No two ways about it – weddings are big business. Even if you haven’t had to pay for your own wedding yet, you’ve no doubt heard about the potentially bank-breaking effect a wedding can have on a couple’s finances.
And when it comes to weddings, you fall in one of two categories: either you’re an optimist and see the ceremony as a way for two people to publicly announce their love for each other, or you’re a pessimist and see it as a big party that costs way too much money.
(Don’t tell my wife, but I’m definitely in the second category. I just nodded politely during the planning of our wedding and kept my mouth shut.)
No matter which category you belong to, however, I’m going to explain how you can start enjoying weddings NOW like never before. Because I’m going to show you how to start making money by starting a wedding services guide – which will allow you to steer some of that big money spent on weddings into your own pocket.
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The Business of Weddings
There are a number of services that weddings require: venue, music, suit rentals, dress shops, flower arrangements, photographer, videographer, wedding favors, gifts for the wedding party, and so on. Like I said, it’s big business. In fact, the latest figure I saw put bridal expenses alone at $60 billion annually.
And that’s just the bridal industry!
In this dispatch I’m going to tell you how to start an online wedding service guide that will bring together resources for someone looking to plan a wedding and bundling them in one convenient, central location. I’m also going to tell you how to become a wedding affiliate marketer, how to start selling stuff online, and how to maximize your online reach for maximum profits.
Ready? Here we go!
The Good Ol’ 1-2-3 of Affiliate Marketing
In case you didn’t know, affiliate marketing is an Internet-only marketing practice where you can make money by advertising services on your website and collecting a percentage from every sale that results from your efforts.
You don’t have to do any customer service, order processing, or fulfillment. Your role is simply to send your affiliate partner a customer. In exchange, they’ll pay you a healthy commission.
As an online wedding service guide, you will be catering to a very specific and very profitable niche of consumers. In fact, it might be a good idea to list all the services you can think of that would want to advertise on your wedding website.
If you’ve planned a wedding in the past, or even attended one, your list should be fairly big. Here’s mine:
* Venue for the ceremony
* Venue for the reception
* Food catering
* Live music/DJ
* Dress shop
* Tuxedo rental
* Flower arrangements
Your list probably trumps mine, but that’s good enough to start with. Now, you’ll need to have a website up and running where you can start advertising. GoDaddy.com is a great place to get hooked on this side of things, as I’ve shared in previous articles.
As an affiliate marketer, your affiliate partners will provide you with everything you need: the ad banners, source codes, maybe even special discount offers for customers who click through your website.
Do a little Internet research to find companies online that cater to the specific wedding service you’re looking to provide. The great thing about doing your own leg work is that you can pick and choose which specific company you want to work with. The benefits of this is you can find the company that offers the commission rate you’re looking for – whether it’s a flat rate or percentage.
You can also join forces with an established company that caters to wedding affiliates. This saves you the trouble of keeping track of payments, reporting, and program management. Just sign up for a free account and put their established store to work for you. Check out www.bridaluxe.com for a great example of this route. This is a great way for you to start selling products and making money from your online wedding guide immediately.
Online wedding resource, TheKnot.com, also offers a healthy affiliate program – 13% commission on all sales – administered through Commission Junction. You can find the details at http://weddingshop.theknot.com/affiliatepage.aspx.
Another good place to seek out affiliate products to sell is Amazon.com. There are a ton of books, table decorations, accessories, and other products for weddings that brides-to-be will be ready to buy.
Remember to keep that list of wedding services you made above in mind when you’re looking for products to advertise. As an all-round wedding service guide, try to avoid focusing too heavily on one particular aspect of a wedding. While it’s great that you have a sweet tooth, try to avoid advertising only wedding cake bakers!
How to Become an Online Wedding Authority
Since you’re running a website that exists solely for advertising the products of other companies, your traffic might be relatively low. Which is fine in the beginning. But as time goes on, you may want to beef up your website.
In order to drive online traffic your way is to expand your web presence. Here are a few surefire ways to increase your online wedding business:
* Gather emails for a mailing list and send out monthly newsletters
* Get your business on social media like a friend of mine does here. (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.)
* Practice good SEO (search engine optimization) for Google
* Add video to your website
* Add articles to your site
That last one bears repeating: add articles to your site. These can be short informational articles about weddings or wedding planning as well as links to existing articles on the web (just be sure cite your source).
By adding information to your website and fleshing it out as a hub of wedding information as opposed to a bulletin board for wedding products, consumers are more likely to find your website and more likely to spend money once they reach it.
Nothing lends you credibility in the eyes of consumers more than a few articles of good, commonsense information. Here’s the ultimate example: www.bridalguide.com (you don’t need to attempt to duplicate this, it’s more for inspirational purposes).
As you can see, not only are there informational articles on there, there are also wedding-centric news stories, travel deals, and their latest Tweets. There is also, of course, the all-important advertising.
Keep sites like these in mind as yours starts to grow. Maybe you want to go the pure revenue route and keep it focused on selling. That’ll make you money for sure.
But you can also go the information route. If you do it right, you stand to make just as much money, if not more, than a purely revenue-driven website.
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I wish you the best of luck!
P.S. You should be ready to start your own lucrative online wedding services guide. Here are a few resources to help you on your way to success.
Wedding Affiliate Programs
Building Your Website
Inspiration for Your Wedding Business