Let me give you an idea of how I have arrived at this point in my online marketing and affiliate career detailing its ups and downs, highs and lows.

How It Began

My career as an online marketer began in February 2008. Back then I was living in Paris having recently moved from Spain to be with a French woman. I basically had no knowledge about anything online beyond emails, I had no laptop, no internet and certainly no smartphone.

Now the trouble with being in Paris is they expect you to speak French, WHAT!! and at that time my French was non existent and finding a job was proving difficult.

So this led me to searching online, initially looking for a job but when searching on Craigslist but I found a small add promoting a biz opp in the personal development industry.

Did I know What I was Doing?

I answered the ad and left my details and a day later a Canadian lady rang me back and invited me to a phone meeting where the company and opportunity would be revealed to me and a few others. I have to say I was a bit skeptical and decided not to call the meeting.

The next day the lady called me back and asked what I thought, I explained I had not rang in and she persuaded me to try again. Well this time I did call and I was intrigued with what they were saying. After the call the Canadian lady introduced me to her boss who answered all my questions and I said I would join but only at the free option level.

Well to cut this part of the story down, I did get started but on consideration I came in at the first paid level of the business (£1500) rather than the free option. Paying this fee basically meant I would start making an income from the word go and apparently nobody in the history of the company had made money starting from free.

The business itself was all about selling personal development training courses and seminars plus enrolling others beneath you so that you got a cut of any sales they made. You can call it Network Marketing come Multi Level Marketing (MLM).

A Green Horn, A Newby, Wet behind the Ears

Now remember, I had no online experience, no laptop and no internet connection and this new business was an online business and I was £1500 into it, hmmm, good call Nick.

So the only thing I could do was take action and action I took. I got myself down to the nearest internet cafe who fortunately did good deals if you bought blocks of time rather than paying by the hour. I could also make calls from the cafe to any prospects my biz generated in the UK.

I would spend around 4 hours a day in that cafe, who incidentally had no toilet I could use, the keyboards were filthy and most of the clientele came in to either make really loud Skype calls or watch hardcore porn, yes my eyes would wander occasionally.

Give Me Quality People

Well I started working the business which mainly meant getting people to the company website and getting people on the business calls so that they could either be a part of the opportunity or purchase one of the products.

The hardest part of all this was generating leads online. It was difficult to get sufficient amounts of enquiries that I could call up and put on the calls. If I had 10 leads to call, 4 would never answer, 4 would be brain dead leaving me with 2 who hopefully would be interested in going on the call.

Now to say I was an overnight success with my business would be slightly stretching the truth, in fact you would need to check in on me several months later before I could report on any income made.

But the great thing about this particular business I was in was the compensation plan. It only took one sale to recoup almost all my initial investment and one more sale to cover any biz costs such as advertising fees up to that point.

I Was Making Money

The fear I had before I did make a sale was the thinking that if it took me 3 months to find one customer then I was only going to make about 4 sales a year.

But here is the thing, when I finally did make a sale and I proved to myself that I actually could make money online my belief system changed from one of not sure if this really works to one of Hell Yeah this really does work and having this attitude changed my whole business.

I started generating a lot more leads that were of higher quality people which in turn created more frequent sales and sign ups.

Fast forward 20 months and I had become the No.1 income earner in France and one of the top 5 in Europe. I had won an award, I was traveling to company events all around the world and I could see no end to this success but you know what I am about to tell you now don’t you?

The Times they are a Changing

Yep that’s right, the success was about to end. Not through any fault of my own I might add but rather to the fact that one of the American owners decided to leave and the remaining one lost the plot.

Overnight this guy changed so much about the business that it stopped working. The products, the compensation plan, the websites all changed and nobody knew what they were doing.

The compensation plan was now so complicated that it became impossible to break it down to potential customers because I did not even know how it worked.

The company had thousands of associates all around the world but within a space of 2 to 3 months this number was down to several hundred. Nobody was making any money including myself so before long I jumped overboard and swam to the safety of shore.

Painful Endings Are Often Happy Beginnings

It was now 2010 and to be honest I had not a clue as to what I was going to do next. Yes I did look at similar type MLM business to the one I had just left but nothing was doing it for me. I was a bit jaded just making leads, putting people on calls and collecting decisions.

My partner and I had also left Paris for a while and were now based out of Strasbourg in eastern France as well as living in Lisbon, Portugal. Both of these towns I might add are well worth a few days visiting if you get the chance.

Not knowing what to do and without realising it the second phase of my career as an online marketer was about to begin. It was at this time I began messing about with a system called WordPress which if you do not know is basically a free open source piece of kit that allows you to build websites. Although at the time it was still really only known as a way to build blogs.

My Affiliate Journey Begins

I messed about with WordPress for a few months and became quite proficient at making websites. The thing with WordPress to most people at the time was that it seemed quite complicated to install. To be honest its quite easy especially these days but like anything, if you don’t know then you don’t know.

So what I started doing was offering a free service where by I would show people how to install WordPress. I would guide them over the phone in exactly what to do and where to go in order to install WordPress.

Now let me track back a few steps here. At the same time as me learning how to use WordPress I also became very interested in a business model called Affiliate Marketing which is where you can promote a companies products via an affiliate link and any sales made through this link would result in you being paid a commission.

The great thing about this business model is you do not need to handle the products or deal with the payment side of it, the companies you are promoting do it all for you and there are literally tens of thousands of different products out there that you can promote for free.

So going back to the free WordPress install offer I was promoting, yes it was free but in order to use WordPress (the .org version) you do need a hosting account that enables you to install it to the internet. This is where I made my money. I was an affiliate of a hosting company who paid me from $50 to $125 for every sale I made depending on how many sales I brought them each month.

The more sales I made the higher the commission they paid me.

The Golden Arches To The Rescue

The hosting at the time was only costing the client about $7 a month but I was getting paid up to $125 in commission and I was doing all this from McDonalds using their internet. Yes by now I did have my own laptop but no regular internet connection except for the Golden Arches.

The problem with McDonalds at the time was the lack of electrical sockets, you had to get in early to secure a socket and then people would ask if you would unplug yours for a while. So eventually I began bringing in my own extension cable with multi sockets, this way there was always a supply of power although it was a bit hairy when you needed the toilet as I half expected to return to my table and find all my stuff stolen.

Having said all that, those days of working from McDonalds were some of the happiest times I have spent so far as an online marketer. There were even other like minded people using my extension cable that I became friends with which sounds quite funny now.

Call Me Coach

So now I was back in business, I was making a steady income helping people install WordPress and I was officially an Affiliate Marketer and the biggest buzz of all for me was the fact I could make an income almost anywhere on the planet and this business was all my own.

No business owners could tell me what to do although this did not mean that I was completely immune to the proverbial F… Ups.

But as time went on I realised I could be offering more opportunity to clients plus I could be earning more. And this thinking lead me onto the next phase in my career.

I decided that I would offer a complete package where by I would teach people how to set up and run an online business as an affiliate marketer. Basically I would offer a coaching service teaching them exactly what I was doing but the difference being they could have a business in any market they wanted.

I would still include the WordPress install part but I would also show them how to create their website, how to add affiliate products so they could make commissions and finally show them how to advertise their business.

My lead generation at the time was mainly centered around placing adverts on employment websites.

Leads would answer my ad, leave their details on a website and then I would call them back and explain my service and a few days later they would give me a decision. Once they said yes I would have a series of 1 to 1 Skype calls with them going through each step of creating an online business.

I Was Cheap As Chips

At first I priced this service at £99 which was super cheap but I was also getting the $125 WordPress hosting commission on top but as time went on and as my service improved I slowly began increasing my prices and offering different packages. Eventually I had three coaching options with various features and price ranges.

These packages included full affiliate website build with WordPress of which I still offer today.

But I wanted to reach more people than just my personal affiliate coaching could offer and at a price perhaps a bit more affordable for most.

My Affiliate Coaching Goes Online

So this lead me onto the next main focus of my online business. Instead of me offering just 1 to 1 coaching I would also offer a members course that people could purchase and work through themselves. There were affiliate links within the course that earned me commissions on top plus I was still around for any support if they needed it but for the most part they would do the work alone.

Having people use the course freed up a lot of my time. Yes I was still offering the personal affiliate coaching but most of my advertising focused on selling my online course.

Affiliate Management and Building Affiliate Programs

The final (well up to this point) evolution of my online journey has been one I first commenced around 2017 by accident.

I had came across an English guy living in Canada who I thought wanted help starting an affiliate business similar to the type of clients I coached 1 to 1 or who purchased my course.

But it turned out he actually needed help setting up an affiliate program for his travel business. He wanted to be the one enrolling affiliates to sell his travel packages.

And after a brief conversation where I explained my affiliate skills but lack of experience setting up the programs themselves he agreed to let me loose (braver than me).

And to be honest after a bit of head scratching his affiliate program was up and running and we were enrolling affiliates (mainly his current customers to start with) who themselves started making commissions.

No the program was not without its problems. Tracking affiliates was an issue and configuring the program software correctly to his website and server caused some headaches.

But seeing the success of his affiliate program and the skills I picked up not only when creating the program but also becoming his affiliate manager made me realise the potential in helping similar clients.

Fast forward to today and I now have 6 years under my belt as an affiliate manager and builder of affiliate programs. My clients are mainly in Europe, North America and Australia, in fact on reflection they all are.

On a Personal Note

Location wise my partner and me have left France and now live in the Caribbean on the island of Guadeloupe, but I also keep a home in the UK, travelling back and forth (covid permitting).

These last few years working online have allowed me to live in many parts of the world, Portugal, France, Spain, South Pacific and now the Caribbean.

And along this career from MLM to affiliate program manager I have also learned a few important things away from the actual business side such as persistence and resistance. Plenty of times I could have given up and said it wont work and I probably would have been justified in doing this.

But life is not always about taking the easy option, life is sometimes about rolling your sleeves up and going for what you want. So many times over the years I have seen people give up way too soon only to end up going back to exactly what they were running from.

Well that’s my story so far, stay tuned for the next episode.

Thank you. Nick Squires