One thing you can relate an affiliate campaign to is having a baby. First let’s look at what having a baby is like…
You’re all excited you’re going to have one. You get the baby’s room all ready and primped up, there’s cute crap all over, you’re telling all your friends about your baby that’s coming. You’ve invested all this money in your baby and pumped for it to come. Now after all this setting up and waiting, the baby has been born. Your first initial thoughts are “awe it’s so beautiful”, but you know that sucker is mangled and bloody when it first pops out. For the first month or 8 weeks or whatever (I haven’t had a baby yet), it cries, poops, keeps you up at night, and makes you a wreckless mess. It suckles from your teet (or your wife’s), and drains you of milk. Finally it starts to learn, optimize itself, and starts pooping in the toilet. We still have accidents, but it matures and eventually gets better. If you raise it right, you have a nice kid on your hands that grows up well, gets a job, and then takes care of you when you get old. If you raise it poorly, your child sucks and continues to wreak havoc on your life.
Now let’s compare it to affiliate campaigns. You get all excited when you first hear some good things about an offer, just like when you hear about having a baby. You invest money designing a page, getting content written, programming the tracking and everything in; all before the campaign goes live. Maybe you get excited and tell your friends you’re pumped about this new campaign you’re launching soon. Now it’s time for the campaign to go live. The first day it goes live, although you love the potential it has, it’s going to probably *look* like a mess. You’ll be testing out a ton of keywords and ad variations, and if you do it right you’ll be losing some money because not everything is going to convert. Now it’s time for you to become a good parent. You’ll go sleepless nights working on the campaign and it will stress you and keep you up. It suckles from your teet of wealth, and drains your cash. You need to spend time optimizing the campaign and making sure it grows and loses less and less money over time. If you optimize correctly, you have a great campaign that makes you money into your elder years. If you don’t optimize properly or the niche is a dud (ok comparing that to babies would just be mean lol so I didn’t), you’re out of luck and it does nothing but lose you money and cause chaos and depression in your life.
So what does any of this have to do with you? Well aside from a slightly comical comparison, the above is true. You’re going to lose money when you first start a campaign, and you need to realize that it’s just like having a kid. If you get through all the pooping and crying your campaign is going to do and optimize it right, you may just end up with a winner.