This is a guest post from Share Results
Many affiliates get their start in affiliate marketing by working part-time in combination with a full-time career. Somewhere in your 24-hour day and seven-day week, you want to make time for getting your affiliate marketing business off the ground, even if it is for only 10 to 15 hours a week. This is not an easy task and requires that new affiliates learn how to work smarter, not harder, in order to eventually make a profit and a full time career out of affiliate marketing. Here are a few suggestions for how you can better organize your time, narrow down your focus on the best campaigns for you, and hopefully earn more profit within your limited time.
Week 1: Review Data and Create a Strategy
It’s a new month and this is the optimal time to check your statistics from the previous month (and even from the past six months). Examine which campaigns did well, and which underperformed. This is where data comes in. Reports from your merchant’s program and/or affiliate network tracking software, and sources like Google Analytics can give you this information. Data is the key to your affiliate marketing success. Without it, it’s difficult to grasp what methods of promotion are giving you the most return on the investment of your time.
What exactly do you need to look at? Well, that depends on what methods of promotion you’re applying to your affiliate business. Rather than just the usual clicks and impressions, you should be evaluating more in-depth information. For example, what percentage of your traffic was direct versus referred visitors? What keywords were used to find your website? Have you evaluated which specific cities or states where products you promoted actually converted?
Once you can identify these trends, then you can use this information to recognize what changes need implementing. Obviously, if something isn’t working, then change it.
Week 1-2: Implement Your Strategy
Now is the time to implement any new changes to your campaign.
If you own a website, you’ll discover that most of the traffic and clicks usually takes place above the fold of your website and decreases as you scroll down. This is where it pays to put your best ads and content. Say for instance that you’re testing out a new merchant’s banners, it doesn’t hurt to rotate your banners to see which one generates the most clicks. If your data showed that you received the most traffic on specific weekdays or on the weekend, then try implementing changes one or two days in advance, so you can take advantage of the traffic that comes your way. Take the list of keywords that generated the most interest and create a top 10 list of those and perhaps other keywords you want to rank high for, and add them into your blog posts or other website content, articles, PPC campaigns…
Week 2-4: Monitor and Optimize
In any affiliate marketing campaign, real-time data is your key to seeing just how much you’re earning. If you have noticed that after just one day of changes that your PPC ads are garnering more impressions but fewer clicks, then it’s time to act quick. When it comes to PPC, you’ve got to monitor the performance of your ads daily and make a quick decision about what keywords or phrases you should swap. Normally, methods of promotion like search engine optimization call for a longer period of time before making changes, but when it comes to PPC, time is money.
For things like SEO and display ads, consider giving campaigns more time before tweaking keywords, banner ad placement, text links and the like. For example, SEO can take a while before you see any results, so it’s normal that you may not see any conversions right away. Oh, and that rotating banner suggestion mentioned above? This is the perfect time to review which ad is seeing the highest conversions. If you notice that one has exceeded the performance of another, the choice is clear: apply what works and discard what doesn’t.
After about four weeks of working on your affiliate business, you will have seen enough and done enough to help grow your business. While the above suggestions for how to better optimize your time may work for some, ultimately you need to find out what strategy works best for you. However, one thing is clear: you have to invest the time and effort just like you would any other business in order to see results. If 10-15 hours is what you’re working with, optimize your time, and you will optimize your affiliate business.
About Share Results
Share Results has a network of over 12,000 affiliates that promote a variety of products and services from select merchants. Some of the more popular categories of product and service offers range from women’s apparel, family and education lead generation, as well as health and wellness.