As Mike opens up the business side of his blogging ventures, it has enticed me to explore some of these topics in greater detail myself to learn more. Working from a laptop is really enticing for someone that hates the commute and grind of a typical corporate job. This is why I’ve started exploring different ways to make money online. There are two common ways for making money online that I’ve noticed over the past few years that are worth exploring:
If you run a blog or if you ever read a blog, you have considered one of these options before. Most of us will start off with affiliate marketing to see how it works out. Once this starts to become even remotely successful, it becomes tempting to work on your own projects that you can promote. After all you want to be in control of the content on your site and what you promote to you readers.
In affiliate marketing you promote the products of others in exchange for some sort of a commission. The commission varies depending on what type of product you’re promoting. When promoting financial products (bank accounts, credit cards) you usually earn a set rate per sign up. When promoting the product of a fellow blogger you typically earn a percentage per sell (at around 50%). The amount of money you earn from affiliate marketing really depends on the size of your reader base and how engaged your readers are.
Why would you promote products on your blog?
You believe in them. When I share an Amazon link to a book or a link to a project from one of my peers it’s because I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to my best friend. When I believe in something it means that I that I want others to check it out so that they can learn just as I did.
You want to help out the author. Once in a while I find a book or an eBook that is so amazing that I can’t help but share it with others. I want the author to pump out more quality content so I want to promote this to others so that the author sees that there’s a following for their work and they continue on with it.
What are the setbacks of affiliate marketing?
You essentially have no control over the final product. When you’re promoting the work of someone else you don’t have any control. This is why it’s advised that you only promote products that you absolutely believe in and support. Your readers will catch on if you’re trying to push shady products on them for a quick buck.
Less money. Let’s be honest here, at the end of the day you can earn yourself more money by working on your own projects. You can make more money and take advantage of your creative energy by pouring yourself into challenges that you’re passionate about.
The beauty of creating your own product is that you don’t need to run a blog. You can collaborate with a blogger or with a peer to put together your own eBook. This is beneficial because some of us simply hate the behind the scenes stuff that’s involved with running a blog. Between coding, design work, and filtering out spam comments, it can become time consuming. If you love to write and help others, you can devote 100% of your creative energy towards creating an eBook that you can share with a blogger.
The biggest setback of producing your own unique projects is that it takes a LOT of time. Where will you find the extra time to put together an eBook that’s a couple of thousand words long? It’s so much easier to promote something else than it is to actually write out your own eBook. You also run the risk of putting into dozens of hours of hard work only to find out that nobody wants to buy your product. Yikes!
The other point on creating your own product that I need to mention is that these days there’s lots of crap out there. I’ve seen many new bloggers spice up a few old posts and attempt to pass them off as a brand new eBook. No thanks.
What does this comparison come down to at the end of the day? What is the main difference between affiliate marketing and creating your own products? TIME. Yes it really is that simple. If you don’t have the time, between your full-time job, family and blogging to write even more, then it’s so much easier to promote other products. If you’re willing to find time (staying up late and drinking lots of coffee) then you can start working on your own project.
Time to ask the readers/bloggers: Which of these strategies have you tried? Are youa fan of affiliate marketing or working on your own projects?
(photo credit: bisgovuk)
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