AskPat 174 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 174. I hope you're having an awesome day and week, and you know I'm here for you. I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions five days a week.
We have a great question today from Jay, but before we get to that, I do want to say if you're just starting out and you're looking for information right from the beginning of your online business-blogging-entrepreneurship experience, just head on over to AskPat.com/start. That'll take you through the very beginning, some podcast episodes and some blog content, that I've written before that'll help you if you're just starting out. Again, that's AskPat.com/start.
Now, let's get to today's question from Jay.
Jay: I have a site with hundreds of affiliate links on it, and I'm trying to figure out a good way to manage all of the income that comes in there without having to log into every single different affiliate account, and be able to create some sort of dashboard for it all to come in to. I didn't know if there was something that existed for this already, or if there's some suggested method, rather than just Excel plus logging in one by one.
Pat Flynn: Jay, thank you so much for the question. You know, to be honest with you, there is no perfect solution right now, because it's difficult. When you have affiliate income coming from different sources, that means you're coming from different websites, and each of those websites has different structures or reporting instances. They all have different back ends that make it hard. Some have APIs, some don't, so that's probably why there is no one aggregate solution right now, one dashboard, for example, that pulls in all that income from different places. You could have one created for yourself, but it's not going to be able to talk directly to those websites. Seriously, if somebody built that solution, I would buy it right now, because I'm having the same issues. To help me so that … A, no, there's no solution that exists right now. B, you could hire somebody out, but again, you're talking about your own income, so you'd have to have somebody you trust. Maybe it's an accountant or a bookkeeper that you have who has that login information that can get it for you. That's plan B. Plan C, and this is what I do, yes I have to do it manually, and I do it myself; however, I make it as easy as possible.
Here's what I do. There's probably different versions of this, but this is how I do it. In Chrome, I use Chrome as my browser, I have this thing called Speed Dial 2, which when I open up a new tab, it makes these really nice big giant visuals of websites that I go to frequently. You can categorize those websites, and one of those categories is Affiliate Income. Every website that I check each month that I'm an affiliate for is on that “Affiliate” tab within Speed Dial 2. Again, this is for Chrome. This is an extension for Chrome. There's a way that you can open all of those websites in one specific category in one fell swoop. I just do that, and boom, they all open up. That covers me from having to go to each one manually, or even manually clicking on a bookmark each time. It's just one full shot. Then, from there, I use 1Password, and you could use something like LastPass. I think there are ways to even auto-fill those login things, the login fields for each of those. However, I just use 1Password. I go down one by one, since I'm going to collect that information anyway. I go to, for example, I go to Bluehost, and then log in, get the numbers, close. Go into Clickbank. Log in using 1Password again. That allows me to just have one password, and after I use that one password for the first time, I just click the button to drop a sub-menu and then find that website, and it just automatically enters the login username or the email if that's the case, and then the password that goes along with it, without me actually having to type those in. Again, I just do that: boom, boom, boom, boom, down the line. I collect the information as I go, and then I'm done. It cuts out maybe, in total, I would say maybe 15 to 20 minutes of me not having to manually open and manually put in the login and password and then finding that information.
That's the best thing I can come up with for you right now, Jay. If I do find another solution, or if you find it, or if anybody else out there finds it or has one, let us know. You could use the hashtag #AskPat174 for episode 174 if you have any other suggestions or solutions. Again, it's difficult to have one tool that does all of this, because every single different website we get affiliate income from, from Amazon to Clickbank to things like Bluehost … Some people pay manually. Some people, there are no reports, and you have to get those manually. That even provides another issue. Congrats. Awesome that we have affiliate income. This is just one of those things that I wish existed but doesn't. You just kind of have to manage what needs to be done, and try to optimize that. Try to be as efficient with it as possible. That's my answer.
Jay, thanks so much for your question. I really appreciate it. Congrats to you and all the income you're making. That's awesome, and it's definitely inspirational to hear that. An AskPat t-shirt is headed your way. For those of you who are listening, if you have a AskPat question, head over to AskPat.com. It's that easy. Of course, I want to thank you for listening to this show, and of course, if you want to start your journey in online business, just head on over to AskPat.com/start. Not selling you anything there; just some quick basic information and some podcast episodes and blog posts to help you out from your beginning.
As always, I like to end with a quote. Today's quote is from Ralph Waldo Emerson. I think I've quoted him before here, but this quote I love. He says, “Without ambition, one starts nothing. Without work, one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.” Enjoy your weekend if you're listening to this as it comes out, or enjoy the rest of your day. Just win it. Cheers, take care, and we'll see you in the next episode.