Do you dream of becoming a super affiliate, but find that your day job throws a spanner in the works? Perhaps you find that your family life takes up every spare minute even when you’re not at work?
Don’t give up on your dream. Often the answer is to find that spare time where you least expect to. The most important thing is that when you do find the time to work on your website, you are as productive as possible during that time.
Follow the time management tips below to ensure that happens!
1: Sacrifice that lie in for increased profits!
Setting your alarm for 4.30am to work on your website before the school run and a full day of work may be the last thing you want to do, but just think of how much you can get done in those 2 or 3 hours where no one will disturb you. When you work in a full time job and have a young family too, finding time for your affiliate business can be near impossible at times. By the time everyone’s in bed at night you’re probably too exhausted to begin working on anything too constructive. Why not have an early night instead and wake up to a fresh and peaceful morning with just you, your pc and a cup of coffee to worry about? Yes it’s a sacrifice to get up super early, but if you go to bed by 9 or 10pm, it’s perfectly possible!
2: Swap your bedtime story for learning materials
Make the most use of that peaceful time before you fall asleep. Put down the novel and spend that time learning SEO, Social Media Marketing and other essential skills! Just 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week adds up to 2.5 hours of quality learning time. Not only this, the short bursts ensure you don’t get bored and you’ll absorb information much more easily. Just make sure you don’t get too carried away and set a strict time for sleep, you’ll need to be well rested for that early start!
3: Pay for articles via Upwork, Freelancer or Fiverr
Initially, it’s likely you’ll want to write your own articles for your website, at least until it’s generating a profit. However, as soon as you can afford to, it could be a good idea to find a great content writer and reinvest those first profits into getting content created for you. Outsourcing your content creation can speed up the process dramatically if you’re unable to find the time to do it yourself on a regular basis. There are many talented writers available via freelancing networks such as Upwork, Freelancer and even Fiverr.
The knowledge and skill-set of an independent writer could even allow you to try out niches which you wouldn’t necessarily have chosen otherwise. For example, perhaps you know nothing about bodybuilding, but know a great writer who does? It’s always best to use a writer who is passionate about the subject in hand, whether that’s you or someone else.
4: Get mobile!
A top tip for time management is to use the flexibility of your mobile phone to your advantage. Get every account on there you can, including your emails, website login, affiliate accounts, social pages etc. This way, you can reply to emails received while you’re on your lunch break, freeing up precious time to spend on website development or other important areas when you get time at your pc.
5: Automate, Automate, Automate!
Automate anything and everything you possibly can. It may take a little longer to set up certain features of your website or to find the best writer for your articles, but it’s time well spent if it saves you more time in the long run.
This doesn’t just apply to your website. Everything from your email replies to your marketing can be automated in several ways.
For example, do you find you get a lot of people emailing the same kind of question to you? Use an autoresponder to send back a list of FAQ’s and answers when an email is sent to you. At the end of this email you can then ask them to respond again if their question isn’t answered by any of these FAQ’s. This will at least halve your email response workload.
For incoming and outgoing emails, write up email templates which you can mainly use again and again with a little personalisation when needed. There’s no need to go and write a whole collection of emails right now. Just be aware that if you feel an email you have just sent could be used again, pop it into a Google Doc file and keep the format for another time, just changing the parts you need to. This will save endless amounts of hours retyping the same information and you can still make the recipient feel like they’re important to you by adding in a short personalised paragraph.
6: Make use of free tools to speed up your social networking
There are various tools available which can dramatically speed up your daily tasks and lead to better time management.
ManageFlitter.com is fantastic for finding Twitter accounts which you’ve followed, but haven’t been followed back by. By using ManageFlitter, you can order the ‘non-followers’ by the date you followed them. A great technique for growing your list of Twitter followers is to follow 100 accounts per day (make sure they’re related to your niche and don’t be tempted to follow more, Twitter could ban you), and unfollow the 100 oldest non-followers using ManageFlitter.com. Doing this on a daily basis can have quite impressive results.
Hootsuite is brilliant for scheduling posts for your Facebook and Twitter pages. You can schedule posts several months in advance, meaning you can have posts going out whether you’re picking the kids up from school, working in your day job or even sitting on the beach! The free option is perfectly adequate for this, although there is a premium option which offers various other advantages such as bulk message scheduling, up to 50 social profiles and multiple users.
7: Use spreadsheets to create an action plan
Ever heard the saying ‘Fail to plan, plan to fail’? How many times have you been trying to work on a certain something for your site, only to be interrupted by day to day life, and then forgot to finish what you started?
Put a stop to this by using a spreadsheet to list all items you’re currently working on or want to work on in the near future, then pick up on where you left off as soon as you get back to work. This will ensure everything is done in order and nothing will get forgotten, no matter what life throws at you.
Mark off everything you’ve completed as soon as it’s done, and add new ideas to the list as and when you think of them. Google sheets is a great tool to use for this task. It even has an app, so you can pop ideas in there no matter where you are!
8: Keep your eye on the prize
One word to keep at the forefront of your mind in affiliate marketing is focus!
This can be harder than you could ever imagine, and it’s the cause of more affiliate failures than you would dream possible. If there’s one character trait of an affiliate which can double up as a flaw, it’s curiosity. After all, if you were not a curious being, you wouldn’t have even entertained the idea of becoming an affiliate marketer in the first place.
Where this can become a negative trait is when you struggle to focus on your current project and ‘bit and bob’ with multiple niches/websites. Don’t be a jack of all trades, master of none. Focus on one good niche and find success in it before moving on to anything new. There’s nothing more demotivating than owning several sites which generate next to nothing. It takes time to establish a website and generate a profit from it, have patience and persevere with one niche to begin with.
Managing multiple websites effectively alongside a full time job is near impossible, unless the majority of your work is outsourced. Until you can afford to pay for a lot of help, stick with the one site. To spend time working on several sites badly is to waste time.
9: Set up conversion tracking
This may not sound like anything which will save you time, but in all honesty, it’s one of the most important things you can do from a time management perspective.
How will you know where to focus your efforts if you don’t know what causes your traffic to convert? Whether it’s the sales funnel you’re using or the traffic generation methods you’re trying out, it’s important to be able to trace the route of each sale so that you’re able to understand exactly what works and what doesn’t. Only then can you grow and scale the right campaign. After all, time spent on ineffective techniques is time wasted!
10: Look after your mental health for improved efficiency
Remember to take a holiday every now and then – try to switch off and relax. Great ideas don’t come from an exhausted mind. Just like any muscle, you must give your brain a chance for rest to prevent burnout.
Why is this time saving? A healthy mind is a productive mind, which leads to more work being produced in less time.
Having the mind set necessary to be a successful affiliate marketer can mean you find it difficult to ‘switch off’, but to do so now and then can actually be beneficial to your business.
Life isn’t all about work, so do try to take the time to have a little fun. Take a day off now and then and play with your kids. Take up a hobby and give yourself a bit of time at the weekend to do it. You’ll find yourself happier, more productive and more successful for it!