Survived: Two Years Of Full Time Affiliate Marketing

April marks the two year anniversary of my luminous full-time career as an affiliate marketer. I could use this occasion to celebrate the arduous hours spent scratching my balls, surfing for dating pics, or munching reheated pizza over my inbox. But where would be the sense in that?

Two years is a long time in an industry that doesn’t know how to stand still. I quit my day job at the height of the rebill boom back in 2009. And I must’ve pissed off Lady Luck somewhere along the line because my last day at work happened to coincide with the death of all my profitable campaigns. What do they call that in the corporate world? Something like “a difficult period of transition”?

You haven’t felt a “difficult period of transition” until you’ve been sat in your new home office, on the first day, wondering how to make a living for the rest of your life.

The answer, as I eventually came to discover, was by scrapping and slaving away. It might not have been the most graceful jump in to running my own business, but I just about managed to keep my shit in tact. The first year was an eye-opener in every sense. I moved slowly from promoting rebills towards more sustainable offers that didn’t require a WHOIS registration just to sleep at night.

For all the success I enjoyed pushing shameless rebills, my business was in no way equipped to deal with any serious growth. That’s the price you pay for being obsessed with dollar signs but blind to the supporting acts that lay the foundations of any successful business. If you don’t have an accountant, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. If you don’t have somebody you can go to for expert business advice, bam, there goes your kneecap too.

Christ knows how much money I surrendered in 2009 through taxes alone thanks to my stupid tunnel vision. The attitude I adopted was paramount to poison.

Taxes? What do you think I am? A banker?” I didn’t register a company, I didn’t bother taking on an accountant and I sure as hell didn’t treat my work like a real job.

I had to learn that it wasn’t all about me. And no individual is smart enough to make the correct decision every time in all aspects of his work. So if my first year as a full-time affiliate marketer gave me a reality check, I suppose the last year has been spent acclimatizing to that reality.

I’m still no closer to being able to explain what exactly I do for a living (“Err, I build websites and market products… Ahh, forget it. I’m just a web programmer“), but at least I feel like my business is not about to be swept from underneath me.

One thing I can say for sure, if you’re making those first tentative steps in to affiliate marketing with a very limited budget, it gets easier. It might not feel like the shit is even possible when you’re still turning up negative ROIs, but it does get easier.

It’s amazing how in two whole years of doing what I do, the actual success formula has changed very little. Sure, the traffic sources come and go. The offers are swings and roundabouts. But making profitable campaigns is very easy once you’ve locked down the method in the madness. So much of affiliate marketing is about finding that one sweet spot, and then running with it until it stretches no further.

One of my most successful dating landing pages is something I threw together back in 2009 and have barely changed since. While I’ve learned a lot since then, and keep pushing myself to learn more, you’re never more than one small break away from making it in this industry. One moment of genius, one great idea…and so much can snowball from so very little.

The basic mechanics of affiliate marketing are as simple as they ever were. But moulding everything around it in to a successful business takes a lot more thought, a lot more work and a lot more time. Something tells me two years is just the start.

Recommended This Week:

  • If you’re based in the UK and worried about your affiliate taxes, now is the time to sort them out. Before the new tax year! I highly recommend Crunch for their flat-rate £60/month service. It takes a few days to get setup, but it’s worth it for peace of mind if you don’t already have an accountant – or fancy shafting your old one.

  • If you’re not already registered on PPV Playbook, you are missing a beat sunshine. Easily the BEST place to learn from marketers who are actually making money. It has some awesome case studies. The catch is that you will need to pay some of your hard earned pesos to access it. I swear from the bottom of my black heart, joining is worth every penny

  • If you’re a new reader, please add me to your RSS. Feel free to add Finch to your Facebook. Yes, this is the right link. My real name is not actually Finch. Also follow me on Twitter Love you long time. Thanks for reading.

About the author

Finch
Finch

A 29 year old high school dropout (slash academic failure) who sold his soul to make money from the Internet. This blog follows the successes, fuck-ups and ball gags of my career in affiliate marketing.

16 Comments

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  • Happy Affiliate Marketing Birthday! I can relate to your experience since I started in this business in late 2008, making it a little more than 2 years now.

    It’s always inspiring to read about someone realizing that this industry is not a get-rich-quick game but is a real business.

    Dukeo wishes you plenty of success for this 3rd year!

  • i tell people that i am in advertising but i use the internet to do so. I find this better than “i work from home on my computer building websites in niches and promote business from all over the world using the net”. The latter would probably get me more attention, respect and women but i do not like unnecessary attention

  • Way to go Finch! Your posts are always an inspiration, your one of my favorite bloggers, congrats on the 2 years and great blog. keep it up bro.

  • Many congratulations. Great blog and I wish you even more success. Keep scratching them balls.

  • The idea of the so-called Internet guru has become very popular as of late. If you just follow the Internet Guru, he will lead you to riches…true or untrue? Well, it’s true. But make no mistake…most gurus want to make money from you, not help you achieve online success. The other thing to consider is, are you the type of person who is going to be able to follow somebody? Or, are you the kind of person who can use what you have and form your own way of making money online. I realized pretty early on that, while I wanted to learn things from people, the reality was, I was going to have to find my own way of making money online…a collage of all the ideas I had come to.

    It’s not everybody that can do this…but that’s how my mind worked. Never ever get it into your head that you have to “follow the rules” in order to make money on the web. It simply isn’t true. You can do things your own way and have lots of success. It’s just a matter of wanting it and making it a part of your life in order to find your own way through the Internet marketing maze.

    It is a fact that affiliate marketing is among the simplest and most efficient ways to generate income online. However, you will have to make an effort right until you can generate income from your affiliate business. You must work hard if you want to achieve success and you will also have to apply certain tools in order to earn money.

    1. Commitment: The very first thing you have to do is to commit to yourself that you are serious with your choice, you’re serious with building your own business, serious about taking 100% responsibility with whatever you do. You might think that this sounds ridiculous, but it’ll guide you rightly on your journey. Once you can think, and are responsible like a real business owner, you’ll stand out from people.

    2. Education: The next important part that can make or break your business is your education, or your knowledge about this online business. Most people failed because they did not know exactly what Internet Affiliate Marketing is, how it works, and how they can do things correctly. If you want to see results in the long run, you must arm yourself with enough knowledge. Don’t let something that you don’t know holds you back.

    3. Focus: The laser beam can break through even the thickest plate of metal because it focuses its energy. You can break even everything if you stay focus too. Fact is, people have no advantages over you, everyone starts at the same level, the reason why some have success, some don’t lies in the word “focus”. Focus on what you can do best, on what you know the most, and go with them, you’ll join the 5% group soon.

    4. Taking actions: Isn’t it true that only taking actions can bring you closer to your goals? You can’t achieve results just by sitting there, making a wish! It’s time to put what you’ve learned so far to real actions. I know this is the hardest part, but believe me that when you can do the very first action toward your goals, the next steps will come naturally. Whatever you do, make sure that it guides you to your goals!

    5. Don’t quit: Quitters are losers! In fact, if you’re serious with your online business, having enough knowledge about what you’re doing, and are taking actions persistently, chances are you’ll never quit! Congratulations! Because most people came in fast, but they quit soon as well. If you just stay focus, taking actions, and don’t quit, you’ll be successful. Guaranteed!

    The best way to truly find your fortune is yes, learn from those who have been there. But also learn how to tap into your own inner power, and be your own person. Find your own will and your own direction. Test things out for yourself and see if they work.
    You can also discover the top secrets and methods made by one of the top successful affiliate marketers (George Brown), and learn how to generate big revenues using nothing but free traffic.

    http://tinyurl.com/TheAutoGs
    And you can also contact me on carltonseek@hotmail.com I’ll be more than happy out there to help

    Carlton Seek

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