So it's 2am and I just woke up, ready to start my workday. Few days ago someone asked me to post about what I would do if I had to start over in 2017 and what it would take to be successful in today's environment. So here's a short list off the top of my head: Take calculated risks Gone are the days of easy whitehat money. That's not to say there's no money in whitehat marketing, but campaigns aren't gonna easily bring "quit my dayjob" type money anymore. Traffic platforms and advertisers have been abused for years to where heavy restrictions are in place making whitehat marketing a losing proposition in many cases. You need an edge in 2017. Taking risks will increase your chances of success. That's not to say it won't bite you in the ass later, but adopting a high tolerance for riskier methods will keep you in this game. If you're always playing by the platforms' or advertisers' rules, you'll always be one step behind. You need to be a step ahead...making moves they didn't account for. Here's a quick example from my old campaign; I was sending leads to a Pay-Per-Call offer and noticed that in the network's reporting it showed everything except the callers' phone numbers. I knew the advertiser's reporting had this info though and noticed that for missed calls or calls dropped during the voice prompts the advertiser would call the person back based on the caller ID. Of course I wouldn't get credit for this lead so I did something about it. I purchased a third-party reporting software and stacked it on top of the offer, allowing me to now see the caller ID and allowing me to call the person back instead of the advertiser. This turned a break-even campaign into a profitable one and allowed me to beat the advertiser at their own game. Now this is a very bland example of taking calculated risks. The worst that could happen is the advertiser would ask I not do that or cut me from an offer. It gets more serious once you get into blackhat methods obviously. I won't dive into that topic, but I always consider the potential risks involved with any method I pursue. Always factor-in your exposure when pushing the limits and is it worth the anticipated returns. If I'm looking at an advertiser's or traffic platform's rules, I'm looking to bend or break them every chance I get. I'm not saying you should do the same, again, it's based on your comfort level. Rule of thumb for me is to run an offer outside of ToS until notified otherwise. You'll get caught in too much red tape and politics if you ask for permission every time you wanna try something new. If you're tight on money then its probably not a good strategy to risk your commissions though. Embrace the grind My ass didn't get up this early for no reason...I've been on pure grind mode the last few months. In my line of work I go several months without a project or am stuck in RnD trying to create a masterpiece. A lot of times I fail, but I embrace this shit cause it's necessary. This isn't a job to me, it's a chess match. Now if you're new to the industry and only look at it as A, B, C affiliate marketing, that's totally normal and only requires your spare time for testing and learning, etc. As with anything though, long hours are needed to perfect your craft, so be ready to commit yourself fully. Network with others This is something I've failed at over the years. The power of networking is pretty important and will help advance your abilities or spotlight your flaws, which is equally important. My deficiencies are more tech related and I lean on some highly reputable members here for that assistance (much respect to them). Hold yourself to a high standard This could be considered one of those Type A / Type B things, but I've always found success with never settling or never giving up on projects. There's always a way to make money with something, its just a matter of how much and is it worth your time. If a campaign isn't working, get upset, get frustrated, but most importantly, get even with it. Did a method or idea that didn't work cost you money? Figure that shit out and make it work. No excuses! I'm not letting any advertiser, traffic platform or network beat me. It's my job to make them pay me or to give me advertising space at a positive ROI. It's not about money anymore. Nowadays I'm looking to make executives at companies scratch their heads on how XYZ method was pulled off. Here's something that hit home with me back when I was starting out, maybe it'll do the same for you: https://goo.gl/yUP3p6 Peace.