Affiliate marketing is among the most popular tools used by many online entrepreneurs today. It is a great option for those who want to put up an online business quickly and cheaply. This was certainly my initial online strategy. However, like most new online entrepreneurs, I knew little or nothing about doing it successfully. I assumed that I could easily make money with this strategy in a short period of time. Boy was I wrong.

I learned the hard way that success in affiliate marketing is not an easy task and it will never happen overnight. It’s just like an ongoing assignment where you need to try and test various advertising strategies and tactics. This includes signing up with numerous affiliate programs to determine which merchants perform well.

Another lesson learned about affiliate marketing is that I cannot expect to earn money simply by placing affiliate banners on a niche site. Rather, it is better to integrate banners and/or text links with the theme and content of the niche.

Equally important, simply adding affiliate materials to a site, does not equate to sales right away. While it may seem obvious to some, many miss the fact that affiliate marketing is all about advertising. If there’s no traffic coming to your site, you get no sales. So, the more you advertise your affiliate link or the site where the affiliate links are placed, the more click throughs these links are likely to receive.

If you want to be involved or you’ve already joined an affiliate program, and you’ve made the same initial assumptions that I did, then you might consider finding a mentor to help you figure out where to start and what to do in order to succeed.

In the dictionary, the word mentor is defined as a wise and trusted teacher or counselor. Usually, these persons are experts in their field. They can give expert advice and guidance as well as supervision to another person. An affiliate marketing mentor is an experienced counselor that has made affiliate marketing their specialty. When seeking out a mentor, look for individuals that have already been successful in affiliate marketing and are willing to share their experienced-based knowledge.

In addition to a mentor, it is also important to educate yourself about the business of affiliate marketing. You can dramatically increase your learning curve with the Super Affiliate Handbook, which is one of the top resources currently available. The Super Affiliate Handbook is a straightforward, step-by-step guide that serves as an excellent primer to get you started in affiliate marketing. It stays on my desk as a constant reference tool.

Another good affiliate marketing resource is the Newbie Cash Machine. Here you will find concepts of pre-selling and the properly using autoresponders in your marketing strategy.

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