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Affiliates Forum

Pay per Click with affiliates

 11:57 pm on Aug 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

Can it work? Does it work? Can you buy your way to profits with an affiliate program? Anybody have any success doing it this way? I've seen warnings that this method just doesn't work. Here's a quick example: buy 400 clicks for $0.05/click = $20.00: get 1 sale of Widget A for $25.00 = $5.00 profit. Is this a reasonable example anybody? Please let me know what you all think about this?



 12:56 am on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

In my experience it is tricky, but can be done. It involves a lot of testing. See what converts well and run with it. Sometimes I'll find a term that converts extremely well and it has a high ROI and then others find it and the price goes up. I generally just move along if I can't make a nice profit. It can work though, and it's not easy, but you have to have the right search terms. I run about 1000 terms at Overture and am constantly testing new terms.



 1:08 am on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

So is this your main source of income?


 1:09 am on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

Are you saying your buying 1000 terms in overture at a time? Are they mostly low volume very specific terms? And are you basically buying them to "hope" or lead them to affiliate programs?

thanks again! appreciate your replies!


 4:09 am on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

You can make high 5 figures/low six per year with LOTS of work and lots of testing. Now is probably a good time to ease in with the holidays coming up soon. That will mean more people buying, as well as higher click prices.

So, its not easy but it can be done. Play this game at your own risk as its easy to lose a fortune quickly. Better odds than Vegas though.:)


 9:02 am on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

I've got 1 very small working keyword program going now, and am trying to add 2 more.... I haven't lost any money, but am only making a couple bucks a day...

Michael Anthony

 9:10 am on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

You can make excellent money with PPC direct to merchants, but as already stated it's all about testing.

In my early days, 1 in every 5 programs I tried made money. The trick is to ditch the losers real fast and make sure that the winners get exploited across every decent PPC platform available. If you're an SEO, the proven programs can then have SEO campaigns built around them.

In my experience, pay per lead/enquiry stuff is much much easier to make money from than actually trying to sell product, unless of course you already have some targeted traffic from an existing site.


 9:12 am on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

The googlecash system works on this principle. But using adwords.

check it out.

Note that lots of people are doing this now.


 9:40 am on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

This sounds good guys. My concern with google ads is - I thought the rates were/are too high with google ads? Am I right or wrong? Based on what I'm already doing, is there any point of me getting google cash? Is google cash worth it?


 10:41 am on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

So is this your main source of income?

All of my sites are affiliate sites (with Adsense on them). A lot of my traffic still comes from the organic SERPs.

Just keep testing your keywords. Testing, testing, testing. Drop the ineffective ones after a short test and move along. Works for me.



 10:45 am on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

Ok, guys thanks for the info: TESTING, TESTING , TESTING of keywords is the theme I'm hearing.... What I'm doing right now is associating 1 keyword with 1 website (that I've made for that keyword). Is this how you guys do it, or are you running some sort of tracking system?




 3:02 pm on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

I go straight to the merchant about 95% of the time. Remember keywords are only expensive if you decide to pay a lot for them.:)

You don't have to be in the top spots or even on the first page to get traffic. Many times you do have to be on the second page to make a profit though.

Never read that eBook or any of them for that matter but if you do decide to buy, I'd go with one that just teaches you how to think about AdWords, writing the ads, and strategies to use.

Anything that is selling the dream of being a millionaire is probably just a bunch of over-hyped BS.


 8:24 pm on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

1) I always check the conversion with SEO first (no risk - no loss)
2) Go for the lower volume terms first
e.g. istead of bidding for 'widgets' go for 'discount widgets online' and optimise your ad, then work your way through the terms


 8:33 pm on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hey Skibum, when you say you go straight to the merchant, you mean you just pay for clicks and give you merchant id-webpage?


 9:16 pm on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'll answer a yes, sending the traffic straight to the merchant seems to work best. Although I have a friend who has great success with landing pages - but he seems to have tried and tried again til he came up with a "formula" for his landing pages that work.

I tend to stick more to the SEO side, but am now easing into pay per clicks a bit more. Thus far, ROI has been good. All about testing products, copy, keywords, etc. You can not just slap up 20 keywords for a product and wait for the money.

I know several affiliates making very good incomes with PPC only. It's possible, but just as with the affiliates making very good livings from SEO - it takes a lot of learning, a lot of patience and a teeny bit of knack ;).


 9:33 pm on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yet another question for anybody: What's a good testing period: 100 clicks? 1000? I assume the larger the customer commitment the bigger the test should be because the lower the "buy" rate. Example: What would be a good test (# of paid clicks) with my goal being getting a customer to complete a free application for something? What do you guys do?



 9:50 pm on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

rightliner - Yep, just take the click-through URL that you would normally put in a link on a site you build and put in the destination URL area of the AdWords ad.


 10:14 pm on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

so , skibum, in doing this: do you create a different affiliate link (different code) for each keyword to track your keyword to sale ratio? I assume this would be essentially all their is to testing? Have i got the idea?


 11:16 pm on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

I definitely don't do a seperate campaign ID for every single keyword. In order to have success with PPC, you are talking *lots* of keywords. I try to create a few seperate groups of keywords and put an ID to match them. Granted, it doesn't tell me each individual keyword that is performing, but it does give me an idea of which groups of keywords earn their keep the best.

It isn't as easy for an affiliate to track as it is a merchant in most cases, so the labor involved in creating a seperate campaign for each keyword and then matching the sales to the keywords seems a bit unproductive to me. But others may have found it to be worth it for them.


 1:28 am on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

It depends rightliner, on some campaigns everything is tracked down to blue widget and blue widgets, other things you can just get a feel for after a while.

A was pointed out, it is definitely more work to track down to that level but then you know exactly what is working and what isn't. Sometimes that little s can make a huge difference.

It is very tedious to write individual ads for each of those keyword variations but you can sometimes use something like Excel to build a bunch of tracking URLs at once and then power post them into AdWords.

Best results are usually obtained with a 1 to 1 relationship between keyword and creative and when everything is tracked down to the exact search. Sometimes that just becomes to time intensive though.


 1:43 am on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

I notice people mentioning adwords a lot. I'm actually just using pay-per-click results. Are adword click-thrus "stronger leads" since the potential customer has to see it and want to click on it, compared to just naturally clicking on a search result listing? Are adwords better?


 1:48 am on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

"I'm actually just using pay-per-click results"

Not sure what you mean by that?

"Are adword click-thrus "stronger leads" since the potential customer has to see it and want to click on it, compared to just naturally clicking on a search result listing"

Lost me there as well. The ads from Google Adwords are shown on the search engine result pages, same as regular results, only to the right.

You are probably seeing a lot of mention of adwords because the other "big" PPC - Overture, doesn't allow traffic to be sent directly to an affiliate URL.

Michael Anthony

 7:13 pm on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Some answers to questions that are not necessarily in the last few posts...

Testing. I use 3 days, 100 clicks or 100 spent as a limit. Obviously, the 3 day period had to have brought some traffic.

PPC vs. SEO - On average, the top "sponsored link" gets three times the traffic of the top SERPS. Alexa, Metricsmarket and Hitwise data confirms this fact. Some say this traffic is less likely to convert - where I have the top SERP AND the top Adword result, conversion's pretty much the same.

Keywords - some people obsess over keywords and conversions. My logic is that G will disable the dogs as nobody clicks them and as long as I'm making a profit I leave well alone.

Someone once told me he'd increased his ROI by 18% by keyword tracking. In the same period, I'd added two new programs for completely different products, increasing my own ROI by over 100%. IMO, you can make more money looking for new opportunities than you can by poring over logs and stats for hours on end.

And yes, you don't want to be the top result, you want to be the result that gets clicks at a price that makes you a profit. Being in the top 5-10 is desirable, but many of us make good money without ever seeing that top spot.


 7:48 pm on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

<<On average, the top "sponsored link" gets three times the traffic of the top SERPS. Alexa, Metricsmarket and Hitwise data confirms this fact.>>

I have seen you mention this before. Funny as it never comes out that way for us at all in Google. Generally the #1-3 SERPS will generate 500% more traffic for me than the TOP adwords listing. For the a popular "debt" term I once had 4 campaigns running in adwords (top 4) and the #2 natural SERP received more traffic than all 4 combined.

On Yahoo and MSN, yes, the sponsored results get more clicks due to placement.


 9:36 pm on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

So Michael,

Thanks for the reply: let me just make sure i "get it" .....

Your test is:

- 3 days with some decent number of hits (like 40 or 50)


- 100 hits (even if it's within a few hours?)


A set dollar amount (like $20.00 US?)



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