Next month, February 2014, will make 8 years since I started my affiliate marketing journey. In this post I reflect on the long way I’ve come and take the time to show some gratitude to some people who played a very important part in me getting to where I’m at.
It was a rough ride sometimes and other times it was smooth but every little thing contributed to my success. I have learned so much that other than applying that knowledge to build money making sites, I can also pass on what I know to help others. Maybe some day I’ll be on someone’s thank you list.
These 7 people help me make it all the way to 2014 and beyond. Thank you.
1. Whoever Put the Ad in SBO Magazine
My affiliate marketing journey started when I saw an ad in Small Business Opportunity Magazine that said I could make money using Google. I followed the ad to an affiliate site that introduced me to the idea of using a simple method to make money advertising Clickbank products through Google Adwords.
I never build a relationship with this affiliate so I don’t remember who he was but if it wasn’t for his out the box thinking, placing an ad in an opportunity magazine, then I wouldn’t have gotten the start that I needed.
2. Chris Carpenter
Chris Carpenter is the guy who created a product called Google Cash, the same product the affiliate above was promoting. I didn’t buy his product because I didn’t have a credit card at the time but his method for making money with Clickbank and Google was all over the internet that after some research, I found the information that I needed for free.
I have to give Chris credit because one of his affiliates were promoting his product using magazine ads. Also, his simple method enabled me to get started – I got a credit card so that I could get a Google Adwords account and I got a Clickbank account and I get started at the beginning of February 2006.
Using the Google Cash method, I got my first sale during my first week and I was now even more excited that something was working.
3. Brad Callen
Eventually, Google started making some changes and advertising was becoming more expensive. I started looking for alternative ways to making money with Clickbank.
I found out about search engine optimization in late 2006 from a guy named Brad Callen who at the time had an SEO software on Clickbank which I might have found while looking for something to promote. I signed up for his newsletter and he showed me a simple way of getting traffic to a website by ranking keywords on the free section of Google’s search engine results page.
Up to this point, since I only did the Google Cash method, I didn’t realize that affiliates could get on the free results part of Google. The idea that I could find a keyword and rank it was new to me and I was excited again.
I learned about SEO and tried it out using free Blogger blogs but never really made any money using the method. Seems it was working for others though. I was doing research every day and asking questions on forums.
4. Steve Stoute
The record exec?
Yes, that guy.
I had a clipping from a magazine that showed 10 secrets to Steve Stoute’s success and I kept the clipping near my computer. Besides having the natural drive to make affiliate marketing work for me and having already set an ultimate goal, I adapted some of these success principles and constantly reviewed them.
I’ve never met the guy or interacted with him. He’s not even an internet marketer but he is one thing – successful. And that is what I wanted to be. His principles were straight forward and I definitely used them to get where I am today.
5. Travis Sago
While surfing for credits on a site called TrafficSwarm, so that I could promote my own stuff, I came across a site called The Bum Marketing Method which I immediately signed up for.
Turns out I was doing it wrong by trying to promote Clickbank stuff on Traffic Swarm but The Bum Marketing guy, Travis Sago was definitely doing it right. He knew his target market (people surfing for credits on Traffic Swarm wanted a way to get free traffic to their sites) and he put his site in front of that audience.
Getting on Travis Sago’s list was a major turning point for me. I learned a twist on what I had learned from Brad Callen, a simple way to use SEO to make money but by using other people’s websites. Websites like Blogger, Squidoo, Ezinearticles and Hubpages – any site that let you sign up with a free account and allowed you to submit content.
I tried it for a while with Squidoo and Blogger but something was still missing. I was doing it but I was probably targeting broader keywords even though Travis taught to look for low-hanging fruit. I wasn’t getting traffic or sales but I pushed forward and Travis had a way of connecting with you that I got excited every time I got an email.
At some point towards the end of 2006, Travis sent out an email that talked about this site where I could learn more about affiliate marketing and connect with other people having success.
I trusted his recommendation and signed up for Wealthy Affiliate on 12th January 2007, which I think was a Friday. Inside I saw that Travis was a well respected member and also connected with the two owners Kyle and Carson and other people who Wealthy Affiliate was also working for.
8 years later and I’m still a member of Wealthy Affiliate, and also still a subscriber to Travis’ list. A lot of the money that allowed me to quit my job was made using the Bum Marketing Method from articles I wrote for Squidoo and Hubpages so I’m grateful that I came across Travis’ site on Traffic Swarm (which I abandoned almost immediately after finding The Bum Marketing Method).
6/7. Kyle & Carson
The majority of the credit for my success goes to Kyle and Carson – the humble owners of the Wealthy Affiliate educational platform. Because of Wealthy Affiliate, I found that one missing thing that held me back while trying to do the Google Cash method, or SEO and even Bum Marketing.
What was this critical piece?
I didn’t know how to find and research a niche market and so I missed the money making opportunities that I could have ranked for before. Luckily, because I now understood an important component to affiliate marketing, I was able to find the right keywords and rank them by following the training at Wealthy Affiliate.
Kyle and Carson provided a platform that they worked on every day and made it better and better with time. The current Wealthy Affiliate is much different to the one I was introduced to 7 years ago but a much better one – one that I’m proud to recommend to anyone who is doing any time of online business whether blogging, affiliate marketing or running any time of website.
I also like that these guys are not like the other marketers online. They aren’t dishonest and they immerse themselves into their own community allowing anyone to connect with them, ask them questions and learn from their more than 20 combined years online.
You can find my experience and full review with Wealthy Affiliate here.
Of course, there are others that I could thank since you meet a lot of people on any journey but these 7 people contributed in a major way to the marketer that I currently am.
Do you remember how you got into affiliate marketing? Who are the people that played a major role in you getting to where you’re at now (even if you’re not successful yet)?