5 New Year’s Resolutions for Affiliate Marketers

It’s that time again, when we all look forward to the New Year and make resolutions about what we want to accomplish, change, or improve during the coming year.  While you may already be planning a few personal resolutions to lose a few pounds, spend more time with family, attend a baseball game in every major league ballpark, jump out of an airplane, learn to play the pan flute, or whatever else piques your interest – don’t forget to come up with a resolution or two for your business.

So, while you are on your own in making resolutions to learn ballroom dancing or improve your tennis game, here are a few resolution ideas for that could help you grow your business in 2011.

1. Write up some key business goals for the next year.
I know that I have mentioned this one before, but there is no doubt that developing and writing set of measureable goals can have a real impact on your business.  Just think back to this time last year.  Did you have some goals for your business in 2010?  Maybe they were just daydreams, but you probably had some things you wanted to accomplish during the year.  Chances are that if you wrote those goals down and actually developed a plan to achieve them, you are much more likely to look back today and find that you were successful in achieving many (if not all) of those goals.  You need to make your goals achievable, but still challenging enough to push your limits over the next twelve months.  Also, while writing your goals down is a great first step, don’t just put the list in a drawer and never think about it again until next December.  Refer back to it over the course of the year and update it as you achieve different goals on your list.

2. Add to your reading list.
Not everyone loves to read (other than this blog, of course), and many business books can be as dry as the Sahara Desert.  But, there are plenty of great books about online marketing, copywriting, SEO, or any number of other topics that can give you new ideas for your business.  Make your reading goal match up with your current reading habits.  Not a big reader?  Maybe just pick one business book to read next year – just make it a good one!  If you’re already an avid reader, then look at adding a book a month to your list.  Either way, try to pick books about topics that interest you and that would help you grow your business in some way.  Here are just a few suggestions to get you started.  Want to write better copy?  Consider Words That Sell by Richard Bayan.  Want to get some inspiration on overcoming business challenges?  Look at The Dip by Seth Godin.  Ever wonder why some ideas connect with an audience while others don’t?  Check out Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath.

3. Attend at least one new conference or industry event.
If you have never attended an industry conference, then make 2011 the year you attend your first big industry event.  My recommendation for your first show would be Affiliate Summit West in January.  But, if you are looking for something later in the year, consider Affiliate Summit East or ad:tech San Francisco or New York among many others.

If you already hit all the major events each year, look at branching out and adding one of the many smaller or more targeted events to your schedule.  The online marketing industry has become so huge that there is probably an industry event going on somewhere pretty much every week of the year.  Want to learn more about search?  Consider Search Engine Strategies or Search Marketing Expo.  Looking to branch out into international marketing?  Look at attending Affilicon or one of the many international ad:tech events.  Considering branching out from lead generation into more traditional product marketing?  You might look at eTail or Shop.org events.  Whatever you decide, there is likely to be an event for you to attend in 2011.

4. Diversify your business.
Make it a point to step outside of your comfort zone in 2011 and diversify your business.  If you have always focused on dating offers, then consider breaking into another niche like education, finance, etc.  The best way to ensure your business continues to grow and successfully rides the wave of constant change in the online marketing industry is to diversify into multiple niches and verticals.  Don’t become overly reliant on one niche and let a sudden change in the marketing landscape dramatically affect your business.

5. Improve your time management skills.
Chances are that pretty much anyone can become more productive by improving their time management skills.  If you have never bothered to look at any time management systems, then there is a good chance that you could seriously improve your productivity by making a few tweaks to how you manage your time each day.  Even if you are a serious time management proponent, there are always tweaks you can make to manage your days a bit better.  There are plenty of time management books and programs out there to consider.  Check out a few and see which one feel like a fit for you.

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