There’s the notion that becoming an affiliate marketer is an easy thing to do, and in some ways it is. Compared to starting up a traditional business that requires a storefront and supplies, the upfront costs are relatively low. Whether you decide to start a blog or website, promote affiliate links on social media, or aim to grow an email list with lots of useful newsletters, you don’t need thousands of dollars to start out as an affiliate marketer. Also, while some businesses might require you to manage employees and create merchandise, an affiliate marketer can generally start out the business solo and there’s no need to make products.
In other ways, though, affiliate marketing is just as difficult—you are starting a business, after all! Sure, you can complete your work online and make your own hours, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. Affiliate marketing requires you to constantly be putting out new content and promoting your work, and it can take months or even years before all of that effort pays off, too.
But one side of becoming an affiliate marketer that definitely doesn’t receive enough attention is the mental preparation needed. You can decide to launch a blog or start a Facebook fan page, but there is a little bit of prep you should do for your own well-being to ensure that you can handle running your own business, too.
Finding a decent work/life balance is one of the biggest struggles you’ll encounter. It’s so easy to want to work around the clock once you’ve started your own business, and it’s particularly easy to do when you’re an affiliate marketer. After all, you can do the work from anywhere you have an internet connection! This means that when you’re laying in bed or watching television with your significant other or kids, it’s incredibly tempting to hop online and work a little bit more.
Part of finding the right work/life balance will lie in experience. It will take a little bit of adjusting to a different lifestyle, whether you’re also working a day job to support yourself or if you’ve reached the point where you’re relying solely on affiliate revenue. But there are ways to prepare, too, to make affiliate marketing work for you and your lifestyle, without mentally exhausting you.
Create A Support Network
Before you start your affiliate marketing business, it’s wise to get a good support network of friends and family that you can turn to. Running your own business—no matter the nature of it—is exhausting. It will take a lot of energy out of you, it can leave you barely scraping by, and it can have you questioning why you ever started in the first place. Additionally, for affiliate marketers specifically you’re often working from home, just you and your computer screen. It’s natural to experience a bit of cabin fever!
So build up a support group of people who you trust and can turn to when you need it. Maybe you’ll just want to chat or maybe you’ll want to head out and see a movie to get your mind off of things. Either way, these are the people who will be there for you and happy to hear about the ups and downs you experience.
Take Time Off
Starting a business often involves lots of weekends where you work and months upon months of no vacation time. This can be even more magnified if you’re keeping a day job to support yourself until your affiliate business grows, since you’ll come home after a long day of work simply to work more.
Being a workaholic is not good for your mental health. If you never give yourself days off then small things will pile up—you won’t have time to do laundry, you’ll spend less time with friends, or you’ll lose sleep. Give yourself a weekend every week, whether it falls on the actual weekend or not. Take these days to relax, run errands, take a staycation or travel, and, most importantly, not work.
Make A Business Plan
Not only is a business plan a wonderful way to determine what tasks need to be completed when, but it’s also a great way to keep your big picture goals in mind. Looking at your business plan should be a reminder of why you started your business in the first place.
Additionally, it can offer you feedback that you wouldn’t be able to otherwise measure if you hadn’t taken the time to write the information down. For example, if your goal is to get 1,000 email subscribers three months in and you’re already halfway there after a month, that’s amazing work. Even if you don’t achieve all the goals you set out for yourself, it can put things in perspective and remind you where you are succeeding.
Don’t Compare Yourself To Competitors
Okay, on one level you should definitely be aware of your competition and of the similar websites and affiliate businesses out there in your niche. But at the same time, don’t feel like you’re constantly battling them to win best affiliate of the month or most sales. All you should really be focusing on is what is best for you and your business. Becoming an affiliate marketer that is successful really depends on the goals you’ve laid out for your business, not on how you stack up to the competition.
Constantly worrying about the competition puts you in a money mindset, and this is incredibly dangerous territory for an affiliate marketer. The second you become most concerned about making money is the second that people will stop listening to your suggestions and recommendations. Your job is to sell to people but not make them feel like they’re being sold to. To do this, your main goal should be helping out your followers and gaining their trust. By doing this, you’ll experience far more success than simply trying to sell as much as possible.