Thinking about getting started in the online business field? Well give me five minutes and I’ll let you in on a the secret of what NOT to do during your first year. How do I know what not to do?
Well because I did it of course.
After getting all pumped up from the book Strategic Affiliate Marketing by Simon Goldschmidt (a great read that is still relevant today) I decided to go “all-in” and join an affiliate program called “All Advantage”. Once approved I did everything Simon told me to do. I looked over their product and margins, did some preliminary market research, purchased a website and wrote focused articles on one software product called the “Mega Site Builder” which promised an all-in-one website solution for e-commerce customers. After patiently waiting a few months later I received my first check by mail and officially hooked.
So what did I do then folks? Did I focus all my energy on building up this niche to become filthy rich from the still-young website building business?
No way! That would be WAAAY too easy.
What I did next was went out and joined every affiliate programs that showed up in my e-mail and proceeded to try to market every one of their products. My thought was that the more products and programs I joined would naturally lead to more money. It was so simple. I couldn’t wait to be swimming in my own swimming pool of money like Scrooge McDuck.
So I waited…and waited. And while any original Mega Site Builder was still making money (although sales were declining due to lack of content) none of my new ventures were panning out AT ALL! By the end of Year 1, I was expounding tons of energy to eek out a few measly dollars on hundreds of products. Worst part was: any profit from the Mega Site Builder had all but dried up.
Focus Like a Laser
My point is: if you’re thinking about running an online business – or any business for that matter – you must learn to FOCUS. By attempting to market a bunch of different unrelated products on a shoestring budget, I was fragmenting my efforts, making no money and running myself ragged in the process. I learned the hard way that you only have so much time and energy, you’ll need to focus on a profitable niche if you want to be successful.
FOCUS on finding one or two established affiliate program, one that pays a good return on time and provides protections against affiliate leaches like RetailMeNot.com. Learn about their products, find a niche that interests you and find out everything you can about them.
Get to know the target market and start FOCUSING on the magazines and websites they read. That way it will be so much easier to write good copy in order to pull them in. A ready customer wants to be convinced and it so funny how they can instantly recognize if the website or article is written by someone who is actually knowledgeable and (hopefully) passionate.
Information overload is one of the prime reasons that aspiring online entrepreneurs give up before getting started. Don’t be like me: Choose one that looks good, run with it and don’t ever look back.