Hey, welcome directly the hell back, yo.
Nice to have you here on my fancy-pants blog again. I hope you enjoy your (hopefully not too brief) stay.
Ready for a dumb-ass question?
Coolio, here she is…
Should I Do Affiliate Marketing… Or List Building… Or Product Creation… Or CPA Marketing… Or WHAT?
Now I’m not saying those who ask such questions are freakin’ idiots. I’m simply implying that they are!
But it’s a question I’ve heard SO MANY times… and it really is SO NONSENSICAL… that I really want to clear up a few misconceptions for you.
Firstly, let me address where I believe this question stems from. Then, I’d like to give you a brilliant (if you don’t mind my saying so) analogy that should illustrate the necessity for changing the way we think about earning some serious cash via the Internet.
The Question Is Honest… For What It Is.
I know it comes from a good place.
You hear about all of these dozens of online business models and it is just so easy to come to believe that they’re mutually exclusive. That is, it’s easy to believe that affiliate marketing, product creation, list building, SEO, blogging, YouTube marketing, and all of these other marketing tactics are, in and of themselves, distinct business models.
They’re tactics. Nothing more, nothing less.
Some can be added to your overall business model. Some can be omitted. And at the end of the day, your business can still thrive.
This is not to say, however, that your business is merely a combination of marketing tactics.
Why dilute your impact?
Your business is – and VERY WELL SHOULD BE – you bringing genuine value to the marketplace. The brass tacks of this whole shebang is that you need an audience with a problem to whom to provide a solution. And then, you need to present that solution in a way that your audience responds favorably to.
That’s biz, baby.
Nothing more, nothing less.
Some people provide entertainment to their audience. This solves the problem of boredom. Some provide health solutions for various physical ailments or “imperfections.” Others provide information or tools for hobbyist of various cloths.
At the end of the day, it’s all the damn same.
You need an obvious with a problem… and you need to present them with a solution.
How you monetize this audience is up to you. You can certainly create your own products, promote other people’s products, or simply provide a neato-mosquito place for your peeps to hang out (aka a website) where you’ve got some well-placed 3rd party ads just begging to be clicked upon.
That’s your call to make… and I would venture to say that each method has its pros and cons. I would also venture to say that there is absolutely no reason you need to limit yourself to only one form of monetization.
Okay, So Here’s My Analogy…
Before I “made my big break” in online marketing, I was a waiter and bartender.
Perhaps others reading this have found themselves in this line of work. Perhaps not many. Regardless, it should be a pretty damned easy analogy to wrap your brilliant little mind around, kimosabe.
Asking the question “should I do affiliate marketing or list building or product creation (etc.)?” is akin to working in a restaurant as a front-of-house employee and asking the following question…
“Should I bring the customers food? Or should I bring them drinks? Or should I smile at them? Or should I process their payment? Or should I thank them for coming?”
Online marketing is nuanced, and there are many ways in which it can be done.
“Waiting tables” online consists of building a website… and an email list… and making offers… and providing solutions.”
Want to create your own products?
Cool, now you’ve advanced in this weird little “waiting tables” comparison to the position of trainer. You can still do all of the other stuff, too. But now you’re also sharing your expertise with others.
What if you want to be a “manager?” Hell, offer some coaching!
Want to become the owner or “CEO?” Invent the next Facebook, YouTube, or Clickbank!
So there are different business models available to you… but not as many as you may have been (mis)led to believe.
If you’re just starting out, you’re starting as a “waiter.” And there are certain things you’ll want to do to be the most effective you can be at your position. I maintain that this all needs to start with the basics…
“And What, Pray Tell, Are the Basics?”
Blogging and list building.
Blogging for traffic and influence. List building for ongoing engagement.
Monetize your blog (sidebars, etc.) and content (your individual posts and pages) with affiliate offers, CPA offers, 3rd party ads (Google Adsense and the like)… and use your email list to send traffic to your blog posts.
Use questions as your blog post titles. If you don’t know the answer to something, don’t try to teach it. Be honest. Show your audience where you’re personally at. Sometimes it’s okay to drop an affiliate link by admitting that you don’t know about this particular product, but you’re looking into it. Drop an affiliate link so that your reader can look into it, too!
It’s not that difficult, amigo.
I will be covering this strategy in more detail in future blog posts… and in IMMENSE detail in my upcoming book “Shiny Object Lemonade,” where I’ll actually lay out a step-by-step system that you can follow, if you so desire.
In the meantime, I just want you to IDENTIFY what your business is.
And by this, naturally, I mean that I want you to understand – with as much clarity as humanly possible – who your audience is… and what problem or problems they have that you intend to help them solve.
THAT’S your business.
Everything else is merely a tactic.
I hope this has helped!
Until next time,
P.S. As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Comment below, por favor.