When planting a garden, or doing a bit of landscaping, there are many factors which must considered. Size of plants, colors, hardiness, and need for sunlight and water, all come into play. If any mistakes are made along way, garden will not flourish.
There are many parallels between starting a business and planting a garden. In fact, being in an online business is like planting a virtual garden. If any of steps are overlooked, like a poorly designed garden, business will not do well.
There are basically three things that those in an online business must do.
First - you must pick your program carefully. If you get involved with wrong one, you will not reap desired harvest. Just because a program has been around a long time, does not necessarily mean you will achieve success. Some of affiliate programs on web are overplayed and tired. You should also avoid programs that make money mainly by garnering new recruits. At some point new recruits will slow down and program will go way of most Ponzi or pyramid schemes.
Secondly, after planting, you have to care for your plants. Advertising is like sunlight, water and fertilizer for your business. A one time or sporadic ad will not get customers.
Exposure, Exposure, Exposure gets customers. It is a common maxim in advertising that it takes 5 to 7 exposures to an ad to get someone to react. Your copy must also be geared toward your target market. It must be well written, makes an offer that gets someone's attention, and allows immediate feedback. If you are consistent in your advertising, experiment with your copy until you start getting responses. If your add doesn't pull, change it - couldn't be simpler.
Let's stick with exposure for a minute. It takes a dedicated person to place their free classified ads on an ongoing basis. Miss a week here and there and you are committing a big mistake. You are not being consistent.