Ethics

Up Your Game with the John Wooden Pyramid

(Below: Meeting the Legend himself at a UCLA game)

The passing of coach John Wooden came to me with great sorrow last week.  The world has lost a great inspiration and American cultural icon.   With his legendary success on the court and the way he lived his edifying life, this holy &  humble man was a true example to all.  As a former UCLA student who was huge into the college basketball scene, I had a deep respect for this man.

Since most affiliate marketers work alone from home, I thought I’d recommend one of  Wooden’s philosophical building blocks for winning at basketball and at life– called the Pyramid of Success.  Self motivation when you work alone can be tough, so following a guide like this is essential to helping you achieve your goals and keeping one step ahead of the rest.

Here are some ways to apply this to your affiliate game:

Enthusiasm & Industriousness – these are the foundational cornerstones of the pyramid.  By applying energy and resourcefulness as the foundation of your business & campaigns, you will work more efficiently and this will ultimately help your bottom line.

Competitive greatness – be competitive!  If you see someone making money at some traffic source, ask yourself why you aren’t doing the same.  Obviously, if someone has been running ads for Penny Stocks (example) on Pulse360 (example) for a long period of time, they must be making money.  Get in on it!  Come up with some innovative ideas on how to run the same campaign.

Poise – don’t let your campaign failures affect you emotionally.  This will put you in the doldrums and you wont have the drive to test out more campaign ideas.

Confidence – have confidence in yourself.  If you have a great idea, don’t let it pass you by.  Have confidence that you can get it to work and go for it.  Don’t let a failure on your first test let you down.  Figure out why it didn’t work and keep trying.

Condition & Skill – keep yourself on top of your game by reading industry news, learning what the other successful affiliates are doing, and browsing ads at different traffic sources.   When you run a campaign on X traffic source, spend some time learning how to fully utilize that traffic platform.  Don’t half heartedly throw up a campaign and expect it to work.  Learn as much as you can about all of the different features and apply what you learn on your campaign.

Team Spirit, Friendship, Loyalty, & Cooperation- work together with your affiliate managers and traffic source contacts and treat them as true business partners.  Everyone is in this business to make money.  Ask a lot of questions.  Bring something to the table and provide value.  Make friends with other affiliates and run campaigns together.

Self-Control & Alertness – set a schedule for your online business and stick to it.  Don’t be a lazy sack and sleep in till noon everyday.  My most successful affiliates who consistently make thousands of dollars a day profit generally work a consistent schedule.  Control the draw of web browsing and Wickedfire lurking and focus on the task at hand.  In a nutshell, GET TO WORK, SON!

Initiative & Intentness- take a sheet of paper, and write down your goals.  Put this sheet somewhere you will see it from where you work and remember what you are working towards.  If you are a newb, I would set a goal of making $100 profit/day consistently.  Once you reach that goal, set a goal of $300/day (comes out to approx $100k a year).   Continue setting new goals and follow through with them.  Set a date to achieve these goals and regularly assess your progress.

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Print this out and tape it to your monitor to remind yourself of the principles that will launch your business to success:

http://www.coachwooden.com/pyramidpdf.pdf

$15,000 in Free Traffic?

Step 1: Find a weakness in an advertising platform

Step 2: Keep this information to yourself

Step 3:  Take advantage of the weakness

Step 4: Go deposit profits at bank

Last year, there was a trick people were using on a popular social network advertising platform that involved manipulation of bid prices, and affiliates were able to pull in traffic for 1-2 cents a click where clicks were normally 30-60 cents.  I won’t mention the network specifically but in short, you created an ad, put your bid price per click very high, waited for your first click, then lowered your bid price to a couple cents.  The system read the high bid price and gave your ad priority impressions, and continued giving your ad priority impressions for a short time even after changing the bid price down to a couple pennies.  This resulted in tons of clicks for almost nothing.  Using a program like iMacros, you were able to automate this and let it run.

More recently, someone (not saying who) found a loophole in a certain advertising platform (if I said the name you would know what I’m talking about because you probably advertise there).  In short, this person was able to get about $15k in traffic in a couple day’s time (until the loophole was closed).  The trick involved setting up a new advertising account with no funding, submitting an ad for approval, getting the ad approved, and clicking a button to make the ad go live.  The ad would go live for about 15-20 seconds and would receive massive traffic (assuming you put the bid high enough).  After that time the system would recognize that there was no funding for the ad and would pause it.  Using iMacros the whole operation was automated until the trick stopped working.

I’m not saying you should build your business around finding loopholes, but just keep your eye open.  Whenever a new system/platform comes out, its bound to have weaknesses that you can monetize.

The Pope and Social Media

Every month, the Pope (Benedict XVI) shares his official prayer intention for the month and urges people throughout the world to unite in prayer for those intentions.  I thought this month’s intention was one I should share because of its relevance to our industry, and regardless of your religious beliefs, it is something to think about.  For me, it helped put a few things in perspective.

The intention for January 2010 reads as follows: “That young people may learn to use social communication media for their personal growth and in preparation to serve society.”

In the wake of the earthquake in Haiti, I think that this intention could not have been more timely.  As the news of the disaster spread, so did information on how to donate $ online and through a text on your cell phone.. This is what technology in 2010 has brought us – an ever expanding network of interactive connections to real people. With the fundamental desire of every human to communicate and share with others the search for truth, unity, and goodness, social media can be a great tool that allows us to connect with others to form ideas, build relationships, and work towards common goals.

In terms of affiliate marketing, this message puts a driving force behind our work. Although our industry doesn’t have the best reputation, there are many campaigns that are beneficial to society. Competitive advertising allows consumers to receive products at a lower rate/price (such as insurance, for example) and many dating websites that affiliates promote worldwide encourage relationships that can lead to marriage and families – the fundamental unit of society that it is the basis of all civilizations.  If I remember correctly, a single site like eHarmony is responsible for over 2% of marriages in the US – this is just one example.

As I progress in the industry, I hope my work can reflect the positive message that the Pope has highlighted this month.