‘Autopilot’ is short for ‘automatic pilot’. This word has been adopted in Internet marketing strategies to describe "business in a box" models. Let’s understand what autopilot is and isn’t. Look at the associations to some keywords from the first paragraph of the Wikipedia description of ‘autopilot’ that are relevant to Internet affiliate marketing:
"An autopilot is a system used to control the trajectory of a vehicle without constant 'hands-on' control by a human operator being required. Autopilots do not replace a human operator, but assist them in controlling the vehicle, allowing them to focus on broader aspects of operation, such as monitoring the trajectory, weather and systems" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autopilot
The secret here is that you must learn how to use your system and have all your ducks in a row if you are going to run your business on ‘autopilot’! It’s really not pie in the sky! If you can just pull it off. Right off the bat as an affiliate marketer you have tremendous automatic pilots. To list these assets just off the top, the affiliate program first gives you a web page to promote on the Internet. That is a ‘storefront’ that is open 24/7/365. At any time you could make a sale and you could be sound asleep, at the beach or a ballgame at the same time. Your store is open and ready to do business should the opportunity arise (you get visitors, aka traffic, hits, that may become customers, etc) ...
The affiliate program also processes the orders that you generate, and provides customer services and tech support for you and your customers (your ‘downline’). So these things truly are on autopilot, AND it is actually Automatic. However you initiated that transaction by joining the program and that is the trigger that sets it all ON. But as it says in our description, "...Autopilots do not replace a human operator".
YOU are YOUR business! The best asset you have! So you have to be seriously engaged in your business at least in so far as continuous learning, understanding, monitoring, and managing every component of your business. (It’s ok to think about the day you can pay somebody to handle the day-to-day operations and send you a report)!
Of course your main concern is promoting your business through marketing and advertising online. The techniques you may use are systems that can be ‘autopilot’. Again here you need to be involved in doing research; and setting your tools up correctly so that you can depend on them functioning without your constant attention to detail.
Working smarter surely would include using autopilot platforms to run a business! Being logical you would just know that you need to be ‘taking care of business’ whether or not you have automated. If you have an organized plan with target goals, probably the most work you will ever do is only at the beginning as you build each new facet.