There was an interesting poll up on the STM Forum this week:
What guaranteed monthly salary would you accept to quit affiliate marketing for a job in the corporate world?
Just under 50% of the affiliates who replied said you’d have to pay them at least $500K per year to quit affiliate marketing.
That’s pretty remarkable.
Anybody who works in affiliate marketing knows that there’s no such thing as a fixed income.
To turn down a guaranteed bounty of $500K per year — plus a lifetime free of the aeons of stress-fuelled hair shredding — says a lot about the passion of those who turn to our industry.
Admittedly, yes, the figures are likely inflated by a sense of bravado and outward ‘who-can-grind-the-hardest’.
There’s a funny line that if you ask a man how many women he’s slept with, and then divide his response by three, you’ll be somewhat closer to the real answer.
Perhaps we can say the same for the price on an affiliate marketer’s head.
This poll, if even remotely close to the truth, reveals two stark realities:
1. Your competition is ruthlessly committed.
2. Affiliate marketing is more than just a business. It’s a lifestyle choice.
The Ruthless Competition
If somebody is willing to turn down a guaranteed income of $500K per year, what does that tell you about their affiliate business?
It says, either, “Hi, I’m insanely rich and 500K means nothing to me.”
Or, “I’m completely committed to making this work, to the point where not even half a million dollars is going to sway me.”
Whatever the case, this is your competition.
And that should be a call to arms.
These are the people, the pooled ruthless mindset, that you have to compete with.
Is it any wonder that the industry is so tough for a newcomer to crack?
A Lifestyle Choice
One of the things that struck me while reading the responses to the STM poll was just how many users had already given up six-figure corporate jobs in favour of affiliate marketing.
When you see a poll like this, your first thought is cynical:
“Somebody who already earns his millions in a glass-laden corner office probably isn’t going to be exchanging the view for affiliate marketing anytime soon.”
Except, that wasn’t the case.
I regularly speak to successful pros from all walks; from the finance arena, to the weary battle-hardened in law (the irony), and to unsatisfied executives.
It’s widely accepted that beyond a certain point, your salary ceases to add enjoyment to your life.
Once the basics are covered, and luxuries enjoyed, an extra 100K or 500K is pretty much irrelevant.
Time and burnout become the chief nemesis of happiness. Along with the political games that are so entwined with the corporate world.
And that’s why, for many people, affiliate marketing is not just a career. It’s a symbolic lifestyle choice.
Once you have enough money, you start looking inward at the value of your time.
Want to know the reason why so many affiliates put such high prices on their head?
Because they have something that people stuck in high-paying corporate jobs so desperately want:
- The freedom of time
Once you have it, you don’t want to give it up.
This stubborn defiance to conform, even under the carrot of a fixed 500K salary, is what drives affiliates to be the best damn marketers in the business.
It’s the reason why corporations have to pay extreme money to attract us.
And if you want to carve your own career in affiliate marketing, this needs to be considered.
There simply isn’t room for the half-arsed.
The Price on My Head
Would I accept a fixed salary to quit affiliate marketing?
Are you shitting me?
Yes, of course I bloody would.
In a strange paradox, it’s exactly what I strive to achieve every single day.
But there’s a very big difference between working for any corporation, and working for one built in your own image through your own blood, sweat and beers.
For all the successful affiliates I’ve met, I can count on one hand those who wanted to stay middlemen in this same industry forever.
(And even then, I’m pretty sure half of them were rat-arse plastered at the time.)
We all have escape plans.
Affiliate marketing, the career choice, is 100% expendable in my eyes.
And yet the lifestyle and opportunity it represents comes at a huge price.
Is a 500K salary enough to fund that exchange?
To say there’s a yes or no answer would be to undersell the very Machiavellian nature of our industry.
To illustrate, I put this question to a friend of mine (who happens to be a newbie affiliate) and here’s what he said:
Guess I’d take the job. Hustle for a year. Demand a pay raise. I’d keep tabs on any useful data they had, any interesting connections. Try take on a few juniors to get some solo work done on the side. After 3 years, I’d leave with two Mil in the bank and blow up my own dick boost pills, or whatever’s flying at the time. Maybe Ebola. Fuck, when can I start?
And that, my dear scumbags, is why affiliates are not grown.
We are born rancid.