Authentic affiliates, how to build "less obviously", and mortgage-free goals?

🚀 Knowledge UP↑ 0️⃣0️⃣7️⃣

We need to talk.

Everyone wants to make a buck.

Back in the day, you could go door-to-door and sell cookies or magazine subscriptions.

In 2021, the door has changed to a social media profile—and the cookies are all virtual.

I’m talking about affiliate sales and marketing.

DISCLAIMER: I want to talk super quick about my approach to affiliates and make you a few promises before you run screaming for the hills while frantically smashing the unsubscribe button. Jump down to the weekly Growth Currency links if you’re indifferent.

What’s an affiliate?

An affiliate is someone who receives a commission for selling someone else’s product.

Say you signed up for an online course or paid for a SaaS product and found it useful. The creator of the course/product may provide you with a custom referral link you can share with your network.

Every click on your link that leads to a sale earns you a commission.

You can see why this is a popular side hustle: low investment to big rewards—if your audience is big enough AND engaged.

The Pros & Cons of Affiliates

The pros of being an affiliate are obvious: you can earn income without having to do the creating.

The cons: they can feel like MLM schemes. Usually. Nobody likes being sold something they don’t want or need—especially from somebody they don’t know who, likely didn’t use the product.

Personally, I can’t sell anything I don’t believe in. I think that’s called integrity.

So here’s my promise…

And so my promise to you is simple: I will only promote an affiliate link for a product or service that I’ve used myself AND have believe there’s significant value in.

My motivation behind starting Knowledge UP↑ was two fold:

1 → to genuinely & authentically help others
2 → to hone my writing skills by creating consistently

I did not start this newsletter to make affiliate sales. And I have zero interest in making a quick buck with snake oil. I firmly believe in sharing tools that can truly provide value to YOU.

I want to be an authentic affiliate or nothing at all1.

And please—call me out if you feel I’m compromising on my promise. I want to know.


(This tweet kind of blew up. I’ve never had more than 50 likes on a tweet before. Lots of interesting responses along with some pretty clever ones.)


📈 Marketing

How To Build An Audience—Differently’ with Bilal Zaidi

This thread is full of insights. Bilal shares 12 “less obvious” ways to build an audience in this digital age. A great thread for any creator looking to grow.

A few of my faves 👇
One platform at a time.
Audience ≠ Distribution
Do things that don't scale

|| Follow Bilal Zaidi on Twitter

💰 Side Hustle

Become a Coding Freelancer w/ The Odin Project [FREE COURSE]
Expand your freelancing toolbelt with this FREE web development course from The Odin Project. This free course covers…
The Foundations (Front end, Back end, Java)
Full Stack Ruby On Rails
Full Stack Javascript

Path to this side hustle cash flow: 1) learn 2) build 3) earn — no more excuses!

Shoutout to my man Brandon of Rinkydoo Finance. He introduced me to The Odin Project a while back and he’s a great follow on Twitter.
|| Follow The Odin Project on Twitter

💳 Personal Finance

“Should I pay off my mortgage early?” via Plant Money Seeds
Even if you don’t have a mortgage—give this a read. I used to think that putting every piece of spare change into paying your mortgage down was the best strategy. Of course it depends on your goals, but it might not be 👀 especially given the low interest rates we’re seeing (at least in North America). #OpportunityCost
|| Follow Plant Money Seeds on Twitter


“The route to quality is through quantity.” — David Perell on Compound Writing Podcast
A must-listen for any aspiring writers. David shares with Stew Fortier:
his system for picking winning ideas
how he writes things that resonate
some key lessons he teaches during Write of Passage
What David would do if he was starting over today
|| Follow Compound Writing on Twitter || Follow David Perell on Twitter


Scribe Book School: Learn how to WRITE & PUBLISH your book—for FREE.
Paid cohort writing courses are popping up all over the internet. For those not wanting to pay to play, check out Scribe Book School. Founded by author Tucker Max—it’s a FREE course teaching you how to write, publish and launch their non-fiction book or memoir. No financial commitment AND self-paced? Sign me up.
Check out the course options here.
|| Follow Tucker Max on Twitter

Thank you SO much for reading to the end. I hope I provided some value to your day and inbox.

Lots of new subscribers this week—thank you all who have joined the path to earning growth currency. (Is that lame? Kind of feel like I’m forcing it…)

Hit reply or send a DM on Twitter either way: @growthcurrency

One last question from me: what kinds of growth tools or tips are you looking for? I’d love to help by featuring them.

PS - I’m also curious how you got here? Twitter? Medium? Send me a note and let me know! I reply to every email.


Fact: there are zero affiliate links in today’s newsletter :)