Looking Back On 2016

xmas-bg-gift-decIt’s scary to be looking back on 2016 already!

But as we hurtle toward Christmas 2016, it’s time for a little reflection on the outgoing year, before I hang up my blog until the New Year.

We’re all even more busy than usual at this time of year, but looking backward as well as forward is part of being an entrepreneur- to learn from what went wrong and build on what went right.

There have been highs and there have been lows.

To be honest, there was a time in the early autumn when I felt like packing the whole thing in. Yet here I am – still standing 🙂

Highs And Lows Of 2016

blogging-81-pxbayShock horror – blogging “per se” doesn’t bring in much actual cash for me, because there are people who are far more qualified to make an income developing blogs for others, or as blogging coaches.

I wish I had used a blog coach in my early days – I would have saved so much time that I wasted trying to “do it myself”.

You won't go wrong when you contact Donna Merrill for blog coaching. Click To Tweet

That experience will be one of the Highs of any year – as has every contact I’ve had with Donna been. Contact Donna here.

Another great blogger who helped me earn money blogging is Enstine Muki.

Enstine Muki helped me make money blogging in 2016. Click To Tweet

Thanks to Enstine and Donna’s advice I’ve done much better than the scary statistic on the image.

However, blogging alone hasn’t been my best income generator.

My affiliate marketing and network marketing businesses have earned me much more.

Although I have included various posts with “how to tools and tips” the main purpose of my blog is to showcase online businesses / products and my progress with them.

Looking only at the business angle of my blog, the year splits into 4 phases.

Power Affiliate Club (PAC) – A High

pac-community-300I am a member of a blogging community: Power Affiliate Club, known to its members as PAC.

Being a member of this blogging group is one way to reduce the chance of you being in the statistic above (that 81% of bloggers will never even make as much as $100).

Before I found PAC, blogging was a lonely existence. But within this online group of bloggers I have found so much help, support – AND… real friendship. You just feel (KNOW) that everyone cares about each other.

There’s so much going on within the group to help train us and promote ourselves that I can’t actually keep up with it all. Luckily they seem happy for me to drop in and out as I have time to participate.

It’s open to anyone who has a blog or is planning to start one and it’s been really lovely to see how some newcomers to blogging have blossomed over this last year.

If you’re a blogger who has yet to join the blogging community PAC , do find out more on my affiliate link.

Power Affiliate Club for bloggers - one of the highs of my 2016 Click To Tweet

Premier Cashback – A High

I joined Premier Cashback about 18 months ago and it started well – especially when the Salustra products were introduced.

As an aside, I still use these daily, and after taking them for almost a year, I took an independent test that showed my metabolic age to be 15 years lower than my biological age. So quite aside from any financial reward, that’s a big result.

usa-flag-px_329The greatest high of PCB came in the spring of 2016 when Tony in my team introduced what looked like (exaggeration alert) the whole of America. It was a well-organised team who piled in 3 by 3 by 3 (etc) and they were buying products. Yay!

Then – oops – the team was so large they fell outside my earning capacity. LOL. But the structure of the plan is such that in time, as their success builds, I WILL see benefits.

My biggest mistake was thinking that people I introduced personally would realise that, although there’s no compulsory auto-ship, purchases need to be made for commissions to be generated.

Although I am still receiving commissions slowly, returns were VERY slow for people not making purchases. I still use the products, but stopped promoting the business because people weren’t seeing results fast enough. So they lost interest and moved on.

Announcement December 2016: Head office have recognised the need for people to see returns sooner rather than later, and restructured the compensation plan accordingly.

Premier Cashback remains one of the plans I’m glad I joined and although it’s been a slower burn than I’d anticipated, I look forward to seeing the revised plan.

“High Ticket” Affiliate Promotions – For ME A Low

earn higher affiliate commissionsI still stand by the logic of WHY it’s good to promote high ticket products, and some people are making good incomes from them. But so far they have not been successful for me.

Here’s the whole catalogue of disasters:

  1. At the start of the year I joined a high-ticket coaching program, that would be great for someone who is completely new to blogging. What I hadn’t appreciated was that much of the focus was on creating your own marketing and it was taking me forever (as a part-timer) – but with no results. Some are getting excellent results, but I think they must have more time than me, or deeper pockets for advertising. In the end I got to the stage that I wouldn’t have marketed it anyway because I feel that if it’s too hard for me to do (being reasonably experienced) a beginner will struggle even more. Lesson: I am better suited to ready made marketing materials.
  2. To access professionally produced, ready-made, marketing materials I joined a well-established program: Exitus Elite. No sooner had I joined it than there were TWO mega-revamps of everything about it. This took so long that I put everything on hold until they settled down. (Which they seem to have done, as of December 2016.)
  3. So that I still had something similar to promote while Exitus revamped, I made the mistake of switching to e-Digital Wealth which was being launched about the time of Exitus’ troubles. That one hit payment processor problems and the launch was badly delayed. Their support desk response is poor compared to Exitus support, so if I promote either of these two it will be Exitus. Their revamp has been worth waiting for.
  4. I have tried both the approaches of “play safe with an established company” AND “get in quick to new launch”. Both led to difficulties with company owners chopping and changing plans and payment methods to the extent that in the end I hardly knew what the products were and when the actual launch date would ever be…. Lesson: With affiliate marketing, the product owner calls the shots, not you.
  5. However, for both of these two, and a third one I was mad enough to join, everyone and their dog was promoting the same products so “all” my contacts already joined. All except the ones who saw the writing on the wall! Lesson: promote products that people actually want to buy and use, not something that “everyone” is buying just so they can earn from the compensation plan.
  6. Another mistake was trusting “rotators” and “advertising co-ops” to make sales for me (because I had totally lost faith in myself and the products). I didn’t get ANY sales from rotators or ad-co-ops or buying in leads. Lesson: If it’s to be, it’s up to me!
  7. Following leaders who moved from one product to another and expected me to buy into new products before I’d recovered the costs of previous purchases. In fairness they realised that the market was saturated so they had sound business reasons, but there comes a limit to the number of write-offs you can afford. Lesson: Don’t throw good money after bad.

Although “high ticket” programs has not been a good experience overall, there has been a spin-off benefit.

Contacts I made within the groups, and my introducers, included some very good marketers who shared even more free training in a vain attempt to help stragglers like me. At the time it was all too late, for the reasons above. Also I had bought more training within the products than I could ever get through!

Peter Beckenham – A High

peterbeckenhamOne of my best contacts of 2016 has been a real gentleman, who has turned into a true online friend, Peter Beckenham – the village marketer.

An inspiration to any online marketer, because sometimes his Internet connection is so bad he’s often unable to connect for hours and days at a time.

I was in the same programs as Peter, NOT introduced by him, so he had nothing to gain by helping me. In fact he might have cost himself sales.

But that didn’t stop him offering advice, support and even material to help me.

Peter has had success in a couple of the programs I failed with, and he shared his knowledge to try and help me. Despite his kind help I had just lost faith in the programs, so decided to move on.

Peter Beckenham - kindest and most hardworking blogger I met in 2016 Click To Tweet

Peter also works with Kim Willis, another great contact of 2016.

Kim Willis – A High

KimWillisAffiliate marketer and blogger Kim Willis tried to rescue me from my “High Ticket” abyss when I took his offer of a free consultation.

Although Kim promotes a completely different high ticket product to the ones I was involved in, to his everlasting credit, he gave me good advice without putting me under ANY pressure to move over to his high-ticket product.

However, I did purchase one of his own training systems.

Kim uses a method that – initially – I was reluctant to try. Then I swallowed my pride, thought to myself “He’s a six-figure earner, I’m not. I’d be an idiot to have bought his training and not at least give it a try.”

So I did, and hallelujah the results (with my new business, TPS) have been spectacular.

I’m not an affiliate for Kim or any of his high ticket products so contact him direct here if you’re interested in his methods. It’s my only way of thanking him for what he taught me. He has some excellent free training available as well as paid.

Meet Kim Willis: ethical marketer who taught me most about social media marketing in 2016 Click To Tweet

Because of the logic behind high ticket promotions, I won’t say “never again” – especially now that Exitus Elite looks better than ever before. I had previously been considering a couple of completely different high ticket options, but suddenly TPS exploded into my life. Since then, all my time has been taken up with…..

The Perfect Solution – Ends 2016 On A High

Just 6 weeks ago I joined TPS (The Perfect Solution) because I was intrigued by the idea of earning money from my own free ecommerce store with products.

Also, at that time. I was so disappointed with my High Ticket experiences that I felt I didn’t have a business I could ethically promote, so that “ordinary people” could see success with it.

tpslogoWith TPS, I don’t have to ask people to spend anything they wouldn’t normally spend. Just to look at shopping, saving and earning from their own free online store.

TPS is an 18m old company (400,000+ members) and ordinary people in China and the USA are already getting great results with sales / purchases from their eCommerce stores.

It’s coming to the UK in 2017, also Canada, India, Malaysia and Singapore. Let me know if you’re in any of these countries and would like to look at TPS. I’m now trying to position people in teams geographically so they can share their local knowledge. (I have a great team already building in Singapore.)

Recent achievements with TPS:

  • My personal team is building fast – especially in the UK, Singapore, and I have a few USA team members now
  • I’m trying to place new recruits with proven hard-workers at least in the same country
  • In the company forced matrix I am earning from the sales and purchases of almost 1100 TPS members I have never met. Most of them are in China, and over 70% of them have upgraded from their free stores.
  • Once I understood the potential I also upgraded from my free store to access more of the 85% commission pot available. (Free store owners can still earn – upgrading is entirely optional, yet 70% consider it worth their while…..)
  • Probably the most unexpected outcome of all is that my upline got me speaking on THREE webinars as a leader. I couldn’t have done that unless I could sincerely say that this is a business where the average person can succeed, not just the heavy hitters.

I wrote about TPS very recently so don’t propose to repeat it. You can read my most recent post reviewing “The Perfect Solution” here.

2017 best online business tip: 18m old company: 400k+ members. Is YOUR country next? Click To Tweet

Looking Back On 2016 – Your Turn

Please share the highs and lows of YOUR 2016 in the comments. I look forward to reading what you found, looking back on 2016.

Please share

I left it too late to plan for a financially secure retirement. Don't make my mistake. Start building an extra income with a part-time (or full-time) business online. Think you don't have time? Can't afford the start-up cost? Can't meet sales targets? The businesses I promote overcome all the problems you may have had with Internet Marketing before. Contact me for free advice (no obligation) on the best fit for your circumstances.

Peter Beckenham - December 11, 2016

Wow Joy,

What can I say apart from thank you for being my friend and for sharing from your heart.

This post is an awesome example of sheer honesty that many folks battling right now online should read and read again – then take action on what you have suggested as its based on real life experiences and not some typical made-up promo rubbish

It’s a real pleasure to have connections (and friendships) like yours and it all started with us sharing via our blogs!

Best wishes as always from the remote Thai village marketer come blogger


    Joy - December 11, 2016

    Hi Peter,

    Well, I have just so appreciated your help and advice; also our quick chats when “things” were getting me down.

    There was a time when I thought I was the only one not making a killing with everything I tried. Over the past few years I have realised that it’s not so, and many Internet Marketers do not even cover their hosting costs.

    I think the sooner the “as it is” message gets out there the better. NOT to discourage people, but to let them know that while online marketing is not as easy as the sales pages pretend, they CAN get help and build up to it.

    I have several very good and longstanding “real life” / offline friends. However it’s funny, but nice, to think I probably have more online friends I’ve never even met, than my real-life ones. Yes, most of those online friends came through blogging!

    Best wishes for 2017 and beyond 🙂

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Kim Willis - December 11, 2016

Thanks so much for giving me a ‘plug’ in your well-written post, Joy.

It’s also good to see that you’ve featured other respected bloggers/marketers in Donna Merrill, Peter Beckenham, and Enstine Muki.

I see that you’ve also had some successful experiences with some of the programs you’ve previously joined

May 2017, bring you even more success


    Joy - December 11, 2016

    Hi Kim,

    Couldn’t help but “plug” you – for the difference your advice has made to me 🙂 And the others too!

    I’ve had success in several programs, offline and online in the past – but they all seem to be of the network marketing variety. I just hit this really bad spell over the summer when I tried High Ticket. But you know me, stubborn as ever…. I’ve taken lessons from what went wrong, and back doing what’s gone right for me in the past. May dip my toe in the High Ticket marketplace again sometime, but combining your teaching and TPS are keeping me very busy and happy right now.

    2017 is looking good for me – and I know it will be for you too.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Edward Thorpe - December 11, 2016

Hi Joy,

Still ‘telling it like it is’, aren’t you? 😉 This was a clever post that features your skill as a writer – which are formidable, btw. Retweeted so many of your ready-tweets, that I’ve probably get accused of spamming. Oh well, don’t use Twitter that much.

Your TPS opp got my attention. And, I’m slowly getting signed up. Had some pc issues and time constraints but am tottering forward. Thanks for helping me, appreciate it,

    Joy - December 11, 2016

    Hi Edward,

    Yes – brutal truth from me I’m afraid! Glad you enjoyed the post. It ended up longer than I intended….

    I doubt Twitter will get cross with you, it moves so fast.

    Thanks for signing up for TPS. It’s the time of year for time constraints! But you’ve done the important bit, which is registering your ID. That means your forced company downline will already be building under you, ready for when you want to place an order.

    The next stage (personalising your ID) is in the resources group, or send me a message.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Chery Schmidt - December 12, 2016

Hello Joy, I really enjoyed your review of 2016, WOW! I actually had no idea you were thinking about stepping away! You have worked way to hard for this my friend. I just love what you have done here, your Blogging After Dark Motto just Rocks.. Same as YOU! I am so happy to have met you in PAC and look forward to watching you race to the top in 2017!

Happy Holidays,
Chery :))

    Joy - December 13, 2016

    Hi Chery,

    Well…. I think if I hadn’t found TPS I really would have done.

    The program owners of these high-ticket plans just messed me about so much I didn’t know which way to turn. Such a relief to be back working with the same team as before, and this really has taken off for me.

    Thanks for your kind words about my blog.

    I’m very pleased to have met you through PAC. It’s probably the PAC contacts that kept me going (even though you maybe didn’t know it 🙂

    Happy holiday for you too 🙂

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

      Chery Schmidt - January 4, 2017

      Happy New Year Joy! I just read your new post but for some reason, it looks like the comments lead us back here LOL

      Wishing You a Prosperous 2017 My Friend..
      Chery :))

        Joy - January 7, 2017

        Happy New Year Chery,

        I redirected all comments from my latest post back to here as I knew I wasn’t going to be about to answer them.

        Wishing you the best of everything for 2017 🙂

        Joy – Blogging After Dark

Ravi Chahar - December 12, 2016

Hey Joy,

It’s really scary when I see the days of this year. It’s about to finish and I am still in the urge to get something more exciting.

Donna and Enstine have done a great job and they make people feel like something. Enstine is the money making blogger and Donna inspires others.

I have read the articles written by Kim and Peter, they are doing a great job.

Thanks for sharing with us.

    Joy - December 19, 2016

    Hi Ravi,

    Donna, Enstine, Kim and Peter have certainly been great friends during my online journey.

    If you really ARE looking for something exciting for the New Year, my ecommerce stores will be opening in India sometime in 2017 and I’m looking for someone to head up my team in India. I’d really love that person to be you.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Robin Khokhar - December 12, 2016

Hi Joy,
It looks from your post that you had a very good year behind. And more importantly, you created this amazing post very well.
So, thanks for share.

    Joy - December 19, 2016

    Hi Robin,

    In truth it was a mixed year – started on a high and ended on a high, so I think that counts overall as a good year.

    More importantly I’m thinking that 2016 laid the foundations for a very good year with my new ecommerce stores.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Amar kumar - December 12, 2016

Hey Joy,

Glad to read your experience and it is very interesting. These bloggers are really very hardworking and fully devoted to their blogging. Communities of blogosphere absolutely helpful to enhance our experience in order to maximize our productivity level. We feel very happy and proud when our community comes to help in our burning problem. Eventually, thanks for sharing your worthy information with us.

With best wishes,

Amar kumar

    Joy - December 13, 2016

    Thanks Amar,

    Yes, I’ve had great support through PAC blogging community; and tons of help.

    Bloggers there have expertise that I don’t have. But it’s nice for me to be able to contribute bits and pieces as and when I can 🙂

    Thanks for your visit,

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Lea Bullen - December 14, 2016

Hi Joy,

2016 like other years definitely had it’s moments. But I’m glad to say the low points seemed to have ended about half way through the year. The last part of the year has been a nice wave of highs and I’m hoping to ride that into the new year 🙂


    Joy - December 17, 2016

    Hi Lea,

    So pleased that your low points seem to have ended a little before mine.

    Let’s hope the wave of highs continue for both of us in 2017 🙂

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Marquita Herald - December 14, 2016

Wow it’s been a great year for you all around Joy. I’ve had an awesome year myself, including a major move from Hawaii back to the mainland. I think it’s really important to do these year-end reviews, in fact, my last post of the year will be all about that. Thanks for sharing and for the inspiration!

    Joy - December 17, 2016

    Hi Marquita,

    Gosh a major move like that must have been very stressful, so well done for surviving it.

    Funnily enough the year end review cheered me up, because I had been thinking there were more lows than highs, but when I got down to really thinking about it – for this post – I was able to see the good points as well as the bad. The important thing is that lessons have been learned – AND I’m finishing on a high.

    Looking forward to your year end review.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Donna Merrill - December 14, 2016

Hi Joy,

Wow….nothing better to help others than to share our own experiences. I want to thank you so much for your wonderful words about me here.

I am so glad you didn’t give up and found what you were looking for. Affiliate marketing can be the best thing or the worst we experience. We do have to know the people that own it, and do our homework before we even opt into it. I know…been there and done that lol.

No matter how many products I create, I do sell affiliate products too. It is a nice combination when out there in the marketplace.

I wish you all the best and may you have a successful new year my friend.


    Joy - December 17, 2016

    Hi Donna,

    Couldn’t miss you out of my annual thank-you post 🙂

    I DO believe in Affiliate Marketing and won’t let these few set-backs put me off it completely. Premier Cashback and Exitus Elite have addressed the problems in their programs, I’m pleased to say, so I can move forward with those.

    TPS are starting to tell us about the UK partners coming on board, so that’s looking extremely positive too.

    My very best wishes to you and David for the New Year. I wish you everything you wish yourselves.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Kathryn Maclean - December 17, 2016

Hi Joy!
Enjoyed reading your annual thank you post. I had not realized all that you do other than what I read from you with PAC. What a little powerhouse you are. All those companies. I am impressed! All the marketers you know and the affiliate programs you have been involved with.
Happy to know you in PAC. Best wishes for 2017!

    Joy - December 19, 2016

    Hi Kathryn,

    I sometimes think that rather than a power-house, my “multi-tasking” is a power drain. A few of those ventures are best forgotten, to concentrate on what is working now: TPS.

    Have a great Christmas and 2017.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Sue Bride - December 18, 2016

Thank you so much for such an honest review of your year and the programs you’ve joined. Although some didn’t work out as you’d hoped, it shows that persistence pays off. I’m really pleased you are now showing results.

    Joy - December 19, 2016

    Hi Sue,

    I like to be honest so that other people can accept that things don’t always work out well. I went for years working online genuinely believing I was the only one not making tons of money.

    Although I’m still not making tons of money, I can see progress in the right direction, because I have learned so many lessons and – yes – persisted!

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Deborah A. Ten Brink - December 18, 2016

Hey, Joy, what a ride, huh?

I think this is just the raw truth. Life and business are a journey. We have highs and lows. Some things work, some things don’t.

The worst thing we could do is nothing at all! Just sit back and complain about how bad our business or life is, and then do nothing to change it.

You put yourself out there, and look at you! 🙂

I believe 2017 is going to be amazing! Thank you for sharing your journey. Posts like this really help bloggers know they aren’t the only one struggling and figuring things out.


    Joy - December 19, 2016

    Hi Deborah,

    There certainly were both highs and lows for my business in 2016. However, it’s quite fitting that I’m replying to your comment having just listened to the new plans for Premier Cashback in 2017. The company are responding to the concerns of the members and it’s looking as if it will have a great makeover in the first quarter of the new year.

    It ran through a rather dry patch for me after the initial fast start, so I moved onto a different model (the high ticket programs). At the time I wrote this post I had intended to restart marketing SOME of the high-ticket programs, but it’s looking as if I will have both TPS and Premier Cashback to move forward with in 2017, instead. Which is a bonus beyond what I had expected.

    I’ll be pleased if other bloggers can learn that success isn’t instant (except in very lucky circumstances), but it IS worth persisting.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Rachit Singh - December 20, 2016

Hi Joy,

Visiting your blog after such a long time and girl it has changed so much.

I love the new theme and feel of your blog, especially the tagline “blogging after dark”.

Looks like 2k16 has been a worthy year for you.

As from my side, it was full of energy and I did a lot of things such as starting my own content marketing company, renovating hacknovations and my personal blog.

I started offering content writing & marketing services. I also started a podcast show. From the new year, I’ll be offering mentoring and consultations as well.

Summing up, awesome year it was.

    Joy - December 20, 2016

    Hi Rachit,

    Funnily enough I was just thinking about you the other day – yes it has been a long time since we caught up, and so glad you like the new look.

    Your year sounds to have been very busy too, and you’re obviously all set for a good 2017 with the services you offer.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Mandy Allen - January 2, 2017

Hi Joy, great that you have found a successful programme that works for you. I was commenting on another blog today and made the point that not everything works for everyone, you really do have to find the bits that work for you. Happy New Year!

Enjoy the journey!

    Joy - January 2, 2017

    Hi Mandy,

    Being from the UK, you may be familiar with Dragons Den and successful “Dragon” Peter Jones.

    I was so relieved to hear him admit on TV the other night that he’d also had his share of “things that didn’t work out as he’d hoped”.

    Glad to be back on course with a business model that has worked for me in the past 🙂

    Have a Happy and Prosperous New Year, Joy

ikechi - January 3, 2017

Hi Joy

Looking at your moments in 2016, I see a lot of wisdom that you have gained from the highs and lows and that is the great thing about life and also about Business. You found a programs that clicks with you.

Thanks for sharing. Take Care

    Joy - January 7, 2017

    Hi Ikechi,

    I learned a lot from my mistakes in 2016, but fortunately they had a happy ending when I found TPS.

    And the good ending of 2016 has led to a good start for 2017.

    I hope your 2017 is getting off to just as good a start.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Elise Cohen Ho - January 8, 2017

Joy, I so appreciate you sharing your highs and lows. This is what makes a huge difference to so many…honest sharing. Thank you.

    Joy - January 10, 2017

    Thanks Elise,

    Well, for years I was “conned” into thinking that I was the only person not making my fortune online.

    It was only recently that I’ve stopped believing most of what I read and hear. Perhaps other people really are making a fortune, but more and more – reading between the lines – I think they’re NOT.

    So I’d rather be honest about my highs and lows and see what comes of it. Although that is rather easier when I’m on a high, from my success in TPS 🙂

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

      Elise Cohen Ho - January 23, 2017

      It is important that we remain aware that some of what we read is very true but then others of what we read does require massive amounts of reading between the lines. Again, I appreciate your transparency.

        Joy - January 25, 2017

        That’s very true (online AND offline, I have found!)

        I’m getting better at reading between the lines 🙂

        Joy – Blogging After Dark

Paula - January 9, 2017

SOUNDS like TPS doing great! That is awesome.Sounds like your journey is flourishing. And hope your New Year is awesome! Nice blog, I am sure I could learn stuff from you.

    Joy - January 10, 2017

    Hi Paula,

    TPS has really exploded, and it grew particularly fast in December with the holiday spending.

    Thanks for your kind words about my blog, but to be honest comparing hours spent on my blog vs hours spent on TPS, TPS is by far the winner. Hmmmm….

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Lydia - January 12, 2017

Joy thank you for your brutal honesty. Glad you found what does work for you. Happy New Year!

    Joy - January 15, 2017

    Hi Lydia,

    Sometime it’s kinder to be cruel even though the truth hurts.

    Perhaps I should have been more honest with myself earlier on – but maybe then I wouldn’t have stayed the course until I found TPS. Finally a successful online business that people can start risk-free.

    Have a Happy and Prosperous New Year, Joy

Comments are closed