We all have unanswered questions, a curious mind always has more questions than answers.
In my answer, I’ll be specific enough, because there isn’t a general answer to this question. I’ll refer to sites which have an affiliate program as a main potential source of commissions.
That’s a tough question, and the answer really depends on several details:
- is the site working for you? in what way? does it provide a service you rarely find somewhere else under the same conditions? good conversions? do you have active referrals on the site? have you been paid?
- is the site working for others? in what way?
- what type of site is it? are you involved with more sites of this type? how does its results compare with the others?
- how much time or money do you allot this site?
- do you have a relationship with your referrals or other members on the site? would you still be able to contact them if you lost your upgrade or your account?
- is the site advertised a lot? are there many to-the-point complaints or scam reviews about it?
- when did the site launch and when did you join?
- who is / are the owners? what other sites do(es) the same owner(s) have (had)? Do you know the owner(s) personally? Have you tried talking to them?
Answers to as many of the above questions as possible will paint you the detailed picture you need to take a decision whether to continue to use a site or not. These answers should be clear for you especially for what you consider your main programs, on which you rely your online business.
I will elaborate more, but in a different direction. For starters, I’ll digress a bit, but it’s important, you’ll see. I remember Darren Hardy mentioned in one of the recent Darren Daily videos the first advice he received from one of his first mentors from real estate: “fail often and fail fast”. That works perfectly in our industry as well.
Why do you need to experience the failures yourself rather than being taken by the hand and told “do this” or “don’t do that”?
Because through early experimentation and probable failure in many of your online endeavors you’ll discover on your own what you like and what you don’t, what you are passionate about and what you want to stay away from or what your risk tolerance is. Because that’s the only way you’ll develop the sense to keep away from scams and scammers or to get out from dying programs.
Websites about earning money online or for generating traffic (particularly with affiliate programs) have different lifespans, as you will discover or already know. Which means that during their lifespan (short or long), they usually prove their worth to their owners and to some of their members (who take action, mostly). So, by their lifespan, sites will fall in one of these categories:
- some sites shut down after a few months or a year tops, leaving you with a sour taste in your mouth if you haven’t seen at least your money back (or services you paid for)
- some don’t close but are as good as dead
- others continue to be just as active after years or even decades of uninterrupted service.
I assume from the question you are a paying affiliate or member, rather than free. In the latter case the profitability would be minimal on most sites, and your number one goal should be to raise enough money from free sources to upgrade and stay upgraded in one of your main, long-term programs, preferably where you have referrals too.
For paying members, all three type of programs can be profitable, assuming they are not scams or illegal:
1 & 2 usually work for top affiliates who get in fast (pre-launch or launch) and make sure they take out profit soon. It’s riskier, especially for the regular member, but profits can come quicker. You see the correspondence, right? High risks <-> high profits OR losses! For beginners, it’s 99% of times losses!
3 works for everyone, no matter when you join. Of course, if you understand the importance of such a program early it’s perfect for you, because it’s likely you’ll have many long-term referrals, many of whom pay commissions.
The “downside” for the 3rd category of programs, is you need to be extremely patient (and continue to use them, build your account, pay for the upgrade if needed), and sometimes you’ll see results way down the road. That’s the long-term case. Little risks, almost guaranteed profits in time.
These are the options you face as a member of any affiliate program I can think of, when it comes to profitability.