What’s that? A Thank ______ It’s Monday on a Wednesday? WTF is going on?
Well, with it being Summer, the kids being off school and for a few other reasons(which I’ll get into in a minute), I’ve been all over the place lately. Any regular readers know that there’s nothing more I love than getting up at 4am-5am every morning.
Honestly, I’m at the point where mentally, I HAVE to get up early. if I sleep in, I’m honestly depressed. The other day I didn’t wake up until 11am, and I absolutely hated it. I was legit depressed all day, and couldn’t shake myself out of that mood. I basically just lazed around on the couch doing absolutely nothing productive.
Today is the first day in about a month where I’ve actually woken up before 8am – 4:35am to be exact. And I am feeling pumped. It’s 8:30am as I’m writing this and I’ve worked out and put in 3 hours of solid work, while the whole family is sleeping.
It’s a fantastic day, and I wanted to share my motivation mojo with you!
Why Am I Thanking Affiliate Marketing?
As I mentioned above – there were a few other reasons that have made this past month a bit hectic. On July 23, my mother-in-law died. Coincidentally, on the same day as me and my wife’s 10th anniversary.
My wife’s side of the family is very close, and this has obviously thrown everyone for a loop. But in it’s own, weird way it’s really made me appreciate the aspects of affiliate marketing we don’t always consider.
Many people like affiliate marketing because it means they’re essentially their own boss. They can set their own work, set their own hours etc – really just do what they want with no hassle.
Being able to set your own hours, is something that should never be underestimated. Because it really is invaluable. There was one family member who was unable to get any time off to go to the wakes or the funeral, and I know it killed him. Then there’s others who were able to get a couple of days off, but then were forced back into the grind almost immediately. Going to work their 9-5 jobs, being forced to interact with people as if everything is ok, then finishing work and heading off to deal with all the stuff that a family death brings.
With affiliate marketing, I’m able to take all the time off I want. I’m not forced to work – if I needed to, I could take a whole month off. Things like that are very reassuring. I mean, most of my family lives in Scotland. If my mom died and I worked a 9-5 job – it’d be a lot more of a hassle for me getting the time off, then traveling over there. Then I wouldn’t be able to stay over there for long.
While with affiliate marketing, I could take off any time I wanted. Hell I just take my office with me – I could take my Netbook with me and then spend a month over there if need be.
That’s the practical aspect of it all – but the main reason for me, is the mental aspect. I’ve went through family and friend deaths before when I worked a 9-5 job. I remembered just how hard it could be. Having to pick myself up, go into the office and try and force myself into a job that I hated, while having mundane conversation with co-workers.
It sucks. Hard.
But affiliate marketing is different, because it’s a job that we love, and it’s a job where we do whatever we want. And this made the world of difference. I threw myself into building a new website. It was a great way to take my mind off the bad stuff and really focus on the positives, and distract myself. Being able to set my mind on a new website, planning it all out in my head and on paper then building it all really helped me in regard to moving on.
If you’re a successful affiliate marketer, be sure to take some time to really appreciate the job that we have. There’s a lot more positives to it than just “sitting in my pyjamas making money online”.
Onto the Positives:
I’m not one that likes to dwell on the negatives, so let’s start focusing on the positives immediately!
One of the first things I had to do upon getting back into work mode, was log into Carbon Poker, and get some screenshots of their Caribbean Stud game, while writing a quick review of it.
Now I could’ve BS’d it all but I really like to make my content etc as authentic as possible, so I decided to play a few games of Caribbean Stud.
3 hands into my game:
Why hello! That was a nice boost for sure. So I played a little bit longer. Maybe 5 hands later:
Always nice to get little bonuses like that! $200+ just for taking a few screenshots and writing 400 words? I’ll take it!
My Money Keywords:
Here’s one for the affiliate managers reading – although it’s important for affiliates to read as well.
If we’re just starting to work together, or we’re in the beginning stages of setting up a deal – don’t ask me “What keywords do you rank for? What keywords make you the most money?”.
I understand that you could be asking for purely honest reasons. You may want to know more about my traffic, so you can tailor landing pages and promotions towards that sort of traffic, to help them convert.
But one of the biggest parts of affiliate marketing, is finding the money keywords no-one else is really going for and mining the hell out of them. Large parts of any affiliate marketers income is ranking for the phrases that others aren’t targeting, and keeping those phrases as secret as possible. Because if you let others know what the keywords are, you’re basically saying “I don’t want to make money”.
The last thing I am ever going to do, is share those keywords with an affiliate manager whom I’ve never met before, and shared just 3 e-mail correspondences with. If anything, it just turns affiliates off. I was setting up a deal with an affiliate program last week, and the manager said to me “Before we agree to that revenue share percentage, we need to know what your top 10 keywords you rank for are”.
I immediately told them to forget it, and have now ignored any correspondence from them.
Now this may sound like I’m being a bit of an asshole – but I’m really not. It surprises me how easy some affiliates fork over their keywords to affiliate managers(and even other affiliates). Your keywords are the business secrets that make you money! You honestly need to guard these with your life. You can’t trust ANYONE – because at the end of the day, money trumps ALL.
I knew a relatively new affiliate that stumbled on a keyword that was generating him over 100 signups a month. For a new affiliate this was HUGE. He was speaking to an experienced, respected veteran affiliate about this. The experienced affiliate asked him for the keywords, so he could help him in regard to advice on how to really capitalize on it and increase conversions.
1 month later, the experienced affiliate was ranking #1-#6 for the keyword, and the new affiliate was SOL. Things like that aren’t even the exception – it’s the RULE. What that new affiliate did was not just share a few keywords – he shared the secret to making $xx,xxx a month(which would ultimately lead to $xxx,xxx a year). That’s something that is hard to turn down, no matter how strict your morals are.
So protect your successful keywords, and don’t let anyone know about them. There’s practically no-one that you can trust.
And for affiliate managers – as I said above, it’s all about the wording. Don’t ask affiliates their keywords. Instead ask “What type of traffic are you bringing? If you’re bringing roulette traffic for example, we can customize a landing page to acccomodate those players.” Not only is that a more tactful way of doing it, but it demonstrates that you REALLY want us to work together and make money together, and it’s reassuring knowing where your mindset is.
I mentioned above that I threw all my energy into a new website. There’s a little bit more to it than that.
For all new affiliates, I have my (dare I say, awesome) affiliate marketing step by step guide. it’s a 25 step guide which takes someone from “I’d love to make money online” to “Holy crap, I’m set up to make money online!” and I’ve written it with the “For Dummies” mindset.
However, a guide like that is only the beginning. There is so much more to being a webmaster, and I wanted to fully capture it.
That’s why I’ve started writing a book.
I had a publishing deal hooked up years ago to write an affiliate guide in book format. But I decided against this, because everything is changing so fast in the internet world that information from even 6 months ago is outdated today. I mean, a book pre-Panda/Penguin is practically worthless these days.
So as I build my new website, I write about it in a diary format, logging what I do every day. It’s quite the challenge. I outsource a lot of stuff these days – but I’m trying to write it for the new webmaster, who most likely wouldn’t be outsourcing. So I’m doing EVERYTHING myself. From writing all the content to doing the coding, design and even the crappy logo. You sometimes forget just how much work is involved in building websites. Especially when you’re a perfectionist.
I also decided that I should go after one of the more difficult markets out there. I feel setting myself up with a challenge is for the best in terms of the work I need to put into the site. So I went for a market within the gambling niche which is both highly competitive, and not exactly what you’d call “lucrative”. That market is of course the No Deposit Market, and the website I have launched and am writing about is NoDepositSites.com.
I’ll most likely be releasing the book via the likes of Amazon, Barnes & Noble etc purely for Kindle, Kobo, Nook etc reading to begin with.
I’m not sure when I will be releasing the book. Ideally, I’ll make half a million by December and release it then, because the tagline “How I went from $0 to $500k in 6 months” is quite the catchy sub-title.
Although knowing the No Deposit market, it’ll end up being “How I wasted the last 6 months and just want to die.”
Amazon has a humour section, right?
I must admit, I am HIGHLY impressed with the level of security that Google offers sometimes.
I use a Firefox Plugin which has 6 of my gmail addresses in the status bar at the bottom, and it checks them every few minutes, notifying me of any new e-mails.
Yesterday, I was trying out a VPN so I could access Netflix – the USA version(The Canada version is incredibly weak in terms of quality). Well I tested it out on Firefox, which caused this IP address that I’ve never accessed my gmail with before to attempt to access my GMail, obviously.
GMail didn’t like this, even though the password was correct. So it blocked the IP address from logging in, then when I later went to log in after closing down the VPN:
– Gmail notified me of a possible hack to my account. After prompting me for my current password, it immediately requested I create a new password.
– Upon logging into my gmail, I got a big popup message notifying me about a recent login attempt. It listed the IP address, the date and time of the login, and a couple of other details.
– There was an e-mail in my account notifying me about the suspicious sign in.
– Upon changing my password, there was an e-mail informing me the password had been changed.
– Until I confirmed with Google that I was aware of this login, it continued to give me popups when I used Google Search or other Google products.
– All this data was also sent to my secondary e-mail address attached to each Gmail.
I thought this was incredible. Yeah, it was a bit of a hassle for me having to update my password in the plugin, roboform and then my Blackberry for 6 different gmail accounts – but it was worth it, knowing the security involved by Google. I mean – I’m sure if someone was REALLY wanting to hack my account they could – but it’s great knowing the efforts that Google still go to.
I guess Google REALLY don’t want anyone reading your e-mails other than you….and them. 🙂
Speaking of Security:
I’ll finish this weeks article off by sending you to another solid article to read: How Apple and Amazon Security Flaws Led To My Epic Hacking.
Always nice when people document things like that. It’s well-written too.
If you’re into that sort of stuff – I highly recommend reading The Cuckoos Egg by Clifford Stoll. I initially read that book back in 1996, but still go back and re-read it every few years. It’s the true story of a guy working in a university computer lab, who due to a slight accounting discrepancy of 75 cents, discovers a hacking group that goes above and beyond what you’d expect.
Really awesome book.
Have a great week guys.