While most of my experience has been in dealing with affiliates and partner programs, it should be painfully obvious to anyone who has ever been a part of managing that kind of program that it’s a ton of work and babysitting.
While there is absolutely some awesome profits and relationship building to be had in this arena, you can’t let your business live or die off of that kind of traffic.
The dark secret about affiliate programs is that the rush of traffic can stop just as suddenly as it appears, and often only offers a momentary rush and leaves you with an unsustainable business. Anyone who tells you otherwise is completely lying to you. Are affiliate programs an important part of running a large operation? Absolutely, but so is SEO, a good social & content strategy etc.
Essentially what I’m saying is that there is more to the puzzle than simple referral traffic, and the most scientific part of that is paid traffic through Pay Per Click (PPC) on sites that have a congruent audience to what you are offering. If you can make the math work with paid advertising then you have something that will make you smile day in and day out.
Since I have many friends who live and breath by PPC traffic I figured I would try my hand at it without their help and make this an awesome learning experience, and I thought I would pick a network that people almost never talk about (although, after this experience it’s likely because it’s their best kept secret).