Old ship on the stormy sea
Image by DiD Publishing

Navigating the Bermuda Triangle: Information Overload in Affiliate Marketing

Dennis Francis
5 min readMay 19, 2023


“It’s bullshit, and you know it.” That stopped me dead in my tracks. She was correct, but I’m good at arguing for my version of procrastination. “You’re going through information overload,” she said.

This was a while ago (about a week), so my writer’s ADHD brain only remembered the important points. I filed away that great analogy for something like “Bermuda Triangle” and “information overload”, for safe keeping.

The gist of her pep talk was that I was working diligently to avoid my action plan for the affiliate marketing case study I told her about. Salty language between us is used sparingly in order to make it more effective when a kick in the pants is needed.

Those with teenagers understand this strategy.

So, recognizing when I’m caught, I fall back on the old standby: research. I’m really one of those people who never gets the deer-in-the-headlights look when I’m overwhelmed.

Instead, I pull out one of my many past projects. I then fixate on it until I pull myself out of whatever misty haze I fell into. I’m really good at being busy.

So, to get myself back on track, I switched to researching overwhelm and information overload. After all, I’ve walked clients and students through this very issue in regards to internet marketing, content creation, and storytelling in the past.

Now I needed a refresher, and I’m sharing my findings with you.

Alright, let’s jump right into it.

Navigating the Web’s Bermuda Triangle: Information Overload in Affiliate Marketing

“Data is the new oil.” — Clive Humby.

He was certainly not joking. It’s estimated that 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are produced every day, with Americans churning out nearly 2.7 million gigabytes of internet data every minute (Bonardi, 2018; Bawden & Robinson, 2009).

If you attempted to read all the information generated online, you’d need 200,000 years and an unlimited supply of coffee. To make matters worse, over 103 million spam emails are fired into our inboxes daily.

When we embark on a plan or action, our tendency is to figure out how to get it done as easily as possible. Unfortunately, if you open up your Medium tab on your browser each day, there are at least 20 people telling you how they made $100k in affiliate sales in their first month.

You’ll be tempted to read them and doubt your plan. If you divert from your system to try someone else’s before you even give it a fair test, you’ll be hopping from one scheme to the next for a while.

If you’ve filled out any information on affiliate marketing, clicked an ad, visited a YouTube page on the subject, or clicked the marketer’s subscribe link, you’re probably getting a lot of offers to learn their system.

Everyone has a system, and they are happy to sell it to you. When you start out, you’re trying to learn how to set up your business. Among the subjects you’ll be learning are:

  1. Information on a particular strategy
  2. Choosing a profitable niche
  3. Understanding affiliate links and codes
  4. Details on the industry, products or market
  5. Attracting the right traffic to your website or content
  6. How to track sales numbers
  7. Creating engaging and effective content
  8. Keeping up with the latest industry trends and changes
  9. Finding good affiliate programs to join
  10. Understanding the legal and tax requirements of affiliate marketing
  11. Website creation and maintenance

Welcome to affiliate marketing’s Bermuda Triangle, comrades.

The Two Pillars of Information Overload

This explosion of digital stimuli can be distilled into two main categories (van Dijk, 2012):

  • Informational stimuli
    We’re living in an era where the digital tsunami is commonplace. Our everyday lives revolve around digital devices, and they’re not shy about dishing out a variety of stimuli.
  • Perceptual stimuli
    Technology is a cheeky game of one-upmanship, where every shiny new tool or platform is designed to grab our attention.

This constant bombardment leads to a cognitive traffic jam — a condition we’ve all come to know as information overload.

In the attention economy we live in today, not only are advertisers elbowing for your attention, but so are other online users (Robson, 2017).

And, of course, affiliate marketers — whether rookies or veterans —aren't immune to this. We all need a strategy to minimize the effects.

The Affiliate Marketer’s Cross to Bear

Affiliate marketers, especially those new to the scene, frequently have to sail through this storm of information while learning the ropes. With the right compass and map, you can navigate these turbulent waters.

I swear, I’ll be done with the nautical analogies in a minute.

Here are some tactics to ensure your ship stays afloat (sorry):

1. Identify your target audience.

As any sailor worth his salt will tell you, know your destination before setting sail. Understand your audience, what they’re searching for, and how your content can meet their needs. Use technology to keep your focus on their needs and wants.

2. Quality over quantity

Plan your journey and keep your eye on the horizon. Don’t drown your audience in a sea of content. Instead, anchor them with high-quality, insightful content that adds value to their journey. Remember, you’re the lighthouse, not the storm.

3. Get yourself a digital compass.

There’s no shame in using tools to help you navigate. Applications like Pocket, Feedly, or Flipboard can help you curate and filter your content, allowing you to stay current without getting overwhelmed.

I’ve tried to stay organized with apps like Notion, CoSchedule, and others. My go-to remains MindManager. It’s been a constant benefit for years.

AI can help you stay on course.

4. Prioritize your information sources.

Like any explorer, you should have a reliable map. Pick one and stick with it. Identify your primary sources of information and keep them close. Curating your feeds or email newsletters can save you from unnecessary diversions.

I use Google Trends and Google Alerts. I have a separate Gmail account for each project. That means I choose what comes in and when I see it.

5. Strategic use of social media

Harness the winds of social media to your advantage. Connect with influencers and industry experts to filter through relevant information and stay on top of industry trends.

6. Take regular breaks.

Every sailor needs to step onto dry land now and then. Regular breaks can help you maintain focus, prevent burnout, and appreciate the journey.

As Mark Twain once said, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” So take a deep breath, start the journey, and remember that every great explorer was once a novice just like you.

My wife is really good at keeping me grounded. If you don’t have someone who can call out your b.s., that’s ok. Message me, and I’ll do it for you.

Alright, I've got it out of my system now. See you later; I’ve got work to do.

I often write about ways that content creators can generate income through side hustles or build their businesses. I cover marketing, content creation, and how to write for a living.

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Dennis Francis

Retired content marketing consultant. Author, artist, husband, father and owner of ContentMarketingMagic.co. Still helping small business owners daily.