Hey there Sea Changers and welcome back to my series of posts outlining ways and means to create yourself an online business as we discuss how to sell weight loss products online. Weight loss is an absolutely massive niche worldwide and incorporates a number of aspects with proven online markets such as supplements, fitness programs and diet/lifestyle change. Additionally, it falls neatly into the popular self-help niche as well so with some work, this could be a very good opportunity to explore.
Added to that is the other popular area of ongoing coaching options as well so if this is an area of interest for your online business, let’s check it all out below…
How do we get started?
As usual, before we get into things it is always worthwhile making sure that there is actually a market for weight loss products in regards to selling them online. Based on my experience, I think we are looking at a good option here however I would hate to convince anybody to start their own online business around the subject and have it fall away due to the fact that noone actually does purchase these types of products online. 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 weight loss products online, 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, we will start with the basics:
Yep, about as high as I expected with over 212,000 average online searches undertaken monthly and as I scroll down I can start to see some of the sub niche options that we have here such as ‘programs’ and diets. So let’s break it down a little:
Again we have some good numbers here with over 12,000 monthly online searches on the first three lines alone… And there are some variations down the page to give us some more ideas such as menus and those who want to lose weight fast.
Just to finish up, let’s just look at this from a slightly different side of things:
The online sale of supplements is another extremely popular niche so it makes sense it would translate to weight loss as well. Again we have good numbers here and we can see interest in herbal and natural options as well.
2. Search Trends
Another important aspect of online sales and niche selection is to check that interest is maintained over time. To gain an insight into this let’s check out how the searches for a few of our weight loss options are trending online.
Ok, so we can see that interest has been maintained fairly well over the past few years with some common spikes in interest which look to be as summer kicks in. Based on this information alone, there are some possibilities around general weight loss as we start to lose the winter wardrobe then ongoing maintenance via supplements at other times.
All in all, I am very confident that an online business can be established within this market.
What is our niche?
Ok, now the fun part begins – In the statistics and screen dumps above, we can already see some of the interest in different niches within the weight loss market. The decision you have now is to determine whether you wish to create your online business covering this in general or concentrate on a specific area or sub niche. There are a good number of different areas you could explore here – some examples include:
- General weight loss
- Fitness programs and equipment
- All natural remedies
- Medical interventions
And that is just a few off the top of my head – all of which can be marketed from the point of view of the writer, or simply as a means of supplying information to those looking to purchase. I tend to think that a few of the above areas could be incorporated into the one site however 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 weight loss and its processes. If not, maybe consider another market as to be honest, you might struggle to produce solid content if you don’t know much about this subject or have no interest in learning. Trust me, people will know immediately if your information is not up to scratch or even worse, can put their health at risk.
Let’s investigate this a little further by discussing the problem solving elements of niche selection.
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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. This, added to your area of interest is a great way to work out exactly what you think you might like to base your online business upon.
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 weight loss supplements as your niche, then problems might be:
- Matching products to use– They want to know what type of general appetite suppression supplement would be better for use on a daily basis.
- Which to buy – There are a number of meal replacement products on the market – but which is best?
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, say your site is about the holistic weight loss journey, then you could look into the following:
- Exercise programs
- Weight loss mindset
- Daily habits
- Supplement use
- Eating out
And so on…
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?
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 online purchase behaviour of your targeted audience.
Your sales/post pitches not only need to match the needs and problems that your site visitors are looking to solve, but also target them specifically as well. Some examples include:
- Those who have not dealt with this ‘problem’ before will want to know exactly what they need and what to expect. Serial dieters on the other hand however might want the same information, but may be looking at some options a little gentler on the back pocket.
- Professionals and those working within the industry will need specs and details such as what is in the products how they will safely assist their work- they will dissect your reviews with a fine toothed comb.
- Health nuts and those well into their weight loss journeys will need clear and concise information in regards to what is new on the market, how these products work and everything that goes along with that – ensure your posts not only cover uses, but safety as well.
At the end of the day, even though we do have purchaser behaviour on our side, to be successful in selling weight loss products online, consider the following:
- Solve problems without purchase – That’s right – write your weight loss 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 or accessories that might interest them!
- Provide the intangibles – One major disadvantage when it comes to selling anything online is that we can’t really know what the products look, feel, smell and taste like. And this is especially important when it comes to weight loss options such as food and supplements etc. – after all, we can’t always test the products first and words such as ‘sugar free’ or ‘non-fat’ can mean different things to different people (not to mention labeling regulations in different countries). Your posts will need to cover this information in a manner that puts minds at ease and explains some of the intangibles.
- Know your audience – As we discussed earlier, one mistake many make here is to target the product and not necessarily the buyer. Expensive doesn’t always mean better, safer or more effective. 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 weight loss products online?
And now we come to probably the most important aspect of this whole online selling caper in that we need to consider how we are going to sell the products that we have decided to promote. Depending on the product, there are a number of methods you can use to do this. Let’s explore them below:
Affiliate marketing 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. In short, this means that you will write about weight loss products (from the angle of solving problems of course) and then refer your readers to a link where they will purchase directly from the vendors. The vendors then pay you a commission for the sale.
Affiliate programs are especially good for those selling weight loss online as you can move seamlessly through changes to standards, programs and technologies without needing to sell out of previous stock first. This way you can promote/review the latest items and then refer your readers to the vendor to manage the sale without you having to hold inventory or organise shipping.
Finding affiliate programs is generally not a difficult task either. To locate them, you would normally just type “Affiliate: weightloss” into your preferred search engine:
So, as you can see, there are plenty of options in regards to weight loss affiliate programs. As you search through them all, you can check it all out 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 arrangements.
- Pay decent commissions.
- Have good testimonials covering commission payouts and quality of product.
- Whether they have high ticket items you can promote on the side.
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 diet pills” 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 weight loss products online. You need to make sure that the programs you choose can be trusted, resonate with your readers and that they are comfortable that they have recourse if something goes wrong. 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:
Dropshipping is something that may be of advantage to you in this niche if you are looking to play with pricing on your products. This process is similar to affiliate marketing in that you are generally promoting the products of others without the need to actually hold any inventory. With affiliate marketing, you are paid a commission on whatever price the vendor sets but do not manage any customer service, sales processes or post sales requirements. The main difference with dropshipping is that you perform the following (there are a number of variations to this but this is the guist of it):
- Strike a relationship with a wholesaler.
- Promote the product for whatever price you see fit – often via a marketplace site such as Shopify, Amazon or Ebay.
- Manage the sales processes and customer service.
- Send the final order and payment to the wholesaler for packaging and shipping.
The money that you make is effectively the difference between whatever you managed to sell the product for and the wholesale price that you owe the vendor. The other advantages of dropshipping over affiliate marketing is that:
- You own the customer list – which is another means of building an effective email list.
- You control the cost of the product and hence the profit margins.
- You can control when you put things on ‘sale’, group them in packages or increase the price for high demand items.
The disadvantages however are the extra workload in handling payment and any ongoing customer service requirements.
To find dropshipping suppliers online, you can enter searches such as “dropshipping: weightloss” into your favourite search engine:
Note: These results will usually be based on your geographical location.
From here you can search through and find programs that:
- Offer dropshipping services – Not all product suppliers offer dropshipping as a service – this may just mean that you need to organise the shipping yourself after it is delivered to you.
- Have experience and are helpful – If they are not helpful and/or appear inexperienced then you can expect the same when you are trying to process sales.
- Have acceptable fees – most dropshipping wholesalers will charge a small fee for the dropshipping service – just make sure it is not so high that it eats into your profit margins.
- Provide fast shipping – One disadvantage with dropshipping when dealing with vendors is that the customer is yours, not theirs hence sometimes shipping priorities are not where they should be – make sure shipping times are acceptable.
- Have quality products – as with affiliate marketing, don’t sell rubbish.
- Have a good name – do your research and see what others are saying about them.
Multi Level Marketing
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 weight loss/supplements market (predominantly health and nutrition as well as slimming and meal replacement). If you use them in their basic capacity, MLM programs mirror affiliate marketing platforms 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.
Whilst they are not easy to make money in (less than 1% earn enough to make a living), Weight Loss MLM companies are extremely popular and definitely an option to look into if you have a good customer base at the ready.
Note: One final consideration to be aware of here however is that most MLM arrangements require a minimum personal spend per month (typically around USD $100) in order to qualify for commissions for 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.
Sell your own
If any of the first two options above are not your cup of tea, maybe you could try sourcing and selling your own products. This process is especially popular with those selling smaller products such as fitness clothing and supplements etc. however in reality you can source and sell anything from anywhere these days. Here you actually 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 or Shopify.
This process requires higher setup costs as you will need to purchase your products, create and affix your labels and manage orders and shipment. Some wholesalers/vendors however will affix the labels that you send them and then manage the packaging and shipment for you (see dropshipping above). 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: weightloss” :
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 and dropshipping programs in determining whether they are a good fit for your business plans 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 markets or industry trade shows. 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.
If none of the above really gets you excited then maybe it is time to think outside the square a little. Here are some other ideas that I have seen around the traps:
- Make stuff – If you are on the handy side, then make your own stuff or design your own programs such as fitness and nutrition, recipe books, fitness clothing, exercise equipment, herbal kits and so on… Refer back to the section on ‘Selling Your Own’ above and re-read as if you are working with products that you have made.
- Run programs – This is where you can really gain a following within the weight loss niche by setting up fitness programs, food preparation demonstrations and so on. From here you can then sell memberships for people to follow your programs from start to finish.
- Teach people about the above such as low fat cooking, food preparation, organics or designing fitness programs etc.
The sky really is the limit – think about how you might be able to corner a much-needed niche in this arena and you could definitely set up a great business.
What do we need to do?
Once we have all of the above sorted, or at the very least a plan in place, we need to choose and setup the media that we intend to use to sell our product. This can include:
Build a website
If you are looking to build your online business as an affiliate marketer, dropshipper or supplier, then chances are 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 certain types of nutritional supplements 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 weight loss products, Social Media is one area that people really turn to to find information. It has the power to reach thousands and allows you to target specific segments if you choose the correct platform. A good platform to start with is FaceBook where you can discuss things with your audience such as information available, how certain products work, health and nutrition, and so on.
However, if you are looking to set yourself up as an expert within the niche, then Instagram and YouTube will be your go to here – some even use these platforms without a website. These are great for visuals such as pictures and/or videos showing you working out, cooking food, or even tracking your own weight loss journey etc. YouTube allows you to set up paid membership sites and if you are able to build a following you may even get noticed and be paid gazillions to review fitness/supplement brands within your videos – this takes time, but it does happen…
Join like-minded groups
Anther great tool when it comes to selling products online are social groups. By getting involved with these groups you can really get a great understanding as to what its members are struggling with, what information they seek and what products they are looking to buy. Below is an example of weight loss groups on FaceBook:
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 sell weight loss products 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.
Do you want further assistance with any of the above or need help to build your own weight loss or fitness related website?
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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. This may include sales made via Wealthy Affiliate or Amazon.