One Cool Thing About Affiliate Marketing

Last Update: January 23, 2019

There are so many ways to make money. Even in the online world, there's a lot more ways to make money online than just affiliate marketing.

However, I like affiliate marketing the most! Why?

The cool thing about affiliate marketing is that there's no rush to produce results. Unlike starting a restaurant or brick and mortar shop, you don't have to pay thousands of dollars in rent every month.

Unlike ecommerce and Amazon selling, you don't have to invest money into products.

Here are a couple specific situations where the unique business model of affiliate marketing has worked in my favor.

Just Window Shopping!

This section was inspired by a rude message I got from an affiliate manager just last week. I asked this person some questions about their affiliate program, then they told me "no window shoppers allowed", and blocked me.

Um, what? Well, that was a pretty dumb move IMO. Every affiliate is a potential powerhouse to your business, even if it takes time to ramp up sales.

For example, back when I signed up to Wealthy Affiliate in 2010 I created accounts for a bunch of affiliate networks like Shareasale, CJ, Impact, and Flexoffers.

Then for the next 8 years I didn't do anything with them. I didn't really know why I signed up initially. It was just part of the training here in WA. I was busy focusing on other affiliate programs for those years, so just didn't think about doing anything with those accounts.

Now, in 2019, I've got monthly earnings coming in from many of those same networks. I simply signed into my accounts, updated my information, and started promoting. There's nothing wrong with leaving your affiliate accounts dormant for a period of time while you develop your content.

Wait For The Right Time To Take Action

Once affiliate marketing "clicks" for you, you'll start to have tons and tons of ideas. There are hundreds of thousands of potential niche websites you could start! I'm still sitting on a great domain I bought 3 years ago (wirelesssportheadphones (dot) com).

I haven't done anything with it since I bought it, but I know it's a good topic, and when I have the time I'll start building it out. For now, it's on the backburner. The cost of having it on the backburner? $14/year.

No expensive rent. No loans to pay back. No investors to worry about. Just an entire business sitting on the sidelines for a couple bucks a year. You never know when inspiration will hit, or when an opportunity will come along!

You Can Put Projects On Pause

I worked for about 2 years on a side project that was just failing and failing again. It was super frustrating to deal with. Day after day, that can really weigh on you!

So I stepped away for about 3 months. I let the content stew during that time period. I posted nothing, and just checked a few times per week to see how sales and traffic were doing.

After I took that break, I hired a writer, and started publishing again. Now the site is doing much better!

That 3-month break was exactly what I needed to regain some mental space for that project.

I didn't have to delete my site. I didn't have to sell it. Hosting and domain costs were more than covered by the poor affiliate earnings. $359 + $14/ per year is pretty easy to earn with just a few affiliate sales and Adsense clicks per month.

If you have to pause your work for a while, that's fine. Just make sure to get off the couch at some point and start things back up again.

"Just Testing" Is A Great Strategy

One time I spent two weeks testing out a product, writing a review, and then promoted the heck out of that product for the next month. I made exactly zero sales.

Another time I noticed that I had some relevant traffic to an affiliate program, signed up, and instantly started making money in a previously unmonetized section of my site.

Both were "tests". One worked, one didn't. That's kind of the nature of testing things out! The great news is that there were no financial concequences of running a failed promotion. I lost some time, for sure, but it's not like I sunk $5,000 into ordering products from China!

The other test took minimal effort, and ended up working out really well. Because it worked so well, I ended up adding additional content, creating charts, and further optimizing to boost sales. What started as a test, ended up creating reliable monthly income!

Tests can go either way, good or bad, no matter what you're trying out. Take some risks, try some ideas, and see what happens.

Final Thoughts

Affiliate marketing is a great biz to be in. Mistakes are cheap, anything can be fixed later, and there's plenty of time to learn as you build.

As you build our your affiliate sites, if you have to test, pause, and restart along the way, you'll be totally fine. Enjoy 2019 everyone.

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virgie60 Premium
Thank you so very, very for sharing that experience. I feel rushed all the time and beat myself up if I think I am behind. Learning used to be easy for me but now my goal to sustain myself and aged mother makes me anxious.

I am slowing myself down to alleviate this tension and fully grasp this new skill.
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Jadatherapy Premium
Thank you for confirming what I was thinking.

Thank you so much because I have an idea for a niche and have been planning on paper and thinking if I should start it now or later. But I am thinking that I will start it asap because as you mentioned.

What do I have to lose but a little time BUT I have much more that I can gain. YAY.

Here's to making it happen in 2019

All the best
Jennifer
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CandP Premium
Loved your post here, Nathaniell!
As you say, mistakes are cheap so just keep on with what we do and you just never know what might resurrect!
We love your website and your style of writing and you are one of our greatest inspirations.
We have had brick and mortar businesses in the past and they sure cost us a lot more than our online biz costs. Try new ideas and let some simmer.
You rock!
C & P
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nathaniell Premium
As a brick and mortar business owner, you definitely know how expensive things can be!
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LKick Premium
Great insight. Thanks. I tried affiliate marketing back in 2000 and went no where and spent a huge amount of money trying to find the customers, buying lists, etc. Wow.

Here at WA I have everything and everybody working with me! I appreciate everything you have said. Love the attitude also. Gonna make it work this time round too.
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nathaniell Premium
Sounds like this time around you’re focusing on quality work instead of just buying gear. Sounds like a recipe for success!!
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MaryFRM Premium
Great positive way of thinking!

One question:
I remember reading somewhere that the portals like CJ and ShareAsale can close your account if you don't make any sales for some time (maybe a year).
And if you had some money under the min payment there, it can be lost.
Did you ever hear something like this?
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nathaniell Premium
They can, and Amazon’s 90 day rule is a good example. However, it never happened to me!

If they do, you can always restart. They won’t ban you!
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RD40 Premium
I definitely agree with the cost of getting into affiliate marketing. I know for anyone just starting out, the $359 for the entire year may seem like a lot, but once you start making money, you learn quickly that it's not that much at all. The opportunities with this business is amazing! Thanks for sharing Nathaniell.
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nathaniell Premium
Exactly. If you’re used to $9 PDFs, then $359 seems like a lot, but in reality, it’s a $1 per day to run your entire business. That’s cheap!!
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MikaelM Premium
Great points Nathaniell,

I find it funny how some affiliate managers/networks only want to deal with the big fish - we all start somewhere. So very strange from the guy you are telling about and a silly move.

I have had networks that were very kind and open from the beginning. The first many months I did not make any sales for them - now I am making every day and have loyalty as we have a good cooperation and there was respect from the beginning.

I have on the other hand also experienced networks that could not be bothered to work with me because I was too small in the beginning - that is, as you say, a dumb move.

Someone that is a small affiliate today can be selling for thousands of dollars in a few years and those sales will go to the networks that treated them right from the beginner.
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nathaniell Premium
Super weird. They guy didn’t even ask about my experience. Just blocked me like I was trying to scam him or something.

I’d rather work with good people and companies though, so it worked out well for me anyway. Sounds like you’re working with some good people too!!
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JasonJF Premium
I like Affiliate marketing the most as well Nathaniel.

All you need is little to no investment for education, a computer with an internet connection, and some time on your hands.

The potential for earning millions of dollars can be achieved doing this lucrative business model.

Thank you for sharing your insights.
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nathaniell Premium
It’s crazy that you can earn millions (or at least 6 figures) as a one-person business.
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Roybretton Premium
Thank you, Nathanial, for another great blog post, a very interesting one too!

It is amazingly easy to start an online business, I don't think there are many businesses that have such a small start-up cost, which is one of the great things about affiliate marketing, no products or stock required!

I remember when I first started I signed up to many affiliate programs, however, I haven't used all of them. I've also found sometimes when I'm looking at affiliate programs that I discover that I have a few sales in the program that I haven't used lately.

Thanks again for an excellent blog post Nathanial, I wish you a great 2019.

Roy
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nathaniell Premium
That's pretty good that you have sales you forgot about! I've discovered that from time to time. It's certainly not a sustainable business model, but it is fun LOL.
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Roybretton Premium
Thank you for your reply, Nathaniel, I have to say that in general, these are pretty small amounts, however, I have had a few surprises! I hear you, it's certainly not a sustainable business model, but quite good fun when it happens!

Have a great day.

Roy
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ownonlboss Premium
Guess you could say I have put things on pause at the moment. I do notice a fall in sales because of it, but that is understandable when losing ranks.

Once on that sofa its sometimes hard to get off it ;) doesn't mean I was entirely sitting still, took the time to study more and learn and form ideas for how to go on and with what.

Steven
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nathaniell Premium
It can be very hard to get back in the habit of stuff, which is why I try to build good habits, then take breaks. It's a different story when you have bad habits and want to jump into being productive from time to time!
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Swangirl Premium
I agree!!!!! I love the flexibility to build up our sites over time and we can spend as much or as little time on them as we want/need.

Where else can you start a business and work if fits and starts if you need to without having overhead to pay? Unlike a physical business, an online business will always have the whole world as a potential customer base.
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nathaniell Premium
Yes, the flexibility is awesome. You an add or remove stuff from your website in less than a day, and that would take much more planning in the Brick & Mortar world :)
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djgundah Premium
I can say thank you a lot Nathaniell, your post is enjoyable reading content ,every explanation gives inspiration on me .Doing things your way kills the passion with-in you and the next big problem you quit.

Most of us are not willing to take the risk to make it happen,we try to do all the tasks individually which is totally incorrect for the growth of online business.learn to share what you are doing to get the best results ever.

Break is a good mentor on its on ,best time for you to shape your business ideas.If you are not taking break on your business be ready to fail the whole process.

I take note on hiring someone to do the job you are not willing to be in or because of tons of task sitting on front of you .Hiring someone is such a great business achievement.

I like this quote [You Can Put Projects On Pause]

You don't need to push the process but be the one who dedicates him/herself to learn the right process and apply the best branding strategies in your business.

Have a good day
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nathaniell Premium
Sometimes I find that a project is just not right for the time. I've started things, failed, then restarted later and they worked perfectly the next time. It could be that I just wasn't ready to commit the first time around, or maybe didn't have the skills, or whatever might have been "wrong".

You can always try it again!
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agychin Premium
Thanks so much, Nathaniel for the sound advice. I do have a website which have been 'resting' for a lapse of time as I do not have the ideas and inspirations to create any content. However, I know I will come back to this website soon to continue on.

Besides,I recently have a passion to write contents on a new niche. Would like to seek your opinion whether is it advisable to create a new website with a new domain even tough I have a website which is still pending?

Appreciate your advice on this.

Cheers,
Agnes
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nathaniell Premium
My advice is to work on just one website at a time, maybe two websites if you outsource stuff. To really build out an authority site, especially as a newbie, is time consuming. Build a super strong foundation to one business, then you can branch out.
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agychin Premium
Thanks for the great advice with much appreciation. I understood very well what is the next appropriate steps to be taken.

Cheers,
Agnes
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SondraM Premium
Well said Nathaniel. I can not count how many times that I have come across one of your blog posts while researching some affiliate marketing idea that I have come up with. I think you must have a blog post for almost every website topic idea that I've come up with lol

There are a ton of affiliate programs out there. The ones that will accept you and be patient while you ramp up your site have the highest probability of being discovered and used by newbie affiliate marketers. Yet, if they reject people outright, like the guy treated you, they are potentially losing in the long run.

It is not like it cost them money to have your information in their database. lol Just as it does not cost us anything, for all practical purposes to sit on a website idea for a while.

Granted....I'm aggravated because I got my first affiliate rejection letter today because my website does not have enough content. What they do not realize is that I was also on the verge of purchasing their program for my brick and mortar business. Too bad for them....
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nathaniell Premium
Exactly - it doesn't cost them to have you in the database. I get it - some companies want tighter control of affiliates to prevent spam, but clearly this guy was a jerk because we didn't even finish our conversation and he blocked me LOL. Who does that?

Yeah - if you got rejected too. Just move on. There's plenty of other companies to promote that will be a better fit for you. You an always come back to that company later on when you have more traffic!
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Vickic3 Premium
Great post as always, Nathaniell and so good to know we can take a break sometimes :)
Cheers
Vicki
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nathaniell Premium
Glad you liked it Vicki!
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Cav1966 Premium
Aaww how i can relate to a few of those same scenarios. I have my first site stewing at the moment but am fine with that as i know i will return to it...my mmo site is getting a remake of sorts as i am streamlining it differently than it was 3 months ago ..and as a result starting to see mkre traffic. Also i just started to sit on a new dot com name knowing it will come into play at a later date but at least the rent is cheap thanks to WA
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nathaniell Premium
Yup - as long as you return to it, you'll be fine! There's plenty of projects I just stick in the graveyard as well, but some are worth keeping on the back burner and just returning to later :)

Rent is cheap!
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MiaL Premium
Thanks Nathaniel. I always appreciate your voice of experience.
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nathaniell Premium
Hope it helps Melissa!
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lynnsam61 Premium
This is very timely since I’ve been realizing that I need to re-think and potentially pivot from my current trajectory. I’m about to launch a Fragrance which actually will tie in nicely with my perfume blog.

Erica
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nathaniell Premium
Pivoting is cool too! I've tweaked many websites to change directions as I discovered what's working and what isn't.
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FKelso Premium
I've actually thought about that very thing...not making many sales yet, but I have time to figure out all the ins and outs. That's a good thing.
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nathaniell Premium
More work gets faster results, but slow-pokes like us also do fine. Do what you have time for, and you'll get results accordingly!
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wmac Premium
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas. I will keep this mind.
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nathaniell Premium
No problem man. Thanks for reading!
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SamiWilliams Premium
This is a good reminder of why we have such a good deal here at WA! One size does not fit all, nor does one method work for everyone! All at the same time!
We all have our own path to where we are going.
Thanks Nathaniell!
Sami
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nathaniell Premium
Absolutely! And there's plenty of time to figure out that path. I've made so many changes to my website and business over the past 9 years, I couldn't list them all.

I change, tweak, alter, edit, and move stuff all the time. Those changes are super easy with affiliate marketing.

Can you imagine how much it would cost to redecorate or rename a brick and mortar business? Wow! With a WordPress website, it can be done in less than an hour, for free.
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beachwood Premium
Couldn't agree with you more Nathaniel! I too sat on my Sharasale & CJ account not quite sure what to do with them because of the niche I was in but now they are coming in quite handy. I as well have some nice domains "simmering" just waiting for me to make a move and that is exactly what is so cool about affiliate marketing, we can absolutely "kick tires" along the way and there is nothing wrong with that and yeah, I agree, that affiliate manager made a big mistake LOL! Great post!

Chris...TheHomeBizWizz
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nathaniell Premium
Nothing wrong with kicking tires Chris. Love it!
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