Guest Author - Deborah Crawford
Make a Fortune Promoting Other People's Stuff Online, subtitled How Affiliate Marketing Can Make you Rich, by Rosalind Gardner is a great book for starting your own affiliate marketing business. It is beginner-friendly and yet has many useful tips and hints for making more money even if you are an old hand at affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is when you promote or sell other people's products online and receive a small commission when people buy through your links. For example, if you click on the link to this book and buy it from Amazon, I will receive a small affiliate commission on the sale.
I have dabbled in affiliate marketing for a couple of years now, as an added income trickle to my business. And, I’ve made some decent pocket change from that dabbling. So, I bought this book to see what I would need to do to ramp that up and make real money at it. I do know it is possible to make money being an affiliate marketer, because if you can make a little money for “dabbling”, then it makes sense that you can make more by approaching it like a business and “working at it.”
Which is exactly what Gardner tells you to do in this book. I half expected this book to be a written form of those late-night infomercials about getting rich quickly and easily. In other words, a scam. Thankfully, it is not about scams. And, Gardner doesn’t have any miracles or magic wands up her sleeve.
Her premise is that you can indeed make a fortune in affiliate marketing, and she essentially gives you the road map with which to do so. She starts off by giving some basic information on setting up affiliate files, using your computer faster (via macros), and basically how to set up your work environment. Then, the author helps you learn about which of your interests and passions would be best suited to turn into affiliate marketing businesses. This is a very important step that many people skip—don’t! There may be good money in selling widget X, but if you could care less or you don’t know anything or want to know anything about widget X, then do not sell it. Do not even consider it. Pick something you love enough to spend time writing about it, researching it and living with it! You’ll be successful quicker and you’ll be happier in the long run.
Which isn’t to say you are limited to your most-favorite thing! Gardner tells you how to expand your business and grow with added websites. You can make money on several of your passions!
Gardner also explains, in simple language, how to build and develop a website, how to find affiliates, and how to avoid the pitfalls of internet marketing.
You'll wnat to keep this book as a reference guide, particularly to review the marketing aspects of her plan. It is quite thorough and she recommends some of the same tactics I use and recommend-- article marketing, newsletter marketing, group and forum memberships (and she warns strongly against spamming) and much more. She even covers what online marketing things to avoid (those things that hurt your search engine rankings). Gardner gives tips for offline marketing tactics, too.
There is one thing in here that I disagree with Gardner on, and rather vehemently. One way to market any business online is via article marketing and she recommends it as do I. However, she says that if someone steals your articles, you should ask them to take it down or add your URL, and if they don't, then you "chalk it up to the cost of doing business". If you do this, you are essentially giving away your copyright to that material and I think you must defend your copyright more vigorously, even contacting the ISP if necessary. You still may not be able to do anything, but you should be able to prove that you tried.
I still highly recommend this book for any small or home business owner who is interested in exploring or expanding an affiliate marketing business. You can buy your copy at Amazon.com.