All remarkable human achievement has a direction to it. This direction, or desired state of being, is what we call a goal. Every person, business, and organization have different and individual goals depending on who they are and where they want to be. Equally, goal setting in affiliate marketing has specific characteristics due to its business nature lifestyle.
Here are the best practices for goal setting in affiliate marketing. And I want to go about defining the right goals in affiliate marketing in three steps.
First: General insights on why and how to set goals.
Second: Specific characters of goal setting in affiliate marketing due to this business model’s particular nature.
Third: Criteria to measure your progress in achieving your affiliate marketing goals.
Okay, let’s dive in.
The Art of Goal Setting to Stay Motivated
Goal setting aims at motivating and guiding you to the desired state, aka goal. Part of goal setting is an action plan because, without action, goals remain dreams.
And common criteria for setting goals is that they ought to be SMART, which stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based.
In the same vein, American psychologist and a pioneer in goal-setting theory, Edwin A. Locke, and his colleagues have revealed that more specific and ambitious goals trigger better performance improvement than easy or general goals.
And in Zig Ziglar’s self-help classic ‘See You At The Top‘ (1975), goal setting is an integral part of his step-by-step guide to achieving personal success. In Ziglar’s own words, “A goal properly set is halfway reached’, under the condition that ‘for a goal to be effective, it must effect change.’ But the underlying purpose of goals is not the attainment of things, but the process of self-transformation: ‘The real benefit of having goals is what you become by reaching them.’
Likewise, time management expert and bestselling author Steven R. Covey (with co-authors A. Roger Merrill and Rebecca R. Merrill) asserts in First Things First that only principles and a vision for the future can nurture goals we really achieve.
So for Covey, too, goals are essentially a transformative tool that serves a deep-felt sense of purpose. And the overarching question is that of a vision for your life: Who do you want to be?
And how do you want to live? If you are reading this article, financial independence and continuous learning are likely high on your list. This brings us to goals in affiliate marketing that are particular to this online business model.
Affiliate Marketing Specific Goals
So why do you want to get into affiliate marketing? In another article on this blog, I have detailed ten reasons why affiliate marketing is the world’s best business model. The first reason on that list is that you can start affiliate marketing from virtually nothing.
So you can always dip your toes into the waters to test if working online is for you. Perhaps you are looking to supplement your current income? Or do you fancy to use affiliate marketing to replace employment altogether?
Great, because either goal is possible. You will need to set your goal depending on your life vision and then develop an implementation plan to reach it.
While I am usually all for total commitment, most beginners’ best course of action may be to use affiliate marketing to top up their current income.
When getting serious about affiliate marketing, you are becoming an online writer and researcher of sorts. For most, this is quite a change from an office environment with plenty of communication.
And it will take dedication and possibly several months before you start seeing a steady income stream.
The downside of not going all-in with affiliate marketing from the start is that it may be harder to take the new business seriously. As a result, when you don’t devote sufficient time and effort, it’s unlikely that you will succeed.
Let’s assume you have tried the affiliate marketing waters and concluded that making money online is the professional card you want to play.
Then there are further goals for you to consider to make it as an affiliate marketer.
Develop a Healthy Self-Belief to Make it as a Full-time Affiliate Marketer
It’s possible to succeed in affiliate marketing with hard work and a few months of perseverance.
But it is these few months without income why most people never develop their own business.
Because too many people live from hand to mouth, have financial obligations they can hardly meet and are honey-trapped in the convenience of a regular paycheck.
So when you step into the open of your own business, that freedom has a price: responsibility. And you will need a healthy belief in yourself and your ability to make things happen for you.
And yes, there will be down days when another month has passed without income, yet plenty of work on your side. Having grit during rainy days rings true for any new business. Still, it has a particular significance for affiliate marketers: It takes a resolved mind to work through the initial months of building content when your websites don’t have enough traffic and, therefore, little to no income.
The aforementioned self-help classic by Zig Ziglar proposes six steps to be successful in your life. Setting specific goals is step Nr. 3 and step Nr. 1 is improving one’s self-image. Ziglar talks in this context about taking care of one’s physical appearance and reading biographies of high achievers for inspiration.
But the key element is to have a can-do attitude and belief in your capabilities with a positive sense of agency.
Now, ‘See You at the Top’ contains 4 more steps, two of which are to work hard and have a burning desire that drives you. So, utilizing the two steps from Ziglar, here is the next goal:
Follow through With Determination on Your Affiliate Marketing Goals
Affiliate marketing is for those who don’t quit easily and show resilience instead. There will be obstacles, and for most, the path turns out to be tougher than anticipated.
But if you are a serious affiliate marketer, your desire for a free and affluent life is burning bright, so you will happily put in the hard work to succeed. Make developing that kind of unfailing drivenness a character goal. So no matter what hurdles may come your way, you never let go of realizing your dreams.
There are two more steps in Ziglar’s ‘See You at the Top,’ which strengthen your relationships and adopt a positive attitude. Both steps are important to the next goal in affiliate marketing.
Create Good Partnerships and Test the Products You Promote
How many advertisements and websites have you seen that promise to make you rich overnight on autopilot? Well, The make-money-quick-and-easy niche is profitable because people’s greed and desperation will never die out.
And if a get rich program really works, why not promote it? But the focus is on providing value and creating positive relationships. You never work against other people.
So only promote products that you have tested, and you can put your name behind them.
Continue Learning and Develop Creative Approaches to Preselling
As the online world is changing, so is how affiliate marketing works. The affiliate business model seems simplistic. But it is not.
There are a million different websites and approaches to inform and sell products. And since in your affiliate marketing niche, you have to be an expert, keep learning, moving, and testing.
Make finding new ways of creating creative content one of your goals.
Tactical Goals to Measure Your Affiliate Marketing Success
Running websites and affiliate marketing programs gives you a lot of data, and one side of affiliate marketing is this number’s game of statistics and website metrics.
I business, we call the most important ratios KPIs or key performance indicators. The right KPI’s can tell us how successful our business is.
We’ll look at key metrics to complete goal setting in affiliate marketing in the next article.
Parting Words on Goals in Affiliate Marketing
And let’s take a last look at the six steps for success in Ziglar’s ‘See You at the Top,’ all of which we have covered here, but are presented in a different sequence in the book: improve your self-image, strengthen your relationships, set specific goals,
adopt a positive attitude, work hard, and let a burning desire drive you.
And here is one last encouraging message that equally applies to the six steps towards a successful life and goal setting in affiliate marketing: While you will have to heed all steps on your way to the top, take comfort in knowing that everything you need to start and succeed is already part of you.