written by Sagan Morrow
Sagan Morrow has over a decade of experience as a freelance writer and blogger. Nowadays, she teaches how to manage your time and energy effectively—especially when you’re a multi-passionate creative like her! She’s stopping by to share some tips on how to easily integrate affiliate marketing plans into your life.
It’s not always easy to incorporate affiliate marketing into your business… especially when it’s just one of the many facets of services and products you offer. The good news? You can make it work. It just requires a little extra strategic planning!
Being “mindfully strategic” with your plans is a skill that anyone—yes, even you—can learn how to cultivate. Doing this will empower you to improve your time management abilities, streamline your business processes, and have a smooth, easygoing affiliate marketing experience, without getting burned out along the way.
How to create a strategic action plan for your next affiliate marketing promotion:
Step 1: Understand your “why.”
Your “why” matters because it leads to your “how.” That’s right: you need to uncover the deeper reasons for why you are doing something, so that you can be that much better at taking action on it in very strategic ways.
Take a little time to get at the root of why this particular affiliate promotion means so much to you and why you want to participate in it. (You’ll be able to use this as part of the content for your marketing materials, by the way!)
Step 2: Outline your goals and success milestones.
What are your goals for this affiliate promotion? How will you measure success along the way?
This could include monetary goals, number of sales, emails from your audience telling you how much they resonate with the message you’re sharing with them, and so on.
Step 3: Break down the affiliate promotion into each section.
Ultimate Bundles does a great job of making this easier for us as affiliates! But you also want to tweak it to make it the right fit for you and your unique audience.
For example, some of the various “sections” of preparing for your next affiliate promotion could include…
- Going through the products included in the Bundle so you know exactly what’s in there
- Creating a preroll video for your unique affiliate sales page
- Writing and scheduling emails
- Planning social media content (writing and scheduling posts)
If you’re not already taking advantage of the Ultimate Bundles affiliate program, now is your chance. The program features a ton of free marketing training, commission rates starting at 40%, and a thriving community.
Step 4: Assign time and energy estimates to each section of the affiliate promotion.
Now that you have a list of each section of your affiliate marketing plan, how long will each task take you? Break this down into the amount of time needed to write and schedule (and test) each email, prepare your preroll video content (plus the time needed to choose an outfit, edit the video if needed, etc.), prep social media content, and so on.
Don’t forget about energy management, either. It’s a crucial aspect for how to stay productive and on-task, because if you try to force yourself to write an email during a non-creative time of your day, for example, then it:
a) will take you three times as long to do it compared to if you were in the “creative zone” for it, and
b) won’t reflect your best work (which means you could lose out on affiliate sales as a result).
With that in mind, identify which tasks will require higher or lower amounts of energy so that you make the best use of that time and energy. Then you’ll be able to work them into your calendar accordingly in the next step.
Step 5: Create your timeline (including start and end dates).
This can be fairly straightforward when you check the dates of the live affiliate promotion, and then work backward. What needs to be completed at each stage along the way? What order of operations do you need to follow (for example, reviewing the products in the Bundle before writing emails about them).
At this stage, review everything else in your life and business, too, and how that will affect your timeline. Block off any times or days that are already accounted for, so that you don’t accidentally double-book yourself.
For example, before creating my strategic plan of action for an upcoming affiliate promotion (or anything else in my business), I check to see when my spouse will be in town during his days off work. His job involves fieldwork in a different province, so I try to take the entire week off work when he returns home—and that means I often need to plan to complete tasks far in advance, so that I don’t miss any deadlines. Don’t be afraid to work your affiliate promotion plans around your personal schedule like this.
Pro tip: factor in buffer time. You never know when something will take longer than expected or when life will get in the way, so aim to be at least a few days (if not a full week) ahead of schedule for each of the tasks you set for yourself. Learn more about how to save 10 hours each week so you can get more done—and therefore make more money!—without the overwhelm.
Step 6: What obstacles might come up, and how can you stay focused and on track?
The more that we can plan ahead for what might make us veer off course, the better that we’ll be able to take proactive measures.
What are some obstacles that have gotten in the way of your affiliate promotions in the past? Perhaps you’re crunched for time, or you have family obligations that could come up (and thus might prevent you from being as fulsome as you would like to with the affiliate promotion). Or maybe you get nervous about the number of emails to send to your audience, which might hold you back from sending the final “last call” email.
Once you identify the obstacles (existing and potential) in your path, you can explore ways to prepare for and overcome those obstacles.
Breaking down each section into smaller, more manageable, bite-sized pieces is a great way to reduce overwhelm and handle it if you feel like you don’t have a lot of time, for example: rather than writing all the emails in one sitting, perhaps you can write one email per day over the course of a week.
Or, if fear about your audience’s reaction is an issue for you, then now is a good time to refer back to your personal “why” (see Step 1!) to improve your mindset and reinforce all the reasons for how this affiliate promotion is a fantastic resource for your audience.
This is also a great time to check in on the assets and resources available to you (something that Ultimate Bundles once again does a great job of inside their affiliate hub).
As you can see, mapping out your affiliate promotion doesn’t have to be scary or overwhelming.
Break down each part into manageable pieces, identify time and energy required, get ahead of schedule, and check in with yourself to make sure you’re on track with your goals.
This will help you save so much time in your business and streamline everything so you can have an incredible, successful affiliate promotion, while still getting everything else you need done in your business.
Here’s to your next awesome affiliate launch—you’ve got this!
About the Author
Sagan Morrow teaches busy, time-crunched solopreneurs how to build their own successful home-based businesses—without the overwhelm—through her online courses at SaganMorrow.com. Specializing in productivity tips and action-oriented strategic planning, Sagan has a decade of experience as a freelance writer and is the host of the Indie Author Weekly podcast. Connect with her @Saganlives on Twitter or Instagram