Affiliate Campaigns Are Like Babies

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.


  1. June 30, 2008

    So true on both accounts…

  2. June 30, 2008

    I’ve got a 1yr old and do PPC Campaigns.

    They aren’t like each other. :) LoL I don’t change a PPC Diaper LoL. Good post but I am IN LOVE with my baby and not IN LOVE with a PPC Campaign.

    PS I get where you’re going with it and it’s still a good post. You should treat your Campaign like a baby. Carefully

  3. June 30, 2008

    Great Post, Very True…

    The thing is even if you have a ad that is getting more clicks then your competitors, it can still take time for your CPC cost to go down. Because you have to spend to get your cost down which you know that, but I have had campaigns that started out at 3.50 a click, but went to do 1.00 a click with out even changing the Ad Copy, but I kept spending, so therefore it just started decreasing the bids after it collect more history for that campaign.

    @Matt Larson,

    Our servers are back up :)

  4. June 30, 2008

    As far as the caring part it is similar. You have to take proper care and discipline them. Teach your campaign the right keywords after it does poorly on bad ones. Split test many different ad variations and see which one gets the most conversions per clicks. Also pause your keywords that are eating up your money (you may want to test them again). I found that I deleted some, and went DOH! So I pause them, then When I get the campaign rolling well, I unpause them one by one and see how they perform. Great post.

  5. June 30, 2008

    What did I think? Insanely cleaver!

  6. July 1, 2008


    Well it can most certainly keep you up at night ! Get you out of bed at 4 in the morning..

    But where does all of this come from Paul ? Is your GF pregnant ? :)

  7. July 1, 2008

    So true, the only thing is as humans we’d rather spend money on “optimizing” our kids more than our campaigns. The only thing is sooner or later, as an affiliate marketer, you’ll need to take a chance and optimize your campaigns or you can’t do much for your kids.

    Also…8 Weeks? Try 2 years!

    Why would you want your kid to get a “job”? I would never wish that on them. I’ll tell them to own the company.

  8. lol that was a comical comparison and a good read.

  9. July 1, 2008

    wow nice write up man and that is sure true very very true lol! It gets exciting when you are starting out and making some bucks but boy no be small thing ooo! :D

  10. July 1, 2008

    hmm, and a few posts back you said we were all crazy lol.

    Thanks for the fun post. Brightened up my day.

  11. July 1, 2008


    As a father of a 2 year old, I found this entertaining. Thanks!

  12. gdubs
    July 1, 2008

    i feel dumber for having read that

  13. July 1, 2008

    Just adopt a grown child.

  14. July 1, 2008

    some interesting thoughts.

  15. July 1, 2008

    LOL! Well, what if you never get past the crap? That would just suck, huh? lol… but that was kinda funny man.


  16. July 1, 2008

    lol its all true so true!

  17. July 1, 2008

    LOL, this is a great comparison.

  18. Very nice! Lol. Funny picture.

  19. Kevin
    July 1, 2008

    What has happened to this blog???!!!

  20. July 2, 2008

    Yes, caring after affiliate programm resembles baby care :)

  21. Simon Tillman
    July 2, 2008

    Dude, don’t get your girlfriend pregnant. She’s going to steal all your hard earned money through the courts when you gotta pay child support if you have a kid with her or when she divorces you if you marry her.

    Have sex with women and then throw them aside. Have long term relationships with women but don’t ever marry them or have children with them. That’s a legal license for them to steal money from you through the courts.

    Do whatever the hell you want, you’re not gonna listen to my sage advice so go get screwed and fucked over and then think about where it all went wrong

    Hint: Feminist Family Courts aren’t going to give two shits about you as a father or the hard work it took to earn all that money you made. They’ll just hand 70% or more of your assets over to your wife. Bitch

  22. July 2, 2008

    Very funny and a good analogy.

  23. July 2, 2008

    Useful content please.

  24. July 3, 2008

    Great article and definitely true, haha.

  25. July 3, 2008

    Suprisingly it’s all relevant in a way, nice post.

    Always good to read a more comedy approach opposed to hardcore learning 24/7 :)

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