How Perfectionism Can Get in the Way of Affiliate Marketing Success

Many people think perfectionism is a good thing.

In fact, it is a trait commonly associated with high achievers and successful people.

But here’s something that might surprise you: perfectionism may possibly hinder your success in affiliate marketing.

As you know, perfectionists have the tendency to push themselves beyond their limit and to obsess even with the smallest details in fear that anything less than perfect will not earn them the approval of other people. Perfectionists also tend to want thing to be done in a certain way, which is actually their way.

Perfectionists tend to get stuck into these pitfalls:

  • Taking very long to take action and come up with a decision
  • Worrying too much about everything
  • Applying their extremely high standards to other people
  • Spending too much time obsessing about mistakes, failures and weaknesses
  • Avoiding challenges to steer clear of failures

As you can imagine, all these can pose a problem to your affiliate marketing business.

If you are a perfectionist, you are also at an increased risk of anxiety and depression, which can also be another issue since this type of business requires a positive mindset, and a sound mental well-being in order to come up with logical and rational decisions.

Of course, this does not mean that you should be completely lax and careless with your affiliate marketing business.

Excellent quality and value are two important key ingredients in the success of any affiliate.

But it’s important to remember that it’s not necessary to take it to the extreme levels as this will only do more harm than good. You know what they say, anything in excess is a bad thing.  

In this article, we’ll discuss how perfectionism can impede various aspects of your affiliate marketing business, and what you can do to ensure that this does not happen.

Website Building

Building a blog or a website is usually the first step in establishing your affiliate marketing business.

Usually, this process should only take you a week or even less. Most people are done building a site between three and five days.

But if you obsess with the smallest details of your website, it’ll probably take you over a month to finish it.

This is true whether you’re building the site on your own or you’ve hired a web developer to do it for you.

If you’ve chosen the latter option, you can expect that the web developer will eventually get frustrated and burned out because it would seem impossible to please you.

If you’re building it yourself, you’ll be the one who’ll get frustrated because you find it difficult or near to impossible to come up with the site that you’re 100 percent satisfied with.

Here are some common scenarios that a perfectionist will encounter while building a website or a blog:

  • Buying a web hosting package and cancelling it after finding out that you are not satisfied with its features
  • Buying a domain name over and over because you keep changing your mind and find it hard to decide which one is the perfect URL for your affiliate website
  • Trying several CMSs or website builders and taking very long before finally choosing one that suits your high standards
  • Complaining about each and every aspect of building a website because there are some limitations that you have no control over
  • Buying too many plugins because you want your website to be the most functional affiliate website ever

One thing that you need to instill in your mind is this: no system is 100 percent perfect and completely free from any flaw.

You can get a highly efficient CMS or website builder, a comprehensive web hosting package, a domain name that works well enough to be remembered by your target audience.

But you cannot find anything close to perfection when it comes to any system.

Even WordPress, which is the most recommended CMS in the world, still has a few limitations here and there that you should not obsess over.

Bluehost, HostGator, SiteGround and DreamHost are some of the top options for web hosting. But if you’ll read online reviews about each one, you’ll find that each of these has their own pros and cons that make them less than perfect. But it’s all right. They’re good enough to do and complete the job anyway.

If you’re going to attempt to perfect each of the steps of building a site and each aspect of your website or blog, you are never going to complete it. It will forever remain a work in progress. You can bid goodbye to your dreams of achieving affiliate marketing success because this is never going to happen.

Here’s what you should do instead:

  • Make a list of everything that you want in your website or blog.
  • Arrange the items according to priority.
  • Research about your options on web hosting provider, CMS and domain registrars.
  • Find out which of these choices will give you your top priorities.
  • Learn to sacrifice those items in your list that are lower in priority. You have to realize that it’s not possible to get everything that you want.

So let’s say that your priority is to find a website that gives you the fastest speed. But for you to land this option, you’ll have to sacrifice the low price that you are targeting. You might need to go for a package that costs a little more than others. You need to compromise and make certain sacrifices. Otherwise, you’d be stuck with the process without finishing anything.

Content Writing

Writing content for your affiliate blog or website takes even a lot more time than building it.

Online, you’ll find countless creative ideas you can use for your content.

But if you’re a perfectionist, it’ll probably take you a year or two before you can finish uploading posts in your site.

Here are some of the common problems you’ll encounter:

  • Creating perfect titles
  • Finding unique and original angles to work with
  • Spending a lot of time researching for information
  • Rewriting the drafts over and over
  • Finishing the posts
  • Finding perfect images and other visual elements to accompany the post
  • Obsessing too much about grammar and structure

In every step of creating a post, there is the tendency for a perfectionist to take more time than necessary.

Instead of completing a post in a day, he/she will take up to a week before he/she can come up with a post that he/she is truly satisfied with.

This can be a huge problem since affiliate marketing requires fresh and updated content at all times.

If it takes forever for you to finish a single 2,000-word post because of your extremely high standards, you are going to lose the attention and interest of your target audience.

They’ll think that it takes you too long to post new content and they’ll go somewhere they can get what they need more quickly.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to publish high quality content free from grammar and spelling errors, and which contains valuable information for your target audience.

In fact, this is what will give you a higher ranking in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

But going overboard can result in negative consequences for your affiliate marketing business, primarily because of the time factor.

Here’s what you can do to set aside your perfectionism and finish your content marketing strategies:

  • Create a list of topics and ideas that you’d want to write about. Make use of tools like Hubspot Topic Generator so you don’t have to spend days mulling over ideas to write about.
  • Organize the topic ideas according to priority.
  • Start with the first item on the list.
  • Create an outline that will include all the subtopics about the main topic that you’d want to include in your post.
  • Do your research. Make use of only three to five sources for each your post. Set a specific time to complete your research. For example, allot three to five hours to complete your entire research for one post. Once the time is up, you need to move on to the next step.
  • Start writing the post. Do not go back over and over to one part of your post. Complete it first before re-reading the entire post to check if there are any mistakes in structure, flow, grammar or spelling.
  • Use grammar and spelling tools like Grammarly and the Hemingway App to save time and effort.
  • Ask an editor to proofread and edit it for you if you are not satisfied with the content.
  • Do not do the editing and rewriting yourself because if you do, you will never be finished.
  • Choose only from three to five images for your post. You don’t have to go through 100 choices before making your decision. Spend only a few minutes doing this task. Taking an hour or more is not a good idea.
  • Set a deadline for yourself to complete each post. Be sure to stick to the deadline so you don’t lag behind your content marketing schedule.

It’s imperative that right from the start, you set your mind to completing each post within the timeframe that you’ve provided for yourself.

Marketing Campaigns

An online marketing campaign is never optional for any type of online business. It is what will give you the traffic, exposure, sales and profits that your business needs to thrive and grow.

If you are serious about your affiliate marketing business, then you need to formulate a comprehensive digital marketing campaign that will cover all the top marketing channels including email, social media, video, content, online forums and so on.

Now the problem if you are perfectionist is this: you’re never going to be satisfied with the marketing plan that you’ll come up with.

You’ll always find something wrong, or you’ll always end up obsessing over minor details.

This will not only take you a long time conducting each campaign, it will also hinder you from getting any work done.

Here are a few examples:

  • You’re setting up your social media accounts. But you’ll find it extremely difficult to get anything done because you can’t decide what profile photos to use, what details to include in your account profile and so on.
  • You’re attempting to build an email list, but you can’t get yourself to get started because it’s taking you longer than necessary in designing the opt-in page for your affiliate website.
  • You’re creating marketing messages but you keep on re-writing over and over because you are not satisfied with your output.
  • You work with a social media or email marketing manager but you ask the manager to revise the strategies over and over because you are never satisfied with the results.

To make digital marketing work for you, here are the steps that you have to do:

  • List down all the marketing channels that you’d want to use for your digital marketing campaign. It would be wise to include all those previously mentioned channels to make the most out of your campaign.
  • For each item on your list, create a comprehensive step-by-step procedure that you will follow. So let’s say with email marketing, you will need to build an email list, choose an email marketing service, create an email marketing message and set the platform to automate the sending of these messages to your subscribers.
  • Set a deadline for each of the steps for each of the channels that you will use. Be sure to follow this deadline.
  • Do your research about the top options for marketing programs and platforms. Read customer online reviews but accept the fact that there’s no perfect system that you can find online. Choose those that feature the preferences you prioritize. For example, with email marketing, your top options are GetResponse, Aweber, Constant Contact and MailChimp. You need to keep in mind that none of these are perfect systems but each one has its own share of drawbacks that you’d have to know about. Find out which one of these has drawbacks that you are willing to accept.

Audience Building

Another important key to affiliate marketing success is building a community of active audience members.

You need to take the time to establish connection with your target audience and foster a positive relationship with them.

You can do this by earning their trust through excellent quality content, constant genuine help and concern and so on. It also helps to establish your expertise in the niche so that your audience can see that you are the affiliate to trust and respect.

It seems like a job that any perfectionist would ace at.

But the opposite is true.

A perfectionist may have a hard time building a relationship with his/her target audience because of his/her tendency to apply extremely high standards on other people.

As a perfectionist, you’re not only too hard on yourself, you also practice the same thing to other people.

When a customer asks you to teach him/her how to set up the affiliate product you are promoting, you immediately provide a detailed step by step guide to help him/her out. But as the customer shows you his/her own way of setting up the product, you become too critical of the smallest things because you cannot accept it when things are not done exactly your way even if the results are the same.

This is just one possible scenario. There are many other possible situations that would cause friction between a perfectionist affiliate and his/her customers.

So this does not happen to you, you need to instill in your mind that perfection is not always the right thing.

When setting up or using a product, for example, there are certain techniques that may veer a little away from the standard procedure, but as long as the customer’s way does not pose any harm, risk or danger, and it achieves the same purpose, then it should be acceptable.

If you are too hard on your customers, they will end up feeling annoyed and even frustrated.

They want an affiliate who can help them out, who can help resolve their problems and issues, not someone who will belittle their capabilities or make them feel unworthy or incapable of doing things the right way.

Another thing to remember when connecting with your audience is that you want to establish that you are an expert in the niche. But as you know, no one appreciates a know-it-all.

If you want them to see that you are the go to person to answer questions and solve problems within the niche, you can do that. What you should try to avoid is to appear that you are the only one who knows everything.

You don’t want to give off the impression that you don’t accept other people’s opinions, suggestions or ideas. You don’t want them to think that you are the type of person who thinks that you are right all the time, and that you are not capable of committing any mistake. Admit that you are just as human as anyone else and that there are always new things for you to learn about.

It’s also good to take it a little easy on yourself and on others as well. You want to keep positive vibes with your affiliate marketing business. You don’t want anyone particularly your customers to feel pressured and stressed out all the time.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting quality and value for your affiliate marketing business. You should always give 100 percent of your efforts to get to success more quickly. But you should keep in mind that perfectionism is not necessary, and will only hinder you from reaching your goals. Achieving balance is the key as always. Remember, sometimes, good enough is better than perfect.