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Disclaimer: I am not a expert affiliate marketer - some folks here can earn what took me months to learn in a few days only. But I found out what works for me and until my knowledge increases and develops, I'll stick to it - it just takes a bit longer, and the money's still good ;)
A quick recap of my background so far just to reintroduce the thread:
Recently off school, and working full time as a web designer for a year - when an early mid life crisis struck me - is this what life is about? a 9-7 job, go home, go work, repeat ad nauseum? I've found out that most people coming out from school faces those questions about life - I was no different than them.
Except - I had an idea for a website - a textbook swap and price comparison - this was an idea from way back while I was in school - but one that I didn't have the time or the full technical knowhow to implement. Now that I was done with school and facing the prospect of running in the rat race for eternity, it became more of a drive to get something going - I started building it and that's when I ran into Amazon affiliate program and datafeeds.
Within weeks I had a semi functional site running - and started doing some link exchanging. While searching for some help on the topic, I ran into webmasterworld! At first I was interested only in the link development forum, then somehow I migrated here to affiliate sales - while here, I started realizing that there were many people making money selling all sorts of things. I was only interested in how I could do Amazon better, primarily because I knew how to do their datafeeds, but also because textbooks was all I knew about. Mortgage? Credit cards? Hotel reservations? Gambling? I knew nothing about those industries!
Anyway to keep this (relatively) short - a year ago I discovered this forum. 6 months later I had a decent textbook site which was making me about $20/day. At that point I was already up to my ears from the corporate drone lifestyle and just about ready to quit my job - it was a gamble, but one would only need to look at the potential of affiliate marketing to know that if you play your cards right and you have some sort of idea what to do, the skies were the limit. It fit perfectly with the feelings I was going through, avoiding the rat race, doing something for myself, where I wasn't trading time for money, but instead building a sort of 'equity'. I pondered - if I am doing this part time and I can earn $20/day - then what happens if I go all out and do it full time? A fairly easy decision - I quit my job at the end of September.
Should I fail in affiliate marketing - I only have the next 45 years to work for someone else. Heh! In the meantime, the two problems I face is that I'm really bored with staying in the house for so long :) and to save money I moved in the the parents - to change a bit from this routine, I've decided to move out to europe and live somewhere over there while still doing more sites.
This new thread now will try to convey my ongoing quest to move from the $100/day I reached last month (6 months after I went full time) to $300/day - which is just short of $10k/month, a VERY nice round sum to reach, in my opinion :)... The $100/day pretty much lets me live anywhere in the world fairly comfortably (if it's not the french riviera, or beverly hills - you get my drift), but $300/day would let me actually start saving and possibly investing in real estate, and thus diversify one's revenue streams. That's the plan anyway.
...so after this extensive (re) introduction:
Last month my revenue was about $100+/day. Most of it was adsense - and so this month I was hit bad when adsense decided to go wacko and lost 40% of the revenue stream. Luckily, a site redesign increased the click throughs to make up for the shortfall, with the net effect that I'm a little bit over $100/day with adsense and affiliate sales combined. The current revenue for February has been around $135/day. Should it keep steady till the end of the month, that'll be $3750 in my pockets.
One site I put up last month - consumer products for women - I linked it to my PR5/Pr4 sites and got immediately indexed, and a few days later it was being found by surfers. This month adsense has started showing and paying(some pages still show public service ads) - from a paltry 50 cents at the beginning of this month, to $11 bucks today :) not a lot by any stretch of the imagination, but this is how all sites start anyway!... it has also generated some affiliate sales, so all together the new site has pulled in about $100 bucks.... We'll see how it grows(or not) in the following months.
I also have one site redesign to go through - this site is based on an amazon feed and has about 50,000 pages indexed - it gets some traffic, but due to the bad design it doesn't convert nearly as well as I'd like. Another site I have lined up was going to sell products from HSN.com - again, still in the works. I'm sure once I get those two sites up I can boost my daily revenue to closer to mid $100's...
Anyway - let's see how long it take me to get to $300/day. Place your bets, gentlemen! :)
Happily two of my other sites were indexed before the seemingly fatal date of March 2004 - I interlinked all beforementioned sites so I hope this will help. I am still relatively new to this problem though.
To optimize for google do what rfung does and go after non-competitive terms. Don't go for viagra, go for "viagra for 55 year olds" it will be much easier. In yahoo it isn't as hard to go for the high keywords, they don't have a sandbox, thankfully.
total so far earned: a bit over $6000. google was very generous to me in the beginning of the month, (especially with adsense) with higher click costs.
That's a cool $250/day. Not too far from $300/day,huh?:)
The bad news? apparently google had some algo changes in the past week, and the last two days have been 'bad' in that I've only been earning $150-$170/day.If this 'trend' continues, next month I may actually DROP(sniffle) in revenue, which for the past 7 months had been always going up and up.
one more week to go before the end of the month, expect to see at least(or around) another cool $1k. I was hoping for $8k, but I may have to 'settle' for $7k... (ok, I know, Im complaining with my belly full...)
I've put up two more sites, one has been making $2-$3/day, the other's kinda too new to see anything. For what's worth, I haven't quite been able to duplicate the success of my big site...
Again, I'd like to say I had nothing to do with this stupendous increase in revenue (from $4k last month) - just riding the waves of algo changes in google.
Off topic - two more weeks before I take off to Europe. Anyone anywhere up for coffee or lunch, drop me a line, I'd love to have some contacts and just generally meet people face to face over there.
I have to say btw, that through my invitations to chat I've 'met' quite a few people in the business, and that it has been very beneficial to just shoot the breeze and compare notes, get referals for contractors and even bounce ideas. It may seem silly to explicitly say this, but if you're a regular here, give it a shot and if you have the opportunity, take it a step further (not necessarily with me, just generally speaking). You'll learn a lot.
I'll update this thread with the final numbers at the end of March, but anyway.
I'm running my affiliate business about 1 year. But I can't catch the method.
I think that virtual product is easy to sale such as membership and ebook,etc.
I'm major use Adword to promote the product.
Am I need create one more website to promote the product?
Do you any great affiliate website example for my reference?
I think the idea of getting together for a beer is such a cool idea. I don't know about you guys, but sometimes I go mad not having anyone to talk to this stuff about. I spend so much time on my websites, and have learned quite a bit, and have no one to share it with. I talk to anyone that sounds interested, but they quickly find it boring.
Sorry, I know this is a bit off topic, but are there places where you can go to try and network with people that live close to you? I'm from South Central Pennsylvania by the way.
Hope everyone had a great holiday!
Feed or not, there's no way I'll be able to win in the credit card industry. And, btw, if you're wondering about how I went on picking my niche, it was LUCK. From that one site, I was able to discover a product that seemed to be having great success, and then I went on to find a merchant that dealt with that particular product/niche in more detail. As an analogy, say I am in the industry of digital camera reviews. I find out through looking at the logs and seeing whats being sold that maybe a particular brand of compact flash memory is getting a lot of hits and sales. I went on to find a merchant that specializes in digital camera memory. Created a site around that.
Results? (and again, luck) that sub-niche site pulled in close to $1k this month, after 2 months of being created (first month - Feb - it made $150)
The weird benefit that I found out, but only read of before, is that for some keywords for this particular cross over product, I am ranked twice in the serps. I've read elsewhere that in the really competitive fields, some folks will create a dozen 'different' sites so they can capture the top spots with their sites. Mine was a bit of an unintended consequence, but I'm not complaining. Something to think about if you found your valuable niche :)...
As far as my profit this month - a tad over $7000. That's around $233/day - This past week my adsense dropped to around $150 again, which lowered my average considerably. I'll be happy next month if I keep that average, which plus affiliate sales, should make me a cool $5k. (up from February at $4k) March was a fluke, so I'll enjoy the $3k extra to pay my taxes ...that's it :)
Is it adwords that is giving you your real glory?
As i am thinking about giving it a go,
I have a few good ideas, but they are just that , ideas
I thought of a good way of using adsense, in a back engineered kind of way,
eg, if I created a page with say" tasties online delivery foods" and concentrated a few appealing words around it,
and then placed a slab of adsense adds, under the text,
if a visitor from say algeria, can to that site, it would automatically choose all the local suppliers,
Think online quickemart,
Can you see what i mean, it could be specialised enough for a nice adwords capmgain, to answer the vistors needs,
As far as adwords - its 95% organic. I spend(spent) $380 this month in both adwords and overture, to target a single product page, that has netted $870 (so, about $500 profit). Unfortunately I can't track how much of that revenue came as a direct result from the adwords expenditure, and how much was organic...
I do plan on setting up eventually adwords campaigns for more pages, just because I'd like to take my traffic to a higher level.
i see what you mean,
You use adwords to build the site,
then once it's roots are grown,
you rely on affiliate and adsense,
Sorry about all the metaphors,
That's what I thought,
I have not heard much success from adwords campaigns for longterm success,
The maths would be a lot harder to get working,
Even if you only ever paid 5c per visitor,
the probablility of recovering that 5 cents, on average for all visitors over a long period of time, is probably wishfull thinking,
Google are the ones, who are getting the guarenteed 5c, and we are taking the gamble,
I guess the law of probability and finite amount of potential consumers for that particular product can not be regarded as perpetual, therefore longevity can not be assured, as opposed to good ol fashioned organic strength.
Hence the reason google does not let pop-ups await the visitor at the end of a click,
Fair enough, and good business, if I were google,.
I can see how it is a carefull balance of many variables.
You need five cents out of a customers, if you don't get that, then it moves on to the probaility of them buying the product, and it's profit margin being enough to make the excercise worthwile,
An educated guess, or just pure luck, seems to be the ticket, with adwords,
I can see how adwords, may be best, just for promotion and orgainic growth manufacture,,
Tailed up by good' ol fashioned word of mouth, and quality content, and good ole adsense.
People are always drawn towards bright lights, but where there is quailty content, that answers their fundamental questions, that light becomes there home,
rather than something to avoid, like the bug zapper,
people know that those links on the right hand side of a google search are adds, and most avoid themn like the plague, that is just human nature
People only buy when they feel comfortable, and familar with surroundings, some people will buy sometimes just to keep there surroundings alive,
My point is, passion sells, and sells well,
And if people can sniff that passion, they will hunt you down,
Longevity can't be bought or sold, it is something that you have to reveal in yourself,
Just like anything in this world,