We often hear about creating multiple streams of income and wonder how can that be done for online boutique owners. We think in order to get the multiple streams of income you have to create multiple businesses, websites, ecommerce stores etc. Well don’t worry that’s not exactly true. There is a whole world of affiliate marketing out there that you can leverage to make extra money from your boutique and boutique followers.
Affiliate marketing is promoting and selling other people’s products through your own website, platform or social media sites. I have been successful with affiliate marketing through all of my sites – blog sites, business sites, retail, even here my Online Boutique Source website. I don’t do affiliate market that much, but there are a lot of people who do. And I’m going to share how and why you should get started in this post.[Tweet “Your boutique’s income is not only what your carry and sell in the store @oboutiquesourc”]
The way to successful affiliate marketing (a way I have proven effective) is through finding products that you already use or those products which my clients or customers could use, and talking about them n your site for a small affiliate commission. Many sites you already shop at have affiliate programs you can sign up for.
The products and things you can sell through affiliate marketing
There are a lot of things which you can affiliate market like website hosting for websites, stock images and stock photo companies, physical products like makeup, books, courses just to name a few. You can even affiliate market for the best and your favorite products that are on Amazon.com, which I’ve found is an amazing stream of income.
I offer affiliate products a few ways on my sites:
- I have a section that features books and then I have a sidebar for those who like to buy the book and have a call to action like “Grab this Book!” for this, I find books that are helpful to my audience and put them into my site for grabs which is an affiliate link.
- In my blog post I talk about products, for example, in this post I share about certain photo equipment, most of the photo equipment has links to Amazon affiliates. You can sign up for amazon’s affricate program pretty easily and start using the links in your blog post.
- Occasionally I’ll introduce programs and opportunities to my audience via email or in my Facebook group. A lot of programs and courses have affiliate or referral programs. If I like and think a program will be good for my people I’ll get an affiliate link from the course creator and happily share about the program with my audience.
Are affiliates legal?
Some days affiliates get a bad rap, people who don’t know a lot about affiliate feel like it can be dishonest and only promoting to get payment. Some may even call it illegal. This is the furthest from the truth, while there are rules and regulations around affiliates, the act of sharing products for a fee is not at all illegal. The biggest rule both legally and ethically is you must tell people that you are an affiliate of a product. You can’t just put a link and say buy my things from this link, you’d have to inform them that you are doing affiliate marketing especially on blogs. There are a lot of FCC rules and laws stating that you have to literally disclose that you are doing affiliate marketing.
I usually tell people to buy from my link and even put a little information about affiliate marketing. I also have a full disclaimer on my site so people are aware, most of them are totally fine with that. Most people are really helpful; they will look for your link, and share it, especially if you are providing some sort of training. And that’s the other thing that I do.
I have instructional or training videos on my YouTube channel and website that will educate or show people how to use certain products. One of my favorites is Long Tail Pro, It is a keyword research software used by many marketers and SEO professionals. It’s the only tool I use for keyword research and it’s very helpful so I created an instructional video on YouTube showing people how I use Long Tail Pro. I also have the same video on my website’s blog post. It’s the same type of training when I do my SEO training and I give people my affiliate link. Mostly, if you’re willing to show people how to do something, and you’ve posted your link, someone will use your link instead of using the site itself. That is also another way I promote affiliates.
How you could promote affiliates if you have an online boutique
There are a couple of other different things which you can do. I have also seen a lot of these especially for niche items like this famous guy who’s actually the creator of Long Tail Pro, Spencer Hawes, who owns a website all about survival knives. His website contains all kinds of information about survival knives and you can see throughout the website that there are links on his post; he has a full shopping store which you can visit and find everything, his rankings, ratings, and his actual links. His store features everything about survival knives and he also has another one about shaving products. Both stores are stocked 100% with affiliate links. If you’re creating a blog or a site that’s full of reviews and is niche heavy then this type of affiliate with products is very good.
Just for example if you are starting as a makeup artist, as a makeup artist you will probably do YouTube videos and you will talk about different products and different brushes you need. You can actually do some kind of a review of your favorite brushes and rank them, most blog people have their own makeup preferences but for brushes there are a lot of types out there, so what you can do is make a video review of what is the best brush that works for you, then mention that you have a link to your website where they can find more information about the brushes that you use, and that leads to your affiliate links.
Amazon really has the fastest affiliate program which provides you with products and stuff for almost everything that is being used by people though they don’t give the largest commissions.
I believe Sephora also has an affiliate program; you can just go to Sephora or use Sephora links. I am not sure if Mac does, I’m not really a Mac user but these are really the things to look into, look for products that might have an affiliate program, which you can put into your site and promote.
You can also use affiliates to test out and or offer a new category in your store without the need to get wholesalers and carry inventory. Many ecommerce sites will add affiliate links in a category to their site and if they see the affiliate product is performing well they’ll buy inventory and bring the items in house.
Sometimes you don’t even have to put the item on your website, to get affiliate sales. You can share the products or service in your email, Facebook page etc. and still get a good deal of affiliate funds.
Other ways to make affiliate money
Another idea for online boutiques are books around your product’s category, you can use Amazon or see if authors have direct programs. You can share books about fashion, makeup, etc. Another example is you can look for clothes that are on Amazon and put together a collection of Saturday night out clothing that have affiliate links. There’s nothing that says that all the products that you have or all the things that you talk about in your blog have to be yours only, people like variety, people don’t like to feel like they are being sold to so they’ll like it when you recommend a variety of stuff. I recommend mostly items that have an affiliate link, but sometimes I throw in things that don’t have an affiliate link just to add variety and usually makes my post a lot better-rounded.
Another option would be is like I said to create some kind of a post, create something that is very niche specific or if you just want to talk about it, post something about clothes and tell people about the best shoe combination. You can bring in products that you’re not selling or If you do sell clothing you might find a bunch of affiliate links for shoes that go with your clothing, or maybe other stuff that goes with your clothing like skirts, jewelry, accessories or even the best makeup style that would goes well with the overall get up. Those are different things that you can bring into your site and make a potential profit from it.
Another way to do affiliate marketing is by allowing click ads on your site. I don’t recommend this on your shop pages but you can have Google AdWords and Google Ads which they will put their ads on your site and you give them some space then you get paid for giving them that space. The pay is really low for these ads so you need thousands of visitors to really see money from this. You can also just run ads and have people let’s say I’m a hairdresser and there’s someone who has this makeup site which I want to purchase some space on.
You can also be an affiliate for individual businesses. Affiliates aren’t just for big businesses often smaller retailers will offer affiliates if you recommend their program or service. For example, say if you offer swimsuits you may look for fitness professionals who offer an affiliate. You’ll be more profitable by doing some article or doing some type of post about it instead of giving people some ad space on your site. For instance, if you know a good hairstylist and makeup artist tells the stylist that you’re going to write a post about the best hairstyles that go with the smoky eye look. You can add pictures of their actual work, or pictures that go with the article would be even better if they have pictures of actual work that they have done about the best hair that goes with the smoky eye look.
People are so used to ads and were just so overwhelmed with ads that are being placed on one ad space on a particular site, or even in books and magazines. There’s no sense buying an ad space but if you can make it into content, some type of resource then I think you’d have a better chance of getting traffic to the next site because the point is to take traffic from your site and bring it onto another.
How do you track affiliates and get paid?
The last thing I want to cover is the biggie; ow do you get paid with affiliates. Most programs will give you a special link to use when you post about the product, you use this link and you receive credit when a person clicks your link and buy. Many programs will count up the sales each month and send you payment. The payment is usually 30-60 days after the sales because businesses what to ensure the item isn’t refunded at a later date. I’ve mentioned Amazon a few times but other good sites to look for affiliate products are
- commission junction (CJ)
- click bank
Often, I do searches on sites for “affiliate” or google “affiliate and the companies name” to see if they have a program available.
These tips should get you off to a good start with affiliates and on your way to multiple streams of income. Here’s what you need to know about affiliate marketing, coupled with some things that you can do with affiliate marketing as well guide.
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