How to Select Suitable Products to Sell On Your Blog
Posted on 26th July, 2007
This is a follow up to my post about making money from affiliate program via your blog.
Choosing the right products to sell is one of the most challenging steps you’ll take when you want make money from affiliate programs. You can select products from the best and biggest merchants such as Amazon, but that doesn’t mean you’ll make money if the product itself has a poor conversion rates.
Some people get lucky and hit the jackpot after only a few tries. For the rest, due diligence may help you filter out products with poor conversion rates. Once you’ve gathered enough experience you’ll be able to better decide which products to promote.
I guess the question you should ask is that, is selling products from your blog is for you? If you are already doing sponsored review, why not try selling products to further diversify your blog’s revenue stream?
Before you decide on which products to sell, there are several factors that you need to consider to ensure that you don’t waste time trying to sell something that nobody wants to buy.
- Consider Your Blog’s NicheThe best products to sell are those related to your niche. It’s easier to get started by promoting things you have an interest in. In contrast, it’s harder to keep yourself motivated when you are trying to promote products that you don’t have a genuine interest in.
Your readers will also pay more attention to your promotion if it relates to their interests.
- Consider the CompetitionHaving a good product to promote is not enough. You’ll also need to consider the competition. If everyone is promoting the same product, you’ll lose the unique edge that could help you sell it. The chance for a customer to buy from you is lower when they can find similar products promoted by hundreds of other bloggers.
Then again, it all depends on your Unique Selling Preposition or USP. USP is the benefits that you can deliver to users that’s not offered by any competitor. It’s important because it makes you stand out from the crowd.
- Measure the DemandWhile it’s great if the product has a wide appeal, ideally niche products would do better when it comes to selling from your blog. Again consider you blog readers when deciding which products to sell.
If you are trying to get visitors from the search engine, the product should at least have a wide geographical target market. You can determine the demand for a product by doing some keyword research using the Google Keywords Tool.
- The Product’s Commission RatesIt’s easier to make money form your blog if you already have tons of existing loyal readers. However, if getting visitors to your blog involves spending money on pay per click search engines such as AdWords, you need to pay close attention to the product’s commission rates as you will be competing for even-thinner margins.
Selling $10 book from Amazon that offers 3% commission won’t get you far. Ideally, you should select products that offer high commission rates such as ebook or software. In addition look for merchants that offer increased commissions when you sell more.
- Is the Product Easy to Use?Ideally you should select products that’s the users can use immediately. The more user-friendly the product, the lower the conversion barrier. A product that available directly via the Internet is even better.
- Recurring CommissionRecurring or repeat commission is when a merchants offers commission for any number of sales from the same customer within a certain time frame. If the product has to potential to develop repeat business, you’ll only have to sell it once but get paid each time a new sale is made.
Some of the products that offer recurring commission are web hosting, software upgrades, consumables such as inkjets, membership sites, and online service subscriptions (dating sites).
- Payment considerationAnother thing to consider is how much you get paid and when you get paid. A merchant usually set a certain threshold before payment is sent. Higher threshold means it may take longer for you see the first pay check if you only sell one or two products once in a blue moon.
If your merchants run their affiliate programs through affiliate network like Commission Junction (CJ.com), your payments would include all the commissions from all the vendors that you’ve promoted in the network.
Additionally, consider how you get paid. Do you prefer payment via PayPal, a check or direct deposit?
- Product AvailabilityCertain products are only available in certain countries. So when you select a product to promote, make sure it’s also available to the geographic location you are targeting.
Getting your feet wet with affiliate programs is the best way to start selling products from your blog. You don’t have to own the product and customer support issues are handled by the merchants. There’s no upfront cost to get up and running, except your time and ideas.