It’s been my experience that when people first get started in affiliate marketing they have an incredible amount of enthusiasm. They’re absolutely in love with the idea of having control their future, working for themselves and living life as they want to. But someplace along the line as they are learning this new craft, they become overwhelmed.
There’s a lot more to this business than just perusing the WordPress themes for small business, picking one and throwing it up on the web. If you’re serious about this business you already know the importance of research, content, back linking, marketing and all the other little ins and outs that make for a successful affiliate marketing website.
But in the beginning before this becomes second nature to you, all the tasks can seem insurmountable particularly if you’re trying to get started while still holding down a full-time job. Time is the enemy. There’s just so much time available to work on your project.
Tick tock tick tock – where did the time go?
All of us get the same number of hours in the day. How we use that time often determines whether we are successful in our lives or something less than successful. Running an affiliate marketing business is no different than running any other business. It has to be run efficiently and you have to use the time available to you as effectively as you can. In other words you have to be organized.
This sounds like a simple concept but so many times people simply don’t take the time to organize their work or their workspace. They’ll spend hours watching videos on how to set up WordPress websites without giving much thought about the consequences of losing or forgetting the password to that site. It’s much, much easier to get organized before you start than it is after a disaster.
So over the next few paragraphs I’ll share with you some ideas and tips that will cut back the amount of time you spend on doing tasks that could easily be automated, and in helping you prevent a disastrous calamity like a computer crash (and it will happen at some time).
Picking the space you work in
Of course the size and location of your home office is going to be determined by the space that you live in but you really try to keep these ideas in mind:
- Make a space that is definable as a place of work. I could be a corner in the bedroom or a kitchen nook or whatever. It has to be a place that is identified by the rest of your family as you workspace. That means when mommy or daddy is in the space the kids shouldn’t be asking him or her to help them fix a video game.
- Don’t go cheap on the chair. Your will spend a lot of time sitting and if you don’t want to develop a bad back, then you need a chair that will give you proper support.
- Make sure you have a decent high-speed Internet connection. If your pages are taking longer than you like to load, consider installing extra RAM. You can double the size of your RAM on most computers for under $50 and it’s simple to install.
- Don’t go crazy on office supplies. Do you really need a gross of pens and 12 reams of paper? But those supplies that you do purchase keep in an organized fashion in your workspace.
Having a space that works for you is so very important. My wife Arlene and I have been working from home office spaces for over 10 years now. It’s actually a great life that has so many benefits that we didn’t even consider when we first got started.
The morning commute is a walk down the hall. The company lunchroom is our kitchen. In our business, flex time really means flextime. It means we can work when we want for however long we want so long as we get the work done. It also means that we can do things that we couldn’t but when we were working for someone else. For example how many times have you gone on a field trip with your kids? How many times did you break away from work to have coffee with a friend?
Or my favorite, the unscheduled cruising in my Shelby Cobra replica. I am a huge Shelby fan and to be able to just jump in the car and cruise down to the beach anytime I want is a huge benefit to me.
That’s the way life is today but it wasn’t always that way. When I first started back in 1999 I was really crunched for time so when I lost a list of crucial passwords that time crunch, that time wasted trying to recover passwords, really made an impact on me. That’s when I decided I needed to check out what tools were available to automate tasks and provide backup to prevent another catastrophe.
Over the years I’ve collected some great tools that I use every day in my affiliate marketing business to speed up and protect my work. Here’s a short list of some of my favorites:
- RoboForm – this is a great piece of software that will remember your username and password for every site that requires one. It will automatically enter that information when you land on the sign in page. You’ll never have to worry about forgetting a password again.
- Carbonite – this is like your “safe-deposit box” for all the files on your computer. Carbonite automatically transfers the contents of any new file, or any file that is modified to secure storage. So when your computer does crash, or if you need access to a file and you’re not at your home computer you can simply log into Carbonite and access the file or download to a computer. Trust me you need this type of backup.
- PageLeap – without question one of the best timesavers and organizers available. PageLeap is actually a start page that takes the place of bookmarks and allows you to customize categories and include up to 20 links in each category. Presto, you have all of your frequently visited sites completely organized on your start page.
- Skype – you probably already have this; if you don’t you’ve got to get it. You can call anyone anywhere in the world, have conference calls, use as a chat forum or even as a video platform. If you install the Pamela Skype add-on you can record conference calls, individual calls or podcasts. This is a powerful communications tool that you can’t be without.
- Snag-it – one of the things that you’re going to rapidly discover is that you can spend an incredible amount of time trying to manage and manipulate images. Cropping and managing images can not only be time-consuming but exceptionally frustrating. Snag it makes this chore a snap. You can grab photos, crop them and file them all on the fly. But it’s much more than that. You can do screen captures, or captures a particular part of the screen or even make a video. This is another must-have tool.
- Google documents and Google calendar – at some point in the development of your business you are going to have a need to share documents and your schedule with others. These two free Google products allow you to do just that. It’s a simple way to share information without having to create duplicate documents, and to keep track of important project dates.
- WordPress – this is perhaps the most popular website platform used by small businesses today. It was designed as a do-it-yourself website but it has many features that you would expect from a professionally designed and developed website. Search engines love the architecture, the site itself is spam resistant, there are literally thousands of themes to choose from at either low-cost or no cost and it’s extremely easy to customize. When you have a website that you don’t have to worry about technically maintaining you have more time to focus on marketing your business.
Unless you have been marketing your business for a period of time you may not be able to appreciate the value of these tools. But trust me, shortly into your new venture you’re going to find that there are so many time-consuming tasks that have nothing to do with your skills as a marketer that you’re going be begging for time-saving help.
That’s why I encourage you to take some time on a Saturday or Sunday and get yourself organized now. Don’t wait for the problems crop up and your frustration level go off the chart. Having these tools and understanding how they work before you actually become overwhelmed is a far more efficient use of your time.
Getting organized at the start of your business simply means that your business will succeed that much faster. Give it a shot; your business will thank you.
James Martell, founder and host of the industries longest-running affiliate marketing podcasts show, has been training and mentoring other marketers since 2001. A recognized leader in affiliate marketing, James a sought after as a speaker at the most prominent industry conventions and seminars. James, his wife Arlene and there four children live outside Vancouver BC in a seaside suburb.
- Top 10 Plugins You Need for Your WordPress Blog (blogperfume.com)
- How To Use WordPress To Promote Affiliate Products (ronmedlin.com)
- WordPress Hacked, Advice: Use a Strong Password (webpronews.com)