For a long time affiliate marketing has been viewed as something of an anomaly in the business world. Just as monster returns were realized in the early days of the internet (most notably with the dot com bubble), so have some affiliate marketers bought in a huge amount of money, often for very simple and, in all honesty, relatively uninspiring systems and Ideas. These new systems took advantage of the new niches, products and sales media that became available and the profits were really a product of some savvy affiliates capitalizing on opportunity. Those happy days, I'm afraid, are over. Like in any highly competitive economic market, as the affiliate industry is, the supernormal profits enjoyed by the few have been quickly eroded away. Basically we now have a situation where the low barriers to entry in many affiliates niches have inspired people to come and grab themselvesself a piece of the action.
As a result of this huge influx of new competitors competition has become fiercer – this is why I believe it becoming more and more essential that those best business practices, which brings so much entrepreneurial success offline, must now be incorporated into any potential successful affiliate strategies . This means putting your efforts into setting yourself apart in your marketplace and adjusting your attitude to that of a committed and highly motivated entrepreneur – the main advice that I'm really getting at therefore is to always treat your new venture as a real business and take Pride in what you are doing. Here are a few general things you need to think about if you are to be truly successful online.
Think Long Term
This is a problem many new affiliate entrepreneurs seem to have. They are consumed by the idea that affiliate marketing will be easy and super normal profit still persists in the industry. But it does not. The best strategy is to think long term – just as an entrepreneur in another industry would be willing to invest in the present, in expectation of future returns, so should you. This really is common sense if you think about it: If you write tens or hundreds of articles a month for example, all of which are being read by people on a regular basis, after a few months your online exposure will be huge. You may have to invest a lot of time writing in the short time therefore, but after a while your website will start to see rapid organic growth and you'll see the rewards for your efforts. If you go into affiliate marketing thinking success will come instantly, and you will not have to dedicate a lot of time or money in the short run, then you need to get a reality pill. I recommend tapping off shorter term goals and building up slowly – then, after a few months, you will see your returns start to rise.
To save you time and effort, and help you keep focused on a sound marketing strategy, planning is essential. If you set out a solid strategy to promote your website, using a variety of media, and follow it closely, then you can not go far wrong. You will avoid wasting the time you'd otherwise spend spending finding things yourself to do, checking your results constantly or just waiting for things to happen. I recommend setting out a detailed timetable and rewarding yourself every time you achieve the goals it sets out – this keeps you motivated and on track.
There are other ways to stay motivated on top of simple rewards. Obviously the best motivation is the money coming in to your account but if this is not happening regularly then you need to inspire yourself in other ways. I enjoy reading about the success stories of other affiliates – those people who have gone through all the same processes, dedicating long hours but who, in the end, have made it to the affiliate big time. This approach lets you dream big (about the sports car, mansion etc.) which is why you came into the industry of course – as long as you do not forget your short term goals then there is no reason you should not have these Kinds of inspiring thoughts. As long you are enjoying it, and really believe you are going somewhere, then the marketing and everything else comes easy.
Be prepared to fail
You can hope it will not happen but in affiliate marketing, more than almost any other industry, it probably will. Failure is something all the super affiliates have contended with and got past and you need too too. If your financial investment in affiliate marketing is low though, it is likely you can exceed almost any setback – in fact if you can remain dedicated these failures can even result in being hugely valuable pointers in a more successful direction. If you can learn from your mistakes you put yourself in a far better position than anyone who ignores their own faults.
I have talked about dedication a lot through this article but mainly in a sense of overcoming your mistakes and meeting short term targets. It is also necessary to highlight that the quantity of hours you put in also falls directly into this category of commitment. Like any other business marketing plan, the more time you put in, the greater the returns will be. Remember that this might not come automatically while you are still developing a presence on the internet, but that everything you publish, post and promote will have a significant long term reward associated. I recommend spending at least an hour each and every day on affiliate projects and if you can you should try to put in a lot more. You do not have to be financially committed in affiliate marketing but you must make up for this in terms of the time you put in.
Innovation is a key factor in the success of any new business idea and affiliates are no exception. Just as you've got to set yourself out if selling from a market stall, so too should you seek to stand out from the online crowd. Keep at the forefront of your niche and make sure you're using the cutting edge and most effective techniques at your disposal. Whether its offering amazing complementary bonus products for every purchase, or developing a strong Twitter following, all visibility is good visibility and innovation is the way to get it.
Make the most of every resource at your disposal
There are so many resources out there for affiliate marketers and you need to embrace as many as you possibly can. Do not waste your time with get-rich-quick nonsense e-books but search around and there are some really useful and informative articles about how to achieve affiliate success. If you invest any money you do have carefully and wisely, and learn from the very best, then you put yourself on the path to success. I would recommend Site Build It from Ken Evoy as an excellent starting place – this will save you a lot of time and effort in the website development phase and let you create a specially designed affiliate website in next to no time; After that it is up to you to choose what will best optimize the hours you put in. Today's online environment is constantly changing so using anything you've got to capitalize is important when doing this. If your friend has a website get yourself a backlink; Let all your friends know about your site, tell them to recommend it to others; If you own a video camera get it out and make some promo material – in essence what I am saying is that if you have it there (whatever it may be), never hesitate to use it, your competitors certainly will not.
Thank you for reading, I hope you'll take something away with you from this article, and finally I wish you good luck with everything in your affiliate marketing career.