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A few days ago I received an email from an affiliate who was seriously considering giving everything up.
He wanted me to recommend a course to him that would allow him to finally succeed in Internet Marketing.
The questions he asked me were quite common, so I decided to post my answer to him here as I figured other affiliates may be interested in my thoughts.
I don't like to hold back when I'm giving advice about something as important as trying to improve your life.
What you're about to read is my opinion based on my experiences and of the observations I have made of the many incredibly successful affiliates I am fortunate to know.
Here's his question:
I have been trying to make money online for 'some time' now without any success.
But after so many broken promises and unfulfilled claims from so called gurus, I'm about to throw in the towel!
You seem straight to the point and have an air of integrity about you.
What would you recommend to a guy like me who, by the way, does not have much of a budget?
Here's my answer:
This is a common question I get and I wish there were an easy answer.
The thing is that everyone is different and everyone learns differently.
Add to this varying levels of motivation and determination, and often a low budget, and it becomes harder and harder to say what will or won't work for a specific individual.
The longer I am in this business, the more I think that when people say that they've bought 'a ton of courses and none of them work', this is just so unlikely.
There are a lot courses out there that don't live up to the hype they create but within even the most basic of courses is usually an idea or an angle that if followed and pursued will make good money.
I remember buying my first Internet Marketing guides on Clickbank and getting frustrated because they 'didn't work'.
I genuinely wanted to succeed but felt like I was overwhelmed by all of the different options: PPC, SEO, PPV, etc.
But then I changed my approach to it all:
I decided I would get really good at just one small skill.
I figured if so many people were making money from pretty much all aspects of internet marketing, then all I had to do was get good at one thing and eventually I would make money.
It was a decision that changed my life forever.
At the time, one of the hottest ways of making money as an affiliate was paid advertising on Google (PPC).
It took me months of hard work to get to grips with this one skill.
I applied trial and error. I made some mistakes. I lost some (but not too much) money. And slowly, slowly... I started to turn a profit.
I am fortunate that I have a philosophical perspective on life and that I am a very determined person.
I saw the time and effort, as well as the relatively small amount of money, I was investing as nothing compared to the costs of starting a 'real' business.
Compared to opening a shop or selling physical products, internet marketing was incredibly cheap.
I had no rent, no staff, none of the huge debts that many new companies get themsleves into in order to begin trading.
For a few hundred dollars I was up and running and 'in the game'.
Mostly, my efforts cost me time.
It was mostly a case of being determined to succeed, believing in myself and that it truly is possible to make great money as a Clickbank affiliate.
I had many moments of doubt but was helped by a strong belief that I could succeed if just got better at Internet Marketing, one skill at a time.
I gradually became VERY good at this one apsect of IM and realised that I could give up the day job if I wanted to as a result of the skills I had developed.
It's important to realise that this didn't happen overnight.
It was the result of hard work, trial and error and determination.
It was also based on one simple thought: if it can work for others, it can work for me.
This brings me back to the original question: can I recommend an aspect of Internet Marketing that will work for a specific individual?
I may be cheating myself out of future sales here, but I'd say for many affiliates you've proably already got the answers in front of you.
If you've bought 2 or 3 guides, you've probably got the foundations of your business already.
I found success from one page, yes one page, of a guide I bought.
It explained one simple aspect of PPC advertising, in which you promote another company's product in exchange for commission.
Now these days Google has made PPC advertising a lot tougher for affiliates with the introduction of the Google Slap. But that's Internet Marketing.... things change.
These day I have moved my focus to other areas but the basic principle still applies: I get good at a skill and once I've really 'got it', I may consider getting another.
An important point here is that when I was a struggling affiliate, all it took was one page from a 100 page guide to give me the start I needed.
One simple idea to follow and pursue.
I got very good at ONE thing. I accepted the costs invloved - more time than financial - and figured that even if this one skill didn't make me rich, it would be a skill that I would always have (my philosphical perspective).
At some point I might be able to use that skill for SOMETHING positive and at least I would be able to say: 'I can do xyz, now I want learn something new'.
Most affiliate marketers that tell me they've bought 'a ton of courses and none of them work' seem to be lacking in one fundamental thing: confidence that they really can succeed.
Because of this they seem to quickly say that a course doesn't work, even when I know for a fact that it does.
Just to be clear, I'm not criticising anyone here. I think it's easy to have negative thoughts when all you have in front of you is a computer screen and no commissions...
But I believe that if many affiliates were able to get good at one aspect of Internet Marketing and really take some time to master it, their opinions of many courses would change.
The six and seven figure affiliates who I meet in this industry are no different from you or me.
They aren't more intelligent.
They aren't more naturally skilled.
But they all have one similar characteristic: determination.
Can I recommend a specific course that will work for everyone: no.
Can I recommend a course that works for many people: yes, there are lots of them.
Ultimatley the only person who can make a course work for them is the person who buys it.
I know for a fact that my courses work because I talk to people making great money from them.
I also know of affiliates making a killing from the many other courses out there.
When somebody says a particular course 'doesn't work' I think: 'fair enough'.
But in reality what they often mean is that it didn't work for THEM.
Why? Impossible for me to know. Maybe they didn't try hard enough.
Maybe they didn't read all of the materials. Maybe they wanted overnight riches and gave up too soon...
All I know is that you can make money from almost any aspect of Internet Marketing.
I know this to be true because I see people doing it every day.
In my opinion, your job as an affiliate is to find some aspect of affiliate marketing where you think 'yeah, I'd like to learn that' and GET GOOD AT IT.
It doesn't matter if it's Banner Ads, PPV, SEO, whatever... get stuck in and really give it a go.
I think a lot of people fail to have success because they give up too soon or they think a product is a 'scam'.
I've heard affiliates call even the best guides and products available this word.
I dont have a problem with people saying something is a 'scam' but it does seem that some guys are too quick to point the finger of blame at a course before they consider if they did their best to make money from it.
I think it's 100% OK to try a course out and not like it. But even if you've really worked at a course and had no luck, it doesn't necessarily mean the course was 'bad'.
I've tried many aspects of IM and found some appealed to me more than others.
This seems normal to me and I think it's important to have an open mind when you're trying to build a business from scratch.
It's not easy to get really good at Internet Marketing Stategies and to be honest the guys who I know who are making millions from it aren't amazing at all aspects of it.
They got good at one or two skills and quite often stick to those few skills and build a business around them.
This is my advice to anyone trying to make it in IM: buy a few guides, try a few things out and be realistic in your approach.
You're likely to need the following: time, determination, imagination, curiosity and the big 'P'... patience.
If you're struggling to make it online, know that the skill you will need more than anything is probably determination, but without patience you will find it harder to reach your goals.
If you haven't tasted affiliate success yet, I would encourage you to quickly decide what aspect of IM you wnat to learn and get very good at it.
Once you have achieved even minor success, more success will come: again and again.
I know it's hard as a newbie and I know it's hard to continue if you've tried several course with no success, but please look at HOW you apply yourself to the courses you buy.
Have you tried ALL of the ideas in the course?
Have you tried promoting a range of products in various markets?
Have you followed course guidance to the letter?
Have you dared to improvise and try a few things out just for the hell of it?
It may be a cliche, but here goes: if at first you don't succeed, try, try and try again...
I know a lot of internet millionaires and they are all determined to succeed. That's it. No more no less. Not geniuses, not magicians, just determined...
I wish I could say with 100% certainty to affiliates: 'follow this course and you will succeed', but hopefully you see that this just 'aint possible.
If you've got to the end of this message, then you are probably keen to achieve the kind of success you see the gurus enjoying, but please remember that most of them didn't get there overnight.
One skill at a time... it's good advice :)
To your success
Mike Auton is now a "retired" teacher and successful affiliate.
Recently he turned his attention to helping other affiliates kill the day job using the techniqes, training and software he has developed to make things that bit easier for newbies and successful affiliates alike.
Mike's latest release is Hard Cash Hijack, designed to take affiliates from zero to successful affiliate following the same techniques he used to dominate markets many experts will tell you are "closed"...
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