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  1. #1
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    Low Content Websites: Do they make money??
    Hi everybody, just have a question to ask. As the title suggests: do low content websites ever make money as affiliates?

    I've been to a few seminars in my country (Singapore) about affiliate marketing. Most of them keep telling me to create websites that require very little maintenance and to concentrate on traffic generation techniques. Is this viable and sustainable?

    I apologize for my extreme newbiness and thank you all in advance.

  2. #2
    Visual Artist & ABW Ambassador lostdeviant's Avatar
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    There are many different ways to do affiliate marketing.

  3. #3
    Affiliate Manager guinness618's Avatar
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    Totally off topic, but LOVE the new pic Lost Deviant! Very cool!
    Dyan Carlson
    ["My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness."- The Dalai Lama

  4. #4
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    If the site has little content make sure it converts (sells) if it doesn't then your wasting your traffic, yes you can do shotgun approach ... send buckets of traffic to a site that sucks and it might make you money, maybe even good money, or it could do nothing close to it's potential. As LD says, there are many ways and approaches, make sure to test, and master a technique before you commit because you could be wasting good traffic.

    IOW - Don't just divert traffic to possibly get a sale -- sell to targeted traffic through techniques that you have proven the most effective.
    Last edited by Haiko de Poel, Jr.; June 19th, 2009 at 03:51 PM.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador JoyUnltd's Avatar
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    First off, no one who has succeed doing this is going to show you all the ropes. These sort of sites may well use black hat techniques to drive traffic to their sites. While there are parts of your online business that can be automated (and should, like datafeeds, newsfeeds), you are going to have to work hard, learn a lot and never give up in order to achieve success.

    To see how most of us at ABW feel about this issue, please take the time to read "The Magic Bullet" thread: http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=79507
    Renée
    Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain. -Wizardress of Oz

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Georgie Peri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by guinness618
    Totally off topic, but LOVE the new pic Lost Deviant! Very cool!
    Guinness .. cover up that booty lol

    ::
    OpA! Giasou Ti kanies!

  7. #7
    Affiliate Manager guinness618's Avatar
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    Hey, if Botero thought it worthy enough to paint, then I am worthy enough to display the art!
    Fernando BOTERO (1932)
    la toilette
    Painting , Oil/canvas ,101x77 cm (39.8x30.3 in)

    Aren't big women beautiful?
    Ok, back to the subject....
    Dyan Carlson
    ["My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness."- The Dalai Lama

  8. #8
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    My opinion is that low content websites....

    1) Give the industry a bad name.
    2) Usually don't get traffic (which is why you have to create a ton of them).
    3) Will not continue to get traffic (which is why you have to continue to make more).
    4) Won't bring back repeat customers, even if you do manage to get a sale.
    5) Are a waste of time.

    Build something that provides value. It takes a little more work up front, but pays far better in the long run.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  9. #9
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    send buckets of traffic to a site that sucks
    Haiko are you talking to me my ears were ringing

  10. #10
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    LOL, your sites only "suck" because I keep finding them when I look for content not sales pages.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  11. #11
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    MichaelColey wrote: > "Build something that provides value." <

    Exactly right!

    No web site can ever sustain profits unless it provides value; it must be useful to consumers; it must provide a benefit which is relatively unique. There are many "tricks" that might be used to generate short-term revenue (far more often, they fail), but the success of web sites that rely on "trickery" will usually end with the next Google algorithm update.

    Some folks seem to think that my recent efforts working with datafeeds were intended to create cookie-cutter "thin affiliate" web sites, perhaps because my "test pages" did not contain any original content. But in fact, my goal with the entire datafeed project was to create a back-end system to manage the update of product data in connection with original, useful, relevant content (the project also involved creating a system to monitor and flag content for update based on changes in datafeed content).

    Add value.

  12. #12
    Half a Bubble Off Plumb RemodelingGuy's Avatar
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    Some Pay Per Click Landing Pages make cash.

    No Content = Spending lot's of hard earned cash to pay the bills over at Google.

    Jimmy McDonald - Your Local Hard Working RemodelingGuy ( & SprinklerGuy - & GarageGuy )
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  13. #13
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Michael, normally I agree with you (sspecially when it comes to great steaks. )

    But...Over the past two years I have created a slew of small, niche sites - based on unique domain names in dot-com - which likely get several type-ins per day. The pages are optimized for the domain name key words, so they also get some search engine results - mostly MSN and Y, which consider the domain name a lot more important than does the Big G.

    People who end up on these small sites see anywhere from one to a dozen pages with products relating directly to the domain name. The content is (very) limited to a paragraph of introduction and the merchant-provided product description, an image, and a link to the product page at the merchant site. The sites don't sell a lot, but each seems to manage at least one conversion per week. The reader's experience is better (so I believe) than if they landed on an MFA site full of AdSense or a landing page for a domain "parked" at Sedo, or Fabulous, or wherever. I am (at least) offering products for which they were searching.

    It does seem to work for me. For example, yesterday I had four sales in one particular niche - one each from four different domains. The day before it was five sales, each from a different domain. One sale usually nets enough commish to pay the domain cost for a year.

    BTW, I do not use PPC for any of these sites. I really don't want to take the time to learn how to do effective PPC. Plus, many of these targeted domains are in a very competitive vertical so the PPC costs would likely be high.

    It is the MFAs and "parking" pages that help give our industry a bad name. (But I have to admit I have a few names at Sedo - until I get a chance to develop them.) Mine "content-challenged" sites do get traffic and will continue to do so - because of the domain names; but I really can't tell about "repeat" customers. All-in-all this is one example that is not a waste of time. Rut, rest assured, over the years I have created enough "waste of time" web sites.

    On the other hand, these are only a tiny part of what it is that I do.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
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  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    Low content sites tend to do better in adsense. (people don't find the product or info they want so they click away) as opposed to an affiliate type presell strategy. IMO

    Amount of content is relative for me though, I think a site with 5 small pages of original content has more to offer than one with 100K pages of datafeed copycat 'content'.

  15. #15
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill
    Michael, normally I agree with you (sspecially when it comes to great steaks. )
    We can still agree on the steaks!
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill
    But...Over the past two years I have created a slew of small, niche sites - based on unique domain names in dot-com - which likely get several type-ins per day. The pages are optimized for the domain name key words, so they also get some search engine results - mostly MSN and Y, which consider the domain name a lot more important than does the Big G.
    Those types of sites can provide a limited amount of value, as they direct people to a number of very similar products. Sites like that would provide much more value if they compared the various products, gave some tips about which ones to choose in different scenarios, etc.

    One good indicator to determine how much value you're adding is this... How many backlinks are you getting? If you get none, you're likely providing no value. If you get some, you're likely providing some value. If you get tons, you've hit on a goldmine.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill
    It does seem to work for me. For example, yesterday I had four sales in one particular niche - one each from four different domains. The day before it was five sales, each from a different domain. One sale usually nets enough commish to pay the domain cost for a year.
    If that works for you, that's fine. I get hundreds of sales per day (and I suspect you get far more than one sale a day on your most value-added domains). I would rather have a day that makes a house payment or a month that would buy a car or a year that would buy a house, rather than a day that pays for the domain renewal.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
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    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  16. #16
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    There have been a lot of threads about content and value add. It's too bad that there isn't a site out there that can be linked to as the poster child for that approach. As affiliates we are in the business of "show and tell" but this is a discussion that never seems to have anything to show.

    I know nobody wants to give away their niche, but hey we can all find coupon or comparison sites that work. Surely there is one content feed mix site out there that we could point to as a fine example (I really doubt it).

    Sometimes it seem that the standards of unique usefulness are so high that only a small percent of the affiliates could ever achieve success. But those that do great assume that success is making it large. A lot of folks at ABW would be satisfied with only a small measure of the return generated by those that can earn a house in a year.


  17. #17
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PyreneanIbex
    Hi everybody, just have a question to ask. As the title suggests: do low content websites ever make money as affiliates?
    Are you thinking of very specific content such as one page per keyword?
    A page that has a focus can do well.
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  18. #18
    Action Jackson - King of the World
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    The problem is the phrase provide value is very vague. Some people will consider a site provides value while others will not. The question becomes what do the visitors coming to your site want to see and how can I show it differently than every other person out there.

  19. #19
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    First of all, thank you everyone for your response!!! Didn't think I'd get so much feedback.
    Would it be fair to say that whether or not content is important depends upon the particular niche?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhia7
    Are you thinking of very specific content such as one page per keyword?
    A page that has a focus can do well.
    No nothing specific I was just asking in general.

  20. #20
    Action Jackson - King of the World
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    I think content is important for every niche

  21. #21
    Banned Snowfinch's Avatar
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    QUESTION QUOTE: "do low content websites ever make money as affiliates?"

    MY ANSWER: "Yelp, they can and yelp, they do."

    My belief is this.

    You do it your way and I'll do it my way.

    We are not the borg. All of our sites should not look the same. All of our methods should not be the same.

    We aren't really in the affiliate business to please other affiliates with how we do our sites or get our sales.

    Most of us are affiliates because we like being our own boss and doing things our way.

    You can't really say you are your own boss and do things your way if you let others dictate what you do and how you do it.

    That sort of defeats the purpose of why many of us are in this business.

    If I want to have 200 sites with little or no content. I can do it. If I want to have one site with lots of content. I can do that, too.

    I am an affiliate. Hear me roar!!! MEOW!

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador Georgie Peri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowfinch
    I am an affiliate. Hear me roar!!! MEOW!



    Get that nos going .. voom voom !!
    OpA! Giasou Ti kanies!

  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Powell
    There have been a lot of threads about content and value add. It's too bad that there isn't a site out there that can be linked to as the poster child for that approach. As affiliates we are in the business of "show and tell" but this is a discussion that never seems to have anything to show.

    I know nobody wants to give away their niche, but hey we can all find coupon or comparison sites that work. Surely there is one content feed mix site out there that we could point to as a fine example (I really doubt it).

    Sometimes it seem that the standards of unique usefulness are so high that only a small percent of the affiliates could ever achieve success. But those that do great assume that success is making it large. A lot of folks at ABW would be satisfied with only a small measure of the return generated by those that can earn a house in a year.
    John, I think you make some very good points here.

    I join you in asking if someone might point us all to just ONE good site that integrates datafeeds with content, that adds value -- and that makes decent money. (Heck, I'll even define "decent money" as several hundred a month; not even six figures.)

    Like you've said, John, everyone is understandably hesitant to reveal their niches, but if someone could find a way -- without violating the ABW TOS or anything -- to point to such a site, I know everyone here would appreciate the opportunity to actually see such a creature.

    I have several datafeed sites, but none is really well integrated with good content/value added -- and not a one is making more than an occasional sale???
    Generate more fake news.

  24. #24
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    Writerguy, I THINK (though I'm not sure) I can point to a particular data feed website (assuming that my understanding of data feeds is correct) whereupon the creator claims to make substantial money from. But I'm not allowed to do that am I??

    Also I now understand that there are different ways and means to go about making money on the internet, you guys have made it very very clear to me so thanks!!!
    But would it be fair to say that the majority of the people on this website tend veer towards creating high-content websites?

  25. #25
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    I'll be happy to share a couple of examples - to anyone who can make the Ocean City Stop along the ShareASale RoadShow - along with details on how they were created.

    @ Gary - sending a PM with a low-content site that fits your example criteria.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
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