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They want to pay commission. You do all the work upfront, pay the fees for PPC, search engine and directory submissions (instead of the company or client), then in months ahead - you get paid. They seem reputable enough, that's not the issue.
I'm not too keen on providing everything, then getting paid down the road, you know?
Wondering about others experiences with this type of set-up.
I understand the concept of paying on commission. But what I don't like is providing your experience and skill with the company expectation being they want all you can give free upfront. They also host the sites they want you to optimize.
Just doesn't sound like a great opportunity to me. ;)
IMO, the expenses should be 100% theirs... they wouldn't ask a graphic design company to design a phone book ad, and tell them "Oh, you have to pay for the ad... if it brings in business, then we'll pay you!"
Then, they can pay commission on the time & expertise you devote to their promotions, which you generously provided to them up front.
Personally its a matter of competition, predicted conversions and margins. Any knowledge of $ going into offline marketing is of course exteremely valuable as well.
This can't be sales!
Optimization in reality is only 1/2 of the way to sales conversion.
Search engine awareness potential - getting near the top.
Interest - a click through to the site based on an attractive listing. Ultimately your responsibility ends here.
Motivating a visitor to consider buying and creating that desire to buy, relies competely on site content and the owners knowledge of his market's needs -- and I assume the company has created this and know exactly what his internet markets want?
Inducing an increase in eyes to the site should create more sales consistent with any other marketing media, but if you create say:
1 million new "targeted" visitors to the site a month and no buys -- where does the problem lie, with your SEO abilities or...?
<added> If you do decide the risk is worth it... how many sales do they make now (as is). Thereafter, 100% commission on all gross sales produced via the Internet (their risk) until your fee is paid in full (also get it in writing). Regardless of what the commission is based on, the baseline fee should be higher than what you usually charge. You can't get a mortgage normally for 0% down. </added>
[edited by: fathom at 12:28 am (utc) on Sep. 7, 2002]
>>They should pay for expenses up front: the fees for PPC, search engine and directory submissions.
Yeah, I asked him twice about that one. Get real.
>>IMO, the expenses should be 100% theirs... they wouldn't ask a graphic design company to design a phone book ad, and tell them "Oh, you have to pay for the ad... if it brings in business, then we'll pay you!"
Thanks for your input RedEye, would like to hear more about your experiences with commission.
fathom, your whole post...EXACTLY.
>>Interest - a click through to the site based on an attractive listing. Ultimately your responsibility ends here.
Yeah, click through targeted traffic. They have the online tool to check your SEO click-throughs, etc. And no one has made it clear what happens after that.
>>You can't get a mortgage normally for 0% down.
Hehehehe. Thanks, I needed that. :)
They think this is a great deal for me. I don't know, do I look like I'm stupid? ;)
Checking my wallet...
If you want to do the "work now and get paid later bit" do it for yourself and set up some sites for affiliate programs that pay, otherwise, these guys need to give you some $$ as you go along. How do they pay their bills if no one gives them $$ for their products?
It sounds like the company gets their money from clients, they are affiliate sites from what I can tell. The clients pay the company for promotion/traffic...can't get a straight answer if it is for actual sales or just click throughs.
>>Sounds like a completely bad deal.
I agree. Just curious about others experiences with this type of thing.
I was paid a flat fee upfront so it doesn't matter that much to me. However, that experience did provide a lot of food for thought if I ever decide to do any SEO work again. If I had been paid on a percentage of the results from the design proposals instead of a flat fee upfront, there wouldn't even have been a department in place any more to work with or pay me. So personally I would think twice about doing any work with the promise of future payments. The whole company could go bankrupt or scrap the application they had you work on, and then you may not be paid anything for all for your SEO work.
Commission does have its just rewards in that -- once the primary work is completed, tweaking is nothing at all and the monthly returns continue to grow with no effort at all.
But this rarely happens when a trust relationship hasn't already been established.
Like, how many dot.bomb's were there and how many outsource companies didn't get paid at all. Few report with glee -- HEY, WE ARE GOING BANKRUPT! Before they have to.
Robert, I'm familiar with a company much like what you mention and in fact have spoken to someone at the company because there's one product line that's closely related to a particular niche I work in and am very familiar with. The company I'm referring to is no different from any "normal" affiliate program when you come right down to it, it's just presented in a different way. So from my point of view, it has to be approached in the same way as any other affiliate program.
fathom>>This model works exceptionally well when the parties are known and a long-term relationship has been developed.
I'm putting up pages for just such a relationship this very week. I know the keywords and the market and how well it does will depend entirely how much effort is put into it, which will depend on how much time is available. It was originally discussed as a split of profit per item, as of a phone conversation yesterday, it will be a *very* decent percentage to try out with a handshake, which I see as no different from being a commissioned sales rep.
So it's like working on commission, which I would NOT do for a site belonging to a company. Hosting is no major concern, but I've got to be the one who owns and controls the domain name. Before anything gets considered, CJ (or the equivalent) is checked to see if it's replaceable with a garden-variety affiliate association.
If a site is promoted for yellow widgets and does OK, if one widget supplier isn't satisfactory, it doesn't go to waste. With a partnership site like I just mentioned, it's easily all replaceable within a day. There's already a highly satisfactory working relationship that's been established, but there's independence through potential portability.
What I've looked at from the company similar to what Robert mentioned, which might or not be related to what you're asking about, is a product line or two that could be promoted in conjunction with other sites I'm associated with; it's no big extra effort to give it a start, and frankly, because of certain established associations it would be relatively simple to pick up a second tier.
>Supposedly SEO's are making a lot of money. So I'm told.
Some SEOs make a lot of money with any number of affiliate programs; it depends on which SEO and which product - how lucrative the product is, the amount of time put in and the level of skill. Others aren't, but are starting to get the idea that if they promote sites that make money for clients, hey! why not do it for themselves?
imho, it's got to be *your* site you'd make, that you decide YOU can make money from based on what you know about estimating the probabilities through researching the market.
One of my favorite quotes: Pull up a chair and start reading through the Advertising and Affiliate forum.
>>imho, it's got to be *your* site you'd make, that you decide YOU can make money from based on what you know about estimating the probabilities through researching the market.
Yeah, my thought is also, if I'm going to do this type of work...make my own site and market it. At least you know what you've got going and can track what's happening on your own.
My impression of what I've heard from my contact is more of a doorway page situation than websites, I could be wrong however.
It's whatever you are comfortable with and in this situation, I'm not.
It is quiet apparent (after a number of sticky mails) that this third party company has either a "tag team" as forum members (or could be just lurkers) that read certain threads, identify those individuals who seem to have an auhtoritative understanding of web design and/or SEO type work and then contact them directly.
They do leave out all of the important details until they have entice you enough. In their defense though the company does have a very well thought out business model - the model only works well if you are indeed an expert to some form of marketing (not just SEO) to end users (B2C) and have experience in certain (product/service) industries.
In addition, I have identified 2 major holes in this model:
1. You are basically operating a new business (under your current one) and I'm quite positive there will be time conflicts should anyone attempt offering their services to them. As I stated before commission fees can be very, very lucrative but consider how much time and effort you put into your primary business to make a living (you will need to do the same here)
2. If you build it, they will come -- I don't care how exceptional your abilities are in SEOing or any other marketing media - if you don't have expertise in the markets being attracted sales will not occur. You must develop the site's content (copy and motivators)yourself (to be approved by the third party). Driving visitors to a site is the easy part. Get them to take the next step is somewhat more difficult, particularly when you have nothing to do with fulfillment. You have no direct contact with the "real client", therefore in this particular business model all of the burden to produce relies solely on you.
In short - you are developing a completely new business where you except all loses, as well as the drain on your primary business in both time and cost.
>>this particular sitution is a third party affiliates program<<
These are the conclusions I came to about the SF Bay Area agency... When you're getting a commission on sales, I don't know how else the situation can be structured, unless you have a more one-on-one kind of relationship, as Marcia discusses.