Copyright (c) 2007 Tod A Dale
Affiliate marketing has been in the Internet industry for quite some time now and it is among the most popular tools used by many online entrepreneurs today. Most affiliates realize that, to be a successful entrepreneur, you must have the same qualities as any other successful businessman will have – qualities of character and qualities of ideas.
There are still out there, though, lurking in hyperspace, some people who think that, because they know that affiliate marketing has made some people a lot of money, they can jump onto that particular bandwagon, flood a website with links and banners, and sit back and wait for the cash to pour in. If only it was that simple; we all would have done it!
Affiliate marketing is similar to every other business enterprise in that it has its essential body of knowledge that must be learned and its prerequisite skills that need to be developed before you can hope to enter what is a very crowded market.
Let’s face it. Would you dream of setting up any business without, first of all, trying to discover as much as you can about the whys and wherefores of it? I hope you wouldn’t, because it would almost certainly be doomed from the outset if you did.
With affiliate marketing, one of the best things you can do, when embarking on it as a career or a potentially lucrative sideline, is to try to pick the brains of someone who has done it before. It is clear that we all have our own individual ways of working, but there is no substitute to knowing the business inside out – and that’s what a mentor can bring to the table.
A mentor – who could be used on a face-to-face basis or, possibly more likely, encountered on-line – is the ‘wise and trusted teacher and counselor’, as the dictionary puts it, who can guide you through the entire affiliate process and make it all that much more straightforward for you. The person who can see obvious mistakes before you have made them – saving you time and money.
So, what are you looking for in your mentor?
Well, first and foremost, you are looking for someone to offer you advice, guidance and supervision as you take your first steps in your new venture. You are, therefore, looking for a specialist.
Don’t be tempted to try to use a ‘one size fits all’ type of business mentor who tells you that just because he hasn’t done this himself doesn’t mean his principals won’t apply. Go for a specialist who has been involved in affiliate marketing and who is able to share their expertise with you.
Find a mentor who can see everything from all angles – the affiliate, the trader and the customer. You need to know how each of these people think and react so that you can target your marketing strategies accordingly.
A good mentor will be able to develop your perspectives. Find someone who can teach! It’s not enough to know all about search engine optimization, link exchanges, email marketing, producing Ezines and newsletters, how to utilize forums and networks, and so on.
Choose a mentor who is a reliable source of knowledge about these and related matters but, more importantly, is able to teach you to use them yourself.
Find someone who is honest with you. A good mentor should have the ability to listen to your ideas and be able to see their strengths and weaknesses and be brave enough to discuss them with you. You definitely do not want a mentor who always agrees with you just to avoid conflict. You want someone who is going to make you successful.
Find a mentor who is able to discuss your personal qualities as freely as your level of marketing skills. Affiliate marketing needs a special kind of approach to business. You need to be determined, dedicated, optimistic and many other things. A good mentor can foster those attitudes within you; show you how to maintain a positive attitude during the difficult times that might well come at some stage.
You don’t want someone who is only interested in numbers and programs; you want someone who is interested in you! There will be many people now who can see the potential income to be gained by mentoring new recruits to the affiliate marketing industry. If you can take your time and find a really good one, then a mentor can make a considerable amount of difference to your chances of success.