One of the most obvious benefits to an affiliate marketing career is the ability to make money from anywhere. As I write this very sentence, I am up in the sky at about 40,000ft (on an airplane, of course!). As I sit here on my flight, I am noticing the various people sitting near me chatting, reading books, sleeping, playing games on their phones, and simply doing everything they can to pass the time during this 4hr flight from San Diego to Chicago. Of course, as an entrepreneur, I hardly ever use this type of downtime to play games. And as an entrepreneur who can work from anywhere, 40,000ft is as good as any other altitude!
Reflecting Back To My Employee/Slave Days
It wasn’t that long ago when I was working in corporate America for “the man.” I had to be at work by 7:30am and could leave no earlier than 4:30pm, although I usually left at 7. When I was ready to leave, I could usually plan on an additional 1 to 2 hours of driving before I could actually sit down and relax. My workweeks were even longer during weeks like this. Thanksgiving is coming up on Thursday, so of course I wouldn’t even want to be there this entire week. However, we were strictly forbidden from taking vacation days before or after holidays. AND, if I were still working my corporate job, I would even have to come in on Friday after having Thursday off. Why couldn’t I take Friday off? Because my boss told me so.
After my corporate job, I got a job as a truck driver, which I definitely enjoyed better than sitting in a cubicle, but I worked almost twice as many hours and I was home maybe a few days per month. The fact of the matter is, I’m just not a good “employee”. Fortunately, things have changed.
Affiliate Marketing = Freedom
The very few close friends I have will tell you that there is a common theme in my life ever since I became an affiliate marketer. I love freedom. I do everything I can to get more of it and I crave it like a drug. If I don’t get enough of it, I start having withdrawals and start getting into a really bad mood. For this reason, I’ve made FREEDOM the main theme of my life. The license plate on my truck is BFREE, I live in an RV where I can go wherever I want and whenever I want, I own an online business that give me the flexibility to work for myself, set my own hours, take vacation when I want to, and work on whatever I actually want to work on, I’m single with no plans to “settle down”, I am totally debt free, and I pretty much call all the shots in my life now. Being told to show up for work between these hours on these days and do the work that someone else wants me to do in order to make THEM rich is my version of a nightmare (and I’ve lived it!). It is moments like this, as I’m sitting on a plane to go see my friends and family, that I realize just how wonderful this type of freedom is. There isn’t much I would trade the affiliate marketing lifestyle for.
I Am Creating This Website For YOU!
Ok, well that’s only mostly true. The real truth is, I love writing on this site. Most of you who have read around this site know that I like to outsource as much as possible. The majority of my websites are not actually written by me because I outsource everything. This is the main site that I still write for, because I enjoy writing about this topic.
But there’s another reason I created this site. YOU! I believe everyone should have the opportunity to become an affiliate marketer and live the dream I’m currently living. Affiliate marketing is certainly NOT for everyone and NOT EVERYONE can succeed with affiliate marketing. However, if you have the right personality type, affiliate marketing is something you can start today without quitting your current job and you need virtually zero start-up costs to get going. Soon, you may find yourself working on your own business from 40,000ft as you travel to see friends and family. No need to ask the boss if it’s ok to go!
Do You Have What It Takes To Become An Affiliate Marketer?
So many people who sell “training programs” or “systems” or “secrets” on the internet as it relates to affiliate marketing like to say things like “anyone can succeed with my step-by-step system” or “so easy a child could do it” or they might even claim what they teach you will run on “auto-pilot”. Well, let me be the first to tell you they are all lying to you. Quite simply, their motivation to lie is to get you to purchase whatever they are selling.
Want to know the REAL truth? The chances of you succeeding as an affiliate marketer are extremely slim. Why? Because you probably don’t have the personality to succeed in this business. I hope you realize I’m not trying to offend anyone, it’s just the truth that nobody else likes to say.
In order to succeed in affiliate marketing, you need the patience of a monk. Most people like to put in x amount of hours and get pay x amount of money for doing so. That’s not how affiliate marketing works. In order to succeed with affiliate marketing, you will need to put in thousands of hours of work for absolutely no pay. In return, you’ll get the CHANCE to earn a residual income later on for those initial thousands of hours of effort. But, of course, there’s no guarantee at all that you’ll make any money.
Here’s how it usually works for most brand new affiliate marketers. They start researching and learn that affiliate marketing is a real way to make money online. People also realize they can start the business with almost no money (I had less than $200 in my bank account when I started) and without quitting their day jobs. Then, they find some “training program” which is usually just a rip off showing them how to build a website, create content, get traffic to their affiliate offers, and potentially make money. When people go through these “training programs”, they will initially be very excited and start implementing what they’ve learned. Things start off great, there’s lot of support from friends and family, progress is being made, and you are filled with hope.
…Then something happens. An excuse is made not to work on the business one day. Then, another day, there is another excuse. And another, and another. Slowly, over time, the business gets abandoned and forgotten about. Affiliate marketers usually don’t crash and burn. When affiliate marketers fail, it is usually due to weeks, months, or even years of slow “effort deterioration.” Then, one day, you’ll realize your business has “failed” and those training programs are just scams. The ultimate conclusion becomes… “there’s no way to make money in affiliate marketing! It’s scam!”
No, it’s not. Many people, including myself, earn a great living with affiliate marketing. However, affiliate marketing requires a certain personality that most people don’t have. If you don’t have it, you won’t make it.
What It Really Takes To Succeed With Affiliate Marketing
Before I close out this article, I’d like to get into a little more detail about what it really takes to succeed as an affiliate marketer. There’s no B.S. here. There is nothing to buy and there is nothing for me to sell you. Succeeding with affiliate marketing is actually very straightforward. It doesn’t require an e-book or training system for you to succeed.
An Insane Amount Of Patience – For starters, you need to have an absolutely crazy amount of patience to succeed in affiliate marketing. For example, would you be willing to work thousands of hours for free, just in the hopes that all those hours of work MIGHT earn you a living later on? If you start today, do NOT expect to be earning any money at all for at least 6 to 12 months and after writing hundreds of articles or creating hundreds of videos. If you want to earn a full-time living from affiliate marketing, it will probably take between 18 months and 3 years of really, really hard work before that ever happens. Are you prepared for that? Most people think they are, but hardly anyone actually is. This site is not focused on perpetuating get-rich-quick scams. The real answer is, getting rich quick with affiliate marketing is not going to happen.
A Passion For Creating Content – My business has been built due to my writing abilities. I am not here to claim I’m the best writer in the world or even on a “professional” level. Heck, if it wasn’t for spell checkers every other word would be spelled incorrectly! However, I love creating content. I love writing, I love helping people, I love teaching others and spreading knowledge about things I’m already educated about, and I very much enjoy promoting products and services that I feel do some good in the world. There are lots of ways to create content on the web, but the two most obvious sources of content would include written and video based content. If you don’t enjoy creating either of those forms of content, you’ll never make it.
Understanding Industry Research – Most small businesses fail even when they have a business plan. Starting a business with no plan at all will lower your chances of success many times over. Just like most other types of businesses, an affiliate marketing business needs to be planned out. You’ll need to know which industry to focus on, how to generate enough interest to your website or blog, what products / services to promote, your expected revenue and expenses, etc. I know what you’re thinking, “ok, but I don’t know how to perform industry research!” Fair enough… LEARN! Again, everything you need to know to succeed online is available online for free. You do not need to purchase an e-book or training course to figure out how to perform industry research. There is plenty of info right here on this site and elsewhere. Just start searching and learning.
Knowing How To Build A Website – Some affiliate marketers claim you can make money online without even having a website. I don’t want to call them liars, but I don’t know anyone personally who earns money through affiliate marketing without having a blog or information based website. Fortunately, these days just about anyone can put together a great looking and functioning website for almost no cost (and in some cases, no cost at all). What I suggest is learning how to create a website with WordPress. You don’t need to know any computer code and you can learn everything you need to know within’ a week, easy. Here’s a little trick… Go to YouTube and search for “How To Build A WordPress Site”. You’ll be greeted with dozens upon dozens of videos showing you in real time, step-by-step, how to build a great looking site of your own.
A Desire To Never Stop Learning – Speaking of learning, you must love to learn new things all the time. The learning as an affiliate marketer (or any business, really) never stops. Do you feel overwhelmed right now learning about all of this? Get used to it. You might think it gets better as you gain more knowledge, but it doesn’t. There is always more to learn and the industry is always changing. If you don’t like to learn, you will never survive this industry.
Knowing How To Fail With Dignity And Ease – Nobody likes to fail. It sucks. No baseball player wants to finish in last place. No cook enjoys creating a dish that tastes awful. No police officer enjoys when a criminal gets away and no doctor is happy about a surgery gone wrong. With that said, you WILL fail as an affiliate marketer. There’s really no way around it. You’re going to make mistakes, screw up, do really stupid things that make your life difficult later on, and you’ll even screw up when you don’t even know you’re screwing up! If you are not able to pick yourself up after a failure, you’ll likely never make it. Affiliate marketers fail more than they succeed, make no mistake about that. The chances of you succeeding right away is extremely slim, so fail with dignity and learn from every failure. Sometimes, failing is a much faster way to learn than by succeeding.
A Few Final Thoughts
If you do NOT have the personality that is required for a successful affiliate marketer, that is not a bad thing. It just means affiliate marketing isn’t for you specifically and that’s a good thing to know right now. There is certainly a path for you. While affiliate marketing has provided me with an unbelievable lifestyle, so do many other jobs and professions. Don’t follow affiliate marketing just for the freedom and money. While it does provide a lot of freedom an can potentially make you a ton of money, if you aren’t passionate about the WAY you’re making money and the way affiliate marketing works, than you will never have a chance to succeed in the first place.