An Internet Marketing Story:
Why My Blog Died, How Wordpress Became The Bane Of My Existence, The Rollercoaster Of My Career, The Future The Industry Holds - And Why This Is Actually Of Great Importance To You...
I hope you’re ready for an adventurous rollercoaster of an article… because that’s what you’re going to get.
In this “treatise”, I’m going to hand-deliver one of the best pieces of “Internet Business” insights I can, as well as engage in some other fun shenanigans that will hopefully entertain you and give you some pretty cool history on the Internet Marketing industry and what I’ve learned through my own career.
It will definitely go against some conventional wisdom. It will not work for many. It will not make sense to others. Some will scoff at me and call me stupid, I’m sure. Regardless, it’s a piece I had to write and a change I had to make… and some people will hopefully tout my brilliance (or something kind of positive)!
Overall, you’ll get a slice of me. And I am delicious, you know.
“David, this is weird.”
“What kind of site is this… and why is this not set up like a blog? What happened to your old Wordpress blog(s) with the… well, slew of articles on it?”
Short version… Indonesia/Turkish hackers. Google hijack. Hours and hours… and lots of money flushed. Down. The. Toilet.
Well, ya know, here we goooo…
I’ve been an Internet Marketer since 2007. I didn’t take it seriously until I was almost flat broke, just been fired from a horrible waiter job, and found myself miserable, living in my Mother’s basement with “no windows and no vents”. That was December of 2009, when I went “full-time” with IM.
I made a firm decision. It was now or never to achieve my dreams of being an entrepreneur.
Aside: Mom, I’m sorry-not-sorry I lied to you and told you I was looking for another job! Thank you for being proud of me now! :)
You MAY have heard that part of the story before if you’ve followed me during my career. It was probably somewhere on my blog, which is now dead, as I mentioned in the title.
What you probably haven’t heard is what’s coming up… because I have not been very “sharesy” about it, at all. Not shy or intentionally quiet, just not that sharesy, OK?
My story of becoming a successful internet marketer is typical and very not typical at the same time.
The typical part is my "rags to riches" journey. It seems like no matter which IMer you talk to, he's got a story about how he was flat broke, living in a cardboard box, getting paid $0.40/ hour to sweep out rats from underneath dumpsters, etc. - and now he's rich AF.
The not-so-typical part is my personal roller coaster.
Looking back on it, I find it’s really a story of how I fumbled my way through learning business and somehow made a pretty decent buck along the way.
When I was first dating my long-time ex-girlfriend, her Mom read my blog and informed her, “He’s a hustler.”
From the outside, “hustler” can mean so many things, not all positive. In our industry, I think it’s given as a compliment. At least that’s how I took it when I heard it.
Hustler = one who hustles and makes shit happen. Right?
Because as most marketers can probably attest… the vast majority of the things you try, DO NOT WORK. So like 90% of the time, you are just falling on your face.
Amiright or amiright??
You’ve got to hustle to make that 10% overcome all the “failures.”
Of course there is no such thing as failure if you don’t want there to be. Anything and everything is a learning experience with the right attitude. And if you keep going and parlay that learning experience into a success, it ultimately ceases to be a failure.
I consider myself very fortunate though…
I got into IM (Internet Marketing) at the exact right time.
When everybody was referring to the economy as “NOT IN THIS ECONOMY!” Haha no. Well, yes it was during that time. But I didn’t pay any attention to that drivel (as you should not either, when it inevitably rears its ugly head again)…
I got into IM when the WarriorForum (IM’s biggest internet marketing forum) was blowing up.
When new, game-changing technologies (yes, I can ACTUALLY use that word here) were just surfacing.
When a WSO (Warrior Special Offer) could make you a very pretty penny overnight. And when green as they come marketers could enter the industry and make a big splash overnight (that's me).
I didn’t really know what I was doing. But I was constantly trying something new and throwing enough shit at the wall - and some was sticking.
After each month passed, I knew more than the guy who was just getting started. And that was enough to disseminate my knowledge and get paid for it.
And people actually appreciated it.
I wrote an e-book on email marketing less than a year after I had started. That’s not a very large sample size, not a lot of “time-tested” experience. I would probably laugh at that dude (me) if he was trying to sell me on that book now.
But I was really making a lot of money with email - more than I needed or expected even.
(Keep in mind, when I started out, all I hoped to make was $3,000/month so I could move out of my Mom’s basement. In under a year from starting, I made more than $20,000 in a single month.)
And I never thought twice about my limited experience. My advice was 100% genuine and good-hearted.
And even though I was pretty much new to the game, one very respected marketer (who shall go nameless, sorry), and now a multi-millionaire, eventually gave me credit for boosting his email marketing efforts to $1,000/day, in short order. That was pretty cool to hear. Others also gave me props for my excellent work.
I created other innovative products and sold them on the Warrior Forum and on my own crappy-looking sales pages that I wrote, designed, and “teched-out” myself. Remember “7-Dollar Scripts”?? I used that! (I still have a folder on my computer to prove it too.)
I even consider myself part of the “old guard” in a way because I learned how to create a squeeze page and collect a lead… in HTML!
Oh how far gone those days are. It was like digging a trench with deer antlers... and now we have tractors. But I think we’re all fine with that… right? I’ll take some ditch-digging competition over pulling out my own hair, thank you.
One of the other things that really worked for me was that I was not afraid to speak my mind or reach out to other marketers, just to get to know them and see if we could help each other.
One time I was reading a long, negative diatribe by an old member of the forum, chastising the owner of WarriorPlus (a separate entity from the WarriorForum) for promoting a “deal of the day” type thing… and I just didn’t agree. And even though I didn’t have near the “post count” or the business that the “OP” (original poster) did, I spoke my mind.
A guy named Oz reached out to me and told me to be careful, I might be playing with fire. We laughed about it and became friends and made money together.
Later on, I actually made friends with Michael Lantz, owner of WarriorPlus. The timing couldn’t have been better…
Because at the time, the platform’s sole function was to charge people for products and deliver those products. There was no affiliate function or network, YET. Remember, this was back in 2010.
Mike told me that he was about to roll it out and he asked me if I wanted to test it. I was definitely interested but there was only one problem… there weren’t that many people USING the platform to sell their products, that I could be an affiliate for… or at least not many of the big sellers… YET.
So I made a deal with him that I would convince a few people to use the platform and then I would promote their products to my email list.
You have to understand, back then, this was entirely in Beta… and revolutionary. This idea of a “direct-to-PayPal affiliate marketing network” would change the industry.
(If this concept is confusing you, direct-to-PayPay meant someone could get paid instantly into their Paypal account when a purchase was made, instead of having to wait days, weeks, or months to be paid out. The affiliate component would make it so affiliates would get paid instantly as well. Total game-changer since nobody likes to wait to get their money.)
So I took the idea to a few people and they agreed to use WarriorPlus and have me promote their product as an affiliate. Mike would have to manually turn on my affiliate link for each promotion (which of course would be asinine and wildly inefficient these days) . Again – this was raw!
One of the first people I approached with this idea was a man who is now very well known in the industry, E. Brian Rose.
In a heartbeat, he added his product to WarriorPlus, I promoted it, and we both made thousands. I even remember having a phone call with him where I helped him come up with a badass brand name for his product, Google Red Carpet.
I was sitting on the bed in my newly subletted Brooklyn bedroom, the very first one I had after I had moved out of my Mom’s basement. I remember the conversation like it was yesterday.
Apparently, so does he! I was honored for him to recall this very conversation in his awesome best-selling book, “Millionaire Within: Untold Stories from the Internet Underworld.” Read that book, btw! It truly is an enlightening, entertaining book.
That was the first time I had been mentioned in someone else’s book… and in such a positive way, to boot. It was a tremendous feeling that's hard to explain.
Do you see?
That’s the kind of awesomeness that happens when you hustle and make things happen. I’m still friends with all these guys, 6 years later, and they are all still crushing it online.
Rose even went on to start his own affiliate network, JVZoo.com, which has competed with WarriorPlus, and both have set a very high industry standard for “Direct-to-Paypal” shopping carts and affiliate networks.
Direct-to-Paypal processing for affiliates changed the entire industry… but “adaptive payments” for Paypal did so even more.
And I called it. On my blog!
My hair-pulling adventures in Wordpress…
When I started, I had a blog on david-eisner.com. I would mostly use it to do promotions. For example, if I had more to pontificate than a simple 250-word email, I would send my people to my blog where they could read more and then go on to buy whatever I was promoting from there.
It was my attempt at having an internet marketing "presence". The title of the blog was something like, “David Eisner’s Internet Marketing Blog: Because I need a place to tell you about cool industry stuff.”
Don't judge me. It served its purpose, made me money, and my people liked it.
Fun fact, it took me 3 months to finally decide on that domain… and it still sucks. The hyphen is a nightmare when trying to tell anyone my email address over the phone. I regularly curse the other David Eisner for not selling me his domain, which he still does not use, 16 years later! And it’s registered to some domain hoarder named Scott Gordon! WTF. It burns me up…as you can tell. :)
TIP: If it’s going to hold you back from earning money, never take a long time to come up with a domain name. As you’ll see, you can always change it later. Take action and move towards the things that will really get you results. This tip is kind of at the crux of this whole article… you will see why soon…
I didn’t put a whole lot of content on that blog. But some of the posts I wrote were quite good. Some were downright Nostradamus-like of me.
When “DigiResults.com” released the first ever PayPal adaptive payments network, I knew it was going to be huge, probably revolutionary.
I wrote about it on that blog. And I will never be able to prove it to you. Because that blog is also now dead (as I’ve mentioned).
But this technology single-handedly transformed the industry by allowing sellers of products to pay their affiliates instantly through PayPal, while still maintaining the ability to issue refunds by reaching into the affiliate’s PayPal account and taking back the money (an important feature that corrected a massive inconvenience).
That may not seem like much – but it is what fueled a multi-million dollar industry (I may be understating that – JVZoo has sold in the hundreds of millions on their network alone and that number is growing exponentially).
I’ll give you an example…
When I started, it was a great feat for someone to sell a couple hundred units of their product and make $10,000 in sales.
Nowadays, that's a nothing-burger! (*credit, Mr. Wonderful)
Fast forward to today (2016), and some launches on JVZoo have done well over a million dollars in sales. One of the top sellers has made over 100,000 sales through his video-maker funnel. This was probably flat-out inconceivable to anybody selling WSOs on the WarriorForum at the time I entered the market. The market just was not big enough yet and the technology was just not there.
I’ve been able to pull off some decent size launches myself, using many different technologies.
In the beginning of my career, and for years following, the standard was to host sales pages on forums. This was because it was easy and there was "built-in social proof." People would buy your product and then come back immediately and give you a public review on it. That boosted conversions.
First it was the WarriorForum. But as they got more popular, the site started to crash a lot – whoops - and sellers started to get pissed.
So some guys came out with a different forum, with the sole specific purpose of having you to host your offers only, and for it not to go down. That served its purpose but was short-lived in popularity.
Around the same time, Wordpress technology was emerging as the standard and people started to host their launches on their own sites, with a Wordpress hosted theme such as Optimize Press of Profits Theme that would make your websites look pretty much however you wanted them to look. I had both of these.
Only one problem…
Wait, only ~7,000 problems…
The main problem with launches on WP was that it was far from optimized for receiving a whole bunch of traffic at once and could easily send your site tumbling down if not set up correctly.
The other problem is that Wordpress sucks. Ha – should I be more specific?
Here are the reasons why I didn’t like Wordpress that DO NOT include the reasons why I ultimately got rid of it completely:
1) It’s made for blogging. Other people have turned it into a sales page/funnel/etc engine by developing custom themes/plugins, but it was never meant to be that.
2) It’s slow. The backend is tedious to deal with, especially if you’re on a slow server. Every save requires a page load.
3) The more features you need, the more plugins you need to add. When you do that, you inevitably end up with conflicts.
OK, I could go on but I don’t want to bore you with the technicalities. There’s a story I’m trying to tell here and I’m still trying to keep it interesting to the average reader! (I hope I’m succeeding.)
And listen - as time goes on, you always want to bring your business to a different level…
I think for me personally, I get very antsy. I like to be on the cutting edge.
And that probably ends up working for me… and against me sometimes.
I could look back at times where all I needed to do was "scale up" in order to make much more money. But instead, I just ventured down a completely different path. That undoubtedly had me missing many opportunities that were right in front of me.
The way it ultimately benefited me is that I gained a lot varying experience. With strategies, tools, business models, etc.
In IM, I’ve made a business selling a lot of different things. I’ve made the bulk of my income from selling affiliate products, my own products, and brokering JV deals. I’ve made a spattering from a dozen or more other activities.
I’ve generated the bulk of my sales using ONE marketing technique, which is email. Whether it’s been from my own list or someone else’s (JVs’ lists – joint venture partners’ lists – for example), that seems to be the well from which I’ve drunk most often. I’ve made a spattering of money with everything else.
When I look back on it, I can see how much time I wasted on certain things that never did bear ANY real fruit. And by fruit, I mean cash in my damn account! Cause in the end, when you’re running a business, that’s really the most important thing. Can you keep the lights on?
In 2013, I decided to attempt to capitalize on the lifestyle I had built by creating a new brand, the one you see today, Backpack Businessman.
Remember that Brooklyn sublet I mentioned I moved into after I moved out of my Mom’s basement…?
Well, that was pretty short-lived. And in the fall of 2010, I took the leap to go to pack up my things and go to Europe for my first real backpacking trip.
It wasn’t a huge leap at first. All I had to do was land in Dusseldorf, Germany (the cheapest flight to Europe I could find) and make my way to Prague in 8 days. Then I would fly to Israel for my aunt’s wedding. Not too scary, right?
Actually I was really excited. I had always heard about people doing this and having the time of their lives.
Well, once 2 weeks was up in Israel… I had a burning itch (no, not the Clap) to go back to Europe. I ended up going for about 3 months overall, hitting 17 countries in total…
I floated down the Rhine river.
Braved the red light district of Frankfurt on my way to my first ever hostel stay.
Stood where the Berlin wall fell.
Partied in an underground Czech rave.
Reconnected with my too-big-to-count family in Israel.
Witnessed river surfers in Munich.
Sang “How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?” in Salzburg.
Watched Maddam Butterfly in Vienna’s Opera House, standing, for 3 Euro.
Unwittingly got massaged by a fat, old Hungarian man at the Szechenyi Thermal Baths
Saw Schindler’s old factory.
Bought a $35 salad in Oslo.
Ate oh-so-delicious moose meat in Sweden.
Smoked weed with strangers in Christiania (Copenhagen).
Ate fresh shrooms and wandered the streets of Amsterdam at night.
Drank 2 Euro pints of Trappist Tripels in Brussels.
Got lost in London until I found the party of a lifetime filled with lunatics.
Dropped my jaw at Stonehenge and Avesbury.
Stormed the Bastille.
Ate 50 different pastries in Lisbon.
Ate the meals of my life in Madrid.
Fell under the spell of Flamenco in Granada.
Stumbled upon the real Halloween in Valencia.
Played poker while dining on a plate of paella in Barthelona.
Got drunk with my uncle in the French Alps.
Played ice hockey with kids in Interlaken.
Learned what proper Irish blood sausage tastes like.
By the end, I was tired…but set ALIVE-ON-FIRE from travel!
And addicted to it ever since.
What I also realized was that when I came back, I had 3X more money in my bank account then when I left… which validated the experiment.
See, I wasn’t scared to go to Europe, of course. I was scared to somehow end up there broke and no way to come back.
But that didn’t happen – I thrived instead.
And since then, I’ve been repeating that experience over and over again.
In the winter of 2011, I was getting antsy again. I hadn’t been anywhere cool in a few months.
A few weeks later I was on a flight to New Zealand. I gallivanted around there in campervan for 6 weeks and again, came home with more money than I had left with. (That included paying $3k for 3 seats in economy – called a Skybed! For real!)
I remember doing a webinar with John Cornetta and Frank Salinas in an internet café in Rotarua filled with 12 year olds playing Halo. I think we sold about $10k worth (if memory serves me).
So I had begun to make a habit out of this. Before I knew it, I had visited over 40 countries, on my way to my goal of 100.
And of course, I was (and still am) my own boss. I set my own, extremely loose, schedule. I am beholden to no one.
So in that way, I am truly living the dream, in the cheesiest, most trite way possible – and also in the most honest way possible. What you see is what you get from me.
I have dreamed of being super filthy rich… but I’ll trade that if it means that I don’t have to work my fingers to the bone or stress myself out too much.
Unlike many in our industry, I believe I’ve mostly maintained a healthy balance between work and play. If anything, I am guilty of not “working” enough. But I’ve enjoyed my life so I have no regrets.
I’ve mostly been driven by one ideal in my life – and that is freedom.
And that’s what my little green backpack symbolizes to me. Freedom of movement.
When I was in my young 20s, I did work those brutal 60 hour work week sales jobs. But I was never built for that. It felt like a cage to me, even though I made good money.
For some it works, and I respect that. But for many it doesn’t work, and they just put up with it. Maybe there’s some proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, which is retirement or their “golden years.”
To me, putting off the life you really want until you are old is a travesty. And the truth is, entrepreneurship is anybody’s ticket to controlling their own destiny.
So I created Backpack Businessman to promote that dream, that lifestyle, that ticket.
I spent A LOT of time creating the Backpack Businessman blog…
I went back and forth on the brand. I searched out the right theme. I designed the logo (which you still see today)… I spent many hours making the site what is was…
Which, was not very much at all, to be honest.
I wrote some great blog posts, but I was not consistent with it. I never wanted to be consistent with it.
I set up “virtual properties”… but never focused in on building many of them out.
I changed my brand, but never changed my real money-making focus. Besides continuing to build my newsletter following, I never had a firm plan about what all of this was ever going to do for my bottom line.
Again, this was me learning about business, and fumbling around with it a bit.
Just because you make some money for some years, doesn’t mean you are a business expert or you have conquered the business world (as I naively thought I did just a few years in).
In fact, I remember having been in the business for less than 2 years, making great money, but feeling bored.
I should have been focused on scaling and getting better, OR on doing something that I was really passionate about. Instead, I worked less. At times I had a poor or cocky attitude. It seems I had the wrong mindset for at least a year or 2, even though I made 6-figures.
The hacking… oh, the hacking...
When you’re in business for years, you realized that digital real estate needs plenty of maintenance.
Solutions that you develop for this year end up causing nightmares years down the line, but you would never know it. Regardless, they must be addressed. (The irony of this is that there probably decisions about technology that I am making today that will cause me a headache in 5 years!)
The first round of hacks did not affect either of my main domains, thankfully.
But they did take down many of my “ancillary” sites that were running Optimize Press. And then some of my other sites through my server.
See, the first version of the widely known and used Wordpress theme, Optimize Press, had a NOW well-known vulnerability.
There was a page in every installation that allowed any person, anywhere, to upload any file into your directory. Isn’t that just priceless?! :)
Guess what? I was not aware of it, at all…
And eventually, some Indonesian douchebags decided to teach me a lesson for my ignorance and upload some Jihadist script to my server. It served no purpose, as far as we could tell, besides promoting their political agenda on all of my pages.
It turned out to be a fixable issue. After many hours and money spent, I was able to save my sites and remove the hacks, with the help of some great tech guys.
At this point, I only loathed Optimize Press (OP) for the vulnerability, not Wordpress quite yet.
I actually had more disdain for myself for not seeing it. The patch for OP had been out for a while, I just hadn’t had the awareness of the issue that would have prompted me to install it.
See, that’s the other thing about Wordpress – the more functionality you add onto your sites, the more updating you need to do.
Sure, there are programs that help you manage that, but they need a human most of the time.
And if one plugin or theme pushes an update that does not play well with another plugin or theme, and perhaps even messes up your site to the point where it does not even function anymore… well, then you have the ultra-fun task of disabling all or your plugins to find out which one is creating the conflict, and usually dismantling a ton of work in the process.
This gut-wrenching exercise is more common than you might think.
So beyond having to manage and protect your server and site, just to maintain a damn blog (or a more complicated site with sales and opt-in pages, etc)… you also have to make sure everything plays nicely.
Sure, the best way around this is to buy plugins and themes from one company. If you absolutely need to have a WP blog (don’t do it!), I recommend Thrive Themes. It’s a company owned by old IM friend and brilliant marketer, Shane Melaugh. They are rock solid, in terms of doing the best they can with the lowest common denominator.
My old backpackbusinessman.com site was on “X Theme” before. And even though that theme has many tens of thousands of downloads and users, I found it cumbersome in the backend and ultimately, a slow loader – website leprosy - making you an outcast that nobody wants to look at.
When I switched to Focus Theme from Thrive, my site became noticeably faster and easier to manage on the backend.
But it wasn’t soon after, that the second hack hit… and eventually served a death blow to both of my blogs.
But this hack was different. Weird and hard to explain.
When you went to my sites, both backpack and david-eisner, they both showed a malware warning from Google…
BUT, no technical expert could find any malware. Anywhere.
The only thing that helped was completely taking my sites offline and hosting them on Clickfunnels. Yep, taking my site offline fixed the issue - that should do it, right?
Basically, the long and short of it is that Google held my site hostage. They said I was linking to some really shady malware sites.
Well guess what Google? I checked every damn link on those sites – and they all went to legitimate sites, even all the shady comments and trackbacks.
It was a pretty devastating scenario.
All this time and money poured into setting up blogs that could no longer be.
(And for all you techies out there objecting, “Oh well, did you try this or that? You could have done this, etc…” The point is, I tried a lot of stuff. And at some point when you are spending hours and dollars trying to fix something that really isn’t doing much for you in the first place, the time may just come where you have to cut your losses and move in a different direction.)
So I had a decision to make.
Re-envisioning my website and business, based on what really makes me money…
I came to a few conclusions…
1) My blog was not making me significant money. I spent hours writing each blog post. And I did so very sporadically because I like to pour my heart and soul into each piece of content I create (like this one). I also hated the idea of turning my public expression of freedom into a curation farm, which is the often-touted solution for blogging success. All in all, the blogging model was not working for me.
2) Wordpress had become the bane of my existence. With the advent of new, better website-making technologies, it was no longer useful and became far too much upkeep for what it was yielding me. Wordpress is supposed to save you money because you pay for things once – but that is not the reality. If things go wrong, it can eat a hole in your wallet.
3) While I considered ditching my brand altogether, I just couldn’t – and didn’t want to. And I decided the brand is NOT the blog. Instead I thought I could just re-envision the site.
So really, this last hack was a bit of a blessing.
Instead of me continuing forward on that path that was clearly not bearing much fruit, I decided to FOCUS, cut out the losers, and direct my energy towards what makes me win.
Over the years, there have been 3 real mainstays of my online business – the real elements that drive sales…
1) My email list and opt-in pages
2) My direct sales pages
You really only need the first two, or the 1st and the 3rd to have a successful online business.
Of course what I love about making money on the internet is that there are 1,001 ways to do it.
But what is of the upmost importance is that you pick ONE and focus on it.
Want to know the way I have LOST the most money?
Choosing to pursue something… then making it little bit up that road… and then getting distracted by something else and deciding I’m going to focus on both things (or 3, or 4, or 5 things at once)…
And then never making the kind of money I was shooting for in either!
The book, “The One Thing”, which I only read this year, has probably been the most game-changing book for me personally, that I’ve read about business, ever. If you haven’t read it, I highly encourage that you order your copy NOW and make reading it a priority.
And that really brings us to right now… and why you’re reading this article...
I didn’t want 100s of different articles on my site about different topics anymore. That didn’t work for me.
Instead, I decided I wanted to write one blockbuster post that could really give some insight and entertainment to people who happened to come upon my site. I hope you got to know me a bit through this post and also a bit about what it takes to be an online entrepreneur, if you’re someone who’s thinking about getting started.
And I have officially divorced Wordpress. We had a good run WP, now let’s go our separate ways, OK?
I have become extremely proficient in using ClickFunnels. I have built seriously awesome websites with it in record speeds. This site is now powered by ClickFunnels, in case that was not obvious. I recommend you also become proficient in CF, since it's a great skill to have, going forward.
Is CF perfect? No. But I can create beautiful looking sites that convert, without any technology expertise or graphic design knowledge. (And so can you! It will only take an hour or 2 to learn.)
You have to understand – this is not something that existed when I started – ClickFunnels itself it’s only 2 years old. And during that time it has gone through some major upgrades.
It’s not the only website maker out there. But for me, it gets the job done and more - and overall I am happy with it.
It is $97/month at a minimum. But for that I get the piece of mind that I will never have to make a Wordpress update again in my life. I get more features than any Wordpress theme and plugin combo can offer, at 100x the speed and usability. And there is only a very, very small chance that it will ever go down or get hacked. It’s a risk I’m willing to take.
So that’s that. A new site, built on new technology, with a new focus based on what works for me.
What’s next for me, you, and for the internet marketing industry?
I honestly don’t know when you are reading this, so telling you the answer to that is may not exactly be precise.
I spent much of this past year consulting for a company that is now doing really excellently and seems to be running well without me now. You can see the site I built for that company at Kibly.com (it's built on ClickFunnel, btw).
Working on building a SAAS (software-as-a-service) company was a great educational experience. And I really came to love the business model, which reliably brings in revenue month after month.
But as a natural course of things, it came time for me to part ways with Kibly. I'm happy to report that the company is still thriving and that I was a big part of its success.
I have since refocused my energy into the affiliate marketing game and building my assets (my following), with a new goal of further bolstering my hands-off income, adding more revenue stability to my business, and helping more people become location independent and financial free.
Affiliate marketing for recurring income products is truly one of the only businesses that at least has promise of “passive recurring income.”
That is the thing many people want when they get into this business, because they do not really want to work. Truth is, it is a bit of a mirage in a sense.
Why? Well, first of all, you need to want to "work." This business of IM has to be a bit fun for you else you probably will never make a dime.
Second, in terms of recurring passive income, people don’t pay for something forever. Eventually every billing stops at some point. That’s the point at which you stop getting paid as well.
So if you built a recurring revenue up to $10,000 month, and then did absolutely nothing beyond that, and it only went down by 5% each month (due to natural attrition), by the same time next year, you’d only be making about $5,400/month.
The more honest and healthy way to look at “passive recurring income,” is generating a “somewhat predictive revenue stream”, like real businesses have. Doing it as an affiliate is what allows it to become “passive” because you don’t have to do fulfillment, customer support, etc.
Then you have to make sure you do not put all of your eggs in one basket. Take it from me, it is far better to make $1,000/month from 9 companies than $10,000/month from 1 company. You make less, but there is far less risk of it just going away in the blink of an eye. Diversifying and finding “multiple streams of income” in affiliate marketing is key.
If you are interested in working with me or learning more from me, you should be able to find a call to action somewhere on this page, if I’m being even a halfway respectable marketer, right?
As for the industry as a whole…
It is becoming far more sophisticated, in technology, strategies, and tactics. And that progress is a double-edged sword.
While it’s easier than ever to learn the technology and get your offer up and running… that very fact creates exponentially more competition.
The good part is that commerce on the internet in general, is also increasing exponentially. The economy of the internet is doing really, really well. And while a country might go through a recession… the internet is it’s own country in that right. As a sector (or really a medium for the exchange of goods and services), it’s growing by leaps and bounds and I don’t see it slowing down in the coming years. There is too much growth to still be had.
So if you’re thinking about starting an online business so you can live your dream, now is as good of a time as any.
The ratio of startup cost to earning potential on an internet business cannot be beat by any other business opportunity. So just go for it!
And while some have said the “make money online” niche would falter… or social media would go by the wayside… what I see happening is that they are continue to grow.
But it moves fast. The shifts are drastic and you have to be ready to adapt. If you like slow-moving industries where things will stay the same for the next 30-50 years, this business is not for you. You have to be willing to constantly reinvent your methods to stay alive in this landscape.
Overall, this is the place to be and I’m not going anywhere. While my product offers will undoubtedly change, and my tactics will continue to evolve, I am addicted to “location independence” and the freedom that an internet business provides me. It’s just such a blessing!
If you’ve read this whole post, I want to say THANK YOU. That means a lot to me. I sincerely hope you gained something from it.
It didn’t tell the story of my whole career. That would be a whole book. Maybe it will come one day when I gather some more interesting anecdotes to tell you.
Really, I think I just focused on the relevant parts that explain what this site is and what you can learn from why it’s even here in the first place.
So, in conclusion…
You cannot fail if you keep going.
There are 1,001 ways to make money on the internet. Choose one and focus.
Do not, under any circumstance, use Wordpress. It’s 2016. You can ditch your Palm Pilot too.
Do the thing that really lights you up.
And you know, freedom.
Til next time,
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