It’s very tempting to think that making money online is really a simple matter of picking out an affiliate program, getting affiliate links, and driving traffic to those links. Along the way, you might have to build websites or some sort of filtering mechanism, but essentially, the whole idea is to join an existing affiliate marketing program to promote affiliate products and make a commission.
There is a lot to recommend this particular model of making money online. First, you don’t have to through the processing of having to research a particular product. Second, you don’t have to pay for the development of the product. You can focus your precious capital to what matters most, which is to produce content that would attract traffic or driving direct traffic to your affiliate links.
With that said, there are also a lot of problems with the typical affiliate model. The biggest issue is that you are basically settling for cents on the dollar. Think about it. If you are an affiliate marketer, you are paid a commission. Even if you get paid a very high commission, for example ninety percent, you are still not getting one hundred percent.
You have to remember that the affiliate model involves shifting a lot of the risk on your end of the equation. It will be you who will have to find the traffic to drive to your affiliate products sales page. It will be you who will have to invest the time, effort, energy, and possibly money to drive that traffic. It will be you who will have to filter that traffic or otherwise qualify that traffic so that it can convert.
The affiliate program and the owner of the affiliate product only have to invest in a product and a sales page. The problem with this is that they don’t really have a heavy enough incentive to make sure that their conversion page actually converts. The person who is taking the larger chunk of the risk is the affiliate marketer. That is you.
If you have been an affiliate marketer for a while, or you want to try to make money online using a different model, I strongly suggest you focus on creating and marketing your own digital product. Here are the benefits to using this particular model for making money online:
More Revenue for You
As mentioned above, if you are an affiliate, you are basically settling for only a portion of the amount of money that you are making. You are never making 100%. You are settling for a percentage of the value of your traffic.
This is especially true if you promote Amazon. If you are an Amazon affiliate, you have to drive a huge amount of sales to make real money. In many cases, it’s a thankless task. It’s a better idea to build your own product so you can get the full value of that product. You get a higher level of compensation for the amount of time, effort, and energy you put into selling your product.
You Get Control over the Whole Process
One of the biggest selling points from a strategic perspective of creating and marketing your own digital products is that you get a high degree of control. Why is this important? As mentioned above, if you are an affiliate, you have no control over key segments of the selling process. First, you have to control over the quality of the product that you will be selling. This means that the product might suck so bad that most of the buyers end up refunding. When they refund, don’t think for a moment that it won’t affect you. When your end users refund, that’s money out of your pocket. Regardless of the affiliate program that you use, when you get a refund, it’s going to come out of your pending commissions. Refunds are bad news.
Another problem when you don’t control the whole selling process is that the sales page of the affiliate product might be less that optimal. It might be designed by a person who has no idea how to convert traffic into paying customers.
When you sell your own digital products, all those problems go away, because you get control over the whole process. You get to decide what goes on your sales page, you get to design the sales page, and you get to have full control over the design, layout, and elements that go into your sales page. You get to focus attention on the intrinsic value of the digital product that you are selling.
You can invest resources in the end product to make sure that the product actually adds value to the lives of your customers. By doing so, you increase the value that your products bring to the table, and you minimize the likelihood of refunds and charge backs.
You Get Control over a Solid Asset
When you create and market your own digital product, you have to understand that the whole marketing process creates a brand. This is an asset in of itself. You’re not just restricted to the product asset that you are selling, but you are also creating a separate asset which is your brand. When you are selling your own digital products, you get control over that asset and you can leverage the asset. You can create brand alliances; you can create updates to your product which leverage your existing brand.
You don’t have any of these advantages if you are an affiliate marketer. You basically have to start from scratch when promoting updates or other products that build on the brand of the affiliate product that you are promoting.
You Can Build a Killer Buyers’ List
This is probably the biggest advantage you get when you sell your own digital products. One of the most effective ways to sell online is through email marketing. Unfortunately, many people thing that you simply need to build an email list and you will make money. This is completely false. Simply building a list is not going to put dollars in your pocket.
You have to build the right kind of list. You have to understand that people join lists for a wide variety of reasons. One of the biggest reasons people join a mailing list is because they are looking for a free e-book in return for joining that list. Nine times out of ten, those kinds of list members are worthless. They are not even worth the time to pursue. They are not even worth the time to recruit. They are basically list squatters. Each passing month, your list service provider charges you money for these unresponsive list members.
When you build your own digital product, and you put a list sign up page that buyers need to go through to buy your product, you are assembling a powerful member list. Even if they pay only a dollar for the product, you still have a great list, because this list is composed of people who are proven buyers. If they are willing to buy a particular product within a particular niche, chances are good that they would buy related products in that same niche. This is the biggest advantage that you get when you create and market your own digital product.
If you are looking to make money online on a sustainable basis, you have to build assets. The problem with most affiliate marketing is that you are chasing after every dollar on a day-to-day basis. It is basically like hunting. If you don’t kill something, you don’t eat. With online affiliate sales, if you don’t convert that traffic, you don’t eat.
When you create and market your own digital products, you build many different assets so that you are not restricted to simply chasing your own lunch. Of course, you can do that, but there are others ways you can make money off your established online brand.