It’s been a weird week. It seems that one of Google’s near-daily algorithm changes has had quite an impact on the traffic I am getting to my websites. Like many people in the UK, I have noticed a significant drop in traffic since early June. And I mean 75%. This seems to have happened in the U.S. earlier – in May, hence the “Mayday” name being given to this update.
Of course, nobody knows for sure what has happened, but there is a lot of anecdotal evidence. I have read about a merchant who has reported affiliate sales down “across the board”, i.e. across many affiliate websites, and I also read about a man who usually earns $1000 per month from his websites; slashed to virtually nil during the past month.
Many more seasoned observers are saying it’s “just part of what affiliate marketing is all about”, changing what you do, putting up with whatever Google throws at you. But I realised yesterday that, for me, it’s far too high a risk to have all my income coming from this source. I am only getting just over £100 per month right now, ten months in (well – I was), but I would hate to spend another year getting that to £1000 a month only for it to revert to nil for months on end following a Google update.
So, I have decided forthwith to diversify, and that I can no longer afford the luxury of going after Google’s “free traffic” full-time and using this free traffic to provide all of my income. Instead, I will spend 50% of my time on that, and the other 50% on getting/doing freelance work or developing other projects or maybe even experimenting a little (very cautiously) with paid traffic.
This will slow the development of my empire of affiliate sites, but it still means I can spend a good 25 hours a week on them, on average, more than many people have the luxury to do. It will also mean I will be working towards more diverse income from more than one source, which will be lower risk for my overall business.