There are a lot of myths out there about affiliate marketing; many of these make the business out to be far easier than it really is. People who are mistaken about how affiliate marketing works often believe that they are guaranteed unparalleled success overnight.

They hear stories about affiliates who have made millions in short order and while there are indeed such stories of massive successes, the majority of those who get into affiliate marketing need to work at it in order to succeed.

It is certainly true that there is money to be made in affiliate marketing. Those who have made a success of this business are those who are willing to stick with it through lean times to reap what they have sown. A lot of them are then able to have the kind of lifestyle which they may never have been able to otherwise. These are the people who know well that there is money in affiliate marketing, but have no illusions that this is easy money.

Not knowing this or choosing not to believe it is one of the top reasons why many newcomers to web based business fail. Some believe the myths about easy money from affiliate marketing and other businesses and do not think about those who have lost it all due to thinking that they will find success without effort. And so these people get into affiliate marketing with dreams of instant wealth, not knowing that this will almost certainly lead to them making the kinds of mistakes that will spell the end of them in this business.

What is the reason that so many people get into affiliate marketing yet so few are able to successfully make a go of it? The most likely explanation is that the vast majority of people who get into the business do so without really knowing how it works. Affiliate marketing is more complicated than just putting an affiliate link on your website and waiting for the money to roll in. It also requires you to know your market and your products very well.

Learning the most common mistakes made by beginning affiliate marketers can help to protect you from repeating their failures and clear up some of the misconceptions about the business. It can also help newcomers to understand that as in any business, there are important rules to follow about what to do; as well as what not to do.

The first common mistake made by affiliates is not knowing the most important principles of the business. I am talking here about search engines and how they work – an important element of affiliate marketing.    Affiliate marketing is all about advertising; and advertising via the internet has been greatly helped by the advent of search engines. These search engines can be the best friend of the affiliate marketer. By educating oneself on search engine optimization, affiliates can learn what to do to build a website which will do a better job of building their business.

The second common mistake made by affiliates is filling their sites with banners which don’t tell visitors enough about the product to make a decision. Affiliates can combat this by making sure that their sites have plenty of informative content as well as the necessary affiliate banners. Your content helps customers to understand the benefits of a product and can sway their decision.

The third common mistake affiliates make is to promote only one product or service. This doesn’t give visitors to your site enough choices. You will also have fewer sales if you are only promoting one product; remember that it pays to diversify your offerings and that it is better to have choices for your prospects.

The fourth mistake is promoting too many different products; this will just confuse prospective customers and may lead them to click away from your site. Rather than bombarding your visitors with too many choices, it is best to give them a smaller number of high quality choices of products and services.

The affiliates which fail to thrive are those who do not make enough of an effort to understand the market conditions and all of the factors which will affect their business. Knowing all of this and planning out their strategy step by step will give them a much better chance of success – remember that slow and sure wins the race.