Janis is an affiliate from NY and has agreed to share her story although she has requested her true name be protected. Last year Janis, a single mother of three, was able to rely on her affiliate income to help support her family. Janis lost her husband a few years ago. Like many other affiliates, having an online business based on affiliate marketing enabled her to be home for her children.
I first spoke with Janis in June of this year, she thinks she found me through ABestWeb. Travel for business is very difficult for her so she pretty much keeps to herself although she does read several affiliate forums and blogs. She was hit hard by the wave of terminations of NY Affiliates at the end of May and early June. She estimates that her income is down around 40%. I asked her which ones affected her the most. “I wouldn’t be able to name just one. I was overwhelmed with the changes I had to make, wasn’t enough hours in the day to fix everything.”
Like many other NY affiliates, Janis had large holes appear in her sites. After the first two replacement merchants also decided to terminate NY Affiliates, Janis started switching to using Adsense and other paid advertising to replace her income. Other pages were simply removed from her sites. “It was a quick fix then and now”, said Janis, pausing slightly, “I’ve decided to not make any more changes.”
I asked her to clarify, thinking she has given upon affiliate marketing. “I have realized that as a New Yorker, affiliate marketing is not as reliable as I need. I had to change my business for my children’s sake.” She said that the stress of June took a toll on her but that she didn’t want to give up. She maintained the merchant relationships that she could and now, if she does decide to add a product, looks only for NY affiliate friendly programs.
Janis admits that she was, and still is, a bit depressed over the state of her business. She does hold onto her hope that her business will bounce back. Unfortunately, Janis admits, that hope fades a little more each day. “Here it is October, and just the other day a merchant terminated me because of the tax law.”
I have mixed emotions as I think about Janis’ story. On one hand it is great to see that she has been able to adjust her business model and adapt her sites to current conditions. That is after all, the sign of a good business person. What saddens me though is that a good, ethical affiliate with a really wonderful website is limited, challenged and discouraged. If it wasn’t for her resiliency and her determination, she would have simply given it all up. Ethical affiliates, no matter where they are located, should not be discouraged from being a part of this industry.