It's time to set my goals for 2016.
The Christmas holidays are almost over, and – at the time of writing – we're in that awkward few days after Christmas, before the old year ends and 2016 begins.
I'm seeing a flurry of goal setting posts and New Years' resolutions, so it's time to add my own.
After a rather gloomy post reviewing 2015, I decided that I perhaps should look back at my goals for 2015 and see if I had done as badly as I felt I had when I wrote that post.
It turned out that – being mindful of family stresses and problems – I had only set myself two major goals to achieve in 2015:
- Improve my work life balance
- Publish more Internet Marketing Products
So how did I do?
Improving Work Life Balance
For a “confirmed workaholic” I've done pretty well on this!
- Most important of all, I took extra time to spend with my parents in the last days of Mum's life, and afterwards with my Dad
- I took a 10 day holiday in the USA – the longest holiday I have ever had in my life
- I have kept up with the yoga class I started attending
- I've joined a book club and am enjoying more time reading for pleasure
- I'm looking into a Scrabble club
- I relax in front of the TV for 2 hrs each night of the weekend – which might be seen as BAD by some marketers, but my work hours at this time last year were just crazy
Publish More Internet Marketing Products
Unfortunately my early 2015 optimism about generating an income by producing my own internet marketing products was short-lived and within a few weeks I was totally disillusioned because so many low ticket products of varying quality (from excellent right down to dire) were being produced and marketed by “the big guys and their students” that it became completely obvious that I couldn't – and didn't want to – compete.
There is just one part of the process I enjoy and am GOOD at: researching and producing the actual product.
BUT – I am BAD at, and dislike, most other parts….
- Writing hypey sales copy
- Packaging the product into professionally produced sales pages
- Setting up a sales funnel
- Gathering an army of affiliates to promote the product for me
The rewards from my original paid product just didn't justify the time and money spent producing it and I quickly realized that this wasn't something I wanted to waste any more time and money on.The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results: Albert Einstein Click To Tweet
So… what to do instead?
During the months in 2015 that I worked on affiliate marketing, by doing product reviews, I realized that the way many people were doing it (including me!) was a total waste of time and doomed to failure.
Here are the problems with affiliate marketing that I found.
- We were promoting low-cost items – say $10, with up-sells. It's simple maths – you have to sell one hundred $10 products to generate $1,000 a month. And I wasn't doing anything near that.
- A more sinister finding was that, in many cases, while the affiliate receives the money for the front-end, low priced product, commission on future sales / up-sells will go to the product producer.
- The “big guys” were offering such huge bonuses that “little people” like me couldn't compete, and people were just waiting to see who would offer the biggest bonus, sometimes even “refunding” an original purchase to buy with a better bonus.
- By signing up as an enquirer to my own affiliate link I also discovered that often, if the prospect doesn't buy on first exposure to the product, emails further down the line will promote the product producer's ID rather than the ID of the affiliate who first generated the inquiry.
- In one affiliate program where I sold some products, personal contacts told me they had bought from my link but I never received the commissions. I was stuck between “accusing” my customers of untruths or the product producer of not passing on my rightful commissions. I don't like conflict, so I haven't promoted those products for a while now.
- Another program I signed up for looked promising for a while, but I bought one of the products via someone I knew personally, told my introducer and learned she'd received no commission. We alerted the product producer, received an apology, and he sent her the commission assuring us that the “leaky commission loop-hole” was fixed. Later I bought another product from the same source. My introducer STILL didn't receive the commission, so I gave up my plans to promote these products. Prospects I don't already know won't be checking to ask me if I received their commission!
So I am very careful which affiliate products to promote now, and always look out for the problems above – and so should you.
But whatever your chosen route into Internet Marketing, you will need….
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Check out the Internet Marketing College (affiliate link).