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

 

Struggling to Get Subscribers & Sales?

The beginning is always the hardest!

You try and try and try but see nothing in return for all your hard work!

I know your pain!

I used to write articles and submit them to EzineArticles and publish them on Squidoo pages back in the day. It would take me aaaaages to get traffic and the subscribers I got from them trickled in slowly. I used to send emails to safelists and get 5 or 10 subscribers at a time. It was a long, slow process, but I eventually got there.

So before you give up or smash your computer, here are a couple of pointers for you to keep in mind.

  1. Everyone starts at the beginning.

  2. Business (and life) is a marathon, not a sprint.

  3. Internet marketing is a numbers game.

  4. Anything worthwhile takes time to build.

  5. FOCUS is soooo important.

  6. Keep chipping away! Businesses build up slowly.

  7. “Just keep swimming!”  as Dory the fish would say.

  8. Eventually, the snowball effect will kick in.

  9. Slowly, but surely, things will happen for you!

  10. Everyday is a new day! Today, right now, you can make a decision to be the best you can be!

This post wasn’t meant to get too much into personal development, but these things will help you to get in the right mindset that is necessary for success.

Mindset is the difference between those who just dream and those who actually achieve.

Now, before I end, there are a couple of specific marketing related tips that I want to share.

There is a difference between cold traffic and warm traffic.

Cold traffic is the group of people going to your site that don’t know you, have never seen you or your business before and/or is not coming from an endorsed source. This is what you get when you place ads on Google adwords or Facebook or rent an email list for a solo ad etc.

Warm traffic are the group of people that already know you and your brand. These are the people who are subscribed to your email list, your Youtube channel, Facebook group members, your Twitter followers etc. They know what you’re about and what you sell.

Don’t make the mistake of treating these two groups the same! There is a big difference between cold and warm traffic!

The general rule is that when advertising to cold traffic, you want to turn them into warm prospects and keep them within reach of your future messages.

A good way to build your audience is to offer them something for free and ask for their email in exchange for it. In other words, send cold traffic to a squeeze page and build a list

Getting subscribers to your email list makes it super easy to be able to follow up with them any time you like. You just send an email!

Once they become warm, then you can send them directly to your offer page for a paid product. They’ll be much more interested and inclined to buy at this stage because they’ve gotten to know you. I talk more about building trust and a relationship with your audience in this post if you want to continue reading.

Hang in there! You can do it!

I’ve laid out what you need to do to get a good foundation to work from in this post. Now it’s just a matter of you going out there and doing it!

Stuart Stirling

– IM Expert

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

What Are Solo Ads & How You Can Use Them To Build A List

Solo ads are one of the fastest ways to build your own email list and make money on the net.

They’ve been at the top of my favorite ‘go-to’ methods for getting traffic to my websites for ages.

Here’s a short video teaching you about Solo Ad Basics & Must-Do’s When Using Solo Ads

Unfortunately, there are a lot of scammers out there who deliver garbage solo traffic.
I have been burned on a TON of Solo ads that I’ve bought over the years. It’s not a nice feeling.

It actually made me HATE solo ads for a while. But not all are bad. Luckily, I’ve been able to sort the wheat from the chaff.

Here is a list of reliable, quality Solo ad vendors that I and a business associate have used and compiled.

That will really help you as it will allow you to skip the time consuming and expensive trial and error phase of solo ad buying.

And also remember to TRACK everything.

Good luck and keep trying with solo ads. Not every one will be a home run. You need to test and tweak. More insights on that topic for another blog post.

Stuart Stirling

 

My Leads Leap Review – How I’ve Gotten More Than 79,000 Clicks

Leads Leap is one of the rare, long-time Advertising resources for Internet marketers which has become better and better over the years.

I’ve been a happy member for around 8 years and I’ve continued to receive high quality traffic (Over 79K visitors to my websites and counting) and leads from it.

What is Leads Leap?

It’s a text link advertising exchange platform for Internet marketers in the ‘make money online’ niche. You can advertise your websites, affiliate links and programs, and get real visitors.

With the upgrade to 2.0, they’ve introduced a traffic exchange so you can earn credits (clicks) by clicking on other members’ ads.

They offer free ads (for free members) and Pro ads for Pro members which get a whole lot more exposure than free member ads.

I’m a Pro member, so I pay the $27 per month to have my ads running on autopilot. This is a small price to pay for the peace of mind of having non-stop traffic and leads. Plus the commissions I earn each month from referrals, more than pays for my membership.

How I’ve Gotten Over 79,000 Clicks From Leads Leap

Join Leads Leap Here: http://www.stuartstirlingonline.com/likes/leadsleap

My traffic has grown over the years, because I’ve been building my downline and my ads show to those in my downline.

LeadsleapUniques

I’m getting about 25 to 35 unique visitors per day to my sites. My site gets about a 5% sign up rate from cold traffic, so that means about 2 new fresh leads a day.

How To Set Up Your Ads

Where Are Your Ads Shown?

1) On the Leads Leap blog, (check out the blog here)

2) Inside the Member’s Area (sidebar),

3) Inside the Newsletter Emails to the members,

4) On the LeadsLeap Widget which is placed on more than 4000 websites, (I’ve got my Leads leap widget at the bottom of this post)

5) In the Ad widget in The Real Tracker (a click tracking tool available to leads leap members).

And, I’ve Made Over $4,013 In Affiliate Commissions By Referring Others

Another reason to love Leads leap is the affiliate (referral) program that pays out 50% (I think that’s right) commissions on Pro member upgrades. And it’s RECURRING commissions, which is what I’m all about. My monthly commission pays for my pro membership with leaves me with a lot left over.

Pro Tips

Advertise your squeeze page. Don’t advertise someone else’s website as an affiliate. The exception is something like 30 Minute list where you can build your list while promoting.

Track your ads. Use tracking links (I use Ad trackz Gold) to track clicks, conversions and sales. See the Video #2 above for the kind of tracking I do.

 

How To Install Thee Leads Leap Widget to Get Free Traffic

After signing up for your account, you’ll be able to create a widget and get the code to put on your website. (My widget is below this post).

Every impression and click you generate earns you credits which turns into advertising for you in the network. So, installing the widget is an important step because it’s what makes the system work.

Where to Sign Up

Here is my affiliate link to Join Leads Leap.

http://www.stuartstirlingonline.com/likes/leadsleap

First, you sign up for a free account, then you’ll see an offer to upgrade to Pro at a discounted rate for the first 14 (?) days after you sign up.

Try the Pro membership. It’s well worth it if you, a) use the ads/traffic to build your list, b) refer others and earn commissions.

Watch this space for more videos and info about Leads Leap. There is actually much more to it than I have put here so far.

Cheers,
Stuart Stirling

 

Free Training: How to Set Up A Squeeze page From Scratch

Thanks and welcome to this free training video for beginner list builders.

In this training video, I’m going to show you…

  • where and how to get ‘ready-made’ squeeze page templates,
  • how to add an opt-in form to the squeeze page
  • how to upload it to your web host/server
  • how to edit a Word doc and convert it to PDF
  • how to upload it and attach it to an email
  • how to make sure your emails don’t go in the spam folder

(Watch Video In Big Screen)

Sites and resources mentioned in this video:

Enjoy and catch you in more training videos!

Stuart Stirling

stu-Kai-Okinawa

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 😉 ]