It’s Time to Do Another 180

April 12, 2014 Posted by Tyler Cruz
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I better get another blog post up before I let it get too far away from me again.

This post will still not be the "Where the hell have I been?" post that I plan to publish soon, but is somewhat related to it.

Many years ago, I used to be super-focused when I worked. I was passionate about it, and was able to work what seemed like all day. It was fun.

And when something is fun, it’s not work. Like my good buddy Confucius once said:

"Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life."

Now, don’t get me wrong; I still love what I do and wouldn’t trade it for anything. But over the past few months, I’ve really noticed myself losing focus while working.

I used to be able to work with what seemed like pure focus. I had tasks that needed doing, and I did them. But now, even though I am still diligent with my work "sessions" (timing them and whatnot), I find that I can only work for like 5-10 minutes at a time before needing to take a break by browsing Reddit.

Reddit itself is not the issue, and the problem wouldn’t be solved by implementing some sort of block on the site. The problem, I believe, is that I have lost passion in what I’ve been working on.

The Affiliate Marketing Grind

I’ve been focusing on affiliate marketing for the past 2 years now, and while I’ve learned a good bit since the beginning, I find that so much of what I do is repetitive grunt work.

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I know that some people would suggest for me to delegate and outsource the grunt work out. That’s a lot easier said than done though when it comes to affiliate marketing, due to the secrecy and competitive nature of it.

It got so repetitive, in fact, that I actually started feeling like a robot. I had a routine of checking and analyzing stats (to a sick degree), optimizing accordingly, and then always trying new offers, angles, and traffic sources for stability and growth.

When you spend countless hours doing the same thing over and over again, you start to get bored and lose focus, no matter how good the money is.

I’m not bashing affiliate marketing here. I had an unbelievable year, despite things falling down quite a bit since summer.

I’m simply saying that I’ve grown a bit bored and tired of affiliate marketing, after doing the same thing over and over again for so long. I’ve lost the passion for it.

Going Back to My Roots?

While my focus has been on affiliate marketing the past 2 years, before that I had only ever dabbled in it here and there.

For those that don’t know, I used to make my money from a network of content-based websites, using primarily private ad sales and various ad networks for monetization. I also used to make money by flipping domains and websites.

Three years ago, I sold my largest website, which meant that I lost a good passive monthly recurring income. I got a very good price for it (enough to live off for 2-3 years) – but I knew that I had to find a replacement for that lost recurring income. That is partly why I started to try my hand at affiliate marketing again…

…and so we’ve come full circle.

Sometime around 6-8 months ago, I had an idea for a website. The idea kept bouncing back into my head every once in a while, and so I finally decided to look a bit into it to see if anyone else had the same idea and beat me to the punch. But I didn’t find anything.

I did find a couple of domains that would have been perfect for it which had basic "Coming soon" signs up – from the descriptions, they appeared to have a similar idea to me – but they appeared to have been abandoned more or less. In short – I couldn’t find any competition.

The website idea I have is a type of social crowdsourcing. It has numerous business model possibilities, although monetizing a website is never a concern if you ask me.

Part of what really intrigues me about this idea is that it’s a site for the general public, unlike virtually every other website I ever created, which has typically always been relatively niche-specific, apart from Movie-Vault.com.

Over the past month, I’ve especially been thinking about this website idea… it’s an itch I can’t scratch and just won’t leave me alone.

In fact, a couple of weeks ago, I spent a long time perusing the Internet for a good domain for it. I was willing to spend upwards of $15,000 for a real good domain, and after many hours of research, made a shortlist of around 20 domains.

I polled various contacts from my instant messenger lists and got the domains narrowed down to 3. The top domain would cost me $4,000, #2 $600, and #3 $10 (registration fee). This is only a voting sample size of 11 though (including my own vote).

I have still yet to decide which to go with, but my point is that I’ve gone far enough to the point to where I almost bought a $4,000 domain for this idea.

A Longshot?

When I started to get more serious about actually going ahead with this website idea, I started to see more potential issues with it. Here’s a list:

  • It’s a bit more complex than I had originally thought. While the idea of the website is simple, making sure it is programmed well enough with the right features will actually take a fair bit of development. This is factoring things in such as spammers and cheaters.
  • Sometimes I question the entire idea itself – wondering if anyone would actually be interested in such a website. Maybe that should raise red flags… but then again, when Twitter first came out, I used to think that was a horrible idea. And I still don’t understand the popularity of Pinterest.
  • It’s going to take time and money to develop. I do have time and money, but I don’t have time and money to waste. Is this really a good enough idea to spend $20K-$25K and countless hours on?

Entering the Mobile Arena

And then there’s mobile.

Apart from running some mobile offers via affiliate marketing, my mobile knowledge is next to nothing. Yet, I am very aware that mobile is a big part of the future and will only continue to grow. I’m also a big gamer…

Yup, you guessed it – the other idea I have on my mind is to develop a mobile game.

I know what you’re saying – "But Tyler, http://www.robotwarz.com/ was a huge failure". Well yes, it was. But it was also a good learning experience. It was also not a mobile game.

I’ve done some preliminary research, and to develop a very simple mobile game – a simple but well done and polished game (something like Tetris or Bejeweled, for example), it will cost around $20,000 – $30,000.

My RobotWarz idea, fully formed in mobile, would probably cost more like $200,000.

I also looked into buying an existing mobile game from sites such as http://www.apptopia.com/. The prices seem abnormally high for what you get though.

In general, mobile app/game development prices seems to be undeservedly high for some reason.

The problem with developing a mobile game is simply that I have no experience with this market outside of basic marketing. I’d also not be able to contribute too much to the project other than money… I’d be more of an investor than anything else.

Which to Choose?

There’s no rule that says I can only choose one of the above options. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned from my many years of making money online, it’s to focus. The more focused you are, the better.

While it’s good to have backup plans, multiple sources of income, and not to have all your eggs in one basket – you’re always going to be better off focusing on 1 or 2 projects than you are trying to juggle 6 or 7.

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I still haven’t decided. There are pros and cons with each path.

This is where I lie currently… at the 3-way fork in the road. I’m actually not doing any affiliate marketing at the moment (apart from a very small test here or there). Instead, I’ve been working on tying up all the loose ends and getting back up-to-date on all the things that I’ve let accumulate since focusing on affiliate marketing (such as my blog!).

Feedback is Welcome!

What do you think?

Perhaps you have a mobile game for sale, or can recommend a reputable gaming studio? Want to invest with me? Have an idea where I can invest some money (I’ll be regretting asking that)?

Contact me (don’t leave a comment asking me to contact you!).

I’m really open to ideas right now. I want to be passionate about work again.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment below, subscribing to my RSS feed, or following me on Twitter.
Posted: April 12th, 2014 under Miscellaneous  

40 Responses to “It’s Time to Do Another 180”

  1. Charles Ngo says:

    I’d probably stick with affiliate marketing.

    You had the ability to go from $0 to $250k+ profit within a matter of months. It seems silly to throw away that experience away considering you’re literally one affiliate campaign away from a million bucks.

    While the mobile game looks attractive, it doesn’t sound like you have much leverage / experience in that arena, despite robot warz.

    If I were you I would give affiliate marketing another go and milk what you can out of it. Once you have more money in the bank, then you can give the other paths a go.

    The affiliate grind can be repetitive at times, but I power through it. There are people out there who are selling street food for $10 a day, who have been “grinding” for their entire life. Launching campaigns for 6-7 figures seem so bad.

  2. Ruben says:

    Maybe it’s time to do a joint venture deal with another affiliate marketer or aff marketing company so that you can feed off of the motivation and energy that other in business with you have for the affiliate marketing space. There’s just way too much opportunity in the space to not push forward in it when you already so much knowledge on it under your belt.

  3. Simon says:

    You’re silly, if you’re good at something and it’s making you money you should continue doing it.

  4. Dave says:

    You are what – 30 years old?

    Why not bust ass on affiliate marketing for 5-10 years, pay off your mortgage, bank a bunch of cash and then work on whatever the hell you like? Mobile games will still be around at that point

  5. Dave says:

    One more thing – I think that you are inherently lazy. You have flashes where you work hard but you are unable to sustain this over a lengthy period of time.

    You say “I want to be passionate about work again” but I read this as “I’m too lazy for the affiliate marketing grind.”

    • Sohail says:

      Dave,

      I think you’re being very rude in your comments.

      Tyler isn’t lazy which is clearly evident in his success so far.

      He’s just on a turning point in his life now where he doesn’t know how to move forward and grow more.

      To be honest Tyler, what’s happening is that you’ve reached a point where Affiliate marketing is too repetitive and you’re looking for a challenge, something that’s going to give you that drive and energy like you had years ago.

      My best advice would be that you just go for it, take the leap into mobile app/game and see what it brings you.

      Worst to worst you’ll spend some cash but it’ll be a great learning exp defo.

      Secondly, why don’t you if you haven’t already, build an email list for your affiliate marketing venture so it’s more automated and that way less of a worry on your shoulders.

      Sohail

      • Dave says:

        Rude? I’m just being honest. Tyler’s made hundreds of thousands of dollars in the past year and he’s thinking about giving up because “he’s bored and losing focus.”

        Is that not the very definition of laziness?

        • Timbo says:

          ” You say “I want to be passionate about work again” but I read this as “I’m too lazy for the affiliate marketing grind.” ”

          Nope, your definition is wrong

          Laziness = unwilling to work. Tyler’s already put the work in, but the repetitiveness means he doesn’t have the same drive and passion as before. Doesn’t mean he’s inherently lazy at all.

          If Tyler thinks he may need a change of direction, that doesn’t equate to laziness at all. He may need a break to re-focus. Many can get burn’t out if they just do the same thing over and over again, day in, day out.

          • Dave says:

            Yes – Tyler is unwilling to work for a sustained period of time, therefore he is lazy. He took a hit in affiliate marketing and is now unwilling to do the necessary work to get back on top.

            How many projects has he abandoned over the years? Either he is a super-genius who gets bored easily or he is lazy. You pick.

  6. iamattila says:

    I would definately scratch the make a website idea. Google changed seo so much the serps change daily. They do this so people can’t depends on seo alone to build great sites and will use their adwords to promote their sites. So unless you are willing to media buy for your site like mad and have a big budget for it being so broad i’d def eliminate it.

    I agree with charles… you should stick to aff marketing.. hes the guy who made me fear trusting employees and today thanks to his suggestion it gave me the courage to trust more and today i have a well oiled system and i do zero boring stuff.. just angles and talking to ams and other guys :)

  7. Hi Tyler, I guess you should stick to affiliate marketing only. That’s what you’ve been doing good!

    The lack of focus and interest can be just a temporary situation. Why not take a break and start afresh? I guess it will do the trick.

    Better yet, do a self introspection. Analyze things. Ask yourself questions and find out what it is that you truly want to pursue!

    Found this post on Kingged.com, where I’m Kingging it! :)

    Arun

  8. Jim says:

    It sounds like you really want to go with the new website. Work on what you are passionate about, affiliate marketing isn’t going anywhere, so take some time off from affiliate marketing and focus on the website and get re-energized. If it doesn’t work out, you can always go back.

  9. Paul says:

    I was just recently faced with a similar dilemma. Different circumstances, but none of the paths that I saw in front of me stood out more than the others. At best I would choose one, only to wake up the next morning and revert back to thinking that maybe another option is better.

    So what I did is I sat down and thought about mentally shutting down and “deleting” every aspect of all the businesses and business assets I own. I imagined deleting all my email lists, deleting my Blog, my domains, shutting down all my bank accounts, all operations of my businesses, and essentially mentally hitting like a giant RESET button…. like as if I was starting brand new, all over.

    Then from there I tried to get clear on what were the most enjoyable, fun, and exciting parts of work that I enjoyed in various different business models I’ve been in.

    I realized that I really liked the team-building and helping out team-members aspect of various MLM companies I’ve been in.

    I realized I liked the competitive nature of competing in competitions that affiliate networks used to have, and most MLMs have too. I love to compete and win free prizes.

    I realized I liked the thrill of marketing, generating leads and coming up with clever ways of promoting something that others are not seeing, but I don’t enjoy selling over the phone or in person to strangers.

    There were basically about 20 or 30 things I listed as things I really liked about various business models I’ve been in, and other things I hated about each one.

    So basically coming up with like a LOVE and HATE list.

    Then, once I got clarity on those things, I opened up my mind to seeing if there is something out there like that, which has a lot of the things I love about being an entrepreneur, and the fewest of the things I hate.

    It wasn’t long and I actually found a really cool project I’m actually working with John Chow on. It has a lot of the elements I love about MLMs, like team-building and helping/teaching people things, and also some travel to events and lots of contests where you both get to compete against others, and also some perks where you just compete against yourself (like getting a free Mercedes paid for by the company).

    When I found this opportunity it instantly made sense to me, so I have been focusing on it for the last 10 days and already made over $2,600 in commissions with it. I know that’s not much in Affiliate Marketing terms, but for a brand new business model, I’m super happy with my results so far and enjoying the process.

    I guess what I’m saying is that perhaps sometimes the reason why we have trouble picking option A, B or C, is because what we actually want is option D which we haven’t thought of yet. Maybe option D is better than A, B and C.

    -Paul

  10. Virgil says:

    I’m glad that you get back posting, I was thinking that you gave up or you switched to something else.

    Anyway, the answer can be pretty simple…do what you enjoy, not for the money, but something you like doing. If you are not motivated anymore about affiliate marketing, try something else.

    You are not a newbie anymore who didn’t have success or doesn’t know how things are. Giving up affiliate marketing for you it’s a change it’s not literally giving up, you had your ups and downs in this industry, you got to know it, you had success already, now may be the time to try something else. It’s not like the lack of motivation of a beginner, you are at a totally different level.

    I know that your audience is affiliate marketers and most will say stay on this industry, well this is what they may like…but if you make the same post on a startup blog, everyone will say go for the new mobile/website venture.

    Personally, I tried affiliate marketing, it worked well, money was a motivation but it’s just temporally. Many guys are into aff marketing because it’s easier to get to a large income instead of building your own product or hustling with clients, it’s kind of a shortcut. There are other who love affiliate marketing, but I think they love more the marketing part than the affiliate part.

    Even If I did good with aff marketing, having no control on the offers, no control on the cashflow and no predictable income…it was not for me. Money being a big motivator and not having control over them even if I put the same amount of work, made me go back to what I really love, building products.

    On a product(especially with a monthly recurring payment), you’ll know almost for sure what’s your next month income, you don’t rely on others, you have your own product. You can even go on a 1 month vacation with just sending support emails for 1 hour/day and do the some other small tasks, but you can be sure that the income will remain steady. There is no offer taking down, no banner blindness to overcome, no others stealing your lander, no network who won’t pay you on time…you are almost 100% in control. If you don’t have a shitty product and a good base of paying users, there is no way that recurring revenue to drop over 30% in a month, maybe just if you made a broken update or a very big competitor comes by and gives their service for free….which is unlikely.

    Of course, it’s a bit harder than affiliate marketing, but having a stable business that you control will pay off eventually.

    Anyway, all depends on what you enjoy doing, if you like the affiliate marketing thrill, stick to it, if you want something more stable go an try building a passive-income business and see how it works. You already acquired aff marketing skills, those won’t fade away…you can get back at it anytime if you fail on the other thing, but I think you should give a try with something new.

    Better regret something you did than something you didn’t.

  11. Makto says:

    The right kind of website can be a real boon – if you design/program it correctly so that it is largely self-maintaining, and you have a steady stream of membership dues and/or advertising revenue, it is essentially an ATM machine that never quits. It earns you money while you do nothing. Go for it.

  12. andi says:

    I think you should keep doing affiliate marketing but don’t limit yourself to just AM. If you have a good idea that you are passionate about then you should invest some time in that idea. Stick to AM and that other idea. Don’t invest all of your money in that idea. Most people that build successful apps-websites, have the idea but outsource the project.( I think is a matter of finding the right person to outsource the project to). Don’t be afraid to fail “Just Do It” and keep learning from failure and success.

  13. traffiking says:

    Glad you are doing well, Tyler. I have to agree with Charles. You should stick to affiliate marketing and build up a war chest. Either way you go, I know that your knowledge of running campaigns will help you in your future business endeavors. Good luck!

  14. Edgar says:

    You’re already doing really well with Affiliate Marketing, just stick through it man.

    I would suggest you take some time off…. take a vacation, read books or anything not related to affiliate marketing…

    This might help you release any frustrations you may be experiencing. Then you probably might be able to come back with a more clear plan of action.

    Either way, all the best to you man!

  15. Guys Gab says:

    Personally, I think you need to partner up with someone. It seems like you try and take on too much by yourself, and as a result you’ve got a bunch of half-developed ideas.

    50% of something is better than 100% of nothing, you know what I mean?

  16. Mark says:

    Quickest way to burn thru cash is to go into a market or area of business you have absolutely no idea about. I have spent literally millions on other businesses i had no business being in… Just because you’re good in one area doesn’t mean you will be successful in all.

    My suggestion would be to jump back into affiliate marketing with both feet and focus your energies. Successful entrepreneurs (imho) aren’t the guys who can do it once, they are the guys who continually year after year come out with new ideas and create winners.

  17. Elijah says:

    Hi Tyler,

    Take a step back and look at how much you’ve accomplished over the years. It is truly remarkable. You’ve excelled in so many areas of online business. You should be very proud.

    Affiliate marketing is tough. It consumes a lot of your time, energy and financial resources, which usually leads to anxiety and stress. I always have a difficult time falling asleep when a campaign is running. So much can happen which I can’t control overnight. I’m sure you can relate.

    Perhaps you should ask yourself why you started doing business online in the first place? Was it to build your own brand or to market others?

    If you decide to continue with affiliate marketing, I think it would be beneficial to focus on working with a single traffic source, and promote only one vertical. Having too much to manage can be overwhelming. This will also provide the opportunity for you to become an expert in a niche, and to understand the needs of your prospective leads.

    All the best,

    Elijah

  18. Super Brain says:

    Do what you like tyler. Eat more wings and play video games. You lazy ass.

  19. Since you have experience as an affiliate and know what works you may want to think about developing your own offers and becoming an advertiser.

    It is still within the industry and it allows you more creativity, leverage, automation residuals (if implemented) and owning something you can give to your children in the future if done properly.

    Becoming an advertiser is a great step to take after being a publisher in this industry.

    Cheers,

    Christian

  20. Sunday says:

    Mobile marketing is the future of online earnings. It would be interesting to engage in this. With socials and smartphones forming part of our daily digital lives, the use of mobile technology should attract more investors with time.

    I completely support the idea of venturing in the mobile marketing. You have already mastered affiliate marketing. Mobile development and marketing would provide you with new challenges!

    Whats more, you can combine the three of affiliate marketing, mobile marketing, and new websites as multiple sources of income!

    This comment was shared in kingged.com – the social bookmarking website for Internet marketers where this post was found.

    Sunday – kingged.com contributor

    http://kingged.com/time-180/

  21. Tyler, do what you love and DO NOT chase money! Learned this one the hard way. When you chase money, it flees, and you become unhappy, it’s an endless cycle. When you really resonate with an idea, you will become so happy to work it, that all things will fall into place easily, and you’ll rock it out.

    I found this post on Kingged.com and gave it a smashing King!

    Appreciate your insight.

    • I would have to agree with Ryan on this one.

      I know a lot of people here are advising you to stick to the affiliate game, though I do not believe many people appreciate how frustratingly boring it actually is.

      The pictures of affiliate marketers driving around in porches with hot ladies falling over them is what affiliate companies are pushing. The reality for many people is that they become nothing more than number crunchers; which makes the job no different from that of an accountant or data entry clerk.

      The money is, of course, a nice sweetener. Though life is short.

      I’d personally be happy running a website that made $5,000 a month that required ten hours maintenance a week that running a website that $20,000 a month that required me to work fifteen hour days.

      There are a lot of ways to make money on the internet. You have a good understanding of many areas, so it seems silly to force yourself into a corner doing something that you clearly are not enjoying.

      Try and find something that captures the fun and imagination you initially had with your poker forums. You will be happier, and it could become very successful too.

      Good luck :)

      Kevin

  22. Jayashree says:

    Tyler – Do what your heart says. Its always a fight between the heart and the mind but go with what your heart says as that will drive passion and energy in whatever you do.My suggestion would be to stick with affiliate marketing and evolve at better ideas on how you can grow innovatively in the same field.

  23. Emmanuel says:

    I obviously ask you to go in the direction of Affiliate Marketing for that is the way forward I think.

    Anyway, that is my 2 cents!

  24. Hey Tyler, Wow Great article as well as the comments. I do agree you need to be focused, if you are trying to juggle to many projects nothing ood will come out of this.been there done that. Perhaps start from the beginning and define your purpose, what is your goal and then work on the mindset, perhaps meditate about it and idea’s will transpire from this..

    Seems like you know know the how now just to figure out the why! Thanks for sharing.. Chery :))

    I did land on your blog Via Kingged where I also commented and kingged this post…

  25. Dude, go with what makes you happy. Follow your gut. Personally, I’d love to work on an app with you. I think that would be a lot of fun if you decide to go that route.

  26. Eric Sloan says:

    You’re probably losing passion for the affiliate space because deep down we all know that most of the offers are scams (email subs?). Most entrepreneurs are passionate about building things, and affiliate campaigns are just flashes in the pan. You’re not really building anything because as soon as you stop maintaining your campaigns they quickly slide into nothing.

    Sure it’s fun to make some cash really quickly, but it’s also tiring as hell.

    In the end you gotta follow your own gut. I would ask the question: will your customers miss you if you stopped your work?

    If not, it’s just fluff.

    • Makto says:

      If this website had a like button, I would have just clicked it about eight times.

    • Eeyore says:

      I used to think Lower My Bills was a scam. I went to a party where I met a couple that used Lower My Bills. They said they met a mortgage broker who analyzed their debt, got their scores higher and got them a much lower mortgage rate. Everyone else they used were referred by friends or family and they turned out to be scammers.

      Go figure.

    • Paul B says:

      THIS is the only piece of advice worth reading on this site.

  27. I do not understand either you are confuse or just wanted to read others mind too, whatever it is, i have advice for you to go with New Website than move to Affiliate Marketing.

  28. Hi Tyler,
    Stop at what you are good at and it’s affiliate marketing, you can the market and know how to earn money from it. Do not risk being without income.

  29. Ravikant says:

    Hi Tyler, I guess you should stick to affiliate marketing only. That’s what you’ve been doing good! Thanks for sharing this post it’s really awesome Income from affiliate.

  30. Mark says:

    As a programmer and someone who’s seen many people develop mobile applciations, including games, I’d urge you not to go down that route. Even the big studios find it hard to release moderately successful games. Spending $200k on one is stupid, it has about as much chance of success as a $5k one does. It’s very difficult to build momentum with apps, to get people interested because it’s all incredibly saturated.

    The website idea is more viable, there’s lower barriers to entry with websites, though I’d suggest heavy prototyping/interest guaging before spending any real time/money on an idea.

    I think part of the downtime with affiliate marketing could be the drop from the higher income, and the negative moods that come with that. If you could figure out ways to get back to the top, and even say someway to stay there, I’m sure that would rekindle your enthusiasm! All the best. Mark

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