To be a successful affiliate marketer requires hard work! You must be dedicated to doing at least an hour a day of work on your site, and it would be better to do three to eight hours, however that is based on whether you are working full time outside of your home.
Tweaking posts, adding media, and creating new content are all things that need regular maintenance. It is easy to get distracted while learning how best to move forward with your website, but it is important to set measurable goals that keep you moving forward and maintain momentum.
I have created a worksheet in PDF form that you can download and fill in to help you in setting and achieving goals. I use this same system to stay focused.
Set aside a few tasks each day to keep things moving forward, such as researching keywords, finding appropriate photos to enhance your articles, and watching videos or reading e-books about affiliate marketing.
Use the SMART acronym to keep organized: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Track-able.
Be SPECIFIC about your goal
If you are trying to build up a number of blog posts, then you need to decide how many you want to publish each week.
If you want to earn more money with your blog, how will you do that? More ads? More posts? More social media presence? If this is the case, then you need to research each of these and decide which one to implement first.
It is important to be specific so that you can track your progress and know how long it takes to achieve this goal versus how long it took you achieve a different goal, so you can plan future goals accordingly.
As you achieve your goals, you will feel more accomplished and you will also know what some of your limitations are, and maybe how to push past them.
Make your goals MEASURABLE
If, for example, you want to gain more visitors/traffic, you may need to set up e-mail marketing. This is a larger goal, as there are several steps to getting it set up.
Break down the steps into smaller goals, such as finding a decent auto responder, creating opt-in gifts, and making forms.
Keep your goals on a sheet of paper, handy for checking off items that are now complete. As you check things off of your list, you can see that you are moving forward!
Taking large tasks and breaking them down into manageable size chunks is one way to discover whether certain aspects of your goals are attainable.
And you may discover that you are not equipped to complete that chunk. You may hit roadblocks or that goal may force you to go outside of your “comfort zone” to learn something or try something that will help you to succeed or discard that goal as unworkable.
This is a great opportunity for personal growth, as you push yourself past a perceived boundary. Being successful with a goal that is uncomfortable is a great achievement to be proud of!
Stick to goals that are relevant to whatever stage or lesson that you are on, along with any extraneous tasks that need doing, such as more research.
Give yourself some time to research, decide if it is worth pursuing either soon or in the future, and then go right back to the lesson and keep going. Perhaps set an oven timer for 30 minutes to discover if this new item is worthwhile.
Only move one foot in front of the other, so that you do not get off track and feel defeated because you have too many incomplete tasks.
TRACK-ABLE or TIMELY
If your goal is to increase your yearly income from your blog, then you can break this down into a monthly goal that is easier to track. Say you want to increase your income by $12,000/year, you can easily set this as a monthly goal of an increase in income of $1000/month.
Pick a time period, such as the first day of the month, and start one aspect of your project. By the end of the month you can check your results. Keep a spreadsheet or a document on your desktop to record your progress.
Next month, double down on one aspect of your blog, like your email marketing. Try a new tactic, A/B test newsletters, take a mini-course looking for new tips that you can implement, basically fleshing out all the information that you can find on the subject.
Record your results at the end of the month. Did it help? Did you discover something new that you want to try next or expand upon?
Be sure to give your new projects a reasonable amount of time to succeed, like a couple of months, and do not just try things willy-nilly, basically throwing them at the wall to see if they stick.
Success takes time! Do not get discouraged if you do not see results right away. Your goal may require some tweaking or another component.
Remember, goals can change! If you find that you have to adjust a timeline or even the goal itself, do not be afraid to do that. An adjusted goal is SMARTER, with the E being Evaluate and R being Re-do.
Ask yourself daily or weekly “what is the next thing that I need to do to move forward with my goal” or “what is the next step that I need to take to progress?”
Keeping yourself organized is a great way to be able to track your progress. And completing tasks shows us that we are moving forward. Building a business is a never ending stream of work, but you can simplify your life by setting goals and then adjusting them to make progress.
Be sure to sign up for blog post updates and get access to my Resource Library for your free printable SMART goals worksheet!
What goals are you most proud of succeeding at? Do you have any tips or tricks that you would like to share?
*Note: This post was updated in March 2018 for clarity.