7 Affiliate Marketing Myths And The Truths Behind Them

If you're interested in making money online, you should consider affiliate marketing.

A form of performance-based marketing, it involves promoting links to other companies' products. When someone clicks your affiliate link and follows through with the required action, such as purchasing the product or completing a submission form, you'll earn a commission.

Because of its widespread popularity, though, there's a lot of misleading and false information regarding affiliate marketing.

As an affiliate marketer, you shouldn't believe these seven common myths.

1) You Need A Website To Succeed

Although it can help, you don't need a website to succeed with affiliate marketing. Most affiliate programs and networks allow you to promote links directly, negating the need for a website.

Rather than building a website on which to publish and promote an affiliate link, you can promote the affiliate link directly using search engine optimization (SEO), social media, forum postings, blog commenting and similar online channels.

Just remember to check an offer's terms and conditions to ensure it allows direct linking. While most offers allow direct linking, some prohibit it. Failure to comply with an offer's terms and conditions may result in the affiliate network suspending or canceling your affiliate account.

2) The Startup Costs Are High

You don't need deep pockets to get started with affiliate marketing. No credible affiliate network charges affiliate marketers to join. You can join affiliate networks for free, at which point you can access their available offers to promote for a commission.

Even if you intend to build a website, the startup costs for affiliate marketing are generally less than those of other money-making ventures. You can register a domain name for about $10 a year with a company like Namecheap, and you can purchase web hosting for about $5 per month from web hosting providers like Bluehost.

Affiliate Marketing Myths

3) The More Offers You Promote, The More Money You'll Make

Another common affiliate marketing myth is that the more offers you promote, the more money you'll make. The truth, however, is that promoting too many offers can restrict your ability to create profitable affiliate marketing campaigns.

If you promote 20 offers, you'll have to allocate no more than 5 percent of your time and resources to each offer.

Of course, it's difficult to optimize an affiliate marketing campaign if you only spend a few minutes working on it. By promoting fewer offers, you can focus on lowering your expenses and increasing conversions to achieve a higher return on investment (ROI).

Don't spread yourself thin by promoting too many offers. Start with just one to five offers so that you can focus on maximizing your affiliate marketing ROI.

4) All Networks Have The Same Commission Rates

Don't assume all affiliate networks have the same commission rates. Even if two affiliate networks have the same affiliate offer, the commission rate for that offer may vary. The difference may only be 1 or 2 percent of the product's sale price, but it can significantly affect your ROI when driving a large volume of conversions.

In some cases, choosing the right affiliate network can mean the difference between a profitable and non-profitable campaign.

How do you know which affiliate network offers the highest commission rate for an offer? You can always contact the affiliate networks to inquire about their commission rates, but an easier solution is to use OfferVault.

Offervault.com, allows you to search for offers from over 100 affiliate networks, revealing each network's commission rates.

5) There's Too Much Competition

There's competition in nearly every legitimate money-making venture, and affiliate marketing is no exception. If it wasn't an effective way to make money, there wouldn't be so many entrepreneurs doing it.

With that said, the level of competition you'll encounter with affiliate marketing varies from niche to niche.

Some niches have stiff competition in which hundreds or thousands of affiliates compete to promote the same offers, whereas other niches have minimal competition with fewer affiliates. Auto insurance offers, for instance, tend to be more competitive than pet supplies offers.

You'll have an easier time building profitable affiliate marketing campaigns if you choose offers in a niche with minimal competition.

7 Affiliate Marketing Myths And The Truths Behind Them

6) Search Engines Penalize Websites With Affiliate Links

Some affiliate marketers are reluctant to publish affiliate links on their website, fearing they'll attract a ranking penalty from search engines. Back in 2015, Google's John Mueller discussed affiliate websites in a Webmaster Hangouts session.

According to Mueller, Google doesn't penalize websites for having affiliate links. As long as your website contains lots of valuable and unique content, it won't be penalized by Google.

While affiliate links won't harm your website's search rankings, they may adversely affect the Quality Scores of your PPC ads. If the affiliate link directs visitors to a brand's website that contains little or no unique content, Google and Bing may apply a low Quality Score to the PPC ads featuring that affiliate link.

A low Quality Score won't prevent your PPC ads from displaying, but it will raise your average cost-per-click (CPC). Therefore, you may want to build and use a landing page when promoting affiliate offers with PPC ads.

7) Drop-Shipping Is Better

Many self-proclaimed digital marketing gurus tout drop-shipping as a better way to make money online than affiliate marketing.

They claim drop-shipping is better because it allows you to set your own prices for products, as well as build your own brand, but the reality is that you'll probably experience better success with affiliate marketing.

It costs more money to get started with drop-shipping than affiliate marketing. To set up a drop-shipping store, you'll have to build a website.

Furthermore, drop-shipping requires you to handle customer service inquiries. If a customer isn't satisfied with their order, he or she may contact you for a refund.

Affiliate marketing eliminates the need for customer service by placing this burden on the company that sells the product rather than the affiliate marketers who promote it.

Creating a profitable affiliate marketing campaign isn't easy. You must track performance metrics, including click-through rate (CTR) and conversion rate, while using this data to optimize your campaign.

If you're persistent and don't give up, though, you can make money by promoting affiliate offers online.

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