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

Last Update: Mar 10, 2020

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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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Recent Comments


This is my second time reading this. And wow, it makes even more sense now.
I especially like your final thoughts about setting small and achievable daily goals. I really see the benefit of ticking off even the smallest achievements as it shows me where I'm at.
Thanks again for writing this. It's super helpful and informative!

Very refreshing to read. Glad I’m on the right track, I can confidently check all 5 of these off. ✅

#5 was the biggest takeaway for me. 🧐

I have a Niche that isn’t too broad or too specific, so I’m looking forward to seeing how my business evolves. 📊

Thank you! 🤝

I absolutely love this! Just the other day I decided to take advantage of my OneNote and make daily and weekly goal lists to follow because I was feeling overwhelmed and getting lost on what I wanted to accomplish each day.

This is helping me so much! I do spend sometime making sure my images are where I want them, but I do not mess with the code behind the pic. Not my department. When I'm done with an article I usually spend up to one day finding and adding pics after it has already been published, but then I'm done and on to the next.

Anyway, great information! Thanks a lot Nathan!!\


In the Sales & Marketing Training instructions available worldwide, there is a principle called KISS.
You may have heard of it, it means Keep It Short, Simple.
This is also a KEY to getting your product information across to the potential customer. Avoid clutter, which breeds confusion on understanding.
The advice to learn each step fully before progression to the next item in your training here at Wealth Affiliate, is exactly that.
Do not clutter your brains with info that can be added later, and the advice here is the same for your website setup.
So avoid the clutter by following the training, make adjustments later, and always remember that you are wanting your site visitors to adjust their TFAR Process towards having good thoughts about what the see, and read, and therefore click on the links you provide for them.
Your REVIEWS about the products in your LINKS are far more important to your site visitors than fancy pictures, etc.
Remember, the MOST IMPORTANT action you want your site to do is create GOOD THOUGHTS for your site visitors.
They may not purchase at that time, BUT will have GOOD thoughts installed in their memory about your site.
And that is the definition of a good website.
Read my posts for further info on this KEY.

Thank you so much Nathaniel. This will help me to do and focus on what is the right things to do. I admit having hard time to do my time management with my regular work, chores at home and doing this WA training but I make a point to accomplish task or lessons per day. I want to achieve my success thru the help of WA Community.

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Create Your Free Wealthy Affiliate Account Today!
4-Steps to Success Class
One Profit Ready Website
Market Research & Analysis Tools
Millionaire Mentorship
Core “Business Start Up” Training