It all began back in March when Wealthy Affiliate invited members to apply to join the Super Affiliate Challenge Month One.
How it All Started
The Super Affiliate Challenge (SAC) is a series of tasks set each month. Until I have completed the previous month’s Tasks, the following month’s Tasks are not accessible.
These monthly challenges last twelve months, with the sole aim to push you out of your comfort zone and get stuff done. In doing so, my Bootcamp website should be in a state where it is generating an income.
In this way, Wealthy Affiliate acts as my accountability partner.
This year’s challenge officially began on April 10th, with the first month’s tasks lasting six weeks, through to May 20th.
The SAC Challenges
Super Affiliate Challenge Month One begins with nineteen tasks! Some easier than others but for a novice, equally challenging. One of the first tasks was “Branding”. I had to design a Logo. In my notes from April 11th, I wrote that I’m a techie, not a design, fat chance of me creating a logo. I set about doing the next best thing; get someone else to do it for me.
Branding – Boomer Affiliate Logo
I logged on to the Fiverr website and found someone to design me a logo based on my Boomer Affiliate website. I gave the designer a brief of what I had in mind. A minimalistic design was what I had in mind, and something related to the 1950s or 1960s, Baby Boomers, and affiliate marketing. having paid him his $20, I left him to it. A few days later, his offering was delivered. I was amazed. He had nailed it! It was just what I had envisaged — a side view of an antique rocking chair with cash in the chair. Blue is undoubtedly my colour!
Writing – A Lot of Writing
The primary focus for me and most of my fellow SAC challengers, setting our writing goals. Wealthy Affiliate (WA) had set the task as 12,000 words and 12 posts to be published on our Bootcamp website. I was somewhat over-confident with the time needed to achieve this and set my Goal to 22,500 words and 15 articles! Spoiler alert! Update at the end of this article. That’s a lot of writing!
Another task was to write to my WA blog at least once a week. I have managed to stick to this task and make it a habit. I am writing this article based on my WA blogs, which act as my notes.
Lazy Load is being Too Lazy
My next task was to load the Lazy Load WordPress plugin. Lazy Load is meant to delay the loading of images so that the webpage loads quickly of mobile devices and gives the user a better experience. The installation of Lazy Load did not go to plan, as there was a problem with this version. I uninstalled the plugin. The issue is fixed, and I now have “Lazy Load” plugin installed on my site.
Let The Blogging Commence
Fortunately, for me, I decided that one of my weekly WA blogs will be in the form of an update on my progress through the previous week on SAC. An idea that is proving valuable, as I wouldn’t have remembered all that had happened without it, and this article would not exist!
My Progress Through SAC Month One
I very quickly highlighted some weaknesses of mine, I am too trusting of people, and my SEO skills need a lot of work. Not much I can do about the first, but fortunately, SEO is all part of the WA training. It was about this time that I switched from the All-In-One SEO WordPress plugin to the Yoast SEO plugin. My reasoning was the additions SEO and readability tools built into Yoast. I won’t go into details here as I wrote about this in another post.
The Wealthy Affiliate SiteComments came to the fore in April and became a hot topic. WA stepped into the fray and drew up some new rules and improved etiquette for when writing a review for someone’s website post.
During the last week of April I was getting into the swing of keeping up with publishing two blog posts to my website, I had hoped to make that three per week, but it was not to be. As is usual, I was too optimistic with the time I would have available to accomplish this task.
Giving Forward And Helping the Community
A big thing in Wealthy Affiliate is the ethics of giving forward and helping the community. WA rewards this activity with a Wealthy Affiliate ranking system, based primarily on the Help given to fellow members, the Content we publish via SiteContent, WA Blog, WA Training, and thirdly are general activity within WA, do we take part in discussions, the Live Chat, and weekly training sessions.
All these activities carry a weighted score, and these averaged combined scores produces the current score and rank within the community. The top 25 ranked community members are titled, Ambassadors. As I see it, there doesn’t appear to be any special privileges associated with being an Ambassador. But it does seem to create a certain amount of competitiveness to attain Ambassadorship!
All I can see is that it takes too much time away from the matter of building your business. My time could be better spent, on writing. But then again, many of the Ambassadors probably more than half are working full-time as affiliate marketers and well established in the business.
For the rest of us, it’s part-time, and we are struggling to make our first sales!
Again, late in April, I tried my first outsourcing venture and paid someone (via Fiverr) to write a 2,000-word blog post. He did, but it just wasn’t me. I did publish it, but I’m not in any hurry to repeat that process anytime soon.
Unless you can find someone you can work with, and who understands your style, I see no benefit in pursuing this path.
Another first for me, still in April, I Boosted my first Facebook page post! I found this to be a worthwhile and educational exercise.
For $15, I received 116 unique Click-Throughs to my website post, 12 post Likes, and 5 Shares of my Facebook post, that link to my site post. My advert ran for ten days, well it was meant to run for ten days until Facebook pulled it! The final cost for the Traffic was $0.16 Cost-Per-Click (CPS).
Facebook flagged the advert as (whether someone had reported it or not I have no way of knowing) ‘MLM or Get-Rich-Quick scheme’. I decided to appeal. I pointed out that Wealthy Affiliate was neither of these and asked for a review. Facebook responded in my favour, and within one day, my ad was approved and reinstated and completed its ten-day run. As I said earlier, it was an exciting experiment.
My takeaways from this are two-fold. Firstly, Facebook ads generate Traffic. Secondly, do not use affiliate links in social media posts, link back to my website, than to WA. I can do this either by a redirect using Pretty Links, or better still, give the Facebook visitor some value with a blog post and then have a call to action to click-through to WA.
My preference is for the latter. My reasoning is my social media Pay Per Click (PPC) replaces organic search, in finding me Traffic. Why should I try and be smart and not give value in return for that click with just a redirect to my affiliate site?
I think this is being disrespectful to the people who click-through to my website. Bear in mind also, that by using demographics in social media ads, it can be better-targeted Traffic than pure organic.
Wealthy Affiliate Community Help
Throughout the six weeks, one thing stood out above all else, and that was the Wealthy Affiliate community spirit and all the support I received along the way. This support is a massive strength in Wealthy Affiliates favour.
Around about the half-way point in this first month, I came to realise that the SAC is hard! I was tested and tested again. I don’t know everything, but everyone in the WA community knows something. Still, the WA community shows its metal and comes to the fore in supporting me through tough times.
There is a strong comradery in the WA community, and it is what keeps me going. My fear of failure has never been far away. This SAC challenge is hard, but like any new skill, once learned, the tasks become simple.
The whole month has been up and down. I described it before, like a rollercoaster. There are high points and then followed by low points.
Something else that this challenge has taught me. That is the power of focus. My ‘Monkey Brain’ has always been easily distracted. No matter what I am doing, there’s still something else that appears more appealing. To get my challenge tasks completed, I have had to focus on and manage my precious time. If I have let my ‘Monkey Brain’ take control, I would no longer be in the Super Affiliate Challenge.
An Accountability Partner Arrives
Earlier in this article, I mention accountability partner, well it now seems, I have two! My Nephew, who joined Wealthy Affiliate a short time before me, has been going through the same feelings of self-doubt that I went through.
Now that he has seen the progress I have made since joining SAC, he has decided to make another effort in moving forward with the development of his website. I mention this because not long after, my Nephew contacted Wealthy Affiliate and asked if he could join this year’s SAC, albeit a little late.
Much to his surprise, WA offered him a place on the challenge, and now we have each other as accountability partners. From experience, I know the value of having someone to be accountable, as when it gets tough, it is too easy to give up.
Having an accountability partner, someone to talk to is invaluable when undertaking any form of challenge.
My Blog Posts Are Getting Ranked
Now that I have written several articles and published these online, using the SEO techniques taught by WA, I am getting my blog posts indexed by the search engines quickly and ranked on page one. The main reason for my success in getting my work on the first page of the search engines is my change in writing style. I am more relaxed and being myself more, and this comes through in my writing. This success was an enormous morale boost for me, and another lesson learned – Just be me!
On Just Being Me
Stop being who I think I should be and start being who I am. Many thoughts went through my mind at the time, but my realisation at the time was that people would follow me because they like me. Not because I write in a particular way, but because I write in my style and my own words.
Some people won’t like me, but that’s OK. What I have to remember is that there will be people who do like me. It is these people who will buy from me. A phrase I hear a lot online when building your own business – “Build your tribe”. I guess that’s true in my case. I am not perfect, but I am me. From this point on, I will be myself!
Talking of tribes, on May 2nd, I reached one thousand followers within the WA community. I remember in my early days with Wealthy Affiliate, on attaining one hundred followers, looking wide-eyed at those members with thousands of followers, and thinking I’d never get that many followers.
I guess if I stick around long enough then these things do happen.
A New Hope
For many months, I was not putting in much effort and feeling down that I was not making much headway in building my online business. Since joining SAC and completing the challenges that have set for me, I enter May with renewed hope that I can succeed.
I am spending more time in the Jaaxy keyword generator tool, and I have ticked off another Task, which was to build a list of fifty keywords. Everything is coming together. With most of this month’s Tasks completed all I have to do now is to write, write and more writing. I still have several website articles to complete and reach my word count goal.
Now that I am nearing the end of this first month’s challenge, I feel I am making progress. My emotions have bounced from one end of the spectrum to the other. I am eternally grateful to the Wealthy Affiliate community, my fellow members for all the support and real assistance that they have given me, which has helped me get this far. I am more confident in tackling the rest of the SAC year with the knowledge that the support when I need it is there.
So, here we are, tomorrow is the 20th, the Super Affiliate Challenge Month One 2019-2020 has ended and tomorrow, myself and my fellow SAC challengers start a new month and a new set of tasks.
The first month was a monumental learning curve. I discovered my weaknesses and my strengths.
Things don’t always go to plan, but without a plan, I was going nowhere.
Horrah! I have reached my Goal of 12 website posts and 22,500 words. Well, it’s almost there. My word count is not quite on-the-money, but close enough at 22,013!
Thank you to everybody who helped me. I do appreciate it! For those that didn’t help, knowing that you are there is help enough.