Hey there Sea Changers and welcome back. In a previous post covering all aspects of making money with baby products online, I made comment that within the retail world there is a saying: “If it is to do with babies or weddings then double the price”. And as someone who has experienced the cost of a wedding, I tend to agree – especially in the day and age where destination weddings are all the range.
At the end of the day, most people would like their wedding day to be the best, and most hassle free day of their lives. And those same people are usually willing to pay good money for that to happen – even if just to appease the bridezillas of the world. So to me, as an affiliate marketer, that opens up so many angles that today I wanted to cover some of the ways that we can fund our sea change with an online wedding website.
So, on that note, let's check it all out…
How do we get started?
Before we get started, let's just confirm whether there really is a market for this online. Based on my initial research, I am confident, but I would hate to convince anybody to start their own online wedding business and have it fall away due to lack of interest. So as usual, let's see what people are searching for:
What are people looking for?
To start let's just confirm our market numbers:
1. Number of monthly searches
As we are looking to see if there is an interest in the purchase of wedding stuff online (so we can sell them), let's start by checking for purchase related searches. 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 start with the basics:
Not bad – over 177000 odd searches – and a good start if we are still deciding our wedding sub niche as we can see some good searches for wedding florists and planners. Let's check out some other common wedding requirements:
So, looks like there is a large market for wedding dresses – and a few more areas of interest there as well such as brand name/fashion and destination/beach. Let's have one last look based on some of the results within our first search above:
Hmmm… a decent amount of interest there as well – this may be people looking for a planner checklist, how to become a planner or even to hire someone to do it for them – all valid niches that you could build a good site around.
2. Search Trends
Another important aspect of online sales and niche selection is to check that interest is maintained or increasing over time. To gain an insight into this let's check out how the searches for wedding related products are trending online.
So what does this tell us? Well first let me explain the graphic above. Normally here I would display a couple of different search options to see how they trend over time (dresses, invitations, destinations etc.) but in this case I have deliberately just left it at “wedding”. Why? Because of the massive spike in the chart?
Do you know what that was? The Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meaghan Markle. So if I am an affiliate marketer in this niche, I would be taking advantage of that with my posts to strike whilst the iron is hot! These are the things to look for from online trends. However, let's discuss what else the above tells us:
- Interest in purchasing these products has been well maintained over the past 5 years.
- As discussed, this niche is definitely susceptible to social influences that can be used to your advantage
- There are no real other interest spikes or dips meaning this is a good niche to work with all year round.
All in all, I really see a good opportunity here.
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What is our niche?
Ok, now the fun part begins – we need to start looking at breaking down our market into a niche. The trick for you as someone who is looking to build an online business regarding weddings is to work out what you wish to cover and promote. We have already discussed a number of potential sub niches within our stats above such as wedding dresses, planners and florists. That is not to say that you couldn't cover weddings in general, however, there is also a great range of topics should you wish to narrow down to a sub-niche. Examples include:
- Wedding parties
- Wedding receptions
- Destination weddings
- Budget weddings
- Luxury weddings
And that is just off the top of my head. But as you start to think about this, the question to ask yourself is whether the content you are covering is too large to cover effectively. The risk here is that if you start with a niche that is too broad, you may not be able to cover everything to the level required or to become authority on the subject – which you will need to be if you are going to convince people to purchase from you and not their local store. Don't forget, you can always add a new section to your site as you grow as well.
As you work through narrowing your targeted niche, consider the following:
- Are you able to solve a problem – Most people undertake searches on the internet to solve a problem – see next section.
- 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 weddings or wedding products. If you don't have either of these, maybe consider another market as, to be honest, you might struggle to produce solid content if you don't know much about them – or worse, have no interest in them – and trust me, people will know immediately if your information is not up to scratch or even worse, can put their big day at risk.
Let's investigate this a little further by discussing the problem solving elements of niche selection.
What problem are we solving?
If this is a niche that you are interested in, you may already know what it is that you are trying to sell. If not, then maybe start to look at it from the perspective of solving problems.
Think about your own search behaviours when you are online – I would hazard a guess that most searches you do are in order to solve a problem. These can be in a number of ways such as:
- You know what you need a wedding dress but don't know which one is best for your type of wedding.
- You have a problem and need a solution – I.e. “I need to keep my wedding costs down”.
Your goal here is to determine just what problem/s you are trying to solve for your readers. This maybe one problem that spans your site or differ for each post that you write. For example, if you have chosen wedding flowers for your niche, then problems might be:
- Matching products to season– They want to know what the best flowers to choose are related to the season and location – you would outline these with recommended species and arrangements to match.
- Which to buy – There are a number of table flower options available – but which is best for use on hot weather?
In these cases, people would be searching for those topics based on having a problem and needing a solution. Your site would outline and review the best options for them.
Alternatively, if your site is about destination weddings, then you would be addressing problems such as the fact that I know I want to have my wedding in an exotic location but don't know where to begin. You would then be outlining the best locations based on:
- Preferred locations (beach/country etc.)
- Number of guests
- Location legalities and requirements
- Packages available
- Flights and accommodation for guests
- Planning checklists
- Visa and Passport information and so on
Your posts would then outline and review different locations and packages giving your readers a complete guide to assist them in making their decision.
Note: You do not need to identify every possible problem 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?
As we continue through our planning stage, there is one last thing to consider which is the issue of consumer buying habits. I have mentioned that this is a great niche when it comes to online purchase behaviour so your sales/post pitches just need to match the needs of the problem that your site visitors are looking to solve. 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. Highlight value for money and maybe compare to an expensive option.
- Those looking for advice and assistance will want to know that your information is sound and not going to put their big day at risk.
- The happy couple 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 think you know what I mean…
So at the end of the day, even though we do have purchaser behaviour on our side, to be successful in selling ‘weddings' 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 selling some wedding products online (dresses for example) is that we can't really know what they feel like, how strong they are, or whether they are the actual size promoted. Your posts will need to cover this information in a manner that puts minds at ease. A good picture of a smiling bride standing in whatever product you are promoting will go a long way here too.
- Do your research – It is very easy to get carried away explaining how great a wedding package is because it is cheap all the while forgetting to see if they cover all expected aspects – or have a lot of exclusions that will cost more later. Be clear on what is covered and what is not. The same goes for high end options… Expensive doesn't always mean better.
- Know your audience – A big mistake many make here is to target the product and not necessarily the buyer. This is especially important around weddings. Things such as religion and culture have a big influence on weddings. If you are covering wedding locations for example, ensure that all of these issues are considered.
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 weddings?
Now we come to probably the most important aspect of this whole online selling caper in that we need to consider what products we are going to promote. Now obviously the methods you choose will differ depending upon the sub-niche you have chosen however there are three main avenues you can consider as you set up your online business. These include:
- Affiliate programs
- Direct selling
- Provision of services
Let’s have a look at some of the best avenues for making money with weddings online:
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 wedding products space, simply type “affiliate: niche” into your search engine:
Alternatively, as we did with our keywords above, you can narrow your searches a little:
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 unsafe products.
- 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 wedding dresses is unfortunately not generally a good enough answer).
- How you plan to promote their products.
One thing to be aware of here I guess is to keep in mind the issues we discussed earlier in regards to selling wedding related products online. You need to make sure that the programs you choose can be trusted and that the consumer is comfortable that they have recourse if something goes wrong. For this reason you will need to make sure that your chosen programs are going to resonate with your readers and your niche. That said, some marketplace programs such as Amazon and EBay can give you access to these types of products and as they are more trusted, then they maybe worth a look for sure. Some Amazon examples are as below:
Note: Amazon is also a good option to add those little accessories etc. to your post such as the guest book and wedding cake toppers above. These can generally be added regardless of the niche allowing for a few extra earning opportunities for your site.
If affiliate marketing is not your cup of tea, maybe you could try sourcing and selling your own products. This process is especially popular with those selling smaller wedding related items such as jewelry, reception table paraphernalia, veils and even such items as wedding rings. You can either make your own, or purchase your product from a vendor or wholesaler, 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 products, create and affix your labels and manage orders and shipment. Some wholesalers/vendors will affix the labels that you send them and then manage the packaging and shipment for you (often called Dropshipping). This will cost you less to set up but obviously you will make less on the sale once they take their processing fee.
Again, to find out where to acquire your product, do a search for “supplier: niche”:
Note: These results will usually be based on your geographical location so you may at times need to sort through a few pages.
From here you will need to follow the same processes as with affiliate programs in determining whether they are a good fit for your business including:
- Relate to your niche/problems that you are solving.
- Have solid delivery and customer service arrangements.
- Have good testimonials covering service and quality of product.
Alternatively, keep your eye out in your local area for wedding exhibitions etc. These are a great way to find and purchase your products at good prices – you never know, you might even find a solid supplier for future sales as well.
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 get to know you, they can purchase from you there and then be directed to your website for future sales.
Provide a service
Another option you have when it comes to weddings online is to provide a service. This can be in a number of areas such as:
- Wedding planning
- Wedding celebrant services
- Booking service – reception, band/DJ, transport etc.
- Makeup services
- Bachelor and Bachelorette parties
The process behind this is similar to above – outline a problem that a bride or groom might have and outline how you can fix it or assist them to ensure it doesn't happen. Think a little outside the box here and make sure that you a clear on what you are going to bring to their big day.
What do we need to do?
Finally, once we have our planning under way, we need to choose and setup the media that we intend to use to sell our product. This can include:
Build a Website
As we have outlined within our title, the first thing to consider if you are looking to build your online business as an affiliate marketer, supplier or service provider, you will most probably need a website. Websites allow you to solve problems via blog posts and videos that people can view in order to identify the solutions that they need. Usually, this process is fairly straight forward in that you build your website, write posts (on the differences between a band and a DJ for example), then provide links so that your readers can view/purchase the relevant materials from your links.
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Promote on Social Media
When it comes to weddings, there is probably no more powerful tool than Social media. It has the power to reach thousands and allows you to target specific segments if you choose the correct platform. In terms of wedding products online, a good platform to start with is FaceBook where you can discuss items with your audience.
However, if you are looking to set yourself up as a supplier or service provider, Instagram and YouTube will be your absolute best friend – some even use these platforms without a website. These are the platform that are good for visuals such as pictures and/or videos showing your products being used, your work (if you plan receptions or take photos for example).
Regardless of the platform you choose, keep in mind that many of those planning weddings will endlessly trawl through social media looking for ideas, hints, tips and tricks to assist them with their wedding day planning. If you can build yourself a following, you will go a long way to building a solid online business.
Join like-minded groups
Another common behaviour for about to be brides is the tendency to join social media groups. By getting involved with these groups you can really get a great understanding as to what they are struggling with, what information they seek and what products they are looking to buy. Below is an example of wedding related FaceBook groups:
Note: Many of these groups will not allow you to spruike or promote your sites directly, however if you can interact and demonstrate your knowledge then people will ask you directly for the information. At the very least, as above, it is a great way to get ideas and insight into what people in this area really want to know about and what they are buying online.
And there it is – How to make money with an online wedding website. 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.
Until next time
Note: If you make a purchase from this page, there is a very good chance that I make a commission from it – these commissions do not increase your sale price.
Do you want further assistance with any of the above or need help to build your own wedding related website?
Are you looking for a comprehensive training platform that can give you step by step training, 24/7 support, tools to develop and host your very own website, ongoing assistance with SEO and social media and access to some of the best affiliate marketing minds on the planet, then click on the following link to read more about Wealthy Affiliate.