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gimmethesimplelife
12-31-11, 12:59pm
Just curious, has anyone here tried affiliate marketing? I am thinking of giving it a go.....The thought of sitting at home and making whatever extra on the side works for me. Especially after the crazy season I had last year at the North Rim, I'm really not sure I'm up for another one at this point. Anyhow, just wondering if anyone has any input into this.....Rob

jp1
1-1-12, 1:09pm
Personally i'd be pretty leery. Of the people i've known who did this the only ones who made any money were people who were willing to turn EVERY interaction with EVERYONE into a selling opportunity. The rest ended up buying an awful lot of the product themselves.

iris lily
1-1-12, 1:10pm
Rob, I don't think there is anything like "sitting at home and making [money] on the side." Anything that requires selling anything is a job, and sitting at home doesn't sell the product or service. I didn't know that "affiliate marketing" is the term for pyramid sales and marketing, but those have been around for decades and I've not know anyone to make real money. And I suspect that those who think they are making money don't have a handle on their costs of operation.

gimmethesimplelife
1-1-12, 5:17pm
Rob, I don't think there is anything like "sitting at home and making [money] on the side." Anything that requires selling anything is a job, and sitting at home doesn't sell the product or service. I didn't know that "affiliate marketing" is the term for pyramid sales and marketing, but those have been around for decades and I've not know anyone to make real money. And I suspect that those who think they are making money don't have a handle on their costs of operation.Hi Iris Lilly and Happy New Year. Basically I would be starting a blog and adding links to products on it.....This is not going to get me rich by any means, but it can be done with zero start up cost and if I pull in a few extra dollars and have some fun blogging on the side, it sounds win/win to me. The way I am setting it up with zero start up costs is a very low barriers to entry kind of thing to do and to drive traffic to my blog is not going to be easy - quite likely things will be hypercompetitive and I am not going to make much money. But I have a topic that matters to me and I am going to give it a try, even if I don't make a dime I am learning more about computers and the Internet.....And I don't care to be swarmy and turn every interaction with everyone into a sales opportunity, when I run across this it really turns me off.....So if I don't make very much I will chalk it up to life experience.....Rob

lhamo
1-1-12, 5:44pm
Rob,

I think it can be an interesting moneymaking opportunity as long as you are linking your wagon to people who offer quality services and have a similar value set to yours. Chris Gillebeau (sp?) has an affiliate marketing program that seems to have helped several people spin off their own businesses -- for example, I think Sean Ogle started as one of his affiliates, but soon was actually doing a lot of his IT work. Chris also seems to do very well with the products he develops, that fit a real niche, and he gives his affiliates a decent cut of the sales. His model seems to be more ethical and sustainable than many of the internet "get rich quick by blogging" stuff out there.

If you are serious about this, I would focus on learning from the people who seem to have made a viable go of internet marketing without totally devolving into snake oil sales. I'm thinking Trent Hamm at the Simple Dollar (he has some cheap but useful blogging materials for sale), J.D. Roth at Get Rich Slowly, and CHris G. Maybe Ramit Sethi -- he can be a pretty stong sell for his programs, but they do seem to be good value and his ideas about focusing on building a business that will actually earn you real money are much more realistic than some of the more "do what you love"-ish types. Avoid people who say "you can get rich quickly by becoming a successful blogger and then selling your ideas about how to blog to others. that ship has already left the port and there are many, many people drowning in the wake of the boat.

I hope you can find a way to make this work for you -- or at least find another food service job that isn't so toxic! You might think about heading to Seattle or Portland to check out opportunities there. Lots of interesting new restaurants and maybe you could find one that would be a better fit than the dysfunctional park service work.

lhamo

puglogic
1-2-12, 2:17pm
Rob, my books say I made about $1000.00 in affiliate income last year, and I didn't work very hard at it. Go for it! As Ihamo suggests, Ramit Sethi is good to read, Chris Guillebeau, Chris Brogan (brilliant) and somebody I have a love/hate relationship with, Johnny B. Truant. They'll give you the straight story. Chris Guillebeau's free (and not-free) e-books are very instructive. Good luck!

ljevtich
1-4-12, 9:19pm
Just curious, has anyone here tried affiliate marketing? I am thinking of giving it a go.....The thought of sitting at home and making whatever extra on the side works for me. Especially after the crazy season I had last year at the North Rim, I'm really not sure I'm up for another one at this point. Anyhow, just wondering if anyone has any input into this.....Rob

I have a website (tried the blogger, wordpress and other free sites, but they were no good for me, however they might work for you.) and I had tried affiliate marketing. I still have some ads on old web pages that I have to go in and revamp to make them look like my newish format.


... Basically I would be starting a blog and adding links to products on it.....

OK, first off, if you are just starting a blog, then no one knows about it, therefore, no affiliates will want to be on a non-tested or trackable website. What I would suggest instead, is to work on the blog, get it into the search engines, work on it every day, put in the keywords and tags and RSS feeds and Facebook Likes, and market it constantly - on your signature line wherever you post, telling friends about it, maybe even a Facebook page.

Go with some sort of website analytics so that you know how many unique hits you are getting to the site. This will become important when you start to get into the affiliates.

You can always do the research that they posted as well, but I am sure those marketers will tell you to have your own domain name, not a blogspot name. That usually costs money, then to have it hosted will cost money, but one of the things that you CAN do is get into Google Adsense. You put ads on your site that earn you pennies every time someone clicks the links.

http://www.laura-n-sasha.com/Google.html This is my own website, and I have an article about Google's Adsense. On the right is my one and only affiliate link, to 1and1.com, the place where I host my website. I have been a client for over 9 years. and they are very good. That said, I have hardly ever gotten money from an affiliate link, I think back when I was creating websites for clients (2003-2007) I made ~ $100. Maybe!

But I was just starting my business, and just starting my website, so it takes a while.


This is not going to get me rich by any means, but it can be done with zero start up cost and if I pull in a few extra dollars and have some fun blogging on the side, it sounds win/win to me. The way I am setting it up with zero start up costs is a very low barriers to entry kind of thing to do and to drive traffic to my blog is not going to be easy - quite likely things will be hypercompetitive and I am not going to make much money.

Realistically, you need to put some money into the website with hosting and a domain name. I pay $80 or so for the year and Google Adsense and Amazon pay me ~ $120 a year. I really Really tried with Blogger - still have ads up there for sure, BUT none and I mean NONE of them paid any money.

I had some affiliate aggregate company (can't remember the name, but Google bought them out) where I would pick companies, then apply to become an affiliate for them (LONG Process!) and then the ones that I really wanted would say that I did not bring in the traffic and would deny me for being their affiliate. Now, I did get to be an affiliate for some companies, but (quite honestly) the ads were annoying and they would load before the rest of the page would. Someone with slow internet speeds would be not too thrilled to be on the site.

So I put the ads on the site, and placement is everything of course, so putting them on the right like I did was actually the wrong thing to do. Most folks will make their website too wide, and then the ads are lost on the side. So OK, put them in with the text, but then you have to continually be moving them around while you write your blog.

And then of course
A: Even if folks do see your ads, not only do they have to click on the ad, they have to BUY something. And most people - buy from Amazon or a general type of store like Walmart.

B. For me, I have a frugal - ish kind of website. I show people that they can live our lifestyle if they want by showing people our expenses. I don't buy much stuff and we live in an RV. And most of the companies that have affiliates for RV Travel, etc., I would not buy nor endorse, so that makes it tough. It is the ethics question.

C. You have to continually make changes to the ads to keep them fresh and new. I was not interested in that after a while, I just wanted to do my website.

D. (Most important!) If you have Safari as your browser (those with Apple products do!), there is a button that takes away all of the ads (called Reader). And other browsers are doing something similar.

E. People do not even realize websites have ads anymore. They do not "see" them, and therefore they will not click on them.


But I have a topic that matters to me and I am going to give it a try, even if I don't make a dime I am learning more about computers and the Internet.....And I don't care to be smarmy and turn every interaction with everyone into a sales opportunity, when I run across this it really turns me off.....So if I don't make very much I will chalk it up to life experience.....Rob

There are definitely some folks out there that are MLM folks, and I would be wary of them for sure.


Rob, my books say I made about $1000.00 in affiliate income last year, and I didn't work very hard at it. Go for it! ... They'll give you the straight story. Chris Guillebeau's free (and not-free) e-books are very instructive. Good luck!

I am impressed puglogic - How long has your website been up and doing business? I do think that it is good to read some of these guys books but do not buy their stuff. If you have to buy something, then you know it is too good to be true.

I did do some serious marketing back ~ 2003-2007 when I had my own business, and a company website, but the www.Laura-n-Sasha.com website I have had since 2005 (with all of its different renditions) and I typically get ~ 7,000 unique hits a month. I wish I could get a little bit more for the ads on the site, but I am happy with getting anything at all. Someday it will be perfect, with all of the pages working and looking the same…Maybe a resolution for 2012.

Like I said, get the blog going first, I'm sure we'd all like to see what you have to say. Good Luck

gimmethesimplelife
1-5-12, 3:30am
I have a website (tried the blogger, wordpress and other free sites, but they were no good for me, however they might work for you.) and I had tried affiliate marketing. I still have some ads on old web pages that I have to go in and revamp to make them look like my newish format.



OK, first off, if you are just starting a blog, then no one knows about it, therefore, no affiliates will want to be on a non-tested or trackable website. What I would suggest instead, is to work on the blog, get it into the search engines, work on it every day, put in the keywords and tags and RSS feeds and Facebook Likes, and market it constantly - on your signature line wherever you post, telling friends about it, maybe even a Facebook page.

Go with some sort of website analytics so that you know how many unique hits you are getting to the site. This will become important when you start to get into the affiliates.

You can always do the research that they posted as well, but I am sure those marketers will tell you to have your own domain name, not a blogspot name. That usually costs money, then to have it hosted will cost money, but one of the things that you CAN do is get into Google Adsense. You put ads on your site that earn you pennies every time someone clicks the links.

http://www.laura-n-sasha.com/Google.html This is my own website, and I have an article about Google's Adsense. On the right is my one and only affiliate link, to 1and1.com, the place where I host my website. I have been a client for over 9 years. and they are very good. That said, I have hardly ever gotten money from an affiliate link, I think back when I was creating websites for clients (2003-2007) I made ~ $100. Maybe!

But I was just starting my business, and just starting my website, so it takes a while.



Realistically, you need to put some money into the website with hosting and a domain name. I pay $80 or so for the year and Google Adsense and Amazon pay me ~ $120 a year. I really Really tried with Blogger - still have ads up there for sure, BUT none and I mean NONE of them paid any money.

I had some affiliate aggregate company (can't remember the name, but Google bought them out) where I would pick companies, then apply to become an affiliate for them (LONG Process!) and then the ones that I really wanted would say that I did not bring in the traffic and would deny me for being their affiliate. Now, I did get to be an affiliate for some companies, but (quite honestly) the ads were annoying and they would load before the rest of the page would. Someone with slow internet speeds would be not too thrilled to be on the site.

So I put the ads on the site, and placement is everything of course, so putting them on the right like I did was actually the wrong thing to do. Most folks will make their website too wide, and then the ads are lost on the side. So OK, put them in with the text, but then you have to continually be moving them around while you write your blog.

And then of course
A: Even if folks do see your ads, not only do they have to click on the ad, they have to BUY something. And most people - buy from Amazon or a general type of store like Walmart.

B. For me, I have a frugal - ish kind of website. I show people that they can live our lifestyle if they want by showing people our expenses. I don't buy much stuff and we live in an RV. And most of the companies that have affiliates for RV Travel, etc., I would not buy nor endorse, so that makes it tough. It is the ethics question.

C. You have to continually make changes to the ads to keep them fresh and new. I was not interested in that after a while, I just wanted to do my website.

D. (Most important!) If you have Safari as your browser (those with Apple products do!), there is a button that takes away all of the ads (called Reader). And other browsers are doing something similar.

E. People do not even realize websites have ads anymore. They do not "see" them, and therefore they will not click on them.



There are definitely some folks out there that are MLM folks, and I would be wary of them for sure.



I am impressed puglogic - How long has your website been up and doing business? I do think that it is good to read some of these guys books but do not buy their stuff. If you have to buy something, then you know it is too good to be true.

I did do some serious marketing back ~ 2003-2007 when I had my own business, and a company website, but the www.Laura-n-Sasha.com website I have had since 2005 (with all of its different renditions) and I typically get ~ 7,000 unique hits a month. I wish I could get a little bit more for the ads on the site, but I am happy with getting anything at all. Someday it will be perfect, with all of the pages working and looking the same…Maybe a resolution for 2012.

Like I said, get the blog going first, I'm sure we'd all like to see what you have to say. Good LuckWow, thanks for all your advice. I will digest this as I get started on this project.....Rob

gimmethesimplelife
1-5-12, 3:32am
Rob,

I think it can be an interesting moneymaking opportunity as long as you are linking your wagon to people who offer quality services and have a similar value set to yours. Chris Gillebeau (sp?) has an affiliate marketing program that seems to have helped several people spin off their own businesses -- for example, I think Sean Ogle started as one of his affiliates, but soon was actually doing a lot of his IT work. Chris also seems to do very well with the products he develops, that fit a real niche, and he gives his affiliates a decent cut of the sales. His model seems to be more ethical and sustainable than many of the internet "get rich quick by blogging" stuff out there.

If you are serious about this, I would focus on learning from the people who seem to have made a viable go of internet marketing without totally devolving into snake oil sales. I'm thinking Trent Hamm at the Simple Dollar (he has some cheap but useful blogging materials for sale), J.D. Roth at Get Rich Slowly, and CHris G. Maybe Ramit Sethi -- he can be a pretty stong sell for his programs, but they do seem to be good value and his ideas about focusing on building a business that will actually earn you real money are much more realistic than some of the more "do what you love"-ish types. Avoid people who say "you can get rich quickly by becoming a successful blogger and then selling your ideas about how to blog to others. that ship has already left the port and there are many, many people drowning in the wake of the boat.

I hope you can find a way to make this work for you -- or at least find another food service job that isn't so toxic! You might think about heading to Seattle or Portland to check out opportunities there. Lots of interesting new restaurants and maybe you could find one that would be a better fit than the dysfunctional park service work.

lhamoLhamo, thanks for the advice and words of encouragement! Rob

puglogic
1-5-12, 11:44am
Hi Laura,

I don't do display ads or Adsense - I only do direct affiliate marketing with specific companies like web site hosting companies, Constant Contact, etc. For example, I have a short list of hosting companies that I think are very good, and when asked I recommend them (not one, but a list of them) to my clients who are starting a web site. I would be referring them anyway - since they are asking - so I feel just fine about that. The minimum payout for any of these is $60.00/referral. So it adds up.

I've also made some money when I recommend specific, helpful books to clients in various ways, or do book reviews, or book lists. When I do this, since I would've made the same recommendation anyway, I don't mind running those links through Amazon Advantage to make a small commission. It costs the buyer no more, and I don't feel the availability of a commission changes my behavior at all. I either stand behind something or I don't.

I'm very careful to examine my motives whenever I enter into an affiliate relationship. I have to really believe in something, and have to know in my heart that the extra incentive to me isn't affecting my decision to recommend it. I'm watching for other opportunities this year, because it's a good supplemental thing that helps pay the rent :)

Rob, good luck expanding into whatever makes your heart and soul feel great!

gimmethesimplelife
1-5-12, 8:19pm
Hi Laura,

I don't do display ads or Adsense - I only do direct affiliate marketing with specific companies like web site hosting companies, Constant Contact, etc. For example, I have a short list of hosting companies that I think are very good, and when asked I recommend them (not one, but a list of them) to my clients who are starting a web site. I would be referring them anyway - since they are asking - so I feel just fine about that. The minimum payout for any of these is $60.00/referral. So it adds up.

I've also made some money when I recommend specific, helpful books to clients in various ways, or do book reviews, or book lists. When I do this, since I would've made the same recommendation anyway, I don't mind running those links through Amazon Advantage to make a small commission. It costs the buyer no more, and I don't feel the availability of a commission changes my behavior at all. I either stand behind something or I don't.

I'm very careful to examine my motives whenever I enter into an affiliate relationship. I have to really believe in something, and have to know in my heart that the extra incentive to me isn't affecting my decision to recommend it. I'm watching for other opportunities this year, because it's a good supplemental thing that helps pay the rent :)

Rob, good luck expanding into whatever makes your heart and soul feel great!Thanks Puglogic! My idea is quite simple really - I would like to start a blog about the uncertainty of the times we live in and without going to extremes - for me this would be moving out to the country buying guns and stocking up on five years of supplies - what can an everyday person do? If I make no money I can live with it - I'd like to pass on some tips and pointers and maybe learn quite a bit myself. If someone buys something and I get a commission, great, if not, at least I am doing my bit to pass some hopefully good information along.....Rob