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  1. #1
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    Can Affiliate Marketing Be Used to Fund A Business?
    Hey all, I have a question. I am not sure if this is the correct forum for it or not though, this site has so many forums it's confusing! Anyhow, I am 23 and want to start my own business right now, but I have a few obstacles to overcome. One is the money required to start it

    Now I can't rely on family for any money for the business, and no venture capitalist or anything would give me money for my business idea (and even if so, I don't think I'd like the idea of trading off ownership of my business for $$$) so I will either have to get a loan or find some other means. I was told for a loan, one must have good credit, good income, and good employment history. Well I have none right now, I have to build up my credit and employment history, so that shouldn't be too big of a problem, but the "good income" part may be, as I don't yet have a college degree. On the one hand, I know a good degree will help me get a good job to bring in more $$$ to save up, on the other hand, it will also help me rack up a lot of debt I'd rather avoid. However, I don't think it's very possible to get a good income without a college degree, not without some serious time on the job anyhow.

    I like programming a lot, so I was thinking of learning Affiliate Marketing to create an income to help raise money for my business, but I mean is that a realistic goal? I know AM is no magic bullet, that it takes lots of hard work and so forth to be successful, but would I be able to generate a income to help me start a business from it provided I work very hard at it, or should I stick to other means of financing?

    Becoming a successful entrepreneur is a primary dream of mine, so I don't mind working hard to raise the money, but I don't know if AM is the right way to go or not.

    I was figuring I could work regular jobs and then also work at coding good websites and at AM, generate a decent side income, and then save that money to start the business and for personal savings, but I just don't know if that's a realistic goal or not. I know AM itself is a business system, so it's kind of like "starting a business to fund a business" in a sense.

    I also have thought of maybe starting an ecommerce business, very small initially, then building it up, to fund my main business idea, that I am unsure of too.

    One thing I am also wondering is, I know it takes a load of time and work to build the sites and optimize them and get them making $$$, but what about maintenance? How much time does that take? IMO, it would seem kind of wrong to spend all sorts of time building up a successful AM business model, but then having to let it go down the drain in order to start up another business? How much time does maintenance of the sites require, because while starting another business takes loads of time and energy, I would maintain the sites if I could.

    I just feel kind of "down-and-out" right now, because I don't want to work a regular corporate job. I want financial freedom, but I also love business and entrepreneurship especially; becoming an entrepreneur is not just a means to make a lot of money or be free to me, it is a dream I have, I dream every day of building a very successful company, then selling it, then building another.

    What do you all think? Any suggestions are appreciated.
    Thanks,
    ---Wheels---

  2. #2
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    affiliate marketing is a business in itself. work it right and you may live on it.

  3. #3
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    A successful affiliate marketing business is an end. If you approach it as means to some other end (i. e. your other "secret" business) you will not be putting in the effort (blood, sweat & tears) necesary to become successful at affiliate marketing.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, theres no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

  4. #4
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    If you can become successful enough in affiliate marketing to generate enough cash to start another business, why wouldn't you just keep the cash and stick with affiliate marketing? The benefits are tremendous. You have far more flexibility and potential than in just about any brick and mortar business.
    Michael Coley
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  5. #5
    CPA Network Rep Jon@Fluxads's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    If you can become successful enough in affiliate marketing to generate enough cash to start another business, why wouldn't you just keep the cash and stick with affiliate marketing?
    That was my thought exactly upon reading this. If your ultimate desire is to start this company of yours, then if you are able to generate the capital necessary from affiliate marketing, then by all means, go for it. But if you are looking to this potential company as simply a business venture to make some money, then it would be rather silly to build up success in affiliate marketing, and then leave that to attempt success at something else.

    Affiliate marketing, when done right, is a great way to earn a living.
    [B]Jon Lyons[/B]
    Director of Affiliate Operations
    [EMAIL="jon.lyons@fluxads.com"][SIZE=1]jon.lyons@fluxads.com[/SIZE][/EMAIL][SIZE=1] | 1-877-GO-2-FLUX | [URL="http://www.fluxads.com/"]FluxAds.com[/URL][/SIZE]

    [SIZE=1]LinkedIn: [URL]http://www.linkedin.com/in/jrlyons[/URL][/SIZE]

  6. #6
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    If you can become successful enough in affiliate marketing to generate enough cash to start another business, why wouldn't you just keep the cash and stick with affiliate marketing? The benefits are tremendous. You have far more flexibility and potential than in just about any brick and mortar business.
    The downside to AM though is a certain lack of control.

    I still happily do both, but I love having at least a chunk of my income 100% in my own hands. In affiliate marketing, the mantra "don't put all your eggs in one basket" comes from necessity. Programs close, networks close, conversions change, etc. It comes with the territory. As an entrepreneur, there are other sacrifices, but your fate is at least in your own hands.

    Wheels, if it's a dream, go for it. Your first business can be in affiliate marketing, which, by the way, could just as easily be sold as whatever your envisioned venture happens to be. A marketing business is a business like any other after all.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  7. #7
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    In affiliate marketing, you are basically a business man/woman. You make the best decision and try to get ahead of the pack everyday. It is a full time job for a lot of people.

    IMHO, it depends on what you passion is. I totally agree with what other people are saying as to Affiliate marketing can be an end, not the means.

    On the other hand, do not let this thought limit you to just affiliate marketing. If you think that you want to use affiliate marketing to seed your future company, that is great. If you think you can make more $$ and have affiliate marketing as a stepping stone, go for it. We will never know if you have the next YouTube or MySpace

  8. #8
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eathan
    The downside to AM though is a certain lack of control.
    I do understand what you mean, but I think we look at it differently. With this work that I do, I am in complete control of EVERYTHING that I do. While true that I can't control others (btw, I don't want to), I make every decision about everything that I do (one of which is to diversify).

    In many other businesses, especially where you're employed, or have limited strategic partnerships or make it a full time venture to specialize in one niche / sector, others and circumstances make many decisions for you. Some of necessity and some due to the limits of settling into a specific market or specialization. As an affiliate, I have choices galore and the ability to cross my marketing skills into MANY different sectors and situations. That freedom, that can also yield diversity, removes boredom and the constraints of many typical career situations.

    I sell satellite tv, bibles and lingerie. I'm bigger than walmart in scope of products, yet my business fits in a single cardboard box.

    While others can certainly make choices that affect me, I make ALL of mine - try to tell me what to do with my time, and well... see my avatar for my typical reaction.

    As a general rule (there are exceptions of course), people who are succesful in affiliate marketing really dislike others telling them what to do - and they love affiliate marketing for exactly that reason.

    To have control, you need flexibility and autonomy. Affiliates are drowning in an abundance of both. In fact, it's true to such an extent that it's a problem for most newbies... where to start, what to do, how to promote... there are so many choices available, that many who need structure, get lost and can't find their way.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the replies!

    The reason I would leave behind the AM (if used) is because I intend, in the long run, to become very wealthy (that is a goal of mine, like eight figures or nine figures net worth), and while AM is a great way to make a living if done right, I do not think it has the potential to make me a multimillionaire in the long term to that amount (though please correct me if I am wrong!).

    As for "the business," I have various ideas about which business I would start, as it would have to be something I am passionate about but also have the potential to grow large.

    I would disagree on the brick & mortar business not having great potential or flexibility, because if a B&M business is done right, it shouldn't need the owner in it all the time.

    If I start a B&M business, the ultimate goal would be to build it into a franchise, which would mean (making this sound a lot easier than it is), you open the B&M business, work in it, develop systems so that it can run itself without you being there all the time (which allows you to work more on it, than in it per se), you get it profitable (which in itself can take awhile), then you franchise it (or open up another B&M store that is a carbon copy of the original, get it profitable, then franchise), then you have to work at selling and developing the franchise (in terms of marketing, taking care of the franchisees, etc...). It also must be a true labor of love on the founder's part for a project like that.

    Of course if I go that route it is a long-term plan, earning a living beforehand for some years as an AM might be better, I don't know.

    But if you are looking to this potential company as simply a business venture to make some money, then it would be rather silly to build up success in affiliate marketing, and then leave that to attempt success at something else.
    Yeah, it isn't like that, it's more a "I want to become wealthy long-term, but also do it through working a business that I am passionate about building, but also has the potential to generate such wealth if done right" not a, "I want to become wealthy, what business will make me wealthy the fastest" or anything like that, as the latter mindset almost always is doomed to failure from my understanding.

    Also it isn't just about earning a living for me, I really want to build a successful business up, so that is another reason why I would leave the income of the AM if I was/am successful at it, it's just something I want to do.

    I will research AM more, as I need a decent income until I start the business anyhow

    Again thanks,
    ---Wheels---

    EDIT: I see, didn't know one could sell an AM business, that is interesting. I really need to learn more!

  10. #10
    Full Member ske9963's Avatar
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    AM business are bought and sold. I think there is a forum on Webmaster world or somewhere online. You can sell your biz to the highest bidder. if not EBAY
    Ma, where the beer? :escape:

  11. #11
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donuts
    I do understand what you mean, but I think we look at it differently.
    I don't think we look at things all that differently, really. Like I said, I happily do both.

    Becoming a merchant as well as affiliate marketing is just further diversification. Having a retail business with tangible inventory, in addition to our sites, affiliate income, ad sales, domain investments, etc, is another layer of insulation from the ups and downs of life online. My post was referring to the advantage of it also being somewhat free of the whims of other merchants.

    In any case, I wouldn't push one over the other, but neither would I discourage someone from building another business on the back of one they've already built. That seems like a natural part of the entrepreneurial spirit.

    Personally, I hope to keep exploring new businesses for the rest of my life, but I'll also keep pushing affiliate stuff long after I retire from many of the others.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  12. #12
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WheelsRCool
    The reason I would leave behind the AM (if used) is because I intend, in the long run, to become very wealthy (that is a goal of mine, like eight figures or nine figures net worth), and while AM is a great way to make a living if done right, I do not think it has the potential to make me a multimillionaire in the long term to that amount (though please correct me if I am wrong!).
    Why stop at 8 or 9? As long as you're randomly picking goals, why not shoot for 14 figures net worth? Or 65?

  13. #13
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donuts
    Why stop at 8 or 9? As long as you're randomly picking goals, why not shoot for 14 figures net worth? Or 65?
    It's a limitation of Quickbooks. It only goes to 64.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  14. #14
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    I am assuming you were joking Donuts no one is worth more than eleven figures

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador Sam Bay's Avatar
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    It depends how much money you need for your other business. If it's 10K, 20K or even 30K, you can give it a shot and raise that money in 1 year or less. If it's more than half a million, then you need to consider affiliate marketing a as business itself, not just means to another one, and work not only hard but very methodically at it.

    Good luck!

  16. #16
    Classic Rocker Mack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WheelsRCool
    no one is worth more than eleven figures
    Depends on your definition of worth, and to who.

  17. #17
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    Yeah, I don't think my business would need more than half a million to start (I hope!).

    As for net worth, I mean in U.S. dollars. Now Japanese yen or something, maybe it's a different story

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