Too much month at the end of the money.

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Hi there it’s Dermot here, Do you find yourself in the same predicament, when living costs outstretch your income, even if you are working a full-time job?

I don’t know about you but I found that during the economic downturn, especially between 2008 and 2016, the cost of living was reasonably cheap and I was one of the fortunate ones who held onto a job.

What’s going on?

Since 2016, I have found that my Euro doesn’t go as far as it did during the recession. I had a small pay increase and small income tax cuts over the past couple of years, but that still isn’t enough now. I noticed it this year, especially getting the kids sorted for school, the uniforms, books, bus fees all seemed to cost far more than last year.

Will work for food?

Both myself and my wife work, I work full-time 40hrs and she works 28hrs, but between the 2 of us, we barely manage to financially scrape by each month. By no means are we extravagant, neither of us drinks or smoke and we rarely go out. We have 2 young boys, age 7&5, and spend most of our free time with them. Our whole family is reasonably low maintenance.

So Why?

It’s those eternal bills: mortgage, phone, internet, TV, car & credit card payments, utilities, groceries, taxes, insurances, and extracurricular activities for the kids. They all add up.

No, I could ask for a pay rise?

Not going to happen for either of us, she works in the public sector and I work in Community. We are both professionals but in low paying jobs. Unless you are in a good trade union, everyone seems to be working paycheck to paycheck these days, are you?

Get a new job?

Yes, that is possible but the pay would not be that much better and then there is the commute and possible working away from home and paying rent for a flat. Not worth the cost, time or even hassle.

Then what?

Up-skill!. In my line of work, I have to up-skill anyway as it is a requirement, but no matter how many more qualifications I get, I will not get a significant pay rise or promotion. It hasn’t happened yet and I’ve been in my job since 2006.

So I was doodling online one day looking for something and I came upon an ad in YouTube for affiliate marketing.

What is that I wondered?

Curiosity and impulsivity got the better of my skeptical head and I entered my email address. I liked what I saw, and this seemed to be a way out of my painful financial woes. I would consider myself a skeptic of many things, especially “Get rich quick schemes”, we’ve all seen the ads online, on TV and even sent to our phones now. I normally can't wait to hit the skip button on YouTube.

Now, I’m not at all technically minded and even struggle writing this blog, but I saw that I was not alone, as many others like me, including baby boomers, we're getting on with it and even “crushing it”. Ordinary Joe soaps, like me, not computer geeks or professional marketing gurus.

How were they doing this?

They signed up for and were following a step by step programme. This might sound like a sales pitch, and in a way it is, but the internet is vast and full of opportunities, all we need to do is to be open to it and not fear it. You can't deny, it is here and it is the future.

We Human’s are wary of change, it’s in our history, any inventor of the past, like Galileo, was branded a heretic, and many were even put to death. I know we are not that bad now, but that fear has become ingrained in our psyche over millennia.

It’s all about learning

Affiliate marketing is a learning and it is a self-learning. The main things it is teaching me are patience, commitment, focus, and self-belief.

The more exposure I get on the internet, the more I am learning, mainly through trial and error, but I am beginning to see “the wood from the trees” and my initial overwhelm is subsiding. I used to think, that as the internet is moving so fast, you have to be equally as fast and put in 16 hour days just to keep up. That is only true if that’s your desire. The internet runs at whatever pace YOU want to work at it. Yes, plug-ins and websites need to be upgraded every so often, but in most cases, they tell you this themselves. It is foolproof.

SEO or search engine optimization is hard, but like everything else, it can be learned. The trick is to remain focused and not allow yourself to be distracted by either internal or external noise. You will hear testimonials from people who are getting leads and sales apps very quickly, that can be done if you are advertising on the social media site.

Affiliate Marketing isn’t a get rich quick scheme and believe me you will not get rich quick unless you are really lucky at first, but you will not be able to sustain that unless you really know what you are doing and have been marketing online for years.

Choose your Niche & Your strategy.

I won’t even attempt to try to explain this, but if you sign up for SFM, then they will do a much better job than me doing so. I have chosen the free to low-cost strategy – content blogging, as again I am not in a hurry and also I am not that well off financially. I am though investing my time in my business. What you chose is up to you

Do what you feel comfortable with?

I know I might be contradictive here, but each to his/her own. For many people just being on the internet is taking them far out of their comfort zones, I know it does me. When things don’t happen the way they should, i.e. setting up a website, then my stress levels shoot up and I am definitely out of my comfort zone. For some people that is nothing, everyone is different and it is best you don’t compare.

My one word of advice is DON’T be reckless 

Online Marketing is hard work, if you are not willing to put in the work, you will not see results, you also have to keep it sustainable and not give up at the first hurdle. It will test your resolve.

If you have a full-time job, don’t leave it until you are in a position to replace your income in a sustainable way for at least 6 concurrent months.

DON’T remortgage your house or spend your life savings, even when you feel you are 100% sure and can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are onto a good thing, read the disclaimers.

DON’T spend all your spare time online, neglecting your family as this is a sure way of losing their support and they will grow to despise your business and you.

DO get a good night sleep every night, as you won’t function properly for very long, without it.

DO get all the help you can and don’t be afraid to ask. There are some fantastic online communities with years of experience under their belts. These are real people and not just automated answers generated by an autoresponder.  

DO Give first and get last. Marketing is about building a relationship and giving value. The last thing you should be thinking about is making money.

DO have a goal, both short term and long term. I still struggle with the long-term goals, as I don’t, at this time, see myself living the “Laptop Lifestyle”, sitting on a beach with my laptop. I have 2 kids at school and although I love holidays, I want to just, for now, supplement my income and take care of my family. When my kids are grown up and have fled the nest, then I will definitely pack my bags and move to a warmer country. So you could say my goals are a very long term, but I am okay with that and whatever you want to do or however you want to do it, that’s okay too.

For now, I want to be able to pay my bills, and have money left over for the odd treat and most definitely an annual Sun Holiday.

My Opinion Only

The above is only my (Dermot Mc Donough) opinion and not the opinion of digital bloggers, SFM, or anyone else. I am also learning as I go and this has been MY experience thus far, which I am sharing with you.

To Sum Up

Now Affiliate Marketing might not be for everyone, but my suggestion to you is to just watch the 7-day video series by the co-founders, Stuart & Jay, and decide from there. The video series is free, very interesting and will show you, at least, just what opportunities are available online. I'll leave you to decide.

I wish you a happy day, Take Care.

How to make your first 10K online!