Questions from a newbie

by pce850
11 replies
Hi

I am new to Internet marketing and would like to apologise in advance if my questions sound green, naive or downright stupid. I don't have any marketing, programming or any such great Web skills that I'm sure many of the people on this forum have. I just want to know if it is still possible to make decent income through affiliate marketing even for a novice like me. I am prepared to learn and I completely accept that affiliate marketing etc is not a get rich quick scheme. I would be most grateful if you guys could answer the following questions for me:

1. Is there still scope for newbies to make money with affiliate marketing in 2014 and beyond or is it too competitive, difficult and over saturated now? When I say income I'm talking of about $2000 to $4000 dollars a month.

2. Will I need to build spectacular websites with phenomenal seo skills etc in order to be successful or can simple well written blogs/pages be just as successful if there is good content? I enjoy writing and feel that I can write good product reviews.

3. I have little experience although years ago I did run a few forums in which the intention was not to make money but I had a few Google adsense and Amazon affiliate links which earned me very little, not even a few pennies. That put me off ever thinking about affiliate marketing again although granted I had very few visitors. Would my Web page need to pull in hundreds or thousands of visitors a month to make the sort of income mentioned above?

4. Would my Web pages have to rank very high in search engines for me to even stand a chance of making any income? I guess this is very difficult and should a newbie like me not even bother unless I spend money on paid vistors etc?

5. Can someone living in the UK join American affiliate programmes or Amazon affiliate programmes or would I have to stick to UK ones in order to get paid etc.

6. I would really like to living from affiliate marketing, is this possible or has the time passed. Is it foolish for a newbie like me to consider earning well from affiliate marketing or is this just for experienced people who spend lots to make lots etc? What sort of income do people in my position make?

Sorry for so many questions I would really appreciate honest answers as I don't want to be in a position months down the line earning very little and being unable to be a success.

Many thanks.
#newbie #questions
  • Profile picture of the author Tom Addams
    Originally Posted by pce850 View Post

    1. Is there still scope for newbies to make money with affiliate marketing in 2014 and beyond or is it too competitive, difficult and over saturated now? When I say income I'm talking of about $2000 to $4000 dollars a month.
    It will never get over-saturated. You heard it hear first. So many products and services, so many markets, and everything is dynamic. Someone invents a pink fluffy bunny rabbit that can make coffee - new product, new market. I could expand further, but you get the picture. Question is: can a newbie compete. Of course, but it isn't easy. There's no push-button solution. Hard work lies ahead.

    Originally Posted by pce850 View Post

    2. Will I need to build spectacular websites with phenomenal seo skills etc in order to be successful or can simple well written blogs/pages be just as successful if there is good content? I enjoy writing and feel that I can write good product reviews.
    To be honest, I wouldn't even advise SEO to a newbie. I began in SEO around 18 years ago and have been in the business longer. These days, while it's still a big feature of what I do, it is by no means the strongest means of driving traffic. What's the strongest? Viral marketing. SEO isn't even second or third on the traffic ladder. If you can write, if you're smart, a hard worker, you have the strongest chance of doing well among your peers.

    Originally Posted by pce850 View Post

    3. I have little experience although years ago I did run a few forums in which the intention was not to make money but I had a few Google adsense and Amazon affiliate links which earned me very little, not even a few pennies. That put me off ever thinking about affiliate marketing again although granted I had very few visitors. Would my Web page need to pull in hundreds or thousands of visitors a month to make the sort of income mentioned above?
    It depends on what you're promoting. Realistically: yes. I send volume traffic - paid and free - and, based on those figures, you'd need to shift a little traffic.

    Some math.

    4,000 / 0.20 = 20,000. If your EPC (earnings per click) are 20 cents for each unique visitor sent to an affiliate offer, you'd need to send 20,000 unique visitors in a month to earn $4,000.

    But that's to your offer. Only a percentage of visitors to your sites will go to your offers. Again, relatively negative: let's say 10% of visitors to your site go to an offer (earning you that 20 cents a visitor, on average). You'd need 200,000 website visitors in a month to send 20,000 to your offers and earn 4,000.

    Now, in practice, my experience is of the figures being better. I put those there just so we're not talking pipe-dreams here.

    Originally Posted by pce850 View Post

    4. Would my Web pages have to rank very high in search engines for me to even stand a chance of making any income? I guess this is very difficult and should a newbie like me not even bother unless I spend money on paid vistors etc?
    Nope. Forget Google for now. Concentrate on social networks and offline, among other areas.

    Originally Posted by pce850 View Post

    5. Can someone living in the UK join American affiliate programmes or Amazon affiliate programmes or would I have to stick to UK ones in order to get paid etc.
    Of course! You can join any of the affiliate programs yous see; US-based, Canada, you name it

    Originally Posted by pce850 View Post

    6. I would really like to living from affiliate marketing, is this possible or has the time passed. Is it foolish for a newbie like me to consider earning well from affiliate marketing or is this just for experienced people who spend lots to make lots etc? What sort of income do people in my position make?
    Newbies make bugger all. Really. Well, that's pretty much accurate. They throw up a blog, write away day and night (the few hardworking kind), and try to get traffic like it's still 2005. They promote the wrong offers, promote it in the wrong way, and think that because this is internet marketing they don't have to invest anything; yet they would if it were a shop in town, of course.

    Can you make it? Don't know you well enough, but you can write, you seem smart, and you're here. Seriously now - if you have enough going for you, if you're willing to put in the hours, you can make it, dude next to you can make it, and so on.

    My advice: take the above to heart and don't jump into anything right away. Now is the time to educate yourself. You'll lose less money and (if you do have a knack for this business) you'll begin earning sooner than later.

    Tom
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  • Profile picture of the author Nathan Kruz
    This is what I recommend to all newbies, join a Coaching Program!

    Doing it on your own is so time consuming and very stressful. Having a mentor is like s shortcut to success.

    If you want some good reccomendations for some good coaching programs, just let me know

    Hope this helps,

    Nathan
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  • Profile picture of the author Tom Addams
    Or . . . spend at least a few weeks, if not months, and try to learn about the industry. Then, when you know the areas you like, the areas that you feel you could also pull off, then go ahead and consider hiring a coach. Might be an exercise in futility paying coaching fees if you later discover you didn't need coaching or - worse - you have no facility for the subject-matter. The money you don't waste now, you can invest in your business (and in YOU) later.

    Tom
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by pce850 View Post

    1. Is there still scope for newbies to make money with affiliate marketing in 2014 and beyond
    Yes - if you acquire the right education and skills (most people don't, really - which is a big part of the reason for the low overall success-rates).

    Originally Posted by pce850 View Post

    or is it too competitive, difficult and over saturated now?
    No - there are always things available that aren't too competitive. I don't really believe in "saturation" at all, but I hear you about "competition", and I agree with your implicit assertion that something not-too-competitive is better to start on.

    Originally Posted by pce850 View Post

    When I say income I'm talking of about $2000 to $4000 dollars a month.
    Sure (I always envisaged it as $3,000 per month, when I started - and still do, really). The point to appreciate is that it's the first $500 or so per month that's very difficult. Once you get to that, the chances of getting to $3k per month are significantly higher, and once you get to $3k per month, for most business models "the only way is up". (That wouldn't necessarily apply if you were a service-provider, exchanging your own time for money, but that's not really what we're talking about, here, right?).

    Originally Posted by pce850 View Post

    Will I need to build spectacular websites
    Absolutely not.

    Not for affiliate marketing.

    Most successful affiliate marketing is intrinsically an email marketing business, not a "website business".

    Website skills above beginner-level are not required (I'd never have started making a living, myself, if they were!).

    To earn significant money from affiliate marketing, you need to do three things: (i) keep your potential customers returning to the sales page (because not many people at all buy anything much at their first visit to a sales page!); (ii) make increasing sales (ideally at progressively higher prices) to the same "captive audience" who regularly rely on and trust your recommendations; (iii) establish the credibility and trust necessary to do both the above by earning's people respect as a provider of niche-related information. Without building lists of your potential customers' email addresses and using email marketing, you can't do any of the three and you'd just be throwing away almost all the traffic you ever generate that doesn't buy anything immediately (and that's almost all of it).

    Originally Posted by pce850 View Post

    with phenomenal seo skills etc
    Absolutely not with "phenomenal SEO skills" at all! SEO traffic is of very limited value indeed. I always suggest to people that they shouldn't put time and effort into trying to attract SEO traffic, for two main reasons: first, it's very precarious and makes your business Google-dependent, and any business that's Google-dependent is no more than one algorithm-change away from a potential accident (or even a potential disaster), as so many Warriors have been finding out over the last year or two, some of them to their very great cost; secondly, for me, search engine traffic, in every single one of my niches, has been uniformly the worst-converting traffic out of everything I've ever tried - search engine visitors to all my websites typically stay the least time, view the fewest pages, opt in the least often and actually buy anything by far the least often. I admit I do get tons of search engine traffic to all my main sites (because high rankings for multiple keywords happen to be a minor side-benefit of the main targeted traffic-generation method I use) but I'd hate to have to make a living just from that traffic. If you have a good look round the forum, you'll also see plenty of other Warriors making exactly this point.

    Originally Posted by pce850 View Post

    or can simple well written blogs/pages be just as successful if there is good content?
    As successful at what? Not at getting traffic, no. Be clear that publishing content just on your own site isn't a traffic-generation plan. The only traffic that can ever bring you is some slow, gradual, eventual, search-engine traffic, and that's often not much use, as explained just above.

    Originally Posted by pce850 View Post

    I enjoy writing and feel that I can write good product reviews.
    "Review sites" are not a good way forward at all, IMO, for affiliate sales. Not in 2014/5.

    What makes people buy things through your links is the relationships you build with them and the extent to which they trust the strength of your recommendations.

    Originally Posted by pce850 View Post

    Would my Web page need to pull in hundreds or thousands of visitors a month to make the sort of income mentioned above?
    Probably, yes.

    Which is why you need a traffic-generation plan.

    However you look at it, you won't be making money through affiliate marketing without traffic. No criticism implied or intended at all, but be very clear that "site content" and "reviews" are not a traffic-generation plan.

    Originally Posted by pce850 View Post

    Would my Web pages have to rank very high in search engines for me to even stand a chance of making any income?
    Absolutely not.

    If Google de-indexed all my websites tomorrow morning, it would cost me about 2% of my income, I think (and I have some great rankings!).

    Originally Posted by pce850 View Post

    I guess this is very difficult and should a newbie like me not even bother unless I spend money on paid vistors etc?
    Paid traffic is one option (not one I used, myself, for my first couple of years, and not one I use now). There are plenty of non-SEO-based ways of getting free traffic.

    Originally Posted by pce850 View Post

    Can someone living in the UK join American affiliate programmes
    Yes.

    Originally Posted by pce850 View Post

    or Amazon affiliate programmes
    Yes. (You wouldn't make much from promoting just amazon.co.uk because there's a £7 per-item commission-ceiling payable anyway.)

    The web is international. Your own location isn't relevant to your income potential from affiliate marketing.

    Originally Posted by pce850 View Post

    would I have to stick to UK ones in order to get paid etc.
    No, not at all.

    Originally Posted by pce850 View Post

    I would really like to living from affiliate marketing, is this possible
    Yes, if you acquire the right education and skills.

    Originally Posted by pce850 View Post

    I don't want to be in a position months down the line earning very little
    That is actually what happens to most aspiring affiliate marketers (now just as 2 and 4 and 6 and 8 and 10 years ago), because most aspiring affiliate marketers don't actually acquire the right education and skills.


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  • Profile picture of the author Dec Mc
    I totally agree with a post above , it is very over whelming to get into this game on your own ! If I could go back to when I started the first thing I would do is get a Coach / Mentor ! Someone who knows the game inside out !!
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  • Profile picture of the author Roth
    Banned
    Here are the honest answers to your questions.

    Originally Posted by pce850 View Post

    1. Is there still scope for newbies to make money with affiliate marketing in 2014 and beyond or is it too competitive, difficult and over saturated now? When I say income I'm talking of about $2000 to $4000 dollars a month.
    While YES, there is still scope for noobs to enter the markets online, it IS highly competitive. And yes, almost every market and vertical {niche} IS saturated.

    You will be competing with large corporations, dippy wannabes, and everyone else in between vying for the same attention you are. The myth that "there is plenty of room and plenty of money to go around" is false.

    Originally Posted by pce850 View Post

    2. Will I need to build spectacular websites with phenomenal seo skills etc in order to be successful or can simple well written blogs/pages be just as successful if there is good content? I enjoy writing and feel that I can write good product reviews.
    Spectacular? No. Professional looking? Absolutely! You either need a creative mind with web design skills, or you need the money to hire talent to create a professional looking website.

    I laugh when gurus and basement warriors make false claims about making money from shoddy looking websites. It doens't happen. People will NEVER buy from or trust a website that looks circa 2000.

    You need the skills or the money to be on the level of the "times". Anyone who says otherwise is lying to you.

    Originally Posted by pce850 View Post

    3. I have little experience although years ago I did run a few forums in which the intention was not to make money but I had a few Google adsense and Amazon affiliate links which earned me very little, not even a few pennies. That put me off ever thinking about affiliate marketing again although granted I had very few visitors. Would my Web page need to pull in hundreds or thousands of visitors a month to make the sort of income mentioned above?
    It depends, but oftentimes {with affiliate marketing}, yes, you will need a lot of visitors per month to make the kind of money you are hoping to.

    Originally Posted by pce850 View Post

    4. Would my Web pages have to rank very high in search engines for me to even stand a chance of making any income? I guess this is very difficult and should a newbie like me not even bother unless I spend money on paid vistors etc?
    It depends on how you're going to get the majority of your traffic. GRM is way off point talking about viral marketing. Viral marketing is Dude Perfect, and Psy. Basement warriors NEVER succeed with viral marketing...YouTube sensations DO.

    You'll probably rely on SEO, syndicated content, advertising, and social media marketing to get the majority of your traffic. But hey, if you can produce a kickass video that gets shared like Psy or Dude Perfect, then go ahead. Good luck lol.

    Originally Posted by pce850 View Post

    5. Can someone living in the UK join American affiliate programmes or Amazon affiliate programmes or would I have to stick to UK ones in order to get paid etc.
    No, you can still join networks like Clickbank and Conversant {CJ}.

    Originally Posted by pce850 View Post

    6. I would really like to living from affiliate marketing, is this possible or has the time passed. Is it foolish for a newbie like me to consider earning well from affiliate marketing or is this just for experienced people who spend lots to make lots etc? What sort of income do people in my position make?
    You need skills, resources, something to sell, and a unique selling proposition to carve out a market share somewhere. Foolish? No. Is it possible for you? Sure. Likely? That's the real question.

    The most successful affiliate marketers are ACTUALLY large companies now such as Whaleshark Media. And their method of promoting affiliate offers is exclusively via coupons. {there was another large one but its name escapes me}
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  • Profile picture of the author nqi
    I'm a newbie too... and after reading the advice above, I'd like to know the best and cheapest way to go for building a list of potential customers?
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  • Profile picture of the author besters
    Hi,

    I think Tom has covered your questions pretty well and I would have answered in a similar fashion.

    All I'll add (re-iterate) is that if you are willing to learn, you have a desire to earn a living from Affiliate Marketing AND you can write then you can ABSOLUTELY succeed in this industry. Just don't expect results overnight (I'm sure you wouldn't) but really it takes time and if you put in the effort to building your site out as often as you can, blogging ideally daily but failing that 3-4 times per week initially then within 8-12 months you should see some results. Of course, it could be less or more, depending on so many factors but it is realistic to expect some sort of income within a year - if you put in the time and energy.
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    Best regards,
    Nick
    Nick Bestwick
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  • Profile picture of the author pce850
    Thanks to everyone for the excellent advice. I'm going to educate myself on affiliate marketing and then will take it from there. I'm seriously considering taking the plunge sooner rather than later. My biggest motivation is to work for myself and escape the 9-5 routine working for someone else. If I can make a steady income of around $2000 dollars I would be extremely pleased and I'll try my level best to achieve that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    I'm going to educate myself on affiliate marketing and then will take it from there.
    First learn how to get prospects on your list before sending them to affiliate offers. Few people buy on first contact. If you get them on your list you can market to them in the future.
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    Get Off The Warrior Forum Now & Don't Come Back If You Want To Succeed!
    All The Real Marketers Are Gone. There's Nothing Left But Weak, Sniveling Wanna-Bees!
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  • Profile picture of the author aire
    What i can recommend you is: Do not waste money on coaching... i have never done it and nor do i advise anyone to do so..... You could start making money tomorrow by re-hashing a WSO
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