MarketLeverage Contest Winners

Ok, you guys made it WAY too hard to pick a winner. I just spent the last 2-3 hours reading every article, and trying to narrow it down. I started with the 45 or so articles and narrowed it down to 10. That was hard enough in itself, so imagine how hard picking 3 out of the top 10 was.

Anywho, I’m going to announce the winners in individual posts. I’ll announce the First Place winner today and post their article, then Second and Third the following 2 days. After that, I’ll still post all the other great entries, because we can all learn a lot from them. Even if some of the points are repeated, that just means we’ve found a common point and should really learn from that mistake. Now onto the winner…

Drumroll please…

The first place winner is…William C. I loved the message behind this article and it’s so true, really a great read. Congrats William! Here’s the entry :

Mistakes Made And Lessons Learned

Affiliate marketing, Few know what it is, Yet so many wish to become one. Lured by promises of the get rich quick dream, Many Will try and few will succeed. It is A True test of determination and Will. Affiliate Marketing Is not for the weak and fearful. Mistakes will be made and lessons to be learned from it all.

Wither or not you succeed with Affiliate marketing, the mistakes you make and fix along the way give you more experience in marketing and business than most people could ever dream of. There are only so many things books can teach you, but one thing you will never get out of a book is experience, and to me that’s all that matters in the business world.

Growing up my parents would pound the phrase “you’re going to college” in the back of my mind any chance they got. I didn’t grow up in the best of conditions but I always made best of what I had. Through high school I got side tracked with a few bad influences in my life and ended up dropping out and getting my GED and heading straight for community college. Not long after that I dropped out of College. From the day I dropped out of High school I vowed to never work a 9-5 job. All my life I Had heard how the only way to succeed was through college. I disagreed. I felt school was never really my cup of tea. Although I did enjoy learning and the school life style, I just never really got in the rhythm of it.

In my late years in high school I had started working small operations online through websites like digital point. Building small sites selling them back, running proxy sites you name it I’ve probably done it. For my last two years in high school I was working from my room making more money than my friends working 30 hours a week at star bucks. I loved it. The whole idea of working from home making more money than the average Joe was a lifetime goal of mine and I was doing it. Telling myself I would be happy with 3,000$ a month I continued to work toward my goal awaiting that day I would reach my goal.

Then one day a good friend of mine who I had not talked to in a good while told me about affiliate marketing and how he was making hundreds a day. Obviously this intrigued me and soon enough I followed suit. My first market was Ringtones. The dreaded saturated market in which every Noob should stay far far away from! Either from sheer dumb luck or past experience my first run with ringtones was an automatic profit. From day one I profited, Now really intrigued by the potential I continued deeper and deeper into the ringtone market. I had my share of bumps in the road but all learning experiences.

Next thing I know I am making 3,000$ a month profiting 100$ a day every day. Not even realizing that I had reached my goal. All I had time to worry about was improving and pushing harder. 4,000$, 5,000$, 6,000$ I had doubled my goal amount by 2x and I was making more money than both my parents combined. Falling off the horse a few times but always getting back on I ventured farther and farther into the ringtones market. I had something to prove to everyone who ever doubted me. That was all the motivation I ever needed. I pushed forward until one day I sat down looking at my monitor at 4pm in the afternoon and seeing for the first time, my first 1,000$ day. Not only had I accomplished my initial goal, I had bested it 10x over. A High school and college kid drop out. Three years of Online experience has brought me 30,000$ a month in revenue. I had proven all of my doubters wrong. And now I achieved a income even most college graduates would dream of. I had succeeded in my lifetime goal at the age of 18. I never stepped foot in a real world job, I never plan too. Entrepreneur Is the only title I want.

Now recently hitting my 2,000$ a day mark I look back and reflect on the mistakes and lessons on the road to where I am now. The biggest mistake I’ve been making is not taking the time to look back on all my failures. Nobody wants to acknowledge failure let alone reflect on it, But the lesson to be learned from it is that mistakes are success in a nutshell. You can learn to look at mistakes as failures and shrug them off and never think about it again or you can look at mistakes as experience gained and a lesson to be learned with each mistake.

The best piece of advice anyone can ever give you in business is to take the time to stop. Reflect on your mistakes, Write them down, in a journal if you want and figure out the reason why you failed. Don’t brush it off without knowing why you failed in the first place, The same reason why some people never succeed is because they never learned from their mistakes and its an endless cycle of failure. Don’t be afraid of failure, You can’t avoid it so when you do fail approach it as a learning experience and knowledge gained from it. The more you fail the more experienced you become. I would seek advice from people who have multiple failures than people who have none. They know what not to do, and that experience will always be with them and they can only get better from it.

So take the time to analyze your failures when and if they do happen. Write them down in a notebook to record it for future preference if need be. Tossing aside your mistakes will be the biggest mistake you will ever make. So learn your lesson now before it becomes a huge flaw in your business model.

I hope you enjoyed the read.
Thank you,
William C.


  1. June 26, 2008

    Wow dude that’s a very inspiring story. It makes me even want to quit highschool as well, even though I just started last year lol.

  2. Sunshine
    June 26, 2008

    Congrats and Very well said.

  3. Jason - Jabarch
    June 26, 2008

    Thanks for posting these. It should provide a great benefit to all of the readers.

  4. Tundra
    June 26, 2008

    Totally inspiring…I’d love to be making $30,000 in revenue every month. I wanna quit McD’s. Quick question,how are some people (including newbies) profitable in ringtones and some aren’t? Seems like it’s hit or miss with most niches.

    Question for Paul: I saw in one of your videos that you don’t sell physical products, does this mean that you only do leads/email/zip submits?

  5. June 26, 2008

    Great story, it makes me think about my situation and the mistakes I’ve made, never thought to keep track of em like that. Good stuff William!

  6. June 26, 2008

    WOW! That was an awesome awesome read :)

  7. June 26, 2008

    Thanks Paul for hosting this contest!

    William ~ Congratulations on winning 1st place. Your story is an inspiration to many readers, especially those that may not have finished school or earned a degree. There are many successful affiliate marketers that never finished college. I think a lot of parents drill in to their children that they cannot become successful without a degree. Affiliate marketing proves those parents wrong in the aspect of success equaling income, opportunity and happiness.


  8. June 26, 2008

    Damn, I knew I forgot to enter one of these ML contests! Oh well, maybe next time!


  9. June 26, 2008

    Great story and message and good pick Paul! There are tons of inspirational stories and hundreds of movies that have the same message and it’s so true, if you really want something, don’t give up and don’t listing to those who say it can’t be done. Usually you have to fight yourself harder than anyone so once you get past that step it’s a lot easier.

    Paul, after you finish these off, you should compile them all into a sort of “ebook”. Of course if everyone gave permission and if it were free and all but could be a great read.

  10. June 26, 2008

    Wow, you really stepped into the lucky stuff by being profitable at the jump! Congrats. Making it look easy to be making bank.

  11. June 26, 2008

    wow, great post by William C.

  12. June 26, 2008

    Congratulations William C
    That story is awesome.

  13. June 26, 2008

    Excellent Post! Good choice Paul.

    William C do you have a blog? We’d love to learn from you too.

  14. June 26, 2008

    Dude, don’t quit school.

  15. William C.
    June 26, 2008

    Hi Everyone,

    And thank you Paul for having the contest :) I am glad everyone enjoyed the article, I don’t have a blog or anything right now. It was always on my To Do list, maybe soon. Just wanted to jump on and say thanks, I hope it helps everyone to get motivated to succeed.

    Thanks All,

    William C.

  16. June 26, 2008

    Great post

  17. June 27, 2008

    Congrats to the winner…
    Nice read. :)

  18. June 27, 2008

    Also, i hope you got my entry.. just confirming. ;)

  19. June 27, 2008

    The article is really inspirational, and definitely shows the highs and lows of affiliate marketing! If this shows the quality of the entries to the competition then I certainly don’t stand a chance!
    Well done again!

  20. I have to agree with the winner but one thing I didn’t do was drop out of school or university. It’s smart to NOT do that. Get your education. You don’t have to work 9-5 but its a fall back plan, if you ever get bored at home.

    Few months ago I was making $0 dollars. Today I’m making close to $400 a day but I have my day job as well which keep things exciting for me and gives me extra income to play with. If I sat home I get bored because PPC marketing doesn’t require 8 hours day work. That’s why I go to work in the morning, come home in the evening and check my number and at the end of the month I collect big checks from two different people, day employer and affiliate networks. Works out pretty well.

  21. June 27, 2008

    yea dont quit school dude u are 18 and you can still get time to get into college then u can be a bigger dude there you know? oh hey just keep the certificate for refference you know? not like u want it for a job or something!

  22. June 27, 2008

    That’s an inspiring article William!

    Not only in the Affiliate Marketing community you hear a lot of people talk about what knowledge to take from failures; but in the “real’ business world as well. Richard Branson and Donald Trump (cliche) are one of my favorite entrepreneurs and in their books they devote a bunch of chapters about learning from failures.

    “A winner is just a looser who kept getting up” is the best quote/lesson in life. I have it framed on my wall. After 4 years in this industry, that quote still inspires me.

    Anyway, congrats on the win !

  23. June 27, 2008

    you better get a blog man it is really fun blogging you know? i never had that in mind until a friend tipped me into blogging is fun!

  24. June 27, 2008

    i think it is time to say CONGRATULATIONS to you Willy C!!!! its for you buddy!

  25. June 27, 2008

    yea that sounds exciting but not for all though but one sweet thing is that school is always something you shouldnt quit! Not everyone loves day jobs either but there are other things to waste some time on with friends but stay in school dude…lol

  26. June 27, 2008

    yea sure you get lucky sometimes. lol until it is over crowded and nothing to get outta it! Keep searching for the best one and one day you land the great deal!

  27. June 27, 2008

    hey Debby, the school part is not entirely correct…folks should go to school and dont encourage em to drop out? Go to school make your affiliate money on the line and have fun…just dont study tudious courses thats all! Make evrything easy and fun thats the motto! But stay in school you can pay for your self no need to study hard for better scholarships? :D lol

  28. June 27, 2008

    why not just go try out another niche and get the ball rolling you keep deeping ur hands in ringtones, u keep lossing some money and make nothing outta it.

  29. productionhead
    June 28, 2008

    Wow. Your writing is extremely terrible. Yes, you made some money. But that is shortlived when it comes to the opportunities and ventures excellent communication can bring you. Don’t take this as an offense but despite your earnings I see you as a worldly noon, since you can’t effectively portray your thoughts. My 12 year old sister writes beter than that.

  30. Joe
    June 30, 2008

    Totally agree. I thought all of the poor grammar/writing was a joke at first… I was hoping that it was a way of showing why dropping out of school was a bad thing… and then maybe at the end of the story he goes back to school and the writing got better. Nope. Just a lucky one I guess.

  31. July 1, 2008

    Thanks for posting these. It should provide a great benefit to all of the readers.

  32. July 1, 2008

    so true

  33. July 8, 2008

    Quitting school would be the dumbest freaking idea you could ever have. People make mistakes in affiliate marketing, it is part of it, but you can’t split test your future. Don’t screw yourself. Stay in school, and keep affiliate marketing or whatever you do. Get better at it. At least if it doesn’t work out, then you didn’t sacrifice your future. Without school you won’t be able to afford Yahoo’s cheap clicks :D

    Shudogg Dot Com – Make Money Online Blogging

  34. alexa7
    July 11, 2008

    Maybe I don’t understand. I thought the theme was mistakes I’ve made in IM.

    It’s an inspirational piece, yes, but it’s bereft of any mistakes to avoid, other than not looking at mistakes. The runner up was way better.

    Another feel good, no practical info article.

  35. April 8, 2009


    I read your article. I think it’s great that you were so successful, especially when 90% of affiliate marketers fail. But you know what I don’t understand, what did this article show all of us newbies? Your primary point was to learn from your mistakes. Why not tell us what your mistakes were so we can hopefully learn from them before we make the same mistakes. It seems like not all but most people on the internet tantalize and tease people with their profits, but they don’t tell you how to do it yourself. If you do learn anything, it’s not the complete picutre. You have to search here and there and everywhere trying to piece all the little bits together.

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