I first got into product marketing prior to the appearance of the internet — in the days before the “digital age” was upon us. You know? When cell-phones were as big as bricks, dinosaurs roamed the Earth, and, for a nickel, you could take the entire family out to dinner, buy a large house in Beverly Hills, and finance a manned mission to one of the outer planets in our solar system? …maybe I’m exaggerating just a bit. But, times were different then.
Back then, in those by-gone days, there was a rock-solid piece of knowledge that every experienced and successful product marketer knew. It was this: If you want to make real money, you must control the product. That meant that you needed to have full rights and, thus, full control of the product you were promoting. I.e., you really needed to create your own product — or otherwise procure full and solely held rights to a product someone else created. Back then, you could take that piece of advice to the bank! It was chiseled into stone tablets, forged by the hands of the gods of marketing themselves.
Now, that’s not to say that you couldn’t earn decent money by marketing someone else’s product for commissions. You could. But, in the grand scheme of things, you’d really just be cheating yourself. You’d be doing work to promote the product and generate sales — the same work you’d have to do to generate sales if you were working to promote your own product, but those efforts would, instead of merely earning you a commission on the sale, earn you the full amount of the sale price. And, if you create your own product, you could also recruit your own affiliates and pay them commissions on the work they do for your product. So, of course, they’d be doing all the work, and you’d be getting a portion of their sales, plus you’d be getting 100% of the revenue from your own marketing efforts. It should be plain to see that revenue potential is greatly increased if you control the product.
However, that was then and this is now. The digital age is here and the rules have changed somewhat. Oh, don’t get the wrong idea here — the person who controls the product still, of course, stands to earn more money from that product than any single affiliate marketer will. There’s no doubt about that. But, the old, rock-solid, take-it-to-the-bank rule of ‘you must control the product’ isn’t quite as rock-solid, nor take-it-to-the-bank-ish, as it was in those days.
Back then, people weren’t really ‘getting rich’ marketing someone else’s product. You could, if you were successful, earn a very attractive living for yourself as an affiliate marketer — very attractive. But, a couple of Rolls Royces in the garage, a mansion in the hills, and an impromptu flight to Paris on your own private jet because you suddenly had a hankering for pastries from your favorite Parisian bakery sort of lifestyle was quite unrealistic. The people who were achieving such stations in life all had something in common — they all controlled their product. The best of the best of affiliate marketers, on the other hand, maybe had a nice four or five bedroom house in a nice suburban community, perhaps a nice Cadillac in their driveway and another nice car for their spouse, and a nice chunk of play-money left over at the end of each month.
The thing is, really, the digital age has made it much easier for the affiliate marketer. You see, back then, there was something very different than now — an affiliate marketer, basically, could choose and market one product. If they were extremely resourceful and dedicated, they might be able to take on two or three. But, for most, affiliate marketing meant choosing a product to promote and concentrating on that product.
There wasn’t any internet marketing back then. If you were promoting a product, you had to make cold calls. You had to create print ads and purchase advertising space in print publications. You had to create and somehow distribute promotional flyers and other types of sales material. You had to put one foot in front of the other, get out there and talk to people — face to face. You had to shake hands and make sales. You had to create real-world buzz. It took a lot of time and effort, and, you had to do this for each product your were working. There were no Clickbanks or Commission Junctions. You had to hunt for someone looking for affiliates, assess how saleable their product was, fully familiarize yourself with their product, and get out there into the real world and put in the leg-work. You had to do this for each product you wanted to market.
There was no such thing as starting a website, monetizing it with attractive ads to various targeted affiliate programs and then just concentrating on driving converting traffic to that website. If you wanted a sale — a single sale — you had to put in real-world work to achieve that sale — that one sale. There was no going to bed at night and waking up in the morning to discover you’d made a few sales while you were sleeping. For most affiliate marketers, you made a sale and earned a commission usually only after you actually shook the hand of another human being. So, you could either put in that real-world work in order to earn a commission on someone else’s product, or you could create your own product and put in the same effort to earn for yourself alone all of the revenue a sale brought in. It was very cut-and-dry back then — to earn the real bucks, you needed to create your own product. Or, you needed to obtain full and sole rights to someone else’s product. End of. If you didn’t create your own product, you’d always really just be an employee of sorts — working to make someone else rich. Perhaps, if you were good, your compensation as that sort of employee would be far from anything to sneeze at. But, it wouldn’t be anywhere near as good as the person for whom you were working — they were getting the lion’s share of your hard work.
The internet, and the coming of the digital age, has evened things out somewhat — not totally, of course, but much more so than how it used to be. The gap between what is achievable for an affiliate marketer and what is achievable for the owner of an uber-successful product has been reduced fairly significantly. For the best of the best of affiliate marketers these days that impromptu flight to Paris for pastries on their private jet might still be a little beyond their means. But, they’ve got a Rolls Royce now too, and they’ve moved up into the hills as well — not into the biggest mansion on the block, perhaps, but a pretty darned nice one!
So, do you really need to create your own product? Must you control the product you promote? Not anymore. Not really. If it’s within your abilities to do so — within your abilities to create a hot-selling product, then, of course, you’ll make more money from it than you would if you were simply an affiliate for it. But, it’s not so absolutely crucial anymore. Not like it once was. The game has changed somewhat. If creating products that will sell isn’t your thing — if you don’t have a talent for it — then you’re not necessarily out of the game. People are making huge money, right now, just by earning affiliate commissions from promoting other people’s products. The really successful affiliate marketers in this online world are no longer just self-employed-employees working for others and earning the sort of income realistically associated with an ’employee’. It’s more akin now to the product owner being the wholesale distributor and the affiliate marketer being more of a retail business owner — albeit, one that operates on a commission model, rather than a traditional retail ‘purchase-markup-resell’ model.
So, give good thought as to whether or not you really need to create your own product. If you’re able to take your efforts to the height of success in your marketing, do you really need that private jet? Would not just the Rolls Royce and respectably sized mansion do?
Remember as well that if you’re to create your own product and market that, there is much greater risk involved. If you’re marketing someone else’s product and it turns out to be a flop, you can always seek out another, and better, product to market. If you put in all the time, effort and trouble to create your own product and it turns out to be a dud, what do you do then? All of that work and investment in time and money is lost. You’ll then need to either give up completely, turn to being an affiliate for someone else’s product anyway, or start in on the entire process of creating another product that, hopefully, works out better.
If you create your own product to market, and that product turns out to be a goldmine, it’s better for you than if you were merely an affiliate promoting that product for commissions. There’s no doubt about that. But, affiliate marketers are no longer the small-fish they used to be. They’re no longer in the category of ‘freelance salesman’ — which is exactly what they used to be — freelance salesmen. They’re entrepreneurs themselves now. So, give good thought about whether or not you want to, or are ready to, enter into all the complexities involved with product creation. Maybe it’s for you. Maybe you’re good at it. Maybe you have a knack for it. And, if you do, that’s great. But, don’t think it’s impossible to achieve astounding success through affiliate marketing. Don’t think that if you don’t create your own product that a truly desirable level of success will always remain beyond you. Don’t think that as an affiliate marketer you’ll just be some schlub schlepping the boss’s product to make him fat and happy. Affiliate marketing isn’t what it once was. It isn’t what it used to be.
Look into an affiliate marketing program like the one you can reach by clicking here. Take advantage of it. Work it. Gain experience marketing it and earn profits for yourself while you do. Then, after a while, if you still think you need to create your own product, give it a go. You can then use the money you made from that program to finance your product creation, and benefit from the marketing experience you acquired to make your own product a success.