This is a brief article touching on some of the most important things you need to think about when it comes to actually starting a home business. My focus with this website, and this article, is Affiliate Marketing or Online Marketing. I titled the article: Starting Home Business
That is because I work from my home, from vacation, from wherever I am if I choose, and it is always on my schedule. A successful home business online requires only a laptop and an internet connection!
If you are not familiar with exactly what Affiliate Marketing is, the entire process of affiliate marketing is explained in my article here: INTERNET AFFILIATE MARKETING – DEFINITION & ILLUSTRATION If you are not familiar with the affiliate marketing process, you can take a look at that article to get an understanding. Feel free to bookmark this site and come back to see all the great material, and free resources, that I share with you on these pages.
So let’s get started with the ten things you must have for your new business:
1. You must have goals
Look, it’s great to be impulsive sometimes, but when it comes to making money online, you want to have real short-term and long-term goals. Please keep in mind that once you start making money from your website, you will have to claim taxes on that income. You will need to keep records. Get organized and be positive. Positive that if you do this right, you will make real money. So what’s the end goal here? Do you want to be making $100 a month or $15,000 a month? Do you want to retire and do this full-time, or do you want to build it and sell it?
Set some goals. Do some short-term goals, i.e. to have one website with 20 pages built in 2 months. This is just an example. Everyone is different with different amounts of time to designate to this pursuit, so you need to set your personal short-term and long-term goals. Long terms goals can be out six-months, a year, perhaps 5 years.
Goals are Adjustable
You may set a goal of 20 pages in two months and then find you’ve completed 20 pages in one month. Adjust your goals going forward once you have an idea of how long it will take you to accomplish certain tasks.
Let’s treat this, from Day 1, like a business.
2. You must have a schedule
This is absolutely critical. For me, my schedule is pretty much whenever I’m not obligated to help someone, babysit my grandchildren, or attend social gatherings with family or friends. This is my passion, my enjoyment, and my income, so you will find me here, researching and writing content whenever I have free time. What about you? How much time do you have to devote to this business?
What I want you to do is write down, on paper, on a calendar, in your phone, I don’t care, but write down on each day the block or blocks of time you plan to devote to working on your business. Treat this like it is a job, and you have to show up! When someone wants to intrude on that time, you can simply say, “Oh, I can’t at that time, I’ll be working, but how about later that same day?”
Plan your schedule a week in advance and be realistic. You do not want to burn out because you will never get in front of your computer to work again. So be real. You can always work “overtime!” If you truly center your niche around a passion of yours, then you will truly be successful because you really will make your “work” schedule a priority in your life because you will enjoy it!
3. You must have time
I just discussed this above about being realistic about your time, but in reality, you really do have to devote a big chunk of your time to developing your website and getting it going if you want to make money from it. So how quickly you begin to make that money depends on how much time you can put into it.
Sometimes we have to prioritize our time, right? How important to you is getting your online business producing income? I would say the more important it is to you, the more time you will find to work on it. It’s funny how that works!
4. Your niche must meet these criteria
Your niche. I will talk about that a lot here, so if you want a detailed explanation about niches, you can read my article about that here: WHAT IS A NICHE AND HOW TO CHOOSE – This article will explain all about a good niche, but just briefly here I will tell you that the “niche” is your theme, your subject, the topic of your website. Examples would be BESTDOGFOOD.COM or FINDHAIRPRODUCTS.COM – it can literally be anything. My one niche is youthful lifestyle. That’s it – I can write about exercise, mental health, beauty products, vitamins, food, you name it! It’s a great niche.
So here’s the criteria for your niche, you have to have one of the following:
1) have a great passion for the subject (niche)
2) know a lot about the subject
3) want to learn about the subject
Let me explain why you must have one of these three criteria to be successful at affiliate marketing. TIME! Your time. You won’t want to devote a lot of your valuable time building a website about women’s stockings and socks if that is really not your interest. So think carefully and read the article about how to choose a niche. It will really help you narrow that down.
5. You must keep track of your posts
If you are just starting out, I know you can get multiple websites with Wealthy Affiliate for free, but I suggest you focus your efforts on one website to begin with, and then, once you have a good handle on posting regularly, and your site has 20 or more posts, you might consider adding a second niche website, depending on your time.
If you have multiple websites, this becomes even more important because you have so much to keep track of, and it can start to get confusing.
I use Excel sheets to keep track of everything. They are searchable (you can literally search your computer for keywords, and it will pull up every document and picture in your computer with that word or phrase in it! Therefore, using excel is the easiest way to quickly retrieve data. With Excel, you can put links into the excel sheets for all your posts and your affiliate links for all your products, and you can color code them all, so I find Excel to be an extremely useful tool. I will continue to share my excel spreadsheets throughout future posts on this subject. Be sure to subscribe to this website, and then you’ll receive an email whenever a new post is made.
I’ve placed a screen capture below here that you can take a look at. I brought it way down small so I could get most of the columns in. You will see on the left side is the title of the post and the date it was posted. Next are the number of comments (post comments for that article), and then comes my marketing area. Each column represents a social media platform, and I put in a date and highlight the box if the article has been shared on that platform. The comments columns represent whether I have requested comments from my fellow members in the Wealthy Affiliate community.
6. You must meet the terms of your Affiliate Agreements
This is one of the most important things you must do if you are to be successful as an Affiliate Marketer. You have to read and understand your various Affiliate Agreements. This agreement sets terms under which you must adhere or the merchant can revoke the agreement and ban you from ever being their affiliate again.
You should keep a copy of each affiliate agreement on your computer in a folder. Just open a word document, a notepad, whatever you can paste content onto and save on your computer, and name it [NAME OF COMPANY] – AFFILIATE AGREEMENT and do this for each company you enter into an affiliate agreement with to sell their products. Now go to their affiliate agreement, which you will probably find in your account with them, or in an email from them, or reach out to your representative for the company to obtain a copy for your folder, copy and paste the entire agreement onto the word doc. Save this in a file, you can read below about how to set up your files on your computer. Super easy.
READ EACH AGREEMENT and adhere to it to the letter. Err on the side of caution because the last thing you want is to lose your ability to sell products for a large distributor that could potentially have made you thousands of dollars. Be wise and, again, treat this like the business you want it to be!
I have affiliate agreements for all products that I link to on this website. You can read my affiliate disclosure here: AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE
7. You must keep organized files on your computer
It is important for you to keep documents on your computer. I am going to be doing an article soon regarding setting up the documents on your computer. You have to be organized.
So as an example of my file structure, I have a folder labeled AFFILIATE MARKETING in my DOCUMENTS area. Inside the AFFILIATE MARKETING folder, I have several folders, one of which is labeled AFFILIATE COMPANIES. Inside this folder I have a folder for each company, so for example, I have one that says AMAZON.COM on it, and inside it I keep the individual folders for each product I sell through my affiliate agreement with Amazon.com. See an illustration below of my computer filing system.
DOCUMENTS > AFFILIATE MARKETING > AFFILIATE COMPANIES > INDIVIDUAL COMPANY > INDIVIDUAL PRODUCTS
Inside each individual company folder I keep the affiliate agreement and then I keep a folder for each individual product I am marketing for that company. I keep the pictures, the affiliate links, the HTML code, whatever information I have for that product to market it, I keep it.
BONUS: You must have guidance and education on the business
Even experienced affiliate marketers sometimes fall short of their true potential because they really don’t have the proper guidance, tools or education regarding this business. That’s why I recommend throughout this website that you use the Wealthy Affiliate platform to get you going. You want to have an education about how to do each step in detail so that you do it right.
The Wealthy Affiliate platform takes you step by step in detail, with videos literally showing you exactly how to do it, you could open a new window, go to your website, and follow it exactly for each task, they make it that clear. You will learn exactly how to set up your free website, and it’s all free. They don’t even ask for your credit card information. Now, you can always upgrade to their Premium Membership, but if you want to maintain a free membership, you can do that for as long as you want and maintain your websites. It’s a great way to get started because there are numerous financial benefits to working with them as far as optimizing your website.
If you want to know more about Wealthy Affiliate, read this article here:
I am a member of the Wealthy Affiliate community, and I can tell you, there is nothing but value in the entire platform. I have been marketing online for many years, and I have tried many programs to help with my online businesses. With Wealthy Affiliate, I have yet to discover a down side to the program, and I highly recommend it personally. Read all about the platform and then when you do sign up, please post on my member wall and let me know. I’d love to hear from you!
Please be sure to subscribe to this website, and you will then receive an email notification whenever a new article is published. I am here to bring you up-to-date information on the world of affiliate marketing, so if you have any questions or want to leave a comment, please do so in the box below!
I would really like to hear about your new business idea!
You can also email me at Babs@CoachingforInternetMarketers.com
Starting out can be tough, I know, so I will also be sharing lots of free resources to get you going.I am dedicated to providing this information to my readers, and I hope you always feel free to reach out to me.
Thanks for visiting my page!
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