As a matter of fact in knowing the 3 Great Reasons Why Should You Be an Affiliate First of all;
Understanding the requirements of a traditional business
Looking at the advantages of affiliate marketing
Set realistic expectations before you begin
3 Great Reasons Why Should You Be an Affiliate (Simple Point)
Whether you realize it or not, practically every blogger, every celebrity, every website, and every company on the internet today is an affiliate marketer. They are all making money day after day from this largely passive means of earning extra income. See that ad on your favorite movie star’s blog? Click on it and your star gets paid. See that link at the end of her recommendation or review? Click on it and make a purchase, and she gets paid. See those links on someone’s Facebook or other social media page or email? Trust us; someone is getting paid. It’s time for you to collect from this internet affiliate marketing gold mine, and this book is here to help you.In this chapter, we compare affiliate marketing to traditional businesses, note the advantages of affiliate marketing, and show you how to set realistic expectations for your affiliate marketing business.
Starting a traditional business is quite challenging. It takes a lot of money and a lot of time. Some people invest their life savings trying to start a business. Starting a business has many time-consuming steps like product development, prototyping, marketing, and so on. There are a lot of legal complexities and regulations. Starting a traditional business can take years. Then, after starting a business has sucked all the money out of your life and consumed all your time, the dismal statistics indicate that 80 percent of new businesses fail.
- Engaging in market research and product development: First, you need to do extensive market research. After all, you don’t want to spend all your time and money developing a product that no one is interested in. If the research results are promising, you then have to spend quite a bit of time in product development, regardless of whether the product is digital or physical.
- Prototyping: Prototyping often involves multiple versions and iterations of development, finding the flaws and bugs. Then you prototype another version based on prior testing, and you may have it tested by groups of consumers in focus groups. The multiple iterations of building and testing cost time and money. Those focus groups who come together to critique your product don’t come cheap, either.
- Planning for packaging and fulfillment: After your product has gone through product development and has been tested, reengineered, and retested over and over again, it’s finally ready to sell to the consumer. But how do you do that? First you have to design the packaging and presentation. How will it be packaged in a way that will survive shipping? How will the packaging be printed and the product packaged so it will attract customers’ interest and entice them to choose your product over competing products?
When your product is all packaged up and ready to go, you need a means to get the product to the consumer. If you’re actually going to fulfill orders yourself, you have to do the packing, taping, and shipping, and then deal with any returns. Of course, you also need to provide customer service, which takes up another chunk of your time.
If you plan to have another company, such as Amazon, Target, Walmart, or the like, handle fulfillment, you have to start making a round of presentations to those companies’ buyers. Your presentation has to be so enticing that they want to fulfill your product orders — without taking too big a slice out of the potential profit.
- Reeling in customers: After you’ve worked through the steps in the preceding bullets, it’s time, as they say, for the rubber to meet the road — time for all that work you put into setting up a traditional business to start producing a profit.
Before you start counting the cash, however, you or the fulfillment entity has to start a marketing campaign to convert the potential buyers of your product into people who will actually put their money down and make a purchase.
#2. Assessing the Advantages of Affiliate Marketing
A traditional business usually requires a big investment of both time and money, as you find out in the preceding section. Because you’re making that substantial an investment, it’s not something you usually work on a part-time basis. On the other hand, affiliate marketing can offer many advantages over starting a traditional business for someone seeking to earn extra income, as you find out in the following sections.
Affiliate marketing can be an instant business on your smartphone. Because you are earning an affiliate commission by promoting a product or service someone else has developed, you don’t have any of the headaches someone starting a traditional business has, as detailed earlier in this chapter.
You have millions of physical products and thousands of digital products and services to choose from. If you are an Amazon affiliate, just think of the millions of products available. This offers your potential visitor a wider selection and increases the chance that one of the products or services you offer will be the one. In a traditional business, given all the time and money it takes to develop a product or service, you’re lucky if you can develop and offer one or two products. If it turns out your product is a dud on the market, you’re out of luck.
Most of us have gone through our entire lives with someone else telling us what to do and determining our actions. We go from our parents to school to a job. Frankly, most jobs are repetitive and boring. In most companies, telling your boss that he’s going in the wrong direction and that you have a better idea leads to an abruptly shortened career.
We don’t know whether you consider yourself a rebel or a company man (or woman). But having at least one part of your life where you can say you decided what to do can be very fulfilling and satisfying. Affiliate marketing can give you that path.
You can choose your own lifestyle too. As long as you have access to a computer and an internet connection, you can be in business. We know some affiliate marketers who don’t even own a computer or subscribe to an internet service. They go to the public library and use theirs.
Technical Stuff You Be an Affiliate
For coauthor Ted, the most important aspect of becoming an affiliate marketer was freedom. He says, “When I worked as a network manager in NYC, it was up at 5 a.m., traveling on buses and subways for an hour and a half each way, and home at 7 p.m. When vacation time came, my boss said I could go anywhere I wanted to on my vacation as long as I could get back to work within four hours. With the traffic and traveling time in the metropolitan area, that didn’t leave many options.”
With a computer and an internet connection, you can determine your hours and your schedule. You can work on a part-time basis and fit affiliate marketing into your current lifestyle. If you like the benefits affiliate marketing brings to your life, you may gradually want to work it more and make it a full-time endeavor, replacing your current job. But before you quit your job, make sure it is right for you and you can replace your current income.
Tips You Be an Affiliate
Want to disappear for a while at an exotic island location that doesn’t have an internet connection or computers? But worried the “hungry crowd” you worked so hard to gather will lose interest because there are no new website posts or you’re not sending them new, valuable information? No problem! You can write a quantity of valuable posts or new information before you leave and then schedule them to be sent out on a regular basis or any schedule you want. When you return no one will know you were gone unless you tell them about the amazing time you had.
One of the great advantages of affiliate marketing is that because you can choose from a wide marketplace of both physical and digital products, you can offer several different products through your affiliate links. You can track the results with your affiliate program to see what’s working and what isn’t. Since the affiliate program supplies the banners and links for all the products it offers, you can replace nonperforming products with products that are bringing in more income. In this way you can constantly improve your income over time with minimal cost or time. Contrast that with a traditional business where you want to drop a dud product or service into which you’ve invested a lot of time and money — just to introduce a new product into which you’ll have to invest a lot more time and money.
As an affiliate marketer, you’re promoting a product or service someone else has produced. You’re simply earning a commission for presenting it to others. You don’t have to deal with the product development that’s covered in the earlier section “Surveying the Requirements of Starting a Traditional Business.”
Have you ever worked fulfilling orders for a product? You have to select it off the shelf, find a box that fits, package it so it doesn’t get damaged, print the label, and take it to the post office. But don’t spend the money yet! You have to wait until the customer safely receives the product and is satisfied. Some returns and some packages will get lost in shipment. It’s your responsibility to reconcile these issues with the customer.
Contrast that with being an affiliate marketer. There is no product you have to pack, label, or ship. If there is a problem with shipment or a refund request, the entity doing the fulfillment takes care of it all.
You don’t have to be a technical genius
You say you can’t become an affiliate marketer because you don’t know computer coding, HTML, and all the other computer geek speak? Well, the good news is that you don’t have to. When I (coauthor Ted) first started on the internet, knowing CMS, coding, HTML, and other technical things was a necessity. But that’s no longer the case. You can set up your affiliate marketing business in minutes on a smartphone by creating a WordPress site.
Today, setting up a WordPress site can be a snap. Page builders have dramatically speeded up and simplified building a WordPress page. Now instead of inputting code, you simply drag and drop pre-built blocks onto the page where you want them.
Your hosting company probably has a script that will set up the basic WordPress site for you with just the answers to a few questions, like what password you want to use and so forth. This gives you a basic WordPress site, and it is then up to you to transform it into a website visitors will want to come to for information (and hopefully make a purchase).
Adding little WordPress customizers called plug-ins can change your website and do some pretty useful things for you, such as collecting email addresses, sending out newsletters or offers, and tracking the responses. That way you know which of your promotions work and which don’t, so you can fine-tune your approach.
A lot of things you need to do to establish your presence are becoming a lot simpler and cheaper. Are you aware of the magic of using a “green screen”? With a video camera, some software, and background images, you can film yourself in front of a green cloth and then replace that with a background from the beach, an office building, an exotic location, or wherever you like. I (coauthor Ted) promote my website and affiliate products with videos of reviews or interviews. I can replace the green screen background with a TV studio, a lecture hall, or an office building. I have a studio, five big lights and a complicated lighting setup, an expensive video camera, and expensive computer software. Why do I bring this up in a section on the advantage of how easy affiliate marketing is? Well, a May 2019 article in the New York Times titled “How to Add Hollywood Special Effects to Your Videos” describes how you can produce a green-screen movie with a smartphone, a $2 to $5 video app, and a large piece of cloth. It may not have as many bells and whistles as a studio setup, but it may be all you need to promote your affiliate marketing product.
Accepting and processing payments and managing accounting are other aspects of your affiliate marketing business that have been simplified. When coauthor Ted started, it was all about getting approved for merchant status and building payment gateways. Getting approved was tough, and merchant status was like gold because it was the only way you could accept payments. Today it’s as simple as pasting an Amazon or other affiliate company’s Buy button on your website. Setting up to accept PayPal payments is also very easy. Many of the affiliate marketing companies already have PayPal Buy buttons ready for you to use.
Hi, Ted Sudol here. When the company I was working for started to have some really questionable financial dealings, I took the buyout and ran. I told my boss to take the buyout and run too. But he said he shook the hand of the CEO who assured my boss he could trust him and the company with his future, so he stayed. The new owner and CEO of the company took a swan dive off his yacht when his house of cards and fraud were exposed. My boss left without the buyout.
Companies today are not like they were in my father’s time. You don’t work 30 years and get a defined pension benefit. Even if you have a pension, don’t depend solely on it for your future. One day I got a letter in the mail from my pension. It announced my pension fund was in trouble and my pension would be cut 75 percent. And it was.
Social Security is supposed to be solvent only for another 20 or 25 years. When people give me the excuse that they don’t want to start an affiliate marketing business because it’s risky, I just shake my head. They are the ones exposed to risk — the risk of not diversifying. Now I spend five months at our home in Alaska and the rest of the year in New Jersey. I love it. I’m not telling you to quit your job and jump in this ocean of internet wealth. I’m just suggesting you stick a toe in and test the affiliate marketing waters. If you like it, expand your efforts. You may be very surprised at the difference it makes at the end of a year.
Another bonus? You don’t have to design your marketing materials. You don’t have to go through the extensive process of testing different designs to see what works best. Most companies have an extensive assortment of banners, buttons, and graphics with your affiliate link already embedded. To start making money from the affiliate product, all you have to do is copy the link containing your affiliate from the company or affiliate network’s site and paste it where you want it on your web page. There are even plug-ins that make this already simple process even easier. You simply enter the product’s name in the plug-in search bar and choose the options you prefer regarding how you want your affiliate ad to appear.
When you’re running a business from your home, many of the expenses you incur can become tax deductions for you. The computer, software, tools, hosting fees, and so on can all become tax deductions. Devote part of your house solely to your affiliate marketing business? Deduct a portion of your rent, heating, mortgage, electricity, or other bills. We love our Uncle Sam, but anytime we can keep more of our money in our pockets rather than give it to the IRS, it’s a good thing!
Despite what you may have read on the internet from recognized gurus selling their latest magic affiliate moneymaking course, becoming an affiliate marketer isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. It’s a solid get-rich-slowly plan. We’re not talking glacial slow, like building a traditional business, which may take years. We’re talking about three to eight months of steady effort on your part before you start to see results. If you keep building your site, increasing its authority, collecting emails, and serving your visitors’ needs, your income will grow. If you’ve set up a firm foundation with your website, email list, and so on, you have developed a business that will keep generating income year after year.
Some affiliate marketers with established sites say the tasks to maintain their site and continue earning money only take them two hours a week. They may be coasting now, but trust us — they worked pretty darn hard and diligently for those first three to eight months. Coauthor Ted is still getting paid for affiliate programs he worked like a beaver on ten years ago. When people ask him if he’s making any money from that affiliate marketing plan, he likes to respond, “I’m still making money from it!” Keep the following tips in mind as you temper your expectations about becoming an affiliate marketer:
- Pick a niche you are interested in. Picking a topic and niche you have an interest in is vital so you can sustain the effort. Choose an area in which you can continue researching, writing posts, and answering your audience’s needs for three to eight months. If you can’t sustain that effort because you chose a niche just because you thought it would earn you money, you’ll quit before you see results. That would be a shame, because you may be quitting before results start coming in.
- Make lemonade out of lemons. Even if you’ve given it the eight-month college try and things haven’t turned out the way you expected, it’s not all bleak. Maybe you find that you hate writing about the niche you have chosen and can’t drag yourself to write another post after the eight months are up. Or maybe your assumptions about the niche just didn’t prove to be true, and it never became profitable. All is not lost. You didn’t risk thousands of dollars as you would have trying to start a traditional business that didn’t prove profitable. You learned a great deal, and all you have to do now is apply what you have learned to another niche.
If the site is generating a modest amount of money, you may be satisfied to just keep it up on the internet, earning money. Go build another website in another niche. Or you may decide to sell it. There are many sites on the web where people sell websites from a few dollars to a few thousand dollars. Coauthor Ted has taken websites that didn’t perform as he expected and sold them at prices that varied from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars on sites like Flippa (www.flippa.com). So how can you fail? You win both ways.