17 Apr 07 10:51 pm
I'm really sorry to hear that you're finding everything confusing and overwhelming. This is a really great post because I think you've voiced something that a lot of people experience at one stage or another, and I'm sure you're going to get a lot more encouraging responses here simply because so many people will have gone through the same thing.
I think you've got a bit of analysis paralysis going on. You've done a really good thing with your glad2behome.com site, in that you've actually gone out and created something. So many people spend so much time analyzing stuff that they get completely overwhelmed and never create anything. Even though you think this site is a bit of a failure (which it isn't, you can certainly turn it around) you've learned that you need to research your market a bit more before you dive in.
The other side of the coin is that you can't spend too much time looking for the "perfect market", because it's unlikely you'll find one. Perhaps at this stage it's better to go for a market that you know to be profitable (there are lots of examples in Affilorama.com, and we also give you ideas in the monthly update magazines) and see how you go. I know it seems to you like all the best ideas are taken, that they've been done to death by a million affiliates before you, but this is a bit of any illusion. You might remember me saying that the majority of affiliates out there are B-students at best, and lazy B-students at that. If you can become an A-student and do everything diligently, you'll be able to beat most of these guys.
So to answer your questions:
1. Finding good markets: Once you've been doing this for a while, this will become second nature to you. Until then, look at what other people are doing, and think about how you could do it too. Like I said before, look at examples you see in Affilorama, and read the suggestions in the Update magazines. (The next one will be coming out in a few days.) Look at competition as your friend: If other people are doing well in a market, then you can too. It saves you a bit of time in figuring out whether a market will be profitable. If you don't see much competition you'll have to do a lot more research to figure out if it can be profitable for you.
2. How do you come up with an approach that hasn't been done to death? As Adrian says, there's a reason why some approaches are done to death. It's usually because they're the successful methods. Unless you're in the "make money online" market, you don't always need to do anything amazingly creative to convince people to click on your affiliate link. The biggest part of the battle is getting people to visit your site. If they're in the right frame of mind when they visit your site, and if you're able to get them curious enough to click your affiliate links, that's enough. Having said that, in this month's update I've done an interview with Ewen Chia who is really famous for his success as an affiliate in the make money online market. This is pretty much the toughest market there is, and he gives some really good tips for getting people to buy through your link. Even if you're not going into the make money online market (and I recommend that you don't), these tips will help you. At the very least, they'll get you thinking.
3. How do you get a piece of the pie, other than writing a whole bunch of articles? We've got a whole section in Affilorama on creative marketing techniques. Also there are a whole bunch of interviews with gurus who give you some ideas. I recommend the article method because it's a pretty easy way to start with, and it's a method that I use for a large number of my affiliate sites. Getting articles isn't too difficult... go down to your local library and find books on your subject. Look at the subject headers. If you don't fancy visiting your library... go to Amazon.com, search for your subject, and then use the "look inside" feature to suss out the subject headers there. Use these as ideas for articles. Search for these topics on the internet, see what information you find. Collect it, summarize it, paraphrase it, see how you can bend it to match your keywords for your subject. Take a look at other articles out there and see if you can identify a standard structure for an article, and then make it a game to see how you can wrap your material around this structure.
Failing that, it might be worthwhile investing in a private label rights membership. I know you say you don't have the money to invest in getting articles written, but if you consider that getting content for your site is your biggest obstacle, then a $100 (or so) investment is going to be worth every penny just to get you past this hurdle. Even if you just sign up for one month, you'll get hundreds of articles which you can then use in any way you like. These memberships are also good for getting ideas for topics, since often they will be providing articles on topics they deem to be potentially good markets. I would recommend this method over getting "dirt cheap" articles written for you, since you'll get more material, more ideas, and the articles should be of better quality than a "dirt cheap" article from someone who doesn't have English as a first language ;) As you probably expect, I'd recommend PLRPro if you're going to go this way. They're really good guys with a great product and they'll help you out.
Finally, you say that you lack creativity and common sense... there's not much I can recommend to remedy that, aside from having a bit more faith in yourself. There are a hell of a lot of successful people out there who don't possess these qualities either, but what they lack in natural talent they make up for in sheer stubbornness and refusal to quit. Also remember that you've got all these really helpful people here in this forum to poke you in the right direction, you just need to get going.
I really hope that helps,