But What Do I Sell? guest post by Dave Cottrell
You have a great blog, you’ve been spending time every day writing articles on things you’re passionate about, you’ve been posting to the social media sites, visiting forums and giving intelligent replies, all the while including your signature file, and now you have a nice, steady stream of traffic coming to your website.
But how are you going to make money with it? That’s the whole point, isn’t it?
Well, this is where affiliate marketing comes in. Unless you already have a product ready to be sold online, the best way to start earning good income with your blog is with affiliate marketing.
The way affiliate sales work is simple. Someone has a product or service to sell, and they offer a commission to people to sell it for them. They supply the links, the shopping cart, including checkout, some sample ads and emails, banners, etc., for you to use to market their products. All you need to do is get targeted leads to see the ad, click on it, and make the purchase. Some affiliate programs also pay for clicks.
Companies like Adlandpro, Commission Junction, ShareaSale, Google, and Clickbank, just to name a few, offer a variety of ways to implement their affiliate programs seamlessly into your blog.
In fact, there are so many things you can sell online that it can be really hard to figure out what YOU should be selling. Many people get caught trying to sell everything and anything in sight, and unfortunately, end up with a very messy blog and no sales.
The secret to choosing a great product or service goes right back to when you started blogging. Remember that the secret to being able to consistently write a regular blog is to pick a subject you’re passionate about?
The same goes for picking what you’re going to sell.
Don’t try to sell something you know nothing about.
Don’t try to sell something you wouldn’t use, yourself.
Sell what you’re familiar with and even better, what you’re passionate about.
If your blog is about social media, or internet marketing, or affiliate sales, if that is your passion, pick products and services that cater to the kind of people who will read your blog.
If your blog is about horses, look for products and services that those people will be interested in.
This is called targeted marketing. It requires serving your market exactly what they are looking for.
There are some kids in my neighborhood who have a lemonade stand in the summer. They stick it out in front of their house, right on the side of the road. Then they jump and wave their arms and point as the traffic goes by. They are very enthusiastic youngsters, and I would definitely love to hire them one day, if I needed some good workers.
But some days, they have a bit of a problem. Typical of the west coast, the clouds sometimes roll in, and it gets quite cool, even in the middle of summer. These kids can jump and wave and do handstands across the driveway, but they’ll never sell a drop of lemonade when it’s cold outside.
Their targeted traffic is no longer targeted. It’s just traffic. Until that sun comes out again, or until they realize their traffic has changed and offer something for the new target, like perhaps, hot chocolate, they aren’t going to be successful.
It’s no different in the online world. All the gurus that tell you about this fancy widget or that new software package, or the latest “sneaky” trick that will drive thousands of visitors to your website are simply conning you, their target, into buying something you need, traffic, but they’re not telling you it’s worthless traffic, because you’re sitting in a lemonade stand on a busy Interstate in the middle of winter.
There’s lots of traffic, but nobody is interested. So many would be online marketers fail for this reason! They have all kinds of good products and lots of traffic, but they are not matched!
So, again, take the time to research your market, and learn about who they are. Make sure your blog has a comments section and engage your visitors when they make comments. Strike up a conversation. Answer the comments. Engage with them on social sites, always making sure they know who you are without blatant advertising. (Simply including your name and blog link at the end of every post and email is a great way to do this).
Over time, you will get a very good idea of what your audience wants, and they become a laser targeted market. Match products and/or services to them in a tasteful and understated way on your website, and you will start to see sales.
It really is that simple. From that point on, you just continue to do the same things, CONSISTENTLY.
Everything about business, online or off, is a step by step by step process. There is no instant, secret, stealth, fast track, shortcut to success in business. Even the so-called gurus who sell products that supposedly WILL do this are in reality spending a small fortune on traffic every month, and RISKING it all, if they make any mistakes in their targeting.
If you look at the accounts of those people who make $90,000 in affiliate sales in a month, THE VAST MAJORITY are not showing you that they spent $80,000 in Google adword expenses to do it. Yes, they made a profit of $10,000 in a month, but they risked $80,000 to do it.
Furthermore, THEY do the same thing, consistently, month after month, and they are constantly making sure they’re putting the right targets in front of their traffic. Don’t be fooled. Everybody MUST know their market in order to know what to sell, no matter whether it is purely organic traffic like you get from blogging, or very expensive paid traffic, like you get from Google.
Know your target, and only then pick the products and services to sell to them, and you can never go wrong. Then do the same thing, consistently, month after month, and you will succeed.
Guest article is by Dave Cottrell, Adlandpro’s affiliate manager. Dave has been selling online and blogging for many years. His Tahltan name is Klagoosh. He is an outdoorsman, writer, online marketer, preacher, grandfather and former heavy duty mechanic.