Being a great affiliate
In this guide, we look at what makes a great affiliate and answer some common questions.
This guide will give you the right attitude and approach to creating and promoting your stores, setting you on the path to success.
We will also examine why being an affiliate is much better than selling your products or drop shipping.
So... what exactly is an affiliate?
An affiliate promotes products from another website like Amazon, eBay, Walmart etc. and is rewarded with a commission for each sale they make.
With FreshStore, you make commissions when someone buys the products in your store. When you do this, you are an affiliate.
Your commission is usually a percentage of the sale (e.g. 10%) but can sometimes be a fixed amount per sale (e.g. $20).
You may also have heard the term Affiliate Marketing, which is the practice of making sales as an affiliate. It is a term for the different strategies you use as an affiliate to generate traffic and increase conversions.
Let's dig into this and some more related questions about being an affiliate.
What is great about being an affiliate?
Many people who want to make an online business will try to make and sell their own products or do a type of dropshipping.
This comes with a significant upfront investment in stock and many risks. You are responsible for shipping, returns, chargebacks, taxes, customer support, legal obligations and more. Most of these businesses fail quickly and are too inflexible to change.
Being an affiliate gives you all the benefits of selling products online without any of the downsides, like stock investment, customer support, refunds, and legal issues.
When you are an affiliate, you have minimum upfront and ongoing investment. If your store is not working, you can quickly and easily change to a different niche without losing money.
Even better, you can focus on the good stuff - building out a nice store, creating great content in your niche, finding and reviewing the best products, engaging and helping people on social media, and more.
When you act as an affiliate, you can become an authority in your niche and learn as you grow. You can even move into selling your own products later once you have an established audience, which will significantly reduce your risk.
Why do Amazon/eBay/Walmart etc. use affiliates?
You might think websites like Amazon are so big that they don't need help making sales.
But, the truth is, they are too big. They cannot maintain good content on all the different product categories and can't effectively market to these individual niches.
That is why they rely on affiliates who can provide traffic and sales for specific products; this is where you and your stores can really shine.
This leads to our next question nicely...
Why would somebody visit my store instead of Amazon?
This is a common question we get and is a great way to learn about what makes a successful affiliate store.
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 know that Amazon shows the products that pay to be on top of the search listings. They also know that most reviews on Amazon are fake.
They are also looking for the lowest price, which might not be on Amazon, but it's time-consuming to look across eBay, Walmart, AliExpress etc.
So people seek unbiased reviews, easy-to-understand info, expert opinions, and the lowest price. This is where your affiliate stores come in.
A good affiliate helps customers purchase by providing great content, buying advice, nicely organised categories, and the lowest prices.
Your goal as an affiliate is to make it easier, more convenient, faster and more cost-effective for customers to find what they want.
A great way to look at it is to imagine 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 repeatedly, for sale after sale.
What else makes a good affiliate store?
You can help your customers in many ways, and it quite often depends on your niche (i.e., the category of your products).
The key is always to ask the question, "How can I help my visitors make a purchase?". Here are some areas we will explore in later guides:
- Picking only the best products in your niche
- Creating buying guides for different types of people. (e.g. Best digital cameras for beginners, best camera tripods for travelling)
- Answering common questions within the niche
- Providing live chat, email, a Facebook group, etc., that lets people ask you questions
- Bundling the best products together that people need. (e.g. a digital camera, the best case for it, memory card, flash, tripod stand, etc.)
- Maintaining good social pages (e.g. an active Facebook group) that help people in the niche connect with you and others
Each niche is slightly different, so we can experiment with different approaches until we find the formula that works and starts generating more sales for you.