2. Main Benefits of Affiliate Marketing for Beginners
There are many benefits for newcomers to affiliate marketing, but the first — and perhaps the most important — is that you don’t have to go through the lengthy and costly process of creating your own product to sell.
The sorts of things that sell very well online are quite often digital products, e.g. e-books, online courses, and software. Any of these takes a lot of time and skill to create, not to mention, money.
But if you’re not a proficient writer, then you might struggle to create an e-book that people are happy to pay for.
Likewise, if you’re not a programmer, you can’t make the next must-have piece of software. And if it’s a physical product you want to sell you’ll need to learn the entire manufacturing process.
If you don’t have the skills to develop your own product you have two options…
The first is to learn the necessary skills or just to work hard to overcome your limitations. You might write and rewrite your e-book for instance, get it proofread, rewrite it again, proofread again, then rewrite once more. But it will be a slow process. You could learn to code meanwhile, or you could learn how products are designed and created. Whatever, it’s hugely time-consuming.
The other option is to outsource the entire process. If you can’t write/program/design, then you can find someone who can by going onto sites like UpWork, Elance or People Per Hour. So is this a good strategy? Well yes, it can be, but it usually requires a pretty big upfront investment and outsourcers have to be managed very closely to ensure they deliver exactly what you want and in the timescales you want.
But here’s the thing: even after all that, you can never know for certain if a product is going to sell or not. In other words, you could spend months and hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands of dollars creating your product, and find no one wants to buy it. This will leave you at a huge loss and you’ll have to give up or sink even more money into yet another untested idea.
Smart business nous will tell you instead to use the ‘fail fast’ approach. This means testing as many ideas and products as you can, to begin with, to see what sticks and not committing yourself financially to any project unless you have clear evidence that it’s going to be successful.
This is where affiliate marketing comes into its own…
As a beginner, if you fail with affiliate marketing, you lose nothing so you can keep trying different products until you find the one you’ll profit from best.
And even better, with affiliate marketing…
You can pick a product that’s already selling well and that’s already getting amazing reviews. You can literally find someone online who is making a killing from selling an affiliate product and then you can promote that exact same product knowing that it’s possible to get rich from that strategy.
When you sell your own product and it’s not making the money you hoped for, you may find you can’t tell whether it’s the product or your marketing strategy that’s holding you back. But with performance-based affiliate marketing you already know that the product works, so it’s just a matter of finding the best way to promote it.
Now there are scenarios where it does make sense to create your own product and ultimately this gives you more freedom and flexibility and potentially more profit. But for a lot of people, particularly beginners and those with little or no money to invest, affiliate marketing makes much more sense.
And there’s definitely money to be made with affiliate marketing…
While nearly 40% of affiliate marketers earned below $5K in 2013 and used it purely as a secondary source of income, 50% earned at least $10K a year, 20% were on $50K+, and the top earners earned as much as $500K per annum. Not bad at all! (Source: Three Ladders Marketing).
And don’t forget…
You don’t have to ‘sell’ the product. You don’t have to worry about order fulfillment, i.e. receive, process and deliver orders to the end customer. You don’t have to take care of customer support, i.e. queries, complaints, returns, chargebacks, etc. The vendor / merchant takes care of all that, making it ideal for beginners.
Summary of Benefits of the Affiliate Marketing Model for Beginners
- Unlimited income potential.
- Unlimited opportunities.
- Very little in start-up costs.
- Fairly easy technical set-up with no technical knowledge required because of the availability of free tools, such as WordPress, to easily build affiliate websites.
- No advanced marketing skills are required, — online marketing has a specific set of skills that can be learned by anyone in a fairly short time.
- Plenty of support from online forums.
- Can be started and done around a day job.
- Potential freedom from punching a time clock.
- Pride in accomplishing something extraordinary.
- No need to create a product or service.
- No shipping hassles.
- No direct dealing with customers.
- So, a great opportunity for newbies.