When I first signed up with ClickBank about 6 years ago, I really had no idea I could eventually build a very successful online business using the Clickbank platform. I’m pretty sure the founders of ClickBank also didn’t realize how large and successful their business platform would become either. Due to ClickBank I was able to quit my job a few years ago and have since then worked part-time from home while making more than a typical full-time income I would have working for a boss. When i’m Looking at my experiences over the past 6 years, it’s really amazing how much I’ve learned and also how much has changed within the whole affiliate marketing market. It has given me some very interesting insights and definitely a very unique perspective.
I would like to share with you the 12 insights that I have gained over the past 6 years. Call this the things I wish I had known in the beginning but took a long time and experience to learn it eventually. Take advantage from my experience and use these insights to guide you as you are building your own online business over the next 20 years and beyond!
Overall, this is the most important factor in my online success. If you are willing to succeed online, especially in the long-term runs, you have to stick with what you are doing. You must try out new things, test out alternative methods and simply never ever give up! I have seen and spoken too many people who gave up and quit way too soon. When I started out I was really determined to make it, nothing or no one was going to stop me from making an fulltime income online, and so eventually I did. Even to this day I have to continually overcome different obstacles, but that is just how you have to look at them, and that’s all they really are. I like to compare it to climbing a mountain; if you are determined to get to the top, you have no other options then to crawl over rocks, take detours, and sometimes you have to head back down the mountain to take another path up. If you want a long-term success story there’s just no way around it, you must stick to what you are doing.
Too many people online talk about niches and seeking out the small and unexploited niches. However, I’ve seen really a lot of people go into niches that are too small to be able to replace a full-time income. Although some people can and have done pretty well with small niches. In my experience I have always been more successful with the larger niches. I always had more success in the long run when my affiliate marketing product, service, or website has appealed to a very large audience.
Always Continue Learning
When you achieve some successes online you might begin to feel like you know it all. But this is a really easy trap to fall into. If you can humble yourself and learn yourself the attitude that you should always be seeking out for new information from others (even if they are a lot younger or less experienced than you are) you will continually find yourself learning new things you did not know.
Pursuit Opportunities For Income
Every page of content that you create, every affiliate link and every advertisement that you place is an new opportunity for (more) income. The more opportunities for income you create, the more money you will make. This really does not mean you should fill up your website with as many affiliate links and advertisements as you can. This means that you should create more blogs in multiple niches, address more products, more services and a lot more content, etc. Most of these methods are very low maintenance once they are up and running, so you should always strive to pursuit as many opportunities for income as you can.
Fill In All The Gaps
As you are creating more opportunities for income, you should also start filling in all the gaps for income in your current sales process. If you own a product, you should start offering one or more up-sells. Also set up cross-sells with other vendors in your niche, and offer additional items for sale on your thank-you page (the customers sees this page after they completed purchasing your product). If you are an affiliate you should start following up customers that bought a product through your affiliate links, using email auto-responders to follow up with your prospects, and up-selling wherever you can. Filling in all the gaps was something that I neglected way too long. But once I started doing this my income increased almost immediately.
Stop Taking It Personally
Early on in my Internet/Affliate marketing career I was extremely defensive. I would often get into very long email battles with people I did not even know! Looking back it was such a big waste of my time and my productivity suffered among it. What I have learned is that no matter how good of a job you are doing and no matter in what effort you are trying to help someone, there will always be some negative people that will try to tear you down, criticize you, and make it their day task to sabotage your success. It is not worth your valuable time wasting it on these group of people. Whether someone will leave a nasty comment on your blog, sends you an offensive email, or talks about you and make rude comments in a forum. Just ignore them all. Sometimes people are intentionally looking for a fight, do yourself a huge favor by not giving them what they want and do never take any of it personally.
Let Others Do The Work For You
The only limited resource you have in your online business is time. The only way to get more time is to do less of something else. There is just no other way. Delegating your work through outsourcing or hiring some employees will be the only possible way to eventually grow with your business. If you want to work smart you will start with outsourcing anything you can have others do for you, such as your graphic design, blog/site installation or programming. Outsourcing is very cheap and very effective, and it leverages your time so you can focus on other things. It may be some struggle for you to delegate the work you know you can do best, but it is something you will need to overcome if you want to take your business to a much highest potential.
Ditch Your Inner Introversion
Working at home on the computer a lot of hours can definitely make you an introvert. One big mistake I made for years was that I wasn’t reaching out and to meet other Internet marketers. Once I did start getting out of my home office and going to conferences and different events everything changed. I made several connections with like-minded online marketers, I’ve learned more than I had done in years, and I also made fantastic new friends as well. Internet marketing is a people-minded business and people are always your most valuable resource in this business. Get out often from behind the PC and start to get social, you will never know what connections you can make and how it will improve your business and personal life as well.
When I first started with affiliate marketing I used to email all my customers manually. Yes really, each time that I made a sale I rushed to my computer to send an email to them with their information or bonus materials as fast as I possibly could. Eventually I discovered several automated ways of doing this just like many other tasks that saved me countless hours in per week. The amazing power of the Internet lies in being able to let technology work for you. Many things you normally do yourself can be done automatically, such as backing up your sites, following-up your customers, posting new content to your site, and so a lot more. Whenever you are finding yourself doing any kind of repetitive task(s), then look to see if it can be automated in some way. The odds are it can.
Testing For Success
I never ran an official split-test for probably the first 3 or 4 years I was busy with marketing online. Mostly because it was not easy to setup back then like it is now, but also because I was just very lazy. After running several split-tests over the last years, I have realized that I must have left loads of money on the table by not doing split-testing. Split-testing will give you instant results to improve your website in several ways, and it will provide you with definitive new answers as to which versions to keep and which to get rid of. I guess about every successful marketer I know split-tests their sites and products and it’s available to anyone for free using Google Website Optimizer.
It’s No Secret
When I first started with ClickBank in 2006 I was convinced I had to either have an original idea or know some secret marketing technique or a un-discovered loophole to make a lot of money or any mother at all. Eventually I realized that none of this was true. You don’t have to promote perfect ClickBank products, you don’t have to know any special affiliate secrets and you don’t need huge marketing budgets to be successful online. One thing that I have seen over and over again is that taking consistent action will lead to results and over time it will lead you to success. There is really no secret or mystery about affiliate or online marketing. I think Lyle Lovett says this best: “It is funny, but the biggest secret to success is that those at the top just seem to work the hardest. The reason it is a secret is because nobody wants to believe it.”.