I wonder how many of you “affiliate marketers" (yes I used quotes on purpose) are actually walking the walk and not just talking the talk when it comes to your online business? I mean, do you consistently practice what you preach to others when it comes to hard work and continuing to learn about the road you have chosen as your livelihood. We all know that there are hundreds if not thousands of so called “gurus" out there that will hook you up with income beyond your wildest dreams if you just buy or join their program. But what are you actually doing for yourself? Advertising on traffic exchanges? While that certainly has its place, what are you really getting from it? Are you puffing your business to people in forums and message boards across the net (puffing is a real estate term for exaggerating or excessive recommendation)? Pay per click advertising? Submitting you affiliate pages to directories and viral traffic building programs? Banner exchange? Co-ops? Paid signups? Well so what?
I have news for you, and it isn't all good. You may be doing all of that stuff, but so are hundreds or thousands of your competitors! Your page (not made by you but the affiliate program) sits right next to seventy-three other pages exactly like it. So you are competing in a very shallow pool of prospective buyers/joiners with a huge amount of other people trying to get something out of it. Am I saying you are wrong? Not exactly, but i have noticed something that seems to be an enormous disconnection between what most affiliate marketers say they want and what they are willing to do for themselves. Let me ask you something- if you owned a furniture store, would you buy your own furniture somewhere else? Maybe it's just me but this seems to be completely counterproductive. I know this seems obvious, but ask yourself if you are guilty of that very same thing. I personally know many people that are trying to sell things or grow downllines on the intenet when they have not invested a single dime in their own product.
Can it work? I honestly do not know because my business training caused me to go in another direction. Selling Buicks? Better drive one yourself. Own a restaurant? Don't eat lunch elsewhere every day. As far as my online business, I call it living the affiliate lifestyle. Now obviously if you are affiliated with everything in sight, you may not be able to buy every product you are trying to sell, but that's where the lifestyle part comes in. If you are recommending a certain product or products, don't you think you need to be buying it for yourself, at least when the need arises? I mean let's face it- one of the first questions you will be asked when you market a product or opportunity is going to be “how does it work for you?" I have a computer sales and repair business that operates both online and off. Very very seldom do I purchase new parts from anyplace that I don't have an affiliate account. I have established a niche in my community that is building new systems at budget prices. Now, that isn't all I do, but it is how most of my customers get to know my products and services. The best part is that doing this niche business invariably leads to questions about how i do it, or where my parts and supplies come from. Sound like an opportunity for some affiliate marketing to you? Imagine what it would be like if I told them that all of my parts came from WalMart? Not so good huh?
I do my dead level best to get anything I buy from one of my affiliate accounts. No matter what you are selling, it is many more times as difficult if you do not shop in your own store. I know how it is on the internet, a lot of people use the anonymity of being online to make exaggerated claims and some, if they read this article will shoot this advice down without hesitation. That's ok. My way works for me, and it just might make your efforts a little more productive too. I have yet to have anyone that I know to be successful disagree, and I have given this talk at least 25 times to groups of marketers, classes, and my own sub affiliates. Try this for a while- whenever you need a product, buy it from yourself if you can. Live the affiliate lifestyle and see if it helps your business.
David Paul has been active in internet marketing for over ten years, with his focus on affiliate marketing, branding, and teaching marketing principles to sub affiliates. Before going into business for himself full time on the web, he spent years in the insurance and real estate industries. You can find his portal site for internet marketers at http://www.workathomehome.net