Internet Marketing Business – Affiliate Tips and Words of Advice
I have been advised to become an expert before any one will take your articles seriously! Well, I am of sorts! I am a dentist with 21 years experience but I must confess this article is not about health issues but rather, "Wealth issues!" This is my story of how I stumbled on internet marketing and my impromptu attempt at starting an online business.
Earlier this year I wanted to learn to play the guitar. Seven months on, I am now composing an article on some of the pitfalls in becoming an 'online marketeer'! Read on if you want this tenuous link explained! This article is written especially for those who are new to this "game" and want to benefit from my mistakes …
I am lucky enough to have a young family 8 and 10 and a perfect, understanding wife (she paid me to say that)! We are all destined to live in a beautiful part of Australia. So what is the problem I here you ask? Well, with this lifestyle comes a different set of problems …
My day job is extremely time consuming and income totally depends on me being in the surgery looking down peoples throats and cleaning off their breakfast (yes, it is not as glamourous as those makeover programs attest!). The bottom line is, as a sole practitioner, if I am not there eg through sickness, then I do not earn.
This puts extreme pressure on a marriage and home relationships but I do not wish to dwell on this! So I needed an outlet which could involve the kids. Guitar lessons – how about learning to play the guitar with the kids! So I hit the 'net' as they call it and discovered a little known site (OK I'll tell you 'coz you read this far)! – "YouTube"! Do not laugh – I did not know it existed until now! I found a perfect video tutorial teaching me how to play my favorite song while not necessarily teaching me to become a musician!
* I can not read music,
* I do not want to read music
* I just wanted to play a song.
This step by step video showed me how to realize my dream. Perfect!
The kids and I were happy with this arrangement as we could learn the guitar whenever we wanted and at our own pace – my son said I should stick to dentistry and not give up my day job though! All was well with the world until one day it got turned upside down (in a nice way)!
Within a few weeks of subscribing to these lessons I received an Email that would change the way I thought about conducting business.
The same guy who was teaching us guitar also happened to be an internet internet marketer / entrepreneur, all words I had not heard in the same sentence before! Having built up trust with his great guitar videos I was intrigued with what he was offering – All he wanted in exchange for his wisdom was my name and Email address. Easy enough I thought.
His prompt downloadable audio files extolled the virtues of what he termed 'Passive Income', whereby you can release yourself from the daily drudge of the long work day and free up hours of your precious time by creating an income stream that is on autopilot 24 / 7. All of this done without the aid of a safety net! I was hooked, so I bought his package (first time I had used my Credit Card on the net – very scary thought) and downloaded the audio files (first time I had downloaded something as well – what is a ZIP file)? Anyway, I was gobsmacked (no pun intended) and thought this could work as a sort of get rich slow scheme!
There followed a period of some several months where I had to carry out certain steps which to you, the educated reader, is probably not new- ie
* Find a niche (where someone in the world has never been!)
* Create a product (that nobody in the world has thought of!)
* Set up web site to sell your product to your niche (with no previous skills – I'm just lucky I found my delete button button on my new Mac keyboard – a website may be pushing it a little!)
* Drive traffic (I drive in traffic and must say, am pretty good at it but I did not know what this has to do with making money though!)
* Monitor generated passive income (-plain sailing if only I could nail steps 1 – 4!)
So I thought I was up for the challenge! (My wife thought I was nuts!)
In between guitar lessons, I spent the next 3 months intermittently visiting his recommended sites and trying to learn the process. Then one day I get an Email from another guy he called his friend who has something "I Needed to See"!
Now because he had built up trust with me (rule number 1 in advertising!), I believed his friend's link may be worth looking at. After perusing his short video I was convinced I needed this new product / system. In exchange for my email he would get me up and running! So, out with the credit card again – can you see a pattern developing?
This guy was a step up and expanded on the first system by introducing the term "continuity" ie getting people (me) to pay him on a recurring monthly basis for a 'program' which included unlimited access to him or at least, his team , via Email. Out with the credit card again!
Now do not get me wrong, I am definitely not complaining about either of these systems as they, in themselves are great, but I saw myself getting trapped (or my wife did when she found the credit card statement!) Between the actual time spent learning how to set up the business and the fact that there is always something new to learn, so you spend more time etc …
After a few months later I realized that I was not getting any new ideas and hence value out of my monthly subscription which was strangely stopped. Two days later (still subscribed to his email list), I received an offer to "Check This Out". Of course, by now I am a fully fledged sucker for these emails especially when there are "no commitments" and are "totally risk free"!
So on I go to yet another internet marketer's site. Now the new guy is in the big league – I mean promises of 6 figure falls in just one year. Now I may get sucked in to things but I am level headed enough to know when to pull the plug. This just waked of BS
I read about 8 pages of his sales pitch (or 'copy as it is known in the trade – sounds like I know what I'm talking about), with basic discounts and "one-time-only" offers. All scientifically proven by a series of testimonials! Great spin but where was the substance. Ahh! If only I supply my details I get the secrets to his success … God I'm a sucker and there goes my Email again! Any what harm can it do?
So his next page displays his 'ClickBank' account which indeed showed me he was earning over $ 475,000 in contracts for that year. Wow! On further reading though, I would need to give up my day job and follow the program full time. So all this boils down to now swapping my precious spare time to creating an internet home based business empire. It sounds like I'm going from one rat race to another. Definitely NOT passive income!
So this bubble that was inflated with excitement and promise by the first guru has slowly been deflated over a period of 6 months as I go looking for something better or easier or cheaper with every new 'friends' link that I clicked on, thinking the grass is always greener!
I am discovering that one single person does not have all the answers and never will, so do not get fooled with the "Complete Package" or promise that their system is "The Best". Sites are always upgrading, so any information you get today may already be years out of date. The actual link to a site may not longer exist or their interface may have changed so the initial instructions given to you are about as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike!
(If you have come this far please bear with me!).
My final episode was yet another advertised 'link' but this time something a little different. Videos showing step by step instructions directed strictly at beginners, to set up an affiliate related business. Ah, the 'affiliate' programs …
The principal of which is to find a 'product' that someone is successfully selling, then promote this product online and gain a commission for any that you sell through your own website. Sounds easy, but how do you physically do it?
That's where these video lessons came in (just like the guitar lessons!). OK! They promised to get you up and running with "no product to sell", "no website knowledge or training necessary" and "aimed at beginners". Yes I know … it all sounds a bit smelly, but somehow I could refer better to videos rather than the written word. They actually expedited my learning experience and within hours I was 'doing' rather than 'researching'!
So if you can follow simple instructions, then learning from videos may also be the way for you. Back to the guitar analogy … he was not teaching me to become a guitarist but rather just to play a few songs, and this is, in essence what I realize I am driving for – to set up an automated business and not necessarily become a full time internet marketer (although the option is there if you have the inclining).
All goes well for a while, then low and behold, within minutes of his second video, you get the first glitch – the website he shows has a different interface as it is an updated version. I go to bed deleted!
But the adage that patience is a value never rang so true for though it did take a little longer than the video guru advised, I ever got there and tastes all the more sweet for my endeavors. So now I have a 'blog' to sell 'products' to my 'niches' and I am on the "WWW interweb-thingy". I am sure you know what I mean! I have also now got more spare time to spend with my kids / guitar!
In a nutshell, it does take a little more time, patience, common sense and initiative than first advised to get these internet businesses up and running and I would like to advise anyone who is embarking on the internet marketing bandwagon to heed these few thoughts:
* Will I get rich quick? No but you may in time – you still have to work at it and persevere!
* Would I do it again? Yes.
* Would I do it differently? Yes, I would take the first product I was interested in and just master it. Then and only then, go looking for pastures green. Otherwise risk becoming a Jack of all trades and Master of none! A dental analogy is to either be a general dentist (still earning a healthy income) or becoming a specialist and tripling your income! However to become that specialist takes dedication, skill and time and is not for everyone!
* If one system is not working out (even after putting great effort in), do not be afraid to try another one and learn from your mistakes.
* Be aware of giving your private email to sites and links that advise you will "get an abundance of traffic". Choose another email so your mailbox does not get overloaded (it will).
* Most importantly seek information and answers from "YouTube". You must make use of this invaluable resource.
Finally, I hope you have gained insight into some of the problems (and hopefully answers) facing the budding internet entrepreneur. Whether you are a keen marketeer or just like myself who stumbled on this intriguing business by accident (remember I started with the guitar lessons), it is very important not to lose sight of the big picture, ie freezing up quality time to spend with those you love rather than having inane conversations with those that could not care about you (unless you are holding a credit card)!
G'day and good fortune to you all!
PS I still can not play guitar!