Top 10 Newbie Mistakes

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Oh, That Nasty Learning Curve

It’s a simple fact – As newbie affiliate marketers we are going to make mistakes. To me, this is GOOD news. Know why? Making mistakes means we are trying and we are learning and most importantly, we are taking action! Heck, I’m someone who has to totally break something in order to get it to work! lol! On the flip side, there are some other “newbie mistakes” that no one seems to say out loud. These mistakes can hurt you or your online reputation…possibly even offend fellow marketers. My hope is that this Top 10 list will help at least one new online marketer skip these nasty parts of the internet marketing learning curve.

Online Marketing Mistakes – Gotta Love ‘Em

Now, before I start I have to make my disclaimer. This post is not directed at anyone in particular. This list is a culmination of things I’ve seen, things that have been done TO me, and things that yes, I have done myself once upon a time (hey…easy now, I was a newbie once too! haha!)

Top 10 Newbie Mistakes

1. Looking For Shortcuts

How much time do you think is spent by many newbies as they look for a shortcut to creating wealth online? Product after product is bought… system after system is read….but nothing is DONE. I used to think this was a common symptom among new internet marketers, but now, I am starting to see it is actually more like an epidemic.

I am all in favor of learning. I am all in favor of finding ways to save time doing the things you are already doing. BUT, I am not in favor of spending all our time looking and looking for an easy way to the end result. There are no shortcuts to success, right? Right.

Funny story: I actually got a refund memo from Clickbank for my One Week Marketing Action Plan. Reason the refund was requested?

Process requires work. Please issue refund.

True story.

2. Not checking links

Oh, I am totally guilty of this one myself. Make a sweet Squidoo lens… see traffic coming and going…but no sales. I couldn’t figure out WHAT was going on – until I a few days later I checked my Clickbank links. Yup, you guessed it. I had my Clickbank ID wrong.

Moral of the story: If you make any new web page, check your links. Don’t just check that they work, but also make sure that YOU are being credited for the traffic.

3. Forum Signatures

This one is a two-parter.

a. Do not put affiliate links in the signature area of your forum posts unless it is allowed by the forum owners. Most forums do NOT allow this and adding an affiliate link to your signature will be a GREAT way to get banned from that forum.

b. Think twice about putting a signature link like “I make 50 Million a Day Online With THIS System – Click Here” and then posting to the forum about your inability to make your first dollar online. Not only is it a contradiction, it also can ruin your forum reputation.

4. Blog Comments

This is a tough one because I KNOW that many marketers tell you to go out and find relevant “do-follow” blogs and to leave comments there to get back links. Now, the theory is good, BUT there are some holes in the system.

To me, coming to my blog and dropping unasked for links into a comment is like breaking in my house to leave your business card on my kitchen table. Ok, that’s a little extreme, but not THAT extreme….lol

Or the “one liners”… you know, the “nice blog…visit my site here {url}“. That’s like walking in my house and saying, “Hey, nice house. Wanna buy some kitchen knives?

However, if I invite you in and we have a nice conversation, I will most likely be willing to tell others about you and what you do…. wouldn’t you?

I have opened up my virtual home – my blog here at – to everyone who wants to join the conversation. For those that join the conversation, I am more than happy to allow a “do-follow” link back to your site. You joined my conversation. In exchange, I am proud to let the world get to know you, too.

All the cool kids hang out at, right? So if you comment here, you MUST be cool! =)

Jackie has a great post on this topic of blog comments – totally worth a read – but in short I want to say this:

Moral of the story: The only blog you should be marketing on is your own blog. Trust me, if you add something cool or insightful to the post and on-going conversation, people will want to click thru your name and see who you are. Plus, your comments will be welcome and appreciated – and that is only a good thing =)

5. Email Subject Lines

This one might be a pet-peeve of my own, but I have a feeling that many of you might feel the same way. Nothing makes me more annoyed than getting an email with the subject line of “Urgent!” or “Emergency!” only to open it and find a basic question…. or a sales pitch. Let’s all be respectful of our fellow marketers time and not use those kinds of subject lines to get attention to our emails.

6. Email Replies

Yup, another email topic in this Top 10 list. This is one I am guilty of myself (…once upon a time… lol). I used to send an email with a question to a busier marketer and get so annoyed when it would take forever for a reply (IF they replied at all). I’d be thinking, “Gee, how hard is it to reply to a simple email??”

C’mon….show of hands…. who else has thought this, too?

Now, time has passed and I am learning first-hand just how hard and time-consuming it is to “reply to a simple email”. As I talked about it my last post, if I “only” have 100 emails each day that need “just” 3 minutes of my time, that is 300 minutes – 5 HOURS – of time needed to “reply to a simple email”.

Ok, another show of hands. Who else wants to spend a minimum of 5 hours each day replying to email? haha!

Moral of the story: Let’s all try to be a little kinder to our fellow marketers and not get so annoyed when they don’t reply to our “simple email”. In fact, many “simple email” questions can be simply answered on our own by following #8.

8. Google and Forum Search Tools

This is a big one for me. When I first started to learn how to make money online, the first thing I put in my “tool box” was how to effectively use Google to give me the info I was needing to know. No matter what your question is, there IS an answer somewhere on the internet.

In fact, here at, at the bottom of every post is a special Google search tool. You can type in anything you want to know from me, and that tool will search this site and for anything I have posted on that topic. I know blogs are hard to navigate as far as getting to older posts and info, but that search bar makes it WAYYYYYY easier. In fact, I use it when looking for posts on my own sites to link to when replying to simple emails……hahahahha!

Forums have search tools too. You can find some AWESOME information by using those search tools and their advanced search options.

9. Does It Work?

When I was growing up, the big “plan” for my friends and I (as dictated by our parents) was to graduate High School, go to college, get a job, and be “secure”. Sound familiar?

Know what’s funny to me? All that talk about college….all the money spent on college educations…and I never ONCE heard anyone ask – “Does It Work?” Think about it, that money is spent on an education – ok, on a degree- that enables you to be qualified to get a specific job. But, it does not guarantee you a job, does it?

A college education only “works” if you do something with it.

Now, I am so NOT knocking college. In fact, I had a great time in college… I even went to class occasionally…lol My point is this – why do we not question the thousands of dollars spent on college, but we stress and sweat over a $30 ebook or software tool that could advance our business or online marketing education?

We have little issue with a one-hour $50 dinner out, but when it comes to purchasing something that could even teach us ONE thing we didn’t know about online marketing, we hesitate?

I get a LOT of emails that pretty much say, “Hey, was checking out your One Week Marketing Plan – Does it work?

Yes, One Week Marketing works… if you work it.

Moral of the story: Don’t get caught in the trap of not valuing yourself or your online business enough to invest in it. Now, I was once where many of you are now – no extra money to spend. In hindsight, I wish I had cut back in other areas of life to be able to invest in a few more learning courses and tools that would help me advance my online business to the next level quicker. I took the LONG route, folks… the really long route…lol

10. Google vs. People

This one was tough for me to learn. Why? I’m not sure because a) it’s common sense, and b) I was, and still am, a CONSUMER, so I know what it takes to get ME to buy.

Once we start trying to make money online, we are pretty much force-fed the “rules” of what Google wants/needs for your site(s) to be rewarded with high rankings and to be found by consumers. Problem is, when we are new we tend to focus more on what Google wants….and not enough on what PEOPLE want.

I am here sitting on my couch in my living room typing on my laptop cause I’m still getting over this Mystery Flu that knocked me on my bottom all week – and I want to tell you this from my own personal experience:

Basic optimization skills mixed with good content WORKS.

Does it work over-night? Most of the time, No, it does not. But it does accumulate….and it lasts….

Moral of the story: When is the last time Google bought ANYTHING from you? 😉 Learn basic optimization skills and then write for the people you are trying to connect with. While the internet is a web connected by links, without PEOPLE it is nothing more than a bunch of unseen web pages.

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