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I want to be an affliliate
Kerrace Alexander




msg:787000
 2:29 pm on May 1, 2001 (gmt 0)

I am a sales and marketing consultant for a software company.

My strengths are in sales and marketing and business development.

I have done a lot of research on the internet, the experts say find your niche.

Well I think there are a lot of people with my skill sets who offer the same skills for start ups on the net. Do we need another affiliate marketer?

Could anyone provide me with some advice for someone starting out new. with a low budget.
I want to build my own website I understand the pitfalls of using the free sites that are offered.

I want to develop a viable business on the net, I'm not looking to get rich. I'm realistic.

Is there some info on the net that would provide me with some insight as to good start up businesses on the internet and what might be some future trends for business start up on the net.

I've taken sitesells affiliate masters course. It was great!

I'm not clear on what my site concept should be knowing that my skills are in sales and marketing I don't think there is a need for another affiliate marketer is there?

Also realistically are people making money? Could I work hard at this for a year, in hopes of leaving my day job?

Any feedback would be great.

Also is this the right discussion group?

Thanks for you help in advance.

Cheers

Kerrace

 

Marcia




msg:787001
 4:08 pm on May 1, 2001 (gmt 0)

Kerrace, welcome to WebmasterWorld, glad to have you here.

There are as many different areas to pursue as there are different people, but one thing that's certain is that you will have to continue to research thoroughly, and make certain that whatever you choose is something that holds strong interest and motivation for you. Whatever you eventually decide upon, it will involve a lot of dedication, time and effort.

You have arrived at exactly the right place, not because we have specific career counselling or discussion, although you will find us very supportive here, but because this is where you will learn some of the skills that are essential for your success, whatever it is you eventually decide upon.

If you want minimum investment, then learning to create and promote your own web site is a process you'll need to embark on, and search engine placement is still the # 1 cost-effective (or cost-free) way to promote. You *can* learn to do it yourself.

You'll need a viable tangible product, service, or information product to market on a site, and then you'll need to draw traffic, as well as convert to sales.

If you haven't decided on what to market, you could start with doing an information only site to develop content in areas you're familiar with, to learn the mechanics of putting a site together, and then set about to optimize it for search engine placement.

Then, whatever you decide upon to market, you will already have developed some of the necessary skill-set you'll need, so you'll be ahead of the game to start with.

Since you have a marketing background, and that's a subject of universal interest, you might try doing a personal informational site in that area, just to learn on. I don't believe there is as much information available for off-line marketing as on-line, so you would be providing some valuable content as well as having a vehicle to start with. Also, since you're familar with software, there's no reason why you couldn't also work up some feasible content, with links (affiliate or otherwise) in that area. Start with what you already have and know.

Affiliate marketing and ad revenue is not what it used to be, which you can see if you go through our advertising forum. I personally believe that the concept of trying to have several revenue sources is very sound, until such time as one thing in particular is providing enough income.

I don't think there's a definitive answer to whether you'd be able to eliminate the need for a day job in a given time frame, but remember the old saying that a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Start with some basics, and as you learn more, build on that foundation.

Good luck to you!

Mike_Mackin




msg:787002
 5:14 pm on May 1, 2001 (gmt 0)

>you could start with doing an information only site to develop content in areas you're familiar with......

Like Music,Travel, Outdoors

Note Music and Travel are quite competetive but there must be some niches in all 3 of those interest areas.

Kerrace Alexander




msg:787003
 5:47 pm on May 1, 2001 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the feedback I guess where I get stuck is I don't think the things I am interested in will necessarily make me a good income. I would like to be a distributor on the internet, marketing products for a commission, I'm not certain this is a viable way to make money. Over the long term.

I figure if I can come up with a concept and distribute products from local manufactures her in Cananda. I would be in a better position over the long term.

Does anyone know of some information sources that i could get some business concept ideas or possible start up opportunities that are good to start on the net.

My business ideas are be an affiliate for sitesell. online gift registry, I have a local distributer who wants me to help him distribute a line of 100% skincare products,my thought where to focus a site around a wellness, I love tea so a site focused on teas. Auction heard costs alot of money.
So these are some ideas i have I guess maybe I should just run with one of these, but I want to make sure i have done my research I'm willing to take risks, but I'm also cautious at the same time.

any other hep would be great here.

thanks

rcjordan




msg:787004
 6:06 pm on May 1, 2001 (gmt 0)

In another thread [webmasterworld.com], paynt made the following post that I believe gives a good thumbnail view of what it takes to compete on the web today:
>>ÖSome sites are all image and style... Others are all bells and whistles... Some are plain vanilla content, but with no thought to search... and others give evidence that their builders wanted them to rank well on search engines. These aren't necessarily mutually exclusive, by the way... but they're different directions site builders might goÖ>>

Even more that that; I recently put out an ad both here on the forums and in I-Design and was blown away by the response from nearly 100 designers. It was incredible, the work levels and variety of talent and ability. It was interesting because the ad was picked up by a news list for independent designers looking for work. Interesting because I was looking for a designer who could work hand-in-hand with an optimizer, in developing a site and what that ad requested was a Designer/SEO combined. I went through and then spoke with such a variety of people, across the board in what they knew or thought they knew about SEO.

What I did discover is the perfect marriage of services would combine an array of talents. That you really need to be looking at first SEO, then a great designer who can work with that, you need terrific copywriting talent, media talent, technical support that can do anything and everything and you bring them donuts because you canít imagine life in your world without them, and of course e-commerce support. Can the single home Webmaster keep up? Wow, Iíd really like to meet the single person that can offer all of that. A single home Webmaster can find a nitch though and build from there into who knows how far they can take it.

This is a tough and competitive playground. Depending on what market or industry youíre working in, ties into all those variables Iíve tried to point out here, and thatís where your going to make it or not. We donít know whatís going to happen day to day with the engines and the search marketplace. When Yahoo dropped Inktomi for Google the landscape completely changed. It could happen again. When I look back and see who made it through that time and the companies that took a big hit and have ridden it out until now but are piling up in dot morgue, I see the cream beginning to rise to the top.

Yes, you can still make money on the web. Several here ARE making excellent money even in the current environment. But make no mistake, it's dog-eat-dog and anyone entering it now is likely to have to make a substantial investment of time and/or money before they are successful.
Marcia




msg:787005
 2:21 am on May 4, 2001 (gmt 0)

There are differing opinions on how lucrative online advertising revenue is.

According to this, just received, Excite@home is laying off 13% of their staff due to poor revenues:

[news.cnet.com...]

So for those who are doing OK with advertising revenue, what kinds are still doing all right?

rcjordan




msg:787006
 2:38 am on May 4, 2001 (gmt 0)

Well, I run a mix on my city guide sites, both in the type of advertiser/merchant and the method of delivery (banners, sponsorships, affiliate links. I do it all).

In general, by category in descending order by total revenue, my top performers are:

  • real estate
  • tourism/travel
  • yellow pages
  • search
  • outdoors
  • jobs
  • casino

stcrim




msg:787007
 12:14 pm on May 4, 2001 (gmt 0)

There are lots of places to begin looking (CJ and Befree for a couple) Plus many companies run their own affiliate programs. Pick the right ones - credit cards - automobiles - real estate then do it right and you can make a fine living at it.

Here is an example of a very successful affiliate web site - carbuyingtips.com and there are thousands of others

-s-

Kerrace Alexander




msg:787008
 10:43 pm on May 4, 2001 (gmt 0)

thanks for your feedback.

The caybuyingtips.com is a site I have seen could you possibly recommend some other good affiliate sites to look at outside of the marketing sites I have looked at the top ten marketing sites.

Are there any affiliate sites that sell product in specific niche marketets that are doing well or is there a listing of all the affiliates.

Thanks again

Kerrace

Marcia




msg:787009
 11:08 pm on May 4, 2001 (gmt 0)

Kerrace, go take a look at Commission Junction and Linkshare: www.cj.com and www.linkshare.com and see what they have that fits with possible content you might be interested in developing a site for. Those are the two I'll be doing, personally - I can't vouch for how they'll do, I haven't started quite yet. The reputation is the best, from what I've gathered.

You'll want to do a site that's based on some sort of themed, interesting content to attract traffic, and whatever affiliate programs you do will have to fit in with the subject matter appropriately. Looking around might give you some ideas.

Hope that helps.

rcjordan




msg:787010
 11:27 pm on May 4, 2001 (gmt 0)

Finding niche affiliate programs is the toughest part. Most, but not all, are congregating in various networks like CJ and Linkshare, as Marcia has mentioned. But, there are probably a dozen significant affiliate networks and no really good, detailed list of the individual merchant programs within them. It's a frustrating process, requiring hours or even days of surfing, reading posts, checking out other sites in your marketing arena, etc. Then there are independent merchants that run exclusive programs only from their own websites. It takes MUCH time to build a good, dependable stable of merchants and even then a large percentage of the programs fail or change, regardless of how much research you've done or how solid their business plan appears on the surface. We affiliates are constantly culling our merchants and they are constantly culling their affiliates. I do not wish to come off as negative, I'm not, but it is a very dynamic business.

Kerrace Alexander




msg:787011
 7:19 pm on May 5, 2001 (gmt 0)

thanks for all your great feedback and I will be investigating more.

Being able to chat with people who are already in the business is great.

Here's another twist, the reason I happened onto affiliate programs is, I was approached by a local distributor who has alined himself with a local manufacturer to sell a new line of 100% skincare products.

He has his own advertising business but it's clear he sees selling these products as an excellent opporunity. He's doing a lot of focus groups presently, but he's need some help in developing his business online.

I have convinced him that affliate marketing is the way to go and I am to put a proposal together to show him how we could work as a team using the internet, he developing a merchant program for me as the exclusive affiliate.

He's willing to develop my site,along with his. Although he has experience developing web sites he has not developed an ecommerce site, hence he has no ecommerce background.

He's proposing to offer me an exclusive affiliate marketing but for 25% of revenue soled on the net.

I'm so new to this arena, I'm just wondering would this be worth it just to start. I'm not sure how well skincare products sell on the net. I like the fact I know who he is and my office is next to the manufacturer.

I'm thinking this may be a good starting point for me to learn about affiliate marketing, and grow an online affiliate business, and I could market other related products on the site. But I also think I could be a direct distributor if I do my home work and make higher commissions.

I'm a sales person and 25% commission is not a lot considering, I will have to consult him on some level on how to best set up the program so that it works properly.

Would love some feedback and or suggestions from you experts out their as to whether I'm off track here and maybe look for a better opportunity.

My friends and family don't really see this as an opportunity, but then they don't know haow an affliate business works.

Thanks in advance for your feedback

Cheers

Kerrace

Drastic




msg:787012
 10:14 pm on May 5, 2001 (gmt 0)

Hi Kerrace, and welcome.

I made a new post about building a site around affiliate programs here [webmasterworld.com], in answer to some of your original questions.

On to setting up a program for you to be the sole affiliate: If I were you, I would start with affiliate programs that are already set up. If you want to learn the affiliate biz, you don't want to start by having to set your first program up for the merchant. If you do, you will have a lot of time and effort in something that you could find out there for free. Also, if the product is not quality, or if it is not priced competitively, you will be effectively shooting yourself in the foot.

Once you get a good affiliate biz foundation, you could setup and manage the skin care affiliate program for a fee plus commission of all affiliate sales - not a bad way to go.

startup




msg:787013
 2:41 am on May 6, 2001 (gmt 0)

Get started now because you need to find out the answers to many questions and what you need to learn.

You are starting with very little money. Can you build, optimise and design a website? The only way you can answer these questions is if you have a website that is doing well for your chosen keywords in a competitive field. I don't mean to be blunt but, you cannot sell anything if people cannot find your website.

At this time I would not worry about affiliate programs you need to know the mechanics of the search engines and directories of your chosen field. Your primary concerns at this point should be SEO, directories and nothing else. I say this for many reasons, once you understand these two, you now have the ability to keep the design within proven parameters.

You have an idea and the only way to get it off the ground is to get started. We learn more by our mistakes than anything else and I have made more than my share.

Buy a domain setup a hosting account and get started. Do not pay for any SEO or design work, do it all on your own.

"Also realistically are people making money?" Yes

"Could I work hard at this for a year, in hopes of leaving my day job?" Yes, but you will another job.


Mike_Mackin




msg:787014
 12:31 pm on May 6, 2001 (gmt 0)

I agree that one must get started to be able to learn.
The prolllllllem is in choosing a domain name.

I'm of the belief that if you intend to sell PINK BANANAS then you might wish to consider having pink bananas in the domain name.

Based upon that assumption you will have to know what your selling first.

If on the other hand you develop a community based site built around one of you interests THEN you can add banners or text based ads later when you choose the affiliate program that works for you.

My first site was 200 forums devoted to healthcare issues.
I lost my best advertiser due to a merger and got into the affiliate game by selling the ads space to myself.

does that make any sense?

startup




msg:787015
 1:16 am on May 7, 2001 (gmt 0)

I made the assumption that the research included the selecting of a domain name to include keywords. If that was not part of the research Mike has an excellent point that must be considered when selecting the domain name.

I find myself to be always on the lookout for new affiliate programs even though I am very satisfied with the ones that I am currently using. With the current .com failures I fully expect one of the programs to be added to the .com morgue, and there is nothing that can be done if this does happen.

Whether the site is personal interest, targetting a product or service, one has to get past the research stage as soon as possible, if you are doing everything on your own. Finding your strengths and weaknesses, I believe, is more important than the actual product. Once you have succeeded in establishing your first site in a competitive field, I believe that you can now market almost any product or service.

I am very serious about aiming and succeeding in a competitive field, this is the only way you can measure your abilities against the "pros"
in this business. Achieving #1 on all the search engines for pink bananas should not be considered to be an accomplishment. If you beat Mike Mackin's pink banana website you can consider this to be a good indication of your abilities.

Kerrace,
You list outdoors as one of your activities. If you were to build a site about outdoors, you would be able to use a very broad range of affiliate programs. Travel, real estate, equipment and supplies.
Purchasing a new boat to evaluate and write about the newest fishings holes you have heard about would be a business expense, water skiis do come in all shapes and sizes, and people do want to hear if the boat is best suited for skiing, fishing or the perfect all around unit on the market:).

Kerrace Alexander




msg:787016
 3:00 am on May 7, 2001 (gmt 0)

Thank you so much for the feedback and all of you have provided some awesome insight to affliate marketing, I think it's time I get started. There is so much information on the net that I could be researching for the rest of my life.

I will keep you all posted and maybe when I am in the business for a while I may be able to offer some assitance to others.

I'm sure I will have other questions. But in the meantime I'm going to get started planning my stretegy and getting online.

Cheers for know

Kerrace

Marcia




msg:787017
 3:55 am on May 7, 2001 (gmt 0)

Setting up a site to base income upon affiliate programs would seem to be a different issue from setting up a site to sell the cosmetic products of the distributor making that offer. It seems like two different business models. I've started another thread to see if we can delve into selling products for a manufacturer or distributor. Here's the new thread [webmasterworld.com].

Kerrace Alexander




msg:787018
 4:37 am on May 7, 2001 (gmt 0)

Thanks Marcia I look forward to hereing some responses.
And goood feedback on these being two separate business models. Your probably right.

Thanks again for your help.

Kerrace

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