CHAPTER 0: LAYING THE GROUNDWORK
This part is about what you need to do before you even turn on your computer. There are no ‘killer money making tips’ here (directly), but skip this part at your own peril. Without a solid foundation you probably won’t be able to make it all the way to $10,000/month (or if you do, you’ll be miserable).
In this chapter you’re going to learn:
- How it takes more than the internet to succeed at affiliate marketing.
- Why you’ll probably fail and why there’s a reason this always happens to you.
- The important difference between being a consumer and a vendor (and how affiliate marketing sits somewhere in the middle).
- The three big problems that plague most people and how they’re preventing you from achieving success.
- Why it’s important to work out what kind of affiliate marketer you are (or want to be).
- What it really means to take massive action immediately and how this is the key to success.
Before you turn on your laptop and start doing anything online, there are a few fundamental things you need to get your head around first. And you don’t need to use a computer to do any of these things.
I’m going to approach these things by asking (and answering) a few questions:
- Do you have what it takes?
- Do you know what a marketer does?
- What kind of affiliate do you want to be?
- Are you focussed on what’s important?
- Are you willing to take action?
If you’re like the guy I used to be, you’re probably tempted to skip this part. I mean, I used to hate it when people wrote books about making money and then proceeded to talk about things that seemed to have nothing to do with cold hard cash.
Are you #$%^ serious!
That used to me my response to paying good money to read about ‘attitude’ and ‘mindset’ and other ‘psychobabble’ I’d encounter sometimes.
Show me the money!
That’s what I was talking about.
Skip. Skip. Skip.
That’s how I used to deal with all that touchy-feely stuff.
And maybe even hit the ‘refund’ button.
I was a lot younger then and writing this stuff now makes me cringe a bit. But that’s who I was. And that’s why I failed.
The thing is, now I realize it’s important to pay attention to this stuff. That’s how I discovered that I love marketing, I love to write and I have a knack for being able to explain complex concepts to people in ways they can understand.
I hope you’ll read this chapter and get something worthwhile out of it.
Do you have what it takes?
I’m sitting in my living room right now listening to music. My kids have gone to bed and my wife is sewing and I’m not on the internet. I don’t have a browser open (I’m streaming music on Spotify, but that’s just Wi-Fi).
If it wasn’t for the fact that I’m now (and will be spending a long time over the coming months) working offline, you wouldn’t be reading this book.
What I’m trying to say is that you’re going to need to work. This isn’t some push button software you bought and you won’t have money in your bank account by the time you’re finished reading this.
I’ve put a lot of commitment, sacrifice, persistence and faith into 10K30. When you’ve finished reading it, it’ll be your turn to do the hard yards on whatever you decide to do with this information.
Even though you’re starting an online business, there’s just as much to the ‘business’ side of things as there is to the ‘online’ side. Probably more. The business side is going to be demanding. And sometimes you’re going to be afraid. You’ll hesitate. You’ll doubt yourself. That’s just normal. In fact, what’s not normal about online ‘business’ is succeeding at it.
Most people that play this game just end up ‘online’ with no business.
I you haven’t read my controversial free report Affiliate Marketing: You’re Doing It Wrong I’m going to give you the broad strokes below, but I recommend you go and read it all.
Doing it Wrong is an exclusive free report I only offer to subscribers to the LeadsMonger daily affiliate marketing newsletter. If you haven’t subscribed then do it now.
Hint: If you really want to know how an affiliate marketer does their thing, the best place is on their list. I’ve probably learned as much from analysing someone’s emails than I have from their products.
I think you should read Doing it Wrong as well as diving into this book because despite everything I’m about to explain to you, you’re probably still destined to fail.
Doing it Wrong explains why.
Even if you dream of making serious money as an affiliate marketer and believe you can make it happen, you’re probably just kidding yourself.
You’ll probably fail and there’s a reason this always happens to you.
Doing it Wrong can help you overcome some huge problems that keep 99% of people from making it as an affiliate marketer. It could be the difference between whether you can succeed with what I’m about to tell you in this book… or not.
Here’s just some of what you’re about what you’ll read in Doing it Wrong:
- Why there are only two things you need to do to make money as an affiliate
- How to be completely indifferent and still make bucket-loads of cash
- How to escape the ‘black hole’ that sucks in so many amateurs
- How to apply the biggest psychological breakthrough of the last century to completely change your life
- The seven words that determine whether you have a future in this game
Read it here: LeadsMonger.com/controversial-new-report/
The gist of Doing it Wrong is that affiliate marketing takes discipline and commitment.
You can make a lot of money as an affiliate without spending much when you compare it to starting-up and running a lot of other businesses, but you can’t just ‘try’ and make money as an affiliate and then expect to see your bank account filling up because of your intentions.
I think the reason people think it works that way is because they don’t see that there’s a difference between being a consumer and a vendor.
If you’re a consumer and you want something online, you can search for it, find it, buy it, download it and use it in minutes. But if you’re a vendor there’s a lot more work to do.
Being an affiliate marketer is the middle ground. Affiliates don’t have to sell anything, create a product, or build and manage the infrastructure behind the sales and delivery process (or pay someone to do those things).
But successful affiliate marketers invest a lot of time, effort and money into their businesses.
The more affiliate links you can get the more products and services you can promote. Once you’ve got a link, getting people to click your affiliate link is your business model.
The better your affiliate link is (i.e. the more valuable and desirable the offer) and the more quality leads you refer (i.e. the more people who want the offer) the more money you can make as an affiliate marketer.
That’s the formula, but even knowing it’s so simple isn’t enough. Most people won’t be able to build a successful online business (whether it’s a 10K30 business or otherwise) regardless of how simple it is. This is because there are three big problems in the way.
The three big problems that plague most people are:
Distraction and procrastination are evil sidekicks, but the main villain is fear.
Distraction is about attention. It’s an affliction that we’re particularly prone to on the internet. But it’s something you can overcome by learning to focus your attention – and re-focus it repeatedly – on important long-term goals.
Procrastination is about delay. It’s an ineffective coping mechanism to put off doing the things you intend to do but you know you aren’t going to enjoy. But it’s something you can overcome if you can appreciate that ‘satisfaction’, which is the pleasure of completing something worthwhile, is waiting for you at the end if you persist.
Fear can also be overcome. Everybody’s scared of something, but if your fear is hard work, boredom, commitment, concentration, writing, technology, people, money, failure or even success, you’re going to struggle with what it takes to build a successful online affiliate marketing business.
Most people aren’t cut out for building a successful online business. Most people have been taught to need the comfort of the ‘safer’ option. They struggle to be able to motivate and discipline themselves. If this is you and you’re not willing to change, then you should quit while you’re ahead (or before you get further behind).
If you want to read a lot more about these topics and get inside the way I built my affiliate marketing business, you should read Doing it Wrong all the way through.
Check it out here: LeadsMonger.com/controversial-new-report/
Do you know what a marketer does?
What I want to do in the next couple of pages is tell you, in the plainest terms I can conjure up, what I think a marketer actually does (or at least what I aim to do as a marketer). The reason I think this is important is because once you can wrap your head around ‘marketing’ you’re 95% of the way to being a successful affiliate ‘marketer’. The affiliate part is just the tip of the iceberg.
A lot of people I come across on forums are mostly concerned with the ‘internet’ part of internet marketing, or the ‘affiliate’ part of affiliate marketing. Few understand that ‘marketing’ is actually the most important part and if you can get your head around it, then the ‘internet’ and ‘affiliate’ part of the equation will usually take care of itself.
Advertising, PR, branding, promotion, research, sales and even customer support are all part of the comprehensive world of ‘marketing’. But I tend to think of this stew of concepts and disciplines as all boiling down to one essential thing – facilitating the solution to someone’s problem (in my case by recommending a product). All the pieces are just part of the how-to of the problem solving motive.
Jimmy’s marketing soapbox
I’m pretty riled about something I was reading on an internet marketing forum this afternoon. A few guys were debating how often to email offers to subscribers and someone was banging on about how you should only promote an offer every 4th email “so that you can show your subscribers that you’re giving them ‘value’ more than you’re selling them stuff”.
Some people were saying they email an offer every day, but then other people were poo-pooing this strategy, suggesting that emailing people with offers is annoying and should be limited to the occasional email.
This is total rubbish.
Don’t listen to stuff like this. This kind of attitude shows that people like this, who claim to be marketers, don’t understand the value of being a marketer at all. It also reveals how many people go into internet marketing with only one selfish motivation – to make money. Then, to achieve this end, they blatantly manipulate their list with ‘strategies’ that have nothing to do with marketing.
If you’re reading this now and getting defensive, please hear me out. In a couple of pages I’m going to tell you that I actually have no problem if you don’t promote an offer in every email (this rant isn’t even about how often to email an offer, that was just the context).
Before I get there, I just want to explain why I also have no problem promoting affiliate offers. It all comes down to the fact that solving someone’s problems is a valuable service.
I think the issue people have with promoting is that they’ve got some kind of personal issue with the fact that the solutions to most problems cost money.
But what’s the big deal? I mean, if your problem is that you’re hungry, surely you don’t think someone should only charge you for every 4th hamburger.
Here’s an analogy to give you a little food for thought:
Two of your mates go to a bike store. They know you’re into mountain biking and you’re shopping for a new bike and want a good one, but you don’t have a lot of money. Later that day you get two texts, one from each of your friends. The first text says “I just saw a killer new set up in [insert bike store name]. It’s 50% off this week. Could be just what you were looking for.” The other text is a really long detailed explanation about how to find good bike deals in your local stores.
Which friend will you be grateful for and which one will you be annoyed with?
Here’s another illustration:
You walk into a pharmacy with a hacking cough. The pharmacist sees you, determines you’ve got a cold and gets you some medication from the shelf. While he’s ringing up the sale he gives you a pamphlet about taking care of yourself when you’re sick. Six months later you’ve got another hacking cough and go into a different pharmacy. This pharmacist greets you and says, ‘Looks like you’ve got a nasty cold son. Here’s a pamphlet to read to help you cope with being sick. I hope it’s helpful. I only sell medications on Thursdays, so if you come back next week I’ll fix you up with something to sort that cough out.
Which pharmacist are you going to be glad you visited?
I’m a marketer. If I know you want to buy a new mountain bike at an affordable price, then I’ll find out where you can buy it and tell you. If I know you want a cure for your cough I’ll find out where you can buy medication and tell you. I won’t waste your time with something that isn’t the best solution to your problem.
Sure, information marketing is a bit different because not all information is locked behind a cash register. But in most cases the best information is. Wouldn’t you appreciate knowing where the best information is rather than getting three emails with some average info in the meantime?
If you don’t want to spend money for the good stuff, that’s your problem (and maybe there’s even something I can recommend that you can buy to help you get over that).
I’m a vendor in some respects (like selling this ‘ol book you’re reading), but even as I write this book I know I can’t solve all your problems. I can’t explain everything to you and I don’t have every answer you need. That’s why this book is only 140 odd pages.
10K30 solves some of your problems; however, I know that there are other people out there – experts and authorities in ways I’m not – who can help you where I can’t. As a marketer, I’m motivated to put you onto these people so you can get solutions to problems I can’t solve.
Sometimes solutions cost money. So what?! Would you be angry at a pharmacist if they told you to see a doctor and pay $50 for a consultation because they think your cough could be something that a $5 lozenge can’t fix?
This book provides a lot of value, but so do the links I’ve included in it. But it’s more than that. It’s not just a case that ‘the book provides this much value’ and ‘the links provide that much value’. My skills as a marketer make this book (and the emails I send people every day) something more than the sum of its parts. It’s something symbiotic and synergistic. This simply means the book is more valuable because of the links and the links are more valuable because of the book.
Imagine if I only gave you the chapter at the end of this book (the one with a summary of all the resources I’ve linked to in this book). Would that be valuable to you? Sure. Somewhat. But the same links are more valuable to you because of the way I’ve organized them and given them context throughout the book.
In the end, what I pride myself in being able to do as an effective marketer is curate solutions to your particular needs, within the context of your specific problem so that they’re of the most value to you. But how on earth can I do this without telling you about them?!
I hope this was useful.
What kind of affiliate are you?
Now that I’ve covered ‘marketing’, let’s get on to the ‘affiliate’ part of affiliate marketing.
In Affiliate Marketing: You’re Doing It Wrong I go into detail about what an affiliate actually does. I’m not going to explain that here – you can read it for free by subscribing to the LeadsMonger newsletter here: LeadsMonger.com/controversial-new-report/
In short, the ‘affiliate’ part of affiliate marketing is about how you’re compensated for your marketing efforts. That’s it.
An ‘affiliate’ is just someone who earns a commission for sending a lead to a vendor. How you go about sending those leads and qualifying those leads so that you can earn more commissions is up to you.
Having said that, I’ve noticed there are really only two basic types of affiliates online:
- ‘Hit-n-Quit’ affiliates
- ‘Committed Relationship’ affiliates.
Hit’n’Quit affiliates set up a campaign, test it and if they can get a positive ROI they go at it as hard as possible as fast as possible until they’ve milked it for everything they can, then they move on to the next campaign. You’ve probably encountered these affiliates and never even knew their name (or noticed there was an affiliate involved).
Committed Relationship affiliates set up a whole online presence and put their name and reputation front and center as a key piece of their marketing strategy. You always know who these affiliates are (though you might not think of them as an affiliate or marketer – you relate to them more as a fitness expert, celebrity chef or gardening guru).
One of the key things you need to do before you turn on your laptop is decide what kind of business model you want to set up. Do you want to get in and get out then move on repeatedly or do you want to pick one market or niche and stick around?
You might want to experiment for a while to find out what you prefer, but once you’ve found the right fit then you need to get on with building your business and stop mucking around. Until you find what works for you and commit to it, you’re not going to make a lot of progress towards a 10K30 online business.
Are you focused on what’s important?
Bruce Lee said,
The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.
This rings true with me. It’s been my experience. That’s why I want to encourage you to focus before you start putting this book into practice.
First decide where you’re going. Then put everything you have into getting there.
I live up the road from the finish line for the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race – a prestigious 630 nautical mile annual yacht race that starts on Boxing Day and finishes on News Years Day. Unless you’re Australian or into sailing you’ve probably never heard of this race, but maybe you’ve heard of the America’s Cup…
In 1995 and 2000 Team New Zealand enjoyed back-to-back America’s Cup victories. This was pretty impressive considering NZ had previously been a pretty average competitor. But this changed when Peter Blake took over as skipper.
The secret to Blake’s success was laser-like strategic focus. Everything he did and everything Team NZ did after Blake took over was underlined by one question, “Will it make the boat go faster?”
Sails, ropes, winches and cranks, electronics, rigging, crew composition, training and even the crew comforts were put under the microscope and re-examined with this one question in mind.
Keeping your focus on the right things is vital to your success. So before you get started, work out what your goal is and then stay true to it come hell or high water. This is the only way you’re going to achieve the success you want.
There’s just one more question I want to ask before we move on to the meat of this book…
Are you willing to take action?
I’m 100% confident you’ve heard people talking about the importance of ‘taking action’.
But what does it mean?
To start to explain what ‘taking action’ means let me first explain what it doesn’t mean.
Taking action is not:
- buying and reading books and courses
- browsing forums, blogs or socials
- webinars, podcasts or masterminds
- attending affiliate conferences
- keyword research (or any other kind of activity you call ‘research’).
Or anything else that’s like the things on this list.
You’re NOT taking action now.
Taking action is:
- registering a domain name
- broadcasting an email to your list
- posting a new article on your blog
- publishing a sales page, lander or squeeze page
- reaching out to bloggers to promote your content
- running an advertising campaign.
Or anything else that’s like the things on this list…
To get started, you need to take action even if you don’t understand what you’re doing!
In fact, you can’t get started any other way.
You see, taking action is everything you DO that involves ACTUAL progress in your business. And the first time you take action, you have no idea what you’re really doing.
This is the key.
This is how you get things going.
Call it a leap of faith or groping in the dark or whatever you want.
Ultimately, no matter how good your books, courses, webinars or research is it won’t help you UNDERSTAND internet marketing. These activities only give you more KNOWLEDGE about it.
You have to start putting knowledge into action to understand.
When you start doing something with a little knowledge and keep doing it, you start to understand. This is something magic.
It’s the moment something clicks.
It’s the lightbulb that suddenly goes on in your mind.
You get it. Out of nowhere. It just makes sense.
But only if you DO something.
This is something that took me a long time to appreciate.
If you’re scratching your head right now, watch this video about the ‘Backwards Brain Bicycle’ – it’s one of the best demonstrations I’ve ever seen of how KNOWLEDGE DOES NOT EQUAL UNDERSTANDING and what it takes for your brain to wrap itself around something new.
It’s maybe THE key to your success in this game.