Losing Weight

Achieving success in affiliate marketing is a lot like losing weight

In order to become successful in affiliate marketing, you need to have a goal and you need to have a plan. That same exact thing can be said about weight loss.

I’ll provide two examples of this…

My First Successful Affiliate Site

It’s been over 8 years since I first ventured into the world of affiliate marketing. I started out in much the same way everyone else does…I knew I wanted to become successful at it, but I didn’t have a real good idea as to how I’d get there.

For a few years I worked on some different projects, eventually achieving success in terms of authority and traffic, but still…the financial gains were eluding me. I never had established a plan as to how I was going to build a profitable empire.

Back then I figured if I could get traffic, then surely I’d be able to sell something to these people, but that’s not always the case.

Now…I don’t fault myself too much for lacking a good business plan at the beginning, because the main thing for me at that time was just to get started. Which I still think is a good idea. Try to pick a good niche, but don’t overthink it too much. Just be sure it’s something you can dedicate yourself to.

Then one day, almost by chance, I had an idea…build a website that’s focused on buyers, not just information. I mean, really…this sounds obvious, right?! Market to people who are in the buying phase. That’s how you make money! Duh…

I immediately began the process of building out this site, but this time I had a sound monetization and marketing plan. I worked very hard, dedicating myself to this site for months and months. In just over a year’s time I had it cranking for around $2,000 per month during the holiday season. This was a big success for me!

Even on slow months the site would bring in around $1000. After awhile I started to take that site for granted, thinking that I’d already done all of the hard work and now it was time to just sit back and reap the reward. Once in awhile I’d log in and add a post, update the plugins, edit some content, etc…but I’d sometimes let weeks and months go by before I’d update the site again.

Well, guess what happened..?

It didn’t take place overnight, but eventually, this once mighty affiliate site withered to the point where it was earning less than $100 per month.

Now on one hand, a big reason for this was due to a lack of free time to work on it, caused by personal and work-related issues. I really didn’t have much discretionary time to devote to the project; however, there really is no excuse for me to have not at least kept up with some basic maintenance. If anything, I would have prevented the site’s utter downfall, then when I was ready to return to the driver’s seat, increasing the site’s revenue again wouldn’t have been so tough.

Recently I’ve returned to that site and have been working hard to get it ‘back in shape’. So far I have seen some gains, but it’s going to be a long-term process to restore it to where it once was.

How I Lost 50 lbs in 10 Months

Since about age 21, I’ve always been a pretty big guy; however, back in those days I used to lift weights pretty regularly. I was big, but much of the weight was quality. I had a few extra pounds around the midsection, but I was never chunky.

As the years went on, I stayed at about the same weight, but the quality started to shift. I had occasional flurries of diet and fitness activity – even losing up to 20 to 25 pounds at times – but it never lasted, and the weight quickly came back once I got off my routine.

Finally, about the time I was pushing 40, my weight grew to a very unhealthy 273 lbs. I’m 6’4″, so even at that weight I looked mostly loppy, and not really obese, but still…I was reaching the point where I was going to have to shop Big & Tall, and that’s just not me. I may be tall, but I’m not a big boned, burly manly man.

At any rate, due to some problems at home, along with my desire to become healthier, I started trying to adopt a better lifestyle and lose weight once again. I worked at eating smaller portions, exercising more, and drinking less, and I eventually managed to drop about 25 lbs., although some of that was due to the ‘marriage-on-the-rocks stress diet’.

After awhile I hit a weight plateau, and trying to shed more pounds was becoming difficult. I started to make excuses for not being able to exercise, having that extra slice of pizza, beer, or whatever, and slowly but surely I regained about 10 of those pounds.

I cruised along for another year – hovering around a sloppy 250-255 lbs – until finally I got fed up and decided I was going to take that weight off once and for all.

Fat, Tired, Unhealthy and Neglecting His Affiliate Sites
Fat, Tired, and Unfocused

Time to Set a Goal and Develop a Plan

First thing I did was determine that I needed to make some lifestyle changes. A successful weight loss plan does not involve starving yourself, or exercising like a fiend while paying no mind to what you eat and slamming down beers every weekend. In order to lose weight, get healthy and stay healthy, you have to be accountable, make adjustments and establish a long-term, yet manageable game plan.

You also have to realize where your destination lies so that you can know how to get there.

In my case, I determined that I wanted to drop down to 215 lbs, which meant losing 40 lbs. I’d never lost that much weight in my life, so this was going to be a feat.

To help me stay on task, I turned to some technological aids. The first one was a really cool little app called MyFitnessPal. You install this app on your phone, then use it to input calorie data.

Each day I logged in every single snack or meal that I ate, plus I inputted any calories that I’d burn while at the gym. However, prior to doing any of this I established how much I wanted to weigh eventually, and how long I felt it would take to get there. Obviously, I knew this wasn’t going to happen within a few weeks or months, but I knew if I set a reasonable goal and did the work, I could eventually get there.

I decided upon a medium pace, which would put me at around 215 lbs just weeks before my birthday that following May. This meant dropping 1-2 lbs per week, so it wasn’t easy-mode, but we weren’t talking Vision Quest either. I wanted to be successful, so I kept my expectations to a reasonable level, but I also knew that it was still going to require hard work and discipline to get there.

The other tools that I used to help me on my mission to lose weight were a Fitbit One and a Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi scale.

The Fitbit One is a neat little device that measures how active you are throughout the day, and once configured, transmits that data wirelessly to your phone or PC. The Fitbit tracks approximately how many calories you burn during the course of a day, based on how many steps you’ve taken, stairs you’ve climbed, etc… What’s really cool is that the data from the Fitbit automagically gets imported into MyFitnessPal – giving you a pretty accurate snapshot of where you’re at in terms of calories consumed and calories burned.

The Aria is a Wi-Fi scale that tracks weight and BMI, then sends the data to your Fitbit app. Every single day I would weigh myself in the morning before I had drank or ate anything.

Then, throughout each day I would pay attention to where I was at in terms of my caloric allowance, always trying to stay within the limits so I could reach my goal. Within a few weeks I started to see change because I was sticking with my plan. Each month that passed had me closer and closer to my goal.

I couldn’t believe how easy it was for me to lose the weight once I created a plan and had the discipline to stick with it!

By the end of March I had already reached my goal of 215 lbs, so I set a new one, which was 205 lbs. When I hit 215 I realized that I still stood to lose an inch or two around the mid-section, so I kept at it. By the time my birthday rolled around I was unable to keep my pants up without a belt, and I had reached my goal of 205 lbs! I was amazed.

Slimmer, Healthier Me
A Man with a Goal, a Plan and a Desire to Get There

I felt like a million bucks, and even then, I still felt I could drop a few more pounds in order to reach my ‘ideal weight’, which I feel is about 195-200.

Anyway, at that point I decided I had accomplished a lot and didn’t really need to keep ‘working’ at the weight loss. Life got busy and I had less time to concentrate on diet and exercise. I managed to stay slim for almost another year, then due to my neglect, the pounds started to come creeping back.

Now although I’ve still managed to stay in my destination pant size, I certainly don’t need a belt to hold them up any longer. In fact, I need to suck it in a little bit to get them buttoned; however, the changes that I made and the success that I achieved lets me know that with a little work I can get right back there. Only this time I am going to achieve that goal of 195 lbs!

The Point in All of This

Just as with the initial success that I had with the affiliate site I mentioned earlier…with some hard work, a plan, and a destination in mind — I was able to ‘easily’ achieve my weight loss goal. First you need to determine where you want to end up, then you have to map out how you’re going to get there – breaking this down into measurable daily, weekly and monthly goals. Once you do this, and provided you stick to it, the success will follow.

I focused on staying on task with my weight loss each and every day, with a goal in mind that I needed to hit each week so that I could stay on pace. I was able to do this by making good food choices, staying somewhat active throughout the day, and maintaining a regular exercise routine. After doing this for awhile it became easy — almost like breathing. The positive results fueled me and kept me motivated, pushing me harder and harder.

When you’re building out a site, formulate a vision of how it’s going to look in a year . . . in 2 years. Think about how much money you’d like to earn with this site. Determine how much content and market research it will require to get there, then break that down into smaller short-term goals.

Set a schedule of writing 5 new articles per week, posting to social 3 times per week, checking your comments and replying to them each day, and devote some time each week for learning, training and research. Each month review your goals and see how you’re doing in terms of achieving what you want at the end of that year. As long as you stick to your plan and do your work each day, you’ll be amazed at the results!

Time to Get Back on Task

A primary reason for me joining Wealthy Affiliate and going premium is because I need to get my ass in gear. Just as with my ‘healthy lifestyle’ habits, my affiliate marketing efforts have lacked discipline as of late. It’s time for me to once again create a vision for the future, sit down and figure out exactly how I’m going to get there, then do it!

Anything worth achieving and maintaining requires routine effort. Whether it be a successful affiliate marketing business or a healthy weight . . . you’ve got to keep at it. But as is the case with both of those goals, once you achieve success, they both become easier to maintain. Just keep working at the things that got you there, and if at any point what you’re doing becomes less effective, then push harder and try a slightly different approach.

With me it’s a little of both. Being in my early 40s I can’t keep the lbs off as easily as I used to, so I have to work a little bit harder, and adopt a different diet than the one I’d been accustomed to in my 20s and 30s, but I can still easily achieve my desired healthy weight goal.

In terms of my affiliate marketing business…I not only needed to give myself a nudge, but I also needed to try a new approach since my recent efforts have left me treading water. The new approach is Wealthy Affiliate, and so far it’s left me feeling just as I did when I discovered how easy it was going to be losing the weight — once I’d gotten my shit together, set a goal, and put in the work.

In Conclusion

I hope that you got something out of this post. I know I tend to ramble on at times, but perhaps my analogy here made some sense. In order to be successful as an affiliate marketer you need to dedicate yourself to it, while also making sure you’ve established a well-defined set of goals that you’re working towards. If you do this, there’s no doubt  you will achieve success. 🙂

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