The way the economy is going these days there’s a new flood of people looking for ways of making money online. The problem is that too many are starting out blind, without a whole lot of clue about what to do and they’re putting themselves into competition with professional Internet Marketers that have solid position in the market.
They know the techniques that work, the products and services to promote and they already have built up a following of traffic to their website or blog. They’ve built opt-in subscriber lists that they can use for marketing their products to people who have actually expressed an interest in.
In short, the established Internet Marketer has a solid advantage over the newbie and while some are willing (mostly for a price) to teach newbies how to make it, most have no intention of sharing secrets that could well create competitors.
However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t find your own niche. In fact, the key to success online is in finding just the right niche.
Unless you have the time, money and creative resources to develop a product that appeals to a lot of people your best shot is to do business as an affiliate. This means that you will be selling somebody else’s product for a commission, usually a percentage of the sale price. The advantage is that if you pick the right product to sell you can make a lot of money quickly.
Before diving in there’s some questions you should ask yourself when choosing a product to market.
1. What is the product’s value?
This isn’t just talking about what it costs or what you can earn from each sale, although those are very important factors, you have to remember that when you sell a product your reputation is riding on what the customer thinks (and more importantly, tells others) about it. Take some time to research the product. Make sure that there is a refund policy, spend some time on a search engine looking up what people have had to say about it after buying it.
2. Is the affiliate program automated?
Ideally, you want an affiliate program that allows you to do the promoting and selling with the sales handled by a third party like Clickbank and customer service issues dealt with by the supplier of the product. Customer support takes time and can become a beast of leviathan proportions quickly. You also need marketing resources from the product owner. You may want to create your own banner graphics eventually but initially you’re better off using those provided by the manufacturer. Then there’s the factor of payment. You want a process in place that lets you get paid automatically.
3. Is there residual income potential?
Residual income in affiliate marketing usually means either the customer will become an affiliate and you earn a portion of their sales or you’re selling a product that has recurring billing and you earn more every time that customer is re-billed.
4. Do you believe in the product?
This is important, if you believe in the product and it’s something that you would buy yourself then you’ll have a lot easier time in selling it and customers will be able to tell that you’re not just selling snake oil.
5. What assistance or support does the manufacturer provide?
Do they provide email support or a website that you can go to find marketing materials or submit a support ticket. You need to be able to get answers to questions or problems. Not all affiliate programs do. While this isn’t a problem once you’ve gained some experience, it’s a good idea to stick with programs that have help available. Forums devoted to affiliate marketing in general or a specific program in particular are great places to learn what mistakes to avoid without having to make them yourself.
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