A good pair of shoes can reflect someone’s style, take you to many places and earn you some extra cash. This is possible whenever the retailer has an affiliate program and Zappos happens to be one of them. This review is all about working with footwear brands that you love, so read on, if you are interested.
First, What Is Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is an income model that allows regular people like you and me, to monetize from promoting products online. So, instead of creating or sourcing out, you’re earning from sales commissions by referring customers to a retailer that you partner with.
Affiliate program exists to facilitate companies that use this form of online marketing and allows people with an interest in a particular niche to start an online business on their own with very minimal investment.
Enter Zappos Affiliate Program
Zappos is a popular outlet for shoe shoppers and their affiliate program has been running since year 2000. It is managed by CJ Affiliate Network (previously known as Commission Junction) who does all the recruiting and payout process.
As one of the pioneers in the footwear industry, there are a few reasons that make them an attractive company to partner with.
- They are reputable for their outstanding customer service.
- Their online store has a great user interface on desktop and mobile and there is plenty of product information as well as customer reviews.
- Their return period is 365 days, which is the longest as compared to other companies.
- With over 1,300 brands, there are plenty of footwear styles and choices for customers to choose from.
- Based on their high network earning score, Zappos is considered as one of the best performing merchants on CJ Affiliate in terms of online revenue and affiliate payout.
- The program offers a 7% commission and a cookie duration that last for 14 days. That means, if a pair of shoes sells for $150, you could make about $10 per sale if the customer makes a purchase within two weeks.
Who Should Join The Program
Anyone who’s involved in the footwear industry or have a strong interest in certain types of shoes, should consider joining this program. However, since the niche is quite broad, it’s better to break it down into several categories to identify the type of audience that they serve.
- Sneakers & Athletic
- Boat Shoes
- Boots & Booties
- Clogs & Mules
By narrowing down this way, the niche selection process becomes more focused. And when you can relate to a specific audience, it’s actually much easier to get them to buy something through your recommendation.
To improve conversion and save time, CJ Affiliate has a feature called Deep Link Generator that allows you to select a specific product page URL on the retailer’s online store and turn it into a unique affiliate link. Through this method, you can literally promote any products that you personally like from Zappos.
How to Get Started
The first rule of thumb to become an affiliate marketer is to set up a website or a blog. This is important because;
- It is almost always the prerequisite when applying for affiliate networks/program, unless you are promoting digital products which has a bit more leeway.
- Retailers prefer to work with people who is knowledgeable in what they do and content publishing through a site is the best way to reflect that.
- With a blog, you can rank for specific keywords on the search engines (vs posting on social media posting or forums), create an affiliate store and personalize your engagement with a targeted audience.
The benefit of these is that you get faster approval rate, attract targeted traffic and improve on sales conversion. Given today’s technology, it’s quite easy to create a blog – all you need is to purchase a custom domain name and connect it to a good publishing platform like WordPress.
If you haven’t done that before, simply enter a blog name using the plugin below to create a WordPress site for free.
Write For Your Audience
When someone is researching for a shoe to buy, what type of information do you think they would want to know?
- The type of shoes that fit a particular activity.
- The quality, price range and specs of the product.
- The maintenance and practicality aspect.
- Experiences from other customers who have worn the shoes and so on.
Your ability to address these topics will make your content more relevant and it all begins with keyword research. Keywords basically derived from what people type on the search engines everyday and believe it or not, there are a ton of shoe-related phrases out there that haven’t yet been tapped.
As a new shoe blogger, you should aim for long-tail low-competition keywords because they are usually easier to rank on the search engines, thus making your content more targeted and visible online.
Here are some awesome phrases that I’ve discovered through the Jaaxy Keyword Tool and I think it may inspire some ideas in you.
- Allbirds shoe review
- Most comfortable shoes for plantar fasciitis
- Sandals that are good for your feet
- Steve Madden flats for women
- Best shoes for wide feet
- Timberland slip on shoes for men
- White flat wedding shoes
- Minimalist shoes for work
- Birkenstock soft footbed review
- Jimmy choo black heels
As for writing product reviews, it’s important to be as authentic as possible.
Often times, this means buying and testing the products yourself in order to give an original opinion. I know this may sound like a costly business as you are potentially paying for something that you may not like or keep. However, if you think about how it could benefit other readers, the investment could be worthwhile in the long term.
When you are reviewing without buying the product, just make sure the readers know that the information are gathered through your online research. It might not sound as authentic, but at the very least, you are saving other people’s time by doing the work yourself.
Once you start getting traffic from all these articles, head over to CJ Affiliate to create a user account and apply to join the Zappos affiliate program. After approval, you will be able to access all types of affiliate links and use them to promote strategically on your blog.
Just to show you what a content-rich shoe blog looks like, here’s one from Kirsten. She writes about comfortable shoes from the perspective of a rheumatoid arthritis experience so most of her topics address specific feed condition or a specific brand. From her review, we could tell that she’s affiliated to Zappos as well as other affiliate programs.
Leveraging Other Footwear Companies
The good thing about affiliate marketing is that you are never limited to just one affiliate program. When your audience starts to grow in size, it’s certainly possible to partner with other retailers to offer more shopping choices and comparison for your readers.
Some people may prefer a different outlet and if you can provide them with that, it could also benefit your blog revenue. There are a few names that you may already be familiar with and the good news is, they come with some lucrative affiliate programs too.
Via CJ Affiliate Network
- Avenue – 5% to 6%
- Forever 21 – 4%
- The Walking Company – 4% to 12%
- 6PM – 7%
- Famous Footwear – 7%
- Helm Boots – 10%
- Jet Marketplace – 10%
- Nordstrom – 2%
- Kids Shoes – 8%
- ShoesPie – 11% to 15%
- Suav Shoes – 7%
- Vessi Footwear – 10%
Via Amazon Associate Program – Amazon Marketplace – 7% commission
The Footwear Market Moving Forward
With the convenience of eCommerce, the footwear industry is only going to thrive even more in the coming years and I foresee that shoe bloggers will play a major in driving more online sales through customer personalization and review sharing. The Zappos affiliate program clearly provides a lucrative opportunity because their company is so well-loved by many people.
I hope you’ll use the tips that I’ve provided to start something interesting in this growing niche. If you need more help with building an affiliate business, please check out my recommended training platform for more in-depth tip and tutorial.
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