How many of you have seen The Wire?
There’s a character called Stringer Bell who fronts a Baltimore drugs gang (Ask Cakes for details), and slowly becomes disillusioned with the shady shit he has to deal with on a day to day basis. In a bid to escape the wrong side of the law, he uses the gang’s drug money to invest in property and real estate. Ultimately it all goes wrong and he gets shotgunned down for his sins.
If you’re wondering what the hell I’m talking about – or why – it’s because I’m feeling the strong urge to pull a Stringer Bell, leap out of this shady industry and throw my money at something that doesn’t make me blush when I explain the mechanics of how it produces profit.
Affiliate marketing is full of so much bullshit and unnecessary drama. You can do everything in your power to avoid the drama, but when networking is such an integral part of your business, the drama becomes a lurking fixture of your day. Staring in awe at a cyber shitstorm over nothing in particular. None of the time management tools in the world can fully isolate you from an industry which regurgitates endless shit like no other.
I’ve been thinking about how I can limit the negative aspects of affiliate marketing. How can I cut down on the bullshit and learn to see through the lies without wasting any more of my time than I need to?
It’s a very shady space to work in. Some of the things I see affiliates doing – some of the things I engage in myself – would certainly rank low on the list of “topics to discuss with the grandparents over Sunday roast”. You can say that it’s a dog eat dog world. But one look at WickedFire and I’d change that to “dog eats dog while cheered on by pack of starving wolves”.
You people love drama. And as a guy who blogs to the exact crowd that love it most, I would be a colossal hypocrite to sit here raising a white flag and begging for mercy.
Instead I’m thinking about how I can adapt a business model that allows me to sleep easier at night. Most of us who’ve been doing this for any length of time appreciate that there’s a system in place. I haven’t promoted rebills for so long that I’ve convinced myself they’ve gone out of fashion. But even working with dating, gaming and a bunch of other CPA offers – I’m still riddled with the guilt that making money shouldn’t be this easy. So much of marketing is about creating false positives and selling a user what deep down you know they don’t really need.
I’ve made a personal effort to promote reputable offers and steer well clear of the continuity market. But it still bothers me that my working day involves tapping in to consumer weaknesses and surrounding myself in these negative energies. Negative energies? Yeah, I had a curry for dinner. I’m pretty fucking full of negative energies right now.
At the moment, it’s fine.
Affiliate marketing is an addictive circle to be working in. It can be so incredibly lucrative. I speak to guys who are millionaires in their early 20s and it’s all thanks to an industry that anybody can excel in if they have their fucking nuts screwed on.
But are you planning on doing this forever? Or do you have an exit strategy?
Last week, Nickycakes took a backlash from some of the WickedFire community for releasing a product that allegedly clashed with some of the rants he’d written in the past. I noticed a few posts mentioning how he obviously couldn’t be making as much money as he once did if he was willing to release a relatively low margin product in comparison.
This is such bullshit, I can barely believe I’m even writing about it. I’m not leaping to Cakes’ defense by any means. I’ve never met the guy and I’ve never tried his product. But are all affiliate marketers expected to live and die by the arbitrage game for the rest of their careers?
Whether Nick’s product blows or not, it’s pretty irrelevant. Escaping the “buy traffic to sell traffic” trap is something that I think any affiliate would be a mug to ignore. I don’t see how all of us can possibly get away with exploiting something that is this lucrative forever. Especially if affiliate marketing continues to grow at the same rapid rate.
I’ve been mulling over my own options and thinking about what I want to do. How can I use affiliate marketing as a launch pad to a stable long term business that reaches beyond basic CPA arbitrage? Well, I’ve been posting recently about building long term assets, and there’s a lot more to come there.
For me personally, I don’t plan on sticking in this industry for long. I’ve seen enough of affiliate marketing to know that while I’m enjoying it now as a 22 year old with no family of my own to support – I don’t want to be riding this horse for any longer than I need to be. I have my eye on property investment as an exit plan.
Make enough money as an affiliate to finance the kind of investments that would go beyond what the average 22 year old is capable of laying down. Every day is a constant drive to increase profits and give myself that flexibility sooner rather than later.
Do you have your own exit plan? You might be making money now, but how are you going to keep making money if the tap ever runs dry?