Learn how to promote your products and attract thousands of new customers with these simple tips
Do you dream of making your own products and selling them to thousands of people around the world?
Wouldn’t it be great to be your own boss, make and sell your own products and not have to worry about money?
If you’re like us, we started out not really knowing where or how to sell our products successfully. When we started out we knew what we wanted to make but everything else was a bit of a mystery.
But we were prepared to learn.
We knew it would take a while to figure everything out, all the things we needed to know to be able to start getting sales. Enough sales to make a living.
But making a living is one thing, making enough money to be able to have financial freedom, buy the things we wanted to buy, or travel the world, this all meant that we needed to sell enough of our products to be able to live a better life.
So we set out to learn everything we needed to know to make our products a success. Learned what we needed to know to be able to beat our competitors and sell our products like crazy (we sure did!).
Now we want to share some of our insider tips with you.
So with our tips, it’s possible to attract hundreds, if not thousands of more visitors a month.
Let’s take a look at what we’re going to cover:
- A guide on how to visually package your product. From creating product mockups, product photography, branding, accompanying graphics and more.
- How to write product titles and descriptions that attract customers and help sell your products.
- How to promote your products on social media.
- Upselling and cross-selling your products to maximize your earning potential.
- The best tools to use to find the best key phrases that people actually use when searching for products like yours.
- Search Engine Optimisation.
- Competitor Research – Know what your customers best selling products are, the keywords they use and where they promote their products.
- Building a newsletter and growing your subscribers to promote your products to people who trust you.
- Getting reviews and mentions of your products on other websites which will drive even more customers.
- Offering your products to other online stores and providing drop shipping options
- Starting a blog to write about your products, which is one of the best ways to promote your products
- Providing giveaways and freebies to drive even more traffic to your store
- Advertising your products and how to do this correctly
- Press releases – how to write them and where to send them
- Offering affiliate programs so others can promote your products for a small percentage of each sale
- Increasing the channels of where you make your products available. From Shopify, Etsy, Amazon, eBay and others
- Understanding performance metrics and ranking – when you sell more, you’ll sell more.
So are you ready to learn what you need to do to promote your products successfully? Let’s get started!
Creating product images
While having great products is one thing, no matter how great your products are if your product images don’t look great then people are unlikely to buy them.
So one of the first things that you need to do is to make your product images look great. If you can do this, you’re much more likely going to be able to sell your products.
People find products when searching online, increasingly more so by scrolling through images. From browsing Google images, Instagram, Pinterest, and even Facebook, customers can find your products and be attracted to them if you have great looking product images.
So how do you create product images? Well, there are several ways to do this, including:
- Product Photography
- Product Mockups
Let’s take a look at each of these in more detail.
The most common method of creating product images is by taking photos of your products. But this isn’t just a case of placing your product on a table and taking a photo with your phone. You have to make your product stand out.
This can be done in several ways and you may want to try a few to see what works best for your products.
The easiest way to take a product photo is by displaying the product without anything around it. Ideally this would be against a solid white background so that the product is the only thing in view and the customer can see it without any distraction.
This should be done with a good camera and in good lighting. Most people use a Product Studio Light Box for this, which lets you put your product into a box that’s completely white inside and fully lights up to make your product bright and clear, with no shadowing.
Then take a photo with a good camera, you can use a phone camera if it takes good enough photos. Many newer phones such as the latest versions of iPhones have good cameras that are great for taking product photos.
If your product isn’t suitable for putting into a light box, for example, if it’s too big then the best thing to do is to take the product photo in situ. This means showing the product in the environment where it is intended to be used.
For example, if you were selling beds then you would place the bed in a nice well lit bedroom. If it was sweat pants then you could take a photo of them being worn by someone running on a bright sunny day.
The key thing is making the product look as attractive as possible. This is why products are typically shown with happy and healthy-looking people, in locations that would appeal to the buyer.
This subconsciously makes the buyer want the same benefits that are seen in the example product photo.
Another great way of creating product images is by using mockup templates. This is something that we also do a lot. You can do this for both physical products as well as digital products.
With a mockup, you layer your product image over a mockup to create what looks like a real photo of your product in situ. The end result looks stunning.
Wall decals and window signs are just some of our product ranges and you can see from the images below how we have layered our product over mockup images to create what looks like our products in the environment where they would be used.
There are many different types of mockups available such as:
- Box Shots – great for showing your product in a packaged box
- Walls and frames for showing art or prints – ideal if you are an artist, designer or photographer
- Apparel – ideal if you design clothing
- Vinyl records, CD’s, DVD’s
- Cards, Invitations, menu’s, easel signs, gift tags
- Cars & vehicles
- Books, Magazines, Brochures, Flyers
- Devices for product screenshots
- Bottles & Glasses
- Food & Beverages
- Home & living
For example, if you create digital products such as ebooks, courses or apps you can use box packaging mockups to make your product look like a boxed product. You can also use a book mockup to make your digital book resemble a physical book. For apps, you can use device mockups for displaying an image of your app on devices such as iPhones, MacBooks and more.
Mockups are typically made with Adobe Photoshop. But you don’t need to be an expert in Photoshop to be able to create mockups, as it’s actually very easy.
You can even use the free trial version of Photoshop to create your mockups.
Simply download a mockup that relates to your product type, then open that mockup in Photoshop and then you can replace the layer with an image of your product and it will transform the mockup for you. Most mockups have simple instructions to follow and anyone can do it even if you haven’t used Photoshop before.
There are some mockup generators that are done online so you don’t need photoshop such as placeit.net.
The best place to find thousands of different mockups is on creativemarket.com – these typically range in price from a few dollars to $50+ but you can create as many mockups from one template pack, so it’s great value for money.
Other options are mockupworld.co which offers a range of free mockups, although nowhere near as many as creativemarket.
Screenshots are also great accompanying product images, which can be used throughout your product description or in your product gallery.
Screenshots are good for when you want to give an example of a page out of a book, show part of an e-course, statistics of performance benefits of your product amongst many other things.
Graphics are a great way to accompany your main product images and can be used to show branding or summarize product features and benefits into visuals.
You can even take a photo of your product, then overlay graphics on top of the photo, to create quirky effects such as text, arrows and more. Think of how book covers look, which has a combination of photos, graphics, and text.
This is a great way of bringing a product photo to life.
Canva is quite simply our favorite tool for creating great graphics. You can use it to create graphics for practically anything. From book covers, t-shirt designs, logos, and branding, to overlaying photos with graphics and text and so much more.
If you combine the graphics that you create with Canva along with mockup templates you can create absolutely stunning and professional-looking product images with very little effort.
Creating product videos
Another great way of promoting your products is by taking videos of your products, especially when you can do this in situ.
Videos are great for displaying on your product page and can really help sell the product.
Better yet, you can upload videos to YouTube, Pinterest and other video sites to help drive customers to your product pages.
You don’t need to know anything about video editing, you can simply capture videos using your phone if the camera is good enough.
The videos can easily be uploaded to your product pages. If you’re using Shopify or WooCommerce, for example, it is easy to add a video, the option is there to simply add it which you can do directly from your phone.
Pinterest is great for adding videos to as video pins are a great way of making your products stand out. We go into detail about the benefits of using Pinterest for product promotion later in this guide.
How to write product titles and descriptions
Having great product images is important, but almost just as important is to have well-written product titles and descriptions.
The product titles that you use on your product pages must describe the product but ideally will also tempt the customer to click on the product.
Additionally, you will want to add important keywords to the title as this is important for search engine optimization if you want to help people find your products more easily. We explain SEO for products in great detail later in this guide.
Another great tip is to look at your competitor’s product titles, not only for ideas but also to see what is drawing customers in. We also go into detail about spying on your competitors later under competitor research.
Having great product titles is especially important if you are selling on marketplaces such as Amazon or Etsy as their platforms use the words in the titles as key phrases that customers use when searching for products like yours.
So using these tips you can take a simple product title and transform it into a more tempting and SEO friendly title.
A short boring title for earings could be ‘Gold Stud Earrings’ but transforming it with the tips in this guide you can use a title such as ‘Small Gold Stud earrings, minimalist earrings, Gift for Her, Bride Gift Wedding Earrings, Prom Earrings, Gift for Wife, Christmas Gift’.
The number of characters you have in your title should be between 80 and 140 characters depending on where you are listing your products. Amazon has a recommended limit of 80 characters maximum whereas Etsy has 140. Your own web store won’t have a limit but it’s also good to stick to a maximum of 140 characters.
Jungle Scout is a great tool for helping you create product titles. While predominantly used for selling on Amazon, you can use Jungle Scout for getting ideas for selling your products anywhere online.
eRank, formerly known as Etsy Rank is another great toot that helps you find the words that customers use for finding products.
Upselling & Cross-Selling products
Promoting your products everywhere and anywhere online is important for bringing customers to your store to buy your products. But it’s also important to promote your other products to your potential customers when they land on your product pages.
This can be done in two different ways, cross-selling and upselling.
Cross-selling is the art of displaying similar products to the product that the customer is currently viewing on your store. It can be a way of getting the customer to buy a product that is worth more than the product that they are viewing.
This is how it’s done. You create a great product, but one that’s not as good as similar higher-priced products on your store.
If you promote the lower-priced product you will attract a lot of potential customers. When they land on your product page you can then tempt them to browse similar products that offer more features, benefits etc.
You can do this by displaying them on the sidebar of the product page, or mention them within the product description such as showing product comparisons.
So effectively, you’re not promoting high priced products online which will be competing against lower-priced competitor products, which means little attraction. Instead, you are promoting low priced products which will look very attractive and certainly more so than similar products from competitors that are at a higher price.
These are called loss leaders. According to Wikipedia, “A loss leader is a pricing strategy where a product is sold at a price below its market cost to stimulate other sales of more profitable goods or services. With this sales promotion/marketing strategy, a “leader” is used as a related term and can mean any popular article, i.e., sold at a normal price.”
Upselling is similar and is something that everyone who sells products should really be doing. The aim of upselling is to offer your customers more with the aim of getting them to spend more.
Think of it like this. You put a lot of work into promoting your products online to try to get a customer to visit your store. Then once you’ve got a customer on your store you now need to try to convince them to buy your product.
That’s the hard part. When you’ve convinced the customer to buy one of your products then you’ve effectively earned their trust, they want your product. Now you just have to try to get them to spend a little bit more.
You do this by offering more features within your product. A basic product can have optional add-ons, or products that make a good match.
You’ll see this a lot on Amazon when browsing a product. Below the product you’ll see something that says ‘you might also like’ with a handful of products that make a good match. Think of it like buying a new phone. When browsing the phone you’re interested in, you might see suitable products such as new earbuds, battery packs, phone cases and so on. This is upselling. This is the art of getting you to spend more than you intended to.
So make the most of promoting your other products to your visitors to maximize your sales potential.
Using tools to find the best key phrases
In order to promote your products effectively online, you need to make sure you are using the best keywords that customers are using to find products like yours.
You might think that it is easy and obvious as to what keywords to use when writing your product titles and descriptions but you’ll be surprised. People use all types of variations of keywords to search for products online and some are significantly more popular than others.
It’s important to know the popular keywords but also to know how much competition each keyword has. There’s no point in focusing on a keyword that is very popular but has huge competition from many other sites using the same keyword. You’re actually better to focus on keywords that have less competition but still a good amount of search volume.
These are often called ‘long-tail keywords’ which are keywords that comprise of several keywords strung together. For example, if the keyword ‘gold earrings’ was very popular, but had tens of thousands of sites competing for that keyword then it is very unlikely that you will rank high on search engines or marketplaces for that keyword.
But if you were to use another keyword such as ‘gold earrings mothers day gift’ which showed that it has several hundred searches each month but very little competition then you stand a much better chance of ranking high and attracting a good amount of traffic just for that one keyphrase.
Then, replicate that for your other products and you can literally have thousands of visitors each month by using this type of strategy.
So, how do you find these long-tail keywords? Well, it just so happens that there are some great tools available that will help you do just that.
So here’s what you need to do. Create a spreadsheet or document and start listing each of the keyphrases you discover for each of your products. For example, create a title called ‘Gold Earrings’, then under that title start listing all of the related keyphrases that you discover using the tools above. Make sure that you list each keyword along with how many searches each gets a month and how much competition each one has. So you should have three columns – keyword, search volume, competition.
Do this for each of your products. You’ll soon have some very valuable information.
You will then use these keywords in various places on your product pages, such as in the title, page description, image names, page names and more.
We detail all of this and more under the Search Engine Optimization section of this guide below.
Another similar method of finding keywords to use is by doing competitor research. Using the same tools as mentioned earlier, rather than searching for a keyword and looking at similar alternatives, this time you actually search for your competitor. The results will show their best-performing pages, the keywords used on each of these pages, sites that link to them and much more.
This is highly valuable information and can give you an advantage on your competitors, many of whom won’t be using similar tools and will have had to get where they are through trial and error over a period of time.
If you don’t already know who your competitors are then think about where you are selling your products.
If you are selling your products on your own Shopify store then your competitors will be predominantly online too, so searching Google using the keyword list that you made earlier you will find other sites that sell products like yours. This might be on Google search results, Google shopping or even Google images.
It’s also important to search the marketplaces, such as Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and others, especially if you also sell your products on them.
Using the keywords you’ve discovered earlier, use these to search Google and the marketplaces, but also use them in the tools such as Semrush, Ahrefs, Ubersuggest, erank or Jungle Scout.
The more tools you use the more valuable data you will collate. This might take a little bit of time, but can be very rewarding. If you dedicate a weekend to this, you could gather so much data that will help you compete and attract valuable customers.
Think about it this way, you can plod away, putting hours and hours into different promotions, paying for advertising and generally making small progress, or you could dedicate a few days to gathering this data which will then work for you continuously thereafter.
It’s an investment of your time into making your business a success.
The information that you discover can also help you when developing new products. For example, if you are thinking of making a new type of product, you can use the tools above to see what the competition is, but more importantly, you can see how much search volume there is. This can help you determine which products to make first.
There’s no point in making products that don’t really get much search volume, your sales will generally be poor. Focus on products that people actually want, as your more likely to sell more of these. You might be surprised and find that the products you are thinking of developing aren’t as popular as others that you hadn’t given much thought to.
For example, when we started out with our store, we wanted to make art prints as we just love to design and are inspired by art in homes. However, through competitor research we could see that certain types of prints were more popular than others. We could see that printables were also more popular than selling the actual physical print and frame.
This helped us determine that making our art available as printable downloads could lead to better and easier revenue and our physical art prints could be an alternative option that we would cross-sell to our customers.
But more importantly, we discovered products that had significantly more search volume than printables. This was wall and window decals. So we didn’t set out to become a wall decal company, but through our research, we could see that we could quickly use our skills to make products for home decor that accompany our other products.
As our research showed, our wall decal products quickly became our most popular products and we were able to quickly rework our business strategy to focus on making wall decals our main business and to also focus on developing more and more wall decals.
Better yet, we were able to get very granular with this. We could see that although wall decals were very popular, we could see what specific types of wall decals were popular when breaking them down. This showed us that although wall quotes or decorative stickers were popular, the most popular types of wall decals by far were children’s wall decals. And breaking that down further we could see that decorative children wall decals such as trees, owls, animals were popular but the most popular of all were personalized children’s name wall decals.
So from doing a little research upfront, we could easily see what the most popular products were and specifically what types of those products worked best. We then set out to develop those specific products and lots of them.
We did this in a short period of time after being made redundant and we were able to quickly research, develop and promote these new products and establish ourselves quickly. We went on to see great success and were able to do all of this without money worries, including traveling the world, getting married and starting a family.
How to research your competitors
When researching your competitors, you will compile a list of them in a spreadsheet or document called Competitor Research.
Each competitor will have its own title.
Within each competitor section of your document, you should detail the following:
Traffic – how many visitors your competitor receives each month.
You can even break this down if you wish by detailing average duration i.e how long on average the visitors spend on the site. How many pages they view. Bounce rate (percentage of visitors that leave the site without viewing other pages). Countries, Sources (search, social media, advertising, email and more).
You should then have columns with the following titles:
- Top Pages
- Search Position
- Social Mentions
Do this for all of your top competitor’s websites. If your competitors are on the marketplaces such as Amazon or Etsy, chances are they will have a website too that uses the same product information. You can easily gather a lot of data by looking for your competitor’s sites and analyzing them.
Remember you can use tools like Jungle Scout or eRank to get valuable data on your competitors, their best-performing products and the keywords they use.
All of this information combined will help you greatly. Not every business does this but by doing so you can increase your chances of success significantly.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is hugely important for driving organic traffic to your store or product pages.
Unlike advertising or social media marketing, you don’t have to pay or promote continuously. Rather, you simply invest your time into SEO initially then you will see the rewards of your work continuously thereafter without spending money constantly.
SEO is about making the most of your store and it’s pages and categories. The better your SEO, the higher you will rank on the search engines and the more likely you will be at attracting lots of potential customers.
There are several ways to improve the SEO of your store and we detail many of them in our SEO article, but we will touch on the general basics here.
Firstly, you should have gathered enough data from what we covered earlier, from keyword research and competitor analysis. This data is what you will use to build your SEO.
First and foremost you need to make sure that your product page titles and descriptions are using the keywords that you’ve determined are the best overall (good search volume with less competition).
Each product page should be focused on one or two specific keywords. You will make sure that you use the keyword in your product page title, in the product page description, one or two headers within the description and also naming your product images with the keywords.
This is on-page optimization and will help customers find your products. You also need to structure your store well, with descriptive categories and category pages. So rather than having all of your products scattered throughout your store, categorize them. This makes it easier for both your customers to find and also the search engines to find your products.
There isn’t necessarily a need for too many categories, but try to keep products together based on the product type. If you are selling jewelry for example, you can have a category for rings, one for earrings, one for necklaces etc.
Make sure you write good content for your category pages as this is important and it’s great for your customers to land on a category page and see lots of products within them, which increases the chances of your customers finding something that they will love.
It’s also important to make sure your store runs fast. If you are self-hosting your store then it’s important to use a good web host that will help make sure your store runs fast enough. If you run your store on Shopify then you don’t need to worry about that as Shopify handles this for you and one of the main reasons we recommend them so often.
When you’ve determined the keywords to use and have added them into your product pages (without being too spammy and overusing them), then the next thing you need to do is to start building backlinks.
Backlinks are links from other sites similar in some way to yours. This is a great way for people learning about your store, your products and what you do. But it’s also very important as far as the search engines are concerned as they look at backlinks as a method of trust. The more sites that link to yours the more Google thinks that your site is relevant and worth recommending on their search results pages.
So for example, if you have two competing stores, using the same keywords, then the site that has more backlinks from other sites will rank higher than the site that has little or none. Why would Google rank your store high if nobody else was talking about it, but instead they were talking about your competitors?
We will show you how to get backlinks later in this guide, but do take care of your on-page SEO, it helps you form a solid foundation to build on going forward.
Social Media + Social Buttons
When people aren’t browsing Google, they’re likely to be browsing social networks. Creating social media accounts and promoting your products as well as your stories is a great way of building followers and attracting shares and new customers.
Remember that when it comes to products, images generally work best as people scroll and images stand out best and can grab the users attention.
Don’t just use social networks as a way of posting images of your products though, that would quickly get boring and you might lose followers or fail to attract new ones.
You want to tell a story, give updates on what you’re doing, things your working on, this way your followers can get to know the real you and it’s this relationship that helps people connect with you.
When promoting your store on social media, you shouldn’t always link to product pages or your store, but rather instead link to blog posts that you’ve created. This is a great way for people to read more about things that aren’t directly about a specific product, you can introduce product mentions throughout a blog post and tailor the post to warm customers up and then encourage them to visit a product page at the end of the post.
You can also promote giveaways and freebies on social media, linking to blog posts on your site. All of these things we discuss later in this guide.
Lastly, it’s important to make sure you are displaying social buttons on your product pages and blog posts. This helps people share a page with their followers. This also works best on blog pages, people don’t often specifically share a product page.
When it comes to social networks, they all have their pros and cons, but the social network that works better than any other for product promotion is Pinterest.
People use Pinterest to browse for products regularly, you may even have done so yourself. They create boards for a specific topic, i.e. weddings, fashion, home decor, DIY and much more. They then search Pinterest for things that interest them and when they see an image of something they like they either pin it to one of their relevant boards or they click through to browse the product.
We and many others find Pinterest to be the secret (or not so secret) tool that’s used to attract thousands of visitors to websites every month.
By creating pin images for Pinterest you can then upload these to Pinterest and use keywords to help people find them when they search Pinterest.
Hundreds of millions of people use Pinterest every month and the competition isn’t as fierce as it is on Google. But better yet, as Pinterest is a visual search engine and social network, it makes the perfect place for product promotion.
Using Pinterest and a tool like Tailwind, you can maximize your reach on Pinterest by sharing all of your products and blog posts to help drive lots of extra traffic to your store each month.
Think of it like this, half of your traffic might come from Google or other promotions, the other half might come from Pinterest. It’s that important.
Read our Pinterest guide for everything you need to know. Highly recommended if you’re serious about product promotion.
Promoting your products shouldn’t just be aimed at new prospective customers who have never heard of you or your products before. You should also focus on customers who have visited your store or bought your products previously. They are just as important if not more so than people you haven’t yet attracted.
By continually engaging with existing customers as well as promoting to new customers you can significantly increase your monthly visitors and sales volume.
So how do you engage with existing customers? Newsletters! When you put in all of the work of promoting your products to customers you want to make sure you retain them to get the most out of your efforts. Newsletters are a great way of doing this.
You can encourage your store visitors to sign up for your newsletters by offering some type of lead capture incentive, such as coupon codes, freebies, giveaways, latest news…basically any type of promotion.
Email marketing is proven to increase the chances of a sale significantly. So if you don’t convert a potential customer when they first arrive on your site, by encouraging them to sign up for your newsletter you stand a better chance of converting them at some point later. Better yet, you stand a chance of having them make more than one purchase from you and perhaps use you as a go-to place for buying products as and when they need them, for gifts, or regular supplies.
Convertkit is one of the best email marketing tools that you can use for building a sales funnel. Convertkit will connect to your Shopify or Woocommerce store and help you create email capture forms so that you can start building your email list.
Within Convertkit you can start writing targeted emails, which are proven to help convert your subscribers into customers.
Many sites now use email marketing as one of their primary methods of product promotion and sales conversions.
If you don’t start capturing your visitors email addresses then you are losing out of a growing list of potential customers that you can promote to. We consider this a top priority and something that you need to focus on right away. If you don’t capture your customers then your competitors will. Put a stop to losing customers and start building your email list now!
lead capture + incentive / discount
So we discuss how important it is to build an email list for growing your customer base, but how do you go about getting them to subscribe to your list in the first place?
You need to have some form of lead capture.
People aren’t likely to simply sign up for your list if you have a ‘subscribe to our newsletter’ box. What’s the incentive for that? Besides, people are often blind to those boxes as they see them everywhere and they’re simply skimming and scanning your pages before making a decision to buy or leave.
So you need to offer an incentive. Here are some examples that you can offer:
- Discounts – You can offer a discount on purchases on your store if people sign up for your newsletter. You can then automatically send them a discount code and this not only helps grow your list but encourages purchases as people just love a discount and are more inclined to buy.
- Freebie – by offering a freebie you can start to tempt customers into buying one of your main products thereafter. This works especially well for digital products. For example, if you sell a course on how to make jewelry then you can offer a free starter/taster course on how to make a simple ring for example. This is sent via email and includes the promotion of your main product within it. Alternatively, you can offer customers a free low priced product when they purchase one of your main products, which is only available to your email subscribers.
- Giveaways – You might be willing to offer one of your main products for free to a lucky winner. You can do this once, or monthly for example. Encourage people to sign up for a chance of winning one of your products.
- Latest news – you can offer your visitors the opportunity to sign up for your latest news, a general newsletter that features your latest products, news, and discount codes.
The important thing is offering some kind of incentive and encouraging signups. By doing so you’ll be increasing your revenue easily.
Networking is a great way of helping others discover and learn about you and your products. You can even make friends doing this too.
However, seeing results from networking isn’t something that you can expect to see overnight. Generally speaking, it takes time to nurture relationships and it can require a lot of work.
You can reach out to bloggers and journalists and begin connecting with them way before you even start flogging your product. If there’s even a sniff of you trying to blag a free mention then you’ll likely not receive any replies.
Try to think about what sites are out there that could benefit from featuring your product. This isn’t necessarily blogs or online magazines but can be community sites, or even other stores that fit well with your products.
For example, we have a Meet the Maker section of our website, where we showcase people like you who make and sell their own products. If you got in touch, asked to be featured and suggested how our readers could benefit from reading about you and your products then we would consider writing about you. This could drive traffic and SEO to your store.
There are other sites that offer similar opportunities and it’s just a case of exploring and seeing what there is out there.
Remember, you can do some competitor research as we showed you earlier which can show you what sites are linking to your competitors. This is a great way of finding potential opportunities for you to contact and start networking with. There’s no reason why some of these sites won’t mention your products and link to your site too.
Offering drop shipping to stores in your niche
Selling products on your own site or marketplace stores is one thing. But what about having other people sell your products on their stores too?
You could simply contact stores who you think could benefit from selling your products in the hope that they place an initial order and resell the products for a profit.
However, another way of doing this which has no cost to the other stores is by way of drop shipping.
Dropshipping is where a store lists your products and when a customer buys your product from their store you are sent an order from the store owner. You then package the product as you normally would but without any of your branding and ship it directly to the customer.
The customer is not your customer, the store owner is your customer. So you need to make sure that their customer remains under the impression that the product is being shipped from the store owner.
Dropshipping can be done either on a per order basis as above, or a using a dropshipping solution that integrates with your stores.
If you want to become a dropshipping supplier this can be complicated but certainly an avenue worth exploring.
Writing blog posts about your products
If you haven’t already considered this then you definitely need to as blogging is highly important when it comes to promoting products. If you are running one of those stores that simply sells products but doesn’t do anything else such as writing blog posts or sending out newsletters then not only are you pretty boring, but you’re also losing out on potential customers.
But regardless of this, blogging is the ideal way of creating extra content that can help attract visitors in the first place. More content means more indexed pages on Google, more pins on Pinterest and more customers. It’s that simple.
This is why we promote blogging so much on Meant to be Made.
Blogging is an easy away of promoting products, gaining customers and building followers. All you have to do is write about your products, what you’ve been up to as a business, promotions, latest news, etc.
You can literally attract hundreds if not thousands of more visitors a month by adding a blog to your store.
On Meant to be Made we show you how to start a blog and the many ways to grow it into a successful channel for promoting your products, services or anything else for that matter.
So don’t skimp out on this one method of product promotion, in our opinion it is probably the most important of them all.
See our blogging guides for much more details:
- How to Start a Blog (and Make Money) in 2020
- How to Choose a Blogging Niche that Works for you and Makes You Money
- The Path to Becoming a Successful Blogger – What You Need to do for Success
- The Blogging Journey From Idea to Success
Advertising your products
Let’s face it, when you want to instantly drive target traffic to your product pages then there’s no quicker or easier way to do this than advertising.
Depending on where your products are located, you can advertise your products directly on the marketplaces, Google Ads, Google Shopping or even on social media.
Let’s take a look at each of these options individually.
- Promoted Products – This is where you have your products on the marketplaces such as Amazon, Etsy etc. You pay to promote your products to the top of the pages which will potentially bring people to your product pages and ideally give you sales.
However, the drawback to this is that you are paying a fee every time someone clicks your ad, regardless of whether they buy your product or not. You might get good conversions and you might not. It’s important to measure your conversion rate and work that into your product price.
For example, if you find that you get 1 sale for every 10 clicks on average and you are setting each click to 50 cents, then it is essentially costing you $5 in advertising for each sale. Make sure that doesn’t cut too much into your profit margin otherwise you could be selling at a loss.
You need to also bear in mind that the marketplaces charge fees for listing and selling your products, which can be anywhere from 10-15%
- Google Ads – If you have your own store (and why wouldn’t you?!) then you can advertise your products on Google to drive traffic directly to your own website.
This is easy to set up and you can often get promotions from Google who will give you ad credit when you sign up. For example, you can find promotions just by searching google for ‘Google Ad Credit’. You should find good deals that give you $50-$100 worth of ad credit when you spend your first $25-$50
Again, it is important to measure your spending and be aware of how many clicks on average it takes to get 1 sale, along with how much that costs you, so that you can factor that into your product price.
Some sellers find they have great conversion rates, 1 sale out of 4 or 5 clicks. but if your product isn’t that expensive then it might not be viable. However, if your products are more expensive and you only end up paying a few dollars to gain 1 sale then it could work out to be a good, long term sales channel.
- Google Shopping – Google Shopping is similar to Google Ads, except that rather than being text-based, Google Shopping will show your product images when people search Google using keywords that relate to your product.
Google Shopping can be quite effective, but as with everything else, it depends on what competition there is amongst other things.
- Sponsored Pins/Posts – This is where you pay to promote your products, brand or website on social networks.
The great thing about this is that you can target a specific audience who are interested in products like yours, who live in a certain location, even demographics like male or female, age groups and more.
You can get started advertising your products immediately no matter which method you choose. Each has its pros and cons and it all really depends on where your products are located (your own store vs marketplaces), the competition and how much you sell the products for.
If you have got a margin to play with then it’s definitely worth trying out.
Writing press releases
Promoting your products by writing press releases is another option worth exploring.
You can write your own press release and then submit them to relevant sites in your niche or you can submit details to press release sites that will either write it for you of have bloggers, journalists or influencers do that for you.
Press releases are a great way of getting your products featured on websites and magazines from popular publishers and blogs.
Not only that, but they can also provide quality backlinks for SEO.
For example, Press Loft is a press release platform that helps connect sellers who make home or lifestyle products with editorial journalists, bloggers, and influencers around the world.
This is a great way of generating more coverage for your products.
Simply create a beautiful press release in minutes using their easy to use press release creator that helps you through the process. Your press release is then sent to 1000’s of journalists, bloggers and influencers on their network.
Alternatively, you can also collaborate with bloggers and influencers via Press Loft who have large volumes of followers who will be happy to endorse or promote your products for a fee.
Just pick a blogger or influencer who has a significant following in your niche and reach out to them for a collaboration offer.
They will then promote your brand or product to their loyal and engaged followers in your target audience in a more organic way than traditional methods.
Seeking reviews and mentions
You can also seek reviews or mentions on blogs, online magazines or social media.
Similar to a press release in that it can provide you with good quality backlinks for SEO, getting bloggers and influencers to review your products or mention your brand is a great way of driving traffic to your website.
There are a number of things that you can do to get an influencer to mention and promote your products.
- Sponsored Post – This is where you pay to have your product featured on another website or on social media. You can find sites in your niche that you think will have your target audience and reach out to them directly. Bloggers will be very open to your offer and will negotiate a deal with you in return for promoting your product. Alternatively, you can use sites like Press Loft who will let you browse their marketplace of bloggers and influencers and help you find the right match of the audience for your product.
- Product Reviews or Gifts – You provide the blogger or influencer with one of your products, normally as a gift so that they can take photos and promote it on their site.
- Giveaways – Similar to product reviews/gifts in that you send the product to a blogger or influencer who will give it away in a competition on their website. They will often write about it and take photos too.
- Reciprocal promotion – This is where you offer to promote the blogger or influencer in return for them promoting you or your products. However you both have to benefit equally from it, otherwise, there’s no incentive.
- Unpaid posts – This is the old way of doing it where you reach out to a blogger and ask them nicely to help promote your product in the hope of them doing it for free. However, this is much harder than it used to be as the influencer economy is very strong, with lots of opportunities for bloggers and influencers to make money from sponsored posts already.
Sponsored posts do generally work very well. The blogger or influencer will often go out of their way to collaborate with you in writing a very good post that mentions your product, shows photos, provides a link and often also follows this up on social media and in a newsletter.
It can be costly, but when you think of a blogger who has 50,000-100,000 readers every month in a specific niche that fits with your product, then that’s very targeted. Not only that, the blog post is normally there for life. This means you pay once and reap the benefits for a long time, i.e. 50,000 readers a month + new readers as they grow their blogs.
Affiliate programs – getting others to promote your products for you
You can put a lot of effort into promoting your products online and it’s something most sellers need to do to be successful.
But have you ever considered getting other people to help promote your products too? There are actually people out there, like us, who help promote products made by other people like you.
The reason why we do it? Well, if we feel like your product is a good fit for our readers then we would consider writing about it. But if we also get paid each time one of our readers buys one of your products that we’ve recommended then we’re really interested.
This is called affiliate marketing. Bloggers and influencers are constantly recommending products that they come across as a way of creating valuable content and making money from doing so.
Here’s how it works.
You list your product on an affiliate marketplace and offer an affiliate program on your site. Bloggers and influencers browse affiliate marketplaces for products that would make a good fit for their readers and followers.
If they find your product and find that it would benefit their readers then they apply to become an affiliate of your products.
Once approved they then talk about your product and promote the page that it’s featured on and when a reader clicks on the special affiliate link and makes a purchase from your store, the blogger or influencer makes a small commission.
You don’t need to do anything to get that sale other than offer it in an affiliate program. You don’t have to do any advertising, you don’t even need to spend time promoting your products. You can leave it to the bloggers who will promote it for you.
The best thing is if they promote it to their readers but the reader doesn’t make a purchase then it hasn’t cost you a penny.
If they do make a purchase then you share part of the sale with the blogger. You can offer any percentage you want, 5%, 10%, 25% – whatever, although if you use an affiliate network then some commission rates will be set so look into each one and decide what works best for you.
Think of it as advertising spend, except that no sales mean no spend.
However, you do have to offer a percentage that will appeal to the people who want to apply to your affiliate program. So decide what percentage you are willing to part with to get the sale and make that your offer.
You can start an affiliate program either directly on your own store or by using an affiliate network.
If you want to run your own program then you can do this by adding a plugin or app to your site. This is more complicated to set up than an affiliate network, but you can save some money as the affiliate network acts as a middleman and takes a fee for handling the link between you and the affiliate marketer.
This also depends on what your store runs on. If it is a Shopify store you can use an affiliate program app, with many available here.
But if you are just starting out or want to keep complication to a minimum then we recommend joining an affiliate network to start with.
This way you can test the waters and then decide to run your own affiliate program in the future if it proves successful.
Popular affiliate networks are:
Remember, if you do decide to use an affiliate network, choose the one that works best for you, one that offers the lowest commission but high-quality candidates.
Using an affiliate program of any kind is definitely a way to promote your products easily.
So have you started selling your products online yet or are you just researching at the moment?
If you’ve already started then you’ve either listed some products on one of the marketplaces or started your own online store such as on Shopify.
If you want to maximize your sales potential then you will want to make your products available on as many channels as possible.
This way you can get your products in front of as many people as possible. Remember, people like to browse for products in different ways. Some people like to go to an actual dedicated store, others like to browse marketplaces such as Amazon or Etsy. Some simply browse social media such as Pinterest and see what comes up.
This is why we recommend making your products available as many places that you are happy to do so.
But there is one caveat to this. If you are promoting your products on the marketplaces such as Amazon, Etsy, etc then effectively you are promoting the marketplaces, rather than your products.
Think of it like this. Let’s say you have social media promotions, such as Pinterest pins and they link to your Etsy products, or perhaps you have flyers made with a link to your Etsy store. What you are doing is you are driving people to the marketplaces who will see your products, but they will also see other, similar products from your competitors.
So you are effectively helping to promote your competitors too. Not only that, but what if your marketplace store gets closed (which happens often!), then you will have lost not only the sales that come from that store, but all of your promotional links will be dead too.
This happens to many businesses and when it does, it often means that their business has died. It happened to us, believe us it isn’t nice and it’s a massive learning experience.
So do not put all of your eggs in one basket.
Instead, make sure you make your products available on more than one channel. For example, don’t just offer your products on Amazon, make them available on Etsy, eBay, anywhere there are customers searching for products like yours.
But the most important thing you can do is to sell your own products on your own online store.
This gives you complete control over your products. You won’t wake up one day to an unexpected suspension and best of all, any product promoting that you do will be directing customers to your own store. Your promotions will always continue directing traffic to your store.
Oh and remember, the marketplaces charge fees for listing and selling your products which can be as high as 10-15% of the sale price. Bear that in mind. This is even more reason to prioritize your own online store.
So we recommend starting your own online store if you haven’t already. Shopify is our top recommendation for this as it allows you to start your own professional looking store in minutes and is very easy to get started with and use.
One of the great things about Shopify is that you can also use it to list your products on the marketplaces such as Amazon and Etsy. This way you can manage your products in one location rather than having to go to each marketplace and list or update products individually everywhere, which can be very time consuming and hard to manage.
Shopify makes this easy.
But remember, by listing your products on different channels you are increasing your sales potential. Go from selling a handful of products to hundreds of products.
Understanding performance metrics and rankings
The last thing that we are going to touch on is something that most people aren’t aware of when it comes to selling and promoting their products online.
This is especially important if you sell on the main marketplaces such as Amazon and Etsy, but also works to an extent on Google.
In simple terms, Performance metrics and rankings basically mean that your products will rank higher based on their performance.
Think of it like this. If you have a new product that hasn’t previously had any sales before then as it doesn’t have any sales data, it also won’t have any ranking.
So if you are listing your product on one of the marketplaces then it will only show up on one of the last pages when a customer searches for that type of product.
If you’re on Google shopping then Google won’t rank the page high as people haven’t interacted with it previously.
So how do you go about improving your product ranking? How do you get to that top spot on the marketplaces or Google shopping?
You do this by working on your performance metrics.
Your new product can’t compete with established best sellers. Why would Amazon or Etsy, for example, show your product at the top of the search page versus products that have already sold thousands?
So in order to be able to better your rankings and increase your sales, you need to get sales in the first place.
But how do you get sales when you can’t get sales in the first place?!
You do this by forcing sales.
So when establishing a new product, you have to be prepared to not make much, if anything off the first months’ worth of sales that you get from that product.
Amazon, Etsy and others look at your previous 30 days worth of sales to rank your product accordingly. So if you have trouble making sales your rank will stay low and you’ll continue having trouble making sales of that product.
But if you have lots of sales of that product then you’re going to increase your rank and also increase further sales of that product.
So forcing sales helps you achieve exactly that. So this is what you can do to improve your performance metrics and sales rank.
When you list a new product on the marketplaces you want to offer the product at as low a price as possible. This might be at cost price, or in some cases, it might even be at a loss.
The low price of your product will make your product more competitive and encourage people who come across it to buy it.
But that still requires you to be able to get people to find your product in the first place. So in order to get your product in front of as many people as possible, you simply have to advertise it.
With paid promotions, you can go right to the top of the search pages when someone searches for a product like yours. By paying for product promotion, coupled with a low price, you’ll get your product seen by as many people as possible and encourage them to buy your product based on its low price.
After 30 days you can now either increase the price slightly or reduce your advertising as you will have established some metrics and sales rank.
If you want to really establish a product so that it becomes a top seller, then you might want to make gradual changes each month until it ranks near or at the top for the searches that relate to your product. At this point there is no point in paying for advertising as your product is already getting seen for free.
You can then play with the price, increasing it slowly and monitoring sales until it is at an established and comfortable level.
This is exactly what we do with our products. Many people think that they can simply list a product and people will begin buying it right away. Sure, this can happen, but in reality, not very often.
What’s more likely to happen is that you have trouble attracting sales and begin to get disenchanted with selling as you think your products aren’t that great. But that’s really not the case. Everything is based on performance.
People visiting your site and staying on it shows Google that people are getting value from your site, so they will show it more often. Getting sales on the marketplaces shows Amazon and Etsy amongst others that your products are attractive to customers, so they will show them more often too.
All in all your job is a complex one. From researching your first products, developing them or sourcing them, creating an online store to sell them, writing great product titles and descriptions, taking care of SEO and promoting your products everywhere and anywhere, it sounds a lot of work and it can be.
But when you do the things that we’ve outlined here in this guide, you can be sure that you’ll see more success than you might have seen otherwise.
So go on, start working through this list and come see us again in a little while. Tell us what progress you’ve seen, inspire us with your stories of success.