Avoid These 5 Newbie Mistakes To Shave WEEKS Off Your Starter Progress

Last Update: March 10, 2020

Starting a new affiliate website is a lot of work! When you're new to all this stuff, it can be hard to figure out where your time is best spent. What should you be doing to make the highest impact in your business, and what should you not be doing so you aren't wasting time?

After 10 years inside Wealthy Affiliate, here are the most common things I see holding newbies back from making faster progress. These ideas are specifically aimed at getting new affilate marketers to LEAP forward in their business instead of wasting time on unimportant stuff.

#1: Pick A Theme And Go

A "good" theme is a real sticking point for a lot of newbies. Firstly, there is no such thing as a specific theme for a specific niche. There is no "fishing theme" or "yoga theme" out there. All themes can be used for all niches. You just need to swap out a couple photos, and you're good to go.

You'll likely change your themes many times over the years, so if you don't love it now, you can change it later. It will not affect anything on your site negatively, though you may have to re-insert a menu or something small like that.

You don't need a perfect color, perfect font, or perfect header image. Just get something simple and go!

#2: Design = Menus & Widgets Only

Many people want to "design" their site to look nice, but honestly I think this a waste of time in the beginning. The main design elements to look at for all themes is going to be your widget and menu area.

  1. Get a simple menu set up.
  2. Add a single widget for recent posts


Of course, you can spend time exploring your specific theme, add a logo, mess around with menu areas, etc when you have time. For maximum impact, just a main menu and a recent posts widget is good.

#3: Pages & Posts Don't Matter

Legal pages (Privacy Policy, Affilaite Disclosure) and "Evergreen" topics can be pages. Everything else is posts.

If you aren't clear with that difference, just publish everything (aside from your legal pages) as posts. You can always use the Post Type Switcher plugin to change from a post to a page later if you need be. Not a big deal.

Realistically, Google sees them as the same thing, and main differences are what you're able to control on your back end.

#4: Stop Trying To Align Your Images

I see many newbies wasting time trying to custom code HTML alignments of images, and doing lots of left/right align with padding, etc. I recommend you stop that habit early on. Small images look low-quality, and considering that everyone is using a different screen size (including mobile devices), it's unlikely that people will see exactly what you see on your end.

Just pick large images and center align. Large images look better, and help break up the text!

#5: You Can "Fix" Your Niche Later

Everyone wants to get it right the first time, and have a great, profitable, wonderful site. Most people, however, are going to make some mistakes along the way. Embrace it!

As long as your domain name is not super specific like bestpinkgolfshoesforkids.com, then you can tweak the direction of your content at any point. Kyle does this a bit in his golfballs analogy.

Using that example above, if your domain is walkingthegreens.com, and you want to promote golf shoes, it's totally fine to start promoting golf balls later on. Close enough! With just about every successful website I've made in the past decade, I've started with one idea, then tweaked it to be slightly different.

One example is my motion sensor sprinkler website. I started out just promoting motion sensor sprinklers, then ran out of content ideas. I then expanded to promote multiple ways of getting critters out of your yard in humane ways.

Don't let a niche trip you up! If you need help, PM your coach and they can help you out, or stop by Live Chat for instant help.

Final Thoughts

It's going to take time to build your business. There's no way around it. Reading content like this and particpating in Wealthy Affiliate is going to connect you with people and strategies that are going to help you shave time off of your path to profitability. Spend time learning form the folks who've done it before!

As one final note for how to make faster progress in the training and your business, I highly recommend developing small, achievable, daily habits. That means doing something small related to your business each day, no matter what.

Big goals like "write 5000 words" are good to challenge yourself, and I do those a lot. However, they can also be frustrating when you don't hit them.

By setting smaller goals like "do one training module per day", or "write for 30 minutes", you develop a good habit of moving forward. That sets the groundword for daily progress, rather than doing nothing for Mon-Fri, then powering through an 8-hour day on Saturday.

It's much easier to stay consistent with small, achievable goals long term, and consistency counts for a lot.

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BryceNielsen Premium
This blog post is full of great advice, thanks!

I do generally try to complete one module per day but I tend to take longer if the module tasks including writing an article. Writing for 30 minutes sounds like a good alternative, or if I'm still trying to figure out a topic I can include the time I'm looking up keywords into the 30 minutes.
Padmas Premium
Yes a lot of time gets wasted in small things that take up too much time. And as a beginner, it is not easy to see what is important and what is not, so we end up spending unproductive time in things that don't matter. It's always nice to learn from those who are successful and have more experience.

Thanks for the tips :))
RichBrennan Premium
Thanks, Nethaniell.
One point that particularly resonated with me is the one you made about aligning pictures.
I'd always used a mix of left, right and centre alignment simply because I thought it looked visually pleasing and would retain the readers' interest and then it was pointed out to me that Google don't like left aligned images. What wasn't pointed out to me - which is pretty obvious now that you've mentioned it - is image size in relation to the readers' screen size. I can see how centrally aligned images would be better for a visitor using a smart phone, for example.
I was going to tweak my site this week, and you've given me a couple more tasks to do!
Rich :-)
Papako808 Premium
Hello Nathaniell,
Such a GREAT POST! Thank you for a sharing these ideas with us newbie"s, It sure going to save time in pointing us in the right direction on our journey.
I am now following you. Have an Amazing and Blessed weekend! Cheers
Cecelia ;-)
EHozubin Premium
nathaniell - That is a terrific post and share. There are so many pointers that you have divulged. I am off to a slow start with a good niche but now realize with some changes I could be doing much better. Everything you said hit home on many aspects of my approach and will be changing that. I thank you and wish you the very best.
nathaniell Premium
Glad I could help out Edward. My focus is getting people the most results in the fastest way possible, so I hope these tips can get you moving in the right direction. Have a great rest of your week!