My Takeaways from 19 Months of Learning at Wealthy Affiliate
I've been at WA now for 19 months--almost 20. I hit the ground running and I've been going back to remind myself of my journey.
I came here in the middle of a very hard time for my family. My son was going back and forth to the hospital, medical bills were stacking up, I had been freelancing from home, but I was feeling a deep need to pivot: from building a service-based income to an asset-based income.
I was having a hard time balancing hospitals and doctor visits with client deadlines. I wanted something that was more time-flexible, so I could use my spurts of productive time, batch produce, and reap from that later.
I knew about affiliate marketing and how you could use it to build a website that was an asset and earned with passive components, but I didn't know how to do it. Since I joined, this is how things worked out for me...
I joined WA 1/25/2018
I made my first commission within 1 month of joining using PPC - You can read my post about that here.
I had the goal of posting at least one article daily my entire first year and I concluded the year with 250 articles on my primary site, but I had spread myself across others. In total, I had published 343 posts and 585,637 words of content, but only 250 were on my primary site. I learned to focus on one site in my first year. You can see the post with my 1 year learning lessons here.
After one year, things started picking up for me. I hired Jay as a coach, and I realized some SEO mistakes I had been making that was stopping my site from ranking. I talk about my mistakes and how I was correcting them in this video training on Optimization here.
In my 13 month, I was still struggling with SEO and getting things to rank, but I was starting to get consistent referrals. I had alot of content, so even though it wasn't performing as well as I'd like in search, it was still getting results. You can see my 13 month post here.
At 13 months, I was getting consistent results from 1 traffic channel, but I knew I needed more in order to grow my traffic and income. I was optimizing old posts, but I knew it would take time for those rankings to change. This is when I mustered the guts to get started on Youtube. I decided to start Youtube the same way I started my blog: head first doing as much as possible. You can see my Youtube challenge posts here.
I posted 150+ videos to my Youtube within the first 90 days of committing to my channel. You can see my exact results of binge-Youtubing in my video training here.
After 90 days, my subscribers wasn't amazing, but my views and watch time was pretty interesting (considering it's free!). I decided to keep going with Youtube and creating content on my website.
From there, I scaled back a bit on my site so that I could place more emphasis on Youtube. I set the goal of experimenting with 3 posts on each, but I enjoyed video so much that I was posting more video than blog content. By 6 months, this is what my Youtube growth looked like.
Both, my website and my Youtube channel grew.
Things started to get really interesting to me in terms of conversions in my 15th month. I started to feel like I had control of what I was doing and I knew how to grow my business. In other words, my confidence started to really take form at 15 months. You can see my 15 month learning lessons in my video training here.
15 months is also when I decided to share my monthly takeaways in video with you all, so I've been doing monthly video training with my income growth, traffic growth, and learning lessons.
- 16th month - I started to pay closer attention to having high ticket sales mixed into my promotions
- 17th month - I was mass producing here and mass producing outside of here. Plus, I passed $1k/mo with flying colors
- 18th month - I started taking social media and PPC more serious
- 19th month - I continued with social media and PPC, and started working on my own courses and community
WHAT A JOURNEY IT'S BEEN!
My 19th Month Learning Lessons
In my 19th month, I learned that I love affiliate marketing, but I love creating my own products too. I've known this for awhile. Prior to coming here (to WA), I had published 15 books. I enjoyed creating those products and I enjoy the process of creating. I didn't know how to market them as well as I do now. I look forward to creating, marketing, and selling my own products.
I sell other people's products very well. Let's see how I do with my own. Hahaha.
I've really enjoyed creating courses here. It helped to boost my confidence and to prove how much I'm capable of across what period of time. I learned that I really enjoy teaching and creating courses, so I plan to do more of this going forward on my site.
Creating my own products is not passive at all. I know I have to make the product and provide backend support, but I feel ready for that now, so that's going to be my new journey.
The Online Business Strategy I've Learned Over 19 Months
In addition to learning alot of things about myself over the last 19 months, I've also learned a strategy. I start out every new venture knowing nothing.
I create a hypothesis and give my best. My first hypothesis was "What if I create a Entrepreneurship website and publish content on business". I did that. I tweaked that to "What if I create content that's valuable for entrepreneurs, but I choose smaller niches, master them, get them to rank, and expand out."
Basically, what I'm suggesting is experiment, test, test, test, pivot, and keep going. For some of us, our early experiments will take off. For some of us, our early experiments will be flops. There are alot of experiments on the road from $1 to $1k, and from $1k to $10k, and so on.
Training programs, coaches, and role models help to guide, but there's going to be some things you have to experiment with on your own. Don't be too scared to experiment. It's a must.
Plans and Actuals
I've seen alot of people who go from experiment to experiment without really looking at the results of each closely. As a result, they could be getting results, but since the results aren't HUGE "slap you in the face results", then they miss them. I used to do this.
It's been really important for me to make a plan. For example, "I'm going to publish one Youtube video everyday: rain or shine". When the plan is in place, I take action, but I also go back, look at the actual results, and tweak the plan for better results.
It's been interesting for me to go back and recap my 19 month journey and some milestones from along the way. I'd love to hear more about yours, and see what you think about mine.
My Questions for You
- Do you record your journey?
- Do you experiment or do you find yourself scared to experiment? Why or why not?
- Where are you in your journey and what's your biggest learning lesson?