Most of the readers of this blog, or members of the forum are into CPA marketing. What a lot of people don't realize is that there is a whole ‘other world' of affiliate marketing promoting physical products. This post is meant to be an intro to some of the things you can do with physical products.
First, let me say the world of physical product affiliates is quite different than CPA affiliates. I went to the Shareasale think tank in Half Moon Bay in 2010 and it was a far cry from the affiliate summit type parties. I'm not saying that's a bad thing at all…just that when you start mixing with that crowd, keep that in mind. A lot of physical product promotions are done by groups of people and not necessarily individuals. One example is companies that create and run coupon sites. These aren't kids sitting in their mom's basement slinging Acai, but rather actual companies that have an office, employees, etc. but operate only as affiliates.
With physical products you are paid a % of the sale (usually) instead of a flat fee lead/sale like most CPA offers. What turns a lot of people off to promoting physical products is the small % you usually get. This % can vary a lot, but it can seem quite low to those new to this. Affiliates usually see something paying out a 5% commission and say screw that, I'm going to push that offer that pays out $30 a pop. I'll show you later why earning a % commission isn't a bad thing.
There are some pretty good advantages that promoting physical products has over CPA offers
– Physical products don't usually scrub like CPA offers. You make the sale, you get the commission – simple and straightforward.
– Physical product networks almost always pay out. Forget this ‘oh the advertiser didn't pay us so were not paying you' BS you get from CPA networks.
– Physical products can be promoted on a lot of traffic sources that you can't run questionable CPA offers on.
– You can find some really unique niches without much competition.
There are also some disadvantages though
– The payout terms are usually net 30 and can't be changed. These networks usually won't put you on weeklies.
– This isn't usually a quick cash thing. You don't get the same highs you can with CPA marketing (but you also don't get the same lows)
– It can be tough to negotiate increased commissions
So how do you promote this stuff anyway?
Here are IMHO some of the best ways to go;
Lot's of room for physical products there and direct linking still works great.
These can take a lot of work to do right, but can really pay off. I know a couple people who earn great money only running these types of sites.
Lots of low competition keywords to go after.
As far as what types of sites to make, I've found blogs to work really well. My blogs for this are usually in a specific niche, and each post is just some unique content about a specific product.
A lot of affiliates do datafeed sites which are also great. If you have coding skills (or know someone who does) you can do some really cool things.
CTRTard has a cool 4 part series on data feed sites worth checking out
Barman did a good post on auto blogs and datafeeds
One of your best friends in doing this is Pop Shops which makes it super easy to add products to blog posts and a whole lot more so definitely check it out.
Another good blog to check out is Eric Nagel who has some good physical product and automation content.
Ok, that's nice, Can I stop reading and go back to promoting CPA offers now?
I know some of the stuff I talked about doesn't sound too exciting so let me share one example with you. This is a screenshot from this year for merchant I promote on Shareasale. You can see I've generated $94k in sales for this merchant (I account for about 60% of their affiliate sales).
Now unfortunately the $94k is sales I have generated for them, not what I get to keep. My cut so far this year is about $7,500. That isn't a large amount by any means and really nothing to write home about until I say this; I have probably spent a total of about 2 hours work promoting this particular merchant. That would be a rate of $3,750 and hour or so..not bad!
Like I said, $7,500 isn't too impressive but when you factor in the time I spent on it, the ROI is insane. This is just one example of a merchant I promote, so you can imagine how this can add up quick. They aren't all this easy and profitable, but there is a lot of money to be made promoting physical products!