(Note: The FTC requires me to tell you that some links in this site may result in me receiving a commission from a vendor. That hardly ever happens but I am grateful for any commissions that I may receive. John)
In affiliate one promotes the products of other vendors. In product marketing, you supply the product. One difference is that in affiliate marketing, the vendor handles the order from his site, shipping the product and handling customer complaints, etc. You have no record of the customer but the vendor continues to contact him.
In product marketing, you handle all of the above problems unless you have the product drop shipped. You keep the customer.
Affiliate marketing is one tough way to make a living.
Those who do make a living from affiliate marketing have been at it for a number of years. In other words, there is a learning curve. That this is true of many businesses. You need to find a market that works and you need to build up a clientele, folks who come to your marketplace and make purchases.
On it may take several months to get your first order and one year to start earning enough money to take your wife to dinner. Some marketers do better, many don’t. The pen so much on how you get started out.
The size of the Internet is huge.
I think the United States comes in third in the number of people using the Internet. So the market is worldwide. That means that you can reach specific markets in other countries. If you can reach that market, then you have the opportunity to make money.
The number of people using the Internet (ref);
There are a few people who start affiliate marketing and began making money within a month or two. This is not the usual case. For most people it takes 4 to 6 months to start making some money. Some people don’t make any money the first year. I know two ladies who were partners and they did not make money on their website the first year. But they worked diligently and almost instantly the reputation became good enough at the end of that first year so that they did not have to update their site quite so often but they were making money. I know a number of Internet marketers who did not make a living to the extent that they can work home for several years. Like I said, it can be a rough row to hoe.
So What Are the Problems?
Here are some of the problems that niche marketers run into:
1. Not Realizing That Internet Marketing Is a Business and Not a Get Rich Scheme
Every marketer should start with a business plan. One way to do this is to go to SBA.org and prepare your plan right on the site. Another is to take a free course offered by your local Chamber of Commerce, a local university or college, or by some other institution.
Your business plan will be your road map for your business covering all aspects of the business. You will not succeed in business you don’t have a guide. You need to be in contact with other business people. You’ll find that they are very helpful and will be interested in your new business.
Affiliate marketers work in a niche market. A niche market is a small section of a larger market. The object is to find a market that is not overcrowded with competition but where folks are spending money. I hope you got that, not too much competition and folks have money jingling in their pockets. You must have passion and knowledge about this market and you must work from with in the market or you will fail.
3. Not Understanding the Market
You understand your market if you know the people in your market so well that you know what they need and what they want. You know what they will pay for and what they will not pay for.
Folks are not going to take your advice and let you give them good advice that is relevant to their problems and let you know what you are talking about. You need to stay ahead of the market and offer something different that people need.
5. Not Creating a Proper Website and Drawing Traffic to It
There is little reason not to have a properly designed website these days because there are so many aids to doing it. You don’t have to pay thousands of dollars to have a website built when you can do it yourself. But you need an attractive site that is inviting to those that will come there so that they will stay there long enough to read your post and pages and to see your offers. If you have an attractive, efficient website, then you can drive traffic to your site by using social networks, optimizing your sites for the search engines (SEO), and purchasing advertising. You need to promote yourself locally if you are in a local business. You will need to know something about keyword research to attract traffic.
You must stay in context in contact with your clients and you must attract new clients to your website. You cannot do this unless your content is relevant to want your market is searching for. You have to keep your clients excited and you have to give your new visitors a worthwhile experience. You need to be their friend and confident and their advisor.
7. Not Inviting Website Guest to Join A Mailing List and Newsletter
If you have a newsletter you can send to your mailing list along with other formative correspondence, that he will be able to make secondary offers. Nobody makes money selling a single item to a client. You want your client to make multiple purchases. So you need to give them continual relevant information and presenting items of interest to them.
8. Not Keeping in Contact with Clients on Your Mailing List
If you are not diligent about maintaining your mailing list, publishing your newsletter and keeping in contact with your audience, you will have far less income than if you do.
Your niche business must have competition. Simply speaking, if there is no competition, there is no business. So you need to know what your competition is offering to the market. You need to see what techniques he is using to promote. You need to offer something original and different to your clients.
10. Not Maintaining Passion and Excitement in the Business
You can see why it is very important to choose a niche market that you are very excited and passionate about. Your excitement must be high enough to keep you working. If you are lackadaisical, you will not write original useful content nor will you make the effort required to attract traffic to your website.
11. Not providing enough quality content on your website
An explanatory phrase might be, too little too late. Search engines favor sites that are updated frequently. You cannot post on your blog too frequently. Go Google likes extensive content so it is better to have a blog post that has 2000 words than one that has 200. I suggest 400 words for a post minimum and 2000 words minimum for a page. Rule of thumb for blogs is to post two or three times a week after you have the site set in. Before that, skies the limit, several post a day.
How Can I Learn All This Stuff?
Affiliate marketers often build a funnel to invite folks into their niche market. They have an attractive landing page and they invite folks to join their newsletter and mailing list. Then they continually communicate with them, presenting products, and hoping that maybe they will make a purchase.
Notice that I said, “presenting” and not “selling.” Affiliate marketers do not sell, they present opportunities. Since affiliate marketers promote other people’s products, it’s up to the vendor to actually sell the product and to pay the affiliate marketer a commission on the sale. It may not appear obvious to you, but this is ONE BIG NEGATIVE ABOUT AFFILIATE MARKETING.
The Vendor Takes Your Client and Makes Sales that Do Not Pay You a Commission
That is why affiliate marketers maintain a mailing list because that is one way they can make a secondary sell. The reason that vendors pay such high commissions, sometimes 100%, is because they will make so much money on the secondary sales.
That’s why I suggest that you sell real products to your clients, perhaps products that are drop shipped by your selected manufacturers. That way you handle the sale and deal with the customer instead of the vendor.
Having said that, I sold books for many years that were drop shipped. My friend in New York State that ship the books had no way of keeping track of the fact that I sold the book and so he sold directly to my customers for which he had no way to pay a commission. After selling many thousands of books, I switch to selling flagpoles where I had no competition from my vendor.
But affiliate marketing offers a great way to make secondary sales if you are promoting real products. So many sellers of products also offer affiliate products.
The best way to make money is to offer your own products, products that you created for that you have an exclusive on. That affiliate marketing is your secondary source of income.
So to Answer the Question
Where do you learn how to be an affiliate marketer? There are plenty of gurus on the market who will offer to teach you affiliate marketing. He will give you something for free to get you going and then he will sell you one thing after another until your pockets are empty, after he is held you by the heels and shaken you good so the money can fall out of your pockets, you will get wise and dump him. Why? Because you didn’t learn the fundamentals of making money on the Internet.
Don’t think you can get this training at the local college. Professors are usually not affiliate marketers and they don’t know how to make a nickle.
On May 28th, 2008, I joined two young Canadian computer science majors who earned their money to go to college through affiliate marketing. They created Wealthy Affiliate University. There are no secondary sales on their site but they will give you a free lifetime membership to begin your career in affiliate marketing. However, if affiliate marketing is not your thing, you will get the training that you need to market products on the Internet.
If you find that you really want to take full advantage of Wealthy Affiliate University you should become a Premium member. If you do, take an annual membership to reduce your costs significantly. If you promote Wealthy Affiliate like I do, you can easily make enough income to pay for your membership. Since 2008, my membership in wealthy affiliate has cost me not one red cent. I also promote the JAAXY keyword tool, for extra income. Some wealthy affiliate members sell 300 memberships a year for an income of about $30,000 and win a free trip to Las Vegas to meet with Kyle and Carson, the owners of Wealthy Affiliate.
My granddaughters sell their own products on the Internet as does my son. He is a veterinarian but he has always had an Internet business on the side. They make very good incomes. This morning my granddaughter is here caring for my wife who has dementia. I told her I was writing this article and she said that you have to have all of your ducks in a row. She meant the product, the presentation, the advertising and the customer service.
I think that about covers it.
If you walked into my funnel, although I no longer collect names, and you want to give Wealthy Affiliate a try which will cost you nothing at all, CLICK HERE!
Note: You can try this:
- Join WA as a Free Member and take the free instruction.
- Join as a new member for two months. This will cost you $47 x 2 months or $94. This is much less than any college course and you will be able to cover a great deal of the materials available at the site.
- Get your first site going realizing it will take several months to start creating income, maybe longer.
- Concentrate on getting one site going before you start another.
- Rejoin WA from time to time as you need training.
I am in my 10 year at WA. My family are product sellers, not affiliate marketers, but the training at WA works there too.
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