Affiliate Marketing: Spreadsheets Rule
If you're in the affiliate marketing business, you need to know how to create and manage spreadsheets. What particular spreadsheet program you're using--Microsoft Excel is the most popular but there are others--doesn't matter, but mastery of spreadsheets does.
Spreadsheets are especially valuable as your affiliate marketing business grows.
Keyword research tools such as WordTracker are obviously important part of planning out a new affiliate marketing website. If you're looking to make money from affiliate marketing, you must find out what keywords are in high demand for your website topic.
However, finding good keywords is worthless if it's a case of "in one ear, out the other." You need to retain that list of good keywords and use it to build your website. That list is your battle plan. Spreadsheets are a great container to hold that information so you don't lose it.
Having a thorough spreadsheet of good keywords is a tremendous first step to building out a profitable affiliate marketing website.
Affiliate Marketing Partner Information Spreadsheets
Another spreadsheet that can help you get better at affiliate marketing is the affiliate marketing partner information spreadsheet. This is where you store vital information about current, past, and potential future affiliate marketing merchant partners.
What data points you include in this spreadsheet may vary a bit depending on your personal preference, but it's smart to include at least: the affiliate partner name, the link to their affiliate program page, the affiliate manager's contact info, your login user name and password, commission rates, and commissions paid to you from each partner over the last 12 months.
Each affiliate program should enable you to track some of this stuff through their site, but you want a master spreadsheet for yourself to gain a full picture of your affiliate marketing business.
You may also want to include some specific notes on each affiliate partner to give your affiliate marketing partner information spreadsheet a little extra strategic value.
Rapid Growth Impossible Without Strong Spreadsheets
Every excellent affiliate marketer reaches a point when the business starts to spin out of control. Too many emails and phone calls, too many commissions coming in from too many different affiliate partners, and just generally too much information flying every which way.
That's what's called a "high-quality problem," but it's a problem nonetheless. And if you're not careful, if you don't find a way to keep the spinning going but also keep control of your business, rapid growth can become your enemy rather than your friend.
You may find yourself, for example, responding late or not at all to affiliate partners, or losing track of commissions and getting ripped off, or just generally wasting valuable time.
If you set up a strong infrastructure of spreadsheets before you get big, before you really need such a strong infrastructure, you can ride the tiger of rapid growth into the amazing sunset of affiliate marketing riches.
If your spreadsheet skills lack, though, ramping up is bound to be a bumpy ride.