At first glance, I am sure the title of this post looks like a major typo but it is not. I received an email last month from a fellow New Yorker who over the summer got started in affiliate marketing. It was only last month that he first heard of the NY Tax issue; he got rejected from a merchant because he lived in NY. The merchant was nice enough to direct the affiliate here for more information. The affiliate does not wish his real name used, but he does not mind sharing his story. For the sake of simplicity, we will use the name John to refer to this affiliate.
John emailed me asking me to explain the tax issue a bit more and wanted to know how it would affect him. The easy part was explaining the tax issue; the effects were tougher to explain. I wanted John to know what he was up against but I did not want to dissuade him from affiliate marketing. Rather than emailing him I asked if I could call.
John and I spoke for almost two hours. John has an interesting story. He graduated from college two years ago and had been working as a sales representative for a small company just outside of NYC. The company was forced to downsize and let John go. He was fortunate to receive a six month severance package. While he is looking for work John decided to try affiliate marketing.
The first thing John and I spoke about was the need to be informed and educated. Affiliate marketing can be very isolating so it is important to read at least a forum and a blog or two to keep up with industry news. Since he is a NY Affiliate he really needs to visit the NY Affiliate Forum to keep informed on the NY tax issue and the ABestWeb forum for discussion on other affiliate issues. I suggested that he dedicate around an hour a day reading at forums and blogs and I urged him to participate to start forming relationships with others in the industry.
John’s main concern was whether it was possible for him to make money as a new NY Affiliate. “I just received my first check last month. I was so excited. Then I was turned down because I was from NY. Can I still make a living at this?” asked John.
I told John that affiliate marketing can still be a profitable business but urged him to be smart. He should use multiple merchants and always seek out new ones. It is important to continuously establish relationships and be sure to ask questions. He should seek out ethical networks and clean merchants and try to form relationships with OPM’s (Outsourced Program Managers) and with other affiliates. In addition, since he is an affiliate from New York, John should try to keep to NY Affiliate friendly merchants. That means he should look for merchants who not only currently accept NY Affiliates but are also dedicated to keeping NY affiliates in their programs by taking a proactive approach.
John sent me a follow up email. “I read thru [sic] some of the sites you gave me. I feel that even though I have another obstacle because I am from NY I can give this a go. I know I have to make sure I am aware that tomorrow everything can change.”
John has agreed to give us another update in a month or so. When he emailed me the other day he told me he was having a pretty good month. His good news made my day.