According to a survey by the Indian Government, 5,45,93,224 aspirants play cricket every day with the common mission of representing India in this wonderful game one day!
Like every aspect of life, every cricketer has his or her share of successes and failures. Having played cricket for more than a decade and dreamt of donning the prestigious Indian jersey, now that I open my MacBook and launch Affiliate campaigns, I am compelled to ask myself the question, “What did cricket teach me about Affiliate Marketing?”
In this post, I will share the top 10 lessons that I learned while playing cricket that help me in carrying out my Affiliate Marketing business.
(1) You Will Have Bad Days
- If you have watched the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup of 2011, I am sure the everlasting words of Ravi Shastri still reverberate in your ears!
- If you are an Indian cricket fan, I am 100% sure, you just said those words in your mind, isn’t it? C’mon let’s say it together one more time, “Dhoni… finishes off in style! A magnificent strike into the crowd! India lift the World Cup after 28 years, the party starts in the dressing room… And, it’s an Indian Captain who’s been absolutely magnificent in the night of the final!”
- Mahendra Singh Dhoni. MS Dhoni. Mahi. Dhoni. Thala. These are a few names by which we address our beloved former Indian captain!
- But not everything is glorious about our dear MS! Like every cricketer, he had to go through trying times. Known as the best finisher, he has failed many times to finish the game. There are times, when we, the audience, had no idea what he was doing. His weakness against the googly is evident. Nevertheless, he keeps going, grinds it in the nets, and comes again, finishes, and walks away as if nothing happened!
- The same is the case with every cricketer. We fail! We fall! We cry! We work! We work harder! We fail again… and again. Yet we don’t give up!
- The bad days while playing cricket taught me one simple lesson: Don’t give up!
- You will see bad days, your Affiliate Marketing campaigns will not return the expected results. Your Affiliate Marketing content will not return the expected results. Your Affiliate Marketing strategies will not return the expected results. Your ads will fail! Your leads will not convert! Your live webinars will not give you the expected results.
- You might not see results for months (even years), but keep going!
- Remember, the flowers enjoy the rain because they know there will be sunshine! So, regardless of the results, keep going and do not quit! You will fail only if you quit!
(2) Even The Unconventional Things Work!
- It was the month of April in 2016. I was a wicket-keeper batter (I still am!) and my style of playing is stereotypical textbook type. I had seen a renowned international batter play the scoop shot over the wicket-keeper’s head the previous night. Enchanted, I decided to play the same shot in the batting practice session!
- As I said earlier, I am a textbook-style batter, and playing an unconventional shot like the scoop was not my cup of tea.
- Nevertheless, when it was my turn to bat in the nets, I started with the elegant drives, the graceful cuts, and the sturdy defenses. During the last 12 balls of my bout, my coach gave me full authority of playing however I wanted to. So out came the scoop shot!
- And to everyone’s surprise, I played it deftly!
- I had never imagined that I, of all people, will play the scoop with finesse! I had never imagined that I could play an unconventional, in fact, an innovative shot like the scoop!
- After playing it a few times, I was confident that I can pull it off in a real match situation – and I did. I amassed 36.78% of my runs playing the scoop in one match.
- I used the lesson I learned in that match in my Facebook ad campaigns. Usually, you experience professional headlines, and copies in ads, isn’t it?
- I took it up a notch (or down, if I may) and wrote an extremely informal headline and copy. The result: It worked!
- I wrote the copy as if I were talking to a friend and it converted the best! I generated 94 leads from that campaign.
- So the moral of the story is, “You do not need to follow a particular template all the time. You can tweak and play, break the rules, and it could work!”
- So in your next Affiliate Marketing campaign, try and spice it up a bit – not too much. It could bring tears 😛
- Try writing a copy as if you were talking to your best friend. Make your copy conversational. Write as if you were amid a conversation.
- If it fails, try again. You never know when you will hit the jackpot!
(3) Patience, bachcha! Patience!
- In 2018, we were playing a match and we needed 25 runs off 44 balls (3.41 runs per over). But to add drama to the chase, we were 8 down (we had lost 8 wickets and had 2 wickets in hand).
- In modern-day cricket, 3.41 runs per over is a cakewalk. I was on strike and being a finisher and being in this situation many times before, everybody expected me to play sensibly and take the game deeper.
- Usually, I would take a single on the 5th or the 6th ball of the over and retain strike for the next over. This is expected from an experienced batter.
- However, I did something I am disappointed about until now. The field was in the circle to save the single. Seeing the swarm of fielders on the off-side in my periphery, I, impulsively, played the lofted on-drive.
- The pitch was slow, hence, the ball stopped a bit and took the leading edge of my bat. Next? The red cricket ball ballooned in the air and I was caught at extra cover.
- I walked back to the dressing room thinking about what I have done! My instincts took over and I played the worst shot of my life.
- We, eventually, lost the match by 18 runs.
- Disappointed, I went home after the match, and the scene of me getting out playing a reckless lofted shot played in my head a dozen times. That day, I cemented a lesson in my brain, “Patience is a virtue!”
- Had I defended the ball, pushed it, or played it along the ground, the result might have been different.
- When I run ads or publish posts, I sit tight! I know I am working hard, I know I am learning, I know I am understanding my target audience’s pains, so I know the results will come of their own accord.
- When you start Affiliate Marketing, do what is in your hands – hard work, content creation, providing value, and solving problems. If you help people and solve their problems, the results will come.
- It could take 2 weeks, it could take 4 months, it could take 6 months, or it could take years, but if you create content consistently, and provide value to your audience, you will see results.
- Until then, as my coach / teacher says, “Patience, bachcha! Patience!”
(4) Keep Working! Keep Improving!
- I started playing professional cricket in 2010 and if I were to point out one weakness of mine, I will say, “I am bad at good length balls outside off.” (Dear bowlers, please don’t bowl outside off 😛 )
- No matter how hard I tried to square-cut the ball, it ended up in the wicket-keeper’s mitts. The more I played, the more my weakness was exposed. Many bowlers took advantage of it and kept the region from point to third man wide open. And, I never failed them. Whenever the ball was on the good length outside off, I missed it.
- Having recognized my weakness against balls outside off, I requested my coach to instruct the bowlers to bowl that line during a net session. I still remember the bowlers bowled 20 balls per session outside off to help me become better. However, I could connect only 2 or 3 on my best days.
- Nevertheless, the more I faced such balls, the more I connected them, the better became my hand-eye coordination and the better I became at playing the square cut.
- After 3-4 months, I was able to connect all the 20 balls. So, continuously working on my weakness and persistence helped me overcome it.
- Where did this help me in Affiliate Marketing? In content creation. When I launched my first blog in 2020 (intro world link), I was unable to write even one paragraph. Whenever I sat down to write, I used to be intimidated by the white screen glaring at me!
- So I enrolled in courses and coaching. I learned the basics, kept practicing, kept writing, and, gradually, I became better. I still remember watching videos of Alex Cattoni, Amy Porterfield, Linguamarina, EngVid, and many, many influential English teachers and content creators.
- Today, I am able to write a comprehensive post of 2,500 words in a matter of a couple of hours, thanks to prior research of 3-4 hours.
- All the courses that I enrolled in gave me one takeaway that I implemented in my content creation strategy. All the lessons and takeaways helped me to improve. So no matter how bad you are at something, with consistency and continuous effort, you will get better.
- So keep working, address your weaknesses, put in the effort, stay consistent, and you will become better.
(5) Learn To Rest, Not Quit!
- I am asthmatic. And, I play cricket. Two deadly combinations! While playing cricket, there were occasions when I had to take a break due to shortness of breath.
- In many matches, I requested the coach to exclude me from the playing eleven. While running and fielding, I used to stop with my hands on my knees gasping for breath.
- Many times, it was difficult for me to run even one 100-meter sprint.
- However, I learned a technique called belly breathing. After learning the technique, whenever I used to feel shortness of breath, I used to pause, take 4-5 deep breaths, and felt better.
- Yes, I used the inhaler, but I did not miss matches or practice, henceforth.
- In the same way, if you feel exhausted and worn out, you should take a break, pause, and rest.
- There will be times when you will not see a single commission, there will be times when your Facebook ads will not return a single lead, and that’s perfectly fine. Nothing is perfect in Affiliate Marketing. You could write the best content, technically speaking, and yet get no views.
- Your hard work could go in vain. That’s the time to take a break.
- When you are tired, exhausted, or agitated, take a break. Rest! Do not quit!
- You started the Affiliate Marketing journey to make money, but do not quit. You will fail only when you quit. So take a break when you worked hard and did not get the expected results.
- Many cricket matches go till the last ball and nothing is decided until then. So keep batting. You will miss, you will hit, but until you are on the crease, you can win.
- Similarly, in Affiliate Marketing, keep going. Things will be tough, I do not deny that. There will be times when you will hate yourself. There will be times when you will be lonely. There will be times when you will be filled with self-doubts, and that’s the time to rest. Take a step back, reflect, and come back. If you miss a half volley, life could present you with a juicy full toss. So, keep playing!
(6) Get The Basics Right
- I have been playing cricket for over a decade and I can play many extravagant shots – the helicopter shot, the paddle, the scoop, the switch hit, to name a few.
- Although the innovative shots look sexy to the eyes, they won’t be possible unless I have a strong foundation. For instance, let’s consider the switch hit. To play the shot, I must have a strong stance and a stable head position.
- If I have a wobbly head while standing, I might look like a jerk trying to bat, isn’t it? Therefore, to execute every shot successfully, I must have a strong stance and a stable head. In other words, I should get the basics right.
- I should master the basics of batting in cricket, like having a strong stance, a straight back, a stable head position, and a waist-high straight back-lift. Additionally, I should be able to play the conventional shots. I should master my drives, cuts, flicks, sweeps, defenses, slogs, pulls, and hooks to play the innovative shots.
- Once I have my head straight and stable and I watch the ball till the last second, no matter which shot I play, it will be executed skillfully.
- If you have to master Affiliate Marketing, you should learn the basics, for example, content creation, ad copywriting, marketing, communication, lead generation, traffic generation, webinars, etc.
- You can build a skyscraper only when the foundation is solid, isn’t it? (Cliche, Shubhamjeet)
- So if you are a beginner, learn content creation, copywriting, and all the skills I mentioned above. You can research on Google, YouTube, Quora, and develop your skills.
- Once you have mastered the basics, you can go ahead and automate your business. But starting from absolute zero is crucial.
- If you feel you are not good enough, you can master anything if you start and keep learning. I was not a born content writer, but with practice, I am gradually becoming better. Mr. Siddharth Rajsekar did not become India’s no. 1 information marketing expert in one day. He had to work hard, he had to keep learning and improving, and he had to fail.
- I once read on Instagram, “The master was once a beginner.” So, begin with curiosity to learn, and no matter how bad you are at something, if you learn continuously and practice, you will keep getting better. Set the foundations right and then launch!
(7) You Can & Should Learn From Everyone
- As I shared in the 4th point above, I was weak on balls bowled outside the off-stump. In addition to practicing every day, I looked up international icons who play the square cut well, MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Rahul Dravid, and learned from them. I studied their head positions, foot movement, hand positions, and bat positions and started implementing them.
- I changed my bat position, went towards the ball, and started middling my square cuts.
- When you look up to people who are where you want to be, you learn faster and, consequently, reach your goals faster.
- I was able to get better in a less amount of time as I had the “templates” provided by the aforementioned icons.
- Similarly, when you start Affiliate Marketing, you can learn from people who have reached the greatest height in the industry. For instance, you can learn from Pat Flynn, who achieved $3,15,000 in 24 months through only 1 product – ConvertKit.
- The beauty of learning from others is that you could save a lot of time. Almost all the beginners in Affiliate Marketing struggle with traffic generation. You could learn the art of traffic generation by yourself and take around 6-7 months to master both organic and paid sources of traffic. Alternatively, you could learn from the master of traffic generation, Vick Strizheus, and master traffic generation in a matter of days.
- The masters provide you with a blueprint that you can follow and achieve results faster than them. Let me ask you something, “What is the one skill you have mastered?” If I were to ask you to guide people, I can say with conviction that you will share a clear path that will take them from point A (no experience; novice) to point B (expert). And, the beauty of learning from the master is that you will reach the destination faster.
- It took me 4 years to understand Affiliate Marketing in-depth, but I am sure I will be able to help you achieve your goals quicker.
- So if you are bad at content writing, you will find many masters on YouTube. If you are bad at traffic, you can learn from Vick Strizheus. If you are bad at marketing, you can learn from Siddharth Rajsekar.
- You will learn everything that you must and mustn’t do. Instead of wandering without direction, the masters will guide you and create a path that you must follow to the T!
- On a lighter note, I am in the Affiliate Marketing industry since 2018 (took it up full-time in July 2021) and I believe my experience and knowledge can help you. So, let’s meet during my live training session. (So subtle, Shubhamjeet!)
(8) Never Underestimate Anyone – Even Yourself!
- In 2020, I used to have a job and I was privileged to play for the company’s cricket team. I was unfit, so I was rested and watched the match from the sidelines.
- It was a cloudy Sunday morning and I could feel the cool wind on my face. It was a lush green outfield and the pitch was damp due to the overnight rain. Both the captains walked to the middle for the toss. The opposition captain gave the coin a flick and our captain called, “Heads.” Unfortunately, it came down as, “Tails.”
- Having lost the toss, we were asked to bat first and due to the slow nature of the wicket, our batters were unable to middle the ball. We were struggling and kept losing wickets at regular intervals.
- It was a 20-over game and at the end of 14 overs, we were tottering at 73 for 8. Our tail-enders were batting and we were hoping they could take us to at least 100.
- On strike was my close friend and I knew he could bat. Although his tournament with the bat was dismal, today was his chance and it’s rare in cricket, especially in T20 cricket, that numbers 9 and 10 get 6 overs to bat. But such was our day with the bat!
- They kept batting ball-by-ball, and their confidence started to grow. They started to drive the ball, slog the ball, find gaps, and the scoreboard started to run. They played so well that we reached 127 (for 8) in 20 overs.
- Now, I know 127 is not much in T20 cricket. However, when we were 73 for 8 in 14 overs, nobody would have given us a chance to reach even 100.
- So we reached 127. Now, it was our turn to bowl. The confidence both the bowlers got while batting was reflected in their bowling and, we went on to win the match by a margin of 5 runs. We bowled out the opposition for 122!
- We were down for the count, but our tail-enders gave us hope, and we learned, that we should not underestimate anybody.
- When you start Affiliate Marketing, everything could feel daunting. You could get intimidated by content writing, copywriting, ads, technology, tools, etc. When technology and tools enter the picture, many people find it difficult and find every way out of it.
- That’s the time when you should not underestimate yourself and learn slowly. You could be bad at copywriting, but give it a shot anyway! How can you be bad at something you never tried or did?
- Even if you are bad, try! The biggest mistake you could do is to rule yourself out. Try running ads. You could generate 100 leads in 24 hours, who knows?
- Never ever underestimate yourself and do not compare your behind-the-scenes with people’s Instagram Reels.
- You are better than you think! You are better than what your boss thinks! Just start! Give it a shot!
- If Pat Flynn had given up when he did not see his first campaign return results, will the world have gotten Pat Flynn? If your favorite celebrity had given up, would they have made it this big? Definitely not!
- So work and don’t worry about the results. You have got it! You know more than you think! You are better than you think! Do not underestimate yourself!
(9) Consistency Is Crucial!
- I am extremely good at playing the cover drive! I lean towards the ball, shift my body weight while playing the shot, get down on one know, and my follow-through is elegant!
- Do you know how I achieved this? “Through practicing consistently!” I still remember hitting ball after ball in the nets, middling some, missing some, and over time, I became better.
- The key is consistency. The best cricketers practice their favorite shots a hundred times, thousand times, and then become the masters of it.
- Suresh Raina’s elegant cover drive is due to hours of everyday practice. MS Dhoni’s helicopter shot is due to hours of practice and consistency. How can I forget Virat Kohli’s classy cover drive?
- There is a quote by Bruce Lee that says, “I fear not the man who practiced a thousand kicks once, I fear the man who practiced one kick thousand times.” The more you do something, the better you get at it.
- In life, whatever you are good at is due to hours of practice and consistency. If you love dancing, I am sure you shake a leg every day without noticing. If you are a good singer, I am sure you sing unconsciously.
- To excel in Affiliate Marketing, do whatever you are good and/or bad at consistently. If you want to improve communication, practice daily. If you want to become a better copywriter, write every day. You want to generate traffic, run ads, and learn SEO.
- And, do that thing consistently. Long-term consistency will always beat short-term intensity.
(10) Stay Humble
- I am a die-hard fan of Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Oh dear! Here come the haters!) and the best quality of his, according to me, is his humility.
- In 2008, I had the honor of meeting him and I still remember the conversation I had with him. I was 13 years old back then and I can tell you, he is a very humble human being.
- He said in an interview and I quote, “Treat everyone you meet equally, right from the Security Guard to the Managing Director.” And those words stuck!
- Many or all of us know someone who changed after tasting success. I know one such person and his arrogance after becoming successful is apparent. He treats people of lower status in a condescending manner. Never be that person!
- I know and appreciate you working hard, putting in the effort, and sleeping late to achieve your goals. But never let success get to your head.
- Treat people well! Be humble! Talk politely!
- I read somewhere (I read a lot!), “People will forget what you did to them. People will forget what you said to them. But people will never forget how you treated them.”
- So treat people how you want to be treated. Yes, success is cool, but humility is sexy!
- Your character is everything. Your real education is defined by how you treat people, not by how many degrees you have.
- So Affiliate Marketers, stay humble. Celebrate victories. Yes, post on social media. Make people jealous, but treat them well!
- Do not raise your voice when you become successful, do not consider anyone to be weaker or lower than you. Treat everyone with respect and when you do, you will become a brighter person. You will become, what they call, a people magnet!
Conclusion – As We Say In Cricket, Stumps!
So in this post, I shared the top 10 lessons I learned from playing cricket that I implement in Affiliate Marketing. To recap, the lessons are:
- You Will Have Bad Days
- Even The Unconventional Things Work!
- Patience, bachcha! Patience!
- Keep Working! Keep Improving!
- Learn To Rest, Not Quit!
- Get The Basics Right
- You can & Should Learn From Everyone
- Never Underestimate Anyone – Even Yourself!
- Consistency Is Crucial!
- Stay Humble
If you want to learn Affiliate Marketing, consider signing up for my free live training.
So that’s about this post. It was an emotional post for me since I love both cricket and Affiliate Marketing. If you loved this post and learned something valuable, please share your takeaway in the comments box.
I look forward to hearing from you!