Hey there Sea Changers. Today we are going to investigate one of the most active, and at times controversial niches in the online marketing world as we discuss how to make money selling essential oils online. They are a funny thing essential oils with most people fitting neatly into the category of believer or non-believer. Believers there are the ones that like them and use them whereas to the non-believers, they are a snake oil to be avoided at all costs. Then you have the militant believers that use them for all manner of purposes from mood enhancing/changing, to cleaning to providing a cure to just about every ailment known to man – and trust me, there are some far-fetched uses for them out there.
With this in mind, you would think that there is definitely some money to be made out there in this space, so let’s have a look at how it can be done…
How do we get started?
Like anything that we want to sell online – or in person for that matter – there are a few things that we need to check out in order to give ourselves the best possible chance to make money. Affiliate marketing can take some time and consistent work in order to become successful so it is important to ensure that we are clear on what it is that we are trying to achieve as we move forward. To get started selling essential oils online, consider the following:
Is there a market?
Firstly, and most importantly, you will need to check that there is a market for your product/s – I.E. are there people who want to buy essential oils – or are interested in essential oils? Now you don’t need to go too deep into things here as you will be revisiting and refining things as you start to narrow down to your niche however in order to check out the market at this initial stage, there are two things you can look at:
1. Number of monthly searches
To start with, let’s see how many people undertake essential oil related searches online per month. To do this, you will need to find yourself a good keyword tool (I use Jaaxy) and enter in the keywords that best describe your market. In this case, let’s look at essential oils:
We can see here that there are roughly 52815 searches for ‘essential oils’ per month. In my opinion, that is a good amount to prove that there is a market.
2. Growth trends
Another important aspect of online sales and niche selection is to ensure that your site can be evergreen and that there is growth. To gain an insight into this let’s check out how the searches for essential oils is trending online.
So we can see here that over the past 15 years, essential oil searches have remained steady and then spiked dramatically. This is a great sign as it not only shows that interest has been maintained over the past 15 years, but it is increasing rapidly. This makes this a great product to market.
Note: The red line is the amount of searches that have been undertaken for ‘natural remedies’. I added this as this may be another search that people undertake to get to essential oils. You can see that it has maintained interest over this time frame as well.
What is our niche?
Now that we know that we have a market, we need to start looking at breaking down our market into a niche. Why? Because we need to be able to target certain segments of our market in order to:
- Make it easier to attract specific visitors.
- Narrow our market as we can’t possibly cover all aspects of such a large market.
- Create our site and brand for specific areas.
- Stand out from the 1000s of other sites marketing the same product.
For example, you may choose to write about essential oils for men, for women, for aromatherapy or you may choose to test them, compare them and so on. Let’s revisit our keyword search from above. We can see that the second search on our popularity list is about aromatherapy, so maybe we can specialise our site on the benefits of aromatherapy and write about recipes, good oils for aromatherapy (and ones to avoid) etc. I can then review diffusers, droppers, necklaces and all the other relevant tools that go with aromatherapy.
The sky really is the limit, but when choosing you niche, consider the following:
- Is it evergreen– this means that it can never go out-of-date or style.
- Are you able to solve a problem– Most people undertake searches on the internet to solve a problem – see next section.
- Does it have some, but not too much competition– Another way see if there is a market is to see if you have any competition. If not, then maybe it is because no-one is buying.
- Is it a subject that you have an interest, or knowledge in– I am guessing that you are in this post as you know about, or have an interest in essential oils. If you don’t have either of these, maybe consider another market as, to be honest, you might struggle to continuously write solid content if you don’t know much about essential oils – or worse, have no interest in them.
What problem are we solving?
Another aspect of niche selection, and a critical influence in attracting people to your site is to determine just what problem/s you are trying to solve for your readers. This may be one problem that spans your site or differ for each post that you write. For example, if you have chosen aromatherapy for your niche, then problems might be:
- Aromatherapy for hay fever.
- Aromatherapy to kill odours.
- Aromatherapy to assist with sleep.
We can find a lot of these by referring back to our keywords for aromatherapy:
As you can see here, most of these searches are undertaken by people trying to solve a problem. This, along with your niche is key to selling your essential oils online.
Note: You do not need to identify every possible problems that your readers may have straight away. In many cases, the more you write, the more ‘problems’ will present themselves so initially you really just want to make sure that there are some that may need solving as we have found here.
How are you going to convince them to buy?
Now that we know our niche (or are at least working on it) and have an idea of the types of problems that we want to solve, there is one last thing to consider which is the issue who we are actually targeting and their consumer buying habits. We already know that people will purchase essential oils online if you can solve problems for them so the last thing to consider is the online purchase behaviour of your targeted audience. Let’s use an example.
If you are looking at setting up an online essential oils business based on chemical free households for the family, then you will need to consider exactly who will be looking at your site. The first group that comes to mind is mothers (females are the main purchasers of essential oils). But what about pet owners? Oh, and don’t forget the business clients who want them in their place of business to make it smell nice. Your sales/post pitches not only need to match the needs of the problem that your site visitors are looking to solve, but also target them specifically as well. Some examples include:
- Those that are looking for the most cost effective option will want to know what is the best bang is for their buck based on their individual needs. Mothers will most probably not want to know about safety for their children whereas business owners will generally only be interested in cost. That is not to say you can’t target them all with the same oil, just make sure you have all bases covered.
- Those looking for advice and assistance will want to know that your information is sound and not going to put their safety or finances at risk.
- First time users of essential oils will generally want to know everything about the products you are discussing or promoting as they are either nervous about their purchase or simply want the best – I know, massive generalisation here but I have seen it in action…
- If you are dealing with frequent essential oil users on the other hand – Just make it as easy as possible to get them to your sales page – give them the information and let them get on with it.
So at the end of the day, even though we do have purchaser behaviour on our side, to be successful in selling essential oils online, consider the following:
- Solve problems without purchase – That’s right – write your posts in a way that actually makes it easier for people to do their research and buy elsewhere – by doing this, you are solving problems and helping readers out. If they trust you, they will be more likely to return next time and buy from you then – especially if you follow up with posts on similar or compatible products that might interest them!
- Provide the intangibles – One major disadvantage when it comes to essential oils online is that we can’t smell or feel the oils. Your posts will need to cover this information in a manner that puts minds at ease. A good picture of a happy family using the oils will go a long way here.
- Know your audience – A big mistake many make here is to target the product and not necessarily the buyer. This is especially important around the world of essential oils. It is very easy for example to get carried away explaining how great an oil is because it is cheap and smells nice all the while forgetting that your more ‘mature’ customers will probably want to know how to use it on their skin . The same goes for high end options… Expensive doesn’t always mean safe or appropriate. Make sure you do your research on the buying behaviours of those you are targeting before writing your posts.
Tip: Still not sure? Have a look and see what others are doing. It might just help you with some ideas.
How do we sell them?
So now we need to consider what products we are going to promote. It should be noted here that the main process that I will be discussing is to sell them via an affiliate marketing arrangement. In short, this means that you will write about oils and all of their problem solving goodness and then refer your readers to a link where they will purchase directly from the vendors. You then make your money via commissions from those vendors. Let’s have a look at some of the best avenues for essential oil vendors:
Multi-level marketing programs
Multi-level marketing (MLM) programs are the mainstay of the ‘party plan’ world of products such as Tupperware, Mary Kay and Amway etc. and are also popular within the big essential oils companies. If you use them in their basic capacity, MLM programs mirror basic affiliate marketing programs in that you make a commission on every sale that you refer to them.
It is however the secondary aspect of these programs – and where the multi-level influences come from – that can really boost your revenue earning capabilities. The process works as follows:
- You attract a visitor to your site and convert them to the sales page
- They are offered an incentive to sign up as a member of the program (there are different names for this but they all mean the same thing).
- That new member is then placed ‘underneath’ you in a hierarchical arrangement
- You then gain extra commissions for everything they sell as well.
And yes, the less-than-glamorous name for this method of commission based selling is a pyramid scheme. The advantage of the online world however is that if you do it correctly by providing solutions to the problems of visitors to your site, you don’t have to hassle (and alienate) all of your friends that family.
In the essential oils world, there are two main players in the MLM space – Young Living and DoTerra.
One final consideration to be aware of here however is that most MLM arrangements require a minimum spend per month in order to qualify for commissions – for example, Young Living expect you to spend roughly USD $100 per month in order to earn commissions for other sales that you, or your down line refer. This can make things a little tight if your site is new and not making any money as yet.
Affiliate programs are setup directly by companies or marketplace platforms (Amazon, Ebay etc.) that allow you to join and then refer traffic to them via customised affiliate links.
To find affiliate programs in the essential oils space, simply type “affiliate: essential oils” into your search engine:
From here you can search through and find programs that:
- Relate to your niche/problems that you are solving.
- Have quality products – your brand can be severely damaged if you promote poor quality or fake oils.
- Have solid payment and customer service arrangement.
- Pay decent commissions.
- Have good testimonials covering commission payouts and quality of product.
In most cases, you will need to apply for the program before you are allowed to promote their products – don’t take this step lightly or you will be rejected. Affiliate programs will generally want to know:
- Your website name.
- Traffic levels.
- Why you want to join – (so I can make money by selling your oils is unfortunately not generally a good enough answer).
- How you plan to promote their products.
In the essential oils space you may find that some programs place extra stipulations on your membership such as:
- You cannot promote any other type of oil (Yes, the vendors within this industry tend not to work and play well with others)
- You must promote on a certain social media platform at least daily with a hashtag or tag back to them.
These programs can be very good for newer sites rather than the MLM examples above as there are no sales triggers. However, as the essential oils industry suffers from a lot of skepticism there can be some solid distrust out there for the lesser known brands. That said, some marketplace programs such as Amazon and EBay can give you access to the bigger brands listed above without the need to join their membership programs – worth a look for sure.
Tip – Why not have both? Many essential oil sites will run under the MLM setups of the major vendors but also include affiliate links to other supporting products such as bottles, droppers, diffusers and any other supporting paraphernalia.
If affiliate marketing or MLM programs are not your cup of tea, maybe you could try white labeling. This is a process where you actually purchase ‘brandless’ essential oils from a vendor, add your own label and then on-sell them via your website or platforms such as Amazon etc.
This process requires a much higher setup costs as you will need to purchase your oils, create and affix your labels and manage orders and shipment. Some however will affix the labels that you send them and then manage the packaging and shipment for you. This will cost you less to set up but obviously you will make less on the sale once they take their processing fee.
To find these, a simple search for “white label essential oils” found the following:
From here you will need to follow the same process as with affiliate programs in determining whether they:
- Relate to your niche/problems that you are solving.
- Have quality products
- Have solid delivery and customer service arrangements.
- Have good testimonials covering commission payouts and quality of product.
Tip: This method can be very effective in driving online traffic and sales via the implementation of more traditional sales methods such as kiosks and market stalls etc. As people see, smell and feel your oils, they can purchase from you there and then be directed to your website for future sales.
What do we need to do?
Ok, so now that we have our niche and know some of the problems that we can investigate, we need to choose and setup the media that we intend to use to sell our oils. This can include:
Build a Website
If you have decided to go with any of the sales options above, you are more than likely then going to need a website. Websites allow you to solve problems via blog posts, videos and/or how to demonstrations that people can view in order to solve the problems that they have. The process here is simple, once you have built your website, you write a post on the benefits of a particular oil in the diffuser to assist your readers with sleep for example, then provide links so that they can purchase those oils from the applicable affiliate program.
Promote on Social Media
Social media is a powerful platform that can allow you to get your message out there into the big wide online world. It has the power to reach thousands and allows you to target specific segments if you choose the correct platform. In many cases, social media is used to drive traffic to your website rather than work in isolation. In some cases however, special media platforms such as YouTube can be used without the need for a website. It all depends I guess on where your target audience likes to hang out.
Tip: One of the problems that you may face in trying to sell essential oils online is that people may want to know what they smell and feel like before they purchase. Visual and interactive sites such as YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram have proven quite effective within this niche.
Join like-minded groups
Regardless of the niche, there is usually some sort of social media group, online forum or membership page that you can join to gain you exposure to potential visitors and sales. Essential oil groups are popular on FaceBook and can not only allow you to interact with customers but also gain more information and education in terms of content ideas for your posts. An example group is as follows:
And there it is – How to sell essential oils online. I hope it has been helpful and as usual, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, need some advice or have any experiences to share.
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Until next time
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