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Is my website going to fail?

 
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  #1  
Old
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Join Date: January 17th, 2005
Posts: 189
Hello -

I have my first AM site up and running. It is a content site with about 40-50 good pages right now. I left all of the affilliate links out initially so that I could get into the good directories etc, and then I just put all of the affilliate links in yesterday.

Right now the site only gets between 100-200 vistors a day because it isn't in the major SE indexes yet - all traffic is coming from a #5 listing in MSN for my main page (pretty proud of that actually!).

Alot of the merchants are through CJ, so I've been checking my stats there to try and get an indication. I'm getting about 20 - 30 click throughs per day to merchants, estimated, and so far no sales (since yesterday).

Is this a bad sign, or is it far too early to tell how well the site could possibly do?

I figure this is all just based on statistics, and whatever percentage of hits to my site result in sales NOW, can just be multiplied by the number of hits in a few months when I am in all of the major SE's to determine project amount of sales.

I hope I didn't waste my time with this!

Thanks for any input to a struggling beginner,

Danski
  #2  
Old
ABW Veteran Student
Join Date: January 18th, 2005
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Are the 2-3 hundred people per day coming to your site as a result of an obscure keyword or are they coming in directly because of a product name?
  #3  
Old
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Join Date: January 17th, 2005
Posts: 390
You need to give your site several months before determining whether its working or not.
Expecting to get sales a day after posting links is crazy, especially with the traffic you're getting.

Just keep working on your site and sales will start to come.

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  #4  
Old
Full Member
Join Date: January 17th, 2005
Posts: 277
Don't panic! It all takes time and watching CJ stats is like watching the pot boil, time passes very slowly. I normally work in ratios of 1 percent. For every 100 page views or 100 visitors expect 1 click through to a merchant. For every 100 click throughs expect 1 order. Once your site has been up and running for a while you can start to weed out and promote links to the merchants according to performance.

Meanwhile you have to check the usability of your site - get a friend and silently watch them navigate. Apply for more listings in search engines, fine tune your front page for Google, and research, read and then ask this forum more questions.

Just like falling of a log, but at least you own the log!

'I am not young enough to know everything.'
- Oscar Wilde
  #5  
Old
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Yes, I would have to say to early to tell. Also, how closely related are those aff links to the keywords that are currently bringing traffic to your site? Also what type of aff links are your running...just general merchant banners, text links embedded in your content, product links, etc?

Keep Your Hands Off My Cookies
  #6  
Old
Member
Join Date: January 17th, 2005
Posts: 189
Thanks you guys!

Ok, let me address these things one at a time:

Heyder, the keyword that is bringing in all of my traffic IS the theme of my site - it is why the people come to the site "to learn how to do MY KEYWORD better".

Netsweat - thanks for the pep talk!

GaryS - I appreciate your insight, I'll definately keep these percentages in mind as a guideline.

BLFH - The affilliate links are directly related to the keywords that are bringing in traffic. Basically they come to the site to learn how to do something themselves, but the merchants will do it for them and save them alot of time, and there are also merchants that give complimentary services for the finished product (whether the user has done it himself, or paid to have it done).

The links that I am using are in context text links - and also I have some tips that come up in the text flagged as "sidebars" (i.e. Did you know that SOANDSO.COM is an internet leader in such and such?).

Maybe users will see the sidebars and adds, and stay away from them, and then they will be more apt to click on the in context links (not thinking that they are a merchant). I'm not sure how well this will work, I figure I cant' go wrong if I have both types.

I'll keep watching - the real test will be until all of the pages get into google in the next dance (hopefully) - it's my first one, and it would really SUCK if I wasted all that time for a measly $10/month or LESS!

Thanks for all of your insight guys.

Dan
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  #7  
Old
ABW Ambassador
Join Date: January 18th, 2005
Location: Southern California Desert
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Is my website going to fail? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes, if you want it to; no if you don't.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> it would really SUCK if I wasted all that time for a measly $10/month or LESS!
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

OR LESS...?

have some faith in your site and your abilities.
10 will get you 20; 20 will get you 50 ; 50 will get you 100...

The sky's the limit

eventually

or....if you are THAT impatient, your site WILL fail. And you will be right.

"Half this game is ninety percent mental." -- Phillies Manager, Danny Ozark
  #8  
Old
Member
Join Date: January 17th, 2005
Posts: 189
Doc -

Thanks man...

My problem is, as an IT analyst, I am pretty analytical when it comes to stats and other things, and in the first day with no sales the wheels started turning on the projections for the future (i.e. 0 sales X 5,000,000 hits = 0!)

I'm going to reposition some links, and make sure the higher EPC's are more accessible, and then add some more content, then start working on the next site.

I believe AM will work, I am still just trying to prove it to myself before I really uncork myself and spend more time at it.

Thanks....

Danski
  #9  
Old
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Join Date: January 18th, 2005
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> first day with no sales the wheels started turning on the projections for the future (i.e. 0 sales X 5,000,000 hits = 0!) <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

...took me a year to make my first sale. YMMV (I hope you don't make all the mistakes I did!!!)

Just hang in there...


Doc

"Half this game is ninety percent mental." -- Phillies Manager, Danny Ozark
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  #10  
Old
Content $ Queen
Join Date: January 18th, 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 2,823
Hang in there and don't get discouraged. And no matter what, never listen to those who say a content site can't pay off. I am living proof that it can. But it takes time.

One thing about a content site is that a lot of times you will get incoming links you never asked for. (good for pr) And a good content site with good PR is nice to have around for linking to other, pure sales sites.

One thing you might want to take a look at is Amazon - tons of books on most any subject. The best part is people will also look around and buy other things.

Also, don't hem yourself in too much. Say it's a tech kind of page - maybe they would ALSO like a nice t shirt with Einstein on it, etc.. Look to other possibilities.

Aff links in context with your content pages is great. But also think about a store section geared to your kind of crowd. You like your subject - what do you also like to buy?

In closing - I have to be honest in saying that pure sales pages often make more money than a content page - BUT they would have never found me or the site's store without that content!

Good Luck!
Vicki

But if the arrow is straight and the point is slick,
It can pierce through dust no matter how thick. dylan
  #11  
Old
Member
Join Date: January 17th, 2005
Posts: 189
Vicki -

Thanks for the advice. So along with all of your content sites, you have a link to a "store" (i.e. links to merchants to sell books, clothing, etc...related to the theme of your content site) so that you will make decent sales?

Just a content site alone will not generate a whole lot of sales typically?

Lastly, when you say it takes time for a content site to pay off - is that TIME that I am tweaking the pages for SEO? For instance, say I create 50 great content pages for a niche market - I pretty much have the topic covered, and do some basic SEO on the pages, and weave in my links. Say I score within the top 10 search results with 10-15 pages.

Would the "time" then be spent just waiting, creating a store to link to the page, or tweaking the pages, or all of the above?

Thanks,

Dan
  #12  
Old
Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist
Join Date: January 18th, 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 12,817
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> In closing - I have to be honest in saying that pure sales pages often make more money than a content page <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

RIGHT!

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> - BUT they would have never found me or the site's store without that content! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

But...you don't *have* to have content to get a store found!

In fact, Danski, if the store link's not positioned right, people coming for the content won't even see it! I've seen countless content sites with itsy-bitsy "store" links that are practically invisible, usually hidden amongst a bunch of content-related links or waaay up in the upper right of a top nav bar. Vicki must have placed her link well, to have such great results!

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> And no matter what, never listen to those who say a content site can't pay off. I am living proof that it can.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

(Somehow I think she is referring to ME. )

Do you want to retire sooner, or later? If sooner sounds nicer, put up some sales sites...

As for c*ntent (gee, does my censoring that very word reveal a huge bias toward PURE SALES sites?), I've managed to get some sales off it but nothing much. I will say that when I found the EXACT category which interested the viewers on one c*ntent site of mine, sales finally happened (not enough to quit a j*b with though--THAT took *sales* [store] sites). But on another c*ntent site, I haven't found The Magic Category and it just dinks in a sale occasionally.

Text links in content do seem to get a lot of clicks but unless you have the Magic Product they don't always convert. I did score with a couple of items, though. The items are an exact match to the viewers' interests. Peripheral stuff doesn't sell worth beans, at least not for me!

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I figure this is all just based on statistics <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

That's only partially correct. Almost nothing in this is based on any one thing.

It's also based on: Demographics, product presentation, site category, merchant site, merchant reputation, your reputation, and even your ranking in the SEs.

When you get indexed in the SEs, you'll see that visitors from certain ones will respond differently than others. Google-source visitors buy different things than AOL's visitors. And MSN shows other preferences. While they'll send *some* buyers, the success rate of products varies by SE. That's because of the demographics attracted by each one.

On a sales (store) site, your ability to present the product can greatly affect CR. On a c*ntent site, the pitching is left to the merchant, so their ability factors highly! Also is the reputation. Make sure your merchants have a good, or no, reputation and avoid the "iffy" ones. Your site is new so it doesn't have a rep yet. That makes it a null factor. As long as nothing soils it, your site's rep should grow in a good way as time passes and more people see the site.

Your ranking in the SEs counts, too! Higher rankings have lower CR (window shoppers tend to only hit the top few sites)! But, they get so much more traffic that it makes up for it in volume.

Refrain from canning merchants after the 100th click! Sometimes it takes them a while to get going. And some pay good enough commissions that it's worth it to leave them on even if their CR sucks (say, 1/500).

And I won't say a c*ntent site "can't" make money. But, IMO, it's a lot easier to do it with store sites!

-Early in life, I had to choose between honest arrogance and hypocritical humility. I chose honest arrogance and have seen no occasion to change. ~ Frank Lloyd Wright
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  #13  
Old
ABW Ambassador
Join Date: January 18th, 2005
Location: Singapore
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You only fail if you give up.

Read the past posts at abestweb, especially Leader's posts and apply what you learn.

Be patient and don't give up. Meanwhile, keep buiding sales pages to sell products.

You could use your content to drive traffic and pass page rank to your sales pages. Link to your sales pages from your articles so that they will be picked up by the search engine.
  #14  
Old
Member
Join Date: January 17th, 2005
Posts: 189
Leader -

Very interesting! I had been approaching AM from a pure content site standpoint, but my eyes are opening into the sales site side of things after your post.

It just seems to me, pre-selling to someone through good content - and then having merchant links woven into the text would be the way to go, but I am going to trust in your experience.

Next questions - What "IS" a sales site exactly? That may sound like weird question - but hey, I'm new. Is a sales site just a site that has a main page with a basic pitch on a line of products, and then category links that link to individual product pages? Then you can use web templates and data feeds to automate the updating of the page?

Can you point me to a good example of a typical sales site that would pull in some pretty good sales so that I can get the gist of it?

One more thing - what are some thoughts as to why content sites do not do so well? Sure they can pull in the clicks, but they don't get the sales - is that because people that find content sites are looking for just THAT - content and nothing more?

Thanks,

Danski
  #15  
Old
Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist
Join Date: January 18th, 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 12,817
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Sure they can pull in the clicks, but they don't get the sales - is that because people that find content sites are looking for just THAT - content and nothing more <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Bingo! I put it like this: If you go to the library, and find they've set up a stand with some food and staples, what are the chances you'll walk out with groceries? Not very high, I'd guess, at least if there's a grocery store nearby. Your mindset would be on books. BORROWING books, that is! When you want to *buy* one, it's off to the bookstore, no?

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> It just seems to me, pre-selling to someone through good content - and then having merchant links woven into the text would be the way to go, <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

IF you hit the magic product it can work, so don't take your pay links out of that content site either. You can bet that my 2 content sites have pay links. But my Store sites (nearly 20!) blatantly have lots of 'em!

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> What "IS" a sales site exactly? That may sound like weird question - but hey, I'm new. Is a sales site just a site that has a main page with a basic pitch on a line of products, and then category links that link to individual product pages? Then you can use web templates and data feeds to automate the updating of the page?
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

That's one way of laying one out, yes. Or, if a merchant only has a few (or very closely related) products, you can just make a more general pitch page and mention the product right on that page (without the feed). Templates and feeds are great for updating *when the merchant is good about updating*! The feed is only as good as the data the merchant provides. If they haven't updated their product links since Christmas, get used to looking at (or avoiding looking at) the poinsettias on some of your pages.

Also, some merchants don't have feeds and then you are stuck doing some manual stuff if you want to list their products.

They can be arranged all kinds of ways. You have the basic premise--write a pitch and provide the proper links--so as long as you set it up in such a way that you can get ranked that's about it.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Can you point me to a good example of a typical sales site that would pull in some pretty good sales so that I can get the gist of it? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Bzzt! You need to use your own creativity! Plus, I don't think there *is* a "typical" sales site. Every one I've seen has been quite a bit different from others (except those generated by Cusimano Script templates)! The thing is, "typical" doesn't sell well, nor does it rank well in SEs. Everybody wants to have that difference that makes their site outperform the competition, both in conversions and in rankings!

-Early in life, I had to choose between honest arrogance and hypocritical humility. I chose honest arrogance and have seen no occasion to change. ~ Frank Lloyd Wright
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  #16  
Old
Member
Join Date: January 17th, 2005
Posts: 189
Leader -

Thanks for the advice. I understand about the example site, but I'm sure I can get some ideas out there - I already have been thinking of some ideas of my own. It has been a long 2 months of learning so far (part-time after work) - there is alot of information to digest.

I have to admit, I bought into a AM scam at first and lost some money, but the POSITIVE is it really got me interested in AM. I've got my first site up (a content piece) that is getting some click throughs to merchants (not a sale yet, and it's been 2 days) - we'll see what happens when my pages get ranked in Google.

For now, I am going to rearrange some links, make sure the good ones are in click-easy spots on the page, and then work on a sales site for this content page that will be SEO'd in it's own right, and will also receive traffic from the content site.

We'll see, I am on a quest to break even with that money I lost - that's my short term goal.

How embarrassing to get scammed - unfortunately or fortunately, however you look at it, I love to roll the dice and give things a shot - even if they sound too good to be true, thus I've been through the school of hard knocks many a time! It's only later after I realize what an idiot I was, that I actually use my intelligence to succeed and do things the "right" way.

Again, thanks for your input.

Danski
  #17  
Old
Full Member
Join Date: January 17th, 2005
Posts: 390
Danski,

I'm running a content site and its profitable and growing more profitable by the day.

Here's what works. Add sales pages to your content site and then SEO those page as sales pages. For instance, if you're discussing underwear, then have a page tittled "cheap boxers".

The idea is to get this page positioned in the search engines as a sales pages so you get people who want to buy. The content people will see you as more of a resource, bookmark you and comeback for more. The sales people will see the content and comeback for more.

Once this site is off and running, then consider building seperate web sites with even more products, linked from your content site. The idea is to get one site profitable and then feed its profits to run a second, even more profitable site.

But, it's one step at a time and you're better off doing one site completely right, than two sites so-so.

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  #18  
Old
ABW Ambassador
Join Date: January 18th, 2005
Location: Singapore
Posts: 1,597
I have build a few sales sites. Got traffic through inktomi and google. (2 of them were nicely indexed by google in the last update. The rest are very new and are getting traffic from my content site.)

I get some traffic to these sales sites, though search engines and from my content site.

The funny thing is that all my sales come from my content site.

I'm still working on more sales sites trying to bring in sales through them but it seems much harder to build a good sales site than a content site.

By sales site, I did pure theme based sites with product pages categorized in ways that are easy for the visitors to buy. Added my own recommendations,contents and all, but to no avail.

Some were built through data feeds and others were done manually. All bring in no results.

Meanwhile, my content site, although neglected, still brings in sales to fund these little sales sites.

I must be doing something wrong, but what?
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  #19  
Old
Member
Join Date: January 17th, 2005
Posts: 189
Netsweat -

I like that! Why not do the best of both worlds? I am going to play around with some combinations of each, and combine then in many ways.

Then I'll find my formula for what works for me. If I find that sales sites start dominating sales completely, why not just focus on them, while mixing in a LITTLE bit of content just to keep the site "honest".

I've got so many ideas now...I just need to find the TIME!

Thanks,

Danski
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