One Person's Path to Riches
By Marty Nemko
Rosalind Gardner was an air traffic controller but found that “having to do a night shift, then a day shift, then a night shift is terribly hard on a body.”
So she quit and started a simple business from home. Gardner says she’s now well rested, indeed. Oh and she earned $436,797 last year and says, “I’ll do better this year.”
Here’s how she did it. She started by going to www.cj.com and www.associateprograms.com. These sites contain directories of online businesses offering commissions to anyone who refers a customer. She picked out a business category she found interesting: online dating services. From the hundreds of dating services listed, Gardner selected 25 she felt were high quality and likely to appeal to many people.
She then created a website that presented the distinguishing characteristics of each of the 25, with a link to each one. It’s at www.101date.com. Gardner says it’s really easy to create a plenty good-enough website. Just go to www.dollartemplates.com or 4templates.com, each of which contains hundreds of beautiful website templates you can buy for just $10 to $30 each. Gardner insists, “They’re idiot-proof.”
To drive traffic to her 101date.com site, she purchased advertisements on google.com and on also overture.com, which provides ads for yahoo.com’s and msn.com’s search engines. That way, each time a search engine user types in one of the many dating-related terms Gardner selected, alongside the search results, appears an ad for www.101date.com. And if that user clicks through to any of the 25 dating services linked to www.101date.com and buys a membership, Gardner receives a percentage of that membership fee: usually 25 to 50%.
By the end of year one, Gardner was earning $5,000 a month. Now, in year six, she earns $30,000 to $50,000 a month.
I asked her, “But times have changed. That kind of business (called affiliate marketing), is now a more mature industry. What if you’re starting out today?” She recommends that someone hoping to earn a six-figure income, plan on having a minimum of ten websites, one per niche. The good news is that Gardner believes a reasonably intelligent person can create a site in a weekend, a week tops.
Of course, you needn’t focus on dating services. Merchants selling all sorts of goods and services offer affiliate programs. A few that Gardner thinks could be particularly viable today are: beauty products, cell phones, satellite dishes, computer parts, and businesses that generate monthly repeat sales, such as website hosting. But Gardner recommends you don’t just focus on viability: “Choose a niche you’re interested in and knowledgeable about.”
Gardner says that now that her sites are up and running, she spends just an hour a month on her affiliate marketing business! She warns though that to succeed, “you need to be reasonably bright and willing to work hard, at least the first year. If you’re not, you’re wiser to go get a job.”
To help aspiring affiliate marketers, Gardner has written an e-book called The Superaffiliate Handbook. She says that if you diligently follow that e-book’s step-by-step advice, you should be successful within a year. I’ve read it and interviewed her at length, and am inclined to believe she’s telling the truth. The book is available online at www.superaffiliatehandbook.com and Gardner is available for consultation by phone and e-mail via that site.
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I received a call from a calligrapher who makes posters of her favorite quotations. She said she wanted to make a poster of something I had said on my radio show. I was of course, flattered. Here’s that quote:Geneticists now tell us what every mother has long known: Each of us comes from the womb with a distinct personality. Once you accept that, you can shift from the usually futile task of trying to fix your deeply ingrained weaknesses to putting yourself in environments that maximize your strengths. And you can move from trying to change others to accepting them as they are, and perhaps helping them, warts and all, to find their place in the world."
© Marty Nemko 2004-2017. Usage Rights