Common Mistakes When Starting an Affiliate Program

Starting an affiliate program can help you develop an entirely new income stream. Affiliate programs for digital products provide smart business owners with an additional stream of income for selling the same product they sell directly. The ROI might be lower for each product now that you have to split the profits with a salesperson, but the rewards can be enormous too. 

Realize that when a product is digital, your cost per item goes down each time you sell a new one. Therefore you can absolutely afford to contract with affiliate marketers to promote your products. It might be a little harder to stomach if you are selling services, but if you sell for a high enough price, and are able to outsource the work, it can work great too.

It’s common to make mistakes when you first start an affiliate program. When you know the mistakes that others have made who went before you, you can learn from them and avoid those mistakes for yourself. Here are ones you’ll definitely want to avoid:

* Not Getting the Right Software – Don’t be cheap, but don’t think you have to get software that has all the bells and whistles either if you’re not going to use them. Test out different software to see what works for your program with the features you want it to you have.

* Not Creating Marketing Graphics – Affiliates don’t want to have to create their own graphics to sell your product, so you should create it for them. Plus, you do want to maintain some control over your brand by creating your own marketing graphics.

* Not Creating Marketing Content – The other thing that is important for a good affiliate program is to offer your affiliates plenty of marketing content that they can repurpose on their blogs, email newsletters and more. 

* Not Developing Excellent Sales Pages – Nothing can be more maddening than trying to promote an excellent product with a horrible sales page, or worse, no sales page. If you don’t create sales pages for your product, no one else is going to do it for you. You’re going to lose out on a lot of sales and super affiliates.

* Not Recruiting Superstar Affiliates – Many times super affiliates won’t just land on your doorstep. You need to do something to recruit and attract them. Get some sales behind you, and then send a couple super affiliates a sample of your product if it fits in with their niche, offering them a special commission rate for promoting your products.

* Not Paying High Enough Commissions – Most people aren’t going to sell something for a 10 percent commission, or just a buck or less. Most people are hoping to get 20 dollars or more per sale. While some products are really great at lower prices with a 50 percent commission, the higher priced and higher commissioned products will naturally attract better affiliates.

* Not Treating Your Affiliates Like Business Partners – A huge mistake that some business owners make is treating affiliates as if they’re employees instead of business partners. They are sole proprietors just like you are, and they love working how they want when they want. Avoid making too many rules or requiring too many hoops, or you’ll lose good affiliates. 

* Not Asking for Input from Your Affiliates – When you have some great affiliates who earn a full-time living being affiliates, it will work well for you to ask them for help designing and running the program. They will also give you input on products that they think the audience wants and needs. Just ask them.

Fixing these problems with your affiliate program will improve your income almost immediately. Plus, it will help you develop a long-term affiliate program that gets results – no matter how many products you create.

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