The road to becoming a successful affiliate isn’t always an easy one. It’s a journey complete with ups and downs. However, I believe it can be split into three distinct stages.
Knowing what to expect and becoming aware of key moments will help new affiliates navigate through an affiliate marketing career more confidently.
Stage #1: The “Nothing” Stage
I like to call the first stage the “nothing” stage. This is the time where you’ve just discovered affiliate marketing and, to put it simply, you’re confused. You are not sure what do and any sort of strategy evades you.
In this stage, your number one challenge (contrary to common beliefs) isn’t a lack of skill or finding the perfect strategy. The number one challenge is finding the right mindset and developing the right headspace to think about your new affiliate business.
Skills are important. But they only account for 20% of your ability to become a successful affiliate at this stage. It’s your attitude that will account for the other 80%.
Okay, hear me out. If you think this sounds like hippy-dippy woohoo, let me explain.
After 12 years in the trenches as both an affiliate and a trainer, I’m now convinced that the number on reason people fail during the first stage is simple:
They give up too soon.
Newbies will give affiliate marketing a shot but will quit if they don’t get results immediately. They’ll simply move on to something else because “this doesn’t work.” They don’t understand that they have to persevere, try more tactics, be proactive, and refuse to give up until they get their first affiliate sale.
Once they get their first sale, thus begins the second stage of their journey to affiliate marketing success.
Stage #2: The “Stuff is Working” Stage
With the first stage behind you, you’re convinced that you’ve figured it out. You start to make a few hundred dollars per week (or even thousands per month) and you form a new belief about affiliate marketing. You start to think, “This stuff really works!”
However, you’re not getting the consistent income you imagined back in Stage #1… yet.
This is why the skill/mindset ratio shirts in the second stage of affiliate marketing. Instead of a 20/80 split, the second stage requires 50% skill and 50% mindset.
When it comes to skills, your results have proven that you now know what you’re doing. But lack of consistency is a sign that you need to keep learning new things like tracking, paid traffic, building an email list, and leveraging your time.
When it comes to mindset, this stage is all about building the belief that you can make replacement level income from your affiliate business. Attaining and staying strong in that mindset is not as easy as it sounds though.
When I started making money as an affiliate, the first reaction I got from a lot of people was doubt. They didn’t think affiliate marketing was sustainable.
“Do you really believe you can make a living from this?”
“Do you think this will really last?”
Doubt and negativity like that can create inner conflict–especially when these questions come from friends and family.
So, no matter how exciting and promising your results are during Stage #2, it’s better to keep news of your success to yourself or only share with people in the industry. A Facebook group or a forum is a great place toi celebrate, network, and ask questions. As you grow and learn to shrug off the haters, you’ll make your way to the third stage of affiliate marketing success.
Stage #3: The “Growth” Stage
Once you enter the third stage, you’ll be consistently making an income from affiliate marketing. Now, your primary goal is to scale your affiliate income as high as possible.
You have the mindset part down. Now it’s time to take your skills up to 80% of the equation.
During Stage #3 you have to be confident in what you’re doing. Gone are the days of affiliate marketing doubt. Now it’s time to level up in business skills. Learning outsourcing, driving paid traffic, or creating your own offers will be critical to scaling the success of your affiliate business.
At this stage, there’s no ceiling. You’ve transcended self doubt and the sky is the limit.
To learn more about becoming the best and most successful affiliate marketer you can be, check out this video.
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