If you’re like most bloggers, you did not start out with a product of your own.
You didn’t operate like a normal business. You didn’t sell anything to a potential customer. You relied on other income streams like advertising revenue, or promoting other people’s products as an affiliate. All of your income came from a third-party rather than from the customer themselves.
I was this way too – for many years in fact. And I’ll be honest with you, there’s nothing wrong with that.
But let’s be real here – money often comes much easier when you are on the other side of the coin. When you create a product, and let everyone else do the hard work of marketing it for you. After all, it’s not like you lose anything – they only get paid when you get paid. Profit all around.
This is the exact strategy I’ve used to take my digital product sales to the next level. Let me explain.
Everyone Has Their Limits
I previously hosted my courses on Udemy.com. Through this website, I was able to reach many interested buyers and make quite a few sales each day without any real effort on my part. I could disappear for a month, and those organic sales would still come in.
I also have my website here and my email list. My courses were promoted to a good amount of people each day through these two platforms, resulting in a small but consistent stream of sales.
There’s a problem though. A horrible problem.
My reach was limited.
No matter how much time I put into promoting my website and getting people onto my email list, I can only reach so many people. I can only promote my courses to a certain amount of people each day.
No matter how big or small our businesses are, we all have our limits.
Instead of fighting this, let’s instead use it to our advantage. Each individual person may only be able to reach and influence a certain number of people each day, but that doesn’t matter.
If we can unite people together to share a common goal, powerful things can be done.
Teams Are How Massive Companies Are Made
Let’s say you own a small store somewhere in your hometown. It is profitable. It is doing well.
However, regardless of how populated your area is, only a certain number of people will see and enter the store each day.
Your system is profitable, but you’ve hit a ceiling. What do you do?
The answer is simple. When you can afford it, you build another store in a different, good location which then increases your total profits further.
Logically, you would continue to do this as long as it made sense and resulted in overall profits increasing. This is how massive franchises are made.
However, you can only manage and run one store. In order to open up more stores, you must sacrifice some of the new store’s profits to hire a manager to run the store for you.
It’s No Different
Online, the same idea applies. Instead of stores, you have websites or email lists. And instead of managers, you have affiliates.
Affiliates allow you to reach exponentially more people. However, you must also give up a percentage of your profit to pay them for all the benefits they provide.
Is this worth it? Absolutely. Again, massive companies aren’t built off of one store. They develop a system that is profitable, and scale it up as much as they can. Even if a store isn’t making a huge amount of profit each month, positive cashflow is positive cashflow and can be reinvested into the company somehow.
Selling digital products with the help of affiliates is a guaranteed way to succeed because you are literally giving up nothing. It costs you nothing to deliver a digital product. Every sale you make, even if you only make a penny of profit off of it, is still an extra penny you would have not had without the help of your affiliate.
Sure, there are customer service costs, but these are miniscule compared to your total revenue and can be easily outsourced.
Heck, licensing companies build their entire business around this. License an invention to an existing company with a huge global reach, and get paid sometimes fractions of a penny per sale of that item.
Doesn’t seem like much, does it?
However, the volume in sales allows the people selling the license to rake in an unbelievable amount of money, while doing virtually zero work.
I know that giving up as much as 75% of your product’s price as a commission can be scary, but I want you to think of it from this perspective. It doesn’t matter how much you make per sale. What matters the most is the total amount of profit you have made in the end.
I would rather sell 500 copies of my courses for $50 in profit each than 50 copies of my courses for $197 each.
Again, in the end, the only thing that matters is total profit.
As mentioned earlier, most of us start out as affiliates rather than product creators. This makes sense.
You could start promoting somebody’s product today and see results from it, where creating a product can take months of hard work with no reward whatsoever.
There’s nothing wrong with this. However, if you have created a product and you want to sell more of it, I want you to take advantage of the fact that most people will remain affiliates.
I want you to send out emails right now to other bloggers and marketers in your product’s niche, pitching your product to them and hopefully bringing them onboard as an affiliate. Start with your power base – the group of people who are closest to you.
Take advantage of their reach. Use them to sell your product and make you both money. And then, hopefully your product will bring people back to your site as well.
It’s almost like getting paid to advertise your own website.
It’s time for you to scale up. Scaling up is difficult if you try to do it alone.
Seek out a team of affiliates who will work under you, and allow them to build your business for you while they are fairly compensated themselves. Everyone wins.
Don’t become the mom and pop store on the corner that barely covers its own expenses. Mimic the enormous franchise that ends up becoming a multi-billion dollar corporation.
Leverage the reach of others, and it won’t be long before your profits skyrocket.
Awesome idea here. In my private writings, I have always marveled at the concept of affilaite marketing…doesn’t it sound so cool that no real ‘work’ is done by a product creator and yet money consistently rolls in? Supremely awesome concept, I must remark.
Recently, Gumroad – the company I host most of my products with – introduced this awesome feature and I am really excited exploring it. So far, so good. I also registered on Udemy too and presently, I’m getting a hang of how things are done over there. Once I’ve mastered that, it would be fun, I’m certain.
Do enjoy the day!
I have a private concern which I have sent you a mail on. Kindly reply.
Hi Akaahan! Sorry for taking so long to get back to you… very busy times for me right now.
It really is nice to be on the other side of the whole affiliate marketing thing. There still is work when it comes to managing affiliates and stuff but it’s a lot more passive and easy to run once you have a good system in place. Instead of spending time trying to make sales you can focus that time on improving the product further or even creating a new one, leading to even more revenue.
I’ll have to check out Gumroad, I haven’t heard of them before. I am really active on Udemy and love the platform because they do a lot of marketing for instructors. I do plan on eventually switching to JVZoo or something and self-hosting when it comes to affiliates, so I can eliminate the 25% share Udemy takes out of affiliate sales. Still, for now they’re a great option.
Always good to talk to you Akaahan!
James McAllister recently posted…Going From Blog To Online Media Empire – The Ultimate Guide