What are Affiliate Websites and Why Do they Work So Well?
These are great questions and the perfect place to start.
So what exactly is an affiliate?
Being an affiliate means selling products from another website (e.g. Amazon, eBay, Walmart etc.) and making a commission for each sale.
This means you can focus on creating a great website, promoting products that you love and recommend, helping your visitors and becoming an authority in your niche. All of this comes with the added benefit of making money from product sales without having to support the customer, buy expensive stock, handle refunds/complaints and all the hassle that goes with it.
Ok, but why would somebody visit an affiliate website when they can go straight to eBay/Amazon/Walmart?
Imagine that you are shopping for a new pair of tennis shoes. Would you trust Amazon to show you the best ones? Would you trust the reviews? How do you know what tennis shoes are ideal for your skill level, weight, age etc.?
Most people will look for unbiased reviews, easy to understand info and expert opinions. This is where you come in.
Your goal as an affiliate is to make it easier, more convenient, faster and more cost-effective for a customer to find what they want.
A great way to look at it is that you are doing the research for the customer. In return, you get a nice chunk of the sale. The best part? You only do this research once and it's used over and over again, for sale after sale.
Affiliate sites are here to stay and are a great way to make a consistent, scalable income online.
How do I become a good affiliate?
Your goal is to make the purchasing process easier and faster for your customers, and they will appreciate that. They might know you are an affiliate or they might not, but it doesn't affect them because they still pay the same price. They can only win because they get the benefit of your research.
All of this can be done by adding content, choosing the right products and arranging nicely. We will look at how to do this effectively in later guides.
For content, you can create guides on what to look for, review various products or even create a purchasing chart. The chart can help them choose a product based on your research and recommendation.
But... that's all a topic for later. Content is crucial to your success and we will go through that together.
How do I know I am taking the right approach?
A good question to ask yourself is "Is there a reason for customers to visit my store and website before Amazon/eBay/Walmart?". If the answer is no, then we look at finding one.
If you choose a niche that you are passionate about it will make it easier for you to find this reason. You don't have to know a lot about the niche, because you can learn as you go along, so it helps to have an interest in the topic.
Here are some example reasons for customers to visit your store:
- You have handpicked the best products in your niche
- You provide buying guides for different types of people. (e.g. Best digital cameras for beginners, best camera tripods for travelling)
- You answer common questions on the niche
- You provide a live chat or email that lets people ask you questions
- Your store groups the best products together that people need. (e.g. a digital camera, the best case for it, memory card, flash, tripod stand, etc.)
I still can't think of any reasons or content ideas for my niche...
A great way to add value is by asking "What are people struggling within my niche?".
Then look around Facebook groups, Twitter, forums, and questions on the Amazon products page. This will help you see what people are asking for and where they need help or answers.
Once you have your questions and answers, you can create content and articles around them.