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$10,000 a month?

 9:43 pm on Jan 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hello everyone. I'm somewhat new to the affiliate world. I started my site in November and it's basically just paying for itself.
I hear about affiliates making $10,000 a month and I just don't understand how they get enough traffic to make that much? What are the best sources of traffic?
I have been wasting money buying pop-ups which amount to nothing. I have keywords listed with Overture and Google Ad Words but those cost more than they are worth. I seem to have a decent turn over rate but the advertising is way overpriced for what I'm making.
So has anyone figured out, by trial and error, what the best forms of traffic and/or advertising are?
It almost seems useless to submit to search engines anymore because of Overture and Google Ad Words. Plus, meta tags aren't even spidered by the major search engines.
Someone please help! I need traffic or advertising suggestions! :)



 10:01 pm on Jan 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

$10,000/month is not that hard :)

By your post i assume that you are primarily using paid traffic...I dont have much experience in that , but it boils down to this "Know your ROI" ... with paid ads you should have accurate data on which kw produce sales and which do not...

Google adword forrum here is a good place to start....there are many adword specialists here...


 10:03 pm on Jan 22, 2003 (gmt 0)


Welcome to webmasterworld.

What you hear is true, actually affiliates making $10,000 a month is quite common, even in some of the more competitive industries.

I know of affiliates making more than the actual merchant who may be 1 or 2 steps up the food chain.

as for tricks and tips, well hey, you gotta learn to walk, before you run :)

No offence meant, and I am sure you have just made the right step in joining webmasterworld.

The trick is to pick industries which are not being bombarded by every affilaite in town.

btw, round here there is a different term used for affiliates, no doubt you will pick this up real soon.

There is also a very famous phrase/slogan used, but I am not sure whether I am allowed to post it :)

once again welcome, and n-joy the ride.



 2:06 pm on Jan 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hello Webchick,

Yep ... very possible. As mentioned already there are many different ways to drive traffic to a site. Pay per click is just one method.

For myself I have choosen NOT to participate in this type of traffic for several reasons. Mostly not having to worry about profits and losses.

For each site I create my monthly cost is anywhere from $11.95 to about $25 monthly. Just one sale in my choosen field will pay for my monthly costs, anything over that is gravy ;-)

There are so many items to promote online, keep researching until you find something that intrests you and then spend a good amount of time to create a site that is more informative than your best compeditor.

Another option is to spend a great deal of time on a "content site" and CAREFULLY link from the content site to more commercial "affiliate" sites too boost pagerank.

A well constucted and well thought out content site can pull a lot of links in which in turn will then enjoy plenty of pagerank. Being able to "move around" some of this pagerank can really make a lot of difference in todays internet.

Learn what people are searching for, look though your own refferal logs, search for refferal logs that are not password protected and use word tracker.

Hope this helps,



 2:46 pm on Jan 23, 2003 (gmt 0)


search for refferal logs that are not password protected

Do you mean other people's logs?
Interesting, never thought of that one


 4:03 pm on Jan 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebChick: I think pay per click traffic is the best way to get traffic to an affiliate site. Of course, free traffic is great, but the learning curve is too big. Once you setup your PPC campaign, you can spend sometime mastering Google to get free traffic.

Before you setup a PPC campaign, you need to know what you can afford to pay per click. Suppose you make $10 commission per sale and your website conversion rate is 2 percent (100 clicks get you 2 sales). This means, if you pay $0.20 per click, you will just breakeven.

Make sure you get back a dollar for every dollar spent, ie, do not pay more than $0.10 per click (for the above example).

You can try changing your affiliate website to improve conversion rate. If the affiliate program doesn't convert well, dump it and go for another one.

For Overture:

In the above example, you know that you need to spend only $0.10 per click. Set your CPC to $0.10 and forget about it. Don't get into bidding wars. Spend sometime on keyword research and look for keywords that have no competition.

For Google AdWords:

Set your maximum CPC to $0.10 (for the above example) and keep changing your ad copies till you get a very good CTR (clickthrough rate). Your listing here depends on CTR too - so if you can write good ad copies, you can still beat your competitors paying more than $0.10 per click.

Again, spend sometime on keyword research. Google's keyword suggestion tool is lot better than Overture's. You can try third party keyword research tools like Wordtracker.

Before you know it, you will be making 10 grand :)


 4:07 pm on Jan 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

I am dying to know what kind of (legal and moral) product category can make this kind of money? I'd settle for one tenth of that.
The affiliate programs I have seen some friends in don't even pay the rent and they are talented graphics designers.


 4:27 pm on Jan 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

amznVibe, you and me both


 4:43 pm on Jan 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

some are rising, some are falling stars:

gambling, adult, pharmacy, travel, mortgage & credit, housewares, clothing, music, phone-related, software...

The list goes on, just about every category has super-pro affiliates. Keep in mind that just like in the bricks world of salesmanship, about 5% make 95% of the money.

>friends in don't even pay the rent

More often than not, this is the reality for the "casual" affiliate webmaster --lucky to make pizza money.

>talented graphics designers

Hmmmm.... I think I see part of the problem already. heh!


 4:51 pm on Jan 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

gambling, adult, pharmacy, travel, mortgage & credit, housewares, clothing, music, phone-related, software...

Clarification: Are these rising or falling stars?


 5:01 pm on Jan 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

I told you WebChick....there are many adword specialists here :) :)

"Are these rising or falling stars? "

I can say about one declining field: Online Gambling , its sure a falling star ...too many CC refusals ,too many casinos/competitors , too many tracking frauds and a uncertain legal future

[edited by: gopi at 5:08 pm (utc) on Jan. 23, 2003]


 5:01 pm on Jan 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Are these rising or falling

Really, I'm not dodging the question with this answer; it still mostly depends on the affiliate. We have members here pulling in $2500/month and up (waaaaay UP!) in every one of those categories I mentioned.


 5:08 pm on Jan 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

>adword specialists

No adwords, CPC, PFI, or paid link/ad programs of any kind used here. I go the content route [webmasterworld.com].

[edited by: rcjordan at 5:16 pm (utc) on Jan. 23, 2003]


 5:12 pm on Jan 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

>No adwords here. I go the content route.

I know about you RC...you are a super duper free traffic generator :)

I am talking about Vibgyor and Shakil though :)


 5:16 pm on Jan 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

> $2500/month and up (waaaaay UP!)

Its actually waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay UPPP for some members

[edited by: gopi at 7:23 pm (utc) on Jan. 23, 2003]


 6:10 pm on Jan 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

I would spend your time in the Google news forum. Invest your time and money to mastering Google and you can get rich...

I get traffic on certain Pharmacy terms and they convert about 6-10 sales per 100 hits paying about $40 per sale. This probably isn't the best place to start as it's super cut throat but the rewards are unbelievable.

The mistake that most affiliates make starting out is to buy traffic without first understanding the ROI or just add unrelated banners to their site. find targeted traffic- google is still a goldmine.


 11:06 pm on Jan 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well, thank you to everyone for your help and valuable info! You have definitely given me some good ideas.
Chef_Brian, if you don't mind me asking, what forms of free traffic or advertising are out there?
Thank you. :)


 11:22 pm on Jan 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

mfishy has it correct

There are affiliates and there are PARTNERS


 11:42 pm on Jan 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

I wouldn't say it is common for affiliates to make 10K a month, that is misleading. Some pros in the industry make that but not the average affiliate. Most in the affiliate game struggle to even make a living at it.

It is not about a lot of traffic either. You can get tons of traffic and not make a lot. It is about being in industries where the traffic you get is worth alot.

Seeing what merchants are paying Overture per click gives you an idea as to how much traffic is worth in some areas.


 4:00 am on Jan 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

Web Chick,

Maybe I wasn't completely clear. GOOGLE. GOOGLE.

Yes, most people fail, like everything else only a small number make it. I guess for me it was a ton of hard work and a burning desire to be my own boss.

PPC and other paid advertising are really for the seasoned affiliate. Work on getting traffic on the search engines on some less competetive phrases.

When I first started out I went months without a paycheck. My first decent month was when I went after cheap dvds and dvds cheap and buy dvds achieving #1 (instead of dvds). I made a bunch that month and never turned back


 8:27 am on Jan 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

PPC and other paid advertising are really for the seasoned affiliate.

I believe its the opposite.

Here are my reasons why affiliates should choose PPC advertising, especially those who are new to affiliate marketing -

1) Very short learning curve -> If you put some time (and money) into PPC advertising, you can master PPC advertising in 15 to 30 days. All you need to know is your CPC, CTR and ROI! Compare this with mastering of search engines like Google - shall we say it takes a minimum of 6 months?

2) Helps you choose the best affiliate program quickly-> Select a merchant, upload some ads and note down the conversion rate/tracking etc. Within a couple of days, you will find out whether this particular merchant is worth your time.

3) Better revenue growth possibility -> Once you figure out how to make $1000 a month, it would be easy to increase that to $10,000. All you need to do is do some more keyword research!

4) Stability of income -> Your income is almost assured once you get a few things right. There is absolutely no need to worry about Google updates anymore! PPC listings give you a lot of peace of mind because it is more stable than search engine listings.

5) Better conversion rate -> Since you have continuous feedback (in the form of sales), you can afford to keep changing your website till you get the best conversion rate. In case of free listings, once you make a change, you need to wait for the next googlebot visit (which takes 30 days).

Actually, comparing free google listings with PPC advertising is like comparing apples with oranges. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Note: If you have a content site, and if you want to get into affiliate marketing by putting a bunch of affiliate links, then PPC advertising may not work. PPC advertising is generally for those who build sites for the sole purpose of making a sale.


 9:11 am on Jan 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Once you figure out how to make $1000 a month, it would be easy to increase that to $10,000. All you need to do is do some more keyword research!

There comes a time when you have captured all the traffic there is in certain industries. $3000 is all we can get out of one term - including the various misspells.

Most folks who make $10K+ are diversified.


 3:28 pm on Jan 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

Free traffic?

Yep ... google what else. They simply have the largest market share of the search user base. For this reason people that learn google can make .... more than enough ;-)



 5:59 pm on Jan 24, 2003 (gmt 0)


Nice breakdown, those techiques seem to work well for me. Not sure you can hit the $10,000 per month profit by using just one merchant. But if you apply these techniques on a larger scale, say with 20 merchants, then this can really work. You still need to know what you're doing, analysis of ROI and PPC costs and how effective the ads are along with other factors come into play. Those who are experienced with these tecniques probably do OK but I wouldn't recommend this to beginners.


 3:50 pm on Jan 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

I just enter affiliate world novermer last year. Consider doing well. My site is more a content site. I do use PPC but I pay no more then 30 cents and target some rare search term since the common term can exceed $10/click. I will die of heart attact if you ask me to pay $10/click.

I haven't get a single check for my revenue so far, the earliest I could get would be April. Now I am not afraid on I can't make money but my biggest source of revenue come from a merchant rather than a 3rd party tracker like CJ. If he refuse to send me the money ... should I worried?

As I read and read, most people says you shouldn't put all the eggs in a basket. Need some backup. So I plan to have another new affiliate program to promote. It is hard to look for comments in forum. But here is what I hope to get.

I am not interested in entering the competitive industries such as porn, casion, credit cards, viagra?!? ... and I can't sleep if you ask me to bid $1/keyword. I have knowledge on building web sites (html, php, mysql graphics ...) and do know much SEO tips, so I prefer to take my time building content site. Of course, I need something that can genarate more than $1000/month with cost not exceeding 10%.

By reducing the area of my interest and expertise, I think you guys can point a way for me. :) Any comments and suggestions are welcome!


 5:00 pm on Jan 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

Free traffic from Google...does that mean submitting my site to the Dmoz Open Directory?


 5:05 pm on Jan 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yes & No

An affiliate site can submit to dmoz and get rejected [without comment] and still rank #1 at Google for the target phrases.


 10:43 pm on Jan 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

Sure, you should submit to DMOZ and so forth, but there are many ways to improve performance in Google. Build content, get links, optimize for keywords. Check out the Google News forum for lots of info.

Now, what I'm interested in at the moment is, how to choose keywords that have money in them? Sometimes you can get tons of traffic and not make a dime.


 4:16 am on Jan 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

Most important part of being an affiliate is being creative...and flexible. You need to be DIFFERENTIATED! If you aren't different, well, YOU LOSE. Once you are big enough in that small niche category it's very hard to take you out of it. Free traffic and repeat customers start to pour in. Then you also need to think of different ways to advertise:

banners (some companies offer $2 cpm, that's $2 CPM!)
newsletters (even buy opt-ins cheaply)
link trading
PPC's (huge, use as many as possible that can fit your ROI)
search engines
word of mouth

Scumware sucks for everyone so never use it, you are low and pathetic if you use scumware methods.

I repeat though, find a market that isn't well developed. Make your self different or get off the net. This is going to be very very hard, but can be ($10,000/month) profitable.

Good luck.


 5:17 am on Jan 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

Sometimes you can get tons of traffic and not make a dime

There can be a lot of reasons for poor conversion rates.

1) Your category of website -> From whatever experience I've had so far, I have noted that certain categories of websites like electronics or other high valued products (software costing $999.95) have a horrible conversion rate. Pay per lead affiliate programs generally have a good conversion rate - since the end user need not take out his/her credit card.

2) Design/Ease of navigation/Usability of your website.

3) Lots of "free content". Let me explain before you start flaming me. An affiliate site's goal should be to SELL. If you are selling Ferrari car parts, avoid including "Ferrari car reviews" and "Ferrari Image galleries".

That is, do not distract your visitors with content that will not contribute to the sales. If you really want to add content, give a one page decription of the Ferrari component, a couple of pictures of the component and a link to purchase the component.

4) Poor/non-existant usage of drop pages (applicable only to PPC advertising) -> If your PPC keyword is "ferrari 355 wheelcaps", you should drop your visitor to MyFerrariSite.com/wheelcaps.html for the best conversion rate.

If you drop your visitors to your homepage and expect them to browse through your categories to find your wheelcaps page, you can expect your conversion rate to dip.

This 33 message thread spans 2 pages: 33 ( [1] 2 > >
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