Is it a good time to start your own online business? I would say decidedly yes!
It would be an understatement to say that we are living in turbulent times, and despite claims made here in America, that we are undergoing new economic successes, those effects, unless you hold a significant position in the stock market, are not felt by the average citizen and indeed to some, the current climate is downright scary.
According to Business Insider and quoting from their detailed report in May of 2016, “Since 2001 department stores alone have lost half a million jobs. The coal industry, by comparison, lost about 22,000 jobs in the same period.”
We are witnessing the transition from the old order to all things internet.
Similarly, IBM reported in March that e-commerce earnings were predicted to exceed two trillion dollars in 2017. Earnings have climbed from ground zero in a little more than twenty years and online sales are now destined to globally overtake retail brick and mortar stores within a few short years.
Amazon currently rules the e-commerce world and they and their army of affiliates are the instruments of change when it comes to our buying habits, and although they are the biggest they are certainly not alone.
Affiliate marketers, pretty much all of them individual business owners, are today collectively receiving several billion dollars in commissions received from their respective vendors each year. They make their money by writing about various products and services, sometimes in the form of reviews, and making recommendations to their readers.
As consumers adjust to this new reality they are becoming increasingly comfortable in buying pretty much anything and everything online, safe in the knowledge that they are able to research, purchase, and if necessary return merchandise from the comfort of home. What’s not to like?
Despite security concerns, consumers appear to have morphed from a body of people initially mistrustful of online financial transactions, to almost entirely embracing them. The smart phone (business from a mobile phone) is within arm’s length at all times and it seems to have become indispensable!
For most of us, time spent online now encompasses everything from news gathering, social interaction, hobbies, and shopping and it’s (not so slowly) becoming all-consuming. A quantum leap for sure.
If you wanted you could set yourself up as an affiliate marketer and gradually secure a truly sustainable residual income, and you could be doing that right now! Affiliate marketing is definitely learn-able and it does not require anyone to have any internet commerce experience at all in order to decode its perceived mysteries and gradually begin making money.
A typical affiliate marketer’s website business.
An affiliate’s website will often resemble an otherwise normal blog built around a specific subject matter. The author of the site’s reviews and articles is regularly adding fresh relevant content, purposely designed to pose answers to typical online questions. They strive to become a helpful resource and a go-to destination for readers who are interested in the website owners business niche and as a consequence, the affiliate ends up making income. They are the direct opposite of “shiny objects”, ( entrepreneur.com) They are not chasing money online, the money ends up chasing them!
Thanks to the internet and its easy research opportunities, there are few of us consumers, when contemplating a significant purchase, who would not afford themselves an opportunity to sort the wheat from the chaff. If you want to buy a new camera you just may end up on a website that is giving a side by side comparison of models you were considering buying. All the pro’s and cons with the evidence not only leading you towards a conclusion but actually making it even easier for you to buy, by providing instant vendor links. Well, that’s an affiliate marketer right there. An informed, knowledgeable, authority website.
In this case, the affiliates business is focused on cameras. That’s the owner’s passion, he or she has opinions on the subject and they write regularly about it and post their articles and reviews online. When you, as a consumer Google a question, say, “what is the best SLR camera under $1000.00?” and you then click on an article describing just that, and actually buy something via that page then the affiliate is immediately rewarded by the vendor with a commission. That’s how it works, no store, no complicated shipping and receiving and no credit card transactions.
Is It Easy To Learn?
Well, that depends on your perceptions of easy, and on your work ethic. If your definition of easy is discovering some sort of income-producing method to wrap your head around and then just watch as the money comes rolling in then no, no it’s not easy. Think about it long enough and you would agree that any legitimate enterprise entered in to does not make money from the get-go. Beware the scammers telling you otherwise!
Unlike, for example obtaining a real estate license, there are relatively few rules and regulations required to set up a website and publish the content online but there are definitely best practices. Best practices that you would absolutely have to learn in order for your business to be discover able on the internet. You are after all seeking traffic and the higher your site ranks will be a direct result of your following those best practices to firmly establish yourself on the web. You could build a website around any subject matter and rest assured there are affiliate programs available online that would be applicable to any business niche.
Take some classes.
The largest affiliate marketing teaching program is a Canadian based organization called Wealthy Affiliate. Its impressive learning platform is unique to the industry and it will take you, by degrees, from choosing your business niche to building out your site. It is a step by step method of instruction that will thoroughly explain to you how money is actually made online. Follow along at your own pace, complete the lesson plans, (and take the appropriate action) and you will have become an internet business owner.
How much does it all cost?
Wealthy Affiliate’s beginner’s program is entirely free of charge. It will give you great insights into making legitimate money with a web business and should you decide to pursue advanced classes they are available for a modest cost. For more complete information on Wealthy Affiliate, you can check out my online review below.
Affiliate marketing itself does not require traditional start-up costs associated with a normal business. Just your own .com name and a company to host your site online. You could, of course, choose to incorporate online advertising to boost your readership, however, it is not an absolute requirement for success and indeed many established marketers do not advertise at all.
Wealthy Affiliate Online Review. It’s the best way to start!