Plan for years, but buy for weeks…
One of the main problems in the Affiliate Marketing industry is a lack of long-term vision. Most Affiliates and many of the companies can’t answer the question: ‘what will you be doing in 5 years?‘. Even worse, they don’t understand why should they be worried about the next years, when they can see the next few months.
Sadly, this is where they are doing a big mistake.
In an industry changing so fast, like Affiliate Marketing, the line between success and failure is very narrow. Sometimes, a lack of long-terms goals could be the reason for your unfortunate failure, just because you didn’t have a clear vision or long-term strategy. They just fail to understand that their tactics can’t work without an overall strategy.
Let’s discuss the difference between Strategy and Tactics.
‘Strategy, a word of military origin, refers to a plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal. In military usage, strategy is distinct from tactics, which are concerned with the conduct of an engagement, while strategy is concerned with how different engagements are linked. How a battle is fought is a matter of tactics: the terms and conditions that it is fought on and whether it should be fought at all is a matter of strategy‘ (Wikipedia, Dec 2012 edition)
Going back to Affiliate Marketing, we can see that almost all players in the industry don’t make their decisions based on strategy, but on tactics. This is why they will eventually fail! Relying on short-term tactics when facing a turning point in the overall business is one of the worst things to do. In such times, when long-term thinking is needed strategy, must come first and tactics follow. It is like ‘going there‘, where you focus on the going and not on the there…
My advice is simple: Plan for years, but buy for weeks… Whenever you need to decide how to go there, use tactics. Tactics will most likely serve you better in media-buy, search marketing, content writing, conversions, Landing Pages, AdWords, SEO etc. However, when you ask yourself where should you want to see yourself in a year or two, always use long-term strategy and adjust your tactics to the new situation.
Avoid from pushing forward when you don’t have a clear vision of where you want to go. Stop and meditate. Most often, after consulting with your overall strategy, you find that your efforts will serve you well in turning to another direction, more suitable for your long-term goals. Only then you might have true success in your business.