A lot of internet marketers will make money online by selling digital products such as eBooks and courses through affiliate platforms like JVZoo. These sites let them find products with zero overheads, and no storage or delivery costs. They then allow them to select those products, and to sell them to buyers for a huge cut of the profits.
In many ways, this is the perfect business model for those that want to get set up quickly, who don’t have a lot of money to invest, and who don’t want to deal with complex admin like fulfilment.
But if you take a look at any truly large brands – whether that’s Bodybuilding.com, Mashable, The Verge, Wired – you’ll see that they don’t use this business model.
Which is not to say that they don’t make money from affiliate sales! They just go about it in a different way. Here’s how, why, and what you should learn from them.
What the Big Brands Are Selling
Big brands don’t typically sell third party ebooks. Why? Firstly, ebooks have a limited appeal: they only tend to appeal to those that are tech savvy, in a certain age bracket, and also fans of reading. Conversely, physical products appeal to everyone.
The other reason is that – let’s face it – a lot of ebooks are bad value. Paying $30 for a PDF is a rather big ask when the PDF is only 10 pages long, and full of typos! Especially when the ebook is free to make and produce.
Potentially, this could hurt the brand of the big site and prevent them making future sales.
So instead, most big brands sell real products, and they sell services.
To do this, they use sites like Amazon, like Best Buys, and like EDx (a site that lists online courses – including those from top universities).
Imagine what commission a site like The Verge might make selling an MBA! (Which typically costs thousands of dollars per year!)
How to do It
So how do you set yourself up with this kind of business model?
First, you need to track down and sign up for those higher calibre affiliate accounts. You can sign up for Amazon easily, but to land something like EDx you will need to apply (which means having a big enough site).
Next, use a tool like Genius Links or Trackonomics in order to manage affiliate accounts across lots of platforms and quickly generate and track those links.