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

Affiliate marketing is a volatile industry because if you’re not on top of your game then you can see a quick down-turn in your profits almost overnight. There are plenty of big name affiliate marketers that can show you enormous payouts one month and in the next income report they’re barely scratching the surface – that’s just how it sometimes goes.

Yes, it’s a real pain when the income dries up but remember that it may have happened for a number of reasons that are either out of your control (or may have possibly blindsided you):

  • The offer you’re promoting suddenly falls out of favor to a competitors
  • The people behind the offer may have given up on the product/service
  • There may have been legal troubles that stopped you from continuing the promotions
  • The industry is simply tired and has moved on
  • The offer is no longer relevant

This is the reason why the top affiliates are always getting behind new launches because they know that a product/service won’t last forever. In a lot of ways you have to play into this flavor of the week to keep that income up.

You also have to be real about all this because earning any money through this industry is already a great triumph but it’s easy to let it go to your head so you become blind to the warning signs.

The Options

Let’s now look at some of the options you have if you happen to be in this situation where your income is starting to dry up:

Option #1

Take a look around and see what the competition has for their main promotions because if they’re running them and earning a profit then you know the community is buying into the offer.

Start off by replicating the competition’s approach to offers and then pivot when you feel it’s time to bring something unique to the table.

Option #2

Try a different income generation method that isn’t just pushing an affiliate offer. Try to integrate others such as memberships, paid forums, information products, consulting, freelancing, and others. Remember the saying “don’t keep your eggs in one basket” because that’s what probably got you here.

Likewise, try out different platforms that aren’t just affiliate marketplaces. Try something like Amazon Associates if you want to promote physical products or something like Groupon to promote deals. There’s more out there than the usual marketplaces especially if you dig around in the affiliate programs listed on this site.

Option #3

Take the money and reinvest it into a new venture. Hopefully you’ve saved a bit of those earnings so that you can pick up where you left off. Sometimes an industry just goes into a spiral and when that happens you can expect a lot of people to hop ship.

Leverage your authority and brand so that you can enter a new niche. The switch may present a few pains (some alienation of the community, reworking content strategy, advertising updates, etc) but it’s necessary if you want to continue to operate as an affiliate marketer.

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.