It is all about planning. Many people getting into affiliate marketing are thinking about making a fast buck. It is hard to fault them. Since the formation of CDNow almost thirteen years ago, affiliate marketing has exploded into a billion dollar per year industry. There are also the benefits including little to no overhead, residual income, getting paid for the work of your downline and not having to deal with any customer service problems.
But it is still a business and many people do not understand that a business requires planning. No matter how great the product or service, if you do not have any guidelines mapped out beforehand then you will probably wind up like ninety five percent of affiliate (and internet) marketers who do not make any money online.
Affiliate internet marketing is a lot of work, time, patience, mistakes, uncertainty and constant learning. The key is to create a plan and work it.
Where does it start?
1. Your Office.
Whether working out of your garage, kitchen or bathroom (hey sometimes you do what you got to do), make sure your office is comfortable with proper lighting, ventilation and as little distraction as possible. It is hard to get any work done with the phone ringing every 15 minutes. If you have to, let the answering machine pick up. Set aside blocks of time where you concentrate on nothing but your affiliate marketing
2. Learn and Keep Learning.
Study the affiliate marketers who are making money. Visit affiliate marketing forums. While your overall goal is to become successful, you may from time to time have to change your strategies. Forums are a great place to get tips and ideas that you can adapt to your business. Also, many affiliate programs now offer conference rooms. This allows you to live chat with the product creators, as well as other affiliate marketers participating in the program.
Some conferences are just cheerleading sessions. They get you fired up to sell the product but do not give you any concrete ways to sell it. However, many merchants do provide solid support, answer any and all questions in real time and recommend affiliate marketing strategies to help you. If your merchant is scheduling conferences on a regular basis, take advantage of it.
3. Research Your Target Market.
It is not enough just to know what is going on with your product or service. What are the new trends? Watch television. Read newspapers and magazines. Find out where the hot markets are popping up and how it affects your business. Do not just read affiliate news. Get as much information as possible on what is happening around the world and then apply it to your affiliate business.
4. Your own website.
This is the command center for your affiliate marketing campaign. Yes you can promote different programs without one but this makes it more difficult and less profitable for you. Having your own website means you can capture the visitor information before you send them to the merchant. If they do not like the particular product you are selling at this time, you can always contact them about other offers or promotions later. The beauty is once you get their name and e-mail, you can contact them for as long as they remain on your opt in list. This is called backend and you can believe it is how many of the top affiliate marketers make their money. The money is in the list and the only way to do that is get your own website where people can sign up.
5. Do not kid yourself.
We all want to be millionaires by the time the sun goes down or at least by early the next morning but that is not reality. Affiliate marketing is hard work so set a goal that you can achieve. How much realistic profit can you generate in a month? Start small. If you earned five hundred dollars last month, shoot for seventy hundred fifty next month. They may seem like baby steps but they can stop you from getting any false expectations which lead to discouragement and finally giving up all together. It may take awhile before you actually see any money so hang in there.
According to the AffStat 2007 report over eighty percent of affiliate programs offer revenue sharing. If you plan and treat your affiliate internet marketing like a business, then there is no reason why you cannot share in the profits.