One of the first questions you have when starting any type of business, especially in the online world, is “How long does it take to become successful?”. That’s a loaded question, right? And there are plenty of people who will take advantage of this by advertising “Get Rich Quick” schemes, “Instant Profits”, and other deceptive terms. The truth is, there is no such thing.
There aren’t very many businesses where you’re going to be successful right off that bat either. In fact, it takes most new startups anywhere from 6 months to 3 years to become profitable depending on the line of business. And Affiliate Marketing IS a business and must be treated as such if you are to succeed.
Fortunately, Affiliate Marketing doesn’t have much in the way of overhead, and you can get by investing as little as $40 to $50 a month in most cases. However, that figure does not include your personal time invested which can be quite significant.
So, how long does it take to be a successful Affiliate Marketer? For the most part, at least 6 to 12 months before you start seeing some significant income. However, it largely depends on your personal situation. Keep in mind that the majority of people, including your competition, will quit before making any real money. That’s because you’ve got to be in the game for the long haul, like any business.
Let’s take a look at some factors that will determine how quickly you become successful.
Where Is Your Focus?
When you first start out in Affiliate Marketing you’re all pumped, gung ho, and ready to conquer the world. However, over time you can start to veer off track, or succumb to “Shiny Object Syndrome ” (falling for the latest and greatest tool or method that comes along). It happens to the best of us. One way to beat this is to settle on one specific method, put the blinders on, and stick to it.
Your focus during your first year (and beyond) of Affiliate Marketing is going to be creating a brand for your business. Focus on providing your niche audience with useful information in the form of articles, how-to’s, and product reviews. Provide quality information and a lot of it.
During these beginning stages, it is so important that you focus on your audience and build trust with them. Answer their questions and make your niche site a place they will want to come back to. The more you focus on solving your niche’s problems and providing them solutions to their needs, the more trust you will build. All of this will translate into product sales and profits.
Additional Reading: How To Write Content With Ease
Your Work Ethic
How dedicated are you to the success of your Affiliate Marketing business? I know how that sounds. But, in order to see massive success, you need to take massive action! That means setting weekly, if not daily goals. Every day, you should be doing something that moves your business forward, no matter how small it may be.
For example, one very important goal on your list should be a target number of articles you need to publish each week. You don’t have to publish a new article every day, but publishing 3 to 4 articles a week is not unreasonable. That’s upwards of 150 to 200 articles for your first year, which isn’t bad.
You have to remember that in order to gain authority you need to have quality and quantity. Your articles should be thorough, unique, and relevant to your niche. You should also focus on writing content that’s over 1,500 to 2,000 words. The more you can write, the better off you’ll be. Article length and relevance are big ranking factors with the search engines, especially Google.
How Long Have You Been At It?
Websites take time to gain traction with the search engines or gain authority. The longer your website’s been around, the more love the search engines will give it.
If you’ve been doing this for a few months then take inventory of where you’re at. How many articles have you written? How many product reviews? Are your articles informative and unique? Are you on track to meet your writing goals?
Also, how many mistakes have you made? Mistakes are part of the process. We learn from them and it helps us grow. It helps us provide better content and make more responsive websites, etc. So don’t look at them as failures, but learning opportunities.
Take a minute to review my article on common mistakes made by Affiliate Marketers and how to fix them. This alone may save you a lot of time, effort, and love lost from the search engines.
The longer you work on your niche site, the better you will get at things like finding keywords and writing content. And remember, if it was easy, everyone would be doing it.
Take time to reflect on why you wanted to start this business and where you want to take it. To me, it means “Freedom”. Freedom to live life on my terms, where I want to, and how I want to.
See your future and visualize the sales you are getting and the revenue you’re earning. As Napoleon Hill wrote, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.“
How Much Traffic Are Getting?
Affiliate Marketing algebra is very simple, Traffic = Sales. Obviously, if you are just starting out in this business you probably aren’t getting much traffic to your website yet. And that is OK. It takes time to build traffic.
Your sources of traffic are pretty straightforward. It’s either organic (from the search engines and/or social media), email lists, or its paid (Adwords/Pay per click). When you’re first starting you want to focus on organic traffic being generated from your articles and sharing on social media. Organic traffic is the best kind, it’s free, right?
One thing I don’t advise is trying pay-per-click advertising when you first starting out. That’s a quick way to burn through a lot of money fast! Giving yourself and your niche site time to mature and a chance to build organic traffic on its own is the best way to go.
Once your site matures some and you get 100 or so articles under your belt, you might think about an email list. The thing is, you need a solid foundation (your website) and a direction to take your audience. You don’t want to start an email list without having follow-up sequences, content, and a direction on products you want to promote. The majority of your emails are going to be like your articles, informational and trust-building. That way when you do suggest a product they will be more open to spending a few bucks on it.
It’s been said that you can make money in any niche (within reason). Everyone is looking for something. Whether it be how to save their marriage or lose weight with organic supplements. The key is knowing who your niche audience is and what their needs are.
Your niche also needs to be very targeted and not too broad. You go too broad and you can’t get past all the competition. And don’t get too targeted that your audience is too thin. So, there’s a happy medium there. If you’ve got products out there being marketed to your niche, then you’ve got an audience. If you have a hard time finding any products to promote, then you may not have much of an audience.
Again, the key is to understand who your audience is and what makes them tick.
What Type Of Products Are Your Promoting?
If the product you are promoting makes you a $5 commission, then you’ve got to have a lot of people buying that product to make a substantial income. If your target monthly income is $5,000, then you need 1,000 sales per month. So, if 10% of your visitors buy your product, then you need 10,000 visitors each month to generate those results.
On the other hand, if your product makes you a $100 commission, you only need 50 sales to reach that same goal. Most products are going to be somewhere in the middle depending on your niche and your products.
Ideally, if you can promote something that has a monthly recurring commission, like a membership or a consumable product, then you can build your monthly commissions over time and this can become very profitable.
My final thoughts on how long does it take to be a successful Affiliate Marketer. Content, content, content. Can I say it again… I’ve covered what I believe are the primary topics affecting your ability to be successful in a reasonable amount of time. I’ve also provided additional reading to help you along.
Most of all it’s going to boil down to your own desire to be successful. Do you want it bad enough? Anything is possible if you believe in yourself and you want it bad enough. I believe that with all of my heart and I have witnessed it happen to many people in this business.
The one thing I can tell you that they all have in common is that they are not quitters. They never gave up.
It’s easy to give up and blame it on your circumstances, or this, or that. That’s the road traveled by most.
I know a woman who wants to be successful in this business more than anything. She lives in an unfinished home with no electricity and no internet. She works her business daily though, in her spare time at her two jobs. Most people would not even try given these circumstances, but she is determined to make it work. She believes in herself. If I had to wager on whether she makes it, I think you know where my money would be.
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To Your Massive Success,
PS. Have questions or comments? Please leave them below. I’d love to hear from you.
4 thoughts on “How Long Does It Take To Be a Successful Affiliate Marketer?”
This is a very well written article. I especially like that you push content to be successful and that as with any business, it does take time. You make sure that they understand picking out a niche, product promotion, and what audience they are targeting, as an affiliate marketer, I can relate to all of these very well. After it is all said and done, you then give them a way to become a successful affiliate marketer themselves. Overall, you have put their exact needs where they need to be and let them know there is no such thing as getting rich quick. It all takes work. Your example of the woman at the end really drives it home, because people do want their own business and they do want to be successful. This just gives them the extra excitement they need to move forward in whatever they decide to do. Thank you for the informative article. O found it to be exciting, truthful, and wonderful.
Thanks so much for your comment. As with anything, it boils down to how bad you want it.
Best wishes my friend,
A lot of people have their own definition of our long it takes to make money in this line of business. Some say 6 to 12 months while others say if you are not ready to stick it out for a year not to bother even starting. These can differ based on circumstances. Some people make their first sale few days after starting their website while others go months before making their first sale but before it can be turned into a full time income it must take at least 2 years.
Yes, you have to be in it for the long haul. Just look how long it took Amazon to break even, what 7 years… Of course, they had financial backing, but it just goes to show you’ve got to stick it out to reap the rewards.