Treat all such reports with a grain of salt; particularly if you're an affiliate marketing newbie. Here's why - but I'll also offer you the real secret to making decent bucks as an affiliate, absolutely free of charge :)
Lies, damned lies
Often, it's just total lies - there's really no other way to put it. It's often just a hook to sucker you into whatever is being touted, or grooming you for purchasing a product in the future. Often sales pages for a product stating "let me show you how I make a thousand bucks a day from affiliate marketing" are owned by people who have bought the product and site from the guy who actually made the thousand dollars a day - mostly by selling the product and site :). You'll find tens of thousands of these get rich quick sites scattered throughout the Internet.
Don't rely on scans of commission checks either as proof of income or revenue generated. These are easily falsified.
Consider there may be a large sum of money the person has outlaid in order to make that cash. For example, Dude A claims he made 100k, but what he doesn't tell you is that he spent 60k to make
it on promoting the product. Dude B makes 55k but only spent 5k. While Dude A might seem to be the high flyer, Dude B is the more successful affiliate when it comes down to it as his ROI (Return On Investment) is far higher.
Investment of time
Something else to bear in mind is time - two guys make a thousand bucks, one spends 40 hours to make it, another spends 20. The first guy crows about the thousand bucks, the second keeps quiet. I'd rather learn from the second person myself - but so many of these guys fly under the radar; which is really a smart thing to do when you think about it.
I've seen this scenario happen often - an affiliate experiences moderate success in a single program and suddenly assumes they are the bees knees. Emboldened by their feeling of superiority they then go on to create courses and information products on how to make a ton of cash from affiliate marketing. That first program is their only claim to success and the strategies they outline in their products (aside from the affiliate marketing 101 stuff) only work well for that particular product *at the time* they were marketing it; yet they portray the "secret strategy" as being unique.
Inner circle strategy
Often what the super affiliates and marketing gurus who sell information products won't tell you about is what I call "inner circle strategy". It works on the principle of networking with their affiliate buddies and wealth building on wealth. There's big dollars to be made using it, but you need to be semi-successful as an affiliate first before you'll get an opportunity to even get a foot in the door of these little clubs - learn more about the inner circle strategy.
The real secret
Most of the information you need to make a decent income from affiliate marketing can be found for free; on sites like mine and many others. Affiliate forums are also a great place to gain insight. While there are some high flying super affiliates out there who are highly successful in their own right and have the midas touch; remember all that glitters is not gold and sometimes the gold has to be mined using a lot of blood, sweat and tears - and that's what you should be counting
on as a newbie in the world of affiliate marketing. My approach has always
been - think content before profit.
Love boats? Focus on that. Are your pets a passion? Develop sites around your favorite pet breed; create original useful and informative content, build up a mailing list, keep in touch with your subscribers with RSS feeds and email newsletters; follow some basic social media and search engine optimization principles and the traffic will come. Then hook into the affiliate side of things; running offers relevant to your topic.
It is easy on the face of it, but there is an investment of
time - but it's a lot lower risk and very rewarding as you'll be working in
an area you actually care about. Once you have a handle on that, other forms
of affiliate marketing will be a lot easier to generate from.
In the interests of transparency and disclosure, please note that the owner of Taming the Beast.net often receives goods and services mentioned in reviews for free, or may receive payments or affiliate commissions for advertising or referring others to merchants of products and services reviewed.
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