I Have Taken 11 Months Off From Affiliate Marketing (12 Things I Learned From The Break).

We are well into the last half of the last quarter of 2022, and I have taken 11 months off from affiliate marketing.

It has been rejuvenating, revealing and eye-opening.

As of mid-January 2022, I stepped back from online activities like blogging, email marketing and affiliate marketing. The decision was based on one thing, an urgent need to take a pause from a hectic and chaotic period during the last two years, catch my wind and do a personal audit of how I was doing with my online efforts as well as what was happening in my private sphere. I felt like a rubber band that had been stretched to the breaking point.

The pause has done a lot of good for my personal life and also for my online efforts.


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12 Things I Learned From The Break

I learned the following things the 11 months I was away from online marketing and the most prominent one was getting to know myself a lot better and I got a clarity in what I wanted with my online marketing efforts. I got back to my physical exercise regime and laser focus on my karate lifestyle.

Karate Lifestyle

My morning ritual got a new start and it is a game changer, a virtual rocket booster for a good start to the day. A part of the morning ritual is the 5-second rule, a powerhouse tool that will revolutionize your life. And I mean that literally.

The 5-second rule is literally doing your tasks within 5 seconds. If you delay it by more than 5 seconds, just forget it. The chance of you doing the task you delay will increase drastically the longer you wait to do it.

Having trouble getting up in the morning? Do this when you wake up;

Count down from 5, 5-4-3-2-1 and then just get up. Go to TedX and search for Mel Robbins and you can watch a 20 minutes keynote where she explains the 5-second rule.

The effect of focusing on only ONE thing is not something to dismiss. I was trying to multitask tons of activities and got no progress or results in anything. I just drained my own energy and mental capacity. I was letting things slip a little at a time. The slight edge of letting thins slip turned into a monster wave and almost drowned me.

I got clarity in what I started out doing when I got into affiliate marketing and blogging. I got to know AWAI (American Writers and Artists Institute) and several hugely successful bloggers during my time off.

I joined Yaro Staraks Master Mind course learning how to create a sales funnel of my blog through creating and promoting my own products and services. This also introduced me how to use podcasting to re-purpose and leverage traffic to my blog. Podcasting is literally a goldmine if used properly.

What Did My Audit Reveal

The conclusion in one sentence is that I was doing way too much simultaneously and was burned out. No more energy, brain fog and stress.

Part Conclusion 1;

I didn’t do either blogging or affiliate marketing anymore. I got diverted by some shiny objects and did everything else besides what I should do.

After about four months of blogging and affiliate marketing, I mostly wasted time watching webinars and tutorials as well as attending more and more promotions for products and services in the MMO niche. I made the mistake of thinking I was doing research.

Part Conclusion 2:

Paralysis by analysis. I was trying to do too many things at once before the first and second steps of building my business. I started on steps 4,5,6,7, and 8 at the same time. I was being impatient to see the results I were after.

I was present on several platforms, blogging on one, Internet marketing on social media on the other, paid ads and traffic, trying to keep my email list alive, and a feeble attempt to start a podcast.

Added to this were pressure from my daytime job to deliver on milestones and pressure from being an Instructor in the karate club I am a member of.

Part Conclusion 3:

This reason is a big one, health. I started to experience the impact on my personal health, more stress, less and less sleep, not getting anything done, exhaustion, physical pains and more.

It was this last discovery that caught my attention and woke me up for real.

1. Effect Of Physical Activity and Your Hobbies.

Martial Arts Training

A good morning routine, martial arts, meditation and Qi Gong became saviors to get me back on track. I couldn’t continue burning the candle at both ends without getting any results and wreak havoc on my health.

Further, as mentioned in the previous paragraph, my situation started to impact my family. It was not very obvious to the others, but it was starting to show. I wasn´t present anymore.

How did I get out often of the bad habits I had developed? I turned to the 3 things in life that have meant a lot to me the whole time;

  1. physical exercise,
  2. reading
  3. listening to music.

In addition to these three, I added meditation and GI gong to my morning ritual and training regime. I also made sure that my nutrition was the best that it could be.

The positive change came quickly.

My mind started to relax, and I got back to the real me again. That is when my creativity started to come back again too.

I am still diligent in blocking off time for my hobbies and physical exercise.

2. The Power of the ONE Thing

If I were to pick one specific thing I have learned in the last nine months, it would be the power of focusing on only one thing.

Keeping the focus on one thing has been the reason for success in previous periods of life. One of them was becoming an air force pilot.

Somehow, I have managed to drift away from the habit, which became quite evident this year.

It was time to get back to the good old habit. So what I did, was join the Yaro Starak Blog Mastermind Program.

This forced me to focus on blogging for business and made me get back the perspective of where my focus should go.

Gary Vanderchuck is an excellent example of this. He got extremely good at one online marketing skill before adding another skill to his toolbox. Now he is good at many things within business and entrepreneurship.

By early spring, I had completed all Yaros Mastermind Program modules, and I put the lid on my marketing efforts for the summer and early autumn.

I got back in the blogging and affiliate marketing saddle by mid-September, and it felt great. I had a clear mind and plan of what needed to be done.

3. The Slight Edge And How It Affects You

The Slight Edge
Jenga Pieces It Takes Only One Piece

Being in the online business niche requires seeking knowledge from several sources. One of the sources is books.

I got a copy of «The Slight Edge» by Jeff Olson early this year. If you haven’t read it, I recommend you to do so. It will help weed out the small things you let slip by every day before they can become bad habits.

While reading the book, I found a blueprint for my own behavior. It was a strange realization to admit that I have this habit.

Why you may ask?

I am a military pilot, and I am also a project manager by profession. I cannot allow anything to slip due to the risk of grave consequences it may cause. Well-planned activities and procedures are a part of my daily life.

But life happened to me as it does with everyone now and then. What happened was a convergence of events, both professionally, personally and in the field of sports ( I am active as a karate practitioner).

All the obligations generated by all the activities I had committed to became too much to handle. It started years ago and has little by little compounded, causing an abrupt halt.

The book «The Slight Edge» woke me up. Even how we handle everyday mundane tasks adds to the habit of the slight edge. You let something slip a little now and then, and suddenly it has become a habit.

An excellent example of such a habit is the simple task of doing the dishes. You postpone it and tell yourself; not now, that I can do it later… and by the end of the week, your dirty dishes come out and greet you by the door when you get home from work.

A task that would take 5 to 10 minutes is now a chore of 20 to 30 minutes.

We tend to give in to the small voice in our head telling us to skip whatever we are about to do/ or know we should do because it is such a small task. After a while, it will become a habit that is very difficult to change.

In the game of Jenga, when more and more pieces are taken away, the risk of toppling the Jenga stack increases.

Turning that habit around immediately as the voice try to convince you otherwise will «programme» you to take action instead of letting the task slip every time.

I saw that blogging was a HUGE game-changer, just sitting down and starting writing for 30 minutes, even only 5 minutes, of dedicated, undisturbed blogging/copywriting.

Skip all the tactics and strategies and get on with writing content. Afterwards, you can worry about the habit of SEO and promoting your content.

4. The Power of Blogging


Writing is my preferred way of communicating. I don’t like to be on video, I don’t like being on a podcast, and I definitely don’t want to stand in front of people and talk.

Blogging is a «safe» activity for me. I can sit down and write for hours to the end, forgetting about everything else and not worrying about a big crowd in front of me.

Through blogging and being a fellow human being, I feel it is easier to connect with your potential customers. After all, that is what a blog is about, a conversation.

People who have succeeded hugely in business have a blog on their company websites or they have a personal blog as well. It introduces the human touch.

Studying successful bloggers for the last nine to ten months has confirmed this fact and re-opened my eyes to the power of the written word.

Pat Flynn, Yaro Starak, Miles Beckler, Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, Nathaniell Brenes and Cassandra Patrovani are some bloggers I have in mind.

Further, people that want to write or take the challenge of exercising their writing skills have a bright future. Writers that can write content and copy (content writing and copywriting) are in high demand all over the Internet.

Go to the website of American Writers and Artists Institute (AWAI) to read about this opportunity. Don´t worry this is not an affiliate link. I am not an affiliate of AWAI, but a member.

If you have tried blogging, but feel you lack a bit in the writing department, the resources AWAI offer can be a great fit for you.

5. The Effect of A Morning Ritual

Meditation Morning Ritual

I have gotten my education in the armed forces of my country, and am used to set routines, call it rituals if you will, every day. You get up at the same time every morning, do physical training before the workday starts and then get on with the tasks for the day. As a pilot that is usually some academic training before or after lunch and one or two training missions.

Morning briefing, weather briefing, planned training mission briefing debriefing after the training missions.

I am not flying anymore, currently, I am in project management and there is fixed rituals in this line of work as well. I have my day usually planned and scheduled before the week starts, adjusted to new things that might come up on short notice.

A day is often split up as follows; review of tasks written on the whiteboard with the week laid out. Checking emails and meeting calendars, meeting preparations review, meetings, review of project-related actions and notes, writing reports, and the day ends with about 15 minutes of planning and adjusting the next day.

A couple of years ago, I started a « fixed» morning ritual to take care of myself and make sure I got on with the new day «on the right foot». It has been a game-changer in many ways.

After slipping out of the habit after the summer last year I revitalized the practice at the beginning of this year, adding meditation, yoga and Tai Chi to the ritual.

Did I mention my coffee meditation in my morning ritual?

Morning Coffee

The most important part of the morning routine and the day as a whole, is to make sure that I do not rush things, ever! It will only create a bad setting for the rest of the day.

My morning ritual has been a transformation of my life. I am much calmer, breathing better and sleeping better even when the hours of sleep I get are rather small. My mind is a lot clearer about where I am and where I want to go.

6. The World of CopyWriting and The Benefit of A Writer Community (AWAI)

Community is everything. Without a community to support you, you will not succeed. No discussion; it will simply not happen for you.

I discovered American Writers & Artists Institute (AWAI) in August. It was an eye-opener regarding the need for writers in every industry you can think of. It helped to solidify my understanding of the importance of blogs and the possibilities of doing online business by blogging.

Through AWAI, I got clarity in what copywriting, and content writing is. Further, there are a lot of great tips and examples on how to do different types of writing and make a living out of it.

8. Yaro Starak And His Blog Profits Blueprint

When I stepped back from any kind of online marketing, I discovered Yaro Starak by reading Miles Beckler’s blog. I read several of his blog posts on his website and signed up for his email list, .

His content was very good and I got a copy of his free E book The Blog Profits Blueprint and the accompanying mp3 audio file. I have read it and heard it several times since then. It is literally a blueprint of online marketing and highly recommended reading.

As I learned more about Yaro, I also got to know Pat Flynn betters and started to listen to and read Pat Flynn’s content as well.

I said I stepped back from all marketing activities, but that is not entirely true. I signed up for Yaro Staraks Blog Master Mind Course, which was the last time he opened it up. The course is very good. It is a blueprint for using your Website, and your blog, as a funnel hub and building it out with affiliate marketing, ebooks, courses, Masterminds, podcasts and coaching.

His content is freely available all over the Internet, but he has compiled the info and added his own experience to it and created a course that is almost guaranteed to make you succeed in what you offer as long as you follow the training to the letter.

9. Joining Yaro Staraks Blog Mastermind Course

I said I stepped back from all marketing activities, but that is not entirely true. I signed up for Yaro Staraks Blog Master Mind Course, which was the last time he opened it up.

The course is good. It is a blueprint for using your website, and your blog, as a funnel hub and building it out with affiliate marketing, ebooks, courses, Masterminds, podcasts and coaching.

Information about how to start a blog and turn it into an online business is freely available all over the Internet.

But what Yaro has done is compiled all this information, add his own experience, and create a comprehensive course on it.

This course, The Blog Mastermind, is almost guaranteed to make you succeed in creating an online business by blogging as long as you follow the training to the letter.

10. Miles Beckler and Michele Schroeder-Gardner

Miles Beckler of the website MilesBeckler.com and the founder of MakingSenseofCents.com, Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, were two other bloggers and marketers that caught my attention. They have each a superb website with lots of valuable and tangible information that you can start applying to your own efforts at once.

At the same time, I would like to make a shout-out to Darren Rowse and his website problogger.com and Pat Flynn’s website Smartpassiveincome.com.

All 4 websites mentioned contain fantastic valuable information, for free, an excellent reference for creating your blog and evolving it into an online business.

The best part of all this is that all these people are great people who want you to succeed without ripping you off for your hard-earned money.

11. My Favourite Tools Canva and Pocket

Canva is not a new discovery for me, but I started to use it again when I re-engaged with my business again this autumn. If you don’t know Canva, It is a graphics platform that you can use to create everything you need, graphics-related, like on your website, social media or other projects you have.

You can become a free member and do all the stuff you need without having to pay for a premium membership. You also become an affiliate at once as you become a member of the platform.

Pocket is also a favourite tool of mine when I do research. It is an extension to your web browser and with a click and filling in a few tags the web page you are reading is saved for you to read later, online or offline. It is an awesome tool.

12. The Power of The 5-Second Rule

Mel Robbins came to my rescue as well when I needed a break this year. I found her speech on Tedx. If you haven’t seen it I highly urge you to do it after you have completed reading this blog. It will kick your butt. At least it did for me.

It will stop your procrastination dead in its tracks and push you to take action.

Some Final Words

If you fell you need to take some deeper breaths in your efforts to get your online business going, please listen to yourself and take a pause.

Taek a look at what you have been doing up until the pasue yoou have taken. Get clarity and then reboot your business.

Get inline with your values and integrity, be YOU because that is your best “selling tool”.

Do every step in your business with quality. Stay in the “storm” of researching and creating new blog posts, social media posts or emails. 

Building a solid foundation as a blogger, affilaite marketer and online business owner within your chosen niche is fundamental to your success. Don’t do any shortcuts or skip any steps.

  • Having a clearly defined mission of why you want to help.
  • Have a clear definition of your avatar, i.e. your perfect customer.
  • What I mean by the term «avatar» is that you have to define your perfect customer and/or follower. It will help you tremendously grow traffic to your content and brand in growing your audience faster.
  • Your WHY is crucial. You might have seen this advice elsewhere and thought: of course this is self-explanatory, but have you really found your WHY.
  • When you have found your WHY, it will show in your content and how people perceive you. If you only copy other people in a niche or topic you don’t care much about and just do it because it is trending, you will have a hard time succeeding.
  • Don´t get lost in technicalities in your niche and online marketing efforts. It is not your technical solution that will make you succeed. The ONE thing that will make you succeed is YOU.
  • If you can connect as a real person that deep inside wants to help others to reach their goal and dreams, then you will have laid down a solid foundation to continue building local «followers» of your brand.
  • Study your niche in detail. There is no shortcut to knowledge

At the end here, you might have a question for me about why you should listen to me since I haven’t earned 6 figures yet or haven’t stood out in any way online.

The answer to that is that the choice is up to you. You have to decide if what I have written imakes sense or is a bunch of nonsense. What I have written is the result of taking the time for a deeper look into my blogging and maketing efforts during more than two years.

I am here to help other people like you succeed in getting started online and build their business successfullly.

Leave a comment if found this of benefit. I would love to learn about your experiences creating an online business!

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