One of the defining things about affiliate marketing is the overwhelmingly positive rhetoric about the great income and flexibility. But people *don’t* really talk about what it’s like when affiliate marketing pulls one of it’s little stunts on you and reminds you of your vulnerabilities.
After my last post, I was pretty happy. The work in 2015 had provided a nice solid base to see some good growth this year. What actually happened in February is the “Affiliate Marketing 101” stuff that all the “Make Money Online” salesmen seem to develop amnesia about when selling you the latest, greatest, huge earnings guaranteed product.
Out Of A Clear Blue Sky…
Two Steps Forward, Three Steps Back!
Ace. After a year of hard work, looking forward to seeing a nice month on month increase… this. I earned 14% less in February this year after a year of hard work than I did in February last year before I’d actually started working again! I haven’t done anything wrong, all my traffic is still there – in fact there’s a heck of a lot more of it, and I’ve more than quadrupled one income stream. It performed out of the park in February, but one big merchant suffered a huge drop in conversions, and another significant merchant dropped commission rates by 20%. The latter isn’t really such a big drama. Just par for the course.
Literally a graphic demonstration of the risks of my reliance on that one big merchant I’ve been so keen on trying to work through!
So How Do You Deal With Such Setbacks?
Actually, in my case – not so well. I’d love to be sitting here droning on about my kickass positive mental attitude, but I don’t actually have one of those. I think it’s important to talk about how it really feels, particularly in light of how many people view affiliate marketing as a highly aspirational career. Or an easy one. Which it’s most definitely not!
I’ve spent the last few weeks highly demotivated by this. It’s exhausting, it makes you feel like a failure, and if you are me it sends you into that mindset of all the effort feeling pointless, and the endless analysis of personal failings (real and imagined). And that’s in spite of me having been doing this for long enough that I know better than to expect success to be a straight line type affair.
Reason does and should prevail. In this situation, if you are still in the game (I very much am) eventually common sense prevails. It’s important to break things down and understand what really happened beyond an overall drop. Turn it on it’s head, and it looks like this: –
- I lost (possibly not permanently either!) a very large chunk of my income. Despite that, my work over the last year meant my income and ability to do mundane things like eat, pay rent, and have holidays was broadly unaffected. The failure there is where?
- Once I’d gotten over myself I put in place an analysis of the various traffic streams to the “problem” merchant. I discovered that one stream was responsible on it’s own for the drop – which left me with another still healthy traffic source to build on. Success.
- My income streams with that one biggie removed look great, that graph is on a nice upward trend. Another success.
- All my new ideas are working, some slowly, some fast. But work they do. And I have lots more of them to labour my way through.
I guess I have to conclude that business success is about more than just a single upward line. Consolidation is important, even if it means it looks and feels like you are going backwards.
Affiliate marketing isn’t special. Just about every self employed person will suffer from this – if you want to “say goodbye to the 9-5” you have to realise that it’s not all shits and giggles. The exhausting thing about affiliate marketing is that this will happen to me (and you) again and again. Build it and they will come (and stomp all over you).
Is it worth it? Repeat after me “Passive income rocks, passive income rocks”. And in most cases, failure is a state of mind rather than a reality.
Hell yeah 😉