I’m sick and tired of it. I’m sick and tired of people treating affiliate marketing like the lottery. This business is not about get rich quick. It’s about real people, trying to make a real difference, growing real businesses, and providing real value to the Internet and everyone who uses it. As of right now, affiliate marketing has a stigma associated with it. Affiliate marketers are thought of as scammers and people who will do almost anything just to make a small commission. Affiliate marketers seem content spamming comments sections throughout the Internet, sending emails filled with sales pitches that people didn’t ask for, making low-quality YouTube videos with no intent to do anything but make a sale, promoting low quality products that they would never purchase personally, and the list goes on.

Not only is it time for the affiliate marketing industry to grow up but it’s time that people who are just entering affiliate marketing understand that they will never be successful until they treat their affiliate marketing business like an actual business.

Listed below are some of the reasons why affiliate marketing must be treated like a marathon and not a sprint if you desire to see any real long-term success at all.

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There Is An Unavoidable Learning Curve

From website development to search engine optimization (SEO) the learning never stops. It’s true, getting started with affiliate marketing is definitely the hardest part. You have so much to learn and you don’t even really know what you need to learn yet to be successful. But the truth is, the learning will never really stop. The Internet changes so fast that you are forced to continue researching, learning, testing, and finding out what works for yourself.

It is a commonly known fact that it takes at least 10,000 hours to become an expert in anything. How many hours do you have becoming an expert in affiliate marketing? For most of you, the number of hours you have spent researching and putting into practice different affiliate marketing methods is much fewer than 10,000 hours. And yet, get rich quick affiliate marketing gurus want you to believe that you can read their $10 e-book and make thousands of dollars per month starting this month. It’s sickening.

If you want to succeed with affiliate marketing, you must be willing to put in some time, research, and even money before you start seeing real success. Just like any other business or career there is a learning curve involved in this learning curve is unavoidable. Yes, some training programs and even “gurus” can help you speed up this process, but do not expect to get rich quick by reading one e-book or going through one training course. You wouldn’t start any other business that way and expect to be successful so don’t expect to be successful with an affiliate marketing business with that mentality.

You Need To Be In The Right Place At The Right Time

Most successful business owners attribute at least a small percentage of their success to being in the right place at the right time. Luck does play a role in business success but you must create your own luck. The way you do this is through persistence. You can be in the wrong place at the wrong time with your business 1 million times and still push forward. But it only takes one time to be in the right place at the right time to completely change your life forever. This usually takes time.

Sure, some new affiliate marketers happen to be in the right place at the right time early on in their business venture. But for most of us, we have to go through a lot of “failures” before we get that lucky break. Of course, there really is no such thing as “failure” until you completely stop trying. Otherwise, each “failure” is simply one more step towards success.

If you want to be in the right place at the right time, you must first learn how to push through being in the wrong place at the wrong time because it happens to most business owners several times before the end of being in the right place.

Affiliate Marketing Is All About Trial And Error

Just like any other form of marketing, affiliate marketing is all about trial and error. You simply have to find out what works and what doesn’t work. While there are basic guidelines to follow and general rules that work, each target audience in every niche will be a little different from the next. Marketing is all about throwing is much as you can at the wall and seeing what sticks. The good news is, once you find a marketing tactic that works well, it can be duplicated and replicated over and over again. Many advertising agencies will “scale up” a marketing campaign that is working which, in turn, can make the company millions of dollars just from one marketing campaign. Make no mistake, the same can happen with you.

Unfortunately, most affiliate marketers never find the marketing tactics that work because they give up too soon. They try method after method and never see any success in figure that they just aren’t any good at marketing. What they don’t understand is, finding out what DOESN’T work is just as important as finding out what does work. Even the most experienced affiliate marketers will have more failures than successes but since these successes are so profitable it all works out in the end. The real key here is persistence and never giving up.

You Must Diversify Your Business

Another reason affiliate marketing is a marathon and not a sprint is because he must diversify your business if you plan on having long-term success. Obtaining 100% of all your revenue from one website, one advertising method, or from one product, is affiliate marketing suicide. You absolutely must diversify your income sources. So, once you find something that works, you have to start the process all over again to find other processes that work.

Since the Internet changes at such a fast pace, your business could literally be wiped out overnight. A simple search engine algorithm change, advertising terms and conditions changes, an affiliate program being discontinued, or 1000 other things could destroy your business in a very short period of time. That’s why diversifying is so important and diversifying takes time. There is just no way around this.

Affiliate Marketing Is A REAL Business!

Make no mistake, affiliate marketing is one of the best business models to have ever existed. You can literally start this business with no money in your bank account, no products to sell, no services to offer, no employees, and no clue what you are doing. Can you say that about any other business?

With most other businesses people form business plans and risk everything. While that’s not necessary for affiliate marketing, you still need to plan and understand the proper steps to succeeding in this industry. Real legitimate businesses take time to grow and become profitable. Most businesses take many months if not many years to start turning a profit. While affiliate marketing doesn’t have to take that long, you cannot skip the step of planning out how your business will succeed. Without a plan and devoted dedication you will never make it.

I would love to sit here and write about how easy and fast affiliate marketing is because quite frankly it would enable me to sell a whole lot of products to a whole lot of na├»ve people and make a whole lot of money, but I just can’t do that. As someone who is successful with affiliate marketing and has been successful for many years now I am here to tell you that affiliate marketing is a marathon and not a sprint. If you are willing to put in the long-term effort you might as well not even start because it will simply be a waste of your time.

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