You can set up a website to sell things even if you don't manufacture products of your own. Certain companies that do make products or services will commission other companies or individuals to sell the items—it is called affiliate selling. If you sell a company's product on your website, you get a portion of the sale without ever having to touch or deliver the item.
Sign up for a web hosting service and purchase a domain name to establish your website. You can create the website using a free template from your service or by purchasing an HTML editing program such as Adobe Dreamweaver or Microsoft Frontpage.
Sign up for an online affiliate program (see "Resources" for a list of programs). Make sure that the service you choose is a reputable business according to Better Business Bureau records.
Browse the various clients who have products or services available for sale through the affiliate service and select the ones that you feel you can promote effectively on your website. The client must approve you based on your website, so make sure that your website is professional and focused on the type of product you want to sell on the client's behalf.
Retrieve affiliate links from the client (available from your affiliate services account dashboard) and add the links on your web pages. The links you add should be naturally placed throughout your website's content to encourage the reader to click the link and evaluate the product or service. For instance, if you are promoting a client's world travel book, you can write an article about your recent travels and then provide the link where the reader can purchase the book and read more about traveling around the world.
Promote your website to your friends, family, and mailing list. Study search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to help get your website better ranking on search engines (see "Resources" for a resource on SEO concepts). The more traffic to your website, the higher the chance that you will actually sell products.
Retrieve payments for selling these products from the client via the online affiliate service. You may receive a check in the mail or a direct deposit on a regular basis.
Items you will need
- Web host and domain
- Affiliate account
- c. caseywest, flickr, creative commons