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Compelling Reasons to Create Your Own Product (Even If You Promote Affiliate Programs)
2002 Angela Wu

  Like many people, I first started online by promoting affiliate programs. I didn't have a product of my own, and affiliate programs seemed like the ideal way to earn an income. Why bother with the hassles of creating my own product if I didn't have to?

For many months, life on the 'net was wonderful. Then one day the bottom dropped out of my income. One of the affiliate programs I was promoting heavily closed up shop -- leaving me with nothing to show for my months of hard work. Within the next few months, another program dropped it's commission rates by 65%, and two more cut their commissions in half.

It took me a few months to recover financially... but in that time, I realized that this dependence on another company was exactly what I *didn't* need. Like the other affiliates, I had worked hard to bring customers to the company -- only to end up in nearly the same position I was in when I first got started.

Don't get me wrong; I was grateful for the opportunity to learn how to market online, without having to worry about billing, inventory, shipping, customer service, and everything else a company handles on behalf of its affiliates. And although it was hard work, the income was great.

However, it just goes to show that affiliates are at the mercy of the company. Now, with more experience under my belt, my opinion is that creating a product of your own is a far better way to do business. I still use affiliate programs, of course -- just not as my primary source of income.

So why create a product of your own? Aside from the dependency issue we just discussed, there are lots of great reasons. First of all, it's YOURS. You pour your knowledge and your heart into creating a product that you can be proud of. Call it a sense of achievement.

Secondly, you know the product intimately. You know what it does and what it doesn't do; you can talk confidently about the benefits of owning it; you can listen to your customer's feedback and use it to improve the product. And chances are, you'll be much more inclined to market it consistently -- especially since you keep all of the profits, rather than just a commission!

Most importantly, though, you build a customer base of your own. You can build a long-term relationship with your customers through newsletters, special offers, new product announcements... and your customers can offer constructive feedback, testimonials, and even referral business.

Affiliate programs are a wonderful way to develop multiple streams of income. However, having your own product gives you the option to concentrate on your own success, and on your terms. Now that's a goal!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Angela is the editor of Online Business Basics, a practical and hype-free guide to building an Internet business on a shoestring budget. It's a proven hit with beginners, who love the down-to-earth style and loads of instantly useable tips! Click here for details:
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