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Why affiliates refuse to make money



8:16 pm on Sep 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

This is for “type A” affiliates – those that set up pages/sites to specifically target offers. If you have content and are looking for advice on what type of ads to place, please look elsewhere. :)

Obviously there is no shortage of advice on the web about how to successfully make money as an affiliate. Some of it is very good, some not so good. Here is one man’s opinion on why so many people fail to make decent money with affiliate programs.

I am addressing CPA deals today. We can talk about leads another time.

1. They look for niche offers – Yeah, you heard it here. Niche sucks. Go after verticals that have heavy demand. Sure, you can select a niche within that vertical, but it is very difficult to make good money selling things that people generally are not looking for online.

2. Wrong type of product - Select areas that fill very specific and deep rooted buyer NEEDS. Just like in offline sales, if is far easier to sell to someone when they want something badly. Think vanity, sex (not content/adult), money, or products that are in high demand that are basically only purchased online (anything where there exists an offline option is bad unless it fits in one of the prior categories mentioned)

3. Too much babble – Find merchants that have good checkout pages and send the visitors there ASAP. You need 60% of all your visitors to get off of your page fast and to the offer.

4. Choosing Low CPA- Find products/services that pay $30+ per sale. This does not mean home furnishings! That does not meet any of the above criteria. Good deals should be high margin offerings that pay 30-50%.

5. Adwords – Adwords can be very effective but do not forget the #2 and #3 choices. You can basically guarantee profit with these engines if you have even the slightest clue.

What you do need to do is:

1. Find an offer with high demand (search) that pays $30+ per sale.
2. Make sure the product either makes someone look better or feel better about themselves OR can help them financially.
3. Make sure that it is much easier to find this product online than at the store/phone book.
4. Create landing pages that are designed to get the person to the merchant’s page or checkout. You cannot take an order so send them somewhere that can. (pre-sell pages are good in some cases but I would opt for a higher # of people hitting the merchant personally)
5. Do simple keyword research and throw ads up on yahoo and msn. Plan on spending $.75 a click. FOCUS ON BIDDING ON AS MANY RELATED BRANDS/PRODUCTS AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN.
6. Use conversion tracking. If the offer works, start the seo process.

Even the laziest and most inept ppc guys (me) can make $30-50 a day per CPA deal with 1 hr work by selecting the right program. Obviously we do not talk about specific programs on here (it would be a mess) but use your head. Think about high margin products – this is where the merchants can really pay. Stop with the super niche and promote products that people actually buy. Use ppc to get going and then focus on organic search for the long haul.

I really believe people have come to “outsmart” themselves and in the process have overlooked what is right in front of them.

Any thought about affiliate promotion really needs to begin and end with who and what you are promoting. Does the merchant have a good checkout/landing page? Do they have compelling sales copy or any USP? Are they paying me at least $30-50 per sale? If not, is it because the margins are too thin or do they want to take 75% of the profits?

Wow, sorry for the long post. I just get asked a lot about what the hot thing is to promote and am shocked at the lousy programs and constant focus on adwords alone I am seeing.


1:47 am on Sep 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

The above post falls into type B affiliate which we were not discussing. So, if you are following the entire thread, you may want to disregard because it is not relevant. Next will come those talking about how "content is king". :)

Maybe create a new topic and talk about that approach (the long and tedious and time consuming one that takes away from your play time).

Oh, and the lunch money comment only makes you look silly. Might want to think about what you are saying next time. We are not at CJU and these are not a bunch of losers here.


2:43 am on Sep 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member marcia is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

>>the long and tedious and time consuming one that takes away from your play time

Worse even, it takes over your LIFE. You have to keep running faster and faster just to keep up with yourself while you're falling behind faster and faster.

The problem is, that after a while it puts your brain into a box that's hard to break out of. You don't even realize you're in one. It becomes hard to even think about the possibility of thinking outside the box, much less remembering that there is an outside.

Sometimes it takes a reminder that there is actually something outside, and that it's possible to break free.


2:31 am on Oct 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

great posts, finding a niche is quite a headche for me to start out.. but hey.. it's all good to learn everyday new things...



2:45 pm on Oct 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

yean,It is very good of your writing! Thanks a lot!


7:27 pm on Oct 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

i love the word Arbitrage! i have a company we developed a landing page for , they insisted on it! my argument to them was. isn't your home page suppose to be where everyone lands? unless your offering somthing very specifically different through some ppc that you want to #*$!ounce more then you coudl on your home page. some huge advertisement. then i would say, better work on your home page as being the one that everyong lands on, gets used to using and recognizes.


10:17 pm on Oct 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member quadrille is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Niche sucks?

Not at all; if you are knowledgable about a niche and your target audience, going for a niche scheme can be very, very profitable for virtually no effort.

I set up a site in two hours with the info supplied; tweaked it to suit the audience* (ie improved on the originator), and it now brings regular sales for no effort, and Google prefers my site to the originator, because I don't use any spammy techniques, while he uses a couple from 1999 (I even told him, but he took no notice!).

Luckily, his sales system is good, so one click takes them straight to checkout.

If you know a niche, use that knowledge; hopefully few others will compete... that's what makes it a niche! :)

*content IS king; sometimes a little tweak is all you need, but if you want to reach your target audience, logic says, get the right content so that they can use SEs to find you. No great effort, no long story ... just common sense, really. ;)

[edited by: Quadrille at 10:25 pm (utc) on Oct. 13, 2008]


6:40 pm on Oct 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Awesome thread, full of info! Thanks :)


6:16 pm on Oct 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I'm only building my way to affiliate success, and I can't decide what type of landing page is better to promote - one that describes the given product or comparative review of similar products?

I've already created 5 "review" landing pages and only one gets the profit from PPC (+100%), the other one barely breaks even, and others just suck my cash. Haven't tried the landing page for one product, since I think it will be very similar to merchant's pitch page.

- Fred


7:51 am on Oct 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator 10+ Year Member

Stick with the one that makes you money, then test the other method and see how it works. Might want to create your own landing page for the one product and not use the merchants, unless the merchant's landing page converts well.


6:10 pm on Oct 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I think in a lot of cases you can create a landing page that converts better than the merchant's. Reason is you can tweak your landing page over and over until it Is better.

As well, by creating your own landing page, you don't have to compete directly with the merchant on Google Adwords (If that's how you choose to advertise in the first place)...


2:03 pm on Oct 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

So, give examples of programs that are quite good for promoting and programs that are saturated.

I do not see any good new programs around.


5:13 am on Nov 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Informative post! I've been working in the SEM field for a few years now and have become confident in my abilities. The idea of affiliate site has always been attractive to me but i've dedicated all of my professional time to SEO, PPC and Link Building aspects. I've finally chosen a market I know a good deal about, where the products are digital, consumable and have price points that vary greatly. I've found the post to be very interesting, although as an SEM I take issue about focusing on getting customers on and off of your site as quickly as possible.

Don't we create great, quality content so we can show the search engines how relevant we are? If you're creating great content, then your visitors are going to read it. Moreover, other web sites should link to yours. I've seen many affiliates cleverly disguised as information sites, and this is the method i'm going to pursue.


3:14 am on Nov 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Good article and good title. You must have studied reader baiting under John C. Dvorak! :)

The article served as an impetus for me to get back into affiliate marketing again. It's a sizeable PPC investment up front but according to my calculations the income stream will cover the costs in under a year and the payments SHOULD continue after that (it's subscription-based).


3:15 am on Nov 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator 10+ Year Member

There are many ways to achieve the end goal of more affiliate sales. Creating great content is one way, but certainly not the only way. Quite often when people are seaching for a specific product and they know what they want, the visitor wants to get to the order form as quickly as possible.
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