Do You Follow Rules Or Results?

written by BlogEx on March 23, 2009 in Affiliate Marketing and Internet Marketing with 14 comments

When the rubber hits the road, and you begin to put real effort into making money online with a blog, website, or affiliate business, do you follow rules or results?

Following Rules

The “rules” crowd likes to know every in and out, every nuance, tip, and strategy before they put any real effort into their project. It feels good, they would say, to read the “10 Tips For This,” and the “10 Strategies For That.” They typically suffer from paralysis of analysis and over analyze everything before they actually do anything. Does that sound like you? Do you suffer from following a rules mindset?

Taking it a step further, and when you really think about it, the rules mindset only gets you so far. Not only are “rules” what every average joe looks to follow when starting a blog, online business or the like, but by following the vast majority of people when it comes to making money online, you’ll end up with results the vast majority encounter: nothing.

It’s a sobering reality, but one you must be aware of. The point here is to make money online. That’s the end goal. To achieve it, let me suggest following the results driven strategy.

Following Results

Let me tell you a little story about me to help prove this point.

Over 4 years ago, I stumbled into internet marketing by doing what many of you have done in the past or did to make it to our site: search for how to make money online. I was in college at the time, and since most college students are always looking for ways to make extra money, I decided the internet was a good place to start. Who wouldn’t want to work online and make money?

Almost immediately, I discovered an ad with the headline “$300/Hr In College?”

I clicked the ad and was taken to a site where several work at home opportunities were reviewed (and ranked, or course) all so I could make money online (at least that’s what the site owner was saying). I was immediately intrigued by the idea, but my first question was, ‘Why would someone want to be nice enough to just share this information with me…what’s in it for them?’

Remember, at this time, I have no idea what internet marketing, blogs, or affiliate marketing is…I just started with the premise of searching on Google for how to make money online.

After browsing around the site for a while, I noticed that when I clicked on a recommendation, a new window would open, and for a split second a different URL would show in the browser before it finally resolved to the recommended website. It was so fast that I could only make out one letter at a time. After each click I would get a new letter that finally spelled out: C-L-I-C-K-B-A-N-K.

From there I went back to Google and typed in Clickbank, found their site, and discovered that they were this marketplace for digital products. It didn’t take me long to put two and two together. The site I had visited was recommending products from the Clickbank marketplace, and each time a visitor made a purchase from one of his recommendations he was making money.

From that moment, I was immediately more interested in learning how to market products and services online than doing any of the “opportunities” listed on his website. I caught the internet marketing bug, and there was no looking back.

Now…I tell you this story only because discovering that site was not only my foray into building several internet businesses, it helped me learn from day 1 to follow the results mindset.

After I discovered this work at home review site, I did some more keyword searches and saw that this guy was everywhere. He had hundreds and thousands of ads up for thousands of keywords, and from what I could tell was getting a sizable amount of traffic to his website.

Now at this time, I had no idea of any sort of tool to calculate site traffic, there was no SpyFu or KeywordSpy to see which keywords he was bidding on…I had to do it the old fashioned way: trial and error.

Through another series of events (a long story) I discovered that this affiliate was in fact one of the largest affiliates for the product he was promoting, and when I put all those results together (thousands of ads/keywords, a top affiliate for the product he was promoting), I had my model.

When you find someone with proven results, the smart money models their success. I could have spent my time learning about the difference between web design strategies, onsite optimization techniques, and keyword density, OR I could simply use this website as a model (not to copy) for where to to start.

And that’ what I did. Thankfully, I was able to use that one website to learn the importance of a results driven focus. Something I feel has made all the difference in the world.

Here are some actionable things you can do today to start following results:

  • Search for your desired keywords on Google and examine the top 10 results. How are their sites designed? How often are the keywords used? What type of language is used (casual, professional, personal)?
  • Make a spread sheet or word document and write down characteristics of those sites and see which ones overlap (maybe 7 of the 10 sites for Keyword A use the same 2-panel style layout or the length of the article/content are all around 650 words).
  • Be sure to take note of any Adwords ads you see often for your desired keywords. If there are lots of ads for one site, you should review their sales pitch, layout, etc because most likely they’re making good money AND they are paying for the traffic.

The key to the results mindset is to be aware. Be mindful of the successful websites in your niche or industry by following some of the tips above. Always remember that rules can be important, but results are what you want.