Hi, I’m Finch.

A 26 year old high school dropout (slash academic failure) who makes a lot of money from the Internet.
This blog shows how I do it, and how you can too.

1
Your Daily Schedule vs. The World’s Greatest Achievers
2
When Working From Home Becomes Hell
3
Spot My Mistake in This TrafficJunky Campaign

Your Daily Schedule vs. The World’s Greatest Achievers

How does your daily schedule compare to those of history’s greatest achievers?

Info We Trust has gone all kinds of viral with this intriguing visual breakdown.

It spotlights the daily rituals of Charles Darwin, Sigmund Freud, Benjamin Franklin and several other legendary pioneers.

Whose schedule does yours resemble?

(Click for a larger version)
Creative routines of great achievers

Famously Creative

Charles Darwin excelled in short bursts, his primary work ticked off before noon. This was accompanied by a final surge of productivity as he lay awake in bed, presumably with a very frustrated wife at his side.

You can imagine the pillow talk.

Beethoven rose at 6am and prepared coffee with no less than 60 beans per cup — counted one by one for the perfect brew — then embarked on a gruelling eight hours of composing.

Mozart sauntered through the morning taking a full hour to get dressed. His greatest work came from just four hours of creative output: two in the morning, two before bed.

Random Thoughts:

What this poster reveals about creative routine:

There’s no such thing as a universal creative routine.

Our body clocks are unique.

Another busted myth is the affiliate belief that you must dedicate a life to the grind if you want to achieve big. It’s simply not true.

(At least it wasn’t in the 19th century…)

Some of the all-time greatest creative minds produced their magnum opus in short bursts of highly productive work.

Quality beats quantity.

And what’s this? Exercise?

For most of these legendary figures, exercise was a cornerstone of the day.

Dickens didn’t need the latest fitness DVD, or a gimmicky Insanity regime. He took a 3 hour shuffle through the London countryside, like a boss.

And he still found time to write the novels that your kids will one day study in school.

John Milton spent four hours pacing up and down his garden. Why? I don’t know. It sounds excessive. But I bet he wasn’t sourcing slush for Instagram.

What else do these great achievers have in common?

Most of them read.

Reading is a timeless hobby with a massive upside.

My view on reading is simple:

If you don’t do it, your mind becomes stale, and so will your ideas.

My Schedule

Here is my current routine:

8:00: Wake up, douse myself in petrol station coffee.
8:30: Eat breakfast and take dogs out.
9:00: Check morning stats, compile data, email affiliate managers.
9:30: Write.
10:30: Improve campaign related creatives.
11:30: Set up split tests, optimise, record data.
13:00: Lunch, coffee, fresh air, read.
16:00: Manage campaigns, minor creative work.
18:00: Take dogs out, read.
19:00: Dinner, badger girlfriend.
20:00: Any remaining work and emails.
21:30: Downtime, read, Lazy Spa, The Times on my iPad.
23:00: Sleep.

My only productive creative stints are 9:30 to 11:30, and a brief window in the late afternoon.

I probably average about three hours per day of quality work, and the rest of my time is spent in cruise control.

So, what does your schedule look like?

Are you grinding balls to the walls like Balzac? Or working hard and fast between trips to the snuff jar?

Note: Info We Trust credits the data used in the epic poster above to Mason Curren’s book, Daily Rituals. Both are worth checking out.

When Working From Home Becomes Hell

I just read a blog post from Mark Rofe, fellow Internet Marketer and creator of the ingenius Wank Sock, who has just made the decision to return to work.

It’s an interesting topic.

(Although I bet you’re now thinking about wank socks).

Is the 9-5 really such a bad thing?

Is there a time to forget the false paradise of working from home happily ever after?

I think Mark has made the right decision based on it being his career, his life, his happiness. Nothing more and nothing less.

There’s a small subset of the Internet Marketing community that believes you have to be earning big bucks from home whilst trolling the working class, or you’re doing it wrong.

There’s an even larger subset of the population that believes this myth before trying it for a single day.

Let’s forget about what goes in to running a successful business.

You can do this from home, from work, from a beach, or from a park bench.

Is working from home for everybody?

No, no and NO.

I divide the Not Working From Home majority in to three subsets.

  1. Introverts who want to work from home.
  2. Extroverts who want to work from home.
  3. The rest of the world who doesn’t want to work from home.

Why introverts and extroverts?

I believe your natural disposition here will determine the challenges you face working on your own.

But first, everybody else.

Internet Marketers can be guilty — myself included — of viewing the world through rose-tinted glasses and thinking everybody should want to do what we do. It’s the entrepreneurship argument.

“Why wouldn’t you want to earn a fortune on your sofa? What better way to live?”

The rebuttal is Purpose.

Not everybody wants to be an entrepreneur, and many people are just fine following somebody else’s orders.

This should be a relief.

An economy full of entrepreneurs would have a lot of great ideas that never materialised.

For most Internet Marketers, purpose means maximising income whilst finding more time for pleasure. Usually from the comfort of home.

It’s a captivating pursuit for those of us who live by it.

But many people don’t.

And it’s not because we know something they don’t. They simply don’t want to.

They’ve seen what we do, they hear what we do, and still it’s not for them.

They are right.

Collectively as an industry, we should get over ourselves and appreciate that.

People will always moan about tax hikes, bills, outgoings and their financial responsibilities. It’s tempting to throw back the ‘You should have been an Internet Marketer‘ line.

Except it solves nothing and changes nothing.

That’s not what they chose to be, and their choice is always right.

The world simply cannot function with 7 billion Internet Marketers working from home.

Introvert vs. Extrovert

Now, for those who do decide to work from home, there are two distinct personality types:

Introverts:

  • Very self-aware
  • Thoughtful
  • Enjoys understanding details
  • Interested in self-knowledge and self-understanding
  • Tends to keep emotions private
  • Quiet and reserved in large groups or around unfamiliar people
  • More sociable and gregarious around people they know well
  • Learns well through observation

Extroverts:

  • Warm
  • Seeking novelty and excitement
  • Gregariousness
  • Assertive
  • Cheerful
  • Talkative
  • Enjoys being the center of attention
  • Action oriented

As with any personality type, these are generalisations. There are extroverts who keep their emotions in check, and cheerful introverts who live for novelty.

Which category are you?

There’s an easy way to tell.

Extroverts gain energy from frequent social interaction, introverts lose it.

That’s not to say that social interactions aren’t enjoyed by all.

Rather that while some extroverts will thrive on the ‘banter’ of a typical work day, an introvert will be looking pretty bruised and battered if he feels he can’t escape it anytime soon.

The Best First Day in the History of Work

The happiness (and productivity) you get from working from home is largely a combination of:

a) Your personality type
b) The environment you inflict upon it.

In Mark’s returning to work post, he touches on the sore spot that seems to have led his decision: isolation.

Nobody likes isolation. It doesn’t matter what personality type you are.

Isolation is used as a form of torture for good reason.

It eventually hurts.

But I’d argue that introverts are better equipped to deal with working in isolation.

And this is the point I’d make to any extroverted reader who wants to quit his 9-5 and work from home:

For a while… it’s going to be fucking great.

Seriously, you’re missing out on the best first day of any career in the history of Man.

But there’s a catch. Many of them.

Once you’ve cashed in the novelty of “Oh shiiiit, I’m doing work in my boxers with only empty packets of Popchips and my balls for company!”, the only way to share the grotesque image is to post it on your Facebook.

(Which many of us do, extroverted or not!)

If you need the social interaction of a thriving workplace, then the echo of your thoughts racing around an empty house will probably not suffice — not in the long run.

Staying Somewhat Sane

I am introverted by nature

I enjoy catching up with friends and meeting people who are interesting. Keyword: interesting.

I simply don’t have the capacity to enjoy being around people for shits and giggles. And I highly doubt they’d enjoy being around me. Not for any extended period of time.

I like the comfort of my own space and I protect it in the only way I know how:

By making a shit ton of money online.

Whether you are introverted or extroverted goes a long way to deciding if you will enjoy working on your own.

Yet it’s important to distinguish this question has nothing to do with running a successful business.

It’s possible to be a badass super-rich affiliate with any personality type. (Which makes it all the more baffling why so many choose to be bags of dicks.)

Knowing your own characteristics will do much for increasing your chances of happiness along the way.

My tips for extroverts:

Bear in mind, I’m not one. I could be very wrong. Please offer your own suggestions if these suck.

  1. Consider a shared office space with like-minded professionals. There are plenty of these springing up in major cities. At the very least, get a laptop and hit the road.

  2. Use your social wings and network, network, network. Many affiliates struggle at this, so cash in the advantage and use it to get ahead of us.

  3. Leverage the many online communities at your disposal, become a connector and embed yourself in the industry.

  4. Work shorter hours and join local clubs (sports or otherwise) with scheduled meets every week.

My tips for introverts:

  1. Make sure your friends, family et all respect the boundaries of your work space and work hours. Lest you go insane.

  2. Build a small circle of masterminds and use it as your eyes and ears. Focus on the quality of your contacts instead of quantity. A Skype group is a good start.

  3. Work out exactly what form of social interaction wears you out the least, then arrange a lot of it. For me, this is a quiet pub and several pints. Fight, fight, fight the urge to get lazy, which is so much more of a danger to introverts.

  4. Get a dog. Like me, you probably believe they’re better than humans.

  5. Separate your work space from your living space. If you spend a lot of time at home, you need to disconnect part of the house from your work activities. That’s why I’ve bought a LazySpa and created a reading room with beanbags.

I highly recommend the LazySpa:

Lazy Spa Finch

My tips for those who aren’t sure if they want to work from home:

  1. Try it for three weekends in a row. Are you still sane?

There, probably, is your answer.

If anybody needs to fill a vacancy for a creative, hard-working individual with a lot of wank socks in his wardrobe, give Mark a call.

Spot My Mistake in This TrafficJunky Campaign

I made a mistake this morning.

Here’s the data from a TrafficJunky campaign I set up last night:

Optimisation process

The campaign used CPM bidding.

If you had to pick three ads, which would you keep?

I picked ad1, ad3 and ad4.

One of them was a bad choice.

Here’s why.

Affiliates are trained to look for the best conversion rate.

That’s pretty smart if you’re bidding CPC (paying by the click).

But when bidding CPM, the best conversion rate doesn’t always mean the best ROI.

That’s because it doesn’t take in to account the clickthrough rate of your ads. Less clicks means your conversion rate is taken from a smaller sample, and it therefore has to work a lot harder.

Instead you should be picking the ads that generated the most revenue: ad1, ad3 and ad6.

In this case, ad4 had the second best conversion rate at 3.56% but it had 3 less conversions than ad6 at 3.19%.

While ad4 was more potent for the users who chose to click it, ad6 delivered more revenue through attracting more clicks and maintaining a respectable if lesser conversion rate.

This is something to keep in mind with any CPM campaign.

We are constantly battling for the best combination of a banner that draws conversions, but also enough clicks.

So here’s the next step.

I’ll take the headline and ad copy from ad4 and combine it with the imagery and CTA of ad6.

It’s a process I documented here that has a useful knack of producing banners that increase profit and obliterate the competition.

Copyright © 2014. Finch Media Ltd.