Should I become an affiliate marketer or should I create my own product? I see this question a lot these days. I’m going to take 20 minutes from this beautiful Saturday morning to share some important career advice with you. Here we go…A business built entirely on Affiliate Marketing is, in my opinion, flaky as all hell. Offers will constantly get shut down, competition will copy you within a few days and profitability is difficult to maintain after a 1-3 months. If you stop promoting affiliate offers, you stop making money. Your earnings will experience a definitive crash if you are hospitalized or decide to take a vacation or when an offer disappears. If you don’t believe me, listen to this Mixergy interview with Super-Affiliate Mike Collela. Skip straight to 56:56…the epiphany is at 57:54. This is the interview that opened my eyes to affiliate marketing and made me shift gears. Keep in mind that Mike made most of his money in 2008 before Google Adwords cracked down on Affiliates and direct linking. His techniques no longer work.
An affiliate marketer will find themselves burning through serious cash to test campaigns, traffic sources and landing pages. Affiliate Marketers these days refer to the process as “grinding“. It requires a lot of time, work and money to get profitable…and I found it to be the most disillusioning work anyone can perform in the IM world. I don’t want to spend days and nights watching metrics like a hawk and building new landing pages and banners. I prefer having other people to drive traffic to my offers.
In the end, affiliate marketers are only building another person’s business and asset. If you stop marketing afffiliate products for even one month, your income stream dries up completely. What’s left in the end? Nothing.
You can’t even “sell” the business or hand it down to a child.
Take a moment and look carefully at all the people earning over $100k per month (Lee McIntyre and Daegan Smith come to mind). Do you see something in common? I do.
They sell their own products and continuity programs. They have massive lists or buyers and prospects. They have rabid fans in membership sites. They have a tribe. Sure…they might send out an affiliate offer here and there…but their businesses are not based on it. It’s simply additional revenue after the initial sale is made. Most important of all, they recruit affiliates to grow their business and build massive leverage.
My advice: skip the affiliate marketing route and go straight to product creation. If you’re not an “expert” or don’t know how to make products, then simply buy some excellent Private Label Rights (PLR) that you can rebrand and resell. And I’m not talking about the $9.95 PLR…I’m talking about the $997 Jimmy Brown PLR. Or the $297 Paul Counts PLR. Buy some high quality stuff…then you can play the traffic game (just like a CPA/affiliate) except all the money comes into your own pocket! This allows you greater leverage in traffic buys since you can spend more money to acquire a lead. And most important of all…you can build an affiliate army.