No matter what your financial situation may look like right now, you can’t go wrong with creating a new stream of income. By doing so, you’ll not only diversify your income sources but also position yourself to stand on solid ground and be financially secure even if something happens to your main business or day job. Having a product comparison website is an excellent way to accomplish this, and we’ll walk you through the exact process of what you need to do to launch one.
The Concept of Earning Money while you Sleep
While it may sound too good to be true at first glance, if you factor in what the modern technology allows for (plus the sheer amount of work it’ll take you to get there), you’ll quickly see it’s anything but possible. On the contrary, anyone with an internet connection and a tiny bit of computer smarts can do it, but the caveat is having the willpower to familiarize yourself with the technicalities to get the ball rolling and persevering all the way to the end. Of course, there’s no escaping having to put in the required effort either.
Introducing the Affiliate Marketing Model
In a nutshell, affiliate marketing works like this: first, you must find a way to get visitors to your website where you review various niche-related products or services. Whether it be through paid ads or SEO, your job is to send them to the sales page of the product you’re recommending in your reviews. If they decide to make a purchase, you’re entitled to a cut of the sale. While the exact percentage is up to the vendor to decide, the margins can be quite lucrative, especially if you’re promoting digital products (in fact, getting a whopping 75% affiliate commission is more or less industry standard). Not bad, especially considering that no inventory or shipping is needed!
The Reason Why People Absolutely Love Product Comparison Websites
By launching a product comparison website in a certain niche, you’re doing people a service. The reason why they love them so much is that you are saving them the time they’d have to spend researching all of it on your own. Instead, you give them a platform where they can arrange the products side by side based on a predetermined set of criteria (such as pricing, ratings, shipping, features, and so forth). In some niches (and at a certain point), there might be an overall best product for X, but you need to account for the fact that not every user is looking for the same thing. In other words, while some will prioritize the price tag exclusively, others are looking for a reasonable price/quality ratio or perhaps a certain feature that one product has that is absent in others.
All Seems Fine & Well – But Where Does the Money Come In?
The money sure does come in, but none of it goes out of the visitors’ pockets. Instead, you get a cut from every successful product sale you refer them to. Remember the affiliate model we discussed earlier? Every time they click on one of your affiliate links, a tracking cookie gets placed on their device through which the vendor knows it was you who referred them. Hence, it’s essential to place these links or buttons in a way to make them easy to spot. Clickable links are positioned relatively high on the landing page. The reason for this is visibility; by using bold, large fonts and buttons that stand out from the rest of the content, you’ll maximize the chances of someone clicking on them and getting referred to the vendor’s page. Placing them on your comparison website multiple times helps with conversions too.
Ready to Begin? Not so fast – You’re Going to Need to Do Your Homework First
If you’re going to try to please everyone, you’ll end up pleasing no one. It’s also beneficial from an SEO perspective to have your product comparison website focus on a specific niche. Whether it be shoes, golf clubs, car tires, laptop computers, or anything else you can think of, the goal is to find a niche where people are buying (ideally, the kind where there is no shortage of products). The higher the margin, the better (note that your cut will be smaller on physical goods – however, it’s still a viable business model). Then, you’ll have to make sure that you’re better than the rest of your competitors by offering better value, throwing in neat bonuses, or offering the most user-friendly solution.
Time to Build the Website
After your research is done, it’s time to pick a suitable domain name, register it, and install a CMS of your choice. The exact process depends on the web host you’ve chosen to work with, so we won’t be covering it here. Besides, there are plenty of tutorials everywhere you look, and your host will be more than happy to give you a hand if need be. Pro tip: WordPress is your friend. After all, it’s its user-friendliness that has earned it the crown of being the number one most popular CMS of all time. The next step is to install the right theme and plugins for your website. Again, WordPress never fails to deliver in this regard, as you’ll be offered a great deal of product comparison themes and plugins to choose from (both free and paid).
Decide on the Content and Either Create or Outsource It
Before moving on with the process, it’s essential to keep in mind that you are going to need engaging and informative content to keep your audience captivated. Not only will it need to answer all of the queries they may have regarding a certain product, but it will also need to be unique and well-written if you’re planning to be able to get any traffic from the search engines. Not good at writing? No problem! You always have the freedom to hire a writer if that’s what you prefer. On the flip side, if you’re a talented writer yourself, it becomes a question of what resource you’d instead be spending – your time or your money.
Integrate the Features You’d Like Your Website to Have
To stand out from the crowd and offer the best product comparison website in your chosen niche, it’s important to allow your visitors to find what they’re looking for as quickly as possible. Ideally, they should arrive at the best viable product for them within a couple of clicks, so it helps to give them the option to sort the product suggestions based on the criteria of their choice, such as:
- Reviews etc.
Of course, it’s up to you to decide how much or how little of these options you want to include (it also depends on the niche), but you should make sure that, at the very least, the first two are covered.
Plugins Will Make this Aspect Easier
Although it certainly helps, there is no need to have any coding knowledge whatsoever to implement what we’ve suggested above. The reason being is that the WordPress community has come up with all sorts of plugins to extend your website’s core functionality, and product comparison websites are no exception. So just pick one and look at the demo to see what you can expect from a typical plugin designed for assisting you with building one of these. Right off the bat, you’ll notice that many enable you to display products side-by-side, allowing the user to make a much better-informed buying decision. Of course, there are many similar plugins you can integrate without much work on your end, so be sure to give each of them a thorough look. We will recommend you AAWP Plugin if you want to create amazing tables with Amazon Affiliate.
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A Couple of Words on SEO and Getting Traffic
No matter how solid of a website you’ve built, none of it will help you drive any sales if you aren’t getting any traffic to it. The bad news is that getting traffic is arguably the hardest aspect of this and many other similar online business models. The good news, however, is that there are many traffic generation methods out there, so it’s up to you to pick the one you’re most comfortable with and have at it until you’ve mastered it. There’s Google AdWords and Bing Ads if you want to go the paid route. For the organic route, you won’t be running out of options either. From the classic SEO and all the way to Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, blogs, forums, and so forth, you are free to tap into one of these tried and tested traffic sources that should work in any niche.
Most people like to start with free traffic methods – after all, your budget might be limited in the beginning. The fact of the matter is that organic traffic brought in by SEO is the kind that tends to yield the best conversions, but depending on the niche, it might be more or less competitive to get your foot in the door. Still, even if you’re planning to be focusing on other traffic generation methods more than SEO, it never hurts to have the basics covered:
- Try to include the keyword in the URL, title, description, and headers of the landing page
- Acquire some backlinks from thematically-related websites
- Include multimedia (videos, images, etc.)
- Use the interlinking method to link to relevant blogs you’ve already published
The topic is obviously much more complicated if you were to research it, but this alone should be more than enough to nudge you in the right direction.
When you get the basics down, nothing beats being able to be your own boss and dictate your own schedule. Although it can’t possibly happen overnight, having a successful product review website (or more if you prefer) can give you all the financial freedom you need to pursue other life goals at your own pace.