Finding the Time to Get Started with Affiliate Marketing

A few months ago I did an article about finding the money to get started in affiliate marketing as a result of feedback from my readers when I asked them what was holding them back from finding success with affiliate marketing.

TimeThe second most common reason people cite for their lack of affiliate success? No time.

I get it. You have a lot going on in your life. Maybe a regular job. Maybe kids to shuffle back and forth to everything from piano to football.

Maybe you’re caring for a sick family member. Maybe it’s a combination of any or all the typical things that keep us busy in life. You just can’t find the time.

Again I’ll say… [said with tough love] Bullshit.

You have the time. You simply need to MAKE the time.

I took a deeper look into the first ten folks who cited lack of time as a reason. I found them active on Twitter. I found them posting on message boards. I found them discussing TV shows. No – the time was there. It was the prioritizing of their time that was missing.

When I started in this industry, I was a young mom, with one, then two, then three young children. One was severely multiple handicapped. I had a GED, no money and eventually became a single mom. But I simply knew that no one – but me – was going to change my path in life. So I found ways to make the time. You simply have to commit to doing so as well.

The time needed

The first mistake most folks make is thinking that you need to have forty hours a week to devote to doing affiliate marketing. And that’s simply not true.

Would it be awesome? Yes.

Is it realistic for most people? No.

And it doesn’t need to be. Even a few hours a week can get you started down the path to earning some pocket cash or changing your career (depending on your goal).

Picture you have four hours per week to get started with affiliate marketing (I assure you that 99% of you actually have more than that). I’m going to assume you already have a thought for a niche and have bought a domain name.

Week one you download WordPress, purchase the Thesis theme, read Joost de Valk’s guide to WordPress SEO and implement it on your new site.

Week two you outline what your site is going to cover and start building out the wireframe (this is where you create blank pages for all the sections you know you’ll want to have on the site, including boiler plate pages and content pages and/or categories).

For two to three weeks after that, you begin to add some quality content.

Then you spend two hours each week adding to your own content and two hours each week building quality links.

The more time you can find, the more time you split between those two tasks. Before you know it, you have an affiliate site. As your ranks increase, as revenue starts coming in, I guarantee you that you’ll find even more time to take your affiliate site to the next level (and start adding in efforts towards social media).

The most important part of this process is merely finding the time to dedicate and then following through with working on things that will be productive for your site.

How to “find” the time

Now we’re back to the original claim. That you don’t “have” the time right? I didn’t either, so I started finding places where I could create it. Those two TV show I always watched every week? Two hours that I could spend on creating a site instead. I decided I could function with six hours or sleep instead of eight each night. That equated to twelve more hours per week. The hour long call I had with my girlfriend three days a week? I cut it down to two days a week. Another hour. Three simple changes and I had 15 hours per week to devote to building an affiliate business.

All the articles you spend hours a week reading to learn something you have still yet to implement? Cut the time you spend reading them in half or better yet – cut them out completely until you’ve committed to actually starting instead of planning.

Cut your time on Twitter in half. Cut your time on Facebook in half.

The time is there. You simply have to start taking it and putting it towards the goals that will eventually give you more time to do all the fun stuff in life. And I assure you that no amount of living through your TV, social networks or a few extra hours of sleep will ever give you as much enjoyment as being able to go out and LIVE life with the extra income you can generate with affiliate marketing.

The “I don’t have the time” excuse is the same as the “I don’t have the money” excuse. It is simply your mind being scared to fail. And you’re the only one that can prove it wrong.

About Rae Hoffman

Rae Hoffman aka "Sugarrae" is an affiliate marketing veteran and the CEO of PushFire, a search marketing agency specializing in SEO audits and link building strategies. She is also the author of the often controversial Sugarrae blog. You can connect with Rae via Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

Sugarrae runs on the Genesis Framework

Genesis Framework

If you’re someone who doesn’t understand a lot of PHP, Genesis will give a ton of functionality that you wouldn’t be able to obtain otherwise with a simple control panel instead of having to alter code. For the advanced, Genesis has incredible customization possibilities via Genesis hooks.

The theme is not only highly customizable, but it has allowed me to run Sugarrae more professionally, with a much more targeted focus on monetization than it ever has been able to achieve before.

You can find out more about Genesis below:


  1. Excellent post. I think for those who have a career in SEO/affiliate marketing it’s impossible to fail. Either through profit or learning there is a lot of value in process.

    I realised I was under-using the time I spent watching sports so I got an extra monitor and have one for steaming and the other for working.

  2. Well put as usual Rae!

    I know dozens of people who understand and can complete the steps you mention and they just don’t do it.

    Maybe they’re saying they don’t have time but I think it’s more likely that they don’t have motivation – they’re not hungry enough to Do It.

    What’s it going to take to stir up some real hunger? !

  3. Great post
    One excuse I hear all the time is “My hour commute to my 9-5 job takes all my time” I call Bullshit to that one.

    Last week I commuted into NYC 3 times and wrote 4 or 5 blog post on my droid, copy and paste into an email and I had them to uploaded to my site each day.

    Even if you just jot down notes and make them into a blog post later there is no excuse, it also gets your creative juices going.

  4. Nice Post Rae,

    I have found just doing something, whether it works or not is the way to go. I’ve learned more from mistakes than successes.

    Question for you, there is a lot of talk about Google favoring BIG BRANDS and some predict the end of affiliate marketing. What have you seen in this regard and what can people do to avoid being shut out by big brands when running an affiliate marketing business?



  5. The amount of time you have is proportional to how bad you want it.

  6. Hey,

    I’d love you to post more in your blog. I really enjoy your posts. In fact, it was you that made me enter affiliate marketing again and just get started – not wasting too much time thinking about why I couldn’t, wouldn’t, shouldn’t. Well and here I am I devoted time and effort into a quality site with good content (written content + video is a killer combination these days) and revenue is already dripping in. I created a facebook page and am getting some likes and shares here and there and I guess I’ll build ‘my little empire’ from now on.

    I guess my advantage is that my motivation is to create great content. I pretty much don’t care about the niche, therefore I could potentially enter into lots of niches. Again, you made me buy Thesis eventually and, despite some negative reviews I read lately, I just love it. I love the freedom and SEO Power it gives me.

    Thanks again for this post.

  7. Awesome post, Rae. From one successful single mother to another… right on! ;-)

  8. Thanks for a good post and a reminder that our time could be spent doing so many more productive things that will help us create a better future if we only take a minute to see where we can make it all fit. I spend a lot of time on Facebook as well, and I often can be found watching those missed shows online instead of doing something for my site. We just need to want it bad enough if we are to truly get somewhere and build something that will sustain us.

    Now…off to do some blog posts.

  9. Great post Rae!

    I know that I made excuses over the years. Now that I am doing online marketing full-time, I still make excuses and find errands to run. It is a matter of really sitting down and getting something done that will move you forward.

    Keep up the good writing. Thanks!

    – Rick

  10. I’ve been reading your site for a while, and I must say that you are amazingly good at cutting out the BS and giving it to us straight. Even though I am slowly growing with SEO, I still feel that I don’t have enough time. This post is really going to help me. I think my problem is more about having the time, but not having the discipline to sit down and grind out some work. Let me get to that now… :)

  11. Rae, I’ve been following you quietly for years- what a terrific inspiration!

    I’m also a mom of 3 juggling multiple responsibilities. Yet, if you make the time, you’ll reap the rewards:)

  12. Excellent as usual! And for those of you who can’t even seem to find an hour, you’d be amazed at what you can get done in 15 minutes. But you “gotta wanna.” If you don’t have the fire in your belly to get it done — you won’t. Either get a move on and do it or be truthful to yourself and step aside.

  13. Well written, well thought out. The time is there, if you want to use it to build a business. If you don’t want to use, it, then don’t, but realize it is a conscious decision.

    Yesterday I spent a few hours working while the TV blatted on in the next room. My wife and our niece, who lives with us while she is going to college, were watching a 4 or 5 hour “catch up marathon” of yet another TV voice talent competition show. OK, fine.

    (the gimmick of this show is that the judges turn their backs while judging. Pretend you’re one of those judges and you too will have time for building your own success)

    But my niece who wants to earn and has real family needs for whatever money she could make, has continually turned down offers to mentor and get her setup with a site … why? You guessed it. “I don’t have time, uncle”.

    Think of this. Time is the one thing we all, each and every one of us, has in absolutely equal proportions. Poor or rich.

    With all his wealth and talent, we all of us, each one reading these words, still has infinitely more time than Steve Jobs (RIP, Steve). We just have to decide HOW we will use our riches.

  14. I clicked through to this post from Twitter because I have always thought that the people who are successful online have the spare time and some spare money to invest in their business.
    Your post and the comments from the readers have given me some ideas and inspired me to work harder on my blog. My first tasks are to install a new theme (I’m not sure about Thesis yet) and to create more original quality content.

  15. Rae, been stuck at week 3 for quite some time, with absolutely no valid excuses! Other than trying to write the PERFECT content. That seems to be the only excuse I can muster.

    Once again, you hit it right on the head.

  16. Good reminder that we are responsible for our actions and make time for the things that are important to us. Not having time is rarely if ever a worthy excuse it just means I choose not to or have not gotten my time management skills up to par.

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