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I am happy to say that this week with school starting, I broke the $20/day barrier...this month I will make the most ever so far at about $800 or so, all profit!
I sell BOOKS from Amazon, among other things. Not a big money maker, and tons of others do the same, so I am not too worried about being secretive about it :)
It also illustrates that one can pick up any product and break into the market and make some extra money. I don't know about you but $800 isn't pocket change for me :) 20" LCD monitor here it comes ;)
One thing I have to say to noobs about what they should do is , JUST DO IT!. Build a site, even if it has one page. It takes a few weeks to a couple months to get found by the search engines, so it's important that you at least get your domain going. Of course the more pages you have upfront, the easier it will be for you to be found.
Once you have the barebones of a site, I would really start getting some content. Write about a hobby of yours if you feel there's enough interest out there. Try and add an article every week or so. Break big articles into multiple pages, etc. Only YOU can decide what to build your site on. Read some of the more exhaustive threads on the topic on this forum.
I would say that the most important thing afterwards would be inbound links. I contacted over 300 sites in the span of a year. Find out what sites link to your competitors, then ask them to link to you. Obviously the better content you have, the better luck you will have with getting webmasters to link to you.So, content again.
Link exchanging boosted up my site to Pr5, and got me in the first page of serps for some major keywords, which in turn has netted me affiliate sales and adsense income. Whereas before I would have to seek out link partners, these days they find me!..it's quite an 'ego trip' when your site gets to be the one others are requesting link exchanges with! I've even had pr6 and pr7 sites sending me requests.
Anyway - I just wanted to share this , and hopefully it will serve as a motivation for those trying to break into the field.
It can be done!...
joined:July 19, 2001
Ease of maintenance is one of the most important things for long term site growth.
joined:Mar 10, 2004
Hopefully I'm in the same position as you in a couple of months!
Obviously the better content you have, the better luck you will have with getting webmasters to link to you.
This is so true. In fact, if your content is good enough, webmasters will link to your site without your needing to get in touch with them in the first place. Which means you won't have to go link hunting and you'll have much more time for writing more excellent content.
I sell BOOKS from Amazon, among other things. Not a big money maker, and tons of others do the same, so I am not too worried about being secretive about it :)
I am curious which topic are your site is in? Just a general topic is fine...computers, entertainment, health, fitness, programming, cooking etc.?
So many times you hear the same old stuff...build a site about something you are interested in, add a page of content a day etc.
The fact is not all topics are easy to make money with. I'm sure my webpage about my 92 Miata will not make me much money. However site that speacializes in Italian cooking may have some potential.
If your making that much with Amazon alone then it's pretty impressive. Amazon has a reputation for not being the best place to make money. Are they product links or are you using the web service?
I should say that my main site (I have 3 right now) is the major money maker, but it's also something I am highly interested in and it wasn't something I just built for building's sake. The other two are more strickly affiliate ventures and have a lot less links and therefore they yield me about a buck a day.
To go along with what I said above, one more advice is that as with any starting business venture, you really have to preserve, and really believe you can make this happen. It really helps a lot to keep your drive up if what you're building is something you're passionate about (I'm passionate about getting away from the rat race,eheh). Remember it takes a few weeks to a few months to get any sort of traffic (unless you go paid listings) and as such it is a lot easier on you if during that time you're having fun.
If you're not sure about what you'd like to do, take a good look at your background - I've just graduated, so my site caters to college students. Others with more expertise in finance might do finance related matters. Etc, and so on depending on what you know and where you are in life. Write down all these bits of info, and they will build themselves into a practical idea you can work on. Once you get your feet wet with the idea or AM, your brain will just expand into a thousand different avenues where you could be making money. My second site deals with infomercial products, and my third site sells inkjet cartridges :) - pretty 'unexciting' fields if you ask me, but they were quick mini sites and it took me just a couple hours to get them up... (again, anyone trying to 'copy' these ideas, go ahead..I'm probably the least of your worries, eh).
So for anyone trying their hand at affiliate marketing, hang in there, but don't go crazy like I did and quit your day job...
I second RFung's idea to just go ahead and try it.
I also tried doing Adwords straight into Amazon, and I had some modest success with it - I found that it was too inconsistent though - some days I'd get a handful of sales, and I'd think I had a winner, then the next couple days I had zero sales (and the same clickthrough) and I'd be hanging in there hoping things would turn around. I felt it was almost like gambling, since there isn't much one can do besides writing the copy for the ads! It seems (and please correct me if I am wrong) that one must also be constantly on the lookout for new or hot items? or have you found a niche or a product line that is fairly consistent and constant on the sales?
I'm also curious to know (if you're confortable divulging) what kind of money you had to spend to get those $800 ROI? In my experience I was able to get about 10%-15% return... I guess if I had spent $100,000 I could have made $10k :)...
I found your post very inspiring. I've always wanted to make some money off of the internet and I have an idea for a nice site, which could quite easily be outfitted with a full fledged 'web shop'.
However, I do have a few questions:
- Do you need some sort of shopping cart mechanism on your site to get things working?
- Is there a good way of promoting products you don't own, or possibly have never seen or read? If so, how?
- How do make sure peple actually *buy*? In my experience people avoid on-line buying. As soon as they come to the conclusion "hey it's gonna cost me money", they are very eager to click the lil top-right cross...
"I'm also curious to know (if you're confortable divulging) what kind of money you had to spend to get those $800 ROI? In my experience I was able to get about 10%-15% return... I guess if I had spent $100,000 I could have made $10k :)..."
First, without getting too much into specifics, I've been able to get a 50% to 100% profit margin. Basically, for every dollar I have spent, I've made a dollar fifty to two dollars total (fifty cents to one dollar profit, respectively). Some of this comes from growth tiers and holiday sales, but a lot of it is still from direct, percentage selling. I actually think that with the changes Amazon has made this quarter with regards to pay structures, it's actually even better than it was before (quite uncommon with amazon, but something I welcome nonetheless).
I think one of the keys to my success is being on top of developing trends and new products. When a product is first introduced, my click-through rates and purchase rates (if the item is available) are immensely higher, which usually leads to a top spot and low CPC. If you can get an ad up as they are announcing a popular product and before Google adds an amazon organic listing, you can sell a lot of items.
I sell mostly electronics, with a concentration in a certain popular item that introduced a new generation recently. Sales have been pretty good, but the product has been out of stock for long periods of time, eating into my profits. I still have other, shippable items, so I've managed a profit for this month, but it requires a lot of attention to see if items are available. If you promote available items and pause unavailable ones, it can greatly help out your margin and profitability.
As for your comment about gambling..... I have a good analogy for what it is. I posted this before somewhere (perhaps in this forum), but I feel its appropriate to repeat. I recently got back from an all-inclusive hotel in Cancun, where they had a casino night during one of the last days. One of the girls that worked for the hotel was put in charge of the Roulette table, and while she was not a dim bulb by any means, she didn't know the first thing about gambling. She set the outside bets to pay back at 2 to 1, meaning that if you won, you'd get 2 chips for every chip you bet, and if you lost, you'd get your chip taken away. This was on ouside bets, even ones like black and red (and the 1 out of 2 numerical ones, one dealing with the first half of non-zero numbers, the other dealing with the second half). Since the odds were clearly in my favor, I kept putting money on the outside bets and ended up making a lot of money. The reason I did this was because I KNEW I had an advantage at the table. Basically (leaving out the green zeroes for a minute), If I put one chip on black and one on red, I'd be assured of getting 3 chips back. While I usually didn't do this, I still managed to win a lot of chips. It was (unfortunately) not real money since gambling is illegal in Mexico, but it was fun nonetheless.
After a while, the girl changed the payout back to 1 to 1 (one chip plus the bet if you win, chip taken away if you lose) due to the fact that she (as the house) was almost out of chips. After hearing this, I took my money off the table, since I knew that (with the zeroes) the long-term odds would be that I would slowly lose money.
"So what?", you may ask. The reason I give this is that I consider what I do to be "gambling" no more than what I did at the roulette table. Since I KNEW the odds were in my favor (to the tune of a 50% return or so), I bet my chips. As soon as the odds went out of my favor, I took my chips off the table. I think it's the same with Amazon. If there's something that makes me money after a fairly large sample, I'll continue with it, putting my 'chips' (this time real money) on the table. If something isn't really making money, I'll pause and take my 'chips' off the table. While the process CAN be gambling Vegas-style (i.e. you gradually lose) if you don't know what you're doing, it can be much more in your favor than a Vegas game could ever be. The key is knowing what to do and knowing when to put your money down and when to hold it.
Hope that helps. :)
If you keep this up, by the time you quit school, you can retire already :)
Wished I had done the same but then during my school days, the web does not even exist!
Anyway, congratulations ...
thanks for the thorough answer. If you spend $400 to make $800, have you considered spending MORE to make more?:)
At the risk of sounding like I am violating some unspoken rule about actually telling people what they should try marketing, as you can see from my examples, you can market pretty much anything! FYI when I tried AdWords, I just happened to post the 6-second ab machine ad for a week at $20/day, and saw that it converted, and left the ad on until the returns were not worth it anymore. As in the stock market (and gambling) you need to know when it's time to bail out of a product, especially when you're paying per click!
That's why I didn't pursue AdWords - which is not to say that others (such as BriGuy) don't have success with it. From what I read here, some actually have significant success with AdWords - in the 4 digit figures or more - but let me preface that by saying it's _not_ through Amazon :) I don't know what it is, and if I did I probably wouldn't be sharing it either, heh.
Do you need some sort of shopping cart mechanism on your site to get things working?
Is there a good way of promoting products you don't own, or possibly have never seen or read? If so, how?
How do make sure peple actually *buy*? In my experience people avoid on-line buying. As soon as they come to the conclusion "hey it's gonna cost me money", they are very eager to click the lil top-right cross...
I'm actually done with school about a year ago and now I work full time - and I'm finding that gee, life had to be more than working 50+ hours a week and having not much more going on(mid life crisis anyone?:)). I am fairly technically savvy and learned some scripting languages which have helped me in getting my sites up. I'm quitting my job next month (notice's been given) to go full time into affiliate marketing (fyi, living with the folks). In 6 months I hope to reach the $100-$200/day mark.
The important thing I learned is, do not feel like you have to read every single e-book on affiliate marketing, or that you have to read every single message on this (and other) forums. You'll definitely learn as you go.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this message are really the rantings of a fairly newbie person at this game. My experiences are unique and may not reflect average results. Some may make more or less income than listed here. As always, do your own research and apply your own critical thinking skills when starting a new venture. Read these forums. Ask a ton of questions. Take your vitamins. Be nice to animals.
In my experience amazon converted well usually in the in the area of 1:30. That means at .05 cents/click I had to spend $1.50 to make a sale. Which meant you had to sell a items that were at leats $30 in price.
I'm not sure if this is still true mt there used to be a capped amout of $10 payout/item which meant after selling items over $200 you were losing commision.
I could be wrong but it now seems there is only a cap at $25 per item in the Personal Computers product category.
Can someone confrms this?
My 1st site sort of dried out for the season(about $5/day now that school started already), but the pleasant surprise is that my second site is pulling a nice $20/day now! I ran into a product that is new and people started going to my site looking for info on it - I immediately found a merchant that sells it and in the next 2 weeks I pulled in $1500 in sales (well I make 10% of that). Thinking I could build even more traffic from this product, I went to AdWords and Overture and placed a campaign on the relevant keywords, at up to 10cents per click. The product is not so hot now (orders have slowed) but the traffic clicking on my campaign (and its nicely ranked enough that I only pay 5 cents/click) is somehow generating 100%-150% worth of Adsense money.
Lesson to note - diversify.
I may break $1k this month.
Imagine if you build a site and wait for up to months for indexing, links etc. After three months you could be saying "oh well, I couldn't sell blue widgets, maybe I'll try green widgets"
It doesn't take too many repeats of the above failure and before you know it a year has gone by.
As mentioned above diversify.
Also remember that although it's really fun to be an affiliate for a niche that is your your hobby or something you know about it may not be the most lucrative niche. Try to not let emotions get into the decision process.
To quote the Godfather - "It's business not personal"
It's really difficult to abandon a site especially when you have a passion for the subject. There are certain topics for which you simply can not make money with.
i broke the $500/day lately entering the "power affiliate private club".
i consider this modest. i plan $1000/day for my birthday in January.
i'd like to thank Google and their Adwords, its 90% of all my profit. they are really great and i make 800% return on investment!
i started lately to diversify, trying to promote Wal-Mart electronic products. i guess it will be hard bc there is a lot of competition. the goal is 2 sales a day for $50, so very modest. when i enter a new affiliate program, i only check the return on investment, i hate wasting money to bid at $3, and anyway i never went above $1,2.
i will try selling magazine subcriptions in the coming days. i had success with web hosting , but went burst with breast pills. my goldmine is... sorry my secret :P
you make it sounds so simple.. :) well.. hopefully.. I'll see some positive $ soon.... and it wills seem easy for me as well...
do you have any sites at all with any pr?
I have one pr5 site (yeah,I'm still in high school) and all I need to do to have a new site indexed is put a link from a page that google visits frequently. With this new pr update from google, my two other sites are pr4 and pr3.
I was at $20 a day last june / july and was pretty thrilled. Why? It was definately not the money, but it was a bit of a wake up call for me to abandon the negativity that existed in my peer group. "There is no money to be made on the internet, unless you're one of the big players". You'll be surprised how little (conceptually) the difference between $20 and $100/day is.
I reinvested every cent we made over 4 or 5 months (the payments grew exponentially going into xmas season and thanks to tips spotted between the lines on some of the forums here). The first investment was a supporters forum membership. Another major investment was quiting my day job and heading over to Orlando to drink with 500 other people. :)
I remember when I was at that point. I think it was easier to jump from $20/day to $100/day than to get to $20 in the first place.
Too right! A whole year I spent working on different concepts and designs earning pennies a month. I was so skint it was unreal!
Then one day, Google switched it's algorithm in my favour and BANG! Now the hard part is keeping on top of all the different algorithms changes.
As already stated on this board, low maintenance is the key, database driven sites with templated headers/footers/menus are so much easier than the first site I came up with.