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  1. #1
    ABW Veteran jc101's Avatar
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    okay I'm having trouble thinking of new ideas and I need your advice on content vs product showcases.

    How do you start off with getting content? How do you choose and decide what your visitors may be interested in? I just make pages with content and product showcase pages, I don't even think of what I'm interested in, I think of what my customers are interested in. Is this the way to go or should I be making pages too of what I'm interested in? I get bored sometimes making sites, "even though I have large quality of transactions coming in" I just don't quit, I just always think of new ideas and start making pages, after I while and I want to reach my dream which I'm having pretty good success and it's improving. But now I"m lost. I'v blown my thinking cap. Has anyone ever got to this point? how do you pass this obsticle? of thinking of new ideas to attract customers. Just a thought. How do you do brain storming and think of new ideas? after you have used all your ideas you can think of?

  2. #2
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Jason my secret tip of the day for just you. (don't tell a soul) Take those top 5 converting merchants you showcase and really study their site now you trust them. Pick out specific niche' categories within those merchant's sites and build some sub-pages for those and put links in the main SERP showcase to those sub pages. Whack instant PR and listings and you now showcase a converting niche' within an existing merchant relationship. Sending mass traffic to a general multi-product/category merchant stinks for conversions. 5000 other affiliates are doing that.

    Make something you actually don't want to share with us here ...just privately with the merchant. Even a lazy no talent affiliate like me can win network web site awards for individual showcase pages.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  3. #3
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    Far as I'm concerned, you should always work on something YOU are interested in first. If you're interested in it and like it, you'll do a better job producing the content. This content then makes it easier to sell stuff from it - not to mention you'll occasionally pick up that free backlink as well.

    But, I do content sites. I realize sales oriented sites are a different breed apart.

    Edit : As far as ideas go, just start writing about something you are interested in. As you begin the writing process, putting up the pages and adding in the merchants you are likely to be blown away by ideas. This happens to me constantly - I write up content on one interesting thing and the light bulb goes on - leading to yet more pages about various things.

  4. #4
    Affiliate Miester my2cents's Avatar
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    Jason.. Jason.... Jason.....

    Take a real deep breathe...

    go take the leave you have been treatening to take..

    dont announce it.... just do it!!!

    We all "burn out" run out of ideas... call it anything you like... if we dont have proper balance in our lives...


    It appears you have hit the wall... brush yourself off... take a break... in a few days...
    you will be ready to climb over the wall...

    you will have more fresh ideas... and creativity then ever...

    and while you're at it... listen to Mike... his idea is a good one...

    you know he doesn't give his good ideas away for free to often...

    JOe

    PS>>> Jim's advice is also good advice... build pages about subjects you have passion about.. not just a passing interest!
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    that's my2cents, 'cuz I'm a legend in my own mind....

  5. #5
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    Sheit I got a stack of "to do" notes about four feet deep and some days can't figure out what to do next.

    That's when it's time to go outside and run around and climb and yell for a while. Learned that one from my kids. Works like a charm.

  6. #6
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    I find that doing something physical is enough to get the creative juices flowing again. A short walk around the block or tearing down a wall in my house is enough to refocus my creative energies. The problem is it doesn't always focus on this.

    The starting point for all of my brainstorming sessions: Why are my visitors coming to my site and buying after clicking my links? Make it a daily ritual to analyze your referral logs. Figure out what your visitors are doing (or not doing) and give them more opportunity to do it.

    This ritual is like a computer game for me. Every time you make a change, look at how that change impacts the bottom line. Adjust accordingly.
    Dr. Strangeweb, or how I learned how to stop worrying about SERPS and love the WOM.

  7. #7
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    I NEVER write content for a sales site. It is a waste of time.

    I only write content for my own enjoyment on content sites and a little of that goes a long way since I detest doing it.

    Make a new template, slap on a new, snazzy background. Decide what keywords you want to target on each page. Get the words in the right places in your feed so they make sense on the finished pages and in the meta tags. Your major time should be spent on your feeds and your template. Ensure that your navigation and page names are unique. Use alt tags. Make sure the images are linked as well as the image names. Adjust the product names in the feed before you ever make a page. Then, make the darned pages. Link all that together in a logical manner. FTP up the new site and do it again.

    With huge feeds, break them down into areas of interest and make a bunch of mini sites targeting different needs and interests. Once the feed is adjusted in the way you uniquely see it, you can make the mini sites as fast as you can make new templates.

    You should be able to make a complete, unique, well planned, search engine friendly site in one long day. If done right your site will look and feel different than anyone elses. And, it will target things that you see as important or profitable in the merchant's product line. If you simply MUST be creative, go make some new navigation buttons or something.

    Boring, yes. But, face it. If work were all that fun, you would pay them instead of them paying you.

    [This message was edited by SSanf on March 24, 2004 at 09:41 PM.]
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  8. #8
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I NEVER write content for a sales site. It is a waste of time. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Sorry...can't agree with that one.

    Content and sales go hand in hand. Do you need content on a sales site? No - as most sales site demonstrate. But, by providing content along with sales information you better pre-sell the people visiting your site. I've also found that content helps in both the stability of your SE rankings and in getting return traffic.

    Like everything else in affiliate marketing, there is more than one way to do things. For me, content works - and works very well.

  9. #9
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by jimh009:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I NEVER write content for a sales site. It is a waste of time. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Sorry...can't agree with that one. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>x2

    Content has gotten some lucrative backlinks to a hybrid site.
    Dr. Strangeweb, or how I learned how to stop worrying about SERPS and love the WOM.

  10. #10
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    Jason check your PM, i want to show you why sites based solely on feeds/products will make no money in the future.

  11. #11
    ABW Veteran jc101's Avatar
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    replyed to your message TrustNo1

  12. #12
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> i want to show you why sites based solely on feeds/products will make no money in the future.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Because the owners of those sites will be too busy chillin' in Hawaii to maintain them, after retiring?
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  13. #13
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    Gotta pay attention.

  14. #14
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Once I retire all I want to pay attention to is a swimming pool, LOL!
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  15. #15
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    Well you're an old schooler, i'm sure you've been saving up . I was referring to Ssanf trying to recommend feeds/products to Jason. No future in it.

  16. #16
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Jason check your PM, i want to show you why sites based solely on feeds/products will make no money in the future. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Wanna let me in on the secret??

  17. #17
    Eternal Optimist Look4's Avatar
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    I have to agree with Weis, Jim, and Trust on this one.

    It's like buying a car. You can either put in a big downpayment and have small monthly payments, or go for the $1 down programs and pay a lot each month. For the long haul, the big downpayment works much better for me.

    I never worry about where my sites will fall after the next Google re-dux. All the content on my sites, plus all the naturally ocurring backlinks from enthusast sites means I stay on the first page month after month, regardless of which way the wind blows. No weekly tweaking, no fear of going on vacation, no worries that some Johnnie come lately will steal my traffic with grossly similar pages. Equally as important, merchants seek ME out to have me push their products. I can even get my sites listed in DMOZ!

    The flip side is that content sites don't convert as well, unless you partition things into content and catalog areas. Slapping a few product links on a content page doesn't sell, but having a catalog and content site inter-link keeps the spiders very happy.

    Content sites are also a lot more work to build in the beginning - lots of research.

    Where do I get my ideas for sites? The bookstore. Check the bestseller lists - that's where you'll find the demographic trends and the emerging markets. When something strikes your fancy, try doing google-searches with good keywords plus "affiliate" in the search bar. No sense in building a content site around a topic that doesn't have any merchants now, does it?

    Before you decide on how to spin the topic, check out the competition with a few more search phrases. This accomplishes two things:
    1) Tells you where NOT to focus your efforts or how to find an alternate spin
    2) Helps locate additional merchant sponsors by seeing who the competition is pimping for.

    All the above is a lot of fun, but then comes the hard work - designing content. Read, read, read - that means books and magazines. Stuff that's on the web is already available - to do well in searches you have to have something new. And if you work from off-line content you'll be less likely to plagiarize as well. Paraphrasing in usually OK, but word for word is a big no-no. Besides, when you re-write you can fine-tune it to be super keyword rich.

    Finally, don't forget the web-building basics - build the right navigation and images for the audience. They have to TRUST you, so the site needs a good looking template. It needs to be good enough for visitors to recommend their friends to (50% of the visitors to one of my sites are person-to-person referals).

    Yes, a lot more up-front work than simple slap-it-up datafeed sites, but much less maintenance. And if you want, you can always add a full catalog area in the same domain, with links from each content page to the catalog areas (don't forget to use keyword rich link text).

    Your mileage may differ.
    Tom C.
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    Every day leave someone or something better than you found it.

  18. #18
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    Nothing really, just a google search on a product. Was just showing the exact same title (product name) from lots of different affiliates. And why i don't think there is a future with it:

    Merchants love handing out feeds because affiliates eat them up and this benefits the merchants because of all the SE space their affiliates will occupy for them. Long and short term great for merchants, short term might be great for you, long term no. Was reading over at WMW from some long timers that use feeds and what they basically do is try to get the feed as quickly as possible and indexed before everybody else does. Hundreds/thousands of affiliates with same feed, just a matter of time before getting bumped. Rinse and repeat.

    Feed sites now make a lot of money because they're very targetted. That's why some affiliates have hundreds of thousands of pages. They make 1 page for 1 product or for a set of products. But with more and more affiliates making these types of pages, it'll get harder and harder to get on page 1 when you have hundreds/thousands with basically the same exact page.

    Also as far as search engines go, i think they will/are realizing that when people search for a specific product, the merchant actually selling the product is the more relevant. An affiliate site with a product is relevant but really what the enduser wants is the merchant and SE's want relevant with variety IMO. I gave this example a few times before. If i was an SE and someone did a search for (brand name) shoe, would you as an se rather see:
    1. shoes.com feed site
    2. shoes.com feed site
    3. shoes.com feed site
    4. shoes.com feed site
    5. shoes.com feed site

    or
    1. shoes.com
    2. zappos.com
    3. shoeline.com
    4. shoeworld.com
    5. shoebuy.com


    Also feed sites get most of their traffic from free SE traffic. Relying on free SE traffic not very wise if you're serious about this business.

    I know a lot of affiliates with these types of sites say they get bookmarks, which i can't see but nothing suprises me. I just can't see myself bookmarking those types of sites when i realize after clicking a link going to a merchant, why don't i just go straight to the merchant next time? Unless of course you're offering a promotion to go along with it, which from what i see is rare from a feed site.

    Never see these types of sites getting any free TV exposure or newspaper exposure like shopping sites that save people money, i always see those get mentioned, especially around the holidays. Also see niche sites, theme sites or sites with a community get mentioned sometimes. Quality sites, original sites etc.

    If merchants wanted to they could hire somebody or make feed sites for themselves. Just repackage their own catalog, so i don't see a lot of feed sites offering the merchant any value besides taking up SE space which if the merchant wanted too, they could do themselves. Offer something they can't get for themselves.

    It would be financially beneficial to an SE like Yahoo to strip these sites pushing merchants onto SiteMatch or to the product search part of their site where they have to pay per click. But they would never do that?

    Just my opinion of course, nothing more. There are some more reasons why i don't think there is much future with these types of sites and i really can't think of a reason as to why they would be successful in the future.

  19. #19
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    Also good advice Mike gave in his first post. Totally agree.

  20. #20
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    Thanks Trust for that nice explanation. I've been thinking along those lines for a while too - which is why I haven't dived into the world of using straight datafeeds and have been sticking with content instead. I've also watched as numerous datafeed sites have risen and then disappeared in the search area where I'm at - these sites often don't seem to have much staying power in the SERPS.

  21. #21
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> you have hundreds/thousands with basically the same exact page.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Not if the person using the feed works with the feed to make it uniquely their own before creating the pages.

    They book mark the sites because the sites have more than one merchant and target ALL the needs of the consumer on a certain topic.

    It may carry things for workers for instance; workman's boots from one merchant, work shirts from another, lunch boxes from another.

    Parts of data feeds from different merchants can be mixed and matched. I have one feed I made taken from three different source feeds from three merchants.

    My site is different from the merchants, different from my other sites and certainly different from yours. I gave the consumer more products and more choices than can be found on any other site on the net. Of course, I will get the bookmark. My site is the one and only best place to shop for the targeted items.

    I think not too many people must actually work with their feeds once they get them.

    The value of a feed is having all the information about a merchant and their products summarized in one place. Do you really want to go back to having to do individual products again? I certainly don't.

    What you do with the information and the feed is up to you.
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  22. #22
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Originally posted by Jason:
    okay I'm having trouble thinking of new ideas and I need your advice on content vs product showcases

    How do you do brain storming and think of new ideas? after you have used all your ideas you can think of?
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Jason,

    You're letting many of your followers down lately with your lately posts.

    What is the matter with you?

    Are you getting old or something, are you desperate for sales or getting a divorce or in need of extra attention, come on Kid, many newbie's here are counting on your positive posts in order to keep going on the affiliate business, you're a ABW Veteran already.

    How can you say that you have used all your ideas you can think off?, Think about that for a moment.........

    The day that you have used all your ideas you can think off, it's time to pack and retire in South Florida and just wait for the SS check.

    So if you have-not lie about your age or your picture, then bring the old Jason back and stop posting negative stuff about yourself, unless you're really an old man and have used all your ideas you can think off.

    Otherwise then, welcome to the senior citizen Alzheimer's forum.

    Sal.
    ...

  23. #23
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    There's no reason you can't integrate a datafeed into a content/community site.
    Dr. Strangeweb, or how I learned how to stop worrying about SERPS and love the WOM.

  24. #24
    ABW Veteran jc101's Avatar
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    Mr Sal, I was just out of ideas. I got new ideas going now! Back to work. Wow over $1000 in sales the last 2 days with affiliate marketing! oops going to jinx myself. I am not quitting. I'm back to work. I'm actually about to hit = $25,000 in sales with affiliate marketing all together. Alot of the merchants and this board can testify my commitment and hard work to affiliate marketing. Thanks Mr Sal for giving me that positive spirit back! LOL

  25. #25
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    What Ssanf said, at least for some of my sites.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

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