Back in November, I wrote about Janis, a NY Affiliate and how she was affected by the NY Affiliate tax. At that time, I wrote that Janis had adjusted by replacing merchants with either other merchants or with various paid ads. Now that the holiday shopping season has ended, Janis took the time to evaluate her business and has made some decisions.
Janis has decided to scale down her affiliate relationships and will replace more merchants with paid ads. By the time she has finished she will have only a handful of merchants. “I am replacing all non performing merchants and there are a lot of them. I don’t have the time to be testing any more. I make more by selling ad space. I just can’t compete fairly with others.”
Janis continued, “I know there are good merchants out there but it takes too much time to find them. It seems like when I do find them there are other issues. Tracking goes down, they add leaks, program gets deactivated and then reactivated, or they partner up with something that takes away from my commission. That whole thing with all those toolbars scares me. I can’t compete.”
I asked Janis how the holiday season was. She answered that sales in some areas were good but that overall sales were down from last year. Of course, some can be attributed to a weak economy but Janis feels that the loss of some merchants is what did the most damage. She says she has no way to know for sure why sales were down. Rather than testing other merchants she is making the switch to selling advertising space on her sites. Janis feels that a guaranteed income is better, even if it is less than what she made a year ago. In addition she has started two new sites which are making up some of the deficit.
When asked where her business would be six months from now, Janis replied, “I see continued growth but not for the affiliate part. I’ll give it another year but if there aren’t big changes I will probably get out of affiliate sites and just keep selling advertising space.”
I am happy Janis is finding a way to adapt her business model. That ability is part of being an entrepreneur. I am, however, sad that she continues to phase out her affiliate marketing. Her continued growth and development of other aspects of her business is inspiring and I wish her continued success.