That's quite discouraging. I was also enticed by posts (from Pawas and Kiladen, I think) last week about huge earnings from CJ, so this week I decided to try it out. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any ads that suit my website. I might still try it on my own, but your post has knocked me back into reality as far as my expectations go. I guess CJ is not really for everyone. Still, I'll go try it myself. Who knows - I might be as lucky as Pawas.
Affiliate stuff from CJ takes some doing.
I do ok with it but the approach is not the same at all.
- The page has to be set up just to send the user to the merchant.
- the page has to only attract people looking for a specific product
- the page should be focused on ONE product
- The less options the better.
thats just based on my limited experience.
I agree with vabtz on affiliate marketing generally. Banner ads have LOW CTR in almost all circumstances.
Targeted affiliate marketing can work well, but that's not what you're asking about.
Excellent advice Vabtz.
Sticking banners on a web page in the hope that they might get clicked is like handing flyers out to passersby in the street. Most people see them but aren't interested. Unless you target your audience.
I ran them on a sitewide run for sometime and they performed terrible.
The only things that even did somewhat ok were ones that appealed to the base desires of people.
Greed & Lust
Make money taking survey X..
Real Hotties are looking for a loser like you.
But even those run out of steam after awhile because my site visitors are usually repeat customers. Now some of my SEO pages or articles are very very targeted. So I can market them what ever the product is to them, because suprise that what the article is about and how company or product X solved or can solve the problem presented.
I found texts ads are best for CJ.
I have never made a sale with a banner thru CJ. Every single sale I have made has been from a prominent, well worded text ad. I tend to take the tracking code and write my own ad copy. Whoever writes most of the ad copy should be shot! I have also had success with PPC direct to merchant until the rest of the world cottoned on and boosted bid prices thru the roof.
In short, text ads are (for me) the way to go with CJ.
I do okay with CJ, and Aff Marketing in general, but have never made more than gas money with adsense, lol.
I also think that banners sometimes get a bad rap. A page FULL of banners looks terrible and won't convert, but I feel one well placed merchant banner can give the page a more 'official' look. The customer may look at the banner, but click on the text adv., etc.
I've also read that click-thru rates on banners are much lower than text ads, but the conversion rate is much higher.
A topic I have never seen discussed on WW is ROI for publishers. ROI considerations would take in account our time, effort, number of webpages, cost to publish a webpage and ultimately the return on all of these. I have dumped affiliate programs, CPL's because they where simply not worth my effort or the webspace could be used more effectively on somthing else.
I do not hold a MBA, however I my business strategy is simple, "Don't do it unless you can make money".
So what is your back up plan for when adsense fails you?
The added effort to make affiliates profitable may suck but you need to have them in the mix. What happens when your account is deactivated or your adsense earners stop earning.
|What happens when your account is deactivated or your adsense earners stop earning. |
Why should your account be deactivated?
This will only happen if you do not conform to the adsense TOS. If the ads stop earning then you need to play with different ad layouts until they start earning again. If you have the relevant traffic there is no real reason why adsense shouldn't convert.
I beleive that some of the deactivated Adsensers are telling the truth when they say that invalid clicks wasn't their doing. What if adense policies change? What if a shakeup in the serps hit adsense sites especially hard?
Betting the farm on one companies program doesn't suit me.
|What if a shakeup in the serps hit adsense sites especially hard? |
Adsense site get stung every update. More are there waiting on the sideline to take the place of the ones that get booted. It just won't be you that makes the money. It's a hard world but thats the way it goes.
Sure, as you said don't bet the farm on one advertiser/site. That would be a slightly daft move. You are bound to get bitten by something somewhere along the line. But, with a little bit of imagination and your fingers in a few tasty little pies you can make a good living from AM. CJ are not the best affiliate network and do not have the sole rights to the merchants. By this I mean if your merchant doesn't perform on CJ you may find them registered on another network where they appear to perform 100% better.
ok I see what your saying. I hadn't thought of that.
One option for pages where affiliate ads aren't performing is to advertise your OWN site. Redirect people to other pages.
I have pages on my site that get a lot of drive-by visitors from the search engines. Over the past couple of years I've identified which ones do well with AdSense, which do well with various affiliates, and which ones just don't do well with either. On the latter, I've put up "ads" intended to get people to visit other parts of the site. If they do, maybe they'll become regulars....
You have hit the nail on the head! It takes a lot of research and a lot of trial and error before you find what works for you. Most AM'ers can only offer advice based on their own experiences. What works for one may not work for another. I am beginning to wish some people would do their own research with some guidance from the helpful people here rather than directly asking for the answers to riches. Cory Rudl (RIP) for example, did a lot of research and charged people for his knowledge. The kind people here give this sort of information away for FREE! Sure, the responses are cryptic but why should those of us with years of experiences both good and bad be expected to give 'secrets' away.
How can you learn about AM without doing your own research? It takes work, patience, work and more patience.
I read in many forums, that you need to work hard, to be successfull with AM, try different merchants, see which works best for you.
Thank God I found my dream Merchant on my first try. At start I only had applied to that merchant, My EPC was more than 150$ , for every 50 clicks i make more than 50$ or 5+ leads, each lead gives me 10$ , due to my good EPC a lot of Advertisers are offering me to join their program even though i am from Pakistan (as i have heard most advertisers automatically reject publishers from my country), I did joined many other Merchants, but giving them more than 200 clicks resulted in 1 lead, So I immegiately removed the ads accept the first one.
There are only two ways to find a best merchant for you. Work hard, try try again, or be a lucky person.
What are the alternatives to CJ? (apart from Adsense).
After sending them 11,000 impressions per day on average, over 2 months, with an average of 50 clicks, I have 0 revenue.
I don't want to waste bandwidth promoting and giving ads to companies that don't pay me, so out they go, but would want some other reliable source!
Anyone have any suggestions?
Take vabtz's advice and classic e-book selling pages (huge, long, stuffed with keymessages and calls to action).
Why would you run ads on your site anyway? To propose something that makes sense for your user and that makes you soe profit along the way.
Need the $$ to pay for the hosting. Adsense brings in a nice amount, enough to pay for the hosting, but the rest needs to be paid aswell.
I also believe that good ads can be helpful to the readers. Problem with CJ (apart from no revenue) is that their ads are static, not like Adsense, content sensitive.
An ideal ad server would look at content (either automatic or web keyword generated) and reader location.
That way everyone is happy.
You may need to try tweaking your adsense strategy, or get more aggressive with it.
Affiliate programs are not contextual. You have to do that part of the work, but it can really pay off.
Slapping up affiliate banners and calling it a day ain't gonna cut it. [webmasterworld.com]
Nice post Drastic - i missed it first time round.