Thursday, October 23, 2014

Is Affiliate Marketing a Viable Income Stream?

If you've spent any amount of time trying programs that promise to make you rich or researching ways to make money online at all, you've probably heard of affiliate marketing. This is where you make a commission on the sale of someone else's product in exchange for the referral you sent their way that resulted in a sale.

There's no shortage of people who will tell you that this kind of work will make you rich. There's no shortage of available programs that promise you can make a 6-figure income within x amount of time. But the real question is - does affiliate marketing work? Can you actually make money from home selling other people's products?

The short answer is yes, but there are catches that you're not usually told about ahead of time. Affiliate marketing is HARD work. You are going to have to invest a lot of time into it, and probably some money too. The pay off, if you stick with it and are willing to put forth the effort, can be truly amazing, but it's far from "overnight."

About 97% of the people who attempt affiliate marketing fail to make much, if anything at all. But let's examine why. Many of these people were under the impression that this would be easy, a piece of cake, just fill out a couple of advertisements and watch the money start rolling in. That's not the case. So when they discover that this is going to eat up a significant amount of time, they become disheartened. And they have every right to feel that way! This wasn't the promise they were sold a few years back.

Affiliate marketing is kind of like being a real estate agent in that you don't make any money at all until you sell that first house and receive your commission after closing. In order to sell that house you're going to have to reach out to potential clients, schedule an open house, make sure people are aware there's an open house, have flyers or post cards or something people won't throw away made up with your business contact information (which is going to cost some money), go door to door even if that's what it takes. And it doesn't stop when you sell that first house, if you want a paycheck to continue - you have to start all over again (although that's a lot easier to motivate yourself to do if your commissions were enough for you not to worry about where the food on your table is going to come from for a while).

This isn't a get rich quick scheme. It won't happen overnight. But that doesn't mean it's hopeless. Using the same example of the real estate agent above, if this person were to become disheartened and give up when only one person, who didn't end up submitting an offer, showed up to their open house, they would never be able to sell the house and claim their commission. So maybe it's been a month of affiliate marketing for you and you feel lucky to even have one sale. If you stick with it, change up your strategy a little bit, search for tips, find tutorials or programs written by successful affiliates who used to be where you are, and (most importantly) don't give up - you CAN create a viable income stream by being an affiliate marketer.

But remember, there will be hard work involved. This will likely be a very time-consuming task, and it may take a while before you're reaping the rewards you really want. But this is also an income stream without any limit to its potential. It's not a guaranteed paycheck, but neither is real estate and yet my grandmother sold million dollar homes eventually, where her commission was enough to support her family and her dreams back when it was a booming market. Find the niche or market that works for you, that you can get behind and honestly feel good about selling. If you can do that and commit to putting in the time and effort that is required to get things rolling (potentially to the point where they are on autopilot even), then you actually can make affiliate marketing a well-paying, full-time job that you can do from the comfort of your own home.

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