If you’re relatively new to Internet or affiliate marketing you maybe at a stage where things are becoming frustrating, the enthusiasm you had in the beginning is starting to wane and you’re starting to question if this internet business was such a hot idea. It happens to everyone who goes into business for themselves the very first time so don’t think your situation is something special.
What will make your situation “special” is if you gut it out, keep focused on your goals and have the determination to persevere and succeed. Most people who jump into internet marketing fail…that’s a simple fact. And the reason that most fail is that they gave up well before they gave themselves a chance to succeed.
Right about now you can see in your mind’s eye how everything is supposed to work, you understand the concepts but you’re having a devil of a time applying your knowledge to practical application. It dawns on you that “Yes this is my business but I haven’t a clue what the best way to run it is”. But if you stick with it, if you keep learning and trying you’ll end up with a viable business that is going to yield tremendous benefits for both you and your family.
Take a deep breath and look around
Look, this is a business and every business has to have a plan and be organized well enough to execute that plan. Sounds simple right? I know that’s much easier said than done.
When I first started in 1999 I really didn’t have a clue and like you I wasn’t really sure this whole internet thing was going to work. But I needed a way to create income to meet the obligations that I was facing and I knew my full time job wasn’t going to cut it.
So with the help of a friend I jumped into an affiliate program and began my business. Jumped in is probably the wrong word to use. I did think through the business as much as I could with my limited knowledge and one of the first things I knew I had to have was a work space dedicated to the effort.
I knew I wasn’t going to be able to run this business from the dining room table after we cleared the plates from the evening meal every night. I located a space for my office, shopped for a new home desk for my home office and organized a space that I could work with minimal distractions. In other words, I started out treating this adventure as a business not a side line or a hobby.
Now take a deep breath and then look at your home office. Is it set up to run a business or is it just slapped together? More importantly, if you have family living with you do they recognize that space as a place of work for you or do they think that the internet isn’t really work and feel free to interrupt anytime they want?
Organizing Your Home Office
Setting up a home office is as much about planning as it is getting the right equipment and tools. Everybody faces different challenges because of space limitations, access to internet connections, and if you have family…then traffic patterns.
Ideally you want a space that will give you enough room to work and provide you enough privacy to limit distractions. Think creatively when you’re picking this space. One associate used the closet in his guest bedroom. The closet was used to store “off season” clothes so he bought flat, plastic storage boxes…put the clothes in the boxes and slid the boxes under the bed. Then he shopped for a home computer desk and found one that fit perfectly inside the closet. He drilled a few holes to accommodate power cords and presto…office in a closet.
When he’s done for the day he simply closes the folding closet doors and there is no sign of the office other than his desk chair. This is a great setup because:He’s in a room with a door that gives him privacy and allows him to focus on the job.The space is easily identified as Daddy’s Desk and the kids know he’s working when he’s at it.It has a minimal footprint on family space. If you’re set up in the corner of the living room chances are the kids are going to be playing with your computer when you’re not on it.
So now that you have the space picked out and you’re hooked up and ready to go, start researching for tools that can automate repetitive tasks (password savers), enhance your communication (Skype) and better share information (Google Documents). There are a ton of free tools available it’s just a matter of doing a little leg work.
Organize for the best performance
When you first start out you’ll have a nice clean slate. However as time passes, you’ll find that you have loaded your computer with a ton of tools that seemed absolutely essential at the time but which in reality you rarely use.
I know I work best in an uncluttered environment so periodically I will do Spring cleaning (even if it’s December) and dump tools and programs that aren’t helping me to achieve my goals. This frees up a little space on my computer and knocks off a few unneeded icons from my desktop. Technology is fantastic but you want to be certain that new shiny object can actually assist your business to succeed and not just be a new time grabber. If you’re using Windows you can check on the programs you have by clicking start > control panel > programs add and delete and then reviewing each program. Windows will tell you when it was installed and how frequently, if at all, you use each program.
So that’s it. You set up a work space that makes sense and allows you to focus and then you keep your operation clutter free. You’re going to find that your productivity will sky rocket making you that much closer to achieving your first set of goals.
I’d like to get your response to my ideas. Please share your thoughts with the rest of us in the comment box below.
James Martell is an Internet pioneer who discovered the lucrative world of affiliate marketing in 1999. He is a self-taught Internet entrepreneur and a leading expert in affiliate marketing, natural search engine optimization and outsourcing. His approach to the business is “real world” not some super secret technique. His methods are based on intelligent planning, solid execution and effective monitoring of results. His laid back “guy next door” style has made him a popular choice for speaking engagements at affiliate marketing events. James along with his wife Arlene also the hosts of the “Affiliate Buzz” (since 2003) on WebmasterRadio.FM.