Looking for a merchant's affiliate interface login and password when you want to install one of their links on your site, is a waste of time.
I'm fairly anal about keeping my business, and almost all aspects of my life, well-organized.
For example, open my closet and you'll see my clothes sorted by garment type and color (according to the spectrum from white to black).
How about a food cupboard sorted into soups, veggies, snacks, sauce mixes, pasta and rice, etc? Oh ya, and the labels ARE turned out.
Are you ready to have me committed yet?
Wait just a moment, please.
There's method in my madness… really and truly.
Surely you know people who can't organize their way out of a paper bag. They come home and leave their keys in a different place each time. Then whenever they want to go out, they need to spend 5 minutes searching for their keys… and/or shoes, or jacket, or paperwork…
What a huge a waste of life!
I use the term ‘life' because life is comprised of, and measured by, time.
Nothing is more precious than time and making each of your moments count. Spending time on trivial matters like looking for keys when you could be having fun with friends and family, helping others through your business, saving the planet, or even taking a nap – is a waste of time.
Likewise, looking for a merchant's affiiliate interface login and password when you want to install one of their links on your site, is a waste of time.
Scrap that… it's a waste of time to have to look for the link itself.
All the details relating to your affiliate marketing business need to be at right at your fingertips.
I stay organized by keeping everything in one big Excel file accessed from my desktop.
The file has a number of worksheets, each with its own set of information.
All the programs I'm affiliated with are listed on one worksheet, with headings for program name, username/login, password, network association (if any), primary links, my own redirect links, broker (2nd tier) links, link for the affiliate interface, manager's name and contact info, commission rate and other important info.
Another sheet logs all monies owed and received, and tallies income by program and category, as well as by month and year.
On another worksheet I've listed software information including purchase date, registration numbers and login details.
Still another keeps track of information for subscriptions such as forums and membership sites.
Everytime I come up with an article idea, it gets entered on the ‘Article Ideas' worksheet. There's yet another sheet with a list of article submission sites.
I log interview, presentation, and teleconference dates and details in that file.
Testimonials and success stories have their own separate sheets.
The Net Profits Today newsletter is laid out in advance on another sheet, with suggestions for topics and articles.
Last but not least, my project (to-do) list is on another worksheet, filed by domain name and sorted by date due.
The ‘Big File' is always open.
When I join a program, the details get entered right away. While reading my email, I cut and paste testimonials right into the file, and jot ideas for future NPT topics … as they pop up.
My site files are organized by domain name – not generic terms like ‘dating site', or ‘book site', as I've seen some webmasters do.
As soon as I join a program I enter all the details on the relevant sheet, and create a redirect link, which I know I'll use if I promote the product via email.
I create email filters for every webmaster I do business with, and messages go straight into their personal folder. One quick filter – no more filing.
Setting up – and keeping up with – such a system may seem like a lot of work.
Do it often enough and it becomes second nature.
Staying organized sure beats the heck out of wasting five minutes trying to find the email with that merchant's affiliate program login information just so you find your affiliate links.
Want to Pass on the Spreadsheets?
Then I recommend that you check out Jon Mills' Affiliate Organizer software.
Affiliate Organizer lets you keep track of your websites, hosting details, affiliate accounts, and more all from one interface.
Everything is simple to use. Just fill in the blanks and save.. it couldn't be much easier. I give it 2 thumbs up for being user-friendly.
Thanks for your comment! Glad you enjoyed the article and found it useful.
As for backups… I do a few different types.
I upload a lot of stuff to my server on a non-public domain and also use Norton Ghost to create an image of my drives. I’m big into redundancy at this point, so I also regularly send files to an external drive AND my laptop.
It’s a bit of extra work, but better than the alternative.
Ros, liked your article on organization. Having lost
similar records due to hard drive disasters and
hijacks, now maintain a hard copy journal off-machine
where data is posted by hand. Wondered if you also
keep a hard copy backup of your Xcell pages and how
often you backup. I plan to adopt your system.
Thanks for the article.