Ready, Fire, IM! – The "Ready, Fire, Aim" Approach to Internet Marketing!

How I made S$103,789.85 in revenue from Affiliate Marketing in 2009

Update: This blog post has been adapted into my new eBook called “How I made S$138,255.80 in Passive Internet Income during the Last Recession” worth US$47. You can get the eBook for FREE when you subscribe to my FREE Internet Marketing Email Newsletter.

I was doing my taxes and finally got around to calculating my internet marketing revenue for last year (2009).

After punching in all the figures from my affiliate cheques into the calculator, I pressed “=” and the number on the screen shocked me.


I reset my calculator, punched in the numbers again, pressed “=” and waited with bated breath…


I rubbed my eyes so hard they turned bright red…


I mean, sure I knew I had a streak of great months but there were a couple of lousy ones as well… So the 8 numbers on my calculator screen came as a pleasant surprise indeed.

Now of course, such things only happen in dreams or to “lucky” people, right?


The following affiliate cheques show that it’s not a dream.

S$11,751.04 cheque from Commission Junction (Jan 2009)

S$11,751.04 cheque from Commission Junction (Jan 2009)

US$2,455.56 cheque from Clickbank (Jan 2009)

US$2,455.56 cheque from Clickbank (Jan 2009)

S$9,817.83 cheque from Commission Junction (Feb 2009)

S$9,817.83 cheque from Commission Junction (Feb 2009)

S$10,912.26 cheque from Commission Junction (Mar 2009)

S$10,912.26 cheque from Commission Junction (Mar 2009)

S$11,722.99 cheque from Commission Junction (Apr 2009)

S$11,722.99 cheque from Commission Junction (Apr 2009)

US$1,026.20 cheque from Amazon (Apr 2009)

US$1,026.20 cheque from Amazon (Apr 2009)

S$12,332.47 cheque from Commission Junction (May 2009)

S$12,332.47 cheque from Commission Junction (May 2009)

S$8,238.46 cheque from Commission Junction (Jun 2009)

S$8,238.46 cheque from Commission Junction (Jun 2009)

S$15,710.43 cheque from Commission Junction (Jul 2009)

S$15,710.43 cheque from Commission Junction (Jul 2009)

(… and so on and so forth… )

And those who know me personally know that I’m just a regular everyday normal guy…

In fact I’ve never had any luck with the lottery or lucky draws and the only prize I’ve ever won in a contest were promotional pens… when I was like 11 or something.

And that’s the beauty of the internet and why I love it so much – It doesn’t discriminate.

Anyone with the burning desire and motivation to succeed can get started making good money online.

All right… now that we’ve dispelled those common limiting beliefs, let’s get down to what I did to make IT happen, shall we?

1) I worked on my mindset first

95% of newbies fail online.

Now, that’s only a conservative estimate… some have put the number closer to 99% but I choose to be an optimist.

While there are tons of reasons why many new internet businesses fail, generally we can attribute it to a mindset problem.

Knowing this to be true, I started investing heavily in courses/seminars to work on my mindset (plus knowledge and skills), as soon as I left my job in end May 2007.

Suffice to say, transitioning from an employee to an entrepreneur requires a complete paradigm shift.

Here, I’ve identified 10 Success Principles that helped with my transition.

2) I took massive action

Of course, going to seminars and courses alone is not enough.

Many people think that just because they have paid $5,000 (or some other insane amount of money) to attend a seminar that they are set for life…


The cheques are going to come flying in faster than you can count them… and your life is going to instantly become better…


I’m sorry to burst your bubble… but it just doesn’t happen that way.

And if you think that, then you will end up like all those people out there jumping from one seminar/course/product to another, looking for that “magic pill” to change their lives (you know who you are!)

I was like that once…

Until I learned that For things to change, I must change first.

And massive change requires massive action

3) I got into niches I’m passionate about

I bought hosting and a ton of domain names and started wordpress blogs on my own domains.

I started documenting my thoughts about what I learned from books, ebooks, seminars, courses, audio and video programs, coaching sessions and personal observations primarily on my personal development blog and gradually built up a sizable reader base.

I also spent a ton of money on google adwords to to bring in traffic as well as to research good, profitable products that would enhance my readers’ lives.

Along the way…

4) I became an expert

By freely sharing what I learned… what I know… and introducing great authors/speakers/mentors and quality, life-changing products to my readers, I established credibility and trust.

Of course, I was experiencing positive changes (especially when it comes to wealth manifestation) that were visible to everyone as well.

That helped build up my authority.

Soon, publishers, marketing/book agents, authors and speakers started emailing me to send me their products and to talk about Joint Venture (JV) opportunities.

The most common question I got from them was “How big is your list?

Frankly, up till the middle of 2008, I had no list at all… Sure I had readers but honestly, I didn’t have a clue who they were or how I could stay in touch with them… other than praying and waiting for them to re-visit my blogs and leave a comment.

And since everyone that was emailing me was asking about “the size of my list“…

5) I started building my mailing lists and delivered massive value

I went to AWeber and signed up for an autoresponder account. The step by step instructions were great and I got my first list set up pretty quickly.

The challenge then was to get people to sign up.

So I had to create an irresistible offer.

I put together an incredible resource – 101 powerful affirmations – and gave it away for FREE.

Then I took my best blog articles and loaded them into my autoresponder so that my subscribers will continue to receive quality emails on a regular basis.

Occasionally, I’ll send out a couple of promotions… but I’m pretty selective about that because I want only the best for my subscribers.

And to drive traffic to my squeeze pages/websites, I buy ads on google as well as tie up with JV partners.

Now, someone once asked me… “How did you build a email list of over 5,000 subscribers?”

My reply was and still is: “One subscriber at a time…” (no magic pill ya?)

6) I sit back, relax and wait for the cheques to come in

Once the system is in place… as long as my google ads are running smoothly, my websites are up (that’s why you need a reliable web host), my autoresponders are working properly (…and a trusted email marketing software provider)…

I’m pretty much free to do whatever I want.

And that explains why I can seemingly “do nothing”, travel around the world, party everyday… and still get cheques in my mail.

Well now you know…

Of course, this is the really simplified version of how I made S$103,789.85 in pure internet revenue from affiliate marketing in 2009.

I conveniently left out the part where I spent the first 7 months of my life, after quitting my job, testing everything out with no success, tearing my hair out while friends and family members kept telling me I was wasting my time and to just give up and move on… and all the time, effort and money to figure this sh*t out… because you aren’t here to hear that, are you?


To the good life…

P.S. This is the part where I ask you to subscribe to my internet marketing blog if you want to learn more about internet marketing and making money online…

… and my FREE personal development email newsletter for practical tips and inspiration to help with your mindset shift…

P.P.S. Feel free to leave a comment…

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Tony Lee says:

I just read your amazing success storie and it really motivates me. It also gives me a good opinion on aweber which I plan on starting sooner or later. Thank you for all the great tips, advice and content.

Vaibhav Mule says:

its amazing i like you work with 6 figure 😛

Alden says:

Inspiring brother. You are the real deal.

Now you just wait for my turn to tell my douchebag story.

Yee Shun Jian says:

I’m waiting =)

Ed says:

I highly appreciate your down-to-earth
explanation of what it takes to make
money online.

Lots of people believe attending one
guru’s seminar is what it takes to
make money on the internet.

It all boils to taking consistent action.

Yee Shun Jian says:

Ed, Seminars are GREAT but you need to TAKE ACTION and APPLY what you’ve learned. Things don’t change by themselves. You need to take 100% responsibility for your own success =)

Yee Shun Jian says:

Hey everyone, Hostgator is having a 40% off Super Sale today… (4th of July 2011)!

Go take advantage of that offer while it lasts (offer valid until 11.59pm CST, 4th July 2011)

Get your 40% off Hostgator web hosting plan now

joan says:

Hi there, I appreciate the fact that you are willing to share your knowledge on how you make good income online.

I’m really disappointed when my account at cj got deactivated. I’m new to internet marketing so I didn’t know that direct linking to the affiliate link is not allowed. I only promoted one affiliate product in there that made me about $50 profit a day. That was already big earning for me, considering that I’m just new to internet marketing and besides I earn less than $50 per day on my day job and I work 6 days a week 8 hours a day. I use my spare time to learn internet marketing for a few months and when I started earning about $50 profit per day, cj found out the direct linking violation which i’m really not aware that it’s a violation. Maybe because I was busy with my day job and learning IM that I didn’t take the time to ready their terms and just concentrated promoting my link when I have the time . It was a great mistake that I made and now I can’t get a cj account and I’m back to zero.
Do you think I should quit my day job and try to explore my luck on online marketing? I’ve no earnings and I’m worried that it will take a lot of time before I can make a stable income online. I received 3 checks from cj. They payed my last locked earnings because all my leads were valid and legitimate. I’m worried about having no life insurance and medical insurance if I quit my day job but at the same time I really want to quit because my monthly earnings is just enough to pay monthly expenses.
Should I quit my day job? And is there no way that I can get a CJ account?

Yee Shun Jian says:

I wouldn’t suggest you quit your day job right just yet… Focus on getting a consistent flow of internet income before you consider quitting your job…

You can try setting up another CJ account using someone else’s name… perhaps your boyfriend/husband/family member/close friend.

Tipjar says:

Freaking incredible man, keep up the good work! Do you mainly do PPC or SEO?

Yee Shun Jian says:

PPC!!! =)

lee xiang says:


can i noe how many day you take to withdraw $$ from COMMISSION-JUNCTION? When do they pay you?

When the money come to singapore, how many day do u tka to clear the cheque? thx! thx! “”p

Yee Shun Jian says:

Hi Lee Xiang, usually it takes away 2 months before they finalize the sales/refunds and sends you the cheque.

You can choose to get paid in Singapore dollars. If you do, the cheque usually takes only 1-2 days to clear =)

henry says:

hi there!

greetings and i love your blog.

I know you may not want to answer this, but i would love to know what programs you used on commission junction specifically to generate that 10000 ‘s monthly.

Thats truly great. Also, how did you promote those programs that you affiliate for?

thanks so much for helping me out!

Yee Shun Jian says:

Hi Henry, trade secret! haha…

It takes a lot of trial and error (and MONEY) to discover profitable products… So no one will give away the particulars of the exact products that are making them money. Besides a product that’s profitable for prospects in one niche may not be profitable for those in another.

What I can tell you is to look for products that offer a higher commission… >$50… and with good 3 months and 7 day EPC’s. That shows you the product is consistently making affiliates money.

I promote products through several avenues… 1) PPC (I already paid google over $30,000 for adwords spending) 2) Recommendations to my email lists, 3) Twitter/Facebook etc

henry says:

Hi Shun!

thanks for your advise! I knew u were’nt gonna tell me! hahaha. but hey, if u feel charitable later, email me just 1 of the products ure promoting. I wont ask for yr site, just 1 of yr moneymakers on cj! cos cj is huge and im relli scared that i do a dead product. thanks so much anyhow shun jian, u relli are helpful and inspiring to me! 🙂

Thu Nguyen says:

Hi Shun. I found you on John Chow’s site. It’s great how you transitioned from focusing on the elements of mindset towards implementing it to action. That’s quite a transformation and the sit back and wait for the checks to come in is worth the smile. I’ll be drinking champagne when that happens. 🙂

Looking forward to your e-mails!


John says:

What was your actual take home of that 103,000? You said you spend a good amount on ad, aweber isn’t free, web hosting, etc..

Yee Shun Jian says:

Hi John, I think I did mention it somewhere… maybe in a warrior forum posting…

My net income from internet marketing was over $78,000 for 2009.

This is a great post! Thanks for sharing your inspiring story to help motivate us all. This proves that hard work and determination will pay off in the end. Stories like this give hope to many people out there who are in the same stages of their journey as you were in your first 7 months.

You also make a great point about the importance of mindset. This is where all success starts so it is of great importance to condition the mind for financial abundance first before embarking on your journey.

Keep up the great work!

Gabriel says:

I’d like to be able to speak like that. Anyway, at the moment, I’m somewhere in the “7 months” period but reading stories like this gives me the hope that one day I’ll be able to say a similar story. Congratulations for your success AND thank you for sharing your story!

Mukul Verma says:

Great story and success, congrads!!!!!

Anthony says:

I think you are right. Commitment to success will mean burning some bridges…like a job that annoys you, or one you cannot afford to keep any longer. Once to cross that bridge, and your next meal depends on your ability to make this IM thing work, you suddenly find yourself in a new environment.

I appreciate you for this post and your WF post which brought me here in the first place.

“nuff respect”.

Abdul says:

This isn’t just an account of a successful Internet Marketer’s personal success and experience – it’s a blueprint for success. Brilliant.