If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you already know that here on the Affiliate Marketing Lab – as the name suggests – it’s all about affiliate marketing. However, there are so many ways to earn online money with websites; it is almost unwise to restrict to only one possibility because when this possibility dries up then your one source of income dries up. What is the best way to make money online? Before I attempt to answer this question, I briefly want to give you a definition of an „business model”. According to Wikipedia, a business model has three major components:
Benefit promise: What benefits can get a partner or customer from the connection with the business?
Added value: What sources of income are there?
Revenue Model: Besides what and how, does the business model also describe which revenue from which sources the business generates?
Of course I simplify this for our purposes. Anyone who wants to read more can find matching article here. However, it is not the question of what a business model is, but which one is faster, easier and has a great possibility to make online money. That is the point at the end of our adventure, right?
First of all: There is no better and no faster way. Each business model is as unique as his company. Therefore, it does not work just to copy a business model. Anyone who opens a business should think about of the benefits for readers before he gets started; and that includes also your blog. I think this is the most important point: if you cannot tell your readers for what your blog stands for or what benefits the user can draw from this, then you are not serious to start a profitable online business.
There are two ways to earn online money: Information Marketing and Affiliate Marketing. You can find a detailed description of what exactly affiliate marketing is in our Starter Guide here.
Briefly summarised here:
What is affiliate marketing?
When you use something by yourself and you are convinced of this product (e.g. It is helpful in your daily life) then you can recommend this product through affiliate marketing to your readers. Affiliate marketing is a win-win-win situation: the person who recommends the product gets a commission from the merchant who would not make this sale if the affiliate would not recommend the product. However, at best the user will get a better view from the Affiliate that enables him to make a good buying decision.
Affiliate marketing is also the recommendation of a product from another marketer to your own readers. If you think about it properly, there are many affiliates – the shop at the corner who offer contracts from different vendors or insurance brokers and will look for the best deal for customers – at least we hope so.
What is Information Marketing?
The information marketing exists long before the Internet came. Finally, with information marketing you give knowledge, which you learned in one or another way, to others and get paid for it. So at the end, each consultant or author is an information marketer. An information product always belongs to one of the following categories:
- Text (books or e-books)
- Expertise (seminar, events, consultation)
Thus while an affiliate recommends the product of someone else because he considers it useful, an information marketer who provides his own products is also responsible for them. This means he has to answer customer requests, to process returns and refunds and has to keep the products ‘up to date’.
How can you earn more with information marketing or affiliate marketing?
I think that you can earn a lot of money in affiliate marketing as well as in information marketing. With some products the affiliate earns with 75% commission more than the manufacturer of the product (for example the Corbett Bar ‘how to start a blog that matters’). Such a high commission is of course a great incentive to promote a product. It is a strong temptation when you get a monthly recurring 50% commission like here at the Living For Mondays Academy, for promoting a product.
On the other hand, an information marketer has full control over his product and is recognized by his readers as an expert in his field and enjoys a certain reputation. Accordingly, an information marketer will find it much easier to make money as an affiliate when he can bring out a new product and can sell it again to his readers.
Even if he should close his affiliate program, the information marketer still has the product and can sell it. However, the Affiliate Marketer has lost his source of income from this recommendation.
In the end, I decided to link both models together, here on Affiliate Marketing Lab. As an affiliate, I like to recommend products that I know of, use, know that they work well and that they will give my readers a real added value. I do not believe in earning quick money with affiliate marketing. I think, if you recommend other products that you do not know – whether they are good or not, sooner or later you will fail.
As an Internet Marketer I need a number of programs and tools which I recommend if they help me in my daily work. However, I am also sure that our member page the Affiliate Marketing Lab will turn out to be much more rewarding in the end. By this, I do not mean ‘worthwhile’ in the form of money we earn. By worthwhile I am also talking about rewarding – it’s a nice feeling to pass on what we have learned and be a part of someone who realises that their dreams come true.