Affiliate marketing is one of those things you get into when you fall deep into the rabbit hole when searching 'how to make money online' on Google, in my case I was introduced to it by a good friend at the time.
How It All Started:
I was 19 years old deep into the 2nd year of university and just absolutely miserable. I was spending my days grinding it out doing work that I had 0 interest in and spending nights/weekends working security listening to drake and the Weeknd songs just drowning in misery. I was working hard but seriously didn’t see the end. I thought I would just graduate and join some standard bay street job and just grind it out for 10 years and work hard to a corporate exit. The job that I would do didn’t really concern me, as long as it was bringing in the dollars, and gave me a solid exist strategy after giving them my soul for a decade so I could exit at 35-40 and just move to an island, farm, raise some children, drink espressos and watch the Serie A all day.
I was heading straight to depression and didn’t even realize it. I was surrounded by a bunch of under-achieving, ‘I started this business that forecasts 1M/year in income’, ‘hey I went to this business conference’, ‘I networked with this CEO’, and ‘can you follow my business IG page’ types. These people come standard at any business school, but what irritated me the most about all of this was myself. How did I let myself be surrounded by all of this. For American readers, Canadian universities are not your American Pie, come to my basement and let’s start Microsoft type of environments. This is contentious, but anyone who lived outside of Canada for some period of time I think can confirm this. These things do happen, but I think more so in other countries. The point is that I went into university expecting to be inspired. What would happen next would change the course of my life forever. I want to thank Ryerson for what it gave me. It opened my eyes to what I did not want, which led me to discover in crystal clarity what I did want. It made me re-evaluate what I wanted in my life.
I had a friend let's call him Steph, he was a guy I grew up with. I knew this guy since I was 8 years old. On paper, you would think we would've been best friends and we were close for a long time. We both played the same games, came from the same type of background, loved soccer and most importantly, both were obsessed with making money online. At the time, I was mostly hanging out with people I grew up with, these people knew me and I knew them, regardless of personality and lifestyle changes that would happen to all of us, what I valued the most was trust and loyalty. I am no longer close to any of these guys because of various reasons, but I do visit Toronto every now and then and I still share the same love I did for all of them since I was a kid. Steph was one of these guys, Steph and I went way back. We both had a serious desire to make money online, and we both grinded it out online through our love for online gaming. He was a Habbo hotel kind of conman and I was a Maplestory conman. I created a PayPal account at 14, and became an admin of a large Maplestory forum back in the day and it gave me a platform to buy/trade accounts, sell gold for real-life dollars and much more.
This experience in becoming a Maplestory conman allowed me to learn a lot of things that I didn’t realize at the time, but had a deep feeling about would help me out in the future. I am talking about design, online buying habits, and building trust with people you would never meet, and much more. I got to learn about design because as I was an active member of this forum I really liked banner signature designs, I started making those and it led me into basic photoshop and design. I learned about funnels because I wanted to make money. As a forum admin, users would come to you to middleman trades and they would give you a commission. Let’s say a guy came to you looking to trade a lvl 120 account in one server for another lvl 120 account in another server, they would ask you to middle man the trade, giving you both accounts usernames/passwords/pins and you would take a commission in the online game's currency, which you could later sell to gold buyers. After a while, I realized after the buyers would trade accounts, I would be changing the passwords and when I would give them account they would take weeks before they would change the passwords to something of their own. I had a list accounts like this because of all the accounts I traded, as well as dollars pilling up from the commissions I was making. I realized I should ‘hack’ back these accounts. So I looked up pin cracking and downloaded some software and just start going to work cracking these pins. This was just the first part.
One day as I walking around in this virtual world, I came across a gold farmer. Usually gold farmers would be AFK and a bot would be operating it. But this bot was actually here. I started talking to him and asked him how I could bot. He sent me a link, and the rest was history. I started farming gold like no tomorrow in the basement of my parent's house with one computer and just stacking this online currency. I was making a few hundred dollars a month which at the time as a 14-16 year old was bank. The point of this Maplestory story was that I got to learn a lot. About how to earn trust online, and work with people to create oppurtunities, how to learn things, how to create income for myself.
Long story short Steph and I were talking one day and he changed my life with this discussion. After we finished high school we both entered the same university. One day we were talking and he told me started making money online doing affiliate marketing. I was like what the hell is affiliate marketing? He basically told me he created a site, got a server, wrote some ad copy, bought advertising space, all to collect email addresses for offers, and then sell them to companies. For example, you see all the ads on porn sites telling you about meeting the hot milf next door? These are multi-million dollar operations of people like steph and later me collecting leads. I was sold, he showed me the ropes and I was in.
I got deep into affiliate marketing. I needed a server, learn to copyright, banner design, a website, an offer, traffic tracking software, and ad traffic. Within 2 months all of that was online, and I learned tons about how to push paid traffic and creating conversion funnels.
I found early success pushing dating offers, I'm talking about the 'Find MILFS next door' types that you find on porn sites because that’s what was first introduced to me. I hated pushing porn offers because I actually hate porn, but I loved seeing conversions. There was an offer I was pushing at the time that got me $7 per email opt-in. I think during affiliate marketing I had like 2 profitable months. I moved on to all kinds of offers and was saw a future building before my eyes and dollars coming, in. Nothing life-changing but profiting $300-$700/month meant a lot. In the end,I could never get it to do the numbers I wanted.
Affiliate marketing was hard, but it was a gateway to the bigger world of e-commerce for me. I am no longer involved in affiliate marketing but that experience was everything.
In the end, you could definitely classify affiliate marketing as one of my failures, it didn’t let me escape the rat race, but as this blog goes, failcare, means to fail but not to care. I say this mostly to myself so I don’t get caught up, and just keep moving forward. There are tons of failures that came after this, but this one was something special.
- Nothing good comes from taking advantage of the people's trust
- Becoming rich on the back of a scam isn't something I want