I think one of the reasons I've done so well with online marketing is because I've failed more than most people I've talked to. Sounds pretty glamorous right? Most of the time we see people posting campaign studies or talking about their winning campaigns where they seem to be effortlessly raking in the money. What you usually don't hear is how long they spent optimizing their campaign to get it profitable, how many failed campaigns they have gone through to find that one, or how short lived that successful campaign might have been.
I wanted to share some failures I've had and hopefully show people that to really be successful you have to fail.
1. In the entire time I have done affiliate marketing I have only started a handful of campaigns that have been successful right off the bat. I could show you some really successful campaigns I have now and you would think “wow that's great!” but they would seem far less impressive once I showed you the months of grunt work and money I had to put into them.
2. A few years back I tried to do email marketing on a large scale. I spent about $10k getting everything set up and I could never get it to be profitable enough to continue with.
3. I've lost more money than I would care to admit testing different traffic sources & advertising methods.
4. I've spent months trying to copy what others were doing with the latest hot niches, trends, etc. and failed most of the time.
When I look back on some of this stuff, it's pretty obvious to me that most of my failures came from trying to copy what other people were doing.
When I think about the success I've had, it's been mostly coming up with my own way to do things.
1. Back when I did ringtones, I came up with a unique way to scrape artist names and bid on those (not a totally unique idea but it was one nobody shared with me). I made a lot of money doing that.
2. When everyone was focusing on Adwords, I was killing it on Yahoo and MSN (I still do).
3. Instead of chasing the latest hot offers, I decided to focus on pretty boring offers that most people were overlooking. While I was slowly scaling those campaigns, more and more of my competitors were dropping off to chase the offers everyone was talking about. As a result, my campaigns continued to do better and better.
4. When I first started with PPV/CPV, everyone was telling me to direct link email/zip submits using a big list of scraped URL's. I could never get that to work so I came up with my own method for using landing pages and targets that worked for me.
A lot of people are afraid to admit their failures or if they do it's something like “I failed so much at first but now I am a huge success!”. Any affiliate marketer who is currently successful continues to fail whether they admit it or not. You don't reach a point where you are suddenly ‘successful' and every campaign you put together, or project you start is a winner. Even the latest campaign study I posted in my forum is currently losing money!
You will learn more by understanding why things don't work than by getting temporarily inspired by seeing someone's successful campaign, then wondering why it's not profitable when you try to copy it.