Over the weekend a friend and I were discussing shopping online, within the indie biz community. During the discussion I learned that it’s sometimes hazy to some folks how online shopping works, when it’s done through indie biz (independent business) affiliates. I want to use this edition of the Pumpkin Run Pulse to help bring a clear understanding of what affiliates are, how to use them as a resource to help you with online purchases and to help them (me included) generate income by providing the links to site guests, like you.
When you click on an affiliate’s product link within a website, to engage in a little (or a lot) of online shopping, you’re not only helping the producer of the products earn income but also the website owner who’s promoting it or providing the link for you to get to the product.
This happens when you visit a website and read (or even watch a video) about a product that interests you, and you click on a provided link that takes you to the product being promoted or reviewed, those types of research and shopping opportunities are made possible by what are called affiliate links. If you click on the link provided for you, you’ll arrive at a new place on the internet that houses the product of interest and there you can purchase it, or in the least, learn more about it to consider buying it.
Loads of businesses use this method to help increase their market and sales opportunities. It’s a popular way of generating income for pro bloggers and vloggers.
Here are a few examples of how businesses and their affiliates make this work to be beneficial to the product producers, those helping to advertise and sell them, and those who are in the market to purchase the type of products offered.
My good friend and colleague, Angela Torres, is a long-time member of the indie biz community. Her newest establishment is as co-owner of Lasting Impressions, a funeral and memorial service business in North Richland Hills, Texas. (You can visit her site by clicking the image below.)
My sister, Alicia (Nee of On Story Street) is also a member of the indie biz community. Like our friend Angela Torres, she provides multiple products and services. As both of their businesses developed, they found a way to link them with products they share a mutual interest in and that they want to make available to their clients.
One of Alicia’s professions is as an artist. Most of her art is produced in her home studio, which helps keep overhead costs at a minimum. Some of her artwork includes paintings, which are embellishments on hand crafted receptacles, specifically made to hold something memorable, like a lock of hair or a bit of ashes from a loved one’s cremated remains. (You can visit her website's paintings gallery by clicking on the image below.)
Teaming up as affiliates
Angela works with families who are often desiring beautiful and unique containers to memorialize their loved one, such as the memory containers Alicia produces. The two work as affiliates to make the pieces available to their clients.
In the Lasting Impressions facility, Angela provides a display area for her clients to view Alicia’s memory art. The families she serves can purchase them at her facility or via her website. If they desire to purchase additional pieces, they can simply request them from Lasting Impressions in person, the Lasting Impressions website or from Alicia via telephone, email or through the On Story Street website’s contact page.
Both businesses are able to earn income from their merchandise and services. Both are also able to inexpensively and effectively promote each other’s businesses. The savings is reflected in the lower cost to the clients they serve, who are able to purchase what they want for much less than than what is offered elsewhere and reflecting their higher overhead into the prices charged to their clients.
The image below is a screen-shot example of how the memorial art is displayed, via part of a slide-show on the Lasting Impressions website. (Again, you can click the image to visit the website or use one of the underlined text links.)
Other methods affiliates use on their websites
Angela and Alicia's collaboration is just one example of how affiliates can work together. The next is similar but differs a little in that it’s how affiliates work through a central shopping area that houses multiple products owned and produced by multiple businesses, such as Amazon, which is basically a cyber-mall.
I have products available on Amazon. For that matter, you might too. But, if you’re in the market to buy and not sell, Amazon is also a great place to go for nearly effortless shopping. No driving or dressing up required. You can shop at Amazon while sipping coffee in your pajamas in your favorite recliner with nothing more than a smart phone, and that’s just one of the perks.
I shop on Amazon.com often and have bought numerous items through the Amazon website. I also sell books on Amazon, and when they’re purchased through the page provided on flashPress, the links used to get folks to Amazon are called affiliate links.
I don’t earn commission on the Ebooks I sell through flashPress on Amazon, because it’s not a product they pay me to sell, but I do earn commission on other products. So, if a reader clicks on an amazon.com product link I’ve included somewhere on this website, but doesn’t purchase the product I’ve inserted the link to, I can still earn a commission if they continue shopping (during that visit) and purchase something else instead.
Associate pro blogger affiliates I recommend
Some indie biz pro bloggers I work with frequently are also Amazon affiliates. Along with their tip jars, their affiliate links help earn them income by assisting their readers with shopping for specific products they want to promote. Good examples are Cheryl Johnson of Musician’s Helper and Vicki Warner of WarnerWords.
Vicki and I earn the majority of our website income via our readership’s support through tips, but occasionally promote items available on Amazon that we’re impressed with enough to include in a blog post. We both also have Ebooks for sale on our sites.
Although we don’t earn commission on them, it’s an easy method for us to sell our own books and help promote the books of other authors whose work we enjoy. Below is a screen shot of WarnerWords on-site book store. You can visit it by clicking the pic.
Cheryl’s site works in similar fashion but has a more specific focus. Her earnings come through her virtual tip jar too, as well as through customer’s shopping through her site’s recommendation to linked products on Amazon and zZounds.
Her site is intentionally genre-specific and each week’s edition will provide links to her readers regarding music products she’s writing about. This allows her increased opportunity for sales commission on products she feels strongly about promoting on a weekly basis within her blog posts to more niche-specific group of readers. Below is a screen shot of one of her site areas explaining what businesses she works with, as an affiliate, and why she promotes their sites and products. Click the pic to navigate to that area of her site.
Affiliates are awesome research resources for product information
I make online purchases frequently and often I investigate the products before buying via other indie biz pro bloggers who’ve reviewed the on their own websites, or as a guest writer on another site. I’ve found this to be an easy and effective method for product research and buying the product I’m looking for at the best price.
Since I live in the boondocks and keep a packed schedule, driving 60+ miles round trip to a sizable shopping center isn’t usually appealing. To get what I need via another route, I purchase what I need online and often pay very little or even zero shipping cost. My order arrives in a few days and I can start using it without cutting into time needed for work or added miles and fuel expense for my vehicle. Works for me! ☺
Hope this edition has been helpful in understanding how business affiliates operate and that next time you’re looking for a product you’d like to order online, please consider shopping through a pro-blogger affiliate or even becoming an online affiliate yourself. I'll be happy to help you get started, just hit me up via my contact page here on flashPress.
My thanks again to you tippers out there that help me keep the lights on in flashPress! I'm so grateful for your support in helping me earn a living at what I sincerely love doing. You're an incredible blessing to me personally and professionally!
That's it for this one. We live in dangerous times. Please stay safe out there.
God bless you, thanks for the read and see you next week.
The smallest tip goes the longest way--like a good cup of coffee.
marcoujor, Virtual Buskers' Guild
flashPress is a totally free site, but, if you like it and would like to leave a tip, I'll surely put it to good use on things like food, clothes, fuel for my auto, soap to shower with, etc. I think those qualify for seriously good use. ☺
Thanks for your support of the indie biz community--Live long and prosper!
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