How To Not Lose Faith And Achieve Success As an Affiliate Marketer?

2250 1500 Michał Schindler

Every affiliate marketer has reached this stage at the beginning of their journey: the budget is running out, conversions are nonexistent, your faith is low and success in affiliate marketing seems to be unreachable. But above all this, there’s this hunch, a tingling sensation in the back of a head that everyone else is doing better.

These emotions and fears are not unique, but universally shared among the people in the industry. They are an unpleasant part of the experience.

Do you feel that you have spent your money and gained nothing in return?

      → Congratulations, you are an affiliate marketer.

Do you think that it wasn’t supposed to be this hard and it’s definitely not for others?

      → Congratulations, you are an affiliate marketer.

Do you feel that you are in the dark and randomly choosing offers or traffic targeting options?

      → Congratulations, you are an affiliate marketer.

Seriously, congratulate yourself. You are still in the best industry there is, even if sometimes it doesn’t feel like it. My goal is to restore your faith and joy in affiliate marketing. To do so, I’ll point out a few things that you may change the way you think and suggest some actions that you may take.

It’s all in your head

Well, at least most of it is. The blockages, analysis paralysis, loss of faith and low energy levels: despite what you think, they are not products of the environment. They are products of you. The affiliate marketing industry is growing and flourishing. But don’t feel bad. It’s just the way we’re all wired and they can be overcome.

This industry requires a specific mindset. Perhaps it relies more on the mindset than other industries. Consider the following example:

People do not have objections to spend $6000 per month to rent a venue for a restaurant, pay for staff and supplies and wait 8 months to turn any profit, but have objections to spent $200 a month for traffic.

Why is that?

Traffic is bought in the virtual world; you cannot touch it, smell it or taste it. Even though it feels abstract, it is very real in terms of business potential. That is why you need mental toughness, to overcome the fear of spending the money on something that is an idea in your head not connected to a physical place or object.

To continue our example: A restaurant business does not provide you with many second chances. If there is no profit after 8 months, most people close and deal with the losses. The cost of closing down the business is high. But affiliate marketing provides you with a lot of second chances. Unprofitable campaign? Launch another one. Pops not working? Try push ads instead. The only real problem is the mental blockage that prevents you from trying again.

You haven’t failed enough

I will go with this a little bit further. The problem is not that you have failed, the problem is that you have not failed enough times. Feeling uneasy or a little bit angry with that statement? This is what I am talking about! You need to fail as many times as it takes to succeed. Why is failing so important?

  • It teaches you what does not work. If you fail enough times, you will be able to tell what won’t work with a quick glance and pick more promising offers.
  • You get data. Unprofitable data is still informative data. You get reference levels, audience sizes, CTRs of your landing pages. All foundations that you can build on.
  • It gives you mental resilience. Both success and failure are not a given. People that run successful campaigns for some time tend to lose their edge and start failing. You need to always be ahead of the game, no matter if you are currently winning or losing.
  • Even when failing, you still learn about the technical or business aspects of running an affiliate campaign until you get the hang of it. You learn how to create landing pages, how to set up tracking, how to research keywords or write content. You get better at every aspect of it.

No one will try to run a restaurant and fail 10 times in a row. But starting 10 campaigns to begin seeing positive numbers is a normal procedure to be a successful affiliate marketer. Do not be afraid of a failure, be afraid of not going back. Failure is not a final result, but it is rather a byproduct of the whole process.

You need to overcome your loss aversion

It is not easy. Humans are wired to avoid losses. To overcome this, go back to what motivated you in the first place when you decided to become an affiliate marketer. Use that motivation to go beyond the short-sighted fear of loss.

Your motivation can be purely materialistic, no problem in that. It’s just I’ve noticed that psychological incentives work better. Proving yourself is a more powerful motivator than a mythical Lamborgini. Unless you really, really want one… 😉 

The last thing I want to talk about in this part of the article is the Yoda principle. Don’t look it up, it’s just my name for the famous Star Wars quote: “Do. Or do not. There is no try”. I often hear about people wanting to “try” affiliate marketing to get an additional source of income. The reasoning is good, the “trying” part is not.

No one has ever said that they want to try being a doctor or an airline pilot. They dedicate their lives to that choice. If you heard that your pilot is only trying to be one, you’d leave the plane. Be a successful affiliate marketer, simple as that. No plan B, C or D.

The setup is full of traps

Coming down from the motivational and psychological heights to more down-to-earth stuff: you should check your campaign for errors. Maybe you were close with your assumptions.

  • You selected the right offers
  • You created persuasive landing pages
  • You fed them with profitable traffic.

You might have been really close to striking gold and being a successful affiliate, but there were some technical errors that prevented your visitors from converting. For example, instead of your awesome offer, your visitors see the 404 page.

Technical f*ckups happen all the time. Pardon the rough language, but this is always how we feel after discovering that one typo has cost us several conversions:

  • angry at ourselves
  • frustrated
  • ready to curse

We have slowly stopped caring about spelling errors with all the spell checking software that is available and overall desensitization to mistypes in text messages. But we should care about them in our tracking links, scripts or domain names.

Check your set up

The easiest way to check if everything works correctly is to simply follow the same steps as a visitor does, from a campaign URL, up to a conversion event. Complete the steps in the browser’s incognito mode and verify if your affiliate tracker has recorded everything correctly. While going through your funnel check if all elements are displayed correctly:

  • Look at your landing page and check if it looks good in different web browsers and on mobile devices.
  • Confirm that your offer is live. Offers do die, sometimes without any notice.
  • Go as far as you can go into the process of taking an offer and check if a conversion flow is easy and intuitive to complete.

If it is hard for you, it will be harder for your visitors, because they will not be as motivated as you to complete the flow. You may have to use additional software, such as VPN to be completely sure that visitors from the area that you target can see your content correctly.

Follow a visitor’s journey

The easiest way to check if everything works correctly is to simply follow the same steps as a visitor does, from a campaign URL, up to a conversion event. Complete the steps in the browser’s incognito mode and verify if your affiliate tracker has recorded everything correctly. While going through your funnel check if all elements are displayed correctly:

  • Look at your landing page and check if it looks good in different web browsers and on mobile devices.
  • Confirm that your offer is live. Offers do die, sometimes without any notice.
  • Go as far as you can go into the process of taking an offer and check if a conversion flow is easy and intuitive to complete.

If it is hard for you, it will be harder for your visitors, because they will not be as motivated as you to complete the flow. You may have to use additional software, such as VPN to be completely sure that visitors from the area that you target can see your content correctly.

Optimize what you can

Maybe you weren’t that close but still were on to something. Your campaign was all in red, but parts of your traffic had converted. Look at what you can target in your traffic source platform and inspect your traffic data with these options in mind.

For example, if your traffic source allows you to target specific device types or mobile carriers, check if a specific device type or carrier performed well. There’s no point in finding promising parts of traffic that you cannot target later. Dive more into your data, answers may be lurking there.

In general, try to optimize your campaign before killing it. Optimization is a huge topic (you can read more about optimizing your campaigns on our blog), but I want to stress out that the decision-making procedure should look like this:

➡️ unprofitable campaign -> optimization efforts -> campaign end if optimization unsuccessful

…and not like this:

➡️ unprofitable campaign -> campaign end

You are not alone

Let me say that again: you are a part of something bigger. You work in an industry where there are many people like you. They have their flaws and various agendas, but they are very much like you. What you are feeling, what you are struggling with is or was a part of their experience as well. Reach out to those people.

There are forums and social media groups dedicated to affiliate marketers. Ask for help. Sometimes it is not the solution to your problem that helps, it is the knowledge that someone out there understands you and has gone through the same thing as you are right now.

I especially recommend reading follow-alongs. People that write them come from different backgrounds and have various motivations and ideas about what affiliate marketing is and how it is going to work for them. They start, fight, often fail and come to the point where they are close to ditching everything and going back to their previous 9 to 5 jobs. Sounds familiar? Read their stories (or listen to their stories on Voluum blog) and find there something that will work for you.

Remember that you also have people around you. Family members, friends, colleagues. Construct the circle of significant others that will lift you up, provide you with support and teach you. Don’t bother with people that try to bring you down, often doing so to hide their regret that they aren’t following your independent path. Choosing the right people as companions is also a skill.

Use Your Platforms’ Support Systems

Never forget that you are entitled to get support from each platform that you have signed up for. Affiliate networks and traffic sources have their support teams or account managers that can help you with problems or give you some tips.

At the very end, I want to use this opportunity to invite you to contact our beloved Voluum customer success team whenever a problem arises. It may be technical or business-like, but do not hesitate: we are here for you. Listening, answering, solving and supporting you on your way to being a successful affiliate marketer.

 

Not a Voluum user yet? Click here to get the affiliate tracker with the best support on the market! 💪🏻

 

 

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