Why affiliate marketing?
My Internet marketing career began in 1999. I tried to sell myself as a personal coach.
That didn’t go real well and my desire to help people live a better life lead me into writing. Up to 16 hours per day, 7 days per week I wrote.
I created one product after another. I had no shortage of ideas but I did lack the one critical skillset required to earn money in marketing –
Over the last 15 years I’ve met thousands of Internet marketing hopefuls. And I’ve met hundreds of Internet marketing success stories.
Those who experienced “overnight success” all had one thing in common – a background in selling and marketing.
I didn’t have that background and regardless of how hard I worked, or how great and useful my products might have been I simply couldn’t sell them.
The inability to sell my ideas was the root cause of my failure.
To build an online business you need to master, or at least have the ability to outsource, dozens of tasks requiring a wide range of skills.
I have witnessed too many people dump large sums of time and money into creating products or services they couldn’t sell. Are you like I was? Have you spent months creating a product that you felt was gold only to see a couple hundred dollars in sales as a result (if you were lucky)?
I spent three full years of my life attempting to make a living by selling myself and my products. I couldn’t. And the reality is I could have spent another three years and I likely wouldn’t have been any closer.
I was fortunate to have two things happen at year three. First, I was smart enough (OK, desperate enough) to get a job. Second, that job lead me to managing affiliates for the company that employed me.
And that’s when I saw how people made money online. These weren’t people claiming to make money – they were real people like you and me receiving commission checks every month.
As affiliate manager I knew how much they made, what their sites looked like, how much traffic they generated, and how they went about selling our products.
Some sold their own products too, but I realized most of these people were good at building a list using a super-simple site that offered high-quality information.
Plus they were earning 50% of the sale while we did the hard work of creating the product, building and maintaining the marketing systems, fulfilling the product, providing customer support and so much more.
At this time I also became aware of paid traffic. That was so early in the Internet marketing game that Google Adwords didn’t yet exist.
Because tracking systems were crude in those days we setup an affiliate link for each and every keyword phrase we were paying to advertise with. That was over 1000 links, created one keyword phrase at a time.
But you know what? It quickly became clear which keyword phrases made money consistently – which type of keyword phrases broke even consistently – and which types of keyword phrases lost money, consistently.
With this information I realized that there are 1000s of products in the marketplace that people are looking for and all it takes to be profitable is to put up an ad using the right keyword phrase. (NOTE: Times have changed. It isn’t this simple any longer, but it’s still EXTREMELY profitable with my approach.)
This allowed me to leverage the work of the product creator to my advantage. In the time it would have taken me to create one product, that nobody knew about, I could put up hundreds of promotional campaigns promoting dozens of products and services as an affiliate.
Through that process of learning how and where to reach the best prospects I learned to sell, and to market – and only then did I began to have success selling my own products and services.
You must focus your efforts FIRST on learning to sell and market. With few exceptions most people don’t have the time, money or resources to create products and maximize their revenue potential. In fact, it makes almost zero sense to take that approach with 1000s of products and services already on the market waiting to be sold.
It’s true, people will say “Yeah, but you can make a lot more money selling your own products because of the back-end.”
To that, two responses:
1. What back-end? Most product creators don’t have a back-end. And why would you put the time and effort towards creating a back-end if you don’t know you can sell it?
2. If you do affiliate marketing the way I do it you have more back-end options to offer than any product creator on the planet – ANY product creator on the planet.
If you have any questions on this concept, go ahead and ask below. And if you insist on creating your own product to see how far you get, please let us know how that works out for you.