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Is Control A Facade?

Posted by on Jan 7, 2009
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Today I’m flying back home, after finding that, when I got back to Reno, the CFO of the hospital I was consulting for had hired another consultant to take over what I’d been doing. The odd things are that I didn’t report to him, but someone else, and that person had sent an email out last week saying he was appreciative of the good job I was doing. Anyway, as a consultant, it’s the type of thing one has to deal with, so I get to come home and reload.

However, these types of situations always lead to many questions, and one of those questions that also applies to internet marketing and affiliate marketing and our blogs and websites is just how much control we really have over all of it. It sounds strange when one considers what it is many of us are trying to do with our blogs and websites, which is to generate some kind of income, because we’re the ones who build the websites, and we’re the ones who write the content for our blogs, and we’re the ones who select the items we want to market on our blogs. It all gives us this facade of control, but just how much control do we really have?

Let’s look at affiliates first. The main two that I belong to are Commission Junction and Google Performance Network. Overall, they’re not bad, though I’m not making nearly the income I thought I would. However, since May, I have lost many affiliates because New York state decided that online affiliate companies have to collect taxes from sales made by New York state affiliate marketers. I also ranted about the taxes a few days later when I lost a few more affiliates. And then last month I lost even more affiliates for the same reason, just when I thought that time period had passed. After all, both CJ and GPN know that I’m from New York, so you’d think they would automatically disqualify me from some programs where their advertisers have informed them that they don’t want to work with New York marketers.

Of course, that’s not the only issue with affiliates. Lately there have been a number of affiliates through Commission Junction that are changing their payout schedules, as well as changing the marketing rules for how you’re allowed to advertise for them, and you can bet that none of it is in our favor. Some other affiliate types are discontinuing signing bonuses for new marketers, citing cash issues, which to me is an incorrect tactic in a negative market because those companies that did offer it also had a goals level that one had to attain in sales before they could collect on it. Frankly, it might have made more sense to raise that level for new affiliate marketers than what they’ve done, but it’s still proof of one more thing that’s out of our control.

I also believe my December report, which Ajith had indicated wasn’t very good, shows that, as much as most of us work to attain high visit numbers to help generate some sort of income for not only our blogs but our websites. sometimes requires some extraordinary efforts that, though they might seem are within our control, and my little research project showed that it’s really not all that easy to figure out just what’s going to impress visitors, search engines, and advertisers.

Does this mean we give up and let anarchy take over? Not at all; however, it does mean that all of us need to think more about these types of things and be ready to alter our processes for maximum effect without too much effort that brings low returns. Heck, y’all have seen my goals, and I realize that to reach these goals, and my personal financial goals, so I have a lot of work and a lot of thought to all of it.

What do you think of my reasoning, and how would you decide to progress where your effort equals your input?


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8 Comments »

hey Mitch,
Very good observation on how much, or how little, control we have on our lives. I guess it’s just important to do what we can do, work hard, work smart, and, as I read on another blog just recently, never put all your eggs in one basket.
Sorry to hear about Reno, but as your experience shows, we shouldn’t rely on just one customer, or one ad program, or results in one search engine. And whatever happens, we must keep slogging forward.
But hey, I hope poker provided a glimmer of sunshine on this trip? :)
~ Steve, the trade show booths guru

Trade Show Guru´s last blog post..Trade Show Booths and Duct Tape

Mitch Reply:

You know, Steve, I played poker Tuesday and I didn’t win, and yet I felt pretty good and still came home ahead. At the airport, just before it was time to board, I took $10 and put it in a slot machine because I figured I would never be back in Reno, and hit it for $42, and figured I was meant to come home a winner so I cashed it out and that was that.

There is this thing about eggs in one basket that’s somewhat of a misnomer. Many people have their eggs in one basket as it pertains to their careers. Many people have all their eggs in one basket when it comes to blogging, websites, and the fear of Google. There’s never a problem with having all of one’s eggs in a basket; the problem is only having the one basket and no back up baskets, or eggs, in case something happens to the first one.

Lucky for me, I have other outlets, other baskets to put eggs in, so this is a temporary setback. I’m lucky; not as many people are as lucky.

January 8th, 2009 | 11:31 AM

hey Mitch,
Congrats on the poker and slots. I never had that kind of luck when I lived in Reno, otherwise I might have stayed. :)
Didn’t mean to start a philosophical discussion about eggs and baskets, or which came first… :) But I agree with your analysis, though I think I need to get a few more baskets myself.
~ Steve, the trade show booths guru

Trade Show Guru´s last blog post..Trade Show Booths and Duct Tape

Mitch Reply:

Steve, I look for opportunities to talk about stuff like that, and, me being me, I do have a different way of looking at things like this.

January 8th, 2009 | 3:08 PM
John Dilbeck:

Good morning, Mitch.

Sorry to hear about your consulting job in Reno, but at least you left as a winner! ;)

I’ve never had goods results from Commission Junction and remain a member for only one reason. I’ve earned a little over $20 there and I’m not going to drop them until I reach the payment threshold and get a commission check. A few years ago, I earned more through them, but it’s really plummeted over the last year or so.

I do much better with private affiliate programs than I do with the large networks.

When it comes to earning from Google Adsense, the site that usually earns the most in a month isn’t related to making money or marketing. It’s my brother’s Georgia Drag Racing site.

I’m starting to realize that sites that talk about earning money don’t generally earn much.

It’s the sites that pursue a topic with passion and attract people interested in that topic that are earning the most.

Act on your dream!

JD

Mitch Reply:

John, I think you’re correct on this one. My biggest money maker right now is my medical billing site, but I’m hoping I’m learning some lessons from all of this stuff, so hopefully 2009 turns around a little bit. I’d like more control over my overall income, that’s for sure.

January 12th, 2009 | 9:05 AM

I seem to see a trend here…the biggest money makers aren’t supposed to be! I’ve found the same thing with a few of my sites- my personal car enthusiast page does triple the business that some of my ‘money’ sites do. Now I wonder how I can forecast which ones will do the same in the future…

Mitch Reply:

I think it’s a tough road to figure out, Jim. I created a new blog concentrating on finances, thinking that maybe it would have a chance to attract lots of people looking for a different take on financial news. However, the economy is so bad that very few people actually want to read about finances at this time. However, I think it can be done, where we take a look at what’s presently popular and find ways to tap into that. How? I think we all need to find 17 to 24 year olds and ask them what the deal is.

January 24th, 2009 | 6:53 PM