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Affiliate Marketing- A Case Study

By Jeff K / May 3, 2019
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We all have seen those videos on YouTube how to make money affiliate marketing with the promise of $100 payouts a day, and others claiming $10,000 per month. The thing is that if you watch and pay attention, it’s the same few people making those videos. The claims are that anyone can do this sort of thing.  Well if that’s the case then why isn’t there more than the same 10 or so personalities making these claims.

I am putting myself in the hot seat and attempting to become one of those that show up in your video suggestions when you search affiliate marketing.

In the Beginning

It all began when I realized I wanted something different in my life.  Call it a midlife crisis or an awakening but something in my life shifted.  I became obsessed with self-help videos, and audiobooks. I used to avoid reading like the plague but now find great joy in a good book that can help me better understand something and make my life better.

Starting square of a board game

This self-help addiction l had lead me to realize that there had to be more to life than going to my job 5 days a week.  Living for the weekend and just surviving. Like the books I was reading encouraged that we are here to thrive, not just survive.

With that in mind I set out to make a change.  I began to scour the internet for something to help me escape this “trap” of work, home, sleep, repeat.  I wanted to thrive! That’s when I came across Wealthy Affiliate. This is a platform designed to take anyone that has an idea or passion and turn it into a viable business.

Make Money Promises True or False

I thought what the heck and began my free trial.  I knew nothing going in, but the training started on square one which was exactly what I need.  It took me through choosing a niche all the way until I had a website and began to create content for it.  Then I became an amazon affiliate and had related items on my site where if someone made a purchase I would get a very small commission.

I signed up for the annual plan with Wealthy Affiliate to give this “making money affiliate marketing” thing a true run for its money. Proving this to myself was what I was committed to. I created content for 4 months on a regular basis.  The traffic to my site was not exactly flowing in and I began to get discouraged.

Beware of Shiny Object Syndrome

Still on my self-help kick and looking for new opportunities I came across Shopify.  This seemed like a no brainer. You get a domain and a store front, sync up with a supplier in china and sell anything you can imagine.  At this point I stopped creating content for my original website on wealthy affiliate and began my new store.

I had it all set up and running in a matter of days.  Finally, I had found my way out. This would be my new ticket to financial freedom.  I would start making sales and my life would have purpose. Well, after a few ad campaigns on Facebook and google I began to run out of money and patience.

Learn Before You Leap

Learn from my mistakes.  Don’t start to buy ads on Facebook and google until you know what you are doing.  Be sure to research before you begin. Ads are a quick way to burn through your budget with little to no results.

man leaping through a building

I realized that I didn’t want to keep going into debt behind a product I was not passionate about.  So after 2 months I gave up on my store and it was back to the drawing board again.

This was and has been a major problem of mine.  Lacking focus, and kind of being all over the place.  I knew what my main goal was, but getting there was another story.

At this point I was feeling extremely discouraged.  All the promises I had seen on YouTube and other media outlets made me feel like giving up and just accepting the fact that things are just going to be the way they are.

Another Ah Ha Moment

Then I got another idea.  I went back to my original website that had been in limbo for 2 months and instead of just making a blog post and sell items through affiliate links, I would turn it into a store as well.  I used a plugin through WordPress and it turned my blog into an ecommerce store as well.

Now…. Now I thought I had it all.  Something I was passionate about and a storefront.  So again I continued to create content. Checking my google analytics daily to see how much traffic I was getting.  As I created content the numbers were slowly increasing.

The problem was I still had no sales.  So I did the next logical thing and became a seller partner with Amazon.  I thought that if I could see my products there, they would take care of the traffic.  After signing up I realized that by the time I sold something and paid amazon for their service, and PayPal for their service I was going to be losing money on every sale.

Fail Again

I immediately shut down my amazon sellers account (not the same as the affiliate account).  If you do plan to go that route and sell through Amazon, be really sure of your numbers and your profit margins.

Again I began to look around and research on the internet for clues to building a successful online business.  After consuming video after video I noticed a common theme. Most people claiming to make money online did it in one of the three “evergreen” niches.  These never go out of season hence the name evergreen. They are:

–          Make money online

–          Health Fitness and Weight loss

–          Relationships

If you were to create content for any one of these topics you could surely make it in the online world.  So again, I changed gears and set out on my quest. My end goal has not changed, that is what has kept me going through all of this.

Just Give Me A Reason

Let me just add a quick side note – your WHY is the most important thing when you set out to accomplish something.  It will be the driving force when things don’t go as planned. Keep that in mind when you set out on your own journey.

I know I drive my wife crazy because it seems like I am jumping from one thing to another.  The thing is just like Tony Robins said you can do everything right, but if you are headed east looking for a sunset you will never reach your goal.  You must know when to pivot, not quit just make changes and recognize when you need to change direction.

I made up my mind to pivot and start another new website.  The one you are reading this article from. If I can help you avoid some of the mistakes I’ve made, then it was worthwhile to write this.  I decided that this time I am going to attack my problem from three different fronts.

Coming Out Of My Shell

I started a YouTube channel where I am going to track my progress on a daily basis.  Explain exactly what I had accomplished that day and give an honest report of what my finances look like from week to week.

Claims of $100 per day isn’t all that great if you pay $90 a day for traffic.  This blog post you are reading now is a result of me trying to find my way. A blog is the foundation of your business.  It allows you to get your message out. It is also great at getting consistent traffic to your site and the things you offer others.

Content marketing such as a blog is a business model that takes time to build momentum and attract an audience, the same as any of the others previously mentioned. By providing helpful content it builds over time.

slow moving snail

This is definitely not something that will change your life overnight, but it does set a solid foundation for the future of your business.  That’s the reason I am doing this again. Building another website from scratch, hopefully helping others along the way.

The other thing I am doing this time around is starting a Facebook group.  I want to build a community of marketers so we can all learn from each other.  What is working and what is not. We live in an abundant world. There is no competition, only collaboration.  When we work together we all learn and grow.

Conclusion

That’s what I have done.  I changed direction once more and am here to help you find your way as well.  Trying to make money with Affiliate marketing is a simple concept; however, it is not easy. There is no get rich quick in this business.  You get out what you put in… sometimes.

Continue with me on my journey and check back frequently to see if a normal guy can truly make it in this business.  Then perhaps the saying will be true… “if I can do it, anyone can.”

Please leave a comment below, not only does it help me with my google rankings but I would love to get your take on affiliate marketing.  Your struggles and triumphs may help others out as well. Never give up, pivot when necessary and continue to build your own online escape plan!

About the author

Jeff K


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