Starting out within the online world was an erratic and tumultuous experience for me (albeit it fun). There are many reasons for this, but the main one was that it was a journey of self-education to truly comprehend how the online economy worked, how affiliate marketing worked, and how I could take "ideas", some content, some affiliate products, as well as traffic, and turn this into a thriving affiliate marketing business.
An important thing to take into consideration and something that I have always naturally done my entire life is focus a great deal of importance on progression of "knowledge". My opinion is this...
"The only way to positively progress in life, is to educate oneself."
Whether this is through hands on experiences, through reading, through watching videos, or through things that we are taught by others, we all continue to educate ourselves.
ALL education is not equal though. All education isn’t incorrect. And truly comprehending something happens at different levels of efficiency, depending on the source and style of the education.
What am I getting at here?
Well, in the content of learning how to build a business online, I was very much “ill equipped” in today’s standard. When I started out, I didn’t have any skills building websites, technology was 15 years LESS advanced than it was today, and I basically had to figure out EVERY element of affiliate marketing on my own.
Most of which I learned by doing. In fact, I would say 90% of my education was by trying new things, not knowing the result. There weren’t really any quality educational resources back in 2002 when I got rolling and there certainly wasn’t anything close to what we offer here at Wealthy Affiliate.
The people succeeding online back in 2002 were typically self-reliant and very much self-sufficient. E-books just started becoming a thing in 2004/2005 and so did big product launches. Domain technology, website technology, SEO, these were all very much in their infancy and social media didn't even exist.
I had to learn everything on my own. Every day I was heading into foreign territory, not knowing what I was going to come across but to a certain degree that was something that I really started to embrace.
It led to me taking MUCH longer to get a handle on things, but I also got the opportunity to learn very quickly what didn’t work, and then what did work, and now all of this education has given me the ability to teach others in the industry.
And this is the EXACT reason why we created Wealthy Affiliate back in 2005. We understood the need for speeding up the education process and helping people understand what are the PROPER practices for building a business, and what are things that you should avoid doing.
Wealthy Affiliate was our platform and way of creating something that we had always “wished we had” when we started out.
Affiliate Marketing Platforms, They Simply Didn't Exist.
Since 2002, there have been MANY attempts at creating a great service. I remember back in 2006 a membership program in this industry that was charging $800/mth. They lasted a few years before they folded. There have be 10,000’s of ebooks that came and went and that continue to sizzle before the candle wick is even lit.
There are membership sites out there now, and these days there are companies pretending to be “affiliate marketing” whereas they are nothing more than schemes inviting you to spend a lot of money so you can promote that same opportunity to others.
There has been ONE consistent company and platform in the industry. Wealthy Affiliate.
Since our inception in 2005, we have always stayed true to the roots of affiliate marketing and how to properly build a business online and we have not deviated from this in our 12 years in this business. And through the arc of time and the 10,000’s of improvements and updates we have made at WA, we haven’t increased our price point.
It's apparent. We care. It's also apparent. We know what we are doing, but we don't think we are perfect. That is why we continue to evolve literally with EVERY day that passes. Our best is truly yet to come and we will always view our service and platform in this light. You help us improve. You help us get better.
In fact, the price at WA has never been more affordable and on Black Friday to Cyber Monday (November 24th - 27th, 2017), it is going to be the lowest pride we have ever offered ($299 for an entire year).
Our goal is and will always be, helping YOU succeed online and to do so with the most efficiency as possible. The training, the tools, the services, the help and the networking you need is going to be instrumental in this process and we are going to continue to led the industry in every respect, with 2018 going to be our biggest breakthrough yet.
Something I Am Really Glad I Did NOT Know When Starting Out...
Like running on a treadmill, it is always easier to put in a good workout when you are not “watching the clock”. If you have a 30 minute run on a treadmill you know what I am talking about. It feels like eternity and a lot more hard work if you are watching the seconds go by (and are staring at the wall in front of you).
Compare this to an outdoor run at the park or a trail run, the 30 minutes seems to come and go with a lot more efficiency and it seems to be a lot more fun.
Watching the clock on your own personal success is a HUGE trap. One that many falls into and can never get out of and as a result, people fail at a high rate because of this one item alone.
What I am really glad I didn’t fall into was the “clock watching trap” that many (I would say MOST) people fall into when they are trying to create a business online. They want success now and they give themselves a time limit in which they must create success by, or they give up or move onto the next thing.
I can tell you plain and simple, if I had a 1 month, 3 months or even 6 month rule I would not be where I am at today.
A Significant Reason I Became a Success.
One thing that I understood early on is that building a business cannot be approached in the same way as an hourly job. Perhaps it was because I had jobs where I did piece work in the past where I only got paid for what I did (just like business). I applied the same principles to building a business online.
I didn’t break things down into an hourly wage. If I did, I would have failed.
This is logic that I see many folks instituting in their online business and it leads to immediately failure. In fact, I know right away if I hear someone complaining about the hours they have spent in their first month of business with no payoff, they are going to fail and unless they change their attitude, they are NEVER going to succeed in business.
The time and energy you put forth now, typically pays off MONTHS from now. If you are looking for an instant reward from your efforts, then you are approach business in the wrong way and you are setting yourself up for disappointment.
I have had single posts that I have created over the years that haven’t ranked for months from the time I wrote them, but then all of a sudden as my site gained authority the blasted to the top of the search engines and single handily drove a full time income.
I have had PPC campaigns that took 3-4 months to truly refine, but once I set them up they generated YEARS of profits. I have had single KEYWORDS that I have discovered over the years through trial and error that were gold mines.
This is the sort of stuff that happens when you treat this like a business, not an hourly job. Not everything you do will translate into money, and not everything you do that translates into money will be evident at the time that it is the reason why.
But that is what happens in this business and that is what will happen as you build out your business. Treat it like a job, and you will never have a business (and likely fail very quickly). Treat it like a business, and that is exactly what you are going to create.
So this is a key takeaway you should run with here. Don't treat business like an hourly job!
You Have Much More Than I Could Have Dreamed Of.
Now you need to take advantage of it!
I could have only dreamed of a platform like Wealthy Affiliate online. It would have saved me months of effort, time and waste. Sure, I learned a lot as a result of my failure, but it is also nice to follow those that have "been there and done than" to save you from going to the effort just to fail.
You have access to absolutely everything you need here within the WA platform and community to create and grow a business online and do so with more efficiency than ever.
A website can now be built here in 30 seconds. That same process took 30 days when I started out and that is without an ounce of exaggeration. I had to code from scratch, I had to design my own theme and menus, I had to copy code from page to page just to create new pages of content. I could have only dreamed of a platform like WA when starting out.
Quality images were impossible to find back in 2002. Finding an image you liked for your website, was a pure pain in the rear. You now have access to over 1 MILLION+ images as a Premium member using the SiteContent Images platform. This I could have only dreamed of when starting out.
Finding keywords was quite the process. There was a platform called Overture (which was the advertising network for Yahoo) at the time that had an OK keyword tool within it, but most of the great keywords I ever came up with I had to think of off the top of my head. I could have only wished for a platform the WA keyword & research platform here at WA.
The training was sparse, if at all. Anyone that was successful was usually "hush hush" about it and wouldn't share what they were doing with you in fears of you stealing it. I could have only dreamed of a progressive education and live weekly classes like you have access to here at WA.
Support was through forums and most of it was the "blind leading the blind". Support forums and chat rooms were filled with people that were handing out bad advice and anyone that new what they were doing were unwilling to share this information with you. I could have only dreamed of a community and a networking opportunity like you have access to here at WA, where we all care about each other and are willing to pay it forward when we learn something.
There you have it. My dreams have come true, but it is through you that I get to experience the efficiency that someone can build a business, from a cost perspective as well as a time perspective.
I hope you can take away a few things from this post, not only the passion that we have behind the platform here at Wealthy Affiliate and our tireless strive for perfection, but some things that I did through the years that made the difference between success and failure. The two main ones were not watching the clock on my success and not breaking things down into an hourly wage. If I did either of those, I likely would not be writing this and surely, WA wouldn't exist.
I would love your feedback, thoughts, comments or questions if you have any! Please drop them below and I wish you an exciting Black Friday ahead and I hope all of your are able to take advantage of our amazing yearly offer of $299 for an entire year of Premium. :)