Before you decide on selling anything online, you need to first determine who your customer is, what they often purchase, and why they are purchasing online.

This is called "customer comprehension". The better you understand your customer, the easier it will be to sell stuff to them. Obviously, at the core of any business, the ultimate goal is to create a profit. To create a profit, you must have customers and you must be able to sell to these customers.

One of the most common mistakes I see people make is promoting to a customer (or audience) before they fully understand who their audience is. It is very easy to waste money promoting what you "think" people want, rather than what they are actually looking for.

Don't make assumptions on your customers, gain an understanding. You will be much more successful.

Before we go any further, we need to understand the steps someone takes between the time they learn of a product or service, to the time that they actually make a purchase. That is what my goal is to help you understand.

Let's look at some it. Some known facts about a customer:

(1) Customers rarely buy on their first point of contact to a product
(2) It typically takes a person 7 times (this could be website visits, email newsletter, etc.) before they make a purchase online.
(3) Customers do not buy from people they don't trust
(4) Customers are exchanging "money" for something that will improve upon their existing situation
(5) Customers have more access to product information and reviews than they ever have
(6) Most customers can see through scammy promotions, in fact are turned off

I am going to show you how to catch people later in their buying cycle so you can increase your chances of someone "buying" versus having to walk them through all points of contact. This will simplify the selling process drastically!

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MyWarCo Premium
I have experience in "belly to belly" sales work and came to understand the importance of building a relationship with my customer before they actually became a buying customer. For some strange reason I did not transfer that knowledge over to my endeavour for building an online business. This article cements that knowledge and confirms what I must do to create relationship with folks who are coming to my website(s). Well done WA... I so appreciate these great WA lessons!
Kyle Premium
You are not alone, a lot of the time people dehumanize the process when it comes to the online world, when in reality it is even more important to humanize your communications and interactions. T

his is how you build trust, this is how you can be in a position to make product/service recommendations and have someone heed to your recommendations.
nsilva2270 Premium
This is great info. Unfortunately (or not) I have chosen a niche where there is not a lot of selling involved. It's more an informational niche. There are some opportunities to maybe find a couple of affiliate programs that could support supplies but I'm thinking this info will be more applicable to the next website I build. Hindsight is always 20/20.
DBCrist Premium
Buying from people you trust and seeing through scammy promotions. If your just being yourself with an idea or product that is intended to help people, then chances are you'll be successful to a certain degree. What separates the successful from the mediocre in Affiliate Marketing is the professionalism of your website. And that's why I've chosen WA. I feel they give me the best chance at building a portfolio of Domains that will enable me to build an Affiliate Income that will be residual for years to come. I'm not looking to make money next month, I'm looking years down the road, I know if I keep learning and making mistakes, that someday I'll look around and suddenly realize, that I've become an expert in Affiliate Marketing, in spite of myself.
AndiLouis Premium
So true, it really is a journey... you already know more than 80% plus of the population by being here. Once you've crafted the basics the possibilities are limitless. I have 4 main products/tools and that's it.
Much success
~ Andrea
lindagicheru Premium
Well said on professionalism of the website.
Someone outside WA community actually queried why I'm writing such long posts (targeting 1,000 words) and I told them, it's all about credibility!
They were left speechless, and we all know the effect of a masterpiece piece of music on us all...
nadermassoud Premium
all this information is great. but what if you are an author. my case is simply that. I really genuinely have no problem to solve for the visitors. I simply provide fiction books. how do these concepts apply in this case? how do you go by building your content? to monitize your books.any author advice?
GFHaze Premium
Greetings Nader,

It sounds like you are just more in need of getting traffic to your writing, is that correct?
Do you plan to sell your work from the website you are creating?

Many folks here are learning to write reviews of existing products and make recommendations to their followers for affiliate sales.
Let me know what you are trying to accomplish, to see if I can assist.
My best,

MariahP Premium
You are still solving a problem. The problem is not having an excellent book to read, and if you have that book or can connect them with that book, then that solves the problem for them.
lindagicheru Premium
Hello there!

From the get-go, I was made to understand through training here that, your niche doesn't really matter as long as you have a passion for it.

I would suggest, on gaining skills learned and interpret your passion in your website -- that attracts traffic which again, you'll learn to convert.

Nina1979 Premium
how do we compete against direct purchasing via amazon who already have great search and thousands of product reviews? If someone broadly knows the product they are looking for, then I guess they go straight to amazon. So maybe we can only pick up people who have a problem, need a solution but don't know what the solution is yet?? our content gives them suggestions of a solution for a product/service and we hope they click through on our sites vs going off separately to research our suggestions rather than clicking through direct from our sites?
RCoppersmit1 Premium
It is true, if someone knows what they want they will search for the specific product themselves. Many people will follow you because of your blog and the information & personal attention they receive from you. Many people need help making decisions & love to receive tips from someone they trust.
Nina1979 Premium
thanks, this is why I am thinking at the moment that the only chance of a real USP over the big online retailers is 'you' in effect, which means building up your own profile as well as your site content potentially, to get people to want to take advice from you personally, vs the thousands of people that provide reviews in the big retail platforms ……. very daunting and not easy I suspect! I am thinking it's going to take video content as well as written content to draw people in. This really is a heart and soul investment isn't it....what's your experience?
possumlane Premium
You would be amazed at how many people do not know about Amazon. There are millions and millions of people in the world so I do not think you need worry about getting traffic. I would look at affiliates outside of amazon - and there are thousands and thousands of affiliates - and choose ones that have the highest commissions. They are out there believe me - I have looked for my own niche.
All the best
Nina1979 Premium
thanks for that advice :) I will look around xx it's quite a specialist product set so google seems to have the biggest range in one place vs other retailers :-/
possumlane Premium
You are welcome - put affiliate programs into your browser and then you will get an idea of what I am talking about.