Marketing and selling information-based products is pretty close to being the perfect business model. . .
It has high profit margins.
Much of it can be automated.
It is easily scalable without having to change the infrastructure.
It can provide a “passive” income — meaning once you have it all set up the money will continue to roll in without much additional work on your part.
If you don’t have the confidence, or the desire, to create your own info products to sell, that’s perfectly fine — you don’t need to. You can sell other people’s stuff instead, and earn a decent commission (usually 40-75% for digital products). Known as “Affiliate Marketing”, it’s one of the easiest ways to get started with building your online business.
So, let’s take a look at affiliate marketing first. . .
Affiliate Marketing is a perfect business model for those who want to literally work wherever, and whenever, they want —
All you need is a laptop and an internet connection!
Basically, here’s how affiliate marketing works:
- You find a product you’d like to promote.
- You are given a unique affiliate link.
- You promote the product.
- People click your link.
- They buy the product, or take a specific action.
- You get paid a commission automatically.
Obviously this is an oversimplification of the process. . . to be successful you need to have a combination of the right niche, the right products to promote, and a “hungry” audience.
You can promote digital products like those listed in the Clickbank.com marketplace, or you can send your audience to CPA (cost per action) offers and get paid a commission when they carry out a specific action such as filling out an email submit form or signing up for a free trial. You can even choose to promote physical products by becoming an affiliate partner for a company like Amazon.com — or you can do a combination of the above.
Many affiliate marketers tend to overlook promoting physical products when in fact they can often be more profitable than digital products. . . you can read more about physical products in chapter 7: “Open a Virtual Storefront”.
So, let’s take a look at the skills you’ll need (or need to outsource), the benefits and challenges of affiliate marketing, and the steps required to get started…
The Skills You’ll Need (or need to learn, or pay for)
You ‘ll need to do market, niche, keyword and product research.
You need to know your target market, and their wants and needs..
You will need to know how to reach your target audience.
You may need to create a website, depending on your business model.
You may need to create advertising campaigns. Again, this depends on the business model you choose.
You should learn how to set up tracking systems and do split-testing.
You don’t need any experience or special knowledge to get started. . . you can learn “as-you-go”
You can get up and running with no, or very little, financial investment.
You don’t have to deal with customer support.
You don’t have to spend time creating products.
It’s relatively easy to test the market without much time or financial investment.
You don’t have to write sales copy, create sales pages or design ads as most affiliate partners will provide you with advertising & marketing materials.
You need to choose your affiliate partners wisely to ensure the quality of their products is good, they are not getting a lot of refunds, and they pay without hassle.
You’ll need to get people to the offer (otherwise known as driving traffic). The lower your commission pay out, the more traffic you’ll need to make decent money.
You may have a few misses before you hit a successful combination of product offer and target audience, so you need perseverance and patience.
Steps to Get Started
Choose your business model and build your platform.
Find your affiliate partners and the products you wish to promote.
Grow your audience.
A Successful Affiliate Marketer
While you’re there be sure to check out the sections for Niche Site Duel and Niche Site Duel 2, where Pat posts updates on his successful niche site “experiments”.
Creating and Selling Your Own Info Products
If you have an expertise in ANYTHING then you can package it into a book, email course, video course, audio program, DVD, create a membership site around the subject, create software, and so on.
But you don’t have to be an expert . . . you just need to be willing to do the research. You can create information products for people who are just a little behind you in the learning curve of the subject matter, or you can be a “maven” — “a trusted person in a particular field, who seeks to pass knowledge onto others.”
The Skills You’ll Need (or need to pay for)
You need to be a bit tech savvy to use the software required to create and deliver your products, and to set up your sales and customer support systems.
You need to know product and website design.
You need to know your target audience’s wants & needs.
Copy writing and marketing skills for your promotional materials.
You can make considerably more money than with the affiliate marketing model alone, especially if you have affiliates promoting for you.
Your customers become loyal to you and your products.
You can become known as an authority and expert in your chosen niche.
You need to provide customer support.
You need to do your research well so you don’t spend a lot of time creating a product that has no demand.
You have to do your own marketing and copy writing. . . or pay someone to do it for you – it doesn’t come cheap.
How to Get Started
Do your research. . . Choose your niche and target market.
Choose your business model and build your platform.
Create your product or products.
Set up your payment, delivery and customer support systems.
Find affiliate partners to help you promote your product.
Grow your audience.
Successful Product Creators
Ryan Lee started his first website in 1999. . . Initially to promote his personal training business. The site grew into a massive empire which now generates 7 figures per month from health, nutrition, software and membership products.
Ryan is also very successful in the Internet Marketing niche with products such as FounderFly – where he has assembled many of his separate training products into one site; with his Inner Circle membership, and with his 1k Per Day Formula course (click the link for a great free webinar).
Another successful creator in the internet marketing space, Chris Farrell, quickly rose to fame when he was voted the #1 Internet Marketing Coaching Program on IM Report Card with his product aimed at online business newbies– Chris Farrell Membership.
Chris began in 2008, without any prior experience, and within 6 months was having many $250-days, within 9 months he had his first $1000-day and in 2010 he made over $1 million in sales in a 24 hour period..
In a completely different niche, John Gallagher started out by creating a board game called Wildcraft that teaches edible and medicinal plants to kids, added a Herbal Medicine Making Kit, developed a very popular membership site at Learning Herbs, and recently added a The Herb Fairies Book Club to the mix.
Information Marketing Resources & Courses
Learn More about Affiliate Marketing:
- George Brown’s affiliate marketing course, Google Sniper, has been just about the most widely promoted affiliate training program for the last 3 years. Newly updated for 2014. George offers a free trial. You can watch his free webinar here.
- Niche Profit Classroom 4.0 by Adam Short – This popular course covers researching a niche, how to structure your site, bring traffic to your site and much more.
In addition to the video tutorials and email course, you are provided with a ton of special bonuses, personal coaching & support.
Adam offers a 14 day trial membership for just $1.
- But you don’t have to join his membership to learn his easy system for making money. . . Adam reveals all the details in an excellent series of 5 free videos.
- Mark Ling’s AffiloBlueprint, said by many to be the best affiliate training available, is exactly what it says it is – a blueprint. It tells you what you need to do… a step-by-step guide to creating an affiliate website from scratch.
It contains 12 modules. Each module includes over-the-shoulder videos, PDF notes and homework to complete. At the end of the course, you’ll have a finished website – and, just as importantly, traffic too!
This is great for new affiliates, who still don’t understand all of the steps involved, and need a blueprint to follow. You also get the opportunity to talk with support staff as much as you like… They can give you one-on-one training, help and answers.
Another excellent offer from Mark Ling, Affilorama is a great FREE way to check out the quality of his training.
100+ video lessons full of insider tips for making money as an affiliate:
* How affiliate marketing works
* How to get started as an affiliate
* How to take your earnings to the next level.
9 essential tools especially designed to help you squeeze more money out of your site.
* Increase visitors
* Spot new opportunities
* Fix stupid mistakes before they hurt your profits.
Get advice from other affiliates who are already making money online.
* Which products to promote
* The best strategies to follow
* Supportive & encouraging forum — No question is too “dumb”!
Learn More about Product Creation & Marketing:
Ryan Lee’s FounderFly has over 30 training products including:
Nano Continuity, which will teach you how to make big profits from tiny $5 a month membership sites; The Host Model (how to build a business doing interviews); The Information Marketing Blueprint, which shows you how to turn your knowledge into leveraged income; and much more.
One Problem Product Creation – by Dennis Becker is “a guide that’s going to take you from point A to point B with no sweat or tears– it’s going to be fun! Best of all, it’s going to be profitable.”
Learn More about Product Creation & Affiliate Marketing Combined:
Jo Barnes is a lovely English lady who travels the world with her family while she works from her laptop.
Jo offers the Online Marketing Academy – an 8 week course that will arm you with the knowledge to easily build a 5 to 6-figure-a-month business.
But it doesn’t end there. . . you will be part of a community where ideas are exchanged, strategies discussed, and questions get answered.
You also get access to the “Social Media Vault” and 12 months of marketing academy training updates delivered as weekly webinars where you can ask her questions directly. Jo offers a 21 day trial for $1.
Chris Farrell has an extremely popular membership site for beginners and an almost cult-like following of students. You can take a look at the paid membership by clicking here.
(list your digital products or look for products to promote)
CPA Marketplaces for Affiliates
(cost per action offers to promote)
Free Internet Marketing Tools & Resources:
I decided it was too good to keep to myself and turned my research into a product that would also help others to save money, especially when first starting out.
The Freebie Lover’s Guide contains details of 388 free tools & resources for less than $10.
In addition to the above, you will find more resources & courses that apply in general to online marketing in the last chapter of this book: “Essential Resources”.
See Chapter 7 for more info on being an affiliate for physical products.
To read another chapter online choose from the list below…
To Download a PDF Version of “A Dozen Ways to Freedom”…