The American Dream has always been a sacred idea for those living in the United States but morale is waning in these troubled times. Were we meant to wait in traffic, sit at a cubicle, and come home tired or are we truly meant to live the lives we want, whenever we want?

The “dream” may seem like a long shot for many but there is a new light to guide us.

The world of affiliate marketing has given any individual with enough time and energy to create a secondary income which frees them from the restraint of the 9-to-5; beyond that, with each passing day of success, the 9-to-5 becomes a thing of the past and the dream is truly alive.

In this article, you’ll learn how to make that transition of following orders to becoming your own boss.

The Initial Phase: Disrupting the 9-to-5

As someone who made the transition out of the office and into the full-time world of affiliate marketing, I would highly recommend that your initial go at affiliate marketing be one that allows you the most freedom and margin of error.

Affiliate marketing, like any business, takes time to establish especially when you factor in the chance that your initial projects may not be successful on the first hit.

Six months. The time that would give you a greater understanding of what you’ll need to do in order to replace your daily income through affiliate marketing. This time frame will allow you to explore the opportunities, get a ground footing on keyword research, and what’s required to keep going once you build the momentum.

At this time, your time and skills will begin to develop a secondary income that gives you additional freedom in your lifestyle; you’ll be able to afford bigger and better items, take the vacations you want, or set aside money you’ve been promising.

The initial phase is all about the fundamentals:

  • Setting up a website and becoming active on social media
  • Launching an email list
  • Networking and building relationships with people in your industry
  • Learning the basics of online marketing

The best way to approach each of these is with an open mind; you will make mistakes along the way but that’s the best way to learn – not by reading every new article that passes your way but by taking action. In essence, start today and learn as you go.

The Tipping Point: Equal Income

Around the six month mark, you’ll begin to see a gradual shift in your secondary income where it may have begun to give you the additional freedom to go out an extra night each week, help pay off some of the bills, or build up your savings account.

The tipping point is when things really get exciting.

Your projects and involvement with affiliate marketing will begin to flourish; you’ll see the trickle of income starting to level off and become regular. Don’t let your ego get too inflated at this point because there’s still a lot of work to be done.

Getting comfortable in the tipping point phase has its consequences; if you don’t push forward than your online income will remain stagnant.

At this phase, you should be using your time to discover your true customers, what works, and identifying the areas of opportunity to push over the “hump” and turn your involvement with affiliate marketing into a full-time income.

What should you be focusing on?

  • Growing your email list and conducting split tests to increase conversions
  • Expanding your website with evergreen content
  • Solidifying your relationships and beginning to include others into your business model
  • Developing your product

Each of the items works together. While your email list grows, you’ll gain feedback about what people are willing to buy from you. The feedback you receive will aid you in the product research and development. Evergreen content on your website will pull in fresh leads. Your network will help promote your product once it’s been launched.

If everything comes into fruition, you’ll have matched at least half of your job income. The increase flexibility from this secondary income source will also allow you to reinvest into your online business which then starts the momentum to the final phase.

The Full-On Affiliate

You’ve made it! You’ve replaced your 9-to-5 income with what you earn online.

Like the tipping point phase, you can’t let your guard down. You have to continue to build the momentum and strive for greater success in your work.

You’re more than willing to leave your job if you’re making enough money although you could keep it just to put even more money into the bank. It’s your choice.

From this point out, it’s a matter of repeating what’s worked and using your income to test new opportunities or leverage your brand into new industries.

There are many additional strategies to grow in this phase, including:

  • Outsourcing or automating work to free up your time
  • Creating higher level premium products
  • Selling your business and move into a new field
  • Enjoy yourself with a well-deserved vacation

You’ve done it. You’ve ignited the American Dream. Your life is in your hands. Do what you want.