"I don't have a product. I don't even have a product IDEA!"
This is one of most common concerns I hear from people interested in starting a business on Internet. It's obvious that you need to sell either a product or a service in order to make money.
That's where affiliate programs come in. Many beginners start online by joining affiliate programs; you sell another company's product or service for a commission. Affiliate programs are available in practically every market you can think of. If you want to see what I mean, visit http://www.associate-it.com/ to view an extensive list of affiliate programs.
Affiliate programs are a convenient way for people to get a 'jump-start' online without time, effort, and money necessary to create a product of their own. However, they're not a 'perfect' solution. Here's a list of positives and negatives to building an affiliate business...
Negatives to affiliate programs:
- You have to share profits. You earn a commission, which typically ranges from a measly 5% to a generous 50%. The rest of money goes into company's pockets.
- You pay all marketing costs. The company is providing you with a product or service to sell; it's your job to actually make sales. This is no easy task, unless you're a natural-born marketer! You can choose to use only free methods of advertising... but these methods aren't necessarily most effective. Marketing can get expensive -- and you pay for your own marketing, regardless of whether or not it results in any sales.
- You can get 'sidelined'. Building an affiliate business is hard work; if you intend to eventually market a product of your own, you may find that affiliate program is taking up too much of your time.
- You're at mercy of company. You rely on them to pay you on time - or at all. If they decide to change commission rates (usually to lower them!), you typically have no say, except to cancel your affiliate contract. And finally, if affiliate program decides to close shop - well, you're simply out of luck.