So a few months ago I kind of accidentally started a very popular series… Creating a small niche affiliate site – part 1, part 2 and part 3. Even though I started the series without a “plan” so to speak, I fully intended to finish it (especially since y'all were bugging me regularly on Twitter to do so.) However, sometimes life throws you some curve balls.
Years ago, I read a little book called The Dip by Seth Godin. As far as I'm concerned, it should be required reading for any entrepreneur (along with the E-Myth Revisited) and the lessons within it are ones that have always stayed in my head. The core theme of the book is knowing when to walk away from something and not letting emotion cloud your judgment (either to walk away *or* stay.)
Most “public” people in this industry like to tell you of all their successes and rarely want to discuss their failures. But we all have them. A few years back, even though I'd already read The Dip and thought the principles in it to be “golden,” I ignored them anyway.
I allowed emotion to cloud a decision that should have had nothing factored into it but business. I allowed my emotional voice to convince me to make a decision that my business “gut” knew was wrong. But, avoiding mistakes is not the most successful trait of an entrepreneur. Learning from them is and I try to do that with every mistake I make.
So what does that have to do with the niche affiliate marketing series?
Part of the “need” for that series was the anonymity of the subject site. I didn't want any advantages a “normal affiliate” wouldn't have. I didn't want any interference from people with the natural course of the site – good or bad. I didn't want people backtracking and duplicating my link building techniques to the letter.
Long story short is that I trusted someone with the identity of that site that I shouldn't have (you probably don't know the person, so don't ask). I was left to make a decision. Either ignore the potential risk/interference that mistake could pose to the rest of my smaller sites (no matter how hard you try, sites have the potential to leave footprints) and my methods or scrap the invested time and cash, pull the site offline, disappoint my readers and call it a day.
I decided to pull the plug.
I cannot allow emotional instinct to override my business instinct. And you shouldn't either if the decision ever presents itself.
Now, note, for the record, I don't mean decisions that mean you make a buck or a family becomes homeless. I'm not talking about letting business override your morals. But there is a big difference between a moral decision and an emotional one. And in my experience, entrepreneurs have to be able to tell the difference and act accordingly.
There's a chance I may revisit repeating this series with a new site in the future, but for now, you're going to have to simply settle for more non-series advice on affiliate marketing and SEO.
Right now, I'm going to go re-read The Dip. If you own a copy, I'd suggest you do the same.