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Accidental Consultant aka Expanding Your Options

Getting involved in affiliate marketing does not mean you  only promote other company’s products or services. The affiliate marketing industry is filled with consultants. Some consultants supplement their affiliate income with earnings while consulting is the main source for others.   Use your individual talents and provide services to others in our industry. There are many consultants and freelancers making a good income in affiliate marketing; go where your strengths are. If you find yourself limited by a nexus law or are losing rankings with an inability to keep up with or rebound from changes with SEO consider using consulting to supplement your income.

I know of many consultants who got their start accidentally, myself included. Anyone familiar with this blog or NYAffiliateVoice knows that I got my official start as an “advocate” back in 2008 (although as my friends would say it started the minute I was born).

I became a more vocal advocate in 2008 when New York passed their modern nexus law. However, it has never been all about nexus. As other affiliates and I worked on identifying solutions, many other issues became extremely obvious. Over the last few years I have worked on many of these issues. At times I became more consultant than affiliate.

Advocacy work came at a price. I worked a lot of hours to say the least, and along the way lost a few friends in the industry. I admit to getting burned out too but true friends kept me going. Advocacy work also came with successes and rewards – identifying the NY Solution, helping affiliates geting started or resolving an issue with a merchant, battling the nexus issues, helping both merchants and affiliates prepare for a changing industry and helping merchants improve or grow their programs. I was also honored and recognized for my advocacy work, earning the 2009 Affiliate Summit Pinnacle Award(Affiliate Advocate), earning the 2008 ShareASale Pay it Forward Award (Affiliate Advocate) and was a nominee for a Linkshare 2010 Golden Link Award (Most Vocal Affiliate Advocate).

Like other accidental consultants, my “volunteer” work became very time consuming. I had to find a way to earn a living by consulting.  Consulting gave me flexibility and allowed me to continue my advocacy work. It was a challenge – transitioning from “giving it away” to “fee based”, but it made recovery from the NY nexus disaster possible.

My public postings decreased as my consulting services increased; a combination of client confidentiality and time constraints. I have missed writing so I am back.

Over the next several weeks I will be writing about many issues. These topics will include our successes and failures, sharing valuable resources for both affiliates and merchants and, posting interviews.

There is always a neeed to evaluate our progress or lack of progress in order to keep moving forward. We continue to grow but there is still a lot of room for improvement.

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Erik Blair July 6, 2012, 12:18 am

    Aloha Melanie,
    Amazing how much “accidental” work can start off by someone saying,
    “hey, do you know somebody who can…” And then suddenly you’re sucked into pro bono work or free advice. I’ve been accidentally helping people with social media and blog development for years, and finally decided just this year to devote 100% of my so-called “working hours” to making some money doing that for a living.
    I enjoyed your article, mahalo, Erik

  • Melanie July 6, 2012, 5:12 am

    Aloha Erik, thanks for stopping by.

    How are you finding the adjustment form “pro bono” to fee? It seems like doing “favors” becomes a habit and transitioning to fee based is often awkward with people you know.

    Good luck with your new voyage of Accidental Consulting.

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