Reading Time: 8 minutes
If you’re blogging and you want to promote products and make affiliate sales, or you’re frustrated by the fact that you’re not bringing in sales, you will want to read this.
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It seems to me that a lot of bloggers (especially those of us who are female bloggers) have “issues” about coming off as “salesy” or “pushy”. In reality, most readers don’t feel pressured or pushed. You’re offering something they want to know about. It’s your job to tell them.
It’s mostly an issue of getting the information out there. If reader don’t know about a product, and if it’s a product you really believe in, how can your readers benefit? They can’t. So get the word out there. The people who are interested in it will buy. The people who aren’t, won’t.
In this post, I’ll give you tips on how to convert visits to sales.
Coffee is for Closers
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Did you ever see that movie, Glengarry Glenn Ross? The “Coffee is for Closers” scene?
No? Well, here you go — I’ll embed the Youtube.
Please be forewarned. This is SERIOUSLY foul language. Do not watch if you are easily offended by curse words.
But if you can get past that, you can learn a lot.
I love this scene. It’s one of my favorite moments in movie history. Why? Because it speaks the truth.
The point of this scene is singular: if you don’t close, you don’t make money.
Third Prize Is: You’re Fired
You may think Alec Baldwin seems abusive and mean in this clip, but in he’s trying to wake these guys up. It’s tough love that is sorely needed. Someone needs to tell these guys the truth.
So many of us tell ourselves all kinds of fairy tales about why we can’t achieve our goals. We go home and complain to our husband or wife, and they say things to make us feel better.
But the good feeling is hollow and short-lived. Because we know we are not succeeding and we can’t keep working these long hours doing something we love when it just doesn’t pay.
We bloggers in particular can relate to this. We’re giving all this content away for free every single day. Week after week, month after month, year after year.
I hear so many people complaining that they can’t make money. They can’t leave their crappy jobs because their blogs don’t pay. Or their husbands are working overtime to pay the bills while they play around on their blogs. They spend all their time slaving away on their blogs, no time to spend with kids or on hobbies or take a vacation.
And then they begin to wonder “Is this really worth it?”
No, it isn’t worth it. This isn’t a charity. It’s a business.
Bottom line: if you’re not selling, you’re not making money. And if you don’t make money, you don’t eat, you can’t feed your kids, you can’t pay the mortgage.
People say, “Oh, money doesn’t matter. I’m just doing what I love.” We all know that is BS. If you can’t pay yourself, you can’t keep doing what you love.
ABC: Always Be Converting
I’d change Always Be Closing to Always Be Converting. In the online world, it’s all about conversions. You can have great traffic but if you don’t convert, you don’t make money. Period.
If you aren’t confident enough — and this is what it comes down to, confidence — to tell your readers that you think this is a good product and you think they will benefit from it, then why should they buy it?
So many times we think we are doing sales but really all we’re doing is waffling around, beating around the bush. If you are going to try to sell something, go for it. Close the sale. Convert. Don’t just mess about and pretend to be selling.
Does this mean you have to be pushy, like the bird dressed up as a cheap used car salesman in the photo above? No. You do not need to be pushy. I’m a very soft sell. I don’t like being pushy, and never sell that way — and yet I have great numbers.
You do not need to be pushy but you do need to be strategic. And you need to do the work.
How to Choose Affiliate Products to Promote
First of all, I don’t recommend promoting affiliate products on your blog unless the sale price is decent. If you’re trying to sell products for $10 a pop and you earn somewhere between 25-50%, it’s hard to make much money at that. It’s just not worth your time and effort.
But if, say, the sale price of the product is $50-100, now we’re talking. As a general rule, you don’t want to promote anything unless it averages at least $20-25 per sale.
There are exceptions to this rule. I do promote anything that is a subscription product (a recurring monthly charge of say, $10-15 per month). If you make 25% from each sale of $10/month and you sell, say, 100 subscriptions per month, the first month you’d make $250, the next month $500, the next month $750, and so on.
I also use Amazon affiliate links. Amazon products often have a low average sale price, but if the person buys anything after they click your affiliate link, you get credit. So it can be good.
After 4 years of blogging, I make somewhere between $1,000-1,500 per month on Amazon affiliate links on my blog Jobs8Home. Those are mostly from links I’ve already embedded, although I do continue to post new Amazon links every month. So this number will only continue to grow as my traffic grows and as I continue to promote Amazon products.
Let’s Run the Numbers
So you’ve found a product you want to promote, and maybe you’ve been actively promoting it, but the sales are not coming in? What are you doing wrong?
Let’s analyze an affiliate launch promotion we did a while ago on the RFM network. This was a 3-week promotion promoting an online class selling for over $100.
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Look at Blogger D and Blogger J. Notice that they have almost the same amount of traffic (monthly visits). And yet Blogger D drove almost 15 times more people to the sales page.
Blogger D – 1,413 clicks
Blogger J – 100 clicks
As a result, Blogger D made $688.50, whereas Blogger J only made $37.25. Over 18 times more.
Notice, too that they have the same conversion rate — 2%. The conversion rate tells you how many people who clicked to the sales page ended up buying.
You can see that most of the bloggers did around a 2% conversion rate. We have one rock star who was at 4%, one at 3%, and a couple folks who only did 1%. But most people were at 2%.
What’s the takeaway here? You should aim for at least a 2% conversion rate when you promote affiliate products, and you should work to get as many clicks to the sales page as possible.
Here’s the logic: If you know you’re averaging around a 2% conversion, then your job is to get people to the sales page.
Let’s say you make $25 for every conversion. If you can get 20 people to convert, you’ll make $500. So, if you average at 2% conversion, you need to drive 1,000 people to the sales page.
How to Get People to the Sales Page
The bottom line is it’s all about getting people to the sales page. Sure, you have to get them excited about whatever the product is, but just getting them to the sales page is what is going to make conversions.
So let’s talk about some ways you can get people to the sales page.
1. Add more links. Sounds obvious, huh? But you’d be surprised how many people only add one affiliate link to their blog post. Add as many links as you can without going nuts.
2. Write multiple posts. I don’t know why so many people will just promote something once and then never promote it again. According to our statistics, affiliates who post the most earn the most.
I am always in the top 5 affiliates in the classes we promote (these are classes selling for $100-149). And I always post a lot. I typically write anywhere from 4-6 blog posts when I am promoting a class.
Here’s how I do it: (1) I always do an introductory post letting my readers know about the class and I give them a special discount coupon code. (2) Then I do a giveaway of the class anywhere from a day to a few days later. (3) Then I do a giveaway announcement post with the discount coupon code. (4) I’ll often do an interview. (5) Sometimes I’ll publish a recipe from the class. (6) Usually I will do a last-ditch post just reminding my readers that they only have X MORE DAYS to use the coupon code, OR to get the $50 off. I’ll remind them that the price goes up from $149 to $199 on X date.
Of course, we do need to be careful not to overwhelm our readers with sales pitches. So you don’t want to do one post after the other pitching something. Intersperse your promotional posts with general posts. If you are generating plenty of fabulous, FREE content, most readers will not mind if you do this.
3. Discount coupons really work. Everyone likes a discount. The fact is, many people want to buy what it is your selling, but maybe they don’t think they deserve it or they’re worried about the money or whatever. Offer them a discount and that will often help them go ahead and purchase the product. You can work this out with the person who is offering the product. Ideally this coupon should expire by a certain date.
4. Use the WWSGD (What Would Seth Godin Do) plugin on your WordPress blog. This handy little dialog box allows you to remind your readers of impending deadlines (like when the coupon expires) without actually beating them over the head with it.
You can also embed a video in your sidebar with an affiliate link to sign up (and the coupon code of course!) I’ve had good results with this.
5. Write sincere, heartfelt posts. Read through the sales page, then share with your readers about how this product would help you or your loved ones, and how it can help them. Get personal. If you don’t really believe in this product, do NOT promote it. If you do believe in it, promote it with all your heart.
6. Promote it in a newsletter. I send out a newsletter to my readers every week. If a launch promotion is running for 4 weeks, this means I can promote the class (or other product) FOUR times.
7. Promote on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. Say you write 5 blog posts promoting an affiliate launch. You should be promoting every single one of those posts using various social media.
There’s no magic here, folks. It just comes down to hard work.
Write the posts, tell people why they want this product, whatever it is. Add the links and get people to the sales page. The more clicks you get over to the sales page, the more conversions you will generate. And the more money you will make.
What Say You?
Are you ready to stop making excuses and start making sales? If I’ve pissed you off with this post, you may want to take a look at why you’re pissed off. Is it really because you didn’t like the foul language Alec Baldwin used? Or is it because you’re upset with yourself?
I challenge you to find something to promote and start promoting it for real. Not this shilly-shallying around that most people call blogging.
Work your promoting into your blog posts, utilize your sidebars, leverage social media and a newsletter.
Let’s all set some goals and get cracking!
This article is contributed by Shashi Suman who contributes is running a blog PNRStatusCheck where people can check their PNR Status online.