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dropping a profitable affiliate marketing program

Would you drop a very profitable affiliate program? I Did

I have a goal to get out of the rat race by August 31st. During the past week I have had so many setbacks that I didn’t just question my ability to reach my goal but instead I wanted to quit completely on my dream. What do you do when everything, I mean everything, goes south?

Don’t put all of your eggs into one basket

This past week I lost the cornerstone of my goal of earning $250/day online. I have relied heavily on a single affiliate program that I have been promoting for over a year. It has reached the point where this one affiliate program was on the verge of earning almost $100/day. For those without a calculator this one affiliate program was going to account for 40% of my goal of $250/day.

In the past week this affiliate program pretty much went south. The President of the company was sentenced to more than 3 years in jail for stealing money from banks. Someone that had been following the trail and sentence of this person and others that worked at the company reported that the company had closed their office.

Just 72 days away from my goal of quitting my day job and I was suddenly hit with the realization that I had lost 40% of my daily online income. I worry that I will not get my commission check at the end of this month.  Yet the bad news just kept coming.

Being kicked when you are down

Another one of my affiliate programs that complimented the above program recently changed the design of their website. Usually this would not impact any affiliates but it did. It seems the company not only changed their website but decided to eliminate their affiliate program without telling any of their affiliates. All of my affiliate links no longer worked.

I immediately reached out to the company and sent an email asking how to login to their affiliate program on their new website. I got an email response a few days later and was told to sign up for a new account.

I created a new account using the same userid and password that I had used previously. Once logged into my account I could find nothing about how to get new affiliate links. I sent another email to the company. Another email response was to create a new account. I responded and said that I wanted to sign up for their new affiliate program and not for a new account.

Another email response said to call during business hours and they would set me up. I called the next day and left a message. With no return call after four days, I called again as well as sent another email saying that nobody had returned my call. About 15 minutes later I got a call from the company.

I explained that I wanted to sign up for their affiliate program since they changed their website design by affiliate links no longer worked. Needless to say the guy was a complete and utter asshole. He never apologized for eliminating their affiliate program without notifying me and they were not going to offer it again. Did I say the guy was an asshole?

I started looking at my stats of keywords that people use to reach my website. There were 7 different keywords for this product that I was ranked no worse than #3 in Google for any of the 7 keywords. I was looking forward to growing this affiliate program like I had with the above program and get it to where it was generating at least $50/day in commissions. Now this would never happen.

It just gets worse

I am very close to my mother and sisters. I share with them my goal of quitting the rat race. They are not technical and really do not understand exactly what I am trying to accomplish. As a result I don’t get a whole lot of support from them in building my online business. They do offer encouragement but not support that I can ask for guidance or direction.

The one place that I depend on for support is my coach. Granted he may not be technical like my family but he excels at giving me invaluable advice like strategy, how to react to situations, what skills I need to improve and what I should or should not be doing.

The problem is that he manages Tony Robbins’ 5 star resort Namale in Fiji. For the past 10 days and for the upcoming 7 days, Tony Robbins was teaching two advanced seminars at Namale. Just like any job when the CEO is in town then everyone bends over backward to make sure everything is perfect.

Because of the stress of managing a resort and dealing with Tony Robbins and power leaders in industry that were attending the two seminars, the role of coach fell to the side of the road. With my goal of escaping the rat race literally crumbling in front of my eyes, I was left with no option of support.

I got a short email from him yesterday saying that he was busy with work in Fiji and he would not be able to communicate with me until June 26th at the earliest. All of the sudden I found myself alone while my dream was failing.

This all happened over the past two days when I was out of work on sick leave. I started having serious health problems Monday afternoon late where I ended up leaving work 30 minutes early. On Tuesday I went to the doctor who sent me to another specialist. She called and got me in to see the specialist that afternoon. Wednesday morning I waited by my phone for the doctors to call with test results.

Luckily the results did not show that I had cancer or some other serious illness. It seems with some medication that I take for the next week should resolve the problem.

In just a 48 hour period I had gone through strike one, strike two and strike three. They say that bad things happen in three and I believe they are right. My life could not get any worse.

Plan B Plan C

Plans are good and necessary but they should not be written in stone. You need to be open and welcoming of unforeseen events because sometimes these unplanned moments are often the seeds of spectacular opportunity in your life. The unexpected is what makes life interesting.  I clearly had a major dose of the unexpected.

The first step I took toward recovery was to deal with the asshole. Even if the company did offer a new affiliate program, I would not have supported the company because of the attitude of the guy who called me.

I went and updated every article that I had written about this product. I added a new paragraph at the start of each article in big, bold, red letters stating that I no longer recommended this product.  I then put in images of products that I would recommend as a replacement. I fell back on my experience as an Amazon affiliate and recommended products on Amazon.

Then I updated my meta description which is what is shown in the search engine rankings when you search for a specific keyword. This is limited to 160 words. I changed it to say that I no longer recommended the product and would share why in my article. Anyone that searches for the 7 keywords would find my meta description quite interesting and will drive them to my website. From there I will be selling them an alternative product. So I am still able to monetize the affiliate program that no longer exists.

Killing your goose with the golden egg

There is a children’s story about killing the goose who laid the golden eggs. You don’t get what you were expecting. I realize that the guys running the company that was generating 40% of my income were pretty savory. This was a reflection of them on how they chose to conduct business. I get to choose whether or not I want to do business with them. I decided to kill the goose with the golden eggs.

I picked a competing product and signed up for their affiliate program. This company had reached out to me a month ago and asked me to be an affiliate for them. They had even sent me free samples of their products. Last night I opened up their products and tasted them for the first time.

I started the process of updating the over 100 articles that I have published on my original affiliate program. I did the same process and updated the start of the article. I provided more details about the President of the company being sent to prison, the closing of their office and the outstanding lawsuits and prosecution of other members of the management team. Then I provide links to the new product that I am recommending.

I also updated the keywords in the articles and the tags to reflect the new product. I am going to initially rely on traffic coming in from the existing keywords for the old affiliate program to get these articles ranked for the new keywords.

I hired my writer on eLance to write me 10 new articles on the new affiliate program. I will be linking to these new articles from the over 100 existing articles on my website. The search volume for this product is much less so I am hoping to quickly rank for it.

Granted I may not be earning $100/day for this product by August 31st but I will be working my butt off to make sure I am generating a good commission from the program. If I have to find another affiliate program and get it ranked to supplement this program then I will do it. I will do whatever it takes to make sure I am able to reach my goal. The only question is whether or not I will make my August 31st deadline now or not.

Next Steps

I have registered my website for Pat Flynn’s  Niche Site Duel 2.0 contest. In my previous post I said I as working on the “hvac training” keyword. I was actually able to hire the VA that designed Pat Flynn’s security guard training website for the initial Niche Site Duel.  This morning I got an email from him with a mockup of the custom WordPress theme that he is designing for me for my niche website. It looks fabulous.

My current writer does not understand the technical nuisances of hvac so he cannot write for me. This evening I am going to be hiring a new writer on eLance to write about hvac training. I have created 50 article topics that the writer I hire will write.

The best thing I can do is to not sulk about the challenges I have experienced this week. I am taking action toward my Plan B and still moving forward toward my goal.



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by Jennifer Bland

I am an Entrepreneur. Mountain Climber. Neil Diamond fanatic. World traveler. MBA grad. Soon to be permanently retired from the ratrace.My website is a diary of strategies that I have used to make money online. I share what I have learned to help others.

36 comments… add one
  1. Hey Jennifer – excellent post as always and, hey, have you been through the wars? So glad to hear you have dusted yourself down and forging ahead again – well done.
    Yes, we do hit major hurdles along the way and I do think it’s the measure of the person how we deal with them.
    DON’T give up on your dream – ever!
    My very best
    Les Blythe

    1. Les,

      Thanks so very much for the support. It was a very, very tough week. I am moving in a new direction instead of giving up. You have to remember I am from Atlanta which gave us the citizen with those immortal words “I have a dream. I have a dream that some day…”


  2. Jennifer I admire you for taking such huge action in the face of so many set backs. I recently wrote an article about 2 things that make affiliate marketing difficult (you’re building someone elses business and generally you don’t get paid instantly) but it hadn’t occurred to me that there could be a problem as you have described.

    Amazon is of course different but it makes you stop and think. I promote creating your own products as a solid business model although I do still make some money from Amazon sites I have – I think I shall add your story as another reason why you need to have control over your own business.

    I wish there was something I could do to help. I do want to encourage you though – you take so much action and have so much determination that I have no doubt you will still make it. Really.

    Hope you feel better soon. My daughter is also called Jennifer and is at home ill. We will pray for big J and little J tonight.

    1. Kay,

      Thank you too for the words of encouragement. You are right that being in control of your own destiny is a very sound business position. I want to stop working to make someone else’s dream come true. I want to make my own dream come true.

      I actually started putting together a new product that falls back on my Amazon experience. I am putting together a new AmzInABox product that includes product review articles, comparison tables, product images and other items you need to start an Amazon affiliate website. As soon as I am done I am going to offer it at a steep discount for 48 hours for my blog readers then sell it on WF. This is one step toward taking control of my life.


      1. Excellent plan. This could be an ongoing product too – Christmas, Easter, New Year, Summer, etc. All the things you need for those really popular times for Amazon sales.

  3. WOW! Jennifer what a week you have had! Your climb to the top just got pulled out from under you but I can see that you have reacted in a very positive way with falling back on your previous marketing strategies that will serve you well. It is hard when those you count on are not there when you need them the most, but that is what makes us stronger in the long run. Hope your feeling better and I am confident you will reach your goal of August 31!

    1. Marilyn,

      WOW is definitely a great word to describe my week. The week prior I was so positive that I was going to reach my goal and this week I seriously thought of quitting. To heck with quitting I have a goal to reach and I am going to get there. I definitely hope I will be much stronger after this week.


  4. Oh, that sounds like a nasty week :( I’m sorry to hear that. Hopefully, this will make you stronger in the long run.

    I wonder if you would reveal the names of the two companies to avoid? I don’t know if I’m promoting some of their products, since I’m a member of plenty of different affiliate programs.

    1. Britt,

      It was an incredibly tough week that would test anyone’s metal. At this moment I am going to keep the 2 companies quiet until I am able to get all of my articles changed over. I want to make sure I am on the other side of the bridge before I burn it and not in the middle of it.


  5. Jennifer,

    I am amazed at the changes you have experienced in such a short period of time. I am glad to see that you are strong enough to keep your eyes on your goals, adjust and keep moving forward. Your experience reminds me of the saying…”there is no security in life…only opportunity”.

    Keep up the good work and keep on keeping on!

    To Your Success,


    1. Wayne,

      It was a roller coaster of a ride for the past two weeks. Two weeks ago I thought I was right on track to reach my goal now I wonder if I am going to make any money this month.

      I absolutely love your saying and I am going to adopt it! It reminds of the the last two lines of the poem Invictus “I am the master of my fate, the captain of my soul.”


  6. Wow is right.

    The GOOD news, Jennifer, is that you found out about these truly rotten affiliates before you were relying on them entirely. I predict that with your drive and ambition and getting rid of the bad guys, you’ll do even better than you’d dreamed. I’m a firm believer in: everything happens for a reason and have seen Life work out that way too often to ever doubt it, personally.

    BTW, IMO there’s no reason to “protect” these two affiliates by daintily keeping their identities a secret. And as for the one that you suspect may not come up with your money, you might consider contacting your state — or their state’s — attorney general’s office regarding possible fraud. Just a thought.

    Finally, I think you mean “unsavory,” instead of savory, and “technical nuances,” which no doubt can also be nuisances. 😉

    I’ll say good luck, but it so feels to me that you’re creating your own “luck” that the comment seems superfluous. Congratulations seems more appropriate.

    1. Patricia,

      I probably need to hire you to proof read my posts for me :-). I actually just sit down and write and very rarely do I go back and make sure I typed everything in correctly. That is why what you read may not be what I was thinking at the moment I wrote it down.

      You are right that it was a good time to find out about these companies. In fact there was an incident where the one where the owner went to jail ran a contest at end of last year and gave a 30% increase in commissions for Q1 to the winner. I won. Do you think I got the 30% increase in commissions. My coach told me that they chose to run their business that way and I have to decide whether or not I want to continue doing business with them. If I had truly listened to him five months ago I would have planted the seeds already with an alternative but failed. When everything fails – do what your coach told you to do.


  7. I am so sorry that you had to go through such a horrible week. I am sure because of your work ethic that you will eventually reach your goal. Can you tell me when your new AmzInABox product will be available for sale?

    1. Jason,

      Makes two of us that wished I hadn’t had such a bad week. Normally I would be busting my ass on the weekends on my online business but tomorrow morning early I am flying to Orland for a class and flying back to Atlanta Sunday evening. I will be working on it next week. I am thinking of selling it for $5 to my blog readers for 48 hours then selling it for $10 on warriorforum and ask all my blog readers to leave a honest review. If nothing takes up my time next weekend I should have it finished by Monday week.


  8. Wow, that sure is a triple whammy, but kudos to you for picking yourself up and seeing these events as what they are: setbacks! Setbacks are temporary! Okay, so what if you dont quite make it by August 31st? Wouldn’t be the first time someone didnt quite make it to their goal. You may have to push that date out a bit further. So what? You are determined and committed, so even if it doesnt happen by August 31st, there is no doubt in my mind that you will reach your goal within a few months of that.

    As to the asshole. May his ears turn into assholes and shit upon his shoulders!

    1. Dee,

      I have thought about what happens if August 31st comes and goes and I have not reached my goal due to this roadbump. Actually I have thought about it for the past 4 days non stop. I have to reach my goal of August 31st because I started coaching with my coach on Sept 1, 2012. I want to be able to say that within one year of coaching with him I was able to pay off all my debts including mortgage, car and credit cards (which I did on Oct 15th) and I was able to get out of the rat race. I will feel like a complete failure if I am still working on September 1st. Even though it has been a tough week I am still trying to get a good mindset that will allow me to overcome and do whatever it takes to make sure I reach the August 31st deadline.


      1. Good for you! You certainly have the ‘winner’ attitude!

  9. Great post Jennifer. Good to know you’re planning to do things differently. I’ve had a crazy week as well. I’m wondering if you’re willing to share the VA’s contact 😀

    1. Towhid,

      Hope you had a better week than I had! I have no problem sharing the VA’s contact information. His name is Mike and his email is . Just contact him if you need any website design done and I hope he can help you out.


  10. Jennifer,
    I’m sorry you had such a horrible week! I really appreciate you sharing your experiences. I hadn’t really thought about an affiliate program just closing up suddenly. Keep plugging along! Good things will come!

    1. Kathy,

      I would never have thought they would drop their affiliate program AND never bother to tell their affiliates. Plus when I called the guy was an absolute jackass. He bullshited me by saying they had no way to know who was an affiliate so they couldn’t contact us. I pointed out that all affiliates have to register and be approved and we are assigned unique affiliate id and we have to provide a w-4 for taxes and provide them with an email address. To say they didn’t know who was an affiliate is total BS. Shows you everything you need to know about this company. I am tempted to bust butt to get my 7 keywords all ranking at #1 in Google and send all that traffic to their competitors.

      Yep keep plugging away is what I am going to do. I am leaving at 5:30AM to fly to Orlando for a training on learning a new technology. I want to use this as another income stream. I can’t give up on my dream.


  11. I am so sorry to hear about all this drama that you have been going through. The good news is that you have not let the experience defeat you. You have already got a plan in place to continue on with your goals. Excellent.

    The even better news is that you are working on your own product. This is where you will have 100% control.

    Since you already know how to get your stuff to rank highly, your success is just a few days or weeks away.

    Good luck :)

    1. Victoria,

      Thank you and I am going to add you to my new support team :-)

      I am in Orlando today and yesterday and will fly by home this evening. I already have plans for what I need to do first thing Monday morning to get started on my recovery plan.


  12. Jennifer,
    If you ever have doubts about your inner strength or personal values, just re-read the supportive and approving comments on this thread.
    Like the other posters, I admire your determination and energy.
    Life is too short to worry about the human rubbish that one encounters from time to time.
    You can’t undo the past, but you can shape your own future.
    More strength to your elbow!

    1. Bruce,

      Thank you thank you thank you. Sometimes it can be hard to pick yourself back up and this week was a difficult week. You are right that we can shape our own future and I am looking forward to getting back home tonight so that I can hit the ground running in the morning so I can create my future and live life on my own terms.


  13. We’re here for ya!

    1. Kimberly,

      Thank you so very much! It has meant a lot to get all of the support from my readers.


  14. Well, some have already commented on this but my first thought was how great it was to discover this 72 days before rather than 72 days after. My mind then went to repairing the damage by redirecting the traffic to another aff program. I then read the detailed tactics you’ve already deployed in this direction.

    Having little else to add… thanks and congrats on the quick rebound. Your flexibility and tenacity is the key to your success.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Dave,

      You know that is a great perspective to look at because what would I have done if my income dissipated and I no longer have a steady paycheck from a JOB! Well my baseline is that I am going to have 3 months of expenses saved up before I leave my day job just in case something like this happens.

      I have to take action and move toward my goal. Failure is not an option.


  15. Hi, Jennifer!

    Just came across your blog – color me impressed! Your mindset will guarantee your success online, as long as you overcome the belief that not hitting your August 31st goal will cause you to ‘feel like a complete failure.’ Do your best to reach that milestone on time, but either way accept that you did your best – you cannot ask more than that of yourself when dealing with factors outside of your control.

    I’d like to offer you a reframe on the events above – this was the perfect time for these programs to fail on you. Why? Because you still have your full-time income and aren’t yet 100% dependent on your online income. As two of the pioneers in this industry, my wife Teri & I have been online full-time for 16 years now, and in that time I’ve seen people rise meteorologically and others plunge horribly People literally going from making a 7-figure income to living in their car the following year, while college-age kids have made their first million just a year or two out of college.

    The take-away lesson from your recent experiences is a simple one – never let any one program, site or product provide more than 20% of your income. Affiliate programs come and go, sites come and go, new research makes a great-selling product or service obsolete, a change to search engine algorithms wipes out your traffic overnight, your merchant account provider cuts you off, etc. etc.

    Now that’s not to say don’t give any one offer your best shot – but keep an eye on your income streams and work to keep them balanced. As soon as one stream is creating more than 10% of your income start researching your next opportunity – and when that first program hits 15%, start developing the next one or beefing up your other existing income streams. And always be looking for new ways to automate any and all parts of your business – using solos to build your list is a prime example of powerful automation that was virtually non-existent 5 years ago when giveaways were all the rage for list-building.

    In closing, I’d like to share some wisdom from Mark Joyner, one of the first Internet marketing millionaires. Back in the 90’s he pointed out that one should NOT leave their full-time job until they had earned TWICE their offline income for at least 3 months running. A large part of the reasoning was the added expense of running a business vs. being an employee, paying for health care, pension, etc., but also to survive any setbacks like those you’ve experienced. This is sage advice, and I doubt I could name one marketer still online since the 90’s who would dispute its validity.

    Again, Jennifer – you’re on the right track and have the mindset and tenacity to create your dream lifestyle. Just set your sites a bit higher and protect yourself with a bit more varied multiple streams of income and we’ll see you at the top!

    1. Doug,

      That is very sage advice. I am working on creating more of my own products so that I can control my destiny. I am going to keep plugging away at it and get to my goal and quit the ratrace.


  16. I think this is one of the most vital information for me.
    And i am glad reading your article. But should remark on few general things, The web site style is great,
    the articles is really nice : D. Good job, cheers

    1. Thanks for the comments.


  17. Hi Jennifer,

    Really enjoyed reading your stuff, obviously sorry to hear about the bad stuff. But it’s inspiring to hear how you got back up again.

    I hope you reach your goal soon.

    You deserve it.

    1. Richard,

      Believe me it was very disappointing when it happened. Took time to get over the anger but then I realized it was a reflection of how the companies chose to run their business and I turned it into a positive by learning never to do that in my business.



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