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  1. #1
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    Affiliate Marketeers Vs Real Businesses - Please Discuss
    It has been claimed again and again in many Internet Marketing forums that there are differences between affiliate marketters and those who run real businesses. Alhough I really cannot see much distinction between the two and I would like your input in this.

    Essentially affiliate are those who mainly earn with sites using SEO and PPC, have no mailing list, product of their own, affiliates of them own, and customer servive of any kind.

    Wheareas those with real business have products of their own, a large mailing list, and affiliates who drive traffic to their sites. They may make little or no money with their frontend product, but populate their backend with affiliate products of other merchants and make much of their money there. Morover, they can count by milking their list from time to time.

    The theory is that a person with a "real business" will have a much stabler income longterm than mere "affiliate marketeers". However, I mainly feel that this applies to info and downloadable products in the money making making niche and I really don't like the idea anyway. I wonder if anubody can give input onto this argument.

  2. #2
    Newbie savvygrind's Avatar
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    If you're earning income that isn't considered a wage then you're running a business. Some have more business savvy than others, thus are more likely to survive the 1 and 5 year hurdle.

    There are some large businesses that sell other people's products i.e. Walmart

    There are others that sell their own product i.e. Apple

    I find that the "Internet Marketing" gurus are selling and upselling their products to each other and newbies.

    They like to put out a lot of propaganda about how you NEED your own product to be successful. They also say you NEED to have a list to make money on the the Internet.

    They remind me of Network Marketers (MLM)...

  3. #3
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Don't see much of an "argument" here. I have a "real business." My business happens to be affiliate marketing. Stable income for the long haul? Yes, it has been providing quite well for the last severl years and I see ho reason for that to change - except to continue growing.

    I eliminate many of the headaches of the "inventory stocking" and/or "direct sales" businesses. I do not have to worry about inventory, mailing lists, employees (I do sub out some tasks and have one part-timer), or the vagaries of a changing market. I keep my sites and server(s) online and can easily "pull the plug" on a company I promote that changes their attitude, service, or whatever. There are myriad products I can promote in many, many niches. I can find things I "enjoy" working with more easily than if I have a certain inventory sitting in the warehouse (or basement or garage) to sell.
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  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    I agree Beach. This topic has been talked about in different ways in previous threads over the past 3 years and comes up pretty much the same each time. I too believe that the future for online marketing is solid, albeit changes are sure to be necessary as the landscape of I-Marketing evolves.

    From my perspective, there are advantages and disadvantages to each - the affiliate and the merchant side. Certainly a merchant (who owns / controls his/her product) has actual hard assets and has more of a "security blanket" in that s/he controls the product, its branding, marketing and future. An affiliate who markets others products / services relies on others (merchants etc) to continue producing products and hopefully continue offering an affiliate program. Where the affiliate is exposed is in the predictability of the future existence of the product and / or affiliate program, commissions and marketability.

    Likewise, a merchant has more of a tangible business in that s/he has actual hard assets in terms of market value should s/he wish to sell the business, so it basically comes down to what a person's long term goals may be.
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  5. #5
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    Sorry, I just want to make it clear. I was a merchant who sold physical products but according to the IM gurus, that would not be considered as a "real business" because I did not have a formula to make it grow indefinitely. For example, I did not have large mailing list or a large army of affiliates.

    Their definition of a "real business" is one that involves the extensive use of a "mailing list", whether you sell your own products or not. However, the most successful marketeers offer their own info product on the frontend and rely on their own affiliates to drive traffic and their site and profit on the backend. Therefore essentially, all the SEO and PPC is done by their affiliates.

    They think that by having an ever growing mailing list and affiliates, that their business can grow indefinitely under every circumstance. I heard this repeated again and again at an IM seminar I attended in Singapore. I even heard an unpleasant argument with one of the attendees.

    It really appears to me that sometimes, people who sell info products in the money making niche are so taken and confident of themselves that they just do not understand that these methods may not work that well in other situations.

    When I was a merchant, promotion by mailing list rarely works. Morover, affiliate sales did not account for a large proportion of sales. This is mainly because with physical products, one cannot offer 75%+ commission that is the norm with indo products.
    Last edited by pdaden; October 6th, 2008 at 09:21 AM.

  6. #6
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdaden
    It has been claimed again and again in many Internet Marketing forums that there are differences between affiliate marketters and those who run real businesses. Alhough I really cannot see much distinction between the two and I would like your input in this.
    There might be many differences between those that do affiliate marketing, and those that do any other kind of businesses, but since I am on this for the long run, I consider what I do (affiliate marketing), to be a real business, otherwise I would not have been wasting my time on this since before Y2k.
    Quote Originally Posted by pdaden
    Essentially affiliate are those who mainly earn with sites using SEO and PPC, have no mailing list, product of their own, affiliates of them own, and customer servive of any kind.

    Wheareas those with real business have products of their own, a large mailing list, and affiliates who drive traffic to their sites. They may make little or no money with their frontend product, but populate their backend with affiliate products of other merchants and make much of their money there. Morover, they can count by milking their list from time to time.
    Other than maybe going thru their sites in order to land on the merchant site, how many newworks can you name, that have products of their own, to sell?

    ...So that means that those networks (that you're thinking about now...) are not a real business, because they don't have products of their own, to sell? (btw, datafeed access, doesn't count as a product to sell... ...)
    Quote Originally Posted by pdaden
    The theory is that a person with a "real business" will have a much stabler income longterm than mere "affiliate marketeers". However, I mainly feel that this applies to info and downloadable products in the money making making niche and I really don't like the idea anyway. I wonder if anubody can give input onto this argument.
    Well, that theory may say that a person with a so called "real business" will have, or may have, a much stabler income longterm than that of a mere "affiliate marketeers", doesn't apply to my way of thinking, because I don't want to have any stabler income, I aim to have a no preset income limit on any of my affiliate marketing endeavours, and so far I still aiming to get there the right, and ethical way, before 2012.

    Theory?
    Theory: A well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of phenomena
    Well, since you wanted some input onto this argument, my first theory was explained above, but...

    If the before it's time to ripe, then... .
    than mere "affiliate marketeers"
    Btw pdaden, I hate that line: "than mere "affiliate marketeers", I am an affiliate marketer, and I run a "real business", even if I don't have a much stabler income on this "real business", yet!

    .




  7. #7
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    Mr Sal, I heard the term "mere affiliate marketeers" from Ewen Chia who is thought to be the top affiliate marketeer for Clickbank.

    What he was referring to was the difference between "affiliate marketeers" and those who has a "real business" in affiliate marketing. The distinction is mainly based on the use of a mailing list.

    People of that mould then to be very young, very confident, and often very rude, condescending and unpleasant. They are indoctrinated with books like "Think and Grow Rich" and "Millionaire Mindset". They think just by having the right attitude, they can just pull millions out of thin air. Also, they think that everybody must do things their way or else they are bound to fail.

    I met quite a number of them at that conference and frankly this is not my cup of tea. I consider some of the stuff taught at that conference quite unethical and unprofessional. Moreover, there was an attempt to brainwash the attendees into buying mentorship courses costing thousands of dollars from the gurus.

    I had a massive run-in with one of the attendees who made highly disparaging remarks about my business which he does not even know.
    Last edited by pdaden; October 6th, 2008 at 09:32 AM.

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    Very obviously, affiliate marketing means you are not a merchant. You do not offer people products. You simply entice people via your beautiful, brilliant websites -- okay, so maybe whatever kind of websites you've got (Mine aren't so beautiful or brillian. LOL!) -- to go to the merchant's website.

    So by definition, we MUST remember we are affiliate marketers, not merchants.

    After you have that firmly figured out (and it sounds like you do), this whole distinction your friends seem to be making between your business and a "real business" is nothing but silly. It's ridiculous to argue the issue.

    A business is a "real business" based on how you treat it, not on someone's cut-and-dried definition written down anywhere between "businesses" and "real businesses." The whole distinction is absurd. If I understand you correctly, it sounds as though the people you hang around with and listen to really aren't getting it.

    If you have any kind of Internet business, whether you're a merchant or an affiliate, you have a "real business" if you choose to make it "real," i.e., you work at it consistently, you devote time to it, you (hopefully) continue to plan and to learn so that your business develops. Ultimately, your goal is to make money and gain that as a reward for your work.

    All the rest are just details that develop as you work at it.

    But for someone to make a distinction between a "business" and a "real business" is just silly.
    Generate more fake news.

  9. #9
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    I agree with writerguy. Making a distinction between a "real" (brick and mortar?) business and affiliate marketing is pretty silly. You could also ask what the difference is between a search engine and a "real" library. Both are useful to the public as evidenced by the fact that both are used.

    As long as I'm making money at this business it's real enough to me (and my creditors and the IRS).

  10. #10
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdaden
    Wheareas those with real business have products of their own, a large mailing list, and affiliates who drive traffic to their sites. They may make little or no money with their frontend product, but populate their backend with affiliate products of other merchants and make much of their money there. Morover, they can count by milking their list from time to time.
    pdaden how do you suppose these supposed "gurus" would define a brokerage house, ad agency or law firm? The product that we have of our own is ourselves. Successful affiliates are skilled marketers and we are as much a "real" business as Macy's. Discussions like this are often started just to provide controversial fodder for those with nothing better to do. Trust me, the 36 hours that I've worked in the past 2 days is as real as it gets.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  11. #11
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    I just want to state again that what the gurus were mainly referring to was just people who are "mere affiliate marketeers" or those who has a "real business in affiliate marketing". It has nothing to do with being a merchant or having a bricks and mortar store.

    Somehow, they think that their model of affiliate marketing is much stable and expandible than normal affiliate marketing method because they use a mailiing list.

    Rematt, please don't get angry with me. I am angry myself because i have just been told by another "guru" in another forum to follow this model. He has made some assumptions about my business that was incorrect.

    I just want to vent my feelings here and just want to see whether other share them or not. Although he did mean well, if I make a negative reply to that, other forum members would pile on me.

  12. #12
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    pdaden I'm not angry with you, or with anyone for that matter. I hadn't interned for my post to sound hostile.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  13. #13
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    "The theory is that a person with a "real business" will have a much stabler income longterm than mere "affiliate marketeers"."

    First, I wouldn't pay too much attention to Clickbank gurus, it'll mess up your DNA.

    I have a business license.
    I pay taxes.
    I'm an independent contractor, an entrepreneur.
    I have mailing list too

    etc.

    I've watched a lot of those real businesses (brick and mortar) go out of business while I'm still in business. That the great thing about this real business, the flexibility. There's always going to be merchants out there that want more traffic, want to make more money/sales. And if you can deliver, you're in business.

  14. #14
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    Those who can do. Those who can't write ebooks.

  15. #15
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdaden
    Mr Sal, I heard the term "mere affiliate marketeers" from Ewen Chia who is thought to be the top affiliate marketeer for Clickbank.

    What he was referring to was the difference between "affiliate marketeers" and those who has a "real business" in affiliate marketing. The distinction is mainly based on the use of a mailing list.
    Ok pdaden,

    I would not blame you for that, but...

    To me!

    Chia = Chia Pet

    top affiliate may = e

    Clickbank , no comment!

  16. #16
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rematt
    pdaden I'm not angry with you, or with anyone for that matter. I hadn't interned for my post to sound hostile.rematt
    You just have to remember that Rematt needs 3 - 4 cups of coffee first thing Monday morning to get his friendly on!!!
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  17. #17
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Hamilton
    You just have to remember that Rematt needs 3 - 4 cups of coffee first thing Monday morning to get his friendly on!!!
    Are you kidding me? I never post until I have at least a pot under my belt (I'm not sure that came out right, but you know what I mean).

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    Google search; define:business

    Definitions of business on the Web:

    * a commercial or industrial enterprise and the people who constitute it; "he bought his brother's business"; "a small mom-and-pop business"
    * commercial enterprise: the activity of providing goods and services involving financial and commercial and industrial aspects; "computers are now widely used in business"
    * occupation: the principal activity in your life that you do to earn money; "he's not in my line of business"

    Not; is it licensed, is it brick and mortar, does it produce a prescribed amount of income, is it growing, is it palatable, etc...

    So under that definition, drug dealing is a business and even a front for illegal activities is a business.

    When it comes to those arrogant "business people" who categorize business as real or not, the terms fraud, shyster, snake oil salesman, quack, and opportunist come to mind. Perhaps the question should be, what is a legitimate business.

    Our business falls within the definition in your OP(not the mailing list and affiliate stuff though). However, income from our product sales exceeds our affiliate commissions. I hope to balance that the other way as I grow the affiliate side.

    But... BUSINESS IS BUSINESS!
    Last edited by Ed Byerly; October 6th, 2008 at 11:59 AM.



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  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    Also, I believe the use of the phrase "real business" in your context is hype and intended to jack up the emotions of attendees/readers to think that THEY could actually have a REAL BUSINESS of their own. Nothing but sales hyperbole...



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  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea
    As long as I'm making money at this business it's real enough to me (and my creditors and the IRS).
    Oh -- you know those guys, too? I thought they were just my BFF??
    Generate more fake news.

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rematt
    I never post until I have at least a pot under my belt (I'm not sure that came out right, but you know what I mean).

    -rematt
    Whoa, that's just a Monday morning thing for you? Sadly, I've had one of those "hanging around" for YEARS, and can't get rid of it.

    (You asked for it. I couldn't resist. I tried. Really I did.)
    Generate more fake news.

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    rematt, new nick for you fuzz pot!



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  23. #23
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by writerguy
    Whoa, that's just a Monday morning thing for you? Sadly, I've had one of those "hanging around" for YEARS, and can't get rid of it.

    (You asked for it. I couldn't resist. I tried. Really I did.)
    I'M WORKIN' ON IT!!!

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Byerly
    Also, I believe the use of the phrase "real business" in your context is hype and intended to jack up the emotions of attendees/readers to think that THEY could actually have a REAL BUSINESS of their own. Nothing but sales hyperbole...

    I think you're absolutely right about that, Ed. If only I had all the money I've spent on ebooks, courses, systems, etc., that I've been so gullible to waste money on. Well -- I'd have a lot more money than I do now!!

    Yeah, one of 'em will still get me from time to time. But I've learned never to waste more than about $10-$15 on the gurus, and then very rarely. So far -- none of 'em have paid off. Just hype.

    Everything I've ever learned about affiliate marketing that has WORKED at all for me, I've learned right here by reading a ton of posts and by PMs and emails from the good people here.

    (I'd make a list of those here who've been my "gurus," but I'm afraid I'd forget someone. )
    Last edited by Ed Byerly; October 6th, 2008 at 12:14 PM.
    Generate more fake news.

  25. #25
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Byerly
    rematt, new nick for you fuzz pot!
    Hey, how about a little more transparency. Like disappear completely Fuzz Butt.

    -rematt

    Sorry for taking this off topic, but I must defend my pot. I worked hard for it.
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

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