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  1. #1
    Affiliate Network Rep
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    Smile How far do you plan ahead?
    Hi all

    Hope everyones well and enjoying the end of the weekend.

    I had been reading another thread about some experiences of a downturn in sales during the September month so far compared to August. I am sure with everything else going on that the topic of my thread is not the cause of anyones downturn but it got me thinking about it as a subject and its an important one.

    Good planning can be one of those things thats so simple sometimes people overlook it - diversity in your operation is another in the same group for me . Things which I know I should do and know some of the biggest success stories are built from these principles in affiliate marketing but when it comes down to it I procrastinate most about doing them.

    Take Sept for example in the UK its a decent time for things like Breakdown cover and car insurance . In order to make anything worthwhile this needs to be in your diary to put something together in time. Some guys could get something good going and indexed in a few days but some may take 2-3 months to build something up - both could be viable sources of traffic and income for merchant and affiliate but one requires much more forward thinking to pull it off.

    I know other affiliates who were planning for Christmas in March and I bet they are going to have a fantastic Christmas period now - fingers crossed the 3 wise men at google come all bearing traffic for them :-)

    Do you plan ahead ? If so are we talking days or weeks or months ?

    Do you have a great site and procrastinate about diversifying with a different area ?

    Plan and diversify have to be in the top 10 of How to be successful long term at affiliate marketing. A site for all months is a rare thing and so 12 sites for 12 months would make more sense in an ideal world.

    I am rambling now but would love to find out what other people of ABW think of planning and its place in their strategies.

    Thanks

    Mal
    Malcolm Cowley
    Advertising.com's buy.at affiliate network
    malcolm.cowley@buy.at
    buyat.com

    Ticketmaster has Beta launched their affiliate program with buy.at - be one of the first to join now!

  2. #2
    affiliate emeritus missdonna's Avatar
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    I do lots of planning. Long term and short term. The problem is in the execution.
    Affiliate Marketing - The hardest easy money I ever made.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador
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    I'm always looking ahead. Malcolm, while you're here and speaking of looking ahead, i have a question. This time next year. What % chance to you think you'll have a US network? Right now plucking merchants would be pretty good.

  4. #4
    Affiliate Network Rep
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    Hi Trust

    Hope your well mate nice to hear from you.

    I would say a high 99% chance :-) the other 1% might be riding on slipping over the pond this side of Christmas but its a long long shot .

    Next year is practically agreed and is what I want to do - Miami is my next recon mission.

    In terms of merchants I am meeting with plenty of people who know plenty of other people and lets say those people know the other people very well - as with most business its a scratch your back world and I have a big back scratcher so I am quietly confident of finding some nice big brands for my launch.

    I am sure there are plenty of ABW's who have seen networks come and go and also talk a good talk but I think you know in your heart that we are coming to do things right and we will take market share - the amazing thing is it will be by just doing business as nice guys - this is the part I love the most its nice to know you can still make money and maintain your integrity

    Mal
    Malcolm Cowley
    Advertising.com's buy.at affiliate network
    malcolm.cowley@buy.at
    buyat.com

    Ticketmaster has Beta launched their affiliate program with buy.at - be one of the first to join now!

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador
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    Great, something to look forward too. First merchant you sign up gets front page of my site for a year Was checking out the UK forum and according to the poll seems you are running neck and neck for best network, ahead of CJ UK and some others

  6. #6
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    I hear buy.at US will be the number one or two US network this time next year
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  7. #7
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by perfiliate
    its nice to know you can still make money and maintain your integrity
    Mal
    That's all it takes, Mal. So simple it's scary. :-)
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Paul_Ward's Avatar
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    The problem as far as planning is concerned in AM perhaps more so than other businesses is that you can't really tell what will take off and what won't.

    I plan ahead a few months for Christmas starting at the end of July, through August and tailing into September, but that is pretty much proven stuff I know works for me and my sites.

    I alwys think it's useful to have some "blue skies" stuff in the background, build a few pages or section on something I'm interested in or takes my fancy and then pretty much ignore it until it turns up in my logs and/or sales stats. If it does, then develop it, if not, then put it down to experience.

    I'm a great believer in the idea that the most successful people make the most mistakes because they try the most new things. Lots of it doesn't work, or doesn't justify the time spent, but if it wasn't for those "failures" the successes wouldn't have happened either.

    The only real failure is not to learn from what happens, and of course you get better at picking the winners with more experience.

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador
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    I started off preparing for Christmas in January.. then I just realized I was heading in the wrong direction.

    (dunno whether to lol or cry about it)

    Oh well, there is always Christmas next year.

  10. #10
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by perfiliate
    Do you plan ahead ? If so are we talking days or weeks or months ?
    If you're taking affiliate marketing plans, here you are to plan months ahead (as with any business), and stay flexible along the way (to adapt to changes in the industry of Internet retail)...

    Geno

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    I like to look very far into the future. I dream about where my establishment will be 2 to 3 years from now, but it's hard for me to know exactly what will happen during the course. Most everything I do is a long term project that will take months, if not years, to really take off. Sometimes I need to earn a few bucks quick, so I'll focus on the short term and do something that may or may not last through the years. I know many affiliates focus on the short term and build sites that they know won't make it into the mainstream. I'm not interested in this and want to do as many of the giants have done like Bizrate, Shopping.com, eBay, MySpace, Friendster and even Google. I want to do something that will be remembered for years to come.

    It's easy to get ambition and planning mixed up, so in that case I'm more ambitious than anything. My planning is more or less based on the things going on around me. When a new technology is released, I'll jump on it and drop some other things that may not be so advanced or fresh. I'm a huge advocate of innovation and love to push the envelope. I've got several months of plans that have yet to be implemented and the list never gets any shorter.

    I guess part of the appeal to internet development is you never know what you'll be doing next. Just when you think you've got everything figured out and you have "the answer", it changes and you've got a new answer that'll take several more months to complete.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  12. #12
    Affiliate Marketer Rogi's Avatar
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    I know most affiliates don't... but I've written a business plan for my network of sites and covered my plans/expectations for the next 3 years and overviewed the next 5 years.

    It is affiliate marketing and... well anything could happen in this business, but writing a business plan that expects the good, the bad and the average is IMHO a good idea.

    As a network you should especially do some serious long term planning 3-5 years including your entry and growth strategies (detailed) for the US market and any other markets you might plan to grow into (i.e. Asian and Australian market perhaps?)

  13. #13
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snib
    I like to look very far into the future. I dream about where my establishment will be 2 to 3 years from now

    ...and want to do as many of the giants have done like Bizrate, Shopping.com, eBay, MySpace, Friendster and even Google. I want to do something that will be remembered for years to come.
    Excellent motivation! Best of luck to you, Scott!! Totally sincerely.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rogi
    I know most affiliates don't...
    Looks like most of my affiliates do not either. And that is sad...

    Geno

  14. #14
    15 years and counting
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    Malcolm - Do you plan ahead ? If so are we talking days or weeks or months ?
    Hi Malcolm, glad to hear about your own plan next year!

    I've a special calendar where my todo list is written. I know how much time I need for my Halloween section to rank well with the major SEs for all my sites (they don't have all the same treatment). I did it already 8 times, I know what works and what I'm going to avoid. Planning is everything. I'll be mad to rank first one or two weeks too early (or too late) for Mother's Day or for another special event. Timing is everything, so yes, we have to plan in advance.
    For some of my sites, I run specials with my merchants and I know I'm able to rank well in a matter of days. For other websites, it takes longer, weeks or months. I'm planning well in advance the look of my sites according to the seasons. Unfortunately, many merchants don't keep us posted of what they have in mind in advance and it may be too late to add new products at the last minute.

  15. #15
    Affiliate Network Rep
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    Hi

    Some interesting takes on things thanks guys and girls.

    Also cheers for the encouragment on coming over to the US - wish it could be tomorrow but these things take planning.

    Ill be over in Miami though chilling with everyone at Andy's do so if anyone wants to catch up with me then I look forward to it .

    See some of you then no doubt

    Mal
    Malcolm Cowley
    Advertising.com's buy.at affiliate network
    malcolm.cowley@buy.at
    buyat.com

    Ticketmaster has Beta launched their affiliate program with buy.at - be one of the first to join now!

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