Building lasting value in internet marketing

Everything in affiliate marketing is temporary. The offers, the campaigns, the income, even some of the networks are all very short lived. Nothing lasts for what would be considered a long time in the business world. This presents an interesting challenge to the Internet Marketer. How can you continue to make a living is such a volatile and fleeting industry?

One way is to accept the fact that everything you build and work on is temporary and always be working on the next thing to replace revenue sources that are dropping off.  Unfortunately this is equivalent to living paycheck to paycheck with a regular job.  Eventually your luck will probably run out and you will be left without an income stream.

A more stable approach is to try to build sources of lasting and growing value alongside your affiliate work.  This might include things like an authority site, community site, real products, a service or tool, etc.  These are the types of things that increase in value as time goes on, provide recurring revenue for the future, and have a residual value if you want to sell them.   I like to think of affiliate marketing as a temporary income that can help fund long term projects, but I am always thinking of the long term projects as the main goal of Internet Marketing.  If you look at almost everyone that has made it big in an online business, they have built something of real value.

I have tried building countless new sites and services. Most of them have failed miserably, but I have learned something from each failure.  Some examples: I built a large dog community site that never worked out, a cooking site, a social networking site, built a business planning tool, gamer sites, etc….  Probably 90% don’t work out, but a couple have done ok which makes it all worthwhile.  Once you hit upon something that brings real revenue and customers the payout can be great.

What kind of site or service should you create to build lasting value?  It’s been said a million times but it’s still true: find a need and fill it.  Sure that is easier said than done.  You can start with things that interest you, then it seems less like work.  Or you can look for trends and emerging niches and try to get in on the ground floor.  Whatever method you use, provide value to customers and the revenue will come eventually.  Instead of thinking “how can I make money online”, think  “what do people need or want that I can provide”.

When considering a new online project, there are 3 factors that I consider the holy grail of an Internet business:

1.  Automated sign up/delivery service – This means that once your system or site is built, there is no input needed for new customers to sign up and start using your service.

2.  Infinitely scalable – Which means it doesn’t take any more effort to have 10 customers or 10,000

3.  Recurring monthly revenue – Customers pay to continue to use your product or service so the revenue stream keeps coming.

An example of perfect internet businesses that meet these 3 criteria would be any online tool that charges by the month for use.  It fills a customer need, they can sign up and use it without your input, you can add more customers with minimal extra effort, and they continue to pay as long as they use the service.

In short: affiliate marketing can be rewarding in the short term, but don’t forget to invest some time in building long term value projects – whatever they may be.

Like this post? Please share!
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
Posted in General by cdfnetworks on 07|14|10
Subscribe to CDF Networks | Subscribe to Comments

RSS feed | Trackback URI

22 Comments »

Comment by Jeff Gardner
2010-07-15 13:51:02

Hey chad,

I’ve spent the last 4 months building out what I expect will become an authority site in the recreational vehicle niche. Lot’s of work for no return so far but early testing looks good .. should be pretty sweet when ramped up to maturity.

In tandem with this, I’m developing a number of Lead Gen sites, following the roadmap you provide in the Local Lead Plan.

Seems like as good an approach as any … a potential authority site with a mumber of lead gen sites running alongside.

BTW, thanks for producing the LLP … cracker resource!

Jeff

Comment by Chad
2010-07-15 15:12:10

Thanks for the feedback Jeff. If you want, shoot me an email with that RV site link – I’ve done some work in that niche, I might be able to help.

 
 
Comment by Jonathan Volk
2010-07-15 17:35:09

Really good post as always!

:)

 
Comment by Jimmy Tang
2010-07-17 20:33:36

Hey Chad,

Great post. How do you decide if the tool/service your website is offering is worth charging for? Would you put up a price and see if you get any sign ups? If not, then go with the free model and make money from ads?

Thanks.

Comment by Chad
2010-08-15 21:42:27

Pricing is always difficult. I prefer to keep things cheap and go for volume sales if possible.

 
 
Comment by Hard Laptop Cases
2010-07-19 18:43:35

@Jimmy: yes I would go ahead and set a price and see what results you get. Most of the time you can find similar products or services and see what they charge. As you said, you can always switch to some free model if you don’t get enough paying customers.

 
Comment by Checking Accounts
2010-07-23 16:46:36

Definitely some good tips there. It just makes more sense to always plan long term for a money making project.

 
Comment by car battery
2010-08-02 13:57:37

Thanks for sharing your experience and advice. For those of us still fresh, there’s quite a bit to learn and acclimatize to in this business. At times, it feels saturated and there’s no way to find your own niche. But the best thing to do it seems is to keep diverging into newer ideas and hope they click.

 
2010-08-06 19:27:02

One of the biggest problems with courses that are “teaching” newbies is the fact that they don’t address the longevity of the methods. Many people made a lot of money with the whole Acai craze with PPC, but a lot of them didn’t gain any lasting business from that traffic and most are dead in the water now.

Building a long-term business in this industry is the end game that will ultimately get most of us to where we want to be financially.

btw, Thanks for posting this

 
Comment by Tipjar
2010-08-15 17:44:16

Hey Chad,

I’m curious to hear what your thoughts are regarding SEO. I know some PPCers (like cakes) hate SEO and claim it’s broke money. What’s your take on it?

Comment by Chad
2010-08-15 21:41:26

To be honest, I’m not a big fan of SEO. I think of you just start with a good basic site structure, then produce content that the search engines like, SEO will take care of itself.

 
 
Comment by Hard Laptop Cases
2010-08-20 21:33:27

Regarding lasting value, watch out when people hijack your spot on blog top commentator lists. I just noticed that my link on this site was stolen by someone with some weight loss site.

 
Comment by Connor Bringas
2010-09-03 00:38:10

Great post, I dont think most people really think about this kind of stuff. Most affiliates just think the money is going to always flow their way. Its true though luck does run out. You just have to make sure and invest your money in something worth while. Good post keep it up

2010-09-21 05:43:13

yes, i am totally agree with you, connor. thanks for this post.

 
 
Comment by Liposuction
2010-09-15 16:08:32

Thanks for sharing your experience and advice. This is a really excellent read for me. Must admit that you are one of the best blogger I ever saw. Thanks for posting this useful article.

 
Comment by Issiana
2010-09-16 01:20:34

I agree, everything that you write although immortalized is only temporary when it comes to capturing the attention of your readers

 
Comment by Essay
2010-10-05 08:06:51

These three points for an ideal internet business. What could it be? For example netflix or movie downloadable database?

 
2010-10-12 07:05:46

Building Listing and connecting with your visitors, readers and customers can sometimes be challenging. Your site structure has some to do with how people flow from one point to another, but what key ingredients build lasting relationships with those who frequent your site?

 
Comment by David Parsons
2010-11-26 16:47:29

I agree that Automated sign up/delivery service is number 1 on the list. Without this no one would be able to really take your website seriously. Thanks for the good advice.

 
2010-12-20 01:15:02

I find that diversification works well to help stabilize income flow, too. Great article. Thanks for the advice.

Comment by Ex Recovery System
2013-01-29 21:29:37

That is often very good advice and the essence in some ways of what he is saying here, diversification has benefits and is very important, like having a reliable system.

 
 
Comment by ex recovery system
2011-07-22 11:41:16

Yes, you are right, the majority focus only on the making as much money as possible quickly, not paying attention to whether the methods can last a long time.

Instead, better to follow the strategy you describe here, providing something of lasting value that can hopefully last many years, even indefinitely.

 
Name (required)
E-mail (required - never shown publicly)
URI
Your Comment (smaller size | larger size)
You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

Recommended

PRWeb $50 off

Sponsors