Just got another email from a friend of mine. I'll let you read the main point:
"You told me it was easy to make money on the internet. You said you do it all the time. So I got online and I'm sitting here not making any money. What gives? Is this a scam? I thought we were friends!"
I get phone calls and emails like this all the time. Someone hears I have an online business. They call or email me to see if it's true. They ask how much money I'm making. (Never, EVER, answer that question unless you want to get this phone call: "You told me I could make MILLIONS!"). I tell them I make enough to live on. So they get all excited and the next thing I get is an email or a phone call stating that they too have started an internet business.
Let's get two things straight right now. Starting an internet business involves a bit more than signing up for some affiliate programs and then sitting in front of the computer waiting for the money to start coming in. However, if you have some discipline and can learn from those who really do make millions online, then you can make a decent living on the internet.
So what does it take to get started in affiliate marketing? It's fairly simple. Decide on your market. Try to choose something you are passionate about so you'll stick with it long enough to see some results. Could it be health and fitness, cooking, gardening, travel, crafts, juggling? These are all businesses that have been started by friends of mine and each of them are making a good living.
Next, find affiliate programs that pertain to your market. The best place to do this Affiliate Showcase (http://www.affiliateshowcase.com/?46035). This site gives you access to literally hundreds of the best affiliate programs available. Plus you can also market Affiliate Showcase itself!
The next step is to figure out a way to reach your potential customers. You will need some sort of web presence. While most affiliate programs provide you with a website, these are all cookie cutter sites with nothing to set them apart from every other affiliate. You need something of your own. If you can't afford to hire a web designer and don't know how to build your own website, there are a couple of options. You can try a great product called SiteBuildIt! (http://buildit.sitesell.com/wealthtogether.html) to create your site. Or you can create a blog which works almost as well as a website to get you started.
Once you have identified your business niche, your products, created your website or blog, then it's time to market your products to your prospective customers. There are all kinds of ways to do this and what works for one may not work for you. The best way to learn about internet marketing is to study what the experts have to say. Learn all you can from people like Ken McArthur, Derek Gehl, Mike Filsame, Sterling Valentine, Michael Angier, Yanik Silver, or Mike Litman. If you can buy some of their products, great. If not, at least sign up for their mailing lists and newsletters. They are the "gurus" in this business and can teach you all you need to know. How do I know? Who do you think taught me? (I have even had the honor of personally meeting Ken McArthur and Michael Angier and they are two great guys!).
This is just a brief outline of how to start an online business using affiliate programs. There simply isn't room to go in depth here. But if you will follow these basic steps and listen to the experts, you can make money online.