At the end of July of 2013, I released an eBook called the eBay Product Sourcing Guide as a WSO. It was a pretty new experience for me, and I learned a lot from it.
For those who aren’t familiar with WSO’s, it stands for “Warrior Special Offer”. They’re basically special products made for the Warrior Forum (an online forum about making money online) that are either exclusively sold on WF, or have a discounted rate for WF members.
Technically, the eBay Product Sourcing Guide isn’t my first WSO. I released one previously about offline marketing, but that was done more on a whim and with no real thought behind it other than wanting to share some information. But with my eBay book, it was more than that. I really wanted to sell some of these bad boys, so I put a little more effort into it this time.
I’m going to preface this post by stating that I’m most definitely not one of those people that makes a living off of WSO’s, and basically only makes money by telling other people how to make money. That’s just not for me. I don’t have the time to sit around and write WSO’s. And most of the people you see releasing WSO’s on a weekly or even monthly basis aren’t actually doing the methods they’re telling you about.
I say all of this to show you that anyone can do this and make a little bit of money. The most work I put into my eBay book was actually writing it.
In this post, I’m going to go over a few things that I should have done differently with my WSO, and also some of the things that I did right. Hopefully at the end you’ll have a good idea of some of the things you should do to have a successful WSO.
1- Get Some High Quality Affiliates
One of the best things that happened for my WSO was drawing the interest of some great affiliates who pushed my eBook to their email lists and on their websites. This tip is particularly important if you don’t already have an established email list or customers to sell to. If you’re relatively unknown (like I was) then having some affiliates with a reputation and influence to help sell your WSO is awesome!
There’s no way I would have sold as many of my guides if it weren’t for my affiliates. For those of you who might not know, an affiliate is someone who recommends your product (in this case a WSO) to others and for each sale they make through their special affiliate link, they get a percentage of the sale. I gave my affiliates a 50% commission. Read over my affiliate marketing 100 post for more info on how affiliates work.
Finding affiliates is actually pretty easy. I sold my WSO through Warrior Plus, which is basically a market place for WSO’s. Vendors can sell their products through the site, and WF members can search for products to be affiliates for. This is how my affiliates contacted me. Of course, if someone sees your product on WF, they might PM you asking to be an affiliate for you, which is cool too.
Another option you have is to go out and find people to be an affiliate for you. Look through WF or Warrior Plus for sellers who have sold a similar product as you in the past (with success) and ask if they’d like to be an affiliate for your new product. If your product is any good, and they receive a decent commission, there’s a good chance they’ll be willing to be an affiliate because they get an opportunity to make some money.
Now here’s what I did wrong with my affiliates. I didn’t have any downloadable banners, email swipes, or any other type of marketing material that they could use to sell my eBook. I basically just left everything up to them, which is pretty crappy. As an affiliate marketer, I know how convenient and helpful it is if the people you’re selling for have marketing materials for you to use to sell their product. So before you start looking for affiliates or even before you launch your product, make some banners, email swipes, and maybe even some type of free download your affiliates can use.
2- Pick a Different Topic
I picked selling on eBay as the topic of my WSO because it’s something I have experience with. But it also didn’t hurt that there was a huge gap in that space at the time on WF. At the time that I launched my WSO, there weren’t any eBay related products on the first page of the WSO forums. That really helped my WSO stand out and attract a lot of attention.
If you look on WF at any given time, there’s bound to be at least five or ten people selling WSO’s about making money online by selling a WSO that tells people to sell WSO’s. They repackage the same information and change the wording a bit, but they’re basically the same exact eBook. And guess what? They rarely ever get any sales. Why? Because more and more people are starting realize it’s just BS and they’re tired of reading the same info over and over.
You’ll have a lot more success if you cover a topic that people want to know more about, but doesn’t have a “go-to” resource that explains everything about it. Where do you find these topics you ask? Simple! Right on Warrior Forum!
Every day, people post threads on WF asking questions they want to know the answers to. And if they’re asking it, you can bet your ass there are a ton of other people who have the same exact question, or something related to the topic. Once you see there’s some interest around the topic, you have a place to start. Here are the latest threads under the WF Main Internet Marketing Discussion Forum.
I see a ton of opportunities for WSO’s here. For instance, the PR network and paid traffic topics could easily be turned into WSO’s. If you see any topics that are “hot” (i.e. they the flame icon next to them) then those are usually great topics to turn into WSO’s.
3- Get Ready For Scammers and Thieves
I’ve had quite a few scammers with my eBay guide. What I mean by scammers is people that buy your eBook, download it, and then immediately ask for a refund or file a PayPal claim before they even read it (Warrior Plus shows when you purchased and downloaded the product FYI).
It’s a sad reality, but even with a $10 eBook, people don’t feel like they shouldn’t have to pay for anything. I’ll be honest, at first it pissed me off knowing that people were so cheap and desperate. But after a while, I just learned to accept that this is what happens these days unfortunately.
The second part of this is the fact that people will upload your product on Blackhat forums and other sites so that anyone can steal your product. This again really pissed me off, until I just sat back and accepted that it’s a part of the game with digital products.
There isn’t too much you can do to stop thieves from stealing and scamming though. I did contact a few of the sites that were giving my WSO away illegally, and had some success. But in the end, I decided it really wasn’t worth the trouble for me. Like I said, I don’t rely on WSO’s for money, but it still sucks knowing that people are stealing from you.
If people do start stealing your WSO (and trust me, if it’s any good they will steal it) you can do what I did and contact any sites that are giving it away illegally. Some of them will cooperate, others will just ignore you. You can do things like send a letter to them from an actual lawyer, which will probably scare them into removing it.
In the case of people asking for refunds just to get it for free, there’s not much you can do their either. If you refuse to refund their money, they’ll just file a claim with PayPal and get their money back that way. Being as up front as possible in your sales letter on WF will help decrease the number of refunds you have too.
I’m lucky enough to only have a 1% refund rate on my WSO. But I’ve seen some vague ass WSO threads on WF that basically make you have to guess what the heck you’re about to buy. Don’t be one of those people. Have a FAQ section, and answer any questions that people ask so that there’s no confusion.
You can also try to make it harder to steal your product by making it only accessible online with a user specific password and eliminate the ability to copy/paste the text. But I didn’t even think about any of this at the time. I wonder how many more I would have sold if people didn’t steal it? hmmmmm…..
4- Promote Outside of Warrior Forum
Don’t just post your WF thread and wait for the sales to come in. It doesn’t work like that. The more proactive you are, the more sales you’ll get. You’ll notice that I have a banner for my eBook on my sidebar here. Since I get a decent amount of traffic, I’ve been able to make some sales through the banner and blog post mentions.
But there is a lot more I could have done to promote the eBook outside of just using my blog and WF. I could have done some guest posts on other blogs, utilized social media, or even run paid ads. The extra marketing would’ve helped me sell more copies of my eBook for sure.
When promoting your WSO outside of WF, make sure that you’re setting up any links with a unique URL so that you can track where all your sales are coming from (another mistake I made). You need to know which promotional efforts are working the best, so that you can amplify them. For instance, if you notice that a lot of your sales are coming from a guest post you did, then it’s time to look for new blogs to guest post on. Find out what works, then repeat it.
Unless you’re constantly bumping your sales thread on WF, there’s a good chance that most of your sales won’t come from people actually finding your thread on WF. Most of your sales will come from your own promotions.
5- Showing Proof and Reviews Matters
I think one of the reasons people were interested in my eBay Guide was because I showed proof of my actual earnings in my sales letter. If you can show people that what you’re selling works, you’re going to increase the amount of sales you get for your WSO. I actually just bought a link building service for one of my niche sites just because they posted a ton of proof of real results they got for other customers.
Of course, the problem that a lot of these people selling WSO’s have is that they’re just selling rehashed products, or talking about methods that they have never actually done themselves, so they can’t show proof. I’m far from the moral police, but I will recommend that you only sell WSO’s on topics that you have experience in, or for methods that you personally have used successfully.
People on WF love to see proof of income. If your WSO covers any type of making money online methods, you should absolutely show screenshots of money you’ve made to build trust and to show that you know what you’re talking about.
Another way to help build confidence for your WSO is to get reviews from REPUTABLE member on WF. The keyword there is reputable. A review from someone with only 1 post is meaningless. But a review from a War Room member with thousands of posts, and a solid reputation will go a LONG way.
After people start buying your WSO, some customers will leave their reviews in your thread. But what you want is reviews at the time of your launch. The way I did this was by finding people with a nice post count, had been on the forum for a while, and had some experience with eBay. Then I just sent them a PM on WF asking if they’d be interested in taking a look at my WSO I’m about to launch and leave a review in my sale thread.
Out of all of the people I asked, maybe a couple of them didn’t respond. But for the most part, people were more than willing to check it out. This works because
- People feel special when they’re personally selected for a review
- People like free stuff
- It’s very rare that someone who received a free review copy will leave a negative review
The other way of getting reviews is just to launch your WSO sale thread, and people will come in and ask for a review copy. I’d advise against this. The people who come in asking for freebies just want to get your product for free, and they make a habit of doing this. They tend to have low post counts and don’t have any type of influence that you can benefit from. It’s much better to find your own people to review your WSO.
Don’t launch your WSO without reviews. Especially if you don’t have proof of your income. People are followers, and need some type of approval from others before they’ll buy what you’re selling. Ideally you should have reviews and proof of income. But at the very least, get some reviews.
Some Closing Words (plus my income from my WSO)
I haven’t done anything to promote my WSO in months, aside from having the banner on my sidebar here. I never bumped my sale thread after it went past the first page on WF. I did take on a bunch of new affiliates but they didn’t make any sales. But I still make sales every month, which is some nice passive income.
WSO’s are a good way to make money online, particularly if you have some valuable information to share. There are plenty of people who make a full time income online just with WSO’s. There are plenty of other topics that could be talked about, like Joint Ventures (JV’s), the actual process of setting up your WSO, your sales thread, sales funnels and back end products, etc. I might cover some of those topics at a later time if anyone’s interested. But for now, this should give you some ideas of what to expect.
And finally, here’s how much money I’ve made from my eBay WSO so far.
When you break it down, it’s a little over $500/month in sales. Not bad for passive income.
That’s it folks. Let me know if you have any questions regarding WSO’s and I’ll do my best to answer them. Do you have any tips for launching WSO’s?