10 Years Later: Why I Still Love Affiliate Marketing

The first time I got on the internet, it was Yahoo Chat. It was around 1995 and my friend Rob had a computer and internet connection and he turned me on to it.

We’d get really drunk and he’d log me into a chat room and I’d argue with people for an hour or so about whatever topic they were discussing.

I’d curse them out, call them fat and ugly, disrupt the conversation and destroy their good time. It felt great.

Back then, I thought that was what the internet was. A chat room where you could argue with people.

I had no idea of the possibilities that were out there.

The Possibility

Many years later I got on the internet again at my mom’s house.

By now, it was more mainstream and everyone knew about stuff like websites and search engines and that the internet was a gigantic, unlimited space where anything could happen.

I remember turning the computer on, opening up Internet Explorer and pulling up a few websites.

I thought to myself… “hmmm… I think there is a way to make money with this thing.”

After years of failed attempts, I figured it out.

I made my first $28 dollars in 2006 and by 2008 I was one of the top affiliate marketers in the world.

Right now, it’s 2016. It’s been 10 years since I made that first sale.

I still love the game just as much as I did back then. Every new launch, every new sale, every new landing page click – makes my brain shoot heroin all through my body.

It’s exciting, addicting and fascinating. Still.

Here are 10 reasons why…

10 reasons I still love affiliate marketing

  1. It’s a creative outlet. My mind is my super-power. When I was young, adults told me I needed to focus on my future and get a real job. Now, I get to make money at home – using nothing but the creativity they were trying to stifle.
  2. I get to be myself for a living. I never liked jobs. I never wanted to be a part of a company. I never wanted to own a bait and tackle shop. I wanted to be a multi-millionaire rock star or die. Affiliate marketing filled that gap. I get to make more money than I need and I don’t have to pretend to be someone else to do it. I get to be myself every day – and I get paid for it. It’s rock star freedom without the annoyance of fame.
  3. It’s a counter-culture. The online marketing industry is full of some of the most fascinating characters I’ve ever known in my life. There are lots of douche-bags too. But when you hang in the right circles – you meet the craziest, unique and brilliant people on Earth.
  4. The simplicity. After 10 years in the game I’ve found that simplicity is the key. In the beginning you try to over complicate everything and look for secret tricks. Most people try way too hard – sometimes it’s as easy as saying “Get Cheaper Car Insurance Here” and then pointing people to a car insurance site. No magic tricks required.
  5. The freedom. Society has trained us to be employees. Most of our waking hours are spent working a job we hate to help make someone else rich. If you can figure out how to make $100/day online, you can replace an average salary and leave all that behind. When you exit the 9–5 world like that – you’re able to live a life of complete and total freedom.
  6. Stats and Numbers. I was never a math geek. But I fell in love with numbers and statistics. I get to dig through data every day looking for profitable streams of traffic. It’s fun – it never gets old. I could look at numbers for the rest of my life. It’s just a bonus that I get paid for it.
  7. The community. We have a really big affiliate marketing community. And it’s growing bigger every year. It will continue to grow. There are more traffic sources, conferences and meetups than at any other time in history. I was just asked to speak at a major conference in Berlin. This thing is huge.
  8. I learn new things every day. Most people stop learning as they get older. Affiliate marketing has new lessons to teach every day. Every day I get a new answer, or perspective or understanding of how humans work. What makes them react and what makes them buy. It’s a never ending education – 10 years in and I’m still learning new things every day.
  9. The danger. Most people look at affiliate marketers as nerds who sit on the computer all day. But most people have no idea of the danger, risk and madness that is going on behind the scenes. When you run big campaigns there are so many things that can go wrong. You can press one wrong button and accidentally lose $5000 in 3 minutes. You’re doing big business with people you have never met. At times it’s a tight-rope walk. There’s danger at every turn.
  10. Watching other people make it. One of the best parts of this thing is to watch someone else make it. When I see someone from complete newbie to affiliate marketing master, it’s amazing. People transform here. Some are people who thought they could never do anything with their lives. Here, even the losers can win.

They say “time flies when you’re having fun”. And I believe that is 100% true.

They also say time moves faster when you get older.

I can get down with that. The last decade has blown past me faster than any other I can remember.

Maybe it’s my age…

But it could also be that I’ve been down a bottomless rabbit hole this entire time.

  • I’ve experienced the most insane highs and lows
  • There has been danger and excitement
  • Losses and wins
  • Confusion and then clarity
  • International scandals
  • Cyber attacks.

And all this has happened while I sit quietly at a computer with headphones on.

To most people, I look like just another guy sitting around in a coffee shop wasting time on Facebook or Match.com…

Those people have no idea.

  • lurker

    If you are going to speak @AWBerlin I’m going to buy a ticket right now.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      I wouldn’t count on it. i’m not a big fan of long flights… and 15 hours is kind of a long flight.

  • Pamela

    Im not that into computers just now learning about facebook and utube but im so glad you are so happy in your life and enjoy each day ,hope you dont forget about music ,you really shine there as well, happy for ya friend best of luck to you ,luv ya

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      thanks Pamela – i haven’t forgotten about music for sure, just fell down a rabbit hole 🙂

      • Pamela

        Well hope you can find your way out of that rabbit hole lol youre very talented in many ways ,for that you are blessed loving having my rewake cd back have it with me on trip back to Oklahoma

  • http://fresnowebmarketing.com/ jesse

    Epic post man. BTW: that’s serotonin surging from your brain, not heroin, ????

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      no dammit! it’s heroin!! 😉

      • Jibran Kalia


  • http://www.mytipshub.com/ M.Imran Nazish

    This is great man 🙂

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      thanks brotha

  • Myron DeBussac

    Enjoy the read. My dream is to do what your doing and find my freedom. I’m one of those who has the “9-5” mindset so deep in my psyche that I’m trying my damnedest to get it OUT!

    Finding value in your blogs and Youtube vids.

    Keep it coming man!

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      thanks Myron, glad you found us. First step to breaking free is realizing you’re in a cage. 🙂 Good luck

  • Eileen

    Get to be yourself everyday. That is truly one of the biggest rewards.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      agree 100%

  • David Allan

    Really enjoying the blog:)

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      thanks David

  • Kirk Hn

    Great inspirational post.