There is so much excitement around affiliate marketing and the opportunities it can provide, especially when you’re just starting out. While it can be very motivating and inspiring to get caught up in the hype, in order to truly succeed in affiliate marketing you need be able to recognize what is actually involved – the work, the timeframes and the commitment required to really make it work for you.

What a lot of affiliate marketers – pushing products, tools, software and other information – neglect to mention is the hours and hours of work and commitment they put in to establish themselves as successful affiliate marketers. They don’t mention this, because if you believe it really is that easy, you won’t hesitate in purchasing whatever it is they’re promoting.

But like all things in life, if you want to be successful you need to be realistic, goal oriented and committed to whichever path you choose to take.

1. Be Realistic

While it’s very tempting to believe you can bring in thousands of dollars a week from just a few hours work, it’s not realistic. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this isn’t possible – in fact I know it to be very possible – but it’s just not going to happen in your first few weeks (or even months) as an affiliate marketer.

There are so many different strategies, techniques and approaches you can apply to affiliate marketing, and they will all yield different results for everyone. You may find that you are good at article marketing, but struggle with back links. This is all about trial and error, finding which techniques work best for you – and unfortunately, this all takes time.

Being realistic is about knowing what is really involved and the actual amount of time it’ll take before you even see your first pay check. So when you don’t see tens of thousands of dollars in your bank account in your first week as an affiliate marketer, you won’t be disillusioned.

2. Establish Goals (Your Path to Success)

Look at affiliate marketing as more of a journey – tracking which techniques have produced the best results, and which haven’t. The more positive results you see (generally, initially, in the form of traffic statistics rather than dollars), the closer you’ll get to that final big payoff – that you’ll be receiving again and again as you continue as an affiliate marketer.

In order to continue on this journey, you need to establish your goals which will lead you on your path to success. Both long and short term – specific and general.

Your short term goals are specific goals that you’d like to achieve to keep you focused in the day to day. Like trying to understand and implement a specific traffic generating technique. Your long term goals, while they should be broader, are just as important because they will guide you as you continue to work toward being a successful affiliate marketer. Your short term goals should then stem from these long term goals as the steps you will take to achieve them.

3. Stay Motivated & Committed

If you are effectively implementing the first two steps, this one should come automatically.

If you start out in affiliate marketing truly believing in your first few weeks, working only 2-3 hours a week you’ll be making tens of thousands of dollars. You’ll be incredibly frustrated and de-motivated when you don’t see yourself getting any closer after a few weeks of work.

But if you work with a realistic expectation of what you can achieve and focus daily on your short and long term goals, then you’ll naturally stay motivated and committed to seeing the end result. The best thing about working with realistic short term goals is that you’ll be seeing results on a daily basis.

You’ll be more aware of what you’re doing, why you’re putting those strategies in place and you’ll be seeing the results they yield. Seeing the fruits of your labor, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem in the scheme of things, is incredibly motivating – because you’re seeing it work!

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