The Reality Of Affiliate Markeconomics

How lucky are affiliate marketers to be financially independent?

Whichever way you look in the press, percentages of individuals are doomed. 9 percent of the population is unemployed, 95 percent is too stretched to buy a first home, 47 percent is busy looting Asda for a packet of rice. Forgive me for my number crunching cynicism, but why are we so obsessed with percentages?

Since when did the individual view his professional crisis as a colour on a pie chart?

CNN and the BBC can spend hours dissecting every last tribulation of the economy to a fine detail, but ultimately, they can only deal in averages and sweeping states of the nation. We, as individuals, have to take responsibility for rising above the insufferable fate that awaits those who aren’t personally driven to swim against the tide of national averages.

When reading the newspaper fills you with a sweeping sense of dread, maybe it’s time to put down the shit rag, turn a blind eye to the latest headlines and continue with life and business.

There’s only so much scaremongering I can handle on the subjects of unemployment and business growth before it starts to turn really fucking old really fucking fast.

It’s tempting to blame our personal failings on the condition of the state. Tempting, but ultimately beating around the bush in spectacular fashion.

If you are one of the millions who cannot find a job, how about creating one? Or locating where the demand is, and adjusting your skills to match?

If you are one of the millions who cannot pay a debt, how about living within your means? Or finding the willpower to say “No” when faced with materialistic desires that you simply can’t afford but choose to have anyway because you’re a feckless tool.

Recently I’ve seen affiliate marketing as the perfect source of income during times of economic turmoil. It’s flexible, fluid and allows me to speak from a high horse of pro-entrepreneurism that simply isn’t possible for most honest businesses.

I don’t believe it’s mere coincidence that the last recession in 2008 triggered an almighty boom in the notorious “work from home” kits. Your average family was worried about the fragility of employment, and how it would service debt if his and her jobs disappeared overnight.

Fast moving affiliates jumped on that vulnerability and made an absolute killing with home biz kit rebills. They didn’t last forever, thank god, but highlighted how recession, depression or market euphoria doesn’t matter a damn jot to the entrepreneur who can change what he sells at the flick of a switch.

We have the power to move where the money is.

Online entrepreneurs don’t have to spend months in the trenches doing research, lobbying banks for loans or calculating intricate margins to ensure their stock levels are correct. Instead we can react to market trends, create digital products in a matter of weeks and have them available to download with none of the risk of tight margins.

No matter how grave the economy becomes, people will always be buying. Where there is spending, there is the desire to spend knowledgeably. And where there is people asking these questions, there is a shit ton of affiliates queuing up with ebooks that monetize the answers.

Thanks to the rise of the Internet, we know better than most how lucrative it can be to move quickly in to those buying markets.

Our price for this flexibility is the impending sense of business instability, the castle built on sand syndrome. These are shackles that most successful affiliates learn to cast aside, either through diversifying or by removing the word ‘complacency’ from their newspeak.

Even if our domestic economies were to face total annihilation, it’s never been easier to spread the wings and set up shop elsewhere. Is it so hard to advertise to foreign countries? To translate your products in to the native tongue of a more extravagantly spending nation?

Not really, it’s just another challenge we can overcome in days while the brick and mortar business is still occupied in the prison of distribution logistics.

Affiliate marketing clearly has a lot going for it, but with such rapid movement in to new markets, we are also guilty of filling the web with more useless crap than the average surfer could sift through in a lifetime.

This is where I see affiliates biting the dust in future. Our industry has grown so fast and so profitably that we’re going to have to become much more accountable for the information we publish and any claims we make. Dare I say it, we may actually have to start slapping our names to some of this shit.

Our landing pages are typically hidden in subfolders, draped in anonymity with WHOIS protection. We anticipate customers will buy through our links because we treat them like hopeless lemmings, selling them the moon and then shoving them off the cliff face. How long can it last?

Aggressive marketing has always existed. Yet with the freedom affiliates have, there’s never been such a whirlwind of false, bad and misinterpreted information.

We specialise in creating sales, but the actual companies we sell for are becoming more and more disconnected from the selling process. This results in more and more bullshit. More and more customers being shoved off the cliff.

Affiliate marketing, despite the rising costs and legal shitstorms, is still a very lucrative industry. It always will be, by virtue of the fact that it’s an industry composed of all other industries. How can it go out of fashion?

What needs to change is the culture of anonymity and the kamikaze any bold claim will do approach to selling. The sooner affiliates focus on providing genuine quality to the industries they choose to work in, the faster the bad press will disappear and the quicker we can get on with calling ourselves actual businessmen.

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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.

12 Comments

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  • Good article. Many people want luxury but don’t want to work for it. Everybody is complaining but its one of the best times to be alive. Food, medical care and jobs, if you don’t have one you get money for nothing. People are so lazy and entitled… maybe that is why I make money online.

  • I agree with you that people should not try to live beyond their means. Where is a little self control for (insert random swear).

    I still haven’t had (almost) any success in my 10 weeks of IM, but I can see big improvements and that I am heading in the right direction. The points you made about the business, and the fact that I love psychology in practice, rather than theory, drive me to succeed in this area.

    Thanks for the post 🙂

  • This is an awesome article Finch.

    Affiliate marketing, particularly from the CPA side, has a pretty bad reputation in the digital advertising space. Publishers, Networks and Advertisers all need to look at adding quality and value. Both to consumers as well as each other as business partners.

  • […] “The Reality Of Affiliate Markeconomics“ – Did you know that 9% of the population is unemployed? How about that 95% of the population is too stretched to buy a first home? Find out why Finch thinks you should be creating jobs instead of waiting for one to come to you. […]

  • You choose your path, pure and simple. It’s a choice – there’s no need to be the shady rebilling affiliate when you could be putting forward websites that you would be happy to show off to your mother. You can make cash either way but do you want to go for the quick wins by leaping onto the ‘next big thing’ time and again until it burns out, or by building a stable business you are proud to put your name next to? You can still keep the flexibility and freedom of affiliate marketing while creating something sustainable, it just takes a little longer.

  • “What needs to change is the culture of anonymity and the kamikaze any bold claim will do approach to selling.”

    Question is: who does this? FTC?

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