Affiliates: Stop Waiting for Overnight Success – By Matt McWilliams

by FeedFront Staff on October 7, 2009

“When it comes to getting things done, we need fewer architects and more bricklayers.” -Colleen Barrett
Are you an architect or a bricklayer?

Recently I received an interesting email from an affiliate. I tried my best to reply in detail and help the affiliate, but in the back of my mind I wondered if it would really help.

What this affiliate wanted to know was how to go from being a newbie to being a $100,000/month affiliate. Of course, we all want to know that, right?

What this affiliate failed to understand is that just like any other business, most people don’t jump directly from a newbie to a $100,000/month affiliate. They make $1,000/month, $5,000/month, $20,000/month, and so on.

This affiliate had a list of approximately 20 questions. He had all the best intentions in the world. He reads all the blogs, gets all the newsletters, and probably reads all of the forums. But, what I often fear with affiliates like this is that he will fail to act.

As the great German writer, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe says, “Knowing is not enough; we must apply!”
I see many affiliates who suffer from the proverbial “paralysis by analysis” and it is unfortunate because these affiliates really do have a thirst for knowledge and a desire to achieve. But, too often they live by fear. Fear of failure, fear of losing money, and often a fear of missing out on the latest trend or tip that will make them an instant millionaire.

All the while, they are missing out on doing. They are failing to act—actually working on their site and ads, building content, and testing.

When I am asked for advice on marketing our program, I usually limit my suggestions to 3-5 major ones based on the affiliate’s areas of expertise and I always end with this simple piece of advice; be sure your to-do list is no more than five items long.

Don’t allow your to-do list to become a mountain of tasks that are impossible to attempt, much less accomplish. It’s the number one reason I see so many well-intentioned and hard-working affiliates fail.
Leave a spot on your to-do list open for new ideas, too. If you read of a new idea and want to try it, try it! Don’t let it sit too long.

The marketing world, and particularly the affiliate world, is full of ideas: weird ideas, revolutionary ideas, and plenty of “why did I not think of that?” ideas. Many of them succeed. Still many others fail miserably. The only way to truly know what works and what doesn’t is to take action and risk failure.

Let me be clear, there is a time for planning and brainstorming and certainly researching. There is a time to be an architect. But Mrs. Barrett is right when it comes to affiliate marketing, we need more bricklayers.
What are you waiting for? Be a bricklayer—take action now!

Matt McWilliams of Legacy Learning Systems is the 2010 Pinnacle Awards Affiliate Manager of the Year – www.learnandmaster.com/affiliates.

Download the entire FeedFront issue 8 here – http://www.scribd.com/doc/20220412/FeedFront-Magazine-Issue-8
FeedFront issue 8 articles can be found here as well: http://feedfront.com/archives/article00date/2009/10

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Laurie October 9, 2009 at 3:38 pm

I totally agree. I have four affiliate sites that I am still trying to grow. Just when I think I have it figured out, something new comes and blows me away. Like yesterday, a huge sale from an old post that was virtually barren of SEO! So, I’ve stopped going over my lists and lists and have started to use my gut intuition. It’s working!

MediaTrust October 20, 2009 at 7:52 pm

Great Post. The old adage “if its too good to be true, then it probably is” certainly bears truth in this industry. The successful affiliates that use the MediaTrust platform tend to be those that have been in the industry for years and have a ton of experience. They methodically pick offers that fit their knowledge and experience and they execute well thought out strategies to bring the campaign quality traffic. Once they have built a solid stream of business, they tend to experiment with new campaigns or tools until they get things right. Or, once they have a solid foundation, they build additions onto the foundation.

Matt McWilliams October 21, 2009 at 11:40 am

Laurie, I just caught your comment now. I am glad to hear that. It goes to prove that action is the key…it’s hard sometimes, but last time I checked, you fail at 100% of the things you don’t do.

Keep up the great work!

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