God Wants You to Know Five Proven Ways to Sell More

Written by Edna Davidsen ∴ Saturday, October 14, 2017

"The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge, for the ears of the wise seek it out."

I've titled this blog post God Wants You to Know Five Proven Ways to Sell More.I'd like to send two signals with this blog post title: 1. Running a Christian business is OK. 2. We must seek industry knowledge. We're eager beavers doing our best to develop products and services for the Christian community. Romans 12:2 says:"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." It's our Biblical duty as Christian Affiliate Marketer to seek transformation and a renewed mind. We strive to be top dogs in our industry. We do so by reading books, blog posts, listen to podcasts, watching YouTube-videos and participating in the church community. We refuse to live our lives without knowing whether to wind a watch or bark at the moon. We know what to do.The upcoming sections cover these topics: 1. Put God First and Understand the Planning Fallacy.  2. Long-form Content.  3. Abundant Life. 4. Cognitive Biases. 5. Long-term Thinking. I've been an overseas Filipino worker (short: OFW) most of my adult life. An OFW is a Filipino worker travelling the world for jobs enabling us to provide for our families back home in the Philippines. I've lived the OFW lifestyle for about fifteen years before I married my husband from Faroe Island in 2012. Together, my husband and I began thinking about how we could create a more flexible lifestyle. We felt like it was crunch time for us, both headed for the forties. Our goal; to be able to travel more, visit my home country, the Philippines, and my husbands home country, the Faroe Islands. Our knowledge about passive income and Internet Marketing was limited at this point. But this changed. On a trip to the Philippines in 2013, my husband and I bought Rich Dad Poor Dad, a book by Robert Kiyosaki. Robert Kiyosaki is an authority within the field of personal finance, but we had never heard about him or his message. What he had to say about work, money and life resonated with our struggles to adopt a different lifestyle.  Both of us got inspired by Rich Dad Poor Dad. It was time for a change. We realised, Robert Kiyosaki's message about how to approach personal finance represented a legitimate way for me out of the life as an OFW, and it gave my husband a new direction. My husband began trading Forex as a result of reading Robert Kiyosaki's book three months after returning home to Greenland from our trip to the Philippines in 2013. I needed more time to come up with an idea. I knew I wanted to replace the OFW lifestyle with a more sustainable lifestyle. The problem with the traditional OFW lifestyle is, we're unable to be with our families most of the time. We trade our time for money in an undesirable way, which leaves us with little or no possibility to build a better future. It was much later I decided to go into the project of creating passive income myself. I wanted to beat the clock before it was too late. When I did, I did it by creating this blog for Christians who dream about going into online business, Christian authors who want to become better at marketing their books, Christian readers who wish to read quality books. The 15 years I've worked as an OFW, I've worked in sales- and service positions most of the time. From now on I wanted to take this experience and transfer what I learned from it into an online business. I began seeking knowledge about how to set up a website. It was now or never. I picked up the basics of web design and blogging from blogs, books and YouTube-channels. The moment of truth had come. I was excited when I published my first blog post on March 3, 2017. It was a review of Gary Comer's book Soul Whisperer: Why the Church Must Change the Way It Views Evangelism. Being in charge of a website can be troublesome, but the problems are outweighed by the experience of helping other Christians in the online community. The reward is bigger than the pain. Only time will tell if this was the right decision; but I know I won't regret that I followed my dream. I hope the following sections will help green Christian Affiliate Marketers to get the expectations right.

1. Put God First and Understand the Planning Fallacy

I've been a Christian all my life. My ideal is to put God first. Sure, it's sometimes tricky. The path is clear though. I know what's expected of me. The first concept I like to mention for Christian Affiliate Marketing newcomers is from Daniel Kahneman. It's the concept of the planning fallacyIt says we're too optimistic when we planFor example, if we plan to do something within six months, it'll take 12 months to complete. If we plan to pay $300 for getting something done, we'll end up paying $600. This is, says Daniel Kahneman, because we tend to create plans based on best-case scenarios rather than realistic scenarios.

(Kahneman, Daniel. Thinking, Fast and Slow (Kindle Locations 4372-4374). Penguin Books Ltd. Kindle Edition.)

We have reason to believe Daniel Kahneman's concept of planning fallacy is relevant for Christian Affiliate Marketers and should be considered. At the beginning of my career as a Christian Affiliate Marketer, I planned how many blog posts I should write to get enough visitors to OurChristinBook.com's blog.  After writing the first blog posts, I realised the plan was too optimistic.  I had committed the planning fallacy without knowing about it.  Reading Daniel Kahneman's book Thinking, Fast and Slow helped me adjusting my plans and be happy for what I achieved instead of hammering myself in the head for being behind a plan I'd created. In How to Stay Calm in the Midst of Big Projects Emily P. Freeman (TW: @emilypfreeman) writes: "If you’ve ever been guilty of biting off more than you can chew or of expecting too much too soon, then perhaps you will resonate with Greg McKewon’s encouragement to start small and celebrate progress. In recent years I’ve come to value and even cherish the art of the small start in my work, my friendships, and even in cleaning the house." I like this approach; also in Christian Affiliate Marketing or Christian blogging. It's the small victories on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, which lead us to where we want to be in the future.  If we plan to do something within six months, we should be happy to achieve half within these six months.  If we think like this we avoid the planning fallacy, and we avoid setting ourselves up for failure.  How do we sell more by doing less?  It sounds counter-intuitive, but when we're happy with any small progress we experience we'll be able to produce blue ribbon blog posts.  Stress and the never being satisfied feeling is overwhelming in today's society.  If we can show our readers, we're able to approach blogging without being stressed about it and with a satisfaction shining through our blog posts we'll be in the minority; but we send an important message: It's OK to do less and be happy about it. When I experience the flow that comes when I'm able to put God first, it's like the fear of missing out (FEMO) disappears.  It's hard sometimes to come up with a new blog post, but I say to myself: "I'll put God first; I'll write the blog post with the best quality I'm capable of, the rest is up to God."  Why is this a proven way to sell more?  I like to answer this with a quote from Stephen R. Coveys book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:  Lack of life balance. Life in our cell phone society is complex, demanding, stressful, and absolutely exhausting. For all our efforts to manage our time, do more, be more, and achieve greater efficiency through the wonders of modern technology, why is it we increasingly find ourselves in the “thick of thin things”—subordinating health, family, integrity, and many of the things that matter most to our work? The problem is not our work, which is the sustaining engine of life. It’s not the complexity or change. The problem is that our modern culture says, “go in earlier, stay later, be more efficient, live with the sacrifice for now”—but the truth is that balance and peace of mind are not produced by these; they follow the person who develops a clear sense of his or her highest priorities and who lives with focus and integrity toward them.

(Covey, Stephen R.. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change (pp. 17-18). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.)

If we lead by "Going in later, stay shorter, be less efficient and live with less sacrifice, for now, we show newcomers in Christian Affiliate Marketing that there's an alternative to the unbalanced life. We believe this is a proven way to sell more because it's apparent that we help better when we're living a more balanced life. It's natural to feel blue, to be off colour, now and then; Matthew 6:33-34 "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." To wrap it up: We should be prepared to invest more time, money and energy into becoming sustainable Christian Affiliate Marketers than we first planned. We practice to worry less about where we are in the process and appreciate the small steps we take towards our goals.

Erica (Restoredreality.com, TW: @restoredreality) writes: "Don’t EVER let the stress of this world, or the overwhelming pressure to have it all together, pull you away from the promises that Christ has made to you. He purposefully promises never to leave you. He promises to help you. He promises even to carry you! If you ever are thinking you are all alone or have to do everything yourself, remember He is journeying ride along side you." Erica writes spot on here. Take it from her.We're never alone when we walk in Faith. The faith is an unlimited resource we can tap into whenever we need it. Put God first, instead of chasing rainbows, and everything else will follow.

 

Reading Suggestions: Robert Kiyosaki: Rich Dad Poor DadDaniel Kahneman: Thinking Fast and Slow Steven R. Covey: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Put God first in your Christian Affiliate Marketing and God will take care of you.
It's our Biblical duty as Christian Affiliate Marketer to seek transformation and a renewed mind.

After having written about why I went into Christian Affiliate Marketing and the planning fallacy I'll go over to the concept of long-form content.

2. Create Long-form Content, and God Will Take Care of You 

In this section called create long-form content and God will take care of you, we'll outline the basic knowledge available to any webmaster or content creator with access to the Internet. The four reasons why long-form content is better than short form we like to put forth here are: 1. We educate ourselves in our niche by writing long-post content. 2. We write better content with more industry-knowledge (= higher engagement + sharing frequency on social media).  3. It follows from one and two that our content will be more visible in the search engine result pages.  4. In the end, the long-form creates a broader brand awareness than short-form material tends to do. It's helpful for Christian Affiliate Marketer to learn as much as we can about Search Engine Optimisation (Short: SEO). I have two favourite go-to SEO-places. Learn what's on the Google Webmaster Central Blog, and we'll pass a potential SEO-test with flying colours.

The Google Webmaster Central blog is my favourite SEO-go-to place.
The Google Webmaster Central blog is my favourite SEO-go-to place.

The Google Webmaster Central Blog contains Search Engine and Search Engine Optimisation tips. The SEO-blog posts on other blogs are reformulations of the Google Webmaster Central Blog. By going straight to the source, we get the most accurate and inspiring information. With the information available on the Net today, we can get far without being born with a silver spoon in the mouth. In Enabling more high-quality content for users, published October 01, 2017, Google states:  "In Google’s mission to organise the world's information, we want to guide Google users to the highest quality content, the principle exemplified in our quality rater guidelines. Professional publishers provide the lion’s share of quality content that benefits users, and we want to encourage their success." We'll pin this into two parts, so we do what Google wants us to do as professional publishers:1. Google's mission is to organise the world's information. 2. Google intends to guide users to the highest quality content. Since Google's mission is to organise the world's information it follows that Google's primary activity is relating links to other links. When Christian Affiliate Marketers include outbound links on our blogs, we help Google organising the world's information. I'm a tickled pink Google's mission Fan. I like to participate in organising information relevant for the Christian community. Proverbs 16:3 "Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans."Blog post number 21 Social Media Strategy in the Christian Community included a video about external links with Matt Cutts (Mattcutts.com, TW: @mattcutts). It would be a good starting point for Christian Affiliate Marketers unfamiliar with the difference between Nofollow and dofollow links.

Take away: Seek knowledge on how to use Nofollow/dofollow links and use outbound links to relevant resources for the Christian community in the blog posts.

Concerning external resources we create better content because it's longer, it contains more information, and helps our audience to educate themselves on their own.  Unless we use outbound links, I believe it's challenging to create valuable long-form content that our audience will appreciate.

The other turn-to place I use regarding SEO is Google's YouTube-channel for webmasters, Google Webmasters.

The Google Webmaster channel on YouTube contains valuable tips on SEO.
The Google Webmaster channel on YouTube contains valuable tips on SEO.

We use this YouTube-channel when I need information about Google search and SEO-related topics. For new Christian Affiliate Marketers I'd suggt this: Go to Videos. Choose Sort by most popular to the right. The most relevant videos for newcomers are displayed there. The Google-quote above contained a link to the Google's quality rater guidelines. Time spent reading this document is time well spent. On page 8 in the quality rater guidelines we read:

The purpose of a page is the reason or reasons why the page was created. Every page on the Internet is created for a purpose, or for multiple purposes. Most pages are created to be helpful for users. Some pages are created merely to make money, with little or no effort to help users.

Therefore, we want to ensure  OurChristianBook.com's content and other Christian blogs represents value in the Christian community. Sometimes we need more time to finish a blog post because the research took longer time, and required more effort than we planned, but the result is a better blog post. Most blog posts ranking on page one in the search engines seem to be between 2000-2500 words. This conclusion is based on SerpIQ's. They studied more than 20.000 keywords. According to a Chitika-study, the first position on Google will get around 32% of the traffic for a particular keyword. Position number two will get around 17%. Position three will get around 11%.

We can learn a bunch about how to write long-form content from reading Tools of Titans written by Tim Ferris (Tim.blog, TW: @tferriss). The book contains interviews with people who have inspired Tim Ferris. This is from his interview with Rami Sethi. Rami Sethi (Iwillteachyoutoberich.com, TW: @ramit) says:"[‘ 1,000 True Fans’ by Kevin Kelly] was one of the seminal articles that inspired me to really build amazing material, rather than just recycling what else was out there. I knew that if I had 1,000 true fans, then not only would I be able to live doing the things I wanted, but I would be able to turn that into 2,000, 5,000, 10,000— and that is exactly what happened. “In terms of getting my first 1,000 true fans, you can look at my posts. They tend to be very, very long [and definitive]. In some cases, 15, 20, 25 pages long…. If your material is good, if it is engaging, there is almost no maximum you can write…. My point is not ‘write longer.’ It is ‘do not worry about space.’"

(Ferriss, Timothy. Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers (p. 289-290). Ebury Publishing. Kindle Edition.)

Those who take the time to read the Google-document mentioned earlier will see the central message Google sends to professional publishers with this document is:

Create helpful websites with a clear purpose!

For us working with Christian faith publishing related material via blogs, we help our audience and Google by having a clear purpose. If the mission is our blogs should be a Christian Faith Center than we must point our main content [MC] on the websites content towards this purpose. OurChristianBook.com's purpose is to create content for:  Christians who dream about going into online business. (Blog post number 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 28, 30, 41, 46, 48, 50)  Christian authors who want to become better at marketing their books.  (Blog post number, 31, 35, 36, 38, 39)  • Christian readers who want quality books to read.  (Blog post number 1, 2, 10, 11, 26, 27, 29, 32, 33, 34, 37, 40, 42, 43, 44, 45, 47, 49)  Pat Flynn's book listed on Tools for Christians in Business has a good section about how new bloggers can plan their blog posts. John 15:16 " You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you."

Reading Suggestions: Pat Flynn: Will it Fly? Tim Ferris: The 4-hour workweek David D. Schwartz: The Magic of Thinking Big

Do we broadcast a message of fear or hope on our platforms?
Do we broadcast a message of fear or hope on our platforms?

Until now, this blog post has covered the importance of putting God first and understanding the planning fallacy, and why Christian Affiliate Marketers should create long-form content. The next section is about how the Christian Affiliate Marketer sees the world. In blog post number 19, Marketing to Millennials with ConvertKit, I wrote: "One view I would be happy to be associated with is the idea of being less scared. I encourage people to be more: • Relaxed (less afraid of missing an opportunity) • Self-reliant (and less concerned with other people's judgements) • Positive future-oriented (and less affected by the everyday media scare stories) • Offline (and less addicted to consuming social media and news channels)"In The Myth of the Framework: In Defence of Science and Rationality, p.13 Karl Popper (a famous European Philosopher of Science) writes: "The possibilities that lie in the future are infinite. When I say ‘It is our duty to remain optimists,’ this includes not only the openness of the future but also that, which all of us contribute to it by everything we do: we are responsible for what the future holds in store. Thus it is our duty, not to prophesy evil but, rather, to fight for a better world." Christian Affiliate Marketers have a platform. Do we broadcast a hope message? Or do we broadcast a fear message? I hope OurChristianBook.com's readers get filled with hope and optimism after being on the blog. We agree 100% with Karl Popper. It's our moral duty to paint with bright colours, to remain optimists.

3. Abundant Life 

Instead of dividing the world into winners and losers we can all be winners. Let's learn new ways of thinking. Christian Affiliate Marketers have an individual responsibility because we have a platform, an audience. It means we have a shorter way to the microphone than others. We love to brighten up; instead of tearing down. We prefer to use this privilege to encourage people to better utilise their human potential to the fullest. Blog post number 5, People with Positive Perspective, and blog post number 7, Bible Verses about Worry, emphasise this with examples from Christians who utilised their human potential to the fullest. We help Christian Affiliate Marketing newcomers to get the ball rolling.Perhaps we lack power and influence to change the large systems; we can, nevertheless, change ourselves one by one into something better by applying new knowledge and share what we learn with each other. The Christian Affiliate Marketing industry is a new industry, with few workers. Therefore, it's vital we welcome newcomers with open arms and help them with the basics. We see a possibility world; we do not see a not-enough-for-everyone world. We see a world with work that has to be done; we do not see a world where unemployment is a problem for those who are willing to do their best. We are willing to share our knowledge about how we best help the Christian community. We enjoy passing our knowledge about creating passive income on to newcomers without hesitation. The more knowledge we have about how money works; the less scared we are about the financial future. It's difficult, perhaps impossible, to be a good Christian Affiliate Marketer without an eager to learn about the function of money. Robert Kiyosaki's book Rich Dad Poor Dad listed on Tools for Christians in Business is the best starting point regarding learning about money and personal finance. With genuine knowledge about money, we inspire our surroundings to create better lives for themselves. Deuteronomy 8:18 "But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today."The good news is we can create the life we want for ourselves and our families by learning from those who have taken the journey towards financial freedom before us. We're allowed to enjoy life! Being a Christian Affiliate Marketer is tough. The idea about easy money pouring in while sleeping is a myth. It's a myth because few stand the distance to engage in all the activities needed before this will happen. BUT being a Christian Affiliate Marketer is also a blessing. It's a lifelong journey with a commitment to seek new knowledge five days a week. It's also a blessing because of the wonderful colleagues we meet in the online Christian community. Christian Affiliate Marketer are positive, eager to help others improve their living conditions. We want to spread knowledge that helps Christians live their life. We want to look back on our lives with a sense of accomplishment. We want to improve living conditions. At the same time, we want to earn enough to provide well for ourselves and our families. These are personal goals shared by many Christians in online business. We know people struggle with these questions. It's our responsibility to share the knowledge we have with the Christian community. We have enough people living in desperation with unfulfilled dreams. Let's bring the dreams back to life. Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." It's God's wish for us; we live in hope. The future will be bright.  It's OK for Christians to seek knowledge on how to generate more income and control our income source!  We're meant to sleep well without worrying about how to pay next months bill.  Instead of feeling guilty about our lack of knowing how to build a better future for our kids we look up this knowledge from people like Robert Kiyosaki (Richdad.com, TW:@theRealKiyosaki), Tim Ferris (Tim.blog, TW: @tferriss), Pat Flynn (Smartpassiveincome.com, TW: @PatFlynn).

People like RK, TF, PF all believe in life in abundance.  They teach us how to live a life where we avoid to sacrifice our mind, body and soul for money. They teach us how to live a purpose-driven life.  They teach us how to pursue a genuine interest in making the world a better place.  We can live a life without hoping luck will come our way.  Instead, we take educated risks that will lead us where God wants us to be.  We can realise our dreams by taking calculated risks, e.g. risks that work in our favour.  One experience Christian Affiliate Marketers often have is that life get's more exciting after we've learned the basics.  This is an immense privilege.  A life where we get more freedom the older we get is a blessing.  Life with greater freedom enables us to engage in the world's problems today with personal involvement and genuine compassion.  The way we educate each other in the Christian Affiliate Marketing industry is different from the traditional educational system.  We believe in an abundant life, an abundant life with enough for everybody.  We share our knowledge in the Christian community.  A result of seeing the world with enough for everybody is we stop being so scared about the future.  Instead, we accumulate resources to help those who need it.  It's our duty, as stated by Karl Popper above, to become informed, identify what can be changed for the better, and correct it!  The fastest way to get it right is by sharing what we know is right with the Christian community so more people can benefit from it and create good lives for themselves, their families, and their surroundings.  Business owners with an abundant mindset will experience more success in life than business people who see the world as a place with lack of resources, possibilities and hope. 3 Mindfulness Tips You Can Use to Be More Positive published on Entrepreneur.com by Ben Angel (Ben Angel's YouTube-channel, TW: @Benangel) is worth watching. Ben's three tips are simple, yet so powerful!

We’ve now gone through two of five topics in regards to how we position ourselves to sell better and more. In the following section, we'll dwell on four cognitive biases and their effects.

Learn about cognitive biases and their effects.
Learn about cognitive biases and their effects.

Cognitive biases are related to sales. The more we know about cognitive biases, the better we’ll be to sell our products. Over the next paragraphs, we’ll dive into four cognitive biases and look at how these influence our work as Christian Affiliate Marketers. Our goal is to gain knowledge about the cognitive biases because it’ll reduce our tendencies to think in ways leading to wrong judgements. By learning about how lack of knowledge about cognitive biases can lead to wrong business decisions, we lower wrong decision risks.

Reading Suggestions: John Lee and Vincent Wong: The Wealth Dragon Way Lars Tvede: The Creative Society Bryan Thayer: Life Leaves Clues

4. Cognitive Biases

On Wikipedia, there’s an extensive cognitive biases list with more than 160 biases. We’ll examine 2,5% of the 160 listed biases:   Anchoring.   Attentional bias.  • Automation bias. • Bias blind spot.  I hope the readers see the value and study the left 97,5% as time goes by.  1. Anchoring  The first, anchoring, is a term used for a tendency we have to ‘anchor’ our decisions on few pieces of information.  Another interesting aspect related to this process is we tend to give more weight to the first piece of information we get about a topic than the rest.  How can we as Christian Affiliate Marketers avoid the negative effects of anchoring?  First off, we can train ourselves and our colleagues to seek information from more than one source before we quote a point of view in a blog post.  Why will this help?  Because it will lead us to view topics from different point of views, thereby increasing our awareness of alternative opinions about topics we might be unaware of.  Next, we keep in mind; our psychology tricks us into believing the first piece of information about a topic seems more credible than subsequent information.  By asking, “Is this the first time we hear about this?” or “Do we believe this is true because it sounds reasonable?” we train ourselves to be critical about our own presumptions.  2. Attentional bias  The second cognitive bias, attentional bias, describes a phenomenon that has to do with our recurring thoughts. Our perception is affected by our recurring thoughts, which is why it’s crucial to develop sound thinking patterns.

Just as the attentional bias work with negative thoughts, it does also work with positive thinking.
Just as the attentional bias work with negative thoughts, it does also work with positive thinking.

We can avoid becoming victims of the negative effects of attentional bias by reducing our mass media consumptions (since most news are negative news). If we tend to worry about the future, financial problems, family etc. we can decide to develop prayer habits and habits of giving thanks to God. Developing thankful habits is the best way to eliminate worries. Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Just as the attentional bias work with negative thoughts, it does also work with positive thinking. It's said, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but luckily we're not dogs.The more we practice sound thinking patterns with a grateful attitude; the less powerful the negative thoughts will be. The attentional bias is related to the three tips from Ben Angel. 3. Automation bias The third bias, automation bias, is a term used to describe the fact that we tend to create automated systems, also in situations where they lead to ignorance of right decisions. An area in Christian Affiliate Marketing where we see the automation bias is on social media. Without being eggheads, it’s evident that many systems are copied from other people without much thought if it’s the right decision to implement them. Who likes to get an automated DM on Twitter when we follow an account? Who likes to get a stream of automated Emails, where it’s obvious the goal is to sell? Who likes to have an Email-signup-form covering half of the screen when we visit a website? These examples show how the automation bias can lead us to ignore the right decisions. Sometimes automated systems are OK. By asking, “Would we like to receive this automated message if we were the reader's here?” we’ll find out, which automated systems to keep and, which we should abandon. 4. Bias blind spot The fourth and last bias, bias blind spot, we’ll go over is a term used to describe the fact that we tend to see ourselves as less biased than others. In other words: we are inclined to think we’re smarter than other people. When we realise we have this inclination, we’ll be more open towards a different point of views. In the above, we’ve learned about four cognitive biases from the Wikipedia cognitive biases listIt’s a good activity for Christian Affiliate Marketers to learn about as many cognitive biases as possible.

Reading Suggestions: Robert Kiyosaki: The Business of the 21st Century •  Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching Atul Gawande: The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right

5. Long-term Thinking

The fifth and last topic we’ll cover is long-term thinking. Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos (Amazon.com, TW: @JeffBezos) has taught me some lessons regarding how I approach the Christian Affiliate Marketing industry. Jeff Bezos was working at a quantitative Hedge fund on Wall Street firm before he founded Amazon, which at first was a company called CadabraIn other words; Jeff Bezos had a secure, stable job with a decent salary. The decision about going along with the idea of building Amazon was a huge decision. Jeff Bezos used what he calls a regret minimisation framework to decide what to do. What we do when we think within this framework is to imagine we’re 80 years old and then we think back on our lives.

The goal is to have lived a life with as few regrets as possible when we reach 80. The regret minimisation framework helps us to think long term. In June, after reading Ahrefs study: How long does it take to rank in Google? I wrote about blog post number 12, What's a Realistic Perspective in Christian Affiliate Marketing? It’s about how Christian home based business opportunities related to what we learned from Ahrefs study. Two aspects I learned from Ahrefs study were: 1. The majority of the top 10 ranking pages are at least two years old2. Pages ranking number one in Search Engines are on average three years old.

Be willing to wait and take on a backlog of work for about two or three years before you expect any returns.
Be willing to wait and take on a backlog of work for about two or three years before you expect any returns.

Based on a combination of Jeff Bezos’ regret minimisation framework plus the information about ranking time we get from Ahrefs study, what would the right Christian Affiliate Marketing mindset be? Here’s how I think: “I’ve decided to participate in the Christian Affiliate Marketing industry; that I beyond doubt believe is going to grow the next 6 to 10 years. If I fail in being helpful for OurChristianBook.com’s audience, am I going to feel bitterness because I tried? I know the answer would be no! I also know, I’d regret it if I didn’t try to use what I know about the Internet to help in the Christian online community.” On OurChristianBook.com's homepage I wrote: “I'm happy if someone takes the step into Christian affiliate marketing after reading my blog posts. But let me be straight with you from the beginning: Christian online business isn’t the best choice for you if you need money now. Be willing to wait and take on a backlog of work for about two or three years before you expect any returns. Be realistic about it. Tell yourself: I’ll spend three years working my fingers to the bone for free.” People without the entrepreneurial mindset would say this is a considerable risk to take. What if we don’t get paid after those three years? Well, I like to get inspired by Jeff Bezos again.

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He says“Startup companies are very tricky thing. . .  Fewer than 10% of them actually go on to make any return on an investment at all. . .”  Jeff Bezos advice to new entrepreneurs is:  “My advice would be the same for any kind of entrepreneur and that is make sure that you are focused on something you're passionate about.  If you look at the early Internet companies, they were started and focused on doing something that they thought was very interesting long before the internet was fashionable in any way.”  And here’s what I consider as his most important advice:  “You can't follow the fashion when you're trying to do a startup company.  If you're going to build a company, pick something you think is interesting that has the intersection of genuinely creating real customer value, and then just stay right there and let the wave catch you.”  The Christian Affiliate Marketing industry is a pioneering movement.  We’re eager to adhere to customer centricity, long-term thinking and a passion for inventions that’ll help the Christian community just as Amazon’s employees do.  We plant seeds without giving in to external pressure about following the fashion.  Why panic?  We have faith in God.  We believe we do exactly what God wants us to do.  We’re clear about what we offer and the business purpose.  In Conscious Capitalism by John Mackey and Rajendra Sisodia, the authors quote Jeff Bezos on this topic with a point from Warren Buffet:  “You can hold a rock concert and that can be successful, and you can hold a ballet and that can be successful, but don’t hold a rock concert and advertise it as a ballet. If you’re very clear to the outside world that you’re taking a long-term approach, then people can self-select.”  (Mackey, John, Sisodia, Rajendra. Conscious Capitalism (p. 102). Harvard Business Review Press)  If you liked this blog post, I would appreciate your comment below, or a share on your favourite social network because it would help me reach more people with this vital message. Edna Davidsen, Christian Affiliate Marketer.

Reading Suggestions: Robert B. Cialdini: Influence •  Daniel Gilbert: Stumbling on Happiness Ben Horowitz: The Hard Thing About Hard Things

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