Disclosure: If I'm not making money through affiliate links on the post you're currently reading, it's an oversight on my part and will be corrected soon.

5 Good Reasons Why Affiliate Marketing is a Lot Like Raising a Child

by Missy Ward in Affiliate Marketing, For The Heck of It   &     21 Comments

Missy Ward and her son Alex in the ShareASalePhotoBoothToday is my son Alex's 9th birthday.

Many thoughts went through my mind this morning, including how awesome he's turned out, how much older we both are and how fortunate he is that I haven't accidentally lost him somewhere, mistakingly injured him (seriously) or inadvertently made him overweight by feeding him too much junk food.

It also brought up the memory of leaving the hospital with him after he was born. I remember the nurse handing him to me along with two sheets of paper on how to take care of him. I freaked out, as the first thing that popped into my mind was that the instruction booklet to my new cappuccino maker had over 50 pages. How on earth was I supposed to take care of a kid with only 2 pages of reference material?

So while I'm being all sappy, just go with me for a moment while I give you 5 good reasons why affiliate marketing is like raising a child.

1) In as much as you can't learn everything about raising a child from a book, there is no way you can learn affiliate marketing from any book. Yes, there are a number of guides to help you along the way, but mastering either requires common sense, hands-on experience, lots of testing and stick-to-itiveness.

2) Children and your affiliate marketing business are both tiny dictators. Both require a lot of attention all of the time, even when other important “life things” come up. Just as you wouldn't leave your baby with a stranger, you can't leave your business unguarded. They are both full-time commitments.

3) Both children and your affiliate marketing business will make you stop and examine life on a small and large scope. The smell of a child's freshly washed hair can make the grouchiest parent's heart melt, just as checking stats on on a new campaign that's kicking-butt can make a grouchy affiliate marketer begin to smile. Both kids and your affiliate marketing business can teach you so much; especially when to stop to smell the roses.

4) Just when you think you have affiliate marketing mastered, something new comes along that you have to learn in order stay on top of your game. Your kids will force you to stay on your game as well. Yesterday you helped them with their ABC's, today you have to pull “long division” from the ol' hard drive so that you can help them with their math homework. (Or worse, they'll wind up in a gifted class that is teaching them the stock market and now you have to learn about it so that you don't feel like an idiot when your 9-year old is talking options to you.)

5) Kids and affiliate marketing can both leave you frustrated, befuddled and panic-stricken. (I don't believe this point requires any further elaboration.).

Affiliate marketing and raising kids are some of the most mysterious, challenging and fulfilling experiences that a person can undertake on their own free will. I admire anyone who has done both.

Today however, Iā€™d argue raising kids is more rewarding for the long-haul!

Happy Birthday, Alex!


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Missy Ward

Co-Founder & President at Affiliate Summit, Inc.
Missy Ward has been in affiliate marketing since 1999. She is the Co-Founder of Affiliate Summit, FeedFront Magazine, GeekCast.fm, itsaWAHMthing.com; the Co-Publisher of Revenews.com, Founder of AffiliateMarketersGiveBack.com and manages many of her own affiliate sites. If she's not making money through affiliate links on the post you're currently reading, it's an oversight on her part and it will be corrected soon.

Comment & Add Your Voice

1 Damian Saunders September 23, 2009 at 5:07 am

My son's 15 months old, my affiliate marketing business is 18 months old, both going well but not without their respective trials and tribulations.
Must be some synchronicity going on there and his hair smells just great!


2 Missyward September 23, 2009 at 11:54 am

Oh, I just love that age. My youngest son is 3 now and he still has that new baby smell šŸ˜‰

3 Forrest Schaaf September 22, 2009 at 7:06 pm

Shawn, it means you brush it backwards. Grab their hair at the end and try to brush back toward the head in one fell stroke.

(Before you try that: I'm kidding!!!)


4 Rexanne September 22, 2009 at 6:43 pm

Uhmmmmmm – yeah, I agree. šŸ™‚

Changing a poopie diaper is a lot like replacing links from a poorly converting merchant to a fresh, clean one. Nasty but necessary and your site will feel and perform so much better. šŸ™‚

And kid's hair smells great no matter their gender. Shawn – here's a tip: start brushing from the bottom. šŸ™‚

And Happy Birthday Alex!


5 Missyward September 22, 2009 at 6:50 pm

Ha. Totally forgot about poopy diapers! You're so right. This blog post has enough legs to turn into a nice FeedFront article with reprinted comments from the contributors!

6 Shawn Collins September 22, 2009 at 6:53 pm

> Shawn – here's a tip: start brushing from the bottom. šŸ™‚

I am not sure what that means? Please advise on this brushing strategy.

7 Lori Herren September 22, 2009 at 5:24 pm

Great post Missy! You are so right. As a mom I can totally relate! Happy Birthday to Alex! I also loved the comments. I will be sure to share this post.


8 Missyward September 22, 2009 at 5:44 pm

Thanks Lori.

9 Karen Garcia September 22, 2009 at 6:40 pm

Happy birthday to Alex and what a great analogy Missy! With a bunch of little ones running around, I'd have to say I wholeheartedly agree…trying to get them to pay attention, follow simple instructions, doing things (like cleaning their rooms) in a timely manner…sometimes I'm not sure where my work ends and my homelife begins!


10 Missyward September 22, 2009 at 6:44 pm

I agree with you there. You could apply the same thing above to clients… "trying to gt them to pay attention, follow simple instructions, doing things in a timely matter" šŸ˜‰

11 Shawn Collins September 22, 2009 at 5:35 pm

I think #3 only works with boy hair – nice smelling hair on daughters isn't enough. It's then got to be brushed to get the knots out.

You must be one of those affiliates that never gets knotty reporting.


12 Missyward September 22, 2009 at 5:44 pm

….. or you must be "ungrouchable" šŸ˜‰

13 Brad Waller September 22, 2009 at 5:12 pm

Happy Birthday to Alex and I have to agree. There are a lot of similarities. Just watch out that your kid does not get in with a bad crowd scamming people or trademark poaching. šŸ˜‰


14 Durk Price September 22, 2009 at 5:08 pm

Missy, That was wonderful. I had forgotten so much about my kids at that age as they are all "grown up".

As a program manager my affiliate correlation would be taking my kids to activities: getting them ready (activation), keeping them focused (informed of offers), getting them to the game/event on time (actually have them go live), hoping they don't sit on the bench (non-producing), throwing more money at them to advance their efforts (bonuses).

And of course after you've spent time and money getting them to be a dancer or a basketball player, they decide all they want to do is play video games or chase boys… (an affiliate deciding to run another program).

Thanks for posting!


15 Missyward September 22, 2009 at 5:15 pm

Durk, that was priceless. What an awesome analogy!

16 Shawn Collins September 22, 2009 at 5:55 pm

Let me send my three girls and their masses of hair down your way and we'll see.


17 Missyward September 22, 2009 at 6:00 pm

I deal with long blonde hair when my step daughter is with us. I know knots. Still smells really good though!


18 Karen Garcia September 22, 2009 at 6:42 pm

Put a plastic hairbrush in the shower and have them brush their hair when they condition. Makes a world of difference!


19 Shawn Collins September 22, 2009 at 6:54 pm

Thanks – I'll give that a try. I've never had long enough hair to deal with the knots, so I'm still learning here.


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