Susannah is a journalist and B-blogger with a total social following of over 100,000 people & whose content receives over 15,000 visits/day.
When I first joined hubpages, the idea of writing sales hubs not only scared me, it also made me feel like I was 'selling out' as a writer. However I've since come to the conclusion that:
- Informational hubs don't sell Amazon items - people who visit how to or guide hubs are usually just looking for answers. To sell items you need to aim at buyers, which means you need to write your hub, title and tags based around an item. You may get occasional clicks or maybe hit it lucky with a particular information topic which attracts buyers, but this is rare.
- Sales hubs are where the money is - I earn reasonable amounts from Adsense as well as Amazon on my sales hubs.
- Being a writer is about making people want to read what you've written, not just about writing a famous novel or a poem.
Of course the idea can still be a little scary if you're trying to make the transition from informational or creative writing to sales writing. However I can guarantee one thing - it does get easier with time.
I certainly wouldn't call myself an Amazon expert like Nelle Hoxie but hopefully this guide will help you at least have a go at writing a sales hub. Remember though - like all hubs, not every sales hub will do well. However if you write at least a dozen, you're sure to start seeing at least a few sales which should increase with time.
For a really good in depth guide to selling Amazon items, I recommend you read this hub by Susana S.
There are literally hundreds of layouts that you can use in a sales hub - from reviews of each item through to categorising items by color, type or cost. This is only a basic guide to get you started so go ahead and experiment with different layouts, text and picture placement!
Simple Steps to Write Your Sales Hub
Here are the basic steps to writing a sales hub.
1. Choose an item. The best ones are specific but not too specific. For example:
- Coats is too broad.
- Red leather coats is a good midway choice.
- Hand sewn silk lined, leather coats in large sizes is too specific.
2. Pick a good title. As recommended in the tips box, add some 'sale' words to the title and even some synonyms. For example Cheap red leather coats and jackets.
3. Insert your Amazon capsules, photos and text boxes. This not only gives you an idea of what is available but also lets you know how much space you have to fill.
4. Read the reviews and information about the item. Some reviewers will write 300-500 word reviews on items, giving you plenty of feedback to work with. Some sales hubs can be written just by paraphrasing the information left in reviews and on the item sale page.
5. Write simply. My personal recommendation is to place a large text box of 100-135 words at the top of the hub to allow for Adsense placement. In this first box you can give some basic information about your item - it can be as basic as where it can be worn and why the color is better than other colors for that item.
6. Refer to Amazon items. Unlike Adsense, you can refer to your adverts as much as you wish.
How to Get Ideas for Sales Hubs
It can be a bit daunting to find a good item to write about. But remember - you don't necessarily need to know all about the item, you just need to be able to paraphrase and research the basics. Here are some ways I find item ideas:
- Basics. You'll be surprised how many people are looking for basic items such as can openers, sauce bottles and glasses. Don't be scared that it's too basic - if it's something that can be bought, it's something you can sell!
- Catalogues. This is a wonderful way to find item ideas. Catalogues are hand picked items that are already organized in a way that companies hope will make you buy them - so simply go through a catalogue and circle items for ideas or add notes. I often have a half dozen catalogues covered with notes and circles, sitting beside my computer.
- Look around. When you're in your house, your workplace or even online, see what items you use or sell regularly and write about them. You come into contact with literally hundreds of items each day, so start opening your eyes and looking at them!
- Write in the second or third person. This makes the article appear more professional. If you plan to write in the first person, try and only do so when referring to direct experience with the item.
- Make sure there is a wide selection of items. People like choice, so if you can give them a range of items to choose from, they're more likely to click through.
- Do a search on hubpages. If there are no sales hubs written about the item, I strongly recommend you write one, even without keyword research. Hubpages is such a strong platform that if you write the only hub on the item, you're likely to get reasonable traffic.
- Use pictures to sell. My motto is to never place a picture of an item that isn't for sale. So if you do plan to use pictures on your hubs, I'd recommend taking the larger images from the Amazon site and placing them near your Amazon capsule.
- Use sale words in the title. Include words like buy, cheap, best, top ten, greatest, review and online.
- Higher sale rate. Don't stress if your sales hubs only see a handful of search engine visits each day. The CTR is much higher on Amazon hubs. For instance I often average 5 sales for 150 sales hubs visits, while 1000 information hub visits often nets me only a few clicks.
I've also written another basic guide with some more tips on Amazon sales over at Wizzley.
Sheilamarie from British Columbia on May 21, 2015:
I've gotten wary of sales hubs since all the new changes around here. Would you still recommend we continue writing them? There seems to be so much caution against them these days.
Trudy Cooper from Hampshire, UK on February 25, 2015:
Great tips, good read and very informative.
Susie Lehto from Minnesota on January 17, 2015:
I am going to have to bookmark this, Wrylilt.
LindaSmith1 from USA on January 14, 2015:
Some good tips about sales hubs, or articles for your own web site.
Fay Favored from USA on September 03, 2014:
We've been encouraged to do sales articles on other websites, so I was interested to see how they work here.
Becki Rizzuti from Indiana, USA on August 27, 2014:
I've never done well with sales hubs (or lenses) in the whole time that I've been writing online, but it's the time of year when I feel that it's probably a good point to think about making another push for it. So here I go!
I'll be using your tips on my Pregnancy Now and beckisgiftguides accounts to see if I can't turn some more sales than what I did last year. I've not been doing it the way that you describe, so here's hoping that I can make something happen!
Sima Ballinger from Michigan on August 07, 2014:
Thanks so much. Writing Deliberate Hubs about Amazon products is the best way to sale. I just recently started doing some review and sales articles - I will continue, and your guide will help alot.
Esther Strong from UK on July 23, 2014:
Thanks SO much for sharing this information. I have recently completed a few sales hubs and although I have had relatively few views I have made a sale. This bears out what you say about the Click Through Rate :-D
I have a question please. I understand some people use a free Google Blogger to make links to both sales and informational articles here on hubpages, but is it also permissible/wise to use Blogger to actually blog about items for sale on Amazon – i.e. an Amazon sales blog or series of sales blogs?
PS – Thanks for your Wizzley link on Amazon sales. This too was very informative. (Plus I also read your Wizzley article on SEO - EXTREMELY enlightening.)
Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on June 09, 2014:
This hub gave me a huge "aha" moment this morning. It makes sense now why I have such poor success with the Amazon program. BTW, I like your profile. You are one busy lady.
Glenn Stok from Long Island, NY on May 10, 2014:
I have one hub that is doing extremely well with Amazon sales and all the others are mediocre. So I was wondering why that one was doing so well. Now that I found and read your hub, I see why. You are right - My informational hubs are not bringing Amazon sales. The one that works however, happens to also be an informational hub, but with a 'sales twist' with the way I present the information.
Sally Gulbrandsen from Norfolk on January 06, 2014:
Wrylilt - some very useful information - am going to bookmark this one to come back again. Thanks for sharing this info.
Susannah Birch (author) from Toowoomba, Australia on November 20, 2013:
The first sentence of the FAQ explaining overly promotional: Purely promotional offers and Hubs designed only to promote other sites or businesses are not allowed.
This is about promoting a product, then selling via Amazon, from which HP gets a cut of sales. Therefore, allowed.
Yes, you can get sales from random clicks, but people who are searching "40 ways to induce labor" are less in the mood to buy than people searching "5 best cheap washing machines" in my experience.
Lena Kovadlo from Staten Island, NY on November 17, 2013:
From my personal experiences with Amazon... most of the sales that occurred from my hubs were for products I never featured. So the hub doesn't necessarily need to be a sales hub. As long as it has an Amazon product link we give ourselves a chance to earn.
Lena Kovadlo from Staten Island, NY on November 17, 2013:
I didn't think that sales hubs are allowed. Thought that would make them too promotional as their purpose would be to sell not to educate and inform.
Robert Burroughs on October 17, 2013:
I have a Mac, when I copied the URL the photo capsule wouldn't take it. I just looked up the same image on Flickr. So maybe I'll try my hand at a few of these.
Susannah Birch (author) from Toowoomba, Australia on October 17, 2013:
Rtburroughs, I right click the image and click "Copy Image URL" or save it to my computer and upload it.
Robert Burroughs on October 16, 2013:
I guess it would be the photo capsule, I assumed it was a large Amazon product photo because it is identical. So now my question is did you search for an identical image or were you able to use a large Amazon Image in the photo. I tried to use the URL for the large image but I must be doing something wrong.
Susannah Birch (author) from Toowoomba, Australia on October 16, 2013:
Rtburroughs, do you mean the one in the photo capsule or in the Amazon capsule?
Robert Burroughs on October 15, 2013:
I have been trying to figure out how to get the large product images for several days. How do you do this, nothing I have tried works?
Susannah Birch (author) from Toowoomba, Australia on August 06, 2013:
Quildon, Hubpages has no eCommerce facility. However you could link back to your own website.
Angela Joseph from Florida on July 27, 2013:
This is a really great hub especially for people like me looking to make money on hubpages. What do you think of the idea of writing a sales hub on your own handmade products? Can someone purchase from you through hubpages?
Susannah Birch (author) from Toowoomba, Australia on July 08, 2013:
SpaceShanty, you can use Amazon product images to promote an item. You cannot use photos added by customers or that aren't official Amazon product photos.
SpaceShanty from United Kingdom on July 08, 2013:
Another amazing Hub by WryLilt!
Just one question. I guess from the information we can copy and use Amazon images without giving a source or credit?
W1totalk on July 04, 2013:
larakern from Georgia on June 27, 2013:
This is a great hub! I'm glad I spotted it while I was just browsing through. I've been wondering how I could use Amazon on my hubs effectively. Thanks for sharing!
Shasta Matova from USA on June 16, 2013:
Great tips here. I agree thathubs specifically targeting the buyer are more effective than a random Amazon capsule here and there.
Dr Penny Pincher from Iowa, USA on June 16, 2013:
I worked on some MTurk tasks to write product descriptions similar to what you described (and got paid a couple bucks for each one). I bet these will be used in a sales site somewhere. With you tips, I could try my own sales site with this approach. Thanks for the info!
Barbara Fitzgerald from Georgia on June 14, 2013:
Thanks for the great advice. Voted thumbs up and useful! I am off to write 2 sales hubs directly!
Annette R. Smith from Ocala, Florida on May 20, 2013:
Excellent tips, WryLilt. I'm glad I found this hub. Most of my articles are informational hubs with Amazon capsules thrown in, and the only time I make decent Amazon sales are during the months leading up to Christmas. It's time for me to put your suggestions into practice with some sales hubs. Voted up and useful.
Barbara Badder from USA on May 05, 2013:
I've always written information hubs. I'll give this a try. Thanks for the advice.
Marisa Hammond Olivares from Texas on May 05, 2013:
Spotted this on the HP feed this morning and I am glad I did. Very useful information here. it is nice to have options on what and how we write. A sales hub is a perfect idea and beneficial writing style. Thanks for the tips and info.
Voted up and tweeting.
livingsta from United Kingdom on May 05, 2013:
Very informative hub wrylilt. I did not know about these sales hubs. It looks something difficult to do. Thank you for this information. Voting up and sharing!
Steve Mitchell from Cambridgeshire on May 05, 2013:
Thanks so much for this. I will definitely give it a go now. Voting up and sharing this top hub.
Troy Yarbrough from Texas, USA on May 04, 2013:
Great advice! I've been writing Amazon sales pages on another platform with little to no luck and almost zero sales. After reading this hub, I am going to try using HubPages instead of the other site. And I'll implement your advice into my writing and see how that goes. You're right about informational articles/hubs and the lack of "buyer" traffic. I have some info hubs under another username and even though one gets over 200 visits a month, it only makes a few cents each month through adsense. HubPages ad program pays me more than adsense on those hubs. Thanks again for the great advice. Voted thumbs up, useful, and awesome.
L M Reid from Ireland on April 19, 2013:
I have only a few Amazon sales hubs and they do ok, but your tips above are very useful. You have inspired me to start writing more
Thanks shared on Twitter
Carolee Samuda from Jamaica on April 18, 2013:
I have wanted to try the sales hub thing and got scared every time. Maybe I should just go ahead and do one. Most of the items I sell from Amazon are from my recipe blog.
Thanks for the tips, I am definitely going to try this.
Ceres Schwarz on April 14, 2013:
This is a really great and interesting hub with a lot of useful information that's presented in a clear and easy-to-understand way. I'm now interested in trying to write a sales hub. If I ever get the chance to do so, this hub, with all its tips and advice, will certainly help me and all those interested in writing sales hubs.
Tirralan Watkins from Los Angeles, CA on April 03, 2013:
WryLilt, this is an excellent hub. I've never thought about doing a sales hub and I have over 10 years of sales experience. You've inspired me to go for it. Thank you!
Shadaan Alam from India on March 08, 2013:
OMG...a sales hub, what's that..well that was my first reaction to your hub, but slowly as i read it, i found out how interesting and useful this post is, i have never ever thought about it in the same way, The way you have explained everything is simply great.But i would really be grateful if you please let me know how to kind out the keyword research for the sales hub.
Jane Boucheirre from CA on September 21, 2012:
cool. thanks for the tips!
Wesley Meacham from Wuhan, China on September 21, 2012:
I think this is a great idea. I hadn't thought of writting a sales hub before. I can see though how it could be done. Voting up, interesting, useful and shared.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on September 13, 2012:
Revisiting this hub. Most of my Amazon sales come around Christmas and then drop off to nearly zero the rest of the year. But then I have few true sales hubs. Should probably try my hand at writing a few more with the good tips you have given. Up votes and tweeting.
Steve Mitchell from Cambridgeshire on September 05, 2012:
Love the easy to follow information. I have tried putting Amazon capsules in my hubs but was never happy about them. I can't wait to try my hand at doing it your way. Thanks
Marilyn Alexander from Vancouver, Canada on August 27, 2012:
Thanks again, Wrylilt. I came back to this excellent hub and read it again. I finally get it. Write your hub around a particular product that enough people (ready, willing, and able to buy) will read. My "Guide..." and "How to...." hubs included Amazon product but resulted in no sales. I now know the difference!
MAGICFIVE from New York on August 27, 2012:
This is very useful advice! I intend to put it to use as soon as I think of something good to sell!
Stephanie Marie Severson from Atlanta, GA on August 22, 2012:
Thank you...this was very helpful!
vwriter from US on August 04, 2012:
I've found your hub very useful and since I only write informational hubs I now understand why I'm getting few sales. I noticed that you used the large picture of the item you are selling. I didn't realize you could take the picture alone when using HubPages. Anyway, thanks again for this great information.
Marilyn Alexander from Vancouver, Canada on July 04, 2012:
Thanks again, WryLilt for an excellent hub. I appreciate your great ideas. The idea of writing for Amazon sales is smart. I can separate my creative writing and my sales writing. Also, I understand what you are saying about not expecting the same return from "how to" and "guide to" hubs.
Voted up and useful - this means your article is extremely awesome to me!
Peony on May 29, 2012:
Useful information! I'll be trying my hand a a couple of sales hubs with these tips in mind (: