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

A week or two isn’t going to throw things out of control. The real problem starts when your posts become infrequent enough that you may only post once a month… and then once in a while… and then once every never.

What exactly happens when you’re infrequent with content?

  • The regular visitors stop coming
  • The competition gains traction
  • People move on and seek new authorities

Generally it seems to be around the three month mark when people hop ship and seek new horizons. Your core followers feel you are no longer updating the site so they are going to fulfil that need for content elsewhere which means they’re now going to the competition.

Even if you come back it’s hard to pull them into the fold because they’re adjusted to someone else. When this happens you will see traffic & income start to plummet. You will also find that it’s extremely difficult to regain traction in your niche because it’s like starting all over again.

The Options

Let’s now look at some of the options you have if you happen to be in this situation where you haven’t posted in a long while and your community has begun to erode:

Option #1

My personal recommendation for handling this worst case scenario is to see it coming before things get out of control. If you feel like you’re starting to slow down in the content production then make it an effort to at least produce a handful of posts that can be scheduled for that time you feel that you will be away so it keeps things updating.

You may not retain all of your followers but it’ll be just enough content to have them check in when they see a post pop up on their RSS feed (or delivered through an email).

Option #2

I’ve seen a lot of bloggers take the apology route which is sort of a flip-of-a-coin type way to deal with the issue. You might get lucky and recapture that audience but 9 times out of 10 you have already lost them to others.

An apology isn’t entirely warranted, either, because you most likely had other important items to handle. By making an apology you are acknowledging that you have been neglectful rather than using the time of coming back to really set a new precedence and direction.

Option #3

Start over.

You’ve lost the majority of your follower’s which sucks but it also means that you can take the website in a new direction. Sometimes this is a blessing, actually, because it’s easy to conform to a sub-set of your followers which then alienates the majority.

Now would be a good time to rebrand the website and pivot. Reimagine what you want to do with the site, who will be your audience, and how you’ll earn an affiliate income. Take this time of revival to reignite the passion you have for the niche without preexisting notions of what you “need to be”.

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.