Far too often we are all guilty of diving right into things. Nights (and sometimes mornings) are often spent starting up new ideas that just can’t wait another minute. Whether you are a new affiliate setting up your first site or an experienced affiliate starting on your fifth site, proper planning can save you loads of time and money. Before you go head first into that new idea, take a step back to analyze the situation and come up with a game plan. Sure, you can go ahead and throw up some pages, but then what? It saves time to know where your idea can take you before you reach the point of saying, “Now what?”The first thing affiliates do when they stumble upon a new idea is register an appropriate domain name. This is why there are so many affiliates with a rather large portfolio of domains. I personally don’t find anything wrong with this because when you are the first person to think of a new idea or are one of the first pioneers to break into a new market, jumping on the first available domain names ensures near-perfect finds.

Once you’ve decided to put the wheels in motion on a new project, here’s what you can do to ensure you waste as little time and money as possible:

  • First, jot down notes on paper about how the project can be developed; in other words, brainstorm your concept.Sometimes good ideas come when you least expect them. It’s good to jot thoughts down as they come. Too many great concepts have been forgotten because they were not written down as soon as they were perceived.
  • Determine if the project will be a large or small one.This may sound like an unimportant step, but it will save you from spending time on a project that you suddenly realize is too large for your current situation and resources.
  • Determine the scope of your new project.You should evaluate your subject matter and determine whether it will be a difficult subject to develop content around. Take some time to come up with a list of article titles, (not topics). Topics tend to run together, so coming up with a catalog of article titles keeps you from inflating your “possible” articles. Do this before you end up with a stale project that turns out to be a not-so-good idea.
  • Determine your audience and size it up; determine whether or not your topic is hot.Who will be seeking out the information on your conceived site? How large is your audience? By doing this it can keep you from going after a niche that has little to no actual search traffic. Try using Google’s and Overture’s keyword tools to see if there is any action for your topic.
  • Last but not least—do the research on your competition.Once you have decided your project has potential for success, it is imperative to see who will be your competition inside the search engine results. A great resource to use is Aaron Wall’s SEO for Firefox tool to determine how tough the competition is for any given search term. On the download page for this tool, you will find a very helpful video tutorial that will school you on how to use it.

    By analyzing the competition you can determine how quickly money can be made via your concept. For example, the top five results for a Google search on “poker” (excluding Wikipedia) have an average of 179,398 back links and an average site age of 7 and 1/2 years. It would be safe to assume it could take quite a while to compete with these sites (possibly years).

Conclusion

The best part about all of the above mentioned tips is that they can all be carried out within one hour. Taking just a little bit of time to make a project plan based on the scale of your next project, can answer a lot of questions before they arise and help YOU decide if the idea is worth pursuing.

Jonathan Holloway is a contributing PAP author and successful poker affiliate. You can follow his poker affiliate blog and learn more about the overall poker affiliate industry in his updated posts.