I’ve wanted to do this for a long time, but there’s a block. Because I’ve not updated much at all since the dreaded year of the Penguin, or Panda, or rabid polar bear or whatever it was that killed off such a swathe of my fellow affiliates.
The longer you leave it, the harder it gets. So balls to creating a cogent job of explaining it all, I’ll just give it a red hot crack and hope for the best. Here goes…
What Kirsty Did For The Last 3.5 Years
- I had a baby. Then for good measure, I had another one.
- After what I *thought* was an unsuccessful restructuring attempt on a couple key sites, I abandoned my organic sites completely. I couldn’t spare the scant work time I had before child 1 appeared to possibly fruitless recovery efforts. Also I was supernaturally sick. Think the exorcist, but in my bathroom, all day, every day. Sod all that for a lark.
- Concentrated on PPC. Fortunately I had quite a lot of existing PPC that was Google proof. I also tapped into a new market that replaced much of the organic income I had lost, and meant I could still have the relaxing time as a mother I’d been planning before Google’s wild animal collection rampaged through the scenery.
- One day, after child one but before child two, Duncan got itchy internet shopping fingers. On a whim (based on a long standing ambition), he bought ten broken iPhones on eBay. Two months later he opened an iPhone repair business as a hobby. He was quite good at it. Unfortunately he knew someone who was quite good at online marketing. Therefore 3 months after that, he was working ten hour days up to his backside in broken iDevice glass. That’ll teach him.
- Duncan’s new found fame as mr fixit gave us a nice “secondary” income which ended up equaling my affiliate marketing income. In the process we filled what was meant to be my peaceful working space with actual customers dropping in and out. Concentration blown, driven from my workspace by hundreds of broken screens, financial pressure off. Unsurprisingly, my foot fell further off the affiliate marketing pedal. I was also pregnant again and utterly buggered. Path of least resistance and all that…
- After child 2, emergency homing beacon well and truly activated. The wild wandering affiliate lifestyle isn’t *actually* that much fun when you can’t wander any more, and you are conveniently located 14,000km away from the nearest babysitter.
- So I’m in Scotland again. Working in my bedroom. Yes, I know. Uh-huh Australia is lovely, and I miss it terribly every day. But I’d rather be driving distance to my family. Also, it transpired my visa wasn’t great. That put me off a bit too.
As the newborn fog cleared for a second time, I realised that I really was missing working regularly. So before heading home to Scotland, I finally decided to look at the stats on my long dead sites. Just to see if I could learn anything, and so I could start thinking about how one structured a money making site these days. I hadn’t been able to bear to look for almost 2 years. I thought I was starting from the ground up.
They weren’t dead. Not even remotely. Yes diminished. But dead? Nah. When I looked into it, the original structural changes I had laboriously made *were* enough. Not to rank for huge search terms any more. But there was a lucrative pulse there in more niche search terms which convert better anyhow.
“Oh look at that. I did still have a hope in hell after all. Probably should have checked earlier. Whoops.”
Now look, don’t ask me how I achieved thinking I couldn’t “do” organic sites any more. You’d absolutely have thought the commission still turning up here and there would be a clue, despite a lack of site updates. If you want insight, just go off, only sleep 2 hours a night for say a month, and then try to do your job effectively. And yes, the sites did earn commission all along. I just didn’t really pay much attention. I couldn’t engage with it. Also, I was pissed off with it for a long time. I had put a lot of planning into not having to work much whilst pregnant and the whole gig literally imploded just as I got so sick I could barely sit upright.
I’ve always felt writing about affiliate marketing helped me a lot more than it probably helped the people who read what I wrote! Often when I have something on my mind, a wee bit blogging would draw together the many threads in my head. Also, it was and still is a lonely occupation. I like the conversation.
So I’m going to blog again. I’m not sure what the direction will be, or if it’ll all peter out. But I’m going to try. Read it or don’t. I’m doing it anyway. I’ll have to try to update this creaking old theme too. But later.
So yes, home. Marveling that despite all the Google trauma affiliate marketing paid me a full time salary all the way through 3.5 years of neglect and inconsistency. Finally out of the baby tunnel, sleeping again. Websites rebirthing.
I am affiliate. Hear me snore 😉