What is that something? It's choosing the wrong affiliate program(s) to promote! Of course, there is no one best affiliate marketing program.
It depends on what markets -- let's call them niches too -- that you intend to get into.
Some people follow their passion first, while some people identify the profit potential in the niche first and then develop a passion for it! (Hey, let's face it, making money is a pretty good motivator).
But after you've done all of the hard work at creating good, original, valuable content.
After you've designed or paid someone to design your web sites.
After you've written your presell copy.
And now you're ready to monetize all of that hard work..
don't go pick a lame affiliate program! Sometimes it's just a matter of not knowing what you don't know.
So, if you take one thing from this article, it's that you're going to leave knowing exactly the power of picking the best affiliate marketing program for your particular niche.
Let me tell you a story..
A few years back I was scouting the web looking for good affiliates for a fantastic lifetime income program I was promoting.
A lifetime income program is one that pays you forever for each customer's purchases.
They typically work best when the product is a consumable one because, well, once it's finished being consumed, they have to buy more if they liked the product.
Now, in this example, I came across a guy who had built up an incredible resource in the health market, catering to women specifically.
He had a ton of great content on nutrition, supplements women should be taking, exercises to stay in shape, and so forth.
As I'm reading through his site, I noticed his affiliate links.
I clicked a couple and noticed the program it was.
I then went to read up on the affiliate agreement of the program and it was a lousy one time payout of 10%! I could scarcely believe it.
Why would someone put in so much work to make so little money.
It's not that the programs that pay less, or pay non lifetime commission, have superior products and that the customers are getting something better.
No, it's simply a matter of the affiliate getting the shaft and the merchant making off like a bandit.
I explained to this affiliate via email the power of lifetime income programs, and introduced him to the one that was perfect for his audience.
He wrote back quickly saying he was changing all of his links! Smart move.
That gentleman has made many thousands of dollars over the years from that one change and will be getting paid continuously for many more years.
Let me show you mathematically the potential earnings difference between the best affiliate marketing program and a typical one in the supplement niche I was talking about.
If you are getting 1,000 visitors a day to your site, and a 100 people clicking on your affiliate URL out of these, and converting them to customers at 2%.
Let's say both programs pay 10% on a sale.
In addition, both have the same average price point per sale, which is $50 dollars.
The only difference is one pays life and one doesn't.
Lastly, let's say they both have a 30% reorder rate from previous month's customers to the following month.
In the non-loyalty affiliate program example, assuming your traffic never goes up or down, you will make $10 dollars per days.
100 click thrus at 2% conversion is 2 customers a day.
10 x 50 = $5 dollars.
2 orders = $10 dollars.
In the loyalty example, you're still making $10 dollars per day but you've picked up 60 potential lifetime customers (30 x 2 customers per day = 60 per month).
If the reorder rate is 30% the next month, out of these 60, 18 customers will make you an additional $90 dollars the next month.
After month two, you'll have 36 customers coming back for month three (18 reorders from month one, plus 18 more from month two), making you an additional $180 dollars hands off in month 3.
Keep in mind: this is you getting paid for work you have ALREADY done! No additional effort required.
Of course, the math doesn't work out exactly like this.
Conversion rates aren't static nor is traffic.
But this illustration does truly capture the essence of lifetime income affiliate programs, which is why I stick to them exclusively.
Also, because I personally use most of the products I promote, I've also found them to be much higher quality as well.
My theory here is simple: maybe the companies that are most fair to their affiliates are also the ones giving the best value to their customers.
Makes sense to me.
I hope it does to you, too.