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  1. #1
    Full Member OICUAM2's Avatar
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    May 18th, 2006
    Location
    Madison, WI
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    421
    Mentor Me Too - Community Sites Or Sales Sites?
    Hello,

    I enjoyed seeing people help a fellow ABWer in another post so I thought I would ask for help as well.

    I used to do pretty well buying traffic from Google AdWords into a travel site. Then I got slapped in a major way and have been trying to recover ever since.

    I took the slap as an opportunity to build better sites. I found a platform called Ning to build my sites with. I now have many community sites in various niche markets listed at alobarprojects.com

    The problem is that it is very difficult to start community sites.

    I'm writing content and posting links, but this is a really slow (and so far unsuccessful) process for building traffic.

    I tried PPC traffic into the homepages which resulted in some people signing up, but I will quickly run out of money doing this before the communities hit a critical mass.

    Now I am creating sales pages within the community sites. I'm buying PPC traffic into these pages in hopes of selling affiliate products. Some of the overflow traffic is exploring my sites.

    I figure I have two main choices:

    1. Keep building my community sites while using pages within them to do PPC affiliate marketing. Hopefully one day the sites will get big enough to take off with lots of traffic and ad revenue.

    2. Take my focus off building community sites and instead focus on building an online shopping portal. My goal is to find some sort of white label shopping solution to be the technical base of the site while I focus on driving traffic to the shopping portal.

    Of course I will probably do both of these over time, but I am open to any suggestions for how I can be a better afiliate marketer.

    Is buying PPC traffic into specific offer pages the way 80% of money is being made online right now?

    Even if my community sites take off, is it true that most people will use the sites without clicking on the ads very often? I have a friend who built a very large tennis community, but he is making almost nothing from the ads.

    I appreciate any advice or motivation that could be offered.
    Last edited by Haiko de Poel, Jr.; January 5th, 2009 at 04:35 PM. Reason: removed hotlink

  2. #2
    Outsourced Program Manager Sarah Bundy's Avatar
    Join Date
    July 7th, 2008
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    713
    Hello OICUAM2

    Long list of questions you've got there. Here's what I would suggest for now based on what I understand and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong:

    a) You are focusing your efforts on building a community site that is monitized by google adsense and affiliate products.

    You are spending your money to advertise them with PPC ads and not making anything from them because either a) no one is clicking on your google ads or b) your affiliate products/ banners aren't hitting the right target group. Are your affiliate banners specific products that people in your niche community would use or just random stuff? If it's random, i would recommend knowing who's in your community and selecting only products that they would be interested in.

    b) Community groups usually find networks through other community groups, blogs, articles and the such. If that's the case then you should be focusing yoru promotional efforts more on social network marketing rather than PPC. You can promote via Twitter, create a group on Facebook and invite people to join, ad your community to your LInkedIn profile (or just make a linkedin group), submit some stories or participate in blogs or forums related to your product, etc. The best thing about these is people will start coming to your website and it's FREE. Until you find you're making money from your sites, i would hold off on doing any more PPC because that will just run your pockets dry. There are many other ways to market than just SEO / PPC

    You can try:

    Email Marketing - send an email to your existing community and invest them to ask their friends to join (you could offer a small bonus or free info related to your community niche in exchange for referrals)

    Social network marketing (see comments above)

    Video / Podcasts - make a video about your community and post it on YouTube or find a podcast that is related to your niche and offer to do a show with them.

    Article Marketing - write an article about your community (or other community) and submit it to ezinearticles.com. Someone might find your article intereseting and post it or contact you for an interview.

    Send out a press release. If you are spending money on PPC with no results you might as well try your luck with a well written press release about the launch of your new community website and invite people to join.

    Otherwise, there's a new search engine called Zookfind.com that pulls results from all the major search engines (Google, Yahoo, Ask and MSN) and you can sign up for some of their PPC campaigns. I think they are having a promo right now that if you buy any ad campaigns you get a $125 campaign credit.

    Hope this helps

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