I never planned on getting into freelancing.
I wanted to make some money online as I failed with a few websites in the past and decided to try my luck at freelancing.
In 2013, I joined Upwork and Elance (Elance is no longer in use).
Today, in 2017, I run three very successful online businesses and I owe it all to what I’m about to tell you in this article.
Freelancing with affiliates
After quitting my job and moving to Asia, I needed to make money fast.
I had no online skills, I didn’t know what SEO was, and I didn’t know how to build an email list.
So I started at the bottom.
I joined Upwork and Elance and started applying for any writing gigs I could find.
In the beginning I wrote about real estate, furniture, security, dogs, and nutrition.
A few weeks in, I came across a job post very similar to this:
This was interesting, or so I thought. Someone wants me to write reviews so they can make money via Amazon’s affiliate service – something I tried in the past but failed.
I thought that if they were hiring writers, they were probably successful and someone I could learn from.
I had no clue how to make money with affiliate marketing, but I wanted to learn. So I applied for the job similar to the above listing plus many more that I came across over the next few weeks.
Within the space of three months, I was working for several affiliate marketers and digital agencies, mainly writing product reviews or news articles about the latest marketing trends.
My affiliate clients wanted me to write long-form articles using the best SEO practices. I had no idea what they were at the time, but I lied and told them it wouldn’t be a problem.
Some asked for references and examples. I had none and they didn’t hire me.
Others took my words at face value and gave me a chance.
As they were paying me to write articles for SEO, I followed checklists and read guides as I worked on their content. Over the period of three months, I knew more about SEO than 90% of businesses that need help with it.
As for my digital agency clients, they wanted me to write how-to guides and guides on ‘X ways you can use [insert marketing service here] to grow your business.’
Again, I had no idea how to use Facebook ads or what the best email marketing practices were, but I lied and said I did.
When I was hired to write, I read other blogs, followed guides written by others, and actually set up my own AdWords and Facebook ads to document the whole process in a blog post.
The best thing about all this was that I was getting paid to learn things and write.
Here’s the catch
You won’t get rich following my advice, but you will gain so much experience and knowledge that you can use in the future to grow your own business or crush it with affiliate marketing.
My strategy is also known as the ‘fake it till you make it’ strategy.
As I had no previous experience with affiliate review writing or writing how-to marketing guides, I wasn’t getting paid $100+ per article.
I was at the bottom, earning $10-$20 per article, enough to get by in Asia but not something you want to do in the long term.
But your goal shouldn’t be to make a huge profit; it should be to learn and gain skills for later on.
Fast forward to 2017 and, as well as running my own online businesses, I also write for a number of high-quality websites who pay me a premium to write content that converts.
Through working for others I learned:
- Facebook ads;
- email marketing;
- blogging; and
- growth hacking.
I slowly increased my skill set and my income.
Are you failing with affiliate marketing?
Are you trying to master Facebook ads, blogging, or affiliate marketing but have failed over and over again?
Join Upwork or Freelancer and start applying for jobs in fields you want to become a master in. Don’t go charging $50 an hour for your service as you have no skill to justify that price yet.
Bid low, secure the job, learn, and get paid for doing so.
For example, if you want to become a Facebook expert, read a few Facebook marketing blogs and then start applying for jobs at competitive prices.
Want to learn SEO? Then read any of the hundreds of online guides showing you how to optimize a website, and then put your theory to work by working on someone else’s website.
When you start to see success, then you can replicate the work in your own projects and turn your losing ventures into winning ones.