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The Beginners’ Dropshipping Guide To Starting A Business Selling Things Online

Are you interested in selling stuff online?

Perhaps you dream of quitting the rat-race and starting your own Amazon or eBay business (which means working in your PJs, taking long weekends whenever you feel like it, waking up at 10 in the morning, and answering to nobody since you are the boss…)

Or perhaps you simply want a few more dollars in your pocket.

Irrespective of your reasons for wishing to get started, e-commerce presents endless amazing opportunities for those with access to the Internet. Of all the ways to make money online, it is probably one of the easiest to understand and get involved with.

The following guide to the world of selling online will show you how to do it properly and exactly where to start!

However, like everything, there is the benefits and drawbacks you should be aware of.

First, the good stuff…

Why is Online Selling So Amazing?

Working from home in your PJs is definitely something great, but there are many other great reasons for working at home to build an e-commerce business:

You get to set your own hours, you work from home, and you determine the extent to which you want to take it. The possibilities are practically limitless. Wish to build an online business empire? Wish to make a few more dollars to save? In the world of online selling, there is no glass ceiling and you never have to worry about sucking up to a boss. It is pure freedom.

It is something you may have probably already experienced. If you have ever sold or purchased something on the Internet, you have an understanding of how it works, which is what makes online selling an easier skill to understand than most other home business options.

You will be free to pursue your own interests. Do you love fly fishing? Refurbishing antique dolls? Cake decorating? When you start to sell online, you can often establish a profitable business of your passions.

It is neither as risky nor as difficult as starting a conventional business. You never have to invest too much of your money when you first get started and don’t actually have to worry about leasing or buying a physical property. The barriers to entry in this business are quite low, which means that just about anyone can try it out.

What is stopping you?

You never have to bother yourself with storing inventory if you don’t wish to!

It is fun and by the end of the guide, you will most likely agree with this assessment.

 

So, what are the Drawbacks?

Online selling has a few drawbacks just like with anything else in life. It is important to know about these before you get started so that you can set realistic expectations for yourself.

It will take time. You may have to wait a month or two before you start to see consistent results. It is highly unlikely that you will accumulate over $100 worth of sales on your first day.

There is a learning curve. If you have previously sold things online, you are already a step ahead of the competition. However, you will have to step up your game if you wish to sell online professionally.

You will have to wear different hats. You are the business owner and the amazing team of one especially when getting started. You will have to play the role of a marketer, accountant, web designer, and various other roles as required. It means that you will be shouldering all the responsibility. You cannot blame anybody but yourself if something goes wrong.

Not all the income is passive. Hopefully, you will be dealing with regular customer inquiries, sales, and shipments. This means that you will be very involved with the business until you are able to afford to hire staff. Even then, you will have to continue being involved in all that happens.

Simply put, it is not a scheme for getting rich quickly.

However, if you are ready to spend some of your time developing your brand, building a reputation, and optimizing the processes then the opportunities are endless.

 

Are You Ready for a Challenge?

Brace yourself since you are ready to embark upon an incredible journey.

With a bit of persistence and hard work, you could be soon handing in your two-week notice at your current job to take on your online business full-time.

So where should you begin?

Getting Started: Sell Things Around Your House

The first recommendation is that you head over to eBay (or a local equivalent) and try to sell some of the things lying around your house.

Why should you start by selling household items instead of driving straight into the things you really want to sell?

There are several good reasons for doing this first:

You will receive some seller feedback. People are often cautious about new sellers and this will give you some notches under your belt so that people are comfortable buying from you.

You get experience. You will learn how to capture photos, create listings, and deal with customers positively.

You will earn some extra cash. You can then use your earnings towards your first “real” stock purchase.

Here are a few tips for getting the first few sales under your belt.

Step 1: Find Items to Sell

You might not think that you have anything lying around in your house worth selling. Your trash might be another person’s treasure to paraphrase the popular saying.

A quick word of wisdom: If you find something you believe might sell but are not completely sure, check to see whether anyone else is selling it. If another person is selling a similar item, chances are you can too.

However, even if nobody is selling a similar item, it is still worth a shot. Experiment with various products to find those that sell the best. You might even find a lucrative niche doing this.

Once you have had some experience selling second-hand items, move to the next step…

Step 2: Taking Pictures

Pictures are the foundation of a great product listing. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.

The best thing about taking pictures of your items is that you don’t have to use an expensive camera to do it, and you don’t require a fancy studio setup.

Your phone camera should work just fine. The important thing is to capture clear images so that people are able to see what they are buying.

For this, you just require some common sense…

Use a plain-colored background. Having other things in the background of the pictures for the listings can be very off-putting and distracting. Ensure that the focus is always on the product by eliminating any background distractions.

Keep your camera still. Blurry images are the worst and completely unprofessional. It usually happens if you don’t have enough light, which means that even the tiniest shake of your hand blurs the image. The best way to ensure good quality images is by moving to an area with better lighting, putting the camera on a steady surface, or using a tripod.

Take pictures from different angles. The best way to show off pictures is capturing them from different sides. It helps customers build a better picture of the item in their minds.

Show the product in use. For instance, if it a used dress, capture photos of somebody wearing it rather than simply laying it flat. It will help customers see how well it fits since it will ultimately affect their decision as to whether to buy or not.

Step 3: Create An Awesome Description For Each Item

After you have your products accounted for and eye-catching photos for each one, an awesome description will really help you bring it all together. Don't be too vague or short. Minor details won't cut it; you really need to make the product sound as essential as possible. If anyone is ever to feel inspired to make the purchase without seeing the item first hand, the text needs to convince them that it's just as good as the photographs make it seem. Make sure you include the following details:

The Composition Of The Product

If you have an item like a bracelet, you need to let your customers know what type of material is being used. Be sure to include every detail that you can, even if it's plain to see in the photos.

The Dimensions And Weight

The dimensions and the weight will help give a better "mind's eye view" of the product. Photographs can easily make items seem larger than they really are, resulting in guaranteed returns and disgruntled feedback.

Flaws And Damage

No matter what, you always have to account for any flaws that the product may have. If you attempt to brush over it, it's only going to hurt your reliability and future potential for business. You should also be sure that your images show off the flaws as well. This will help build the trust of your customers, a feat that is absolutely priceless.

The Benefits Of The Product

Don't focus solely on stating how amazing the product is. You need to let your customers know what's actually in it for them if they make the purchase. Try to come up with just as many potential benefits as technical features!

Passionate Text

You need to write with passion and emotion in order to evoke the same feeling from your audience. Plainly stating facts won't get you very far. Be sure to jazz up your descriptions with fun adjectives (where appropriate) and a cheery (albeit not corny) attitude.

Step 4: Create Your Sales Listings `

Now that you have all of the tools necessary to get the point across about your products, it's time for you to make them available to the public! The details of how you go about listing items will differ from one online marketplace to the next, but all of the major sources should have help pages to assist you if you get lost. Some of the most useful online sources right now are eBay and Craigslist. You might also have success with Facebook groups, or even your own personal website.

Step 5: Watch Over Your Sales

Once your listings have gone live, you might feel as if all you need to do is sit and wait. If you notice there's not much attention being drummed up however, you need to take action. Lower the prices and advertise the listings more if need be. You should also be sure to have plenty of shipping supplies on hand for when everything does eventually sell; speedy delivery is always important!

Although it isn't quite fair for individual sellers, major online retailers such as Amazon have such lighting fast service and relatively low pricing that everyone else has to do their best to keep up. You need to keep in regular contact with your customers and provide excellent packing and shipping for them. This will help you develop positive feedback and the possibility of return customers, both of which will keep you afloat as you move forward.

Be sure to include a tracking number for your shipments as well; this will help give you a layer of protection from customers claiming they never received their packages. You can also use the tracking to note when you haven't received any comments or feedback. In that event, you might want to send a friendly e-mail along these lines:

"Hello, (customer name)!
Thank you so much for your purchase of (the product)!
I'm reaching out in order to make sure that your package arrived as expected. If you have questions or concerns, feel free to get back in touch!
If everything was to your liking, I'd greatly appreciate if you could leave some review comments or feedback at (relevant link to your seller page).
Thank you!"

After you've made even a small number of sales, you'll slowly start getting the hang of it. You might even find the entire process fun! As long as you honor your customers' needs, you'll be growing a strong reputation in no time (and it will only get better from there).

successful woman with laptop sitting over lake

How To Move On To Professional Sales

Have you really gotten the bug for selling? If you find that selling items is something you're really cut out for, you might want to consider making it your full-time job. Many people operate wildly successful online businesses this way; you're more than welcome to give it a go yourself! With that said, here are a few steps to help you get off on the right foot:

Find Products You Believe In

Selling anything and everything might help you get started, but you'll likely tire of it. To keep yourself motivated, you really need to pick a product that you fully believe in. Operating within smaller niches will put you in the best position, but anything that you're passionate about will serve you well.

Find A Reliable Supplier

You should also look into finding product suppliers to help keep your costs at a minimum. Salehoo is a great resource! Once you have a few wholesale suppliers in mind, it's as simple as reaching out and seeing who might be able to work something out with you.

Assure The Legality Of Your Sales

You should also be sure that you're selling official products rather than bootlegged materials. Do your research on every aspect of your products and the suppliers you aim to rely upon.

Decide Upon Your Marketplace

Don't sweat it if you decide that eBay isn't for you. (You should never rule out the option, however). Between the likes of Amazon, Facebook, and Etsy, there are a wealth of alternative options out there. You should pick one to rely upon over all others in order to make your life a little easier, but spreading stock throughout several venues may occasionally prove useful.

neckties to sell

Choosing Your Products

There's quite a difference when it comes to getting rid of random belongings and becoming a professional seller. Deciding exactly what you need to sell is often the most difficult aspect of the process. Of all the countless items that are on the marketplace, how do you know where to start? Above all, make sure your products meet these requirements:

  • A Profit Can Be Made
  • The Product Has Demand
  • The Competition Is Bearable

Steps For Finding A Supplier

When you've decided what you want to sell, the next step is nearly self-explanatory; find a person who can supply it for you!

Of course, just because it's obvious doesn't mean it's easy. Finding someone to supply can take quite a bit of time, and that's presuming you find a supplier that's honest and helpful.

If you want to find a supplier, there are two ways:

Wholesale directories are the first place to go. SaleHoo! is a popular one, but it's not the only one. As you might suspect, these are directories full of wholesale suppliers. The best are carefully organized and searchable.

These directories can make it quite a bit easier to find those suppliers you need. If you really want to find a good supplier, you may want to look into membership-only directories. They may charge a fee, but they also tend to do background checks and other checks on supply companies in order to ensure they're legitimate.

Google search. If you haven't figured out how to use Google by now, then you probably shouldn't be trying to sell things online! It's fairly simple to do a Google search, and you'll no doubt get a large number of results if you have a few useful keywords.

That said, there are a number of things you have to watch out for. It's hard to tell if a company's website looks terrible because the company is terrible, or if they simply don't have the money for a good website even though they're a good company. And then there are the companies that spend plenty on marketing so that they don't have to spend anything on actually helping customers. If you're considering an unverified supplier, be cautious.

phone call to suppliers

Contacting A Supplier

Once you have a few different suppliers that you'd like to do business with, it's time to actually make contact.

We always recommend a telephone call rather than other forms of communication. Email contact is helpful since you have everything in writing. But for the initial contact, it's helpful to speak directly with the other person. It will give you a much better idea of who they are and whether or not they're on the level.

It's not always easy to call a supplier on the phone, so if you need some help check out our guide to contacting a supplier. We can help you find out what to expect, what questions you should ask, and what red flags to look for in order to ensure you're not getting taken for a ride.

Negotiation

Are you finally happy with your choice of suppliers? Great! Now it's time to get down to the brass tacks.

Suppliers want to charge as much as possible, even the good ones. This is no different from you or any other business. That said, the lower the price you pay, the more profit you make.

So what can you do in order to get the best possible deal? There are a number of things you can do that may entice the supplier to give you a lower price. These include:

  1. Ordering in bulk - If you're making a large enough order, the supplier may be willing to drop the price per unit. Some suppliers only offer a basic discount for first-time buyers, but if you become a repeat customer you may get an even better price.
  2. Developing a relationship with your supplier never hurts - Just like with anyone else, the more trustworthy and dependable you are the more your supplier will be willing to work with you. Try not to take advantage of them, since you wouldn't want to be taken advantage of. But there's no harm in asking if you can get a bit of a discount if you've been buying long enough.
  3. Buy directly from the manufacturer if at all possible - Just like buying something at retail price means buying smaller amounts for a higher price per unit, buying wholesale means the same thing when you compare it to buying from the manufacturer. Of course, manufacturers often demand you purchase enough to fill a wholesale order. There are ways around this, however. Your best option is to find other sellers to split the cost. If you're all buying the same product, then there's no reason you shouldn't work together to save money.

So, you have your supplier, you have your product, what's next? Actually ensuring you can sell the products online!

picture of legal items

Making It Legal

While there are generally federal level laws involving online sales, many smaller jurisdictions will have their own laws that must also be followed. You may need to register as a local business or have certain kinds of licenses in order to buy from local suppliers.

If you need some advice on setting up your business, check out our "Business Basics" article. Here are a few things you'll have to consider:

Choosing the name of your business: You should think carefully about this one. The name of your store is something you'll have to plaster all over the internet. It has to attract people's attention, but it also has to convince them to visit your shop. Naming your shop after a witty double entendre may be amusing in theory, but it's a lot less funny when no one visits your page because they think it's a joke.

Make absolutely certain you apply for a tax ID or a reseller license, depending on what your local laws demand. Having these certifications keep the government from taking everything or charging you with illegal selling.

Make sure you have a solid understanding of what business structure you should use. You're building an empire, not a short-term tent city. Plan for the long-game, rather than taking actions that seem immediately profitable but lead to diminishing returns. Empires are meant to last forever, and yours should be no different.

picture of thing to dropship

Choose Where You Want To Sell

When it comes to online sales, there aren't a lot of options.

When you're starting out, your best bet is to stick with the two big marketplaces; eBay and Amazon. Why?

eBay - eBay has been around for nearly 20 years now, so it's no wonder so many people use it for online sales. It's a great website for used goods and one-off items you're hoping to get rid of quickly rather than keep in stock. The downside of eBay is that it's not a highly profitable marketplace. There are certain products that can command a high price, but for the most part, eBay sales are priced cheap. Plan your sales appropriately, and don't go to eBay expecting to rake in the cash.

Amazon - Part of why eBay runs cheap is because of the ease with which a person can become a seller. All you have to do is set up an account, and you run an online store. Amazon has a much more rigorous screen process, which means only companies profitable enough to prove their worth can sell on the platform. In addition, Amazon has a certain credibility that eBay simply doesn't have. Amazon is considered a place for online stores, whereas eBay is considered an online garage sale. In addition, Amazon offers sellers quite a few options that eBay doesn't offer. One of the more popular options is the FBA (fulfilled by Amazon) program. With this program, you can pay Amazon to store and ship products on your behalf. While it's not suitable for every business, you may find it a better option than drop shipping or attempting to find product storage on your own.

Amazon and eBay are the biggest marketplaces, but there are a number of smaller online marketplaces that might be suitable for your company.

And of course, you can always set up your own website with an online shop feature.

This gives you a lot more freedom in terms of how you offer your product and what customer services you're able to perform. In addition, you won't have to pay a seller's fee to a third party. That said, it takes a bit more time and effort to set up. If you'd like some advice on doing so, check our article "Setting Up Your Own Webstore". It should help you decide which direction you want to go.

 

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Salehoo Success Story: Carolyn Newsom

"At present we are Bronze Power Sellers and are very pleased with the way their business is growing" -Carolyn Newsom

Turning disaster into accomplishment: How 2 sisters grew their e-commerce business to $50K+ in a year to support their seriously ill brother.

Texan sisters Carolyn Newsom and Virginia Ehrlich, of Bootsie's Boutique, are among SaleHoo's excellent success stories. Here they offer their individual pointers and techniques for how they grew a flourishing e-commerce company in order to get more family time and versatility, while still making good cash.

Carolyn Newsom and her sis Virginia 'Bootsie' Ehrlich were working well-paid, full-time jobs when their parents regretfully died within a few months of each other.

The household catastrophe likewise meant the sisters needed to take over the care and financial backing of their brother, Neill, who was a diabetic and double-leg amputee.

But with Neill living a number of hundred miles away from their Texas house, the siblings required work that was more versatile.

They also needed something that would provide a reliable income.

The people who were managing their moms and dads' estate recommended that they look at offering things on eBay.

Offering products online was a foreign idea for Carolyn and Bootsie.

Carolyn was an executive director at a non-profit with 20 years experience in the industry, and Bootsie was a former monetary coordinator, insurance representative, and instructor.

How to start selling on eBay

They started in 2007 selling Gorham plates, flatware, and China that can fetch good money on eBay.

But they quickly found they needed more stock to keep bringing in customers, and sales ticking over.

" We initially built the business around things my sister Bootsie liked: Dolls, bears, children's clothing," Carolyn says.

" Of course, we were very excited when all the plates offered, and then other things we purchased or discovered."

They were quickly approached by wholesale providers and began buying some items, such as plus-size females' clothing, in bulk.

They called business, Bootsie's Boutique, and started noting items on eBay more regularly.

In the early days, Carolyn and Bootsie were just making a couple of hundred dollars a month from eBay.

So they started searching forums for creative methods to grow their company, which is when they found Salehoo - see the review here.

Choosing a wholesale provider directory service

Carolyn and Bootsie joined SaleHoo about a year into their company when their initial providers stopped offering the items they required.

Carolyn states they chose SaleHoo over other directory services because of its extensive lists of suppliers and product categories, along with the "incredible, practical" staff.

" It resembled being a kid in a sweet-shop," she states. "No one else compared."

Utilizing SaleHoo, the siblings were able to find the vendors and products they required, most of which they still use today.

They include wholesale sites such as FashionGo for ladies' clothing; The Immediate Resource for senior prom gowns; Entertainment Earth for action figures and toys; and Crayon Kids Fashion for kids' clothes.

Finding a niche

Carolyn says they chose plus-size women’s clothing as their niche early on as the market was “very underserved”.

“Plus size ladies love to look great and sexy, too,” Carolyn says.

However, they have since expanded to all types of women’s clothing, prom dresses, flower girl dresses, christening clothing, porcelain dolls, action figures, tea sets and Disney/Mattel and Hasbro dolls.

They also sell gift baskets for different occasions, such as a birthday gift basket, a cheerful “get well” basket, and a romantic anniversary basket via drop shipping.

Carolyn says SaleHoo helped to connect them with great suppliers for each new niche they picked up.

SaleHoo also provided data and information on potential new niche markets, she says.

Some of their most popular products include Halloween costumes, flower girl dresses, christening clothing, children’s play clothes, and toys.

Today, their product range includes pet costumes, Star Wars action figures, lace-lined cocktail dresses, and Kreative Kids soft toys.

Carolyn’s tip for new sellers: “Try to find your niche, but also try to find things that will sell well in all the seasons or holidays.”

Sometimes when one niche is booming, another falls flat which means it helps to spread your business across multiple markets.

Buying in bulk versus dropshipping

Carolyn said they primarily decide to buy wholesale from wholesale suppliers, however, they utilize drop shipping for some products.

Drop shipping is a technique where the seller does not keep items in stock, but rather transfers customer orders and shipment information to a producer, retailer, or wholesaler, who then ships the goods.

Carolyn says drop shipping can be a great way to get begun offering online.

" You can begin by drop shipping so you do not need to carry stock, bundle and mail all the products, and SaleHoo has a lot of great drop shipping vendors for you to use."

She suggests calling drop shipping suppliers to make sure that they can meet your needs in a prompt way.

" You will want a drop ship business that ships their items in 1-2 days to the pleasure of your consumers, not one that takes 2-3 days or has inconsistent stock levels."

Earning a stable income

Within a year of using SaleHoo, Carolyn and Bootsie had grown Bootsie's Boutique from earning a few hundred dollars a month to more than $50,000 a year.

" It has grown considerably larger than we had ever pictured," she says.

" Connecting with SaleHoo was certainly a turning point."

She puts the success down to "the quality products from trustworthy vendors" discovered on SaleHoo.

SaleHoo has helped Bootsie's Boutique progress from bronze to silver level on eBay where they are now a "premier seller" and have favorable feedback from more than 5000 happy customers.

The forums, newsletters, blog posts, videos and other content from SaleHoo has also helped them to expand beyond eBay. They now have stores on Bonanza.com, Addoway.com, and Etsy.com.

The revenue margins on most of their items are double the wholesale cost, however hard to get products can cost "absurd quantities".

Some products, such as present baskets and silk arrangements, have lower profit margins of 20-25% as there are extra expenses connected with drop shipping.

Diversifying their product range along with their online existence has actually assisted the sisters to sustain steady earnings.

They even established a subsidiary of their company in the name of their sibling, called Neill's Deals, where they primarily offer children's toys.

The sisters used the proceeds from Neill's Deals to assist pay for their brothers living costs and health care.


More flexibility and time

Carolyn and Bootsie have actually likewise handled to attain their essential goals - more flexibility and household time.

Carolyn says when she was working as an executive director at a non-profit, she was doing 65 to 80-plus hours a week.

" Now it is more like 40 hours. Plus you can work while taking a trip, and can even do drop shipping from practically anywhere."

This allowed the siblings to invest crucial time with their sibling Neill throughout the years prior to he passed away.

They now donate the earnings from Neill's Deals to different charities for children and veterans, along with the Salvation Army, Red Cross, and the National Kidney Foundation.

Carolyn says it's simple to put business "on vacation" and take care of more pushing things.

But the best benefit of offering online is "that household can be first at any time".

Top tips for e-commerce success

In her 9 years of offering online, Carolyn has fantastic guidance for anyone seeking to earn a living in e-commerce.

“Start selling something you love, no longer need, or take advantage of the fantastic help videos on SaleHoo for ideas and data on niche markets.

“When you decide what you want to sell, check the Salehoo directory first for details and reviews on suppliers that sell just about anything you would want to sell or drop ship.”

She says it's crucial to make your eBay listings as "total, truthful and fascinating as possible" to improve search engine optimization (SEO).

“List often, so there is life going through your site.

“Also, update things regularly by adding pictures, changing prices, adding details to the description, title or drop-down menu options/traits. Fill in all that you can, as data is king.”

Carolyn says she and Bootsie likewise took online courses, read articles, and watched academic videos.

“We took advantage of so much that SaleHoo offered and benefitted exponentially.

And posting on social media regularly also assists produce brand name awareness and sales, Carolyn says.

Carolyn and Bootsie have a combined 70,000 followers on Twitter and also use Instagram and Facebook to push their products.

“Set up automatic tweets to post any new items you list or that get re-listed,” Carolyn says.

“Get your friends involved to retweet or post your things on their Facebook or Instagram. Reciprocate.

“If you do not have time to do all the social media posts and marketing, there are many resources available to help. The idea is to get lots of backlinks from such posts to your items.”

At the core of the business was treating their consumers and vendors well and enjoying the ride.

" Thank each customer and supplier," Carolyn states. "Build your business one sale at a time. Have a good time.

To learn more about Salehoo - check out the review here

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Affiliate Marketing For Dummies – What Every Beginner NEEDS To Know in 2018

People all around the world are earning money from affiliate marketing. This form of marketing has become intensely popular over the years. Although it has been around in various forms since 1989, people are just now starting to realize how powerful this solution for making money is. Affiliate marketers earned around $4 billion off of their efforts in 2016.

This Affiliate marketing for dummies guide aims to give you a general overview of what you need to know to get started on the right foot.

But what makes affiliate marketing such a great option? Let’s start by looking at the basics.

 

Affiliate Marketing For Dummies – What Is It?

Affiliate marketing is a form of promotion where a person highlights a product or service offered by a separate business. The marketer receives a payment or commission from the business when sales are made based on the promotional efforts utilized.

When participating in affiliate marketing, you are the affiliate. You are promoting someone with the intention of getting a reward when people buy or use something based on your referrals.

Why Is It Popular?

The big reason why affiliate marketing is popular involves more than just the profit potential. It also involves sharing things with people and letting them know more about stuff they are interested in.

When you run a strong marketing campaign, you promote yourself as a reliable source. You send people to a place that offers a product they are not familiar with or a website that they might not have heard of. But they go there because they know you are trustworthy and that you are giving them enough encouragement.

People these days don’t have much faith in advertisers. They want to hear things from everyday people instead. Establish a brilliant marketing campaign and people will trust you in return.

The Basic Process For Affiliate Marketing

southpark profits meme for affiliate marketing

How Beginners See Affiliate Marketing

The basic process surrounding affiliate marketing works like this:

  1. Sign up to take part in an affiliate program with someone. Get online to participate; it should not be tough to find someone who has a program.
  2. Promote a service or product and offer a link that people can click on to learn more about the offering in question.
  3. The visitor who saw your promotional work then buys something off of the link that you sent. In most cases, a cookie tracks the visitor’s information based on where that person first heard about the product from.
  4. You earn commissions off of whatever you sell through that link. The payment rate for commissions will vary based on the program you are a part of.

The excitement that comes with affiliate marketing is great. The potential profits are inviting. But to make the most out of affiliate marketing, you have to look at a few specific steps for getting into the field.

 

Where Should You Go?

Start by looking at what you would promote when you get into an affiliate marketing program. It is easier to make money when you promote something that you feel great about. For example, I only promote products that I believe in and use like Wealthy Affiliate.

My interests are in internet marketing and SEO so it makes sense for me to promote these types of products. Think about the particular niche or target that you are interested in. Maybe you might be attracted to topics on weight loss or fitness or perhaps you have a liking for gardening.

Look at your interest in something and think about how well you like it. You will have to build a site around that focus point.

Take a look at these points when choosing a great niche:

  • Look at something that you definitely have a life-long interest in. It should be something that you know you will enjoy years from now.
  • Consider who else might have an interest in your niche. You need to choose a field that people will actually consider reading about.
  • Think about whether people are willing to spend money on stuff relating to your niche. For instance, people are often ready to spend lots on health care products.
  • Look for a field that has low competition, but is not overcrowded. A subject with a great amount of competition is worthwhile as it proves there are people interested in and other people are making money. This is the toughest part
  • Think about the product or service you would promote. Would you actually use it yourself?

After figuring out what you will focus on, look at how narrow the niche is. By narrowing your reach, you are targeting a smaller group that might be more intrigued by what you are offering. That is, you are targeting only people within a certain segment who really have a strong interest in what you are promoting.

a look at the gardening niche

Let’s go to the field of gardening, for instance. A site dedicated to gardening is appealing on its own. One more specialized site about a very specific aspect of that field is even better. You might create a site focusing on desert landscape plants or ornamental vines. Look at how detailed or distinct your focus is so you know what deserves to be targeted.

Check around online to see how popular your niche is by either going to Google Keyword Planner  (free) or by using a paid options such as Jaxy Keyword Planner in Wealthy Affiliate, SEMRush or ahrefs.

Finding An Affiliate Program

Look for an affiliate program after you determine the niche you want to get into. Such a setup must be organized to where you can easily promote your work.

It should not be hard for you to find an affiliate program. There are so many resources that offer details on such programs that it would be tough to list them all here.

Be careful when choosing a campaign. Look at the following points when getting into one of these programs:

  • Review what a business you would promote is selling. Can you tailor your messages around those products or services?
  • See what the background of the business is. Has it been around for a while? Is it trustworthy?
  • What is the customer service for a business like? A good affiliate business must be capable of responding to your questions or issues as soon as possible.
  • Check on the particular people who participate in the affiliate program. See if they are similar to you in terms of your interests and values among other points.
  • Look at the affiliate links that would be included in the program. These often entail appealing graphics that showcase things someone is selling. In other cases they are just links you would insert into your text.
  • Check on the reward structure involved. Look at how much effort is needed for actually getting paid. Make this the last thing to review as the service and support that a team gives and its familiarity with your needs are clearly more important.

Do You Have to Actually Use the Product or Service?

You don’t necessarily have to use whatever you are marketing. But it should be something that relates to the interest you have.

It might help to try a product or service out if you have the money for doing so. You would be much more invested in the promotional process if you have tried it out and actually enjoy it. Your firsthand experience makes a world of difference.

Ordering a supplement to try out might work, for instance. Writing a journal detailing how you use that supplement and what you feel off of it might help. It gives people an idea of whether or not something is all that appealing. It also works if the product you are promoting is in high demand. Your knowledge of the product gives readers a clear idea of what to expect out of it.

Sharing your experience with a product or service is completely optional. It works best if whatever you discuss is visible and in demand. After all, it might be easier to highlight stuff if you have a strong vested interest in it.

How To Create a Website For Beginners

You must have your own website to support your affiliate marketing efforts. Your website is where you will add the affiliate links to.

Your site has to be organized while looking strong. There are a few steps to follow for you to get the most out of your website:

  1. Buy a domain name. It might cost a few dollars per year depending on the unique nature or statistics of a domain. Don’t pay extra for domain just because it sounds cool!
  2. Get into a hosting plan. Monthly hosting plans provide you with the infrastructure needed to support your website. They may provide you with certain amounts of bandwidth or the ability to load up a certain amount of data onto your site. You could even get a private email address through a host.
  3. Install the WordPress platform onto your site. WordPress is a prominent open source blogging tool that simplifies how you post and publish data. It even comes with a variety of free (and some paid) plug-ins.
  4. Install a theme on your WordPress site. The theme is the template used around the site. Make sure it looks appealing and is appropriate for the particular product or service you want to promote.

Check on how well you get your site set up before you go live. You need a website that not only looks great but is also easy to manage. After all, you’ve got to keep that site updated regularly if you want people to take your marketing campaign seriously.

Of course, you also have the option to outsource your web creation efforts to another party. It costs extra to do that though. Therefore, sticking with the above plan and making content yourself is the way to go for beginner affiliate marketers.

The Affiliate Marketing For Dummies Guide To Creating Content

The content you create on your site must be relevant to the product you are promoting. But to make it work, you have to get actual people out to the site.

funny picture of cat making content

There are four things that have to be done to get people to come to your page:

1 – Start by looking at the keywords you wish to target.

Think about the targeted keywords you will focus on. The keyword should have low competition but have people looking for it.

Check an online keyword research tool like the ones I mentioned above to see what keywords are best for your situation. This will give you a better idea of what you must write about.

You can use as many keywords as you want but it helps to focus each individual post on just one or two at a time. Do not keyword stuff! This is an old technique that doesn’t work anymore.

2 – Make content that is unique and informative

The content in question must be informative and interesting. Give the reader something that person could take away. Better yet, create content that makes the product you are promoting all the more interesting.

Highlight the latest news stories relating to something. If you’re trying to promote a health goods site then talk about new supplements that assist people in their weight loss efforts. Maybe you could talk about studies showing how certain measures may help people to lose weight.

interesting meme

How people should look like when reading your content

3 – Mix it up

Don’t just post regular blog posts here and there. Having content in other formats like videos or podcasts that let you explain more in rich detail and lets you explore untapped markets. For example before I started this blog I just did youtube videos, this allowed me to stand out and start making money immediately.

4 – Update your site regularly. Figure out a schedule.

People aren’t going to be interested in your site if they don’t see much out of it. Keep it updated on a regular basis so people can see that you have a strong investment in your work and that you want to share unique facts or other bits of info with them.

Develop a regular schedule for your work. Post messages at certain times in the day or on particular days of the week, for instance. Set up a schedule that you are comfortable with.

Try to be reliable and consistent with regards to posting these messages so people can see that you are truly invested in the work you are offering.

How To Promote Your Products

Although getting quality links onto your site can make a real difference when you are promoting someone’s work, you have to think about how you would promote such items. The last thing you want is to make your work look like some blatant and unoriginal advertisement.

woman rolling eyes

There are a few things you could do to promote products through your marketing efforts:

  • Write product reviews relating to what you are promoting. Be as honest as possible so people will see that you’re not overly biased.
  • Use in-text content links to highlight the places you are promoting. Keep those links relevant to the keywords or other bits of content you want to feature.
  • Offer discounts to people. People love deals. Provide promo codes or other special sale opportunities.

What About Email Marketing For Dummies?

This is a whole other subject that includes affiliate marketing. But for any beginner, you want to start creating an email list right away.

Why?

Because email is still one of the best ways to reach out to people and let them know about the products you are promoting or any exciting information you have.

But make sure not to spam your email list as that will get you thrown into their spam folder quick!

shooting spam

But you also don’t want to never email your subscribers, so make sure the emails come out consistently. Send out an email once every week or two . Give your subscribers something to look forward to.

When doing this, you will prove yourself as a trustworthy person to do business with. You will show that you understand what you are talking about and that will make them more included to come back to your site and purchase items through your links.

A Few Final Words For Affiliate Marketing Dummies

The potential for you to earn money from affiliate marketing program is there if you put your mind to it. Just like anything else, it all depends on how much time and effort you are willing to invest into learning and doing.

The concept of affiliate marketing is simple. You give people information on something that they want to know more about.  It only makes sense that you offer info to people that want learn something that they will benefit from

Plan your affiliate marketing campaign carefully. Be certain you look at how you are promoting your work and that you are sharing information that is interesting and attractive to your readers.

Good luck and hopefully after reading this article you will no longer be an affiliate marketing dummy!

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Get Virtually UNLIMITED High Quality Domains With Estibot And Bluechip Backlinks

Tired Of Renting Links? Get Your Own High-Quality PBN Domains With Bluechip Backlinks And Estibot

Let’s face it, PBN SEO can be hard. If you are renting links, the costs can certainly add up over time. Doing it yourself can be absolutely painful; searching for expired domains, checking their backlinks and organizing them can take hours of work just to find a few good quality domains.

I have used other services that provide you with daily domains with SEO value such as PBN HQ and Hammerhead Domains but I found the sites to be pretty low quality and because there is only a limited supply of domains provided daily, the best ones get bought up quickly.

That’s why this technique I am about to show you is by far the best way to get an unlimited supply of the very best expired domains.

 

Tools You Need For Your PBN Links

To get started I use 3 tools that will save you a lot of time and money in the long run with the technique that I’m about to show you:

1. Microsoft Excel – An essential, my particular method requires MS Excel.

2. Bluechip Backlinks – $99/month – This may be a little pricey but well worth it if your serious about SEO or what to learn the latest SEO research. Bluechip backlink searches websites to find expired domains with SEO value. Normally this can be a very time-consuming process, but with this technique we can find an almost unlimited supply of expired domains with one easy search.

3. Estibot – $49.95/month – Estibot gives us a list of tens of thousands of fresh expired domains daily along with their estimated domain value. So monthly subscription fee could be covered if you just flip 1 or 2 domains per month.

 

Estibot – The Lazy Method To Get Unlimited PBN Domains

This is by far the most efficient method I have discovered to get TONNES of high quality expired domains. It may not be the cheapest method, but if you need lots of awesome domains, this is the most time efficient method I have seen.

1. First go to your Estibot account and open “My Drop Lists”

2. From there find the latest version of Available domains and download Appraisals list that comes in a zip file.

inside of Estibot

As you can see there are over 100,000 available domains with potential SEO value!

 

3. Open the unzipped the file and open the .csv file in MS Excel

4. Bluechip Backlinks can
only handle 20,000 domain searches at a time, so scroll down to the
20,000th result and select everything below it and hit delete.

5. (Mac version) Select all the remaining domains and go to –> Tools –> Macro –> Macros then type in anything –> Hit “+” and copy and paste the following code:


Sub addHypers()

For Each cell In Intersect(Selection, ActiveSheet.UsedRange)

If cell <> "" Then

ActiveSheet.Hyperlinks.Add cell, "http://" + cell.Value

End If

Next cell

End Sub

(source: www.superuser.com)

Excel Macro

 

6. Exit the editor and go back to –> Tools –> Macro –> Macros and under Macro name it should say “addHypers” then hit Run.

7. After that just save the spreadsheet as an HTM file and upload it your website under the public_html folder.

8. Open up Blue chip Backlinks and go to Start New Scan and point it to where you uploaded your website:

Bluechip scan

 

9. Next hit scan and wait 7-8 hours for Bluechips Backlinks to scan through all the domains and wait for the results:

bluechip results

 

Do Your Due Diligence Before You Buy PBN Domains

Now that you have hundreds of high quality expired domains from Bluechip Backlinks and Estibot, all you have to do is run your normal due diligence tests and start adding these bad boys to your collection.

Here are some things to look out for:

  • Use web.archive.org to check out what the domain was used for previously. You want something that hasn’t been repurposed and was a real website.
  • Use paid tools such as Majestic and Ahref to look at the backlink profile of your domain. You don’t want a domain with a spammy backlink profile or Chinese achor text.

     

  • TEST, TEST, TEST! Make sure that after you select a domain and set it up that you take the time to actually make sure that it passes link juice. Approximately 50% of the domains you get will be worthless, so it’s important to test them out before you link to your money site.

 

 

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