Expand Your Affiliate Marketing Empire With Vertical Thinking

by WorkFromHome on January 16, 2012

There is a sort of supply chain that exists in all businesses. The general idea is that at the top of the chain there is a major supplier, and at the bottom of the chain there are the customers. The higher you are on the chain, the fewer middle men you have to deal with and the more money you make. Because there are fewer middle men to skim your profits at the top of the chain, it’s advantageous to be there. We’re going to show you how to approach affiliate marketing with an eye towards moving up the chain and making more money.

Identifying Your Location in the Chain

Before you can start to move around the supply chain, you have to truly understand where you currently sit. The first indicator of where you are on the chain is who pays you for your service. If a main supplier pays you directly, then you’re likely to be in a good position. However, if you’re paid by some sort of affiliate, then you’re fairly low on the chain and you have a lot to gain by trying to move closer to the top. Look at your place in the grand scheme of things, and if you decide that it’s time for a move, then it’s time to get to work.

Jumping Up the Chain

One way to try to move up the supply chain in affiliate marketing is to try to bump yourself up to the next “link” above you. You could try to work out a direct deal with a supplier if you have a large enough operation. If your operation isn’t large enough to pull this one off, then you can look for other affiliates that pay out a higher commission on the same product. In situations where neither of these options are viable, then it might be best to work the supply chain from a completely different angle.

Creating Your Own Product

In many cases, you can either outsource the creation of a new product or build it yourself. This is easier to do when you’re working with digital goods because you have no physical inventory to deal with and the overall process is easier. An example would be an electronic book containing a series of tutorials on a specific field. While you’ll have more responsibility for your product and its distribution with this approach, you’ll also be able to make a lot more money. While it might seem like promoting your own product isn’t necessarily affiliate marketing, there’s more to this approach than just selling something you’ve created.

In terms of the supply chain, being an affiliate marketer generally means you start at close to the bottom. You can do a lot of work to try to move up the chain so that you can make more money for each product or service that you sell, but the bottom line is that it will often take just as much work to start your own chain by creating and promoting your own product. Instead of working to make money for someone else, all of your efforts will be concentrated on making more money for you.

Flexibility of This Approach

Promoting and selling your own product gives you options that you might not always have as an affiliate marketer. One of the things you can do with your own product that you can’t do as an affiliate is collect all sorts of personal details about your customers for future use. When you’re doing basic affiliate marketing, you might get access to a name and an email address, but phone numbers and mailing addresses won’t be yours to use. With this extra information, you’ll increase the size of your mailing list which boosts future profits.

Another important advantage of creating your own product is that you’re able to build in an upsell. For example, if you write an electronic book about making money from a blog, you could insert affiliate links to web hosting plans or SEO services to make even more money from your product. This can lead to a substantial increase in your profit over time.

Extending Your New Chain

If you create your own chain with a new product, then you also have the ability to extend that chain below you by cultivating your own group of affiliates. When you’re just starting out, you can use websites like ClickBank to manage your affiliate program if you’re selling digital products, and there are lots of other websites that you can use to manage affiliate programs for other types of products. For example, you could look for affiliates on Internet marketing message boards. The key to making this approach work, however, is to abide by the rules of any groups like ClickBank that you join so that you don’t accidentally forfeit any revenues.

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