Advice on Books and Affiliates

Rpid fire QnA today because you`ve sent me in so many great questions. Enjoy.

Q: What books are you reading at the moment or would recommend? – Vijay

Right now I’m reading “Turning Pro” by Steven Pressfield, “10X” by Grant Cardone, “Great Leads” by Michael Masterson, All Quiet on the Western Front, and a few others.

Here’s my old top 10 book list, and I plan to update it soon

Q: How do I determine what to charge for my services if the going rate varies widely? – Paul

You have to look at the amount of value you add, the amount that your time is worth (what could you earn doing other things), and at the end of the day, what can you convince enough people to pay in order to get the income you desire.

Also, don’t rely only on trading time for money. Build a business where you sell products (preferably), or where you have others working for you to deliver services (trickier, but still excellent).

Q: Good morning Craig. To make money sooner than later, would you recommend one becomes an affiliate and creates a blog, etc. or creates their own info product? – Scott

Create your own product. You have to do the same amount of work to sell someone else’s product, so you might as well make your own.

Q: Craig, I read the Free 12-months to 6-figures report and I was curious, I’m in a very tight, specific fitness niche. How soon would I reach out to affiliates who have a more general fitness program to offer for their readers?

You might never. Remember the opportunity cost for the affiliate. If they make $300 a day promoting their stuff or other stuff, and you come along and ask them to promote you but they’ll only make $50, then it will never work – Unless they are doing it as  charity.

BUT…if through your network, you can test this out with a general list and have some numbers to take to someone that shows they won’t lose their daily opportunity, then you have something.

Q: Have a concept in the golf market, have contacts, understand online marketing…what are my first steps to get things going? Thought about drawing the whole thing out on a big piece of paper… – Paul

That’s generally what I do. Fancy-pants people call it mind mapping and do it with software. I prefer a pen and paper, or if feeling fancy myself, a marker and bristol board.

Make a list on paper of the pros and cons and then make a decision.


Struggling to figure out what project to pick or opportunity to pursue? Put your energy where it wants to go. Choose the one you wake up thinking about, and think about all the time.

Q: How many times per day you check your email? Do you think it’s a good idea to put the phone email away or turned off at night for sake of family time? Major struggle here. – Jordan

Three to four times for email, but most importantly, I’ve been awake for over 8 hours before I check my email the first time. And the important people in my business and life know that. As for phone, my ringer is always off, literally always, and I often go 4
hours without looking at it. But that’s my life. You will need to do what is right for you.

Q: How many times a week should you email your list? Should you promote something every time? Should some emails be pure content? Should some email be directed to your blog & should there be an offer on your blog? In short what is a good list optimization strategy?- John

It depends on your long-term goals. I’m sure you are on many email lists, from Joel’s to mine to Jon’s to Isabel’s…and you can see that ALL of those strategies work. The issue is for you to find what suits your personality and be true to yourself and the message you want to deliver. I would suggest mailing at least three times per week.

Q: What’s your Number one system for getting stuff done?

Wake up early. Almost every problem can be solved by getting up earlier. 2nd best thing is to not check email until after you’ve been awake for 6 hours.

Q: What are some best ways to maintain focus? – Ellis

Eliminate distractions. Also, review your life to see what allows you to maintain focus and what causes you to lose it. Then do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.

Q: Would you recommend a subscription site or individual products from a niche market as the main revenue stream for my website. Thank you  – Joe

Individual products. Do not try to sell a membership site right off the bat. It will not work 90% of the time.

Q: What’s your best advice for someone working a demanding 50+
hour/week job while launching a freelance writing business to (eventually) be financially independent? – Robin

Wake up early. Almost every problem can be solved by getting up earlier. And avoid checking email as much as possible. Block your time. Set deadlines. Get ruthless.

Get better every day, that’s what you must do. And another 15 minutes earlier in the morning would be equivalent to 30-45 minutes any other time of the day. Keep pushing…that is, if you really want to change.

Q: How long do you think it takes to create new/better habits – or
rid yourself of the negative ones? – Brandi

I’m sorry, I don’t know exactly, but that shouldn’t stop either of us from trying. If it takes 21 days or 21 months, so be it. Either way, in the end, we will be better people.

Q: How are you measuring progress towards your goal of helping your
target number of people? Are you measuring direct hits through
subscriptions or do you have a metric for second and third order

For example, if you help me directly and I take that energy and
pass it on, you deserve credit. You can’t ignore the network effect
of what you are doing. I realize this may make measuring your goal
a little harder and also requires the goal to be more ambitious. –

Hi, thanks so much for passing along the energy, and for helping me.

As for measuring the impact, we are using documented cases only. It
makes it tough, but also drives me to more action.

And we finally figured out a way to get exponentially more success
stories documented…we’ll be announcing this huge (and FREE to you)
breakthrough in the next couple of months. Thanks again for asking.

Q: Thanks for all the great, self-nurturing and bettering ideas
that you put out there. Some of the best I’ve read. – Lillian

Thank you so much for your kind words, you’ve made my day.

Have a great weekend, and if there is any topic we discussed today that
you would like a more detailed article on, just let me know.

Craig Ballantyne

“Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.”
– Zig Ziglar