Before You Know Where You’re Goin’, You Gotta Know Where You’ve Been

It’s my personal belief that to truly understand a given concept or idea, you should know its origins; or at least the initial steps that brought about what it is you’re currently looking at.  I believe our friend Mr. Darwin would agree because this mofo created a detailed theory attempting to explain why the hell species are the way they are.  Now of course many original ideas and concepts become outdated or even obsolete, and you don’t need to know who Dr. James Naismith is in order to shoot a basketball, but a full understanding of anything truly does help, especially if you want to be ahead of the competition.

Before hopping on board at, I was educated in the basic principles of marketing and I knew an affiliation was a partnership between parties; but I had never heard of affiliate marketing.  Obviously the name speaks for itself, i.e. using partnerships to accomplish marketing goals, but there’s more to it than that.

I remember my first month on the job as John and Sok layed out their ideas for CouponShack moving forward and my role in the company.  As a rookie in the industry, it was quite a bit to take in but I’ve always been a quick learner and I do love a good challenge.  So to aid me in the learning process I went out and picked up a couple new editions on the industry only to find that they led to further confusion and a realization of how intricate the online affiliate marketing network actually is.  So there I was with even less knowledge than I started out with, well I guess you could say that I had learned a few new technological terms that I could throw around in conversation, still not knowing what the hell they meant!  That’s when I decided to take a step back and start from the beginning.  Remember that old fable about the rabbit and that pesky turtle who always won the race?  Instead of trying to get a head start and find the fastest way to the finish line, take your time and you’ll see that slow and steady wins the race.  BTW, yes, I did just use Aesop’s Fables as a reference.

This is when I really began to learn a thing or two.  I went back to the very beginning of affiliate marketing which was not long after the creation of the World Wide Web.  I learned that the online adult industry was among the first pioneers in affiliate marketing with their pay per click program – I’m sure many conservatives would love to sweep this little tidbit under the rug, but you can see just how far the industry has come since then because I obviously have nothing to do with online pornography; or do I?  JK!  This was just the beginning of a wave of innovators, independent thinkers, and tech geeks who would come together, and in some cases work against one another, to create the network you see today.  An industry made up of merchants, publishers, networks, and customers – all of which I’ll go into more detail in future posts – which completely changed the status quo of shopping and business to business relations.

Going back and doing a little research really helped me to understand not only the network, but also what was expected of me in my daily responsibilities.  So before you jump into a new project, or in my case a new industry, do a little research to know exactly what you’re dealing with.  Learn how and why a particular concept or idea came about, where it is today, and everything relevant in between.  This will really help you excel and make you that much more of an expert.

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