It’s no secret that some of the best digital marketers in the world have a background in affiliate marketing.
The developments in these areas were all driven by money and ROI, and became the default tools and mindset of budding online marketers.
An affiliate marketer has largely depended upon themselves to be an expert in all phases of their marketing plan as a bad plan could mean not eating for a month or getting evicted. Having to largely depend on yourself and funding campaigns on your own dime forces you to not only fail a lot, but also push the comfort zones on your skill sets. When an affiliate marketer invests $10k of their own money into building a landing page and traffic strategy, they have to make a sizable return back. Being an expert in conversion optimization, emerging channels such as mobile, lead nurturing, remarketing, and marketing automation all play a sizable role in being a profitable affiliate marketer. Many times online marketers get hung up on the smaller details like which split tests to run or the correct messaging on an ad.
These are important tasks to stay on top of, but focusing on smaller tasks that don’t make a huge impact on the larger goal can unwind even the best of marketing plans. Affiliate marketers generally push through small issues easily and get back on the goal of increasing revenue and leads. When it’s time to go in for that triple bypass surgery, do you want the general surgeon on staff or a heart specialist? They typically master 1 huge traffic source ( PPC or SEO ) and can run circles around other digital marketers in that space. Whatever their specialty, they have invested large sums of money into figuring out every inch of it and can outperform others who may just dabble or work 9-5 within that same space. They typically have inside contacts and special relationships that you would never be able to obtain on your own starting out that will benefit them when needed.
How could a digital marketing strategist compete against someone who is an affiliate marketer? They realistically can’t.
If a billion dollar company like Google spends all of it’s time trying to outwit affiliate marketers and constantly fails, what makes you think you can do any differently on your own? Affiliate marketers are not interested in office politics, micro managing co-workers, or even what fruit dip to bring to the company party. As a growing company looking to hire more marketing staff, wouldn’t it make sense to have someone with this experience and drive on your team? I've been involved with the Internet since 1996 and have personally made millions online with my creative marketing tactics and persistence. July 29, 2011 by Paula What is it about this business that causes people to take on too much?
We not only had our niche websites but this blog, the new review website plus constant requests for interviews, joint ventures, the public domain projects we were working on, products we needed to write reviews for, constant emails to answer and on and on it went. Another sign that things weren’t flowing was that we would tend to flag after lunch and we really had no enthusiasm to get back to work so we would end up watching a video or going shopping, not that there is anything wrong with that, but it doesn’t help your business.
Now this is just our story but I know that the majority of people reading this post will be experiencing a similar thing. So what happens with most people is that they create a website to promote a product and work for a couple of weeks getting traffic to that page but they don’t see any sales. By this time the first website is totally forgotten and they have three or four more websites on the go. By this point they have given up on backlinking because it is too difficult and time consuming so they start to look for easier ways. Now they have 20 or 30 websites going because it is so easy to get them up and everyone says that the more websites you have the more money you will make but that’s not working either.
By this time they are almost ready to give up but another email turns up in their email box with yet another method of making money online and it only takes an hour a day and they can be making money within weeks.
Imagine that if instead of going through the affiliate marketers cycle of doom the fictitious person above focused on only one website for a whole year. Time wasters are usually things like hanging out at forums for extended periods, Tweeting for hours at a time, Facebook, tweaking website themes, reading blog after blog, answering emails and so on.
Each individual task you undertake during your working day is either going to help you to move forward or it is going to waste your time.
Since determining that we were taking on too much we decided that we would go back and start to work on one website at a time. We have also put a hold on all interviews we are doing (except for ones already scheduled) and have decided not to create any membership sites or work on any new projects for the time being.
Since getting Amazonian Profit Plan, I haven’t even been tempted to buy any other shiny objects.
This either leads to spreading oneself too thinly and doing everything badly so simple procrastination where we then choose to play on Facebook, forums or twitter. At the moment I try to write down all the things I want to achieve for the day and then reward myself by checking out my google reader, feeding twitter and visting the forums.
I hope you had a chance to read the post linked to in the blog post above about what to do if you have multiple sites.
No matter how many times I delete and unsubscribe from email lists unfortunately our emails do get into the hands of others that we have not subscribed to that send out more emails with fantastic offers so if I don’t recognize the name and am not subscribed I block it without opening.
We all need to take a reality check now and then on just how we’re spending our time and whether it is effective use of that time. That’s right Dawn I think we get so caught up in what we are doing that we fail to see whether it is actually working.
Email & tweaking themes were my guilty pleasure, so I no longer have my email client picking up mail more than once per hour and tweaking themes is something to be outsourced.
My entry into the affiliate world was influenced by gurus who touted the hundreds of websites approach. I think people are starting to realize that the multiple-site approach just doesn’t work. You’re so right: When you focus on just one or tow things, you can make them grow significantly! Anyway, it’s all about the process you outlined: Getting the reviews up and getting traffic to them!
Also, that little trick of leaving a Facebook comment for the manufacturer is such a good idea. I totally agree that you can get lost and feel very behind on your goals when you have multiple websites. My site (which was previously built and indexed a few months ago, but was too generic) use to appear on page 2 near the top when I did a Google search for the exact name of the product. You will have received my email by now Susan but I will repeat the response here for anyone who is in the same boat. This happens to just about everyone and it is one of the most common emails we get from people…so you aren’t alone. Thanks for posting this Paula – it’s proably something a lot of newbies like myself need to know!
I think the problem is that most people have lost sight of what the original incaration of the internet was all about, and that was opening up a whole new world of information for the masses to digest.
Everyone becomes traffic and list oriented, but just consider these words from Confucius for a moment. Hey Paula and Wanda, thanks for the great article and insight into the importance of focusing on just one or two websites. What do you think of the products that say they automate the process of getting traffic to your site, thus eliminating the need for article writing and backlinking?
The product was from Anik Singal, I believe and the product called Commission Domination states all you have to do is fill in some information keywords and hit go.
Reading this was funny, because I can completely relate to it and I realize that what I’m doing is wrong.


The funny thing is, once you stop doing that and really focus hard on a few sites, like you said, you will probably start to see the positive results. But alas I too have succumbed to the net marketing monster and now need to re-evaluate and focus on one site to take it to max profit potential. It’s no secret that some of the best direct digital marketers in the world have a background in affiliate marketing. Much of the technology, strategy, and principles we use everyday as online marketers have their roots in the early days of adult affiliate marketing. Back when I first ventured online in 1996 and began making a name for myself, there were no fancy titles such as “growth hacker”, “CRO”, or “SEO”.
When you start putting your own money on the line, you stop waiting around to clock out at 5pm and actually start developing ways to improve ROI, constantly. Most successful affiliate marketers have spent a large part of their career living the “lean startup” way of life before Eric Ries made the term popular.
This isn’t a game for entry-level PPC marketers or people who don’t understand the basics of Ca$hvertising. Being an expert in conversion optimization, emerging channels such as mobile, lead nurturing, remarketing, and marketing automation all play a role in being a profitable affiliate marketer. When it’s time to go in for that triple bypass surgery, do you want the general surgeon on staff or a someone who is a heart specialist? They typically have inside contacts and special relationships that would you never be able to obtain on your own starting out that will benefit them when needed.
How could someone today that is just a digital marketing strategist compete against someone who is an affiliate marketer? Affiliate marketers are not interested in office politics, micro managing co-workers, or even what fruit dip to bring to the company Thanksgiving party.
Jason Brown is an affiliate and digital marketing consultant with 18 years experience in web development, online marketing, and digital strategy.
Perhaps the top .1 percent of all affiliate marketers exhibit all the characteristics you outline. But 50% of affiliate marketers make less than someone working 16 hour days at McDonald’s.
If you compare the top .1% of any group against the general population of another group, yes you can make your selected group look amazing. Not every affiliate marketer is Charles Ngo, not every sales pitchman is Billy Mays, not every guerrilla marketer is Seth Godin, etc.
Hang around any affiliate marketing message board … would you really want to hire 99% of the people on there? Within all of those marketing departments, I have had my fair share of managing and working along side with other digital marketers from all walks of life. An affiliate that has done all of the above and has totally bombed on their last 10 campaigns and is having to take a job at McDonalds is a much better hire then a drone robot reading PPCHero and following what someone else tells them they should be doing. And your right about “Not every affiliate marketer is Charles Ngo, not every sales pitchman is Billy Mays, not every guerrilla marketer is Seth Godin, etc. That is true, I definitely would NOT hire 99% of the people who I see posting on affiliate marketing message boards. Affiliate marketing is a small segment of the much larger advertising and marketing discipline. Last time I checked, Coca Cola, Accenture and Apple were not looking to fire their Chief Marketing Officers and instead hire someone posting on WickedFire to take their places.
I dont think anyone here said anything about replacing CMOs with random people from Wickedfire. The thing I think that makes affiliates better (in my opinion) is they are much more ROI conscious, this is because they have experience in spending and risking their own money and in most cases squeezing tighter margins, I would guess most marketers in an agency have never risked a penny of their own money. Why are affiliate marketers described as business owners in this post while all other online marketers are positioned as 9-5ers?
Much of the technology, strategy, and principles we use today as online marketers have their roots in the early days of adult affiliate marketing. Most digital marketing strategists lack these skills or leave them to others on their team to handle. They understand the grand picture of what the business is trying to accomplish and can often make suggestions that tie into larger goals which will make an impact.
I'm Jason Brown and I’m a 36 year old digital marketing intrapreneur living in beautiful Louisville, Kentucky. It’s something we had a problem with in the early days, until we got focused and on track, but for some reason it reared its ugly head again and we found ourselves back in that position all over again.
But fortunately this time it was easy for us to figure out what that was because we had been through it all before when we were first struggling to make money online. In fact, for some reason many internet marketers take on so much that they often work longer hours than they would if they were in a regular 9 to 5 job.
Fortunately for us working on this business is an enjoyable experience for the most part so we don’t really consider it work. Its hard not to because although making money online is simple, we make it as complicated as possible. Everyone tells them that they can make money overnight on the internet so why aren’t they?
Everyone says to add lots of content but there isn’t enough time so they go and buy some plr content and spin it or they get someone on an outsourcing site to write a hundred articles for a dollar a piece. So they will happily pay a monthly fee to be part of a backlinking blog network that essentially gives them poor quality links or they will invest in various different plugins that will automate the system for them or pay someone to get them thousands of backlinks overnight.
Fortunately there is plenty of helpful constructive advise on the forum they regularly attend and someone says that they really only started making a decent income when they had over 100 websites. It is totally different to what they have tried so they create a whole new website thinking that this will definitely be the one that makes it for them and they do everything it says in the ebook and three weeks later they still aren’t making any money. In other words, you need to step back on a regular basis and take a look at what you are actually doing. Once the list is written, take a look at it to see which tasks you are doing that are helping you to move forward with your business and which ones are just time wasters.
So as you work during the next week think about whether the task you are working on is actually helping you to move forward or not. We are tidying up some of the old ones and focusing on pages on those sites that are getting a bit of traffic. We will continue to write for this blog and send out our newsletter but our primary focus will be our websites. When I focus on taking the most joyful path, which is also the easy path of least resistance, things flow better right away. It was only a day or so since we made the decision to reduce our workload and the money started to increase. We are able to physically carry out all the things that we want to do when we think about them.
I find if I have my email open for instance that I will be tempted to read the emails as they come in. Just curious on your thoughts on the recent (well not that recent anymore) google panda update. Looking at where we are spending our time is crucial in this business or any business for that matter. The problem for me (and maybe more people) is that one of he first things you learn is that you should never put your eggs in 1 basket. Well it might work but it takes so much effort that it’s really not worth it in the end. Since purchasing the Amazonian Profit Plan it has come as a monumental relief to understand that I don’t need 200 sites to be successful!!


Your page will probably return in a few weeks and then might pop back again and then return – its just Google doing their dance. That’s what I have been experiencing for quite a while hence the decision we made to reduce our workload. I have been on the net since 1994 and back then when you created a website it really was just for the hell of it. Do you have a specific example because there are different types of automated generating traffic systems. We were forever thinking of new things to do and of course we would immediately buy another domain name to add to the list. Yep, I too have over complicated things to the point that I don’t know which page or site to backlink to anymore, because I have so many. We tend to get caught up in it all and don’t stop to even think about what we are doing on a day-to-day basis. I’ve known Jason since I started in this industry, and it is my privilege to share some knowledge from him with you guys.
You were either a good marketer or a terrible one and you spent your own money ( not your company’s or client’s ) to find out what worked with your campaigns.
When an affiliate marketer puts in $10k of their own money into building a landing page and traffic strategy, they need to make a sizable return back. Granted, these are important tasks to stay on top of, but focusing on smaller tasks that don’t make a huge impact on the larger goal can undo even the best marketing plans. They understand the grand picture of what the business is trying to do and can often make suggestions that tie into that larger goal which will make a measurable impact.
As a growing company looking to hire more marketing staff, wouldn’t it make sense to have someone with this experience and drive on your team? My experience ranges from small mom and pops to large international corporations with 1000+ employees.
They tried, which is what the affiliate is doing and why affiliates are better digital marketers. You Could Seriously Make Thousands of Profit a Day, Traveling the World, and Designing Your Own Lifestyle. The more you take on, the longer it will take for you to make money and the less time you will have to do anything.
Back then we were working on all of our 20 or so websites at the one time and it didn’t work then so why were we essentially doing a similar thing now? However, there are other things we would like to be doing so we don’t want to turn it into a 60 hour a week job. They end up on a blog or a forum and everyone is giving advice about which method works and which doesn’t. Plus the amount of time it takes to maintain them is quite draining and there is really no time left in the day to spend with family or friends. So they start to doubt the process again and forget that website and start looking for other new and easier methods to make money online.
Most people would never consider doing something like that because they think it is too risky.
Anymore than that and you are wasting your time UNLESS you are actually making money from doing these things.
We are reworking those pages to provide better content and are choosing quality products to promote. Synchronicities begin to appear, and my income increases within days – hours sometimes! So now I answer emails in the morning and then close the email screen and don’t look at it again until the next morning. I have noticed however(from the emails we’ve received from some people) that many who were affected have had their rankings reinstated over time so maybe Google fixed their goof. You need to to diversify your sources of income, hence multiple sites, ventures and networks come into play. I have started to make some sales on my Kindle site which is great and I have spent a lot of time trying to work out how to structure another site which I built before the APP.
The more people I hear from who are actually making real money from their hard work, the more I believe I can do it, too.
No one can say for sure how your site will rank – only Google knows that but at this point in time what you are experiencing is all part of the game.
I have so many ideas in my head and would love to be starting different projects but I know that we can only do so much. It’s pretty much what we did when we realized that we were adding poor quality content to this blog. If I had just the one (maybe two) things like net marketing and all that this includes would be much easier and go much smoother.
In the past I have worked in large agencies and whilst some of the people were very good in there individual skills they were rarely all rounders and I didn’t really meet anyone who I thought would be able to make it as an affiliate.
Things just weren’t flowing as well as they should and we knew it was because we had been taking on too much. So they’ll buy another ebook, or two or three because each one has a better method for making money online. It’s a never ending cycle of creating more and more websites, buying ebook after ebook and going from one money making method to another without experiencing much success. But it’s not only that, you will also find that you are never giving anything you take on a chance to really work.
What if none of those 5 pages ever ranks or what if the product I chose doesn’t sell? You can’t do it all(not even us multitasking women!) and there are a lot of distractions. What’s the point of diversifying if you haven’t made any money from the first money making method? Focused on topics I really care about and can create solid, knowledgeable content that I’m proud of. Whatever their specialty, they have invested large sums of money into figuring out every inch of it and can outperform others who may just dabble or work 9–5 within that same space.
When this happens the work-flow becomes scattered and you start to spread yourself too thin so nothing of any consequence ever gets done.
Only each one of those ebooks tells them something different so they are already confused as to which way to go. Yes, there is always that risk – unfortunately there are no guarantees in this business but I think most of us would agree that if we spent a year on just five pages of content you would see some magic happen.
To really reduce your workload there is a better way and one we have spoken about in a previous blog post.
Mix in a full time job, and what began as an exciting new venture became a source of frustration. Just this morning we received an email from a reader on how one of our articles helped them. In a nutshell it involves finding five pages on all of your websites that are getting the most traffic and reworking them to provide better quality content and then backlinking to them to increase the traffic even more. Life is also a lot more relaxed as you have more time in your day and things are a lot less frantic.



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