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Not aggressive enough about monetization?

 4:55 pm on Feb 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

I was gonna post this half a year ago, but then didnt. Now I cant help but post it - please keep in mind this involves a lot of speculation and I dont insist that I'm right about this; its something I cant help but wonder:

Some people say adsense is better for them on many of their websites than affiliate programs.

Other people seem to claim that they have (almost) always been able to find a better monetization model for their websites than adsense.

Im wondering if the main difference between these kind of people is that some people are persistent but in a "lazy" way, whereas others are persistent in an "aggressive way".

For the latter 'wheel' from the link building forum is someone who I must think of immediately (think I remember him/you having said adsense should be renamed into "adsense for underachievers" lol).

It also reminds me of a former professional athlete I know (not trying to brag - not in a major sport, anyway) who would never waste an opportuniy to get better at whatever he does. (perhaps not a good trait for life, but that'd be another debate)

I also feel like I know someone who imho falls into the "simply not aggressive enough with his website's monetization" category.

I hope Im not pissing anyone off with this thread - and I dont insist that Im right about it, but cant help but wonder if thats the main difference why some people (supposedly) always find a better monetization model than adsense, and others claim adsense works best for their sites.



 12:44 am on Feb 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

Go60Guy you've got the basics down up to #5. If you do #6 and just wait, or go build another site, you'll find yourself behind other affiliates in rankings still because there is more to do but you'll be ahead of 80% of the others which isn't a bad place to be.


 1:07 am on Feb 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

Well, I'm not suggesting that more work won't be indicated once enough time has passed to assess performance. Let's say the site falls onto page two for a while. That may indicate a need for more backlinks, tweaking the content, etc. Not all sites are going to be fire and forget. Some will, though, as martinibuster points out.

My main point is that laser targeting keywords that have low competition and decent traffic is a good starting point. That involves some time undertaking the research required to uncover those KWs that ought to be taken to the next level. I tend to look for monthly U.S. Google search counts upwards of around 5 to 10,000. I'm not trying for home runs, but to load the bases with walks and singles, then maybe drive in a run on a bunt. Ty Cobb didn't hit many homers, but he tore up the diamond just to flesh out the metaphor.


 1:09 am on Feb 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

Same experience with CJ. Doing well then all of a sudden nothing was converting. Checked the links, checked my log files, pored over the stats, nothing changed, absolutely nothing. Switched to a vendor on ShareASale and the good times flowed like wine all over again.


 1:26 am on Feb 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

I should mention, as well, that where you're targeting an Amazon product, you'll often see that G's serps for the targeted KWs are dominated by pages from Amazon, Nextag, Walmart and sites of that ilk. A little digging reveals that those pages more often than not, have zero or only one or two backlinks. So, when I see that I know I may be on to something. I'm finding that five or so backlinks will get me on page one in those scenarios. May take a few weeks, but it seems to be working out.

Also, I should caution against registering TLDs for KWs that include trademarked products.


 1:33 am on Feb 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

I hate threads like this, I want to drop 10 hints right here but can't because i'm in the biz too. Frustratingly good thread though.


 1:37 am on Feb 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yeah, I've probably said enough for now. Feels good, though, to be getting back in the game (biz?). Yep, biz!


 3:01 am on Feb 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

I've got a number of websites, some with only affiliate links and some with both affiliate links and Adsense, including some sites that I added Adsense to a few months ago after years of having only affiliate links.

I recently ran a fairly detailed analysis to see if Adsense was sucking away affiliate revenues and found that in general it was actually supplementing my affiliate revenues.

By the way, I too have found that affiliate revenues are not reliable. Sometimes affiliate programs just tank for no apparent reason. Sometimes those revenues start to flow again, also for no apparent reason. Other times they never recover.

By using a large number of affiliate programs there is some amount of revenue averaging, although it's frustrating to find that a good program suddenly tanked and it took you a month or two to figure it out, then leave you scurrying to find a reasonable replacement.

But from what others on WebmasterWorld have reported in the past, there is a great risk in my mind that Google might shut you off with no recourse. So I try to keep a balance between affiliate revenues and Adsense revenues. If Google shuts you off, you're dead. If an affiliate program tanks, you can usually find a replacement.

And Go60Guy, it's great to see you back here posting. I've been on the sidelines too, but hoping to start making a living on the web again.


 7:21 pm on Feb 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

I recently ran a fairly detailed analysis to see if Adsense was sucking away affiliate revenues and found that in general it was actually supplementing my affiliate revenues.

As I emerged from "retirement" I took a look at my then existing portfolio of unmaintained sites and realized that there was only a meager AdSense presence on most of them. I had adhered to the belief that it made no sense to give visitors to my landing pages an invitation to click away for a few cents when there were bigger bucks to be had in converting a sale.

But, since I was no longer really maintaining those sites, I said "what the heck" and added AdSense in-your-face to most pages, in sort of like (gasp!) an MFA layout. Lo and behold, in a couple of months, my AdSense revenues which were in the monthly low hundreds dollar-wise, increased by about five-fold. Nor have I seen a significant fall-off in affiliate sales. Maybe a little lower. But, the steady AdSense cash flow is very welcome.

As it turned out, I had nothing to lose and much to gain. And, it took me only about eight hours to complete the task.


 12:18 am on Feb 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

"So lumping everyone using AdSense as "lazy" while there is so much affiliate fraud going on is a crock and a cheap shot IMO."

I didn't mean to insult anyone using adsense. I don't think anyone who builds up a site in his free-time over the years is actually lazy.

And if I thought they were than that wouldn't matter, because I'm a firm believer that everyone in this world should do whatever they want to do as long as they don't hurt anyone doing so.

I wouldn't care if I saw a 300lbs bodybuilder dancing ballet in a skirt, if that what makes the person happy (as it doesn't hurt anyone).

So if you mistook my original post, I feel sorry about that - I did not mean to insult anyone, just to use that word as the opposite meaning of aggressive.

Plus, keep in mind, that I mentioned 'wonder' and that I considered it 'pure speculation' myself.


 3:34 am on Feb 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

I did not mean to insult anyone, just to use that word as the opposite meaning of aggressive.

I aggressively market the site, aggressively collected tens of thousands of members, aggressively sell direct advertising plus using AdSense to avoid dealing with affiliate fraud.

Try to paddle uphill in a river of affiliate fraud is just stupid and people that get sick of dealing with it aren't lazy, they're smart and putting efforts into what pays vs. getting screwed over and over again.

I used to have direct relationships with many affiliate marketing managers and trust me, when the services they used suddenly stopped paying me, I told them all exactly why I was dumping their product line.

I don't hand over 3M+ hard earned page views every month just to get screwed while someone else if making lots of money.

Nope, been burned too many times trying to be aggressive with affiliates and AdSense was simply safer income than trusting your livelihood to a millions of cookies that magically disappear.

Thanks to affiliates sudden failure my income actually increased substantially as I pushed AdSense and then started building up a monthly recurring income from a stable of direct advertsiers.

At the moment I have advertisers fighting over spaces that used to be affiliates or AdSense. I'm physically removing 3rd party ads to make way for direct advertisers. It's possible I'm going to completely wean myself off any and all 3rd party income schemes this year and go with 100% dedicated advertisers.

Now THAT's being aggressive, taking control of your own destiny.

If possible I'd recommend everyone to move away from being dependent on technology rife with fraud or non-transparent advertising programs that just randomly change the rules and send webmasters into poverty over night.

It's not complicated to take control and the best part is YOU set the base rate, not some algorithm that has drooling over achievers tweaking the pricing dials every other day.

FWIW, I know some people doing very well with affiliates, it's just not me since most of the brands I would need use CJ which is NEVER EVER EVER happening again.


 4:59 am on Feb 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

Considering your experiences with affiliate marketing, I can understand why you took my wondering somewhat personal.

Like I typed I was really just wondering and tried to make c lear in my original post that it was pure speculation on my part.

However, thanks for telling me that affiliate programs are not necessarily better than adsense b/c of a problem I hadnt previously thought of.


 6:26 am on Feb 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

No problem, it's just a sore spot with me

No harm, no foul. ;)


 12:12 pm on Feb 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

good to know :-)


 12:35 pm on Feb 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

I fully agree with incrediBill's sentiments.

Funny thing with these affiliate managers is that they promise you the sun and the moon when they just start courting you and want you to join the program. But once you give them loads of real estate on your site and impressions, the payment you are supposedly due never comes.

As incredibill said, there are ways you can control your own success on the web. It's not about being passive, but being smart about how you monetize your site.

So when we receive invitations to join affiliate programs, we just email them that we no longer join affiliate programs. And if they want to be seen on our site, we offer a number of advertising programs that they can buy.

Affiliate programs leave us a very bad taste in our mouths. We're just not interested in anyone screwing us again.

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