Figuring Out When It’s Time To Let Go
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Jan 9, 2017
That’s an ominous title, so let me first say that I’m not ending this blog, not leaving my relationship, and nothing else bad has happened to me. Not that any new readers will care, but some of the consistent readers might be wondering what I’m talking about; all is good with me. 🙂
What’s not good is one of my websites, one that I’ve had since 2006. It’s called Services and Stuff, and I’m not going to link to it. The reason I’m not going to link to it is because when it expires in March I’m not going to renew it, and I’d rather not have to try to remember to remove the link from this particular article, especially since I have to try to remember to go back and remove it from any other articles I’ve added those links to over the years.
When I created that site, it was my intention to create kind of a portal site where businesses could add their links to and I could make money off it via affiliate marketing. The two images above represented “services” and “stuff”, since I hadn’t fully defined what “stuff” was going to be back then. It turns out that over the years I never fully defined what stuff was, so it turned into anything that wasn’t services.
The difference between my portal and all those directories you see everywhere else is that I was personally reviewing each site, which means people couldn’t just add their wacky sites to it. If a site didn’t fit my own quality standards, then it didn’t get listed. I also indicated that to anyone who visited the site, hoping that they’d see what a difference it was from other sites purporting to do the same thing.
I changed the initial look pretty quickly, within a couple of months actually, and what you see is what it looked like after the change. It was a lot cleaner than my original main page, which was more of a splash page without any real content on it. I thought I was on my way to making at least a few hundred dollars a day. Who doesn’t dream big?
Within a year I had added a lot more affiliate links and way more categories of both services and stuff. Yet I wasn’t making all that much money, and almost all of it was through Google Adsense, which isn’t always the best option because when people click on those ads they leave your site. Still, I was averaging maybe $2 a month; that’ll buy you a candy bar but not much else.
Over the next few years I’d keep adding pages and subtracting pages and adding links and removing links. When I wrote about leaving Commission Junction back in October, I was griping about not making a lot of money through its affiliate program. What I didn’t mention is that it and other programs of the past (like the Google Affiliate Network) kept adding and removing affiliates, sometimes totally shutting down, and most of the time they wouldn’t tell you they’d done it. Not only was that hard to keep up with but sometimes a link I’d added for one of those affiliate programs would expire, and they didn’t tell you that either. It was a lot of work for little money; sigh…
I knew problems were there long ago. Heck, my 2011 goals even mentioned that I was thinking about changing it to some kind of online store because my original idea wasn’t working that well. It took me 4 years to give that a shot, when I created a page of all the books I’d been recommending over the years on all my blogs and other books I liked. That all came crashing down with the B&N fiasco that I hadn’t realized occurred months earlier; now the only page I still have on there is my Fitbit page, which I’m not linking to yet because I’m going to move it elsewhere, possibly linking it directly to IJS… which means I have to change how it looks, which probably isn’t a bad idea. Luckily I went the route of not using CJ for any of those products; whew!
The last time I renewed the site was in 2014, and I did so because I was out of town consulting and I didn’t have any time to think about it. After all, it was kind of my baby, my dream, and I was holding onto it for all it was worth.
Well… it’s time to let it go. What you see above is what the page looks like right now… and it’s all wrong. The movies are old; about 80% of those affiliate programs are gone because they were part of CJ. All those other pages are still around, but there are banner ads on all of those pages and, frankly, I don’t have the time or inclination to go and remove them from each of those pages. Instead, over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to start removing all the content from that site. When I’m done, I’ll only have an index page, and I’ll probably link it to this article explaining why I’m shutting it down. I’ve given it a good 10 years; who wouldn’t agree with me that it’s time to let it go?
I should have done this years ago, but now that I’ve come to this decision, I feel a bit of pressure off my shoulders. It’s like when I decided in November to give up news and to focus more on happiness. Sometimes we all need to learn when something’s not doing us any favors, or some people are hindering our progress, and we just need to let it go.
At least it didn’t take me 18 years like it took Elsa! 🙂