Internet Marketing can be an enjoyable and profitable experience, but it can also be very frustrating, time consuming, money draining and anti social.
So why do we keep putting ourselves through all this pain?
Well, I'm sure that for everyone there is a different answer depending on your driving force, but for me it's the thought that one day I'll succeed and make a tidy income. God knows how many 'Get Rich' schemes are out there but experience has taught me that 95% of them are simply schemes for making the owner rich and not the affiliate. On the plus side, they do teach you the pitfalls of Internet Marketing and hopefully move you that little further down the line towards your ultimate goal.
You may think that this article is simply a moan about the chaos which is 'Internet Marketing' but I assure you that's not the case. My aim is to pass on the good and bad of this type of venture and to hope that I can help someone to avoid the many obstacles and reach there goal reasonable unscathed.
Can you make money from a program which doesn't sell a tangible product?
Time and time again you'll see these type of programs - They'll say pay $5 as a one off payment and we'll give you thousands in return. The word that comes to mind is 'Pyramid'. Logic tells you that $5 can never become $1,000 without you sponsoring thousands of people and then they've got to sponsor thousands of people and so on. At some point you run out of people and the system fails. You loose your money but the owner makes a tidy sum. Maybe the answer is to invent your own 'Get Rich' scheme but then, how do these people sleep at night?
Personally, these schemes should be outlawed because all they do is serve to undermine the ethics of Internet Marketing.
So, can you make money from these types of programs - My experience tells me 'No'
Should you avoid them?
Most certainly 'Yes'
What about programs where you pay a monthly fee but again there isn't a product?
These are very much the affiliate based programs and do have some merits. They tend to offer the same, old same old, free resource tools, safe lists to join and a type of ad co-op guaranteeing leads and/or sign-ups. Of course, the tools are usually obsolete in today's market, the safe lists are more geared towards the owner making an advantage by you joining using their affiliate ID and the guaranteed leads are too old to be of any use. I'm sorry for being a cynic but I'm sure there are people out there who are reading this article and nodding there head because they've been there.
On the plus side these programs do have a sustainable growth because of the monthly income and so getting personally sponsored affiliates can recoup your loses over time. The problem however, is that people tend to be reticent to join because of the fees and then become despondent when they struggle to get affiliates for themselves. Most of the programs offer free membership and 'Yes' you will get tens to hundreds of people joining the free program but the ratio from free to paid is very poor.
People enter these programs believing, that by simply joining, they will be given thousands of Dollars for doing zilch! Like I said these programs do have there merits and if you stick in and spend loads of your money on advertising, hours of your time promoting to rotators and safe lists then you may come out the other side breaking even or with a small profit. Don't get me wrong I still have some involvement with these types of programs - Why? - Because I believe the hype that I can be the one success story and come out the other side, a rich man!
What about the programs where you pay a monthly fee and promote a product?
If the product is unique in some way, affordable to the masses, useable and needed and you can get in on the ground floor then you could be onto a winner. In my experience, it's the product which brings in the serious marketer not the affiliate program. Think back to the early days of mobile phones, when they use to be very bulky and expensive and people were saying "They'll never catch on"
However, the marketer with vision saw the mass potential and stuck in. Oh how I wish I'd been in this game then because now I wouldn't be here typing this article, I'd be on a beach somewhere and my secretary would be typing this article. There are other types of product based affiliate programs out there which will also give you a chance for success, but finding it is like crawling through a minefield. Don't simply sign up because it's free membership or the site looks professional, read all the pages and understand the ethics of the owner. Consider the product(s) on offer and think about your target audience. The product(s) should be affordable, useable, sellable, exciting and hopefully unique in its market.
The affiliate program should be affordable and sustainable. Look at the Compensation plan and consider how feasible it will be for you and your potential team, to reach the profit line. Some plans may look impressive but sometimes they dazzle you with big Dollars. Look at the amount of paid sign-ups required together with the percentages paid and compare this to the cost of the program and the cost of advertising needed to reach those required sign-ups. Work out how long it will take you to break even, for instance, if the cost of the program is $20 a month and you spend $20 a month on advertising you may get 1 or 2 sign-ups a month. If the comp plan pays you $5 a sign-up you'll need 8 sign-ups to break even but it may take you 4 to 8 months to get to that point. So it could cost you between $160 and $320 to get there.
Do your sums or you may never really break even?
You should look at the make-up of the down line and how it fits in with the matrix/comp plan. Some down lines have legs, in that you build so far down and then the line splits off and begins again. This usually happens when you reach another level in the comp plan, but the resulting effect can make it hard to progress to the next level. Some have a straight down line so everyone who joins will be in your line. This can be misleading in that you believe that it's your sign-up and you've earned money.
However, it does allow you to assess the popularity of the program and help you decide if you should continue.
Now Image you've come across an affiliate site (Not hard to do with today's Internet) Ask yourself the following questions:-
Does the site look impressive?
Does it make you want to read on?
Does it have a product that excites you?
Could you use the product?
Could you sell the product?
Would you buy the product?
Is the product affordable?
Do I get the product as part of the affiliate program?
Can I afford the monthly payment?
Do they have a worthwhile Compensation Plan?
Do they have a matrix or a straight down line?
How quickly will I break even?
Can I make a profit?
SO CAN YOU SUCCEED BY MARKETING AN AFFILIATE BASED PROGRAM?
Find today's 'Mobile Phone' with an affordable affiliate program, offering you a good compensation plan, workable matrix and responsive down line and the answer is undoubtedly
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About The Author
Ian Bosworth has over 2 years experience in Internet marketing and has put all his ideas and knowhow into his website and newsletter at http://www.profitmashine.com