You may have noticed there is a big gap between this post and the one before. That’s because we have been enjoying a four-week dream vacation in Peru! You can see some of the photos from this incredible holiday on our facebook page, www.facebook.com/tonyandtanyaonline.
In fact, it is so we can live our dream and continue enjoying holidays and other luxuries in our retirement that we started on this new business venture. The timing of the holiday could not have been better! Having signed up to an affiliate marketing coaching programme, one of the first things we were advised to do was to design our perfect life! To put on paper what it was we wanted this business to give us.
That’s right! Before writing our first blog, before posting our first comment, before buying traffic, before generating leads, or choosing a product. In fact, before everything else, we wrote down what it was we wanted this business to enable us to have, do and enjoy.
We decided to write our lists as individuals first, then get together to compare notes. We were encouraged to ‘Dream Big’. So we got to it, designing our dream life.
In the event, the lists turned out to be very similar. I guess that’s the result of 35 years of marriage! Neither Tanya or I wanted luxury cars, Rolex watches, or big mansions, but even so, our dream lifestyle turned out to be pretty challenging. Having it written down, let us see what we wanted to achieve. We now knew what we were working towards in our business, and why. It was exciting and daunting at the same time. Before I tell you about our dream lifestyle, let me tell you a bit about us and how we got here.
In our late 50’s and early 60’s (I won’t say who is older, as Tanya gets upset), we have reached a time where we are looking to our retirement. Our working life has had its up’s and downs. Both Tanya and I started work in our mid-teens in Factories, hers in textiles, mine in optics. We were both in college at the same time, where we were studying to be church workers. We first met in September and were married the following June! On leaving college, we spent 12 or so years working for churches. The pay was very low, so we did not build up finance in our early years as some do, (but as they say; “The retirement benefits are out of this world”!) I then moved into self-employed work, and Tanya became a full-time mum.
The first few years were a disaster! I worked as a delivery driver and crashed the truck. I became an agent for jewellery …. that no one bought. I tried Amway, only to have my up-line use my bank details to buy his stock as he was broke!
We struggled through the next four years, barely breaking even. We had four young children, lived in social housing, and to be honest relied on friends and family to make ends meet each month. Then Tanya had an insight that turned our life around. One night, in 1995, she said to me, “Tony, you need to get into to computers”. So (as I always do as my wife tells me!) that’s what I did.
It was the Summer of 1995, and I met a guy, in a field, camping, with a laptop, connected to the internet…. Remember this was 1995! That was incredible. We got chatting; it turns out he was a special projects manager for British Telecommunications (BT). He was looking for a software tester, and as we chatted, he decided to give me a chance. I started as a freelance contractor with BT a few weeks later, and soon found I had a knack for identifying what was wrong with the programmes they gave me.
Bit by bit over the next twenty years or so I established my reputation, built up my client list, and by and large, with two notable exceptions have been working at this successfully ever since. The exceptions being 2002, where I decided to branch out at set up a consultancy, hire staff, and take on the ‘big boys’. Six months later, £150,000 in debt, it was only the sale of our office building that saved me from bankruptcy. The other was 2013 when I suffered a 9-month drought of work, which effectively wiped out my savings. However, on the whole, the work has afforded us a nice living, albeit without much of a pension. It was nearing retirement without a safety net that focused our minds on the life we wanted.
When we got together and swapped notes, our dreams and desires were pretty much in sync. They turned out to be:
To retire in 2 to 3 years with an income that would allow us to;
These things are expressed in a variety of ways, such as being able to bring the Grandchildren out to spend holidays with us in Portugal. To have the ‘toys’ we want to make those holidays fun, like canoes for the lake, electric all terrain buggy for the forest. To have money to enjoy meals out and unique visits. But the list above sums it up nicely.
We then set out what we would need to be earning each month to achieve our dream. In 2017, we want to be making around $1,500 a month. But to achieve the full list goals we have set ourselves, we need to be earning $15,000 a month. That includes the money to buy our dream house and to continue paying a mortgage on our UK House, a sizable donation each month to our charity, holiday money to allow us to fly business class, money for a family trust fund, and all the daily living expenses.
Sounds crazy! You might say that that is a ridiculous, that we will never achieve that. Well, not only do we believe this is possible, we are now part of an organisation where we see proof of it happening for people very much like us.
We believe that Affiliate Marketing, done right, with the right support and products will allow us to achieve all our goals. We have discovered the two key elements that must be in place to make this work and tapped into a great coaching and training programme.
When the opportunity presented itself, we grabbed it with both hands. It has enabled us, as absolute beginners to undertake structured training, become certified, and from early in the process start to build an Affiliate Marketing consultancy that works!
Do you want to know what it is that will allow us to achieve this? Would you like us to tell you how we plan to avoid the mistake others have made? Good, because want to share our discovery with as many people as possible. We have created a training video that sets out who we are, how we can help, and what you need to know to make it in this industry. Fill in your email details by following the link below, and we will send you the details.[button_3 bg=”silver” text=”get-your-free-training-now.png” align=”center” href=”http://tonyandtanyaonline.com/free-web-class/” new_window=”Y”/]
This free training video will also show you where to go to further valuable free training and information.
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
That might sound like a strange quote with which to start the very first post in a blog about affiliate marketing, but it’s particularly apt. You see we are inviting you to come on a journey with us as we explore the world of affiliate marketing, We are building our business from scratch, and documenting our progress step by step. And though we are new to affiliate marketing, we are not exactly wandering lost.
So in this blog, I’m going to share with you how Tanya and I got to the position where we wanted to start an affiliate marketing business. I’m going to share with you the particular path that we chose to follow and why we chose that path. I am going to document every step of the way so you can follow in our footsteps if you so choose.
Tanya and I have dabbled with the idea of making money online for some years now, but with little success. I do have two online products which have made me a little bit of money. The first is a photo of a bucket that is leaking water. This photograph has been on the Dreamstime website for about ten years and has netted me a total of around $1,000. The second is a book I self-published about managing third party suppliers. This book is about four years old and has earned me about $200. Neither of these products is going to enable us to live the life of our dreams!
As retirement approaches, Tanya and I started to look at moving out to live in Portugal (country and region we love). To live the life we want we need to supplement our pensions. Also, I did not want just to stop working and vegetate. We wanted something we could do together that would make a serious difference to our finances, but not require a 9 to 5 commitment. This need for something to do that would earn us money drove us to start looking seriously at the different options available on the Internet.
If you have tried searching for online opportunities yourself, then you’ll know that it’s a minefield. There are so many ‘get rich quick’ schemes and ‘flash in the pan’ products out there. Things like binary options trading systems that will supposedly make you tens of thousands a day! Or offers to sell you a system that will generate $50,000 in 30 days. It’s a jungle populated by no end of false gurus and wannabees, with their equally false testimonials and dummy bank statements. They claim to be able to turn you into an overnight Internet success, yet so many of them have little more than a ‘photoshopped’ existence. We did not want to have any part of that, either subscribing to it or promoting it.
In our case, we stumbled across the answer almost by chance. As we searched and researched for a solution, we discovered Affiliate Marketing. The concept is simple. Find a product (or products) you would like to promote. Sign up as an affiliate. Promote the product online. Cash the commission cheques. Simple! It’s a bit like painting a masterpiece. Find a subject. Set up your easel and canvas. Slap on the paint. There is your masterpiece. Simple! Just like painting, there are a few people that are naturals, but the rest of us have to learn and practice and will have varying results. So we sought out some training.
To get started, we signed up to a basic introduction to Affiliate Marketing course. And guess what? The guy selling the course was an affiliate marketer, and so he promoted another product! It was this other product that made the difference to us (in fact I hardly even opened the first product). It was this new product that gave us the confidence to set out knowing we were able to follow a proven plan, with all the steps laid out before us. This is the reason we are not stumbling around lost in the Affiliate Marketing jungle.
Our product owner invited us to attend a live webinar with a ‘special guest.’ I was so green and new to affiliate marketing that I had no idea that this was an up-sell. Maybe because I was green, I came to the webinar expecting to learn. What I did not expect was to have my eyes so completely opened about the problems with affiliate marketing. The guest set out exactly why so many fail to make an income from affiliate marketing. I am so glad I listened and was very willing to buy the up-sell. The up-sell process was, in fact, a two stage process. Having bought into the basic level, I was invited to hear about two further levels, and these included a step by step plan and some coaching session.
So having committed at a basic level, I arranged to have a call to hear about the high-level options. It was at this point that I decided to let Tanya in on my little secret!
Tanya is ever patient and very supportive. If I had told her, I wanted to open a new business as a Gumologist (Yes it’s a real job!) she would have said “Yes dear,” cheered my on from the sidelines and been there to comfort me when I complained of jaw ache. But this was different. I did not just want her support; I wanted Tanya to be part of the business and work with me on an active, daily basis.
The evening I signed up to the coaching we sat down, and I told her what it was all about. I outlined what I wanted to do, said that it would take time and effort and spoke about how I wanted to do this together.
She was, of course, supportive. Tanya liked the idea of us doing something together, but as expected, was apprehensive about what it would entail and what she could bring to the party. Tanya has always been self-effacing and often can not see the immense value in her thoughts and actions. She was unsure but willing to give it a go. As it happened, we were just off on two weeks holiday to Portugal, so that would give us some time to talk things through.
We were driving down from Lisbon to Odemira (A beautiful riverside town in the western Alentejo) at the time we were scheduled to take the call about the two further options open to us. So we stopped off at a motorway service area to take the Skype call. Sat there in the shade of a busy service station, on route to a beautiful, relaxed, quiet and hidden valley in the Alentejo, we had the most significant conversation for many a year. We listened and learned about the two premium levels of membership in the coaching program we had signed up to.
Both levels included an element of coaching, training, technical guides and membership to a closed group of like-minded highly motivated and extremely encouraging affiliate marketers, some still wet behind the ears like me, other very experienced.
The highest level offer included a lot of the technical aspects of setting up the business done for you. Things like:
These were all things that are spelled out in all the training material but that I knew would take me hours to do myself. Tanya and I sat I the car and discussed the level of commitment needed and the options presented to us. In the end, we decided to invest in our future by going for the more expensive top option.
The next week was exciting as we moved forward, it involved running up a mountain, reviewing our life story and visiting a few old ruins, but that will be the subject of next week’s blog.
I hope you have enjoyed our story so far and would be thrilled if you commented below. Tell us about your journey. Ask us questions about our business. Or simply let us know if you think we are fools to have taken this route. We are real people who will read and answer your comments.
For now, though, it would be a great boost to us if you were to like this post or join our Facebook page where Tanya and I provide motivation and encouragement for anyone active in online marketing.
Live the life you deserve!
Tony and Tanya