Being an Affiliate Requires Discipline and a Plan

There are many draws to being an affiliate and running your own online marketing business. Many are drawn to the promise of big paychecks. Others simply like the idea of making a few extra bucks each month.

Some are drawn to the idea of not having to answer to a boss and working from home. Whatever it is that has drawn you to online marketing there is something you should know:

It’s not going to be easy and you are going to have to work hard to accomplish your goals.

Internet marketing and affiliate programs unfortunately carry a bad name from time to time. Perhaps it would be more appropriate to say that some times people are misled by claims from various internet marketing programs. The very nature of the internet has been a catalyst for “get rich quick” and other money making scams that end up being nothing more than empty promises. Affiliate marketing is no get rich quick scheme. You absolutely can get rich and I suppose you might even be able to make a lot of money over night, but neither will happen without hard work and discipline. You simply cannot walk into an affiliate program, put up a banner and make a living. Although the potential is there to make thousands of dollars per month, it only happens when you truly apply yourself and your skills to building a successful affiliate business.

The biggest roadblock, actually starting your business

When you first become interested in affiliate programs and internet marketing your biggest obstacle will be actually putting your foot down and getting your business started. There are so many things that get in the way. You don’t have time, you don’t have the money or you just don’t think it will work out. As trivial as this may sound, you will never know unless you try. If you truly want to escape your nine to five job and become an independent entrepreneur, then it is going to take some long hours and hard days. You will have to make sacrifices in your formative months. Time that can be spent relaxing or socializing needs to be put towards your new venture. You need not spend every waking hour on your new project but you certainly need to devote a large amount of time and energy to it. There is nothing wrong with taking a relaxed approach to your new business, but like many things in life:

You get out of affiliate marketing exactly what you put into it

The best way to get started with your affiliate business is to tackle it head on. Get motivated and get down to business. Procrastination and laziness will do nothing but keep you at your nine to five job longer than you want to be there. Here are three tips for getting your business started:

  1. Take the first step: Whether this is buying a domain name or purchasing some web creation software, take the first step and put yourself in a position to start the business. If you never actually take a step to get your business going then how serious about it can you really be?
  2. Find a partner or talk to friends: Have someone you have always talked business with? Tell them about your idea and get them excited about becoming self reliant. A partner becomes an additional source of funding and another way to keep motivated. Get a friend to take the critical first step with you and you will both feel a need to keep going. If your friend is not interested at least you have planted the seed for future projects and let someone know you are serious about being an entrepreneur
  3. Set aside some time: Your new venture is going to take time and lots of hard work. You are going to have to balance your new project with your regular job and your personal life. Having a schedule or a goal will help you get work done while balancing it with the rest of your life.

I have started my business, where are my big paychecks?

If you haven’t grasped the idea yet, affiliating isn’t easy and money won’t just pour into your checking account because you have started a website. More so that with other careers, Internet marketing requires that you constantly be on the cutting edge and are able to keep up with your competition. Internet marketing is very dynamic and the critical things you will depend on, such as search engines and link partnerships, are constantly changing. One day three way link exchanges are what will bring the traffic and the next day they will cost you. If you are not able to adapt, change and overcome all the time, then you simply will not be successful.

Do you remember the hard work you put into actually starting your affiliate business? Now you have to do that all over again and actually make your website valuable to your customers. This will require an equal amount of hard work. You will need to provide your customers with useful information and good content. By developing a disciplined schedule for content creation and link building you will force yourself to be successful. Your page will absolutely not grow by itself. It will need your constant updating and tweaking to make it into a powerful money making website.

Once your business is started and your website is created, a disciplined approach is required or your website will quickly fall behind. A disciplined plan that you can follow will keep you on the cutting edge and put you in a position to make the money you want to make. Read about the advantages a disciplined approach brings to your affiliate experience:

  • Discipline in content creation: Content is what ultimately will make your website attractive to users and search engines. Without good traffic you will have no one to sell products too. By setting content creation goals you make your website better every time you ad something to it. Before you know it you will be getting visitors for search terms you never even thought about and you will see your business grow right before your eyes.
  • Discipline in link building: The search engines like to see other people pointing to your website. It gives your website credibility and importance. Make link building goals and stick to them. Link building is a long process and sometimes it can be hard. You need to be professional in your solicitations and diligent in procuring new link partners. Set goals and stick to them.
  • Discipline in site design and updating: Keep your website user friendly and pleasant to look at for your audience. If you look becomes dated then change it. If your page is getting cluttered then re-organize it. The best way to ensure a clean look and feel is to keep things up to date on your page and never let it fall behind. Things that are out of date or that are about topics no longer relevant take away from the professionalism of your site. By constantly updating and keeping your site fresh, you will avoid ever having to waste time on cleaning up a page filled with content and junk from months ago.

The unfortunate truth that many would-be entrepreneurs find out is that they simply don’t have the discipline and motivation within themselves to be successful affiliates. It’s been said many times that this isn’t easy. People who affiliate for a living are doing it because of one thing: they worked and continue to work very hard every day to keep their business successful. If you create an internet marketing plan, get motivated and are disciplined enough to follow your schedule and stick to your goals, then there is no reason you can’t be a full time online marketer in six months to a year.