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Affiliate Sales Down over 80% in under a year! (PLease Help!)
tshirtdeal




msg:4192896
 5:10 am on Aug 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hi guys and gals,

I have been doing affiliate marketing for about 7 years with success as far as making decent money for 5 years...

I have grown my site for 5 years with steady increases in traffic , profit and so on... each year putting in the same work and getting about a 20% increase....

About a year ago my sales took a dive of about 50% and never came back. It does coincide with the bad economy and I am in entertainment ...

the last few months things took another drastic nosedive of over 50% of what I was steadily making each month and each month gets slighty worse... I am down over 80% from a year ago...

At the peak before the initial fall I was doing well. I run all organic search traffic mainly and most comes from Google... My Google traffic overall is down about 20% from the peak which I would expect from the bad economy and people not looking as much for my sale orientated keywords...

My traffic overall is same as always, minor dip over the last few months in unique visitors for each month but visits and page views actually up (as my overall traffic to the site has continued to grow through this period). My SERPS are fine and in someones the best they have ever been...

On top of this I look at the pages which have made me money in the past and the same results as far as people coming into the page and where they are leaving (to my affiliate sales page)

So what is up? I need to know because something is majorly wrong here! My affiliate manager seems to not care or not take it serious at all in anyway... he seems pretty much not interested at all in any of this....

Can someone please help me or tell me what to do? I am sick over this, cannot sleep and so nassuas I feel like I am going to throw up all the time... all my hard work is just wiped away...

I am begging for any help at all or advice on what to check and do to find out what is happening!

I should mention that the program I use I have a secure checkout of my own, in other words there is no cookie affiliate tag in the url. I have my own site which I host myself which uses the merchants secure checkout, in the checkout is where my ID number is... The affiliate manager has told me this is bullet proof to any type of affiliate theft and so on....thoughts?

Thanks for any help!

 

onepointone




msg:4192923
 6:18 am on Aug 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

it could be lots of things.

Have your tried a test purchase? In your shoes I would do one myself and have a friend do one. He might be able to catch some problems in the process.

Sounds like you are locked into one merchant, never a good thing. From my experience and reading others, sometimes a good merchant can go bad (imagine the worst).

tshirtdeal




msg:4193061
 1:50 pm on Aug 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the help,

I guess I have to tell the manager I want to perform some test purchases through the checkout or do I actually spend money?

I do use only one merchant, reason being that they have the best opportunity by a mile, co branding, lifetime customers and so on.... no one else comes close... they are an industry leader as well but I have to question them or if something fishy is going on...

I just don't know what to do or how to do it on every level.... Not just with them but I just need to eliminate everything that may have caused this...

He says the checkout is bulletproof, but I feel perhaps someone could hack the checkout page and someone get a script in their that redirects the sale or changes the ID that credits me with the sale to their sale... Is something like this possible and how can I check it out? what would I look for?

Thanks for any help!

tshirtdeal




msg:4193263
 8:38 pm on Aug 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

today the affiliate manager basically said that the competition from the 'big guys" is just to much as they have upped their game and that SEO guys are being hurt...

I guess that leaves me out because in a year I am now down over 80% with the relative same traffic and SERPS...

Really lost on what to do....

eljefe3




msg:4193902
 2:34 am on Aug 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

Time to start looking for other products/niches to get your income level back.

tshirtdeal




msg:4205609
 4:52 am on Sep 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hi,

Okay, fair advice...

Couple of things though

His explanation bothers me, I have always been behind all the same people in the search results.. It is not like overnight a bunch of people took me over and jumped a page and put me behind a page on Google.

So fine, others are doing harder SEO, but yet my SERPS have also improved, same tough competition ahead but all the weaker competition behind me now. My traffic has increased as have my SERPS, same traffic and SERPS which made me money, now with increases in the same thing that worked an 80% loss in a year? Before this "drop" I would have said with my traffic and SERPS as they are now I would have had a 20% increase in revenue, yet I have an 80% drop....

His point is that if you are not in the top 5 of the 1st page it is VERY hard to sell... So what changed "overnight" that people searching the net all the sudden only buy from the top 5 spots? Even after getting to my page? And all getting there from the same source as before?

I just need to get to the bottom of what happened to me and looking for honest and probable causes to it.

Can someone explain how 1.5 years ago all income would stop coming in for an affiliate after 5 years of increased revenue, traffic and rankings? And how income could continue to decrease with increased traffic and SERPS?

Thanks for any help!
R.T.

Also, I do not uses and affiliate links or codes, I do have my own checkout but it is run through them. I question perhaps a change in terms maybe? Could they be rejecting orders that use to go through for some reason and not tell me? Again, it is a very sophisticated and smart program and one that would lose way more then it would gain by playing tricks.

YouDontKnowMe




msg:4206226
 6:15 am on Sep 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

You have to do this the long way. Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Diversify your income sources. It might be tempting to put all your efforts into one project, but we can't afford to do that.

tshirtdeal




msg:4206437
 4:10 pm on Sep 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the reply,

So do you think I should add 1 or 2 more affiliate programs, then some adsense and infolinks?

This is the route I am considering...

Thanks for any help!
Reed

tshirtdeal




msg:4206701
 4:56 am on Sep 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

btw, the only reason I put all my eggs in one basket is becuase it worked... It simply made no sense for me to sell of adsense clicks for .50 when I was making 2 to 3 hundred per sale all the time.

My whole thought was simple, traffic is where the money is. My traffic and SERPS are better then ever but my revenue is down 80% and actually sinking still. So now I have to put together a plan (like the above poster said) of trying to get my income back. Clearly what I was doing does not work. I am looking for advice on what I should do and the more experience in this the type of situation the better. I need help and will beg for it as this has been 10 years of my life and I am in miserable over it all.

I understand diversify, but why would I diversify at the time to cut my profits in half? I am not being sarcastic, just many say that same thing and I do not understand it.

I guess what I am saying is "if it aint broke don't fix it" so I didnt, now it is broke and I need to fix it :)

Thanks for any help !

Even_Steven




msg:4207931
 7:45 am on Sep 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

It sounds like your traffic has changed.

What you had before was a lot of traffic consisting of people who were interested in buying tshirts (just using that as an example).

Now, what you have is a lot of traffic consisting of people who are interested in BROWSING tshirts, but not ready and willing to buy them.

And this probably came about because some other websites have sucked up all the purchase-hungry tshirt traffic. So, you might still have good search engine positioning, but that somehow your competitors found a way to take away the visitors who had a strong desire to purchase tshirts.

It's not enough to get traffic. You have to get traffic that is ready and willing to make purchases.

This change might also have occurred due to keyword changes in your website. For example, the words "funny tshirt gallery" might attract people looking for some quick entertainment and laughs but not buy anything, while "buy funny tshirts online" might attract people wanting to buy a funny tshirt. Both keywords might get lots of traffic, but each one attracts a different demographic.

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