Increase Blog Income Fast: Affiliate Marketing vs Digital Products
If you are a blogger seeking to increase blog income fast, you may have heard about affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is the process of creating blog posts that link to products that are available for sale. Online retailers such as Amazon.com and Clickbank track the sales that occur when a blog reader clicks your link, and pay you a commission on the sale. Sounds great, right?
Recently, Entrepreneur magazine, listed “Start a blog” as the #1 method for “11 Ways to Make Money in Your Sleep”. I have quite a few blogging friends who make the bulk of their income from affiliate blogs. Whether the topic is Halloween, home decorating, or toy reviews, affiliate blogs have the power to create income that is independent of time and location.
While affiliate blogging is a great way to increase your income, it’s not the only way. In this same article, “Sell your own information product” was listed as #2. Information products are another name for digital products, which I recommend highly. The idea is that you create a digital product which provides information that your target market is seeking, and you can create passive income. So if you start a blog and sell your own information product, you are on your way to making money in your sleep!
READ RELATED: Make a Digital Product in 30 Days
So if you’re already sold on the blog idea, but unsure of whether to sell affiliate or original digital products, you are totally free to offer both on your blog. But when it comes to increasing your blog income faster, creating original digital products are the way to go. Let me count the ways…
When it comes to increasing blog income fast, my favorite part of selling my own digital products is the SPEED. As soon as as someone purchases your digital product, you receive payment immediately. As you can see in this diagram below, the customer makes a purchase and receives your digital product immediately. Simultaneously, you receive their payment immediately. Some affiliates have a payment threshold, meaning you don’t receive commissions until you hit $100 or more. Other affiliate programs require that you wait 14-60 days for a payment – too long for me! As soon as the sale hits my PayPal account, the money is available.
When you sell your own digital products using PayPal, for example, you get 100% of the sale, less transaction fees (2.9% + $ 0.30 USD per sale). Depending on the affiliate products that you offer, you can receive anywhere from approximately 4% to 75% in affiliate commissions. Physical products sold on Amazon receive a different percentage based on the product category, and even as recently as March 2017, Amazon lowered some of those percentages. If you’re promoting someone else’s eBook via Clickbank you can make a higher percentage (25 -75%), but the profit margin will be lower. So you have to sell more affiliate products to make more money.
Always in Stock
When you have a digital product, it will be available 24 hours a day/7 days a week until you remove it from the internet. If you’re promoting someone else’s digital product via Clickbank, for example, you have no control over how long it will be available. When products on Amazon run out of stock, you will not be informed, so if you have a blog full of Amazon products, you won’t know which products are in stock.
Create Your Own Affiliate Program
Another way to increase your online income is to have your own affiliate program. You can use a WordPress plugin such as Digital Access Pass (DAP) to track the sales of your product that were promoted by others. While you will have to give your affiliates a percentage of the sale, your affiliates can bring your products to the attention of others who you may not have access too. But when you’re selling digital products, you can sell the same product over and over to many people, so it may be worth sharing the sale.
You Have 100% Control
Would you believe that some private retailers selling physical products on Amazon do not even allow affiliate sellers to promote their product? It sounds crazy that someone wouldn’t want to have affiliate bloggers promoting their product, but by the same token, they are choosing not to share any of their profits. When you sell your own original digital product, you determine which products you want to sell.
No Time Limits
When you have your own digital product, you can take as long as you need to learn how to promote and sell it. If you join Amazon’s affiliate program, however, you have 6 months to make your first sale, or they will close your account, requiring you to re-apply. While they allow you to re-apply immediately, your old links will no longer work, and you’ll have to start all over again. Granted, you can make a sale within your first 6 months, but you have to have a plan, and know what you’re doing. But if you’re new to blogging, and still working out your learning curve, you can also miss this deadline – which is a pain in the butt!
No Location Limits
While you want to confirm tax laws with your accountant, you can sell your digital products to anyone with an internet connection, anywhere in the world. Another Amazon rule is that affiliate income is not allowed in certain states, due to Nexus laws. Nexus refers to the requirement for companies doing business in one state to collect and pay tax on sales in that state, so depending on where you live, being an Amazon affiliate may not be available.
Increase your blog income fast!
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