That is exactly what I thought that fateful day I stumbled upon affiliate marketing - "I want to make money online!"
I will admit to being a little naive in that I also didn't want to spend any money to make money. You see I actually didn't have any money to invest or commit to get started so I was looking for a way to create some extra cash not spend it.
I was looking for a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
You see I have an addiction and it is an expensive one. I won't be seeking treatment either, in fact I actively seek out others who will enable my addiction. So what is my expensive habit?
They were eating me out of house and home and I needed to find some way to keep them in the manner they had become accustomed.
So I needed extra money and the thought of getting a part-time job on top of my full-time job didn't seem very appealing. Having to work 8 hours a day and then traipse off to a second job working behind a bar or stacking shelves at the supermarket ... hmmm no thanks!
Being a natural introvert I though something that would let me stay at home, not have to deal with the public and make some extra cash would be ideal.
So I start trawling the interwebz and my excitement grew.
So many options to make easy cash online!
As soon as I started searching terms like make money online fast & free, make easy cash online free, earn extra internet money etc. I was inundated with websites that promised the earth but just didn't seem legit.
After all I didn't want to do anything illegal and I am reasonably internet savvy so offers of earning thousands of dollars within a few days sounded a bit dodgy. But I bookmarked those websites anyway and thought I'd do some more research and come back to them just in case it really was possible.
After all the internet is a new world of opportunity right?
In my searching I stumbled across a site exposing internet scammers which actually named internet scams and lo and behold just about every website that promised me quick profits was listed as a scam! Blast I knew it was all too good to be true!
Undeterred I searched on still confident that money could be made online although I was starting to realise that it wouldn't be instantaneous.
What about Affiliate Marketing?
I think of myself as being very lucky that fateful Friday afternoon as I could so easily have been caught up in an internet scam that I now know could have cost me substantial money.
I was so eager to get started that pretty much any system or platform that sounded even remotely legitimate I was ready to sign up for.
I didn't know it at the time but this has a term, it's called "shiny object syndrome" and if not kept in check can be the downfall of many an internet entrepreneur.
But my luck held out and I found a website which explained all about affiliate marketing and how it was perfect for anyone starting out in the online world.
I quickly learnt that affiliate marketing is really only 4 steps:
- A customer does an internet search maybe Google or through social media
- They find your website
- They buy a product you have marketed on your website
- You get paid a commission
Sounds simple enough! So basically I would be promoting other peoples products or services without having to buy them. Even better I didn't need to process any payments, hold stock or even deal with the buyers!
All I had to do was build a website promoting these products or services and if someone clicked on them and bought something I would get a cut of the profits.
Is it really that simple to make money online?
Yes and no. Sorry to be a bit value and I will clarify that for you.
Yes the process really is that simple but learning how to build a profitable affiliate marketing website and the actual time and work required to do so is a little more effort. It is not a get-rich-quick scheme.
But it is not difficult either if you know how.
How do I learn what to do?
Once I had determined that affiliate marketing was the right course of action to make money online I needed to find someone to teach me how to do it, and preferably for free or at least cheaply. Remember I still had no money for this grand new venture.
I needed to find free affiliate marketing courses and through my searching I came across Wealthy Affiliate. Not only was it free to join and check out the training but they would host my website for free as well.
So I signed up and over one weekend by working through the first 10 lessons I had chosen a niche (who I would sell products too), built my first website and started understanding what I would really be doing to make money with affiliate marketing.
To say I was excited would be an understatement. I was on my way to becoming an online entrepreneur and bringing in that extra cash.
At this point I needed to make a decision "was I really serious about this or was it just a fad?" I could see from the training I had already done and what more there was to learn that this platform would be able to lead me step by step through everything I would need to know to make this work.
For less than $1 a day for the Premium membership it was a no-brainer for me and I paid for the annual membership after 3 days on the free Starter membership.
This was the best decision for me because it meant I was committed for at least 12 months to make this work, I had paid my money and I would give this my best shot.
So much more than training
This has given me so much more than just the skills and knowledge to run a profitable affiliate marketing business. I have made life long friends through the very engaging social aspects of the site.
I have been supported by the community there though so many highs and a few lows as both my websites and my success has grown.
I look forward to catching up with the gang every day. I am also now able to help others who are just starting their journey to success within the platform and I enjoy that very much.
Since joining my goals have grown tremendously and now that I make enough to pay for my horses I have turned my attention to working on making my websites generate as much as my current wage (and well maybe a whole heap more).
I am confident with the rate of growth of my two websites that I will be able to give up my full time employment by mid way through next year and then continue to build an affiliate marketing empire.
I hope you have enjoyed my brief review of how I got into affiliate marketing and if you'd like to join me I'd love to be helping you make some extra cash or even create the ultimate laptop lifestyle, where you work for yourself, and create the income you want.
I have written a more thorough Guide to affiliate marketing and provided links to the platform I use if you would like to check it out for yourself.
The free Starter membership is still available so you really have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
If you would like more information about my journey so far please pop your questions in the comment box below and I will do my best to help you out.