Affiliate Intangibles – Attitude And Out Of The Box Thinking

Out Of The Box ThinkingWhile the skills of affiliate marketing such as figuring out ppc, building websites, basic keyword seo, content writing and many other things are vitally important and very basic to your online endeavors, you are more than likely going to make the biggest impact on your earnings by improving two intangibles that are somewhat hard to nail down. Once the skills are acquired, more than anything else, attitude and out of the box thinking will get you to that next level.

These two concepts could be discussed separately in different posts, but I believe they are related, so this will be a long post as I try to mix up some stew here and mash things together.


Doesn’t Google just piss you off? Don’t you just hate it when you’re crankin on a CPA offer and they change the lading page and your conversions are cut in half? Doesn’t eBay make you mad when your sales stats aren’t making any sense? And what about this Obama guy, either you think the right wing republicans are trying to tear him down or you think he may be the anti-christ and is destroying the country. Man, there’s enough wrong stuff affiliate marketing and in the larger frame of things that you could probably spend your entire life worrying about it.

Now that you’ve probably thought about some of that above and may be thinking, “Yea, right on man! Google really is the evil spawn of a vast conspiracy by eBay, Oprah and Obama to lobotomize the world and merge our consciousness with a machine”, none of that is going to earn you one penny. In fact, dwelling on excuses, negatives and minutiae will seriously hamper your ability to focus, will hurt your motivation and it takes valuable time away from your business.

It all boils down to controlling your attitude instead of letting it control you. Because of the ever changing landscape of affiliate marketing, this business can certainly give you enough to complain about and as long as your complaints are pointed in the right direction they can benefit you, but the problem is, most times they aren’t. Complaints properly focused can change the situation or at least make others aware of a legitimate issue that needs to be dealt with, but complaining just for the joy of flapping your gums only makes you a better complainer, not a person with a better attitude.

Think about that, do you really want to be better at complaining? World class complainers may be great at what they do, unfortunately, the pay isn’t that great.

The next time you run across something that really makes your blood boil, instead of dwelling on the issue and complaining to your spouse or writing one of those long ranting blog posts, immediately refocus your attention on your next task or larger project. If you are like most affiliate marketers, you should at least have a mental list, written is best, of the next 25 or so projects or ideas you’d like to work on. Don’t wait, when you feel like wasting time complaining, immediately get busy doing something on your list and focus the energy you’d be wasting complaining to a more useful endeavor.

The better you control your thinking, the more likely you will be able to adapt to changes and be able to think outside of the box, which of course is the next subject in this post…

Out Of The Box Thinking

Can you think of a single famous inventor, technological pioneer or great leader that didn’t think radically different than the status quo of their time? Probably not, because big change comes from big, and most importantly, different thinkers. Fortunately, affiliate marketing, though it is a different way than most people choose to make a living, doesn’t require the innovation of putting a man on the moon. But to reach greater and greater heights does require a mode of thinking that leads to a path most are either unwilling to take or don’t realize you can take.

Why doesn’t the average affiliate marketer make $300,000 per month? The simple answer is, is that they haven’t figured out a way to do it yet. It may come as a shock to you that in he whole scheme of things, affiliate marketing really isn’t that hard. Most of us in this business probably possess the pure marketing skills to be doing much better than we are already, but the fact is, we aren’t doing better. Why is that? It’s because we become comfortable with the systems we have in place or the training we’ve received because they are working at some level for us. Congratulations, you’ve learned how to follow directions.

Learning how to think outside the box involves learning how not to follow directions! The directions are in place to teach you the system only. Directions for putting together your computer desk allow you to build a nice desk, that’s it. They don’t tell you what kind of computer to buy, what kind of software to put in your computer or what to use the computer for.

I see this in PPC Coach where there’s a system and how to exercises in place to teach members the ins and outs of pay per click marketing. Every month there are more involved lessons and ideas on how to better your ppc efforts and some follow those directions to the letter. What some forget though is that there aren’t any rules that say you must continue to work the lessons on a monthly basis. They are simply guidelines to get you to think about ppc differently than you may have in the past and that’s exactly what they were for me. Expanding on the lesson learned in PPC Coach has helped me go on to earn thousands where I had previously lost hundreds.

Right now though I’m still in a box though. It’s a $10,000 per month box, but it’s still a box. Others think in a $30K, $50K or $100K per month box. They learned to see beyond the $10K per month box and expand their “what if” thinking to a whole new level. And that’s one of the secrets for us as affiliate marketers that will help us see beyond the normal, learning to always ask “what if”. What if I did this backwards? What if Google didn’t matter? What if you didn’t follow the rules (I’m not advocating black hat here)? What if offer xxxx was only paying half of what it is, how could you still make money with it. What if I offer legitimate stuff to customers instead of rip-off gimmicks with recurring monthly charges? What if I bid on concept keywords instead of specific keywords in my ppc marketing. What if Google Quality Score didn’t matter, and on and on. It’s good to sit down from time to time and make a list of “what if” scenarios and meditate on them for a bit to see what you come up with.

It’s also important to get outside of the realm of affiliate marketing on a regular basis to get your mind thinking in a different direction. Go to your favorite book store such as Barnes & Noble and read up on the economy, find out how finance and economics works, read about how designers developed the latest Ferrari, the challenges the latest software packages are helping 3d modelers overcome, what people are doing to make due when they lost their job and so on. A constant refreshing of your mind with new ideas will help you see beyond your current mode of thinking into an ever expanding box that someday will expand large enough to encompass your ultimate goals and desires, whatever they may be.

Using all their skills wisely, the average affiliate marketer will have an average business and make average money. Marketers that take those same skills and reverse engineer the rules by thinking out of the box with an attitude of finding solutions instead of complaining, will succeed wildly. Never forget that the rules are put it in place to tell you what you can’t do, they rarely, if ever, tell you what you can do. It’s up to you to put on your thinking cap and figure that out.

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35 Responses to “Affiliate Intangibles – Attitude And Out Of The Box Thinking”

  1. Affiliate Success – Attitude And Out Of The Box Thinking…

    Using all their skills wisely, the average affiliate marketer will have an average business and make average money. Marketers that take those same skills and reverse engineer the rules by thinking out of the box with an attitude of finding solutions in…

  2. EPIC post, sir.

  3. I blame you if I develop an internet based reality show where complainers compete to become world champions. Just sayin’.

    :-) Thanks for the great post on attitude, Alan. I’ve been awaiting it anxiously.

    As for reverse engineering, I’m finding that eBay and Amazon are great for that! Customers click on one ad, but buy something totally different.

    Just last week I found a huge (comparatively) commission from a site that pushes relatively low priced items. I drilled down the the sub-category, which turned out to be a specific product. Did a little traffic analyzing, and so on. It’s something I know NOTHING about, but it’s in my books to either learn about it soon, or to hire someone else to write the content for me.

    Now, could you do a post on attitude for accurate book keeping? That’s a lot harder than making myself write content or buy a domain. :-)

  4. WordVixen,

    I’m afraid my wife will have to do the post on attitude for bookkeeping, I let her handle the numbers & spreadsheets because that really does drive me crazy. I do admire you for taking on the challenge.

  5. Thanks Kiley.

  6. Affiliate Success – Attitude And Out Of The Box Thinking…

    What are some of the personality traits that turn a regular affiliate into a super affiliate? As I was scanning my feedreader this morning I found a good detailed post over at Affiliate Confession, th……

  7. Very good round up of how to get yourself together. Out of the box thinking is one amazing skill you can develop. As part of the problogger challenge I wrote a rather lengthly article on 33 ways to build creative capital, which I think will help you a lot with making your mind flexible enough to deal with challenges.

  8. In the immortal words of Kenny Bania….


  9. I’m working on my attitude now.. It is one of the most important things to control. Think and Grow Rich deals a good bit with how one’s attitude relate’s to success.

    As for writing a long rant, don’t discount it that easily, because rants can be a good source of traffic. <–out of the box thinking. Jason Calcanis does it pretty well.

  10. It’s really amazing to see how many people think that there’s a 10 step process to making money. There actually isn’t. When it boils right down to it, it’s the person’s creative side that makes money, not the technique. For somebody to be successful at affiliate marketing, they really need to be an out of the box thinker.

    You really have to come in from angles that have never been attacked before by other internet marketers like your own self. It’s so to explain, yet so hard to do.

  11. be different and you will be spotted, be well-known and you will earn money – great post in present days..:)

  12. Good post! Making money (the kind that allows you to quit your day job) takes a lot of attitude, persistence and “fresh thinking” in a way that is not the same as every guru out there is trying to teach.I think you need to find your own path after you have all the basics setup (a blog, newsletter and so on.)

  13. Hi Alan,

    I really needed this post, I had been recently layoff from my full time job. So now I have a lot of time to do some serious affiliate marketing, lol.

  14. @Tom – The problem with affiliate marketing as a way to quit your full time job is that, as Alan said:

    “Don’t you just hate it when you’re crankin on a CPA offer and they change the lading page and your conversions are cut in half?”

    There are so many things in this biz that are out of your control – a merchant may pull an offer or go under, a google algorythm change could kill you…

    etc etc

  15. Hi Alan

    stumbled on your blog today and must say how inspirational your writing is. I have recently joined PPC Coach and I’m well impressed, although I’m only on month 1. Trouble is I think way out of the box! and find it difficult to follow specific instructions – Any chance you can share your PPC Coach username as I’d like to run something wildly out of the box by you!

  16. Custom Slipmats,

    I’m FixMyPPC at PPC Coach.

  17. I think attitude is so important skill for any task so i love mine attitude problem and compete most of work to follow this

  18. Alan, I really like this post. It’s important to be aware that your mind and your brain is your most valuable asset.

  19. It’s funny how..depending on the situation, thinking out of the box can result in ridicule that is..until you become later honored as a “revolutionary genius”

  20. Good post! Making money the kind that allows you to quit your day job.keep it on.

  21. Just started blogging recently, I can say this post gave me a positive feeling. Hope my blog will make profits in the months to come.

  22. Attitude is surely a very desirable and crucial aspect of any blogging/affiliate project. Excellent thoughts.

  23. Great thinking! Just perfect for the image in your post.
    I believe that people finds what is extraordinary, and therefore blogging extraordinary things will rock.

  24. A great post!

    You should be writing books not blog posts 😛

  25. smashill, you did a nice job with your article titled “33 ways to build creative capital.” It’s a nice addition to this one with a number of good tips.

  26. Great tips that go deeper than the common post on affiliate marketing. You dig into the philosophy and attitude that underlies successful affiliate marketing.

  27. Great post!

    In my opinion attitude is everything.

    Your post simply inspires positive feeling.

    Keep up the good work.

  28. Melody, I agree. Many people have criticized an idea as “crazy” only later to realize how brilliant it was.

  29. A positive attitude really does go a long way these days. I definately think that if you can be positive, you’re more willing to succeed.. you’re more willing to push yourself to get what you want and will not give up. Positivity is key in life!

  30. You definitely don’t want to surround yourself with negativity from the start, because you are already setting the mood for where the day is going. You are going to be soooooo much more productive if you stay positive, and possess the right attitudes. It’s like imagine being a boxer and going into the fight and in your mind you think negative thoughts, you are already setting yourself up to lose from the beginning, and are not even giving yourself a fighting chance.

  31. I have learnt never to believe anything I tell myself and always to check whether what others tell me is really true. I regularly ask myself the question “Is that true?”. We are so used to thinking in particular ways about life as a whole that it often fails to occur to us that what we believe in so strongly may not always be the case. Keep up the creative thinking!

  32. not sure. I never tried CPA offers… are these pay instant into my paypal account?

    Hint – I hate to join such offers because they get us fill out and sign some “earnings” forms. It’s a struggle with those. lol

  33. yes offcourse true that affiliate totally intangibles but the attitude does matters a lot in any online marketing business.

  34. I think as well as thinking out of the box yourself you should look at the sites and blogs that you think are great and shamelessly use some of the features and techniques that they use.

  35. Just read this (I know I’m a little late). Started PPC Coach 3 weeks ago…have been actually following it to a Tee as I’m a newbie and want to learn their systems first. This post gives me great direction and a new attitude about the process. So this is a loooong Thank you for writing this post.

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