Getting Magic in Life with Affiliate Marketing
GotDot.com profiles Stacey Becker a “phone company” call center representative seeking financial freedom, with a legitimate homebased business. Wanting to make a career change, getting out of the 9-5 grind doesn’t happen over night. Stacey like so many people these days reached a point where she got fed up with the job.
The reasons Stacey wants to say goodbye to the “phone company” are common place, something we can all relate too. Stacey hates the corporate culture, the internal politics, the oppressive environment, the long commute, dealing with angry customers, the limited income and opportunity, and being watched over like children.
Stacey says, “A typical day at the phone company is working with people who assume you’re guilty and not doing you’re job.”
She adds, “that’s no way to spend your life, when you’re unhappy with you’re job, it’s hard to have happiness in the rest of your life. I want harmony in my life. With affiliate marketing, I’m rediscovering the magic in my life, something that’s been missing for a long time.”
This call center gal, turned entrepreneur is building a nest egg, with affiliate marketing, on the side, while still working at the “phone company”. When there’s enough money in the bank, one and times her income it will be bye, bye “phone company” a day’s that’s just around the corner.
Got Dot: What ingredients make up this new career you’re building?
Stacy says, “Well first of all, I’m living it. There’s unlimited income, it’s a legitimate homebased business, one that’s portable. I can take it anywhere. I’m my own boss. Affiliate marketing is easy to do, with built-in residual income, and there is always something new to learn that keeps me challenged too. I’ve found everything I was looking for. Affiliate marketing, like my dog Magic, came along just when I needed it.”
Got Dot: How did you get involved with affiliate marketing?
Stacey says with a twinkle in her eye, like I said, “it’s magic” Sometimes life happens that way. She mentions going to a weekend seminar for personal leadership. While waiting for friends at the close of the seminar Stacey bumped into Arlene Martell, wife of James Martell an entrepreneur, successful affiliate marketer and author of the James Martell’s Affiliate Marketers Handbook. They started talking. Arlene mentioned affiliate marketing, listing everything on Stacey’s career checklist to a tee.
Arlene told Stacey that they were selling products on the Internet with residual income and making a ton of money. Affiliate marketing sounded like something she could do. Stacey got hooked with the financial freedom and the concept of taking something from nothing and making it into something.
What is affiliate marketing?
An affiliate program is a business relationship where one website owner (a “merchant”) agrees to pay another website owner (an “affiliate”) a commission simply for referring customers.
Merchants typically manage their affiliate program by joining a commission network such as Commission Junction or LinkShare who provide third-party tracking and infrastructure or by purchasing and installing specialized tracking software on their own server. See Commission Junction and LinkShare for a list of merchants who are looking for affiliates to promote their products and services.
Got Dot: How did you go from being a call center representative to computer techie?
Stacey says, “In the beginning I was a complete techno-peasant, not computer friendly at all. Arlene was real patient with me. She’s an angel with no disguise. Right away she introduced me to affordable website templates. The templates are real easy to use, professional and pleasing to the eye.” These templates have plenty of white space, no flashing, or distracting graphics, and emphasize the content.
Got Dot: What was it like getting started?
Stacey mentions how she read James Martell’s Affiliate Marketers Handbook twice and worked side by side with Arlene going through each step in James’ eight step system™ for building websites. In the beginning she expected to make $500-1000 a month that’s pretty typical. But, getting started proved to be harder than she thought.
Initial mistakes with keywords hindered her income potential. Instead of choosing specific keywords Stacey chose general ones. For example: on the vitamin website she chose “health information” as a primary keyword. It should have been “vitamin supplement”. With the right keyword, web traffic is focused on people who want to buy products vs. people interested in gathering information. The key is choosing keywords that are sellable.
Stacey says, “I tell everybody to use specific keywords, not general ones. Making the mistakes early on, not only showed me right from wrong, it validated the business. I know when I do it right the income’s there, that it will just grow and grow.”
Got Dot: What are your market niches?
Different motivating factors led to each site’s creation. For instance: Stacey’s vitamins site offered an opportunity to promote an existing product line. Gift baskets, just sounded marketable: people always want to buy gifts in a hurry. The pet supplies for dogs site, Stacey’s newest site, is her favorite by far and includes a picture of her dog Magic, the very one, she found on the freeway, during the worst time in her life. You could say that site’s magical, as Stacey likes to say, her dog Magic, grants wishes.
Stacey follows the same methods for web site construction developed by James Martell. These principals are incorporated into Stacey’s successful sites featuring: vitamin c, new baby gift basket ideas, and designer dog beds.
Got Dot: What’s the income like?
At first the income was very low with the vitamin and the gift basket sites, due to the wrong keywords. After rebuilding both sites using the right keywords and building the new pet supplies site Stacey made $170 in August. The income doubled in September, same with October and November. By December she made $2500.
Now Stacey’s building four more sites and planning for the future, with a target of $15,000 a month by year’s end.
Got Dot: What are some support tools you are utilizing in your affiliate business?
Stacey says, “The Affiliate Buzz audio newsletter is an excellent source of information. It’s very motivating and is a great way to stay informed, and plugged into what’s going on in the field.”
The part of Affiliate Buzz, she likes best is learning how others are successful with affiliate marketing. Stacey says, “On one show, James read an email from someone he’d never talked to before, who said: ‘Thank you very much. You’ve increased my income by $5000 a month.”
On the social side of things, Stacey mentions that being friends with the “website girls” other like minded entrepreneurs; she’s found a real sense of comradeship and support. When the gals get together, Stacey says, “they can’t wait to talk about their web sites and the checks coming in; then it’s back to socializing and finding out how everyone’s doing personally.”
Next on the horizon is Commission Junction’s conference in September 2004. Commission Junction University (CJU) is a comprehensive series of seminars designed to offer advertisers, publishers and agencies performance-based marketing strategies, and techniques for maximizing results. Stacey says, “The value of connecting with merchants, getting their perspectives and talking to other successful affiliate marketers will more than cover the cost of going.”
Got Dot: What’s a typical day like?
Stacey says, "It’s more like, what’s an untypical day. Right now I’m on leave from the "phone company". My days go in extremes. I get to do what I want, when I want. Most days I wake up and walk Magic, my dog, first thing in the morning. Then I’ll spend two hours working, then go to the gym, have lunch, and come back to work for another few hours. Sometimes I’ll take the entire day off, and work at night, other days I’ll work just in the afternoon. That’s the beauty of this business; you can make it what you want, working as much or as little as you want too."
She adds, “My life is 180 degrees opposite of what it was. I’m an example of what a career should be with harmony and success. It’s a win-win for everyone including the merchants and customers. Everyone is winning.”
Got Dot: What tips do have for someone starting out?
Stacey says, “Affiliate marketing has brought the magic back in my life. It’s a legitimate homebased business, and is giving me the career and financial freedom I’ve always wanted.”
Stacey Becker followed a simple 8-step-systemô for affiliate marketing created by James Martell, entrepreneur, successful affiliate marketer, and developer of over 70 specialty shopping sites with topics that range from dedicated server hosting to paintball markers; and is also in the business of teaching people how to earn money online using affiliate programs.
Related Resources:freelance writing firm profiling successful affiliate marketers.
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