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I started online as an affiliate. I had no product and I didnt want to make one either.
Truth be told I was too scared, had zero confidence and was worried it wouldnt live up to the expectations of my buyers.
Roll forward three years and Im kicking myself for not creating products sooner.
Are You Still Creating Mountains of Content for Your Niche Sites?
When it comes to ranking in the search engines, quality content thats regularly updated seems to be a recurring trend. Not just any content - good content.
Heres the irony.
While I was too scared to plough time into creating products I spent hours researching and writing my own articles for my little niche blogs.
Sometimes Id create as many as twenty or thirty articles and then drip feed them out.
There was no guarantee the content would convert readers into buyers. There was no guarantee the content would rank in the search engines and there was no guarantee anyone would even read the articles.
Looking back its what I call a waste of time.
Time that would have been better spent turning those thirty articles into a product. One I could give away for free to build my list or (if the information was good enough) sold to create my very own buyers list.
With hindsight I would now have products in the Forex, Fitness and Internet Marketing Niche instead of little blogs that bring in as little as five bucks a month and continue to rise and fall in the search engines.
Do You Have Multiple Lists? Or Any List?
Your database is important. Possibly the most important business asset you can have. There the names and contact details of your enquirers and your buyers.
And from personal experience I can tell you now buyers will by a long shot you more money.
As an affiliate its going to be very, very tough to ever build a list as strong and responsive as that of a product creator.
You have no way to separate the wheat from the chaff and no way to work out which of the thousands on your list and work finding out more about and which are doing nothing more than taking up space and costing you money.
While you should always treat everyone on your list with the utmost respect, only those ready to spend money will pay your bills and put food on the table.
Are You Still Driving Your Own Traffic?
Its the life blood of the internet. There are more traffic-getting courses (and that includes SEO courses) online than any other I know of and the reason is simple.
Everyone is looking for traffic. Thats the job of the affiliate.
As a product creator you can a) do some of the affiliate work and b) easily create an affiliate program so you can have scores of other people playing the search engine game, making you sales and building your database.
It sounds daunting but with so many affiliate networks out there it really is childs play in this day and age. These networks can even handle all your payments and refunds so customer support is close to zero.
The Round Up
After years working hard trying to find hot niches I could invade as an affiliate. After years working to create endless content (or paying for bad content) it is quicker and easier to just make your own products.
They dont have to be big. They dont have to be flash. They just have to solve one little problem and you only need one product to get started.
From there you find out more about what your market wants based on what they buy and what they ask you.
Plus - now that you have a database and responsive email list - its really easy to make money as an affiliate. This is where it really comes into its own.
Use your own product so other people drive traffic. Use your own product to build your list.
Then use affiliate marketing as you backend. At least until you create your own back end product. Because that is where the real money is.