How to Set Affiliate Marketing Goals: 5 Goal-Setting Tips for Affiliates!

Hey guys, Keely here with ClickBank!

In this post, I want to talk to you about how to set affiliate marketing goals for your business and your journey. To start, let’s talk about what affiliate marketing is!

If you’re new to the whole idea, affiliate marketing is just about making money online. But it’s not that simple. This isn’t a ‘get rich quick’ scheme or another multi-level-marketing pitch that makes me money while you make pennies. It’s an actual way to make money if you’re willing to put in the work. 

There are 3 key players in the affiliate marketing world.

  • The seller – usually a company that wants more of their products to sell online.
  • The end customer – the person who’s shopping online and stumbles across the product.
  • The affiliate – the one who promotes someone else’s products in exchange for a commission. (Hopefully, you!)

As an affiliate, you’re the promoter. If you help sell someone else’s products online, you can earn a percentage of each sale.

Now, you may be asking yourself what the overall benefit of being an affiliate is. Well, there’s a few reasons I discovered for WHY I wanted to get into affiliate marketing, and why you should too! 

Why Affiliate Marketing?

First, affiliate marketing can help you change your future! It’s an amazing way to start a business with no money, and you get to choose how often you work, how much time you spend on your marketing, and what kinds of products you want to promote!

Plus, there’s a ton of room for you to grow and scale! There’s no limit to the amount of money you can make, or how much you can grow! Unlike your typical 9-5 job, no one is holding you back from making more money except for yourself. 

You also get to work wherever you can bring your phone and laptop. That means you can work from your fave coffee shop all day or hang out in the pool while you promote a few products online. The flexibility possibilities are really endless!

Last, you don’t have to have any business or marketing experience to start! With ClickBank, you can go through our Spark courses that will help you get on your feet and get started! You don’t even need to have or create your own products and go through the taxing processes to start your own business. You can just find great products that already exist and promote those! 

My Affiliate Journey

I’ve been slowly diving in to my own affiliate marketing journey and I’m here to pass along my wisdom as I slowly learn it. I went through the whole process of discovering my niche, defining my personal brand and my audience, picking products, the whole nine yards – and now I promote products organically on my social media as a way to earn passive income!

One of the things that helped me right from the jump was setting up some goals for myself. Having good goals and an even better mindset is EVERYTHING. Seriously. It can literally make or break your affiliate marketing journey.

I’ll tell you from experience, being an affiliate is no easy task and certainly not for the faint of heart. However, with the right mindset and some good goals to get us where we want to go, we can find success! 

There’s a lot of self-help gurus who want to tell you that with the right mindset, ANYTHING can be accomplished. Now, I don’t wanna sound like them, but they’re kind of right. It doesn’t mean you can set your goals and then achieve success overnight, but when we approach every day with a mindset of success, ready to tackle each goal day by day, we can slowly make our way to our end goal (and beyond)! 

Like I said above, this isn’t some get-rich-quick scheme, so we’re not gonna be making money overnight… YET. But let’s talk about a few ways to set some affiliate marketing strategies and goals for ourselves to get there. 

I also break this down in this short video on our Instagram! You can check that out, plus a bunch of our other helpful how-tos and such all on our Instagram. Or TikTok, if that’s your jam! 

How to Set Affiliate Marketing Goals

Setting affiliate marketing goals is honestly like setting ANY other goals…

As we set some affiliate marketing goals together, we’re going to use a framework called the SMART method for goal setting. The SMART method is setting goals for yourself that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. 

Let’s break this down. Say, for example, one of your goals is to read more. Using the SMART method, you would break it down like this: 

  • Specific – I want to read at least one book per month. 
  • Measurable – To reach this goal, I will read 30 pages per day of my book. 
  • Achievable – This goal is achievable, since I will spend 1 hour per day reading my book instead of sitting down to watch TV. I have the time and resources available. 
  • Relevant – This goal is relevant because it will help me expand my knowledge in a specific area I am interested in. I will be reading books based upon this interest. 
  • Time-bound – I will read one book per month for the next six months and then reassess when I’m done. 

With these goals, I’ve set myself a time-bound, relevant goal for my life to be able to read more books. This is a simple and effective way to set goals and achieve them without the goals getting the best of you and not motivating you how they should. 

Another example might be setting a goal to exercise more. Let’s look at how this might play out using the SMART goals:

  • Specific – I want to exercise three times per week.
  • Measurable – On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, I will work out for one hour each day at 5:15 pm. 
  • Achievable – On these days, I have extra time after work, so this will be easy to accomplish. 
  • Relevant – I care about my health and my mental clarity, and I know exercise helps with both. This is relevant to my life, as it will help me improve my physical and mental health. 
  • Time-bound: I will exercise three times per week for the next six months and reassess when I’m done. 

I know from personal experience, the more wild the goal, the more I am intimidated by it, and therefore less likely to actually accomplish it. With SMART goals, we can set realistic and healthy goals for ourselves that help us achieve greatness on our own timetable! 

Our goal-setting here with affiliate marketing is two-fold. We should ensure our goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound! If we set a goal to earn $3 million in our first year as an affiliate, that’s not specific, achievable, or really measurable in any way. Let’s take the time to do our research and set realistic goals based on our individual affiliate marketing journey! 

With that said, here are 5 specific goals you should shoot for in your affiliate marketing journey that are specific, achievable, and relevant! 

1) Choose Your Niche and Audience

Our first goal to get us on our affiliate marketing journey is to choose our affiliate marketing niche and audience. 

Having a niche is super important before we do ANYTHING else. So, how do you find your affiliate marketing niche? Let’s break it down first. Here’s how I dialed in on my niche. Now I’m not saying I have a PERFECT formula, but feel free to use this as a guide. 

First, I took a look at who I am. What things do I like to do, what kinds of hobbies I’m into, and what makes me happy in my day to day. For me personally, I like to travel, I enjoy being outside, and going on adventures. I rock climb, teach yoga, and go on runs and hikes, and doing all of those things make me happy! 

Next, I take a look at my different social media channels I use and how I can utilize those channels. For me, I post a lot of yoga and outdoor content on my Instagram and TikTok. With that in mind, I know a lot of my current audience are fellow outdoorsy and active people. From that, I can glean that I should keep talking to my audience about those things that they follow me for. 

With that information, I can determine that my niche is probably within the fitness category. More specifically, women’s fitness, health, and activity. By finding who I am and what my audience enjoys from me, I can determine my niche! 

But why is a niche important? Let’s look at this example again, envisioning that my audience are women who enjoy health and fitness. Now imagine that I chose a niche like the men’s survival niche. That wouldn’t connect with anyone in my audience and wouldn’t be authentic to who I am. 

When you’re going about choosing your niche, you should also do research on different niches to make sure you find one that fits you and your messaging the best. You can check out our Top Ten Niches for Affiliate Marketing blog to start your research!

2) Find 3 Quality Products to Promote

Once we’ve found our niche, it’s time to find quality products to promote. There’s a few determining factors when it comes to finding quality products. We don’t wanna pick just anything. A high quality product within our niche can make or break our affiliate marketing journey!

affiliate marketing goals

There’s a few things to look for when we pick our products. 

Overall, we want to determine how the product performs overall. To determine this, we’ll first look at the average payout. This is how much commission you can earn from the product. You want to determine if the average payout of the product is worth your marketing efforts. Next, take a look at the average conversion rate. Do people actually click on the links and make a purchase? Again, your efforts to market these products should be taken into consideration. You don’t want to promote a product that never actually converts. 

Next, assess the earnings per click. That’s how much money you’ll make per click on your link. If you’re doing a paid-per-link campaign, you want to make sure that your money is worth the earnings you’ll receive on each click. Last, look at the gravity score of the product. Gravity score is specific to ClickBank’s Marketplace. It reports on the number of unique affiliates who have made a sale on a product in the last 12 weeks, with higher weight given to more recent sales. A higher Gravity score indicates that many unique affiliates are actively making sales on a particular product. This is really helpful when it comes to choosing a product! 

At the end of the day, make sure the product you’re choosing performs well, and it fits well within your niche. Again, if we were in the women’s health niche, we wouldn’t want to promote a men’s health pill that doesn’t fit well within our niche. Once you’ve determined your niche and found three great products to promote, we can move on to our next goal! 

3) Decide on Your Traffic Source

Okay, so we’ve decided on our niche, our audience, and we’ve found three quality products to promote based on each product’s performance. The next thing we need to do is decide on our traffic source. Here is the place where we’ll be promoting the products to our audience within our niche. 

There are five main affiliate types and traffic sources associated with each of them. Let me break them down for you so you can make an educated decision based on what you’d like to do!

Content Publisher

A content publisher is someone who primarily publishes content on a website or blog! Getting into affiliate marketing as a content publisher is great because it has a low barrier to entry, it costs little to nothing to get started, and with the right SEO, you can get lots of free traffic through organic search!

It does also take a lot of time and patience and hard work, but if you’re willing to put in the work and the time, this could be a great option!

PPC/Media Buyer

A PPC or media buyer affiliate is someone who is using Google, Facebook, or native ads to promote their products. This is one of the fastest ways to see results when it comes to promoting products. These affiliates send users who click on their ads through a bridge page and over to a seller’s sales page through their affiliate tracking link.

The pros of this route for affiliates are the fast results, with quick and easy set-up. However, ads may be expensive and there’s no guarantee that you’ll make money. But media buying has helped many of ClickBank’s top clients reach the coveted Platinum status, so this is definitely a solid option!

Email Marketer 

The email marketer does product promotions and reaches customers through their massive, ever-growing email lists. This is a fast and cheap way to promote one or more affiliate products to a captive audience based around a specific trait or .

Email marketing is great because it’s a super efficient way of marketing. However, affiliates that get into email marketing know that it is NOT free! And it adds complexity to your marketing efforts, because you’ll likely need to use a combination of organic and paid efforts to build your email list. 

Social Influencers

This is exactly what it sounds like: influencers on social media who use their following to make sales on their products.

Influencer marketing is great because you can easily monetize your existing audience, and it’s quick and easy to do it! It helps to have a larger fan-base on your platform, and you don’t want to risk alienating your audience so choose wisely when it comes to this free traffic source. 

Community Manager

Lastly, we have community managers. These affiliates usually manage some sort of community, like on Discord, Reddit, Slack, or other community areas. This is a great avenue if you already have a community established that you are influential over, or you have some level of expertise or renown in your space that you can leverage.

Community management is sort of a similar take to influencer marketing! It takes time to build a community and maintain it, but there’s a lot of value in having an engaged community that listens to you. Just keep in mind, you don’t want to ruin the community by posting too many self-serving links! 

You can read more in depth about the top 5 affiliate types and the traffic sources associated with them to help you make the most educated and well-thought-out decision. 

With these options in mind, accomplish your next goal by selecting the traffic source you’re going to use in your affiliate marketing journey! 

4) Set a Dollar Amount to Aim for

Your next goal is to set a dollar amount to aim for. You want to make this reasonable based on your traffic source.

Since we’re just getting started, make your first goal really attainable. For me, I set a goal to reach $2,000 in sales in my first six months. That may not seem like a lot right off the bat, but it allows me some room for trial and error as I begin my affiliate marketing journey. 

Depending on your specific affiliate program, your niche, your audience, and your traffic source, your goals may be smaller or loftier than mine. You can read more about how much affiliate marketers make, which can help inform your decision!

On ClickBank, we have an annual income threshold of $250K to become one of our Platinum clients. It’s totally possible to achieve this – we see it with hundreds of clients every year!

5) Celebrate Your Successes

Finally, our last goal will be to celebrate our successes!

At this point, we’ve identified our niche, put together a marketing strategy for ourselves, discovered the consumers in our audience, and found the platform or platforms we want to be promoting our content on. We’ve accomplished all of these objectives, so it’s time to celebrate our wins along the way!

Yes, you’ll celebrate making money – but you should also celebrate building your first landing page, writing your first blog post, or even creating your first tracking link. Every one of these steps brings you closer to your ultimate goal of affiliate success.

Take some time to be grateful for all of your accomplishments throughout your affiliate marketing journey. Learn from the successes, learn from the failures, and then… keep scaling! 

Goal Setting for Affiliate Marketers Wrap-up

Well, folks, we took the time to create some goals, and now it’s time to stick to them!

Cross them off your list as you go, and continue on your affiliate marketing journey of success. Good luck and happy scaling! 

If you want a little more direction with your affiliate marketing goal setting, we do have a brand-new Meta Ads course inside of Spark by ClickBank, along with excellent courses on SEO blogging and TikTok for affiliate marketing success. Be sure to check it out!