Let’s start with the bottom line first: Why it is a good idea? It’s because you can ‘Just Do It’. There is no lengthy learning curve; there is no huge investment of money; there is no need to be particularly creative; no need to be a technical expert. You can actually become a member of a program in about 5-minutes from now and get started! (But wait! Please read the rest of this article first!)
Why is it so possible to just start up an affiliate marketing business? It’s because by becoming a member of the program, you have in effect, been given license to profit from their intellectual property.They have already created the system and product, the website, and the membership program. All you have to do is use the resources and start marketing and advertising your affiliate link. The program will handle your sales transactions, support your customer, and do the accounting. If you make a sale or referral, then according to their compensation plan, you will earn a commission.
This is fondly referred to as ‘autopilot’ and you should really understand what that means. It definitely does not mean ‘sit back and wait’ for everybody to do the work for you; or for it to magically happen, and then your job is to just roll up to the bank with your wealth. Nothing will happen unless you are fully engaged in your business to consistently promote your business (affiliate link, affiliate sales page, etc.) over TIME. It may sound super easy to get started but you will need to build and develop your own
business if you want to succeed (EARN money) after you start.
When you see ads that make it sound so simple (which it really is) and instant (while possible, it is not probable if you have no marketing experience or ‘list’ (customers) that you can appeal to). Now don’t let that be an excuse to fail, if you don’t have a list, because every single person who ever made a dollar on the Internet or anywhere else had to START some place. The same place you are starting, at the beginning. The ones that succeed invested a lot of effort over TIME. They got the experience by doing it, and at the same time BUILT a list of prospects and customers.
‘No program works unless we do’ – so we can’t blame the program, the system, the government or the weather if we fail. It is just like any business – you have to do the work in order to get paid. When you are working for yourself, you may work a lot without getting paid while you are building. If you don’t understand this, then maybe you just need a job – or a second or third job. It’s no crime if you do not have the motivation or desire to actually develop a business yourself. However, you need to determine
that as soon as possible so you don’t waste time and money. Affiliate marketing is a great way to do that without risking much besides your monthly membership fees.
Be sure to check out the program thoroughly – read the site – their FAQ (frequently asked questions) and any documentation that explains who they are, what they do, how much it costs and how much you can make. Run some queries in a search engine like http://Google.com., unless you see legal documentation of actual fraud, or a huge list of bad reviews, consider negative remarks with an open mind. Many people who have had unrealistic expectations have been disappointed the minute they saw that they will need to w-o-r-k or spend any money or time to build a business. Sometimes they are embarrassed that they actually thought they could be instantly wealthy without work, and they will blame the program, but never themselves.
Don’t get in ‘over your head’ – do only what you can afford. Most scams have a high cost to participate and maybe ‘contracts’. They promise huge gains for your investment. Pick a low-cost program with no contracts. Don’t speculate – do only what you can afford. Consider the membership fees are due each month – consider small advertising and marketing fees (and much you can do yourself for free if necessary). Give it and yourself a fair chance.
Is it maybe because you feel your technical/computer skills are hopelessly inadequate? Or you just don’t feel comfortable? This can be a critical problem because you do need to have only basic computer skills if you are going to have an online business – that is unless you plan to pay somebody else to do your work. It is not rocket science and you can do it – you just have to learn how and then you will get experience even if you are only at the stage of doing research or ‘shopping’ for opportunities and resources.
If you have problems with basic things like emails and copy and paste, or even chronic trouble logging in – anything that could discourage you from doing what you need to do to have a successful home business, you need to conquer your fear in the first place and then GET HELP! There are many free online courses you can take. Just go to a search engine like http://google.com and query ‘computer training’ – some may charge a few dollars but it will be money well spent (and tax deductible as a legitimate business expense, so keep your receipts). It takes very little time to do an online course, and you can save digital files or even have printed documents that you will always have to keep as a reference.
One option is that there are community colleges that are online and they have all kinds of business related courses. You can even go beyond basic stuff and do intermediate level courses, such as learn how to use Word or Notepad (text editors); or even more technical areas like web design, networking and even programming.
Or is your obstacle that you feel that you can’t write creatively or write English (or whatever language)? Important considerations, because a big part of Internet marketing is dependent on being able to write blogs, ads, emails, sales letters, etc. If your home business is in the affiliate marketing niche, or if you are selling products or services, you are still going to need to know how to do basic writing. Unless you can afford to pay ghostwriters and copywriters to write your content, you need to start writing.
A blog is a great place to write because it is even less formal than email – both are good places to use your new skills and learn how to write. If people can talk, they should be able to put their thoughts into words and know how to type it – even if ‘hunt and peck’.
Again – ‘there is nothing to fear except fear itself’. Don’t be afraid to write a few bad ads or not so clear emails – you will learn if you read your work after you write it and kind of clean it up. Remember you are representing your business and yourself as a business owner. Grammar and spelling are top priorities in your written (typed) communication. (‘You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression’). You don’t need to be perfect or formal – just professional and clear.
Whatever your perceived obstacle is, try to resolve it. If you can’t right now, then learn how to go around it. Make a note and go back to it someday. Navigating all of the information you have is also very important if you are going to be a professional business owner…
If you are starting a home business, it really helps to have a concrete plan. In the context of creating a plan, you will set goals that you plan to achieve at various junctures. It may seem a simple thing if you only have goals like ‘to be a millionaire’ or ‘to go to Europe on vacation’, with the plan being just as general, such as ‘earn money for trip’. These may be good ‘ideas’ and you may even achieve them both someday, but they are not really goals or plans in the sense of mapping out what you need to do to achieve them.
A real plan would list step-by-step what you need to do to achieve your goals. For example, if the plan is to ‘begin advertising campaigns’. What form(s) of advertising do you have in mind? Where will you place your advertisement(s)? What will you need to do to create your ads? How much does it cost if you use an advertising service? Where can you see ‘track records’ of the success rate of using these companies? There may be lots of little side trips here to get to your target of placing your first ad. So you want to list them out, and take one thing at a time, take action and then move to the next step. If you can’t complete a step, don’t use it as an excuse to wait. Make a note and try to move to the next step.
One way to do this is ‘backward planning’ which is to put the end result at the top and then detail all the steps you will need to take to get there. This can really get complicated with dependencies – for instance, in order to get to Point C you have to accomplish Point A and B first.
Example would be Point C is placing an ad with a paid advertising service, but before you can actually do this, you must accomplish Point A which is that you have to create the ad. In order to do this, you may have to do some research to get ideas about what to say and how best to say it. So accomplishing Point A may involve doing research online, reading a book about creative writing, or finding a list of ‘power words’ and then using them in different ways until you find the one that really sounds compelling to you.
You may even take this a step further and do some ‘split-testing’ which would be to create two ads that are different (for example different title and/or different text, length etc.), and run them both to see which one converts best. Then take the best one and submit it to the paid advertising service. Point A is accomplished as far as you can take it at this time, because now it is on to Point B, which is that you have to wait for payday so you have the money to pay for the ad service. That’s easy, however if you need to create a budget at this point, you better do it so you can meet all your obligations as well as afford to promote your business.
An important thing to remember is to keep your goals achievable. If you are an unrealistic ‘dreamer’ it is likely you will not only miss the mark to achieve your goals, but you will be disappointed and feel like a failure. For example with the goal of ‘becoming a millionaire’ – doesn’t it seem more logical to think in terms of earning $100 or $1000 first? If you can do that, then you can probably ‘wash, rinse and repeat’ to eventually figure out how to get $10,000 – then $100,000 and finally, $100,000,000!