Getting There Part 2 - Blind Luck, Profit Puppy, Affiliates and Chuck McCullough

Wednesday, July 19
Now, of course, I'm in a very dangerous mood because I've lost $150 right away and have no real plan. Getting a bit frustrated I find an ad on Google for a new MLM advertising campaign. It had just appeared and getting in early was the key. Being terribly naive as I was I jumped at the chance - only to discover this was some kind of offshore business (I'm getting embarrassed just thinking about this). I threw $59 into it and by complete and total luck I wound up making $400 in about 1 month. This was a very bad omen and learning experience for me - because I threw another $59 in and absolutely nothing happened after that. What was I thinking? (I wasn't - it was all gut reaction and blind dollars).

Feeling a bit high and low at the same time (I was up $150 now) I knew I had to do some more research (I wish I had called it education). What was this business all about? How where these gurus really making money online?

So, I got online and began to search Google with terms on 'internet marketing', 'online profits', 'get rich online'... you know the drill. Even by this point in 2002 these search terms revealed a host of online schemes, affiliations, products, services and more. I thought it might be better to focus on the money and not so much on the marketing side (another newbie mistake). Again, using gut reaction I stumbled upon Rob Rawson's Profit Puppy site. Here was a kid in Australia making thousands a month just referring people to his own affiliate sites. Frankly, I wasn't overly impressed at that time but felt he might be on the right track with his site being a directory to other sites with affiliation. (I now think he was either a brilliant early adopter or just plain lucky with his timing). I still get a few Profit Puppy marketing emails to this day and love what he has done over the last 4 years online - my assumption being that he is older, wiser and probably a lot wealthier.

Reflecting on my Neil Shearing untargeted affiliate marketing campaign I starting searching the net for some experts on how to start an online business and not make the same mistakes I was making. Just a segue here - it is funny as I think back on my behavior at home trying to earn some extra money on how much of my past exeperience in business and strategy was completely ignored. I can't quite tell if this was due to a bit of desperation for a few extra dollars or just that it seemed like a fun exercise. Regardless, I never sat back and strategically evaluated what I was doing. More on this to come.

My search was now focused on mistakes and not making them. Enter Chuck McCullough's Affiliate Mistakes (link is gone). This was my 2nd ebook purchase and a real learning experience. Chuck's guide pinpointed the exact mistakes I was making and gave me my first education on affiliate marketing. Chuck had been in the affiliate marketing business for while and seemed to have some great experience. His other site, Affiliate Match, was highly ranked for some time. Alas, Chuck has left the online marketing business but his sites are still out there and Affiliate Mistakes is still a good purchase - so, if you are reading this someday, Chuck, I thank you for being my first online mentor and a great person to work with.

So, now armed with a few dollars and a little education I was ready to try again. Enter Google AdWords - (if you have used AdWords you probably know where this is going). I set out finding some high paying affiliates and immediately placed some AdWords ads this time a bit more targeted. This was exciting - seeing my online statistics virtually real-time and seeing actual traffic to my affiliates. The mentality was addicting - higher ad rate, more clickthroughs - more stats, etc. What happened? I generated a few sales and spent about $500 in advertising. Now I'm down about $200. 2002 was not looking like a very good year online.

Sitting back I decided I needed to educate myself and take a break. In 2003 I focused on consulting and building web sites and started to really examine what it means to be an online marketer. Thus the birth of the Agile Marketer. (Much of what I've learned since 2004 will be talked about in this blog in future articles).


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