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  1. #1
    Newbie kLinshizzle's Avatar
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    Affiliate links before Traffic? The chicken or the egg?
    Hi everybody,

    I"ve been working towards starting my first content-model affiliate site for a few months. I've gotten to a point where I feel like I'm just waiting... but I know that I probably shouldn't be.

    So far, I've
    - registered my domain name and bought some hosting
    - learned enough dreamweaver to build a crappy site in frames & tables
    - read some books, listened to some podcasts
    - tried to hone in on a niche, built a list of keywords
    - learned enough about SEO to start over and built a new site with a more crawler-friendly structure
    - Signed up with some affiliate networks and installed google analytics

    And now I'm working on tweaking the site and adding fresh, original content in small doses once a day. When I log into google analytics, I see that I'm the only person who frequents my humble little site. I'd like to starting applying to the individual merchant's programs through the affiliate networks, but I'm afraid that I'll be rejected because I don't have any traffic.

    And so I'm waiting...for traffic? for google?

    should I just start applying for those affiliate links?

    Is there another way to get traffic besides adding content daily and waiting to get indexed / linked to? (I don't really want to do PPC right now...)

    What's the next step?

    Thank you so much for your time and advice.

  2. #2
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    Lightbulb
    you may want an additional source of stats, like statcounter.com for one . . .

    google hasn't visited? If you don't have a friend with an established site that can link to you, try going to google.com/addurl

    and don't be afraid of merchant rejection -- not all are that bad. but try to match the merchant's goods to the site theme

  3. #3
    Antisocial Media Expert ProWebAddict's Avatar
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    Very interesting question.

    How do you get traffic...hmmm you can either
    -Pay for it (PPC, buy advertising etc.)
    -Wait for the search engines
    -Work your butt off on a word of mouth campaign
    -Work your butt off or hire someone for PR
    -Wait for a high traffic site to link to something you wrote

    I could go on and on but if you don't want to wait then you are going to have to pay. If you don't want to pay then you are going to have to wait.

    Good luck.

  4. #4
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    For what it's worth... before going into major application mode, I prettied up my site using product images from sites I wanted to promote. They weren't affiliate links (free traffic to those merchants!), but it made the point during the review process.

    The links also weren't necessarily the merchants I ended up promoting, but it helped the visual....

  5. #5
    Full Member RickPlmr's Avatar
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    You might as well at least sign up for accounts with Commission Junction and ShareASale (I'd ignore LinkShare completely, but that's just me). I noticed that many merchants didn't consider me valid until I'd been with CJ for a few months, and then they started approving my applications, so you might as well get that process started.

    Looking for traffic? Definitely get the AddThis widget (addthis.com) and start using it to submit your articles to Digg, Google, Yahoo, Delicious, etc - it comes with a long list. That's a great (and free) way to start getting a good amount of traffic to your site in a relatively short period of time.

    Better yet, start participating in those communities and building a good reputation, which will make your submittals that much more meaningful.

    You can start making a little money right away by embedding google ads in your articles, and I've found that the square text ad blocks work best (for me anyway), placed in the upper right of my text articles - the 250 x 300 ones. They're visible, but not in the way, and don't go as unnoticed as ads in the sidebar margins. Text ads work better for me than image ads too.

    Lastly, I recommend getting a Kontera account set up, which will automatically search your pages and highlight keywords. As users move their mouse over the keywords, they're presented with attractive popups that make you money if they click on them.

    These things have worked for me, but I must admit that I've tried all of them on several sites before finding a site with content that worked really well. I've pretty much abandoned the other sites (including the one listed in my profile) and just focus on the one successful site and one other spin-off that has worked well using the above recommendations.

    The content type was related to technology (computers, mp3 players, cell phones, etc)... something I have a big interest in and also knowledge/experience... being the geek that I am :-). Hope that helps.

  6. #6
    Member MyDayRegistry's Avatar
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    That was some really good info. Thanks RickPlmr.

  7. #7
    Newbie kLinshizzle's Avatar
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    cool thanks I'll go submit right now

  8. #8
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RickPlmr
    Looking for traffic? Definitely get the AddThis widget (addthis.com) and start using it to submit your articles to Digg, Google, Yahoo, Delicious, etc - it comes with a long list. That's a great (and free) way to start
    Sounds like something to check out, thanks
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  9. #9
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    I shouldn't tell the whole world but you can go to newswire and do an online press release for about 20 dollars. Be sure to include your live url in your release and you'll get at least a few good links coming in for your trouble. Write a good enough release and you could get flooded with visitors. Once google finds the links from the release their bots will follow them and index your site provided you have some decent content. Hope this helps

    BTW you want to get the links before the traffic. I'd sure hate to see you miss out on the chance of earning a commission because you were late getting links up.


  10. #10
    Full Member RickPlmr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MyDayRegistry
    That was some really good info. Thanks RickPlmr.
    You're welcome

    btw, as far as your articles go, the less you try to sell the more you're likely to sell. And if you're discussing a product or service, then be sure to compare it to at least one other similar product/service (and if you happen to be affiliate with all three, then it's even better).

    This approach adds credibility to you in the eyes of your readers. You're giving them valuable information about those products/services (based on your personal experiences hopefully), which carries a lot more weight than the typical: "I think this is a super great product and you should really think about buying it!!!"

    The articles that are the most popular and lucrative for me are ones where I compare 2 or 3 products with both pros and cons, or provide an in-depth review of a product that meets a specific and frequently requested need.

    Hope that helps.

  11. #11
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RickPlmr
    The articles that are the most popular and lucrative for me are ones where I compare 2 or 3 products with both pros and cons, or provide an in-depth review of a product that meets a specific and frequently requested need.
    Thanks for the advice in post #10.

    Rick, if you affiliate with all 3 of the products, how do you handle the "negatives" or the "cons" of one product vs. the others, or is your approach for each the same?
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  12. #12
    Full Member RickPlmr's Avatar
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    I end up selling a lot more of the first one, the one that the articles is the most favorable towards, and a few of the second one - the one that has a few flaws but is still decent... and none of the last one.

    I really just tell the truth.

    Sometimes they're all decent products and it's just a matter of identifying the differences and knowing that certain people will be drawn to one more than the other. That's fine - the main thing is that I was able to answer a question they didn't know the answer to, or helped them learn about something in a non-sales, non-pressured environment.

    Sometimes I even compare an affiliate product (Software) to a freebie tool, and still sell the affiliate tool because it has one or two advantanges over the freebie that some people were specifically looking for. It might only be 2 people out of 100 that read the article and actually buy the affiliate program, but if they buy the program, and if I have a steadily increasing number of other articles that are like that as well... it all starts to add up over time to a decent profit.

    In fact, I've had writers block for a few weeks, and just thinking about this again is motivating me to get back in the drivers seat and post a few more articles. Thanks for asking Rhia! :-)

  13. #13
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RickPlmr
    In fact, I've had writers block for a few weeks, and just thinking about this again is motivating me to get back in the drivers seat and post a few more articles. Thanks for asking Rhia! :-)
    Yeah, I've had webmaster block for a while
    I have to get busy

    If I am an affiliate with 3 similar products, I don't want to bash one (totally), but I will highlight attributes.
    While Widget A isn't as __________ as Widget B, the good thing about A is __________ and if __________ is what you're looking for, then perhaps C.

    There was a time when I sold Timesharing. Not every customer (i.e. couple) had the money for the "luxury time/unit" -- the last thing I wanted to do would be to bash one of our lesser options killing any chance of a deal.
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  14. #14
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kLinshizzle
    I'd like to starting applying to the individual merchant's programs through the affiliate networks, but I'm afraid that I'll be rejected because I don't have any traffic.
    I thought merchants mostly make their decisions upon the sites listed, true or false?
    [not necessarily due to a measure of traffic]

    I have had some experiences where I was initially rejected by a merchant but subsequently accepted due to improvements in my site.
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  15. #15
    Full Member RickPlmr's Avatar
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    If I am an affiliate with 3 similar products, I don't want to bash one (totally), but I will highlight attributes.
    While Widget A isn't as __________ as Widget B, the good thing about A is __________ and if __________ is what you're looking for, then perhaps C.

    There was a time when I sold Timesharing. Not every customer (i.e. couple) had the money for the "luxury time/unit" -- the last thing I wanted to do would be to bash one of our lesser options killing any chance of a deal.
    Nice - I like that approach a lot. Thanks for the tip.

  16. #16
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Goodyboo, you've used every opportunity you could to drop a link to one of your sites. It's getting pretty annoying. Read the rules Bubba, trying to come up with something that is almost relevant so that you can drop a link is just going to get your a$$ banned.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  17. #17
    Full Member OICUAM2's Avatar
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    Thanks for the "addthis" recommendation. Really easy to use and it is now on all of my sites. I was looking for something like that.

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