Years ago, entrepreneurs figured out how to sell online without inventory, which allowed them to invest their limited time on tasks more crucial than taking orders, shipping products, handling returns and dealing with the general customer service.
Don’t get me wrong, these are all extremely important for a business. However, taking care of all these things on your own is very exhausting, and in many cases even impossible. Normally, you need additional resources apart from yourself to handle all these aspects of a business.
This is the main reason to why I love something called affiliate marketing. It allows me to focus on building my business while others do the grunt work for me.
If you’re not yet sure what affiliate marketing is, just keep reading and I’ll fill in the blanks for you!
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What is Affiliate Marketing? (VIDEO)
So affiliate marketing isn’t as hard as some people think it is. Basically, you’re just a promoter of products, who earns commissions on sales.
Let me shine a bit more light on the steps you’d normally take as an affiliate:
- Build a website or landing page that attracts visitors, either through paid ads or SEO.
- Sign up as an affiliate at a merchant related to your website’s niche.
- Post affiliate links on your website, which lead to the merchant you’re affiliated with.
- Your visitors click on your affiliate links and order products from the merchant website.
- The merchant handles the inventory, payment, shipping, customer service and potential returns.
- You get rewarded a percentage of the sale price. (your commission)
This video takes a more in-depth look at affiliate marketing, and also shows you some awesome ways to find products for your niche:
Amazon – The Holy Grail of Products
In the video above, Kyle mentions that he’s not too fond of Amazon, and I partially agree. The commission rates are quite low and you’re gonna have to promote high-ticket products in order to earn a decent commission.
However, this doesn’t mean that Amazon is useless. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. The inventory on Amazon is enormous with close to 120 million different products available for sale. This makes Amazon a prime candidate for product research!
Product research? What do I mean?
Well, I often use Amazon to first find interesting and related products to promote on my websites. Then I go out looking for affiliate programs that offer a higher commission rate for those very same products. So while the commission rates on Amazon aren’t much to cheer about, their inventory definitely is.
Focusing On ONE Niche
As tempting as it may be to sell a wide variety of different products, zeroing in on one specific niche increases your chances of making sales. Rather than being seen as somebody who tries to sell whatever – whenever – you’ll instead be recognized as a knowledgeable authority figure whose honest recommendations can be trusted.
Besides, if you were to go the route of selling every kind of product between A and Z, you’d basically be stepping into the ring competing against giants like Amazon, eBay, Walmart and Kroger. Realistically speaking, how do you think that would turn out?
Speaking from experience, it’s way better to put all your efforts into a smaller niche with less competition. It would give you a far greater chance to come out as one of the top of sellers in that specific niche.
Building Your Affiliate Business For Long-Term Success
Once you’ve decided on a niche and found some relevant products, it’s time to actually start building your business. With a seemingly infinite number of ways to put your words and thoughts out there, it’s hard to know which direction to choose. Luckily, there’s no right or wrong, as long as what you do makes you money.
Personally, I prefer to use a blog as the main building block in my business.
Why? Well, it’s quite simple really…
A Blog Is Independent
A blog is something I own, as opposed to – say – a social media page or YouTube channel. Let’s say I focus only on Pinterest or YouTube and – for some reason – get banned… all I’ve worked for and built is gone. I’ll have to start over, rebuilding my business from scratch!
On the flip-side, I cannot get banned from my own blog.
Don’t get me wrong. I still use social networks, video services, forums and whatever else I can in order to generate traffic to my blog. But I use them as tools to make my business better, rather than letting them be critical parts of it. The fate of my business is not depending on whether a 3rd party lets me keep an account on their website.
A Blog Is Future-Proof
A good blog is built for the future. What do I mean by that? Well, let’s again use social marketing as an example. Social marketing is extremely effective today and will surely be for years to come.
However, social media hasn’t always been all about Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. There have been plenty of other popular networks which eventually – well – cooled off, for one reason or another.
Do the names digg, MySpace and Google+ ring a bell? Only a few years ago, they used to be extremely popular social networks. Nowadays they’re barely mentioned, and Google+ even got discontinued after a data-breach that affected tens of millions of users.
Building a blog which acts as the central part in your business ensures that you’ll be able to adapt to this ever-changing industry a lot easier and faster. Linking into your blog from your social profiles, forum posts, e-mail messages and YouTube videos allows you to keep moving forward, without having to rebuild your business for each new potential traffic source that pops up in the future.
So if you wanna get a blog started and sell without inventory, I recommend that you sign up for a free account at the very same training platform I’m personally using. You’ll learn all the essentials you need in order to get your blog up and running!
How To Sell Online Without Inventory: The 8 Simple Steps
So in order to be able to sell online without inventory, your best shot would be to get into affiliate marketing. It’s quite a simple business model and only really consists of 8 steps:
- Find a niche.
- Find products to promote.
- Sign up to merchants (as an affiliate)
- Build your marketing platform – in this case, a blog.
- Post your affiliate links in your posts.
- Attract visitors.
- Get them to click on your links and order products.
- Earn a commission.
Sure, it takes hard work and persistence to make it work, but these 8 steps are all you’ll need to go through in order to build a successful business online. (without any inventory)
So if you have any questions regarding affiliate marketing, or wish to learn more about how I personally do it – please leave me a comment below!
To your success!