Turning Around My Affiliate Marketing Disaster

by on July 14, 2011


Last month I blogged about The Ugly Side of Affiliate Marketing and described some major issues that I was having with, among other things, with my Google Adsense Account and the eBay Partner Network. I’m happy to report that all of the problems have been resolved. However, it wasn’t without a lot of help and a lot of lessons learned–lessons that can apply whether you get hit with the nexus tax, unexpectedly dropped by merchants, or even dropped from entire networks.

I took the opportunity to discuss it with my Blogging ABCs co-hosts Deborah Carney and Liz Fogg. Here are some of the things that we talked about in the podcast that I learned from this debacle:

1) Diversify. Have different types of sites in different niches. Work with different merchants across different networks. This saved me because I still had other revenue streams even when two of them were down.

2) Separate Accounts. Use separate network accounts when you have multiple sites or especially different types of sites (incentives, coupons, gambling, etc). It will come in handy if one of your sites gets flagged or if you decide to sell a site. If I had done this with both Adsense and eBay, I likely would not have run into either problem that I had.

3) Use link redirecting. Redirecting will help you change out links quickly if you need to. In addition, you can use shorteners so that your domain shows up instead of someone else’s when you post your links in other places. In some cases where I did this, I was able to change out my links quickly. Where I didn’t, I will probably have a lot of dead links and lost revenue opportunities.

4) Network. Meet in person with as many people as possible. Further, after you connect with them, follow up, reinforcing your connection. When you need help, those connections may be the difference between keeping and losing your business.  I can honestly say that without my network I may not have ever gotten these problems solved.

Some Resources we mention:

Pretty Link Lite
YourLS Open Source shortener
that you can install on your own website

In the end there was a silver lining; my sites are back to normal and I’ve learned some valuable lessons that I need to share with everyone else so that this doesn’t happen to them. You just knew with a nickname like “Sunshine” it would have to end like this, right?

Take a Look at Some Similar Posts:

Thanks for reading! I am a lawyer, blogger, affiliate marketer, and consultant most known in the industry for my cashback site, SunshineRewards.com. You can reach me on Twitter @sunshinetricia.

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{ 10 comments }

Jennifer February 11, 2012 at 8:56 pm

Did you ever find out what the problem was?

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Tricia February 11, 2012 at 9:14 pm

It was a combination of things but most of them had to do with me owning both content sites and a rewards site. eBay was shutting out rewards sites, and they accidentally turned off all of my other sites as well. As for the Adsense, we moved our rewards site forum from its own domain under our regular domain for SEO purposes…never thinking that it would look like it was incentivizing Adsense clicks. It was all completely innocent but took almost a month to fix and our Google Affiliate Network earnings still haven’t fully recovered after 7 months.

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Jennifer February 11, 2012 at 9:22 pm

Thank you for the quick reply. Are coupon code sites considered reward site?
I’m doing some research and that is how I found your blog.
Thanks!!!

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Tricia February 11, 2012 at 9:25 pm

Incentive sites are definitely different from coupon sites, but coupon sites do sometimes have their own restrictions when it comes to affiliate marketing. Some merchants will lower your commissions if you rank in the top search spots for their brand and the word coupon. Some will not allow coupon sites in at all. As long as you disclose that you are a coupon site when you apply for the networks and then check the terms of each merchant as you add them to your site, you should be okay. I don’t think that Adsense has any restrictions on coupon sites beyond their regular terms.

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yaniv August 16, 2011 at 7:51 am

that waht i call benefisial post thank for the tips

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Darren Zapsky July 14, 2011 at 9:35 pm

I can feel your pain. I had a Google slap and a penalty at nearly the same time on one of my top converting sites. I managed to work through it but at the time considered giving it all up. Glad I stuck it out.

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Tricia July 20, 2011 at 12:05 pm

Thanks for your comments, Darren. I am glad that it ended up working out for you as well!

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Chris July 14, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Good to hear that everything’s back to normal, Tricia. And turning lemons into lemonade is a great philosophy to carry with you.

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CJ July 14, 2011 at 10:04 am

Great stuff! I’m glad it all worked out for you. I was following your network troubles via Twitter – good lessons to learn I guess. Too bad they’re always learned the hard way.

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Tricia July 14, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Thanks, CJ. I never seem to learn the *easy* way. :)

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