As an Affiliate Marketeer I learned the in- and outside of the business in a language and area different than my own.
You see, I'm one of those Belgians who found her way online through different international opportunities.
A few months ago, I descided to move my focus to my roots and did some research on Affiliate Marketing in my own language.
A lot of Dutch Affiliate Networks are waiting to storm the Belgian markets with their concepts, the Dutch area for that matter. But is Belgium ready for Affiliate Marketing or for Internet Marketing in the first place?
The chances are very low although we have every advantage we could dream of.
Belgium has a very wide broadband netwerk in comparison with other European countries, there's a growing trust in Online shopping and even the many ways of online paying are stalled for the big launch.
So what is it exactly that is holding costumers and marketeers back? It looks like everyone is waiting for everyone else to make a move.
One theory is that advertisers are not ready yet or willing to explore the possibilities of the online world. Besides of the phone compagnies and the travel operators, their are few others believing that their costumers have already put their trust in online shopping. They are holding on to the idea that costumers will rather go shopping in the mall.
And maybe they are right. Belgians are very suspicious about everything that's out of their comfortzone. New things are approached with very skeptic minds and if money is the subject, Belgians aren't very willing to give up the things they are familiar with.
Ask a Belgian what he thinks of paypal and most will tell you it's just another scheme to rip people off.
Another problem that rises is our language. Although Dutch and Flemish are alike, Flemish isn't exactly the same as Dutch. Let me explain: We think different, we have different mentalities and every good Belgian website has to speak to it's visitors in Flemish, not Dutch.
Now of course, we do have a second language in our country, French, but that's a whole different story. What I'm pointing out is that the population of Belgium is small. Now thinking that maybe Online Marketing would get a chance one day, it wouldn't take long before the market is saturated. What would be the result of that? Black hat marketing techniques, affiliates competing eachother out of business and google getting unbelievable bids on their keywords?
To make it as an Affiliate Marketeer in my own country is a big task. Off course, you can promote the phones and the games and a lot of other things like everyone does, but when it comes to earning an residual income with niche markets, their's just no way at this time being.
People here hardly heard of web 2.0, we haven't article directories in Dutch and bookmarking sites here seems like ghost towns. So what use to promote a business when there's no platform to promote it at?
On the other hand, there's a challenge and an opportunity for developers and marketeers to jump in. We are standing at the side line, learning from the world how Marketing works. The only thing that last us to do is put into practice what we've learned and translate Internet Marketing to our own language. But we're not there yet!
I think it's time to end my research and get my focus back to the place I've learned the business. Do you mind me joining you again?