Adman and Racquetball Champ is Winning the Game with Work from Home Opportunities profiles Bob Buckham, an advertising salesman and Canadian racquetball champion, who in the midst of looking to market a coupon book, found a whole new revenue stream with affiliate marketing. When Bob first learned about affiliate marketing, otherwise known as “pay for performance advertising” Bob was actively exploring ways to extend the reach of his full color coupon book, Advantage Coupons. In the advertising business, Bob focused on traditional advertising as a vehicle for selling clients products and services. That’s the way things had been done for years and years.

Three years ago, when Bob first heard that his neighbor, James Martell, who is an entrepreneur and successful affiliate marketer, the author of the Affiliate Marketers Handbook and the host of the Affiliate Buzz, an audio newsletter for affiliate marketers was making money with affiliate marketing, Bob thought it might be a way to market the coupon book.

A curious thing happened along the way, the more Bob learned about affiliate marketing, work from home opportunities, the less and less attractive the coupon book became. Why? The answer calls up the very whole notion of traditional advertising vs. affiliate marketing.

In traditional advertising (i.e. newspapers, radio, television, and coupon books) the advertiser pays in advance for the advertising and hopes to bring in customers. However, the advertiser loses money if there are not enough customers that come through the door and make purchases. For example: At the going rate of about $10 (U.S.) for every thousand people who see a ad, the advertiser needs to spend $1,000 to acquire roughly one customer and 99 window shoppers. That’s not a winning proposition.

Affiliate marketing works the other way around. The advertiser pays a commission to an affiliate only for customers that make a purchase. It’s a win-win for the advertiser and the affiliate vs. a losing proposition in traditional advertising. Pay-for-performance” advertising is a much better way to go for companies looking to advertise their products and services.

Advertisers are flocking to affiliate marketing

It’s no surprise that traditional advertisers are flocking to the emerging affiliate marketing model -- very low risk to the advertiser – only pay a commission for actual sales. No sales, no commission.

Affiliates love it too

Affiliates who understand the affiliate marketing business are earning huge incomes – even those who are playing around are earning a few hundred extra dollars each month.

Jeff Pullen, President of Commission Junction, a third party provider of infrastructure and tracking told the crowd at a recent conference held in Santa Barbara that, “Commissions we’re up 80% over the previous year”. And, according to the Affiliate Summit, held in early November 2003 in New York City, affiliate marketing is already a $14 billion industry. (Source: Marketing Sherpa)

Online shopping booms – the future is bright

Affiliate marketing is working because the pay for performance model makes sense. Plus, people are flocking to the Internet in droves to shop online. According to Forrester Research, a Massachusetts-based research firm, nationally online sales are expected to total $96 billion this year and climb to $229 billion by 2008.

How Bob Buckham got involved with affiliate marketing

About five years ago Bob started an Internet based coupon book for Abbotsford, a client in his advertising business. The project did well and Bob considered licensing or franchising the coupon book. A mutual friend told him, “Talk to James Martell he’s into this new thing. I can’t really explain it, but he makes good money.”

James was a neighbor of Bob’s, living just a few blocks away. Bob knew that James Martell’s telephone business had its ups and downs, not unlike the advertising business. Bob got real curious about James’ new venture. At the time, James was transitioning from the telephone business and had just started affiliate marketing with two or three sites, a credit card, long distance phone site, and a few others. Bob remembers asking James how he knew affiliate marketing was going to work. James told him, “I didn’t, I just saw other people making money and had faith, so I jumped in and gave it a go.”

James recommended Bob read Ken Evoy’s book on the basics of affiliate marketing. This was before James wrote his book James Martell’s Affiliate Marketers Handbook. Bob says, “Ken’s book wasn’t into optimizing the site, but was more of an overview about affiliate marketing. James’ book, on the other hand, is all about what you need to do to make money with affiliate marketing and includes a proven 8 step system™ to get you up and running.”

Bob remembers when he built his first site, James told him, “Just do what I do. It will work. It takes six weeks to two months before anything happens; the waiting period is where faith comes in.” By the third month Bob made $.15 and the next month he made $21.00. James told him, it should triple every month. The next month he made $300. Motivated by the numbers, Bob built more sites averaging $500-1000 a site; equivalent to $8000/month in mortgage related sites.

To this day, Bob still follows the same methods for web site construction developed by James Martell.

Got Dot: What was it like working with James a pioneer in the affiliate marketing movement?

Bob met regularly with James and others involved in affiliate marketing, for power sessions where they’d talk about techniques to make more money, the search engines, and new opportunities. Bob says, “James was the catalyst and invited him to participate in seminars as an affiliate marketing success story. At the seminars James would get asked tons and tons of questions. That’s why he wrote the Affiliate Marketers Handbook to help people, like he says, “Just do, what I do.”

Got Dot: Can you discuss some of the cycles you’ve seen in affiliate marketing?

Bob mentions how James had sites on ISPs affiliates back in 1999-2000. When the ISPs offered it for free, there was less traffic, a downtime. The same thing happened to Bob with mortgages. During the downtime they bought keywords to boost the traffic. Once the traffic went up, they stopped buying the keywords. Bob remembers asking James about his success in buying keywords.

James said, “If I spend a hundred dollars I make a hundred dollars.”

Bob responded, “If that’s the case why not spend a million dollars and make a million dollars.”

James said, “I’m into optimizing my sites without spending money.”

Bob adds, “This is the heart of James’ affiliate marketing manual. It provides everything you need to know about starting affiliate marketing and making money.”

Got Dot: What’s the biggest wow for you with affiliate marketing?

Bob says, “It’s the same thing when James and I started off, two years in advance of James’ manual. I get that wow feeling whether I earn $.10/month or $1000. Its being part of something that works and that I enjoy. And what’s great is that now I’m in the position to help others too, like James did for me.”

Recently Bob has been helping his friend Chris, who spent 20 years working for a rock crushing company, in the freezing cold. Bob made a deal with Chris’s wife, that if she wrote the articles, he’d make the websites. Well as luck turned out, Chris’s company closed. Bob told Chris the same thing James told him, and now Chris and Bev are making money with affiliate marketing. Bob says, “It’s so rewarding to be able to help a friend. If I am helping a friend I don’t look at the gain, that’s the way James is, it’s just so nice, that’s his nature and it just rubs off.”

Got Dot: What is the unifying factor connecting your success in affiliate marketing, advertising, and racquetball?

Bob says, “Discipline. If you want to be the best, you have to be disciplined, just throw yourself into the game. It takes a certain type of individual to have a home based business. You have to be a real take charge kind of person, a self-starter. It’s a part of me, whether I’m helping a client in my advertising business, becoming number #1 in the 40+ range in British Columbia in racquetball, making money in affiliate marketing, or coaching baseball for my son.”

Here are Bob’s tips and techniques for success:

  • Just do it. Eliminate procrastination. As James says, “either you are in it or you’re not.”
  • Be disciplined. Work on affiliate marketing everyday and don’t get side tracked.
  • Be balanced. Need to prioritize and balance work and family needs.
  • Have faith in the process.

As Bob says, “James system works. You can make a nice living working out of your home and spending time with family. If you work hard and work smart, you’ll do well. It is a true formula that works. You can win the game and keep winning with work from home opportunities.”

Bob Buckham followed a simple 8-step-system™ for affiliate marketing created by James Martell, entrepreneur, successful affiliate marketer, and developer of over 70 specialty shopping sites with topics that range from radio controlled airplanes to exterior window shutters; and also educates people interested in starting a homebased business using affiliate programs and the Internet!

Got Dot is a freelance writing firm profiling affiliate marketing success stories.

Related Resources:

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

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