But What Do I Sell?

But What Do I Sell?

 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.

What do I sell

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.

 Why?

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.

 

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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.

 

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14 comments

  • WOW! a blog post that makes sense and not based on a pipe dream..thank you! To me it goes back to the thinking of asking yourself “Why are you wanting to be in business” Too many people come on line to make money without truly understanding their “why”. Affiliate marketing is no different than blogging in that without a focus, it is doomed to failure.
    Diane ( Blogneta) recently posted…The Church Of No PeopleMy Profile

    Reply
  • For 15 years I have sold ME..
    I believe in introducing yourself to others,building a relationship,trust and getting to know them.I don’t SELL online I build relationships. I do have products of course and I do post them all over the internet..BUT people know me and trust me therefor,I do make sales.

    Remember: Relationship Marketing Not Sales Marketing
    Lisa Simpkins recently posted…Brain Management Home Study Training vs ZOX Pro Training | Mental Photography is ZOXingMy Profile

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  • Some like to call it building relationships or Relationship Marketing. Let me ask you what have you sold your friends lately? I mean I don’t go to my neighbors house and sell him something. Not anymore since I joined the NFL Club. Now that was years ago. Today I don’t like to put fancy names and misleading quotes etc. Its SALES and nothing happens till the sale is made. Its always been that way. Want to learn how to make SA:LES and Earn YOUR commissons. Quit pretending it ain’t SALES.

    Thanks,
    Jim

    Reply
    • Hi Jim, you have raised a good point about terms and buzz words etc. and to me it is like saying “when is a sale not a sale” ..the answer is when you use social media. The reality as I have seen and experienced social media is simple..doing a direct..buy from me attitude will be a fail every time because people have been bombarded with that kind of “communication” for so long, people will run away very quickly. When people get to know you as a person and you can share with others the commonalities of what you do, learn how to do the soft sell or should I say sharing sale, then people will come to you or at the very least will want to know more about what you are selling.
      Most people come onto social media with little to know knowledge of knowing what to do or how to do it. To me it is about “targeting” people who are interested in your niche and then talking to them..is that selling? to me it is,the difference is..I am selling me and my experience in answering their problems and then I can take the approach of talking to them.
      hope that made sense 🙂
      Diane ( Blogneta) recently posted…The Church Of No PeopleMy Profile

      Reply
    • Who do you sell to, Jim? Where do you find your clients? How do you get your traffic? How do you develop your leads? What are you selling? Are you an affiliate, or are you in an MLM business? All of these questions make a big difference. In the end, yes, unless a sale is being made, you have nothing. But you’re not going to make any sales unless you have a method that works for you.
      Dave Cottrell recently posted…Who is your Target?My Profile

      Reply
  • There are some great comments here. Thank you, Diane and Lisa.

    Yes, Diane; sadly, the majority of people seem to approach online marketing of any kind with a kind of “I’m going to win the lottery” mentality, thinking there’s some kind of magic bullet that’s going to make them rich overnight. These are the kind of people that the scammers prey on constantly, since they are just waiting to be fleeced.

    Lisa, you hit the nail on the head. Selling yourself is what blogging is all about. Most people don’t think about it much, but blogging really got going almost as an online “diary” that you share with your friends. When you blog, you should be putting the real you into every post, exposing your soul a little bit, so to speak, in regards to the topics close to your heart. By doing this, others with similar interests begin to follow your blog and get to know you. Of course, you must also engage with them when they reply to you! Relationships are always two ways; that must not be forgotten. Yes, to many it may sound corny, but absolutely, you must sell yourself! That is the only way that people will choose out of all the possibilities online to buy from you, rather than one of hundreds or maybe thousands of others.
    Dave Cottrell recently posted…Who is your Target?My Profile

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    • When I expose mine Dave, people shy away because its no different than what you get in person. i had written a longer comment earlier but guess it went against the grain. As I was saying its sales people, nothing happens till the sale is made. Relationship building or marketing is the same thing. Just a PCish wording. IMHO Because if sales were not being made not many of us would still be trying. Confusing folks about what really has to happen to earn income, is someone has to make the sale. I realize not many folks would even venture into this world if we called it what it really is.

      ~Rebel

      Reply
      • I don’t know what happened to your earlier post, Jim, but it didn’t come through. I guarantee nobody had a problem with it, because nobody saw it! Ain’t technology grand? I get a notification every time someone makes a post, and I would venture to guess the cyber monsters got it.

        I don’t see any confusion, here. You’re 100% correct about sales having to happen. But unless a person connects with somebody else, that sale is not going to happen. You have somehow connected with people, or you would not be doing any business. No sale will ever occur, unless you connect with someone and make the sale.

        Blogging and using social media is a very good way to connect, but it is only one way. Using lists and using the phone is another excellent way, but most people freak out at the thought, which is why the majority of people simply cannot make a go of it in MLM. The bottom line is, to make any sale, you have to create trust in the person you are trying to sell to, AFTER you have met them, obviously, and you either have to have what they want (soft sell) or you have to convince them they want it (hard sell).
        Dave Cottrell recently posted…Who is your Target?My Profile

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      • Hi Jim, your previous comment went automatically for some reason into spam folder. There was there also post from Ken. I have now recovered them and they are approved. I guess we need to learn to check spam folders too . 🙂

        Reply
      • I never saw this comment…. lol it reminds me of the time when I would comment on a friends blog and every single time it landed in the spam folder..it didn’t matter what I said..it would always land there… we used to have a joke, but not sure if it is appropriate here.. something to the effect of..did I say beep beep beep? too funny..glad all the good comments are here where they need to be ha ha hah
        Diane ( Blogneta) recently posted…The Church Of No PeopleMy Profile

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  • Gr8t article by Dave Cottrell! I have said many times that if you want to be successful do what successful people do. You would be headed in the right direction (to the top) if you got to know my friends Dave (the author), Diane, and Lisa. You can get tons of traffic to your blogs and affiliate sites but your greatest success is going to come from the relationships your develop with your friends.
    Ken Wolff recently posted…I love being old school!My Profile

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