What to do what to do… Suddenly the affiliate network you loved for many years owes you thousands of dollars, has nearly ceased bringing on new offers, and your affiliate manager completely ignores your emails, phone calls, and text messages. If you’ve been involved in the performance marketing industry online and have ran any amount of volume over the last year it’s very likely you have a story such as this. Is the sky falling? What should you do in 2012?
The performance marketing industry online is not dying and is still very much alive and growing. What is dying is the poorly managed affiliate networks that let greed takeover and ignored simple economics. I get it… That re-bill money was so easy. It only made sense to pay affiliates weekly hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep their volume coming. It only made sense to allow the use of non-compliant pages to boost conversion rates an extra percent. Who doesn’t want to make seven figures a month? While in business school we studied a lot about risk vs. reward. When greed took over many companies simply threw this out the window; “Forget the risk let’s just focus on the reward…”
Last January at Affiliate Summit West Ruck and I spoke with many affiliates who came to us asking “what the hell” they should do because it was no longer as simple as ripping a landing page, throwing some traffic at it, inserting an affiliate link, and collecting thousands of dollars daily. What we told them and what we still say to this day is it’s time to “start thinking like a marketer.” This was the reason for launching IMGrind. We wanted to show affiliates, marketers, advertisers, etc. that there are many ways to make money online.
Affiliate marketing has always been around in some form or another. Companies are always going to pay out commissions for promoting their products and services. Also there are still a lot of very good affiliate networks out there. I particularly find it amusing that some of the most successful ones are ran by 20-year-olds that have a “nack” for business.
If you’re a member of our Community or have read our blog since we started in June you know how high up we are on the whole lead generation arbitrage concept. This gives you much more control over your business. You’re able to collect leads, monetize them with both affiliate offers and your own offers. This way all of your eggs are never in one basket. With your own lead gen offer you’re able to generate traffic multiple ways and aren’t limited to one or two sources. It’s a win-win situation. While it does take a bit to get your conversion funnel down, slow and steady wins the race. Look at it this way… If you have 10 lead gen funnels each generating $200 a day that’s $2,000 a day profit all coming from multiple sites. That’s a yearly salary of $730,000 – more than most doctors, lawyers, or other profession.
As we prepare to enter 2012 make sure you’re working with affiliate networks that have their shit together and ones that are diversified. Ones that are ran by affiliates understand the cash flow situation and many have properly evaluated the whole risk vs. reward scenario. Things in this industry have certainly changed over the last twelve months but change is not a bad thing. Adapt, develop, and progress and make 2012 your best year ever!
Ryan Gray is the founder and CEO of NameHero, one of the fastest growing independent web hosts in the United States. Ryan has been working online since 1998 and has over two-decades experience in Internet Entrepreneurship.