Feeling Discouraged and Unsure. Would Love Some Feedback.

Last Update: September 28, 2016

Yeah, so... I'm feeling more like writing a blog today instead of working on my next post. And I've been feeling that more often lately... like I'd rather do something different... like reading about affiliate marketing than working on it. That's probably not a great sign, is it? Shouldn't I be all gung ho about building out my site, keyword by long-tailed keyword?

Sigh. I sooo want to make this work. Which is why I'm reaching out here and seeing if someone reading this has some words of encouragement or feedback or personal stories for me that will help me get back on track.

A bit of background on where I'm at.

I joined WA on August 17, 2016, so 6 weeks ago today. My site is www.kidslovedressup.com.

I'm happy with how it looks, and I've been steadily completing 3 new posts per week now since I finished the Certification Courses a few weeks back. I have currently 22 posts and 5 pages, the majority of which have at least few comments on here from the lovely WA community.

Zero organic traffic. Zero sales.

Some of my big concerns at this point are:

One: Did I pick the wrong kind of niche for this??? This is my biggest fear. I fear that a blog-style / article-style site on kids dress up stuff just won't get much traffic, or when they see that it's not a store where they can dig through hundreds of items, they'll leave right away for another one, and not through my site. Wouldn't people just go straight to the Amazon search result when they want to buy dress up stuff? That's what I would do!

Two: I'm scared that I may be building too many affiliate links on each post... and that Google will bury the posts regardless of the work I've been putting in. Problem is, I'm not sure how to write 500-1000 (1000+ preferably) word articles on simple stuff like a particular Frozen dress up set that people will actually want to read! So, I've tended to do more "Here are 10 top-rated Frozen costumes"... with 10 pictures/descriptions/blurbs... and each having 2 ways to link to it (the title and a "CLICK HERE" thing). Is that too much? Will Google think it's just a spam site? I just don't know! And as I'm only 6 weeks in, there's no way of knowing yet, as my site is too new for ranking!! Am I sabotaging MYSELF with how I'm doing this??

And then 3rd... I feel like I'm wasting so much time hunting down items to promote on Amazon or other affiliate merchant pages... not sure how to get around this, but it's frustrating, to say the least. I only want to promote items with both high reviews and LOTS of reviews, especially as I haven't purchased them myself. But they can be so time-consuming to dig through as Amazon has zillions of items!!

OK, there's a fourth. I'm scared that I'm wasting my time and also my husband's and my resources... and that I should be working more towards finding a "real job" then spending $ each month on this. He's been supportive of this and understands the potential, but I think he isn't quite a believer that a site of articles/reviews of dress up stuff will work. I wish I could be sure that I could turn a profit on this within 6 months time. I know and accept that it takes time... that affiliate marketing is not an overnight money thing... but it's hard to work every single night and every single kids-nap-time for 6 weeks on something that hasn't made a cent yet... and probably will have to continue doing that for at least 6 more before I see even one sale, realistically.

Anyhow, WA friends, THAT'S where I'm at mentally right now. In front of a bit of a wall...

If you've made it to the end of my long blog post here, thank you for reading. This community is amazing.

I'd really (really) appreciate some encouragement or feedback or generally any thoughts you'd have on my struggles... thank you!



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Capu1 Premium
Hi Marlaine,
You have received different suggestions from our experienced colleagues. Just analyze each idea and choose the one/ones that
you feel comfortable with.
I can understand how frustrated you may feel and if you consider that going back to work for a business or institution, PT or FT, would be helpful in your current situation, then go ahead but do not give up your dream to achieve success in Internet Marketing. You have worked hard to get where you are.
Many of us have a regular scheduled job and put few hours each day with WA.

With my best wishes for your success.
MarlaineB Premium
Thanks Lisa! :)
Sloki Premium
Hi Marlaine isn`t it part of the job to be fearful and afraid ? The accepted view on "Negativity" is that it is the default state and if you don't reject it or ply your mind with positive uplifting thoughts then it takes over and becomes your truth. The only way you can fail is if you quit. Once you are up and running and making a good living you will probably wonder how the term real job even entered your head. It`s in the training somewhere, that if it was that easy, then everyone would be doing it and making big money but life`s not like that is it? Take a look at Les Brown on YouTube and especially his life story, he tells it pretty often. Les Brown made it against all the odds and so can you. If you think you can or you think you can`t your right both times. Have faith Marlaine and keep smiling, you can do it.
MarlaineB Premium
Thank you for the encouragement!! I think you're right... someday when I get this working I'll be SOOO glad I kept it up - it will fit so well with my husband's and my goal that I be at home for the kids when they are young.
Notice my positive statements. When. It Will. ;)
ToveL Premium
Hi, Marlaine

I caught your post and wanted to write some encouraging words to you.
I have been here in WA for about five months now and haven't earned so much as a cent. I have felt like you many times on the road.
I think you've had a really hard and tough day, and that's the most difficult days for all of us. It's those days that gets to us. And it's also those days that it's most important not to lose faith.

So I will just tell you not to give up. I think you have a niche that will pay off in the future. If you really like it be faithful to it and don't ever give up. If you give up, you will never know how good it can be once.

You can make it. You also know what to do when you have tough days. You write a post about it and share your troubled thoughts. That's really brave of you and when you can do that you can accomplish anything.

Keep ut the good work.
I believe in you.

MarlaineB Premium
Thank you, Tove. I very much appreciate your taking the time to encourage me!
Yes, it has been a busy, challenging week with my kiddos - my youngest has been working on molars and is not himself at all... it's getting to me too. You're probably right that it has affected my mentality a bit. Good to remember that tomorrow is another day!
Good for you for keeping it up for 5 months... thank you for sharing your struggle. Sending encouragement your way too! (I'm scared of how I'd be if I get to that though.)
Again, thanks, Tove!
ToveL Premium
Thanks, Marlaine.

You are a good person that deserves anything good in life. I hope your son is better now and give you some peace.

I will never give up on my website. It can take as long as it will. I admire you raising a family and building a website at the same time. You're strong and will get the hang of it. Just don't give up. That's just the only thing you can't do. Sorry to say this but if you're in for the long run that's how things will be.

You have all the resources you need here and inside you.
If you find out that you don't want to do this after all that will be a completely different thing. You stop and you do something else. But if you have a deep desire to succeed building a website then you're in for the long run. I am cheering for you!

If you ever need any encouragement just send me a pm and I will be there for you.

primerose Premium
Hi, Marlaine. I know the feeling and my website is over 1-year-old. In my case I do have decent traffic I think(over 5000 page views per month) but not many sales. I think my niche is more competitive than others and it will take a longer time to actually have some kind of regular income.

That's why decided to launch a new site that is more evergreen. Different audience, a different approach and more experience on my side.

I really like what CatBerg says. I'd actually look up these ideas for keywords and write some articles.

Another advice. Because your site is more visual try Pinterest. It can be really good for traffic. Have a look at http://www.melyssagriffin.com/pinterest-strategies she has great ideas and also a fb group where you can share your ideas and ask questions about blogging in general.

I hope that helps.I myself am in a situation that I have to make it work, there is no other option, so I keep pushing.

All the best :) Kasia
MarlaineB Premium
Thank you so much for taking the time to write, Kasia! I appreciate your advice. I think you're right that Pinterest would make a lot of sense for me. I've been a bit scared of social media so far as I've not wanted to use my own personal relationships/platforms at all for this (I'd rather not tell people about my site until it's actually doing something), but I guess it's time to jump in, one way or another!
I'll check out the link. Thanks again!
DaveSw Premium
Hi, Marlaine...

Affiliate marketing is a long term business, in that what you have done to now and what you will do takes time until you realize results, as in traffic and sales...

This is especially true if you are focusing strictly on organic traffic, as it sounds like...This method DOES work, so please do not get me wrong...

It just takes time and more and more content that is published with SEO in mind...

If you wanted to speed things up, my recommendation is to continue to do the organic front end work you are doing, but also consider looking at some paid traffic...

There is some training here that will guide you, and more you can find by doing a search. Depending on how deeply you want to drill down, there are groups, sites, etc. that go WAY deep on paid ads...

Since you mention budget being an issue, I would go forward very carefully if you decide to pay for targeted traffic. There are all kinds of people telling you this or that, but for me, Bing or FB are the way to go...

I do not know what your niche is in detail, but I think I may have made a comment or two from your description of the website with the comment tool we have here...I would assume that you know that there is a market for that niche...

I would also look to see what the competition is doing with their websites...What kind of content are they publishing, what kind of ads are they using, do they have a bridge or landing page, etc.

The last bit of advice above is useful whether or not you are using paid ads by the way....

Lastly, let me tell you a short story...

I used to run marathons...There was this storied "wall" that most said you had to beat, and it could come at KM 10, 20, 30, or even 40!

I experienced that fabled "wall" for real with my very first marathon...

That was in 1987, in Berlin, and shortly before the Berlin Wall came down and everything changed in Germany...Another story (or more stories to be exact), so now you know the setting...

I will never forget that moment - it came at KM 41 of all points in the run for Pete's sake!

When that happened to me it came down to willpower...EVERYTHING was telling me to quit, no matter how close I was to the end...My feet, my legs, my head, my heart...EVERYTHING...

What saved me? The tenacity to stick it out and finish, no matter the pain, no matter how much the voices in my head said: "Quit..."

I did keep going, I did finish, and it is something I will never forget...In hindsight, it was a watershed experience for me...There have been more, before and after, but this moment taught me that perseverance pays off...

Affiliate marketing or online marketing business in general is the same, except a LOT less painful...

Keep at it, do not give up, no matter what those voices in your head may be saying...You CAN do it!

Dave : )

PS: Three more points...

(1) The other "little thing" that may have helped at the "wall" was the beer table with free beer in plastic cups to the side of the street we were running down - I drank 2 of them and then moved out.... ; )

(2) It was not long before I saw Kufursterdam ahead of me, and the finish line!

(3) Last, last, last point...You may have to take a side road once in a while, but when you do, make sure it is still moving you forward to the finish line!

: )
MarlaineB Premium
Thank you so much for your response, Dave! And congrats on finishing the Marathon! I am seriously in awe of anyone who can finish a marathon. (I won't ever be attempting one... due to a bad back, not will-power. ;) )
Thank you for the suggestion to really study my competition. From what I've done with that so far, most dress up item stuff is basically for sale on big store-front pages or on Halloween sites. There aren't many "blog style" ones in my niche that I've found. Hmmm.
Again, I appreciate your taking the time to write. Have a good day!
CatBerg Premium
I like your site. I shared it on Twitter and G+.
My suggestion is to write a few posts without affiliate links, more like information.
For example:
Why it's healthy for kids to dress up and play pretend.
Not all girls wants to be Disney princesses.
Why boys like to wear princess dresses and why that's ok.

You can even branch out to themed birthday parties, maybe even on a budget?
And with Halloween and Christmas coming up there will be endless opportunities!

Take a few deep breaths, smell a few flowers, have a cup of tea and get stuck in again. :)
MarlaineB Premium
Thank you CatBerg! These are great ideas! I did start my site with several posts with no affiliate links (the first 2 levels of training), but yeah, since then, it's been "promote this, promote that". Good idea to go back to some information-based pages.

I appreciate you sharing my site! And again, thanks for the encouragement! Have a good day!
AngelaHall Premium
I invite you to read my 2 year anniversary post I didn't make any money for about 9 months. It is true what they say - results vary.

1) When choosing a niche you want to have something you are interested in so if kids dressup interests you then keep going.
But even more than that you also want a niche that people are searching for and there is money being spent.

I went to the Google keyword planner:
Kids dress up is getting searched in the US alone over 1000 times a month.
The competition is high (which is good!)
Super hero costumes is searched over 10K times a month!

2) 3 or 4 affiliate links per post is plenty (unless you're doing a top 5 or top 10 of something). Internal links are great as well.
Don't get stuck on a certain number of words. This is only going to stop you from writing. You should have a minimum of about 400 but of course more is better. The more will come as you get more practice.
If you're having trouble writing about a product then tell a story. Has your child worn that particular costume? When and what for? Do you have a funny story about when they wore it?

3) Don't limit yourself to an Amazon search. Search in Google. Amazon links will show up in the results anyway. :) Search for other affiliates as well if you want.

4) That's a tough one and unfortunately one you have to overcome yourself - just as I did. I had to make the decision that this was what I was going to do and then just push on.

You will get loads of advice and tips from many members here and most of it will be good. BUT you also have to keep in mind that they are advising based on their own experience which may not always work for you.

What I mean by that is when people give you advice about how much to write, how often to write, how your website should look, etc.

And here's my own bit of advice based on 'my own' experience lol.

Before you write another post - decide who your customer avatar is. Here's a great article about that:

Know who you're writing to - and be very specific.

Feel free to PM me any time. I won't be available after today until the 3rd of October though lol. (I'll be in London attending the 'London Lunch' and then flying home to the US)
ToveL Premium
Thanks, Angela. I needed to hear this information too. I have been here in WA for about 5 months now and hadn't earn anything yet. So your story made me more relax and calmer.
I have 15 subscribers though and are happy for that.

It sounds like you are living the life of your dream. Flying to London back and forth attending a lunch.
I want that too lol.

Thanks for your post. I read it and found it fascinating, motivating and inspiring.

From Norway
AngelaHall Premium
Thank you Tove :) It really is a journey and not a race. You learn along the way.
I remember when I had 15 subscribers :) It makes you feel good. Your list will start to grow and then you feel anxious about are you emailing too much or too little lol.

I do feel like I'm living my dream and I hope I never wake up!

I just take one day at a time. When I set my goals, I don't set monetary goals. I decide on what I want to achieve each year and then do whatever it takes to make it happen.

Keep pushing forward and never let anyone decide your life for you. :)
ToveL Premium
I got curious when you said you didn't set monetary goals. What goals are you setting each year? Just asking for maybe I can learn something valuable here.

AngelaHall Premium
Well for example, this year I made 3 goals:

1) Get my passport
2) but plane ticket to UK
3) get divorced

I've achieved the first 2 and will take care of #3 when I get home.

Of course all 3 take money. However, I find it a better way to focus on things I want to achieve.

I find it a better motivator. :)
ToveL Premium
First, congrats on achieving your first goal.
Second, thanks to a million for this advice. It was quite helpful and I will start using it.

Third, I hope you achieve the last one too.
Thumbs up for you and your future.

AngelaHall Premium
My pleasure :)

and I will achieve my last goal. We've been separated for 4 years so , yeah, it's time lol.

Good luck to you as well. And feel free to message me any time after the 3rd ;)
MarlaineB Premium
Angela, thank you so much for reading my long post and writing such a detailed, helpful, and encouraging response!
Dream It, Believe It, Achieve It. I think I'll need to write that one down somewhere. Congrats on making it full time! :)
Enjoy your travels, and thanks for your willingness to help.
AngelaHall Premium
Writing it down is definitely a good idea. When I make my goals for the year, I write them on a piece of paper and stick it on my wall by my computer so I look at it every day. :)
jkryscynski Premium
Hello Marlaine,
Reading your blog was like reading my own thoughts on a daily basis. I am sure many others feel the same way. More often than not, most start this process when they are unemployed or tired of looking for a "real job." This timing doesn't exactly help.

For what it's worth, here's my thoughts. I

I too have the same exact thoughts (as I said above) on a daily basis. I have been at it now for almost two months and patience isn't exactly one of my best virtues. Here's what I plan to do as soon as I can. Go yearly. Once I have the means to that's exactly my plan. I feel that when paying monthly, it tends to stress on you just a bit more. We both know it takes time, as we have read over and over again. I think paying yearly will relieve the stress of having to have it now.

Think of it this way. In order to make it, most new business owners are working 12-16 hours a day if not more, 7 days a week for at least the first year of inception. All along, they started their business to afford the ability to work less and make more. Go figure.

Stay the course. Research additional niches. Don't necessarily look for the gold mine idea, rather the idea you feel you can benefit readers with the most. I, myself have similar thoughts as you on my initial selected niche. I will continue to build it out, however, I search daily on finding something new and more narrowed down than my current one.

And BTW, additional reading and research on affiliate marketing is a good thing. I do it daily as well, once my website work and training here is complete. There's a reason why the get rich quick scams are exactly that, scams. They're scams because it doesn't happen overnight.

I look forward to hearing your success in the future.

MarlaineB Premium
Jason, thank you. I'm so glad to hear that I'm not alone in my feelings of discouragement and frustration. This WA community is amazing...

I find the idea of adding new websites a bit daunting until my first one is "a success". By success, I mean, making enough to pay for WA each month. ;) But, very good point about going yearly! That might relieve some stress, yes!

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post and write. Much appreciated, and I wish you all the best in your own journey!
ASchwartz Premium
Hello Marlaine, I had a chance to view your site, may I say beautiful...do not lose Hope, sometimes good things and hard work are worth the rewards. I never thought I would be doing this, having a website (givehope4theaddicted.org), but here I am like you. I have faith in God He will provide, keep strong and do not loose faith.
MarlaineB Premium
Thank you, April! I also believe that God provides... He has my whole life long! :)

I'm glad you liked my site, thanks for looking at it. I also enjoyed yours... such a beautiful and hope-filled text as your sub-header. Addiction is a difficult topic, but so, so important. There are such dark things that happen in life... may your site bring Hope and the Light of God to those who it reaches.

Do you do this full time? How long did it take for your site to "take off"?
ASchwartz Premium
Thank you, and I like you am a recent WA member, still working on content and I have an interview this Friday with a network that deals specifically with treatment centers. I hope to have this network partner with my website, if possible, that would mean opportunity for revenue. I will be praying for this opportunity, and I will keep you in our prayers that the Lord would pour His blessings upon you!

MarlaineB Premium
Thank you, and all the best at your interview! :)
Brendie Premium
I had a similar question about how many links to have on a post. Some will say no more than three. Others say one per page, possibly two.
Every niche site/blog takes time. I've heard it takes up to three years to make a full time income but then you hear about some that make withn 6 months. The point is to keep plugging away at it.
Give it a few more months. You never know!
As far as writing a blog/post here at WA or reading the posts from other members I understand. Quite a few are very interesting. But, perhaps, the reason you are feeling like writing posts for here may have to do with, dare I say it? Instant gratification and the need to feel vindicated in your work. We get responses quicker here than on our new sites. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Really!
Perhaps it's the way your mind is telling you to write a different type of post (kind of like a quick break) and then it will be ready to go back to work on the site.
Sorry for this comment being so long.
MarlaineB Premium
I appreciate the response and your thoughts, Brendie! Thank you!
If "no more than three" links, I sure am in trouble. :(

I do fully intend to keep plugging away at it. I have been for 6 weeks now, and am fully aware that even getting that first sale will take time... but you're right that we all want to see some sort of results - it's human nature, isn't it!? And yes, I do believe you may have nailed the real reason why I blogged today... good call! I hadn't thought of it that way. :) Maybe it'll help with getting back to it tonight!
Brendie Premium
I'm glad I could help!
Sometimes we just need to step back and look at things from another perspective. Or get someone else's view or opinion.
It is definitely human nature! Nothing wrong with that!
Good luck with your work tonight!
MarlaineB Premium
Again, thank you.
Brendie Premium
I need to work on my Pages! Back to work! lol
onmyownterms Premium
Product sites take much longer to take off than info sites do, it's just part of the game. What you say is true about going straight to Amazon, most people do. What about trying to find niche botique clothing affiliates... where you're not competing against a million other Amazon affiliates. Google 'kids clothes + affiliate programs' to see if you can come up with more places to earn from.
MarlaineB Premium
Oh dear... product sites take even longer?? That's not good. :( Sigh. So how long should I realistically be thinking then? Not 3 months, but 6, 12 even before ranking?
I do have good keywords, by the way. All with QSR under 100 so far. Maybe that will help.
I'll look into specialty stuff though, like you suggest. Thanks for commenting!
onmyownterms Premium
You're welcome. Ranking is immaterial, what you want is traffic. Start pushing social media, paid advertising, get eyeballs on your site. SEO is one of the most difficult (albeit free) ways to get traffic.