Review of 2015
Not A Good Year For Me
As 2015 draws to a close, I’m sad to say it’s not been a good one for me in any sense – personal or business.
The main reason, which has over-shadowed the whole year has been the illness and then the loss of my dear Mum. You know it’s going to happen but that doesn’t make it any easier for those left behind.
Everyone did what they could to make her last days as comfortable as possible and I’m confident she was as well looked after as she could have been. She died peacefully in her sleep at home, as she had wished, on April 14th 2014. If she had survived until December 2015 she and my Dad would have celebrated their 70th Wedding Anniversary.
So as we head into the festive season – when family stresses sometimes run a little high – I urge those of you that still have loved ones with you to be thankful that you have your family around you. And please spare a thought for those of us – young and not so young – who are missing loved ones at Christmas.
Continuing on the bad news (there is good news ahead, I promise!)…..
Affiliate Marketing Didn’t Work For Me In 2015
Business-wise it’s fair to say that a year ago I was pretty much floundering in my online business and hadn’t found any real direction other than reviewing other people’s products in an unfocused attempt at affiliate marketing.
“Everyone” said I should become a product producer; so I produced a paid product of my own, supposed to be marketed by affiliates. More urgent family pressures meant production was delayed badly and the launch – on a non-VAT-compliant platform – was only a few days before the ill-thought-out VAT regulations relating to digital products. So I stopped promoting, rather than fall foul of the VAT-man. (Wonder whatever happened to that damp squib?)
I tried moving the product to a VAT compliant platform but technical problems and lack of time defeated me. Affiliates who had said they would promote the product didn’t, and all in all it was a BIG waste of time and money.
However, I always like to learn something from any failure and I learned a lot from producing my own paid product – mainly that it’s something I never want to do again! I’ve produced a few free products as lead magnets, and I genuinely believe some of them give more value than one or two paid products I’ve seen, but I’m not tempted to continue down the “produce my own paid product” route.
Watching other “players” in the affiliate marketing arena it was obvious that there’s a group of marketers releasing low priced products and all promoting each others’ products in an incestuous little circle adding bonus on top of bonus in an effort to outdo each other. The result is that a small player, such as myself, cannot compete with a low priced product because the big guys have huge lists just waiting to see which of their mentors will produce the most mega-mega-bonus of all.
I featured an article by an anonymous product producer from this little clique who was as disillusioned as I was by it all. Read here: Do Gimmicks And Best Sales Bonus Trump Product Value?
Some of these products are so good I couldn’t compete with producing anything similar and some are so bad as to be dire. Yet all are promoted with equal gusto to those on certain marketers’ lists. Some “stars” are made and some sink without trace, but I got so fed up of seeing the same people promoting new products, day after day, and launch after sickening launch that I resigned from all their lists except one – the guy who wrote the most entertaining emails. It saved me a lot of money as I stopped buying these $9.99 products, and their inevitable upsells!
My disillusionment with affiliate marketing and producing my own product led to a re-think and a return to my original online success, with network marketing (also known as MLM or multi-level-marketing). But first I needed to address – and solve – what had gone wrong with previous MLM ventures.
Which I managed to do! More info further down this post ….
So What DID Work In 2015?
The most successful MLM I was with (several years ago) closed down abruptly, taking with it an income larger than my regular income at that time, plus the list of contacts that I had stupidly entrusted to its care.
So, to be sure that never happened again, I learned list building and email marketing. If you’re not already building your list, make that your 2016 goal and just DO IT!
Part of the problem with my 2015 floundering online business was the revival of my 30-year old offline business! A customer who had just been ticking along suddenly came up with a massive amount of new work, and well paid work at that. So I did what any sensible business owner would do, and put my efforts where the best income was. Even going forward into 2016 I still have a full order book from this client.
One pleasant result of this was that I was able to “sack” another off-line client who was causing me too much stress. That felt good, and I have never regretted the loss of the related income.
Some bloggers seem to enjoy solving technical problems. I hate them. I just want to write and get my articles out as fast as possible, without fighting gremlins.
To address some of them I moved my site’s hosting to SiteGround and experienced an upsurge in speed and superb technical support – that was definitely a good move.
I tried a few different WordPress themes, Finally I decided to treat myself to the one I’d been hankering after for months – Thrive Theme and content builder. I have started implementing it on this site now, although I have yet to introduce some of the more advanced features, which I will do over the months to come.
Initial impressions – great! And I was particularly impressed to have received support with a technical problem over the holiday period.
As all this technical tweaking with my blog continued I was still keeping my eyes open for a replacement for the “product production and promotion” debacle.
MLM Problems Solved
In the middle of the year I was introduced to Premier Cashback and immediately saw that this solved all the problems I’d experienced with MLM in the past because:
- A one-off purchase qualifies you for life from £50 + P&P
- There are no monthly fees and no compulsory monthly purchases
- Buy – as a customer – when you want to
- Sell IF and ONLY IF you choose to
- Passive members earn cashback eventually
- Active members can take control of their business and earn faster
Because there are no monthly fees, and I can promote it as and when I have time, this is the ideal MLM to run alongside my busy offline business, because there WILL come a time when that work dries up, and I need to put in place a reliable method to make money online.
I managed to introduce about nine people to Premier Cashback, which I was delighted with. However it quickly became clear that those nine weren’t having the same level of success that I had. So I needed to find them some tools and training to help them get started.
Having reviewed several different packages I finally settled on a tools and training system I could recommend, because it comes with a way to let the company get your business into a profit producing situation without you needing to divert your attention from your main business – whether that’s Premier Cashback, or any other business.
Whatever business you are promoting online, read more about the Guaranteed Signups System here.
How Was Your 2015?
I’ve shared with you, above, what did and didn’t work for me in 2015. Now I invite you to do the same in the comments below.
- What did you learn from 2015?
- What successful strategies will you repeat?
- What will you do differently in 2016?
My 2016 plans are to build on:
- My offline business – it would be mad to neglect a well paid freelance income that I actually enjoy
- Premier Cashback – here for the long-term
- Guaranteed Signup System for internet training courses- although making one social media post a day is hardly exhausting
- A better Affiliate Marketing model, still under investigation! More info next time.
That brings me right up to date with 2015, and a sightly earlier post than usual, to enable me to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.