Wendy, I would love to get your opinion on what the best path to web entrepreneurship is. Some people say affiliate marketing, others believe in blogging while some say blogging is no way to earn a living. I’d really like to work for myself and work at home. What options should I be pursuing?
Well, this might not be the answer you want to hear, but there is no one best path to web entrepreneurship, in my opinion – here’s why:
- Different niches require different marketing strategies
- Your strengths as a marketer will determine your quickest path to success
- All paths can fail – and all paths can succeed – it really depends on you
That being said, let me tell you about a friend of mine – he had just signed up for a $1500 internet marketing seminar taught by someone who I knew to be highly UNqualified to teach the course. The course covered basics such as how to get a website set up, build an email list, start a blog, write an eProduct and build joint ventures (all in two days – LOL!!). My friend realized this wasn’t the right course for him and asked me for advice on who could teach him everything he needed to know about internet marketing.
- My first advice to him was that he didn’t need to drop $1500 on an introductory course when much of that information is available freely online.
- My second advice to him was that he doesn’t need to know EVERYTHING about internet marketing to make money online. Sure, the more you know, the better your chances, but you have to start somewhere first.
Here’s what I told my friend – no matter what you end up doing (blogging, email marketing, affiliate marketing, or promoting your own products), you will need to know something about affiliate marketing to make money with any of them – so start there.
I told him he would learn more in Rosalind Gardner’s Super Affiliate Handbook for less than $50 than he would ever learn in a crappy internet marketing course taught by someone who had a page rank of “0” and a non-existent Alexa rank. Most of the material in this book was also covered at Elite Retreat, giving a little more social proof to the fact that that even the most successful affiliate marketers use this same industry knowledge to make millions.
That doesn’t mean that you should only do affiliate marketing – it does mean that the more you know about affiliate marketing, the more successful you will be in any area of internet marketing.
Learning Affiliate Marketing will require that you master:
- Selling through web copy and targeting visitors accurately
- Driving traffic via Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay Per Click search marketing (PPC), and through other means (Social Media, etc.)
- Analyzing your web stats to understand your site visitors needs more accurately
- How to choose the best affiliate offers that your site visitors will be most likely to buy/use and have the highest Return on Investment (ROI)
I’d like to qualify this advice with the following caveat – if you are already an experienced professional in any industry, you would likely have the easiest time making money at home by finding your own clients and getting hired for freelance work. Sometimes non-compete employment agreements will prohibit you from going this route, but in my experience, this is the fastest way to bring in revenue and get established as an entrepreneur. Then, as your business grows, you can add additional revenue streams such as affiliate marketing, blogging, email marketing, or launching your own eProducts.
Additionally, working on any of these things will require basic html knowledge, that you are internet savvy, and that you set up a web site.
So, to answer the initial question in a nutshell, here’s the best way to start a home business online:
- Leverage your current skills and contacts into freelance work opportunities
- Leverage your current marketing knowledge into your first marketing projects
- Learn as much as you can about affiliate marketing, because everything you learn about it will help you to be successful in every online marketing endeavor.
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