Transitioning Affiliate Marketing Into the Small Business Mentality
Making money online, to many people, can be a fun hobby, a little side project or even a potential career. One thing that seems to be forgotten is the fact that online money making programs are truly small businesses, by definition. It was not until I realized this fact that I really started to make any money online.
1) Identify Your ReasonsWhy Am I doing this? At this time in my life, I was not looking for a new career nor fork out the cash for a bigger investment. Rather, I needed to supplement my income. So I created the goal of making $1000 per month.
2) Self AnalysisWas I really going to do this? Was I really ready to put time into this. Yes! I decided that I would set aside 2 hours per day, 5 days per week to focus on my affiliate marketing. I am still committed to this schedule to this day.
3) Personal Skills and ExperienceCan I do this? I would not consider myself a computer guru, but I can find my way around a computer. I do not have any degree in marketing or economics, either. I realized at this point that I needed to educate myself a little bit on how to both market products as well as create websites. I bought an eBook on how to do affiliate marketing and the brought me three-quarters of the way there. I also spent about a week focusing on website design, domains and hosting. Over the last few months, all of these skills have improved ten-fold which has resulted in more sales and more confidence in my ability to market products online.
4) Finding a NicheWhat is going to make you stand out above the rest? Affiliate marketing, during its infancy, was an easy way to sell almost anything to anyone. There was little marketing competition. Now, the competition is so tough that just getting exposure of your product, website or blog either requires a lot of skill or a lot of money. Just like any small business, you need to give buyers a reason to buy your product over everyone else's product. Finding your niche in the marketplace can be very critical to success!
5) Market AnalysisWhile finding your online making money niche on the internet, you need to do your research. It is quite simple. Type your "niche" or idea into a google or yahoo search engine and see how many people are sponsoring it. Less than 10-20 sponsors may be doable. Over 20, you may have a long, uphill and costly battle! Also know and find out who are the people that are buying this product.
6) Planning Your StartupThis is very critical! My biggest mistake when I was initially starting my affiliate marketing venture was my lack of planning. I would focus my time building blogs and websites as fast as I can and marketing them as soon as possible without any thought. I did not research my products and my websites and blogs were mediocre at best (both in appearance and content). I promoted them with Pay-Per-Click campaigns without planning a budget. Further, I would get distracted with "bigger and better" ideas and would find myself flopping around from product to product. Focus, planning and setting up goals are crucial to making money online. They do not have to be long and drawn out. You just need to develop a plan and stick with it!7) FinancesDespite what you may read in some glorified "online money making" or "get rich" ads, you will need to invest money into affiliate marketing. Fortunately, it is initially not very much. Investing in an eBook or two on how to do it is important. You must be prepared to pay for some type of advertising to be successful (like Pay-Per-Clicks, classifieds, etc.). If things continue to increase, you may have website, hosting, and domain costs, too. Again, this is not much and for a small business, this is virtually nothing, but if you think you are going to rely purely on free blogs and Search Engine Optimization, your odds of success are quite minimum.
As you can see, we can clearly fit affiliate marketing into every category of the small business checklist. Once you discover this fact, you will find that as your outlook on making money online changes into more of a business mentality. Then your affiliate marketing venture will start to come together and you will begin making more money by promoting products online.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Matthew is a 31 year old online entrepreneur and engineer currently living in San Diego, CA.Visit http://www.thewebreviewer.com for more money making articles, resources and reviews on today’s hottest online money making ventures.