A true affiliate marketing badass knows how to prioritise the importance of his work above the droves of distractions that are guaranteed to come his way.
We work in an incredibly intrusive environment. Some affiliates manage it better than others. I can’t for the life of me understand how any of you achieve more than a sustained migraine by logging in to AIM, or by relaying your every thought to Twitter.
For all the productivity tips in the world, I have three simple commandments that cut straight to the chase. Oh and a split personality, to hold myself accountable.
Don’t… log on to a computer out of boredom.
Don’t… open your emails if you don’t plan on replying to them.
Don’t… sit down to work without a tangible target of what you plan to achieve.
When I look back at my failed projects – and I’d need 20/20 eyesight to see to the bottom of the list – there’s a recurring trend that sets the losers apart. That trait is a lack of vision. The sheer indifference towards thinking about them every day.
So after flicking through my Analytics account yesterday, I guess you could say the skies parted and a lightbulb flashed above my head. One of my dearest old websites, and very first affiliate project in fact, was about to get the chop.
The website receives a small trickle of hits. On a good week, it’ll even turnover a few sales. But the site is about learning French (among other languages), and as most people who know me can confirm… mon francais est a petite bit shit, merci beaucoup.
To invest any more energy in to establishing a website where I have no reputable knowledge, and no vision for how I could make it work, would be like Wayne Rooney sitting down and attempting a crossword. There’s just no point.
This takes me back to ‘Don’t Number Three’ from my commandments above.
I can guarantee that if I sit down at my desk without a clear vision for what I hope to achieve, I’ll end up sodding off for an early lunch having achieved what I started with – absolutely nothing.
Why bother to enter your office if you don’t have an objective? This is the type of mistake that I would compare to jumping in the middle of the ocean on a raft without an oar. You’re never going to control where you end up, and you’ll probably just exert a lot of energy to end up where you started.
How many affiliates have felt that at the end of the day before?
A useful exercise, which I believe every affiliate should swear by, involves a month of keeping accurate records.
I know it’s not cool to keep a journal. But for the purpose of evaluating your own productivity and potential, go ahead and spend a month recording exactly what you work on every day. Don’t get sloppy. Record every last meaningless task you devote your energies to.
In an additional spreadsheet, record your daily earnings and match the income to the corresponding tasks that were responsible for generating the money.
Be prepared for a reality check. I predict that 20% of your time spent working will be responsible for 80% of the income produced.
That’s probably not surprising to many of you. But where the reality check becomes necessary is in justifying the merits of the other 80% of work that occupies our schedules during the month.
Look closely at the tasks that swallow 80% of your time. Which of these projects do you have a clear vision for, and which are simply helping you to stay busy?
Scrap whichever projects are making slow progress, little money, and perhaps even more importantly – the projects that you don’t see yourself being involved with 3 years from now. The “do I truly give a shit about this niche?” question has always been my great acid test for whether I’m going to see a project through to the bitter end.
If my answer is no, the likelihood is that I’ve spent too long logging on to my computer out of boredom, and not enough time setting goals that I’m likely to achieve.
Here’s a suggestion for you. Next Monday morning, pencil in some appraisal meetings with each of the projects in your Analytics account. Take on the split personality of an overbearing boss who cares little for sentiment and everything for results.
Now interview your project manager (Yep… that’s you again), and ask some deep searching questions.
“How do you think you’ve performed over the last six months, little affiliate site?”
“Where do you see your earnings this time next year?”
“Are you capable of reaching your targets or are you full of bullshit like Finch’s french?”
Now let the boss in you decide the fate and credibility of those answers. You wouldn’t hire a professional to do a bad job, would you? So why excuse your own poor performance?
Cut the crap and optimise your business like you would with any lucrative affiliate campaign. There’s money to be made, and time to be saved!
Recommended This Week
If you’re not a regular reader of FinchBlogs, check out my latest post over there: The 10 Best Countries To Live In For An Online Professional. The site has been rebranded and I’m very excited for the plans ahead.
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