Friday, June 23, 2006

Online Money Making Battle: Paid Surveys Vs. Affiliate Marketing

Paid Surveys Vs. Affiliate Marketing: Which is for you?

As you start learning about money making programs online, you will usually come across two legitimate ways of making money: Paid Surveys and Affiliate Marketing. I have tried them both and they are quite different!

I have spend a lot of time over the past 6 to 8 months researching and trying out different ways of making money online. Some of them work, but a lot of them are basically scams or pyramid schemes. The two that stand out as both legitimate as well as popular are paid surveys and affiliate marketing. You may see them called a variety of different names such as "focus groups", "paid to read emails", and "mystery shopping" for paid surveys and "data entry", "Clickbank money", even "forex" (even though the real forex deals with foreign exchange of currency) for affiliate marketing. A sub-catagory of affiliate marketing includes "Adsense" money-makers. Whatever you want to call, they are really just two different ways of making money online.

Paid surveys are simple. You sign up on a whole bunch of survey sites and over time, you will receive invitations to take part in filling out a marketing (or other) type of survey. This includes online surveys, phone surveys, focus groups, mystery shopping, etc. Now you will not be receiving dozens per day, by maybe a dozen or so per week. These surveys can range between $5 each to $75. Making $100 per week is definitely achievable!

Affiliate marketing is totally different. Throughout the world of the internet, there is a marketplace based on referrals. Almost anything you buy on the internet has some type of referal or affiliate program. If you can send a buyer to a vendor's website and they buy something, you (as the affiliate marketer) will receive a commission. These commissions can be percentages or straight values for the sales (or for that matter, leads or even clicks!). To promote another person's product, you usually need to create a website or blog and advertise.

Both of these online money making programs work and they do work as they are described above. But, of course, it is easier to explain it in 3 sentences than to actually do it. So what one do you choose? Let's compare the realities of these two work-at-home programs and find out!

1) Potential to Make Money

Paid Surveys: Making $500 per month is very doable, but that is pretty much the maximum in most cases.

Affiliate Marketing: The top affiliate marketers in the world make millions! But realize that only about 5% of those trying to make money through affiliate ventures are actually making money. (read on!) A solid affiliate marketer can bring in about $5000 per month.

2) Time Commitment

Paid Surveys: The initial start-up to sign up for the survey sites may take a few hours, but after that, your time will paid with the surveys or focus groups, etc. are you taking part in. You get paid for the time you put into paid surveys.

Affiliate Marketing: The actual "setting up" of an affiliate marketing campaign really does not take too long. But affiliate marketing requires a real commitment to learn the trade, research the products, advertise, and ultimately, become technically savvy enough to use the internet resources available to you (read #3). Once you develop the proper skills to do this, things become much simplier, your time commitment goes down and your earnings grow substantially!

3) Computer Know-How

Paid Surveys: Your computer skills only need to be average at best. Once you figure out how to create accounts on the survey sites, everything is fairly spoon-fed to you. As long as you have basic email knowledge, paid surveys requires very minimal technical knowledge.

Affiliate Marketing: A lot of the well written eBooks about affiliate marketing do a good job walking you through many of the technical steps. To get started requires very minimal computer knowledge. However, if you really want to make a considerable amount of money, it usually requires you to learn how to do some website design, host management and manipulation of code. You do not need to be a computer coder to be successful, but you should feel confident enough to edit a website.

4) Difficulty to Make Money

Paid Surveys: If you are willing to put in the initial time to sign up for most or all of the sites provided and you are willing to spend the time actually doing the surveys, then making money with paid surveys is easy.

Affiliate Marketing: If making a million dollars was easy, we would all do it, right? Not many people can read an affiliate marketing eBook and start making a solid income immediately. Some people do not make a cent in the first few MONTHS (I was one of them!). A lot of people quit, but if you are determined and willing to learn the trade, the initial up-hill battle will flatten out! It may start off at $10-$20 per day, but once it rains, it seems to pour!

5) Start-up Fees

Paid Surveys: You really need to join a paid survey site program to be successful. Most charge a one-time fee of $30-$40. No other fees occur after this.

Affiliate Marketing: You should really buy an eBook to teach you how affiliate marketing works. This usually costs between $30 and $50. There are usually advertising costs (which can be fairly minimum, but not required). If you have your own website, you will have monthly hosting and domain fees. Websites are not required, though. Blogs are a free way of promotion these days. Of course, it is entirely up you how much you will spend.

What it really gets down to is what you are willing to give. Paid surveys is a conservative, yet honest way of supplementing your monthly income by a few hundred days (and believe me, a few hundrd dollars can go a long way!). Affiliate marketing can be an initial uphill battle, which for some, leads to nothing. But the rewards can be very high and result in more than just a supplement of income, rather a career! Either way, if you try them out and it does not work for you, the other is always available and at the end of the day!

Matthew Bredel

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