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Affiliate Marketing Tips #7: Should You Work Harder or Smarter

It takes effort to build and operate an online business, while some marketers will spend nearly all their working hours focused on building their business, others will be looking at ways to run their business more effectively. The question is whether it’s possible to reduce the number of hours you’re working on your business AND increase profits at the same time?

work harder or smarter

This is a continuing series of “Affiliate Marketing Tips” posts to share marketing and promotion strategies for affiliate marketers. If you’re new to the series, you might like to check out the first in the series “The Industry and Getting Accepted


In a recent post, Brandon Adcock (AKA MajorBTA) wrote about how he’s reduced the number of hours he’s worked on his business and yet increase his income.

Some of the ways he’s achieved this:

  • Shift his traffic generation to less time intensive methods – specifically to media buying, from search engine optimization before. Media buying is more macro in scope, compared to the resources that SEO typically requires
  • Consolidation to focus on 1-2 verticals vs 4-6 before
  • More focus on his own campaign, compared to a broad “knowing what everyone else is running” approach to competitive intelligence

While it’s worked for Brandon, will it work for you?

Likely if you’re at his level, although for newer affiliates, you might do better with this approach.

  • Understand the fundamentals

It’s surprising how many affiliates spend time, money and effort on their business without having read the FAQs/guidelines/free webinars/training videos provided by Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft/Bing and instead spend their time buying products, attending workshops, reading blogs/forums and getting the information secondhand.

If you want to be good, you can develop your own strategy and optimize it. If you want to be great, you can learn the basics from the service providers/platforms you’re marketing on, develop your own strategy and improve on it.


  • Paying your dues

Face up to the fact that you’ll be investing time in the beginning learning the ropes. The “best” experience you’ll get is when you fail at something. If you’ve lost a chunk of your capital working on a failed PPC campaign, you’re more likely to remember the lesson, especially some of the key reasons why you failed.

If you’re consistently launching new campaigns, massively outspending whatever you’re earning and not understanding what’s happening, you should probably take a step back and understand what and why your campaigns are failing. (Maybe bidding on “Payday loans” at $20 a click wasn’t such a good idea…).

  • Log your thoughts / share your experience

The art of keeping a diary is probably an alien thought in the internet age. Many successful day traders and stock investors keep logs of trades they enter into, their reasons for entering the transaction, and post-trade, they log the outcome of whether the trade turned a profit or dipped into the red and why.

Online marketers have access to tracking and analytics software, but few will go back to look at their most profitable traffic sources and tweak their campaigns to turn up the tap on that source, or to find similar sources.

While you will be working hard at the beginning, it doesn’t mean you can’t work smart too.


For a list of my preferred affiliate networks, you can check out the Affiliate Network Review.

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