Tracking and Testing: The Cornerstone of Affiliate Marketing Success

by WorkFromHome on July 27, 2011

In business, you can’t expect to just throw up products in a storefront and make a lot of money. Along similar lines, you can’t expect to just put up some content on a website and expect to be extremely successful as an affiliate marketer. What makes the difference between the people who make it in affiliate marketing and the ones that stick to their day job is how much time they spend tracking and testing. Testing ideas and tracking the results are both a lot of work, but are necessary to achieve real success. Here we’re going to outline the process of testing, how to maximize the usefulness of tracking, and the mindset needed to make it all work.

The Mindset of Always Beating Your Best

A lot of people get into affiliate marketing with some external goal in mind like making a certain amount of money each month or being able to quit their day job. This focus can distract and blind you from what’s really important as an affiliate marketer. Instead of wasting time and energy thinking about these external goals, it’s better to focus all of your energy on consistently beating your best since this is where the actual monetary results come from.

Establishing a Baseline

Each part of your affiliate marketing campaign should be tracked from the moment you begin. The point of this is that you want to know how each moving part of your website is performing at all times. In the beginning of your affiliate marketing career, you should use this data to establish a baseline for performance for each individual part of your site. For example, if a particular article you’ve written for article marketing gets 12% of readers to click your link, then 12% is your baseline for each article you write in the future. This baseline will guide all of your efforts and will be the beacon that helps you to stay focused on what really matters in the quality of your performance.

Improving on the Baseline

Once you have a baseline established, then you must test new ideas against the baseline. Using our article marketing example above, suppose we try a new resource box on a very similar article and find that we get about a 5% or 16% click-thru rate instead of a 12% one. Whatever approach was used to get the 5% result is clearly inferior to the original approach that yielded a 12% click-thru rate, but the approach that gave us the 16% rate is a notable improvement. In light of this result, the method that created a 16% click-thru rate is our new baseline, and we have boosted the effectiveness of our campaign as a whole with our testing.

Managing Your Testing and Moving Forward

When you test new ideas against your old baselines, then you have a chance to find something that works better than your previous method. This has the effect of improving the overall effectiveness of your affiliate marketing campaign, which means higher profits. Having a mindset that is focused on testing new ideas and tracking the results is so important because it’s this mindset that leads to increased profits. Focusing on the profits themselves is a distraction, and should be avoided if at all possible. If you stay focused on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of your campaign, then the profits will take care of themselves, and you will have nothing to worry about.

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