Stop watching Porn – and other distractions.

The world is a distracting place that is a fact, and this is not a new thing, historically it has been this way since one person wanted to sell something to another, the only way to do this was through advertising, and so we have moved through many years of experimentation with newspapers and bill boards, radio and TV, and now the internet and tracking algorithms.

This really isn’t an attack on the porn industry (or any other for that matter) mainstream porn i.e. involving consensual adults has it’s place in societies fabric just like any other form of entertainment, but it is the way in which it and other distractions that are targeted that is the issue to the aspiring entrepreneur or student, as these adverts or “Calls to action” are almost almost unavoidable.

Size of the problem.

OK so to continue down the rabbit hole of Porn, the most famous site (no need to name check I feel) had in 2019 115 million visitors a week, as opposed to Udemy, which reported that in 2019 it’s student registration rose to the heady heights of 30 million, an impressive number but vastly skewed, the fact is that humans on the whole have always chosen the path of least resistance, it is in our DNA, this way we tended to live longer and to be able to thrive when opportunity presented itself and survive during times of hardship as we had energy in reserve, so we will look for an easy way to get the reward hormone dopamine, and when we are looking for ways to get this without having to do much more than a couple of mouse clicks it is there in abundance, and not just the Adult variety, when was the last time you found yourself in YouTube spiral where it just kept suggesting new videos and before you knew it you had spent an hour watching stuff 90% of which you hadn’t even asked for?

Why this is bad.

To illustrate this ironically we just need to look at the people we envy the most and how this is changing as we go further into the machine, not so long ago our people envy was the confine of rock and film stars, merchant bankers and the elite business people such as Richard Branson and Elon Musk, but as times change we are looking in other places and the distractions from the day to day tedium are becoming the single source of dopamine, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Messaging, online video, bloggers, vloggers, and tutorials, and that is not to mention all the get rich using my system folks, all these distractions simply make money for the people that have figured out the system, they have embraced the new world and are using it to make their corner comfy at the expense of the masses.

So what do I suggest ?

After all I am trying to make my bit of the world cosier by writing this blog and putting advertising on it aren’t ?, well yes I am and no doubt the vast majority or people reading this will have their own blogs and other social media, that they are trying to make money from all chasing the dream of the “laptop lifestyle” we hear so much about, and this is fine I am not suggesting that we stop doing or searching for what we like to see, hear or read on the internet, my point is that of paramount importance is the time we spend being productive against the time we spend kicking back congratulating ourselves on being masters of our own destiny while following an algorithm designed to draw you in through adverts or video interests or even music, there are a host of applications out there to help remove the distractions and the advertisements from browser based ad removers to running a raspberry pi on your network with something like pi-hole running on it, that blocks ads and uses blacklists to help protect against surfing to malicious websites, but really the best defence is to be mindful, try and complete any tasks that are going to improve your life or forward your business, blog, vlog or online company before sitting down and allowing the internet to suck you in and take hours of your time.

Conclusion

Time is finite thing and I personally have wasted so much of it that it is almost criminal, stop being distracted and look at everything in terms of cost, how much time will this cost me and for what reward ?

if the time is equal to or less than the reward it is a good thing if not then, it should be regarded as a leisure activity and done after work has been completed, the rush of dopamine you will get from financial independence and abundance, will last for a lifetime and far outweigh the hour or so pleasure following the internet as it twists and turns our minds and wallets wringing out as much profit as it can.

Grant Cardone’s The Millionaire Booklet – How to Get Super Rich

https://millionairebooklet.com/free

Now, hear me out on this one, I know that sharing this seems to go against a lot of my values but it is totally free, there is no cost and despite what anybody thinks about the showmanship of Mr Cardone’s seminars and his demeanour in general, it is undeniable that the man has money and lives the lifestyle that we all are striving for.

I did not actually get the ebook as suggested here but rather I listened to the audiobook on audible and to be honest there is a lot that got me thinking, and a good few challenges to the way most people see money that make sense.

It certainly helped me re-align a lot of my thoughts and as a result changed my path a little, you should give it a read or a listen because taking on new opinions is never a bad thing, if you dont agree then it strengthens your resolve in your own thoughts and beliefs and if you do agree then you have learnt something new and can adjust accordingly.

Work this affiliate stuff out for free (or very little)

So after yesterdays rant, I thought I would continue in the same vein, it has really started to get to me the more I look at it that these millionaires charge so much money to teach our grandmothers to suck eggs! I mean for the love of god…..

So I have put together literally all you need to know about the first stage which is Clickbank, I say Clickbank because it is the one I have an account with and it is one of the oldest and it hasn’t been closed down by any government agency for being fraudulent, however for the sake of balance there is also.

Amazon Associates
Rakuten
Affiliate.com

The above are three of the biggest and all were found by a google search and cost nothing to discover, I would also venture that once you delved deeper they would also cost nothing to join and promote the hell out of whatever takes your fancy.

Menu on Clickbank

However, once you have signed up for Clickbank (I had already done this and I did not think to document it) you make it into your account area and after confirming your email address for what seems like the millionth time you are presented with a screen that has all the basic information you might require in it, and a menu running across the top.

This menu is extremely self explanatory and you should start to have a click around while here to get a feel of the site and how it works.

Once you have done this it is time to pick something that you want to promote so, if you click Marketplace you are taken to another page that has the different Niches listed along the left hand side and these contain the different sectors from which you can pick a product or service to promote, there is a something to be aware of here and that is the Gravity rating again this is a fairly simple concept as it basically is the higher the number the more people are promoting that product right now and making money from it, the internet it would seem does not favour the brave soul selling umbrellas in the height of summer and sun tan lotion in the deep dark of winter, so look for the highest Gravity and start with that.

You can see that in the screenshot above I have ringed the two options you are looking for, namely the Gravity (top left) and the promote button (top right in blue) this is pretty much much what you are looking for, other terms are outlined below.

  • Initial sale – This is the average dollar value to the affiliate that drives the sale, so what you are likely to receive per sale.
  • Avg %Sale – This is the average or a sale including initial and rebill
  • Avg %rebill – The average total dollar value for rebill only

Once you have slid you sliders to where you want to start looking then you can hit the red promote button and be taken to this screen.

Hoplink (Affiliate Link)

This is your link that you must embed in your advertising for the system to track the sales that came from you, there is an option here as before selecting to get your hoplink to add an optional keyword to your tracking that would also be unique to you, this is useful if you want to create multiple hoplinks for the same product and track different advertising methods to see which perform the best.

Then crack on and create your advert !

Here is one I actually did, really quickly with GIMP editor and some free images, as you can see it really is not that good but I will explain why that is not important in a later post, you see it works as well, if you click it, it will take you too a paid survey sign up landing page (not mine).

Now this is literally all there is to starting on your journey, are you now rich, hell no and most certainly not with an advert that looks like that, by the way the advert above is the recommended Facebook dimensions of 1200×628 if anybody is interested.

It has cost nothing, GIMP is free, the image was free and my time at the moment is free, because there is nothing else financially productive I could be doing right now.

I will go into the various advertising programs and so on and continue my quest into affiliate marketing in future posts but for now, know two things, we can make this journey on our own and spend the thousands that we would on courses on advertising and traffic generation, or maybe just our kids and having a good time, and if your ADs suck ass like mine above your click rate will be pants!!!!!!.

Till next time..

Wednesday – Half way there or half way back?

So we are half way through the week and how have you done? have you sat on everything that you said you were going to do and it is still there waiting to be picked up?

Humans suffer with what I call drift, in my industry we have an issue with logging, devices log events and issues and the logs have a timestamp on them, this then allows us to go to the log collector and search for events around a certain time to see if we can work out what device may or may not have failed, problem is that you can have 10 switches or 6 routers all made by the same manufacturer and all identical with the same chips as their stablemates, and unless you synchronise the clocks with a central source, in this example an NTP server, the times will drift, and when this happens it makes it much harder to work out when an event actually happened and if there is anything significant in the logs.

In human terms this is best summed up by saying that, when we have an idea or we formulate a plan, we need to see the end result to get truly excited about it, in fact when you attend seminars and watch motivational videos this is literally what we are told to do, I am sure I have said this before and I will bang on about it in the future, think back to the last lottery ticket you bought, I would be prepared to bet that you had the money spent before you even got home, but then you have to wait and waiting is boring right? damn straight it is, and what happens when we get bored, we become disinterested we start to look for things to entertain us, and we move on, in 2012 “The Telegraph” a newspaper in the UK reported that more than £1.4 Billion of lottery prize money had gone unclaimed in the 18 years since the competition began, because in the short time between buying the ticket and the draw, the owners of the tickets had misplaced them of forgot to check and the ticket had been thrown out or put through the washer, the world has taught us to demand instant gratification and anything less it would seem is to boring to contemplate.

So we start with our idea, our plan and we run at it, we start watching YouTube videos about what we are going to do or if it is sorting out our lives we start making phone calls and talking to the people we need to solve our problems, then guess what ? Nothing happens, maybe a few quick wins, a debt cleared here or an account opened at Amazon associates, but other than that it all stops as the next part of any dream starts, the hard work for absolutely no return, and it stings, and it hurts and you get all upset and start whining to the Mrs or Mr, ultimately you stop, because it’s been a week and you are still not a millionaire, or you are still drowning in debt.

Sounds like I have an idea what I am on about? that’s because I do, even this blog I am writing now had this particular logic applied to it, I was really excited about starting and got it setup, tried a few different things and earned 18 cents so far ! where is my Corvette, my Mustang and that really cool house in the hills ? still very much in the showroom and the estate agents window that’s where.

I left it behind for a bit and got out of the habit of writing, then got out of the habit of thinking about writing and ultimately instead of sitting down and building the blog, I just had a Chicken breast or can of Tuna and sat in front of the TV doing absolutely sod all about my future, and I have only been doing this for around 4 months! then I watched a video and it triggered me (mostly by anger and jealously) and I wrote again, this time with a little more vigour and with a little bit more of my personality coming through.

If I had started my Blog and WordPress had sent me a Corvette and the keys to the house as part of the welcome package instead of a blank page and a credit card bill I would have been all over it because my dreams and my goals were realised, at that point I am not trying to change my life, my life has changed, and the time to build has been bypassed, I am no longer bored I am fulfilled.

You have to halt the drift, regardless of what you do to make this happen for you it is going to take time, and you are going to have many many frustrations along the way, but if you are completely honest with yourself about what your goals are when you get there it will be like heaven and it will be better than you ever imagined, and I don’t mean you have to shoot for billionaire status, or owning skyscrapers, if your dream is financial independence and freedom, you will know when you get there and you finally hand your notice in at work, if your dream is simply to get in shape and be able to run around with your kids at the park, the effort and the sweating and nearly passing out in the gym will not even be a memory when you see the smile and hear the laughter from your children as you play in the park.

Own your Dream, fix it in your mind and if need be tell me your dream and I will send you reminders every week or month or day if you need it just to keep it fixed there, because if you are focused and if you truly believe you will make it and you do not forget why you are doing what you are doing you will make it, if you forget to chase your dreams they will fade and you will stay exactly as you are now, keep enthusiasm and enjoy the journey.

Affiliate Marketing Deep Dive – Starting out

I am not an affiliate marketer, yet, I have looked very closely at several types of online business and after a while this is really where I settled for a variety of reasons, some of which I suggest you consider too.

There are a plethora of ways to earn money online, and given enough time and effort I am sure that for some the rewards are there and huge no matter which one you choose, if you spend some time looking through YouTube the evidence is startling, I watched a couple of videos just the other day that demonstrated the runaway success that some have had, but I, and you have to be practical, Gamers that started casting their gameplay early on have made a mint, and when you look back over some of their videos you can see the evidence of how much money they are making just in the surroundings, the houses some of these people have would make Grant Cardone jealous! but at the start they were mostly sat in their bedroom in their parents house, now this is where the practicality comes in, are you any good at games ? I know I am bloody useless and I have not got the time to sit and play for hours in the hope that I get better, now if you are good then crack on just start, get a microphone, as voice overs add so much value to these videos and record your gameplay, but be warned this has been going for sometime now and I would suggest that to get to the top would take as much luck as effort, but for me it would be pointless, a handful of subscribers that felt sorry for me and a couple of views a week will buy sod all!

I am not outgoing enough to spend enough time in front of the camera, or have the time to post every five seconds on Instagram to become an Instagram star so that is out, but again if that is you then don’t read any further, close this s**t and get on Instagram, fortunes large and small are being made by people that command huge followings and there is no reason in hell why you would be any different, content appears to be content and if you are comfortable producing it people will watch, humans are voyeurs, it is in our nature, so if it is something you can do, do it, I can’t so I won’t.

Whereas Affiliate marketing looks to be perfect, it is formulaic, and crucially doesn’t rely on my personality, which is good cos if it did then I may as well hang up my laptop now!

First Decision

First decision is which affiliate program to go with, well I chose Clickbank this was a fairly easy decision actually as pretty much every program that is advertised on YouTube mentions Clickbank, names like Stefan James and John Cristani talk almost exclusively about it and it is as far as I am aware the largest one, the time and effort that is going to be required as well as financial investment means that I do not want to pick a program or platform that is going to screw me out of the money I make, and I doubt that appeals to you either.

In fact when you sign up for Clickbank there is a lot of information to help you, they have videos and written tutorials and so on all geared toward affiliates from starters to experienced looking to increase their sales.

You will also notice that the link to Clickbank above is NOT an affiliate link please feel free to look around yourself but Clickbank is simply a suggestion based on the reputation and popularity it seems to enjoy among affiliate marketing course providers and protagonists alike.

Second Decision

What to sell? What is your niche? well it would be so tempting to pick whatever you think is going to be the best seller and what has the highest percentage commission, but how are you going to design a landing page or create sales copy for a product you don’t use or like or a potentially completely unfamiliar with? whereas (and this has been the focus of my reasoning) if you pick something you are passionate about, or a product you use, it will be so much easier to create an engaging advert, because you will have seen and responded to adverts yourself for these items, I have made no secret of the fact that I will be using affiliate links in places on this blog and website, these will be centred around the things I discuss, so health, fitness, mental health and strength, and making money, these are my passions and these things form my goals so it follows that I will find it easier to promote products that I can get behind personally, and the good news is that the vastness of the internet and the diversity of the user base means that you could pick any niche and with the right effort and techniques make your fortune with it.

Consider this as well, the side hustles as you make your way through this journey you will be forced to learn new skills, copy writing, SEO, web design, even how to obtain and configure hosting, all of which once you are proficient you can sell as a service to people like yourself looking to shortcut the learning curve.

And of course that is something you can do too, fiverr is an awesome resource for people that will set up your hosting and web site to driving traffic to your site, usually the cost is not exorbitant but you do have to take your chances that you get someone who knows what they are doing.

So I hope this has been useful and given you a direction to head in, please feel free to comment any questions you may have below and if I can answer them I will, but for me I am going to start by researching my niches and creating copy and sites to direct my advertising toward.

Fragility of Dreams

Chasing Freedom Through Adversity

Firstly let’s get this out of the way, making millions on the internet is like winning the lottery in more ways than one, sure they both feel good and they both set you free and normally happen very fast, a lottery win means you go to bed one night not a millionaire and when you wake up you are (assuming you hit the jackpot of course) and the story appears to be very much the same with the internet, you work seemingly at nothing for a period of time and then you hit that one formula or niche that then sends you sky-rocketing.

But they also share another trait, the desire to participate is a personal decision and anybody who has bought a lottery ticket, just like watching the next “How I became a Millionaire in 7 short days” video, I would be willing to bet has sat and daydreamed about what their life would be like if that money was theirs.

It is our personal dream, our vision and our desire that we follow, and others (usually our closest friends and family) that start to question us as we spend more time researching and looking into how to start and what to do and start watching videos of people sounding very positive and in a lot of cases talking what appears to be non-sense about lifestyles and possessions reserved only for celebrities.

You see our dreams are fragile because we haven’t got anything to show for it yet, nothing physical to stand in our corner when people question what we are doing, what we hope to achieve and in the face of the age old question “if it was that easy wouldn’t everybody be doing it?” you have to protect that dream and hold on to it for dear life, because that is what we are buying, our lives back from the world.

It is so much harder to listen to and defend against negative views and comments from loved ones than the rest of the world, people outside our trusted social circle are easy to dismiss, they don’t know us, they don’t know anything about what we have achieved in the past or what the situation is now, so what possible value could their un-informed comment have?

But our closest circle, have listened to our plans (if you are anything like me probably at length and very enthusiastically), they do know us because the live with us or we see and speak to them on a very regular basis, and finally they are aware of what we have achieved in our lives so far, so their opinion cannot be dismissed so easily can it?

Well here is an odd way to think about it but try this, unless you are lucky enough to have a significant other/spouse, or an enthusiastic business partner that is following your progress and learning and has the same dream as you, then you need to cut them a break, don’t get angry when they question what you are doing and what the chances are, or how much do others make, even “well I don’t see how you can make money from it, it’s just [insert social media here] or why would people buy from you on [insert chosen affiliate program here]” sit down and calmly explain it to them, after all if you do not have the answers to hand then it is a valid question, if you don’t know what you are chasing then is it obtainable ? and if you do have the answers to hand, reciting them and educating your audience will only serve to further strengthen your resolve and cement the process in your own mind.

You cannot explain what it feels like to take off handcuffs for the first time, but you can vocalise the freedom of moving your arms.

Be patient with the people closest to you always, they only see the extra time and the stress and sometimes the disappointment caused by a set back or a plan deviation, a wife/husband may also see the bank balance going down with nothing coming in, and children can pick up on all this and more, when this happens STOP and think back to your images of success, look closely at the faces of the people in the images and make sure you do not alienate them because if you really think about it, those images without those faces are pretty grim.

Money in solitude is toxic, it turns in on us, chase freedom chase life and success, money will follow.

Photo by Bayu jefri from Pexels