As an absolute beginner in affiliate marketing..should my strategy be to expect to fail at first?

34 replies
So, I know the bare-bones basics of how to set up a website and put in links and stuff like that, and I'm totally willing to learn and go through with it but I'm completely frozen at the moment because I am indecisive about what my niche should be...

So my question is: Should I not be thinking so much about this? Just pick something, anything, and fully expect to fail, simply to learn the ropes?

I'm pretty sure the answer to my question is yes but I want to know what you guys think.

Thanks.
#absolute #affiliate #beginner #expect #fail #marketingshould #strategy
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  • Profile picture of the author Bob Steve
    Yeah pretty much it, you learn by trial and error. Doing something is already more than what most are doing, so your website would break away from the pack in notime.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Originally Posted by TestTube View Post

    So, I know the bare-bones basics of how to set up a website and put in links and stuff like that, and I'm totally willing to learn and go through with it but I'm completely frozen at the moment because I am indecisive about what my niche should be...

    So my question is: Should I not be thinking so much about this? Just pick something, anything, and fully expect to fail, simply to learn the ropes?

    I'm pretty sure the answer to my question is yes but I want to know what you guys think.

    Thanks.
    Who do you like talking to?

    What do you like talking about?

    What affiliate offers present you with the greatest chance to make money?

    Where's the overlap?

    There is no way, for instance, I'm going to ever pick fitness or supplement offers because I simply have zero interest in those things. I can't get enthusiastic about them, and one of them is often an outright scam.

    But B2B stuff? Software? Finance? Now we're talking. And I will go find the highest level offer I can work with in those areas, because I CAN get enthusiastic about them.

    Now how about you?
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    No TT, because where your energy and attention goes, grows. Expect nothing. Give no energy to outcomes. Give all of your energy-focus to the process. Dive into a niche you enjoy working. Start there. Create helpful, free content through blogs or videos or podcasts solving problems in the niche. Bond with top affiliates in the niche. Have fun. Trust in the process. This is your starting point buddy.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
    Originally Posted by Bob Steve View Post

    Yeah pretty much it, you learn by trial and error. Doing something is already more than what most are doing, so your website would break away from the pack in notime.

    There is a lot of truth to the advise.


    Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

    Who do you like talking to?

    What do you like talking about?

    What affiliate offers present you with the greatest chance to make money?

    Where's the overlap?

    There is no way, for instance, I'm going to ever pick fitness or supplement offers because I simply have zero interest in those things. I can't get enthusiastic about them, and one of them is often an outright scam.

    But B2B stuff? Software? Finance? Now we're talking. And I will go find the highest level offer I can work with in those areas, because I CAN get enthusiastic about them.

    Now how about you?

    ^This^


    Follow Jason's advise and follow his posts.


    Originally Posted by ryanbiddulph View Post

    No TT, because where your energy and attention goes, grows. Expect nothing. Give no energy to outcomes. Give all of your energy-focus to the process. Dive into a niche you enjoy working. Start there. Create helpful, free content through blogs or videos or podcasts solving problems in the niche. Bond with top affiliates in the niche. Have fun. Trust in the process. This is your starting point buddy.

    As confusing as that sounds there is a lot of truth to the advise.
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  • Profile picture of the author 55sadhikar
    Your expectation on any given task should be to win. Declaring in writing to fail first isn't the right way to proceed forward, even though more or less we all follow the same path. Because you think failure is natural, giving up quickly is also natural as per your logic. The way to paraphrase is I will get through this, come what may and now you will be set up for success...

    For every offer, there is already different offer being sold successfully to the same group of people. You want to follow similar stratstrategy to cut down your failure by half. The rest involves split testing and tracking and diagnosing and refining your results.
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  • Profile picture of the author mwj
    Just my grain of salt here...

    Never go into something expecting to fail, even though the actual campaign, ad or project may not yield the results you were expecting.

    It really isn't a failure, instead it's a learning process. I remember when I first started this incredible online journey. I decided to promote a product, deep in me I knew it wasn't going to work, I didn't believe in the product itself, yet I still did pushed it.

    My mindset was similar to what you mentioned, I knew I would "fail" and later I understood it was not the correct way of approaching this.

    I guess it's how the saying goes,"Prepare for the worst and hope for the best", but I would modify it a bit, I would say "Prepare for the worst", simply keep in mind that the chance of not achieving a certain milestone is there, "Expect the best", so you should also believe in what you are doing, believe enough to the point that you know it does have the potential of performing good...well...excellent!

    Study your niche, see what is being promoted and how it's being promoted, don't copy it, yet modify it and try to improve on it. Test your strategy and see how it performs and where you can start to modify to improve.

    It's a process, you will learn it...all that is needed is for you to keep at it, like it was previously mentioned, you are ahead automatically by doing something since most people never graduate from the "learning phase".

    Keep at it and congrats on starting to take action!
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  • Profile picture of the author DIABL0
    Becoming successful is a process. Look at your failures as figuring what doesn't work and hopefully getting you one step closer to what does.

    I've been promoting affiliate / CPA offer for over 18 years. However, I do things differently than most.

    I heavily promote PPL (pay per lead...lead generation) offers. This is because there is no credit card / purchase required to complete an offer. All a user has to do is fill out a form, so conversion rates are typically much higher compared to offers that require a sale to be made.

    I favor offers that have a make, get or save money benefit to them, as they have overall worked the best. They also tend to have the greatest mass appeal (will be of interest to a large general audience), so the potential exists to produce high volume and they are fairly easy to cross promote on the back-end.

    Some of the verticals (niches) I have done extremely well with are: education, insurance, loans, debt, credit, mortgage, assistance, discount offers, homeowner offers, etc...

    The bulk of the PPL offers that I promote pay $20-$40 per lead, but I also promote offers that pay more and less. You don't want to get too caught up on what an offer pays because how well it converts is just as important. For example, if you have an offer that pays $9, but if it converts at 2X or more of a $20 offer, then it will perform about the same or possibly better. At the same time, if you have an offer that pays $90 and it converts poorly, it may not even be worth promoting.

    I have also done just as good with dating website sign-ups and pretty good with free trial + S/H offers. I also promote a very limited number of offers that are straight sales. For them, mass appeal is still the number one thing I look for and I also look for one of the following...

    1) The product is new and/or novel-unique and you can't purchase it locally or even something similar. I don't waste my time with it once something similar shows up in Walmart.

    2) The buyer can truly get what is being offered at a decent discount.

    3) Solves a house is on fire type problem.

    However, I mainly promote non-PPL offers on the backend.

    Bottom line, it's far easier to get someone fill out a short form than to get them to pull out their credit card and make a purchase. So why struggle with trying to sell this or that, when you can provide free information that users want/need and get paid well doing it.

    Something to think about.
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  • Profile picture of the author professorrosado
    Websites are not necessarily the way to go for Affiliate sales. Some niches (verticals) can fare better conversions with one of course, but very many offers can convert more efficiently without one.

    I used to repeat the same "start with a website" advice for a newbie, but realized that they won't come necessarily if you build one. What all websites need is TRAFFIC and if you do not learn how to find, get and convert it, your website won't help you in any way.

    I recommend that you first concentrate on finding a ready pool of niche-based people you can market to after honing in on an offer that would appeal to that community.

    Then consider alternatives to building your own website like youtube, social groups and email captures where you should be able to convert some sales.

    In fact, there are many people who are making a consistent income just from youtube affiliate sales. Since to do this you need no website at all, why waste time with a website when you can start earning from youtube affiliate sales? Additionally, email captures can be done with youtube or in conjunction with your affiliate sales funnel.

    Just yesterday I received another $1,000 pure profit sale without a website and I only just started that funnel up a day or two before that!

    So Traffic > Engagement > Conversion is what I recommend you focus on. Only use the website strategy when the niche (product/service) absolutely could benefit from it and as the others said above, one in which you have enthusiasm for (because you'll need it to make it worth while)!
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    • Profile picture of the author savidge4
      Originally Posted by professorrosado View Post

      Websites are not necessarily the way to go for Affiliate sales....

      I recommend that you first concentrate on finding a ready pool of niche-based people you can market to after honing in on an offer that would appeal to that community.

      Then consider alternatives to building your own website like youtube, social groups and email captures where you should be able to convert some sales....

      So Traffic > Engagement > Conversion is what I recommend you focus on. Only use the website strategy when the niche (product/service) absolutely could benefit from it and as the others said above, one in which you have enthusiasm for (because you'll need it to make it worth while)!
      I agree with this to a point... but quickly one falls into the same trap. All of their eggs in a single basket, be it a website or a youtube channel or an IG account.

      I would suggest that diversity is the name of the game here. I operate with the website as the hub to all of the other outreach properties IE Facebook, YouTube, IG, Snapchat and so on. diversifying your reach EXTENDS your reach. and in turn allows you to draw users from IG to you site and then to your youtube videos as an example.

      I think its learning to get past the push of what ever it is you are selling, and start sharing what it is you are selling. I, with a few exceptions, NEVER run ads that say "hey, BUY THIS NOW". I might run ads for "learn more about the best foods for your large dog" or "see the latest skinny jean fashion shown at Paris fashion week 2019" or even "Stressed about loosing weight before your wedding?" but again, NEVER "buy blue diamond dog food here" or Buy Skinny Jeans here" or "Get your pre-wedding weight loss plan here"

      I personally would start with a website, with the understanding that it is simply a piece to a greater machine that needs to be developed. Like professorrosado states TRAFFIC is where the success is.. and answering questions that Jason left you gives you a direction on finding that traffic, and then you start with extended platforms beyond your website to draw and attract those folks.. back to the center of your efforts to create the sale.

      Hope that Helps!
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  • Profile picture of the author Stas Lun
    Don't expect to fail, mate. Expect to succeed, but it will be a bumpy road ;-)

    And yeah, don't over-complicate things at the beginning -- just go with it, you can always pivot or change your direction later on.
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  • Profile picture of the author kilgore
    Yes, expect to fail. And not just when you're starting off -- even if/when you've got a viable business model that's making you money you should expect to fail. Why? Because if you're not failing, you're not trying anything new -- and if you're not trying anything new, you're not growing. And even if you're not growing, your competitors are. And if your competitors are growing and you're not, your business is going to die.

    That said, there's a right way to fail and a wrong way to fail.

    The wrong way to fail is to just throw a bunch of crap to the wall to see what sticks. Often this kind of failure is caused by ignorance or desperation -- or both. You have no idea what you're doing so you flail around like someone who's drowning hoping to keep your head above water. But of course we know what happens when a swimmer starts to flail and panic. They sink. So don't fail like that.

    The right way to fail is to fail smart. And to fail fast. Failing this way means applying the scientific method to your business. It means hypothesis testing. Which sounds easy, but is really hard, especially when you're just starting out!

    So what exactly is failing smart then? Basically it means looking at the various aspects of your business (value proposition, traffic generation, monetization, etc.), thinking them through very carefully, studying how others have approached your problems then coming up with some reasonable solutions to these problems.

    You try some things out. You evaluate what you did and how it worked (or didn't work) and you make adjustments. Some of these adjustments may be minor. Others might involve drastic changes in strategy or implementation. Regardless, you make your adjustments, evaluate your results then adjust again and again and again.

    And you do this sort of hypothesis testing for all aspects of your business, trying to come up with the best answers, but never assuming you've got it right the first time, always trying to learn, always trying to grow.

    But of course I also said you should fail fast. Because if it takes you a year before you realize that your value proposition isn't really something people are interested in or that can be monetized, then that's a year wasted and to the entrepreneur time is their most precious resource. So you need to identify quickly what's working and what's not. You need to be able to balance giving a hypothesis enough time to know if it's working with the need to quickly adapt and adjust in order to apply what you've just learned.

    So yes, expect to fail. Often. But if you fail smart and fail fast you might just succeed in the end.
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  • Profile picture of the author natm28
    You are right in what you say that it is is much better to take action and fail then to not take any action at all. That's the main reason most people fail is they don't get started to begin with. As for what niche you should pick, health, wealth ,or relationship niches are lucrative. Create valuable content for your audience. Once you get some traffic find ways to monetize that traffic.
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  • Profile picture of the author Irish Dude
    Always expect to fail, but have success at the back of your mind as the end result of your failures.
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  • Profile picture of the author KinneyJ2014
    Originally Posted by TestTube View Post

    So, I know the bare-bones basics of how to set up a website and put in links and stuff like that, and I'm totally willing to learn and go through with it but I'm completely frozen at the moment because I am indecisive about what my niche should be...

    So my question is: Should I not be thinking so much about this? Just pick something, anything, and fully expect to fail, simply to learn the ropes?

    I'm pretty sure the answer to my question is yes but I want to know what you guys think.

    Thanks.
    You can build a website literally in one working day, consider using platforms like Wordpress or Wix. They are straight forward and no coding required.
    As soon as you get your website up and content on it, you can promote it like mad.
    These are the few steps that will help your website generating traffic:

    • Optimize your website internally. Make sure the website is well-built, well-structured, organized, easy to use, relevant and attractive.
    • For the new website, it is best to use long-tail keywords, as they are more specific to what you are selling. As soon as your website becomes more authoritative then you can use broader keywords.
    • Start Blogging on your website and submit your content to other blogs (Tumblr, Reddit, StumbleUpon and so forth)
    • Integrate Social Media (Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and others). Create stunning and engaging content. Link those to your website.
    • Integrate professional Social Media (LinkedIn, Google Plus) Create separate pages for yourself and your business and link them together.
    • Make videos and post them on YouTube and other video sharing platforms. Link those to your website.
    • Create blogging accounts and submit regular blogs.
    • Do some guest blogging
    • Be helpful and answer questions and/or give advice to people who need it (preferably in your field of operation)
    • Approach influential and famous bloggers in your field and ask them to promote your product or service (you may want to offer something instead).
    • Build your email marketing base and use it in a sensible way. You can do this by creating the "subscribe now" form on your website.
    • Invest in Paid Advertising (Google Adwords, Bing, Facebook, Instagram, and others)
    • Get in touch with other authoritative websites in your field and offer them some contribution to their work in exchange for the link or mention.
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  • Profile picture of the author DURABLEOILCOM
    Start with something alot simpler like selling on Ebay, Amazon, Letgo, Offerup, Craigslist. After you get successful and master those keep them going as capital to drive other business ventures. BTW don't quit your day job until you are making more in your online business.
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  • Profile picture of the author Warwarman
    The productive way to get a result is to find a person who will teach you. There are too much information around and it is hard to define what do you need.
    And I agree with others you can't start something knowing that you will fail. What is you motivation in this case?
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  • Profile picture of the author SupplementTalk
    "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."

    "Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time."

    Both quotes are by Thomas Edison.

    You will not become successful overnight. It doesn't happen like this ever. You must put in the hard work day in and day out, be consistent and you WILL be successful.

    Find one person that is doing the business model you want to do, they must be successful, and then follow them. Do what they do. Don't reinvent the wheel, model those that are successful, and you will become one of them.

    Good Luck,

    David
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  • Profile picture of the author Jamell
    I think that you should do a bit of research about your target niche .Secondly You should try and get a balance between what your passionate about the value that you can bring to the market and also do a bit of research about to see if the market is profitable .Thirdly instead of going through the Hassell of designing website use Shopify ,Amazon or Facebook Market place or Ebay to buy and sell your goods .

    Lastly ..throwing links on a website is spamming and is a quick way to lose potential customers.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rob Reece
    Hey bro.

    Heres what you do.

    Go where the customers are hungry.

    What niche sells and makes the most.

    One famous entrepreneur said to a class he was teaching and used the analogy of building a hamburger joint, (summarizing) I'll give you guys whatever you want that you think will help you in building a successful burger place.

    Some said best marketing, others said the best meat quality, some said the best location. He returned with I will still beat all of you.

    Do you know why?

    Because I choose where the most hungry people are.

    Even if you have a terrible patty you will make a killing.

    Now the lesson here isn't to sell crap products, but to go where the market is.

    Big businesses soar because they think like this.

    Consider whats hot, then what attracts you.

    Because if you love knitting, and only broke grannies love knitting you ain't making squat!
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  • Profile picture of the author ceeczar
    Originally Posted by TestTube View Post

    So, I know the bare-bones basics of how to set up a website and put in links and stuff like that, and I'm totally willing to learn and go through with it but I'm completely frozen at the moment because I am indecisive about what my niche should be...

    So my question is: Should I not be thinking so much about this? Just pick something, anything, and fully expect to fail, simply to learn the ropes?

    I'm pretty sure the answer to my question is yes but I want to know what you guys think.

    Thanks.
    Thanks for sharing

    First make up your mind about what you want to achieve and then commit to learning from the actual steps you take

    Yes, you'll certainly need to make adjustments along the way, and there are no quick fixes

    In any kind of marketing you do, the clearer you get about WHO you are serving, the greater your chances of success

    Thanks again and wishing you all the best
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  • Profile picture of the author palmtreelife
    I think everyone understands what you're asking, but to me, you're not asking the right question.

    No one should every have a "strategy" to fail. If you spend ANY time planning on failing, you will surely fail. It's hard enough to succeed when you're 100% planning for success.

    What do you mean by "fail"? For me, failing means something didn't work and you move on. Are you talking about failing completely at affiliate marketing and moving on to try something else? I don't think so.

    Are you expecting to face obstacles and struggles in your affiliate marketing journey, and calling those "failures"?

    I would hope you're not going into any online money making endeavour with the thought of hitting a home run on your first swing. You're going to struggle. You need to learn and test and adjust and test and adjust and learn and test and adjust until you do hit a home run.

    Yes, it's important to go into this project with your eyes wide open and expect there will be struggles along with way, but don't plan or strategize for them.

    Think about how traditional business owners make a budget. They plan for massive success, but someone in there will be an expense called "losses/cost of business/spoilage/breakage/theft etc" Those things are the reality of traditional business. They are not hoping or planning for them to happen, but they cannot be naive either and expect profits all day every day.

    Learn. Create. Test. Adjust. Prosper. That's the strategy. That is much different from your strategy of: Step 1. Fail.

    Get your head right before you do anything online to make money....or you will in fact fail.
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  • Profile picture of the author cearionmarie
    There is no learning without failing. Thomas Edison has failed almost 1k experiments until he invented the light bulb. What I'm saying is, it's okay if you fail on your first try, but be sure to always have a backup plan in case things don't go well.
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisBa
    Originally Posted by TestTube View Post

    So, I know the bare-bones basics of how to set up a website and put in links and stuff like that, and I'm totally willing to learn and go through with it but I'm completely frozen at the moment because I am indecisive about what my niche should be...

    So my question is: Should I not be thinking so much about this? Just pick something, anything, and fully expect to fail, simply to learn the ropes?

    I'm pretty sure the answer to my question is yes but I want to know what you guys think.

    Thanks.
    To me the bigger question than niche is how are you planning on driving traffic to your site? To me that's the larger priority then focus on a niche.
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  • Profile picture of the author TestTube
    Thank you all so much for the advice.

    Just a short clarification here: When I used the word "fail", I certainly didn't mean that I would expect that it just wouldn't work, and that I would be completely wasting my time.

    Instead, what I was trying to get at was...instead of being so obsessive over choosing my first niche (spending a week in fact), I was wondering if I should just hurry up and pick one and get going as soon as possible, *just* so I can learn the ropes.

    I don't know where I heard this from but..."You either win or you learn", and the whole "failure" deal was my way of saying "learn how to not fail, and don't expect to become a millionaire by next week with 0 knowledge" =p.

    Anyways...thanks again...kind've wondering though while the thread is still going:

    How many of you all started within the last 5ish years and are now doing this for a living? (not affiliate marketing per se but a kind of "work at home over the internet" deal)

    Hope to hear some motivational stories! =D

    - TestTube
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    • Profile picture of the author KinneyJ2014
      Originally Posted by TestTube View Post

      Thank you all so much for the advice.

      Just a short clarification here: When I used the word "fail", I certainly didn't mean that I would expect that it just wouldn't work and that I would be completely wasting my time.

      Instead, what I was trying to get at was...instead of being so obsessive over choosing my first niche (spending a week in fact), I was wondering if I should just hurry up and pick one and get going as soon as possible, *just* so I can learn the ropes.

      I don't know where I heard this from but..."You either win or you learn", and the whole "failure" deal was my way of saying "learn how to not fail, and don't expect to become a millionaire by next week with 0 knowledge" =p.

      Anyways...thanks again...kind've to wonder though while the thread is still going:

      How many of you all started within the last 5ish years and are now doing this for a living? (not affiliate marketing per se but a kind of "work at home over the internet" deal)

      Hope to hear some motivational stories! =D

      - TestTube

      Choose your niche.
      1. Pick a niche HEALTH.WEALTH and DATING evergreen NICHES
      2. Research different affiliate programs and products.
      3. Build a site.
      4. Produce excellent content.
      5. Build an audience.
      6. Promote your affiliate product(s).
      7. Repeat steps #4-7 on a continual basis!

      MINDSET

      -10% of the people who start their own business are successful.

      -They have no direct sales experience, are not involved in a marketing and business plan or are in debt with products that have no market.
      - In other words, they fall away when they are tested on the really difficult aspects of a business.

      Successful affiliates have a simple business model: they replicate their success. Once they find something that works, they tweak it slightly, test, evaluate, and repeat. Some of the most profitable affiliate empires follow this simple, repetitive pattern. Consistent effort tends to yield consistent results, especially online, where certain types of marketing (like SEO) take time.

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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Busa
    Yes you can expect to fail!

    And you want to fail fast...

    That way you can concentrate on what works and stay away from what doesn't

    I suggest you pick a niche that you have a passion for (as long as there is actually a market there and products already selling)

    Look for problems in that niche and then recommend a product that will solve that problem.

    And also I suggest you promote high ticket and recurring products as it will be easier to hit your income goals with less sales needed.
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  • Profile picture of the author agmccall
    Originally Posted by TestTube View Post


    So my question is: Should I not be thinking so much about this? Just pick something, anything, and fully expect to fail, simply to learn the ropes?

    .
    You bet, that is a great mindset. Go into something with the intent to fail. You might just as well quit now and not waste your time

    al
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  • Profile picture of the author luciesmazanska
    Beginning with a mindset of failure is the first step towards soon for any business. You should be conscious of the risks involved but the best strategy is to set a REALISTIC goal, broken into smaller targets and create clear plans on how to achieve each goal.
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  • Profile picture of the author Frank Pellegrino
    What do you enjoy? what are your hobbies? what are you passionate about? Look at your answers to these questions and those are your niches
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  • Profile picture of the author IM Mozie
    Read up on common affiliate marketing mistakes. Google should be filled with them. Then start your affiliate venture with insights on things you should not be doing. Then visit successful affiliate blogs and see what they're doing, and model their success. start your own affiliate review blog in a niche you're passionate about. Get some PLR lead magnets and offer it as a freebie on your blog to build your list. and review top selling products in your chosen niche and provide bonuses to people who buy through your links (ethical bribe). People love getting more bang for their buck. Promote your review posts with epic bonuses across the website on social media and other high traffic sources. There's no need to fail if you learn before you start. It took me around 4 months to make my first affiliate sale. But I didn't follow the advice I'm giving you now because I was a newbie. Which is why I thought I'd share hoping it helps you a long your journey. Good-luck!
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  • You should never go into affiliate marketing expecting to fail. Affiliate marketing is an experience, however, 95% of affiliates make $0 every month, the remaining 4 % concentrate on one-time sales with affiliate programs such as Clickbank and JVZoo, which is okay if you have a good traffic source and a quality product to market.


    The remaining 1% are earning monthly recurring income, this is what the super affiliates do to build and grow out their income. This is where I personally invest my time and efforts. I don't want to make a one time sale and lose that client so I concentrate on building passive income through email marketing list building, this way you can re-target the buying customers time and time again from your list.


    Re-targeting buying subscribers is the secret to your affiliate marketing success.
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  • Profile picture of the author Shadrack Korir
    You obviously need to be positive if you are to find fuel to propel you towards achieving your goal. Affiliate marketing is not at all a walk in the park if you are not ready to input learning effort. Let failures be your lessons. I started the below site recently, and for sure, I am expecting the best for it despite the hurdles.
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  • Profile picture of the author Huenelde
    Failure is the main warehouse success. Believe me, you will never succeed unless you fail. You simply will not have what to learn, but you need to learn from your mistakes.
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  • Profile picture of the author MaxFeerden
    When I first started, I had many failures. But these failures tempered me and I never gave up again. I wish you the same)
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