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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador
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    First Quarter Progress - From a Little Guy
    After reading the thread from the angry "little guy" who thought that affiliate marketing didn't work for us types, I thought I would post my first quarter progress. This time period is significant for me, because I reduced my full-time job from 5 to 4 days on Jan. 1, so that I could increase my AM biz.

    At that point my AM was unstable and slightly declining. So when January 2007 was 30% above January 2006, I was pleased. In February I increased sales over January by 85%. And at this point in March I have more than doubled February. My numbers are modest, but more than enough to offset the loss of a day's pay. And finally the trend is going in the right direction. As of yet, all is natural SEO, although learning about PPC is part of my "professional development plan."

    What have I done. First set priorites. I reduced my AM websites to 4. One has products that should sell year round, but those products need to be updated every two weeks. One is highly seasonal, with major product updates -twice a year. Another well I don't know the cycle yet. I check the product links once a month to make sure that they are current.

    The fourth is a content site, that I hope to develop into a major player in its niche. It is in my area of former professional expertise with a large potential market. Quite frankly and cynically it is my long-term investment to have a respected authority site that will help give my other site's respect and traffic.

    I have become obsessed with product line diversification and targeting keywords. I subscribe to a keyword research tool and it has become my best friend. I also build pages carefully, to maximize keywords AND cross merchandize product lines. This seems to be working. I am selling products, that no one ever search on to reach my site.

    I have a speadsheet that I've used to set up my Annual and Quarterly Product Schedule and have produced a Daily Work Plan to make sure that I do what needs to be done. It keeps me honest.

    I'm not at all preaching that this is what others should do. But when someone posts that they've increased sales, others always asked what have they done. So I just thought I would get out ahead on that.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador JudiMoore's Avatar
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    This post says a lot about what it takes to succeed in affiliate marketing. You're right - nobody has to do it the same way, BUT it does take a commitment to work on a plan and keep your butt in the chair long enough to actually do it.

    I know that work is a four letter word to some, but plan is also a four letter word and it sounds like it could practically do the work for you if you just keep at it.

    Thank you, Aunt Lily, for the insightful look at success in the works and......

    WTG!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. #3
    Ride It Like You Stole It CowgirlUp's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing....you rock!

    I've made my site a full time and hope some good (and money) come out of it.
    I can't wait for the day I can look at my spreadsheets and see ROI.

    Best of success to you this year
    Be the change you want to see in the world ~ Gandhi

  4. #4
    Affiliate Network Rep Kim Salvino's Avatar
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    Aunt Lily,

    Congrats to you! This is a great, uplifting thread. Thank you for sharing your progress and spreading some sunshine.
    Kim Salvino, Client Services Director, Performance Horizon Group
    Reach me at kim.salvino(at)performancehorizon.com or on (443) 617-4036

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador meadowmufn's Avatar
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    Thanks for this post, Aunt Lily. I too have been trying to focus on AM more, but am not as organized as I'd like to be. I'm going to set up my own product cycle spreadsheet and figure out a workplan, as you did. I've been in the process of whittling down the number of sites/domains I have, but I think I'll accelerate that and focus on my core interests.

    Sometimes it just takes a post like this to clarify my objectives in my own mind. Thanks for the inspiration!
    -Don't criticize anyone til you've walked a mile in their shoes. Then when you do criticize them, you'll be a mile away and have their shoes.
    - Silence is golden. Duct Tape is silver.

  6. #6
    Dream Cruise megatonloh's Avatar
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    An inspiration and a wake up call for those of us who are down under.

    Thanks Aunt Lily for this thread.



    Thanks
    Richard

  7. #7
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    Congratz to you.

    I think you are going to be working FT on your AM biz in Q1 '08

    All the best

  8. #8
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    WTG Aunt Lily!

    I very much believe that if you put the same energy into AM that you put into a j*b, your AM business will benefit. I quit my j*b a few years ago to devote my time to my OWN business (AM) and it payed off beautifully.

    Now I'm gonna take some of your advice Aunt Lily and plan better.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Way to go Lily. You are so on the right track, not only plan wise, but perhaps even more importantly, attitude wise. It is great to see the virtues of commitment, maturity and patience exercised by someone who is new to Aff Marketing. With these three simple values guiding your path, success is already yours, and the rest will follow.

    My sincere congratulations to you on your growing success. You are going to be here for a long time to come.

    Alan
    Join the Spicy Aprons Affiliate program on ShareASale Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/spicyaprons Follow us on Twitter @Spicyaprons

  10. #10
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    why do i hear my username all the time?

    anyway, congrats Aunt Lily.

    business is like that. there are ups and downs. you just have to squeeze the most you can get when you're up.

    new ideas also tend to be like that. they bring you upwards. until, that is, other people catches up with you.

    by the way, Affiliate Marketing is my full time *job*.

  11. #11
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    Way to go, Aunt L !

    Always nice to hear a positive success story of someone who worked their way up from beginner to "soon to be AM Superstar"! Those kinds of stories always make more of an impression on me than the ones about someone who managed to nail it from the get-go. Not to take anything away from them. If they do it honestly...they deserve all they earn. But most of us have to work at it, trial and error, testing, having faith even during the down times. Those are the stories that I enjoy hearing.

    Continued success,
    John

  12. #12
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Congrats from another little guy!
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  13. #13
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    Thank you all for the kind words.

    jmoore61103, rgrsgrl, meadowmfn, megatonloh, and all the other little fish. Let's stay in touch with threads like this. And celebrate our march towards success. The wins don't have to be big to be acknowledged and celebrated.

    Increased revenues, buying things that we wouldn't be able to afford from the small to large, dinners out, cars, more retirement savings, living room couches.

    The wonderful feeling of succeeding at something and learning new things.

    I'd love to hear how the planning, product cycles and goals are coming. And how you manage your time.

    All the best to you!

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador purplebear's Avatar
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    Awhhh this was a really nice post and really happy for you You're definitely very organized and quite impressive how everything is planned out and you seem to know exactly how to go about doing it. Definitely sounds like you're doing everything right. I'm still not quite sure how to accomplish that but very inspiring to see how everything's falling into place for you. Hope you continue to keep getting better and better and have much success. You definitely deserve it.
    Really nice to read such a positive post.

  15. #15
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Great Job!

    I am a little fish too. But I may be "turning the corner" soon. The ride has been fun.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  16. #16
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    Purplebear I really don't do everything right. But I do try to focus on the successes, while I fix what isn't working.

  17. #17
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    Cheesehead that's wonderful news that you won't be a minnow much longer!

  18. #18
    general fuq mrbshouse's Avatar
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    Aunt Lilly

    I'd like to see what that chart looks like

    go big :-)

  19. #19
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    Which chart?

    I think excel (actually before that it was Lotus 1-2-3) is the most wonderful thing on the planet. I have charts and spreadsheets for AM, charts for gardening, charts for housekeeping chores (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly - well you get the picture). Then off course I have the charts organized into workbooks. Oh god it goes on for ever.

    With my blackberry it goes wherever I go!

    When I was in college I was into mathematical modellng, I thought I could rule the universe with a matrix and an equation!

    Then I met my husband, who defies authority and organization, lists, rules or schedules.

  20. #20
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Go Aunt Lilly!!! Run with it!!!

    Thanks for the positive post,
    Fellow Little Guy.

  21. #21
    Ride It Like You Stole It CowgirlUp's Avatar
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    Absolutely Aunt Lily, I think more positive, inspirational posts like this is a must have!

    You've started a wonderful thread, we should all pay it forward.
    Be the change you want to see in the world ~ Gandhi

  22. #22
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    Planning is a wonderful thing: both keeping records, so you can see that Excel chart showing revenues this quarter vs. last year's same quarter, but also for strategizing where you need to go based on what's working and what isn't in a dynamic market.

  23. #23
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    Way to go aunt Lily!

    Planning helps. I'm trying to focus more on a few key sites which have more potential.

  24. #24
    Full Member ADesertRose's Avatar
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    Thanks for the great post Aunt Lily. AM is work, but its worthwhile and I like my boss much better now!
    This past year I really focused on trimming off the dead wood domains and sites that were draining my time and not making money for me. More is not always more...

  25. #25
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    I agree; there's a limit to how many sites you can really work on.

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