Affiliate to E-commerce

I love e-commerce.

It’s how I got started in SEO and I think many niche sites should strive to be one, especially if they are getting traffic.


A lot of benefits to doing this.


Here are three off the top of my head.


  1. Increased margin
  2. Increased brand awareness
  3. Increased rankings through brand awareness

INCREASED MARGIN

As affiliates, we’re getting a small slice of the pie whenever we recommend a product.

We get paid a certain percentage of the revenue generated.

Typically between 3 - 20%

But what if we sold the product?

If we were making $20 per item sold, we can now make 2-3x that, if not more.

We used to sell the crap out of a pair of sunglasses on one of our sites.


They cost $25.


We got 3% from Amazon.


So a measly $0.75 per order.

We sold about 30 of these a day.

We made about $675 a month from this one page & product.

Okay… but not great.

My friend Isaac owns a sourcing business and I asked him to get me the same glasses from the same manufacturer and just throw our logo on it.

We e-commerce boys call this “white labeling”

Isaac got back to me with a quote of $5.36 per sunglass shipped to my door.

We would sell these are the same price point.


So now we’re looking at $20 profit per sale ($25 - $5.36) vs. $0.75

That’s a 20x improvement.

That page would now (theoretically) make us $18,000 per month instead of $200.

Now we’re getting somewhere.

Note - there are a few other costs that would need to be calculated such as shipping to the end user, packaging, etc but even if the price is $15 profit per sale, that’s still

a 15x improvement.

INCREASED BRAND AWARENESS

As a content site, it’s hard to get people to remember you.


Most people search a problem “best water filter”

You give them solutions.

They go and buy the solution.

And never come back to your website.

But the solution provider (e-commerce store) gets their name, email, and phone number and can market to them anytime in the future.

You got % of the purchase… but can never speak to them again.

The e-commerce store can now stay at the top of their mind with emails, texts, etc.

You can’t.

You’re gone.

Lost.

Forgotten.

Selling products not only allows you to get customer information.


But also allows you to create an amazing product and experience for the user.


If you do this right, people will remember your brand.

It’s why I can’t get enough BYLT shirts (https://byltbasics.com/).


Sure the shipping is slow but damn I love the fit and feel of these bad boys.


INCREASED RANKINGS

The increased brand awareness also means better rankings in Google.

As stated last week, Google uses user engagement and behavior to persuade their rankings.


Direct traffic is a big user signal to Google.

How do they know people come directly to your site?

Welp - Google Chrome, Gmail, etc.


“Based on data from Statista, Chrome is used by over 3.22 billion internet users, and this number is increasing at a significant rate even as you read this. The user

base of Chrome has snowballed from 1.252 billion in 2014 to 3.229 billion in 2021”

Your data is valuable my friends and they are using it to train their search engine.


Anywho, more brand awareness means more direct traffic.


More direct traffic means higher rankings.

Higher rankings mean more organic traffic.

More traffic means more money.


And since we increased our profit margins by turning into an e-commerce site, this means even more money.

Isn’t compounding beautiful

DOWNSIDES

I say all the above but there are downsides.


E-commerce isn’t all sunshine and rainbows.

You now need:


  • Customer service
  • Shipping & Logistics
  • Return policy
  • Pay taxes in states that you get nexus in
  • COGS
  • Working capital because inventory is expensive af
  • Etc

If you turn into an e-commerce store then you will need to step up your game.

It’s going to be more work but trust me, it’s doable.

There are thousands of successful e-commerce stores online as I type this.


Many of the Founders aren’t smarter than you or I


HOW TO START

So, you’ve gotten this far and I’ve convinced you to turn your affiliate/niche site into an e-commerce store.

Great.

If you want to start, do this.


  1. Pull all of the reports from your affiliate dashboards.
  2. Review the past 12 months and see what SKUs & products you’re selling the most of.
  3. If you’re selling a product more than 20x per day, start there
  4. Source the product
  5. Build a sales page for it
  6. Buy & ship product to your parents' basement
  7. Ship product as sales come in
  8. Answer all support emails so you learn what’s good vs. bad about your product and where it can be improved
  9. Repeat

Now, there are a lot of caveats here.

Sometimes you don’t need to sell 20 products a day to make a good margin.

It all depends on your niche.

Look at your data and decide what is a “lot” and a good starting point.

Also, some products I wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole.


Have a site in the mattress niche? What about credit cards?


Good luck sourcing and selling that.

I’d stick to affiliate marketing if I were in those niches.

Turning affiliates into e-commerce sites is probably my new obsession and if you have any questions, feel free to email me them.


Another good site to look at is https://www.swimuniversity.com/

He’s done a really good job at this.