When I first started my affiliate marketing journey just over 2 years ago, even though I went through all the great training here at Wealthy Affiliate that teaches us what to do and how to do it right, looking back I still made some fundamental mistakes.

In this post I'm going to briefly touch on a few of the mistakes I made so other marketers just starting out don't repeat the errors of my ways and will see online success more quickly.

Start With One Niche and One Website

There's nothing wrong with having several websites down the track, but when you are first learning the ropes, trying to grasp and apply the training, it's too much to take on choosing a number of niches and trying to build out 2 or more websites at the same time. This business takes focus and dedication, and even more so when you are first learning.

Start with one niche - preferably a niche based on a passion - and focus on building out the one website based around that niche. Give it your all until you see it bearing fruit, then give it even more love. Don't branch out into a second niche and website until the first one is doing well with traffic and income.

Take Things One Step At a Time

Don't try and learn everything there is to know about affiliate marketing all at once. Being keen is great, but if you overload yourself with information and work, you will burn out quicker than cheap Chinese fireworks.

Everything is about balance. Do some training, apply what you learn to your website, take a break, then go onto the next training module of the Wealthy Affiliate Online Entrepreneur Certification course.

Just go through the training here first, at your own pace, and wait until you feel you fully understand all of that before trying to advance your online marketing skills.

Stick To Just a Few Affiliate Programs

I joined so many different affiliate programs when I first began that I pretty much confused myself to the point where I wasn't even sure what to promote as an affiliate. It's better to start off with just a few affiliate programs and really get to know the products you are selling/promoting/recommending.

Another thing to consider is this: Each affiliate program usually has a payout threshold. As an example $50. If you promote just one product from 20 different affiliate programs, even if you make a sale, because your promotions are stretched so thin, it may take forever to make enough sales through one affiliate company to actually receive a payout.

Practice Patience

It can be hard, especially at the start, because you are all gung ho to learn and earn. When it comes to making money from affiliate marketing, many of us assume (myself included) that we'll start making money almost immediately. Generally it takes time before you see any money coming in, so it's important to expect not to "get paid" for at least several months or more. Once things are up and rolling, the money starts to come in more regularly and grows.

Most Importantly, Follow the Training

Like I said at the start, I did the Wealthy Affiliate training, but I didn't always follow exactly what was being taught. Generally I did, but I kept rushing things and going off on tangents. This included not being specific enough with my first niche, as well as creating 4 websites within the first 6 weeks of starting with Wealthy Affiliate. Way too many websites to deal with!

This post has touched on a few points to consider. I hope you've found it helpful. To sum up:

  • Focus on one website to start
  • Take things one step at a time
  • Limit your affiliate programs
  • Be patient, especially with earning money
  • Follow the training
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cwelliver Premium
We are never so smart that we should stop learning. Learning is a life-long process.Now of course I am never wrong, I thought I was once, but then realized I was mistaken. Don't ask me why I just wrote that, it just struck me as funny at the moment.

But as we go through our journey we should be learn something of value each and every day.
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Theresaw90 Premium
This is a great post, Darren I too was affected by some of these things, so much so in fact that I got overwhelmed and I stopped using WA completely and because I didn't think that I would come back I deleted my websites. It was just recently that I decided to have another look.
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sherlock77 Premium
You deleted your websites?

Yes it can be overwhelming. Hopefully everything is going better for you now :)
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lynnsam61 Premium
These are all great tips. Doing too much too soon can definitely be counterproductive.
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wyeming52 Premium
...Thanks for sharing. I am just embarking on this so these tips are definitely helpful.

regards,
wyeming
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sherlock77 Premium
Glad you found it helpful, Wyeming :)
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Oyz49 Premium
Thanks for sharing :)
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SongbirdDL Premium
I have made my fair share of mistakes right at the beginning of my time here at WA. It is a relief that we all get to a turning point of realization and put it right.

Thank you for sharing.
~Danielle
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loriC1 Premium
Thanks for sharing Darren, we can learn from someone else's mistakes.
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DaveSw Premium
Hi, Sherlock...

Your experiences are not far off from my own as I read through the post...I foolishly thought I was ready to take on too much right from the start without realizing the work involved...

There are a lot of things to learn when starting out and although it is not rocket science, and the learning curve may be sharp, doing too much can be counterproductive...

The say that hindsight is always better than foresight, and we are living proof of that! A little over 2 years in (about 27 months total now) I can see where that initial bit of trying to do too much actually slowed me down quite a lot...

There have been plenty of members here who have advised us on how to attack the online marketing world, yet it is easy to overestimate your capabilities and underestimate the work involved...

This post serves as a timely reminder for those just starting who may think like I/we did. I hope they pay attention, get down and apply what is here in the training, and when they are ready, expand beyond that to add in other market segments or niches...

One other thing I have noticed: The MMO (making money online) is not as easy of a niche to compete in as are some other totally unrelated niches and had I worked harder on these starting out with online affiliate marketing, my affiliate income would likely be higher...

On my own case, one positive has been that where I am now is acceptable, always room for improvement, but nonetheless OK. Things have slowed down, I have most of the tools I need, all fronts are ticking, and income is rising monthly.

I think it would be even more had I followed the advice you lay out above, and I urge others here to follow it...This whole online thing is truly about building momentum and cumulative results over time.

Take things one step at a time, do them well, and continue to add new things to your arsenal of knowledge as they arise...Stay focused (no shiny objects please) and review what is working/not working, and why...

I do love this world though, the more I get into it, the more fun it provides...

Cheers!
Dave : )
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sherlock77 Premium
I think your comment is longer than my post lol. Can always count on you, Dave, for in depth and well thought out responses. You've added some great points actually. I think just about all of us underestimate the amount of work involved at the start. And the MMO niche is super competitive for sure.
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Stanjazz Premium
This is really good advice. I was thinking of starting a second website, but after reading this I think I will hold back, and just put my effort into promoting WA first, and finish the training. Thanks
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ABromley Premium
That is so true. Even though i have 2 main interests, i am only applying to 1 niche to begin with.
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sherlock77 Premium
That's a good way to start.
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Lbath5 Premium
Great advice. It is overwhelming to say the least to learn. I especially like the advice to learn at your own pace and move on when you are comfortable with what you have learned.
Thank you for sharing your experience and lessons learned.
Linda
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sherlock77 Premium
No problem, Linda :)
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PBitzer Premium
I too was all over the place the first 2 weeks here, being so anxious to get to know everything I needed. Then I got the message from posts like yours here, to just slow it down and take the appropriate amount of time to really apply what I was learning. Eventually now, it's coming together, with still lots to learn. Lowering my expectations of fast money has tempered me to be realistic and give it my best shot. As long as there are successful people like you around here, I'll know it's possible all in good time.Thanks for the post!
Pat B
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PatrickM1 Premium
Excellent advice. Thanks for sharing.
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LH-CLUB Premium
Wise comments Darren best I have read from you so far.

If you come into WA with little or no patience you will have to learn to get some otherwise you will end up in a heap.
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ericpierre Premium
Thanks Darren for this very true and informative post. Especially the take it one step at a time section you wrote I like. Looking forward to your next post.
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Susan11 Premium
I figured this out sherlock, thanks anyways for this sage advise. I will follow my intuition.
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sherlock77 Premium
Following your intuition is the best thing you can do.
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markr0675 Premium
Really good info. I need to learn the patience part better.
Otherwise doing great.

Thanks
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sherlock77 Premium
Patience has always been something I need to work on.
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MKearns Premium
Right. take things in digestible bites!
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KMeyer Premium
Great wisdom from the perspective of been there done that. Your post timing couldn't of been any better. I was feeling quite frustrated lately. Working 10 hour days has put a strain on my progress. I needed to read a post like yours today.
Thanks for sharing
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sherlock77 Premium
Take a break, go do something fun for a while, clear your mind and refresh. This business is about ultimately creating lifestyle freedom, but you don't want to kill yourself through over-working in the process to achieve that. It's counterproductive.
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albert22 Premium
This is very good advice. There is nothing like experience to teach you something. And to be able to learn from someone else's experience is a huge plus. You have taken the time to share some of your lessons learned, so that us newbies might be able to avoid them, and cut some time from the learning curve. Many thanks!
Great post.
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susanmacneil Premium
Thank you for this post.

It is good to read reflections from someone who has been here for awhile.

I appreciate the great information you shared with us.

Susan
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sherlock77 Premium
No problem, Susan :)
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gdarni Premium
Great words of encouragement, thank you!

We all want to be professionals and living our dreams, I know I tend to try to rush forward. It is always good to have knowledge from someone who has been there and done that!

Wishing you great success!

Gloria Darni
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sherlock77 Premium
I've always been impatient and in a rush, and I know that can be a negative when it comes to following the training here and doing things properly.
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Thank you for this advice. I'm new to wealthy affiliate and I'm just getting started.
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sherlock77 Premium
No problem. Just take your time with everything.
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pablocortina Premium
Excellent advice
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sherlock77 Premium
Cheers.
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abdul11 Premium
good post
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sherlock77 Premium
Thanks
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Kayakhu17 Premium
taken on board your advice. cheers
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sherlock77 Premium
Awesome!
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jrashaad Premium
Sound advice there. I will be taking all of it into consideration as I move forward with this process.

Danke!
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dwcookie Premium
Patience is my biggest problem along with wanting to do everything that can make me money. I've made about $100 since starting a month or so ago but it's slow in coming and yes, it's annoying.

Wanted to start 2 other niche sites but there isn't enough time in the day between my day time job, my other job, getting the first site up and going and life. Trying to follow the training but Lord knows I get ahead of myself sometimes.

Thanks for posting.
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sherlock77 Premium
The best piece of advice I can give is to resist the urge to get ahead of yourself. Trust me, it usually works against you; especially in the beginning.

By the way, $100 in your first month is pretty good.
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dwcookie Premium
Lol, I always get ahead of myself. It's my crazy nature unfortunately and yes usually works against me and totally back fires. I'm trying to focus on the the first site and slow my role a bit.

I've got zero balance. I'm either all in running full steam ahead like a crazed bull in a China shop or I'm sitting back doing nothing while everything around me ships, lol. Trying to learn balance though.
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Ruthchicago Premium
Sounds familiar
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Loes Premium
Looks just like the same mistakes I have made, this is very helpful to starters:)
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Calmkoala Premium
Hi Darren, this is really useful! Many thanks, Sue :)
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sherlock77 Premium
You're welcome, Sue.
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Rawan7784 Premium
Very useful and precious points especially for a beginner like me, Thank you very much for sharing this.
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sherlock77 Premium
No problem.
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drcmaint Premium
Thanks for this.
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Gunnertwist Premium
Very good points made here. Thanks much for sharing. I will keep these in mind as I progress through the course.

Carl
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ElroyFrench Premium
Good post Darren, great advice.
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BobHammel Premium
Important reminders thanks!
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sherlock77 Premium
Doing things the right way to start saves a lot of time and frustration.
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blanco750 Premium
Thanks for the advice ! staying focused and Patient is the key
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busta4430 Premium
Excellent article. I started moving to website #2 and website # 1 isn't making $ yet. You bring everything back into focus. The other thing I am always looking for other tools etc to make things easier when in reality all the tools are right here at W/A. Patience is also a great recommendation. Do you have any recommendation for training on getting traffic and how to improve the health of your website? Thanks again for your well thought out post.
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sherlock77 Premium
That's all in the training. After you have finished the training, then look for some new avenues to generate traffic.
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busta4430 Premium
Thanks
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bbyard Premium
Great advice...thanks for sharing
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sherlock77 Premium
No problem.
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williamsb Premium
Great and Useful Post! Thank you!
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sherlock77 Premium
You're welcome.
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billyghawaii Premium
Thank you so much Sir, thank you for putting this together for us. Only in WA will find this kind of help in a community like this. The best information is one that we can learn from the mistakes of others and thus be that much ahead of the game. Aloha
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sherlock77 Premium
Cheers Billy.
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