Home Affiliate Marketing Blog How much time should you be spending learning per week?

How much time should you be spending learning per week?

How much time should you be spending learning per week?

Hey Everyone,

I often get asked by people, "with all your projects going on online, how do you find time to keep learning new things?" 

Others ask me, "how much time each week should I spend learning?... It seems like there's a neverending path to what I need to learn, help I'm getting information overload"

So I thought I'd address those questions in today's blog post.

Firstly, when it comes to information overload, IF you have an issue with too many guru emails hitting your inbox, then I suggest you read this blog post here: Too many guru emails

So, with regards to the question of how I find time to keep learning new things, I don't have a perfect strategy, but it's probably better than most, so I'll share it with you.

I try my best to listen to 2 hours of training material per week. Most of this is usually done in the form of listening to audio interviews with marketing experts and audio books. I do this in my car when driving to and from work. 

One of the best audio books that I've listened to recently is The Cashflow Quadrant by Robert Kiyasaki, I recommend it to everyone. Another fantastic one is 'Mastering the Rockerfeller Habits' though I'd only recommend that to people who are already making 6 figures a year online.

If you're keen to listen to some really good interviews on the topics of driving more traffic to your websites, then I highly recommend you get a copy of Traffic Travis as currently we are including several detailed 90+ minute interviews with some phenomenal traffic generation experts as unadvertised bonuses.

When it comes to reading marketing books (as opposed to listening to audio), I usually find myself skimming them and taking in as much as I can in a 1 to 2 hour sitting. However, if I have a long flight, then I often read a good business book cover to cover.

I also learn from my peers as over my 12 years online, I've managed to become friends with many dozens of online millionaires from different niches and I've learned a lot from them over the years in private conversations. Networking is fantastic for learning as you learn things that sometimes don't get shared in courses as not everyone who does well online sells an infoproduct teaching their methods. Of course to successfully network you have to have something to bring to the table too.

I usually find that if you are making online within 10x of what the other person is making, there's a good chance they'll want to get to know you better. Otherwise, it is not going to be a mutually beneficial relationship between you.

For example, if you are making $10 per week online, then it's hard to get regular contact with someone who is making $1 million per year. They are making  100000 times more than you are. Once you get over 2k a week, you'll find you will have significant knowledge to bring to the table and it's easy to make friends with other successful people.

In the meantime, if you get yourself making $100 a week online, then it's not so hard to get to know others who are making a full time living, say $800-1000 a week. You will have learnt the ropes and will have moved from beginner newbie to advanced newbie.

If this doesn't make sense, don't worry about it, I'm just offering my thoughts based on how I've seen relationships in business be formed over the years. It is very hard for a good relationship to form based on one person only giving and the other person only taking. If you want to get to know successful people, then you need to get yourself on the path to becoming one yourself.

Now, I want to talk a little about information overload.

Aside from what I had to say in my blog post, getting too many guru emails in your inbox, I believe information overload occurs when you don't have enough of a base to work from while you are trying to absorb new information.

For example, if I gave you 30 new words in french to learn per day, it'd seem like overload (well for those of you who don't speak french). However, if you already know basic french grammar and you have a base of say 200 words, you'll find that a relatively straight forward task if you put the time in each day. 

With making money online, you need to focus in on a base starting with learning how to build one type of profitable website. Whether it be your own product or whether it be an affiliate site, or whatever. Then you need to stick to that plan, form your base, then take in new information IF it relates to what you are doing.

The worst thing is when you try to learn a whole new way of making money, that doesn't fit in with what you are doing. It's like a coffee shop owner, suddenly learning how to run a gas station. They would be better off trying to learn how to get more customers, or layout their shop for better repeat custom, or making better coffee, or how to turn their business into a franchise model, etc.

There's nothing wrong with learning new ways of business when you are ready for it, but if information overload is a problem, you are better off expanding your knowledge within one business model. E.g. if you are an affiliate site owner, then you might want to learn how to build a squeeze page, or how to get high search engine rankings, or how to profit from pay per click. Those will build on what you are doing, rather than say learning how to make money in mobile marketing which is a totally different business model.

I hope this post is of value to you guys. My simple plan, given that I already have an extensive base level of internet marketing knowledge, is to commit to 2 hours per week learning time and I do at least 70% of that by using my car as a 'university on wheels' when driving to work.

I'm keen to hear your comments.

All the best,

Mark Ling

20 Comments Add your comment
  • Reply Carl • 2604 days ago

    a two hour commute listening to podcasts always does me well.

  • Reply Neville Pettersson2604 days ago

    Good post Mark. I find that learning happens whether you like it or not. In affiliate marketing there are always new things to learn but there is always a Youtube video, webinar or forum post on the Warriorforum which explains how to do it.

    Also, when I'm doing something which doesn't require my full attention I usually have a bunch of webinar replays in my inbox to play in the background (I'm still trying to catch up with Matt carter!).

    Picking things with relevancy to what I'm doing is the key for me to not get sidetracked. One step away, as opposed to a whole new road, is a far as I'd go. At this stage anyway. Or maybe it should always be this way. Wow, I just thought of your next blog post; Can a one-man affiliate operation really focus on more than one strategy effectively?

  • Reply Rachael McNaught2604 days ago

    Kiyosaki is awesome for getting an idea of the 'big' picture. His cashflow quadrant is what every business owner should read so that they realize how they can take things to the next level and experience the freedom that comes with it.

    As far as learning about the industry goes you do need to get the basics sorted first and get a good site, with quality content set up before you even contemplate launching off on other tangents like the next super dooper traffic generation method....

  • Reply Veronica Danquah2604 days ago

    Having a full-time job and trying to learn online marketing is much tougher than i thought, but only because the information overload makes it so hard to focus. Thank you for this blog. Will try my best to commit to (at the least) 2 hours per day learning and weekends (doing!!) until i get the ball rolling! Thanks again Mark your blogs are always awesome!

  • Reply Clayton A Terao2604 days ago

    Hi Mark!

    Listening to audio on your commute is amazing. That's how I first started learning things. It's a great way to put "under utilized" time to work.

    I recently read the book "Ready Fire Aim" by Michale Masterson and I thought it was one of the better books out there. Basically it says that the number one thing you can do to bring in more money is to focus on selling. Kind of obvious, but you'd be surprised at how easy it is to get caught up designing logos or learning too much.

  • Reply Bellaisa • 2603 days ago

    I actually just read somewhere else about the audio ideas as well. Most people spend time driving, riding their bike, or walking to places, and if that is only just an hour a day then you have about 30 hours of extra education at the end of the month. Time well spent!

  • Reply Shalisha • 2603 days ago

    Hi Mark! Great topic and advice as usual. And congrats on the second baby coming in November! Yes, I often listen to audio books on my ipod at the gym, or just taking the train! I'm amazed at how much I take in. Books take too long to read!

  • Reply Canadian Citizenship Test • 2603 days ago

    Great post as always Mark. Thanks a lot. I've learned a lot from you over the past months. You are my Guru.

  • Reply Mark Robie • 2603 days ago

    Thank you for the great advice! This is another great example of learning the basics and showing that being successful at this is a process that needs to be learned. No shortcuts!

  • Reply Russ • 2603 days ago

    Unsubscribe from all the useless so called gurus selling dreams. Format a learning plan and work on every aspect until you fully understand the issue then tackle the next stage of your plan. How many hours per day you work depends on your other commitments but ensure the time spent is value time without distractions.

    My number one rule. "Learn something new every day, leaning is a never ending process"

  • Reply Thinka • 2602 days ago

    You no what Mark - the way you think is the reason you do so well. You have a way of cutting through the fluff and getting to the core of the thing. Reading your comment makes me reflect on the critical balance between learning time and production time.

    It is so easy to fall in to the trap of spending way to much time learning at the expense of advancing the cause. Internet marketing is like "advertising on steroids". It's tanked with "you've just gotta know this!!" hyper headlines that can so easily suck you in to an endless learning curve.

    It surely takes a lot of discipline to stay on track. Spending too much time learning ends up like the life of a student - learning lots but always broke. Although it has long term merit it doesn't put food on the table.

  • Reply kathleen crawford • 2602 days ago

    Hi Mark, As someone who is just at the basics, your article makes perfect sense - crawl before you can walk. Cheers, Kathy.

  • Reply Rick • 2600 days ago

    Good topic and a good approach to realize what is necessary to move forward versus getting mired in the muck of internet marketing. The information flow is too rapid to digest and use. If you like to read and study too much like me, then you lose the momentum gained by applying action immediately after learning.

    I am trying to control my learning habit and put my energies on "forming the base" of my internet business. Your example using dollars per week made it more clear that until you reach a certain level put your efforts in the right place before searching for new ideas. Excellent advice, Mark.

  • Reply Frank Vue2600 days ago

    Wait Mark, I thought we were doing this internet business thing so that we DON'T have to drive to work and fight traffic? :P

    This is good information. My only problem is not learning but finding the time to actually apply it. When all your time is devoted to a full-time job and doing internet marketing, it's hard to squeeze in a toastmasters meeting :)

  • Reply David Withington2599 days ago

    Great advice. I listen to seminars, interviews and all sorts of teaching on MP3 whilst in the gym, out walking or doing odd jobs. It helps me to contantly learn stuff without having to find more time.

  • Reply Alexander Holas2594 days ago

    Thank God somehow i can sense when person cares about you when he shares his experience, this way I can trust him and sure would continue learning from his videos/seminars. On the other hand it takes about 2-3 minutes to sense when someone's not really caring about you, but trying to supply scripted info, for you to deal with

  • Reply Alexander Holas2594 days ago

    By the way, currently I make $0.00 from my website that I am building, all those who make $3-$5 be my friend :D

  • Reply George Allan • 2589 days ago

    I'am interested in the affiliate side of making an income online and have just recently launched the website above.
    Regarding the 2 hours learning per week, what or where would you suggest that i start taking in to consideration that i'am a complete beginner ?

  • Reply Ian Purdie • 2585 days ago

    I think it is so important to be constantly learning about online marketing. Being a retiree, I don't drive off anywhere everyday like you, Mark, but I do have several good sources of information that I have learned to rely on and I make sure that I allocate the time to read or listen. One of the things I have recently done is draw up a weekly schedule of activity and in that I allocate 30 minutes a day to digesting the information from the sources I trust. I'm finding that schedule a good discipline and I'm not wasting anywhere near so much time as I was previously. It might not suit everyone, but it works for me.

  • Reply cashflow game singapore • 2500 days ago

    Sometimes the problem is that with so many 'gurus' starting to promote anything under the sun, it's becoming harder and harder to put trust on them. While I know that not everybody is like that, it just that I feel it is hard to find honest people nowadays.

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