Goal Setting

Goals of the One Year WA Challenge

My Wealthy Affiliate Challenge officially ends on September 30, 2015.

Update: 12/08/16 – Within a few months of joining WA, I experienced an increase in client work which led me to shift my focus from pursuing this IM goal, and instead, concentrate on building my marketing agency. You can read about that redirection in this post.

I was pretty gung ho when I set this goal, but I later became disillusioned with their platform relatively quickly. I was hopeful that it would be a service I could benefit from and stand behind, but it didn’t live up to my expectations. Despite that, I don’t regret signing up for a year-long premium membership. I didn’t gain any knowledge or insider tips while I was in there, but it allowed me access to a community of people whom I could help. I was able to gain additional insight into the common struggles and pain points people experience when first trying to develop and manage a website, then later figuring out how to get traffic and rankings.

My gut had told me that WA was probably going to be somewhat of a waste for me, which was mainly due to two key factors.

Their USP looked too good to be true and I was a bit wary of its promises based on my experience. I was right. Back in 2007, the info in WA would be considered gold, but making it in IM today requires more SEM ‘street knowledge’ and technical chops than what you’ll be taught through WA.

Secondly, the most obvious sign I should have refused to ignore was the fact that no one I respect or follow who is an authority in IM has ever said anything good about WA. The only people who sing the praises of WA are those who are trying to earn commissions through their WA Bootcamp program, i.e., the aspiring “Wealthy Affiliate Affiliates”.

Still, WA is not all bad, but the best advice I can give is to avoid the paid premium membership upsell and for the love of god, do not get suckered into the Wealthy Affiliate bootcamp program where they encourage you to promote WA itself. I had endeavored to take that on only because I know how all of this works and I wanted to offer a transparent and unbiased account of my experiences – which I did – but it’s not a vertical anyone should pursue. Before you start marketing ways to make money online, first, you need to make money online. Furthermore, marketing WA to people as a way to make easy money is a total bullshit business model.

Affiliate marketing can be a very rewarding hobby or business, but if you want to achieve some success in it, pursue it with a passion and focus on what you can contribute, not how much you can make. If you can build something of value with content that’s engaging, helpful and informative, you’ll be certain to make some money at it.

The Goal

Earn $50,000 through affiliate marketing over the next 12 months.

I know that this goal is attainable, yet I do not want to go too lofty and fail at this challenge, so I am keeping it conservative. During my 6 year foray into affiliate marketing I have managed to gross just over $60,000, with 2010 and 2011 each providing me with over $19,000 worth of annual affiliate income. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I had a bit more spare time back then. 😉

Although my recent earnings are just a shadow of what they used to be, I know that I have it in me to top my previous best efforts and reach this goal of $50,000 within 12 months.

Subgoals

  • Provide an honest and objective review of the Wealthy Affiliate University.
  • Establish, through my shared personal experience, that WA can help you achieve success in Internet Marketing.
  • Become an Ambassador for Wealthy Affiliate.
  • Through my contributions to the WA Community and this website, assist others in achieving their own success.
  • Achieve this goal at a pay rate of no less than $40.00 per hour, which translates to an average work load of 24 hours per week over the 1 year period.
    • Maintain an accurate time log to keep track of the time investment.
  • Shatter the first goal and establish a new milestone before the 12 months have passed. 🙂

My financial goal is certainly not of the ‘get rich quick‘ variety, but it’s also important to understand that this is a part-time venture. My primary career is that of a web developer, web services provider and online marketing consultant.

What I’m trying to create here is a viable ‘part-time job’ that pays a modest salary, where I set my own schedule, work on my own terms – enjoying what I’m doing, while also providing myself with a recurring revenue stream that continues to deliver even when I take a few days off. In the long-term, I hope to push this ‘second job’ to the limits – making it match or succeed the pay-rate I earn with my primary career.

I’ll be quite pleased with myself once I reach this goal, but I see it merely as a stepping stone. My long-term vision is far more ambitious, but it’s important to start somewhere!

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