Become an Affiliate Later Rather Than Sooner


I attended a presentation a couple of weeks ago given by Internet marketer, Michael Green. Michael runs the 'How To Corp' and has created numerous information products covering a wide range of topics.

There were a number of very interesting points that came out of the presentation but I wanted to 'steal' one of them as the topic of this newsletter. I am sure Michael won't mind :-)

The point in question is a simple one but one which is regularly overlooked by people just starting out in Internet marketing and that is to get into affiliate marketing later rather than sooner.

Many people jump at the chance of selling someone else's product as an affiliate as there are many obvious advantages:

No need to create a product of your own No involvement in the delivery or support of the product Minimal contact with customers No need to have your own website

At first glance, affiliate marketing can appear to be the ideal business opportunity and in many ways, it is. However, if you are new to Internet marketing and have no website, no email list and no traffic, affiliate marketing will almost certainly be a lot of hard work.

The key to being a successful affiliate is to be able to drive reasonable levels of traffic to a sales page that is relevant to the traffic in question. If you don't have any existing traffic or a mailing list, the chances are that you are going to have to pay for this traffic (at least initially). Whilst this can be very effective, it can also take time to get right and will be costing money in the process.

Therefore, to go back to the original statement, getting involved in affiliate marketing is definitely a good idea but if you start to work as an affiliate once you have built up your own website, traffic and mailing list, you will find that it is far more rewarding.

To illustrate this further, when I first started writing this newsletter, I would often throw in the odd affiliate link but they rarely resulted in any sales. The reason for this was simple - I hardly had any subscribers on the mailing list! Over the years, as my list has grown and as subscribers have 'got to know me' and I have gained more trust, my affiliate sales have increased.

Looking at it from another angle, I find that my most successful affiliates are those that have an established website or mailing list. Of course, this makes perfect sense since there is already existing traffic to sell to and often no effort is required other than adding a hyperlink to a web page or giving a product a mention in mailshot.

Once you have an existing website and customers/subscribers, you will also start to build credibility in your chosen field/industry. This means that your customers are more likely to trust your recommendations and actually purchase something if you promote it as being a great product.

In the early days of my Internet marketing career, I would regularly try and promote products that were about making money online. I wasn't very successful with these promotions and one of the main reasons was that I wasn't personally making much money online. Once I started to become more successful and my customers/subscribers were able to see that I did actually know what I was talking about, they were far more willing to purchase these types of products from me or on my recommendation.

Therefore, in summary, get your own website/product/newsletter/whatever up and running first and then concentrate on adding additional value to your product range by promoting relevant affiliate products.

If you choose to go down the road of only selling products as an affiliate, remember that this is perfectly possible to do but it will take time, hard work and a fair bit of patience.

Of course, the other benefit in selling your own product is that you don't have to share the sales proceeds :-)

Copyright 2005 Richard Grady

Richard Grady has been helping ordinary people earn online since 1998. He writes a free newsletter which is published every two weeks. To subscribe (and claim your free gifts), visit: http://www.thetraderonline.com/newsletter.html

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