As the title implies – this piece will delve into what I would have done different when I got my start in affiliate marketing.

I believe, by reexamining the start, that the insights may help those new affiliates steer a clear course toward success without all the muck in between.

I’ve seen my shares of ups and downs over the years. I won’t dwell on the areas that went south. Hopefully some of these suggestions can get your business up and running with brevity.

1. A top-down approach

What I mean by a “top-down” approach is creating the money-makers prior to trying to “feel it out” well after the sites were being established.

These items included:

  • A robust, filled out email newsletter course
  • An information product
  • A wide variety of reviews from the get-go

By having these items at launch it would have made choosing a direction relatively simple. There would always have been ways to funnel people to products (whether affiliated or my own).

2. Focused on building (and retaining) contacts

When you get a start you’ll notice others coming up around the same time. You begin making friends with some of them while others seem to be just a blip on the radar.

Unfortunately – once you begin to see success you start to leave these connections behind. You start aiming for the top players. You realize you aren’t going to fully fit in with the major players and because you’ve been out of contact with your “peers” you really do lose a lot of footing.

3. Not allowing the community to dictate the direction

One of the big problems I found with my work was that I got too close to the community.

I allowed emails, comments, and social updates to dictate the direction of my work. In theory this is nice for the community because it gives them what they want but the reality was that it made me divert a lot of energy on the original ideas.

What ends up happening is that you cater to the most vocal while leaving out the masses. It’s in the masses where you’re going to make a good chunk of the money. You can skirt the line but I warn you to not say yes at everything the community throws at you.

4. Working on additional (challenging) projects

It gets very easy to devote much of your time to just one project once you start to see it successful. That’s not to say you shouldn’t give it your all but you should put some of that time toward working on others in the event the project tanks.

Not only should you have one or two additional projects in the pipeline but you should make sure that they are challenging. A challenging project allows you to explore new tactics which may not be suitable with your main (at the time); you pick up on these tactics and, if they work, become something to grow all your work.

What would you have done differently?

Image by AmyFisherLittle