Finch’s Tedious Rants – Categories – Finch Sells

Category - Finch’s Tedious Rants

1
New Premium Posts, Plans for 2015 and Good Reads
2
How Much Could I Pay You to Quit Affiliate Marketing?
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Why Wayne Rooney Gets Paid And You Don’t

New Premium Posts, Plans for 2015 and Good Reads

Christmas is coming.

I can tell because the seasonal fatty in me aches for Gingerbread latte and industrial-sized buckets of mulled wine.

Now is a great time to be an affiliate marketer.

Mainly because it’s a bad time to be anybody else.

Take the rest of the workforce, for example:

Wake in the darkness, spaz at the cold, wrap in seven layers, power-walk through the black ice to an overheated tube where the chances of catching a nice, hearty flu increase fivefold with every station passed.

Rinse and repeat, Monday to Friday.

The thrill of watching it all unfold from my office window is the pinnacle of working from home.

And if anybody disagrees, trust me — their priorities are all wrong.

I’m only half-joking.

I enjoy London in the winter.

But I’m still excited to get out of here.

My Plans for 2015

If you’ve read this blog for a while, you’ll be aware that I am perennially on the edge of moving somewhere that isn’t London.

I have a success rate of about 20%.

Well, something will have to go seriously wrong for that not to change.

My girlfriend and I are moving to Thailand in March.

We’ll be based in Bangkok, which already feels like a second home.

It’s difficult to explain, but South East Asia has a magnetic pull. Once you get a taste for the food, beaches, pools and blistering heat, you start to ask why you wouldn’t live there if you could choose.

I’ve been three times in the last year. Every time I leave, it’s through gritted teeth and a death trail of mango sticky rice.

The expat community in Thailand is, of course, well known. It’s getting younger and younger thanks to flexible working arrangements and the smaller world that we live in.

I know more British affiliates based in Thailand than I do in London.

Jesus, I need to get out more.

Bangkok, besides being a balls-to-the-walls awesome city, is a great base to explore the rest of South East Asia and beyond.

I’m stoked to see some countries that I’ve never been to before: Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Vietnam and more. Suggestions welcomed.

It should be an exciting year!

New Premium Posts Next Month

In other news…

It’s 18 months since I released the last volume in my Premium Post series.

I had a new release ready to go in the summer. Unfortunately business got in the way of writing, and by the time I returned to finish it up, I wasn’t happy with the content.

So on to the scrap heap it went.

One complete rewrite later, and the next volume is almost ready to be unleashed.

It will cover a huge amount of ground: from adult dating, to mobile campaigns, the current Facebook and Google landscapes, to new areas like pay per call, Teespring and several ‘unfashionable’ sources of traffic that can blow up your earnings biggie style.

This is going to be a mammoth release. The chapter covering adult dating alone is bigger than the entire Volume X (which was dedicated to it).

I think you’re going to struggle to find a more definitive pillaging of the affiliate marketing industry as it stands today.

Stand by for a lot of brain farts when it goes live on December 17th.

In the meantime, here is something every affiliate should read at least once. Maybe even twice.

How to Build The Future…

I read a lot of business books. Sometimes mindlessly.

When you’ve chowed your way through the entire Amazon bestsellers, you become familiar with the arcing topics that every writer and his dog likes to bark about. There’s only so many times I can relive the story of Maslow, Kitty Genovese or a room full of marshmallows.

The mind doth start to play with its balls.

Zero to One, by Peter Thiel, is the rare type of business book that stops you dead in your tracks.

Zero to One Review

“Notes on Startups, or How to Build The Future” sounds like a bold strapline. If anything, it undersells.

Thiel outlines the concepts that can make or break a startup, without resorting to magic bullet steps to pique interest. He talks innovation, technology, team-building and — most effectively — how to stand apart from your competition.

The book is a page-turner that demands to be put down. A rare thing.

It opened my eyes, my mind and my notepad.

It forced me to digest its concepts slowly, chapter by chapter.

Any book that begs to be placed aside while you question the wisdom of your current beliefs deserves the highest praise, especially when it’s so much easier to publish the opposite.

Thiel is a legend of the tech sphere. He didn’t need to write a book.

Likewise, when you have Mark Zuckerberg (“This book delivers completely new and refreshing ideas on how to create value in the world.”) and Elon Musk (“Peter Thiel has built multiple breakthrough companies, and Zero to One shows how.”) singing your praises, you don’t need lowly blogs like this to sell a book for you.

But I enjoyed the read so much that I have to recommend it.

Probably the best business book I’ve read this year.

Surprise, Surprise. Penguin Goes Viral

Finally, did you see the John Lewis Christmas advert?

If you’re outside the UK, then probably not.

Here it is:

I’m no brand advertiser, but I’ll tip my hat where it’s due.

That is some proper next-level Mad Men shit.

There’s a fine line between ‘going viral’ for the sake of sapping bandwidth, and going viral in a way that showcases a brand with goodwill that turns in to sales.

John Lewis are one of the best at getting it right.

Alas, this ice-cold fart will be shitting penguins — I repeat, SHITTING PENGUINS — before he goes anywhere near John Lewis at Christmas.

How Much Could I Pay You to Quit Affiliate Marketing?

There was an interesting poll up on the STM Forum this week:

What guaranteed monthly salary would you accept to quit affiliate marketing for a job in the corporate world?

Monthly affiliate salary

Just under 50% of the affiliates who replied said you’d have to pay them at least $500K per year to quit affiliate marketing.

That’s pretty remarkable.

Anybody who works in affiliate marketing knows that there’s no such thing as a fixed income.

To turn down a guaranteed bounty of $500K per year — plus a lifetime free of the aeons of stress-fuelled hair shredding — says a lot about the passion of those who turn to our industry.

Admittedly, yes, the figures are likely inflated by a sense of bravado and outward ‘who-can-grind-the-hardest’.

There’s a funny line that if you ask a man how many women he’s slept with, and then divide his response by three, you’ll be somewhat closer to the real answer.

Perhaps we can say the same for the price on an affiliate marketer’s head.

Regardless…

This poll, if even remotely close to the truth, reveals two stark realities:

1. Your competition is ruthlessly committed.
2. Affiliate marketing is more than just a business. It’s a lifestyle choice.

The Ruthless Competition

If somebody is willing to turn down a guaranteed income of $500K per year, what does that tell you about their affiliate business?

It says, either, “Hi, I’m insanely rich and 500K means nothing to me.”

Or, “I’m completely committed to making this work, to the point where not even half a million dollars is going to sway me.”

Whatever the case, this is your competition.

And that should be a call to arms.

These are the people, the pooled ruthless mindset, that you have to compete with.

Is it any wonder that the industry is so tough for a newcomer to crack?

A Lifestyle Choice

One of the things that struck me while reading the responses to the STM poll was just how many users had already given up six-figure corporate jobs in favour of affiliate marketing.

When you see a poll like this, your first thought is cynical:

“Somebody who already earns his millions in a glass-laden corner office probably isn’t going to be exchanging the view for affiliate marketing anytime soon.”

Except, that wasn’t the case.

I regularly speak to successful pros from all walks; from the finance arena, to the weary battle-hardened in law (the irony), and to unsatisfied executives.

It’s widely accepted that beyond a certain point, your salary ceases to add enjoyment to your life.

Once the basics are covered, and luxuries enjoyed, an extra 100K or 500K is pretty much irrelevant.

Time and burnout become the chief nemesis of happiness. Along with the political games that are so entwined with the corporate world.

And that’s why, for many people, affiliate marketing is not just a career. It’s a symbolic lifestyle choice.

Once you have enough money, you start looking inward at the value of your time.

Want to know the reason why so many affiliates put such high prices on their head?

Because they have something that people stuck in high-paying corporate jobs so desperately want:

  • The freedom of time
  • Self-determination

Once you have it, you don’t want to give it up.

This stubborn defiance to conform, even under the carrot of a fixed 500K salary, is what drives affiliates to be the best damn marketers in the business.

It’s the reason why corporations have to pay extreme money to attract us.

And if you want to carve your own career in affiliate marketing, this needs to be considered.

There simply isn’t room for the half-arsed.

The Price on My Head

Would I accept a fixed salary to quit affiliate marketing?

Are you shitting me?

Yes, of course I bloody would.

In a strange paradox, it’s exactly what I strive to achieve every single day.

But there’s a very big difference between working for any corporation, and working for one built in your own image through your own blood, sweat and beers.

For all the successful affiliates I’ve met, I can count on one hand those who wanted to stay middlemen in this same industry forever.

(And even then, I’m pretty sure half of them were rat-arse plastered at the time.)

We all have escape plans.

Affiliate marketing, the career choice, is 100% expendable in my eyes.

And yet the lifestyle and opportunity it represents comes at a huge price.

Is a 500K salary enough to fund that exchange?

To say there’s a yes or no answer would be to undersell the very Machiavellian nature of our industry.

To illustrate, I put this question to a friend of mine (who happens to be a newbie affiliate) and here’s what he said:

Guess I’d take the job. Hustle for a year. Demand a pay raise. I’d keep tabs on any useful data they had, any interesting connections. Try take on a few juniors to get some solo work done on the side. After 3 years, I’d leave with two Mil in the bank and blow up my own dick boost pills, or whatever’s flying at the time. Maybe Ebola. Fuck, when can I start?

And that, my dear scumbags, is why affiliates are not grown.

We are born rancid.

Why Wayne Rooney Gets Paid And You Don’t

At £300,000 per week, Wayne Rooney is about to become the English Premier League’s all-time highest paid footballer.

How could a hot-headed, granny-banging Shrek lookalike possibly deserve this much for kicking a ball around?

It’s very simple.

Because the market says so.

He’s entitled to every last penny.

But is he? Really?

There is a loud and passionate argument against Shrek’s pay raise.

One that goes (and often spells) like this:

Wayne Rooney's new deal

Ah, yes.

Wealth Redistribution: splitting the right from the left since the beginning of politics. Second only to God Almighty.

The NHS attack is a common analogy used to explain why men like Wayne Rooney should be held in contempt for rolling in the moolah.

“I saw Aunt Betsy scraping her pennies together in the post office today. Bloody terrible, it is. She does real work that saves lives. If anyone deserves a pay raise, it’s Betsy. Not these footballers who only work 12 hours a week!”

Or so goes the line of thinking.

Yes, Wayne is rich and the vast majority of Aunt Betsys are not.

We get it.

So loaded is Shrek, in fact, that he can afford to buy an hour-long romp with one of his premium grandma hookers and still come away making a net profit under services provided. Now that is rich.

And it’s all because of the market — a judge of value somewhat more sophisticated than a Daily Mail comments section free-for-all.

There is a school of thought in the UK that goes like this:

High wages should be reserved only for those who perform life saving feats, or me.

Or me?!

Well, why not?

Show me somebody who doesn’t think they deserve a pay raise and I’ll show you somebody who has reached the very precipice of their career ladder.

I have trouble finding those from ‘the 99%’ who are happy to turn down a pay raise on the basis that somebody else deserves one more.

Most of us take what we can get, while we can still get it.

Those who don’t fall in to two groups:

a) Philanthropists: who often spend the prime of their careers as devout capitalist pigs.

or

b) Hippies: who believe that money can’t buy happiness, and seldom give it the chance.

Wayne Rooney is called a mercenery for taking the best possible deal on the market.

The same could be said for movie stars, bankers and the entire herd of Kardashians.

But it can also be said for me, and probably you, and certainly anybody who ever let their eyes linger on the salaries in the local job listings.

The cold, hard truth is this:

What you earn has absolutely nothing to do with what you deserve.

Nothing, zero, nada.

Your passions won’t make you rich, and neither will your daily good deed count.

Only the market can make you rich.

If you want to earn a lot of money, here are the two best options you have — besides winning the lottery:

  1. Develop a skill that somebody will pay a premium for.
  2. Develop a product/service that can be packaged and sold for a lot of money.

Given the choice, most people are already reaching for their lucky dips.

In a parallel universe, the next Wayne Rooney is developing his football skills and getting ready to sell them for £300,000 per week.

A thousand pounds for every brain cell, or so the joke goes on Twitter.

Well, I would be retweeting my way to the bank on those numbers.

It doesn’t matter what Wayne deserves to earn, the point is that he does indeed earn it.

And who benefits?

Shrek, undoubtedly.

But 45% of Shrek’s pay raise gets sucked back in to the system as taxed income. Which in turn is redistributed to pay for things like… NHS doctors and surgeons.

Of course, the economics are forgotten in a heartbeat. The real agenda has nothing to do with doctors and surgeons. Or economics.

It has everything to do with jealousy.

It’s his wage vs. your wage. Simple as that.

There is only one judge to determine who wins; who makes a killing and who breaks a back for small change. His name is the market.

And a cruel judge he can be.

“What is somebody willing to pay me?” This is the only truth that has any meaningful impact on your earning potential.

The way many people lead their lives battling for wealth, you’d forgive the market for stopping the fight in the first round.

They are woefully unprepared, trained in the wrong disciplines, mastered up to the eyeballs in degrees that might as well be titled ‘fannying around’, pushing shit up a mountain in jobs that can never give them what they want. Because what they want leads back to more money.

If the market had a voice, it would need only four words to get its message across:

“Work smarter, not harder.”

Not everybody defines happiness as the pursuit of money.

That’s probably a good thing.

But if you are one of the many who do, you need only look at the market for the clearest sign of what you should be doing with your life.

Affiliate marketers get that.

Wayne Rooney might only have 300 brain cells but he also gets that.

Copyright © 2014.