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

 

What Is Anchor Text?

What Is Anchor Text?

In a nutshell, anchor text is the clickable text you see on websites.

For example, if I wanted to create a link to one of my websites, it would look something like this….

“Build your list and make money on auto pilot for free with my Turnkey Cash Kits!”

I’ve made “Turnkey Cash Kits” the anchor text.

The code for the above example would be <a href=”http://www.turnkeycashkits.com”>Turnkey Cash Kits</a>.

That is the format you would use to create anchor text directly into the code, but most website editors allow you to add text and then add a link to the text using the editor. The link symbol looks like a link in a chain.

A word of warning!

Many years ago, you could keyword stuff your articles and link to as many sites as you liked but Google stopped this and will penalise your site if you try it nowadays.

When using links in web pages it is important that the link destination is relevant to the page it originates from.

For example, if you are writing about Golf you wouldn’t want to have a link going to a Dog Training site. You get the picture!

Different Types Of Anchor Text

Images – When adding an image to a website Google will use the ‘alt text’ specified as the anchor text.

Naked Linkwww.stuartstirling.com is a naked anchor.

Branded Link – Using ‘Turnkey Cash Kits’ to link to http://www.turnkeycashkits.com is an example of a ‘Branded’ link.

Generic – Using a term or phrase like ‘Click Here…’ is a generic anchor.

Partial Match – Anchor text that has a variation of the keyword on the page is a partial match anchor. For example, ‘list building help’ linking to Turnkey Cash Kits.

Exact Match – If your anchor text mirrors what is on the page it links to then that is an exact match anchor text. For example, ‘Traffic Generation’ linking to a site about traffic generation.

As mentioned earlier, be careful with keywords and anchor texts and don’t overdo it. Having too many links with the same keywords might alert Google to spammy practices. Even linking to other pages within your own site should be done with thought. Only link to other relevant pages and try to use natural text phrases rather than just keywords.

Stuart Stirling

p.s. Got a question about Anchor text? Pop it in the comments below.

Celebrate Success – Not Just Money (Video)

I got a commission check yesterday from Aweber, my #1 recommended autoresponder service for beginners to Internet and email marketing.

It’s not a huge amount, but it’s always good to get paid for recommending a product to others. The dollar amount is something to be happy about, but it also means that I was instrumental in helping others get started with their list building! That is also something to be proud of!

So when you get a commission or launch and make a gob of money – yes, feel good, tell others, but also tell others that you got that money (or other result) as a result of helping others.

Because sales is always a 2-way trade. Too many sellers/marketers seem to forget the buyer in the picture, and only focus on the money they get.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to show off the money I make or the accomplishments I make, but I’m happy to share the results I can get for others, because that too is what I call success.

Be good, be you!

Stuart Stirling

p.s. Subscribe to my Youtube channel for more video tips.

How To Start An Affiliate Marketing Business In One Day

… and I should add, even if it’s your first day online, and only have $50 or less to spend.

And I’m not talking about getting in a “home business” program. They’re fine if you want to get started in the “home business” niche…but…

I want to give you a formula you can use for ANY niche you decide to enter into.

Follow the steps below and you’ll feel like this guy at the end of the day…

IRock-StuartStirling

I was recently asked by a customers who is trying to promote a weight loss product – acai berries to be exact.

She asked me the best ways to promote her affiliate link without buying ads, or without using article marketing because article directories won’t allow any articles that promote or talk about acai berries!

I gave my advice in a couple of steps….

1.  If article marketing is out, get traffic with Youtube videos.  Create videos with helpful content about acai berries and weight loss and upload them, with your titles containing keywords.

2. Put a link in the description to a lead generation page (squeeze page). When they land on your squeeze page, offer them a free “giveaway” product if they optin to your email list (autoresponder). For example, a free teaser report about the benefits or dangers of acai berries.

The other option, and this is much more effective for cold traffic (i.e. traffic from Youtube) is to make the offer on your squeeze page “blind copy”.

Blind copy means you don’t actually let the reader know that you’re talking about acai berries – You hide the fact that it’s anything to do with acai berries and just refer to it as a “weight loss super food”, or something along those lines. The main reason for using blind copy is to muster up some curiosity in their mind so the reader can’t help but to opt-in in to learn more.

3. Another way to drive traffic for free would be by posting in weight loss or mummy, chat forums and social media sites (groups).. and putting your link in your forum signature file! Again you want to send people to your squeeze page so you build your email list. Your email list is your most important asset as an internet marketer. With a list, you can follow-up with them at any time and use the emails to build that all-important relationship.

So that’s the ‘what to do’….

The ‘how to do it’ is explained in this next part.

This involves actually going out and doing work. However, none of these tasks are overly technical or require a phd in computer science. Admittedly, these are the bare essentials, but they’re enough to get you started running a proper, reliable affiliate marketing business.

  1. Write a 5~10 page report in Word about acai berries and how they help you burn fat.
  2. Turn your report into a PDF using Doc2pdf.net
  3. Get an ecover for it on fiverr.com
  4. Use a site like 1MinuteSites.com to create your landing pages (squeeze pages etc),
  5. Get an autoresponder (email management software) like Aweber or Pure Leverage so you can start your list building
  6. Focus on the traffic methods I explained above to promote and give away the free report.

That there is a quick outline of a basic, but complete affiliate marketing business model. You could literally get this kind of business up and running in one day and for less than $50.

Internet marketing doesn’t need to be complex. You just need the right pieces in place. I’ve listed the bare essentials of how to set up a list building system and two examples of how to promote  for free, apart from article marketing.

Stuart Stirling

p.s. For slightly more detailed steps, check out my Newbie Start Up Guide [use coupon:  f38c461d9f  to whack a little off the price.. even though it’s already super affordable 😉 ]

How To Make Your First Dollar Online

The internet offers an awesome opportunity to make big bucks. While it is true, and I strongly believe, that ANYONE can make a fortune online without needing to be a marketing genius or spending thousands of dollars on the latest wizz-bang software, systems and guaranteed ‘programs’, many people fail to make even ONE single dollar.

I believe the reason for this is because most newcomers to online marketing want to make the big money instantly. But I can’t blame them. They are promised (falsely) that they can start making $1000’s of dollars weekly starting immediately from all the advertising, sales letters or video sales letters marketers are using to push their products.

Reality check!

Stop chasing instant riches! I often get tickets at my support desk from people saying, “will your ebook really let me make $100 a day?” and they go on to tell me they are desperate to make money because they have no job and are in debt and a bunch of other reasons and they want to make a living online. It’s obvious they are coming to the internet hoping to find a magic bullet that will instantly let them replace their job’s income.

Sorry, but there is no magic bullet that will land you in the drivers seat of a $100 a day internet business… (unless you buy a turn-key business that is already making that much .. but I’m betting you wouldn’t be getting that business for zero outlay..)

BEFORE you dream about making $100 a day… start with the goal of making $1. Just make $1 first!

Because if you can make $1, you can make $10.. and if you can make $10, you can make $100. And it goes on from there. Learn what works, and find a way to scale it.

What’s a good business to start that will let you make $1 quickly?

Well there are paid survey’s and other paid to click types of ‘jobs’.. but you may as well go back to stocking shelves at the local super market (it would actually pay more too).

That and it’s the least stimulating work you could ever do. Mindlessly clicking a button hundreds of times a day is the fastest way to go insane!

If you’re an entrepreneur you’ll want to do something stimulating AND something that grows your business.

2 Best Ways To Earn Money Online For Beginners…

My advice for an entrepreneur looking to make their first dollar online is to either 1) offer a service e.g. writing, designing, virtual assistant, forum moderating etc. 2) creating an info-product. e.g. ebook, video, audio course etc.

These are great starting points and have massive potential to go up and get you to that $100 a day level. 

So where do you start?

If you go for the ‘offering a service’ deal, start with seeking out what people need help with and see if you can find a job that matches one of your skills. If you don’t have the skill but see a massive gap in the market place, find someone with that skill and work out a deal!

There are plenty of freelance sites where you can search for jobs and offer your own services. Freelancer.com , odesk.com , guru.com , fiverr.com just to name a few. Forums like the Warrior forum have a place to list “warriors for hire” too.

As for product creation, the same thing applies. See what people in a certain niche are having problems with. Create a solution (product) for that problem. Learn how to set up a sales page, drive traffic and you’ll have an auto-pilot business.

Try JVzoo.com to set up your digital download sales machines. With them, you don’t even need a website! But one is recommended so you can have total control.

Making $100.. $1000… $2000 a day is possible. But it starts with making $1 first.

Stu Sensei Stirling

p.s. Have you made your first dollar yet? If yes, how did you do it? If not, what are you going to do to earn it? Leave your comments below.

TurnkeyCashkits.com 10,000 Members! Win A Free Cash Kit

In 2008 I registered the domain name turnkeycashkits.com and created a membership site where people could download list building/affiliate marketing pre-sell kits for free.

Just this week we welcomed the 10,000th member! Currently there are 10,020 registered members in the site.

This is a massive milestone for me as it’s the first membership site I’ve owned to reach 10,000 members.

So to celebrate, I want to run a little competition.

Here’s What You Can Win!

For 3 lucky members…

  1. I’ll set up 1 cash kit of your choice on your website* for free… (real world $30 value)
  2. Give you a free copy of my Easy Squeeze Page Traffic videos course… (currently selling for $17)
  3. One 15 minute one-on-one List building strategy session via Skype with me… (priceless?)

Sound good? This should get you on the fast track to building your list because after all, the money is in the list.

Here’s how to enter…

  1. Write me an honest testimonial about Turnkey Cash Kits (or even better, do a video.. 😉 and post it in the comments section below.
  2. Like this post on Facebook or Re-Tweet it on Twitter.com

That’s it. Pretty simple.. but you know, I realized that even though I’ve got 10,000 members, I’ve only got a few very short testimonials on the sales page.

I’ll choose the best 3 testimonials as the winners and get in touch with you if you’re one of them.

For everyone else, I’d still love to use your testimonials on the sales page with your website URL and photo so in that way you still win some free exposure.

If you’re not a member yet, go and sign up for free and check it out so you can write an honest testimonial, but if you’re already a member you should know how great the cash kits are.

Thanks a lot and I’m looking forward to reading your testimonials.

Stu “Sensei” Stirling

p.s. I’ll announce the winners August 1st so you have until July 31st midnight (just under a week) to enter. Good luck and thanks again!

* you’ll need your own domain name, web hosting and autoresponder in order to qualify for my set up prize. If you don’t have them yet, I recommend Aweber autoresponders, Host gator hosting and Godaddy for domains.

Success Starts With Learning The Basics

Too many times, beginners get caught up with purchasing the latest ‘shiny new object’ when all they really need is to learn the basics first.

They try to make money with the latest Facebook App or the latest WP plugin before they even get a simple website up and traffic.

Internet marketing is not a race. Although you might feel like you need or should be making money fast. Believe it or not (and ask anyone) it takes time and a lot of hard work.

Start wth the basicsStart with learning the basics. Learn to walk before you run. You’ll be able to go far with just some simple website building and marketing skills.

Here is a simple lesson about the basics of creating an internet business and online marketing. Learning these skills, you can build yourself a successful internet business.

Step 1. Find or create a product you want to sell online.

This can be a product you’ve created or someone elses you can promote as an affiliate. Ultimately, you should be aiming to create a product of your own. I love and recommend the digital info-product business. It’s how I make 95% of my money online and it’s awesome because it’s 99% fully automatic. No shipping, no products to constantly create. I get paid instantly and my customers download it anytime like clockwork – even when I’m asleep.

Digital products are easy and cheap to create too. Ebooks, audios, articles, videos, graphics, templates, software – these are all examples of hot selling digital products. And once you make them, you can sell them over and over again. Find what people want to buy and create a simple digital product about it. Internet millionaires have been made by following this simple business model.

Step 2. Build a website to act as your 24/7 online sales person.

Don’t listen to anyone who says otherwise. You need a website if you want to be a successful online marketer.

I know newbies get hung up on website set up because of the find it difficult to learn the technical stuff like FTP, domain names, hosting and Autoresponder systems etc. but it’s this basic skill that once you learn, you’ll be able to use to take your internet business far.

To sell your product, set up a website, write a sales letter and place your order button on it. Copywriting is also one of those important fundamental skills you need to learn to be successful as an online marketer. If you really want to get rich, learn to become a good copywriter!

If you’re selling online as an affiliate, create a website centered around that particular niche and position yourself as an expert in that field. Using WordPress makes it easy and quick to build an affiliate site. If you have good helpful content and can build solid traffic to that site using SEO and/or viral marketing, you can make money from recommended products on your site.

List building/marketing is a proven strategy for making sales on demand. It’s easy to build a list at your blog or on your sales letter. Use a pop-up, embed your opt-in form in the web  page itself, or use a squeeze page. When you build a list, you can follow up with your subscriber and recommend products to them -yours and others’ as an affiliate.

Step 3. Integrate an affiliate program to sell more of your products.

This will only work if you’re selling your own product or a product you have resell rights to. There are several sales and download management software scripts you can install on your website that will automate the whole sales and delivery of your digital products.

I like and use the RAP script because it has a ton of features like:

* instant payments to affiliates,
* auto-optin of your customer to your autoresponder,
* multi-product management from one domain, etc.

RAP isn’t not the cheapest sales/affiliate management script but you only need to buy it once and you can use it over and over on any number of domains. The other advantage of using a self-hosted script is that you have complete control over your website and affiliate program. You also save money because you don’t have to pay fees for listing products ora percentage of every sale.

There are a ton of web-based affiliate management services online such as Clickbank, JV zoo, Mooshpay and Paydotcom. The benefit of using these is that you can tap into an already existing JV network. Your product can get spotted and promoted by affiliates who bring you sales.

Step 4. If you don’t have your own product, yet.

I say ‘yet’, because having your own product should definitely be in your plans. You simply need a product to dominate your niche.

If you’re not selling your products from your website and doing the affiliate marketing thing for now, your main job is to get traffic to your affiliate links (merchants order pages). There are several ways to get traffic (as discussed below) but most affiliates go for search engine traffic.

Last year, I started a couple of affiliate blogs and SEO optimized them for Google traffic. It’s a fairly complex game but the rewards are great when you’re on page 1: hands-free, non-stop traffic. Not to mention it’s highly targeted.

The basics of SEO are simple and easy to understand but usually basic SEO will only get you so far. It’s the little extra secret tactics you apply that get you above your competition. I learned from one of the best affiliate/SEO marketers Andrew Hansen how he makes simple $300/day affiliate sites, so I recommend you check his course out if you want to learn affiliate marketing.

Step 5. Market your website.

In other words, get traffic to it. This is the fuel which will power your business. These are some ways to drive traffic…

* SEO (search engine marketing)
* Video marketing
* Social networking (Facebook etc)
* Article marketing (write and submit to article directories)
* JV marketing (swapping ad space on your website or in emails etc)
* Affiliate recruiting (as we talked about in Step 3.)
* Paid ads (PPC, banner ads, ezine solo ads etc)
* Forum marketing (place your links in your sig)

There are many more ways than this to market your website but it really comes down to your budget and amount of time you’ve got. For free traffic, I suggest article marketing, SEO, JV and affiliate traffic. If you want to pay for quick targeted traffic, then ezine/email solo ads are the way to go. I don’t have a lot of experience with PPC but it’s something I’m looking into.

Extra cool tip: With the traffic you generate, send it to a squeeze page so you can build a list. (works for affiliate marketing too ;)).

6. The final secret. In the end, the secret to it all is just going out there and doing it. You probably know all the things I already explained above – but they won’t help you if you don’t take action on them! 90% of success is a result of simply taking action! (10% inspiration, 90% perspiration)

Work out a plan and then break it down into small jobs. Work and aim to complete those small jobs in a time frame you decide. If you just do one small but significant
task a day, you will get a lot accomplished every week. Doing the basics leads to big things.

Stuart StirlingTo your success!

Stu Sensei