After a stream of major Google algorithm updates over the last few years, numerous affiliate marketers have seen their profits drop substantially, and many people are claiming that it is steadily dying away as a reliable way to make money online. In reality, while we’ve seen some unprecedented changes in recent times, affiliate marketing has had to evolve rather than disappear off the scene entirely. With the emphasis on quality being reinforced by the search engines, there’s no doubt that getting into affiliate marketing is not as easy as it once was, but armed with a thorough understanding of the evolving marketplace, it is still possible to succeed. In this article, we will be going over the top 7 time management tips for affiliate marketers.

1 – Setting Goals

Without some solid groundwork laid out in the form of a long-term strategy and realistic goals, you’re not going to get very far in the world of affiliate marketing. Before you even launch your affiliate website, you’ll need to have some clearly defined goals in place, and above all, they need to be realistic. Forget what some people say about affiliate marketing being a way to get rich overnight: success requires both time and effort. You’ll need to set goals for your social media marketing strategy, your content publication schedule, and of course, some modest financial goals to begin with.

2 – Researching Your Competition

As an affiliate marketer, you’ll be starting out as just one in a vast quagmire of people trying to get involved in online business, and many of your would-be competitors probably aren’t going about it the right way anyway. However, determining who your more successful competitors are and how they are reaching their own goals is one of the first key steps to success. Fortunately, there are plenty of tools to help you isolate those among your competitors who are taking the right approach to affiliate marketing. You can use tools such as Open Site Explorer and Google Webmaster Tools to find out a great deal about your competitors’ link profiles and much more.

3 – Defining Your Audience

Over the years, countless affiliate marketers have made the mistake of hoping that they can successfully sell products and services on behalf of others without even having any knowledge or interest in what they are trying to sell. In order to define your target audience and get their attention, you’re going to need to be selling something that you have some passion for, and preferably, a high amount of knowledge in. By defining the personas of your ideal customers, you’ll more effectively be able to target them by delivering the content that is most likely to garner their interest.

4 – Publishing Great Content

It has been said over and over that content is king, and no longer can would-be Internet entrepreneurs get away with launching a low-quality affiliate website with thin content and little of it. In order to impress your visitors and increase your ranking in the search engines, you will need to have a website that puts quality content and user experience before what you are actually trying to sell. Your website should provide a consistent stream of quality, interesting and original content that both draws in new visitors and holds onto existing ones. It should not be yet another website designed with the sole purpose of trying to sell an affiliate product.

5 – Nurturing Your Audience

Publishing great content and plenty of it is also a way to nurture your existing audience. By holding onto the attention of your website’s visitors as well as your previous customers, you’ll be able to move up in the ranks of the search engine results and earn more exposure in the process. If people are impressed by your content, they’ll also be far more likely to spread the word by sharing your content on their favourite social networks and effectively doing a considerable portion of your marketing for you. Affiliate marketers need to develop communities around their businesses and nurture them in order to succeed.

6 – Following Social Trends

Very few online businesses will see much in the way of success if they neglect social media. Social media is one of the driving forces of the modern Internet, and it provides limitless potential to affiliates and businesses everywhere. You absolutely have to pay close attention at all times to social signals and trends in order to learn more about your target audience and the marketplace that you are involved in. Social media is also a platform for nurturing your audience and building up a community around them. Getting involved on a regular basis by responding to comments and inspiring conversation is the best way to earn trust and rapport.

7 – Measuring Your Performance

As is the case with any industry, affiliate marketing is constantly changing and evolving, and you need to move with the trends to ensure long-term success. You need to learn what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong in order to adapt your strategy accordingly. The beauty of any kind of online business is the vast amount of useful data that it generates. This data can be analyzed and used to determine important metrics, such as where your website traffic is coming from, the level of social media engagement with your business and much, much more. You can make use of an extensive range of online analytics tools to help make sense of all the data involved.