For the last many years I have been a full-time digital marketer.
I’ve launched hundreds of campaigns, designed hundreds of landing pages and written countless advertisements.
Overall, things have gone very well.
But it hasn’t all been perfect. I’ve crashed servers, sent traffic to the wrong urls, been banned from traffic sources and trusted the wrong people more than once.
I’ve made my fair share of mistakes. And I’ve learned from every one.
So for anyone interested in the online ad game, I’m going to share a little bit of what I’ve learned so far.
1. Work hard
There is a story told by salesmen that online marketing is easy. This is false. You have to work very hard at it. In the beginning I rarely slept, my social life fell apart. Everyone said I was working too much. But they didn’t see what I saw – the huge opportunity. I was willing to sacrifice all of my time to accomplish the goal. And it worked. Remember, you’re working for yourself now so work hard without regret because when it pays off the payoff will be your own.
2. Don’t trust anyone
Watch out for two-faced people. Especially if you do well. If you make money keep your mouth shut about it. It’s not your enemies you have to worry about. You know they hate you. It’s your friends you have watch out for. Jealousy can make your best friend hate you and try to take you down. It’s sad but true.
3. Don’t work with small, shady networks
Over the years many affiliates have been ripped off by shady little affiliate networks that run out of people’s bedrooms. You will get emails from them. They will make promises. Don’t work with any of them. There are well-funded and well-respected affiliate networks out there. Their reputations are gold. Work with them and only them. Whatever promises they make never fall for them as in most cases they turn out to be scammers.
4. Be original
You can make money by stealing landing pages and ads from other people. We all do it from time to time. But your biggest profits will come from your original ideas. If you steal, steal to learn and then innovate. If you really want make something happen, invent a new campaign style from scratch. Any idea or angle is good for few months after that it starts getting copied and its ruined, so always focus on coming up with original and innovative ideas.
5. Act fast
If you see an opportunity – act fast. This industry changes quickly and an opportunity can appear and then disappear in a few weeks. For example: Years ago, Google Adwords loved affiliate marketers. Unlimited traffic, best in the world. Thank God I smashed it while I could because now Google hates affiliates and will ban your account immediately. Same with Facebook. If you see an opportunity – make it happen ASAP, or you could miss your shot.
6. Take risks
Some of your biggest rewards will come from taking the biggest risks. There are going to be times where you have to make a gut decision and hope to God it works. You have to be smart – but if you’re willing to take risks where others are not, you can make big plays with no one else on the field.
7. Choose your mentors wisely
There are a thousand online marketing gurus on the market. 99.9% of them are full of shit. If someone says they can help you do something, make sure they’ve done it themselves. If they haven’t done it successfully themselves, there’s no way in hell they’re going to be able to teach someone else.
8. Have fun
Don’t forget to have fun with all of this. If you get too focused on making or losing money you’re in trouble. Test crazy ideas, be as creative as possible. Throw a funny ad into your campaign to see what happens. If it works, you’re a genius. If it flops, who cares – it was good for a laugh. Seeing how people respond to the images and words in advertisements is a hilarious, psychological experiment. Have fun with it.
9. Stay Humble
You can do very well in this business. And sometimes financial success can make you crazy and arrogant, especially if you never had any real money before. You’ll see a lot of affiliates driving fancy cars, wearing Louis Vuitton and big diamond watches, they talk loudly at parties and brag about the money they’re pulling down. Those are the mid-level guys. They’re a dime a dozen. The real monsters, the guys you hear rumors about… they sit quietly at tables wearing flip-flops and t-shirts. You won’t even know they’re there. Keep an eye out for them. That’s who you want to be.
And the last thing I want to share before I go is this:
10. It’s not too late
Everyone thinks that if they’d just started X years ago it would have been so much easier. When I started 5 years ago I thought the same thing. “In 2003 there was no such thing as a Google quality score! I wish I’d been there for that!” Now people think 2008-2009 were the “Glory Days” and it’s too hard now. That’s B.S.
Don’t worry about the past – focus on what’s working now and do your best to take advantage of it. Because 5 years from now, someone new is going to think you had it made.
And they will be right.
Thank you for reading my post and I hope it helps you in learning from my experience.
If you have any questions or feedback don’t hesitate to leave a comment and I’ll make sure to help you out.
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