If you want to become a merchant and then make money by having affiliates sell your products, there are 4 simple, yet not easy, steps that you can take.
First, you need to have a product idea. I’ll show you a few ways that you can generate those ideas, based off what’s already popular, in the next section.
Second, you have to validate your idea. You could just go ahead and build your idea. But, what if people don’t even want it? An idea is only good if people actually want it to come to life.
Third, you have to actually create the product. Since creating a physical product usually comes with huge investment and risks, I’ll only show you ways to create digital products. These are the best place to get started, since they only require your time and little or no money.
Also, once your product is created and released, you still need to find affiliates to promote your product.
Step 1: Coming up with a product idea
People always say it’s hard to come up with an idea. It’s not. Ideas are easy.
But, if you think that your idea has to be super original and born out of the pure genius of your brain, that’s hard.
If you want to make money with affiliate marketing, you can’t be romantically attached to your idea.
Instead, just look at what products and services are already out there. Consider how you can improve upon them by delivering something that solves the problems with those products.
You can, of course, always, choose a topic that you’re interested or involved in.
Imagine that you’re a housewife or a stay-at-home Dad, for a second.
Maybe you want to create a product that makes household chores easier. For example, you could look for a vacuum robot to get some ideas.
This is the first Google result, a review site for robot vacuums:
Just by looking at the individual reviews, you can instantly see what’s bad about these robots and what you could potentially improve upon.
No virtual walls that tell the robot where to go and where not to go is a common problem, mentioned in 6 out of the 10 reviews of the top products!
Lack of a remote control was also a common ‘con.’
However, the virtual wall came up again and again and again.
Therefore, a great idea could be to develop a virtual wall that works for all vacuum robots.
I imagine that you could sell anyone who owns a vacuum robot a system that works as a virtual wall, so their robot only cleans a predefined space.
Now that’s a valid idea!
This works for anything, I’ll show you.
Another way that you can do research is to use a tool called Buzzsumo, which shows you what’s popular, based on social shares.
Even if you’re into building sandcastles,you can instantly see what content has been recently popular.
People really like cool sandcastles, like this one:
If you go on YouTube and search for ‘build a sandcastle,’ you’ll find thousands of results.
Apparently, people really want to know how to build cool sandcastles. So, what could you do?
Record a series of videos where you show people, step-by-step, how to build 5 very specific, epic sandcastles.
Or, you can do a write-up of all of the tools that you need to build epic sandcastles.
You could even come up with some forms or stencils that people can use to make building epic sandcastles a whole lot easier.
The question is…will people pay for it?
Step 2: Validating your idea
In order to not end up doing a great series of sandcastle videos that no one wants to buy, you have to first validate your idea.
How do you do that?
Simple: You ask people to pay you for it.
How do you find these people? Easy.
Take the URL from one of the sandcastle posts on Buzzsumo and plug it into a tool called Topsy.
Topsy then shows you a list of all of the people who tweeted that link.
You can then directly tell them about your idea, by hitting the reply button…
Make sure that you ask them whether or not they would buy your idea, not just if they like it.
Anyone will say that they like something, just to be nice.
If they respond with a yes, you need to directly follow up with an ask to buy.
Saying they will spend money is not the same as actually spending it.
When people are interested in your product, give them a chance to buy. You can simply use PayPal and say you’re going to build it if you get a certain amount of orders.
Once you cross your threshold and make sure that people actually want it, you can start creating the product.
Step 3: Creating the product
There are a ton of steps to follow for creating a product and this isn’t an entrepreneurship guide, but I want to point you to some good starters.
I’ll only give you resources for starting digital products, because I don’t want you to waste precious time and money on creating a physical product on your first try
- How to launch an online course and make $220,750 in 10 days
- How To Create & Sell Your Online Course The Right Way
- SPI 136: How to Build an Online Course that Sells with David Siteman Garland
- The Ultimate Guide to Publishing Your eBook on Amazon’s Kindle Platform
- How to (Really) Make $1,000,000 Selling E-Books – Real-World Case Studies
- How to Start to Write an eBook and Actually Finish it in 30 Days
- Podcasting for Beginners: The Complete Guide to Getting Started With Podcasts
- How to Start a Podcast – Pat’s Complete Step-By-Step Podcasting Tutorial
- How To Podcast: The Ultimate Guide to Podcasting
These are good starting points. Creating digital products is a lot easier, since it just takes time and sometimes a little financial investment, but usually not more than a service fee or a one-time price for software.
Once you have the product created and delivered to your initial buyers, it’s time to open up the affiliate network.
Step 4: Finding affiliate partners
The tech part is the easy thing here.
The tough part is finding partners who actually have an audience that is interested in what you have to sell.
Let’s stick with the sandcastle guide example.
Do you think there’s anyone out there who sells something remotely related?
Actually, there is.
When you google “learn to build sandcastles”, several sites pop up that sell educational material about it.
Like Sand Sculpt USA, which offers sandcastle building lessons…
or SandCastle Lessons, which offers a class on the same subject.
Contacting them and getting them to cooperate on a sale together would be an easy pitch, because it’s a perfect fit.
The more niche your product is, the easier it will be to pitch to fellow merchants.
You can simply send them an email, introduce yourself and the product and ask them if they want to partner on a sale together, where you’ll share revenue.
Pro tip: Commissions of 50% or higher are very common with digital products, because you have no cost of replication. Don’t be greedy here, split the pot evenly and everyone wins.
Googling “toy review blog” also gives plenty of results, where people write toy reviews.
What’s more, lots of YouTube channels review specific categories of toys. If you find one that reviews kids’ toys, they’d probably also be a good fit.
Just try finding one person to partner up with and start your first affiliate promotion. You can adjust commissions and details later, the important part is to get started.
However, you could also start the journey on the other side of the fence and just become an affiliate yourself.
Next week, I will share with you Four Steps to become An Affiliate Online. Please feel free to subscibe, like and share for updates.