As affiliate marketers, are we thinking too small?

17 replies
Warriors,

I have been thinking a lot about affiliate marketing, and whether it's a business model I would like to continue with.

The reason is, I think that affiliates are on the wrong end of the stick, so to speak.

Don't get me wrong - i'm making good money as an affiliate but...

We do all this work to build the assets of someone elses business.

For example, you sell an ebook for 50% commission. Great...you get some money. But the traffic you are sending is only building up the business of the product creator.

(I understand that you can build up your own business as well using a mailing list.)

So let's say you decide to create your own product.

You now have an asset that other people can build for you....but...can there be a better place to be?

Let's look at Clickbank.

They reap the rewards of both the affiliates and the vendors...and they don't really have to do anything because both parties are doing all the asset building for them...

The same goes for Amazon, and Ebay...

Surely that is where we all want to be...

What about Google?

They run the entire show. Clickbank, Amazon, Ebay wouldn't be half as effective if it weren't for Google...(a lot of affiliates rely on Google organic/ppc to send traffic).

What are your thoughts?

-Dan Brock
#affiliate #marketers #small #thinking
  • Profile picture of the author Mert Elver
    Dear Daniel,

    Tough I totally agree with you on the point that you stated; there are some other aspects on this issue as we "affiliate marketers" would take into consideration.

    First of all we need to analyze how much "capital" we have for starting as an investment. As most of the affiliaters investment is most likely tiny; it is not the worst option to work with commission.

    Second; let's say that we have enough capital to invest; "is it going to hurt our budget" if the campaign we start will be unsuccessful? If yes, yet again working with commission is a good option.

    Yet again we all have to know that IM have never ever been a "guaranteed money" sector. Even if you are an expertized affilate; there is always a possibilty that the strategy you had used; or have been using would not work with a "specified market".

    Considering all those options; it might be a good start to make a bankroll at first by selling someone else's products and then turning it to our "own business".
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2082259].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author daviddson
    Hey,


    Daniel you are right and i am totally agree with you in all the points and Mert Elver you also gave very good information. so, thanks for this information. and i think yes as a affiliate marketers we are thinking small.

    thanks
    Signature
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2082293].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Lee Wilson
    You can only think too small when you run out of scalability. Affiliate marketing certainly doesn't lack that. There's plenty of room for selling other peoples products outside of downloadable ebooks etc. I think you have to weigh up the pros and cons and decide what suits you best.

    The only thing I personally don't like about selling other peoples stuff is I can't put my heart into it. It just doesn't quite feel like a business I want to be passionate about so that's one downside for me anyway. That may be exactly what somebody else is looking for. OTOH, I'm also in the physical products business and that really can be a headache ... the grass is always greener.

    There is one thing that affiliate marketing beats everything for and that's the ability to turn it on and off like a switch and hop from one idea to the next without ever being tied to massive overheads, employees, insurance, rents etc etc. In most other kinds of business you can't even afford to be ill. Then again, if you scale your affiliate marketing to big bucks then it does become like every other business and the responsibilties grow.

    Swings and roundabouts as they say.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2082318].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author mikemcmillan
    Hey Dan,

    Look, no one is going to deny the fact that there are some huge super-affiliates out there with six-figure+ incomes who have never created a product of their own. That is a fact.

    Having said that, when people get involved in affiliate marketing--even if they are very successful at it, they soon learn the value of having a list to market to. Now it's true one can build a huge list using PPC campaigns or from top organic listings. But along the path to becoming a guru themselves, the successful affiliate marketers--those who promote successfully for the big product launches--learn one undeniable truth.

    That truth is that doing a big, successful product launch of your own is one of the very fastest ways to build a huge, laser targeted list of your own. The potential is enormous.

    Sure, you give away a lot of the profits to affiliates if you are offering a 60-70% commission, but when you count in the up-sells, the OTOs, the follow-up coaching and memberships that are promoted--all of that back-end stuff is where the gold is and to harvest that gold many successful affiliate marketers--like you Daniel, come to the conclusion that the development of their own products is a fast track to huge potential earnings.

    What I tell people is that to be successful, in either selling affiliate products or their own, is that they must learn to leverage the assets of the big boys in their niche to their advantage. While selling products as an affiliate without a doubt can create fortunes, as an affiliate--just as you said--other people are leveraging your hard work to their advantage.

    With a product of your own it is much easier to turn the tables and, like I said and you alluded to Dan--easier to leverage the assets of the big guys to your advantage. There are many ways to do this.

    Now, forget about product development. You mentioned Clickbank, Amazon, Google, places like that. I think of them as toll booths. None of them provide actual products of their own--they represent conduits through which people must pass to get a desired product or service be it traffic, products, or marketing platforms.

    Look at FaceBook. What is the product? FaceBook is a conduit through which tens-of-millions of people pass a day. People with the foresight and genius to operationalize high volume conduits such as this make fortunes simply by exacting tiny tolls from small fractions of their users on a daily basis. Just like CB and Amazon.

    Find a way to help people get from where they are to where they want to be, whether physically, intellectually, spiritually, financially, psychologically--that is how fortunes are made!

    I'm not sure I made it perfectly clear in all of my ramblings Dan, but yes--I understand exactly what you are saying! Gads I'm horrible. Sorry for rambling.
    --Mike
    Signature

    I'll help you create a reputation-building evergreen product in any niche and launch it successfully!
    Check it out here.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2082321].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Daniel Brock
      Originally Posted by mikemcmillan View Post

      Hey Dan,

      Look, no one is going to deny the fact that there are some huge super-affiliates out there with six-figure+ incomes who have never created a product of their own. That is a fact.

      Having said that, when people get involved in affiliate marketing--even if they are very successful at it, they soon learn the value of having a list to market to. Now it's true one can build a huge list using PPC campaigns or from top organic listings. But along the path to becoming a guru themselves, the successful affiliate marketers--those who promote successfully for the big product launches--learn one undeniable truth.

      That truth is that doing a big, successful product launch of your own is one of the very fastest ways to build a huge, laser targeted list of your own. The potential is enormous.

      Sure, you give away a lot of the profits to affiliates if you are offering a 60-70% commission, but when you count in the up-sells, the OTOs, the follow-up coaching and memberships that are promoted--all of that back-end stuff is where the gold is and to harvest that gold many successful affiliate marketers--like you Daniel, come to the conclusion that the development of their own products is a fast track to huge potential earnings.

      What I tell people is that to be successful, in either selling affiliate products or their own, is that they must learn to leverage the assets of the big boys in their niche to their advantage. While selling products as an affiliate without a doubt can create fortunes, as an affiliate--just as you said--other people are leveraging your hard work to their advantage.

      With a product of your own it is much easier to turn the tables and, like I said and you alluded to Dan--easier to leverage the assets of the big guys to your advantage. There are many ways to do this.

      Now, forget about product development. You mentioned Clickbank, Amazon, Google, places like that. I think of them as toll booths. None of them provide actual products of their own--they represent conduits through which people must pass to get a desired product or service be it traffic, products, or marketing platforms.

      Look at FaceBook. What is the product? FaceBook is a conduit through which tens-of-millions of people pass a day. People with the foresight and genius to operationalize high volume conduits such as this make fortunes simply by exacting tiny tolls from small fractions of their users on a daily basis. Just like CB and Amazon.

      Find a way to help people get from where they are to where they want to be, whether physically, intellectually, spiritually, financially, psychologically--that is how fortunes are made!

      I'm not sure I made it perfectly clear in all of my ramblings Dan, but yes--I understand exactly what you are saying! Gads I'm horrible. Sorry for rambling.
      --Mike
      Mike - very valid points there.

      The upsells and back end opportunities are basically what you miss out on as an affiliate - as in you have brought the product creator the customer, and they can reap the big rewards later on down the line through an email launch off the 'commission record'.

      I guess really, that is the major advantage of product creation vs affiliate marketing. That and you got other affiliates doing the grunt work for you.

      Excellent view you have there
      Signature
      Clickbank #1 Best Seller: The Deadbeat Super Affiliate.
      Click here to learn how to make money online in your bath robe and gym socks!
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2083704].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author WilliamL
    Hey Daniel,

    these thoughts are eligible. To start making money online it's better to go as an Affiliate. You don't have to create your own products and you can build some relationships. But for real, if it's getting into another level, a product is a good way to build a list. I'm getting so much "junk" mail day in and day out from "gurus" who are promoting products as an affiliate.

    It has both advantages and disadvantages,
    Will
    Signature


    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2082325].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author King Shiloh
    Banned
    It is natural. The five fingers are not equal and can never be equal unless you want to have a lifetime deformity/disability.

    There are things we can't change no matter how we try and the more we get worried about how to change them the more asinine we appear to ourselves and people that are watching us.

    There's a way we will look at someone else's success it will seem as if we are being overtaken by greed or covetousness.

    Let's just be the best of what we are. If you are an affiliate, strive to be a leading affiliate. If you are a vendor, strive to be a leading vendor.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2082336].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Dave Bean
    What I love about affiliate marketing is the simplicity.

    Your only job really is to get targeted traffic, presell, build a list and send them off to the vendor.

    Creating your own products that actually sell is complicated. (been there done that... gone back to affiliate marketing.

    Creating your own products:

    1. Create a good, in demand product
    2. Nice looking graphics, a sales letter that converts(tough one) squeeze page
    3. Set up affiliate program
    4. Recruit affiliates that perform
    5. Track, test and tweak everything..... basically forever!

    I'm sure there is more money to be made creating your own products but you have to get everything right or you could actually lose money. I did.

    We all have our own strengths and weaknesses.

    My strength seems to be the simple affiliate marketing process.

    SEO.. presell.. build a list and send them away.

    Plus affiliate sites that get good traffic and make money are in a sense, your own products. They can be sold for a nice chunk of change if you wish.

    I may never become a millionaire, but affiliate marketing is about as close to "making money while you sleep" as you can get.... time to spend enjoying life away from the computer is more important to me than chasing the big money.

    Dave
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2082345].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Ian Clifford
      I like the premise of this thread - wouldn't we all love to have our own Clickbank or Google. Am I right in thinking Mike Filsaime or one of the big 'Gurus' owns paydotcom?

      Of course, if you did build one of these sites - particularly something like Clickbank - and got to earn from both ends, and if you could make it successful, you would make a pile of cash so large that you'd have trouble imagining it.

      As I work in IM and also use the techniques in other e-commerce and traditional business I see a bigger picture on affiliate marketing. It's still only a tiny fraction of the size that it's going to be. Many businesses that could use it haven't even heard of it.

      There is real opportunity for more affiliate networks to be built and perhaps some of us with IM skills should be looking to do just that.
      Signature

      Ian Clifford

      http://www.makeitinmusic.com
      ...the ultimate resource to help you succeed in the music business...

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2082388].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Geoff A
      Originally Posted by Dave Bean View Post

      What I love about affiliate marketing is the simplicity.

      Your only job really is to get targeted traffic, presell, build a list and send them off to the vendor.

      Creating your own products that actually sell is complicated. (been there done that... gone back to affiliate marketing.

      Dave
      There was another thread recently where a number of affiliate marketers echoed these words here - talking about how they really enjoyed the process and lack of product/customer related issues.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2085594].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author RentItNow
    I've done both and I can say affiliate marketing lets me make much less costly mistakes (both in time and money).

    I understand your reward concerns but you may be making more than the owner of the product.

    I made much more money helping people rent houses than renting my own. I also made huge sums from the backend that business created me (commissions on sales of rental properties).
    Signature
    I have no agenda but to help those in the same situation. This I feel will pay the bills.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2082371].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author rft123
    You bring up a good point, but remember that we as affiliate marketers are commissioned sales people. We are being paid a commission to drive traffic to the owners website, and if we are successful, we get paid. It isn't any different than any other commissioned sales person with a brick and mortar business.

    I have only recently started doing affiliate marketing because I have my own products as well which I promote myself. I added affiliate as an extra stream of income, and while I realize that I am helping someone else get rich, it serves a purpose for me as well. I'm alright with that.

    Hope that helps. Have a great day!
    Signature
    Click Here to learn how to get TONS of dirt cheap traffic to your site
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2082414].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author styla786
    Why do the majority of affiliates never even make a single check?
    Because... they are either doing it wrong, or not doing it at all.
    Yes, it's true that a small number of affiliates ("super-affiliates") are making some very large incomes ($150,000+ per year). And a larger minority, roughly the top 2-3%, do earn lower-but-still-substantial amounts.
    But the truth remains... the vast majority of affiliates fail to earn.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2082577].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author queenv
    When you create your own products and or services it can become a real headache. Just like someone else said above, you can't afford to get sick - too many things to take care of. So what if you do get sick, or have a family emergency? What are you going to do then? Affiliate marketing is a good business model but has very low commissions. For me, top tier direct sales (with a residual income aspect of it attached) is the best online business model because of the higher profit margin...and if leads aren't interested in the high priced item, make sure that you include the lower priced affiliate products in your marketing funnel because they may be interested in them instead.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2082578].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Mert Elver
      Thanks daviddson for your praise; but as i read the rest of the comments majority of the people in here does not agree with me.

      People have to understand that "as it is the most important principle in every job" you have to build the stairs before you can step on them. So one can think big; but it will come one by one; or you are going to fail %99 of the time. There are lots of IM entrepreneurs worldwide but more than %90 of them fail and if you ask them; all of the failures will say they were thinking big but they were unlucky... So as I stated above; analyze the facts; examine your financial state; and make an outline. Thus it will be safer and easier.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2082626].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Ilya Feynberg
    In short...yes. I'd be willing to bet 99% of affiliate marketers think small, are middle minded, and will never move into the big league...because they have chosen not to.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2082651].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Daniel Brock
      Hey guys...

      Nice replies! You all brought up a very valid point, that affiliate marketing can be the first stepping stone onto bigger and better things.

      I definitely wouldn't recommend a flat out newb to start out creating a product...chances are they would fail miserably.

      Another good point someone said that big ideas normally fail big time. That is something I can totally agree with - not something I would recommend a newbie to go out and do either.

      1 in 10,000 chance you make a success going that route...

      (ok maybe not 1:10,000 but still it's got to be pretty tough)
      Signature
      Clickbank #1 Best Seller: The Deadbeat Super Affiliate.
      Click here to learn how to make money online in your bath robe and gym socks!
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2083699].message }}

Trending Topics