How to set realistic goals as a beginner affiliate marketer

How to set realistic goals as a beginner affiliate marketer

You’ve began your affiliate marketing journey, Yay! As a beginner, you want to succeed in affiliate marketing. Who wouldn’t want success. Right?

One of the critical aspects of becoming a successful affiliate marketer is setting realistic goals. Knowing how to set proper and achievable goals will propel you forward in this amazing industry.

At the end of this article, you’ll have a clear game plan on how to do it effectively.

Without wasting any time, let’s get started!

Why is goal setting important in affiliate marketing?

Having the right goals is the major difference between succeeding and failing in affiliate marketing. When you set goals ahead of time and you start working on it, you’ll surely reap rewards. If you don’t have goals, you’ll struggle to achieve any meaningful result and it simply stinks.

When you have a clear picture of what you want to accomplish in affiliate marketing, you’ll approach affiliate promotions with much more confidence. When you nail the process of setting realistic affiliate marketing goals, you’ll have a reliable framework upon which you can evaluate your results.

Do you know where it’s going to lead you? Yes, you’ve guessed it right. More success!

Types of affiliate marketing goals

Generally, there are four types of goals you can set as a beginner affiliate marketer.

  • Revenue goals. This is obvious. Your end goal need to be revenue. You need to set how much revenue you want from each affiliate program you are in. Set short and long term goals and get to work.
  • Promotional goals. To earn that sweet revenue, you need to invariably promote your offers. If you don’t have promotional goals, you are basically limiting yourself in every aspect of affiliate marketing.
  • Traffic goals. This is a gold for affiliate marketers. It gives you a chance to get more eyeballs to your offer. When you set and achieve traffic goals, you can attract high-paying advertisers, and do much more with your site. It directly has an impact on how much money you can make as an affiliate marketer.
  • Productivity goals. This one may surprise you. Setting daily productivity goals take you closer to all your other goals. When you are productive, you’ll get new ideas to bring in visitors to your affiliate site, writing new content that helps your audience, pitching to potential advertising clients, and much, much more! So, productivity goals must be the heartbeat of an affiliate marketer.

Key points to consider when setting your affiliate marketing goals

There are essentially five key points to consider when setting your affiliate marketing goals. They are.

  • Keeping it simple in the early days.
  • Writing your goals down in a preferred format of yours.
  • Set goals using smart formula.
  • Set a reflection time of 30 minutes or 1 hour every day.
  • Take time every morning to edit, read, and update your goals.

Let’s look at each one of them in more detail.

Keeping it simple in the early days

Keeping your goals simple in the early days will help you to achieve them with ease. A good starting point will push you forward to set further goals and crack them. Let’s take income goals as an example.

You need to set how much you want to make in the first 30 days of starting your affiliate marketing business. This is short term.

When you complete that goal, go towards setting three, six months, 1, 2, and five years of goals. This is long term, and to achieve these long term goals, break them into smaller chunks and work on it.

In the early days, you may take a little longer to achieve your thirty day goals, and that’s completely ok. Don’t beat yourself for that!

Remember. You should always try to achieve your affiliate goals with authenticity.

Read more: An introduction to ethical affiliate marketing for beginners

Writing your goals in the preferred format of yours

No matter what you use to write your goals, just write! Whether you use pen and paper, a bullet journal, or a favorite notebook of yours, it doesn’t matter!

Along with writing your goals, write a mini plan on how you are going to achieve that. This has helped me in conquering my blogging goals.

Also, writing your goals give you a strong emotional attachment. This will help you keep your goals at the forefront of everything you do regarding your affiliate marketing business.

Set your goals using smart formula

Before getting to know how to set your affiliate marketing goals using the smart formula, we need to find out what smart stands for.

  • Specific.
  • Measurable.
  • Accountable.
  • Realistic.
  • Timeframe.
  1. Set specific goals in your affiliate marketing business. Think through these questions. How much income you want in your first year of starting affiliate marketing? How much traffic you want to have to achieve your income goal in your first year?

Note: you may think why you emphasize on first year? Often, first year of affiliate marketing is the challenging year of a beginner affiliate marketer. If you successfully cross the first year, things may ease out and it becomes a little easier to set and achieve goals after that.

  1. Measurable. Set goals that can be tracked and improved. For example, revenue and traffic goals.
  2. Accountable. Set goals that are achievable. When you have achievable goals in front of you, there is less chance of you getting demotivated, and you’ll start to work on your goals. This way, you’ll be accountable to yourself!
  3. Realistic. You know what’s a realistic goal. Aiming for 10000 dollars, or a sudden rush of traffic to your blog in your first three months of starting your affiliate marketing business is a serious crap. Consider these questions when setting realistic goals. Is this your first blog? How experienced you are in affiliate marketing? How many hours you are going to spend in affiliate marketing? How you are going to get people to your affiliate offer/blog? When you have answers for these questions, you’ll set realistic goals with absolute clarity.
  4. Timeframe. Setting a deadline is a crucial part of achieving your goals as an affiliate marketer. When you have deadline, you’ll push towards your goals with a clear plan, and that in itself will aid you to get to the finish line within the timeframe.

Set a reflection time of 30 minutes or 1 hour every day.

Go to a quiet place and keep all the distractions out of your sight. This includes your mobile phone, television, and other things that doesn’t allow you to focus on the task. Take a pen and paper. Sit still and start writing.

Why you want to be a successful affiliate marketer? include as many reasons as possible. practice this daily.

Trust me, it works!

When you do this consistently, after some time, it becomes your habit.

Take time every morning to edit, read, and update your goals.

Goal setting isn’t a set it and forget about it kind of task. You need to take time every single day to read, edit, and refine your goals.

When you do this regularly, it creates a really good momentum and pushes you one step closer to your goals.

How to set realistic affiliate marketing goals?

There isn’t a magic formula or a secret to set realistic affiliate marketing goals. In fact, by asking the right questions, you can make this process effortless and easy!

Let’s face the truth. You are not going to become an expert after reading a bunch of articles on how to set realistic affiliate marketing goals. It requires practice, constant refining, and focus.

Having said that, here are some questions to help you get started in setting realistic affiliate marketing goals.

  • What’s my current position in affiliate marketing?
  • How much traffic do I need before monetizing my site with affiliate marketing?
  • What products do I use that I can promote to my audience?
  • How am I going to promote my affiliate offers? Through blog posts? Vlogs? Podcasts? Joint ventures?
  • What quality products are in my niche?
  • How am I connected with my audience?
  • What kind of audience I got? Active and engaged? Partially active and partially engaged?
  • How am I going to stay focused on my goals once I’ve finally decided on them and not let other things get in the way?

Determine these things before setting your goals. This will save you from a lot of future headaches for sure!

What questions to ask when you are using email marketing to promote a product for the first time?

This section is applicable for you, if you have already started building your email list from the very beginning of launching your blog. Even if you are not building it from the start, read this to get some valuable insights!

If you are setting unrealistic goals when using email marketing to promote a product, obviously, You. Will. Fail.

On the other hand, if you set your goals too low, you are leaving money on the table!

So, how to gain a middle ground?

Here’s a list of questions to help you out!

  • What’s the sales page conversion rate of this product? If it’s an established one, ask their affiliate team. If it’s a new or a solopreneur’s product, ask its owner.
  • What are your email open and click through rates? If you have a good email open and click through rate, you’ll drive more traffic to the product sales page. That means, you have a good chance to meet your goals. Consider these questions. Is this the first time you are sending a promotional email to your subscribers? What type of emails you usually send to your audience? Do you have an engaged email list? These questions will serve as guideposts for determining what type of response you will get from your audience.
  • Have you promoted a similar product before, and if so, what’s your conversion rate? If the results aren’t favorable, what was the reason? What will you do to turn it around this time?
  • How are you gonna diversify your strategy to get as many customers as possible? are you going to right a blog post? Create a tutorial? Through email campaigns? When you diversify your strategy, you’ll have every chance of getting more customers to your business!


As I’ve said earlier, there is no universal rule on setting a realistic goal as an affiliate marketer. But there are some key pointers you can consider before proceeding further.

It all comes down to what you want to achieve in affiliate marketing and how well you know the industry.

I want to know your perspective as a beginner affiliate marketer. What are your goals this year? How you are planning to achieve them?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Related posts

The ultimate guide to understanding all about affiliate link hijacking for beginners

A comprehensive guide on the do’s and don’ts of affiliate marketing for beginners

8 important metrics you need to track as a beginner affiliate marketer

About Hari:

Hari loves writing about affiliate marketing, email marketing, and blogging for beginners. When he is not writing, you can find him actively watching tennis, or searching for the next recipe that’ll fulfill his heart.



30 thoughts on “How to set realistic goals as a beginner affiliate marketer”

  1. I love this post, Hari! It has some really helpful tips like keep it simple in the beginning. I know it’s easy to get caught up in being an affiliate for everything but affiliate marketing is a marathon, not a sprint!

    1. hey Heather Ritchie,
      so glad to see you here.
      happy that you’ve found helpful tips from this post!
      yes, absolutely true.
      affiliate marketing is a marathon, not a sprint!

    1. hey Päivi,
      thanks for your comment.
      glad you’ve found this post helpful!
      sure, affiliate marketing is a wonderful way to earn passive income!

  2. Some good tips here! I’ve recently just started affiliate marketing in a few of my posts but I need to work on it more and set some goals.

    1. hey AALIZIYAH,
      thanks for your comment.
      glad you’ve learned valuable tips in this post!
      all the very best for your affiliate marketing journey!

  3. I really need to start learning and prioritizing my affiliate marketing goals everyday of my blogging journey. This is a wonderful article with great insight for achieving daily goals.

    1. hey Abby,
      thanks for your comment.
      glad you’ve taken a smart decision in your affiliate marketing journey!
      thanks for your compliment about this article!

    1. hey Nathalia,
      thank you so much for your comment.
      glad you’ve found valuable information in this post!
      all the very best for your affiliate marketing journey!

  4. I loved the fact that you used the SMART goals. Helps keep us encouraged and motivated. Your articles are always handy especially for tech challenged people like me.

    1. hey Anitha,
      thank you so much for your encouraging comment.
      glad you’ve found value in this post!
      thank you so much for your compliment!

  5. Your articles are always so well written and have enough information to be really helpful without being overwhelming, thanks again for another great article!

    1. hey CHRISTINA,
      thanks for your comment.
      glad yoiu’ve found value in this post!
      thanks for your encouraging and appreciative words!
      it completely fills my heart to the brim!

  6. Great reminder about setting SMART goals! I usually set weekly goals, but I like the thought of reflecting daily and editing the goals as the week goes on. Great tips-thank you! I will definitely be putting these into practice.

    1. hey STACY BOSWELL,
      thank you so much for your comment.
      glad you’ve found valuable tips in this post!
      so happy that you’ve decided to put these into practice.
      all the very best!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *