Here’s September Earning:
This month’s payment is huge enough that I start thinking of doing something drastic, but some particular circumstances prevent me from doing it right away.
The cleansing post panda
The “cleansing” seemed to work good. I deleted or altered a lot of pages containing duplicate contents and one of my site regain its ranks. Going to do this with 2 more sites, but have issues with some of my contractors. Hopefully, I could get it done this month.
My last site is doing super poorly; it got several visitors already, but the average time they stayed on page is about 15 seconds or so. I think I missed the point in this niche and didn’t give them what they want. My only solution is searching for a provider that truly understand the market and I think I have found him (judging from 2 articles he made), but it still have to be tested and I really have no time to spare for that.
So that’s that, site #7 pending while I’m trying to revive site #5 and #6. I might work on site #4 in the future, but already gave up on site #3. Weight-loss niche is just too much for me. I get about 700 visitors/month but nobody has bought anything for the last several months. Heck, my neglected first site is doing even better!
A thought on conversion
Anyway, I no longer believe more visitors=more sales. More and more proofs have been presented before me to believe it’s just a myth:
- My own experience: my 4th site got 3k visitors in a month and make ONE lousy sales.
- My best performed site currently only have around 1k visitors/month
- Clayton’s site experiment: 9k visitors with $300 in sales. I believe he got better conversion rate in other sites.
- Justin’s site (affiliatefreedom.net). Last update (May) he said he make 1k/day. That’s 30k visitors per month and he got around $200/week.
“Understanding the market” seemed more and more crucial. Before, I was to busy generating traffic that doesn’t realize this. It’s not like I’m a traffic-expert now, but at the very least I try to pick suitable writer for specific niche and make an attempt to understand the market better. The 7th site is just a series of research-keywords-and-throw-them-to-contractor. She wrote as she wished and I thought that’s good enough. Well, I was wrong.
Affiliate marketing is good and lots of people gain much from it, but now I think it’ll be even harder for us. I mean, giving “good recommendation” doesn’t seem that nice once the person find out that you get money from product he bought based on your recommendation. It’s not pure help, it’s help with string-attached, thus it become less credible and questionable. This is also why a lot of people in IM world give recommendation with *this is not affiliate link* attached. They want you to know they got nothing from it, thus the recommendation could be trusted.
I know some of us doing honest business and recommend only proven and thoroughly-researched product, but most aren’t. And every development by major authorities seemed aimed to crush those scammers (and grind us with them).
- The new policy to write that you get something in return if the visitor buy a product promoted
- Google cash: banned
- You can’t use review page as landing page in AdWords anymore; they called it bridge page (a page with sole reason to drive traffic to other site). I tried this and they threaten to close my AdWords account.
- Every Google update seemed devised to counter SEO method a lot of affiliate marketers are depend on. They don’t put too much weight in meta keywords anymore, they kick content-farm site and thus lower the effectiveness of blog network, they hit article directories PR, etc
- Web 2.0 owner also hate affiliates, you can see from their new policies, especially in HubPages and Squidoo.
All SEO method, regardless white, gray, or black are aimed to “trick” Google algorithm by giving data that doesn’t represent actual public opinion. For every new trick in SEO, Google will release updates to counter it. We live from Google while fighting it at the same time.
- Depending on SEO is short-sighted. It’s a constant battle; it’s like walking over a layer of thin ice and you don’t know when it’ll break with you on it. With so much change over the course of 1-2 years, how would you sustain a business for 10-20 years? You need to be able to access your target market without depending on Google.
James Pruitt has said this thousands of times and I know he’s right, but I just don’t know other method and social-media marketing is just too overwhelming for me.
- People despise you for recommending digital product and found out that you got something in return of their purchase. They feel deceived. I’ve seen a guy promoting a CB product on forum; the reply is “hey look guys! Viral marketing!”
On the other hand, people are OK with buying from e-commerce site with those large “BUY” and “Checkout” buttons. Perhaps being blatantly trying to sell something means you don’t have any hidden agenda?
I’m not really sure yet, but perhaps having your own product or selling physical goods are better business model in the future. You can utilize PPC, banner ads, press release, facebook fan page without having people or the authority suspect you of solely trying to send traffic and get commissions.
Just a thought.