by Wendy C (EelKat) from La Puente
Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:36 am
Years ago (2007) I used to make more money on affiliates then my own products. At the time I wasn't yet with SBI and was doing the then popular, start lots of tiny 2 to 10 page websites, each one on a different niche.
Well, one in particular did very well and was bringing in a fairly steady income... then one day I log into my affiliate account dashboard to be greated with the message stating that they were dropping their affiliate program. They cited something about how they had only had it because they were a new company and used it to gain traffic to their product, but now they they were 5 years old and pretty stable, they no longer needed to rely on affiliates to give them traffic, so the affiliate program was discontinued!
Well, I had my own products for sale as well, so it didn't completely cut out my income, but it certainly cut out a big chunk of it and it opened my eyes to the fact that I had been relying WAY too much on an affiliate program that was NOT controlled by me, thus I had no control of my income from it.
That's why by 2010 I switched over to focusing heavily on my own product (ebooks and art at the time) and less on affiliates...
and then in 2013 I was glad I did, when 11 states passed "The Nexus Law" banning affiliate programs completely. I live in Maine, one of the states to adopt the law banning affiliate programs. Meaning if you lived in Maine, you were not allowed to put affiliate links on your website.
The Nexus Law remained in effect from August 2013 to April 2017 - 4 years, before being overruled.
So for 4 years, I had no access to affiliate accounts at all (you couldn't even join any - if you tried to join, you'd get an error message saying you lived in an area where the program was not valid!) and I didn't have any choice about it. It was either move to a state where affiliate programs were not banned, or find a different way to monetize my site.
Luckily, with my lesson already learned from the 2007 incident, I had a fairly stable income from my own products by the time of the ban on affiliate programs in 2013. But I talked to a lot of folks here in Maine who were devastated by the Nexus Law, one woman had a $14,000 affiliate income vanish overnight and no backup income or savings to fall back on. The passing of the Nexus Law hurt a lot of people here locally whom had relied 100% on affiliate income.
Today with the Nexus Law overruled by Superior Court I once again have affiliates on my site, but I'm to "once bitten twice shy" now to focus heavily on affiliates now. Plus in the 4 years when affiliates were banned in Maine, I had time to dramatically increase my Amazon (books) and Zazzle (art) accounts. My products for sale on Zazzle and Amazon are my primary income now.
So, that's my own view on the whole having your own product vs relying on affiliates debate.