Yep people, you’ve heard it before, but what does that really mean for us in affiliate marketing? Frankly, it can mean a few things. It could mean investing in software (ie: BANS, phpBayPro, etc). It could mean investing in hosting (dedicated servers, shared hosting accounts, etc). It could mean investing in more domains. It could mean paying for traffic (PPC). But along with the saying ‘It takes money to make money’, I always like to follow up with ‘If it doesn’t make dollars, it doesn’t make sense’.
I think starting out, it’s important to see potential investing expenses, and look at it as that.. investments. Meaning is there a return on this investment. Will that eBook return you money in the end? Maybe, maybe not. I also like to play with money I have versus with money I don’t have. When I start seeing returns, I like to use some of the returns to expand my empire. For instance I purchased BANS a few months ago (horrible decision), but I felt like I needed to test with some products. The initial concept was something simple and easy for my wife to crank out sites while I work on larger projects. I ended up rolling my own. So that’s an example of not making dollars.. so it didn’t make sense. I play in the PPC arena (YSM), and that’s a great example of seeing a return. This isn’t easy, and I’m a major noob still, but I see how the big boys make tons of money off of this technique. I also invest in servers to host my sites. Everytime, I start a server, my goal is to have it paying for itself immediately.
I also like to test the waters before diving in. Simply, I like to see what works, or what looks like it’s going to work and focus after I’ve established a ‘trend’. I constantly see people signing up to Google AdWords, spend hundreds of dollars pushing traffic to a BANS site selling widgets at $2/item, and lose their shirt in the end. No thought was put in to this, no experiments prior to see if this would work or not. Suddenly they’re spending money they don’t have to see if it will turn around or not. If they tested with YSM, or MSN first at a cheaper rate, they could see what campaigns or sites were good converters before jumping into Adwords. Keep records, understand your sites. Understand their strengths and weaknesses. Know when a good time to gamble is, and on what site. Be ready when you have a small kitty set aside.
I just recently purchased CJ data feeds ($200). I see the potential with this, but have not seen a return as of yet, since my sites are still under development, but I was able to pay for this feed with the earnings earned from December. I think each step is another rung up the ladder.
I feel like I was rambling there, but maybe a few of you might find this useful.