Ramping up the Income: My Plan from 20 Months Going Forward
These are my reflections that I'm sharing with you, so you can consider your goals and what things you may want to consider to amp things up.
On the 8th of this month, I posted my video case study with the results of my 20th month here. Prior to that, I had been silent for a bit (aside from engaging with my referrals and commenting here and there).
I have so many projects to work on outside of WA that I haven't been that engaged here! I'm planning to change that. Managing a business outside of here and engaging here can be a balancing act. I've heard many of you mention that, and I can totally relate.
I takes quite a bit of effort to get new referrals coming here, then there's the customer support functions, and community involvement here and on other platforms that you don't tend to think about when you're looking into online business.
There are very active components that you don't hear people talk about that much. They talk more about the passive benefits (maybe because it's easier to sell that way?), but as you get more followers, subscribers, referrals, and so on, you also get more responsibility, and commitments to follow thru on as well. I love it all, but it's definitely something you should think about and be ready for.
Let's see how I can balance it in. I love this place. I love helping my referrals here, and I plan to keep investing time (with my referrals and others) as a core part of my schedule.
In this post, I want to share with you some projects I'm working on, and some things I want to stabilize here at WA.
My Expectations when I Got Here vs. What I've Realized Now
Like many people joining here, I definitely expected my road here to be much faster, but I didn't anticipate how many things I'd need to learn and get right. Luckily for me, this career is exactly what I wanted, but there are others who see the good parts: the independence, time flexibility, and location freedom, but don't want other parts (like doing the work or developing the skills).
I don't know why people in this industry don't market affiliate marketing or online business like other careers because it's like other careers in the sense that it takes time to develop the skills and to produce.
According to Forbes, They said "not developing a sound financial plan that will help with the transition" is one of the top 5 mistakes people make in career change. Switching from whichever career you had before to affiliate marketing is a career change and it takes time. Going further, they said:
"You can’t go from making $75,000 in one career to replicating that salary in a completely new career, without it taking time and effort. And you need outside help to make career change. Do solid research and explore your desired change with your accountant and financial consultant and experts in that career to understand clearly – without emotion and without a “build it and they will come” mentality – the financial requirements necessary to support you through what can be years of transition. If there’s no money available, wait until you can access some (earn more, borrow, use your bonus, etc.) or lower your expenses to sock away what you’ll need."
With our career field, people are constantly saying it's "easy", "quick", and "overnight", so people don't feel the need to make a sound financial plan because they are being given false expectations. For most careers nowadays, a four year degree or four years of on-the-job training are needed before significant income can be made. While online business does have stories where the transition was faster, it's still safer to be conservative and give yourself the grace to learn and grow.
Online Business Takes Time and Effort, but it PAYS OFF!
Wealthy Affiliate provides alot of support to help plan things out, but many people come here making the same career change mistakes and assuming online business is an "easy route" (me included). It's an enjoyable route, but it still takes considerable effort like any other career.
Logically speaking, internet marketing or affiliate marketing sounds so simple, but it's so experimental too. There's not too many answers that are concrete because you're in the business of helping people and people are fluid, changing, and evolving.
What helps one group of people may not help the next group. To make matters more complex, you have to learn whole new methods of meeting people. It's not like you walk across the room and say "Hi". Instead, you're learning how to write valuable content and get it indexed and ranked by sophisticated bots and algorithms to communicate (whether you use social media, video, SEO, or ads).
It takes awhile to be good at creating content, to learn how to be interesting enough to attract people, to build a tribe that wants to hear from YOU, and to give enough value that people trust that you're really in it for THEM. It also take some time to learn what people's real problems are (not the ones they tell you or search for, but they're deep intent) and how to present relevant solutions.
It's important to be in it for THEM, and sometimes, that requires lots of inner work, mindset work, and reflection. We're naturally selfish, so it takes time to switch from creating what you want to create over to creating what the market needs.
Once you get it, online business can pay off and be the best 4 year time investment you could have made. 4 years in this business can get you to income levels and lifestyle freedom unattainable in most other careers.
A Reflection on My 20 Months
In one of my most recent posts, I was reflecting on my journey and milestones as I've developed as an affiliate marketer. When I look at it like that, I realize I've come a long way!
I came from not knowing search engine optimization to learning how to get some pretty sound rankings. I went from creating content by inspiration and what I thought needed to be said to creating content based on what the market demand looks like. I went from working on my content marketing business "when I was inspired" to writing as a discipline.
I've also become much more intentional with my boundaries, and not allowing events to "creep into my work time" as much as before. I also had to be honest with myself about what I really want in life and what community support I may need to accomplish it all.
When I came here, I had a newborn and a homeschooling child. I was going to lots of doctor's appointments and trying to find work time in the middle of a whole lot of stuff going on. I had to take some things off of my plate to make room to work, and now, things are much more level and balanced.
Life still happens and distractions still creep up now and then, but I have things much more under control than I did when I got here.
Why I'm Amping things up
Now, I've been earning an income that's been growing, but it's not quite achieving all of my financial goals. We're a dual income household, but I'd like to be able to provide enough support to completely care for my family (even without my husband's income) and scale my business to new heights.
I want to be able to provide food, shelter, medical care, recreation, transportation, and I'd like to build a wealth portfolio that can weather catastrophic events, lifestyle choices, and charitable giving. I'd also like to be able to provide for others like that. I think the most valuable thing you can give is a good job. I'm excited about being able to give that gift.
I can see myself helping startup entrepreneurs with funding and education all over the world.
I also see myself helping others to stabilize healthy lifestyle habits: marriage, parenting, healthy living, personal development, and more--this all takes considerable amounts of money if I want to help lots of people. Even to get the awareness, it will take considerable funding, so growing my income is about helping myself, helping my family, and helping my community at large.
How I'm Amping Things Up
In order to accomplish all of my goals, I need to keep the momentum, and even take it up. I may feel like I've been producing alot now, but I need to learn how to do more with less.
Now, I've learned how to create content efficiently, and I've gotten quite a bit of feedback saying my content is helpful. I need to take that up a notch, become even more efficient, and make it more helpful and more abundant.
I've noticed that success online is on the back of lots of free content regardless of what strategy you follow (paid or free). I look at people I admire and see several times daily they're producing free content rain or shine. They're addressing important issues that people can't sleep without, that are ruining their lives, and that they need to resolve.
They're not saying "I can't help people because this happened or that happened". They're pretty reliable, consistent, and resilient.
You and I have to walk in shoes like that. We have to show up rain or shine.
The Help Has to Go Up
I need to take more responsibility for helping those around me thru my content. If I have an idea that can help someone else, then I need to get that out as much as possible. Alot of money isn't in my pocket simply because I haven't helped with something I have the ability to help with. I'm just realizing this.
I Have to Build Out Channels that Are Working
As a result, I'll be working alot on online courses, my Youtube channel, my website content, and I'll continue posting here (about twice per week and adding training at least once monthly are my goals). I've been creating lots of free content, but now, it's also coming time for me to create paid content.
Some New Projects are in the Works
I've started working on growing an Entrepreneur Support group to give motivation and encouragement to enterprise builders. I've also started work on my first premium course that will be followed by several more.
I've had this roadmap or "framework" for growing a business that I've been ironing out over the last two years since starting How to Entrepreneur. Now, I want to create premium courses to fill the roadmap in and help walk people thru it.
How my Tasks Break down
I'm hoping that by stabilizing my affiliate income here, meeting my Vegas goal, continuing to help more people make money as affiliates, adding more recurring commission affiliate income, and adding course sales as income, then I'll be closer to my personal income goals and my business income goals.
This month was the first month I paid myself! It wasn't much, but it felt great! For the last 19 months, I had been mostly reinvesting into traffic, education, tools, supplies, and things to "get my groove" and make my processes as comfortable and efficient as possible.
I know why people say "pay yourself first" because there's always something else to buy, do, or spend money on to grow a business. Paying yourself helps keep things exciting along the way even if it's a little.
Now, WA is a significant chunk of my income and I want to take that up as high as it will go, but I don't want that to be all. I want to help affiliates and others, so I'll also be working closely with some other advertisers that offer solutions in line with the mission I'm going for: "to help entrepreneurs go from idea to full-time income and from full-time income to enterprise". I'm going thru this journey myself and I'm developing my curriculum along the way.
My Questions for You
- What do you think is holding you back from your progress?
- What do you think you can do to amp up your results?
- Do you think you're giving enough value where it counts?
If you haven't already, definitely check out my latest 20 month video case study and visit my profile to check out my other projects. I appreciate all of your support and I hope what I'm doing (here and elsewhere) can help you to grow your business.