I have been making a few stabs in the direction of affiliate marketing. Okay that’s not accurate. I have been trying to make affiliate marketing work for me since 2009.
So far, I do not have very much to show for it. Part of the problem is that I have mental health issues that make providing consistent content extremely difficult. It can be extremely hard to write when you have something in the back of your head telling you that no matter what you try to do, it is not going to work and that you have never really been good at anything. Because it has a lot of evidence that it is correct. When you are already not doing very well, negative self-talk will gleefully jump on all of your failures at once and suddenly there isn’t a single thing you can do at all because just starting anything is a waste of time. (I have posted about my various difficulties off and on for a while now.) Another problem is that I don’t have a good handle on how to do the self-promotion stuff, even if I understand what I need to do in theory.
Note: Bear in mind that I am aware that no one else has any money either.
- Amazon Associate: This is involves posting product links and hoping someone follows the link and buys stuff, so I can get a small advertising fee. This is the most successful only in the sense that I occasionally reach the payoff amount.
- Powell’s Books: This is a similar set up and as far as I can tell, I have gotten NO purchases, even though I set this up specifically for the people who told me that they hated Amazon but would be interested in Powell’s links. (I might be a little exasperated by this, even with awareness that everyone else is also having money problems.)
- AdSense: This is pay per click I do not get enough hits to get a lot of clicks. I have yet to reach the payoff amount.
- Sponsored Tweets/Social Sparks: I am not getting very many offers and the paid advertising is for companies I generally don’t use product from.
- For a while, I was also using an affiliate marketing company I can’t remember the name of right now. I am not currently using it because if you don’t make money within a certain period, they kick you out.
None of the affiliate marketing programs I’m in have earned me enough money to get tax information, that is to say, they are not making me solvent.
So, my general approach with advertising is to avoid being overly aggressive and to avoid cluttering my blogs with too many ads. (Also, I won’t use video ads because they are terrible and stupid.) This may or may not be a good approach but it’s certainly the preferable approach since I really hate the kind of cluttering I see on other sites. I also try to avoid spamming on twitter and other social media sites because that doesn’t seem to help very much either.
I think a lot of my difficulties have to do with providing interesting content and interacting with my (potential) audience. Again, the problem there is the ongoing mental and health issues that make writing difficult. I could quite conceivably write a lot about the ongoing mental and health issues and my difficulties with finding help and not being able to scrape together the funds and resources to get that help, since that is mostly what’s on my mind, but there seems to be a general consensus in the greater blogosphere that blogging about one’s mental and physical health problems causes disinterest and disaffection. (This is possibly because the market for ranting about mental and health issues is very niche.) This does not of course stop me from writing about it, but still.