Learning from failure is never easy, but it is often necessary.

Hi Sentinels!

This week I’m sharing something a bit different with you.

If you’ll indulge me just this once, I would like to give you a behind the scenes look at my progress regarding Surfsentinel, strictly from a marketing point of view. I will return to posting great action water sports vids, pictures as well as valuable content for you as of next week. Here we go…

It hasn’t been easy, that’s for sure. Learning from failure, however, has given me the self-analysis and clarity I needed to persevere on this journey. Lessons have been learned and implemented so you and other Sentinels around the world may continue to find Surfsentinel not only entertaining but relevant and informative. (You’ll notice that I often mention the WA. This is short for Wealthy Affiliate, an online digital marketing academy where I have been learning the all about digital and affiliate marketing. They have a terrific community, always willing to lend a hand to get met unstuck. And that’s been quite often!)

The curtains pull back…

So I’m glad to say that I’m back on track (again!) and this time it’s been so much better than the last couple of times.

Beyond the fact that my absence at WA on both occasions was for personal reasons which unfortunately demanded my attention, the other reason why it was so challenging to get back on the horse again was simply that I became distracted with many other “shiny objects” out there.

At the forefront was the sudden urgency of building my email list (and EVERYTHING that is involved in this activity).

So off I went, researching on how to start my email list.

And it’s embarrassing to admit. Even though I knew that there was probably excellent information regarding this topic here at the WA, I just got dazzled by other offers out there that, in the end, led me nowhere. Now, let me clarify that it was not my virtual mentors’ fault, or the email service providers’ fault (a.k.a. MailChimp or ConvertKit). No, they are exempt from any wrongdoing.

The fault fell squarely on my shoulders.

You see, I wanted to run before learning to walk. Sounds trite, I know. But in my case, it’s been a real eye-opener.

Take a look below and you’ll see what I mean:

I mean, C’mon! Really?? In four months 472 visits…and to add insult to injury, I subscribed with ConvertKit where I am currently paying a monthly fee to have access to their emailing services…with laughable traffic…Sheesh!!What was I thinking!?! (No complaints to CK. They have awesome resources and it’s my go-to source for learning how to build my email list from scratch…when I eventually get around to it).

Pretty sad numbers right? I know.

Conclusions and actions…

BUT…it was a huge wake-up call for me (however delayed). Whatever I had been doing so far was simply not working. I decided to take a long hard look at my website’s traffic progress (surfsentinel.net). I came to a very humbling conclusion: it sucked.

It was rough. I grudgingly realized that all the time and effort I had invested in the past nine months had resulted in extremely scant results. This realization forced me to come to terms with two things:

1. I needed to go back to basics.

Back to the foundational source of successful blogs and websites: Content. But not just any kind of content. I would now have to pour all my writing and intellectual endeavors into creating (and you may want to take note of this) VALUE-FIRST CONTENT. So crucial to understand this.

See, before launching yourself into “shiny objects” like social media engagement and building your brand through Facebook Ads, Facebook Live, Instagram Stories, Twitter, Pinterest, (and learning to drive traffic effectively to your site, down your funnel, to eventually achieve conversions), you must first offer your readers value-first content.

I revised my posts and pages, some of them going as far back as June of 2017. I cringed when I re-read some of them. Talk about fluff! During this time, I learned a concept that is becoming more and more common among content creators: re-purposing. Taking old material, adding new images, content, links, etc. and re-launching the same article, making it easier and more attractive to read, and most importantly, with much improved and targeted value.

This is where I am currently at in my website.

And it’s a lot of work.

But in the end, I’m confident it will be well worth it.

2. Acceptance.

I needed to accept that when I first started this journey, my digital marketing and entrepreneurial skills were located somewhere beyond the basement level.

Also, that my personal learning curve has been quite steep. Not like Mount Everest steep, but more like Kilimanjaro steep.

Daunting. Uncertain. At times scary. But still reachable and without the need of an oxygen tank.

“Steady as she goes Mr. Zulu…”

One step at a time, folks! Again, trite, I know. But so true. You cannot expect to build your “tribe” of raving fans if you do not offer them valuable content first. And to do this, we must do something completely inconceivable to many: we must first help our readers.

Consistently. And selflessly.

Good examples of this, especially for you ladies and gents who are newbies here at the WA community:

Kyle’s first 10 lessons here at the WA, Ray Edwards’s blog at rayedwards.com, Vishen Lakhiani’s website at mindvalley.com, Michael Hyatt’s site at michaelhyatt.com, and Pat Flynn from smartpassiveincome.com.

Pay particular attention to how all of these respected and established marketers and communicators first offer TONS of valuable content before pitching their products. They are true masters of their craft and you can learn a lot from them.

Additionally, if you wish to subscribe to their email listing, you’ll get an invaluable lesson on the proper way to nurture an audience.

But be aware. As previously mentioned, they also offer a LOT of great content and you may find yourself easily distracted by all the awesome “shiny objects” they offer! (no affiliate earnings for me here…just good ol’ information for you).

Here are their links again:

Ray Edwards: rayedwards.com

Vishen Lakhiani: mindvalley.com

Michael Hyatt: michaelhyatt.com

Pat Flynn: smartpassiveincome.com

When you reach a wall and you simply cannot go through it, do not despair. Always know that there is help available if you know where to ask:

At the WA.

At the above links.

Also look for online resources:

Youtube and Pinterest have awesome “How To” guides.

Quora and Answer The Public are also pretty amazing for any questions or queries you may have.

A final thought…

Anthony Robbins, one of my all-time favorite life-coaches and motivational speakers, once asked a member of his audience (Al Gore) why he thought he had failed at reaching the US presidency. Mr. Gore’s answer was “…due lack of resources”. To which Tony replied to him: “No Mr. Gore, it wasn’t because of lack of resources. It was because of you not being resourceful”. You can imagine the audience’s reaction.

It’s not exactly the same quote, but it’s pretty close.

The message is clear, though.

Don’t focus on the resources not available to you. Focus all your efforts and attention on being resourceful with the abilities, skills, and gifts you have been given to acquire those resources.

Thanks for reading. I hope you liked this article and you found it useful. If you know someone who may also benefit from this content, please share it with him or her.

Thanks again and talk soon!

4 thoughts on “Learning from failure is never easy, but it is often necessary.”

  1. Hi Luis,
    Excellent article! It so nice to hear your story and being humble about your mistakes. I’m hoping we can all learn from what you went through.
    We all need to start at the beginning, and learn the ropes one step at a time. It’s much too easy to want what the other guy has, and jump ahead too quickly. We need a solid foundation to build upon.
    You now have awesome resources and I’m sure you’ll have great success.
    Cheers,
    Suzanne

    1. Hi Suzanne!

      Thanks for reading my article! This journey has been full of ups and downs, that’s for sure. And there are many more still to come. But like you mentioned, solid foundations are essential. So that’s where I’m at right now. Thanks again and I look forward to reading more articles from your website. Have a great weekend!

  2. Hey Luis,

    Failure is a part of life and one that can be really hard to deal with. Let’s face it we hate to admit we have failed at something.

    As far as working online there is a lot of garbage out there. I mean look everywhere and you will see something promising you the world. Not to mention it’s easy to get distracted. I mean working 6 months on something before seeing any money come in hardly seems worth it. But, you just have to push through it.

    Create weekly goals, monthly goals, etc. It helps with the time passing and after you do it a couple of times it really doesn’t seem that long.

    I’ve been developing websites for 10+ years and been doing online marketing. It’s the best job in the world though!

    1. Hey Garen! Thanks so much for your encouraging words. Just ended my morning routine and sat in front of my laptop, staring blankly at it. And just sat there for a while thinking…man, is it worth it? All I’m getting is the sound of crickets out of my website. And then I find your comment and just like that, I’m back in the game. It’s incredible how far a little empathy and encouragement can go. That’s one of the main reasons I’ve been with WA for more than a year now…thanks bud! Onwards then!!

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