I mean actually surfing. Waves. With a board. That kind of surfing.
Because experienced surfers know that "catching waves" is an oxymoron.
In reality, surfing is all about understanding how a wave works, and then working WITH it. In other words, you let the wave "catch" you.
Experienced surfers know how to recognize rideable waves - and the take-off spots (where they need to be) for that wave.
Then they simply go there, and wait for a wave. Usually, they'll be joining a lineup of other surfers with the same idea.
In other words, in most cases, rideable waves and the proper take-off spots are easily identifiable because others are already there riding it.
BEGINNING surfers are just the opposite.
Beginners see waves all the way up and down the beach.
And in their eyes, a wave is a wave. Surely, they can ride it if it looks like a wave.
So they paddle out pretty much anywhere - assuming it's a beach where they can get out past the breakers with relative ease - and when they see that a wave is heading in their direction, they'll turn towards shore, paddle like crazy and hope for the best.
99% of the time, they'll either "miss" the wave (they paddled too early), or they get smashed around in the white-wash because they paddled in far too late.
If, by some odd chance they actually catch an open-faced wave before it crests, then usually they'll simply get smashed again as it closes out on top of them. They weren't properly placed (or aligned) to ride down the face of the wave as it was breaking.
Most likely because it wasn't a rideable wave to begin with...
The process repeats itself until the beginner gets tired out or frustrated. "It's impossible!", he thinks to himself.
At the end of the day, he'll likely return the board to the rental shop and complain that the board didn't work, or that the waves sucked.
The simple reality behind the failure, though, is that the waves are always there, and only some of them are rideable. The ones that are, can't be "caught" on your terms.
It doesn't matter what you THINK should work, or how you THINK it should happen.
The only thing that matters is learning how to figure out where you need to be, getting there, and then paddling into the right spot and letting the wave do it's thing.
When you can master that - letting the wave catch you - then you can literally have thousands of gallons of water propelling you forward, and all you have to do at that point is hang on and steer.
IT'S THE SAME WITH MARKETING.
Failure may not simply be the result of laziness - and likewise, "hard work" does NOT guarantee success.
What DOES guarantee success, is doing things that naturally lead to success.
"Riding the nature of the internet", so to speak, rather than trying to catch it on your own terms.
And the beauty of it is that, just like surfing, what works is obvious. It's right in front of you. If you see others succeeding with a product, a site or a market in general, then just copy their "take-off position" (what they're doing) and get in on the action.
You'll eventually find that online success is really quite basic.
Markets are like waves. How they behave is up to them, and there's no way to "make" your market like you, buy your stuff or otherwise make you money.
Instead, you simply find out how - and where - others are "riding" your market, and join in.
Sell what they sell, do what they do, pitch how they pitch and you'll get what they get.
If you understand this basic principle, then everything will become easier for you.
So instead of trying to make money from your market, re-position your efforts and copy other people's successes so that you can simply ride your market's natural, unstoppable inertia.
It's not necessarily about "working harder" or "writing more articles".
It's about DECIDING to figure out, and then do the things that work best, rather than just paddling around recklessly without any sort of direction.
So if you can surf - then you already know the scoop.
Just apply it to IM, and you'll have your fair share of epic rides.
Here's a summary of how surfing relates to success in IM:
1. Find a Good Surf Spot:
When you start out, locate the skilled "surfers" who catch one good wave after the next. There's going to be a cluster of them in the water, so they'll be easy to spot.
Simply paddle out and join them.
Online, the "beach" from which you can spot working waves includes things like the ClickBank Marketplace, CJ.com, ShareaSale.com, ABestWeb.com, and even on the site selling networks where people sell sites and display their revenues, etc.
Look for markets where the sales come easy when you're starting out. You can even ask around on affiliate forums, and even on the WF.
2. Determine the Take-Off Spot:
Once you've located a wave, you need to find out how to let IT catch YOU.
This is where you do your Google research to find out who your future competitors are - what kind of content they produce, and what they focus on promoting.
This will tell you, in general, what's selling in the market.
This will also tell you how they're getting traffic. You can easily determine how someone obtains organic traffic simply by looking at their title-tags (keyword targets), on-site links and backlinks (use Yahoo's Site Explorer).
Basically, just build a site like theirs, target the same keywords and contact the same sites that your competitors already have links from.
Or, if they're using adwords or other advertising methods, take that into account as well.
3. Let the Wave Do The Work:
Now that you know what to do and where to "be", all you need to do is let the wave catch you and do its thing.
This is an important part of success - realizing how to harness existing inertia to your advantage.
I see a lot of people focusing on brainless strategies that, though they do "work" - the payoff is very little, and most often, you're just building someone else's "ride".
In other words, most affiliates are part of the "wave" that a successful marketer is riding.
Understand that switching roles really isn't that hard.
It's just a decision - that's it.
Simply do what the successful marketers are doing.
And in most cases - they're producing products, creating effective sales processes, building lists, recruiting affiliates, and building an actual business with the help of the existing inertia in their market.
They're not "trying to make money".
They're riding their market.
You can do the same thing.
Hope this helps someone to see things from a different perspective...