My 12 Biggest Affiliate Marketing Mistakes in 12 Years


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Learn from affiliate marketing guru to boost your revenues as an affiliate. Presentation given at A4U Expo London. (c) Nadeem Azam, Azam Marketing,

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My 12 Biggest Affiliate Marketing Mistakes in 12 Years

  1. 1. My 12 Biggest Mitsakes in 12 Years<br />Nadeem Azam<br />
  2. 2. Nadeem Azam<br />“Nadeem Azam has been involved in Affiliate Marketing since before the Internet was invented. He’s actually 75 years old but only looks about 14. He’ll be sharing his secrets to eternal youth as well as some amazing insights into the AM. This is a must-see session, learn from someone who has been there, seen it, done it and bought the t-shirt.”<br />Kieron Donoghue,, 16 September, 2009<br />2<br />
  3. 3. 3<br />
  4. 4. 4<br />
  5. 5. 5<br />
  6. 6. 6<br />Azam Marketing<br />
  7. 7. 7<br />Aim<br />Save you 50,000 hours<br />
  8. 8. 8<br />
  9. 9. 9<br />
  10. 10. 10<br />Will save you having to resort to this . . .<br />
  11. 11. Successful people learn from mistakes.<br />If we learn from other people’s mistakes, even better!<br />11<br />
  12. 12. Recently started in the affiliate game? . . .<br />Don’t be a plonker <br />Like this guy <br />Or this guy<br />12<br />
  13. 13. 13<br />Even the best of us make mistakes…<br />
  14. 14. 1997 - Mistake 1<br />Lack of Clear Vision<br />“I’ll set-up beautiful websites, link to books on and and make money.”<br />14<br />
  15. 15. 15<br />“Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies” by James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras<br /><ul><li> Determine what the Core Purpose of your business is
  16. 16. Remind yourself of that Core Purpose every single week
  17. 17. Don’t let anything get in the way of pursuing your aims
  18. 18. Stick to your Core Values and retain your integrity
  19. 19. Be willing to adapt to changing circumstances</li></li></ul><li>1998 - Mistake 2<br />Doing Too Many Different Things<br />Umpteen websites: books, computer games, videos, CDs<br />Too many marketing strategies: SEO, PPC, email, offline<br />16<br />
  20. 20. 17<br />“A jack of all trades is master of none” <br />1. Specialise in no more than three marketing disciplines<br />SEM is now no longer something that can be picked up in a week. PPC is becoming more complex by the day and it takes years to become proficient<br />Become an expert on SEO, PPC, social media, m-commerce, email marketing, domaining?<br />2. If build websites, then specialise in one or two types of websites or subject areas<br />Your competitors have spent thousands of hours building cashback and comparison shopping scripts<br />Specialise in voucher codes, cashback or content? If content, build the UK’s leading site on hatha yoga or what to do in Colchester?<br />Hard enough to succeed in one of the most ruthlessly competitive arenas in the history of humankind; don’t make harder by fighting battle on too many fronts like this poor strategist . . .<br />
  21. 21. 1999 - Mistake 3<br />Promoting Advertisers Paying Low Commissions<br />3% on the sale of a £9 CD or DVD is 27p! And it’s not easy to sell one CD or DVD.<br />One of these costs 50p <br />18<br />
  22. 22. Focus on high ticket items: broadband internet, mobile phones, insurance, utility supplies<br />19<br />
  23. 23. 20<br />Digital products and services usually pay higher CPAs: software downloads, eBooks, dating<br />Networks with digital products: oneNetworkDirect, RevenueWire, Clickbank and Click2Sell. Also traditional networks like CJ, TD and AW<br />Registry Mechanic via oneNetworkDirect paying 50% commission on £30 sale = £15. <br />To earn £15 on the affiliate program, which pays 2% commission, you’d have to sell over 30 DVDs!<br />
  24. 24. 21<br />Prioritise companies that pay residual income<br />Residual income v. linear income:<br />Paid on Results UK network has several ‘Customer Base’ programs which pay recurring commissions<br />USA networks paying recurring commissions include the likes of Commission River<br />Also many independent web hosting, dating and telecoms programs<br />
  25. 25. 2000 - Mistake 4<br />22<br />Not having the right tools<br />No internet connection at home, used free subdomain services, relied upon free web hosting<br />
  26. 26. 23<br />Just like a plumber or carpenter, the superior the tools, the easier and quicker it will be for you to produce the best results <br />Sell your TV, cooker and your washing machine if you have to; they are less important than having the best tools for your business<br /><ul><li> Powerful PC
  27. 27. Superfast internet connection
  28. 28. Two monitors
  29. 29. Quality webhosting
  30. 30. Top notch software</li></ul>- Memorable domain names<br />
  31. 31. 2001 - Mistake 5<br />Lack of Automation and Delegation<br />Not make sufficient use of tools and software to save time<br />Doing everything myself<br />24<br />
  32. 32. 25<br />Time is money<br />Automate your websites as much as possible<br />Buy the best scripts, tools and subscriptions you can afford<br />Freeware at and<br />Scripts at,,<br />
  33. 33. 2002 - Mistake 6<br />Communications Overload<br />Spending half the day answering emails, helping people on IM and chatting on the phone<br />26<br />
  34. 34. 27<br />Developing a reputation for always being available for everybody will not make you succeed in business<br />Focus on ROI generating communications<br />Use autoresponders, canned responses, voicemail<br />Set-up detailed FAQs on your websites to help your customers<br />Refer your website visitors to customer support of the merchant(s) you are promoting<br />
  35. 35. 28<br />Biggest time-waster is email<br />Auto-receive emails in Outlook once every three hours<br />Set Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin to send notifications once a day<br />‘Bells & Whistles for Outlook’<br /><br />‘Phrase Express’<br /><br />
  36. 36. 2003 – Mistake 7<br />Pfaffing about on non-work related websites<br />Wasting time on unproductive sites<br />29<br />
  37. 37. 30<br />Watching funny YouTube videos, looking at pictures of people’s parties on Facebook or telling friends what you had for breakfast via Twitter will not help your succeed in business<br />Avoid playing games. Internet marketing is essentially playing games with real money!<br />Monitor your activity online with software such as <br />
  38. 38. 2004 - Mistake 8<br />Believing and trusting everybody<br />Affiliate Managers: “Content sites are the way to go”<br />31<br />
  39. 39. 32<br />Have to step back from the situation and make an independent evaluation<br />The most effective to make money in affiliate marketing are usually not discussed on the forums, in magazines or at mainstream conferences!<br />Cut through the rubbish<br />Find a mentor<br />
  40. 40. 2005 – Mistake 9<br />Not being quick off the mark<br />Evolve or die<br />Small businesses have massive disadvantages over big businesses; the major advantage they have is ability to react quickly to changing circumstances<br />33<br />
  41. 41. 34<br />Read obsessively about your areas of expertise<br />Attend industry conferences<br />Study what the Americans are up to – they are often ahead<br />Keep an eagle eye on others in your field<br />If you spot any potential opportunities (a) mull over it (b) strategise<br />If the opportunity is a good one, go into it all guns ablazing<br />
  42. 42. 2006 – Mistake 10<br />35<br />Not Publicising Websites or Business<br />Quietly getting on with the job without making a song and dance about things<br />
  43. 43. 36<br />Most affiliates are too web-obsessed<br />Get exposure for your websites and business in newspapers, magazines, radio and TV<br />Local newspapers and radio are hungry for content<br />Find contact details at<br />Dragons’ Den Online:<br />
  44. 44. 2007 – Mistake 11<br />37<br />Not Asking and Looking for More<br />Not asking for higher commissions, voucher codes, competition prizes, etc.<br />Focusing on mainstream UK networks<br />
  45. 45. 38<br />Advertisers often see affiliates as a “cheap” way to generate sales. <br />Sometimes significant mark-ups on many products, yet affiliates receive measly commissions<br />, 28 July, 2009: “Big online ad networks have an average profit margin of 45%”<br />Affiliate networks typically earn 20% to 30% of the commission value on sales you generate.<br />Insist on higher commissions!<br />
  46. 46. 39<br />Many programs are on multiple networks. Seek network with:<br />- highest commission <br /><ul><li> most reliable tracking
  47. 47. longest cookie period
  48. 48. fastest payment
  49. 49. best service</li></ul>You can increase your income by 20% + for delivering the same number of leads/sales<br />
  50. 50. 40<br />Ask for higher tiers, tenancy fees, CPC, CPM<br />
  51. 51. Finally…<br />41<br />MY biggest Mistake ever<br />Never let anybody video you without your permission when you are with AffiliateFuture in Barbados . . .<br />
  52. 52. 42<br />
  53. 53. Any questions?<br />43<br />
  54. 54. Tomorrow<br />The Affiliate Sales Kit - Writing Killer Proposals and Selling Yourself To Merchants<br />Time: 17:15 – 18:00<br />Room: Platinum 4<br />44<br />
  55. 55. Further information<br />Website:<br />Blog:<br />Email:<br />45<br />