Here’s an example of the problem with digital sharecropping (or planting your crops on land someone else owns): if the landowner decides to change the rules, your livelihood is wrecked.
Case in point: Pinterest just went through and removed all affiliate links on its pins (except those who were using its preferred system, that is). This means the blogger affiliates who spent thousands of hours creating pins to get affiliate sales had their businesses wiped out overnight.
As Venturebeat reports, Pinterest released this statement:
We are removing affiliate links to ensure we’re providing the best possible experience for Pinners. Recently, we observed affiliate links and redirects causing irrelevant Pins in feeds, broken links and other spammy behavior. We believe this change will enable us to keep the high bar of relevancy and quality Pinners expect from Pinterest.
It’s like a hurricane hit, and blogging affiliates who rely on Pinterest don’t have insurance.
Great digital marketing (especially content marketing) uses multiple channels to reach the desired customer.
However, most business owners don’t quite get what that means. They’ll think they “own” a digital marketing asset (like a Facebook Page) but not realize that asset could disappear at any time.
But smart digital marketers know how to mix both owned and “borrowed” channels to full effect.
I’m launching a newsletter soon that will give small business owners the kinds of insights they need to see what’s coming and how to prepare for sudden disruptions (like if a popular social media network decides to shut down).