Hope everyone is doing well. I want to take a moment to talk about how this business works to some of you who are new- and remind some of those who have been doing this awhile.
First of all- Affiliate Marketing can be a ‘get rich quick scheme’ or you can actually create value. Some people try to utilize it like a get rich quick scheme- and they are the same ones who buy the boat and the house and then are out of business before they know it.
Let’s take for example the Pet Rock and the Rubik’s Cube. Both hit the market in the mid-1970s. Both inventor’s got rich but let’s talk about the different ways. First the Pet Rock – he provided absolutely no value other than a brief laugh- and sold 5MM pet rock’s in 6 months. So he made $15MM in 6 months- and the product quit selling. While $15MM is a lot- but take that amount, tax it and spread it over 35 years since launch- and it is an average of $278K/year. I’m not saying that is terrible- but it is a huge exception and clearly not the rule. The other problem is that his “salary” gets more and more diluted every year that he walks on this earth.
Now, let’s take the Rubik’s cube. It was an actual puzzle. It could provide value to the user in the form of hours and hours of entertainment. Since the 1970s it has sold 350MM units with 2008 sales at 15MM units. In year 30 the creator of the product w/ value is making more than the ‘flash in the pan’ product pet rock inventor did in year one.
You have a choice when you are affiliate marketing. You can go for the flash in the pan marketing scheme- and hope that you strike it big enough while the iron is hot… or you can go for the long term, more sustainable method. Or you can try both and diversify your risk. I am not suggesting either- but I do want to discuss both.
THE FLASH IN THE PAN MODEL:
You see these offers everywhere, Government Grants, Loan Modification, Reversatrol, Acai Berry, As Seen on TV. And yes, even the smartest of us get sucked into these from time to time- some are legit- and some are downright crap. These are offers that you promote the hell out of while they are hot- and then distance yourself from them as quickly as possible when they die. The people who succeed in these offers are the ones who get there first- and then everyone rides the coattails until the consumer finally understand that they are crap- and the offer is dead.
With the internet going so viral and feedback loops in abundance- these offers have a much shorter life cycle than past products such as the AbDoer and Jelly Bracelets. So, if you take this approach- be careful and if you make money stash it away. Do not buy a boat- and do not assume you will continue to make these dollars. You will be relying on a lotta luck and a little skill.
THE SUSTAINABLE MODEL:
This is the model that takes some time to build- and some differentiation- but is sustainable long term. Doesn’t mean that you can fall asleep behind the switch- but it does mean that once you set up you are dealing more with tweaks than massive overhauls like above.
These products range from Insurance, Commercial Business Services, Coffee, etc. These are the products that stand the test of time- and while they may fluctuate w/ the market- they will be around for years and years.
However, when you are dealing in these products- you have to create your own unique value. What is the niche, value, or differentiation of your site? Why should a consumer visit your store front versus someone else? Let alone the search engine algorithms seeing your site as valuable. If you are just putting up the same content as everyone else- consider yourself sunk- unless people happen to find your store front first.
Tie it back to brick and mortar… Malls have existed for years and years. And, within malls- there are several stores that sell similar products and all right next door to each other. However, stores within the mall put different twist on their marketing or window displays despite carrying similar products. Some stores are expensive- some are cheap- some are conservative, some are for teeny boppers. You have to think about your website as a store front in a mall w/ similar products. What is going to draw people into your store vs the others?
Once you find your niche in the business- develop it and then exploit the holy heck out of it. Advertise it, scream it from the mountain tops, let every customer know when they come through your door they are going to find exactly what they need for “Texas Auto Insurance” or “Comparison Insurance Shopping” or “Luxury Car Insurance”. Otherwise you are selling the same product w/ no differentiation. You wouldn’t last that long in a mall- and your not going to last long online.
First- figure out what type of affiliate program you want to run. Once you decide- commit. Don’t get down if things take awhile to launch and differentiate. It’s not an easy process to actually create value and differentiation. The pet rock guy came up with the idea in one day- where the Rubik’s cube inventor worked on his toy over years and years. Both were successful- on totally different scales.
Good luck. Take cookie cutter successes- and then create your own value. In the long run you will be far better served.