Home-based e-business - an option for the self-employed?


New Developments – Google Adsense

Important developments have occurred that made affiliate program and publisher a much more viable preposition. The appearance of Google Adsense has revolutionized the market for publishers. Google Adsense is a CPC program and of the highest paying programs available, with effective CPM ranges from $0.5 to $4.00. Morover, since Google is the largest advertising agency on the Internet, there is usually a lot of advertising inventory available, unlike other networks. The advent of Adsense has enabled many webmasters to go full-time. However, the income is highly variable. Again, it is possible to supplement the Adsense income by putting CPM and CPA ads on the same website as well. The downside is the number of clicks and the income generated is highly variable. Other programs are becoming available such as the Yahoo network and BrightAds by Kanoodle.

3.1.2. Complete Website provided by the merchant

Another twist to the usual affiliate programs is the emergence of shop-front affiliate programs such as V-store.com [36] that allows people to break into e-commerce quickly and simply at minimal risks. Anyone can set up a professional looking retail site as if it were his own at no cost. Up to unique stores can be created per unique e-mail address and options are available for persons to select the background and colour schemes. V-store provide millions of products in seven categories which includes recognized brands, such as SONY, Pierre Cardin, Nintendo, Sega, and Philips. Once the store is created, you are responsible for marketing and promoting the store that will attract visitors to your page and get them to purchase goods. In return, you get a 2-15% commission from each transaction depending on the individual product purchase. V-store will take care of the actual sales, shipping and customer service. Therefore the only risks are the time and money spent in promoting the site.

In theory, the concept of Vstore appears to be attractive but in practice, there are a lot of problems that have led to a lot of complaints from people who signed up as members. The prices of products carried by Vstore are slightly higher but is still broadly competitive with other well-known Internet retailers such as Amazon, cdnow or Etoys etc. However, it was commented by other members that some of the “hot items” are frequently out of stock. No telephone number is given and all communication to Vstore has to be done by e-mail. If a member fails to generate any sales in six months, his web site will be automatically shut down despite the effort and money that the member may have spent on promoting that shop. It appears that much of the business that Vstore generates is from the members themselves or their friends and family. There are very few reports of members making a decent income from Vstore.

Another alternative is to make your own website from a datafeed provided by a merchant. The datafeed would contain a catalog of the products carried by the merchant. It is possible to use a software program to generate a new complete website from the datafeed and this can be done in minutes. This tool would make affiliate marketing easier for many people.