Yesterday on twitter I had someone ask me if I am still doing really well with affiliate marketing like back in the day.
I gave a quick answer that my affiliate revenue now is more stable but not nearly as spiky as it used to be.
This person has followed by blog for a long time so he knew my back history.
But for new people or people wondering what has changed a lot for me I thought it needed a much longer explanation.
My best year in affiliate marketing by itself would be back in 2006. My wife was in residency and on call 2 times a week where she had to spend 24 hours at the hospital working. She would get the next day off but slept for most of it.
There were no responsibilities in life and could crank on my Affiliate Marketing stuff as much as needed.
I found angles left and right that others were not taking advantage of. And when I found something I exploited the shit out of it.
One such instance was when Microsoft Adcenter first launched their advertising network. They had no real clue what they were doing… Their whole quality score was based on how many clicks you got. They never took things like user experience and landing page into consideration like what all the major ppc engines do now.
Basically you could upload as many keywords as you wanted (there was no cap), bid the minimum (5 cents) and they were instantly active and stayed active until they were disabled because they did not get enough clicks.
When you pay 5 cents to convert to an offer that pays $20 you can bid on anything… and you come out ahead. TRUST ME.
I purchased CNET’s search.com entire database of EVERY keyword searched from 2003-2005 for like $1,000.00 or so. Then I uploaded the entire keyword list to Microsoft Adcenter using dynamic keyword insertion for the ads so whatever you searched for it would give you a ringtone ad. Like if you searched for Google it would have an add like this:
Title: Google Ringtones
Description: Get Google Ringtones Instantly Sent To Your Phone!
So imagine uploading 22 MILLION keywords… basically every possible keyword combination that had been searched for in the previous years.
But the keywords would stop producing, for the majority, after about 4 days. Also it took about that long to upload all the keywords. I had it all automated using basic macro programs I found around the net…. I think the one I used was called UO Robot or something like that…
So I made 20 accounts on Adcenter and did a round robin upload between them using a dedicated computer doing nothing but uploading keywords 24/7. It still needed a lot of manual coaxing but worked very well for the most part.
That system profited me 6 figures a month for about 4 months or so. But then one day… *poof*. Microsoft fixed the hole and then I had to find the next thing.
Wow I went on a lot on that little example… Fortunately in the time we are living in there are TONS of opportunities like these. But its a lot of “we’re rich, we’re poor”. Good thing I had a wife that would not let me spend money like water ;).
Anyway fast forward to now. Since then I have had 2 children and learned how to be a husband (still learning that one). I take my kids to school at 8am in the morning. I get them up, brush hair, teeth, make breakfast and out the door.
I can’t pull all nighters anymore. It is rare I am up past 11pm anymore.
My entire life has evolved. Personally and professionally.
Since 2006 I have had over 20 incorporated companies. Most of which never amounted to much, some totally crashed and burned, but I have sold 4 total businesses since and been able to turn some $20 employees into millionaires along the way.
I now have a nice office downtown with 8 local Lincoln employees. I have had to learn how to delegate programing, graphic design, and other stuff. It helps that I know how to do it so I can communicate and manage well but its also frustrating cause I want to jump in and do stuff all the time… which drives my employees nuts.
Fact is though I can’t gamble like I used to. I have a lot of overhead and am responsible for many employees.
Now 90% of my affiliate marketing revenue comes from using the affiliate cash tree methodology (webinar demonstrating it here). This is much more stable way to do affiliate marketing and generates a lot more return on my investment.
I now have a lot of VERY stable income producing internet properties. I mostly now look for undervalued web properties, acquire them, monetize them with affiliate marketing or whatever then hold them or sell them off if the right offer comes a long.
I also recently, after a fortune 500 company asked us to take over their internet marketing, setup a separate entity that does…. hold your breath… client work… eeeek. YES I know I never said I would do client work. And I STILL hate clients. Sorry if you guys are reading this.
But I hired someone to run it, hold companies hands, and deal with all the bullshit so I can do what I do best and make them (and me) lots of money.
SRSLY doing internet marketing for local companies is like shooting fish in a barrel.
Honestly if you are just getting started and want to make money on the internet local businesses are the new frontier. Nobody knows who we are in the local area but just by word of mouth we have a waiting list of people who want to pay us to take over their stuff. Again I HATE the client stuff and am trying to hire more “account managers” so we can take them on.
Anyway… So do I still make money with affiliate marketing? Yes. Do I make as much as I have before? Yes but its a much more slower and stable pace.