I’ve been involved in the internet business for about 12 years now. I’ve seen all the drastic shifts and have realized how fast things move on the web. I just finished reading an article on the mindset of affiliates, and it made me think about a how my mindset has shifted over the years.
Affiliate marketing is very lucrative – it is one of the few businesses I have discovered where someone with no skills can come in out of no where and make a living (just by thinking and taking action). At the same time, it is very streaky. You may have a campaign making enough for you to retire one month, and the next you’re barely making enough to cover your expenses.
One thing that is much more stable, I’ve found, is building websites with traffic and then monetizing (whether it is through advertising or ecommerce). I’ve realized that ecommerce has been growing very quick, and is here for the long hall. Look at the growth of eBay and Amazon. They provide millions of products at cheaper prices than you can find in a local store, that you can buy without ever leaving your house. How helpful is that to the consumer?
Having an ecommerce site is very similar to owning your own offer. You can setup an affiliate program for your products, control the prices and margins, ensure uptime, etc. It is also a very long-term campaign. It is a bit different than a pay-per-lead, because most ecommerce affiliate models would be pay-per-sale (as a %, which is often less than 25%).
I’ve found that there is a huge imbalance in various ecommerece markets around the world. China can manufacture and build products for a minute fraction of what the US can, and the Chinese can sell them online and offer free shipping. You’d think US markets wouldn’t be able to compete with that. Surprisingly, they do, at least for now. I think as China improves their services in ecommerce, a lot of current US markets will be taken over. As a consumer, it is cheaper from China (by a large margin), and they can still deliver almost as fast.
I’ve been developing an ecommerce site from scratch for awhile now and the results are quite spectactular. The growth has been enormous, and the possibilities are endless. It is a long term business that has endless potential. I’ve used my knowledge from affilate marketing to build a site from the ground up, buy products, pay for shippng and support, and then advertise to the millions who are interested in our products. The barrier of entry is certainly higher than standard affiliate marketing, but it is almost as lucrative. If you haven’t yet, jump into ecommerce. Just be prepared to work for it.