Affiliate products are one of the best ways to start selling online; you don’t need to carry any inventory. In-demand products are readily available to be resold, granting you as the marketer a tidy affiliate fee or commission.
There are affiliate programs for every vertical, every niche, and every industry. There are lots of ways to sell affiliate products. Some work well and are evergreen, while others are very specific and only appeal to a certain audience, through a specific sales channel. Seasonal products are a great example.
This guide will show you how to sell affiliate products. Once you’re done with our wrap-up, you’ll be able to set up your very own online store stocking any products you can find an affiliate program for.
Pick Out Your Affiliate Programs
A winning formula is to sell what you love. In this way, all your content and design will reflect your passion for your products. There are lots of places to pick products relevant to your niche. Here are some of the larger marketplaces who offer lucrative affiliate programs:
- Amazon Associates
- eBay Partners
When deciding what products to select, first determine what your main sales pipelines are. After establishing your main products, look for other items that may be desirable to a buyer. Any products which are often sold together should also be collected, as well as items that you can create collections from. Picking out your programs and products hinges upon the audience that you’ll be marketing to. It is therefore imperative to understand your target demographic.
Determine the Right Demographic
Determining which potential customers may be interested in your products is the first step towards creating a successful marketing campaign. Once you have a good idea of your target demographic, it will be easier to do keyword research, SEO and other marketing. If you really don’t know where to start, then analyze the customers of your competition.
Find a site that sells a similar type of merchandise or service and try to get a feel for who their customers are. There are lots of tools to do competitor research, but more on this soon.
One of the best ways to embody the perspective of a prospective buyer is to create target customer profiles. Start by specifying a person whose needs will be met by your product or service.
Ensure that the need met offers tangible value rather than superficial interest. Ideally, this customer will also be someone who will add value to your company by means of referrals. This shows just how powerful social influencers are as they connect directly to a laser-targeted demographic. If you have existing customers, analyze their sales to help form an idea of who the best buyers are. Common criteria to list while forming a target customer profile includes:
- Geography (Country, state, city, neighborhood)
- Behavior profile (Action-orientated, capable leader, spontaneous)
- Aspirations/Motivators (Power, Control, Productivity, etc.)
- Social interests
Once you have formed a target customer profile or two, you’ll have a much better idea of how your potential customers think, speak, and therefore search. Brainstorm as many search phrases related to your product as possible. A great way to come up with ideas easily is to simply start typing in the beginning of a commonly used related search term and let Google show you the suggestions.
Most marketers find it best to correlate their potential keywords in a spreadsheet. From this basic list of words and phrases, you can now begin to do more in-depth research into search volume and competition. MOZ has a fantastic guide to keyword research if these terms are completely foreign to you. Some of the best free keyword research tools include:
- Google Keyword Planner
- Google Trends
- Google Correlate
- MOZ Keyword Explorer
- Keyword Shitter
- Answer the Public
- Keywords Everywhere
Basically, you are looking for high search volume keywords related to concepts which you can relate to your products, and terms directly using products that you are selling. The higher the search volume the better, but keep an eye on the competition. It is highly unlikely that you’re going to be able to rank anytime soon for any high competition keyword.
Medium is just as much of a challenge. Longtail search terms – i.e. search phrases using a significant number of words to carry out an exact search are great for sites just starting out. Neil Patel has a great guide on how to make the most out of these valuable keywords. Compile a list of frequently searched phrases that you want to rank for and then it’s time to build your site and shape its content.
Launch Your Site and Create Your Content
There are many ways to launch a new site. It is up to you and your budget to decide which method you’ll start with. Whatever hosting you pick, ensure that it is flexible and scalable. There is nothing worse than hitting it lucky and then having your server go down due to too much traffic. Registering your own domain and hosting your own website can be done in a number of ways but a content management system such as WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal makes things far more manageable.
Templates are also readily available making the overall design of your site far easier than having it coded from scratch. Website design needs to be simple yet functional while matching the general style of the customers you hope to attract.
Unique content and innovative design are essential in order to stand out. If you let a feature-packed marketing platform like Systeme.io handle your marketing funnels, automation, email marketing and more, then you can focus on optimizing the design and targeting of your content.
On-Page and Off-Site Content
You have two types of content to develop. On-page content serves as an anchor for your products and marketing, and off-site content is used directly for marketing. The type of content you design for off-site marketing depends on the channels which your customers use most frequently. It is always a good idea to test multiple means of advertising.
Make sure that you first fully develop your site before advertising it anywhere, or even submitting the sitemap to Google and other search engines. There are lots of ways to market your affiliate products. You’ll need to create off-content across the following categories relative to how you plan to engage your audience:
- Landing pages
- Guest posts
- Social media posts (Informative/interesting articles for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)
- Email campaigns
Generating Affiliate Sales
Website visitors may very well buy something immediately but it is essential that you get the content details for every visitor, even those who don’t follow through on a sale. This opens the door for email marketing and tons of other opportunities. From this point, it is all about optimizing and this is where a service like Systeme.io truly shines.
The metrics and reporting are unified into one intuitive dashboard, allowing new sellers to leverage their data. Once you have amassed a significant amount of traffic you can even consider running ads for large, specialty marketing firms to supplement your earnings in affiliate fees.
The more intelligent data at your disposal, the better you can deliver stunning content that converts. Always diversify, using as many marketing channels as you can handle. With perseverance, a keen strategy, and a close eye on your metrics, steady growth is guaranteed.