A personal view.

It’s easy to draw comparisons between affiliate marketing and video games.
Most of us are the good guys, looking to make a secondary or primary income. But like all good video games, trouble is around every corner.

The big bad “G” Lurks in every nook and cranny, at every turn. An encounter with the big boss is assured. A hidden force, menacingly in the background watching over everything you do, sometimes tolerant sometimes ruthless.

Once you have been bitten by the big ‘G,’ it is unlikely you will ever recover! At best your life source is depleted so much that you can just about hang on by a thread, to tell the tale, at worst, you are blown out, no trace, no evidence you were ever there. Wiped from history, doomed never to fight another day, until you present another player, ready to learn from your previous mistakes.

Each battle with the big boss, whilst rendering you useless, is a learning curve to get that little bit further the next round.

Once you think you have learnt how to slap the big “g” back into its box, enter the Networks.

A formidable force. Some friend some foe. All beckon you to the safety of the network, promising to nurture you and advance your battle. Some have a strategy and will share the details, others will guide you from afar, the rest just hang you out to dry.

The networks have a battalion of troops. Each offering you the ammunition you need to succeed in your mission. But again any good player must be aware, all is not as it seems. You must use your own intelligence and what you have learnt thus far, to exploit the critical information supplied by the Networks. Don’t forget your gadgets!

OPM’s are your insiders! These guys work undercover! They can bring you a wealth of intelligence. Their success is very dependent on your success. As always be aware, good and evil run hand in hand, but the good guys will soon become apparent. Their constant trickle of information, arms you ready for the next battle. Lessons learned here can be used in the next missions of your campaign, merchants!

Hiding behind a swanky network interface, merchants are ammunition. Most help you play the game, to win, some are duds and others will blow up in your face. The best merchants will arm you well, others will give you broken stuff to mend before you can use it, some just throw out the odd bone every now and again.

Combine all the gadgets, and intelligence from the above and your campaign will stand a good chance of success.

The others.
Mostly bad guys, they nip in and out of every corner of the game. Promising help, guidance and success, but be aware, be very aware, some bite! Among these are the clever ones! Dropping a logo link here or an seo link there, these guys do their homework and are out to win, but bring little to your game. Just keep your eye on them – show some tolerance and nip in the bud those that exploit you.

Practice enough and learn from your mistakes, you will advance to the next level eventually, you will win the game.
When you have, it will be time to move off the easy level and you will be ready to play the medium level :-]
Lets the game commence.
JIM