Mother Of Four Making Money From Home With Fitness Equipment

GotDot.com profiles Arlene Martell, a working mom, who turned a passion for fitness and balance into a successful business.

The story of making money from home for this mother of four from White Rock, British Columbia sounds like fiction, not a reality that anyone can obtain. But it's amazing just listen to Arlene's success and you'll realize that the dream of being a work-at-home-mom is obtainable, it really is possible to have it all.

Arlene structures her work day around the kids. When they are at school she works, it's that simple. She has the time to go on school field trips and is available if something unexpected happens and with kids the unexpected always happens. Plus, she has the time to do fun activities with the kids and she has time for herself. She goes to fitness class three times a week doing aerobics, Pilates, cardiovascular exercise, and using weights with bands. Exercise provides energy for the day and Arlene's days are full of the good things in life.

Arlene says, "It's the ultimate work-family dream; there's no more fighting traffic in Vancouver commuting to an office, no more dressing up for the 9-5 grind, no more corporate politics, no more stressing about asking the boss for time off to run to the kids games or take them to the doctor. There is balance."

What is Arlene's secret to making money from home?

In a word it's affiliate marketing. By now most people have heard all about the success of Amazon.com. What they may not know is that Amazon spawned an Internet industry in 1996, by allowing independent website owners to earn commissions by referring paying customers to them. This is known as pay-for-performance-advertising or affiliate programs.

Arlene followed a simple 8-step-system for affiliate marketing developed by her husband, James Martell, entrepreneur, successful affiliate marketer, developer of more than 70 specialty shopping sites, author of the Affiliate Marketers Handbook and host of the Affiliate Buzz, an audio newsletter for affiliate marketers.

Key Steps from the Affiliate Marketers Handbook

  • Step #1 - Explains how to get and stay organized - Compile the tools needed to begin your business from a checklist provided. Many courses completely ignore this crucial element to your success.
  • Step #2 - Choosing the right industry - Takes you through a tour of a major affiliate network to see what's available. Thousands of quality merchants to choose from. Hundreds of different industries. Choose an area that's both lucrative AND interesting. You'll be like a kid in a candy store.
  • Step #3 - Keywords - the search engine building blocks - What's in a word? EVERYTHING! Step-by-step process to build a list of 50-300 popular words and phrases with an online service that tells you exactly how many times each word was surfed the previous month. Then build these words into every page, so the spiders can find them. Leave nothing to chance.
  • Step #4 - Choosing a template - Ready-made professional templates are the way to go these days. They offer a quick and easy way to get going for those with limited FrontPage experience, website design or HTML skills. You'll really impress your friends with these beautiful, professional designs.
  • Step #5 - Add keyword-focused content - This is fun. You may have to disregard what your English teacher taught you in high school, because 'spider food' rules! Yes, folks. If you don't sprinkle tasty morsels of spider food on every page of your site in the precise density, -- misspellings intact -- then the poor little critters look elsewhere. So, your new motto is, BE KIND TO SPIDERS -- and they'll be kind to you! Plus, you'll be taught exactly how to easily research and write on ANY topic of interest to your visitor. Trust me. Even if you think you could NEVER publish an article, you CAN learn to do this. It's really no more difficult than a grade-9 high school composition assignment.
  • Step #6 - Join some good affiliate programs - Lets go shopping! Find out where the best affiliate programs reside, and check out their commission structure. Hey, if they don't pay enough, then choose another. You're in control here. Don't you just love it!
  • Step #7 - Submit to the search engines the RIGHT way - All successful Webmasters are diligent in submitting their sites to the search engines. But, each search engine has its own set of guidelines. So, be careful. Do it wrong and they penalize you. Do it right and you're indexed highly. Nothing better than high rankings!
  • Step #8 - Boost your rankings with link-popularity - Major changes are afoot at the search engines and you'd better be aware of them -- or you're toast. This technique is so new, that I only added it a few weeks prior to publication. I thought of selling it as its own manual -- so consider it a bonus. Current Webmasters take heed. If you don't know the precise way that link popularity works (and apply it) your rankings will slip to oblivion overnight. If they have already slipped, -- then now you know why.

Got Dot: What is it like doing affiliate marketing for fitness equipment?

Arlene says, "had a pretty good idea about how well I'd do, because early on I had initially developed two sites, one featuring baby products and another featuring pet supplies, but I was surprised at how quickly my site took off and at how large some of my sales have been."

"Choosing fitness equipment and home gyms just fit. Getting older, the middle zone starts widening you reach a point where you just have to do something to stay in shape." Arlene says.

Arlene first entered the multi-billion dollar fitness equipment industry with www.1st-in-fitness.com, a web site featuring abdominal tools, exercise bikes, home gyms, treadmills, weights and dumbbells. Treadmills quickly became a best seller and customer favorite; proving to be a staple in the industry.

"In the beginning it surprised me that people would spend $1500 - $4700 for a home gym or treadmill online, now its routine." Arlene says. The convenience of shopping online is phenomenal. The fitness merchants provide secure servers for safe shopping, guaranteed by banks and credit card companies. Customers don't have to hassle with packing heavy equipment in a truck, merchants' ship right to the door. Most companies even set-up the home gym.

Got Dot: What's the best time of year for fitness equipment sales?

"The sales are huge in the fall, during Christmas and of course in January following New Year's resolutions and again at springtime when people want a slim, trim body for swimsuit season." Arlene says.

This market is growing with baby boomers getting older and gaining weight. Like Arlene says, "Middle age is not supposed to be about widening middle regions! It's about living life with balance, having the energy to do it all."

Got Dot: Explain how affiliate programs are tracked?

Arlene says, "My first attempt with affiliate programs was made easy because of Commission Junction located in Carlsbad, California. They are the industry leader in providing third party functionality for affiliates and merchants. Commission Junction acts as a trusted third party and manages networking, tracking, and reporting on activity and handles monthly commission payments."

The important thing to remember about the process side of affiliate marketing is who is doing what. The participants include: the merchant (advertiser), the publisher (affiliate), and the trusted third party. Publishers join a merchant's affiliate program and send visitors to the merchant's web site. The merchant handles all order processing, shipping, and customer service. Commission Junction (third party) provides the tracking system and pays the affiliates on behalf of the merchants.

Visit Commission Junction to see a partial listing of their top-notch merchants offering affiliate programs.

How this process turns into commissions is easy...it's like a referral business. Merchants (advertisers) pay a commission on sales generated by customers, which the publisher (affiliate) sends to their sites. Commissions on sales average between 7-10% and are paid monthly by check or direct deposit to a bank account.

Got Dot: What advice would you give to someone starting affiliate marketing?

Arlene says, "There is a lot of confusing information about affiliate marketing, particularly in the chat rooms. James has been a bull dog at digging in and finding out what works and sticking to it. That's the key to making money from home."

Arlene Martell followed a simple 8-step-systemô for affiliate marketing created by her husband, James Martell, entrepreneur, successful affiliate marketer, and developer of over 70 specialty shopping sites with topics that range from paintball equipment, gear and masks , affordable hosting services and Nikken air ionizers and is also in the business of educating people on how to earn money with affiliate programs and the Internet.

Related Resources:

  1. James Martellís Affiliate Marketers Handbook
  2. James Martell's Affiliate Buzz
Got Dot is a freelance writing firm profiling successful affiliate marketers.

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