Sometimes I have “one of those days.” No, I’m not talking about bad days. I’m talking about rather ordinary days where nothing special happens, and yet, you realize how fortunate you really are. I’m not writing this post as a way to gloat or brag about anything, rather, I want to show you what my life was like before I discovered affiliate marketing and what it’s like now. My intent for writing this post is to provide a source of motivation and encouragement.
A lot of other affiliate marketing “gurus” out there give the impression that affiliate marketing is somehow quick or easy. They offer “systems” and “strategies” that sound great as you go through their material (much of which is stuff you have to pay for), only to find that it doesn’t work in reality. That’s because you were sold false promises.
The entire reason I created this site is to show the real side of affiliate marketing. It’s a real business, and just like real businesses, it takes a ton of time, patience, and sacrifice before you’ll ever have a chance at earning a full time income from it.
The number one reason most people fail at affiliate marketing is because they give up and stop working on their business. I don’t blame people who do, either. Affiliate marketing is certainly NOT for everyone. But even for those who are a good fit for affiliate marketing, motivation becomes a major issue. I still struggle with it to this day.
And so… I offer you my story. How affiliate marketing changed my entire life.
I’ve Never Been An “Average” Person
Let me get a little personal for a second. Most people who have been successful at something say they have always just been a regular person. If they can do it, you can do it!
Well, I’ve never been average. I’ve lived my entire life being below average. Even as a small child I was a late walker, late talker, and had a lot of trouble learning the basics in life. Once I reached first grade, it was apparent there was a problem.
I remember the day my parents sat me down and explained that I’d have to repeat the first grade again. It was devastating and the first time I ever thought to myself that I was stupid. I remember the awkwardness of showing up to school the first day, back in first grade, as my former classmates wondered why I wasn’t joining them in second grade. That’s the first time I became self conscious that OTHERS thought I was stupid.
I was never actually diagnosed with any learning disability. They basically didn’t know why I had so much trouble in school, so I got help along the way. In short, my academic career is not filled with great things. I was in the half of the class that made the top half possible. You’re welcome!
I did manage to graduate high school and even got a bachelors degree, although I barely squeaked by. I think my GPA was somewhere in the range of 2.4.
The reason I’m telling you this is because when I say “if I can do it so can you”, I REALLY mean that! I’m about as slow of a learner as they come, so if I can do this, you can too.
Now, in spite of my horrible academics, I do have a few skills that did in fact help me succeed in affiliate marketing, but I’ll get to that a little later in this post.
My Experience Chasing The Money In The Corporate World
After I graduated from college, it was time to enter the “real world” and get myself a fancy corporate job. In short, I was an Account Manager for a computer reseller and I was miserable at that job. I couldn’t stand the commute, I had multiple bosses, and I was basically a glorified cold caller. When I was hired, we were shown all sorts of fancy career paths with very nice salaries and I was determined to make that money. I lasted there for 2 years before I got laid off.
Before I got laid off, I was already looking for a way out. It didn’t take me long to realize that wasn’t the life for me. My managers were constantly stressed, worked long hours, and sure they made a nice income but at what cost? They had to go to a stressful job 40 to 50hrs per week doing something they hated? NO THANKS!
That’s when I decided to do something crazy. I was going to get a job I wanted to have, not a job based on how much I’d get paid. So, I did something insane…
My Days As A Long-Haul Truck Driver
That’s right, I became a trucker. Here I was, about $50,000 in student loan debt, and I was going to truck driving school to become a truck driver.
Turns out, that was the best decision I ever made. Truck driving is THOUGH WORK and I was working 70 to 80hr workweeks, but I absolutely loved it. Driving is a bit of a passion of mine and I wanted to travel the country. Well, as a truck driver, I got to drive a massive and awesome vehicle, plus I got to see all of the lower 48 United States in my first year (most of them twice!).
Now, I was doing something rather interesting during my entry to the trucking world. I began to blog about my experiences. I blogged about each day of truck driving school, what company training was like, my first trip solo, and throughout my career. I even made some videos on YouTube documenting my experiences. I wasn’t making those videos or blogging because I wanted to make money. I was just doing it because I wanted to. I had fun doing it and I thought it would be helpful for people considering entering the trucking industry.
…And I was RIGHT! I began to gain a huge following on both my blog and my YouTube channel. That’s when it hit me… Couldn’t I somehow make money doing this?
My Early Days As An Affiliate Marketer
Once I realized I could potentially make money online, I signed up for a service called Site Build It. At the time, Site Build It was a great service, but unfortunately I don’t recommend them anymore. If you want to find out why, you can read my review of Site Build It here.
Anyway… At the time when that service was a quality one, it taught me everything from scratch. I had no idea about search engine optimization, how to create a website (I was blogging on someone else’s site previously), web hosting, or anything else that goes along with running an online business. Heck, when I signed up, I didn’t even know affiliate marketing existed!
In any case, it took me about 2 or 3 months to learn the basics, do some niche research, and ultimately get my site up and running.
Now, keep in mind, I was still a truck driver working 70 to 80hrs per week, so working on my affiliate marketing business was obviously difficult. But step-by-step, I began building my first website, Drive-Safely.net.
Becoming A Full-Time Affiliate Marketer
After about 6 months of working my ass off, I earned my first $7 commission and I about hit the roof! That was a shot of motivation for me. If I could do that once, I could do it again, and again, and again! At that point, I become obsessed. Every second I had was spent working on my site. For the most part, I was writing content. I tried to get at least one new high quality content page done each day, even if I worked a 12 or 14 hour day already. Nothing would stop me.
After about one year of this, I was finally earning enough to quit my full time job. My plan was to quit truck driving and get a part-time job to supplement my affiliate marketing income. That way, I could spend more time growing my business. I ended up landing a part-time freelancing job where I was helping to develop content on their site. It was a win-win situation, so I finally made the call to my boss and quit my trucking job.
After about 18 months of freelancing, I was able to quit that, too. I had done it. My affiliate marketing business was earning me a full-time living. I was FREE!
My Entire Life Changed For The Better
Since that time, my life has been amazing. All that hard work has finally paid off. I now spend my time traveling the country on my terms with my 31ft travel trailer. I’ve been from coast to coast and go where I want, when I want, stay as long as I want, and I can literally work from anywhere I can get an internet connection. As of today, I’m sitting in sunny Alpine, California.
I’m also making more money in 2 months than I ever made in my best year before I found affiliate marketing. This has enabled me to pay off all of my debts and live debt free. The stress relief this has provided in life is obviously a huge deal. I never want to be in debt again.
Of course, my lifelong dream to be a dog owner also came true. I could never get a dog before either because my parents didn’t want one growing up or I didn’t have a job that would allow me to properly care for a dog. My dog and I now get to cruise the country together and we are always by our sides. Another dream fulfilled, thanks to affiliate marketing.
I even feel better on a personal level. I’ve always felt like a dumb shit growing up. I was terrible at school, terrible at sports, and could never figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. Finding something I’m actually good at has been a huge confidence booster. Better yet, I’ve found a career that doesn’t really require me to work. I love what I do. Affiliate marketing is just as enjoyable to me as any other hobby I have.
In short, due to affiliate marketing, life is good. This is what it’s all about folks. The freedom affiliate marketing brings is a source of motivation for many and I’m here to tell you that it’s just as good as you think it will be.
Affiliate Marketing Might Not Be For You
While affiliate marketing is a perfect match for me, don’t get into affiliate marketing just for the money. That would be as bad as me getting into the corporate world just for the money. If you want to get into affiliate marketing, you have to get into it because you think it would be a fun way to make a living. So, what does affiliate marketing really entail?
Well, there are many ways to succeed in affiliate marketing, but the most common way is by building blogs and websites like this one. All of my affiliate marketing sites are just like this one, filled with long articles that are designed to truly help people. The advertising is just an afterthought. If you look around on this page, you’ll find them.
If you plan on building an affiliate marketing business in a similar way as I have, just be warned that you will basically become a full-time writer. Actually setting up a site or a blog is easy. Maintaining it by continually providing high quality content? Not so much.
So, be honest with yourself. Do you really LOVE to write? I mean, really truly love it? If so, affiliate marketing could be a great fit for you. If not, you’ll never make it.
When you first start affiliate marketing, you have to basically write every single day and you’re not going to get paid for it. You’ll have to put in all that work for months and possibly years before you ever make a cent, if you ever even DO make a cent (not all affiliate marketing businesses succeed). Everyone is motivated for the first couple of weeks and most might even make it a couple months. But how many make it to the one year mark? Or even more rare, the two year mark? Most people give up way before then, because they aren’t having fun. Writing isn’t exciting for them and they aren’t making money, so why bother?
That’s why you must truly love to write. If you don’t, you’ll never make it through the hardest part – working for free.
Strengths That Have Helped Me Succeed In Affiliate Marketing
Earlier in this post (WAY earlier!), I was telling you about how I struggled in school when growing up, even having to repeat the first grade. I always scored low on standardized testing and it was no secret to me nor anyone else that I was a little… shall we say… slow. The ironic thing is, being the way I am has actually built some strengths into me that have helped me to succeed.
Patience And Dealing With Failure – Since learning and retaining information has always been very difficult for me, I’ve learned the skill of patience and how to overcome failure. Make no mistake about it, I fail more than I succeed online. It just so happens that when I do succeed, it’s very profitable. The failures don’t bother me. They are learning experiences, just as my failures always have been. For many people who have succeeded in life simply due to their natural talents, affiliate marketing will be a huge wakeup call. Nobody succeeds quickly or without having failures along the way. My list of them, just in my affiliate marketing career, is a long one.
Unwavering Motivation – Growing up, I was told I couldn’t do things more than most kids. For most kids, they can be anything they want to be in life. I was usually given different advice. While that sounds bad, this created a motivation drive in me that can’t be explained. When I truly set my mind to something, I will not quit until I’ve succeeded. For example, when I was 19 years old I got my private pilot license. Flying the plane was easy. I was a natural. The bookwork? Not so much. I failed my written and oral exams the first time. Did that stop me? Hell no. I got that license. The same happened with my online business. I knew making money online was my answer in life and nothing was going to stop me even if it took me 50 years.
Natural Writing Abilities – Ok, so this is just something I was born with, I guess. I’m not claiming to be some genius writer. In fact, the first “D” I ever got in school was in spelling. With that said, I was always good with essays in school and while writing my truck driving blog, I discovered how much people actually enjoy reading what I have to write. At first, this blew my mind. People actually care what I have to say?!? But alas, I have a natural enjoyment of writing and it seems good enough to make a living at affiliate marketing. I think learning how to enjoy writing or being good at writing really is something of a natural talent that is difficult to learn, just like sports.
Strong Desire For Independence – Many people don’t realize how lonely affiliate marketing can be. I do like working from home, but I hardly ever see anyone, I have no boss making sure I stay on task, and the job can really isolate you. Fortunately, as I grew up, I began to push back on all the “help” I was receiving from various people. I had my own way of doing things and I would figure it out on my own. That carried on into adulthood. I don’t need the socialization, the recognition, or a boss watching over my shoulder telling me to get back to work. I just do it. Many people can’t work without structure, socialization, or someone there to make sure things are getting done. This has led to many failed affiliate marketing businesses. In order to succeed in affiliate marketing, you must have a strong ability to work independently.
If Affiliate Marketing IS For You
If you truly believe you have what it takes to succeed in affiliate marketing, my only advice is that you start right now. If you truly want to start your affiliate marketing business, you can do that today. Here are the steps you can take in one day to get your business going…
Decide On A Niche – Do you have a hobby or passion? You could create a site about that. What do you do for a living? You could have a site about that. Do you have any expertise in anything at all? You could have a site about that. Do you like to write fictional stories? You could have a site for that. The bottom line is this… If you are an expert on something, you can provide value to others which ultimately will get you paid. If you’re not an expert on anything, pick a topic you’d like to learn more about, then just write as you learn. The point is, choose a niche you will enjoy reading and writing about, because you’ll be doing a whole lot of that.
Write Down 100 to 200 Article Ideas – Get out a spreadsheet and write out 100 to 200 article ideas for your new site or blog. Think about who it will help, what the purpose of the site is, and how you will monetize it. Go to Google and type in your article ideas, then look at the “suggested searches” at the bottom of the page or the “auto-fill” searches Google uses for additional ideas.
Set Up A WordPress Websites – If you go to YouTube and type in “How To Build A WordPress Site” you’ll get dozens of free videos that walk you through how to set up a WordPress site in about an hour or two. Go through one of those tutorials and set up a basic blog or site. You can always modify it later.
Write, Write, And Write Some More – Once your site is all set up, you should go through your list of article ideas and start writing, and writing, and writing, and writing. Writing will become your full-time job. Don’t even worry about making money on the site yet. Just make it a high quality resource first, get some visitors from search engines (which will take a while), and once you are getting a fair amount of traffic, worry about monetizing the site. At first, just write.
That’s really all there is to it. Sure, you’ll need to learn some other things along the way, but you really can get your affiliate marketing business set up and running today. So do it already!
Some Final Thoughts
I hope this post was helpful to some of you. To be honest, this post was just sort of “inspired” and I just started writing, so if it’s a bit disorganized and a bit all over the place, my apologies. I also hope this post doesn’t come off as being egotistical. I’m not here to complain about my past nor am I hear to boast about my life now. I just want to give you a good idea of my background, who I am, and why you can succeed too. Affiliate marketing has changed my entire life. If I can help make the same thing happen to just one other person, this article will be worth the 3,290 words I’ve taken the time to write.