The hype you feel when you’re first introduced to affiliate marketing gets you pumped to give it a whirl but fast forward a year later and it feels like you’re in the trenches because it’s far more difficult to operate than you had anticipated.

Affiliate marketing, at times, is very unforgiving in the sense that if you don’t keep up then you’re going to lose it all. People are quick to hop ship to the next authority, it’s very easy to lapse in keeping up with the changes, and it’s especially difficult to anticipate and react to the trends.

This is a series about the “worst case scenarios” you may experience in affiliate marketing.

The series isn’t meant to spook you away from giving it a try. It’s here to show the ugly side if you’re not 100% committed to the activities. Learn from these posts and anticipate the events as this is how you avoid the drop-off point that so many affiliates experience…

The Effects

Something happened and the competition is now the top dog of the industry. Where once you were pulling in massive amounts of traffic and conversions you are now barely scraping by with what you have and much of it comes from a small section of your followers (which isn’t the best position to be in since they may leave at any time).

All of this could have happened for a myriad of reasons:

  • The competition stepped up their investment in marketing and advertising
  • The competition is out-doing you in search engine optimization
  • You may have tarnished your brand by something you did on social media
  • You may be offering an inferior product/service that people don’t want
  • Your ideas aren’t as good as you thought they were

Each day the competition will continue to drive the stake through the heart of your business. With enough time your business will whittle away into obscurity if you aren’t proactive with keeping up with the competition.

This happens all too often when business owners get too comfortable. They let their ego inflate so they feel they don’t need to concern themselves with the little guys but the reality is that those who are smaller are hungrier. The newcomers have the energy and passion, as you once did, to make a name for themselves – their agility will run laps around your sluggish advancement all due in part to you not making the right decisions to move the business forward.

The Options

Let’s now look at some of the options you have if you happen to be in this situation where the competition has taken over the industry and left you with very little:

Option #1

It’s time to rework your strategy and go lean.

Your option is to update your content strategy so you’re reaching the market on a better level. You also need to trim all the distractions that are preventing you from growth. You will need to return to your basics and start fresh so the ideas and decisions aren’t convoluted by some inflated ego and bureaucracy that has taken over.

Option #2

You could bite the bullet and team up with the competition if they are open to the idea. In effect you will relinquish your share of the market but you’ll buy into theirs. Doing this proactively can save the last bits of your business before it’s extinguished. Otherwise you may want to consider closing up shop, selling off the assets you have, and reinvesting into something new.

Option #3

You turn the tables and bring something remarkable to the industry – something mind-blowing that sets the new standard for greatness and value. This will take time because you’ll need to research the competition, really get to understand them, figure out how/why the industry shifted, and then strike when the iron is hot.

You want to blindside the competition as they did with you. Once you hit them keep going hard by ramping up the advertising & marketing efforts. Start siphoning their followers into your community. Get down and dirty by making a stand and using that aggression to put all you can into the work that’s going to matter.

These aren’t your only available option but just a cross sample. What’s best for your affiliate business is whatever you decide but, regardless, take these into consideration and you may come out of this worst case scenario like a champ.