David WilkinsonThis article has been guest blogged by David Wilkinson – 13-Year Old Affiliate Marketing Expert.

We’ve all seen the silly little ‘one time offers’ when buying Internet Marketing products. For just an extra $50 (on top of the original $100 selling price), you can get yourself access to 250 free Private-Lable-Right products to sell as your own! You know the drill by now. Similar to a real-life situation, this ‘platinum’ or ‘bonus’ offer converts as high as 60% or 70%, meaning that from a publisher’s point of view, after someone has pressed that elusive order button, the chances of them buying again (still in their feverish ‘spending frenzy’) is higher than it would be on a simple product sales page presented AFTER purchase.

It’s not just Internet Marketers, though, who exploit this profit-pulling tactic. How many times have you heard the simple, innocent phrase… “Would you like fries with that?” How about behind-the-counter displays and special offers so often seen in the stores? If the conversion rates weren’t so good, and the money not so easy to make – why would people carry on using the ‘one-time-offer’ as their primary way of following up buyers with a sale?

It’s best to push your offer to someone IMMEDIATELY after they order. Not inside the members area. Not on your blog. Not through an AdWords ad, but after they click that order button, have their credit card out and their wallet in hand. It’s simple psychology – and as a 13-year old affiliate marketer, if I can manage – you certainly can too.

It’s not a massively complicated backdoor in the search engines which will get you banned instantly. It’s not a cleverly thought out blackhat backlink building trick to make you the envy of all others. It’s a simple tactic. You simply add in an extra page to the order process, a page which offers an extended product, with an “I’ll wave goodbye to this fantastic offer forever” link at the bottom which simply takes the buyer to the original core product’s salespage.

One thing needs to be made clear however. The upsell is a hard-sell wearing a hat. It’s not a nicely-nice “for an extra $XX you can get this!”, but rather a ferocious, pressure-inducing “You will NEVER see this page again” kind of offer. Some marketers choose to stray away from such hard-selling tactics, but almost every ‘big-name’ successful marketer who you’ll see out there will be using a one time offer in some form or other.

As a blogger, you may be thinking that a one time offer will be extremely hard to implement since your blog isn’t promoting anyone else’s products and isn’t purely money-making related. Write a short 5-page eBook, make it freely available and then when people hit the ‘download’ button – present them with an irrefutable upsell – something that could bundle together a series of other eBooks you’ve written, or even just rights to some PLR products.

I don’t want to drone on too much – but the upsell is one heck of a powerful weapon. Use it wisely and reap the rewards.

By Jeremy Schoemaker

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of ShoeMoney Media Group, and to date has sold 6 companies and done over 10 million in affiliate revenue. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 International Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. You can read more about Jeremy on his wikipedia page here.

114 thoughts on “Upselling – The why, the where, the how”
  1. Are you kidding me? You’re 13? Haven’t clicked over to your blog yet but you’re packing a lot of journalistic literary talent if that’s truly your age! Nice work little mister.

  2. Great guest post. Well thought out and well written. Shoe should hire you on part time just to make intelligent posts.

  3. 13 years old and you write like marketing veteran. Hats off to you kiddo. Well done.

  4. Spectacular writing and great tips. When I was David’s age (in 1997) I was writing AOL punters in Visual Basic when I should have been pushing early affiliates and buying up valuable domain names.

    Here’s a toast to your success, David!

  5. You, my friend, have effectively put us all to shame. My ten year old is going to start helping me soon, lol…

  6. Go back to the Xbox kid and have some fun. There will be plenty of time to work when your an adult!

  7. Best written post on Shoemoney.com. Ever.

    The upsell is a great tool, but this kid seems to have been raised on the teachings of GoDaddy and ebook spammers. Each company can upsell in its own way, while still keeping with their user experience, the trick is finding the right balance for your current project. Some can get away with GoDaddy pummeling, while other would be better to go with Amazon.com’s suggestions.

  8. There’s nothing more fun than playing with the big boys ๐Ÿ™‚ He can xbox when he’s old and decrepit.

  9. lol 13 years old, yeah right….
    great article though and definitely great trafficbait!!
    just a shame that his site isn’t finished

  10. great post. my only question is, do the companies like cj, etc. pay your parents? since you can’t legally enter into the contracts they require. other than that, good job. always great to hear stories of people (regardless of age) defying the status quo in positive ways.

  11. Nice article you won’t have to worry about money when you’re older. Just a tip though – your first link was to a Coming Soon page – You may want to add a – Want to be notified when I’m up? then capture and email address here.

    You had me intrigued with your article, but alas I will soon forget about your site with all the other stuff I look at on a daily basis, it would have been nice if you offered a little reminder email to me so that you can “sell” me later.

    Good stuff…

  12. […] Wilkinson is only 13, and the literature and clever article he wrote over at shoemoney!, writing a guest post on shoemoney ร‚ย ร‚ย ร‚ย  ร‚ย ร‚ย ร‚ย  ร‚ย ร‚ย ร‚ย  ร‚ย ร‚ย ร‚ย  ร‚ย ร‚ย ร‚ย  ร‚ย ร‚ย ร‚ย  ร‚ย ร‚ย ร‚ย  ร‚ย ร‚ย ร‚ย  ร‚ย ร‚ย ร‚ย  […]

  13. Upselling is huge in any industry, once you get them to buy it’s a million times easier to get them to buy more. Following up after the initial buy is also crucial.

  14. Kid, you’ve got scary writing talent. You’re probably better educated than your teachers. You will definitely be a huge affiliate player before you even finish high school.

  15. I get it… he’s 13…

    How many times have you seen offers like that? If you’ve ever ordered a godaddy domain, at least once.

    Great tip

  16. wow, thats very impressive from a 13 year old.. Congrats, keep up the good work.

  17. I keep forgetting about you til’ you post something wise beyond your years, again… Good job buddy. I do hope you remember to balance work and fun. You get to be 13 once and in this world of adults, a year flies by way to fast. Please be sure to have a catch once and a while. Congrats on your success.

    Now where is that darn baseball glove?

  18. Great post David. I also just checked out your blog. You have posts like this every day and you’re only 13?

    Awesome.

  19. Is this for real shoe? Have you met/talked to him to verify that he is 13?

  20. Come on, no 13 year old can write that well and that grammatically correct. No Way! It’s link bait Shoe.

  21. That’s just really cool…

    It makes sense that there will be younger marketers coming on – when most of us were 13 the idea of being an internet marketer was not really even heard of (unless your family was well advanced in technology) BUT now, as internet marketers, we are likely raising kids who we’ll want to teach and share what we know about how to make money online.

    I know my son is only 5 and he’s been telling me he’s going to get clients and going to have a business on the internet like me.

    Angela Wills
    http://www.StarVA.com

  22. As soon as I saw this I was reminded of Carl Ocab, who started to make good money online at the age of 13. He is now 14, his blog is carlocab.com. But anyway, if you are also really 13 then great job, kids like you are going to be making millions when you are in your 20s.

  23. It is so amazing that this kid is just 13! When I was thirteen the internet wasn’t mainstream yet, so there were no chances to excel like he has. Excellent advice, and I see a dot com mogul in the making!

  24. Is he a midget posing as a 13 year old or what? I guess he
    could be a child protรƒยฉgรƒยฉ or sump-thing. Hope Shoe is not pulling our collective leg.

  25. If he really was 13, I gotta say, he’s the Doogie Howser of affiliate marketing (and grammar! Simply flawless).

  26. Its not linkbait. His spelling and grammar give it away – They are a lot better than shoemoney’s ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. I used to think like you when I was 13, except there weren’t any computers, forget the internet, when I was that young.

    Coming from a business family where everybody talked tactics it’s easy for any kid to grow up like that.

    But yes, a great post. Very articulate.

  28. For crying out loud. You really have been sucked in you guys. As an Englishman I noted that this supposed Manchester UK bright spark is in year 8 high school. We don’t have high schools in the UK and nor do we refer to the 2nd year as year 8. Wooops, dropped one there didn’t we?

  29. He must be home-schooled, this one. I am so impressed, I can’t even comment right.

  30. All in all, I thought your post was delightful, David. You should guest post for Shoe more often. Maybe he could even make you the official guest post writer when he’s away at conferences and such.

    13, man, still can’t get over it; you’re too good to be true (literally).

  31. Very nicely done David. I must say however that I am rather hesitant in regarding myself as an expert in any area of business, even in areas that I have been operating for 10 years.

    I would safely say that expertise comes with experience, and experience is gained with events and necessarily with time.

    A very simple example of what I am “claiming” is the status of your website when this article came out. A truly experienced Affiliate Marketeer would have found a way to monetize this article, and I am not solely referring to a direct sale monetization, but you lost a good percentage of a probable new user base since you didn’t even care to redirect the root of your domain that is under construction to the blog with a simple and effective 301.

    Other then that, I wish you all the best and enjoy your childhood.

  32. I always wonder if all of these kids are really adults using the age for link bait…

  33. Tim–I was just thinking the same thing. I’m glad that I was at least drawn to AOL mischief via VB–I’m a REAL programmer now, thanks to those days.

  34. Good article David…
    Imagine if one day they start offering Internet marketing class at schools… I guess all the kids will become super affiliates.

  35. You’re right, you are NOT an expert. Because the throught didn’t occur to you that he has plans for the root of his domain directory and doesn’t want his blog posts indexed as being in the root.

    This way he can build an awesome content site while still using the blog subdirectory as linkbait to attract people to his domain. Actually a lot smarter than you it seems…

  36. not entirely correct. year 8 is the second year of secondary school. when you converse a lot with people online (mostly american) you start modifying your language so it fits with their mentality. its much easier to reference high school and college, rather than secondary school and university. never mind mixing in our grammar schools and our varying brands of college (which one further education or component of a university???).

  37. well no not really smart, half way there. maybe the 301 suggested by the commenter was off. a simple link to the blog would have gained maybe 200 – 300 new readers from the exposure on shoemoney. only research reveals a blog exists.

  38. Great Job David! You should be proud of yourself. Not many kids your age, much less adults, have such insight

  39. Why does there always have to be someone who nags about legalities, or rules, or other shit that is none of their business? It’s none of your concern, don’t worry about it.

  40. Upselling is key in just about any sales transaction–and you definitely explain it very well! Do you want fries with that? Classic!

  41. Look who it is! GeorgeB long time no see.

    So how are your contests coming along?

    Still running away from the contest participants?

  42. I wish i would have started at age 13, I’d be a millionaire by now ๐Ÿ™‚

  43. Great post- especially from a 13 year old. I was probably old enough to be your mother before I knew any of that. I have to disagree on the “you’ll only see this page once” line though. Whilst there should be an urgent call to action in your offer, that technique is becoming extremely dated.

  44. All I am saying is that all he seems to have at the moment is the Blog, so why not use that to get some exposure to his brand/name. To me it makes a lot of sense. Work with what you have rather then what “will/might be”.

    I can however, like GeorgeB stated, understand why he wouldn’t want the blog posts indexed in the root domain if he has other plans for it.

  45. While I seriously doubt the validity of this person’s claim of being 13 years old, the articles on his/her blog are great. If nothing else, killer link-bait, as the others have mentioned. Keep up the good work, although, if you aren’t 13, I would “come out of the closet”, as with your writing talent and know-how, you should work on making a name for yourself, which can’t happen if you’re shrouded by a misleading alias.

    – Mike

  46. Is that a person with 13yrs in affiliate marketing or a 13-yr old person in affiliate marketing? Anyway, i agree that upselling is an important and often neglected portion of sales. Infact, Business2.0 recently wrote an article on this too. You might want to check it out.

  47. I think I’ll just copy and paste this message in reply to the numerous people claiming this is a linkbait setup, but…

    Hate to smash the party, but the fact is, I’m 13 and have been since February. No help with the article, just my own thoughts and rantings. I guess you’ll be screaming for proof though. Take your pick between the BBC or ProBlogger. Contact me via my site for more linkage. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/manchester/content/articles/2006/12/14/child_blogger_feature.shtml

    http://www.problogger.net/archives/2007/02/13/how-to-drive-traffic-to-your-blog-the-advice-of-a-12-year-old/

  48. *ahem*

    I think I’ll just copy and paste this message in reply to the numerous people claiming this is a linkbait setup, but…

    Hate to smash the party, but the fact is, I’m 13 and have been since February. No help with the article, just my own thoughts and rantings. I guess you’ll be screaming for proof though. Take your pick between the BBC or ProBlogger. Contact me via my site for more linkage. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/manchester/content/articles/2006/12/14/child_blogger_feature.shtml

    http://www.problogger.net/archives/2007/02/13/how-to-drive-traffic-to-your-blog-the-advice-of-a-12-year-old/

  49. That’s a different 13-year old as it happens… Jumped onto the scene ’bout half a year after myself. All the same, it was indeed a fantastic post. Keep it up Carl! ๐Ÿ™‚

  50. I’m a 13-year old person in Affiliate Marketing. Started Internet Marketing in general last November, so I’ve hardly been in on the scene all that long. Nevertheless, even without all the years behind me I’m still faring pretty darn well. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  51. Indeed they can – very clever usage of the OTO on your own website, though as a rule of thumb, I’ve never liked pushing an offer immediately to a prospect, but rather wait till they’ve hit the magic order button. Just my two cents.

  52. I don’t doubt that you are 13 or a blogger, but I’m guessing you get quite a bit of help from your dad. A thirteen year old, no matter how talented, could not have written your most recent blogpost. There are quite a few internet gurus out there now all claiming to be 13. I’m also from the UK, and I never buy stuff from anyone from Manchester on the ebay. Great blog though. I noticed a link to your new site in a testimonial you did for Blogging to the Bank. When does the site launch? It looks very professional.

  53. […] Upselling – The why, the where, the how […]

  54. Hate to say it Cath, but no help involved… As for Blogspot – I don’t use the service. http://www.techzi.net/ is my main blog, alongside my money-making http://www.affiliatedefined.com/blog/

    Thanks for the kind words and encouragement though, regarding my Aff Def site! We aim to launch sometime before the end of 2007, though I’m not making any promises. ๐Ÿ˜‰ With school ‘n’ all, my predictions are generally thrown horribly off-balance.

  55. My parents won’t let me be home-schooled. I’ve already asked, but they reckon I’ll be generally more well-balanced if I stay on at public school. I guess they know best. ๐Ÿ™‚

  56. Thanks for the advice Shawn – I’ve added an opt-in box. You da man!

  57. One large piece of humble pie please and no I don’t want fries with it! I apologise David. He is indeed 13 folks and I was wrong they do have some high schools in the UK. I assumed from the exellent quality of the post, it was old shoemoney having a little laugh with us. Sorry Shoe and well done David!

  58. […] locked up or anything! Remember David Wilkinson? Well recently he did a post over at shoemoney, clicky. A 14 year old posting on shoemoney? […]

  59. […] Upselling – The why, the where, the how — An interesting article. […]

  60. It’s amazing how (nearly) all the comments are focusing on age, and not the content of the article itself.

    Great article David, I think you’ve hit on an aspect of marketing that we don’t often hear much about. It’s certainly something that I haven’t given a lot of thought to, but when I think about it, it’s really quite obvious.

  61. First off, bravo, David. As usual. You reveal something that the majority of affiliate marketers DON’T do and that, if they did, would make them two to three times the money without much extra effort.

    Second, I find it kind of funny that 95% of the comments on this thread are about your age — and not about the content of your blog post. Sigh…

    Third, for those of you who don’t know David, yes, David is indeed 13. He interviewed me for one of his products via Skype. Aside from the obvious pre-pubescent voice, his questions were poignant, to the point, and very well thought out. We had a great interview, and he’s a damn-fine marketer — better than many who are three to five times his age.

  62. I’m sure they mean the best, but if you have parents who don’t shelter you, then virtually 100% of the time homeschooling makes you more well-balanced. It does help if you start at the beginning, rather than 13, though.

    Obviously, in your case, you are going places regardless of your schooling!

    Even though education is not the main thrust of my site, I have a few posts about homeschooling on it, an “overview”, a “why homeschool” post and one on the huge “socialization” myth.

    I homeschooled all three of my children up to high school although they started doing high school level work in 6th or 7th grade. It worked out very well for all concerned.

  63. […] first came across David Wilkinson when he did a guest post over on ShoeMoney’s blog.  Since then, I’ve added his RSS feed to my Google Reader, and I’m anxiously […]

  64. This guy is very genius,damn, I am jealous.
    I wish if I would have seen computer at that age, I would also be something like him till now.

  65. Wow,, 13 – Cool!,.. I have been very successful generating free traffic to my blogs and promoting affiliate marketing programs using craig’s list. It is tricky but it can be done..

    After i figured out how to use Craigรขโ‚ฌโ„ขs list i created an affordable product for others.

    if you are interested check it out at:
    http://craigslisttrafficvideos.com

    i hope this is not out of line with the conversation here

  66. I still have problems trying to upsell stuff. I just dont know why I don’t have the “eye” for it yet :/

  67. Why I don’t hire minors to do the work of professionals at Pedro Sttau | Search Engine Optimization Thoughts, Ideas and Experiments. says:

    […] a recent post at Shoemoney Blog I took some abuse because of my admitted prejudice regarding working with […]

  68. These little kid bloggers are like a freakin’ virus! Oooh I’m 9 and half years old, I have a blog. Whatever. I had a freakin’ baby leave a comment on my blog a while ago. That’s right, a baby! Dammit, what that little fetus didn’t know about SEO just wasn’t worth knowing. Go outside. Get some sun. Save a manatee. Play some xbox.
    I’m not sure how a 13 year old can be considered an “expert” in anything besides Spongebob or TMNT or whatever the kids are into right now?

  69. How dare you accuse Shoemoney of bad grammar. There is NO grammar involved what so ever ^^

  70. I considered blogging about this, but what the heck, it’s a 13 year old kid.

    If it were a professional, then the consequences of content theft would be quite different.

    What can they do? Ground him for a week? ๐Ÿ˜€

  71. […] tech news, I figured it’d be great to vent my thoughts through other people’s blogs. Shoemoney, for instance. ProBlogger, as another […]

  72. 1. David Wilkinson Says:
    July 24th, 2007 at 5:58 pm e

    In response to your comment on my Shoemoney blog, claiming I ripped the article from outside sources, Iรขโ‚ฌโ„ขd like to point out that infact, I did NOT. The articles on my Affiliate Defined blog at present are ALL articles I have purchased Private Lable Rights too, meaning I can use them as I want, and claim them as my own. It seems infact, that the site you referred to, may ALSO have used these articles.

    As for any content on Shoemoney, or blogs beside my own (which for now is merely a space filler), is all hand written by me, and me only.

    2. Tony Says:
    July 24th, 2007 at 10:20 pm e

    That is a very interesting reply David – if you say that by paying for the use of someone elses writing you can do anything you want with it, including claiming them to be your own, then this is a sad state of affairs as it, to me, smacks of deception.

    Quoting other peoples comments, opinions and writing is normal, I do it all the time although I usually give full accreditation and sources if I know them, selecting writing which supports your own ideas is normal editorial practice, but publishing a whole piece from another site and claiming it to be your own writing can only make you look to be foolish at best and a much worse thing to most people.

    I am pleased you do claim to write your own content, but see what is happening – I immediately said “claim to write” – but you admit claiming that other peoples writing is your own on your blog.

    You have got plenty of time and clearly a lot to learn.

  73. Tony… Where have I claimed to write the content I’ve placed on my Affiliate Defined blog? By signing off with the footer ‘David Wilkinson – Affiliate Marketing Expert’ – which is automatically placed on every post by my anti-RSS-ripper plugin hardly makes me a criminal. For all you know, I could simply be publishing the article.

    Tony – I too give full accreditation to sources I use, where I feel is right, such as on my technology blog (TechZi.net) where I often quote (and link) other sources. However when you acquire the PLR rights to a product or a set of articles, linking to the homepage defeats the point of the object – spending money to get exclusive usage rights to an article.

    Tony – I’ll bitch fight you any day after my product’s launched. In the meantime, I’m busy making sure it kicks ass. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Feel free to let me know who I copied my blog idea, my product, my hairstyle and my toothbursh brand from too, whilst you’re here.

  74. It’s not just that he has outstanding grammar, but he projects a much older voice. I don’t doubt that the boy is 13, but I seriously doubt that he is authoring posts like this on his own. Even incredibly gifted children at this age write with a younger voice – it’s apparent to me that he is largely a front for someone else’s writing (or intense editing).

  75. People have no problem with the idea of a 13 year old affiliate marketer. They have a problem with a 13 year old who writes like a 30 year old… and by that, I don’t simply mean grammar. Every individual writes with a certain voice – they project differently. Children at age 13, no matter how talented, do not project the same voice as a 30+ year old. His posts are either written by an older individual or heavily edited by one.

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