What’s Next – Associate Yourself

Have you been playing around with your website development like we talked about previously?

Promote Or Sell

At this point I would assume you have an idea of a niche you like and want to promote. You have three options at this point on how you want to manifest your idea:

  • Affiliate Marketing – Promote your niche product through a website (whether your own website or one you purchase through a website like Siteground). Remember with a website of your own you have the liberty of putting anything you please on it, but going through a website to create your website you will be restricted to the websites rules which can be fairly restrictive.
  • Skip the whole website thing and promote your niche product through avenues such as Facebook and Google ads. This option you only need an email address for the sign up process and the vendor to contact you with and bank account number to receive payments at.
  • Bulk Purchasing & Resell – Sell the tangible products or software through a website like Amazon or email address. This method works well if you have a product you make or for re-branding.

I have, and still use, the promoting of products through my website and I’ve done the tangible products route as well. I haven’t tried the selling of products using just an email only because I have always owned my own website.

Selling a Tangible Product

For a short time, before I launched my first website I did try selling a product in which I purchased in bulk. The product sold like hot cakes! I just happened to stumble on a top seller through Amazon and it sold well but I wasn’t seeing much of a profit. In hind-sight I should have had Amazon store my product and package it for me. That would have saved me a lot of work. Besides that fact I was paying through the nose for shipping. I have found with this method you really need to have people skills for negotiating things like shipping, or you will pay dearly. I would purchase the bulk product at what I feel was a good price, around $75 for case of twelve boxes. At $6.25 a box in which I could resell for $14 a box (In order to be competitive $14 brought in the sales). I would net $93 per case, and they sold fast. But, and this is a big but, I had a shipping charge of $75 that I could not negotiate down! I called the supplier a couple of times and really didn’t get anywhere with the shipping charges. And that was only shipping it to my house, I still had to ship it to the customer! So my overall take ended up being $18 per case to receive it and another $10 – $12 to ship it to customers. I could sell 2 cases a week leaving me with an income of just $32 a month. Not good. Plus all the work I did packaging and shipping.

If you’re good with words and can talk to sellers to negotiate your prices well than this option would be really good for you. If you’re not good at negotiating, like me, than it’s not such a good choice.

Affiliate Marketing

It didn’t take long to purchase my first website and start filling it with useful copy. By the time I was ready to launch it I was fed up with the tangible product avenue I had been using to fill the time until my websites were ready.

I launched the websites with nothing on them except my tutorials and advice. I transferred a lot of my work on Hubpages to my own websites. This way I had two avenues with my work out there. I chose the top earners from my Hubpages account to transfer first. On all of my Hubpage articles I added a “See also”, with my website name that pertained to the topic. I did the same with the article on my website; See also (my hubpage address).
Then I started associations with several of the affiliate programs out there. Several companies have taken advantage of the popularity of affiliate sales and have “warehoused” several affiliate programs to streamline the process. For the seller they can let the program deal with collecting information, presenting it to the affiliate, fielding affiliate questions and making affiliate payments. For the affiliate it’s a one stop shop to find affiliate programs and affiliates don’t have to deal with collecting payments, the program does all that.

There are some affiliate programs that still go through themselves, but from what I’ve noticed, most are using a the warehouse method.

There’s a difference between Best Affiliate Programs and Top Paying Affiliate Programs. Just because an Affiliate Program is the Best does not necessarily mean it pays the most. Do your homework. Check out these sites that are said to be the Best Affiliate Programs, they are all websites that have a warehouse of businesses offering affiliate programs, but not all are the same:

  • Peerfly – I have not personally tried this company yet.
  • ShareASale – This is one of the latest websites I signed onto. I enjoy their support. They are much more transparent than other programs I am associated with.
  • Wide Markets – I haven’t tried this company yet.
  • Rakuten – Not yet, but looking at it.
  • Cj by Conversant – I’ve been a member here since 2013. I stopped using it for a while and they turned my account off. When I went back recently they easily turned the same account back on, but I soon remembered why I had left and I am considering leaving again. This is a popularity contest. If your just starting out, no decent company is going to accept your request to put their product on your website unless you will make them money, now.
  • ClickBank – I actively use Clickbank ads on my website. I produce a huge turnover, or clicks (about 400 clicks a week) but the landing page of the client I’m advertising for doesn’t gain sign-ups. So, I’m trying different ideas to produce click throughs that sign up with the client.
  • Amazon Associates – I actively use this program. I like Amazon Associates because I do a lot of how-to articles that involve certain products that I use. I have inside knowledge of these specific products and Amazon lets me choose that exact item I used and put it right on my article. So if I write about hair bands that I use to braid my kids hair and I find them very gentle on kids hair I can find that hair band, write about it on my website and place an ad through Amazon right on the article so my readers can purchase that exact band right there.

In Closing

It’s time to get out there and start signing up for affiliate programs or negotiating with business for the product you want to sell.

For affiliate programs choose several and sign up. Test them out to see which ones you like. Some programs you have to ask to place their ads on your website, these will have many denials. Others you just click on the ads you want to promote and promote it. Done.

As to tangible products – Use the Amazon shipping program if this is the path you choose. You purchase the product, have it sent to you and then send it all to Amazon. They will warehouse your product and send it to purchasers for you. Amazon does NOT allow you to send the product directly to them anymore (called drop shipping) from what I hear. You must send it to them.

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