Can you promote LGBT Pride merchandise on your website to make money? Yes, of course you can, and you should if you're in for the fight for equality.
You might regularly express your opinions on heterosexism / homophobia issues on social media, help your community and show your support for the activist groups. But how about the LGBTQ related shops? They do help our community just like you do, and since they're profit-making companies, many of them offer affiliate programs. Means if you promote LGBT Pride merchandise on their behalf, you can receive a commission on each sale.
So How Can You Do That?
By using your brand website. Not using one of those ready-made blogging platforms though. They may allow you to sign up and start blogging literally within a few minutes, but they don't allow you to freely advertise merchandises in your article space. What you want to do is to build your site using WordPress, which really won't take you more than 30 minutes either. You can freely express your opinion, you can embed images and YouTube videos wherever you want to, and insert advertisement blocks/banners that are provided by your favorite pride store.
Just to be clear before I explain further - when I say you can "freely express your opinion" it excludes anything that promotes violence, any other kinds of discriminations, anything illegal, etc. You'll easily be banned by the web hosting company, affiliate program, search engines and all, otherwise. I'm sure you know that but just in case.
And Why's That Good?
Because sharing your viewpoints on your website will be influential in a much more sustainable way than by sharing across social networks.
The fight for equality is still on. Discrimination and prejudice will never go away. We know that, how? Via social media. And we spread our campaigns against them by retweeting/re-sharing. It's easy to rant over the latest homophobic incidents or the government's anti-trans policies. Easy to call for support for activist charity groups. The more social followers you have, the more effective for sure.
But your action for good cause can be seen spontaneous and quickly buried in other people's posts, you know what I mean? People continuously move on from one topic to another. Very few of them remember your posts from 3 days ago, if at all.
Whereas a blog space will give you more advantages such as;
- It allows you to express your thoughts at any length you want and in any style you want.
- All your posts will remain in history and searchable by readers (unless you delete them, of course.)
- Your readers can react to your posts by leaving comments, but it's up to you to approve or disapprove them. So you can make sure that no abusive comments or spam comments are displayed in your site.
- You can categorize your posts in the way you want (see below!)
What Can You Write About?
There are 3 types of website themes (=main topics) that you want to choose from. And you need to decide it in the beginning because it will determine what kind of domain name (=web address) you want.
- The whole site is dedicated to supporting LGBTQ+ communities
Basically, a 'gay site' - you can write articles that highlight a variety of topics such as LGBTQ awareness campaigns, entertainment news, Pride event news, your personal experience/thoughts. The domain name can be www.PrideActionWithRay.com for example.
- The website is your brand. So you write a variety of topics and promote whatever your business or hobbies on your site. LGBTQ topics will be just a part of it. The domain name can be really, anything, e.g. www.rayalexander.online
- Go more specific - make your site dedicated to supporting LGBTQ+ communities AND your specialty subject (your hobby, career, an illness that you suffer from.)
No. 3 is the best, recommended option because the audience will see you as an expert, likely to bookmark your site and visit on a regular basis. For example, if you are senior, recovering alcoholic and gay. You can provide information about alcoholic anonymous and related action groups especially set up for the LGBTQ community.
If you know a lot about autism, another example. You can provide relevant information and even create your own "Autistic LGBTQ" community. The domain can be named accordingly, something like www.autistic-lgbtq.org.
Why Would You Make A Profit By Being An Advocate?
First of all, by all means you can create your website for 100% charitable purpose. You can promote non-profitable LGBTQ+ support groups by placing a link to their websites.
But there are some reasons you should be promoting Pride goods and take some commissions, because;
If you really don't like the idea of making money out of fighting for equality, then you can always donate all your profits to the relevant action groups, you know!
What Can You Promote To Make Money?
You can promote Pride shops, or recommend specific products from certain online stores to your site visitors. Rainbow Pride flags to start with, rainbow wedding/engagement rings, slogan t-shirts, accessories, pet products (e.g. rainbow dog collars).
Pride Shack is an exclusive LGBTQ goods online store who offers an affiliate program. Perhaps you can take a look and see what they sell, i.e. what kind of products you can promote as an affiliate on your own website?
Firstly you join their affiliate program, and upon joining, you'll be given your unique affiliate link. You place that link in your web page. When a visitor likes the product that you recommend and clicks the link, they'll be directed to the online store. When they make a purchase, you will receive a commission, typically a percentage of the sales price. For example Pride Shack will pay you 20% on any products that they sell.
Redbubble sells great artistic products that include LGBTQ items.
Amazon is always an all-rounder, selling any goods you can imagine, as you know. You can join the Amazon Associates program from here. Commission rate that you receive from Amazon is lower (4%-10%). But the great thing about Amazon is that, once someone accesses to the Amazon site via your affiliate link, as long as that person buys something from Amazon within 24 hours, you'll receive a commission on the total.
For example you promote a rainbow t-shirt on your website. Someone likes it, clicks the link and directed to the Amazon site. Then she/he changes her/his mind and buys something totally unrelated - buys a DIY set, a packet of batteries and a book - you'll receive a % of commission on whatever they spend. For that reason, Amazon Associates is always a fabulous place to join as an affiliate.
Read Also: How To Make Money As Amazon Affiliate
You may be wondering by now, if you can promote sexually explicit materials on your site - that's a different story. Firstly there are not many web hosting companies who allow that, so you need to choose one that allows adult websites. Hostgator is one, Extreme Hosting is another one.
Secondly it's one way or the other - gay pornography sites do welcome affiliates, but almost all other affiliate programs prohibit you from promoting their products/services on adult sites. So if you intend to build a sexually explicit website, it will have to be wholly and exclusively. Amazon won't allow you to promote their products on your adult site.
Create Your Own LGBT Pride Merchandise Store
Another option - this is just another option - is a drop-shipping business. You can build your blog website just as normal and promote LGBT pride goods as an affiliate, as I mentioned earlier. In the same website, you can also build an e-store.
A WordPress plugin called Woocommerce allows you to do this. It's totally free to install and use on your site. Woocommerce will transform your site to a totally professional looking online store, and this is a fantastic idea if you want to establish your brand.
Pride Shack, especially offers a drop-shipping arrangement. Drop-shipping is where you don't have to store goods, not have to worry about shipping goods. You only have to take customers' orders and take care of any communications. The rest is taken care of the drop-shipping company (Pride Shack). I'll explain how it works very quickly;
- I open my own Pride online store ("Ray's Gaystore" www.raysgaystore.net), create my own logo and all that.
- I see Pride Shack sells a "Love is Love" t-shirt for $20. I decide to sell it for $26 in my store. I list it in my page under "Pride T-shirts" category.
- Someone buys a "Love is Love" t-shirt on my site and pays me $26.
- I immediately buy the same shirt from Pride Shack, pay them $20 and tell them my customer's address as a shipping address.
- Pride Shack sends a package directly to my customer, but emails me a dispatch note. So I send my version of dispatch note (with my logo on it!) to my customer.
- The difference of $6 is my profit!
You see, if you're looking to create your own brand and start building your fanbase, this is a terrific way to start.
If you (are still reading this and) feel it's hard to get your head around it, I suggest that you start as an affiliate, keep writing whatever topics you wish to write about, and perhaps keep the drop-shipping option in mind as part of your future plan.
Can You Promote LGBT Pride Merchandise and Make Money?
Of course you can. If you think it takes too much hard work to build your own website, that's not the case. Yes, you may need to put a lot of effort, but you will be creating a platform that no one else can interfere. But much, much more importantly, you will be spreading awareness, helping people who suffer from stigma and discrimination at the workplace. Think about giving your strength and courage to those who are bullied at school and in small villages. Your website will create power, and if you want to generate a full-time income from it, you certainly can, just like I do!