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Have you ever gone bust on your AM?
or is AM a one way street up?

 7:57 am on Dec 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

once you move to full time AM and you have some skills and some sites/campaigns, can you ever truly lose it all and find yourself having to contemplate a 'regular' job again? or, any such setbacks are looked upon as just a bump on the road, and you just tell yourself that you have to work harder at it to get it all back?

I'd love to hear stories/"case studies" of people who thought they had it all and then came crashing down, and why did that happen, lessons learned, etc.



 8:15 am on Dec 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

I wasn't doing this during the DotCom heyday (and crash) so it's all been an upward trend for me. However, I think we'd be dumb not to learn from history. The Internet changes so much just from year to year who knows whether Adsense and AM will be around in 10 years or in what capacity?

Rather than wasting my money on luxury toys, I'm planning on buying real estate, probably some rental properties. That way you still have a passive income and own something in the future if this all goes away.


 2:48 pm on Dec 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

Nothing is forever. As the saying goes, make hay while the sun shines. This is no different than the "real" job world. You could get "fired" at anytime. A merchant's program could close, an algorithem change could have you with a worthless site and many other things.

I personally hope to make enough to retire on and get out. I don't need big, fancy things. What I have right now suits me fine.

As with the real world, your best bet is to be sensible with your money. There have been a few excellent books recommended here on the subject. "Rich Dad, Poor Dad", "The Millionaire Next Door" and "The Richest Man in Babylon" were my favorites. But to tell you the truth, they all say basically the same thing when it comes to personal finances. "Wealthy people don't spend money, they save it."


 6:09 pm on Dec 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

My story... I was doing affiliate marketing for a year and a half. I went into a seperate internet business with a guy I knew. After nearly 6 months he ended up stealing all of my websites, my company, liquidating my bank accounts, etc.

I had to take him to court over it, during the court proceedings the sites were down and lost all search engine rankings. I basically had to start from scratch after regaining ownership of the websites.

Never at one time did I even consider the possibility of getting a real job. To me with a real job there's no incentive or motivation to work hard. The people i know are happy to get a raise of 50 cents after a years work... so they earn $7.50 an hour versus $7.00... not exactly what i look for. It's not going to buy me my one way ticket out of this country.


 8:20 pm on Dec 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

The biggest thing from AM is confidence and experience. Once you make 1k, 5k, 10k, 20k, 100k (wouldn't 100k be nice:)), whatever in a month you know it can be done and you learn from the experience.

Each day you learn something subtle about it that only comes from experience. You know it can be done, you know you can do it and what you learn can be applied to most any business. As long as you are smart with the $$$ you make, you should have a decent stash that will get you through some lean times. The next boom or crash is always just around the corner.

If you go all out, it can be a one way street that may not always be paved with gold and might not always be AM but when you know you can do something and you've done it, you have a better guage of your value and you have more confidence and you can sell yourself better. You're not likely to end up at some low wage mindless job again or if you do you'll know how to make the most of it and bounce back quickly.


 2:28 pm on Jan 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Interesting thread... Like many I'm preparing to make the move away from the full time job, and it's great to see posts like skibum's.

I particularly agree with the notion of saving for leaner times, and would suggest building several income streams to minimise the all-eggs-in-one-basket situation.


 6:40 pm on Jan 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Had a site purley Am based was geting around 240 perday sold it when it dropped down to 120 perday I understand that he guy that bought now considers himself to have had a good day when 50 call through.

So yes things can go wrong.


 7:39 pm on Jan 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

We have had 70%+ drops in revenue on several occasions. To this point, we have generally been able to get it back, however, it may not always be this way.

If you look at yourself/your company as a lead generation operation, rather than an "affiliate marketer", this may help in expanding your view of things and give you an edge in business.

It's funny how people here seem to equate "real" jobs with $7.50 per hour. My real job (years ago), at a VC/investment banking firm paid quite well. I am not arguing the merits of this vs. aff marketing, and I certainly do not want to turn this into another idiotic "how much ya make?" thread, but I can assure you at this particular wall street firm, the employees and partners were not paupers by any stretch. In short, if your friends are making $7 per hour, they certainly qualify for wellfare in America and probably do not represent...errr.... the educated folks here that may be making real decisions about this very matter :)


A more direct answer to your question might be that of course things can go wrong as with all business. Some of the folks who have been running their own show for a while may have the benefit of cash to fall back on, however, if you are just starting out and have family and bills to worry about, I would certainly have a back up plan for a bit!


 6:38 am on Jan 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

Although I haven't been around for such a long time in this AM business, I think that if one applies some logic to the nature of the "job" it isn't possible to just "go bust".

Can things go wrong? Yes, of course. I believe though that all the skills one learns in order to reach a point where they are doing this full time are worth far more than the actual money earned on a daily/monthly/yearly basis.

Essentially, we are training to sell. There is always going to be consumers, and there are always companies that target these consumers. That's we're we step in. Maybe it won't always be as good as it is now, where you wake up with money in the bank after a good night's rest, but the knowledge gained that makes this possible today can be applied both in the cyberworld and the "real" world tomorrow if the need arises. Combine this with a fail-proof method of security such as good real-estate investments for example and I think you can be quite confident that you will be alright no matter what comes your way.

Just my opinion however.


 7:38 am on Jan 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

If you are good enough to make even a grand a month from Aff stuff you are worth a lot more than $7.00 an hour in the job market.


 12:19 pm on Jan 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

But to tell you the truth, they all say basically the same thing when it comes to personal finances. "Wealthy people don't spend money, they save it."

I think they don't spend it, but invest and treat eerything as a business. And the businesses buy all the nice things for them.


 12:25 pm on Jan 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

"If you are good enough to make even a grand a month from Aff stuff you are worth a lot more than $7.00 an hour in the job market."

I'd say it depends what country you are from. What I am doing now would not equate to a major salary in the outside world so to speak in my country (UK). I agree that this would differ for the US, the land of opportunity :)



 2:55 pm on Jan 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

"Wealthy people don't spend money, they save it."

So how do companies like Mercedes and Yacht brokers stay in business?

BTW, rich dad poor dad = fraud/mlm chump. He is/was not a real estate guru and never had a rich dad. Also, the advice is pretty much crap in there and total BS as the truth is over 95% of the wealthy hae over 50% of tehur cash in teh stock market....But go for it, retire rich and becomae a slumlord -the real estate market never goes down if you follow his simple advice! :)

Michael Anthony

 7:32 pm on Jan 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

mfishy - gotta say I read Rich Dad Poor Dad and agreed with every word. I'm also reasonably well off and have become so from real estate and stock market investments. My AM income is good, but it pales into insignificance when compared to my real estate gains.

In my own view, the single biggest mistake you can make in AM is to start winning and relax. The minute you have something working well, start working on something else in a completely unrelated field. This way, when the first thing dies from too much competition or whatever, you have the second thing to fall back on.

Take this approach until you have at least 10 different industries providing you an income, making sure to replace anything that's dying with something new, then you'll have a pretty secure future.

And, in my very humble but proven opinion, put any spare cash into real estate and low risk stock market investments. None of my expensive toys have ever made me a profit :)


 9:17 pm on Jan 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

"humble but proven opinion"

That is an odd statement.


 10:11 pm on Jan 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

Is Humble and Unproven inherently contradictory?:)


 10:29 pm on Jan 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

mfishy - gotta say I read Rich Dad Poor Dad and agreed with every word.

There are lots of things wrong with that book, you should read some professional reviews on that book.

I don't think I will ever have a day job again because I have enough resources to acquire other well established sites that are ranking high at google and other search engine so I'm really not worried about google or any other search engine folding because there will always be another big search enigne that everyone will use.

And by the way, I also disagree about rich people saving their money, rich people make their money work for them by investing in other businesses and if you have a good budget in USA its relatively easy to make your money work for you. It doesnt have to be all online (ex: car selling, real estate etc...)

So my advice to everyone, especially for people who are just starting up is to invest as much as possible in knowledge and expreriment with everything until you figure out what really works. Remember, its not how much money you have in a bank account, its how you can make that money work for you.


 2:14 am on Jan 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

Remember, its not how much money you have in a bank account, its how you can make that money work for you.

But you still need some meaningful amount to get things going.

I'm trying to plough back 50% of my net earnings into the AM biz every month - advertising, acquiring domains, marketing materials etc.

It is difficult because of other commitments but I feel that's way forward.

Need to diversify across industries, hosting companies, domains, traffic sources, merchants within same industry, etc.

All these need $


 3:11 pm on Jan 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

rich dad poor dad = fraud/mlm chump

Maybe he was, but the real estate stuff wasn't what I was talking about. (I personally would avoid real estate myself. Too many headaches in my opinion.) All the books that I pointed out all say the same thing in regards to money. If you spend more that you make with the expectation of making more, you don't get anywhere. You have to save it (and invest as well, if you would like) in order to be prepared for rough waters or even just retirement.

Many lottery winners go bankrupt after they win b/c they spend their money like maniacs. Sometimes it might seem a bit heady to suddenly be making much more than you were before, but AM is not something that you go out and take a loan out on a $50K car 'cause you expect to be making what you are now forever.


 7:33 pm on Jan 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

>You have to save it (...) in order to be prepared for rough waters or even just retirement.

That's the point. High income doesn't lead to wealth. The money you DON'T spend leads to wealth.


 8:15 pm on Jan 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

So let me get this straight....I should NOT spend all of my money? Hmmm....I'll have to ponder that. I was thinking that Pubcon New Orleans might be a good time for me to blow it all in one bang :)


 9:33 pm on Jan 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

Never seen the book richdad/poor dad but I have read a book called the 'Millionaires mind' a compilation of in depth questionaires sent out to people who are millionaires.

Reoccuring theme:

They stumble across their money making ideas doing their normal day job, they dont gamble (no horses or big risks), they occupy a niche market which they are experts on.

with regards to wealth management they are very conservative buying only businesses that are established and with a good reputation.

76% of self made millionaires had no advanced education.


 11:30 pm on Jan 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

Great book, but it's not hard to find a book about millionaires who gamble and take big risks.

Read "Market Wizards" for the flip side of wealth building.


 12:02 am on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

I've read both rich dad poor dad(and a couple of his books) as well as the millionaire mind, and also books by napoleon hill(think big...grow blah) as well as books written by trump, dell, fred deluca(subway) and a few more... and my take on those books are learn what you can learn to achieve what you want, weed out the phony stuff or "noise" in those books believe me there's a lot, spend time making your own path and whenever possible if you come to a situation that you can apply what you've learn from those books, then good it serve it's purpose, but don't take it as the absolute rule book because in the end who wants to be another disappointed follower? :)

just my 2 cents... I'm sleepy testing our application.. oh well back to work... :)


 3:31 am on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

I was usually making 5 figures a month in 2000 and 2001, and due to several factors including a collapse/change of the niche i operated in, and the fact that i became pregnant and had no maternity insurance, but made too much money to qualify for any help, I ended up very broke (pregnancy cost me $30,000). I never "lived large" but had used the extra i had made during the good times pay off debts from college (student loans credit cards etc.).
Anyhoo, in Jan of 2003, my baby and I moved back in with my mom, at the time my bills (car payment, car insurance health insurance etc) were $1200 a month, and I could barely meet them. I didn't have much time to concentrate on rebuilding my income, because i was the single parent of a newborn baby and that can be very all consuming. But, I spent every second i could researching and getting into new stuff and December 2004 was my best month ever. I am back into the 5 figures a month, and way further in than i was in the past with way more diverse income streams. It can be done! I am definately more wary of how easily it can "all come down", and more dedicated to making sure i keep constant diversification going on. Hopefully I never have to start from scrath again, but if i do, I feel pretty confident that i can make it work.
In fact, I have managed not to have a "real job" since graduating from college in 1998 and before I even got into internet marketing etc. I did diverse freelance things including having a line of jewelry, taking freelance photos, graphic and web design projects, writing music reviews and food reviews, being a trendspotter and probably more stuff i can't recall cause it's hard to fit it all on a resume (or in my brain). My point is, the kind of ingenuity and self drive it takes to make it on the web, can also be applied to eeking out a living in other ways, and making sure you don't have a real job. Damn the man! hehe.


 3:42 am on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

suzyvirtual, I sure hope you're not a "virtual person" :)

Great to hear your come-back story - it is an encouragement to all of us, I'm sure.

Burn your bridges and never say die!


 4:25 am on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)


Nice post Suzy, and good luck in the future.

All the Best,


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