Big Plans Gone Bust?

Bummer DudeHave you ever had really big plans for something in affiliate marketing and then had it completely go south on you? Have you maybe even been making some money in a niche and started to make plans to ramp it up and all of a sudden your revenue drops like a rock before you get the chance to scale?

If you’ve been doing business as an affiliate for any length of time this may have happened to you, maybe even more than once. It happened to me in the apartment rentals niche about a year ago as I was planning to ramp things up considerably based on some very good results I was having with Apartments.com. I was making in the area of $200 to $250 per month producing leads for them at $10 each and getting one of those leads for about every 50 clicks I sent their way. Then they redesigned their landing pages about a year ago and I now produce a lead for every 200 clicks sent their way.

I’m not sure what happened there, but I was no longer able to send traffic directly to an email form that actually produced the lead. Apartments.com changed their landing pages to include a small email form on each page of an individual apartments set of pages and the conversion rate dropped by 75%. Couple that with the fact that my traffic had dropped by a little as the season changed, and I went from making an average of $225 per month promoting apartments to about $20 to $30 per month making it hardly worth the effort to continue to work in this niche.

The larger plan I was seeing was to develop a big site devoted to apartment rentals for a specific niche of renters all over the nation. In looking at Google Analytics stats for my apartment sites I could see that there is an overwhelmingly higher percentage of renters in a very specific market and I had plans to exploit that to its fullest. While that idea is still on the back burner of things I would like to do in affiliate marketing, after the bust, the steam kind of went out of my idea. But the good news is, Rent.com has just revamped their affiliate program and is now paying 20 cents per registered visitor and $25 to $70 per confirmed lease, so the big plan for an apartment rental site is a little closer to reality once again.

So what’s the whole point of this discussion?

Don’t play the single affiliate program game and get yourself stuck in the position of relying on only one source of income from one or even two programs. While I took a $200 per month hit a year or so ago, it was just another day in the life of an affiliate marketer. Sometimes I do look back at all the things I’ve made money from and thought if I could only get these at the level they once were, all at the same time I’d be making $6,000 or $7,000 per month. Yes, that would be great, but what I’m really thankful for is the programs that have been in place to cover for the ones that all-of-a-sudden decided to take a dive.

You will go for a ride on the ups and downs of affiliate marketing if you stay with the game long enough. The best thing to do is have a diverse selection of niches and programs to work with that will act as shock absorbers when the ride gets bumpy. Check out my Make Money Online page for the variety of networks and programs I use to earn a living.

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