Like elite sports, the right mindset in affiliate marketing can mean everything – literally the difference between winning and losing. A successful affiliate marketing mindset means understanding that it's not all about the money, that you must add value to sustain a business, and that building a successful business takes time. I spell it all out in this episode of the Internet Marketing Minute.

Last week on Episode 6 of the Internet Marketing Minute we talked about why I almost always recommend to new internet marketers that they start with affiliate marketing as a place to begin their internet marketing journey and I talked about two fundamental reasons.

One was affiliate marketing is approachable. Usually what we’re recommending is that people build small websites on a particular topic of interest that allow them to get traffic and make product recommendations that can result in commissions. What I didn’t mention was as an additional bonus you don’t have to create a product if you start that way and you don’t have the normal customer support headaches that come with delivering and selling your own product. Those are additional reasons that I love affiliate marketing as a place to start. It’s approachable for the beginning internet marketer.

The second thing we talked about in terms of why you should start with affiliate marketing is that it teaches all the fundamentals of internet marketing that you can take with you as you grow and expand your horizons in the internet marketing space. It’s a great place to start.

What I want to talk about this week is the mindset that you need in order to be successful in affiliate marketing. This is where I think a lot of people get off track very early in their internet marketing journeys. A lot of times when people come to me they come to me with the mindset that they just need to make some money. That’s really where their focus, they want to make money and they’ve heard that you can make money with internet marketing, and so they want to do something to make money.

That’s fine, there’s nothing wrong with making money. In fact, the more money you make the more great things you can do, and some of those great things include helping the people around you. You should never feel bad about making money. In fact, people that feel bad about making money have what we call a limiting belief about money and that’s something we’ll talk about in a future episode of the Internet Marketing Minute.

Making money is a great thing. But is it the only thing? I think that’s a problem that some new internet marketers face. Let’s face it, some people are really looking for easy money.

So the first mindset thing I want to tell you about affiliate marketing is that it’s not easy money. In fact, if you go into it with a focus of money, you’re going to miss out on the real opportunity of affiliate marketing. You see, any business that doesn’t actually add value somewhere in the chain where money is exchanging hands isn’t a real business. You can’t sustain a business that doesn’t actually deliver something that someone is willing to pay for.

In the case of affiliate marketing I think the value is pretty clear. In general what we’re trying to do is help match buyers to offers that are out in the marketplace. Sometimes we’re helping them by just making them aware that the solution to their problem exists at all. Sometimes they don’t even know that these products are out there and available to assist them, so we capture their search queries in Google where they’re trying to figure out how to solve a problem and we help them understand that they can solve their problem with certain products that are in the marketplace.

Sometimes we help internet searchers by helping them choose between various products. Oftentimes we even help them as affiliate marketers by helping them to avoid the bad products. In fact, some of the best affiliate marketing recommendations that you can make are recommendations about what not to buy.

So, affiliate marketing; not easy money, has to add value. Those are the two big mindset places that you need to start from.

One of the aspects of affiliate marketing not being easy money comes with the fact that you need to have reasonable expectations when you start your affiliate marketing journey. There are some exceptions. I have seen people create web pages and get sales the next week. But, in general, if you’re going to do affiliate marketing the way we usually recommend it here at Late Night Internet Marketing – by creating valuable content, getting searchers to find your website, and converting those searchers into sales – that’s going to take some time. If you’re looking for quick and easy money overnight, affiliate marketing may not be the right answer for you.

It’s certainly true that you can put up a website with an offer on it, pay for traffic, and spend $1.00 for traffic to make $1.10. That’s also a very hard game to win at. In general, these things don’t happen overnight. You’re not going to be able to generate money with affiliate marketing with the flip of a switch.

If you’re looking at affiliate marketing programs that are out there on the internet for you to buy and study, some of them will promise you this. What I can tell you, without talking about any program specifically, is generally that’s not what I observe.

So three things for today with regard to mindset.

One is as you start your affiliate marketing journey it shouldn’t be all about the money. It needs to be about adding value and, even better, actually helping people.

The second thing is the only way that you can really have a legitimate sustainable affiliate marketing business (or any other business) is to actually do that, to add value. Businesses that don’t create real value don’t survive.

Finally, real affiliate marketing businesses take time to build. Ask anyone who has ever really built one. It takes time to become successful. Yes, there are techniques you can use to speed things up, but it takes time to build something of value.

I’ll leave you with one more idea as an added bonus concept for mindset. The only way to fail at a business like this is really to quit. If you’re still working on it, maybe you didn’t make that first dollar yet or maybe you haven’t made that first $100 month, or maybe you haven’t had that first $1,000 month yet, but if you’re still working at it you haven’t failed. The only way to really fail is to quit.

Have a great day.

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