Back in 98 when I started online, I dove into affiliate marketing.
I worked it hard and it paid off. Remember working the net at night, going to the job in the morning, often with NO sleep.
After about 6 months I was making more than the job and I quit working for the man.
(my last boss WAS actually a guy)
I still believe affiliate marketing is one of the best ways for any one to get started online. Little start up cost, little overhead and a low level of responsibility.
The market I was in became saturated, conversions rates increased greatly, huge competition, cheating affiliate programs and the list goes on. Seemed each day I was working more and making less.
Depressing to say the least.
I made a big decision… to sell everything off and start something new, get into a different market.
It was scary, and money was tight for a while, but I don’t regret it and it was the best decision I ever made.
Even to this day, 7 years later, to me, it is as close to the perfect online business as you can get.
What am I talking about?
Selling digital products.
Yes I know, it’s not exactly a new or different business model.
There are plenty of reasons why I STILL think it’s one of the best ways to earn online.
And here they are:
- Low Cost Products – You could easily create your own digital products with a simple word processor program like Word or Open Office. Time is your only cost in this case. Same can be said for creating your own video and audio products. Another idea is to purchase a low priced private label rights product and easily make it your own. For mere dollars you could have your own digital creation. At these low prices, you could make your money back and a profit with only one sale, or one lead.
- High Profits – Since they are, well, “digital”, there is little to no cost involved with creating, storing and selling. The only costs involved are hosting and domain fee’s which means little overhead and gives you over 95% profits in most cases. Even payment systems take very little of your sales. What could you sell in the real world and make over 95% profits? Nothing.
- Hands Off Business – The entire process of selling digital product can be almost completely automated. With today’s shopping cart systems, you could set up your site where you visitors can help themselves. They pick what they want, check out (pay), and download their order. With no need for you to even be there and it runs for you 24 hours day, 7 days a week. The only “work” needed it the occasional customer service requests, and those are minimal. There are ready-to-go solutions such as these: Turnkey Digital Stores.
- No Stocking or Manufacturing – This is one of my favorite things about digital products, you can sell as many copies of your product as you want, and there is not need to manufacturer a product for each order.
- No Shipping – As I’ve just mentioned, since this business model can be completely automated and since the products are computer files, so there is not shipping hassles. No undeliverable shipments, lost shipments, no returns, no shipping fees or tracking. No customers bugging you asking when they will get their order.
- Highly Scalable – Obviously you could grow your product line quickly and this is where it can really add up. The more you give your customers and visitors the opportunity to buy, the more they will buy. I know in my own digital stores, as my inventory grew, so did my sale per customer. Take it a step further and hook up an affiliate system to your sales system and you have other people driving traffic to your website.
- Multiple Selling Options – Of course your first and most important sales option is your own website. But you could easily take it a step further and offer your products to other market places. i won’t go into this one too much, as I’ve already covered it in detail in this post: 4 Proven Hotspots to Sell Your Info Products.
Of course I could go on and on, giving you even more reasons why I feel this can be one of the best ways to create a full time income on the internet.
I am not going to say it’s for every one, but it is possible for any one to profit in this way.
And if your wondering, here’s why it’s better than affiliate marketing…
- You Keep All Of the Sale – Besides payment processing fee’s (very small percentage), you keep all of the sale. Unlike affiliate programs where you only receive a percentage of the sale. You’ll be making 95% of the sale compared to 50%-60% of most affiliate programs.
- Instant Cash Flow – Hook up your sales system to a payment processor like PayPal and as soon as some one makes a purchase, the money goes right into your account. No waiting, days or weeks for affiliate payouts. Even better, get yourself a PayPal ATM card and you could put hard cold cash in your pocket only minutes after your customer completes their order.
- You Keep The Customers – One big drawback to promoting affiliate programs is, once you send them the customer, that customer is gone. While some programs offer systems that track repeat or future sales, usually it’s a one time shot. When you sell your own products, your customers are your customers. And what about growing a customer email list? Just think what a list of buying customers would be worth over time. Lot’s buddy, lots.
- Repeat Traffic and Sales – When you build up your own system or store, the customers will come back to you, not the affiliate program. They will buy again from you. And believe me they will if you do it right, quality products and outstanding customer support. Heck, provide great customer service and that alone will set you far ahead of many marketers. Sorry, but it’s kinda true.
Of course I am not saying to drop affiliate marketing altogether, if that’s what your doing. I am only saying, here is another stream you really should look into. If anything it could be an added income stream putting more money in your bank account.
And who’s to say you couldn’t promote affiliate programs within your digital products? Hmm….
I wouldn’t be doing this post justice if I did not mention, while I think this can be one of the most powerful models on the net, it won’t work for you if you don’t start and keep going. My favorite say has always been… “If it’s going to be, it’s up to me”. Which I believe was said by Robert Schuller. Either way, it’s more true than most people realize.
Off my soap box now.
Okay, over to you, anything to add? Opinions? Comments?
I’d love to hear what your thinking… comment below…