It’s a new year and for many, that means trying out a new business venture. If you are looking to try your hand at affiliate marketing this year,  you have a massive amount of products to choose from, and a million “gurus” telling you what you should and shouldn’t do. It can be a bit overwhelming, but don’t let that put you off. The most important mistakes can be avoided. Here are eight that you should pay close attention to.

1. Promoting Too Many Products

When you’re new to affiliate marketing, the only thing that’s on your mind is making money. The most natural thing to do is try to promote as many products as possible to make a good living from your new business venture. This makes sense, but it’s the absolute opposite of what you should be doing as a new affiliate.

Promoting too many products can be very difficult for newcomers. Instead of focusing on dozens of promotions, pick two or three that are in the same niche. This means if you’re interested in health and wellness products, then you only promote three of them that are similar in nature. This way, you don’t have to create different types of content for your website, and you could potentially promote all three products in one post.

2. Focusing on Ads Instead of Content

Yes, you want to make money and yes, you can do that through ads but if you bombard your visitors with constant pop ups, banners and the like, you won’t keep them as readers because they will very quickly jump ship. Instead of focusing on ads, use the bulk of your time creating engaging and useful content. Your visitors will be looking to you to deliver information, and by doing this you build trust and create a relationship with your reader so they keep coming back to you for answers to their questions. Not only will too many ads frustrate your readers but the they can significantly slow down your website – frustrating your reader even further.

3. Not Split Testing Content

It’s extremely important to split test your content. Split testing requires you to create two separate pieces of material to test on your website for user engagement. For instance, when you’re creating a landing page, create two different versions to see which one users are more prone to respond to. One page could have a blue “sign up now” button, and the other page could have a red button. By testing your material, you increase the likeliness of conversion by offering content that visitors have literally voted on with their engagement. This seems like a lot of work in the beginning, especially when you’re new to the business. However, it’s essential for the success of your promotion.

4. Not Capturing Leads

Another common mistake new affiliates make is not capturing leads properly. Whenever you have a website promoting an affiliate product, there should always be a place to capture an email address on every single post and page. This means adding a small box to the sidebar of your website, as well as one at the bottom of each blog post. This gives your visitors ample opportunities to engage with you, and for you to build an active email list of people you know are interested in your business.

5. Not Investing in Your Own Domain

The relatively cheap cost of buying your own domain is greatly outweighed by the benefits you get. If you use a subdomain for your site, for example, you use a blogging service such as WordPress, it is the blogging service who ultimately own and control it.  So it is always better to purchase and use your own domain where possible so you retain full control over your site and its content.

6. Paying for Traffic

You may be tempted to go on a website like Fiverr and buy thousands of visitors, but beware. This does not do anything to help your business, and you only end up wasting time and money. Most people selling those types of packages will only deliver robots to your website. This means that humans aren’t actually viewing your page, and the traffic is virtually worthless. Yes, it will count on your analytics page, but you won’t see any real engagement. The best way to build your traffic is through posting helpful, engaging content, and building a following online. If you want to kick start your business with paid traffic, buy PPC ads from search engines like Google or Yahoo. Stay away from deal sites.

7. Not Updating Enough

Posting regular and relevant information to your site will not only increase your traffic but can also get you awarded a higher search engine ranking when Google will see that you are delivering consistent, quality information. Many new affiliates make the mistake of only updating their site once or twice a month and hope to be successful but you should be adding content to your site once a day if you can; three times a week minimum. The point is that the more frequently you update, the more money you can expect to make.

8. Over Promoting on Social Media

Social media is a great place to grow your brand and show people that you’re a leader in your niche. But new affiliates often use it to blast the news about their product and this essentially hurts their business. When you’re starting out on social media, you have to gain your followers trust and you can’t do this by blatantly promoting your products all day long. Although this is a very common mistake made by new affiliates, some seasoned veterans still do this. Start on social media by being a helpful resource to others, and gradually add information about the product you’re promoting. Take a look here to find out more about using social media with your affiliate marketing

It’s exciting to start a new affiliate business, but the list of things to remember to do and not to do can seem endless. But don’t let it overwhelm you. Take it one step at a time and make one change at a time and you’ll find it easier to deal with, while being surprised at the difference even small changes can make to your success.