One Year at Wealthy Affiliate !
Last Update: Jun 10, 2016
365 days at Wealthy Affiliate
Wow I can't believe it! One year and one day ago I had no idea Wealthy Affiliate even existed! Back then I was beginning to think that you had to be a scammer to earn money online... or a genius or something, which obviously I wasn't ^^
And then I created a starter account. I don't even remember why or how I came across WA, but now I know miracles do happen!!! =D It feels strange... It feels like I joined yesterday and yet, like I've been here forever ! =) I really feel home here, with you guys, with my daily routine on the platform... I'm here forever ! =)
So much has happened since I stumbled upon this amazing community and training platform. I still remember the day I joined and clicked the fat "get started here" green button, thinking to myself : "if this one is a scam I swear I quit and become a hermit" lol. I'd gotten ripped off so many times I was getting really desperate and feeling a bit paranoid, to be honest ^^
But the moment I went through the written course and heard Kyle's voice, I knew this was it! I knew I'd found something unique that would change everything. I want to say it changed my life.
I've been thinking about this one year anniversary for days now, wondering what I will write about, remembering all I went through for my website to be what it is today... I'm smiling at the thought of how excited I was when it was freshly built one year ago and at how little resemblance with its initial shape and content it has now... It's like a totally different website, that has evolved over 365 incredible days of learning, making mistakes and getting better (hopefully!!^^).
I am so grateful that I found Wealthy Affiliate and I'm not leaving. Ever. There's too much to learn here and I LOVE learning... WA reminds me of when I was little and would spend hours reading the dictionary! lol... I love reading stuff on here. And there are way too many amazing people to learn from and share with for me to leave anyway.
The Mistakes I've Made
Looking back, there are a few things I wish I hadn't done, that might have allowed me to achieve my goals sooner lol... but then I'm thinking : "meh I am at the right place, at the exact right time". And perhaps sharing my mistakes will help others in the future be smarter than I was, so I'll share them with you =)
1) I got very excited (more than I am by nature I mean ^^) when I joined WA and started building several websites aaaaall at once lol.
I was like : "omg I love essential oils, I love makeup tutorials, I love this and that, I want to help people, this is so cool, yeah I can do this, I'm a workaholic!!" Hmmmm you think?
Lesson learned, you can't (well I couldn't lol) build 4 websites at the same time and expect them all to generate a full time income. Unless you are a genius of course, but I already said I'm not :p So I wasted months with this. :sigh:
2) I overlooked many things because I didn't think they mattered or I simply thought they were boring or sometimes I didn't understand them.
It took me 10 months to start promoting products on amazon lol... Don't ask me why, I have no idea.
And the funny part is that I made my first sale pretty quickly (1 month), which made me both happy and angry at myself lol. "Why didn't I do that right away? Why did I wait???"
3 ) I did not understand the importance of comments right away.
I did leave comments and request comments every now and then... but not regularly, not relentlessly... I'm only beginning to see how important comments are on my website, how much they help my rankings and how much they allow me to build a relationship with my visitors. Why didn't I just listen to Kyle? lol
4) In the beginning I was a bit scared to be myself on my website...
I was afraid people wouldn't like me or wouldn't take me seriously. I didn't want to put my real personality out there, thinking maybe I was too silly or making too many jokes and people would think I was not professional enough lol... but as my website grew I started feeling like I was being a fraud to myself lol and I decided to just write things the way I felt ... and I don't know why people responded to that and my ranking improved. I had to re write many of my posts, as a result... =)
Why is it so hard to do something as simple as being your true self?
6) I used oversized images and had to resize aaaaall of them, around 7 months after I built my website.
You can imagine the number of images I had to delete or resize... took me a whole day, still hate myself for that ^^ Not to mention that I thought WA was going to kick me out for using too much storage space...
7) I wasted waaaay too much time posting things on facebook groups...
... not really caring who was reading... just posting and hoping it would drive traffic to my website. Like magic! -_- Then I accepted the fact that it was either a total waste of time or I was really bad at posting interesting stuff. So I decided to stop posting and learn how to post decent articles that would capture people's attention. =)
8) I didn't join many social networks because I'm really not a big fan of social networks...
but a few weeks ago I joined Instagram and started posting pictures... and there's a link to my website on my Instagram profile... Little by little people are starting to like my pictures and to add me to their friends circle... and I guess some of them are taking a look at my profile and I'm now getting traffic on my website from Instagram. From pictures that have NOTHING to do with my website lol... pictures of my cat, pictures of flowers... =)
9) My reviews weren't thorough enough in the beginning...
... because I wasn't always trying the product. #shame I would do intensive research and spend hours thinking and writing... but there was something missing. Authenticity. Lately I've been purchasing products or trying them for free when it's possible and it turns out, it has been a loooot easier (and quicker) for me to write reviews... because I reaaaally knew what I was talking about! And I could be myself even more easily ^^
10) I didn't always trust myself.
And it would slow me down sometimes. Not all the time but every now and then I would just let stupid doubts discourage me on my journey to freedom. I don't know what happened lately, maybe it's a combination of many little things (increasing organic traffic, repeated sales, understanding this and that, getting more comments, getting better at writing, feeling like I'm only thiiiiis close to "taking off") but I just suddenly got rid of all my doubts. It took me almost a year to trust myself O.O lol.
11) other various mistakes :
- thinking I'm going to fail
- going too fast
- wasting time doing things that were easy but not useful when I could have done things that in time would pay off
- losing sight of something crucial > someone's actually reading my posts and reviews ; someone real someone with questions
- focusing on how beautiful my website will look instead of working hard on how INTERESTING and USEFUL it'll be lol
- not always using WA keyword tool or jaaxy and therefore ending up with posts that wouldn't rank
- wasting time checking my real time visitors on google analytics ahah that one was hard to get rid of...
PS : I just realized you could email trainings and blogs directly from WA O.O, how come I never clicked on the little envelop thing? lol
What I've Accomplished & Learned
Damn I'm not sure I want to write this after all... there's too much to say! I've learned too much!!!! I'll try to stick to the most important stuff...
1) I've built several websites...
which I thought I was incapable of doing. I just didn't know what wordpress was, nor a plugin or a widget... you know. Didn't want anything to do with html either! =) I think HTML basics was the first tutorial I created at WA lol... funny.
2) I've worked really hard on my main website, successfulbusinessonline...
...and I am proud of it, proud of myself because it's been hell at times lol... English is not my native language, I can't even believe that I decided to build my website in English... why on earth would I do that? lol... like why make things easy when you can make them complicated? story of my life ^^. I wanted to reach more people... and I loooove English. Arf...
3) I've learned about keywords...
and they have become some sort of addiction ahahah I love finding awesome keywords, I feel like I've found gold ! ^^
4) I've learned so much about affiliate marketing ...
... that I can't even say. You know what's in the training and if you don't, you'll soon find out! =)
5) I've made money
hey this one's important!! I made my first dollars under a month here. It was only a few bucks, from Adsense. I made a few WA premium sales. I earned from amazon lately and made commissions from various affiliate programs that I'm promoting. I am also getting phone calls and meetings with local people who were watching me all this time and are starting to think "hey maybe she can help" lol.. and they are asking me to build their website or create a logo or things like that! isn't it cool?
6) I've gotten out of my comfort zone.
I wanted to quit sooooo many times... man, you have no idea! lol. I would sometimes think I was crazy and stubborn to the point of being stupid and would eventually end up homeless ... But I didn't care. Getting back to a 9-5 job meant dying to me. And I thought I'll get rich or die trying. It was hard not to quit... not going back to a "normal" life. But I just couldn't. And I'm happy I didn't because things are only starting to look better 365 days after I joined WA. Three Hundred and Sixty Five.
7) I wrote about 100 posts and pages...
and have many of my posts ranked on the first page of google, some are the #1 result, wow, I'm so proud! ^^ It feels like it took google a long time to start loving and trusting my little baby website... and now I don't know... call me crazy, but I can feel something's good coming, I can feel the change at my door step!
When I joined WA I quickly answered the "what's your money goals" question and I'm not sure, but I think I said I would be happy earning 2000$/€ per month (I'd prefer € at the moment ^^).
I haven't achieved 2000€ (yet), I'm more around 1000/month. It has made me very frustrated for months... but I'm starting to accept it and to feel grateful for what I have accomplished so far. I'm finally able to be kind to myself. You know, not too long ago I would look at some people who had achieved way better than me in less time and I would wonder : "what's wrong with me? What am I doing wrong? Why isn't it happening for me? I'm working my ass off!" (forgive the language, it was actually a lot worse when I said it out loud ^^) and it would just make me angry with myself and really stressed about the future.
But then I kept reading WA success stories and getting inspired by amazing people... and I just decided to stop thinking too much (stop thinking negatively really) and keep pushing.
Goals for the Next 12 Months :
1) keep at it, never give up, get better, be humble, ask for help
2) stop being scared of PPC and get into it for god's sake!! (it was worse out loud too)
3) increase traffic on my website
4) rank more articles
5) keep on building trust with my audience
6) create a better newsletter, use a different autoresponder (done!)
7) keep building my network everywhere, here at WA, on social networks... just everywhere!
8) write, write, write, write, WRITE
9) build my wooden house, buy horses
10) live a happy peaceful life with my soul mate/friend/love, travel a lot together... I met him here by the way!!!! WA HAS changed my life lol They've brought love to me! =)
11) earn more, I don't care how much... just more =)
Finally I would like to thank Kyle, Carson, Jay and all the wonderful people working backstage to make WA such an incredible and unique and visionary place for us. Thank you to WA website support for putting up with my stupid questions ahahah (and for putting up with me asking the same stupid questions a couple times ^^)
Thank you to aaaall of you for being such helpful and inspiring people. I love being part of this community and again I'm not leaving ever.
The best is yet to come! =)
This is a fantastic post and case study:
Let me just say, I'm totally in awe of how far you've come in a year. I have felt every emotion you have been through and then some. You are not a quitter and that's a big inspiration to me.
Your story really shows how you've evolved as a human being and how being yourself no matter how unconventional is something to be proud of. It is clearly paying off.
Thank you for wearing your heart on your sleeve and being so real with us who are still trying to get to where you are.
You deserve every bit of success and may you continue to grow and prosper personally and financially.
Keep dreaming BIG !
Thank you so much Dan !! I really appreciate you taking the time to read the longest post ever but above all connecting with me !
Oh I am many things but not a quitter, thank you! I'm a pain in the ass and bossy and self-conscious and a nerd ahahah but quit?? nothing pisses me off more than even thinking about quitting lol
I am very honored that you found inspiration and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kind words. As a pisces and very sensitive person lol I feel blessed every time someone is being nice to me
Thank you again and may all your dreams come true ! 'cause you deserve it too ;)
Sarah, this is brilliant! Such an inspiration. I could really resonate with so many things you have written - I am 5 months in now and have had thoughts about giving up too and wondering whether I too might end up homeless, haha. Glad to know I'm not the only one! Thank you so much for such a brilliant, inspiring post :)
Thank you so much!! I have been writing this for an hour now and I'll write it again... =) I am very honored that you found inspiration in this post.
We are all on the same boat, experiencing both the good and the bad
How are things on your end?
Me too as per your journey & this is my first ever comment to anyone!l
I joined today as a stater & will upgrade to Premium tomorrow,
Nothing to do with the new year just have been procrastinating
About doing something for approximately 5 years, yeah! I have done an awful amount of research, reading about everything ecommerce but not getting off my butt to get started in anything, I call it information overload, I'm not on any social media but that will change as well, it took me strength just to post a photo of myself & then write this comment, like you said, be yourself, fairly easy & forget about the naysayers, they don't make you money just misery & self doubt! I decided on WA due to value for money spend & then found a whole community of like minded individuals which I first found hard to accept but then I realised that all the other many offers of genuine help out there just wasn't happening as I've watched promises come, go & disappear, WA has been going 10 years plus so that's great in confidence of who you are in partnership with!
Enough from me for now, I could talk the legs off a chair given the chance!
All the best mate,
I love your honesty and sharing here. I am so eager to start making extra income with my current financial situation and I love writing so this feels like win-win, and I appreciate really reading through your experience and breathing. I love that you are making 1k a month as that would be amazing and I love that there are opportunities for me to learn, apply and learn more.
Thanks this was very helpful.
needed an extra boost Sarah so re-read your wonderful post again! There is so much there that is 'me' just with a different handle attached and I needed to remind myself that it does happen when you slow down. Unfortunately for me, I lost my Amazon account due to No sales. A Huge lesson there. So once again thank you for sharing your story.
I'm glad this post gave you a boost, again Merry! lol =) Don't worry about your amazon account, I lost it too once but I reapplied at a later stage and eventually made that first sale I so needed lol.
I recently started a youtube channel and started promoting amazon products (makeup) and made my first sale very quickly, so don 't despair! Keep doing what you do, keep learning and getting feedback.... and things will work out!
I'm sorry I am going to give you such responsibility, but you are a true inspiration. I look up to you and your work :)
Everytime you post something, I click right away to learn something new and more about your progress.
It is great knowing I am on the right track. Even though I lack a bit of time-discipline. I have realized I am doing great progress just by following the lessons word by word.
I am only 5 months in but looking back to day one, completely overwhelmed and lost, makes me realize that in a year I could be in your position today. There is so much to learn and grow. I love it.
Thank you for sharing, Sarah.
See you around.
Wow! You just shared so much of me in your post that I feel a little more motivated to get on with it (training) and to get refocused. Thank you for such an awesome post. You are truly a leader in many ways. I just keep thinking WOW! and THANK YOU! I have done so much of what you spoke about so I now know I am not alone there and that It is not too late to make the changes I need to make. Once again, thank you for sharing.
Thanks for sharing. This gives hope for those like myself who are still working hard and not so sure if it will be worth the effort in the end. Much appreciated and I especially like that you were ok sharing your earnings. It gives me a point of reference and encourages me to keep writing! writing! writing! Continued success and may your storeroom overflow at all times.
You're welcome! I think your efforts WILL matter in the end, as long as you don't give up =) Just keep asking questions, keep requesting feedback and comments, keep learning and, eventually success will occur
Firstly, I love, love love your profile photos so creative. Secondly, what a difference a year makes. Kyle says your life probably won't change much if you only invest a month, but a year, a year can change your life. I was bit by the procrastination bug too. But no longer!!!! Congrats on your success. These are always so great to read.
Thank you so much for the kind words, it means the world to me ! =)
A lot can happen in a year indeed... I have met the love of my life, built several websites, finally decided to start doing what I am most passionate about for a job (makeup) and I am soon moving out ... so yeah a lot can happen in a year lol
With hard work and dedication a year can change your life!
Blessings to you
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Wow! this is very nice, Sarah. I don't see this just an article but a complete GUIDE to WA especially to the beginners who just came here to try things out for themselves.
I've learned a lot from your stories and relate to most of it. Keep it up! You're an inspiration!
Thank you Ces ! It's very kind of you to say... and I feel very honored that you learned from this post.
Have a lovely day and may all your dreams come true!