by Dave Cottrell
Affiliate rule number 1 is, “Never give up!”
One of the most interesting and influential historical figures from the twentieth century is Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, the fierce and fiery prime minister of England during the dark hours of World War Two. He was a man who would not give up, in spite of the odds against him, first as a man, and then as the leader of a country facing possibly insurmountable odds. Affiliate rule number 1: Never give up.
Often attributed to Mr. Churchill is the quote, “Never give up!” The actual quote, from which we have gleaned this shortened version is, “Never give in–never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”
Countless souls who have gotten into affiliate marketing have given it a try. This may look redundant at first read, but it is the reason so many have failed. They tried, but they got tired and gave up before the flow started. Affiliate rule number 1: Never give up.
I was the firstborn of a farm family in northern British Columbia in the fifties. Dad was not long back from serving in the front lines in Korea, while Mom was a school teacher from a small community in Muskoka, Ontario.
They married in Ontario, and moved directly to the farm, thousands of miles away from family and any easy help.
Electricity had not yet come to the area, so everything was done manually, including getting water into the house. That came via a hand pump on the wall that pumped water from a well up into a drum that sat on the ice chest. From there, the water gravity fed to the single sink in the house.
To get water into that drum required hard and PERSISTENT work. You would have to first get a chair, climb up with a cup of water in your hand, and pour it down the hose to prime the pump.
Then you would have to quickly drag the chair over to the pump, mounted on the wall, sit down, and pump your heart out until water finally began to come through and go into the barrel.
It was hard work! It took what seemed like ages for the water to come. (It was, after all, a very long way to the well.) It was necessary to pump full strokes, quickly and consistently, for as long as it took to get the water coming.
If you were to stop pumping, all your hard work would run back down into the well, requiring starting all over again. There was no foot valve on the pipe down in the well.
But if you didn’t give up, even when it seemed like the water would never come, even though your arm ached like crazy, even though you felt like you couldn’t pump another stroke; if you didn’t give up, but persisted until the water began to splash into the drum up on that chest, you could slow down into a nice, easy stroke, and that water would just keep coming and coming until that barrel was right full.
Affiliate marketing is just like this. You have to prime the pump, doing the work necessary to get your traffic flow started, such as blogging, posting valuable information and curated items to social sites, taking part in forums, educating yourself in your niche, reading the blogs of successful affiliates, etc., until the flow begins.
If you stop for a break before that flow starts, you will have to start all over again. This I can attest to from personal experience. Every time I have taken a break before the trickle of traffic has become a steady flow, I’ve had to start again. This is why the vast majority of affiliates actually fail. They give up too soon.
Let’s visit Mr. Churchill again. (Did you know that Winston Churchill had a speech impediment? Read on.)
Sir Winston Churchill had a few impediments that many would have said were, if not insurmountable, powerful reasons why he would never succeed in business or politics.
He was independent and rebellious by nature and generally a terrible student. He hated math, and did whatever he could to avoid studying the subject, including joining the cavalry, rather than the infantry, because less math was required!
Churchill also had a speech impediment, a lisp, which made public speaking and any chance of running for public office an impossibility. Yet he did both; British historians now consider him one of the greatest wartime leaders of the twentieth century. In a 2002 poll, he was named the “Greatest Briton,” and is consistently ranked by historians and one of the most influential people in British history. Even the United States Navy named a ship after him, the USS Winston Churchill!
How did this happen? How did a man, whom the media continually made fun of for his lisp, even falsely claiming that he stuttered badly, become so influential? He never gave up and refused to entertain defeat. Affiliate rule number 1… He never gave up. In fact, as we look back on the history of those dark days from the comfort of our own homes, it becomes uncomfortably possible to imagine a very different Britain and a very different world if he HAD accepted the odds and given up.
It took a lot of consistent effort for Mr. Churchill to be able to become the man to lead England in what he famously called their “darkest hour.” During most of the nineteen-thirties, he was not even able to gain a seat in parliament. Yet he never gave up, kept pumping hard, and finally the water began to trickle into that great barrel of British politics with his re-election to parliament in 1939. Affiliate rule number 1: Never give up!
Remember the pump. During the dry years, when Churchill couldn’t gain a seat in parliament, he didn’t give up. He didn’t quit politics. He wrote books. He talked to people of influence. He gave speeches. He pushed and pushed. He kept pumping that pump, knowing that if he kept at it long enough and consistently enough, the water would eventually start to flow. Indeed, when Churchill again was elected to parliament, he rose very quickly in influence and power, becoming the Prime Minister in less than a year!
You must remember that once you DO get that flow started, you have to keep pumping! While it’s not necessary to pump as hard as at the beginning, it still requires steady work to keep the flow going. If you stop, the flow will also stop. You can let up a little, but you can’t stop, or the flow will stop. Affiliate rule number 1: Never give up. Affiliate rule number 2: Don’t stop working. Once again, this was a huge part of why Sir Winston Churchill is remembered as a great man.
“It is no use saying, ‘We are doing our best.’ You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.” This is the way my folks raised me. I am very glad they did. It means that the only thing you can accept IS success. Failure is not an option. When you take the contingency of failure off the table, you take away the most major reason for failure.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” This is not a paradox, but an answer to how to achieve the success mentioned above IF at first you do not succeed. “You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.” Again, when you take failure off the table as an option, it can only be temporary if it even raises its ugly head. Affiliate rule number 1: Never give up.
“Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.” This really is one of my favourite Churchill quotes. If you never take a chance, you never risk getting hurt, but you never experience the exhilaration of dodging a bullet, either, nor will you ever view the fruits of your efforts, because there won’t be any.
“When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber.” Don’t listen to the jabber of negativity. This will drown out the thoughts of success and weary you into quitting. Affiliate rule number 1: Never give up. You can’t afford to let the parrots around you jabber. Be an active eagle, soaring above the crowd.
“If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time-a tremendous whack.” Where I used to work, we used to say when someone was hammering away at something and almost worn out, “Hit it again! It’s still moving!” Persistence pays off. You have to keep on hitting it. This is the priming of the pump. You can’t stop and take a break or try to figure out another, more clever way to get the water flowing. You have to keep pounding away. In the end, that works. Action brings result, not clever or subtle finessing (aka – following the “gurus.”)
“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” Remember the first quote in this list, above. You have got to succeed. Accepting that you have done your best without succeeding is… failure. Affiliate rule number 1: Never give up.
“Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones.” This reminds me so much of that pump on the wall when I was a boy. One small stroke of the pump did not get the water flowing, but many strokes filled the tank. Affiliate rule number 1 is, never give up.
“If you are going through hell, keep going.” This short quote is one of the best pieces of advice for life and affiliate marketing I have ever seen. When the going gets really tough, that is NOT the place to stop and give up. Don’t stay in a bad spot. Keep going till you get out of it! Never give up!
Affiliate marketing is not the key to instant wealth with no work. It is not easier than going to work every day. It IS work. But it is work that can pay off very well if you are persistent and consistent.
Affiliate marketing requires you to “prime the pump,” and you cannot give up or take a break before the flow starts. No one has ever sold a single red paper clip to a non-existent entity. You have to have customers before you can sell anything. You have to prime the pump.
If you’re not succeeding right now, perhaps you need to go back to square one and prime the pump. Don’t just give up. Start a blog. Start writing good content for it in the niche of your preference.
Don’t be writing ads. That’s not how you prime the pump. That would be like me, as a boy, pumping a dry pump like mad, hoping that for some reason it would start pumping water without me first pouring a bit down the pipe.
Do write interesting articles that fit your niche. Do lots of research. Read. Subscribe for newsletters in you niche. Do key word searches and see what others are writing, and even more importantly, see what others are reading. Be consistent and persistent. Affiliate rule number 1 is: Never give up.