5 Ways to Get Serious About Affiliate Marketing

So one of the big reasons the majority of affiliates fail is because they don’t really get serious. This could be because :

  • They tried once and failed.
  • They don’t have the time (between a “real” job, kids, etc).
  • They don’t really believe a living can be made with affiliate marketing (believe it or not I could find hundreds of people who would call me crazy for saying you can make $20k/month with affiliate marketing).
  • They’re simply not smart enough.

So what’s stopping you from getting serious? You have to believe that you’re going to succeed no matter how many times you fail to get there. Here are some ways to make sure you’re serious about making money with affiliate marketing.

1) Set a Serious Budget

You’re not serious about affiliate marketing if you plan on spending a $25 PPC voucher to test and calling it a day. If you want to be serious, you have to be ready to invest a serious amount of money. How much money is ultimately up to you, but I would try to save up at least $1,000 before you give affiliate marketing a real go. In many cases it can take much more than $1,000 to find something that’s profitable. If you take $25 and don’t find anything and stop, you’re just going to quit when the money keywords could be in the first $200 you spend. So start saving now, set aside a bit of money from each paycheck and start your own fund. Sell some of your stuff on eBay. Or do some grunt work for people to make some cash.

I personally set my budget to around $300/day and run it at that testing things until I get the campaign profitable (in which time I up the budget to unlimited).
2) Set Serious Time Aside

You’re not going to get any productive work done unless you set the proper time aside to do it. Despite how easy and time efficient affiliate marketing can be, these cases are ones of luck, very good connections, or knowing exactly what to do. This probably won’t be you, it’s not most people, so you have to make time to set up your campaigns, ensure you’re tracking EVERYTHING, and then constantly look over stats, test new pages, ads, keywords, anything.

Maybe you have a full-time job now and a family at home to take care of and time can be the hardest thing to come by. Just like with exercise or any other activity, you have to manage your time properly. Maybe it means cutting out your favorite TV show. Maybe it means (kindly hah) asking your spouse to cover for you for an hour or two every night, or in some cases maybe it means sacrificing an hour of sleep every night until you get things rolling. Either way, affiliate marketing takes time and is NOT easy money. But if you put the hard work into it, you can certainly reap the rewards.
3) Set Up Serious Tracking

Setting up a serious campaign doesn’t mean throwing together 5,000 keywords in a few semi-targeted ad groups and testing which ad has the highest click-through rate. As stated before, this can be done and is only successful in cases where you’re plain lucky. For the rest of us, we have to break down EVERYTHING in order to find out exactly what’s working and what’s not.

This means tracking :

a) Keywords – weed out the ones that aren’t converting.

b) Ads – test ads for the highest click through rate while making sure that they convert well.

c) Landing pages – test different button colors, headlines, page styles, etc. Track the CTR and the conversion rate of each page style and then decide the most profitable one. Once you know what “type” of page converts, start testing the smaller things like headlines, colors, content, and pictures.

d) IP addresses – block out IPs with multiple clicks to your ads. Google may prevent your ad from being charged, but if you have a ton of clicks from an IP it probably means it’s another affiliate, and by blocking them they don’t even see your ad up there anymore – making them not see your higher CTR ads and just preventing them from spying on you.

e) Offers – test out different offers from all networks, and then when you find the best converting offer, test that offer out between networks to see if there’s any shaving occurring. Stick with what works best.
4) Have Serious Faith

As with a lot of things in life; ya just gotta have faith. You’ve seen the big checks and screenshots from myself and others, and while I can’t promise you that all of them are real, I can promise you that all of mine have been real, and there’s nothing THAT special about me (aside from my devilish good looks and charming ways). There’s nothing stopping you from going out there and accomplishing your goals but you. Set a goal to quit your day job, to make a couple hundred bucks a week on the side, or to hit it big and buy your dream home with affiliate profits. No matter what the goal, just know that it is in fact possible, it just takes hard work and, you guessed it…getting serious.
5) Have Serious Common Sense

You want to know the best way to accomplish all your goals and hit it big in affiliate marketing??? Get out there and do it! This has been said a bazillion times before but I don’t care, if you want to be serious you have to have serious common sense. Reading a hundred eBooks, blogs, and forum posts isn’t going to deposit large wire transfers into your bank account. Creating campaigns and testing is going to do that. My free affiliate marketing tutorials will give you all the basic knowledge you need to get started. After you know the basics, just get in touch with your affiliate manager, pick out an offer together, and devise a small plan of attack. Then it’s all about YOU, and getting out there and testing properly.

Common sense also applies to your strategy. Don’t let a campaign get into your head…if you’ve spent thousands of dollars and tested out everything you could and couldn’t break a profit…accept it and move on. Only a VERY small fraction of the campaigns you test are going to be profitable, so the easiest way to find them is by testing a bunch out. I’m not saying spend less time on every offer, certainly take 1 offer at a time and put forth your greatest effort into it; but don’t keep believing you can make it work when the results and data clearly show you that you can’t.

Alright, this was my first lengthy “help” article I guess you could say in a while. Life has been nuts and I’ll give you all some updates on that soon, I just didn’t want to post that and have everybody complain about “no content is posted here any more you suck” blah blah. Tell me what to write about and I’ll write about it.



  1. September 14, 2008

    That’s some great content right there. Do you have a “Newbies” section that you could post that into ?

  2. September 14, 2008

    To most people, affiliate marketing are seen as a get rich quick scheme and when they actually start promoting affiliate programs, they find out that it is not that easy to make a penny compared to those PTC programs.

    Definitely a lot of good tips on how someone can get really focus on affiliate marketing and make it big online.


  3. September 14, 2008

    Good stuff. I have a great budget, ton of time to do the work, have total and complete faith…

    but zero common sense.


  4. September 14, 2008

    And I have everything except the great budget :/

  5. Alex
    September 15, 2008

    Right there with ya buddy.

  6. September 15, 2008

    I’m still not sure what to do to actually start when I put aside that money…

  7. Chris
    September 15, 2008

    musignr & Justin stop the excuses and just do it….

  8. ....
    September 15, 2008

    Isn’t it dangerous to have such high budgets?
    I mean, would you, paul, really spend $1,000,000 per day on a campaign if you could and it’s profitable? probably yes, but imagine your affiliate network finds something they don’t like with the way you promoted some offer and all your revenue gets cut? so you would be doomed for your whole life because you have debts from ppc spending :p

    well stupid example, but also on a lower scale something like this would be horror for ppl like me, don’t you think there is a certain risk in there?

    also, why do you mind competitors clicking on your ads? I think it’s nice, it will lead to a higher CTR and so to more traffic in future and maybe less cpc in the end.

  9. September 15, 2008

    Definitely some good pointers there. The best one and I always say it is to just go out there and DO IT.

  10. Gagan
    September 15, 2008

    Great post Paul. First in few months. It was long over due.


  11. September 15, 2008

    Hi there enjoy your article very much I been having some problems with my lens lately it seems like I need to change my format with the affiliate links, that I have. I’ll be following your advice, you been a great help. So until next time.

  12. September 15, 2008

    Some good pointers.

    AKA Jokeathan Volk ;)

  13. September 15, 2008

    taking ACTION is the key to success

  14. September 15, 2008


    You mention tracking EVERYthing there is to a campaigns… can i know how do you do your tracking??

    i having been thinking about my strategy and i think that’s what separate me from the super affiliate and me getting to 5 figure income…

    hope you can guide me…

  15. September 15, 2008

    DUDE you are so GAY!!


    Awesome advice, and it’s that simple, GET OFF YOUR ASS AND DO SOMETHING!! NOW!!
    Set some real goals, have some faith and get dirty and do something. I know not everyone doesn’t have the funds to get started, you will if your serious, you can always make some money if you really want to do GET SERIOUS, sell some stuff, grunt work on the weekends, I had to get a second crap job but it’s all worth it, the rewards are FO’ REAL!!

    you da man

  16. September 15, 2008

    All great points!

    Often times I read comments that people dont have the money to get going but I found a few ways to make a quick $500 that are either free or really cheap… :) I love AM!

  17. Tip Jar
    September 15, 2008

    Great tips man, gives me even more motivation to get going on it.

    I have a couple of the problems you’ve mentioned: not having enough time. Between work, school, and g/f, I barely have time to do campaigns. I also have no startup money.
    It’s funny you mention that people don’t believe that you can make a living with affiliate marketing. I keep telling my mom that these people are for real, but she doesn’t believe it lol.

  18. September 16, 2008

    Talk about believe, I can’t tell you the number of times my gf has tried talking me out of trying affiliate marketing. I’ve even decided that I’m no more going to tell her what I’m up to ;-)

    Thanks for the tips mate; am a first time reader here, and your page blog has automatically landed on ma bookmarks.

  19. September 16, 2008

    Great post Paul. I can attest to the fact that just giving it a shot with a few vouchers just doesn’t work. I decided to do just what you have suggest; Wait until I have sufficient resources to put into PPC and give it a real effort, not just throw $25 at it and hope I get a sale.

  20. September 16, 2008

    When you say “offers”, are you referring to $2 CPAs or something more profitable, like ClickBank for example?

  21. Tip Jar
    September 16, 2008

    I second this question…I’m assuming he’s talking about $20-$40 lead gens though.

  22. September 17, 2008

    Yeah thats right as one commented, u need to have a huge pocket and bank balance for affiliate marketing

  23. September 17, 2008

    I wish we had a thank you button!

  24. September 17, 2008

    Well I track, have money, and try hard… guess I still haven’t found the sweet spot!! God knows I will keep trying though!!!

  25. September 17, 2008

    Thanks for those lovely tips and I agree with Web Freak that one should reall have bank balance for starting affiliate marketing..

  26. September 18, 2008

    “Only a VERY small fraction of the campaigns you test are going to be profitable”

    Thanks for the honesty!

  27. September 18, 2008

    It seems a lot of successful affiliate marketers are using PPC to send traffic to landing pages that send traffic to a merchant site to make a sale. This all relies on being able to buy targeted traffic from the big search engines, but they have been making it harder to do this.

    Is this type of affiliate marketing (one and done lead gen) the best way forward or should we start focusing on building quality sites with quality domain names where traffic returns to our sites without the cost, risk, difficulty of the PPC model???

    I don’t blame the PPC pros for doing this as long as they can make it work, but it might not be the best business model for newbies to follow.

  28. September 19, 2008

    How much would you pay for tracking software?

  29. September 23, 2008

    Your serious-ly right about getting serious

  30. September 25, 2008

    Yeah lol but this is not a forum :D:D

  31. September 29, 2008

    It’s all about how bad you want it, and the goals you set. Then you throw in faith and work.

  32. October 1, 2008

    It sucks because you mentioned a few things why I haven’t been TOO serious about AM. I’ve been too busy with other projects that make me money so that’s another reason why I haven’t been too serious.



  33. October 4, 2008

    I think set serious deadlines and goals should be added to the list
    You can have a serious budget and serious time but that time could be wasted on browsing the web instead of on money making, income generating activities

    Hmm, I think I should follow my own advice

  34. October 5, 2008

    I think it’s the faith I’m lacking :/

  35. October 5, 2008

    Hey, it’s a pretty good site you’ve got there :)

  36. October 5, 2008

    There is a newbies post if you click “Affiliate Marketing Guide” at the top.

  37. October 5, 2008

    Tracking 101. Free.

  38. lolita
    October 5, 2008

    what types of tools do you use to do serious tracking? is there a blog post you can point me to?

  39. October 18, 2008

    You rock man! Thanks for the good info. I’m young and I’m just getting into this affiliate marketing game. I look up to you.

  40. November 20, 2008

    Well one of my biggest challenges as a newbie was staying on course. I was distracted by the latest ebook and reading forums.

    Once I buckled down and most importantly create a daily action plan I started seeing some good results..

  41. December 1, 2008

    Great post! Love it.

  42. January 7, 2009

    The first time I tried affiliate marketing, I spent say $200, gave up quickly, and got frustrated with all the tedious legwork that was required. But I let the sites just sit there and they slowly started converting. Now I’m back at it again and I’m trying to dominate this area, but I’m still quite “fresh” as some would say. This post was very inspirational for me and confirmed my suspicions that $200 is not nearly enough to test out the waters.

    Thanks for the great post.

  43. April 10, 2009

    Great post
    Thank you for Share

  44. April 19, 2009

    Nice tips
    Thank you

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