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Advanced Affiliate Marketing: When to Have Your Own Product

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One of the most appealing parts of the affiliate marketing business is the opportunity to make money without having a "product" in the traditional sense. Not having a product renders affiliate marketing a low overhead proposition: no inventory costs, for example.

However, some successful affiliate marketers are so in love with the no product sales process that they neglect to consider a possibility that could be quite profitable: having a product.

For webmasters who aren't afraid to non-conform, having a product may be a way to augment existing affiliate marketing income, get PR and credibility, and grow your online business.

Here are three signs that it's time to consider having a product:

One: You Have an Original Voice and High Value Knowledge

When you talk about adding a product to an affiliate marketing venture, you are usually talking about creating an information product, rather than a physical item. Information products mesh excellently with the affiliate marketing low overhead business model.

Information products come in various forms. Two of the most popular are the e-book and the tutorial course. An e-book that is written with an original voice and dispenses high value knowledge can be a money maker, even if you sell at the low price that most e-books require.

Tutorial courses can be priced more aggressively, in which case the originality of the voice and the value of the knowledge are even more important.

Also note that the benefits of creating an e-book or tutorial course go beyond just the money you can collect through sales of that product. An information product can establish you as an expert.

Two: You Already Have the Pieces

What is the difference between an e-book about affiliate marketing and a collection of articles about affiliate marketing that you put up on your website? Marketing, mainly. How you market an information product, that is, fundamentally shapes the nature of that product.

In other words, you may already be in possession of a top-notch information product, if only you take the time to put the pieces together. Begin assembly now.

Consider this strategy if you have a content-rich website.

Three: Cheap and Targeted

There are times when having and selling a physical product through your affiliate marketing website is a good idea. Cost concerns--just printing up a couple hundred T-shirts can cost you $1,000 or more--are a concern, though.

If you can produce a cheap product aimed at a targeted audience, you can make 90 percent profit selling your own product, rather than 50 percent profit selling someone else's product. Cheap on the front end, targeted at the point of sale--it's a powerful equation.

If you do decide to have a physical product, look into drop-shipping. Outsourced fulfillment services specialize in doing all the dirty work of shipping and receiving.

Outsourcing fulfillment dirty work can allow you can concentrate on your primary business--affiliate marketing--even as you experiment with having a product of your own to sell.

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