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Why 80% of Affiliate Marketers Struggle

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“The Pareto principle (also known as the 80/20 rule, the law of the vital few, or the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.” (Wikipedia)

You’ve probably seen this play out in real life in a variety of situations.

Twenty percent of your clients account for 80% of your revenue.

Twenty percent of church members make 80% of donations.

Twenty percent of the words you know make up 80% of the conversations you have.

The Pareto principle holds true in affiliate marketing, too. Twenty percent of affiliate marketers drive 80% of the sales to any given product. 

Flip that around, and you can see that 80% of affiliates are divvying up the remaining 20% of commissions. In other words, they’re not exactly killing it in their affiliate marketing efforts.

What separates the two groups? It might just be one of these four big mistakes.

Choosing the Wrong Program to Promote

One of the first experiences I had with affiliate marketing was a guy on the Warrior Forum (remember that?) who was promoting some expensive make-money-online training. He hadn’t actually taken the training because he said he couldn’t afford it. He also wasn’t making any money through his online business.

He didn’t seem to see the irony of that. All he could see was that the product paid $1,000 in commissions for every sale.

Even as a brand newbie, I knew he’d chosen wrong.

The best affiliates know the most successful promotions involve:

  • Products they’ve used or at least reviewed and can honestly endorse
  • Products their audience needs and can make use of
  • Products their audience can afford

When all three of those criteria are met, you’ll have much more success than if you promote products based solely on how much commission you might earn.

Selling Instead of Serving

This isn’t just semantics. It’s a mindset shift. So many people I talk to mention that they’re worried they’ll come off as pushy or too salesy if they make an offer.

Here’s how I see it. My job is all about creating better systems so micro-business owners can earn more and work less. I spend most days poking around inside landing page builders and email platforms and other tools. I buy and study the training that others create so I can learn what’s working in copywriting, content and email marketing, and other strategies.

Then I test and tweak and test some more, and finally, I distill all of that information into recommendations for my audience (you!). If I send an email (or three) or write a blog post or share on social media about a tool I’m using or a course I recommend, it’s not because I’m hoping to earn a commission, it’s because I know it will help you grow your business.

The best affiliate marketers aren’t trying to sell you something. They’re helping you to make better buying decisions about the tools and resources you need.

Inconsistent Action

I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, even to myself, but consistent action is really at the core of all success, whether business or personal, and that goes for affiliate marketing as well.

It’s not enough to promote an offer one time. Sure, you might make a few sales, but you’ll never make it to top affiliate status with a haphazard approach.

Not Casting a Wide Enough Net

If all you ever do is blog, or send email, or post on social media you’re going to have a hard time breaking into that 20% group.

Top affiliate marketers make use of all the channels, because they know that if a product is worth promoting, it’s worth doing a bang-up job of it. A typical affiliate promotion might include:

  • A blog post (like this one) or even two or three.
  • A few emails sent out over a few days or a week.
  • Some Pinterest pins to promote the blog post.
  • Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter posts.

But that’s just the start. High-earning affiliates also know there are lots of other ways to generate interest, drive clicks, and earn commissions, and they use them all in conjunction with one another to maximize their results.

In Karon Thackston’s newest course — Affiliate Advantage: Success Secrets For Making More Commissions — she outlines specifically how she constructs affiliate promotional campaigns for maximum commissions.

In just 5 video sessions, you’ll be able to follow in Karon’s footsteps and craft your own campaigns that:

  • Find buyers on multiple platforms so you have greater audience reach.
  • Respectfully remind your followers about various features / benefits of the product you’re promoting so they fully understand and want to buy.
  • Create a sense of urgency (without being spammy) to boost (and even double!) your sales with a last-minute rush.

In order to introduce you to Affiliate Advantage: Success Secrets For Making More Commissions, Karon has given me a generous coupon code. Take 20% off right now when you use promo code AFFILIATE.