If you're wondering what to sell online you'll hear people tell you that the best way to make money online is to have your own electronic product – but while there's a lot of truth in this, there's a right way and a wrong way to set about it, and of course I started out with the WRONG way!

What did I do? I created my own product from scratch. And while it was a great product, and still is, the time and money spent creating it were mind-numbing. Several years on, I still haven't recovered those costs. Looking back, as a complete beginner, I just tried to learn too much all at once – and missed the most important aspects of the process because I was in complete over-whem mode.

The key point I missed was finding a niche market to target, cutting down on my competitors. I developed a product that was too broadly targeted and had too much competition.

Another route I tried, following advice, was to purchase rights to a ready made product with the correct rights to change it and publish it as my own.

This sounded sensible and tempting, but in the end I was going crazy trying to broker deals with people who had developed software they thought was wonderful that may or may not work. The only way to evaluate it was to ask for free versions, but of course most people thought I was just trying to get a freeby for my own use, and didn't want to co-operate.

saw-125x125Finally I settled down to selling other people's products via affiliate marketing route, which I have found far better. I have listed below the points I consider benefits.

Some people think it's too much of a draw-back that you have to share the proceeds of the sale with the author and prefer to keep 100% of the sales of their own product. Personally, for the hassle of developing a quality product I think the author deserves every penny he gets. It's down to what you prefer, but here's why I chose the affiliate route – having developed my own product, so I DO speak from experience of both.

  • You don't have to spend an arm and a leg developing a product
  • You don't have to become an expert in a particular field
  • There should be ready-made sales pages, banners etc for you
  • You can quickly add a variety of different products to your range

Affiliate marketing still isn't a road to instant riches – far from it. But with the proper training (unless you are a whizz at product development) you will get your business on the road far faster.

Had I tested the marketplace for my own product using an affiliate product I would have quickly realized the market place was too competitive. Best case scenario I could have found I was  making profits from the affiliate product without the expense and hassle of creating my own.

You can learn some great tips from an expert affiliate marketer – Ewen Chia – and (at the time of writing) you can download free help on on affiliate marketing here.