What’s It Take To Master Affiliate Marketing? (Or anything else…)

Currently I’m listening to Peak: Secrets From The New Science Of Expertise, by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool and there’s a lot to be taken away from it that can be applied to online marketing.

I’m sure most of you are familiar with the 10,000 hour rule that Malcolm Gladwell penned. It’s the idea that to become an expert in any field you need to invest at least 10,000 hours training and practicing to become an expert in that field. Well, Gladwell drew his conclusions, although slightly inaccurately, from research performed by Ericsson and Pool.

Anyways, the whole book’s premise is that for the vast majority of people at the top of their given field, they didn’t get there because of some talent they were born with. They got there through good old fashioned hard work. What separates them from their peers isn’t talent, it’s the sheer number of hours spent in dedicated focused training. This is well supported by study after study.

So what’s that mean for those of us in online marketing? Well we might not be aiming to be grand master chess champions but the principles are the same when it comes to what it takes to be successful in making it online. Let’s be honest, the vast majority of people who start out will never ever be consistently profitable. So to make it to that level is an achievement which I think is often overlooked and often underappreciated.

I hate to say it but that means that to be successful it’s going to take dedication and hard work. Thankfully it won’t take the 10 years of dedicated study it takes to be a chess master.

Here are the key points to remember as you learn, study, and grind away at mastering the online marketing game.

1: You have to constantly be pushing yourself outside of your comfort level. If you’re comfortable, your plateauing. You’ll never break from $50/day to $1000/day if you sit back and don’t push yourself. It’s easy to get to comfortable.

2: It’s vitally important to surround yourself by likeminded individuals who can support you and push you to improve. You’ve got the forum and in addition to that I suggest you reach out to people and start your own masterminds. I can’t even begin to describe how valuable this is to your growth. This whole process is hard and you need to have other people who understand to support you and push you to succeed.

3: You need a teacher/mentor and they need to be performing at a higher level than you. Now for most of you that’s going to be cost prohibitive and your money is going to be better spent running campaigns. Fortunately, the forum fills this role. But there’s one major point that I think people miss.

It does you no good to only lurk and not engage.

You have to actively involve yourself in the process. It’s only then that we’ll be able to tailor specific suggestions to your particular situation. I can’t stress this enough. You would be amazed at how many people, sign up, stick around for a couple months and then leave without having even introduced themselves. You’re spending the money so take advantage of what you bought! The biggest value this forum provides is access to people performing at a higher level that are willing to take time to help others out.

4: Once you outgrow your teachers you’ve got to find new ones. There will come a time when AFF Playbook won’t be enough to push you to the next level. When that happens you’ll have to go out there and find someone who can. I hope that day comes for every one of you. I also hope you all stick around to help out the next batch of eager marketers as well as pushing each other to excel.

5: If you find yourself hitting a plateau, isolate what’s giving you problems, design exercises to improve that area and work hard on it. An example given in the book has to do with golf. If you want to be a better golfer, hitting 500 balls at the range isn’t going to do squat. Hitting hundreds of balls to within 10 feet of the hole from a bunker will.

You have to focus on improving specific situations. Building 100 campaigns the exact same way won’t do you any good. Let’s say though, that after analyzing your past 100 campaigns, you realize your headlines totally suck. Then spending dedicated focused practice time writing and testing out headlines will improve your game.

6: This isn’t fun. It’s not supposed to be. It’s supposed to be hard work. The fun part comes when you see yourself improving. That’s what should be driving you. It’s watching the end result getting closer and closer that makes the hard grind worth it. If you ask any professional if they enjoy practicing their skills, they will all say it sucks. I’m not talking about your amateurs enjoying their time blowing off steam. I’m talking about those at the pinnacle of their field.

7: You need to schedule time to work on this. It needs to be consistent and distraction free. If you only have an hour or two at night after the kids are in bed sleeping, then schedule that time to be working. Turn off your cell phone, shut down facebook and focus. It sucks. We’d all rather be doing something else but if we want to live the lives other people dream of, it’s going to take sacrifice.

8: Don’t forget your physical wellbeing. Make sure you schedule a minimum of 30 minutes daily to work out. It’s not just for your body, studies have repeatedly shown that working out is one of the best ways to increase your creativity and mental aptitude.


Deliberate Focused Practice Sucks Ass

But it’s so totally worth it and it’s the only way you’re going to make it to the top.

So just suck it up buttercup and do it.