Affiliate Marketing – No Program Works Unless We Make it Work

There is no program that does magic tricks or makes people wealthy unless THEY seriously work at it. When you see words used like ‘easy’ or ‘fast’ you must be logical about these because both are subjective – What you think is easy others may think is hard – or what you call fast others may think is slow.

it only works if you do

Affiliate marketing programs do a lot to help you get started and most provide several different kinds of resources toward that end. However nobody has the responsibility to make it work for you except YOU! Whether or not the program ‘works’ for you depends on how much effort over time you are willing to invest. Nobody can guarantee your success. Success is about what YOU do with everything over time to develop your business!

If you have some money you can pay for services to help you with the work in building an affiliate marketing business from home online. If not then you need to do your own marketing and advertising. You will generally find that using the Internet is 10 times cheaper, faster and easier than anything you can do offline – for example you don’t need supplies or equipment like paper, ink, postage, or printers to send sales advertising messages to your prospects.

In either case you would however, need a mechanism to capture leads online to send your messages to and/or you can pay for list building services. In general a combination of both usually works best as capturing leads can take a long time, although they are typically more interested than those on a purchased list of ‘leads’. The list of course is much faster and easier if you have some money to invest.

Although working from home online is a great deal more enjoyable just in that you make your own rules about what time you work, how long you work and even how you do things, it is still, none the less, work. Not sure really how people get the impression that they can become wealthy by osmosis or just by joining a program that somebody else earned substantial income from. Certainly that points to the possibility existing, in that someone more or less just like you succeeded – and so it follows that you can do the same! (That is if you work as much and as long as they did).

There are usually no excuses to fail – It is really pretty simple – If you want to earn money, you need to do the work and spend the time. In fact you have to remain very engaged in your business at all times. If you slack off in your efforts or sit back resting on your laurels and wait, you may wait a very long time for nothing to ever happen. You and you alone are responsible for either your own success or your own failure. Just like real life!

Thinking About Starting a Home Business

One of the things that really comes in to play when you are just starting a home business is you need to create structure. Part of that process sometimes means you have to force yourself to focus on one thing at a time and especially to stop procrastinating if you are.

It is likely a new environment for you where you are only accountable to yourself. It is really easy to put things off, saying you will do it some other time and then to just not do it at all after you keep pushing it back. This is dangerous.

We have to start out with and maintain some organization and this requires discipline. Even if you have to pretend you have a deadline or a boss to be accountable to, just do it. Likely you are a bit overwhelmed by the amount of information and all the strange terminology and concepts if you have not worked online before and/or have no marketing, advertising or technical experience.

You don’t have to know everything there is to know on day one. You will learn more and more as you go along gaining experience and skills. Do what you can. It is important to take action. Maybe your first action should be creating some lists about what you have to do. It is best not to ‘bite off more than you can chew’ with regard to lists.

Just make a few – one for today – one for this week or month and one for long-term goals. The reason you don’t want them all on one is that they get really messy with things crossed out and checked off; and it just looks like more chaos. As well you may begin to beat yourself up when you don’t get everything done.

So if you make the ‘to do’ lists short and sweet with realistic expectations about how much you can really do today or this week, you will stay more organized and motivated. It should give you a feeling of accomplishment when you do complete a task.

Anything you can’t complete for whatever reason – not enough time, need to do some things on the periphery before you can actually do whatever it is, waiting for a paycheck, etc., put it on a new list. You may even want to get slightly complicated with a flowchart arrangement outlining something with multiple steps to complete.

Some people think working backwards is the way to think about this – in other words you have the target and you know what that (result) is, and then you need to back track to do everything from A through Z to get your target met. Some things can be done out of order, and others may have dependencies so that you can’t do C until you do A and B first.

As important as it is to get things done in an organized, structured manner, without procrastinating, it is also important not to beat yourself up. If you don’t make a deadline you have given yourself – just put it on a list for going forward. Try to feel good about what you did accomplish and always try to do better each time.

Starting a New Home Business – Taking Stock of Assets

You may feel like a ‘stranger in a strange land’ even at the thought of starting your own business. You have likely worked for someone else during your career and as such could assume many things would be provided for you that now you will need to address for your own home business.

Assets

First of all you should take stock of your skills and experience. It might help to get a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle – you can list the job name or the task and then outline briefly what skills you used to accomplish the tasks you were required to do.

The point here is that you know how to do a lot of different things. You have skills and you have experience. Most any business-related skill or experience may help you with your home business.

Perhaps one or more of the companies you worked for over the years provided some ‘in-house’ training. Sometimes they will do this to introduce a new software application to the staff. Sometimes they will train people to enhance skills they may already have; such as taking someone who has basic skills in a program used for the job and teaching them intermediate or advanced level skills.

It is very possible that you will feel more confidence to take a short course in something related to your new endeavors and there are plenty of free and inexpensive resources online. You may find specific courses in various Internet applications such as HTML, or basic courses in computer skills or creative writing. It could even be something like English as a second language if that would help. These are just some basic suggestions but there are unlimited possibilities.

Look for online community colleges and see what they have to offer that doesn’t involve going in to the school (so it can be anywhere in the world on your PC). You can actually do the whole course “hands-on” online and even take the tests online. Some involve actually getting certification and/or college credits and particularly community colleges are very inexpensive.

While $100 may seem like a lot, if what you will learn will really help you then it is a legitimate business expense to take the course and as such may be a self-employment business tax deduction.

Other assets (and tax deductions) that you will need to consider when starting a home business are tangible, such as computer, printer (ink cartridges/paper), software, desk, chair, light, phone, etc. Make sure you have reliable equipment as ‘down-time’ can be expensive if you are unable to run your business.

So if you have something held together by tape or a computer that keeps crashing, you should take steps to find out how to fix things up that you have and if not to purchase what you need. You may wish to wait until just before tax time for more expensive investments, so that you can recover the money directly.

Keep track of every penny you spend (as well as what you earn) so that you are not scrambling to get it all together in time for taxes; and that you do not overlook something that you could have used for a deduction. Be sure to consult your Federal and State agencies online to be fully aware of all that is required for self-employment and home business every year.

Have a Home Business Plan and Stay Focused

People really sometimes need to adjust their mindset when they switch from a regular career to working from home. It is just not the same and believe it or not even though your time is more flexible, you can easily become distracted and even start ‘slacking’ if you don’t cultivate good work habits.

work at home

When you worked at a job it is likely all the structure was already there and you just walked in and sat down. There are procedures and facilities already being used and you just need to learn how to do them. You have likely been given a job description that outlines your duties and the corresponding deadlines; you are either told or agree to your regular hours, lunch hour, etc. If you want to keep your job you will stick to the plan.

When you decide to start your own home business, you start right at creating an office space for yourself and build up from there. You do need a specific area for your business. While it is possible to work from anywhere you will find that as time goes by you need some organization and structure because you are being distracted and interrupted and/or somehow not getting things done timely.

For many reasons it is ideal if you have a spare room with a door where you can create an office space. Lacking that, then a specific area in a room that is used only for your business is next best. Even if you have to keep all your stuff in a box beside your computer, keep it segregated from newspapers, toys, ashtrays, cups, etc. Take it out as you need to use and put it back when you are done.

Part of your home business plan should include scheduling. Although your time is flexible when you work at home, you have to have specific times where you commit to devote to your business. It depends on your personal preference and energy level whether you want to do all your work for 8 straight and then quit, or whether you would prefer to work a few hours, take a break for a while, and then complete your tasks later in the day.

The point is though that you need to focus only on your work when you are working, get it done and then move on. One real challenge in working from home other than getting your kids to respect your work time, is to convince your friends and family that although you are working from home, you are working, and as such you can’t keep being interrupted by the phone and unannounced visits during your work time.

This may be difficult to convey without a conflict or hurt feelings, so just turn your voice mail on and do not answer it unless it is an emergency. This is a good idea anyway to screen your calls as when you start to stay home you will realize how many times telemarketers will call and some will call repeatedly every day until they get an answer. It is best just not to answer or return their calls unless you are actually interested in whatever they are selling which is unlikely.

Everybody is Different – Effective Home Business Strategies

It is a mistake to think that ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to motivating people to start and succeed with a home business. What works for me may have the opposite effect for you. There are multiple home business strategies that you can explore to find what works best for you.

visualize dollars

For example, some people may actually find a benefit in ‘visualizing’ and this is all they need to stay focused and determined enough to actually cause their business to succeed by taking consistent action. This means they want to imagine themselves as wealthy, and to picture all of the things they would buy if they had the money. However others would be turned off immediately by this as they deem it to be ‘hokey’, ‘woo woo’ and even ‘witchcraft’.

Others who are logical will probably be most helped by having a solid plan of action, starting with being organized. They have specific goals for every stage of development. They will be interested in the concepts and theories, but more importantly will learn an exact plan of action that includes the steps they need to take, the resources they need to have, and to know how much time they will need to work each day.

Either way people need to be as committed to their home business as they are to their job. Just because we are our ‘own boss’ and can work ‘whenever we want’, we still need to treat it all very seriously if we expect to earn an income on a regular basis. We probably wouldn’t dare tell our boss, ‘Sure, I will do it tomorrow if I have time’ and certainly if we did, we would be sure to get it done at that time. When you ‘work for yourself’ it is all too easy to procrastinate and even just eliminate unpleasant tasks.

While nobody will fire you, it is less likely your business will be successful unless you are ‘taking care of business’ and ‘doing what you need to do’. On the one hand people are so worried about spending a few dollars as an investment to get their business off the ground; and yet then they will ignore what they need to do and may even quit without trying – wasting what money they did spend to start-up their home business.

It’s no big surprise that not everybody is cut out to be a home business entrepreneur – Some people function really well at a job where they have structure, and do a great job. However on their own, they just don’t have the motivation to do what may be a second job or something that will take up all of their spare time in the beginning. They are unwilling to make any sacrifices or to learn anything new. That’s ok, but then they need to understand they will always be stuck with the status quo for better or worse.

Developing an Online Home Business Start-Up Plan

Be open to all possibilities, and/or keep an open mind while you are formulating a plan on how you will set-up your online home business. Don’t get stuck in a box, at least until you can really try on a few perspectives as to what kind of a business you will have. Then you can determine what that would involve to facilitate as part of a viable home business plan. See what develops. One thing for sure is that there are multiple facets to most really dynamic businesses – whether online or offline. There are many things to consider as you will realize over time, if you are really serious about building your own online business. It can be much more than you can see right now.

There was once a song that had lyrics that included something like “you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you get what you need”. So you may have a vision or an idea of what you think your home business will be, and along the way you may discover additional as well as possible alternative techniques and strategies that you would also want to consider including. In time, maybe even a long time from now, you may change course as to which is the best way for you to go forward. At any given juncture in your business development plan you could discover another facet for your business structure and thereby develop an additional stream of income. ‘One brick at a time’.

It is always important to sit down and make a list of your interests and skills, as well as your specific work experience. Really think about what you did at each job you had. What did you do well; what did you like the best. Think of that in terms of the big picture as far as what your actions directly contributed to as part of the business process in that company. This is important so that you know what assets you have to work with. Another resource to consider is the amount of time you have to invest in learning how to and then implementing your business operations procedures; and of course going forward consider how much time you can commit to being engaged in running the business on a day-to-day basis, as well as factoring in time for technical and maintenance functions.

You have to decide how you will handle everything and determine whether you can afford to get any help in the way of online admin/support services, website design, marketing and advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), traffic and list building services, sales and tax accounting. To tell you the truth it is best if you know how to do things for yourself if possible. So even if you can pay someone to do it for you, now or later, you should take control of your own business by knowing how to do everything yourself, not to mention doing it free if you can. In most cases that would be a pre-requisite because it seems most people try to start-up a home business when they have few resources in the way of money and sometimes even little time. So either way, you should definitely understand what is going on and what needs to be done so that you are in control.

To be honest starting up a successful online home business is not about how much money you have to invest, so much as it is about how serious, determined and focused you are in starting a real business that will pay you an income in the future. Remember starting-up is just square one. Many people are all fired up and ready to ‘byte the bullet’ (do whatever it takes to start a business); but then they don’t do anything else beyond set it up. They expect it to run itself and not cost them a single dime to operate.

Sometimes people expect everything for free yet they expect to make big money fast. They will be the first to pronounce the program a scam if they don’t see anything in a couple weeks or months. They will never acknowledge that they didn’t really take action and that is why nothing happened. They believe they really tried but what actually happened was a ‘half-hearted’ attempt and quit too soon because the only concern was that they were spending a few dollars on membership fees.

So the first thing you should determine before you waste any time or money, is if you are really serious; and then to be sure you would be willing to make sacrifices in making your online home business one of your top priorities over the long-term. Do you have what it takes to stay motivated on your own and to focus on your business without being managed (self-supervision)? These are important considerations. There is nothing to feel guilty about if you don’t, as not everybody is an entrepreneur, and it is just best if you know what you really will or won’t do to get what you want.

While Making Money Can Be a Hobby, It Isn’t a Game

If you work at a demanding full-time job and have a gnarly commute to boot, you probably are not real enthused about spending more time working to start a home business so you can be making money on the side. However this is the very thing you should be doing. It may help to look at it as a hobby – one that you are interested in and find to be a fun project that you look forward to.

@ super business man

The motivation doesn’t even have to be making money – you can imagine not having that grizzly commute and just working from home someday, kicked back with your feet up, enjoying the journey as much as the thought of the eventual destination. The point is this could be critical someday, so find a reason to love it and pour whatever is left of yourself by the time you get home into it.

We can never know what is around the corner. Whether it is going to be something that helps or something that hinders. Therefore we need to be prepared, and making the most money now, while you still can, is a wise decision. There is a whole laundry list of possible disasters of varying magnitudes that could befall you and your family. If you had some money saved and/or an alternate way to support yourself well-established, landing on your feet would be a lot more sure.

So many things that we may have grown up being accustomed to are either gone or in a precarious state. You just never know what will happen to the company you are depending on to pay you a pension. Their investments can tank just like your own. There is no longer the concept of ‘too big to fall’. We have seen the biggest corporations fall to their knees and it can happen to individuals as well, as a result.

We saw what happened to millions of people in the last ‘recession’ where people lost their money on the stock market and even lost their homes that they worked all their lives to buy. We saw people who were reaching retirement age realize they had insufficient retirement funds and instead of planning a trip to Cabo they find themselves looking for part-time jobs for senior citizens. It’s just tragic. It’s heartbreaking to imagine looking forward all your life every day to something that is only a mirage, built with ‘funny money’.

What is the risk for you to invest your spare time in starting a home business to start making money so that you can feel a little more secure? For one thing, if nothing catastrophic happens where you need the money, you may be pleasantly surprised when you see you actually have enough money saved to buy something you really want but felt you couldn’t afford, like a new car or to take a vacation now while you still can.

The bottom line is it isn’t a game – if you are going to start a home business you need to take it seriously. Your home is a ‘kicked back’ environment, and lots more relaxed than the hostile corporate or retail work environment; however this could mean that you have to even more so be really determined and focused – absolutely committed, so that you will stay motivated to take care of business.