This is a guest post by Dan Walker. Dan hasn’t been in the affiliate marketing game that long but gives out some great tips and technical tricks at Dans Blog.
To coin an old saying; everybody has to start somewhere. This is also true of affiliate marketing, there would have been a day where some of the super affiliates you read about now earned nothing or even made a loss. Retrospectively you could say they came from nothing to the riches they enjoy today, but the whole idea of coming “Zero to Hero” in something like affiliate marketing often gives off the wrong ideas to people new to the field.
A lot of startup affiliate marketers that I know personally or that get in touch with me through my blog take this phrase too literally. I’m in the same boat as a lot of affiliate marketers, I don’t have a job (I’m a full time student) and there are no jobs in the current economic client, I’m pretty broke and I’m looking for a way to turn my spare time I usually spend playing games to make some extra cash – hopefully it’ll turn in to a full time job eventually. But one thing I’m come to realize and the new affiliate marketers should too is that risk plays a big part in affiliate marketing. If you’re in this for the big bucks, you’re really going to have to spend money to make money – if you don’t dare, you’re in the wrong place.
Let’s put it into perspective. For example one of my friends, we’ll call her Carol, spends $250 a month on clothes. Now when it comes to affiliate marketing, she spends maybe $10 on a domain, $10 on some hosting and then she hopes to make money instantly. Why didn’t Carol just spend $100 less on clothes that month and use it on affiliate marketing? Chances are she would of learnt a helluva lot and maybe made a small return. In order to learn, you need to test, in order to test, you need to spend. If losing $25 to a bad campaign is putting you down in the dumps and making you think about quitting – your mentality is all wrong.
I’m not new to the game, but I’m not a pro either. I’ve earnt $100′s, but I’ve lost $100′s. If I spent $500 and made $450, I don’t see that as a loss right now, because I’ve spent $50 on learning so much that it was worth it. Too many newbies are losing $10 on a campaign and deleting it. Spend a bit more, if it doesn’t convert; pause it and investigate why, ask for help from any affiliate marketing friends you may have or ask on a forum for advice.
Now this post isn’t here to discourage you low budget startups, it’s here to give you a warning that you need the right mindset to make big money in this game. This isn’t to say that starting from nothing is impossible. You can setup a free website, put some amazon affiliate links on it and wait for the SEO traffic to trickle in slowly, you might make $xx a month to start with, if you really go for the SEO tactic you could make $xxx or even $xxxx. But starting from nothing is a slow process and I’d recommend you get used to testing and losing a bit of money – if you can’t afford to lose $100 each week, try a new campaign each month.
Whatever your situation, you can start affiliate marketing and earn a profit, it’s just whether or not you go about it properly. Don’t get overwhelmed by the losses you’ll make, just keep thinking of the day you crack how to run a successful campaign.