Friday, April 21, 2006

Selling Stuff You Don't Own to People You Never See!

Did you know you can sell stuff online you don't people you never see?

Who else wants to work at home in your own "Family Room Internet Business"?

Selling Stuff You Don't Own
To People You Never See!

I was totally amazed when I found out how much some people earn at home without even having a product of their own!
I've worked at home most all my life selling my own products (piano courses on DVD's) and make a good living, and I know several other people who do the same, like my neighbor Norm who manufacturers pitching machines in his home workshop.
But what astounded me was that lots of people now make a huge income without having a single product of their own -- they act as representatives of companies and sell all kinds of stuff over the internet -- so they never meet the people they sell to, and they have no customer support or shipping or any of that to worry about!
A man named James in Vancouver Canada, for example, earns something in the neighborhood of $100,000. per month -- and that's a pretty nice neighborhood! Another Canadian, a lady named Rosalind, earned $435,000. a year 2 or 3 years ago -- and I happen to know she makes a lot more now. I have met both these people and I know they are for real. Rosalind was an air-traffic controller for years, and James was in construction.
The field I am talking about, of course, is called "affiliate marketing".
For several years I heard the term “affiliate marketing” bandied about by folks who apparently knew what they were talking about, but I never fully understood what they meant. Oh, I knew vaguely that it had something to do with selling stuff, but I didn’t grasp the mechanics of it at all.
Strange, too, because way back in the 70’s I had “dealers” who advertised my music courses in various ways – ads, classified ads, mailings, etc – and we “drop-shipped” for them. When they got an order from their advertising efforts, they would send us a shipping label with the customer’s name on it along with a check for 50% of the price of the course they sold. We would then package the course, slap on the shipping label, and drop the course in the mail. The customer figured it came from the person who sold it. Very neat system, and it’s still done today by some firms.
Affiliate marketing is like that, except instead of selling the product, you simply “point” prospects at the web site of the company you represent, and they take it from there.
They do all the:
Collecting payment
Shipping the product
Customer support
Which means that you have:
No inventory
No investment in products
No selling
No shipping
No customer support
And you get a check each month for a percentage of whatever is sold -- sounds like a deal to me! (To say nothing of being able to buy wholesale from all these firms)

Of course there’s more to it than that, and that’s what this book is about, but at the most basic level....
Affiliate marketing is selling stuff you don’t own to people you never see!
So if you, as the affiliate, don’t have to do any selling, stocking products, shipping to the customer, or answering their questions about the product, what in the heck DO you do?
Sounds like the world’s cushiest job to me.
Well, it is in many ways. But that means that you have to be good at the few things you DO have to do, which include:
· Getting people to come to your site (I'll show you how to create your own web site quickly, so don't worry about that if you don't have one -- or the site you represent as an affiliate). You do this basically four ways: 1. Search engine optimization; 2. Publicity via article writing and press releases; 3. Pay per click campaigns; 4. E-mail.
· Sharing with those people who come to your site in a way that makes them want to “click-through” to your merchant. You do this by writing helpful articles about the products you represent, and/or using audio and video on your site to tell about your products.
· Capturing the name and e-mail address of those folks who come to your site. You do this by using either a “name squeeze page” or a pop-up or an opt-in box on your site.
· Following them up with interesting and enticing e-mails that make them want to come back to your site or the site of the merchant you represent. You can do this by subscribing to an auto-responder service and then sending out a series of helpful e-mails on a sequential basis – daily, weekly, or whatever. An alternate to this is using RSS (Really Simple Syndication) I cover all that...
And that is what this e-book is all about -- how you can develop a full-blown web business right at home in your family room without having to have or create your own product.
Here are just a few of the companies you can represent from the comfort of your family room:
American Express
Lands End
1-800 Flowers
Omaha Steaks
Musician's Friend
Radisson Hotels
Western Union
Thrifty Car Rentals
and hundreds more!
How Much Can I Earn?
While this is not a “get rich quick” book, or even a “get rich slow” book – it’s more like a “learn a lot about the internet and marketing while you have fun working at home” book – it is possible to earn a significant amount. Some affiliates earn extra spending money while holding down another job. Some stay-at-home Moms supplement their family income through affiliate marketing. And then there are “super affiliates” such as James Martell and Rosalind Gardiner who make more per month than most people make all year. Rosalind wrote a book about her affiliate experiences titled “The Super-Affiliate Handbook” It tells the amazing true story of how one woman, with no previous business experience, earns $435,000+ per year ... selling other people's stuff online! At an internet conference recently I heard her say recently that she earns significantly more than that now.
And James Martell, author of “Affiliate Marketers Handbook” is a modest guy and doesn’t broadcast his earnings, but I happen to know that he earns double or triple what an average doctor earns – somewhere in the neighborhood of six figures per month, which is a pretty nice neighborhood. Of course, he has been at it for several years now, and owns about 100 affiliate sites on subjects ranging from babies to baseball.
So while there is absolutely no guarantee, it obviously can be done. (If you’re wondering if I make that kind of affiliate income, the answer is no. I don’t do a lot of affiliate marketing, since I have a product line of my own. (See But what little affiliate marketing I do is very profitable, and a nice supplement to my own music course sales.)
And just so you’ll know I’m not blowing smoke, in the ebook I show you some of my affiliate checks from assorted merchants:
Certainly not very much compared to others, but still a nice little bonus to go along with income from my line of over 300 music products.
The e-book has 113 pages covering all this and lots more, with links so you can "click through" to various merchants and web sites so you can see if you want to link up with them or not
It is $49. bucks, which is not very much when you consider how much you could earn and how nice it would be to stay home and work in your family room, but of course it comes with a complete money-back guarantee in case you feel this is not for you. You can download it as soon as your credit card clears -- no waiting for delivery through the mail! I suggest that you print out a copy of the book and take it to your local quick printer and have him spiral-bind it, so it will be convenient to handle. But also keep a copy on your computer desktop, so you can follow all the links in the book that show how everything works.

Remember that I wrote this book for my 4 grown kids -- all of whom have wonderful careers of their own. The oldest one is a writer, our daughter is an RN, the next son is an EMT & drives an ambulance, and the youngest is a Certified Financial Planner. So they are not exactly starving.
But since I wrote the book last year they all have little web "family room" businesses started, and maybe someday they will turn them into full-time businesses working at home like their folks have done for the last 40 years or so -- never missing a family or school event!

The blessings of having a home business!

One of the wonderful benefits of being a musician is that you can often be your own boss and work in your own home business.

Here is an article by Tim Knox about this very thing:

How To Create Multiple Streams of Online Income

Tim KnoxCopyright © 2005« One of my favorite things about being an Internet Entrepreneur is that I can literally wake up in the morning with an idea for a new product and have it become a reality by the afternoon. Or I can find new ways to promote an existing product. Or I can join a new affiliate program or pursue a joint venture. Every time I repeat this process I create a new stream of income to add to my existing revenue base.
I firmly believe that the key to business success is this: Don't put all your eggs in one basket. What do eggs and multiple streams of income have to do with each other? If you spread your eggs across many baskets you can still make omelets even if one of those baskets goes away.
Similarly, if you have multiple streams of income, the loss of one income stream will not devastate you the way losing your only stream would. If you rely on only one source of income and that single income source goes away (ever been downsized, laid off or fired?), you are left broke and desperate. This is why every success Internet Entrepreneur that I know has multiple streams of income.
This is also why I encourage my readers, newsletter subscribers, and ebusiness clients to establish multiple streams of income, which is extremely easy to do online. Here are a few pointers to get you started.
Create Your Own Info ProductRegular readers of this column have heard me preach this sermon before. Creating your own info product is the best way to generate a new income stream because it is so easy to do, so easy to distribute, and offers maximum profit potential. I can wake up with a topic in mind, sit down at my computer and within hours have a short book or report that I can turn into a downloadable ebook and immediately offer for sale on my website.
Anyone can create an info product themselves or farm out the actual writing to someone more adept. If you've got an idea it's easy to find someone to do the writing for you. I've covered this topic before, but it's worth visiting again because it is one of the best ways that I know to create a new stream of income.
Become An Affiliate MarketerThis is one of my favorite ways to create multiple streams of income because there are hundreds (if not thousands) of affiliate programs that you can sign on with and begin making money immediately. As an affiliate marketer you market a company's product or service and when you send them a customer or make a sale you are paid a commission.
You can sign on with as many affiliate programs as you like and each one has the potential of creating another stream of income for you. Many Internet Entrepreneurs have become millionaires without ever having a product of their own. They did it by promoting affiliate programs
I talked about affiliate programs in a previous column and you should refer to that column for an in-depth discussion of affiliate programs.
Click here for Tim's Top 10 Affiliate Programs.
Start An eBay BusinessSelling on eBay continues to be one of the more popular ways to make money online. If you are willing to put in the time and energy required to make the business a success. eBay is also a good option for existing businesses to expand their reach by selling online.
Everyone from small used car dealers to giant companies like Dell Computers have discovered that eBay is an excellent place to hawk their wares simply due to the huge number of folks who visit the eBay site on a daily basis. Nowhere else on earth will you find such a large pool of potential customers.
Consider these numbers: · There are nearly 69 million eBay users who spend $59 million every day. · Most eBay sellers are home-based businesses that sell every- thing from porcelain dolls to locks of Elvis' hair to $100,000 Mercedes convertibles to $5 million dollar vacation homes.
Market Your Services OnlineAre you a computer programmer? A writer or editor? A graphics artist or website designer? If so, you can market your services to customers around the world and it doesn't cost you a dime.
You can offer your services to customers on websites like or Basically you register with these sites and when someone posts a job that falls within your area of expertise you can bid on the work. For example, I needed a logo for one of my online businesses so I went to and posted the project for bidding and within hours I had a dozen graphic artists bidding for the job. I sifted through the profiles of everyone who bid on my job and picked a graphic artist who did the logo for less than $50.
Granted, I did not pay top dollar for the logo (to get it done locally would have cost ten times the amount I paid), but the designer probably spent an hour or two knocking out the 5 designs I got back and the work came to him, he did not have to spend a dime on marketing his services.
These are just a few ways to create multiple streams of income. There are hundreds of other ways to make money online. No matter which ones you pursue, just remember, the more streams of income you have, the bigger your money lake becomes.
Small Business Q&A is written by veteran entrepreneur and syndicated columnist, Tim Knox. Tim serves as the president and CEO of three successful technology companies and is the founder of, an online organization dedicated to the success of online and eBay entrepreneurs.
Tim's latest book is "The 30 Day Blueprint For Success!" We asked 58 Top Internet Money Makers: If you lost is all tomorrow and had to start from scratch, what would you do to be back on top in the 30 days? Their answers just might make you rich!
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