Making a living using the internet while working from home is enough of a distraction to ruin most new affiliate marketers before they even get started. When you sit down to work, make sure you are only working! I personally find that setting a timer works well. I might set the timer for 1hr and during that hour, I’m not allowed to read email, visit Facebook, watch any YouTube videos, or do anything that might distract me (unless I’m visiting one of those pages specifically for work purposes).
Yes is the short answer. Any time you are planing on generating money, you should have a plan. No plan means no real focus. There may be some 1/1000 percent of a chance you will succeed, but I haven't met them yet. If you have already started and have generated an income, record how. Doing so will give you material for use in expanding your business faster.
One huge red flag is any company that promises you a “get rich quick” marketing strategy. Although affiliate marketing can be good money, it’s by no means instantaneous. Stay away from anything that sounds too good to be true. Also, stay away from any merchant that wants to charge you startup costs. Additionally, use established affiliate programs to find your merchants. Read reviews and ask around. You’re not the only person trying to supplement income with this marketing strategy, so there are plenty of other professionals with whom to crowdsource.
A challenge with a lead-based commission structure is fraud prevention. If the form is easy to complete and the payout high enough, a dishonest affiliate can determine ways to auto-fill that form and collect commission on bogus leads. To prevent this, you would need a dedicated affiliate manager to police the quality of inbound leads. Warning signs include multiple leads originating from the same IP address, or patterns in data entry such as spelling variations on a single name — such as “Jonathan Smith,” “Jon Smith,” and “J. E. Smith.” When you detect fraud, boot the affiliate from the program immediately, and inform the network. And don’t forget to reverse any recorded leads associated with the bad affiliate.
A good example is the YouTube channel Suspicious0bservers. That guy posts a video about space weather every single morning. When he first started, nobody was following him. But over time, people started to subscribe. Then they started to tell their friends, who told their friends, and it became a total avalanche. He now has a paid subscription so people can receive his evening news videos and is making a full-time living doing it.
When you have your own product or service you hold a lot more control of the funnel from beginning to end. But I’ve worked with many marketers to help them better control the best affiliate marketing funnel with banner ads, blog posts and social media. Once people move from those elements to the sales page – I help them control their message and email marketing campaigns and everything behind the scenes.