Affiliate Marketing and Playing Without the Ball

John Woden, the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame coach, is known for saying that “perhaps the most important part of offensive basketball is the part played by each man without the ball.” Why is it so important? Because unless you play well without the ball, you don’t get the ball!

Krause, Meyer and Meyer wrote:

One of the most difficult coaching tasks is to teach players to carry out actions that don’t involve the basketball — the magnet of the game. An individual player on offense plays without the basketball over 80 percent of the time (“Basketball Skills & Drills”, p. 25).

BasketballIt is exactly the same way in affiliate marketing! Profit/commissions which are “the magnet of the game” is often put by affiliates in front of another extremely important component of it — research and education, or the play without the ball. However, no super affiliate that I know has come to the heights they’ve reached  without countless hours spent on diligent study which helps one make educated decisions, and avoid deadly pitfalls.

Ralph Pim, another basketball expert, wrote this about playing without the ball:

Moving without the ball requires you to be adept at starting, stopping, faking, and changing directions.  You must have excellent court awareness and vision so that you maintain the proper floor spacing with your teammates (“Winning Basketball: Techniques and Tips for Playing Better Offensive Basketball”, p. 107).

While in affiliate marketing the majority of affiliates do not have teammates, the “excellent court awareness and vision” are certainly a must, and these come through staying on top of the latest developments (both in online marketing, and the vertical you’re working in), and constant self-improvement.

4 thoughts on “Affiliate Marketing and Playing Without the Ball”

  1. Great metaphor, Geno. I’ve been at this IM stuff only 6 months and was totally confused the first three. A couple of affiliate forums I was on… my guess is that 95% of us newbies had little or no clue about the research required. Our mantra: “Show me the money!”

    Thanks for letting me follow you.

    carlen maddux

  2. Yes, Carlen, one can burn a lot of money if no proper research is put in before the start of affiliate marketing campaigns, and no definite marketing strategy exists in the process… Glad you liked the analogy, and thanks for taking the time to comment.

  3. Geno,

    game of basketball is indeed very good parallel for any life or business activity, because it requires attention to detail, advanced planning, adjustment on the feet… Everyone watching the game is an expert, but there is a huge difference between WATCHING the game and PLAYING the game (especially when stakes are high).

    I guess the same is true for affiliate program. One thing is to participate in Amazon affiliate program, or others, and another thing is to create your own affiliate program. That’s when you start to see real need for experience and learning.

    Great analogy, wonderful quotes. Thank you.


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