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From zero to $XXXX / day in three months – success story from an IamAttila reader

Here’s a guest post by a guy named Kevin, he’s a young but hella smart dude I met in London.  His work caught my eye on STM, but meeting him in person proved he means business.      He got to 1k/day pretty damn fast, and I decided it’d be great to have him share his story here with you and some kick ass tips on how he did it. Enjoy!

 

KevinHey everyone! I’m Kevin, 19 years old and originally from Germany. After finishing high school in 2014, I decided to screw college and instead moved to Sydney.

I’d had enough of school, learning mostly useless boring stuff, and certainly wanted something else than 9-5 for my future. After some time and two failed business attempts, I heard about Affiliate Marketing. Even though I thought it was overpriced, I decided to give the famous STM forum a shot. I could not have been more wrong – it was more than worth the money, and would end up changing my life within the next couple of months.

It was at the end of November 2014. During this time I was living in Sydney inside the car I bought to save money on rent. I was working all day in a co-working office nearby, and showering at the gym. Still, my savings were running low faster than I had expected.

As you probably know yourself, the first couple months of doing affiliate marketing are extremely draining. Constant losses. It’s super tough to invest a lot of time and effort into something when the result is losing money. Not just for a week or two, but for several months.

I started following the Mobile Appetizer Guide from the STM forum, doing low payout app installs. The first $1,000 was lost fast. I wasn’t going to half-ass it, though. I had no second job; I went in full-time, and living expenses in Sydney amounted to another several thousand dollars a month.

One of my first landing pages, and the stats from Decisive, running “Dolphin Browser” in Russia. (Don’t use the lander, it converted terribly).

Things were looking pretty bad. And that’s something many other successful affiliates have experienced at one point. It’s actually a major force you can use for yourself. I call this technique “lighting a giant fire under your ass.”

Attila did this very well by hiring a team from the start. Big expenses forced him to move fast and get things going! And of course having employees is a massive accountability, and increases your investment. Right now one big reason I don’t just take two weeks off and relax is my employees.

Because the biggest issue 95% of newbies in AM have is giving up. It creeps in slowly and comes bundled up with excuses. (Book recommendation: The War of Art on the toxic force called Resistance).

Giving up is by far the biggest reason for not making it. So before you even start, be smart about setting things up in a way to keep yourself going. You know you’ll be drained and in an emotional low when you start losing money. Now, before going down into hell, it’s time to prepare.

Ask yourself: How can I create systems to keep myself from quitting? You know yourself the best, so engage with whatever works for you. Be a bit more extreme. Know your purpose.

Here’s one piece of knowledge which helped me tremendously. We can be in one of three emotional states:

  1. Feeling super good, wanting to change the world, having altruistic thoughts and motivations, …
  2. A normal, everyday feeling, neutral feeling toward others, the most common state …
  3. Feeling low, more animalistic moods, greedy, selfish, pissed off, wanting to say fuck everything, …

You’re cycling through all of these states in your life, sometimes several times a day. And in every state your motivations shift. In order to become super focused on achieving a goal, try writing down and engaging in thoughts that will encourage your goal on all emotional levels. Example for all three levels:

  1. By earning more money I can give more to charity and help others with my knowledge
  2. I’ll be able to live a cool, free lifestyle and get rid of my average, lame job
  3. I’ll be rich, I can drive around in an expensive car and tell my old boss to go f*** himself

There are many more such motivations for each of the three emotional states. No matter what state you are in, everything points in one direction – becoming successful at AM, or whatever else you want to achieve.

It’s quite simple. There are thousands of people out there, just like you. Everyone wants to make money. Why are you going to be better than all the rest of the people with the same goal? There are many out there with more experience, better connections, teams and partners, large budgets. Why are you going to make it in such a competitive space?

If you can not find a reason why you’re better, you most likely are not. It’s super simple. Here is the list I created when starting out:

  • I am going to work longer and harder than anyone else, as long as it takes, never giving up

That’s it. There is no one mysterious secret tip everyone is hiding from you. Even though it sometimes feels like it. When you’re just starting out, the odds are not in your favor, but you can turn them around by working like a maniac. That’s my secret.

Working 12 hour days 7 times a week was the norm. Sometimes I was still sitting in the office when the first people came in the next morning. It’s super tough. Your friends are out partying, many Saturday nights. You are sitting in the office working. Some really cool startup guys inviting me to a barbecue on the beach. I said “Sorry, I have to focus on work.” You see how your previous achievements in the gym slowly deteriorate.

 

Last Man Standing

Last man standing at the office, approaching 10pm – working on campaigns and articles.

Was it healthy, balanced, pleasurable? No.

Was it necessary? Yes!

And right now out there are guys who have got exactly this kind of attitude. You’re up against them. Just “giving it a shot” rarely works out when there’s the amount of potential you’ve got in AM. You need to go all in from the start.

Here are some ideas on how to go all in:

  • Do it together with a close friend and keep each other from quitting
  • Start a follow along on the STM forum and commit to posting regularly
  • Join a small, active mastermind group on Skype
  • Hire someone or otherwise invest a lot
  • Create a situation where it’s more painful to quit than to keep going
  • Cut yourself off from distractions, an extreme but very effective solution is moving out of your common environment. I can highly recommend moving to Bangkok or Chiang Mai, this will tremendously increase your odds
  • Put a certain amount of money to the side, either a bigger amount once, or a smaller monthly amount, and already consider it fully lost. That’s your testing budget.
  • Be very clear about what failure is. If you haven’t had any active campaigns for the last three days your alarm bells should be ringing – you’re close to giving up. Not launching is not making progress.

Do not quit, and everything else will come together over time. It might take a month, or a year, or five years. But what’s five years when you’re looking at the incredible potential and opportunity you’ve got right in front of you here?

Many times I was just one step away from giving up. Some days when I felt like I had tried everything I could, I read blogs in order to get some inspiration.

Besides STM, Attila’s blog was the most valuable resource I had. Several times when the outlook was particularly dark and I did not know what else to try, I came here, went to the last page, and read every single article Attila has ever written. And every single time I came up with at least a handful of new ideas. Most of them failed, but after some time something would start to work out. There are little hints and tips everywhere.

Another accountability trick: All the time I was posting my follow along and articles on my blog, so those are actually live right from the beginning. If you read the earlier ones, I was still sleeping in my car and losing hundreds of dollars a day while writing them. If I had just quit, I would have lost face, and would at least gotten a couple messages encouraging me and asking what’s up.

So I can highly recommend starting a follow along, and probably even some kind of blog. You’ll get help, encouragement, and accountability. Not for nothing, but when everyone sees you’re not giving up and determined to make this work.

After some time my efforts started paying off. The big losses turned into smaller losses. I started spending more money. And then after three painful months of losing money, success came all of a sudden. It took only three months, but it felt much longer. In the beginning of February 2015 I finally did my first $X.XXX / day profit, and after just a few days I had recovered all previous losses.

There is no magic trick, no secret Affiliate Illuminati Skype group. Even though it feels like it when you haven’t made any profit and can not figure out how this should even be possible. It’s very simply hard work, persistence, and adding another 1% and another 1% and another 1% to your skillset.

Here’s the screenshot of my first four months in Affiliate Marketing. Consider all the other expenses in the beginning as well, you can add $3k for living costs and other expenses each month.

progress-earnings-spending-so-far-14-weeks

After hitting it big in February I went to London in March, and met everyone including Attila at the STM London event. Right now I’m living and working out of Chiang Mai in Thailand.

Since London I’ve been investing in building a team – we currently have two full time employees on board. Attila’s team setup is very impressive and a big inspiration, however I’m going in a little bit different direction. I’m a young guy and live in several countries around the world throughout the year, which is just one of the awesome things AM enables me to do. To support this lifestyle our whole team is set up completely location independent. Very interesting times ahead!

I’ll keep an eye on the comments, so feel free to ask questions and I’ll answer them as well as I can. Also, if you’re interested in more details, start by reading my follow along on STM or my blog article series on my whole AM journey including the most crucial lessons I’ve learned so far.

Finally, I’d like to thank Attila and everyone who has helped and supported me on this journey – it would not have been possible without you guys!

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  • Laurence Stanley

    Great work Kevin :) Inspiring read!

    Most people quit after 1-2 months but don’t stick it out that little bit extra that is needed.

  • Great article Kevin.
    What functions does your 2 VA have? What are the doing all the time? Making landers, rip landers, making banners, looking for offers. Do they have a flow to follow?
    Thanks Bart

    • Kevin

      Traffic Source Management , and Virtual Assistant / Tracking Management. We’ve got systems in place and document any recurring tasks. We’re going to add a Campaign Manager, Designer and Coder soon :)

  • Rod

    Kevin, your articles links on your website aren’t working. I get not found errors in German:

    “Sehr geehrter Besucher,

    leider ist ein Fehler aufgetreten: Die gewünschte Seite wurde nicht gefunden.

    Haben Sie sich vielleicht vertippt oder eine alte URL aufgerufen? Wenn nicht, informieren Sie bitte den Webmaster dieser Homepage per Email. Um zu der vorherigen Seite zurückzukehren, verwenden Sie bitte einfach die “Zurück” – Taste Ihres Browsers.”

    • Kevin

      Thanks for the heads up! Should work now

  • Santi

    fucking great story Kevin!!Hope to see you again in BKK

  • Bruno

    Hi Kevin,

    Great post!
    I was inspired by the post until the 12h work/day. What is your advice for people who can’t go all in into AM?
    I put in 3h/day, maybe 4 if I can, but can’t really make much more than that on week days.

    Also the timing is great cause I’ve been doing mobile for about 3 months and still deep in the red. I don’t want to quit, but my “down” days are now much more frequent then days I feel positive. So thank you for your post and best of luck to you.

    • Kevin

      Hi Bruno! In theory doing it besides a regular job is a good idea. However for most people it’s to easy to just quit this “little AM thing on the side” and resume with their “usual life”. When you go all in that’s not an option. You can definitely also make something happen putting in 3h / day consistently , but when you’re up against someone competing with you doing 12h / day it’s obvious who is going to win … If I were in your position I’d continue like right now, while also saving up money to eventually go all in. Your decision of course. Good luck!

  • Congratulations on all you’ve achieved Kevin! I remember back when you were getting started in November and was amazed by your focus, work ethic, and your ability to learn so quickly. I knew you were going to make it big one day. Just didn’t know it would be so quick! You continue to inspire me.

    • Kevin

      Thanks Reid! Remember “The Crew” mastermind like it was yesterday :D

  • Remy

    I love this story. Makes me feel like I’m not alone. As soon as I can afford it I’m joining STM.

  • thaKingy

    sweet dude. what kind of traffic did you work with throughout your journey? popunders, redirects, banner on mobile? or desktop? cool man, glad you found your way.

    • Kevin

      I started with display and then moved into pops/redirects. All mobile.

  • jerm

    Kevin! nice inspiring story! Congrats to your success!!!
    I am going to rmb this hard for good.
    *sidenote* where did you get your chome theme from? its looks super COOL

    • Kevin

      It’s called Momentum – momentumdash . com

  • Great inspirational note for me, I’ve just started a month ago, and have been doing 4 to 6 hrs a day, reading as fast as I can… marking little goals every day, I’ve launched 4 campaigns already and of course loosing money, but learning the game… Keep it up!!…

    BTW, are you open to connections on skype, mail, or some other media?

  • astr0

    Congratulations! Very inspiring story! Glad that your hard work paid out well for you, keep going!

    I’m very new to AM and was considering if subscribing to STM worth it with my budget, now I’m totally convinced it is.

    P.S “Don’t use the lander, it converted terribly” – it actually has at least 3 mistakes :D.