Hello from the Peak district!
I’m currently on a Trans-Pennine high speed train travelling through the Peak District.
It’s a national park in the North of England.
About 250 miles away from my front door.
This train is traveling at about 100MPH!
They can do 125MPH, but I just asked the conductor what our current speed is and he said “approximately 100MPH”.
As you can see from the picture, it’s all a bit of a blur.
I turned my laptop round to try and get a good shot of the area but we’re traveling to fast.
Anyway, I’ve got a few hours to kill so I thought I’d give you guys a few insights.
(if you look closely at the picture above, you can see my laptop in the reflection!)
I’m typing this right now.
WARNING: This is 10 years worth of hindsight & experience condensed into one blog post.
You don’t need to read it one go, but I’m confident you’ll find it useful.
Once in this industry, there used to be TONS of marketers knowledgeable enough (and) who were not easily manipulated by all the hype going on around them…
I’m talking about a time when it wasn’t so rife with misinformation about what it takes to succeed and make a living online.
(You’re not going to make $10K a month with 5 minutes work a day).
The point is, there were a lot of good and helpful guys.
These days, there are plenty who are being played like a cheap violin…
…and haven’t got the brains to realize it either.
Just copying each other.
Launch after launch after launch.
I’m an affiliate marketer first and foremost, that’s what I know the most about…
So that’s what I’m going to discuss in this email.
I’m going to give you 3 KEY insights to succeed with Affiliate marketing that I would have told myself 10 years ago….
So there’s a good dollop of hindsight thrown in!
INSIGHT #1: Cashflow Is King!
You don’t need 20 different tools and 5 different page builders.
Keep things simple in your business.
Especially when you’re just getting the wheels turning.
Because of the #1 rule: Cashflow is king.
If your monthly expenses are equal to (or more than) you’re making, you’ve got a serious problem and it’s going to bottleneck you and your business.
If you’re making $500/month but your outlay is $1,000 per month, it’s easy to see you’re screwed.
Equally, if you’re making $500 per month but your outlay is $300/month, you’re still screwed because it’s not going to leave you enough cash flow to grow.
When it comes down to the brass tacks, here’s what you need to start an affiliate business:
Decent Hosting (Bigscoots or Hostgator- $5/per month)
A domain name (Namecheap – less than $10 bucks/year)
A fast and reliable landing page builder (Optimizepress $99 – $199/year)
An Affiliate friendly Autoresponder tool (Aweber or Getresponse $19/month)
About $135 start up cost.
There are other tools you’ll need but to actually get STARTED that’s it.
Everything I use in my business is listed here.
As for Autoresponders:
Affiliate friendly is a MUST.
Don’t compromise on that no matter what they tell you or what you hear.
I’ve signed up to autoresponders in the past where I’ve heard everyone say they’re fine with Affiliate Marketing, only to be shut down or passive aggressively “warned”.
By “warned” I mean “change your business model or else”.
Well, I’m an affiliate marketer. It’s what I LOVE…so changing my business model isn’t an option.
And when an email tool gives you the elbow, it’s a right royal pain in the arse.
So stick with Aweber or Getresponse.
They’re the only 2 that as an affiliate I’m not losing sleep over whether my account is still going to be there in the morning…
Anything else and sooner or later you’ll run into problems…
And quite frankly, both of those tools are as old as the hills and are pretty solid.
They both get lots of jokes made of them, but hear this…
I know several 7 figure marketers who still use them and countless 6 figure marketers who use them too!
So you’re fine on either of them.
ESP’s (Email Service Providers) are cracking down HARD on affiliates.
And they have done so for the last 5 years (at least).
I’ve tried pretty much all the ESP’s over the years.
Stick with those two I just mentioned and you’re golden.
What about self hosted?
I hear this one a lot and have considered it myself.
But here’s a few things to think about if you’re going to go the self hosted route:
- You’ll probably need your own dedicated server to get your emails delivered to inboxes at an acceptable level.
And deliverability is a complex topic in itself.
You yourself will be squarely responsible for that.
Running your own self hosted Autoresponder is no joke.
It’s extremely technical, you generally need to have a good handle on all aspects of email on the tech “behind the scenes” side of things.
If you don’t, you’ll at least need to have access to somebody who does.
(most of the guys I know running their own self hosted email have someone to take care of the tech)
- You don’t need to worry about your account ever getting shut down. (However, if you do questionable stuff, your host can and will still shut you down if they get enough complaints).
- You don’t need to worry about list size or contacts limit.
- Complete control over your own email marketing.
Bottom line: Self hosted is something I have considered but I’m not entirely sure it’s worth the hassle.
INSIGHT #2: The Making Money Part
This might seem overly simplistic but this is it in a nutshell:
1. You need an audience of people with a problem they need to solve.
2. An offer that solves it.
3. Give it to them.
Traffic (getting eyeballs) on that offer will depend on your budget.
Do a Google or Youtube search on traffic methods and you’ll find hundreds and hundreds of ways to drive traffic, pick ONE that suits you.
As a general rule:
Free methods will take longer.
Paid methods are faster.
If you have little money to invest but lot’s of time = Free methods
If you have some money to invest but little time = Paid methods.
For the offer, you need something that gives someone a tangible result that isn’t built on hype and bluff.
Example weight loss:
Bad Offer: “lose 3 stone in 2 weeks etc..”
Good Offer: “Drop a dress size in 4 weeks with a Vegan Diet”.
Then do this:
Build out your ideal customer avatar for that offer.
This will tell you 2 things:
A) where your audience is, which will then tell you what traffic method you should be using.
B) what to say to motivate action (getting them to buy your offer).
Make a conscious effort to study:
Copywriting: (Read this book: “Great Leads” by Michael Masterson & also “How To Write a Great Advertisement” by Victor Schwab).
Do an Amazon Search.
You might have trouble getting hold of “Great Leads” though…it’s rare.
It’s the one book that if my house was burning down, I’d rush back in to save it!
List building: I like Kevin Fahey’s stuff and either “Free Traffic Shotgun” or “Traffic Five” will give you all the traffic you can handle to build your list)
Side note: I wasn’t building a list for 3 entire years as an affiliate and I’ll make no question about it…it was the single biggest mistake I ever made!
INSIGHT #3: Stay Productive!
The biggest key to all of this is consistency and being productive.
I struggle with both.
But here’s 3 methods that can help with this:
Each effective in their own right.
==> I personally like this one.
But choose one that resonates with you the most and go with that.
Here’s a free resource that will help you to learn much faster.
It’s called “learning how to learn”.
And it’s one of the best trainings I’ve ever taken on how to literally FORCE your brain to process new things FAST by “chunking”.
And it’s free. (as of writing this)
Everything I’ve mentioned in this blog post, is everything I would have told myself 10 years ago.
And like I said at the start of the article, you’re getting all the benefits of hindsight to boot.
As they say, hindsight is always 20-20!
P.S If you want a step by training that applies all this, then check out my Automated Income Assets Training.