4 Things Walking Dead Can Teach Affiliates – By Missy Ward

by Sara Szado on January 13, 2016

feedfront-33 cover-188x240I am DEADicated fan of the apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic genres. Something about societies in the midst of crumbling or seeing how people change after a cataclysmic event is relaxing to me. Don’t judge.

The “undead” sub-genre, especially zombie-related, has been my favorite since I first watched Dawn of the Dead back in the late ‘70’s. Since 2010, my Sunday nights have been spent watching The Walking Dead, when new episodes are airing.

Recently, I noticed that TWD not only teaches us the many ways to take out a Walker, it also provides some important, non-zombified lessons for affiliate marketers.

Lesson 1: Quitters Make Great Zombie Chum

In the very first episode, Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes emerges from a coma into a world overrun by Walkers that think human flesh is pretty darn tasty. Did Rick use his service revolver to end his life, rather than living in a zombie-infested world? Of course not.

Instead, he heads off in a police cruiser, then steals a horse and narrowly escapes a horde of Walkers all to find his family, who may or may not be at a refugee camp in Atlanta.

When your affiliate efforts aren’t working as you expected, it can feel a bit overwhelming when deciding to continue. Surviving is tough, but worth it.

Lesson 2: Adapt or Die

Had Hershel operated on humans before the zombie invasion? Of course not. He was a veterinarian. But Hershel helped Carl, after he was shot, and performed other medical procedures as needed.

Was Michonne always a deadly, katana-swinging defender of her group of survivors? Nope. While she did take a few fencing classes back in college, she was your everyday working mother who enjoyed watching football on TV.

Being a successful affiliate marketer requires that you constantly learn new skills and adapt to new situations and technologies. Learning to roll with the punches will help your business thrive.

Lesson 3: Plan Your Attack

The survivors keep from going crazy by setting small goals. They go on supply runs to keep everyone fed and healthy. They fortified a prison to make it a safe place for survivors. They attempt to relocate a mega-herd headed towards the Alexandria Safe-Zone. It’s easy to track their wins and epic fails.

To know what you’re aiming for, you need to set trackable goals and learn from your successes and flops. Without a plan, you’ll wind up like Father Gabriel, aimlessly wandering around a forest, without weapons and zero survival skills.

Lesson 4: Fan Favorites Usually Live

In November, TWD experienced a 10% drop in ratings from last season at the same time. I believe it’s due to loyal fans (myself included) upset with the non-answers concerning the fate of long-term survivor Glenn Rhee.

Just as the writers have made Glenn’s character endearing to their fans, your customers need to love you. Just slapping up affiliate links can kill your business. By providing valuable information and offering great customer service, you may just survive.

Missy Ward is Co-Founder of Affiliate Summit, Co-Editor-in-Chief of FeedFront Magazine and blogs at MissyWard.com.

This article appeared in issue 33 of FeedFront Magazine, which was published in January 2016. http://issuu.com/affiliatesummit/docs/feedfront-33

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