If you love what you’re doing at your job and are perfectly content with where you are, the salary you earn, and the people you work with, then you might not be interested in finding new and creative ways to work and earn money. On the other hand, you never know when you might change your mind – or find that something changes in your situation or career. Many people in the past have focused on self-improvement and career development to advance in their current profession, but others have made radical changes in their jobs and found new ways to make a living. One of these people is Jon Rhodes, who now makes his money through internet marketing, and through helping other people do the same.
7S: When people think about internet marketing, it’s often related to one of two things. First, they imagine themselves as a successful marketer, sitting back and watching the money roll in. Second, they check their spam messages and get a much less flattering picture of the profession! Which is it, really?
JR: I would have to say that the reality is neither. Once you start sitting back, that’s when you are on the slippery slope down. There is always work that can be done to improve your business. Its a nice idea having a business running on autopilot, but things change all the time, and you can’t take your eye off the ball. However you can work hours that suit you, and from a location that suits you. So it is perfectly possible to be running your business from a villa in Spain. But you must stay actively involved on a daily basis, or risk getting left behind.
There are many spammers, but these aren’t the successful affiliate marketers. You can’t make money online this way. Have you ever bought anything from a spammer? People aren’t daft when it comes to parting with their hard earned cash, and want to be sure you are trustworthy and ethical in what you do. I find it a bit frustrating that so many people spend so much time and energy spamming. If they put this same effort into dong things the ethical way, they would probably make a lot more cash.
7S: Why do you describe what you do as “ethical” internet marketing?
JR: To me affiliate marketing is about building up trust and reputation. This means doing things the ethical way. Being honest about the products you sell, and only selling what you have tried yourself and know is top quality.
My blog Affiliate Help teaches ethical affiliate marketing practices. This is better for long term success. Search engines are becoming more sophisticated all the time, so even if a spam technique works now, it won’t in the future. People are also becoming increasingly web savvy, and also increasingly see through any tricks you pull. Play the long game and do things the ethical way, and this helps assure your long term success.
7S: For our readers who aren’t familiar with the concept of affiliate marketing, could you please explain how it works?
JR: Sure. When you join an affiliate program (which is nearly always free), you are given a unique affiliate link. You can put this link on your website, on social media etc. When someone clicks on it, this is automatically tracked with cookies. It usually takes them to a sales page. If they buy a product, then you are automatically credited with a percentage commission. The occasional program will pay for some other action, such as a sign up.
So for instance I run my own hypnotherapy affiliate program. My affiliates put their unique links on their websites and on places such as Facebook and Twitter. When someone clicks on their link it takes them to my hypnosis website. If they make a purchase within 60 days, they receive 50% commission for the sale. This is a pretty good deal as they don’t have to create a product, don’t have to spend anything up front buying a product, and don’t have to deal with postage. Everything is done for them.
7S: How many websites do you read each day? Does your reading help you in your work?
JR: I do read a few websites, but I am trying to cut this down. I think most affiliate marketers will admit to spending too much time reading, and not enough time working. There are so many distractions online it is easy to fritter away a whole morning getting little done. I now try to allocate about half an hour first thing in the morning to get some reading done, then concentrate on work after that. It’s a constant battle trying to remain focussed on your work!
7S: What skills do people need to have before they consider going into internet marketing?
JR: The main things you need is tenacity and a willingness to learn. It is very likely that you will work hard for your first year without making much money. The majority of people give up well before then. You need the tenacity to keep going through this.
You also need to learn a whole load of skills. Sure you can outsource work, but you don’t want to be too far out of pocket in your early days. Learning copywriting (sales writing) and blog creation is pretty much essential. If you can set up a WordPress blog, there’s a lot you can do with pluggings and templates.
You have to keep going and keep learning new skills, build up contacts and build up reputation. Eventually you will get there, but it does take time and hard work.