|Affiliate Programs: take a BIG whiff|
--and do the math
Here's an excerpt from my email exchange -dated Jan '00- with the affiliate director of a big-dog ecomm site. He had contacted me directly and wanted to enlist my sites in their program. His firm was the darling of Wall Street at the time , it's in the DotComMorgue now. Needless to say, he wasn't used to being turned down.
I'm not against all affiliate programs, some pay me more that $1k/month on average. But, for those webmasters wondering if just placing a button or a banner on their site for yet another shopping "opportunity" will pay the rent, well.......
|That depends on what your time is worth. That kid in a basement might feel justified in spending dozens or even hundreds of hours building an affiliate site for the prospect of a few dollars --but you and I both know that, for most independent sites, it's a VERY few dollars. |
I'm aware that there are some specialized interest sites that might find just the right relationship between content and the vendor's products and the resulting "info-mercial" effect would be very positive. But, from what I read in various web developer forums, these sites must be few and far between.
It's just not worth the pixel space or my time. For a general-interest site, the CTR for a retail product (even a context-related product) is less than 1 percent. Of those, about 2 percent will go on to consummate a sale (I'm being generous at 2%). So, your sales/impression ratio is under 2/10,000. When webmasters apply that ratio to their site, they get a sobering whiff of reality pretty quickly.
you're preaching to the choir here ;)
One of my client wants to put up an affliate banner for AV at .03 per click. I tried to tell them it would junk up their site and that even if even 10% of users actually clicked through it would only be around $10 a month but they insisted...oh well. I get to charge them an hour of my time to put it up - so it will take them close to a year just to recover the cost of implementation - hehe
I basicaly do everything but host my site. Graphics, navigation, build the pages, promote and of course try my best to SEO my site. My wife is the only person I answer to (somedays I wish I had to answer to clients but I digress). I went through banner ads paying the "rent" but always have refused the temptation. Niave view is if someone comes to my site I don't want the impression that I am trying to make money any way I can.
Depending on the type of site, banners and buttons (affiliate or brokered) can be part of CONTENT --yes, it's true, ADS can be content. I have one affiliate link that pays a whopping $.05 PPC, but I really don't care ...they provide a service that my visitors like. BUT, I do not delude myself into thinking it's going to get me that fully restored Jag XKE I'd like to have.
This affiliate link is dead-on target for my users' interests, and gets 7500+ pageviews per day, yet my daily commission comes in at around a $1.
(That's $1.5 to you, Oil. You might want to think about it.)