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  1. #1
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    Since March I've been working on a few sites -- but one site in particular that I've put many hours of work into. It turned out to be a rather bad time to be doing that, given Google's troubles that followed. I didn't see much traffic for the first three months...but I plugged away at it, adding more content, getting links, working on SEO, etc. For those three months, I was basically fixated on how to drive visitors to my site. I was averaging around 150 UVs/day, and didn't see much in the way of sales & commissions.

    Then, just about 10 days ago when the Google update began, I thought my work had finally paid off. I had top 10 listings for some fairly competitive keywords, and even #1 positions for slightly more specific queries. My traffic grew to mutliples of what it was before. I'm now seeing about 1000 UVs/day, which is great, I'm very pleased with the traffic...but for all of that, I haven't seen a significant increase in sales.

    As I see it, the situation kind of came to a head this morning, as I check my site stats and affiliate stats for yesterday, 1046 vistors, about 450 click throughs, and 0 sales. That pretty much summarizes my frustration.

    Am I expecting too much here? Does it take orders of magnitude more traffic to see reasonable levels of sales? I'm at a point where I feel like I'd do better to promote eBates than to expect my own links to produce anything.

    I watch what query strings bring people to my site, what they click through on, and what converts, and I try to apply that to my content, but there seems to be little to no correlation between sales and fresh, relevent content.

    I know most people don't depend on a single site, and I've got others going, but zero mutliplied is still zero.

    So is this just not the thing for me? I'm still young and there are plenty of other things for me to be doing...I'm sure the job market would cooperate at some point.

    I'm usually not one to give up on something...especially when I know others have been successful with it, but at what point do I have to move on? I'm not looking for encouragement if there's none to be had...

  2. #2
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    I wouldn't throw in the towel yet. Overall i think it's a little slow right now, of course some people are doing fine. Did you start doing this is march? If so its way to early to throw in towel. Plus we have Christmas coming up. My first xmas was last year, where i saw a 50% increase over normal sales. It can be frustrating if you're first starting off and don't see success right away, but being stubborn is a good trait to have in affiliate marketing. If you just started this year, i would keep at it. If i gave up after a few months i would be dealing with customers right now, instead of getting reading to go grill some burgers outside in my boxers

    "Nothing focuses the mind better than the constant sight of a competitor who wants to wipe you off the map."
    --Wayne Calloway

  3. #3
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    450 click throughs on 1046 visitors means that you are losing almost 600 visitors who aren't clicking anything. So really, you can only count the 450 click throughs. This number is not that high in terms of leading to sales. However, you should see some sales on this number if you look at a month, rather than just one day.

    Some merchants do not report sales on the day that they occur, so you might have had some sales, they just haven't been reported yet.

    I get an average of about 1,000 per day, and we earn about $1,200 in commission per month. However, this past Google update has been kind to us, so I hope to get more in July.

    Without knowing what you site is, it is hard for anyone to pinpoint where you may be going wrong.

    I am always trying to improve my site, and it is very difficult.
    I get quite a high click through rate, but I think I should be getting more sales. You just need a lot of visitors to really get the high number of sales. People are just browsing around, and not many of them actually buy anything.

    Yesterday, I had something like a 90% click through rate, where as yours is less than 50%
    What kind of site do you have? and what were people looking for? You have the visitors, but they are not clicking your links, you need to find out why.

    It is very frustrating at times, and it does take a fair few months before the results come in. If you are getting 1,000 visitors per day, then you can make sure that you do more to convert them into buyers.
    I know that I don't do enough to convert my visitors, but I am still learning. I only started back in July 2002, and it took until September before I had my first sale, and now we are getting $1,200 per month. Every month sees a slight increase over the previous month.
    NEVER give up, keep trying, and if you learn from your mistakes, then you should see some success.
    Choose your merchants wisely, and you should be rewarded
    www.cjshoppingnetwork.com

  4. #4
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    Dolemite,

    I think going a bit deeper into your analysis may be warranted before throwing in the towel.

    You said you had about 450 click throughs yesterday. How many different merchants were these spread over? Start taking a look now from the merchant end. Are the particular merchants you are promoting working for you? Do searches on abw for those merchants and see what others have said about them (keeping an open mind). If X merchant has only received a total of 25 clicks from you, then it is too early to tell. If X merchant has received a total of 1000 clicks from you with no sales, then you would probably want to re-evaluate that merchant. Always keep in mind though that you can expect to see different conversions for different types of products.

    It's Your Money. You earned it. What are you going to do to make sure you get to keep it?

  5. #5
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    If you're getting 1046 visitors and 450 click-throughs, then about half of your visitors are are going through to the vendor site. That is a lot, imo.

    I'd give it some time. It can several months even after being listed on Google to start generating a material amount of sales.

  6. #6
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    Three months is too short a time. But if you are ready to throw it in so fast, then maybe that is best for you. It will only get harder and more frustrating.

    Beyond that, with 1000 visitors a day you should be selling. But there is not enough info. What merchants, what products, what keywords, etc etc.

  7. #7
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    Xmas season saw an incredible increase for me, people were buying everything from Corvette Monopoly Games to $2500 rings, you really, really need to stick around through Xmas, then make up your mind.

    Something else to consider, is the type of traffic you are getting. I have a humor site that gets tons of free traffic, but does not convert worth diddily squat. Other sites, I get a combination of free and PPC, that converts much, much better. So, try a couple different sites out, that focus on different topics.

    "Nothing like a nice piece of hickory."
    -Preacher, Pale Rider

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the responses, everybody.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Did you start doing this is march? If so its way to early to throw in towel. Plus we have Christmas coming up. My first xmas was last year, where i saw a 50% increase over normal sales. It can be frustrating if you're first starting off and don't see success right away, but being stubborn is a good trait to have in affiliate marketing. If you just started this year, i would keep at it.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Yep, started this past March. I agree, stubborn is good in many cases, but too stubborn to know when to quit is bad. If this isn't going to work for me, the longer I'm out of the work force, the harder it will be to get that next job.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>You have the visitors, but they are not clicking your links, you need to find out why.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Yes...this is my biggest source of confusion. I'd like the UVs:click throughs ratio to be closer to 1:1 or preferably higher. To me that says people are not finding what they want...but based on the keywords that brought them to my site, they should be.

    BLFH,

    I've tried to look at that sort of thing, but there seem to be little in the way of identifiable patterns. I've only had one merchant reliably convert for me...the rest are seemingly random. I've even made a few bucks at Bluefly when I know they have just about the worst affiliate terms imaginable...meanwhile the merchants I expect to convert, the ones that bring people to my site and that they click through on, seem to do nothing for me.

    The site is your basic coupon & deal site...that seems to be where everyone starts.

  9. #9
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    Ignore the people who say you don't have enough data yet. Throw in the towel. Being an altruist, I'll buy your site for a hundred bucks

    Many things could be happening. You might have a bum merchant. The traffic you saw might be a fluke. Keeping the site going doesn't cost a lot. I would not be counting on it as a primary means of income and gather more data.

  10. #10
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Something else to consider, is the type of traffic you are getting. I have a humor site that gets tons of free traffic, but does not convert worth diddily squat. Other sites, I get a combination of free and PPC, that converts much, much better. So, try a couple different sites out, that focus on different topics.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    This is something I've wondered about...whether PPC traffic would convert better. So far I've only relied on free search engine traffic. Obviously, more targeted clicks should convert better, but how do you target for such a broad site? To me, PPC seems more suited to the niche markets. I have more specific categories & merchant sections to direct people to, but if I was going to go all out on PPC, I think I could do a better job of selling the niche I was going after.

  11. #11
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    Coupon deal sites are very competitive. When i first started, i still had a full time job and at the time was just thinking any money i made, i would just put into savings. Its good to have a job when trying this sort of thing out and see how it goes from there. I would look at your competition and seriously think if you can at least be good as those sites, if not better. You can do a coupon/deal site part time but in my opinion to be real good, you need to put more time in it and constantly update it. My goal at this was always to make more than the last month, as long as you're progressing, you're on the right track.

    "Nothing focuses the mind better than the constant sight of a competitor who wants to wipe you off the map."
    --Wayne Calloway

  12. #12
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    UH? Have you checked your links to ensure that they all have the correct IDs and so forth? I know that sounds silly but sometimes we need to just check the basics. For instance, Front Page will add an extra http:// and it is hard to catch.

    The Wolf Credo: Respect the elders. Teach the young. Cooperate with the pack. Play when you can. Hunt when you must. Rest in between. Share your affections. Voice your feelings. Leave your mark.

  13. #13
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    I've got more sites up this year, and what should be some great SE rankings, but sales are slow.
    I don't think it's just us though, look at the Fed cutting rates to 1% to try to avoid the nightmare Japan-style scenario of deflation and depression. The US consumer is not happy and not spending, things have not recovered post-Iraq.
    I say stick in there and keep working at it. If the US doesn't start borrowing other people money and spending it on consumer junk again then we're all scr*wed. If it does recover, you'll be laughing.

  14. #14
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Coupon deal sites are very competitive.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    They definitely are...

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I would look at your competition and seriously think if you can at least be good as those sites, if not better. You can do a coupon/deal site part time but in my opinion to be real good, you need to put more time in it and constantly update it.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Actually I don't feel like I'm lacking too much compared to the competition. I've been putting lots of time into adding/maintaining the content, especially since the huge increase in traffic, and if I didn't think I could compete I'd be doing something else.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>UH? Have you checked your links to ensure that they all have the correct IDs and so forth?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Hehe...believe me, I wonder some days, but that's all handled in PHP/MySQL and works like a champ. I check all my links after they're up as well.

    midnightcoder,

    Yes, the economy is slow and we're about to see how bad a stimulus trickle-down economic policy is. But that's a whole nother problem that I can't do much about, I'm afraid.

  15. #15
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Yes, the economy is slow and we're about to see how bad a stimulus trickle-down economic policy is. But that's a whole nother problem that I can't do much about, I'm afraid. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    There's one thing you *can* do in a shrinking market - try to increase your share, move into a bunch of new markets, pick up some of those top listings for some new search terms.. some might work.

  16. #16
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    Sounds like Mondera

    Feel free to say so if it is, so I can offer some direct suggestions.

    If it is Mondera then hold out for Christmas at the very least, 450 clicks isn't likely to see much conversion due to the time it takes for people to make a purchase decision, look for 3 months and a 1000 clicks.... if it's not Mondera I'll just bimble on back to the Mondera Board and get some more coffee

    Cheers

    Chris

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  17. #17
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>if it's not Mondera I'll just bimble on back to the Mondera Board and get some more coffee<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Bimble away...no dice.

  18. #18
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    OK...here's my prediction. We will see a flat economy until around mid September. Then, there will be a slow but steady rise with some minor ups and downs for at least a year. Time to get into stocks again soon.

    My prediction is based on nothing in particular at all.

    The Wolf Credo: Respect the elders. Teach the young. Cooperate with the pack. Play when you can. Hunt when you must. Rest in between. Share your affections. Voice your feelings. Leave your mark.

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador Steveinid's Avatar
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    Dolemite, I think there is another market out there that has yet to be tapped. Like SEO's optimize websites for the Search Engines I think their is alot of room for people who look at affiliate sites (and merchants sites for that matter) and figure out what is working and what is not. You may want to find the services of a person to do that. Or, I am sure you could get someone from ABW to look at your site and see what is going on. I am the last person to do that but I'm sure someone here would be more than willing to help you out. Maybe it is something as simple as your layout or it could be something like described in this thread: http://abw.infopop.cc/6/ubb.x?a=tpc&...9&m=3096007753 you never really know.

    I'm surprised nobody mentioned parasites.

    My sales have taken a huge dive in this last google screw up and I ended up getting a job about 3 weeks ago. BUT... I'm still working at it.

    "Bueller...? Bueller...?"

  20. #20
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by SSanf:
    Time to get into stocks again soon.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>My Roth IRA is actually showing a 10% profit for shares bought in the last 12 months. I'm only in an "Aggressive" mutual fund. "Growth" and "Appreciation" funds from the same fund family are getting hammered.

  21. #21
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>My sales have taken a huge dive in this last google screw up and I ended up getting a job about 3 weeks ago. BUT... I'm still working at it.

    "Bueller...? Bueller...?"<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    That sucks. If I have to go back to a job that would really, really suck. I get stressed and nervous just thinking about it.

  22. #22
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>My sales have taken a huge dive in this last google screw up and I ended up getting a job about 3 weeks ago~Steveinind <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Oh no...my deepest sympathies! Hopefully you'll be able to quit it soon!!

    Dolemite--First thing I'd say, is don't consider aff. marketing vs. a j*b as an either-or proposition. Even if you have to get a j*b, leave some sites up and keep tweaking. You just may hit on something! But if you give up, your chances become zero.

    As for a coupon/deal site, I don't do coupons (too much updating w*rk!!), but I do have a deal site. It's hard to get conversions off of that! Those people seem to go from one site to the next, and they don't stop until they're sure they have THE rock-bottom price.

    Personally I'd forget the coupon/deal angle, but I'd persist with aff. marketing in general and go for a regular shopping site. Regular shoppers are a lot less concerned about whether they get the absolute best deal. That's not to say they don't like a *deal*! But a standard deal will work on a regular sales site. For instance, if you find a merchant that's 20% cheaper than the competition, regular buyers will be satisfied. But coupon-seekers will keep looking! Sometimes it doesn't even have to be as much as 20%--it depends on the category. Some categories are more price-sensitive than others...

    ~Revenue is King

  23. #23
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    if you are getting traffic, but no sales, put up google ads on your site. YOu will make money

    http://www.google.com/adsense

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