Aside from waking up in the morning, one of the things I hated about having a regular job was seeing people I didn't like or didn't know what to say to. I guess as well as being an introvert, a part of me is a bit misanthropic. Mostly introvert through. And while I could survive the social interactions with coworkers, and even grow to enjoy them, I'd much rather be at home.
Am I alone in this?
Being thrown together with a bunch of people I don't really know or care to know that well for the majority of my life is not really my style. I'd like to choose where I go, what I do, and who I talk to for at least over 50% of my time. Preferably 80-90% (I'll assume about 10%of these things are just unavoidable)
Now I'm An Affiliate Marketer
I work from home. I build simple websites and blog about niche topics. There are ads on my blog and sometimes I feature blog posts with ads within the post. The majority of my work is reading, researching, and writing.
You mean I get paid to read interesting stuff and write whatever I want?
It's pretty awesome. There's a lot of hard work that goes into the back end of a finished website, including getting traffic, making sales, and planning for the future of your business. But if you put in the initial work to learn what you need to do, it's not any harder than learning a language, an instrument, passing high school math or [insert something that's mildly challenging but looking back wasn't that hard]
How It's Different From Other Ways To Earn Money Online
If you've ever looked for work online, you'll know that the internet is rife with scams. So much so, that there are now websites who's sole pupose is to expose scams. I try not to make One More Cup of Coffee into a scam-finder website, but there is so much interest in these uber-hyped products that I just can't ignore all that traffic!
I've compiled a list of some of the most poular types of scams that you can browse in case you've looked at other ways to make money on the internet.
But affiliate marketing is on a completely different plane of reality than a lot of what's offered out there. First off, it's not a thing that you sell. It's just a concept that describes how you are marketing the products and services you feature on your site.
There's no kind of club you have to join, or membership you need. You own a website, maintain a blog, and as long as you pay your hosting fees + domain registrar, you can operate pretty much without anyone telling you what to do. Sometimes there's TOS you have to follow for some of the better affiliate programs, but it's rarely intrusive, and often just a guideline that says “don't abuse our brand image”.
What is Affiliate Marketing & Niche Marketing
In a sense, you are a freelance advertiser. You create your website totally independent of the company whose products you advertise. You are given links with an affiliate code that link back to the vendors website. You choose which products to link to, and where to place the links on your site.
When a sale is made through you link, you make a commission. These can range from 5% to 75% depending on the products you are promoting and the terms of the affiliate agreement. Signing up is free, and many times you can just start earning without even speaking to your affiliate manager (though some people prefer some guidance).
Niche marketing a specific subtopic of affiliate marketing. This is also what I do. Chances are, you aren't going to make money off of a blog that just describes what you ate for breakfast and how your shopping trip went.
So you have to pick a niche topic that a group of people would be interested in. You can usually find a niche by starting with a popular market, and narrowing it down with qualifiers.
- Cooking > Cooking on a budget > Vegan cooking for college students on a budget
- Fitness > Running > Outdoor jogging > Outdoor jogging for seniors
You see how that works? You can get as “nichey” as you like, though too narrow, and it might be hard to find an audience. The whole point of this exercise is to define your market so that you know WHO you are writing your blog for. A 20 year old marathon runner isn't going to enjoy your blog called “How to Run” when you start featuring articles about how seniors can care for their arthritis while continuing their lifelong passion of running.
They say that introverts DO with a passion that no extrovert could understand. Whether you believe that or not, know that if you LOVE what you do, visitors to your website will notice. Happy visitors = $$
Why This Is The Perfect Job For Introverts
They also say that it's not that introverts hate people, it's that we prefer to choose our social interactions. This is a huge thing for me. I just dislike being around people that I don't have a common language with. I don't mean Spanish vs English, I mean speaking to people that are apparently living on a different planet that I am.
But working online means that you will probably be doing a bit of social media work alongside your blog. You get to connect to people that are into the same things you are, and answering comments on the articles you post to your blog can be really fun! You are in control – people are asking YOU for advice, or offering their opinions on what you wrote.
When you want to talk, sign on and answer some comments, tweet stuff from other people in your industry, leave comments on other blogs, etc, etc. When you don't feel like it, just read a bit, plan your next post, do some keyword research, or write some posts for the next day.
Being an online marketer and working from home means that your whole day is spent in the comfort of your own home. All of your social interactions will be YOU actively searching for people, or reacting at a time when you see fit.
The only caveat I have is that if you are prone to bipolar disorder or depression, you need to first consider that you will be alone a lot. Some people thrive on it. I love it. But it does get lonely sometimes – chatting online isn't the same as chatting in person. There's no “water cooler” to BS with your buddies about how terrible your boss is or how you can't wait til Friday.
I think even the most introverted of introverts will eventually hit a wall where you become saturated with yourself and think, “Wow, I REALLY want to go out tonight.” Anyway, being active about maintaining some of your personal relationships is a good idea or at least you should monitor your emotional states to some degree. Too much of a good thing can be bad!
How Long & How Much Money
These are typical questions that get asked, so I'll cover them before we get started. It usually takes a couple months to get your blog up and running and have enough traffic that you can start making sales. If you post consistently enough and are active in social media, you could be anywhere from having a couple sales a week to earning a full time income in about 6 months. It depends on your topic, how much you work on it, and how effective your writing is.
If you are starting from square one and know nothing of online marketing, you'll have to consider that a portion of your time needs to be dedicated to training. When I got started I split my day into part training, part DOING, which is a huge thing in this field of work. If you spend all your time learning and wait to strike when the iron's hot, you'll never get anything done.
How To Get Started
If you'd like to enter introvert-heaven and work from home, you need to get proper training on how to set up your first website, how to choose products, and how to write so that your content can get found in the search engines.
I wasn't born knowing this stuff. I had to learn it as well. You can take the same training I did. You can create a free account and take the beginners level of training for free, then decide if you want to upgrade to the advanced training. They'll have details of what's offered in the advanced training, but for now I suggest you get started with the beginner stuff and see if you like it.
Did I leave anything out? Let me know in the comments below.