What’s up, affiliasphere?
Business Protip for the day: If you’re going to take a break and spend 6 days camping at a festival without email access – remember to tell your affiliate managers. It seems as if some networks are quick to pronounce me dead if I stop running traffic for more than 24 hours.
Unfortunately I’m not dead. But I am severely tanned with sun kissed balls, and ready to get back to the grind again. Glastonbury Festival, for those of you who haven’t been, is the sugardaddy of all musical events. You need to go. I still feel pretty partied out but I’m going to do my best to address something I’ve noticed that affiliates seem to get wrong. All the time.
If you’re a full time affiliate working from home, what’s the one thing you have that a part-timer doesn’t? It’s time. Complete control of your hours, and the ability to be as productive or as unproductive as the day is long. Nobody chomps your balls for strolling in to the office at 9:06 and if Brazil vs. Holland tickles your fancy, the to-do list can always wait a couple of hours, right?
How many marketers actually take the time to nurture a talent or to learn something new? It sounds pretty irrelevant. You’ve got all that split testing to do, those new offers to rig up to fresh campaigns. Christ, I’ve got a thousand tweets in my face telling me that snoozing is losing.
An affiliate marketer is more often than not a middleman. You can be a complete retard and still make good money if an advertiser has a good product and an audience has a strong need. But it doesn’t give you any kind of asset. You have no market value. That’s unless you develop websites that stand on their own two feet.
We basically seize the loopholes of traffic brokerage and exist in a state of limbo where our main talent is to capitalize on opportunity. That’s rosy and sweet, but it’s pretty fucking moronic to not have a Plan B. If you’re not designating an hour of your day to nurture a talent, you’re wasting the one freedom you always dreamed of when you jacked in your day job.
Real businesses exist to be the best at something. They provide real solutions. All the truly great businessmen of our time have a talent that puts them above their peers. The problem with affiliate marketing is that you don’t have to be the best at anything. You can be merely competent and still pay the bills.
But that shouldn’t be your attitude. In the worst case scenario that affiliate marketing gets nuked in the morning, we should all have been busy developing our assets to a point where we can say that we’re the best at something…anything. Being an expert at affiliate marketing isn’t enough. How many real life human beings give a shit if you’re the smartest handler of EPCs? It adds no value for anybody.
If, however, you decide today that you’re going to focus on improving your copywriting, for example, that’s an investment worth so much more than any late night split testing binge. If you can become an expert who writes the best damn copy in the business, you’re going to be in demand.
We have so many hours on our hands and if we’re not striving to improve, we might as well go back to the 9-5.
For me personally, my main passion is writing. You might accuse me of being just another marketing blogger with his dick up his own arse and willing to push any second tier referral he can throw your way. But actually, this site is like my CV. I could devote all my hours to painstaking research of new offers, but it doesn’t add any long-term value to my business. Whereas this blog will remain here long after my bizopp campaign of the week has faded.
More affiliates are soon going to appreciate the need to develop websites that provide genuine quality content. Because there are enough passionate people out there to drive you out of business. Soon we will need to put the quality of our content first and THEN worry about monetizing it.
How far do you have to look for proof? Just look at the search engines. Google is backhanding websites it deems to be “bridge pages” from the sponsored listings. I can only imagine that if this is their outlook, it will soon translate more heavily in to the organic listings too. If you don’t offer your own unique commodity, you’re dispensable.
This blog is an example of how I like to monetize. I’ve never offered sponsored content and I’ve never accepted payments to endorse networks or products in my posts. The main appeal is the writing style and the trust that I’ve managed to forge with readers. It’s a site that I’m happy to put next to my business name because I trust in what I’ve published here.
Too many affiliate websites are built on flimsy foundations. With $10/articles outsourced to so-called experts who know jack shit about the subject matter despite what they state in their Elance proposals.
The next time you focus on a micro-niche, don’t make your first question “How can I monetize this concept?”. Think first to satisfy the needs of the target audience. Be an expert in your field. How can you produce something outstanding that shows more than your ability to rank in Google?
Quality content will always stand the test of time. And so will your business if you drive it forward and become the best in a particular field.
It’s not easy, but you know what is easy? It’s easy to set aside one hour in your working day and learn something new. Ask yourself what you can be the best at, then go out and be it.