Sunday, July 1, 2012

When Affiliate Marketing Is Like Buying a Used Car

Have you ever bought a used car?

I have and believe it or not I only had one bad experience. I've lost count of just how many new and used automobiles and trucks I've owned-but I was only burned once.

We were looking for what we thought might be something close to a luxury car... close, but not the real thing like a Cadillac or Mercedes. We found a car advertised by owner in our local newspaper. The young lady we talked to said the car actually belonged to her brother, and she was helping him sell it. It was 5 years old but only had 27,000 miles on it.

Let the buyer beware

We bought the car and within a month the water pump quit. After replacing that we had frequent over-heating problems. Next to go was the battery and it needed a costly tune up. One day while rummaging through the glove box I found an old North Carolina State Inspection report tucked away in the Owner's Manual. It showed that at a previous inspection, the car had over 150,000 miles on it.

Since we bought it from a private individual we had little recourse-plus she (and no doubt her brother) had moved out of the area.

"Let the buyer beware!"

Watch out for Internet Clunkers too

Back in 2009 I decided to take a shot at starting a home-based business to supplement my income. With absolutely no clue as to what was available, I searched online. On a website I had come to know and respect I found an ad for a home-business opportunity. The sales (pitch) page made affiliate marketing sound like a dream come true, so without further hesitation, I whipped out my VISA card and spent $47 for an immediately-downloaded Ebook. This Ebook explained that affiliate marketing requires no cash to get started. But reading it cover to cover left me with more questions than answers.

The first thing I could think of as I read through it was, "I just bought another 'Low-Mileage' used car.

As time passed and I succumbed to a couple more "Get Rich Quick." "Make $10,751.36 in just 30 days," offers and their useless Ebooks, it began to look like affiliate marketing is just one big low mileage car after another.

Listen to voices of experience

Those folks who have been affiliate marketers since back in the 1990s told me that over 95% of beginning marketers quit after less than a few months. Well DUH! Is it any wonder? But you know what? Here it is now 2012, and I've been at it now beginning my 4th year and I'm well past the pain of leaky water pumps and dead batteries.

The point I'm making here is that this concept of affiliate marketing is really based on sound business principles-if you run it like a business. The basics of getting started are quite simple and do not require a degree from the Wharton School of Business. And you can start a business like this on virtually no up-front cash.

Trial and Error

Granted, I depended on trial and error for well over my first year. And, yes I was often discouraged to the point that I considered, "Pulling the rip cord and bailing out."

Some very wise person once said, "If you fail to plan-you are planning to fail." Well... I was obviously without a plan-so I changed my tactics.

Tips Leading to Success in an Online Business

    The best way to be successful is to study how others became successful. I studied, "Think and Grow Rich," by Napoleon Hill. Despite the fact that Mr. Hill published this all-time Best-Seller in 1937, its message is just as relevant now as it was 75 years ago.

    Through hours of Internet research I found some of the top websites that get thousands of visitors month after month. Replication is the best form of flattery so my plan was to "copy" the work others had done before I came along. By copy I really mean to follow their lead by doing similar things without plagiarizing or duplicating them.

    I began my online business using websites. I learned later that "blogs" are far more effective as business tools than websites. So One-by-one I scrapped my websites and constructed blogs.

    I learned that for any online business to succeed, people searching the Internet need to be able to find it. This is where the search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and others come into play. Continuing research gave me the knowledge of how to create blogs that would position my blogs close to or even ahead of some of my competitors-like having one of my blogs appear on the first page of the search engine results pages (SERPs).

    To get recognized by the search engines, you must have a good understanding of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Google and others can be your friend or enemy in this regard. Better to be a friend!
    Once a plan is in place, it requires frequent maintenance of your blog, or as in my case-multiple blogs. (At this writing I have about 70).

Have I mastered the secret for creating untold wealth as an Internet Marketer? NOPE! Not yet. You see I am not a quitter. I am determined to succeed. I have a plan to succeed, I have the tools to succeed.

Part of the "secret" of being a successful online business owner is to first believe in yourself!

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