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Waiting to earn real $$$
New site, high on search engines but...

 9:53 pm on Oct 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hi. I am new to the internet money making world. I had a good webpage design "tutor" and after 2 months my first 2 websites (so proud) have been picked up by Yahoo, Google, MSN among others! I am basically doing affiliate stuff. Even with great search results on great search engines, (my site comes up number 1, 5, etc) I can't seem to make more than $5 here and there. Any advice for this Newby?



 11:26 pm on Oct 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

Take a hard look at the user-friendliness of your pages and the quality of your sales copy.

Make sure your pages are lean, clean and fast-loading, and all copy is carefully proofread. Do some tweaking and testing to see if a change of wording, different placement of items on your page, etc. make a difference to your conversion rates.

Also, find out just how busy are those terms you're ranking well for? It takes a long time to get rich if you're ranking well for a term that hardly anyone searches for. Depending on what you learn, you might want to reword some of your copy to target some busier search phrases.


 1:02 am on Oct 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

I assume that you are building websites around affiliate sites. How are you promoting your affiliate sites? If you are using banners and buttons, good luck! Within a couple of years, you will be making $10 per month!

The best way to go about this is to integrate your affiliate site description into content of your website. That is, your visitors should get the feel that they are not reading an advertisement. For example, if you have signed up for a software affiliate program, write a one page description of the software, grab some screenshots, tell your users about its features and then link it to the affiliate URL.

Do this and you will dealing with real $$$.

If you are getting more than 5000 pageviews per month, join FastClick ad network. Put in a couple of banners per page and you will be earning upto 2 dollars per 1000 impressions.


 2:11 am on Oct 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hey Newby,

As others have mentioned it involves several pieces of a big and complex puzzle.

1) amount of traffic for a given search phrase
2) the amount of this "global traffic" that your site is picking up
3) how well your site converts visitors once there on your site
4) how well your program pay (bonuses, flat fee, commision) ect ...
5) your operating cost


1) It all starts with search phrases that people use when looking for information. This is really one of the most important pieces of the puzzle. You can have the best site in the world that coverts 50% of your visitors but if no one is there .... game over.

Sit down and think of a list of search phrases that people would use to find information within your websites theme. Write those terms down and then head over to some of the popular search tools online (i use wordtrack often) and find out just how many people are searching daily for these terms.

2) Once you understand "rough search numbers" you can then begin to work on your site. You know that search engine optimization stuff you read about all the time here at webmasterworld. Try to make sure your site name and site pages reflexed those terms. Also weave those terms into the text of your pages. No need to be sneaky, just start with those tearms and build from there.

3) Once you have people on your site for those keywords you will then have "targeted visitor" which will usally convert more often. Make sure you are able to track your visitors ... this will allow further optimization of your pages and will also help uncover "other" search phrases you might have missed.

Now it is up to your website to convert your site visitor. There is nothing wrong with a link that says "buy" or "download" but as mentioned make sure to include good content and fits in with what your trying to get your visitor to do ..... buy, click this, sign up for....

4) After those steps happen it is really down to a numbers game. Understand that "most" of your visitors will NOT buy, or click, or sign up .... for what your offering. And that is ok, do know that if you have targeted visitors SOME of them will act and you will make some money! I like to take a look at programs, how much they pay and then research keywords and look for niches within that industry. Do this and over time you will start to make money.

5) Keep your expenses low, forget the pay per click, and learn as much as you can about search engine optimization. That equals free traffic from google which will start to put money back in your pocket. My monthyly costs for most of my websites are under $20 monthly, one sale a month and I am profitable. Sale number two and I take the wife out to dinner ;-) Once you start making several hundred dollars you can then start to put some of that money back into your websites with listings from yahoo, or if your brave ppc listings on google or other pay per click engines.

I have worked this type of a system and I am right at the turning point. For the last four months my income has doubled each month and I am closing in on $1000 monthly. It can happen .... it does take tons of work, reading, mistakes and the rest. At the same time it is very rewarding creating something from nothing and seeing the money start to come in.

Good Luck!

Chef Brian


 3:08 am on Oct 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

I agree with everything Chef Brian said except the bit about waiting so long to start advertising in pay-per-click search engines.

There's lots of overlap in the research for SEO work for your site and the research for an effective PPC campaign. You can put the same knowledge to work in both ways; there's no need to wait if you can afford $25 or $50 to get started. There are some good threads around this forum about effective PPC campaigns. Many of the threads contain the term ROI (return on investment) so if you do a search for that you'll turn up some profitable reading.


 8:34 am on Oct 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

Overall, sales are very slow this month. I used to make at least 1 sale in every 2 days. Till now, I got only 1 sale which is a bit abnormal. The reason might be, economy is bad and people is not willing to spend unnecessary.

What I suggest you to do now is to capture all the email address of your visitors via optin and sell them using your newsletter. They might not buy from you now. Maybe future ...


 11:33 am on Oct 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

I have noticed that sales are way down for October. I blame it on both the economy and on the lead up to the war with Iraq.

I have found that sales are basically bad in the last quarter, if you do not sell christmas related goods.


 2:01 pm on Oct 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

Those who make general product searches are generally "tire kickers" whose visits have lower conversion rates. Higher conversion rates are enjoyed from visitors who search for specific products. They are generally the buyers.

The single most important factor vis a vis conversion rates is to deep link to your actual products. Don't expect anyone who has located what they're looking for (via a search engine) to have to duplicate their search in some unfamiliar menu because they were sent to a site's home page instead of their product page.



 5:24 am on Oct 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

Don't expect anyone who has located what they're looking for (via a search engine) to have to duplicate their search in some unfamiliar menu because they were sent to a site's home page instead of their product page.

Absolutely! If you are going to take the time and spend the money to do banners or PPC listings, guide those visitors to the real pages they are looking for. When this is done, however, it is also critical that when someone searches for a widget, clicks on your listing, lands on your widget page that the page is setup in such a way that the visitor knows exactly where they are in the site and can very easily figure out how to put the item in the shopping cart and check out. Without the right visual clues and encouragement to take the desired action(s) conversion rates won't be as high.


 1:57 pm on Oct 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

If you've only been going 2 months you are doing quite well in my book to make any money at all. I think 12 months of learning, reading and experimenting is required to even know how much you could make in your chosen market.


 3:09 pm on Oct 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

A Major item that decides wether or not I spend money on a site is its visual appeal.

If a site ranks high, has really good content, good navigation but looks boring or too text heavy I'm outta there!

Its like going to buy a brand new Ferrari from someones garage - it doesnt inspire consumer confidence.


 3:38 pm on Oct 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

How many of you depend completely on pay per click search engines for traffic to your affiliate sites? (By affiliate sites, I mean - my domain name, my content and a link to the credit card sign up page)

I do - 100% of my traffic to my affiliate sites are through PPC search engines. The best part about this is that I don't have to bother about Google PR and search engine optimization.


 4:05 pm on Oct 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

I rely 100% on optimization for affiliate sites. The best part is that I don't have to mess with PPC, bid wars, and all that. : )


 4:13 pm on Oct 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

vibgyor79: but do you not find it a pain to get your affiliate sites on Oversure? I tried them a year ago (in my last attempt to make money from the web!) and they rejected everything. Bah!


 9:52 pm on Oct 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

As mentioned I like to stay away from the pay per click model (at this point) simply because the dollars are spent quickly and this lowers your commisions when you do get sales.

Of course the other side of that coin is that I am passing on money on the table (if done right).

Either way I think it is important to work out a system that is productive and works and then build from there. Today I had a boat load of sales with three different programs and made about twice as much as I do at my day job. After years of learning, reading and *wishing* I feel like the ball is rolling into my court.

Chef Brian


 10:45 pm on Oct 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hi Newby and welcome to WebmasterWorld.

buckworks hit the nail on the head

Take a hard look at the user-friendliness of your pages and the quality of your sales copy.
Make sure your pages are lean, clean and fast-loading, and all copy is carefully proofread. Do some tweaking and testing to see if a change of wording, different placement of items on your page, etc. make a difference to your conversion rates.

The SEARCH isn't as important as the FIND.


 2:29 pm on Oct 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

This doesn't have to be as complex as it might seem. Use the model that's been successful for 50 years, the yellow pages. Yellow pages have a conversion rate of greater than 80 percent, Why? Because the user initiates the search and can usually find what they are looking for. Using the yellow pages a model is a good start, then use your imagination to go from there.
The Internet allows you to make it easier and faster than any printed material, so you should be able to take advantage of it.


 9:58 pm on Oct 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

I would like to thank all of you who responded to my question. I appreciate all the good advice and also, THANKS FOR MAKING ME FEEL WELCOME!


 3:34 pm on Oct 16, 2002 (gmt 0)

Study your log files to see if and where people are coming in from and with which terms to which pages. Make sure you present the information they are searching for on the first page they hit.

Remember that good listings in the SE's does not always mean traffic (let alone converting traffic), often companies will fight for a search term placement which their customers would never use.

Go for the less competitive lower volume searches which you can start to spot in your logs.


 9:29 pm on Oct 19, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hi Newby

I definitely disagree about not using Pay Per Clicks - I would advise you to use them!

I created a new site August 1st, which is purely affiliate and now netting 1800/Month and rising. I am not "Showing Off" but demonstrating the power of PPCs, as they currently generate over 65% of my traffic.

As Smiley said, in order to maximise your profits you should go for the less generic keywords - you cannot compete with the companies who are actually selling the product and in my experience, if you are too far down the list you get browsers instead of buyers.

Good Luck!


 10:56 pm on Oct 19, 2002 (gmt 0)

That is great news Shady! If you would stickymail me the URL I can...erm, check out the...erm... dynamic link structure of the site for you. Or something like that. ;)

Seriously - one little hint please. Are you using Overture for your campaigns and if so, have you had any major problems putting affiliate links up with them?


 11:04 pm on Oct 19, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hi Nuts and Bolts!

I think I'd best keep the URL to myself (Sorry I don't know how to do smileys!)

I use OT/ES & google. I've had no trouble but my site is a complete maintained catalog system which then deep links into the retail site, should the customer click on a product. I think OT dislike a site which is obviously an affiliate site.


 11:10 pm on Oct 19, 2002 (gmt 0)

I was just kidding about the URL ;) :) --- Thanks for the info. It's a shame Google ads don't convert as well as Overture...that would be heaven!


 7:41 am on Oct 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

With regard to OT and affiliate sites, OT US seem to stop them while OT UK are happy to include good affiliate pages.


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