Article by Doug West

So what if you don’t have your own ebook or digital product to offer your customers? Is it really possible to earn a good living offering other people’s products and services? What are the best ways to develop an online income with affiliate programs? We will look at and answer these questions in this article.


Don’t worry, there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of www entrepreneurs that are earning decent incomes without a product of their own. Associating with ready made offers and web sites can be very profitable IF done right. Here are some points to keep in mind:

Start Building Your Own List

If you are going to work any type of sales program on the net, sooner or later you are going to have to advertise in some fashion to get the word out without SPAMMING anyone (SPAM will only cause you problems). Ezines ads are one of the best deals available. Especially Solo ads and Sponsor ads. Compare the cost of advertising in these publications to what PostmasterDirect and some of the other online Giants charge for mailing to their BIG lists of prospects and you will find that Ezines offer some real Bargains. We have always found that the ezine ads pulled better anyway. We have spent several thousand$ to run a solo ad with PostmasterDirect, and only had a few replies, where one Solo ad with a good ezine list has netted us hundreds of leads for an average cost of about $100. To find ideas for your own solo mailing offers see:

Wherever you decide to advertise, you need to start building your own list of contacts. We are not saying that everyone should become a publisher of an ezine, but Every online marketer needs to have their own list of folks who have responded to their offers, and a list of those who have done business with you. This list will be the lifeblood of your ebiz! Perhaps the best way to build that list is by use of a follow up responder system that will build the list for you. There are many such services available. You should utilize a service that offers the auto personalized feature. This allows you to put the name of your prospect in all the follow up offers you send them. One of, if not The most impressive tools we have used is:

They will even pay you a 30% commission for referring others! Their system not only offers unlimited auto follow up responders, but they have a shopping cart, ad tracking system, list manager and more. If you do run an online publication you will really need to check them out!

If you build a list from ALL your advertising efforts, even those who don’t initially buy from you will become valuable to you. As your list grows you will have a free resource for advertising your other offers, which brings us to the next topic:


This should go without saying, but we see many folks online violating this simple rule. If you are dealing with health related offers, your gardening or home repair offers might not be as readily accepted. In fact, you may get some folks who will get down right upset with you. You may give them an option for getting on another list with you about another subject, but generally you should not pitch them something that is totally unrelated. There are exceptions to this and every rule of course, but note the word generally in the above statement.

Theme Mini Sites

This is one area that can work in promoting your affiliate programs, but you must come up with a theme that is needed and unique would not hurt either. Eva Almeida of Canada came up with a Great Mini Site idea to capitalize on the eBook craze. Her site focuses on ebook compilers. She reviews the various software programs out there for creating ebooks, and offers her comments on them. Of course, she belongs to the affiliate programs for those compilers that she recommends. She also has links to her other sites as well as related affiliate offers. Visit her site at:

You have to use caution on this however. If you try to set up a web site that just has links to a lot of affiliate programs, chances are, it is not going to do you much good. BUT, if you can offer some sort of free service where you have really done your homework like Eva has done, you may come up with a real profit center!

Start Slow & Build Fast!

The main mistakes that we see so many folks making is that they try to do everything at once, or they do nothing at all. Those are the main reasons for failure. If you do nothing, well, you can see the problem with that. If you try to start out working several plans or programs, you won’t get anywhere with any of them because your resources will run out. You won’t have the staying power you need as you will be spreading your advertising dollars too thin.

You should pick a program that you really like (we prefer two tiered or multi-tiered programs where you can receive commissions on other affiliates that you refer to the program), and has excellent income potential. Focus on that until it is paying you regular sizable income. Then add other programs as you go. Once you know how to get the word out, and you have a system in place, it is a fairly easy matter to just keep doing the same thing over and over again with different programs. Soon you will have many companies sending you cash, and you won’t have to work so hard. Do a lot for very little in the beginning, then do a little and earn a LOT in the end!

Yes, if you stay focused, build a list, measure your advertising success in real dollars, and follow up on your new net friends, you really can earn a nice living without having one product of your own!

Doug West is the author of “E-Empire,” the complete resource for earning a living online. His company, Kosoma Publishing, has just launched an affiliate program that pays you on 10 Levels while teaching you all the techniques you will ever need to build a sizable income on the net. Get a free copy of his ebook and details on his new affiliate program at: his website,

Related Portfolio Items