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Work From Home Programs
As the Internet continues to grow by leaps and bounds, the opportunity to make money on the internet just keeps getting better.
It wasn't that long ago that people were very hesitant to buy something on the internet as they were afraid that their personal information, such as credit card numbers, would get stolen.
Today, that isn't much of a problem as people have become comfortable with the idea of the internet being just one big shopping mall. Another contributing factor is the rising costs of fuel these days. It's cheaper to search for what you want on the internet than to go search for what you want in a car.
The opportunity is there to make money by taking advantage of all these growth trends. Now what? Where do you start?
The first thing that I recommend to people thinking about starting a work from home program is to ask yourself what are you passionate about. You should have an interest and a familiarity with the business that you get involved with to be successful. People can smell a sales pitch a mile away. If your heart and soul isn't into what you are selling, you most likely will fail. Customers are people just like you, and they will be turned off by a canned sales pitch delivered without enthusiasm. However, if you are passionate, enthusiastic, and believe in your product, your potential customers will sense that. It doesn't matter if you are in direct sales or internet sales, the argument is valid. I can write an article about something that I am passionate about much, much better than something that I am not.
Once you have decided what your interests are, it's time to go looking for a home based business. The opportunities are endless in that area. You can have a work from home business, where you actually sell products using your house as your office. A classic example is Amway. Or you can have a work from home program where you are trying to market it on the internet. It could be one that you actually have a physical product to sell, and will have to deal with inventory and shipping, or you could become an affiliate of someone else's program. You make the sales, they handle the physical product and the shipping chores.
That would be my first choice starting out. There is a lot to learn in this work from home industry, so let's make it as easy as possible starting out. However, if you are the kind of person that has an outgoing personality and likes to deal with people face to face, then starting a home business where you are a distributor of a product may be the ticket for you. I know a lot of ladies in the Mary Kay business that are having tremendous success. As for myself, I'm not a people person so I want to focus on internet sales.
So where do we start? The internet, of course. Type in work at home programs or something similar and do a search, and try and find something that matches your interests. Don't do what I did, whatever you do. Do your research thoroughly before you jump in and get your feet wet. My own initial forays into this business were a total disaster. I didn't do my research and I went from program to program and lost a lot of money along the way.
Join some internet forums on work from home programs and for a month or two, just read a lot and ask a lot of questions. Try and find a niche program that matches your interests that is either just starting out or one that isn't so popular that you will be competing with 200,000 other affiliates.
That was my mistake when I first started out. I joined a program as an affiliate that basically would pay me to get people to sign up for free satellite TV. It sounded good to me. A service that was in demand, was being offered for free, and I would make in commissions per sign up. Well, what I didn't know was that there were over 200,000 other affiliates trying to do the same thing. That's a lot of competition for the advertising dollar, and face it, you will have to spend some money on advertising to get your work from home program noticed on the internet. If the competition is small, then the chances of success are greater.
My personal opinion is that all the work from home programs are good. The problem lies in how do you drive traffic to them. You have the free search engines, which is the holy grail of advertising, the pay per click search engines, where you actually bid on a keyword. This is called the Google Adwords program, but Yahoo and MSN have similar programs. If you have the highest bid, you will be the number 1 person or the number 1 ad listed in the search results. These are the sponsored links that you see on the right hand side of the page of a google search. The right side is the results for people that are paying for their ad to be there.
Then you have classified ad advertising, Ezine advertising, email marketing, and FFA pages. Many marketers advocate building your own list of people through an autoresponder to do your advertising to. You can also start writing articles and submitting them to article directories. This is my preferred method, but you have to have your own website that is yours to make this work, as the article directories won't let you promote affiliate programs for the most part. Some do, but only under special conditions.
Starting out, I would recommend that you look at email advertising through groups such as Yahoo. That was the first thing that worked for me and I was making about 0 a month after just a couple months. Just type in Yahoo Groups into your browser and look for the ones listed in the home business and advertising categories. There are about 5000 of these groups that will accept advertising through the group. Membership in the group can range from 50 or so, to close to 20,000 people. All you do is join up; it's free, and then send an email ad to the group. It then gets distributed to the whole group. Just imagine your email ad being sent out to 20,000 people and all you did was send one out. The more groups you join, the wider an audience your ads will reach. A word of caution here: Try and be unique and offer a product or a service that isn't widely known about. These folks in the Yahoo Groups have seen it all. If your product is unique and in demand, it will increase your chances of making sales. You will need to have an email account with Yahoo to join the groups. Be sure when you join any group that they allow email advertising. If they do, be sure to follow their posted rules so you won't be accused of spamming them. At one time, I had 2700 groups that I sent ads to daily. Then as my websites started to rank higher in the free search engine results, I quit sending ads to the Yahoo groups. But it's a great way to get started out for the novice marketer.
Another subject I should mention is an organization called Clickbank. They are based in Idaho and are the largest supplier of digital products in the world. A digital product is basically an e-book. The e-book can be about anything from recipes to how to make money on the internet. They have over 11,000 different digital products that you can become an affiliate of and sell on the internet. It's free to join, and whatever product you decide on, you will get your own website to promote for free.
Whatever you decide to do, in order to be successful, you have to work at it. There is no such thing as a get rich quick program but you will see plenty of ads for them. Don't fall for the hype. If it sounds too good to be true, then it most likely is. Pick a sound program, and then steadily work at it. Eventually, it will grow to the point of being a full time job, but only if you are dedicated and disciplined in your approach.
About the Author: David Dorrough is a retired educator, having taught at several major universities. Today, he is active as a free lance writer on a variety of subjects, and is heavily involved with internet marketing. For more valuable insights into work from home programs, visit his website at http://www.affiliate-revenue.consumers-choice.net