Regardless of what you read on the Internet, affiliate marketing is a competitive business.
Yes, it’s not easy. You can’t expect to make a million dollars overnight, and you can’t certainly just wish yourself into the hallways of success. As it’s true for almost anything that’s worth doing, it’d take you plenty of learning, experience, money, effort, and “getting your hands dirty”.
It’s hard enough as it is. For that reason, there should be nothing detrimental in your path that you’d unwittingly attract while you are off sweating it out with affiliate marketing. Some problems affiliates face are external like traffic sources not working in your favor, getting kicked out of campaigns, or when merchants close campaigns down unceremoniously.
Most problems (and resultant stress) come from what we all do as affiliates.
We simply make the wrong choices.
We make the wrong decisions.
Here’s what you should never compromise on, as an affiliate:
What Hosting You Got?
It’s easy to get deluded into thinking that just because you are starting out, you’ll make do with shared hosting. In a way, there’s nothing wrong with shared hosting and that’s how most people start (be it a regular business person or a blogger). If you only think ahead, you’d do well “not” to choose shared hosting unless you are just launching a hobby business.
Shared hosting is unsafe and your website sits in a typically bad neighborhood. What’s worse is that you have no idea who your neighbors are. When your website sits in a cluster along with a million other sites, your risk is multiplied (for no other reason except that this is a choice you made).
Your shared host makes your website slow to load. Your website is vulnerable to malicious scripts and is not hacker proof. Your entire business (if it depends on the website and/or the server) is now open to risk you could easily avoid by spending a little more on the basic infrastructure you need. If you are using WordPress, opt for Managed WordPress hosting. If you just use HTML websites, Amazon’s cloud is a safe bet.
Prepare to spend a little more on your hosting and you’d never have to worry about this aspect of your affiliate marketing business, ever.
Your Time Bubba, It’s Your Time
You’ve heard this a gazillion times and read about it too. It doesn’t matter since we are all still guilty of wasting time every single day. It’s just so easy to squander time (unlike money). In fact, it’s so easy that you won’t even know that you lose it, and time just seems to have a way to slip away never to return again. Some affiliates have regular day jobs. Some others end up doing side hustles (like freelancing) or another venture. Regardless of what you do, chances are that you are not treating time at a premium like you should.
Make a schedule and stick to it. Don’t let distractions, well, “distract” you. Let people know that you are not to be disturbed or to be engaged with when you are working, and don’t do anything that’ll allow you to throw available time out of the window.
In affiliate marketing, thankfully, there are many ways technology helps you to save time. Use what you have. Outsource tasks that you seem to be spending more time on or on tasks that you are better off not doing.
Guard your time more than you’d want to guard your cash flow.
Investing in Quality Tools & Technology
First, stop chasing cheap. There are very few things that are incredibly good and are still cheap. Gmail, your email client, is one. Google Analytics is powerful and still cheap. There are many other tools that are either free or inexpensive but still very valuable for your business. However, most of everything else that’s worth investing in is never cheap. In fact, some tools will be expensive.
Expensive or not, is a vague thing and it’s relative.
If I spent $499 (one-time pay) on a piece of technology or a tool and I use it to provide services for clients by signing them up for $199 each month per client (and assume that I signup 10 such clients this month), I make a total of $1990 this month. Now, is that technology worth $499 looking expensive or was it the best thing I ever did?
I always say this: Stop looking at the price tag. Think about what you’d get out of any investment you make. Good tools and technology propel your business to such heights that you’d really stop thinking about how much things cost when you get the sales/revenue part of the equation right.
Who’s On Your team?
Whether you are just starting out or if you are a super affiliate already, you’d need a quality.
Nobody ever did anything worthy, all by themselves. Singe-person businesses still need help from others. Self-employed persons and solo entrepreneurs also seek help from freelancers, mentors, and other professionals. Often, it’s the solo business owners who need others more than say, an Apple or a Facebook.
Who you work with and the quality of your team will determine how far your business goes. Don’t look for professionals who are willing to work for $1.5 per hour. You get what you pay for. When you hire inexperienced staff, you are again underestimating the time you’d need to spend just to train them or to bring them onboard.
If you are out looking, seek out the best.
Part of What Network, Sorry?
You heard the saying, “You are who you know”? It applies to affiliate marketing too. If you hang out on forums like Digital Point and Warrior Forum, you get bullshit fed into your subconscious mind, all day long, for as long as you hang out there. Choose where you hang out, who you network with, and what you do with every handshake you make (virtual or otherwise).
The quality and the strength of your network is paramount. You can’t afford to “not” make your relationships count. In the almost lonely path that your affiliate marketing business warrants, you’d want to associate with the best people in the business. This also applies to the affiliate networks you apply to, your affiliate managers, your fellow affiliates, and others.
What are you compromising on?