The act of working a second job without the general awareness of others knowing.

Affiliate marketing can be a dangerous game for newcomer’s because it presents a vast set of challenges and requires a keen understanding of many business elements which aren’t taught, openly, to those working a “day” job or those in an un-related career.

Moonlighting, as an affiliate, grants those comfortable in their current position to begin learning an implementing business projects with the aid of a safety net. Though a person’s potential for growth is somewhat limited by holding a full-time position – it’s still completely possible to begin earning a healthy side-income by moonlighting as an affiliate.

Here’s what you need to know.

Let it be known: It’s OKAY to keep the 9-to-5

The 9-to-5 lifestyle gets a lot of heat in the affiliate marketing circles because it represents a safe, limiting experience when it comes to achieving complete financial freedom.

How wrong this mindset toward the 9-to-5 can be?

It’s important to note that many affiliate marketers have started on humble terms; they did much of their dues while working a full-time position for someone else.

In fact, 9-to-5 positions come with many great benefits:

  • Working with associates which develops your ability to manage projects
  • Using the company budget in campaigns so you’re not burning your savings
  • Access to many tools and resources you may not have in your solo projects

It’s okay to work a full-time position and take an interest in affiliate marketing.

You may not have as much time to devote to your affiliate efforts compared to those doing it full-time but you can certainly begin a process of transition if you’re consistent in your work.

In the meantime, you can rely on the financial security a full-time position grants and, ultimately, retain an exit strategy if you’re unsure about the prospect of affiliate marketing.

Finding Your Calling in the Affiliate Marketing Industry

There is plenty of opportunity to gain an entry into affiliate marketing if you understand your skills and passion.

Know where you stand in your ability to work on many technical aspects of affiliate marketing and your interests because doing so will reveal which path you should take.

Here are a few ideas and suggestions for finding your calling:

  • Write a list of your favorite topics when reading online content
  • Consider your hobbies and other off-hour activities
  • Remember who you work with and what they know
  • Question whether you’re willing to spend years covering the topic
  • Compile the best resources on your choice in topics
  • Run the numbers on the overall demand for the items you want to promote

Note: Every topic and niche has potential to earn money in affiliate marketing so there’s no reason to stick to the over saturated ones such as affiliate marketing education, make money online schemes, or how to blog coverage.

Take a week (yes, a full week) to compile your thoughts about which topics of business, services, and consumer products you wish to cover. Allow the ideas to sink in before jumping the gun. Remember that you’ll place a lot of your free-time into your affiliate marketing venture so it should be something you enjoy doing each and every day.

Creating an After-Work Routine for Getting Big Things Done

Affiliate marketing is a hodge-podge of skills, techniques, and strategies, but it’s impossible to become the master of them all (especially on a limited timeframe if you’re working full-time).

You’ll want to focus on the big skills:

  • Web development
  • Content creation
  • Link building
  • Networking

A good approach to learning and understanding these items should be regular study in each of these topics. Like in school, you should have “homework” researching and developing these topics.

Take an hour of your day, after work, to read just one or two articles about these topics and create notes for continual education (especially additional questions you may have). Alternatively, join a major affiliate marketing forum or social networking group to ask questions.

Now, when it comes to the routine of moonlighting in affiliate marketing, you’ll want to develop a strategy based on a few criteria:

  • How much time do you really have in the afternoon?
  • What is the most important project you could be working on?
  • Who will aid you, the most, in your activities?

The most difficult hurdle you’ll face when moonlighting in affiliate marketing will be the accurate utilization of your time. Coming home after a long day’s work to now put in an additional part-time amount can quickly become a major stressor in your life. Likewise, you sacrifice valuable down-time with yourself, friends, and family which can put these relationships on the rocks.

So, understand your ability to work and stay focused before devoting to a routine.

You may want to follow this type of routine:

  • 1 hour of content creation
  • 1 hour of cross promotion
  • 30 minutes of networking and relationship building
  • 30 minutes of business maintenance

That’s three hours of your afternoon.

Place the largest amount of your focus into content creation and cross promotion as they will be your best long-term strategies until you have additional time to cultivate better relationships and work with these individuals on larger projects.

Here are three of our resources to get more done:

These three items will give you a firm understanding of mastering your time and resources so start with these if you feel you don’t have enough time for your moonlighting.

Keeping Everything Together and Avoiding Burn-Out

Affiliate marketing has the possibility to become an incredible source of additional income for you.

You don’t need to invest a full-time workload into being an affiliate while you’re moonlighting in order to reap the rewards. The only thing that matters is your consistent ability to get the job done.

Adding an additional part-time “job” on top of your current full-time position isn’t for the faint of heart because there is much to sacrifice in order to compete; it’s vital that you understand your limits when adding this new level of stress.

Remember: your livelihood is not reliant on your affiliate moonlighting position so don’t burn yourself to keep up with impossible demands.

In all, despite the warnings, affiliate marketing is a blast. You’ll have a load of fun each time you work on your projects. Paired with a topic you love and you’ll discover the next of passion for your work. Likewise, you’ll learn valuable skills to bring back into your current full-time position.

So, give it a shot. Consider using your afternoons to moonlight as an affiliate.