Starting an affiliate marketing business can be tough. It is a legitimate business opportunity, but it is definitely not a get-rich-quick scheme and yet many people forget this as soon as they start their business and become frustrated quickly if they are not making money within a month.
There are many cases of people giving up too early, even after a couple of weeks because they don’t really understand the way the business works or what they will need in order to make it successful.
Even if you get past the first 6 months, there is a strange place that many people get to at this time which can feel like standing in the middle of a rickety old rope bridge. You are not quite half-way across, so you can’t see the other side properly. You can’t go back because you have already invested so much time (and some money) into your business, and yet you start doubting that the bridge will support you to get to the other side.
That’s when you need to dig deep and focus on the affiliate marketing 5 pillars of progress.
These are the foundations on which your business will be built, the things that will help you grow it and will ultimately lead to your success.
So if you are struggling with your motivation at the moment, read on to see how you can motivate yourself again to get you to the other side of the bridge.
Pillar 1. Faith
I KNIOW that the affiliate marketing model for an online business works. I know that because I have experienced it myself and spoken to many other people in the business who have proved that it works time and time again. There are many people making a full time living using the affiliate marketing model and it you want to read more about how much you can make, then take a look at these members of Wealthy Affiliate and some of their posts to other members.
Obviously these are people from my no. 1 recommendation for training which is Wealthy Affiliate, but there are many others online who have made money by creating a profitable online business.
What’s so great is that I’m able to follow their progress through their blogs and they are always inspiring. If you don’t have access to this, then you need to dig deep to remember that it IS a legitimate business opportunity. .
Pillar 2. Patience
Patience is vital in any business, not just an online business and yet so many people fail due to not having enough patience.
When you start an online business, everything is exciting, fresh and new. There is a buzz that you get from doing something different and this keeps you going for the first month or two. There’s lots to learn and you are sorting out getting your website up and running, choosing a niche and learning the basics.
After this time, the rut can set in, because you may not have seen much return on your time investment and you are seriously into the business of writing content for your site.
It’s at this point that you really start to believe that affiliate marketing is not a ‘get-rich-quick’ scheme because to be honest, we all SAY that we understand that when we start, but are really secretly hoping that we’ll make it big in 6 months!
Instead, you begin to really understand what it will take to make your business a success and many people start to question themselves as to whether they have what it takes.
Affiliate marketing is definitely NOT a scam but it does take plenty of guts to get across that proverbial rope bridge and keep going. Slow and steadily really is the only way.
There are no short cuts – each site takes time to establish with the search engines who direct traffic. They will require proof that your site is worthy of attention and these things just cannot be rushed no matter how much SEO or back links you add.
There are many blogs that suggest that around the 6 – 12 month mark is when you start to see steady progress, and then from the 12-18 month mark, traffic increases, so that by the end of year 2, your site should be attracting good numbers of people daily.
Something to remember here is that ANY business will take time to become established and affiliate marketing is no different. I think that what happens is that because it is so easy to set up in affiliate marketing, that people sometimes think it will all be that easy and that the work needed is minimal. This is a mistaken view. It takes work and effort, and the trick here is to remind yourself daily to be patient. It’s vital.
Pillar 3. Consistent writing
This is important because your posts form the backbone of your site. If you are not adding relevant, quality content on a regular basis then you will get nowhere. You can have a great theme, perfect niche and jaw-dropping name, but ‘content is king’ and that is why people will visit your site.
At Wealthy Affiliate, they recommend that you add 3 pieces of content a week – that’s obviously one every couple of days really. Some people manage much more but many people struggle and write less.
That is OK because it is not a race and most people who start in affiliate marketing are doing it in their spare time whilst holding down a part- or full-time job too. Each person will have a different amount of time to dedicate to their business but consistency pays off. And if you are only writing 1 or 2 posts a week, you can still make it work, but it will take you longer to reach your goals. That might suit you well and however you get there is fine.
The only thing that is no fine is to stop writing, get distracted or give up. The old adage ‘winners never quit and quitters never win’ is so true when it comes to affiliate marketing.
If you are struggling to keep up with writing things yourself, you could consider outsourcing some posts so that you keep adding fresh content to your site. This is what many people do with a second or third site, once they have become successful with their first site, but your ability to outsource content will obviously depend on the budget you have.
Pillar 4: Education
Education is important in any business and depending on your starting point, the learning curve for affiliate marketing can be steep but it’s also fun. Every day I learn something new and I love it. Things change, algorithms get updated, new plugins become available and the online business market shifts with the tides of fashion, legality and politics just like any other business.
What’s great about this is that every day can bring you new challenges and fantastic new opportunities. If you have the right backing and training then you will always be able to keep up.
That is one of the benefits of joining a community of like-minded entrepreneurs such as Wealthy Affiliate versus trying to learn everything yourself. Yes, there is information out there, but you will need a lot of time to sift the ‘wheat from the chaff, and it’s much easier if you can pose a question directly and get an up-to-date answer within minutes.
However you are training in affiliate marketing, I urge you to keep learning and keep up with current trends, laws and opportunities. If you start to fall behind with this pillar, you foundations will begin to crumble and you can find yourself on an unstable footing very easily.
An example of this was the recent changes which came into force with the European GDPR legislation. I can’t tell you how happy and relieved I was to be able to check and double check with others to navigate through the minefield of this law.
There is such a lot to learn here that sometimes I can get overwhelmed and not know where to turn. There’s also a tendency to try to learn it all at once and do everything but I’m now learning that that is not possible, so I’m focusing on a few things at a time; hoping to get those mastered, and then move on to the next thing. I think that is one of the main things I’ve learned. Slow and steady wins the race!
Pillar 5. Your Reason For Starting
Let’s get real – one reason I started an online business was to earn more money – that’s no secret. For most people, this is the number one reason they start. But if that was the only reason, then I could have gone out and got a second job, or looked for a promotion in my current career. As a teacher, there are opportunities that I could have easily pursued if I’d really wanted to.
But I also started my own business because I wanted to improve the QUALITY of my life, which meant I wanted to stop commuting every day, stop working for someone else and have much more freedom over when and where I work. Affiliate marketing is one of the best business models for giving you those things.
One of the best ways to keep yourself motivated in anything, is to remember the reasons you started doing it in the first place – what were you hoping to achieve and what benefits for you and your family did you want to gain?
I can tell you that I really want to have more time to spend with my family, I”d love to take my girls to Africa on a jeep safari, and it’s been a dream of mine forever to take my mum to see the northern lights. These are the things that keep me going if things get tough.
Affiliate marketing is my life now. I love it and I’m not giving up anytime soon.
But I can still acknowledge that there are times when I need to dig deep and remind myself the pillars of success.
And as I’m walking slowly over that ‘rickety old bridge’, the further I go, the more I can feel the pillars supporting me and with each step, the bridge becomes more and more stable. And I know that someday soon, I’ll get to my destination on the other side. And I’m happy to carry you with me too.
WE CAN GET THERE!
Please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.