If you are new to affiliate marketing, you will be excited to learn that it is an excellent way to market other people’s products and make a living online. You will be even more excited to learn that affiliate marketing can actually run like a corporate business and you can be the CEO running it. Once affiliate marketing is made to perform like a full force business and involved the entire business functions, it is better known as an Affiliate Business than Affiliate Marketing because it has now grew beyond marketing.
In the past, affiliate marketing required affiliate marketers to perform just the marketing part of it and drive traffics to merchants’ site so that sales could occur. Most affiliate marketers are students, housewives, professionals or retirees doing it on part time basis to supplement their incomes or are finding alternative source of passive income.
However as affiliate marketing evolved and become more complex, there are more opportunities available online today. More and more people are doing it full time and some have even made it as their full-time or day job. One main reason is the low startup cost of setting up an affiliate business online compared to setting up a brick and mortar business establishment. In addition, affiliate marketers are saved from all administrative, payment, logistics and support works thus making affiliate marketing an extremely attractive choice of earning a living online.
Different Ways of Running Affiliate Business
Because of the huge potential in affiliate business, it attracted a group of professional affiliate marketers. They treat affiliate marketing not a part-time income but a real and serious business. They have proper business systems to support their affiliate businesses. Different affiliate businesses owners may adopt different strategies – some build multiple sites and outsource the mundane works while others not only selling other people’s product and/or services but also create their own product and/or services. These professional affiliate marketers are not only marketing savvy but also possess good business sense. They know that it is risky to put all eggs into one basket. There is no guarantee that the affiliate programs will not close down or merchants will exist forever in future so relying them for long-term income is not financial sound option. However, having your own products and/or services will help to cut down such risks and it also provides greater profits and long-term security for their incomes.
Running affiliate business is more complicated than doing affiliate marketing. You need to consider the internal business functions (see below chart for summary) but also external factors like competition, technologies, economic and legal aspects. All of these factors will affect how your affiliate business will be operated.
It requires more business knowledge and skills to run affiliate business so it is not for the faint-heart. If you are interested in affiliate business, be prepared to invest time, money and effort to see it through. Some successful affiliate business owners said it generally takes about a year to two to see real income coming in so be patience. It is critical to set your expectation right at a start so that you have the right perspective and avoid being discouraged too soon.