by Niall Roche
2007 is here and the world of affiliate marketing has changed - somewhat for the better and somewhat for the worse. As a business affiliate marketing is still more than viable but the days of the truly easy money have gone. If you want to make money online now you better be prepared to do some work - that doesn't mean you need to turn yourself into some kind of affiliate slave - just don't think that push button solutions work anymore; they don't.
So what did 2006 bring us? 2006 was, without doubt, the year of the Product Launch. Overpriced, overstuffed, overhyped product launches happened, it seems, almost every week. People queued up to wait for these products to be released and then bought them for thousands and thousands of dollars. The sad part is that 90% of those buyers will never, ever put any of those products to use so it's wasted money. The "guru" types are quite happy banking their profits either way. Next week they'll promote somebody else's product to their own mailing list and the incestuous little circle begins again.
The end result was that the product launches were successful but the market was saturated with new products and the wannabe affiliate marketers have now become apathetic and somewhat deaf to the claims of many of the guru types. People can only hear so many sales offers before they eventually stop caring altogether. Towards the end of 2006 people didn't want to hear anything else about product launches. Personally I unsubscribed from at least a dozen lists - I have better things to do than read sales pitches all day. Maybe this is something you should consider too?
No problem the gurus think. Membership sites is the way to go - 2007 will be the year of membership sites. For just $800 per month you can get access to blah, blah, blah, blah. So the tired, weary (and yes even poorer) masses signed up for these membership sites to get access to the super duper secret hidden knowledge that they all share in their private midnight meetings. Masses of people once again signed up for these hugely expensive membership sites and once again many of them will get zero benefit from the programs - it's way above their heads and they simply won't "get" most of it.
So what can you do to make sure your affiliate business keeps driving forward or gets started in the first place? Stick to the basics. There are no magic answers to be found in super secret membership sites or $897 DVD/ebook packages. The basics of affiliate marketing have always been the same:
1. You need to have a website - you must have an online presence of some kind.
2. You need to have traffic coming to that website - either through paid search or natural search.
3. You need to continually promote your website to ensure it continues to receive traffic.
Where most people fail is...... at the start line. They never, ever get started. Why? Because they're busy looking for the "secret" that will make all of this affiliate maketing mumbo jumbo easy for them and they can start making money without really trying. Let me guess you bought an ebook, a DVD package and membership to some of the bigger marketing sites? You read the ebook and watched the DVDs and felt inspired. You now sit in the forums as often as possible to see what's going on and what you can learn. Every single minute you spend in 99% of those forums is wasted. It's several more hours that you could have spent actually building your own little online empire instead of just *thinking* about starting your own online business.
You're not alone - there are tens of thousands of people out there just like you! They want to start making money online but just don't know where to start. Your first step is to find somebody who is truly successful as an affiliate marketer and learn from them. Become brilliant at the basics of affiliate marketing before doing anything else. To do this learn from somebody who's brilliant at the basics themselves.