I was heartened by the comments left on my last blog post to see that many people are in the same boat as me. Someone asked: where are the 6 solutions to the 6 affiliate marketing hurdles?
Good question... but I think it's the wrong one to ask.
There aren't 6 universal solutions - everyone experiences their own hurdles
differently, and overcomes them due to their own merit (just take a look at the
comments in ‘Top
6 hurdles for an affiliate marketing newbie').
One thing that does follow many of us through our affiliate marketing trials is that of self-doubt and procrastination, and it's this issue that I'd like to tackle today.
While I can neither provide a quick fix nor 6 solutions, I believe that if you can strengthen both your commitment and your working strategy - you'll willingly embrace any hurdle rather than run the other way.
Now if you're working independently from home... well firstly, what luxury! It's many people's dream situation - but is it your ideal situation for working at the best level you're capable of?
There's no boss that's going to dock your pay check if you stumble into work two hours late because you slept in. There are no expectations from an employer or team members reliant on you pulling your weight.
The buck starts and stops at you.
And yes, I know you already know that... I'm telling you to give yourself a break, working for yourself is hard!
It's a long accepted paradox that creativity levels are at their best when boundaries are set - and the same goes for productivity levels.
If you don't have any boundaries to work within, then your productivity levels are going to suffer. The promise of freedom and being your own boss can wind up being not so rosy as you find yourself painting the bars to your own captivity.
It all depends on how you set (or don't set) your working boundaries. Do it right though and you'll be carving the path to achieving your goals.
So how can we stop that seed of doubt and procrastination bug growing and defeating us?
I have a few tricks up my sleeve that I'd like to share with you, and it'd be great to hear your tips in return...
1. Reward (and motivate) yourself.
If one of your greatest distractions and enjoyments is spending time sifting through your emails and salivating at the latest ‘shiny object', then don't cut it out completely. Going cold turkey has a high failure rate for everything, it's best you try and control your time spent on this instead.
So save up your browsing time until you've completed a set amount of work for the day, and use it as a reward for goal completion.
Do this with all your guilty pleasures (for me, this often includes chocolate) - adopting the attitude that you need to cut them out is not going to be helpful. Better yet, it forces you to set and complete a goal at the same time ;)
2. Like the environment you're working in.
Don't tell me you're not easily distracted by other household members who always seem to be doing something much more interesting...
And how tempting is it to have the TV or the radio on at the same time?
While watching TV and constant chit chat with others isn't all that productive, you do need to make sure you're cashing in on some of the benefits of working from home - otherwise, what's the point?
Now speaking from my days as a student working from home (rather than an affiliate marketer), one of my greatest guilty pleasures was waking up early in the winter and doing 2 hours of solid work before I even got up.
That may not sound like your cup of tea, but I loved it because I then gave myself a 1 hour break (at 9am!). It split my day up nicely, and gave me a great head start for the rest of the day.
So find something that makes you love working from home (distraction free), and set yourself proper working hours (remember - this does NOT need to be 8 hours straight).
3. The common thread: Goals.
These have to be set, and they have to be done right.
Firstly, you need one big overall goal. It really needs to be clear to you WHY you are doing affiliate marketing. What do you want from it that you can't get from another course of action? At what stage will it be ‘complete'?
Secondly, you can't just ride on the recognition of your overall goal - it's too big and easy to become overwhelmed by. You need to break it down into bite-sized, manageable goals.
In other words: Making a plan for achieving your overall goal. Each of these smaller goals need to be tied to time. For example, you might decide to spend 30 minutes per day working on goal X, to be completed by date x.
Sounds manageable, right?
To make goals even more focused, you should also include some that are tied to specific figures. For example, you might be aiming to have 10 articles written by date x, or to have increased your site's traffic by 20% by date x, and so on.
My final word on goal setting is that they do need to be flexible. If you're just starting out, you may not have enough knowledge to set an achievable goal that is 10 steps down the track. You'll need to constantly reassess and revise your goals - and most importantly, do NOT give up if you don't meet a couple down the track.
I repeat; goals are necessary - they are your boundaries.
To non-goal setters:
If you prefer to work with the carefree "I'll just see how I go" attitude, does that mean you're keeping failure as an open option?
How much more likely do you think it is that you will procrastinate and doubt your ability to succeed in affiliate marketing, compared with those that have set themselves clear and measurable goals?
Lack of goals is just one factor that can create what we at Affilorama like to call "the ticking time bomb".
The build up of doubt and the lack of results to show for all your hard work so far is all it takes to make it feel like forever Wednesday, and make the ticking time bomb go off for many people who give up before the show has really even begun.
And we don't want you to give up, we want you to see for yourselves the great rewards that your hard work is worth!
So please, set yourself boundaries and goals, and diffuse that bomb before it gets you...
...or wait for AffiloJetpack to arrive, our new product that will diffuse the ticking time bomb for you, and give you your own proof that affiliate marketing can work for you.
It will at least jump start you out of feeling like it's forever Wednesday!
What are some of the tricks you use to keep yourself on course?