Affiliate Marketing is Not…
…Creating and selling your own product: Creating your own product is a different business that requires a lot more risk than affiliate marketing. When you create a product you invest money in creating the product, marketing the product, handling payments and delivery, providing customer support, and ongoing development. An affiliate is simply responsible for sending prospects to a merchant — a much less daunting prospect!
That said, product owners can learn a lot by being affiliates first, and a lot of affiliates go on to build their own products later in their careers.
…Just about pornography, pharmaceuticals, online dating or gambling.
There are affiliates promoting products in pretty much any industry, market or niche interest group that you can think of. In later lessons we’ll show you affiliates promoting things like pet care, languages, music classes, health products, relationship advice, online gaming and more.
…Becoming a spammer: A lot of people hear the words “internet” teamed with the word “marketing” and automatically assume you’re talking about spamming. Or they recall those irritating ads that are plastered all over their favorite news sites, and they scowl at you.
Yes it’s true that these are aspects to affiliate marketing. Spammers are most certainly receiving commissions for each naive person who buys herbal Viagra through their link, and there are a lot of affiliates with a great fondness for the website popup.
But for the large part, affiliate marketing is a lot more subtle than this. It can be what funds your favorite photography website and the travel forum you like to visit. It could be the reason behind the informative article your read, or the product review you found.
Affiliates are everywhere, not just clogging up your inbox with cheap, miss-spelled pharmaceutical offers!
…Earning $14,000 overnight just by uploading this one website and script (which you can buy here for $49.95 $29.95 for the next ten minutes only!) Pardon me if I rant a little here, but in case you hadn’t noticed, walking into the “work from home/make money online” market is like diving into shark-infested waters.
There are a lot of websites out there that will tell you that THEY have the secret formula. THEY can tell you secrets that the experts don’t want you to know. THEY can give you all the information you need to start your lifestyle of cars, boats, houses and giant wads of cash stacked on the table, and they can back it up with screens and screens of testimonials from very satisfied and very rich customers. They’ll deliver you the world, at an absolute bargain price.
Here’s the real scoop: Here’s the information that the experts REALLY don’t want you to know, and I’ll give it to you for free: There are no magic overnight success formulas. Sure, there are people doing very well out of affiliate marketing: They’ve been working hard for a long time, they’ve made some good decisions and they deserve every success. Sure, there are campaigns that might turn over huge amounts of money in one day: They will have been planned for months in advance by very clever people with a lot of experience in making lots and lots of money.
The reality of affiliate marketing is that you need to spend time learning the ropes, and then you need to spend time implementing what you’ve learned. You need to make a lot of mistakes and spend a lot of time anguishing over why you’re making no sales. Then you WILL start making a few sales, and it will grow from there.
There are people and websites who will help you along the way (you’re currently reading one of them), but no-one has the ultimate, definitive solution.
There are occasionally good pieces of software developed which can also speed things up, but there’s nothing that will automate everything for you. You’ll still need to know what you’re doing, and you’ll still need to work.
Basically, the gold-rush days where you could just rock into affiliate-town one day and strike it rich the next are steadily diminishing, if not gone altogether. Anyone who tells you different is (obviously!) selling something.
About the Author
Andrew is talented marketer and author of many articles on internet marketing and affiliate programs. Currently living in Seoul with his family.