Selling Other People’s Products Vs. Selling Your Own

What is better?

Create and sell your own product, or sell someone else’s and get a commission?

If you’re totally new to online marketing, I would recommend starting with selling another person’s product. We call this business model ‘Affiliate marketing’.

Your job then is to just promote a product, send traffic to your link and get paid a commission for any sales you refer.

This way you can skip the job of creating the product, website, graphics, customer support etc, and just focus on selling.

But is it affiliate marketing really the better business model?

Is it easier, more profitable, more enjoyable to be a product creator/owner or an affiliate?

First, let’s take a look at the Pros and Cons of Affiliate Marketing .…

The Pros:

Low Investment – Both in time and money as it doesn’t take long to find affiliate offers to promote and it also doesn’t cost anything to become an affiliate marketer other than your computer and internet connection costs.

Plenty Of Choice – There are many products that you can promote. In fact, you could probably add ‘too many products to promote’ to the list of cons for an affiliate but we will stick with it being in our favour because we can use top affiliate programs like Zaxaa, JVZoo and Clickbank to find top selling products to promote and if we know of any top marketers who have their own products we might find some gems to promote right under our nose. Wink! Wink!

No Support Or Customer Service – As an affiliate you don’t have to worry about buyers contacting you with their support issues as the product owner will deal with them directly.

The Cons:

You Are Building Someone Else’s Buyers List – A golden rule of affiliate marketing, whilst not set in stone is to build your own list before you promote affiliate offers to them. If you just send cold traffic to an affiliate offer you are likely never to hear from them again and even if they didn’t buy anything, the product owner will have done his best to add them to his list and the ones that did buy will be on his buyers list for future promotions. If you can add them to your list first, then all the better for you.

Bad Product Owner = Bad Business For You – If you find top product owners to promote their products this shouldn’t be too much of a problem as most of them value their reputation, but there are always those that don’t provide great support and this can mean you might lose credibility with your customers. Say you build a list of subscribers and you recommend something to them that proves to be a pile of junk do you think they will be eager to follow more recommendations from you? Of course not! So that is why we need to do our due diligence up front.

No Control Over The Product – As you don’t own the product you have no control over it at all. The owner sets the price and has total control of what’s on the sales page including bonuses. You can add your own bonuses to sweeten the deal and this process is easier on some affiliate platforms than others.

Now, The Pros And Cons Of Being A Product Owner/Seller….

The Pros:

You Are In Control – You have total control over the content of the product, the copy on the sales page and the price you sell it at. You also get to choose which marketplace to sell from or even more than one, the choice is yours.

You Keep All The Money – As the product owner all revenue made from sales goes to you. Well almost all! I say “almost” because you will have to pay a fee to the marketplace you sell from and even if you just add a Paypal buy button to your sales page you still pay a fee to PayPal. There’s always someone who wants a share.  😊

Another thing to consider is that by putting your product up for sale at places like Zaxaa, JVZoo and Clickbank you hopefully will get affiliates promoting your products for you and they will be paid a commission which as owner you set the amount.

Affiliates Can Be Good For You – If you attract lots of affiliates who send lot’s and lot’s of traffic to your sales page you can build a list of buyers but also by using a free offer via an exit pop you can build a list of prospects and then you have an audience for any future products you release.

If your products are top quality your affiliates will be only too happy to promote any future offerings you have.

It Pays To Produce – If you create a great product and you build a list of buyers you are on your way to financial freedom BUT!…

I only said that you are ‘on your way’ and not that you have cracked the code. You still have plenty of work to do but the good news is you now know what needs doing so you can rinse and repeat and as your customer base and your list of affiliates grows so does your wealth. Now, I can’t say that you will go on to be financially free because I don’t know how much work you are prepared to put in, but I will say that if you put the effort in you will reap the rewards.

The Cons:

Requires Investment – Creating your own product to sell takes investment in both time and money and can seem like a daunting task if you don’t really have any experience in Internet Marketing. Firstly, the time required initially will depend on your experience as you research your chosen subject. Secondly, you can’t create a product and put up a sales page for free because you need a professional looking sales page which requires professional looking graphics. Sure, you can throw up a basic page with a sales button, but you are looking long term here so start off as you mean to go on. As part of your research check out other products like yours and see which sales pages catch your eye.

They Need Your Support – You simply cannot afford to provide substandard customer service, or your business will fall flat on it’s face and once you lose them you are very unlikely to get them back. Make sure you keep up to date with support issues because if your customers feel they are being ignored they will go elsewhere. If you can afford it, you might want to look at outsourcing your support as it can be very time-consuming answering tickets daily. Outsourcing might not be an option at first but once you start earning good amounts having a good support team is worth its weight in gold.

I am fortunate in having a top guy from the UK to look after my support for me. Not only is he on the ball answering tickets quicker than a speeding bullet but he is probably the most handsome support guy on the web today! 😊😊😊😊

You Have To Know What You Are Talking About – Whilst you don’t have to be the best in the world at what you do, you do have to have some knowledge of what you are trying to sell. If you have zero expertise in any area of Internet Marketing then, in my opinion, you should choose an area you are interested in like traffic generation, list building, social media or whatever you like and become an expert.

You don’t need a university degree in your given subject, but you simply must be able to walk the walk not just talk the talk. For example, if you create a traffic generation guide and you only have 100 visitors a week to your own site no one will take you seriously.

It Could End In Tears – Having a product for sale, whilst being a great way to earn money, it isn’t guaranteed. Just by putting something on any affiliate platform doesn’t mean it will sell and even when you get multiple affiliate requests it doesn’t mean they will sell many copies at all. For example, I had a request for affiliate approval on JVZoo from a guy who had been an affiliate for 4 years. Guess how many sales he made. Yep, zero! Then you get the ones who have 25% refund rates on things they promote. Stay well clear of those guys!

I am not trying to frighten you off recruiting affiliates, but you do need to check out each affiliate platforms method of paying affiliates.

So, by having your own product for sale doesn’t mean you can sit back and watch the money roll in, you still have work to do and by recruiting affiliates you have an army of people spreading the word about you and your product and are not just on your own.

In Conclusion:

So, what’s it to be? What’s best, owning your own product or being an affiliate?

I hope I am not going to disappoint you with my take on this, but I say DO BOTH!

If you have your own product and are steadily building a list of buyers, you can promote affiliate offers to them whenever you like. Now, I am not going into detail about how to do email marketing here but suffice to say, treat your customers well and they will treat you well. This means don’t force promo after promo on them, give them some great free content along the way and now and again recommend something to them.

If you decide to start off as an affiliate before creating your own product, that’s fine, just make sure that wherever possible you are putting them on your list before promoting to them. One way to do this is to download one of my free turnkey cash kits and set it up to start building your list.

Once you’ve built your list, you then you will have that audience to send emails to when you do launch your own product.

To your success!
Stuart Stirling

 

13 Essential Resources For Internet Marketers

I’ve put together this list of some of my most favourite resources that I use religiously in my online business.
Using tools in your business helps you automate and make light work of otherwise lengthy tasks.
Although most of these are free, the paid ones are every cent worth the cost!
1. Roboform – remembers passwords and profiles
2. Jing – screen capture software (free)
3. Audacity – audio recording/editing software (free)
4. CCleaner – clean your PC to make it faster (free)
5. Filezilla – FTP client software (for uploading files from PC to server, free)
6. Pixabay – Free images to use on your sites (check the licence of each image before use)
7. Skype – free skype to skype calls
8. Skype call recorder (free and paid)
9. Convertri – Page builder (not free)
10. Aweber – Email autoresponder (not free)
11. Namecheap – Domains and hosting (not free)
12. Soluto – increases your PC start up speed (free)
 
13. Click magick – click and conversion tracking software (cloud-based)
 
These are just the most essential tools that I use on a daily basis to run my business.
There are a few others, including Google drive, Google analytics, Amazon S3 etc but I don’t consider these essential.
If you have any other recommendations of tools that you use in your digital business, please add them below in the comments!
Stuart Stirling
– Internet lifestyle business expert

Struggling to Get Subscribers & Sales?

Here’s what you need to do if you’re struggling for subscribers and sales.

Internet marketing really is just a numbers game!

The more traffic, the more things will happen for you!

Just remember this though…

  • Cold traffic – send to a squeeze page
  • Warm (list) traffic – send to offer page

There is a big difference between cold and warm traffic!

Don’t get it wrong, or you will waste ad dollars and time etc.

Hang in there! You can do it!

Stuart Stirling

How To Create A Banner Ad In 2 Minutes Using Easy Ad Wizard

I often need to make banners in a hurry and don’t want to mess with Photoshop or pay a designer. That’s the reason I got an account at Easy Ad Wizard.

Watch the video below to see how I make banners quickly using this tool.

“Pro Tip” about doing banner advertising!

A mistake I see affiliate marketers doing especially, is that they’re using the same banner ad graphics as everyone else!

When there are a dozen other marketers using the same banner, and everyone has seen it a million times, people will start to ignore it.

If you want to stick out and look different, you need to have a unique banner. 

You’ll get more clicks on your banners (CTR) by looking different.

And it’s easy to make unique, yet professional looking banner graphics with Easy Ad Wizard.

So check out Easy Ad Wizard and get your account if you need something like this.

I think it’s a bargain as it saves you money and time. For myself, it’s already paid for itself.

Your mate,
Stuart

p.s. These are the banners I made using EAW in a few minutes.


8 Things NOT To Do In 2018

How’s your 2018 treating you so far? We’re nearly 2 weeks in! I hope you’re chipping away at your goals for this year!

Last week, I published 8 things to DO in 2018 to crush your competitors.

To follow up, here are 8 things you SHOULD NOT DO in 2018 that will leave you behind and failing badly! So let’s dig right in.

  1. Do Not Let Negativity Creep Into Your Mind From…

    …your own thinking nor from other people!

    You can become your own worst enemy when negativity creeps into your mind and sometimes it creeps in unannounced. You can be going along happy in what you are doing then all of a sudden BAM! Niggling doubts from the voice inside your head telling you “it’s all a waste of time” or “you’re never going to achieve your goals” creep in and can kill your progress.

    You’ve got to recognize that it’s just your brain. Also know that there is another side of you that uplifts you and encourages you. If you decide, you can shut the negative voices out and only listen to the positive. It’s hard at first but it’s a very powerful ability and skill that you need as an entrepreneur.

    If you surround yourself with negative people then it’s inevitable that some negativity will rub off and this can seriously affect your progress. This is true offline as well as online. Try to become involved with positive thinking people and just like negativity, positivity will rub off too.

  2. Do Not Fall For Fakes And Scamsters

    Research who you’re about to hand over money to before you do it. It seems like every corner we turn, whether it’s online or off, there is always someone willing to take our hard earned cash in return for nothing.

    Whilst most digital product sellers will have a refund period it is worth checking their credentials before purchasing and don’t be taken in by online reviews. Unless the site you are reading the review is a recognised authority site done by someone you know and trust, then take reviews with a pinch of salt.

    A lot of “reviews” are just a thinly disguised cover to sell you stuff so the affiliate can make a sale and earn a commission. Unless you know and trust who you are buying from spend a little time researching them.

  3. Do Not Buy Anything You Can Not Use in The Next 30 Days

    Shiny object syndrome is real! Don’t convince yourself that you need to buy something if you are not going to use it.

    How many things have you bought online that are just sitting on your hard drive in places you forgot exist? Me too!

    We all struggle with buying things we don’t really need. I blame the marketers for being too good at what they do! It all comes back to the search for the push button solution that is proving harder to find than the Holy Grail.

    The truth is that these shiny objects don’t really solve all your problems. They might give you a shortcut but underneath it all, a lot of blood, sweat and tears is needed to build a long-term business online.

    Before you buy something next, ask yourself, ‘Can I I use this immediately (or 30 days) in my business?’ If the answer is no, then move along and get back to work. I say “in the next 30 days”, but you could extend that period of time to infinity. If you’re not going to use it, you don’t need it.

  4. Do Not Try to Do Everything Yourself

    Places like Fiverr give you great deals for jobs that experts are doing. Doing everything yourself will slow you down and the final product probably won’t be as good as if an expert did it.

    Personally I suck at graphics and having great graphics on your website as opposed to ones you’ve tried to create yourself can make or break your site. Unless you are good with graphics you too might want to outsource the gig.

    The other big benefit is that it frees up your time when you outsource tasks. The internet marketing game is really one big race to see how much money everyone can make – so the faster you can get traffic, release products, etc. the faster you can make money. Needless to say, if you’re tackling everything on your own, you’ll be moving slowly.

  5. Do Not Be A Consumer Only – You Must Produce Too!

    Are you a ‘spend spend spend’ type of person? I feel your pain, it is too easy to click the ‘Buy Now’ button but you need to get your buy buttons out there yourself if you want to see some of that money coming in, instead of always going out!

    Whether it’s your own product that you create from scratch, or some PLR that you have rights to, you simply have to be selling instead of being sold to.

    It’s a mind-shift and it takes a leap of faith and courage to start asking for people’s money. Challenge yourself this year to make the move from ‘buyer’ to ‘seller’.

  6. Do Not Compare Yourself To Others

    I’m not talking in the locker room here. 🙂

    Don’t get hung up on what other people are doing and concentrate on number one. I don’t think we need to get into self improvement strategies here but if you start worrying about what other people are doing then those negative thoughts we discussed in number one will consume you. Just remember, everyone has to start at the bottom and work their little A off to get to the top.

    All the vacations, nice houses, cars and such you see your friends and peers doing on Facebook (real or not) didn’t come for them overnight. Don’t get down on yourself if you don’t have what they have.

    Compare yourself to yourself last year. If you’re moving forward and building your business, even slowly, that’s something to be happy about.

  7. Do Not Get Sucked Into Facebook News Feed

    Are you addicted to Facebook?  Here’s how to take control of your time again.

    Install Google Chrome browser and then install the ‘Kill News Feed’ extension

    Some people spend all day on social media and that’s great if you don’t need to be somewhere else. Somewhere like making some money!

  8. Do Not Expect Opportunities To Fall Into Your Lap

    Basically, you can be one of two types of person. A “go-getter”? Or are you just going where ever life takes you?

    If you’re the latter, and you hope that ‘fate’ will somehow deliver the perfect life to you, then that is very wishful thinking and there is no guarantee that the dream lifestyle will happen.

    If you don’t have a plan and don’t follow that plan, you’ll become a part in someone else’s plan. It’s as simple as that! You need to be proactive and MAKE THINGS HAPPEN the way you want!

    Waiting for that email to drop into your inbox with a link that brings you untold riches will never happen! Or waiting for some big business owner to offer you a JV partnership is not going to happen. You have to go out and seek those opportunities.

    Make 2018 YOUR YEAR! Plan ahead the path you want to take and don’t get distracted by all those things that usually stops you from progressing.

Your mate,

Stuart Stirling

Happy New Year! 8 Things to Do In 2018 To Crush Your Competition

Happy new year! I’m outrageously excited about the new year! Why? Because for the last 3 years, I was running an offline business which meant that my time online was severely limited. So I’m excited to be back online in 2018!

Now let’s talk about you! I’m hoping I can help you have a successful 2018 too!

And to start off, here are 8 things you should do in 2018 to make more money and crush your competitors!

  1. Grow Your Audience (and more than just your email list)

    In 2018, there are many more channels to share your story and offers than just with your ’email list’. Don’t get me wrong though, your Email lists are probably still going to be #1 for generating sales – and are not to be ignored by any means – but if you want to get people’s attention and really create a ‘tribe’ , then you need to use multiple channels along side email.

    People want and are finding their ‘place’ to belong in Facebook groups and Youtube channels. If you want to standout in your niche as an expert and leader, growing your ‘tribe’ for your brand on multiple platforms is a must.

  2. Feed DAILY content to your tribe.

    People are addicted to FB, Youtube, Instagram, email, Pinterest, etc. They check it daily and are looking for your content and other favorites. If you aren’t posting something daily (or almost daily) you could be forgotten as soon as your competitors release their daily content.

  3. Create More than You Consume

    It’s too easy to spend (and waste) time looking at Instagram photos and memes on facebook. I am totally guilty of that! We have to be careful and tell ourselves to stop – and get back to work, because soaking up too much content, even if it’s relative to your business, will not take you where you want to go.

    YOU have to be the one who is creating the content. One of my goals for 2018 is to create much more than I consume. I aim for a ratio of 80/20. I will focus on creating daily content for my email lists (emails/blogs/videos), and paid products (courses/software/services).

  4. Get Your Product Out There

    Don’t wait for your product to be perfect or for your product range (or sales funnel) to be complete. Start with the bare minimum and selling as soon as you can. Work on adding the next product to your funnel asap and get it in there as soon as possible.

    I’m sure you’ve heard the saying ‘Ready, Fire, Aim’. I follow this ideology with my business and most things in life too (mainly because I’m terrible at planning – but it works out to be great for me ) and I highly suggest you do too! Perfectionism will kill your business before you get started.

  5. Watch out for Liars, Fakes, Scammers

    There will always be fakers, liars and scammers online. And the worst part is, it’s very hard to tell who is BS’ing you and who is telling the truth. My advice is, if there is anyone who seems a little suspicious and what they say sounds ‘too good to be true’, watch them very carefully over a period (weeks or months) before you make any decision to invest with them. You can always tell them by their fruit. If they are walking the walk, and not just talking the talk, then you can assume they’re legit. Do your research though!

  6. Learn a New Skill (or really polish an existing one)

    The online business world is requiring more and more specialists in certain areas. I highly suggest you expand your skill-set or really polish one skill that you already have in 2018.

    Your skills are your biggest asset – NOT your email list, not your products, not your network. If you have the skills to create products, or write sales letters, or delegate tasks and manage projects, then no matter what happens , if your sites go down, or you lose your lists, you’ll have the skills to rebuild!

  7. Reinvest your profits into Advertising for your business

    This is another thorn in my side! If there is something I’ve been terrible at the past few years, it’s reinvesting in my business. I love to buy tools, materials and software that help me create content, products and sites, but when it comes to spending money on advertising, I kind of sweep the idea under the rug. Let’s be honest, setting up advertising campaigns is as about as fun as pulling teeth! But it’s something that all online marketers need to focus on to have a business that grows at a constant rate, and I recommend you do it too.

    For the MMO niche, I am going to be looking at Solo ads, banner ads, and PPC ads. I have done it in the past, but usually just in spurts. My advice to you if you’re just starting to run paid ads, is to start small! $50 to $100 will get you a decent amount of traffic.

  8. Spy On Your Competitors and Copy What’s Working

    It’s pretty easy to spot the guys and girls who are absolutely killing it online. The ones who are ‘walking the walk’. If that’s the kind of success that you want, then you’ll need to spy on them and reverse engineer what they’re doing. Of course, you can’t flat out copy their websites and blog content. You should put your own twist and personality on it.

    The problem is, that there is only so much that you can see from the surface. Most 7 figure earners out there have many underlying systems that makes them earn that much. They have staff, outsource teams, systems in place that do a lot of the work in the background. If there is a chance to join a mastermind group or coaching program, then I highly recommend it. No matter where you are, there is always much more that you can learn!

If you can pull off these 8 things in 2018, I’m sure you’ll be smoking hot as you go to enter 2019!

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.

To a MASSIVELY successful year!
Stuart Stirling

 

Double Or Single Optin: Which Is Better?

If you’re building a list and you should be, you usually have to choose between your subscribers having to confirm their subscription (opt-in) or not.

There is much debate between marketers about which is better. But let’s first have a look at the pros and cons of each option… 

Double Opt-in subscribers…

… Have to confirm their subscription by clicking a link in a confirmation email which means the email address they used is a valid one and not a fake or throwaway one. A fake email address will never receive any follow ups and a throwaway one is generally used by people who very rarely if ever check that inbox.

Pros of Double Optin:

Because the subscriber has used a genuine email address the chances of further engagement are greater.

If you use an email service provider like Aweber you will pay them per the number of subscribers you have. Having only genuine subscribers means you are not paying a fee for dead email addresses.

Cons of Double Optin:

It is one extra step for your subscribers to do before they access the content you provide. This can result in customers not bothering or forgetting to confirm their subscription or the confirmation email may go in their spam folder.

It can be off putting and seem a little spammy for a customer to receive many emails when they first sign up. If you send a confirmation email followed by a welcome email and that is quickly followed by your first offering of content then this could put some off remaining a subscriber.

Single Op-in subscribers…

… Only have to submit their email once for immediate access to your content. No need for them to confirm their email address.

Pros of Single Optin:

You have no worries about your subscriber forgetting to confirm their email address or that they miss your confirmation email because of spam. Single optin subscribers are added immediately to your list.

You can immediately follow up with them and not have to wait for them to confirm.

Cons of Single Optin:

There WILL be sign ups using fake emails if you offer your content immediately.

Even if a subscriber doesn’t use a fake email they could miss type their address and it would still join your list.

Major email service providers recommend double optin to ensure you get the best service they can provide.

Some countries have laws about privacy that will mean you must use double optin when offering your content to them.

In Conclusion:

Whichever method you use is down to personal choice and now you know some of the pros and cons for each method you are better armed to decide.

If you are selling something on platforms like JVZoo for example, you can integrate the major email players in to your product and therefore single optin should be fine as people don’t use fake email addresses when buying things.

If you are using a squeeze page with a free offer to attract subscribers, then it might be best to use double optin to eliminate dead emails. If they can’t be bothered to confirm their email they are hardly likely to become a paying customer and you don’t really want to pay a monthly fee for non-existent email addresses.

Happy list building!

Stuart Stirling