Lessons Learned from ZERO to $100,000+ Per Year

Last Update: Jul 19, 2018

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Remember the American 1998 romatic comedy starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan:

"You've Got Mail!"

That's about the time I got started online...

When I received a CD in the mail from a company called AOL offering 100 free hours to something called the internet and I took them up on it.

Lesson #1 - AOL used direct mail to reach potential customers who were NOT yet online. Seems obvious, right? So where are YOUR best prospects hanging out? How can you best reach them? What is so obvious it is staring you in the face?

One of the very first things I did after discovering the internet and email marketing was I invested a few hundred dollars in numerous "How to Make Money on the Internet" courses, mapped out a plan and got busy...

... and even if we still had the pics. WOW!

This first effort was a complete, 100% bust.

OFFLINE I owned a company that taught real estate agents and brokers how to generate leads using attraction marketing, direct mail, 1-800 numbers and a proven referral marketing system.

My wife brilliantly suggested we simply ADD a new marketing channel (the internet!) to this already proven profitable business and BAM! (see Lesson #1)

We hit our first $100,000 within a year of launching a simple 2-step funnel:

  • FREE Tip of the Day email subscription
  • Upsell $97 annual newsletter

Lesson #2 - One the most powerful ways to build a profitable long-term business is to promote continuity programs: products and programs that pay you again and again and again after making the sale once. Which, of course, opens the door to promoting almost anything that charges a monthly or annual subsscription like Wealthy Affiliate, Aweber, Getresponse, SocialAdr and bazillion other legitimate tools online entrepreneurs use everyday.

Later we started offering a personalized 365-page lead generation web site for $500, then $97 per month. This quickly took us into the multiple 6-figure range and, later, we sold this business for a significant profit.

Lesson #3 - High ticket sales is the #1 fastest way to take your business, income and lifestyle to the next level. So what's 'high ticket'? ANYTHING MORE than you get paid to make a sale for right now! When possible, there should always be SOMETHING MORE available to offer your best customers, clients and raving fans.

One of the biggest take aways I got from owning and operating a locally staffed business is I didn't lilke it. I didn't like being responsible for everything - ther servers, the staff and the support - so after we sold Realty Profit Systems I just naturally started to venture more in to AFFILIATE MARKETING where we would just be responsible for driving TRAFFIC and sales.

So... we spent a few months and built lots and

We learned a LOT about keyword research and SEO during the Realty Profit Systems days (because we GUARANTEED a few of their pages would would rank on the front page of the major search engines or they didn't have to pay!) so we took that knowlege and...

Started building out tiny little 5 or 6 page blogs and websites designed to rank on the front page of the major search engine using long-tail BUYING KEYWORDS to attract BUYERS.

Then we presented THREE different places and prices where they could buy whatever it was they were shopping for at that time - Amazon, Walmart, BestBuy - and we, of course, we're affiliates for all offers made so it didn't matter which one the visitor selected.

Lesson #4 - The Pareto principle (also known as the 80/20 rule) is very real. 80% of all our clicks, sales and profits came from 20% of all the the sites, posts, videos produced. I've seen it again and again and again. Not everything works. In fact, the majority of whatever we do doesn't work - at least all that well. Meaning... DO NOT QUIT. Just keep on producing!

Around this same period of time, I was also building a network marketing business into another 6-figure income stream (why settle for just one?!) - and was doing it entirely the 'old-fashioned' way by prospecting.

It was horrible.

I was buying fresh business opportunity leads by the thousands and was PERSONALLY picking up the phone, dialing and beating the bushes to build a business.

It worked... but it was a lot of work and, frankly... (this is kinda funny)

It had never occurred to me to leverage the internet to build my MLM!

Once that thought did occur to me... the first thing we did was build out a business that RESOLD all the leads I had already purchased and consumed and BAM! We quickly built that business to more than $100,000 a year... and later sold it for a significant profit as well.

To generate our own MLM leads and replace the ones I had been buying...

... and, by now, you might be thinking:

My GOSH, you're a one-trick pony!

And you would be right.

Because it's a simple 3-STEP SYSTEM THAT HAS NEVER FAILED.

  1. Pick something to sell.
  2. Produce content to ATTRACT your best prospects.
  3. Promote the content to be found.


1) To generate the leads we joined an affiliate program that provided tools, training and a monthly membership program for network marketers for, at the time, $49 per month. So in this case we had TWO products... the affiliate program and our MLM.

2) We did keyword research to determine what challenges 'frustrated network marketers' were interested in solving and produced content to attract these frustrated networkers - blog posts, articles, reports, videos and more.

3) We promoted the content to rank on the search engine for the keyword used to produce the content.

It took us about 3 years to exhaust our MASTER KEYWORD LIST and this particular business has been on autopilot ever since. The results so far? Over 38,000 leads... 2,700 referrals... and over a million dollars in associated affiliate commissions.

2018 and Beyond

Today I have my sights on taking Wealthy Affiliate to $100,000 (or more!) in the next 12-18 months (or less!) and figure it will take 500 Premium upgrades to pull that off.

Keyword researched blogging... works.


But it is also a lot of work, right?

AND it can be pretty costly to outsource all of that work when you are first getting started.

So is there another option?


Right now we are currently testing a simple strategy of picking one or two of the great member generated blog posts right here on Wealthy Affiliate, grab our affiliate link, and share the post on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

And it's working! Check it out!!

Of course... we've also started a blog!

But producing traffic, leads and sales can take a few months to get started so this is a fast way to get started IN ADDITION to blogging.

Lesson #4 - Companies, products, services and opportunities come and go. But the RARELY DO NICHES DISAPPEAR. Pick a niche and serve that niche. So really our simple 3-step model STARTS withing picking a niche... or a particular group of people... you want to serve first. THEN go find the products, services, memberships, continuity programs and hight ticket offers that makes sense for that market.

Bless and be blessed,

PS - Follow me if you want to follow along as I report on this NEW JOURNEY to 100k in WA as fast as humanly possible without a team.

Recent Comments


Hey Rob,

Thank you for sharing this awesome and interesting read. Yes, nothing is impossible and I love your goal...

I'm definitely following you.

Shoot for the stars and land on the moon. Some might call that a miss. But I'll take it!

Lol... me too Rob... I'll take it!!

That's not a miss, and it's a miss for those who don't.

Great post Rob. Thanks for sharing your experience and tips.Have a great day.

And you post great content again! I'm anxious for some really good training from you in here. You always leave tips in your trail. Any teachable missions in the future?

Absolutely. I think Wealthy Affiliate has a timer of some kind before members can create courses - like you have to active a year or something. I'm not sure. Plus, I'm actually a 90 day newbie here. Spent the first month just hanging around, going through both of the primary training courses and participating.

NOW I've tested the waters a bit... feeling real good about the results and we're mapping out a plan.

Buckle up!

Thanks for sharing, Rob.

Great post-Rob, I like your challenge of $100K+ in WA without a team. I'm curious, I have found Google plus haven't liked it when I post WA affiliate links in posts - have you found that?

Yeah... they don't like it at all. I've found you can 'cloak' the link using some tools which mean basically hiding the link behind an iframe works. I still kinda trying to decide exactly what we want to use to post to Google+ or even if it is worth it. We're tracking now to measure the contribution value... for us it has been Facebook and Twitter so far.

Thanks for the heads up Rob appreciated, I'm focusing on twitter too easier than upsetting Google. I will keep your strategy in mind

Thanks, Stella I shared my WA profile page (so no affiliate link) and that was deleted by Google!

Yeah so focusing on twitter, instagram and pinterest they are way more fun!

Oh yeah... great reminder. Pinterest and Instagram. Jeez. Okay. Off we go...

They are way fun Rob but be interested to hear your experience

I just learn more each day, thank you.

Right?! Seriously... these youngsters have it all wrong. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks. Just takes us longer...

Holy (cash) cow! Great post!

Had to laugh... years ago I promoted a program called Kash-Kow. It was one of the ones that didn't work out so well. LOL

Wow, this is amazing. You are a true inspiration. Thank you for sharing your story.


Appreciate the kind kudos, Tina. You've got this. The journey starts exactly where you and and if you keep your eyes open wide looking for wonder... you'll find it. It's fun.

Appreciate the kind kudos, Tina. You've got this. The journey starts exactly where you and and if you keep your eyes open wide looking for wonder... you'll find it. It's fun.

Thank You for the positive words. My eyes are WIDE. Looking forward to future!

Great post Rob, are you using Pretty Links or something to cloak the direct affiliate link for the training? I got a FB warning for using my direct WA link so haven’t been game to use an affiliate link and am trying to send people via my blog.

Id like to try the more direct method also.

Yes, I use Pretty Links and trck.me. Pretty Links is especially good if you have multiple sites or even subdomains on a site just for a tracking install. The challenge with using Pretty Links on your own primary 'money site' is it will INCREASE perceived bounce rates because the site is just being used as a pass through - which could have negative impact on your seo.

Thanks, a job for today then :)

There's something that I've observed using WA direct affiliate link: If Facebook is giving a warning about the link you shared, probably there's someone on the other side of the line that reported the link you shared. If there's no one reporting, WA affiliate links are getting through with no problem.

I did have another go with the URL to my blog post here on WA, so no affiliate link and so far nothing from FB. It is a dicey game because if it is someone reporting them I don't want to take the chance.

But did the same on G+ and got an email saying the posts were removed as spam.

I will mostly stick to just linking my blog I think, don't need to get banned from any social media.

Thanks for the reply.

That makes sense. Anyway, if someone joins WA through a blog post done by you and shared by you, you still will be credited as the referring affiliate.

Oh, by the way, there's one social media site that is still allows sharing of affiliate links.


Just share sparingly.

You certainly are An experienced internet marketer, you give me the feeling that I am still in kindergarten

We are all in kindergarten when learning something new. I'm starting to dig more and more into automated social media marketing and it has me scratching my head and pulling out my hair for weeks. Which is why we need to ALSO enjoy the journey... 'cause we might be stuck living with ourselves for awhile. LOL

I have used the free trial of Narrow.io to get more Twitter followers, that worked great, I gained 2000
Buffer seems to be great too, and hootsuit

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