A New Way to Profit From Your Content-Based Website

"It's a labor of love." That's how I've always described my content-based website. Until the last year or so, what I meant is that my website paid me in love more frequently than it paid in money. And if visitor compliments and good karma paid the mortgage, that would have been fine.

I knew I enjoyed and was very good at helping others and communicating in the online world. What I needed was a way to help others online that also brought in a steady paycheck.

When I found a direct sales company to work with, this all began to change. My direct sales business quickly became my highest ? and most promising ? single stream of income.

As a website owner, you have contact with a wide variety of people. Direct selling and network marketing allow you to monetize the networks that you have created with others. And as a content-based website owner, you are an expert at the largest network the world has ever known: the Internet.

Direct sales allows you to leverage the efforts and ideas of other people, so you're no longer in business by yourself, looking at each month separately. The work you do today will benefit you for years to come. And you earn money to the degree to which you help others earn money for themselves, and that is truly a labor of love.

What to look for:

A good product.
First and foremost, you need to truly believe in what you are selling. You need to believe in the company mission and the products. Other considerations: It's ideal if the products are exclusive; and even better if the products are also consumable, so you make sales from repurchases.

A niche market.
As with everything online, you will be most successful if your products fit a niche that people go online to search for. It pays to research and anticipate social trends.

Strong online component.
Ideally, your company will allow you to make online sales. Many direct sales companies have a provision that all advertising must be "blind," meaning that you are restricted from mentioning the name of the company or its trademarks. If that's the case, make sure that the company also offers a personalized website that you can link to from your content-based site, so you don't lose your online leads. And make sure that you read the fine print of the consultant provisions, especially as it pertains to online promotions.

Many direct sales companies are now offering replicated websites so each representative can promote an individual online presence. A few direct sales companies even have shopping carts alongside these websites so you can make sales online, too, with the product dropshipped from the home office.

Relatively new company.
You want people to sign up in your downline, rather than the person down the street, it's important that the market isn't saturated.

And because you will be a long-distance support person, make sure there is team training in place ? or set it up for yourself. You don't want to have to reinvent the wheel each time you recruit someone. I have a 14-day basic training course by autoresponder, for example, that each new consultant starts receiving right away ? and our team has a very large (and growing fast) online message board for sharing ideas.

Keep in mind that the most important factor in long-term direct sales success is that everything you do be easy for your downline to duplicate.

Most direct sales and network marketing businesses thrive on word of mouth and personal relationships. Not everyone in your new downline is going to be an expert at online marketing (In fact, most of them won't be) so make sure you work the business the same way that they will. That means you'll probably want to also expand your business in your own offline community, just as your downline will ? so that you can be an effective trainer. If you can train your downline how to be financially successful, you'll become financially successful, too.

Where to Look
I found the company that I work with through a solo ezine ad, which promoted low start-up, low pressure, and a strong support team ? three factors that directly contributed to my success with the business. So it pays to keep your eyes (and mind) open when you are working online.

You can also research your options with the Direct Selling Association at http://www.dsa.org. The DSA is designed to help make sure direct sales organizations follow ethical business practices and good customer service.

When you have found the company and team that's right for you, you'll know it.

Happy hunting!

About the author:
Susie Cortright is the creator of the award-winning online magazine http://www.momscape.com as well as a team leader for a rapidly growing direct sales company. Learn about the company she chose here: http://www.momscape.com/direct-sales

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