The vast majorities of affiliate marketers are relatively new to either pay per call, or affiliate marketing in general.

Consequently, most new affiliates don’t start out with a tried and true game-plan on how to succeed. If that is you, then you’ll learn at least one valuable lesson here today.

Even if you have taken a course, read a book or watched videos on pay per call affiliate marketing, you will be sorely tempted to violate one of the cardinal rules of affiliate success: Focus, focus, focus.

That little word is far more valuable than you might think. Learning to become a wealthy affiliate starts by learning how to think like one.

As a serial entrepreneur I have started over a dozen businesses, making many millions of dollars in the process and yet I have still found time to fail more times than I care to count or admit. For me, and I dare say ‘for everyone’, the lack of focus is our #1 enemy, especially during start-up.

Brian Tracy, the legendary business consultant, said that “focus is the number one cause of failure”.

There are, after all, only a handful of hours in the day and dozens or hundreds of things that need your attention if you are to succeed. The dilution of your energy can cripple your efforts if you don’t learn to point that energy in a single direction.

The concept of focus is so simple to talk about, yet the vast majority of new entrepreneurs – and pay per call affiliates – spin their wheels into the grave of business failure. Unfortunately, focus is right at the top of the list when it comes to identifying the culprit.

Let’s Get Practical…

If you have been an affiliate for more than a day you’ve already discovered that there are oodles of shiny offers to chase, with high payouts and attractive promotional aids. It is difficult to resist applying for as many offers as possible. Somehow we believe that more offers equals more success. There is some justification for applying to many offers when you are first starting out because you want to make sure that you have some options when it comes time to deciding on what it is you want to promote. But this is where the trouble usually starts. Once accepted to several offers, new affiliates usually try to give some effort to at least a few of them in the hope that at least one or two will take off.

There is invariably a serious underestimation of how much energy a campaign requires in order for it to succeed. ‘Playing’ with a few offers is a recipe for failure.

J.Paul Getty, while giving a speech to a graduating class of business school grads, said “I love running my own business, because I only have to work half-days. And it doesn’t matter if it’s the first twelve hours or the second”. A work ethic alone won’t ensure your success, but J.Paul’s point was that it takes a HUGE amount of energy to get something off the ground. That’s why dilution of that energy can be so disastrous.

Focus Tip #1 – Pick one offer and focus. Don’t make the classic mistake of trying to launch more than one offer at a time. That is, unless you have a coupon site or some existing platform where all you need to do is place pre-built ads on a page and forget about it. However, if you need to advertise or produce creative materials, one offer will be enough to keep you busy and subsequent offers will only rob that first offer of the attention it really needs. Sorry I can’t touch on the offer selection process here, which is a science in and of itself. Needless to say, selecting that first offer well is a pretty important decision. But once that decision has been made, give it all you have. No offer will put itself in a profit position without a lot of hard work. Regardless of the offer, there is no automatic, sure-fire success, as so much depends upon how you are promoting it.

Focus Tip #2 – Pick one media channel and focus. A ‘channel’ is just another word for ‘medium’. Craigslist, SMS, SEO, PPC, etc.. If you must advertise, I suggest you do not spread your resources over more than one channel, at least not until you have mastered the first. I once owned a mid-sized ad agency and I have been the marketing director in charge of numerous product launches and had to learn this the hard way. Every media channel has unique challenges and unless you get very lucky, success does not come on the first day of any direct marketing campaign. A rigorous testing regime is needed for marketing optimization and to put your campaigns into a profit position. This testing can suck you dry. If you are trying to fine tune more than one campaign at the same time, you are not likely going to have the resources to succeed. Focus on mastering one channel at a time and you have a much better chance. Once you have some success, then branch out to your second channel.

A ‘Wealthy Affiliate’ Short Story…

About two years ago I launched a new online product. It was fairly simple and took me only 3 weeks to put all the pieces in place to get it ready for launch. But it was a new product and so I was completely caught off guard when it took off on the first day it went live. The phone was ringing constantly and money began to pour in.

I was surprised because instant success (almost) never happens for completely new products. I always expect a ton of testing and tweaking and trial and error before I find the ‘formula’. Anyway, I then made the classic mistake that I’ve sworn a hundred times never to make…

I took the liberty of ‘improving’ on the creative approach by changing a few things.

No harm or foul there. My mistake was in changing more than one variable at the same time and in the bustle of the process I somehow forgot to keep track of all the things that I changed. I was on the road on holidays with my family while I was doing all this and probably didn’t have my head completely in the game.

By the time I finished ‘improving’ things, results took an immediate dive. Boy did I feel stupid. In my excitement to improve results, I had changed so many components that couldn’t remember how to put things back the way they were. It took me three months of testing, running at a loss, to get things back on track. This was doubly frustrating for me because I had made newbie mistakes that I thought I had outgrown eons ago.

I share this with you to illustrate that there are many, many variables which contribute to the success of any campaign. The formula for success is complex and the road-map for becoming a wealthy affiliate requires a lot of twists, turns and detours.

I agree with Brian Tracy that the number one reason for failure is lack of focus. Your best chance of becoming a wealthy affiliate is in disciplining yourself to focus on one offer at a time and mastering one promotional channel at a time. If you do this, Brian Tracy will applaud you. And so will I.

After three decades in the marketing trenches, I can say with some confidence that your odds of becoming a wealthy affiliate will be multiplied at least tenfold if you learn to focus your energies like a laser. Do not look to the right nor the left.

Go now… focus and conquer!

By Benny Traub