driving for a blog

Not too long ago one of my best mates made $1.6m in affiliate sales… from a laptop in his kitchen.

It was a huge achievement given that he also has six children and works only at night in order to maximise his time with the little fellas.

It’s also a huge achievement because he nearly went bankrupt a few years before.

You see, this friend has a remarkable ability to make money online.

Sometimes the ideas he comes up with seem totally insane to me. But he always seems to make them work – and make them work in a big way.

So why do I drive for nearly two hours to visit him?

A quick note on friendship/business relationships

The guy I’m writing about knows that I consider him to be one of my oldest and most trusted friends.

He also approved this article before it went live.

So before I go on sounding like a terrible friend who just arranges meetings so I can sap out all of your business knowledge, I just wanted to point out that it really isn’t like that.

We both support each other in various ways and Internet Marketing is only one very small facet of our relationship. Most of the time we’re eating lunch at Chinatown, catching a movie or, these days, having a session at the gym.

That being said, he also knows the context and subject matter of this blog.

You aren’t here to read about how to make good family friends.

You want to learn about successful blogging.

Now that’s out the way I won’t feel as guilty listing all the selfish things I get out of a good late night business discussion!

Driving two hours for a blog

If you’ve been reading Blog Tyrant for a while you’ll know how much I value the friendships I have with people online like Glen Allsopp, Darren Rowse, Chris Ducker and so on.

These are people I can email if I need support or advice when I’m working on a project I know they’ve already tackled.

But it’s not the same as having someone sitting across the table from you shooting the breeze and chatting intimately about all the ins and outs of Internet businesses.

And if you’re stressed out or struggling with a product launch it’s reassuring to know that there is someone a short car trip up the road who can empathise directly with your issues.

Inspiration versus a shoulder to whinge on

The main reason I head up the freeway to visit my mate is not to whinge about my problems.

It’s for inspiration.

Sitting there in a comfortable environment talking about all the successes he’s had really gets my business brain firing.

It helps me frame my own projects differently.

It encourages me to ask questions and learn about new things.

But most of all, it teaches me that really successful people take risks.

And that has always been a really big deal for me. Listening to someone who has taken some big risks and had them pay off is nothing short of electric because it’s always been so foreign to my mindset.

Lessons learned from a super affiliate

So for years now I’ve been driving up there in the middle of the night to talk about life, family and making money online.

It’s always been a late night chat because, as you can imagine, there isn’t a lot of room for quiet and thoughtful discussion when there’s six boys running around!

I really wanted to share a few things with the Troops in the hope that you can feel like you’ve been part of our late night chats too.

(Maybe there’s a podcast series in this?)

  • Taking risks is necessary
    As I mentioned above, if you want to be super successful online you need to take risks. This is still something I struggle with and is probably why I haven’t made the millions that some of my friends have. I’ve always opted for a slower, safer approach which is nice but it’s also hard work and often sees you passing up on opportunities.
  • Scaling is the name of the game
    There have been a number of times when my mate has told me about the $1.50 profit he made on some affiliate program. “Who gives a crap?” is my normal response. That’s not enough money to bother with. Well, it is when you do it 1000 times a day. Finding a way to scale up small wins is something he always tells me to focus on.
  • Failure is inevitable
    You hear it all the time. Successful entrepreneurs and businesspeople tell us that you will fail. Some even tell us that you need to fail. And it seems like they are right. The sooner you get comfortable with it the sooner you will be brave enough to take the risks that will actually get you there in the end.
  • You need to know your business
    Whether you are a blogger, an online shop owner or the founder of a brick and mortar outlet, it’s vital that you know your business in every aspect. Of course, this does not mean hoarding control and never outsourcing, but it does mean that you should know the important details intimately and know how to train others to take care of them.
  • Find the right people
    You might have the right idea, the money to make it happen and the timing all sorted but if you hire the wrong developer or partner with the wrong person you’ll end up wasting your time. Getting partnered with the right people is extremely important and a step you need to tread carefully.
  • Err on the side of honesty
    There seem to be so many opportunities to make money online by being dishonest. We always talk about why it’s important not to do this – you end up resenting yourself, stressing out and hurting other people. I’m constantly surprised at what people feel comfortable doing to others on the Internet. It’s not good business.
  • Overcome your family
    This might sound a little strange but a huge topic of our conversation over the years has been how much your upbringing (and sometimes your parents) hold you back. This won’t be true for everyone but oftentimes you’ll find that your folks will accidentally (or straight out on purpose) discourage you from chasing your online dreams because they don’t understand it. Sometimes these attitudes are extremely subtle and take a long time to overcome internally.

The list could go on and on but I felt it was more important to bring up the broader and more significant lessons in case one of them struck a chord with someone for the first time.

A NOTE ON PRIVACY: I haven’t used my friend’s name in this post and there is no website link. This is largely because I want to protect his privacy and he has no product to sell. As with many of the web’s most successful businesspeople, you’ll find most of them operate with zero public profile.

Why you need a friend like this

Some of you will already have a friend like this.

Others won’t.

I cannot emphasise enough how important it is to find someone in your industry that you trust and can go to for help, brainstorming and inspiration.

And I cannot emphasise enough how important it is to make sure that you develop a genuine friendship based on giving and taking, mutual respect and honesty. It’s those types of relationships that bring about the best results.

Do you have someone that you go to for inspiration or support? What kind of things do you get out of the relationship and how has it impacted your business? Leave a comment and let me know.

Β© Photographer: Feelphotoart | Agency: Dreamstime.com


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  1. Great Post! It’s always important to have Friends and never forget about “real life” in all that online gamble…

    1. Totally agree. Thanks Phil.

  2. Totally agree, I live in remote QLD and regularly travel thousands of kilometers to meet up with and learn from amazing friends. It is totally worth it for all of the reasons you mentioned above. Most of all I find it helps me up my game in ways I might have missed out on if I had taken the easier road and stayed home.
    Great post Ramsay, but did you just call me handsome?

    1. You don’t happen to have the NBN up there do you?

      So what if I did? πŸ™‚

      1. No NBN, you? I hear it’s not all it’s cracked up to be…

        Well, it worked – I left a comment haha

        1. If your house cabling is old it will slow it right down. But I have a friend near me on 80mbps. So, it’s pretty awesome.

  3. Wow resonated big time today!
    It is a huge gamble bringing your idea to life. I know I’m doing it now. Spot on with risks, family and know your’e business.
    The hard part, getting it out of your head and onto a simple concept that sells.

    1. How’s it going for you, Deb?

  4. Manpreet Kaur on May 26, 2014

    Yes, we do need someone in our life to whom we can look up for inspiration. But as you said, there should be someone in your industry for your support, I don’t completely agree with that fact.
    For my support comes from a person who has nothing to do with blogging and nothing to do with my career (Information Technology) but still, he’s the person who gives me the best ideas which really work for me.
    So, it is not necessary to have that person from the same field as yours. The thing that is necessary is you should have someone by your side who can pick you up when you fall down or cheer you up when you feel too low.
    And a friend like that is found only by lucky people. I guess you and me are the lucky ones. You can’t just find a friend just like that. If you’re lucky, you will find him else you won’t.
    What do you say about that?

    1. I think you’re right about that. As my friend says, it’s more important that you be equals and respect each other. Sometimes having different fields can be helpful.

  5. Networking with trusted long time friends always brings inspiration. Its equally important to have a team of people you work with to brainstorm ideas but sometimes you have those few people you can count on for almost anything. Its good to know that there are still people out there that just want to help each other with no other intention. Thanks for the post.

    1. Thanks Chilo. Appreciate the comment.

  6. Israel Smith on May 26, 2014

    Wow man.. great post.

    So. How did you meet your friend?!

    Was it a blogger meetup, or by finding their work and connecting that way, or did you two know each other beforehand?

    I don’t have a lot of friends involved in online biz, and I could really benefit from meeting a few people like that for in person chats.


    1. Hey Israel.

      We actually met through a mutual interest in Buddhism. We became friends, both got into Internet Marketing around the same time and, fortunately for him, he was much smarter than me and made a lot of money by being awesome!

      1. Israel Smith on May 26, 2014


        So Buddhism is where all the hot online marketers hang out. Roger that. πŸ˜‰

        *scurries off to search for local Buddhist temples…*

        Just kidding.

        Thanks again for a great reminder to have some in-person mentors that challenge you and get you thinking out of the box.

        Is. πŸ™‚

        1. No worries!

          Never was. πŸ™‚

  7. liz@lifedreaming on May 26, 2014

    Friends are definitely your wealth.

    One of my dearest friends and Life Dreaming champions lives in Freo and I’m in Dublin. We Skyped yesterday.

    We talk about what’s happening in all parts of our life, share some victories, commiserate on downers and just generally listen to each other.

    She loves me and my biz and really ‘gets’ what I’m trying to do in the world. I’m the same with her.

    She is one of the most creative and energetic people in the world and people don’t often see that she’s also as vulnerable as any of us. I see that in her and part of my joy in the whole friendship is to tell her very specifically how amazing she is in the world.

    Everyone needs champions.

    The online course I’ve been doing has not only helped me refocus who I serve in my biz, it’s also connected me with many amazing and generous online biz women around the world.

    I’ve always believed being as generous as I can in the world of biz and I’ve been meeting so many other women who live by that philosophy.

    We’ve shared ideas, truckloads of tips on tools for our biz, given feedback when asked and shared services. One of the women is flying into Ireland tomorrow after selling her biz and she’s on a whole new trajectory.

    I’ve never met her face to face but I organised a gorgeous house sit for a week in Dublin and am taking her on a tour of the city before she goes on a wander around this gorgeous country.

    When I started the course I didn’t realise that one of the big results would be the amazing connections and support from other biz women globally.

    It’s just the best feeling in the world to know you’re not alone and there are other people to turn to for the celebrations and the commiserations.

    Have a great week Ramsay


    1. Legendary comment! As always.

      Thanks Liz.

  8. Kulwant Nagi on May 26, 2014

    What a great story and message.

    Ramsay, the lesson you mentioned in the article are truly the ways to open more doors in internet marketing.

    Risk: I always say, “Invest more, earn more.”

    But the question is – where to invest.

    And the answer is – On your experience.

    When I started blogging then I had one thing in my mind (like we all have) that I didn’t want to invest money to expand my business. But soon I realized my mistake after reading article on some of the great blogs and started considering it a pure business.

    I started investing and results were in front of me. So you said is right, “Taking risks is necessary.”

    Secondly, expansion is the key here. If you can find any method which actually works and gives you profit then it’s upto you how you scaled up.

    I understood this when I tried CPA 3-4 months back. And you know scaling is the game in CPA. πŸ˜‰

    For me finding right people was very hard (it still is) because finding right frequency matching people is a very tough job. But once you find them, things start going in right direction automatically.

    I loved the point “Overcome your family” because this is something which is the biggest obstacle in everyone’s life when he/she wants to do anything big.

    I have exactly same story here because my parent were against me.

    Ramsay, you did complete justice with your article and I loved all the points.

    I would love to visit again and read next master-piece.

    1. Thanks so much Kulwant! It sounds like you have a lot to offer our community. I look forward to seeing you in the comments section again!

  9. I am in the early stages of setting up a blog that I have big plans for and I know that there lies a mountain ahead of me.
    Your insight and advice is soaked up like water to a spunge. As the doubts start creeping in and I start trying to convince myself that I don’t have what it takes, then you come along with a post like this and get me all fired up again.

    Thank you so much, keep it up, I always look forward to your next post


    1. Thanks Brian. And remember, when those doubts creep back in, we’re always on Twitter or G+ for a chat if needed.

      1. Thanks Ramsay, will def do so

  10. Sharon de vries on May 26, 2014

    Respect is something you earn along life’s journey, be it for whatever.
    I have found when two people have a mutual interest and get together to discuss issues they are having with projects,
    “a third person” enters into the room and wonderful things begin to happen.
    I don’t want to hear how good a design piece is, I want to hear “How can we improve on this.”

    Also we always quantify everything….now that can arrest ones attention…big time.

    1. Thanks for sharing Sharon.

  11. I love all your write ups. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

    1. Thanks for reading!

  12. Awesome post! Taking risks and scaling is very important.

    1. Thanks mate.

  13. Hello Ramsay

    Hey man do you live in Australia ?

    And how could i contact you to ask you some things..

    I live in Australia

    Thanks Mate

    1. Email is in the contact page.

  14. lisa | renovating italy on May 26, 2014

    I now skype with friends I have made online and it’s opened my eyes to many new possibilities. Someone on the same wavelength and willing to give you that push when needed makes all the difference. ciao ciao lisa

    1. Good to see ya!

  15. friends are important but the right friends are priceless.I have learn this over and over especially when you need to build your network .the points you have put across are very important and the best persons to make it more convincing are those who have done it before.I appreciate the post Ramsay.

    1. Thanks Romane. Appreciate the comment.

  16. I don’t really have a friend to which I could go and freely talk about business ideas yet. Hope to form a friendship or two like that in the future, but for now I go for inspiration on other people blogs.

    1. That’s what we’re here for. πŸ™‚

  17. Was talking about this only last night. Yesterday drove 180k round trip to see a friend and his family who built Ireland’s first earthship. However we went to see him because he’s a friend and we haven’t seen him in 2 years, first time seeing the new kid too.

    It only took about an hour each way, bit more maybe, but if you don’t take that time sometimes, then the years will roll by.

    Things are both far away, and actually not far, near enough to be worth making the effort.

    Friends will also call you on things. You might not like it at the time, but if you are truly going to be smart, then you need to breathe in and actually understand what they are telling you – rather than arguing and telling them why they are wrong.


    cheers Simon / @aubreyramirez75

    1. Awesome! Was it worth it?

      1. Simon Cocking on May 26, 2014

        the youngest daughter lost her shoes (common event), so our hosts gave our girls a bag of shoes, too small for their daughter, but good for ours. Everybody happy.

        Oh, and we brought back a sheep skull for show and tell at school today – those sort of things just don’t happen in the suburbs of Dublin!

        Earthship pretty cool too, but wouldn’t be right to blog photos of their house!

        Thanks, and keep up the interesting posts, really useful.

        Found these pics our archives today (if it’s ok to post)
        made for a great visual post.


        1. Awesome!

  18. Friends can often be a pain in the butt, in a good way | Sarah Paddle Swim on May 26, 2014

    […] May 26, 2014Aubrey Ramirez Leave a comment May 26, 2014 […]

  19. Gary Toth on May 26, 2014

    Great post on the importance of real friendships and why it is important that the people you hang around talk ideas and motivate you to do great things!

    We all have or have had friends that have a pessimistic attitude and complain about things that they have every right to complain about. For some reason, it’s easy to keep going back to those people, like it’s easy to go back to that unhealthy snack. There’s a comfort factor.

    The internet has been awesome at breaking down physical barriers to make meaningful connections with people possible, but it cannot replace the face to face contact we all need in order to thrive.

    As a musician, I think this is why living in a music hub is still so relevant. It gives you more of an opportunity to make friends with people that actually do what you want to do.

    Thanks, Ramsay! I am enjoying your stuff!

    1. Man, imagine if people like Muddy Waters or Mozart or Michael Jackson grew up without other musicians around…

  20. Scott Kindred on May 26, 2014

    I really keyed-in on your points about scaling and finding the right people. Fortunately, I’ve had wonderful opportunities for occasional interactions — the kind you speak of, where ideas are bounced back and forth — with this one guy from the Adelaide area. You may know him πŸ˜‰

    Scaling: Getting the mindset of doing that $1.50/day 1000 times is something I really want to do, but have always found that the step-by-step nuts and bolts of the true “how-to” of doing that are elusive. For example, the story of your pal’s scaling is certainly inspirational, but when I read those things I really want to know exactly what that product is and how I can do the same [similar] thing.

    Finding the right people: Huge. And it is such a gift when the right ones do come along!

    Thanks for the great post, Ramsay.

    1. Hey Scott.

      I’ll see if you can jump in on an email chat with him one day if you’d like?

      1. Scott Kindred on May 26, 2014

        I would certainly like that. Count me in.

        1. Sweet. Remind me when I have forgotten in two months. Ha ha.

  21. Who else operates with zero public profile? That’s crazy…

    1. Most of the really big people. Even guys like Glen do most of their money making away from their public stuff it seems.

      1. In some ways that knowledge is kind of liberating πŸ™‚

        I’m pretty private / introverted and I find social media to be pretty draining (maybe I just don’t know how to use it properly) so it’s good to know that you can make a living online from behind the scenes!

        Is that only affiliate marketing or other stuff too?

        Thanks for the post Ramsay!

        1. Hi David.

          PPC, SEO, eCommerce, products… honestly, most of the really big earners that I know or have encountered are completely absent from social media and see it as a distraction.

          1. Thanks Ramsay!

  22. EVERYONE should have someone like this to talk to. You are a blessed man indeed. It feels lonely otherwise. While I have people to talk to about other aspects of my life, I am yet to meet a pro blogger who would really get the passion behind what I am doing ONLINE. I recently found a good mentor in the industry I am in, however, she does most of her business in person, while I do mine online. The comments I hear from her about online business make me roll my eyes–she does not get the concept. So, while I learn a lot from her in other aspects of my business, this is something I let slide.

    Hopefully one day I can meet a like-minded, risk taking friend like you have.

    1. Love seeing you here, Elena.

      I know the old eye rolling feeling. The net is so strange to some people. But then again, dealing in stock and “real” products seems strange to me.

      1. True. I prefer to do my work online, rather than count inventory, or have to physically take care of a building. To each its own.

        And…good to be here. I sometimes get the odd moment I want to dedicate to learning from others, while my kid is sleeping. πŸ™‚

        1. So much respect for you men and women who work and look after kids. So hard.

          1. Thank you. It is a small price to pay in exchange for being here for my kid and raising her myself, rather than trusting others to do the job and working an 8-5 job. No complaints πŸ™‚

  23. I really enjoyed and got a lot out from your article and your determination to keep your friend even if it means traveling late at night for a few hours to meet with him. Not many people would do such a thing.

    I bow down my head at your friends choice to stay away from the limelight of the internet. It is also a fantastic way of shielding ones children from unnatural events that may develop from too much exposure to this artificial world of the Internet.

    Family above everything comes first for me. A good education for a child is one where parental love and care is most important. Children are distanced from their parents with the overuse of technology.

    A lot of well know top marketing entrepreneurs that I’ve come across mention in their profiles of the importance of their families and how it boils down to pleasing and having a rewarding and rich experience with them.

    So many entrepreneurs have come, arisen like the illusive phoenix out of despair and almost bankruptcy.

    I also forgot to mention you’re come through to me as a down to earth person and that is one of the reasons for me being on your list.

    Have a great day mate!

    1. Thanks Ozjon. I try to stay as humble as possible. Just like writing about my blogging adventures, really.

  24. Jim Mandoli on May 26, 2014

    Hi Ramsey,

    Thank you for the inspiration post. Yes, I have someone I used to chat with on Skype. There was a mutual coaching call we did once a week for about 60 minutes.

    I teach the blogging side of business, while my coaching buddy gives me insights on “stock trading”. He’a also a product seller and knows the online business quite well.

    1. Hi Jim.

      Did you find the skills transferred well in that relationship?

      1. Jim Mandoli on May 29, 2014

        Yes, however, I noticed with these free or mutual coaching calls, you need to focus on something which gives almost instant results, and not something one can benefit from within months, like I did with the trading information (I still plan to use it later next year, but it’s nothing I can tap into at the moment…)

        Does it make sense?

  25. Nabil Ansari on May 27, 2014

    I have been following your blog since years. This was the thing that I’ve been missing since those years. Even though I have already made my first $100 online, I’m yet to find a person with whom I can talk in person. It is really hard to find such people in India. Not everyone here is doing this online business thingy.

    1. Hey Nabil.

      I visit India quite regularly. Next time I’m there we should catch up. You can teach me some Hindi.

      Where do you live?

      1. Nabil Ansari on May 28, 2014

        I live in Bombay aka Mumbai. Just shoot me an email the next time you visit. Will surely hold a one-on-one hindi class.

  26. Thanks for sharing this, Ramsay. Great tactics there.

    1. Thanks.

  27. Hey Ramsay, thanks. The part about over coming your family really sits with me. I think I have concurred most of the negativity and what really helped was a 3 day Millionaire Mind Intensive seminar I was on this past weekend. One of the focuses was on negative family and past experiences holding you back.Interesting that now today you mention the same thing. Thanks again and keep on blogging.

    1. Thanks Don.

      My family have always been pretty supportive but I know a lot of people really struggle. Especially with online ventures, a lot of people want you to go and do a “real” job.

      1. Thanks again Ramsay, When my dad asks how much I am making I say I can’t remember.

  28. Tiffany on May 27, 2014

    Given that my audience is psychoanalytic therapists and I am working to help them develop their marketing skills, I absolutely LOVE that you included the last bit about overcoming the internal (and yes, even external) psychological barriers that come from being successful, even when our parents and loved ones don’t understand! This is one of the major focal points for my audience – understanding one’s psycholog when putting oneself out and taking risks! Having a trusted friend who will call you on your shit, even when you can’t see it is KEY!

    Ramsey, you’re lovely. Thanks for this blog!

    1. Thanks Tiffeny. πŸ˜‰

      Always love your comments.

  29. Great post. You’re really lucky to have found someone like that and I truly believe that this is one of those few cases where the word “lucky” can be used.
    The web offers a lot of opportunities, but I’m also often suspicious of people I ‘meet’ online.
    it’s not that I’m a suspicious person normally, but it’s happened more than once that I’ve noticed people who claim to be helping others, aren’t really fully helping others.

    On the other hand, I have one person in my business I really feel a connection with and it seems to me mutual. So, who knows?:)

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