Today I wanted to take a deeper look at the one thing that prevents most online marketers from realizing their true potential, time management.
Its 9 am here on the East Coast, and man its been a productive day so far
I have already accomplished more in 2 hours since I woke up than most online marketers will all day
Why, well I was in your shoes once, sitting in front of computer 6-10 hours a day and never really getting anything accomplished
Back then, I could have been distracted ever time I saw a new email come up on screen, or when the phone buzzed letting me know someone just tagged me in a post on Facebook
I actually did that for a long time when I was first getting started online, I always wondered why I wasn’t making any money and was so ready to throw in the towel
I really wanted network marketing to work and loved the idea of living the internet lifestyle, but I had to do something different and start taking it seriously, so I headed over to Google and researched time management for network marketers.
Time Management For Network Marketers
I will tell you what, I was amazed how much information I found about what was keeping be from making money online, it all centered around wasting time online, and I was doing all of them every day.
Who would have guessed it was me that was the problem and had nothing to do with affiliate marketing not working
I have narrowed the several days of research I conducted down to my 6 steps to improve online productivity
Now these steps will not alone make you a great internet marketer but will help you manage your time better and have more time to actually work on growing your business.
I am still amazed at how much I get done each day when I set goals, priority and sick to them.
Time is your most important asset in your affiliate marketing business, so take it seriously
You can do the same and be as productive as you want to be, you will find what you have been missing in these 6 steps.
…. and here they are
6 Steps to Improve Your Online Productivity
Step 1: Track your current time management use
For the next couple of days, track what you did and how long you spent doing it.
Here is my super easy 24 hour daily planner time management for online markers
This is the same excel spreadsheet I used when I discovering where all my time was going and now I use the same for to plan my days and stay on tasks.
No one likes budgets and tracking everything they do, I know I don’t, but in this business time is money and if you are throwing away time, you are throwing away money as well.
Track where your time is going for at least 2 to 4 days and analyze how you spent your time during these days and if there was any time easing activities that can be eliminated.
Step 2: Set Goals and Make a Plan
This is the one step you will see in any successful business
You have to set goals for your affiliate marketing business and aim to hitting each one of them, how will you ever know when you are seeing success if even you do not know what your goals are.
I see this so many times, marketers, just go out and start marketing with no direction, no plan and no goals.
These goals do not have to be anything elaborate but do follow the SMART model
Here is the Free time management worksheet and goal setting software that I use for each new affiliate marketing project that I start
Creating a marketing plan is actually quite simple, it is just a summary of the research you have done to pick the perfect niche and keywords, results from your competition analyses, domain selection, and what steps you will take to be better than the rest.
Now you know where you time is being spent, you have a solid plan and goals, already in a much better place than you were before and are that much closer to making this work and I still have 4 more steps left.
Step 3: Get Yourself Organized
Get yourself organized will save you so much time and headache
By being organized you will eliminate all of the time wasting distractions like searching for files, contact information, passwords and such
Here are a couple of steps you can take to be a more organized affiliate marketer
- Organize your email accounts – setting up folders for each of your affiliate marketing accounts so they will be easily accessible when you need them
- Keep a spreadsheet for all of your logins and passwords and use Firefox which is great for remembering passwords for you.
- Clear the clutter in your work space – I am not saying be OCD and have a spotless desk but you shouldn’t have any distractions surrounding you.
- Organize and file all of your affiliate marketing related files, tuck away all those eBooks, reports, training systems in nice neat “labeled” folders on your desktop so they will be easily found if you need them.
- Search around and find other free online tools that will make you more organized and less likely to waste time. I did a Google search for free online organization tools” over 48,000 results, find the one(s) you think will help you.
There are thousands of tools out there to help you get organized, do not worry about picking the perfect one, if your current online business is unorganized, almost any of them will help at this point.
Step 4: Work offline as much as possible
If the internet and its web of entertainment, social media, gossip, news and games is just too much for you to resist, no problem, just work offline so you will eliminate temptation to get distracted.
Use Microsoft Word or any other word processing software to type your articles, blog posts and pages offline, then when they are ready, simply import them in to your blog or website.
By doing this you will spend less time online and will have fare fewer distractions, you know those darn popups that let you know someone emailed you or updated one of your social media accounts.
Step 5: Use Your Smart Phone To Your Advantage
Smart Phones are an awesome tool that can assist you and make you much more productive, so long as you are using it “smartly”
There are thousands of time management, organization, scheduling and other apps that you can use to plan and organize your affiliate marketing tasks.
You can check, respond and delete email messages on the go, respond to potential customers instantly from anywhere and even check your progress all while waiting for a table on a Friday night at your local Olive Garden.
Just make sure that if you use your smart phone strictly for phone calls, social media, and candy crush, you will have to work in some time to stay connected to your business.
I know you are probably saying: “What only 4 hours of Candy Crush at work instead of 8, no way!!!”
That’s fine but I thought you were going to take affiliate marketing seriously so that you could replace your “job” income and start living this awesome laptop lifestyle like I do.
It’s all about choices, and you are going to have to start prioritizing yours.
Step 6: If All Else Fails, Outsource
You will hear this from all of the top network marketers, including myself from time to time, outsource, outsource, outsource!!
You do not have to outsource anything if you want to do it all yourself but there are many low costs, time consuming tasks that would save you time and make you much more productive.
Remember time is money and you have to place a value on your time, so outsourcing is a great way to improve your time management.
If you know that writing and article, spinning it, and distributing it to 100 article directories will take you all day, but there is someone on fiverr who will do it for $5, wouldn’t you think your day is worth more than $5.
You can outsource just about every part of your internet marketing business but what you will find is that the majority of top marketers only outsource these three tasks
- Link Building
- Article Writing
These are the three most time consuming tasks and ones that many network marketers absolutely hate doing.
A few words of caution though when dealing with outsourcing, always check for customer feedback on the person you are contracting with, ask for samples of there work, and always always proof read what they deliver to you.
Finding a good team to outsource to can be time consuming in itself but once you find them, you entire affiliate marketing business can be done for you, for a price of course.
Best places to find people to outsource your marketing tasks are
I personally like writing articles, doing my own search engine optimization and link building so I do not use outsourcing very often but when I do I normally will build links to the links I have manually created my self to increase the amount of link juice that flows back to my site.
Outsourcing is definitely not mandatory for you to be successful, it can just speed up the process for you and take away how much you have to do yourself.
Time Management For Network Marketers: Wrap Up
I hope you found this article helpful and I only hope that you will take these steps and run with them.
My people only focus on reviews and promoting affiliate products, I take things many steps further
I want you to be successful and go on to make as much money online as possible so I will be posting several more posts like this one right here at my Advocare Success blog.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this time management for affiliate marketers post, please use the comments section below for any questions or comments.