Affiliate marketing can be a tough gig in the beginning. Maybe it was sold to you as a ‘get rich quick’ strategy, but you’ve been working on your site for 6 months now and your earnings aren’t even close to what you’d dreamed up.
You’re convinced you did everything right. You watched tutorials and followed the experts. You chose a niche, built your site, spent weeks optimizing it for SEO and maybe even commissioned hundreds of blogs from your own pocket. How frustrating it is, then, to see such pitiful returns when you thought you’d be on your second Lambo by now!
The first bit of encouragement we can give to you is that this is pretty standard for new affiliate marketers – and it’s definitely no reason to give up. Affiliate marketing is a long-term investment of your time and energy. It requires commitment and perseverance, but once you’ve got the wheels rolling your income will take care of itself.
Promise yourself that you’ll stick it out for at least 12 months. Because that’s how long it can take to get yourself into the ‘part-time income’ bracket.
If you’re really on top of your game, sometimes all that’s left is to wait. But to help you through those moments of doubt and defeat, we’ve compiled a list of things you can do to stay motivated.
1. Be specific with your goals.
Establish some earning milestones that will help you to enjoy your journey to the top. The more creative these milestones are, the more appreciative you’ll be of achieving them when the time comes.
For example, if you drink a lot of coffee, your first milestone might be to earn $150/month to cover your current spend on coffee. Thus, when you hit that milestone, it means you’re getting to keep up your habit without burning a hole in your pocket. Great job!
Your third or fourth milestone might be to cover your rent or mortgage payments – think how satisfying that would be.
The key here is to manage your expectations, start small, and ensure that you’re always able to celebrate something, however small that progress may be. When you suffer setbacks (which you will), it’s motivational to be able to look back and see how far you’ve come.
2. Stop watching your earnings.
They say a watched pot never boils. And there’s no faster way to drive yourself crazy with your own failure than checking your numbers every 20 minutes.
It’s easy to become obsessed with your stats when you start making sales, but checking the numbers regularly isn’t going to make them go up. It’s actually a lot more satisfying seeing your earnings jump from $0 to $500 in two weeks than it is to see a $6 improvement every time you log into your dashboard. Part of that is the realization that you achieved that jump without really doing anything. If you’re constantly checking, it feels like you’re always working, which itself is a form of spend.
An exception to this would be if you launched a major campaign or made a significant change to your traffic source, and wanted to check that everything was running OK. But this becomes more important the more traffic you have. When you know that nothing is gonna change overnight, it’s better to check less often and be pleasantly surprised.
3. Stay engaged with your niche.
Whatever niche you’ve chosen, it should be something that you’re passionate about. And obsessing over your business goals can kill that passion faster than anything else.
Do what you can to stay engaged with your niche, and you’ll enjoy the journey a lot more. If you’re operating in the VOD niche because you’re passionate about movies, take some time out to watch movies, stay up-to-date with industry news or write reviews – whatever it is you enjoy the most.
You can also do fun stuff with your site that might not be about traffic or conversions. Why not create a video, or an image carousel, that relates to your niche and just looks cool?
By doing this, you’ll care a bit less about how much time it takes to get your affiliate business off the ground. Because whatever happens, you’re still having fun, right?
Whatever your niche, keep reading about your field – for leisure. You’ll be naturally interested in what you are reading and will want to keep learning more, even if it’s not bringing you returns right away. When you really enjoy your niche, your content is higher quality, which can only serve you better in the long run.
4. Trust in your approach.
When you feel like you’re progressing slower than you’d like, there will be a continuous temptation to learn new strategies or pivot altogether in your approach. But by reinventing the wheel every few weeks, you’re not only putting your business back to square one – you’re also wasting valuable energy.
Of course, learning affiliate marketing takes time, and you’ll want to try out a few things before deciding what’s going to work best for you. But we highly recommend limiting your sources of information to one or two gurus that you think you can trust.
Although you might fear missing out on cool new ideas, you’ll actually be freeing yourself of the paralysis that actually results from having too much information. If you trust in your chosen approach and accept that it could take 12 months or more to give you the returns you’re looking for, you’ll find it kinder on your morale and more likely to deliver success.
5. Keep physically active.
It’s admirable that you’re working so hard on your business, but don’t let it take its toll on your health.
Taking breaks from running your venture will help to clear your mind and relax your body, which prepares you for your next stint of work. We also tend to be at our most creative when we have time to think, as opposed to feeling stressed out by screen time and deadlines.
Many affiliate marketers work from home, and that’s actually a great perk of the job. But you need to wake yourself up and get some fresh air and sunshine. Getting out of the house (or office) for a while helps to motivate you to get work done later.
Try to eat healthy, stay hydrated, and spend quality time with your family or friends when you get the chance. It just keeps you balanced and stable while you wait eagerly for the money to start rolling in!
Above all else, just agree with yourself not to quit. Anyone can be successful in affiliate marketing as long as they have commitment and perseverance. So if it’s not working for you yet, just stay calm and let the time come.