affiliate marketing career.
What do you really learn from a campaign that is profitable from the start? Not much.
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
This same principle applies to affiliate marketing.
You are essentially being “given a fish” when your first campaign goes well, whereas when you face failure and overcome it, you are being forced to learn.
When you master let’s say, PPV marketing running sweepstakes email submits, you can apply the basic skills you gained from perfecting these campaigns to future campaigns.
Once you have everything down, affiliate marketing is really just a numbers game.
Which lander converts the best? Which ad has the highest CTR? Which offer has the highest EPC?
You just continually test until you reach profitability.
The beautiful thing is, when you have your own formula and method to creating campaigns down, it’s just a matter of multiplying and scaling that campaign across traffic sources and verticals.
Have a solid ad that’s working in Brazil? Test it in Portugal. Mexico? Test it in Colombia.
If you want to learn more about scaling, read my post here.
All of that said, the main point I am trying to make with this post is that newbies need to take learn to crawl before they walk.
Pick one traffic source and one vertical. I would suggest PPC/PPM and dating, simply because there are so many resources available to you to get started.
If you want to get really picky, even sticking to one demographic can help, i.e. only buying US traffic or only targeting men.
None of this is meant to limit you in anyway, in fact it’s the opposite. You can’t grow and expand until you have the means to do so.
Think of a tree.
A tree can only grow as tall as its roots allow.
If a tree tries to grow taller without the root structure to support it, it will fall over and die.
When a tree has solid roots, it can continue to grow, knowing that it can rely on its base for support.
Think of a beginning affiliate marketer.
A newbie can only make as much money as their skills permit.
If a newbie tries to branch out (tree pun) without the technical know-how to support their expansion, they’ll burn out and fail.
When a beginner has both the technical knowledge and motivation to diversify and expand their campaigns, they can profit more, knowing that even if those campaigns fail, they can fall back on their skill-set to optimize them to profitability.
Or, they can use their cultivated intuition to know when to cut their losses and move on.