Many people in the Internet Marketing space, particularly the Affiliate Marketing space, are engaging in a big debate as to whether or not Online or Affiliate Marketing is in fact, a “legitimate” long-term business. Some people are proponents of “doom and gloom” for the affiliate marketing industry. They say that the Affiliate Marketing industry will be dead by a certain date, etc.
The truth is, however, that as long as there’s an internet, there will be people selling things, and, so long as there are people selling things on the internet, there will be companies willing to pay out a percentage in order to get sales for them. That’s all Affiliate Marketing really is, isn’t it? Now, as far as whether it’s actually a long-term business or not, again, I would give an emphatic yes. Any business that funds your lifestyle, that you can do indefinitely, as far as I’m concerned, is a long-term business (by the very definition of the word).
However, there are some aspects of Internet Marketing that make for much better strategies for building a long-term business than others. No matter what you want to do as an Online Marketer, there’s a potential there to build a long-term, profitable business, and you can do it with relative ease, if you know exactly what to market, and how to market it.
Cost Per Action
Let’s face the facts, CPA marketing, is not a very good long-term strategy, and I’ll explain why. Because the companies generating these leads, only need a certain number, and it’s VERY hard to control what affiliates, and how many affiliates are marketing certain offers, these offers are getting “pulled” all the time. The companies just say, “OK, we’ve gotten enough of these leads for now, we’re not paying out for anymore”. And, if you have a successful campaign going for that offer, it just disappears overnight, even if you were making $1,000 a day on it the day before, it doesn’t matter, it’s gone. Most of the time, a CPA Network doesn’t have a given offer exclusively, which means, not only can they not control how much volume is coming in from within their own network, to a given offer, they also have absolutely no control over how much traffic that offer is getting from affiliates on other networks.
Can CPA Be A Long Term Strategy?
What does this mean for you? Complete instability. Offers getting pulled left and right, and for every successful campaign that you make, there’s usually one campaign that needs to be replaced because the Advertiser chose to pull that offer, for one reason or another. This makes it very difficult for you to stack up your successful campaigns over the long term, because your constantly playing a game of cat and mouse, trying to keep up and replace all the campaigns that have gone bust, so, your basically running on a hamster wheel. Now, you can put in the time, do this for the long haul, and make a successful long-term business out of it, but, it’s not very easy. So… what are you to do?
The Alternative: Lead Generation
If you really like the CPA lead gen model, and/or you’re good at it, and you want to stick with it, but, you don’t like the fact that it doesn’t make for a very good long term, sustainable business, then there are other alternatives. For example, why not just build your own Lead Generation business? There are local businesses beyond counting, and of course, larger, national and international businesses, that are CONSTANTLY in need of good leads for their sales teams, and, if you can provide them, you’re golden. You only have to land a few good clients, and, this is a much more stable, much more reliable business model, because most clients, will be working exclusively with you, so, you don’t have to worry about them all of the sudden getting flooded with traffic, and pulling their offer out of the blue.
With this model, you can just build your client list slowly but surely, and you’ll easily be able to build a long-term, profitable business. One successful campaign will last you a VERY, very long time in most cases, if you’re providing quality leads, because these companies will just keep buying from you again and again. Now, the downside, of course, is that you will have clients to answer to, unlike with CPA, but, once you’ve built up a large enough client list, you can 80/20 your clients, and stop working with any that are causing a big hassle, while keeping the ones that just stay quiet, and consistently give you money for your leads. Also, you don’t need a brick and mortar business. Contrary to popular belief, you can still do everything 100% online, and live the Internet Lifestyle; working from a beach house.
We’ve now covered CPA marketing, and Lead Generation, however, there are many other things that people can market, such as physical products, digital products, and more. Those will be covered in later parts of this series.