It's Monday -- that means it's time to open up the mailbox and answer YOUR questions!

It’s Monday — that means it’s time to open up the mailbox and answer YOUR questions!

Hola! Welcome to another Mailbox Monday.

It’s time to dive into the ol’ mailbox and see what kind of question is up next in the queue…

Aha… Here it is!

Affiliate marketing, eh?

Well, let’s get on with it!

Hi Roy,

First of all, Thank you for Breakthrough Marketing Secrets. I truly enjoy learning more while I am trying to get my first copywriting client. What do you think about starting with an affiliate to get some income coming in at the beginning of a person’s copywriting career?

Thanks,

Gail

Alright. I feel a no-holds-barred response coming on…

Affiliate marketing is, by far, one of the biggest and most misunderstood “money for nothing” schemes sold on the internet.

Here’s the thing…

What if I were to tell you I could show you a way to make a ton of money…

With no customers?

No product?

No clients?

No actual work product delivered?

And no obligation to actually have “a business” that you have to manage?

Pretty juicy, huh?

Well that’s exactly what makes this such a lucrative business opportunity — to sell to you!

And you shouldn’t be blamed for buying it hook, line, and sinker, because it really triggers the emotional and subconscious desires to get everything you ever want and need handed to you without any effort or exertion on your part.

The thing is, it’s not so simple.

YES, some affiliates make a TON of money (millions)… And YES, some affiliates don’t really do any work at all…

The only problem is, those two groups are pretty much mutually exclusive!

It’s easy for merchants to get you on board as an affiliate. All you have to do is fill out an application. They don’t have to pay you a salary, or really do anything to support you. They have a program built into their shopping cart software that generates links for you, and tells them when a sale is made and they need to pay you. (Some of the software manages the payments automatically!)

And so they’re willing to bring a TON of affiliates on board. It’s low-effort. And odds suggest that somewhere in there is going to be an affiliate that does actually send a bunch of sales their way, and will get paid accordingly.

But the sad truth is, most affiliates don’t really make any money!

And I don’t care if you’re trying to do it while you’re getting your copywriting business rolling, or setting up some other business, or whatever…

If you’re dreaming of big affiliate marketing paydays (or even ones big enough to pay the bills!), you need to know they’re pretty dang unlikely to ever materialize.

You know the 80/20 rule?

Well, affiliate marketing is probably more like 95/5.

Which means 95% of affiliates only make 5% of the income. It’s the top 5% that make 95% of the money being paid out to affiliates.

And even within those, it’s the top 5% of the top 5% — 1 out of every 400 — that make 95% of the 95% — or, 90.25% — of the income.

Which basically means that…

Out of every $100 made in affiliate marketing, it’s ONE GUY OR GAL making $90.25, while 399 “lesser” affiliates fight over $9.75!

The odds are overwhelming against you making any real money in affiliate marketing.

Again, some people make a TON of money. I don’t spend a lot of time in the affiliate world, but I know from merchants who’ve worked with affiliates that some do indeed make millions.

But again, for every $1,000,000 that super-affiliate makes, there’s $108,033 being fought over by 399 others. And 95% of that is going to 19 others, while the 380 below would starve if they were reliant on the affiliate income to put food on the table.

So with all that said…

What’s the real secret to making income… A living… A fortune in affiliate marketing?

Well, some people make money selling the dream of affililate marketing — selling you “how to” information that makes them big bucks without you ever having to make a penny… Though I don’t really recommend that for you.

Others make good money in affiliate marketing by having a product to sell, and recruiting affiliates to send traffic their way… This means you’re not the affiliate, you’re the company that has the affiliates… Get enough affiliates interested in linking to you, and 95/5 will start to work in your favor…

And then there’s being an affiliate itself…

This is a trickier opportunity, but there’s one big rule…

If you want to make real money as an affiliate — you have to treat it like a real business!

Being a successful affiliate is more than just taking advantage of an arbitrage opportunity, setting up a blog and linking to products, or anything like that…

Being a successful affiliate requires pretty much all the same skills, techniques, strategies, and WORK required to build any other online business…

You have to get qualified traffic for whatever it is you want to offer…

You have to persuade that traffic in a way that fosters conversions…

You’ll also probably want to build a list, and a relationship with that list…

You’ll have to manage websites, probably paid advertising or really good SEO, maybe get an email service provider, set up autoresponders or email newsletters, and more…

Again, pretty much everything you’d have to do to set up any other internet business — with the exception of process orders and fulfill product.

And in exchange, you’ll get between a couple percent and half the sale price. When, if you did the same thing for your own business, you’d keep all the profits. Yes, there’d be a little more work, and a little more risk. But the potential reward is much greater.

My short answer about whether or not you should do affiliate marketing to earn a side income is NO…

And that’s based on everything written above.

That said, if you’re the type of person who doesn’t take NO for an answer… Who is going to go out and prove me wrong… Who’s willing to do all the stuff that 399 out of 400 affiliates won’t… Well, maybe you have a fighting chance.

Should you expect to make significant income quickly from affiliate marketing? Absolutely not…

Should you rely on it to support you while you get your copywriting business up and going? I wouldn’t…

If you take it seriously, is there a lucrative business opportunity there? Sure! Just remember that in every business opportunity, you still have to build a business.

Yours for bigger breakthroughs,

Roy Furr

Editor, Breakthrough Marketing Secrets

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