Replacing ads & affiliates with your own product

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I have this shower thought, pipedream type of vision that consists of me replacing my display ads and several affiliate cluster posts with my own product that replaces a high selling amazon product I have on there.

I envision the product will be something simple (like a cheap, plastic item on amazon), no crazy new invention or re-inventing the wheel.

Has anyone done this and is this significantly more difficult than it sounds? I expect a lot of CRO and a lot of testing. Im wondering if its worth whatever unknown headaches that come along with the creation of a physical product. Also curious if Anyone has the pros va cons of adding it on amazon vs drop ship vs whatever else I dont know.

Feel free to school me if my vision here sounds niave or unattainable. Im finding this path could be the a good, challenging aternative, rather than creating 40 more display ad websites to create the same level of profit.
 

Ryuzaki

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I've not done this, but my questions would be:
  • What are the ads & aff commissions earning (because I have to tack this on top of other expenses as a reduction in revenue)?
  • How much traffic are my pages getting that would sell my cheap plastic item?
  • What volume can I realistically expect to sell at what price (minus Amazon's cuts)?
  • Can I even have a hope of ranking internally in Amazon to boost sales?
  • Can I afford to run internal Amazon PPC to make sales and boost A9 rankings?
  • Am I willing to do things such as create 40 more websites to push my product (as opposed to 40 more display ad sites) [which is a bonkers number anyways]
  • Is my product something I can get affiliates on board with? Can I offer guest posts to sites that rank well, with on-page done, and let them use their aff codes? Can I fill up the top 20 with posts that push my product for all the relevant keywords?
  • Can I afford to front the cash for a giant bulk order of manufacturing, packaging, and shipment to Amazon? How much money can I float for inventory at a time?
I think there's a lot of math that can be done before you lift a finger to see a prototype, honestly. I worry about low cost, low margin, high volume sales. I know some companies crush it like this, but the winners in these cases to me seem to be the distributors (Walmart, etc.)
 
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I have this shower thought, pipedream type of vision that consists of me replacing my display ads and several affiliate cluster posts with my own product that replaces a high selling amazon product I have on there.

The idea is certainly nice. It has been done before and I know lots of people who are crushing it by doing this.

I envision the product will be something simple (like a cheap, plastic item on amazon), no crazy new invention or re-inventing the wheel.

I hate this though. Unless you have some USP, I’d think twice about doing this.

This is because it is typically a volume game with some of the biggest players who are constantly engaged in price wars.

Has anyone done this and is this significantly more difficult than it sounds? I expect a lot of CRO and a lot of testing. Im wondering if its worth whatever unknown headaches that come along with the creation of a physical product. Also curious if Anyone has the pros va cons of adding it on amazon vs drop ship vs whatever else I dont know.

If you aren’t going the dropshipping route, inventory and shipping might become difficult even if you find a reliable supplier.

If you do choose to dropship, inventory and shipping are mostly non-issues. Since you already have monetizable traffic, you don’t need to run ads (at the start) which is where most of the margin is typically lost in dropshipping. At the same time, your shipping might be delayed and your branding may suffer.

Amazon FBA seems to be all the rage now. The issues here, the way I see it are three fold.

First, cheap products like the one you are planning to sell will have a shit ton of competitors, mostly from China.

Second, you will have to do some stuff to get some good reviews because your competitors will have many.

Third, you’ll likely to have spend on ppc because, again, your competitors will.

Feel free to school me if my vision here sounds niave or unattainable. Im finding this path could be the a good, challenging aternative, rather than creating 40 more display ad websites to create the same level of profit.

This idea could make you a lot of money, arguably more than an average display ad site. Nevertheless, I would advise you to broaden your horizons regarding authority sites and what you can achieve with them.

Godspeed!
 
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All very valid points. I’ll experiment and if something lands perhaps i’ll share and update accordingly. Will certainly expand with the authority site
 
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I'm somehow doing this...but instead of my own products, I'm dropshipping.

In my "best x of x" articles, I recommend the product I'm dropshipping as the best.
 
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bernard

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I like this idea a lot and I have often considered it.

I would probably do it differently and partner with an ecommerce type. Create a co-branded product perhaps. Let them do the logistics.
 

Boy

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I've done this with low-cost digital products (resume/portfolio templates), and now I don't even mess with B2C/consumer goods, so my case will differ.

If you don't want to start with prototyping, importing, shipping, all the nOnPaSsIvE stuff, I would start by drop shipping. Find a [your audience's country] based supplier, call them up, and explain your situation. Don't automatically turn to Aliexpress like every other swinging dick, unless you're trying to build a churn & burn operation.

List the product for sale on your site. Let them buy from you, not a third party. Contrary to what Amazon pushers claim, the average internet user doesn't care if they have to make another account on another website. Forget about the 1-3% extra you'll earn from additional products in their cart, you'll earn more by having them as customers.
 

bernard

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@Boy

The interesting part for me is twofold:

1. Resale value

As for 1. first, adding a product and webshop adds a lot of complexity. I imagine that this turns a lot of potential buyers off, the "passive income" types. On the other hand, a webshop is more of a "real business" in the eyes of some investors and certainly ecommerce types. I imagine a brand + website + proven strategy could be interesting to some investors, who are strong in some types of ecommerce scaling.

2. Ability to scale with other marketing vectors

As for 2, it would allow for more marketing channels right? I mean, you could have affiliates of your own and a customer list as you mention would allow for more sophisticated data driven marketing funnels.

Again, I don't imagine this would be a long term ecommerce play, because someone would see it happen and outdo it, right? But I come back to the idea of having a "real business" with marketing data and thinking this would net a higher valuation?
 

Boy

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@bernard

There are definitely levels of magnitude to this shit. And funny enough, while it seems like going from affiliate to ecommerce takes some serious workload, it's easier than going from $0 to $1 earned online.

It's almost like there is an inverse relationship between the perceived effort required and what's actually required.

Again, I don't imagine this would be a long term ecommerce play, because someone would see it happen and outdo it, right? But I come back to the idea of having a "real business" with marketing data and thinking this would net a higher valuation?
What do you mean? Anyone in a position to copycat your ecommerce site probably has a successful operation already. Once you start selling a product, you're not at the mercy of SEO algorithms. You have an email list, referrals, fans contributing to word-of-mouth, affiliates pimping your product, etc.

Plus, even if it's all a façade, it makes SEO & leaking on easy street. You're not some shlep rock with a blog, now you're an "agency" so people perceive you to know wtf you're talking about. You're a "career resource website" so you have Edu backlinks popping up accidentally. You're the "creator of product" so you have to know what you're talking about.

And all it takes is adding and configuring a plugin or two and creating 1 additional page for your site.

That's what I did w/ my last lab. Set up the website to appear to be an agency, sold products on-site & got affiliate referrals, signed a client which sucked so I shut down submissions ("sorry, we're no longer accepting new clients, enter your email here to be notified yada yada yada"), and with the list created launched more products & instantly had customers.

Of course, as I said, this was all digital products & services.