Monday, June 19, 2006

Make Money Online: The Small Business Side (Article 2)

What can I say? I'm getting lazy about creating separate blogs about my articles. Here is my new article in its entirety:

Affiliate Marketing: The Risk-free Business

Trying to get into the world of small business can be a very risky, high cost and time consumer venture...until now. Affiliate marketing and other online money making programs can produce the same successes with virtually no risk at all.

We all have dreams about running our own business at some point in our life. It can be for the personal satisfaction, the freedom of bosses or the big financial rewards. But we know at some level that in order to get to this point requires either a lot of time, a lot of money or a even a lot of luck. Being an engineer in everyday life, I find myself between a rock and a hard place: Is it worth it for me to give up a fair paying job with reasonable hours to a high risk job which will require a lot more hours and probably, at least for the first 3-5 years, pay me less money? Working a 9-to-5 job can be fairly mundane and the self-satisfaction and financial rewards are adequate, but, in my opinion not acceptable.

Some Benefits of Owning Your Own Business:

1) Personal satisfaction
2) No bosses
3) Potential for big financial rewards
4) You set your own work hours
5) Potential to financial freedom without much work.

Some Drawbacks of Owning Your Own Business

1) Large up-front financial investment
2) Large up-front time commitment
3) High risk of failure
4) Little direction
5) Employ management (in some cases)

What do you do, then? I have been to the trade shows and the franchise shows and wholesaler shows. I have to admit that I do have quite a bit of excitement about them, but really, I am not prepared to make the sacrifices; at least at this time in my life. I have a wife, a mortgage, a car payment and two very young children.

About six months ago, I stumbled across some money making opportunities on the internet. I first started with Paid Surveys, but this was not meant to solve my small business desires, rather, to earn a little bit of extra cash each month (and it did that!, a couple of hundred dollars is nice, but I am not retiring with this any time soon!). This led me into the world of affiliate marketing.

Making money online through affiliate marketing has been an interesting and great experience. I was a bit skeptical at first, but the more research I did, the more it made sense to me. As an affiliate marketer, you promote products on the internet. If people find your link and/or website which lead them to a sale, you get a certain percentage of the sale. These earnings can be a few dollars, tens of dollars, even hundreds of dollars each! The process to be successful in doing this is not necessarily simple, but it is rather straight-forward. If you approach a venture like this from a small business point of view, you can be very successful in affiliate marketing.

This was the niche that I was looking for. Affiliate marketing has allowed me to receive many of the benefits of being in a small business for myself with little or none of the drawbacks:

* Minimal up-front investment: About a hundred dollars or so.
* Minimal time commitment: I work on it when I have time. There is no time limit on making this succeed.
* Low risk: If you put the effort into it, you can and will be successful. If it does not work for you, you are out very little (unlike buying a business).
*Lots of Direction: There are a vast number of quality eBooks on the subject and the support networks in newsgroups are outstanding.
* No Employees: Unless you really make it big, which this does have the potential of doing!

I have not yet quit my day-job by any means. I work on affiliate marketing about 2 hours per day, 5 days per week. I am not making tens of thousands per month yet, but everyday my affiliate marketing business grows and it does make a steady stream of income. By slowly building my online money making business now, I open the doors for the future to truly leave my 9-5 job behind and achieve the goals of self-employment that I have always desired. All of this was done at little to no risk to my family, life-style or current career path.

- Matthew Bredel

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