If affiliates don’t make any sales and their reporting system states that a campaign had 100,000 impressions, 10,000 clicks, and 0 leads or sales, then that means the affiliate won’t be paid, nothing more. Affiliates and networks might say to their clients that they can produce 1 billion impressions, which is just jargon. They might not produce any sales at all.
Same here, this post kind of fell from the sky at such a great time. Been building a great community of readers over the years but reached a point where I’m losing money maintaining the site and newsletter. As you said, the ads don’t bring much -ironically I use Adblocks too but affiliate marketing always seemed like a weird and opaque subject. I’ve read many of Chris Guillebeau’s books in the last few months (this is how I discovered your site actually!) and I didn’t realize he had affiliate links for instance. Your post opened up a new window of possibility for me. Still need to process everything and do the work behind but a big thank you to you Sean!