Affiliate Marketing – The Humble Doorway to Success
Most newcomers to internet marketing start off by doing affiliate marketing. Some people see it as a stepping stone, and others choose it as a way of life. Some people even choose to avoid it altogether. Before you dismiss it, however, there are a few things you need to consider:
1. What is it? Affiliate marketing is what happens when you sell other people’s stuff at a commission. Depending on whether it is a physical product or digital product, and whether you are a beginner or advanced marketer, you can get paid anything from 4% op to 100% commissions.
Note: Many experienced marketers offer people 100% commissions on cheap products in order to build their own mailing lists of proven buyers. There is however a way in which you can, as an affiliate, build a list of buyers as well – but more about that in the future.
2. The barrier to entry is extremely low. Most affiliate programs are free to join, and many affiliate programs have no prerequisites for prospective members. Some of the more advanced affiliate programs require you to own an existing website or blog on your own domain, but most will simply allow you to sign up, grab your promotional material and be on your merry way.
In fact, if you happen to be flat broke, you can literally start your affiliate marketing journey without spending a penny. Fair enough, it will mean that you will make less for the hours you put in, but it can be done.
3. There is no risk. You don’t have to invest any money in any specific products, creating marketing materials, product creation, payment infrastructure, support staff, etc. You simply plug in and run with it. In many cases, you will be making more money per sale than the product owner – although (granted) he or she will have the benefit of having multiple affiliates promoting for them.
Note: Even if you do choose to invest in online tools and resources for your business, these are usually not purchased for one specific affiliate program – and you will be able to use them for something else if you choose to.
4. There is a HUGE selection of affiliate programs and products to choose from. Online, you can literally sell anything from a $1 junk info product to seminars and coaching worth several thousands of dollars, many of which pay a thousand dollars or more per sale. You can sell physical goods, digital goods, courses, coaching, online services and physical services. Many people even sell adult products, memberships and streaming video services, while others get paid a recruitment fee for attracting online gamblers.
5. Selling digital goods allows for high commission percentages on relatively cheap goods. After the initial production costs, digital goods carry no reproduction costs. As such, it’s common to see ebooks, online courses and online tools offering 50% to 75% commissions to affiliates. In addition to that, the fact that the goods are digital means that the vendor doesn’t need to wait for physical delivery to allow for returns or refund requests, so you can get paid sooner.
6. It can grow as big as you want it to. There are many people who are making BIG money simply by selling other people’s products and services. People like John Chow, Rae Hoffman, Zac Johnson and many more have opted to simply remain affiliate marketers, and are making a killing doing it.
7. You don’t need any credibility as a product creator. After all, you are only selling the product that someone else has created, right? Credibility and social proof (testimonials) is their problem. Branding is their problem. If you want to sell a Samsung TV, you don’t have to worry about proving to people how good it is. If you sell an ebook, video or online course, the product creator will prove to prospective buyers that it’s good. As such, all you have to do is to bring it to people’s attention, and maybe offer a little more information about it before you let them check out the sales page.
8. Many people who went on to create their own products and online tools are also affiliates. You will often see people – who offer their own products and/or services – recommending affiliate products. That’s partly because they feel the products they recommend can really help their prospects, and partly because it would be stupid not to do it. After all, unless you run an online store filled with products you own, chances are you don’t have enough products of your own to offer a new product to your audience every week or two.
9. This last one could be your ultimate aim – and it involves affiliate marketing: Joint ventures. When a professional online marketer launches a new product, he or she will often limit sales to a short space of time. During that time, the offer will be promoted only by his or her joint venture partners. As a joint venture partner (more about that in the future), you stand to make a lot of money in a short space of time – due to exclusivity and the short duration of availability. Fair enough, it takes a lot of work to get there – but once you do, you will be laughing hysterically all the way to the bank.
As you can see, affiliate marketing is something you can start off with, and move on, but it is also something you can choose to stick with and make megabucks. It’s the logical place to start making money online, and for many it’s the logical place to put down their roots and grow big.