This (the title of this post) is a question I was asked recently. Here’s my answer…
Internet marketing is the broad term that describes selling goods and services online.
Affiliate marketing – probably the most common type of internet marketing – is a subset of this.
Here, you only sell other people’s goods and services (not your own) but for a commission. Affiliate marketers are effectively online salesmen.
So, is there a future in internet marketing?
In a word: Absolutely.
About 3 billion people – less than half the world’s population – has regular access to the internet. That’s due to change in the coming years as a globally accessible internet arrives along with 5G technology.
More and more people are going online as time passes. So are businesses. They realize that they can reach a much larger audience online than they ever could with a local, bricks-and-mortar business.
Some companies will use distributors like Amazon to sell their goods to a worldwide audience. Others will put up their own websites and drive traffic to those sites using a variety of free methods and paid advertising.
Here are some stats on how eCommerce is doing online:
Ecommerce Statistics: Amazon
- Amazon is the leading online retailer with a net revenue of $232.88 billion in 2018. (Statista)
- Amazon has over 100 million Amazon Prime members. (Jeff Bezos in a letter to shareholders)
- Other sources estimate that there are over 95 million Amazon Prime members in the United States alone. (Statista)
- On average, two in five US consumers (41%) receive one to two packages from Amazon per week. That number jumps to half (50%) for consumers ages 18-25, and 57% for consumers ages 26-35. (Walker Sands)
- In the last six months, 83% of US consumers have made a purchase on Amazon. (BigCommerce)
Ecommerce Statistics: Google Shopping
- The average amount of time between a Google product search and a purchase is 20 days (it’s 26 days on Amazon). (Jumpshot)
- 35% of Google product searches turn into transactions within 5 days. (Jumpshot)
- Google Shopping ad spend was up 43% Year-on-Year in Q4 of 2018, making the quarter the fastest growth rate in two years. (Merkle)
- Cross-device targeting yields 16% more conversions for retail advertisers in the US. (Google)
- Google Shopping ads have a higher CTR than Amazon’s Sponsored Product and Sponsored Brand ads. (Merkle)
Affiliate marketers are good for businesses too. Businesses effectively have an unpaid workforce selling their goods, who only earn money if they make a sale for the business.
Commissions on digital goods tend to be very high in comparison to commissions on physical goods. Digital products typically offer 50%+ commissions while digital services, which often pay recurring commissions generally offer lower rates of between 20%-40%.
Physical goods, by comparison, pay commissions in the 2%-15% range.
For affiliate marketers, selling digital goods and services makes a lot more sense, simply because of the higher commissions and that they’re often easier to sell.
Affiliate marketing is booming. Many marketers have become multi-millionaires because of it. Many others have made smaller, but still life-changing incomes.
But there are many, many others who’ve never made money online, despite their best efforts.
To be successful at affiliate marketing, you need toand follow their training course. Trying to reinvent the wheel and thinking you can do it all on your own is pretty much a recipe for disaster.
To be a successful internet marketer, where you’re more focused on selling your own goods and services, means learning things like Amazon FBA (if you want to sell your stuff on Amazon), and building sales funnels to attract potential customers and convert them into buyers.
You’d need your own website too. So, unless you want to, you have to learn how to build websites. Then you have to learn Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in order to rank your site(s) highly in the search engines. Higher ranking means more people visit your site, so you get more customers and sales as a result.
Internet marketers also need to use social media channels like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to spread the word about what they offer.
But the good news is that learning to become an affiliate marketer or internet marketer is a lot less costly than a College education and doesn’t take anywhere near as long.
Too many new marketers have been swayed by stories of people getting rich quick online. Yeah, it’s happened. But not as often as you’d think. As actors say, it can take years to become an overnight success. At least becoming successful as an online marketer doesn’t have to take that long.
Any marketer, especially newbies, needs to have realistic expectations. It can take several months to get an online business (as a marketer) off the ground.
There will be obstacles, setbacks and failures. If these stop you in your tracks, you’ll never be successful. You have to push through these and learn from them and get better as a result.
It’s those with persistence, focus and dedication who will see the rewards of being internet marketers.
By the way, online business is projected to keep growing over the next 10 years. In 2017, transactions worth $2.3 Trillion were carried out online. In 2021, revenues are estimated to increase up to $4.88 Trillion. That means the monetary amount of online transactions will have doubled in just 4 years.
So there’s more business opportunities and more money to be made in the coming years.
Filed under: Affiliate Marketing