Issue #88

Affiliate marketing – not a REAL business?

I am here at the RV Entrepreneur Summit in Texas. And I was talking to a guy who came all the way here from Australia.

Now, THAT’S some damn dedication! Hats off to him!

But, I asked him what he does. His wife works in the public sector back home, but he started a family business selling stainless steel cups and mugs on Amazon. He has a hookup in China that manufactures them and he sells them on Amazon.

But, what I thought was interesting was the leadup to this business for him. He said he looked into various options and affiliate marketing didn’t seem like a REAL business to him.

He wanted something real. Hence, he went into selling something tangible on Amazon. Which is awesome.

But, what do you think? Is affiliate marketing a “real” business?

Honestly, I don’t think it is, either.

I look at affiliate marketing as a profit maximizer. It is something you can do to generate some extra revenue, but making it THE thing you do… not so much.

The problem is that you are essentially little more than a middleman. What value are you adding to the value chain if all you do is throw affiliate links all over your content?

Plus, you don’t usually have much control over your sales setup, your funnel, your followup – nothing.

This might be “bad news” if you’ve been soley in the ol’ blogger mindset. Many bloggers have grand visions of doing little more than writing content, putting in some affiliate links and making a full-time living at it. But, the people who manage to do that are few, in reality.

This is why I focus so much on building a real business around a blog. I don’t spend much time here at The Academy on affiliate marketing because I don’t want you to rely on it.

When you build a blog around building up a customer base to an actual product/service you offer, it all becomes much easier and far more reliable and predictable. It can be a service… digital products… or even stainless steel cups like this guy I was talking to. Regardless, a blog is a fine marketing platform for it. 🙂

So, here’s my suggestion(s) for you…

If you already sell your own product/service…. awesome! Then, if you’re not already, look into some ways to inject affiliate products into your sales funnel as a multiplier. You can work little mini-launches for affiliate products into your automated followups.

If you only do affiliate marketing right now, then it is high time you brainstorm your own offer and start a real business, with your own customers. We can help.

And if all you do is banner ads, then… perhaps it is time for an intervention. 😉

– David

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