To me, there are RULES and GUIDELINES.

RULES:
When I am learning something new, I follow the RULES exactly.  So I followed the keystroke exactly and would learn how to create a specific site.  I spent months learning a program.

I spent a lot of time learning exactly how to build a particular site, so that it becomes second nature to me without having to think of the keystrokes.  That is simple practice, practice, practice (my practicing is a new campaign).  I can now do many sites in my sleep.  This takes time and effort.  Sales are non-existent to low during the learning phase.  

So when I first started, it took a long time as I had to follow the course EXACTLY.

GUIDELINES:
Now that I know the rules of each of the sites and have practiced over and over again (by building sites),  I now see them as guidelines.

I like  getting my affiliate links out right away.  So if I walk away from the campaign right there and then, I know that I have affiliate links out there.  If I started with sites where I couldn’t put my links,  I wouldn’t have any affiliate links out on the web.

So to me (now), the course GUIDES are guidelines because I took the time to know the rules of the game.

Think of it as learning to drive a car.  When I was 16 I had to learn a lot.

First you have to know how to turn on the ignition (but you have to make sure that you are in Park).  Which one is the gas peddle and which one is the brake.  Where is the gear shift, where is the switch for the windshieldwiper, the switch for the lights (high, low, fog) etc.

Now that I am an experienced driver, when it rains, I don’t even think about what to do – I automatically turn on the wipers without even looking for the switch in the car.

Anyway,  that’s how my brain works.