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  1. #1
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    Hi, new here

    Just wondering if it is possible to be successful in affiliate marketing if you are doing it just partime, ie you also have your 9-5 job.

    Great forum

    Cheers, dolphin

  2. #2
    Affiliate Manager emphimy's Avatar
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    welcome to ABW

    yes its really possible if you read and follow topics on ABW... read more and learn whatever you need to a be successful affiliate marketer

    UtOpiA StiLL uNBorN

  3. #3
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    Welcome dolphin123

    Many people start partime.

    Some end up trashing their day job at some point. You will find many stay at home moms in this biz as well.

    Good luck!

    If you wish to know more - you can't. "For security reasons the only ones allowed to see the profiles are affiliate managers."

  4. #4
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    dolphin123 , Its sure possible ...but you should be ready to put atleast 4 hours/day extra in AM after work and forget about weekends ...

    FYI , i am still keeping my high-paid dayjob as IT consultant even though my so called "parttime" business makes 5x times than my "real" job

    Good Luck ...

    "The Future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their Dreams."

  5. #5
    Schlaumeier cumbrowski's Avatar
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    Welcoem dolphin123...

    Just my 2 cents.

    Most affiliates here are doing it parttime.

    Some make it a full time job later, when they are successful enough to make a living with the affiliate income.

    But be careful before you take the step to make it a full-time job.

    Make sure, that you have a buffer to compensate a dry-up in affiliate commissions for several months.

    Some affiliates got screwed last year, when Google changed their logic so dramatically, that they monthly income was cut by 50%+ virtually over night.

    Also watch your Affiliate Income over a certain period of time (I would say at least a year).

    You will see spikes and drops depending on what you advertise.
    For example: Christmas is heaven on earth for most merchants and affiliates. Revenues increase dramatically. You should not base your projection for future months income based on November and December revenues.

    However, its for part-time and full-time affiliates the same. You have to spend time to be successful over time.

    It's also important to not rely to much on income from a single merchant. They may change the commission structure to your disadvantage or even discontinue their affiliate program and you are screwed.

    Carsten

    Shop-Links.net Partner
    Shop-Links.net

    If you can't move things, try harder!

  6. #6
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    Thanks guys, really appreciated.

    Another question Just wondering how much hard work before the $$ starts coming ? 6 months ? a year ?

    Cheers

    Dolphin

  7. #7
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    It takes a few months before you really get the good income coming in. How long before you can quit your job? That is a difficult question and depends on what you are selling. Some affiliates will never earn enough to make it a primary income, but some can.
    Keep your options open, don't just concentrate on one theme or one type of product. If you have your web site dedicated to one merchant, and if that merchant goes under, you have a major problem.
    Choose what you do carefully, and build build build.

    www.cjshoppingnetwork.com

  8. #8
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    Hello! This is my first post here, and I chose to post in this thread because this is exactly my question as well.

    Actually, I have heard of some really amazing cases where people were able to make a ton of money via affiliate marketing, but I don't know exactly where to start.

    Are there any "good" tutorials, or detailed case studies online (or within this forum) that can help shortne the amount of time to just get on the ground floor.

    Also, are there any "advanced strategy" case studies that anybody knows of for "full-blown" profitable affiliate marketing strategies.

    Thanks in advance for any help.

  9. #9
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    There are no case studies JustT ...

    Succesfull AM people will not give all the details except some outline how it can be done ...

    Basically you find a industry/niche which have the potential for good money but not super competitive , search for good merchants in the niche , create couple of sites exclusively for the merchant and SE optimize for industry kw's (use wordtracker , overture suggestion tool , google adword suggestion tool) and link to it from high PR sites with the right anchor text .

    Dont worry too much about content/design (dosent mean the site should look ugly , the goal here is nothing should distract the buying mood of the user , wheather its the attractiveness or the ugliness of a site ) , just create sites with kw rich sales pitch with a big "Buy Now" link ...

    Wait for a couple of months and evaluate the results , if the approach worked repeat it for other industries ...in no time you will be making record commissions



    "The Future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their Dreams."

    [This message was edited by KoGo on April 19, 2003 at 04:01 PM.]

  10. #10
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    Thanks KoGo! I suppose that it is good that there are no great e-books or case studies on how to make real money in this sphere -- or else too many people would be doing it.

    I still have a few questions (for whomever):

    1. How would I know what is a good niche vs. a saturated niche?

    2. What is the best way to track and evaluate results?

    3. Is there anyplace I can turn to evaluate affiliate programs (e.g. software, stats, etc.)

    4. Does anybody have any URL's of good affiliate sites that have "done things right?"

    5. Are there any particular things in this business to "stay away from?"

    I hope that I don't have too many questions (I actually have more, but I don't want to be overwhelming ;-) )

  11. #11
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    One other quick question -- what is "reasonable" to expect from a site that offers an affiliate program in terms of sales and promotion materials?

  12. #12
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    Newbie,

    Nobody here is going to tell you what a good niche is. What you need to determine is what are your interests and what can you add to the Internet?

    For instance, there are probably thousands of sites selling wireless networking equipment out there. Can you add something that just isn't "me too" or noise?

    A good rule of thumb is stay away from anything that others on this board are involved in. Everybody's reading the same posts and doing the same thing. Find something else.

    As far as case studies, go to the articles section of this site. There is some good stuff down there, but much of its boring and dry.

    NetSweat.com - The Internet's Fitness Resource
    www.netsweat.com

  13. #13
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    JustT,

    It's easy to spot a *saturated* niche--if you look it up in Google there's huge amounts of sites promoting it! As for a good niche, that's a bit trickier. There aren't so many promoting it--the problem is, there are two reasons that there may not be many sites promoting something. 1) The others didn't think of it (This is the GOOD reason). 2) It's an unsaleable dog and everyone knows it but you! Obviously, the second reason means it's a BAD niche. Unfortunately, beyond standard market research and your gut reaction, about the only way to know for sure is to test.

    "Standard market research?" Yeah, check in WordTracker and see if anyone's looking for the product you're thinking about. Then look in Google (or whereever you intend to get traffic from) and see what competition there is--and decide whether you think you can beat that competition's rank well enough to be seen.

    The big way to track and evaluate results is simple: THE BOTTOM LINE. A program's either making money for you or not! Beyond that basic figure, though, I like to know the conversion ratio and how many people are seeing the ad. I usually look at the last two things if a program's bottom line is kind of anemic. I would start looking at the obvious: Is anybody seeing the page(s) the merchant is featured on? If a page is buried at Listing #999 in Google and it's not in Inktomi either it stands to reason that it'll make a lot less money (bottom line) than it could (this is found by looking at page views in your stats, or impressions at the program you're in)! On the other hand, if I find that the page has had 3,000 views in a month but it's making peanuts, then the Conversion Ratio sucks--at which point it's usually time to advertise something else. At places that just state the CR right out (like CJ), I don't have to do so much figuring--it's already calculated.

    On the other hand, if the bottom line is good I usually don't look at anything else unless there's something really odd banging out at me in the reports.

    Stay-away-froms:

    Personally I stay away from sites that have that "basement operation" look. It's kind of hard to describe this...some of them look like a kid's homepage but not always!

    Anything with less than a $2 EPC (at CJ) is avoided no matter how great their stuff looks. Something's fundamentally wrong when they can't do better than *that*... And personally I don't like anything less than $5 EPC, although occasionally I'll run 'em lower than $5 if I think there's a good chance.

    Also avoid:
    Anything that's screaming Fraud at you! EPCs hopping up and down like jumping beans, sites that look like they've been ported over from Geocities, product pitches that are BS, semi-legal products, Advertiser Detail pages that have a high commish in their text description--and a low commish in the terms table (where it actually counts), and various other things that just reek of FISHY!

    Diversion tactics on their site like, "Call for price", "email for details", and/or ads to other affiliate programs on their site--that THEY'RE a part of (but you get nothing from)! Also avoid it if they have lots of links to their other sites. Leaks are leaks, when it comes down to it...

    As for "parasite-infested" merchants (ones who have places like eBates as 'affiliates'), it's good *in principle* to avoid those--but there are a lot of categories where all the merchants of any note are on some parasite program or another. Be careful when chopping these, that you don't end up cutting off your own nose! Let your own stats be your guide when looking at merchants you've had for a while.

    -I've been a king, and I've been a pauper, and everything there is in between ~T.G. Sheppard. NOT Frank Sinatra!

  14. #14
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> A good rule of thumb is stay away from anything that others on this board are involved in. Everybody's reading the same posts and doing the same thing. Find something else. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I'm not sure if this is advice to help me, or the other members of this forum. I would imagine that if the knowledgeable people here have chosen a certain niche that there must be something good about it --- no?

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>As far as case studies, go to the articles section of this site. There is some good stuff down there, but much of its boring and dry. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Thank you -- dry and boring is just fine with me. As long as there are facts based on reality in them articles, I am eager to read through them.

    ===============================================

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>...beyond standard market research and your gut reaction, about the only way to know for sure is to test...A program's either making money for you or not!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    That is pretty much what I imagined, but I think that it is human nature to try to find any "short-cut" that there may be. For example, I think that your following advice is really helpful:



    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I like to know the conversion ratio and how many people are seeing the ad. I usually look at the last two things if a program's bottom line is kind of anemic. I would start looking at the obvious: Is anybody seeing the page(s) the merchant is featured on? If a page is buried at Listing #999 in Google and it's not in Inktomi either it stands to reason that it'll make a lot less money (bottom line) than it could (this is found by looking at page views in your stats, or impressions at the program you're in)! On the other hand, if I find that the page has had 3,000 views in a month but it's making peanuts, then the Conversion Ratio sucks--at which point it's usually time to advertise something else. At places that just state the CR right out (like CJ), I don't have to do so much figuring--it's already calculated.

    On the other hand, if the bottom line is good I usually don't look at anything else unless there's something really odd banging out at me in the reports.

    Stay-away-froms:

    Personally I stay away from sites that have that "basement operation" look. It's kind of hard to describe this...some of them look like a kid's homepage but not always!

    Anything with less than a $2 EPC (at CJ) is avoided no matter how great their stuff looks. Something's fundamentally wrong when they can't do better than *that*... And personally I don't like anything less than $5 EPC, although occasionally I'll run 'em lower than $5 if I think there's a good chance...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    And the best advice of all:



    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>...Let your own stats be your guide when looking at merchants you've had for a while.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    There I have another question, beyond EPC, total visits, and CTR, are there any other stats that I should stay "in-tune" with?

    Also, are there many programs taht pay on CPA vs. CPC basis?

    Also, speaking of parisites, how is the best way for me to know when, how, or even if I am loosing from parisite merchants?

    These probably seem like rudimentary questions, but that's where I am at with this stuff right now. Yet, I am hoping to learn what I can before spending a ton of time and money "barking up the wrong trees." I appreciat the help :-)

  15. #15
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    A good niche for person A is not always a good niche for person B.

    A person who is good in promoting gambling programs might find difficulties promoting finacial programs. A person who make a lot selling shoes might not be able to sell some satelite DSL ... and more

    You just need to try and try and try and try ...

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador Nova's Avatar
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    Hi Just T,
    Welcome to ABW community!

    The best way to find out about Parasite is to check the Parasite Forum and you will find a lot of usefull advice and you will know alot about it and I am not sure, but I think they also have the script there to let your user know that they are infected with parasite.
    Not sure where the links is but you will find huge amount of help. Cusimano Script have great script to help you and they are always there to answer your question.

    I will suggest to read that forum first!
    that way you will be ready to deal with other stuff with an advantage to block this pest!

    No body likes them and read about Ebates, Gator, WhenU, forum to help you understand more about diversion of commission.

    Check out the Merchants Forum, they have Affiliate Manager that will give you support also.

    We have been doing this business for almost a year now (next month 1st year anniversary on affiliate marketing). And we are so gratefull that we found (i did ) ABW, or we will be picking up change!

    This place is awesome for Newbie and you will find that out for your self.

    and last one, build build build! Don't put all your eggs on one basket!

    Good Luck and just ask question and read read read!


    "God Bless the United States Arm Forces"

    Thank god for them protecting us and live our life safely in a daily basis!
    Love Life to the fullest. we only get ONE chance! :-) !

  17. #17
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    I wish I had seen leader's advice earlier

    "As for "parasite-infested" merchants (ones who have places like eBates as 'affiliates'), it's good *in principle* to avoid those--but there are a lot of categories where all the merchants of any note are on some parasite program or another. Be careful when chopping these, that you don't end up cutting off your own nose! Let your own stats be your guide when looking at merchants you've had for a while."


    That was a mistake I made. I dropped all merchants with ebates then found I don't have many merchants left that can convert.. especially in the categories I deal with. Oh well.. live and learn.

    Thanks Leader.

  18. #18
    ABW Veteran jc101's Avatar
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    Welcome dolphin123 to abestweb!, It is 100% possible to be successful. The members of this forum give very valuable advice. Also I agree with leader's advice especially: this paragraph.
    posted April 19, 2003 07:17 PM
    JustT,

    It's easy to spot a *saturated* niche--if you look it up in Google there's huge amounts of sites promoting it! As for a good niche, that's a bit trickier. There aren't so many promoting it--the problem is, there are two reasons that there may not be many sites promoting something. 1) The others didn't think of it (This is the GOOD reason). 2) It's an unsaleable dog and everyone knows it but you! Obviously, the second reason means it's a BAD niche. Unfortunately, beyond standard market research and your gut reaction, about the only way to know for sure is to test.

    That's the Key to be successful. Try merchants that are small, and/or don't use parasite/spyware methods. Some good one's are Mondera, and Tiger Direct. Also make sure you test new merchants. And use your stats to a advantage (Search engine referrals) from keywords. Use wordtracker, They are the best you can use! Be unique and don't be afried to try something new! Stay away from Merchants that have dead links all the time or are down off and off every week. Check your links weekly.

    Follow womanht,leaders, and everyone's advice here and you will be successful. Besides it's fun affiliate marketing and why not? would you rather work on this and perhaps trash your 9-5 job once you get to be successful! or work for someone else for 40 years or more?

    Jason
    Santa Cruz

  19. #19
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    This is a great thread with a LOT of helpful advice. I am very impressed with the helpfulness of everyone here.

    I still have lots more questions, but for now I am going to go and do a lot of reading or articles, threads on parasiteware, and threads from the different merchants.

    One more question that I have before starting my "reading journey" is, how important is it to build affiliate sites around products that I know about vs. sites with good EPC, visits, and CTR?

    Also, is it better to build affiliate sites that pay for sales vs. pay for traffic vs. pay for some other action (like filling out a form)?

    Thanks for the help.

  20. #20
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    JusT,


    I think you're best bet is get completely off of the web, go to your library, and read up on running a business.

    Until you even worry about merchants, you need to develop a business plan and figure out how you're going to execute it.

    I absolutely, positively start off with something you know about - otherwise how are you going to what to build your business plan around?


    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I would imagine that if the knowledgeable people here have chosen a certain niche that there must be something good about it --- no?
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Why would you compete against someone with more knowledge than you? Unless you truly think that you can outperform somebody else, stay away. The web is saturated with me-too affiliate sites that barely cover the hosting costs.

    Time and time again, the businesses that perform the best are the ones that are not cookie-cutter businesses.

    NetSweat.com - The Internet's Fitness Resource
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  21. #21
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Until you even worry about merchants, you need to develop a business plan and figure out how you're going to execute it.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    That's exactly opposite of my philosophy~!

    The problem with that is that many would-be businesses never get past the planning stage. They get hung up on the details instead of ever hitting GO!

    Personally I found nothing wrong with getting right into the nitty gritty first. A business plan isn't worth much if you don't know anything about the *particular business* in question anyway! I'd barge in now and worry about the specifics later. Just don't rack up a bunch of debt and things should be okay. Domains are cheap--if at first you don't succeed, try again!

    As for making a plan later, I did make one under duress (got goaded into it) but have both exceeded the projected earnings and changed part of my business model. So it didn't end up being worth much except as a bit of a motivator by giving a target to beat...the premises it was based on went obsolete before the year was out. I have not suffered by not bothering to do that exercise again.

    As for promoting only what you know about, that's a very limiting method! Personally I sell everything that I think has a chance of selling!! All I need to know about a product is how to code the pay link. Add a few facts (you can find those facts on the merchant site, then reword them into your writing style), 2 scoops of Sales Pitch , and a CLICK HERE and you're rollin'... and once you look at the merchant site enough to write the pitch you'll tend to pick up a few things about the product anyway.

    If you know about something both popular and unsaturated, it would work to a point. I say "to a point" because when there's thousands of things you can sell, to only limit yourself to the percentage of items that is already in your head is just crippling your own opportunities!

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Also, is it better to build affiliate sites that pay for sales vs. pay for traffic vs. pay for some other action (like filling out a form)?
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Personally I like pay-per-sale. Sale commissions are usually bigger than lead commissions, and there's also lots of things to sell so you can almost certainly find some that you do well at! (On the other hand, *lucrative* lead programs seem to be concentrated in only a few industries. Fine if you're good at pushing that stuff...lousy if you're not.)

    As for pay-per-click...Pbbbt! A few cents/click, not worth my time & trouble.

    All of this is In My Opinion, of course.

    -I've been a king, and I've been a pauper, and everything there is in between ~T.G. Sheppard. NOT Frank Sinatra!

  22. #22
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    dolphin

    what I did was start off part time, trying out a few markets and site designs until I found something that worked

    when I had found a winner, I started taking time off work, 1 week at a time to work non-stop on building 1 new site (those sites are still making money 3 years later)

    when the sites started earning enough to live on, I quit the boring 9-5 job

    I agree with Leader, don't spend forever making plans. I keep all my plans on 1 page of A4, anything more than that confuses me and when you're free to do your own thing (with no managers, no pointless deadlines and paperwork, no meetings and other timewasting) you don't need to go over the top with 'planning'

    get some cheap reliable hosting - I noticed the other day that i1internet.com are doing a very cheap 'lite' package, and they're a reliable host - don't use the 'too good to be true' hosting offers you see out there, and no free hosting

    try out a few ideas, different markets - maybe 1 will work, different site designs - maybe 1 will get some traffic. once you find something that works, start building more like it, and some more that aren't

    it's not for everyone, but you can make money, not everyone does of course but I guess that's the same in any business

  23. #23
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
    The problem with that is that many would-be businesses never get past the planning stage. They get hung up on the details instead of ever hitting GO!
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    The problem with MOST failed and underperforming businesses is that they never had a clue as to where they were going in the first place.

    Sure anybody can sign-up to CJ, register a domain and have a web site up and running in less than a week. None of that means, however, that the person running it has much of a clue as to how its going to make money. Worse yet, they don't have a clue as to how to defend their cash flow.

    A business plan does not have to be pages and pages - in fact, if it is, than its probably way too vague. It should, however, contain a clear strategy, a methodology for how the business is going to reach certain goals, and an understanding of how the business is going to defend its market share.

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  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador phillyburbs's Avatar
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    Netsweat:
    Bingo. Many sites could have a 1/2 page business plan and that would help immeasurably!

    Karl Smith
    phillyBurbs - Your Internet Starts Here

  25. #25
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    Leader:

    I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for writing my business plan. Now, I feel a trmendous sense of relief that I no longer have to address that chore. You've given me a clear head.

    "If I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself." Bob Hope

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