Beware of a Possibly Tanking Affiliate Program

Stuff does happen. Websites can have technical problems. If they have a problem that they can’t quite nail down then it is difficult to know what to fix and the problems may be recurring for quite a while before they are able to fix it. So you can give them the benefit of the doubt if everything else seems to be ok. To a degree, but this must be reasonable, otherwise it may be a real red flag.

stay alert!

The same goes for customer service but only to a point. There are days when things are happening such as the above technical problems and there can even be days where there are multiple issues across the board that are affecting multiple members. This would be a reason that there is a true surge in requests for support and it can really throw everything into a backlog situation.

However in the first place a company should have announced an ETA (estimated time of arrival) – such as ‘We try to answer all requests within 48-hours’. So you know that up to 48-hours it is normal not to hear from them and starting to count from there then you can figure if there is some ‘extra’ problem. You should start sending more requests every 48-hours.

If it is really the norm that customer service is always slow and whether or not there is an ETA, let’s be generous and say 72-hours before we get concerned and start resubmitting requests. Poor customer support on a regular basis, really may be an indicator that all is not that well there – but it may just be they are stupid or inept. It really doesn’t usually indicate anything like fraud.

Now that is with the exception of refunds. There are companies that you have to contact over and over to get a refund. Sometimes when it is you that has made a mistake, you can guess it will take some time to get your money. However then there are some companies that will ‘accidentally’ do things like charging your account multiple times for the same fee. When they are advised of same they still take forever to give you your money back.

This would seem like a real red flag that this company is not reputable. In the first place they have a screwed up billing system – a really important function for any business. Add that to poor customer service because they have custody of your money and can’t be bothered to give it back quickly. There are actually scams where businesses do this regularly and earn interest on the money before refunding it.

If a business is late with money – whether it is your commissions, or a refund, this may indicate there is serious trouble either with their own financial situation or with their business ethics. It might be a really good idea to get out while you still have a chance of leaving with your money, rather than waiting for a total crash.

Remember most decent banks (credit cards, payment processors, etc) do have a way for you to file a dispute within a certain time limit – usually 30 to 60 days. You usually just need to prove you have tried to get your money back a few times with no response. The bank will take over and get your money for you. Don’t ignore the signs. Don’t be paranoid on the other-hand and do give the benefit of the doubt – up to a point.

When Parents Work From Home

Because of financial necessity many parents believe they have no choice but to leave their children with daycare providers so that they can go to work outside the home. It would be better for the children if this wasn’t the case, and probably much easier if at least one parent had a way to work from home. When a parent works from home naturally they have more of a relationship with their kids.

work at home

Another important point is that kids don’t know about economics. What they do realize is that their parents are not there for them most of the time. The relationship does not have a lot of quality time. When you are working outside your home, you see the kids to wake them up, get them ready for the day, and shuffle them off to day care or school. At the end of the day, hopefully you have a nice dinner together, and maybe spend some time with them. Then it is time for them to go to bed.

Just by eliminating the commute times to and from work and daycare, you would have more time to spend with them and feel less rushed. While you are looking at this, don’t forget to consider how much money you can save for child care and transportation. That is money that is no longer going out of your pocket. If you are skeptical because you would make less money if you worked at home at least while you are developing a business, be sure to do the math on what you save by staying home.

When you have the freedom to choose what hours you will work it is really liberating and you will find it much more efficient. Working when your children are napping or at school would be ideal. Of course you can also be working off and on when they are up and running around the house and you can keep an eye on them to be sure they are safe.

There can however be some obstacles to this grand plan like anything else. One is to make sure that your family and friends understand you are actually working even though you are home. They need to respect that time and you can facilitate this by turning on your voice mail for one thing, so you won’t get interrupted. It really helps if you have a room with a door that you can use for a home office and teach your kids that there are boundaries.

There are many advantages if you can see a way to start a business from home, but for parents these are some very important considerations that may encourage you to pursue this idea.

Pursuing Careers Online

Particularly in the current economic climate, people are being displaced from their usual careers. The may use job recruiting websites that will help them find new opportunities. Available as well on the Internet are resources to help folks find low-cost and even free online training that may help them to improve their chances of finding a new job opportunity.

get a job

Displacement could be a golden opportunity to find out how existing skills and experience might translate for careers online from home. Of course the additional training mentioned above would also be applicable if it would help the chance for success to enhance their expertise.

Whatever your skill set thus far – be it technical, marketing, sales, management, administrative, or accounting, there are many opportunities either in finding new employment through online resources or starting your own business from home on the Internet.

Obviously you need some money to get out of being ‘between a rock and hard place’. Ideally you have some sort of benefits such as unemployment insurance or severance pay and even possibly savings that you can use to survive until you are able to secure another steady income. If not then the best way to go would be to try to find at least a part-time or temporary job to tide you over. Then you can use your spare time to look for a full-time job or to develop a home business opportunity.

Give yourself a few days to let this big life change sink in and get your bearings. Even if the separation was expected, it is still a shock. Rather than to allow yourself to be scared, which while normal is not very productive, psyche yourself up to move forward. This can be a positive change for you and one that you might not ever have made if you were not forced to!

Be aware of the fact that you are in control of your own destiny. This knowledge can be very empowering if you stop and think about it. Although you may take it for granted, it can be something we often forget when we get into the rut of long-term, stagnant employment. You are driving and it is up to you which way you go and how far.

Be very methodical in your approach. You will find that being organized is not only being professional but it really will help to calm you as you will feel that sense of control when you know where everything is. Treat finding a job or business the same as you would an actual job. Set your hours where you will do various things – for example have hours you will search the job boards for employment. If you can, schedule appointments or interviews and/or make calls or send emails in this regard. Of course you will need to get your resume together and this may be a little time consuming if you don’t have one to use as a ‘backbone’ to build on.

Make some time to look at ‘home business opportunities’ in a search engine like Google.com. Devote some energy to clicking the links to learn about the endless possibilities for starting your own business. Just get some examples of what they do and how it appears they do it. If you can find some programs to join free just as a research project if nothing else. You might find something that really jumps out and make some money.

Network Marketing Opportunities

Network marketing opportunities might fall under several different business models. For example, there are sales distributorships, aka independent consultants that sell tangible products. This is probably the most well-known and there are a number of very successful mega-billion dollar corporations that are ‘household words’.

networking

Encompassing both tangibles and intangibles, there are also multi-level marketing (MLM) businesses, which include many different online affiliate marketing programs. With this model people may earn money for referrals as well as by selling the product or service of the company to earn commissions.

The principal difference in the two business models above is that the distributorships focus on selling products, whereas MLM and affiliate marketing programs focus mainly on the business opportunity (referrals). Of course these referrals are made easier if the company has quality products and services and has a good reputation as a profitable opportunity for affiliates.

Participants in most network marketing opportunities are considered to be self-employed. This is an ideal situation because they can work for as many different companies as they prefer. The ‘multiple streams of income’ concept works very nicely in any case. Mainly this is due to the fact that there is no limit to how much money they can earn as there would be with an employee’s ‘salary’ or ‘wages’.

The other major reason having multiple streams of income is a very wise way to build a business, is that there can be a balance where if one company has slow sales for any period of time, it is not as detrimental to the bottom line in that the other companies may be doing fine or better.

Additionally, they do well with the concept of ‘multiple streams of income’ because you can technically earn money in multiple ways within each individual organization. With MLM and affiliate programs you can earn money from referrals as well as from selling the products. As you get more sophisticated you could actually have separate advertising that focuses on either.

With regard to any network marketing opportunities, take advantage of your associations in the various networks and use them wisely. You can “cross-promote” in your own organization or network by ‘back-end’ and ‘OTO’ (one-time-only) sales to your existing clients. That is once a customer buys your products or agrees to participate in a business opportunity you can invite them to follow you into some of your other opportunities.

Networking is always going to emphasize building relationships with people. Get to know your prospects and existing customers. Don’t ever be accused of ‘taking the money and run’ where they will say ‘I was very important until they got my money and now they have disappeared. I can’t get any help and at this point I just want a refund’. Stay in touch.

Network Marketing Leads

To begin with, the least effective way to get good network marketing leads is to buy them, with few exceptions. Buying leads has a poor ROI (return on investment). For the most part they are all but useless, however if money is not an issue for you, then you might be able to get a sale or two from the bunch.

network marketing

The truth is whoever is selling you the leads may honestly say they are ‘fresh’, because they themselves just purchased them. The fact is that they have no way to know exactly how old the list may be that the leads came from. They may have been regurgitated literally hundreds of times over the years.

This explains why the vast majority of ‘leads’ will be unresponsive. If you do get a chance to reach them at all, they will very likely not recognize your name, your opportunity, or understand why you are contacting them. Some may be quite irritated if they have been contacted too many times.

So how did they get on the list in the first place even if it was years ago? One theory is that they may have been ‘interested’ only in a very abstract way. Perhaps at some time in the past they inquired about a related matter and their contact information was captured. Since then they have moved on and forgotten they ever heard of the opportunity. In any case more than likely, they are not interested in what you have to offer.

Having to first convince someone they requested information they don’t remember asking for is not the best environment to begin a relationship. It would be much more productive to spend your time contacting people who have “opted-in” very recently and have first-hand knowledge of you or your company.

The best of all possible scenarios is that they are interested in what you have to offer and are contacting you to get more information with the definite purpose of taking action. Now the dynamic is very different. Instead of you trying to convince them, you will simply be providing them with the information they requested. Big difference.

The definition of “networking” is ‘to be known without having an agenda’. This says that it would be very wise to participate in various activities where you can be known and get to know others. You can share your knowledge without trying to sell anybody anything and then watch them come to you for more. This is the best way to get really good network marketing leads.

Social networking and online business forums are two very popular venues where you could get to know others. Both of these avenues gives you an opportunity to build a relationship of trust and respect and eventually to discreetly introduce the possibility of a business transaction. It is highly likely that someone will be more approachable and open-minded to someone they trust as opposed to a stranger who is pushing something.

Less personal but still attracting interested people with a pulse, are lead capture ‘portals’. For example web forms that offer a free newsletter or report in exchange for providing your email address. You build the relationship through your communications and over time the leads may take action and you will generate a sale.

Ideas for Working from Home for Free

If you are thinking about working from home, the easiest way to get started is to get involved with affiliate programs that provide you with a ready-made sales web page and an affiliate ID. They do all the technical work and even accounting and customer service for you. Once you see what is necessary otherwise, then there are many different ways to create jobs you can work from home.

work from home!

If it is necessary to start absolutely free, then one example of something you could do to introduce yourself to the concept of affiliate marketing programs would be to sell digital products for a site like ClickBank.com. You can just go there and sign up for a free affiliate account.

Once that is established, then you pick whatever products look good from the opportunities featured on the ClickBank site. Each program has a URL associated and by adding your Clickbank “nickname” (affiliate ID) to the URL, you create a ‘hoplink’. When someone clicks that link they ‘hop’ over to a web page that explains and either provides an order form or another ‘hoplink’ to one.

ClickBank is known to pay the highest commissions, which can be up to 75% of the cost of the product. By comparison you will see how high that is to the normal affiliate commission. Clickbank will process the sales transaction and provide customer service and send you a check!

There are many ways to advertise this hoplink online, many of them free. An example of a free way would be to create a free blog at blogger.com and write articles and post reviews about the product. Each post would include the hoplink which could be placed discreetly in either the body of the text (blog post) or in your signature or author bio box at the end of each message.

If you have not actually used the product or service yourself, you can still describe it in some detail (read the sales page and more or less rewrite it in your own words). You can detail the applications that you might use a product like the one you are promoting.

You can also approach this from another perspective and create an article about working from home in other mediums besides a blog – for example an article directory or ezine. You could describe your experience with being a ClickBank affiliate. Use the hoplink in your profile on the article directory as the link you want to associate with your account and articles.

In addition to blog and article marketing, you can submit your hoplink to link directories, search engines, classified ad bulletin boards, and use it at social networking sites and business forums. These can all be free. Of course you always have the option to use paid services as well such as list builders, PPC ads, traffic exchanges, etc., for a faster, easier ride.

How to Start a Home Business Online

Would you believe that it just takes a few small steps to start a home business online? Once you make up your mind to actually do it, even if you are not quite sure what you will do, there are just three steps. Turn your computer on, connect it to the Internet, and start working!

biz in a box

Do you get the message that your Internet connected computer IS your ‘business in a box’? Have you heard that expression and wondered where you would get one? Now you know you can just create your own. If you don’t know exactly what kind of a business you want to conduct, you should go to a search engine like Google.com and query with ‘start a home business online’. You will get possibly millions of links that each represent an idea that you might be able to use.

If you double click the links on the first few pages, and really spend some time learning about the various opportunities, you may find all kinds of ideas. For the ones that really stand out, copy the link address along with some key words to remind you what it is about. Then continue on until you get at least a few that sound feasible. Take note of the program’s products or services, the compensation plan (how much you can earn), the cost to start and maintain membership, resources, etc.

Brainstorm these ideas and try to imagine how they might work for you. Determine whether you want to do this part-time or full time. Find out how much time you could devote to it for now – and going forward – it could be more or less depending on you and your preferences (and what is required to succeed with the business).

Let all that information stew for a while and see how you feel in a day or so. If you are serious about wanting to move forward and really believe it could be done, then go for it. While it is not necessary to make a long-term commitment (contracts), etc., you may as well not waste your time or money if you are not really serious. This is not to say you may not have a few trials and errors. If at all possible join the program for free just to get acclimated and then upgrade so you can actually make some decent money.

The bottom line is the only way to make any business work is to really focus on promoting it so that you will generate traffic. If the traffic is quality traffic, eventually you will get prospects and then actual sales! This is the fun part! Remember that nothing will happen no matter which business model you choose unless you are actively engaged in advertising and marketing your business in as many ways as possible over time. Nothing happens instantly or by magic, even on the Internet, but if you are willing to treat your business seriously there is every reason to believe you can succeed!

Home Based Work

Home based work can include many possibilities to earn money. Even if you do not want it to be computer-based, there are still many things you can do. With that said, though using the Internet for research and many other aspects of a business is probably the only really smart way to go. Why not use the ocean of free information at your fingertips?

work at home

If you enjoy hobby crafts and have talents and skills, this is one avenue that really could lead to an income generating business. Nothing better than enjoying what you are doing to make money! For example if you are good at creating dried flower arrangements, like to bake or sew, know how to make jewelry, candles or soap, there is a good possibility you could build a business around any of those arts.

Believe it or not one of the best opportunities to make money is using ‘homemaking’ skills like child care, house cleaning, laundry, gardening, shopping or cooking. You can use these skills to create income if you will just promote (advertise) that you can do it. It is incredible how especially house cleaning people just come out of the walls when they hear you talking. You have instant prospects.

You can get jobs doing one-time clean-ups or have regular clients that you see weekly. Many will start with the massive clean-up and then want you to keep it up. There are many people who are busy in their careers and can afford to pay someone more than they have the time or energy to keep up with it themselves. There are also people who are unable for reasons of their health and/or age to take care of themselves and they can use a hand with housekeeping chores.

If you have business skills and experience in your career, such as data entry, word processing, accounting, proofreading and editing, or customer service, these also can represent opportunities to make money from home. If you can write at all many marketers and other online businesses need to have new content all the time. You can make decent money for any of these tasks.

Online home business has been growing and growing for years now, and this represents a new world of opportunities to create home based work to make money. There are many one-person home businesses online that need assistance with marketing and advertising. They may have done it themselves for a while in order to get to the point where they can thankfully pay somebody else to take it off their hands! They can teach you how to do what they need very easily.

Internet marketing uses many of the same skills as you may have used in your previous career so with some modifications you are already ‘experienced’. Even basic computer skills can be very useful to you and other online businesses that need assistance with day-to day operations. So don’t rule online marketing and advertising out because you may believe you don’t know anything about it. You can learn, just like anything else. It is not mysterious or overly technical, so don’t feel intimidated. Just do it!

Finding Money to Start a Home Business

The truth is you can probably get money from yourself. If you would just take stock of what money you have coming in and going out for necessities, you may find there are at least a few ‘luxuries’ that you could do without in order to generate some ‘extra’ money. It might take you a while to save some money but if you really want to start a business you will find a way.

you've got money!

If you do not have any money and do not see any way to generate some cash, the best way to get money to start a home business is to join a free affiliate program online. You would advertise that program’s products to earn commissions. There are a number of free techniques you can use to do this, if you at least have time.

These free affiliate programs will provide you with a sales web page to advertise including your own affiliate link so that you receive credit for your sales. If you can complete and submit an application you can start immediately after you receive your affiliate information from the company.

The one thing that any affiliate program won’t do is to promote your business for you. You must make this effort yourself. Nothing will happen instantly so you have to understand that you may need to put forth consistent effort over time before you see any money. Affiliate programs are the easiest way to make the money to start a home business, but anything you do will require effort and time to produce results. That’s just reality and if you can’t accept that then you should just get a job.

Some people really must believe that there is a magical process when you have a web page or link on the Internet. They must think that having the link or webpage running online will automatically generate income. Big mistake as nothing is likely to ever happen if you don’t promote your business aggressively. Putting forth a half-hearted effort will also not be likely to produce much of anything although anything is possible. (It is much wiser to give it your best effort if you really want to start a business).

On the Internet you can reach millions of people for little or no money if you just take the time to learn the strategies and then consistently put forth a sincere effort to accomplish your goals. It is very possible that in the future you may have the money to pay others to perform services for you that although they are easy, can be time-consuming. It is best in any case that you learn the techniques yourself in order to have the most control of your business.