Many affiliates who have had success end up creating their own product they want to sell. And if this is your goal here are the 8 basic steps you should follow:
1) You must define your Unique Selling Position (USP).
No matter what product or service you’re going to be selling you need to find out what your USP is.
Basically that boils down to:
“Why Should People Buy Your Product From You?”
Sure you may have a life changing product. So what, so does everyone else.
Maybe you back up your product with top notch service. How often have we heard that?
Maybe you’ve been in business for 20 years. So are other companies and they’re nearly dead broke, what makes you different?
Even if you’re the top expert in your field, you still need to answer the question people will always ask:
“Why Should I Buy Your Product From You?”
Remember you’re going to have competition, so you need to find out how to stand out from the crowd.
And once you have done that you need to put it in front of your visitors face every chance you get. This is so important it will be the difference between your success and your failure.
So the big question is how do you discover your USP?
You need to analyze your product or service; you also need to look at your product or service from your customers point of view.
First start off by writing down every benefit of your product or service and don’t forget to do that about your company as well. Your USP could be your company. Now do the exact same thing with the features of your product or service.
Note: A benefit is how it helps the customer. A feature is what the product or service can do.
Now you’re going to get into your customers mind. Think of someone you know and pretend you’re asking them these following questions:
- What will that do for me?
- How will that improve my lifestyle?
- How will I benefit in the long term?
- How will that benefit my family?
- What’s in it for me?
Now here is where you go the next level. Read those questions out load, and then you answer them. And once you’ve answered them you hear your friend respond with “So What”
Now you have to answer your friends question with a benefit laden reply. (Make sure to write it down)
Then your friend will say “So What” to that answer. And again you need to answer that question with a benefit laden reply. (Write it down)
You keep doing this until your friend can no longer say “So What”. If your friend can’t ask “so what” to the last answer, that is a very powerful benefit. So make sure you write that one down and highlight it.
Do this for every single benefit and feature on your list. The objective of this exercise is to generate a large list of benefits and out of those benefits you will discover your unique selling position.
I know this seems like a lot of work but doing this one exercise will put you in the top 5% of all successful web sites. Your USP will put you above everyone else.
Note: The above information was taken from Joe Roson and Ken Evoy M.D.’s book Make Your Words Sell.
This book develops a system for using words to actually sell on the net. Next is Ken Evoy M.D.’s book Make Your Site Sell it is considered the bible on how to sell online. I have read both these books more times then I can count and each time I do I get more information from them. Please if you do anything download and read these books.
2) You need to Strategically Position Yourself Among The Competition
You’re only competition will be other sites that are directly selling what you’re selling.
So forget about everyone else, these other sites are known as Indirect Competition.
You first need to determine who your competition is. To do that simply go to google and do a search using your keywords (more on keywords later). So if you’re selling Hat Racks, type that into your search.
Now see who comes up. What are they offering? Can you offer something better or more accurate? Can you provide more value then customers can find for free online?
You want to find out which sites are more relevant to your product or service ideas. And you’ll notice not all ad results that come up will come up for Hat Racks.
You’ll find you can get a lot of good ideas from your competition You’ll also find out a lot about your competition such as and how effective they are at selling. Do their sites look amateurish, is there no clear approach, poor navigation. Do they present themselves as professionals?
Doing this type of research will help you identify your selling position and give you strong growth from day one.
3) You need to Design Your Website Well
Ok remember this Less Is More. Skip all the flashy banners and spinning graphics. You don’t want to distract your visitor from your sales message.
Before you even get started one thing you must consider is your domain name. Your domain name will be closely related to the design of your site and your identity. So take the time to think things through before committing yourself to a name.
Next make sure you take the time to find a good web host. Ultimately they will be responsible for keeping your site running. Personally I use Go Daddy but of course there are plenty of web hosts to choose from, just do your homework.
Before you start building your site you should spend some time on the design layout. The look and feel of your site is crucial. There are plenty of sites that look good but don’t do what they are supposed to do. You don’t want one of those sites.
Here are some tips for a great site:
- Have a compelling headline.
- Make your site easy to navigate and have it in the same place on your site.
- Skip all the flashy banners and spinning graphic. (This actually drives people away)
- Make a list of all the things your site will include.
- On paper draw your homepage and then every other page linked to it. (Your design map)
- Have an auto responder for gathering names and email address.
- Make sure you pages load fast.
- Stay consistent. Don’t use too many colors and to many different fonts. (Looks amateurish)
- No unnecessary flash, audio or video.
- No useless or unnecessary graphics.
- Resist the urge to use textures or dark a background. (Makes things hard to read)
- Have GREAT content that’s valuable and informative.
- And keep your link colors consistent. If they are blue keep them blue. (Pet peeve of mine)
Designing a good web site simply means designing a web site that works. Some of the most profitable site are the simplest ones. Remember your goal is to sell your product or service, not show off how much stuff you can put on your site.
4) You need to Write Compelling Sales Copy
This is very obvious to the success of your site. I’m not going to get into this; this is a whole book in itself. I’ve already shared with you the book that taught me a lot about writing powerful sales copy, here it is again. Downloaded your FREE copy of Make Your Words Sell
5) You MUST Accept Credit Card Payments
If you’re selling any product or service you need to offer easy payment methods for people.
Accepting credit cards is a must. Over 80% of people online will use their credit card. People are impulse buyers so you want to make it a snap for them to buy your products or use your service.
There are 2 simple ways of accepting credit cards. First is getting your own merchant account. To get a merchant account to start accepting Visa/MasterCard/Amex/Discover account simply go through a broker.
One of the best brokers is a company called Charge Today they can get you set up in as little as 24-hours.
If you don’t want to go through the steps of setting up your own merchant account, the second way to accept credit cards is with Paypal.
This is a great solution. There are no monthly fees, start up costs or cancellation fees. They also have what is called the Virtual Terminal. For a fee you can also accept credit cards by phone, fax, mail or in person. (Very cool)
6) You MUST Capture Opt-In Email Addresses
You absolutely need to capture your visitors contact information, which is your visitors name and email address at the very least. Most of your visitors are not going to buy from you on their first visit.
However if you can stay in touch with them you have the opportunity to build a relationship with them, and in turn people will buy from you eventually.
Ok so how do you get people to give up their contact information?
You need to create an offer that compels your visitors to give you their contact info. That means something of value and something they cannot get any where else and it has to be FREE.
Your offer could be a free report, a free ebook, a free newsletter or even a free trial offer. But whatever it is, make sure it has value. If not then people will not give you their information.
You will hear this if you have not heard it already “The Money Is In The List”.
People on your mailing list that have bought from you are far more likely and with less resistance to buy from you again and again. Provided the products and services you offer are of good high quality value. If not you’re just going to be a one hit wonder.
Ok the next step is how do you collect names and email addresses on your website?
You use what is called an Email Service Provider (ESP) these are also known as Auto-Responder Services as well. The great thing about most ESP’s is you don’t have to be a technical wiz to create an optin form to collect your visitors information, and it’s simple to set up an email marketing campaign as well (auto-responder).
Once you have collect their contact information you can now stay in touch with your list and provide them with more information, any specials you offer and so much more. You are building a relationship with these people and that takes time. Email marketing takes patience but it pays you huge dividends if done correctly.
The auto-responder I use is Aweber
7) You need to Create An Up Selling Process
The best way to describe an up sell is to use and example from the fast food industry. Have you ever gone to McDonald’s? Hey I ask because some people don’t, anyway. You’re at McDonald’s and you’ve found what you want and you place your order.
And then it comes, the cashier asks you “Would you like to super size that for only 49 cents extra?” Heck what’s 49 cents, you happily agree, and off you go.
Lot’s of stores do that. But the routine is always the same. They wait until you have made your decision to buy and then they offer you a deal that seems impossible to refuse. And that’s the up sell, and it works fantastic.
So fantastic it can boost your profits as much as 30%.
There are a few things you must keep in mind when up selling.
1) Make sure what you’re up selling in about 30% of the cost of the original purchase price. So if you were selling designer dog bowls for $30 and your up sell is natural dog treats these should only be priced around $9.
2) Make sure your up sell is clearly related to the original purchase.
So where do you offer you up sell?
Once your customer has decided to buy your product he/she will click through to your order page.
Once they do that this is the perfect place to offer your up sell. Only offer your up sell to the people that have made the original purchase and create it as a one-time offer. Don’t give the customer the opportunity to think about it and buy it later. It’s now or never.
You can include a check box on your order form that says something like: “Click here to include the natural dog treats with this purchase at a special 30% discount.”
Another place you can offer an up sell is on your Thank You page. Once your customer has bought and is forwarded to your thank you page you can up sell them there.
You can say “Thank you for buying my Danish home made cheese just in case you’re interested you can buy this specially designed cheese cutter with holding case.”
Most customers are sales resistant just before they buy, but once they have made the decision to buy they are open to other purchases. So take advantage of that.
8) And finally you MUST Optimize Your Website For The Search Engines
This is the step the does scare many people. But it is an essential part of your success online. You may have the best website on the planet but if no one knows where it is or how to find it…it’s completely useless!!
There are plenty of strategies you can use to optimize your site, but for today I’m going to share with you the most straight forward and effective method.
One of the most important things you need to do is have and use the proper keywords on your web pages. The search engine spiders will look for text and at your HTML code to correctly categorize and rank your website.
Keyword research is very important, and is necessary for the success of your site. So take your time. I have spent weeks doing just keyword research for some of my sites. But all that hard work pays off big time.
A little trick to starting your keyword research is type in the phrase people will use to find your product or service into the search engines. Once you get the results, take a look at the web sites that come up and look at their source code and look at their keywords.
To look at a web sites source code simple right click your mouse or click on View in your tool bar and then click on View Source or Source.
Once you have a look at their keywords you can then use a resource like Word Tracker (This is the tool that I use to do my keyword research) to find out the ranking and competitiveness of each keyword. Please remember a good keyword list should be about 500 words and/or phrases.
NOTE: When it comes to your keywords try to use phrases that your targeted market would use when doing a search for your product or service. Also try to avoid highly competitive keywords. It will be really hard to rank well with competitive keywords. So shoot for niche phrases.
Here are some of the top places to use your keywords on your site. So for example I have a Miniature Doxie (a wiener dog) lets use this as an example site.
1) Your domain name.
As my site has to do with miniature dachshunds my goal would be to have Dachshunds, Doxies or Dachsie in my domain name or some version of that. Just so happens I have a few domains like that. And one of them is http:www.nothingbutdoxies.com Yep I’m building a site about Dachshunds.
2) Next would be in your title tag.
Again if you want to see where a title tag is view the source code of any site and you will find it at the top of the page. The title is what appears at the top of the web page, you know that blue bar at the top of every web page. You want to enter a keyword rich description here.
So my title tag could look something like this <title> The simple guide to owning and training a miniature dachshund</title>
3) Next would be both your description and your keyword tags, and they could look like this:
<meta name=”description” content=” A basic guide to owning and training a dachshund and understanding everything you need to know about doxies’>
<meta name=”keywords” content=” dachshunds, dogs, doxies, dachsie, wiener dogs, dog training, house training, obedience, obedience class, long hair dachshunds, smooth hair dachshunds, wire hair dachshunds”>
4) Next would be in your headlines and your sub-headlines of the content of your site. So your headline could be something like this:
<h1> Life with a doxie, what’s not to love? Have the perfect relationship with your dachshund</h1>
<h2> Dachshunds, not just any dog. But are you ready for a Dachsie? Your detailed guide to house training and obedience training for your doxie in less then 7 days</h2>
5) Next is the content of your site.
This is where you use your top keywords within your content. Please remember don’t just toss keywords in where they don’t belong. Yes you’re making your website search engine friendly but it has to be people friendly as well.
So when writing your content make sure your keywords go with the flow of the content. In other words make it natural.
6) Next would be your <alt> tags.
On every website there are images. But did you know you can add text to those images? When you’re at a web site move your cursor over the images of a well constructed web page it will have tags so that text appears when your cursor moves over it.
Also this is the text that will appear if the image cannot be downloaded by your browser. So an image tag could look like this:
<img src”=images/littledoxiepic.jpg” alt=”Miniature Dachshund” height=”120″ width=”160″>
Now when someone comes to the site and moves their cursor over this image or the image does not download the text Miniature Dachshund will appear. Please note these <alt> tags should not have more then four words in them.
Whew, that’s a lot of info for one day; I’m pooped just writing it. All kidding aside, I know this can be a lot to absorb and yes maybe you’re not at this stage… yet, but you soon will be. And when you get there you’ll now have a good working knowledge of the basics of designing and having a successful website.
And if you are at this stage I hope you found this information helpful.