Time management skills are essential for affiliate marketers. One campaign can take up a large amount of time to get launched and sometimes there is a sense of urgency, so you have to be able to use your time efficiently. Being an affiliate myself and having a ton of affiliate friends, I’ve noticed there are certain productivity tips only applicable to affiliates. Here are 21 time management tips you can use to effectively manage your time and thus make more money.
1. Get a male affiliate manager
The pretty female affiliate managers are there to lure you in the networks and are great for networking, but it is the male affiliate managers who get real work done. Real talk. If you are a female, get a female affiliate manager.
2. Call your affiliate manager
Talking to your affiliate manager on the phone is the fastest way to get info and to get work done. Don’t email him if you need something done in timely manner. Call him. Also, do it at least once a week to build better a relationship with him. Which brings up the next point.
3. Treat your affiliate manager well
AMs can do a lot of good things for you. They can get you exclusive offers, insider info and faster access. Treat him like you would treat your best friend and down the line he will save you a lot of time, but also make you a lot of money. Send him gifts when your campaign is doing well, and especially send him a gift on his birthday.
4. Get on the cash flow highway
Cash flow is really important for this line of work. Don’t wait for it too long for it to come in, especially if that is stopping your growth. Get a credit card to fund your campaigns and get weekly payouts (ask your affiliate manager). Weekly payouts are good (daily if you’re really killing it) because you can grow your campaigns while you have 30 days to pay off your credit card debt.
5. Plan major areas of your work
Know what to do and when to do it. This will prevent you from procrastinating, because we often do it when we don’t know what to do. This will also prevent you from feeling overwhelmed. Plan ahead, implement and then launch your campaign.
6. Get a to do list
Us humans are bad at remembering things and using our brain as a temporary storage medium. Having a to do list will help you with planning and you will know what to do at all times. Don’t rely on your memory, rely on your to do list. For Mac users, use Omnifocus. Remember The Milk, Teux Deux and Toodledo are also good ones, which are web-based.
7. Track your time you spend working on campaigns
Everyone knows what ROI is (if not, be ashamed!), but most affiliates don’t take into account how much time they spent on a campaign. To get a true ROI on your campaign, track how much time you are actually working on your campaigns. Then calculate ROI based on money spent and your time. That will give you a true ROI and you will know how much you are worth per hour. This will help you in the next point.
8. Outsource menial tasks
Before you can outsource things, you have to know how much your time is worth per hour. Focus what you do best, outsource the rest (if it economically makes sense). You can hire someone in Asia for as cheap as $5/hour to do all the things you don’t want to do for your campaigns and that are not the best use of your time.
9. 80/20 your campaigns
The 80/20 rule says that 80% of your results usually come from 20% of your efforts. In other words, it’s usually the few that bring you most of your results. Apply this idea to your campaigns. Find the 20% campaign that gives you 80% of your cash, and scale it like there’s no tomorrow.
10. Work on your biggest campaign every single day
Once you know your what your biggest campaign is (whether it is making money or not), foster it every single day. All the other ones are a relative waste of time.
11. Organize your campaigns and data
On your hard drive, have separate folders for all your campaigns. You should be able to access your files and data very fast. This will stop you wasting time on searching for files.
12. Manage email before it manages you
Email can be a huge productivity killer. Check it 2-4 times a day and at fixed times. Turn off email notifications when you are working. Also, if you are afraid to miss out on important emails regarding your campaigns, tell your affiliate manager or traffic sources to call you if things go bad.
Since you sit most of the day behind a computer screen, you barely get any exercise. One of Richard Branson’s secrets for time management is exercising, because it gives you more energy and better focus. Do it at least 3 times a week and you will see that you have more energy to do more work.
14. Get enough sleep
Your physical energy is key to productivity. Think about it. You can’t get any work done when you’re tired and sleep is a huge cornerstone for your physical energy. After a good night of sleep, usually around 8 hours, you are more energetic to get things done. This goes hand-in-hand with exercise.
15. Leave the house
If you’re in a bad mood, no work gets done. Because most of the work you do is sedentary and indoors, it can get depressing at times. Especially if you don’t get enough sunlight. Leave the house AT LEAST twice a week to get some fresh air and to change your mood. By leaving your workspace for a long period of time, you will also get the feeling of wanting to work again.
16. Stay connected with fellow affiliates
They can act like accountability partners and help you overcome procrastination. Especially when you see your fellow affiliates are banking; it can act like fuel for you to make a killing too.
17. Build productive habits
Having routines in your life will make your work flow very smooth and you will feel like you are more in control. Some habits you want to build are knowing the times you call your affiliate manager, when to check email and voicemail, knowing when to check your stats and having set times where you work hard on your campaigns.
18. Identify and work at peak times
As an affiliate you have the freedom to work whenever you want to. Use this to your advantage. Everyone has certain times of the day when they are most energetic and get the most work done. Identify those peak times and work hard during those times. For most affiliates it’s somewhere in the early morning and/or late at night.
19. Learn to say no
There are always new offers coming out or new ways to make more money, but there are big opportunity costs involved every time you switch. Don’t try out new things all the time. Constantly switching is inefficient. Be willing to say no and keep working on what you’ve been working on.
20. Learn keyboard shortcuts of all your frequently used programs and operating system
Over time you will save a lot of time and this will also streamline your workflow.
21. Work in cycles
If you are someone who gets easily distracted, work in 25/5 cycles. Work 25 minutes, then take a 5 minute break. For every 4 cycles (2 hours), take a 30 minute break. This is also known as the Pomodoro Technique. If you can have longer focus, do 50/10. It’s important to take breaks. Get some food and then go back at it.
Thanh Pham is a productivity nerd and affiliate marketer. When he is not traveling the world, he is writing about business, self-help and time management.