View Poll Results: Loss Of Earnings - Why?

Voters
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  • Parasites (e.g. WhenU)

    13 31.71%
  • Ad-Blockers (e.g. KazaaLite)

    1 2.44%
  • Dishonest Merchants (e.g. Reversals)

    6 14.63%
  • Tracking Issues (e.g. "tracking is not affected, blah blah blah...")

    5 12.20%
  • Others (e.g. IE6.0/P3P, SEs' New Algos, SE Spammers)

    16 39.02%
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  1. #1
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    Hi All,

    What do you think is the chief cause for the loss of affiliate earnings these days?


    Thanks,
    VAN.

  2. #2
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    Where is the #1 choice from what I see?

    Poorly written and designed sites that add nothing to the process and no value to the buying decision?

    While I am not a fan of parasites, I think most people would be better served to take some of their time used on that subject, to just simply make better sites.

    I admit to goading some people here and there on the subject (especially when they try and play it off as they love regular affiliates while supporting this junk, or like to try and twist and change their role from post to post ), avoiding merchants who are heavy into scumware and doing some little things to do my part here and there, but this should not be the central focus of your job as an affiliate.

    There are a million excuses for failure in any industry. Stop worry about the excuses, many affiliates are succeeding right now without the help of scumware - how can that be?

    Chet

  3. #3
    affiliate emeritus missdonna's Avatar
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    The market has changed dramatically in the past few years. There's a lot more competition out there. The law of supply and demand requires that when there's a wonderful way to make a living in your jammies other people will find out about it and spoil it for everyone.

    There's probably a lot more money being made, but it's being divided among a lot more affiliates.

    A few years ago I was making 5 times what I'm making now, and I wasn't working as hard or as smart. If only I had known then what I know now.

  4. #4
    ABW Veteran jc101's Avatar
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    I agree with missdonna on her post. There is a lot of $ to made it depends on making your sites easier to navigate and I did too make 5 times more couple years ago then I am right now, it's was very easy to make money back then but because of the parasites and more competition it's harder and you have to think on the text you place on your site and related keywords, and It's all on your commitment and hard work. Now since I learned quite a bit I just wish I knew about it couple years ago.

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  5. #5
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    There are a lot of well written and designed sites who have been sent down the tubes as a result of the Googlers masinations.

  6. #6
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    Hi Everyone,

    I agree with missdonna. I have been marketing as an affiliate on the the net since 1995. Today I'm making 70-80% less than I was making 2 years ago.

    Although I only do this part-time, I was making a 5 ($00,000) figure income per month. Now I'm lucky if a reach 4 figures a month.

    My opinion about what's caused the loss of income:

    1) Increased competition (like the ca. gold rush, they quit their jobs cashed out their pensions and are big spenders)
    2) Parasite Ware (no effective way to defeat or combat because they reside on browsers)
    3) Pay Per Click Search Engines (rising cost of keyword click caused and driven by #1 above)
    4) Disappearance of free Search Engines (switch to PPC or gone altogether)
    5) Bulk Email (Bombarding daily anyone and everyone that has a connection to the net)

    To qualify note on #1 and #3, As an example, I've seen certain of my keywords going for $12.00 + on Overture, now around $7.00 +. That's for 1 click. I've never had a conversion rate that could support, fund or justify that.

    Search Engine Optimization? forget it, who you going to opt for - only google, there are no other majors.

    A fantastic looking - content packed - easy to navigate - value added website is great and certainly does help, but it's as susceptible (maybe more so) as any other site is by the effects the above factors have had and are having on affiliate earnings.

    I'm feel good that I found this post by missdonna. I have very little time to spend at forums, but the subject question has been increasingly nagging me for 2 years now. I was beginning to think it was only me having this kind of loss. Anyway, I see a light at the end of the tunnel, but unfortunately I think it's a train (headed straight for us).

    If I was totally dependent on the net for a living I'd be starving right now!

  7. #7
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    What do you think is the chief cause for the loss of affiliate earnings these days?

    Some are actually making more and more each month.

    #1 reason is you, parasites and other stuff are problems but always look to yourself as the first reason

    Inability to adapt to market trends

    Spending too much time posting replys to questions like these and ABW addiction

    More competition---->me

    PPC, i don't use overture, i use Adwords 5 cent clicks

    I don't see a dissappearance of free Search, i see the #1 search being Google(free) another big free search on the horizon(MSN-MSNBOT) and Yahoo(AllTheWeb free), or INK(sometimes free)

    [This message was edited by TrustNo1® on August 02, 2003 at 08:55 AM.]

  8. #8
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    Good post Indy, I agree with you and missdonna.
    Things are changing.
    In a way, it's easier to do our business now than 5 years ago, more and better merchants, better commission structures, cheaper web hosting, better tools, html editors, mysql, php... faster and cheaper internet connections, faster computers... better information on our daily business, tks ABW.
    So we should feel better and make more money, but it doesn't work that way.
    The pb is not competition, the market is growing and we are in business to compete and provide the best to our visitors, it's all these tricks used by cheaters taking more and more of our energy. Cheaters are making our life miserable. They upset the SE, they upset the merchants, they upset the customers and all the affiliates are paying the consequences. The Networks should have been a firewall for the merchants and us but they don't understand and are acting when it's too late.

    Now, regarding Trust comment "Some are actually making more and more each month"
    I'm sure whose making $100 a month and happy to get $200 the next one. It's happening but we're not talking about the same figures.

    So, it's a fact, to keep the same income, I'm obliged to work harder, smarter, year after year as long as my ethic keep me playing according to the rules.

    It's not the big that eat the small... it's the fast that eat the slow. Jennings & Haughton

  9. #9
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    Well some its 100-->200 some its thousands. In competition some will fail, some will hang on and others will thrive. Some are making thousands more each month legitimately. Some people are just better at SEO, at PPC, at other forms of advertising. Some keep learning, changing and adapting, some have already peaked. So when you talk about loss of earnings don't assume thats for affiliates across the board.

    "Nothing focuses the mind better than the constant sight of a competitor who wants to wipe you off the map."
    --Wayne Calloway

  10. #10
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> What do you think is the chief cause for the loss of affiliate earnings these days? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>This probably should have been it's own voting number other than "other" . . . but I think customer circumvention is something that's overlooked. The time it takes for a customer to decide to buy [shopping around for best prices] and maybe even a little avoidance of affiliates in general. I was told by a friend of mine once that he considers going through an affiliate site similar to going through a middle man. He didn't realize how we get paid, as if we were adding cost to his purchase.

    And then there's the people who'll copy and past the destination/url into the address rather than clicking on the link~! If there's a way we can get screwed it'll be done.

    Brian
    aka Cyclone

    Get while the getting's good

  11. #11
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    Site copiers, keyword copiers, followers who couldnt think their way out of a box, SE result as content spammers, Laziness, not updating sites, not researching current SE optimising requirements, no gameplan.

    <font face=verdana size=1 color=43639C>Know Google as you know yourself and you will live to fight many battles - Sun Tzu</font>

  12. #12
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    How about merchants who think online shoppers are willing to pay FULL RETAIL prices....especially on expensive goods. Why buy online if it's cheaper down the street.

    Mike & Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  13. #13
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    Been a while since I've seen this one. I cheated and looked at the vote and was very surprised to see what most people who have voted feel.

    My impression is that dishonest merchants are the number one reason for loss of earnings. The poll only listed "eg : reversals" along with dishonest merchants but lets face it there is much more than that - that comes into play on their side.

    1) There are large networks that are still "batch based" and even in "realtime reporting networks", there are merchants that still batch sales. I've asked before, who has the largest percentage of reversals - batched merchants or real time reporting merchants? Look back and count um up - it's a no brainer! Why is this? The crooked batch merchants don't even report the sale (or report a very small percentage of them) to the networks (and hence don't have to reverse) while the ones in real time are left with reversals as the only way to skim their payouts. Between the two of these considering the number of merchants that it applies to, this is a huge loss!

    2) Crooked merchants readily partner with parasites. These "Parasite Partnering" merchants ("pp merchants") directly undermine the agreements made with non parasitic affiliates who are by in large the vast majoirity of the affiliate force. Some may say this isn't crooked but I say it is. If a pp merchant tells me they are giving me x percent for every visitor I send them that makes a sale yet - they openly allow a parsite into the program to offer a discount who can divert our curstomer and take credit for "potential sales", and the pp merchant knows this and does nothing - thats pretty crooked on several levels. Thats right.... pp merchants have poo poo policies!

    OK with that said, how many merchants partner with parasites and how many don't? I say - point made!

    The days of "some people" touting "pp merchant education" as the key to winning the parasite battle "is over" and overall, it was so ineffective "it aint even funny". Sure I'll take every win but the fact is most pp merchants are fully aware of the issues with parasites yet continue "to choose" and "DO NOTHING" but to partner with every known parasite who the pp merchants know are undermining most of the affiliate contracts they have made.

    3) While much of my income is from pp merchants, "overwhelmingly by a very large percentage" the largest part of it is from the honest, ethical merchants who have polices where they don't partner with parasites. These merchants who have declared they will not undermine their affiliates and will not support thievery and allow our contracts to be undermined are the ones who produce the highest and the most consistent earnings over and over again. I ask, is this just a coincidence?

    "disclaimer" - a merchant declaring themselves to be parasite free "by itself" is not an indication they will perform well and produce solid earnings either but my experience shows "the odds are heavily favored for them to do much better than pp merchants".

    ===============================
    PeePee merchants with PooPoo policies allow our earnings to be flushed down the crapper.

    Why give parasites unlimited cookie durations and credit for sales where they divert our users and overwrite our cookies. PP merchants directly support what many consider unfair trade practices and thievery!
    ===============================

  14. #14
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Amazing isn't it Happypoon. The networks have actually devised a system the enables the thieves -crooks and internet con-men to thrive. Only the honest merchants stand out and BRAND has nothing to do with the wanks at the controls of their greed driven programs.

    Hey all you greedy crooked pp Merchants. Next time you look up to see who pooped on your head ...try spotting a green bird doing his drive-by chores...

    Mike & Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    I think it will be difficult to determine what the Number One cause is. Cumulatively, all these things combined suck a big chunk out of our pockets each month.

    Plus, I think it varies from time to time as well. Whenever one of the software apps has a "problem" that makes its program steal from other affiliates, I believe the parasites take the top spot.

    The affiliate marketing industry as a whole is not doing a very good job of policing itself, and some of the industry leaders themselves have questionable ethics. Only ABW truly serves as a watchdog for unethical business practices.

    Andy

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  16. #16
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    Well I have to agree with Trust on this one, I make more money every month, and no Zeus, not a hundred more a month, hehe, but I'll agree that the competition is probably the big thing people should worry about, it's too easy nowadays to grab a feed and throw up a 50,000 page site.

  17. #17
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    What about those of us that haven't experienced a loss? My business is gaining ground overall. I do see ups and downs but that seems to fluctuate with the seasons and economy. Summer is coming to a close and my sales are picking up along with it.

    I don't understand how this thread was started in a group like we have here. One of the peeps was making 5 figures per month. I would think it was probably one of the biggest spam campaigns in history and not true affiliate marketing as we know it. Things have changed but comparing someones income to what they had a few years ago isn't logical.

  18. #18
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    Heyder, I agree with you to a point, my sales are great and I have had a great summer. However on this traffic last year I should be on a mint. I am not bitter about it and it is true that we often look without ourselves for reasons for failure when we should be looking within.

    I wouldnt go so far as to say this thread has no basis in fact

    All the best, Me

    <font face=verdana size=1 color=43639C>Know Google as you know yourself and you will live to fight many battles - Sun Tzu</font>

  19. #19
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    While reading a business mag in dentist office this AM, a couple valid points were raised about affiliate marketing pros and cons that effect our earnings.
    First off about programs that allow their members to use the spam route. First time they see your product or name being associated with spam they don't buy, therefore ruins for all of us.
    Secondly many people think that affiliate marketers somehow cause their prices to go up and they just do a direct type in rather than click our link. ( Re-iterates what Cyclne said) So instead this type in may just feed the parasite hijack from address bar instead.
    This same magazine also showed the top ten reasons people buy on line. The top reason certainly surprised me, opened my eyes and will be focused on as I add pages and links. And Sorry not going to divulge what their results said. Having a valid coupon or sale meant little for the onlne shoppers compared to some other reasons.
    I think where many merchants think coupons do well a better focus may be to police their affiliates who spam with their self described "opt in" offers.

    ...............
    WW

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  20. #20
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    WW the blinded couponers will crusify you! It's their incent crutch and justification for being the SE and e-mail spamm frontends for the PPmerchants. Give them a coupon and they'll act like Herbalife MLMers stapling "work at Home" and "lose weight" signs on telephone poles.

    Mike & Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  21. #21
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    Mike it did make the top ten but was only 8th or 9th place.

    ...............
    WW

    Make a difference! Support your local Cancer Care providers.

  22. #22
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    Number one reason, as with any business: Inability to adapt. I have been in Affiliate Marketing since 1998 and have seen revenue fluctuate as various affiliate schemes come and go. Remember AllAdvantage, $3 Leads for free giveaways, etc. The affiliates that adapt to each new trend usually continue to see their incomes increase.

  23. #23
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    WW would I be right in assuming that the leading reasons are wider selection and ease of use or Home delivery?

    <font face=verdana size=1 color=43639C>Know Google as you know yourself and you will live to fight many battles - Sun Tzu</font>

  24. #24
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    This poll really should have people rate things from top down.

    I still think Merchant shenanigans sit up at the top.

    Merchant fraud tends to decrease with time as affiliates become much more wary of merchants, but is still a problem.

    The poll probably should have included network complacency. Network complacency leads to merchant and parasite fraud. Look at how BeFree dropped from top position to an also ran because the were the most complacent. CJ, LS and others are guilty of their own complacencies.

    As affiliates demand more and more reporting the networks get better.

    Parasitism is the one item that is the most difficult to address. (hmmm, I seem to remember that some sort of list thing was supposed to stop parasites.)

    The search engine ranking is an interesting problem. I suspect that the sudden appearance of massive sites with data fed pages with every consumer product under the sun has shaded the whole 'filiate thing in the search engine programmer's mind. Just like blogs, data fed lists are a problem that reduce the quality of a search engine result.

    It seems to me that the gist of the argument was about unnatural forces that are reducing earnings...things like more competition, more small stores, etc., are just natural parts of the free market.

    The big natural force we all face is the internet keeps expanding at a rate faster than the dollars consumers have for spending on the internet.

    sound thinking

  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador Joey's Avatar
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    As much as I'd like to blame parasites, dishonest merchants, and tracking, I think it really comes down to the fact that we're working in a much more competitive environment than we were a few years ago.

    Today I'm spending more advertising dollars than ever, for less results than I once got.

    Sure the competition is growing and the economy has gone down the tube, but I don't think it's going to help much to complain about merchants and parasites. We choose the merchants and networks that we associate ourselves with, and parasites really do only take a small percentage of sales. This is a game of working smarter not harder. As the competition grows we'll need to find better ways to attract customers to our sites, and even better ways to keep them there.

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