I know affiliate income is all the rage amongst many home business blog owners. But I can't seem to make it work for me.
In an effort to take my blogging business to the next level, I've been trying to make money off my own blog. This means that I need to:
- Boost my AdSense
- Get into the affiliate income game
I love writing for others, and I like doing the blog staff writing thing. However, I do it — a lot. And as the whole Penguin/Panda/whatever thing ravages many of the smaller blogs I write for, I can expect to see the landscape change. When you have a home business, you need to pay attention and make changes as the situation shifts.
I need a new plan. I thought I'd try affiliate income. So far it's been a great disappointment.
My Home Business and Affiliate Income
I've joined affiliate programs for products and services related to my blog. However, I haven't been very aggressive about pushing them. I use my affiliate link when it seems appropriate, as when I'm talking about a service like Lending Club, Betterment, or Personal Capital. (See what I did there?)
While I think these are great services, and I think they can work for a lot of people, I'm not big into pushing them. But then I found something that I really liked: Only72.
Not only did I like the affiliate program set up, but I actually bought the latest bundle. So far, it's been great. The content has been valuable, and well worth the price. (It's too late for you to get the bundle, though; the sale only lasted 72 hours.) I thought it was a slam dunk. The bundle seemed perfect for my blog readers. Blogging, podcasting, self-publishing for Kindle, making connections. Really useful stuff for taking a home business/freelance business to the next level. Plus, I bought the thing — and could tell a story of how it impacts me.
Watch out, world! Miranda's really getting into the affiliate income game! And she's buying what she's selling!
Unfortunately, in spite of hundreds of clicks, I made zero sales. According to the site information, I didn't even send a single lead. Plenty of clicks, no concrete results. And, going back through my other affiliate efforts, that's about par for the course.
However, I was disappointed that my boosted efforts didn't even yield one sale. I understand that my lack of active promotion of other affiliate programs makes it difficult to convert. I thought that this Only72 thing, something that should be practically selling itself, would be different. I put in a fair amount of time to promote it and got nothing out of it.
Why I Guess I'll Always Be Working for Others — Even with a Home Business
I couldn't even get something that should be selling itself to…sell itself. Even my personal story had no impact. This means a few things:
- I suck at sales.
- I clearly don't get the traffic needed to effectively convert when it comes to affiliate income.
- I'm not as influential as I'd like to think I am.
This whole Only72 affiliate income thing has really brought things into perspective. It reminds me that, while a small number of people might know me and think I'm all right, in the grand scheme of things, I'm not “out there” enough, and I don't really inspire people.
I'm a professional blogger. I provide content. I can pick and choose my clients to a certain extent, and I'm successful enough that I don't have to freak out when a freelance gig disappears.
Affiliate income isn't going to be my bread and butter. Ever.
And I'm having serious doubts about whether or not the work and expense involved in my book project is going to be worth it. Do I want it to be useful? Yes. Making money on it isn't the main goal. But putting out something worthwhile and useful and professional takes a great deal of effort and even money (since I want to do it right and have it edited and professionally designed).
It's a lot of work, and this experience has shaken my confidence. What if I put it out and no one cares? Yes, you have to take risks to be successful in a home business, and you have to put yourself out there. I've never been a huge risk-taker, which is why I write for other people and don't even make as much as I could. I'm more of a background person, and this experience seems to reinforce it.
So, for the first time, rather than trying to reach, and trying to find ways to change the situation and go further, I'm actually considering trying to figure out how to make myself happy about where I'm at and just be glad about my home business for as long as it lasts.
The whole thing is a little depressing, to tell the truth.