Conventionally, you may have pursued a job as a social worker, teacher, or another similar profession. However, in today's economically challenging times, many people are seeing their jobs being outsourced to foreign countries. For example, India and China were once known for providing call center services to the United States but now provide it on an even greater scale to the European Union. Risks of losing a job at any time mean that you now have to look at other alternatives as a source of income, or even just to supplement your current income.
One option is affiliate marketing, which is just one type of network marketing (the other types are MLM and multi-level-marketing). However, because of its flexible, independent nature and lack of minimum investment or startup costs, affiliate marketing is often seen as a more viable option.
The Benefits of Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing involves you promoting a product based on the merchant's terms without having to spend any money upfront on buying inventory. You are paid (in commissions) for any sales you generate. This is a great way to make money without needing much investment upfront or any formal education!
Most affiliate programs will provide you with all the information that you need in regard to the product such as sales page, price, selling points, and a basic guideline on how to promote their products. If they do not, chances are you will be able to find out by doing some research on the product and/or reading reviews online.
For many people, making money online through affiliate marketing is seen as an opportunity to escape from their current job or career path. As a result of this, they are often willing to invest much time and effort into their venture in the hope that they will achieve complete success. If you want to make money from affiliate marketing, it is important that you are realistic about your expectations and know the amount of work involved. You need to find out how much time goes into each aspect of your business such as creating relevant blog posts or sales copy, promoting your affiliate link via social media and email marketing, and so on.
Comparing Affiliate Marketing to Other Means of Making Money Online
The reason why a lot of people go with affiliate marketing as their means for making money online is that they think that it enables you to sell other peoples' products without actually having an inventory. This is often seen as the key selling point in comparison to other means such as creating your own product or building a website that provides information and allows for online sales (i.e., dropshipping). Here are some reasons why affiliate marketing is often seen as the more preferable option over both of them:
Advertising – Affiliate marketers sell products through their websites, blogs, videos, etc. – a process that requires little to no upfront investment. From there, they earn commissions from their sales and can profit passively as long as the affiliate program is still active.
Low Cost – Since affiliate marketing does not require you to purchase an inventory or set up shipping and processing facilities, it just takes a relatively small amount of money to get started. Some affiliate programs will offer you free training as well as a free or low-cost website for your business.
Low Time Commitment – There is virtually no limit on the amount of money you can make in affiliate marketing. The only thing stopping most people from reaching that goal is the time commitment it requires to be successful. Not everyone will be willing to spend many hours a week working on it. However, if you put in the work and time required, the potential payoff is certainly worth it. But in the long-term, you will not need a lot of time if you build everything correctly.
Passive Income – One of the most attractive aspects of affiliate marketing is that it can provide you with passive income over time, which means once you have established your business and sales funnel, you can sit back and enjoy the money it brings in.
The Drawbacks of Affiliate Marketing
While affiliate marketing is extremely popular among people seeking to make money online today because of its low levels of investment, there are some drawbacks that potential marketers need to consider:
Time Commitment – Like with any business venture, it requires time and effort from you to see any kind of success. If you are not willing to put in the hours that are required on a daily basis, there is a good chance that you will never make it big with affiliate marketing (or any other business venture for that matter).
Sales – The key to successful affiliate marketing lies in your ability to generate sales. If you are not able to convince people to buy products that you promote, then your business will never be successful.
Traffic – In order to make sales, you need traffic on your site. Affiliate marketing generates revenue through online affiliate networks and ad spaces. However, those are not free to get—there is a charge for them (usually around 20 cents per click), so if you do not have the money to invest in advertising or promoting your business, there is a good chance that you will not be able to generate traffic.
Money – While affiliate marketing does allow you to start your business with little or no upfront investment, it simply means that the bulk of your revenue is going to have to come from other sources. Whether that comes in the form of sales commissions and sales of your own products, you will still need enough capital to both purchase traffic and invest in your business.
As mentioned earlier, it takes time to build up a successful affiliate marketing business.
In Summary – affiliate marketing is a great option for making money online and can provide an excellent source of extra income to your current job or career however, there are drawbacks such as time commitment and sales that will deter many people.
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