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  1. #1
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    Number of merchants to promote ?
    What should be a good number of merchants to promote ? Is it 5, 10, 15, 20, 50 or more?

    I must mention that I am working alone and what should be appropriate for me as the number of good merchants to signup for and promote actively ?

    At every aff. network I see a lot of merchants whom I CAN promote but that wouldn't mean that it would be practically possible for me to promote those 100's of merchants simultaneously ? Or is it ?

    I am not sure what is the optimum number of merchants one should promote ? Anyone likes to share ?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Member Chocolate_Chicken's Avatar
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    As much as you feel is comfortable and practical for you.

    After seeing your other post, I'll also add this "time formula" idea whcih has worked very well for me over the years. Of course, you would need to wait until you've had the ball rolling for a little while on a numner of merchants before you could implement this scheme:

    If 40% of your income is generated by a particular merchant, devote 40% of your time and effort to updating or adding content to promote that merchant. 10% to merchants who generate 10% of your income, etc, etc, etc. Any that generate little to nothing, just ditch them or let them stagnate, and use that percentage of your time trying new things.

    I call this plan "Follow The Gold Vein".

  3. #3
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    The thing with this is the optimum number of merchants will vary between affiliates. I use hundreds and hundreds and some use a handful. You can be very successful either way, just have to find your own way.

  4. #4
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    Hey Chocolate_Chicken,

    This time formula looks interesting indeed. A very simple solution for all the complexity

  5. #5
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    I use hundreds and hundreds
    TrustNo1, I am surprised how you mange these hundreds of merchants. Probably you know something that I don't ;-)
    I am planning now to take this affiliate business seriously but when I am searching for good ones, I feel I can promote them but I don't want to take more than I can handle.

  6. #6
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    >take this affiliate business seriously

    That is nice to hear.
    Good luck...

  7. #7
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    Thanks Mike. Yes, I seriously hope that I can stay with the ups and downs of this affiliate biz.

    Actually, this is my third attempt (if at all I could my earlier tries an attempt)
    at affiliate marketing but the only one when I got the sales. But yes, I had not done anything solid earlier other than put a couple of banners here and there ;-)
    And this time I hope I can continue for long.

  8. #8
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    Chocolate_Chicken,

    What should be the time devoted to test new merchants in this formula ? Or do I need to put in more than 100%

  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager nish's Avatar
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    The number of affiliates that you want to handle depends on the kind of site that you have. For example, a coupon site or a mall site would need large number of merchants.

    The key to manage hundreds of merchants is 'automation'.

  10. #10
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    The key to manage hundreds of merchants is 'automation'.
    I was thinking too that only automation can make it possible. I am not looking for any trade secrets here but any general pointers for automation ?

  11. #11
    Affiliate Manager nish's Avatar
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    hmm.. check out the Data Feeds section. This one is an interesting thread: http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread...ht=bulletproof

    cheers!
    -nishith

  12. #12
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    Thanks nish for the link. Looks good. Will check it out.

  13. #13
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    nish, I didn't get a chance to work earlier on the instructions given in the thread you've provided link to but I am working on it since yesterday and it sure looks that I can do it too
    Thanks a lot
    Last edited by newaff; February 9th, 2006 at 12:21 AM.
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  14. #14
    Affiliate Manager nish's Avatar
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    Excellent! Give me a shout if you need any kind of help (including scripting).

    On a side note, are you still resisting the temptation to join MontRED?

    cheers!
    -nishith

  15. #15
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    I am trying step by step on that one and seems it will take some time to test those things out. If I have some questions, I'll be asking you

    regarding montred, it is clearly on my radar
    I'll try to get some good related content for it and whenever I enter this niche, you'll be the first one I'll signup with. Thanks.
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  17. #17
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    How many merchants to promote? As many as makes sense.

    If you had a retail store, how many vendor's products would you promote? It depends. If you were Wal-Mart, you might promote thousands. If you were a bicycle shop, you might have a handful. If you were a Disney Store, you might just promote one.
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  18. #18
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    As many as makes sense.
    Yeah, I am trying to make sense of it all

    Seriously, I've found now that by signing up with more merchants, you increase the possibility of finding one or two good ones which you wouldn't have found otherwise unless you had a magic wand

    Isn't this the case?
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  19. #19
    CPA Network Rep JP Sauve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newaff
    What should be a good number of merchants to promote?

    I guess that depends on your model. If you run a shopping comparison site, you might be able to advertise almost limitless merchants. If your model is that you develop one website per merchant, then you'll be more limited.
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  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador Mike O's Avatar
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    As many as you can keep pages reasonably updated for.

    What "reasonably updated" means probably differs widely among affiliates.

    If you show prices you'll need to update more often.
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  21. #21
    Affiliate Manager Sami B - Uncommon Goods's Avatar
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    Only one: uncommongoods.com

    Yes, like everyone else said, it depends on what type of websites you have. I'd suggest you to try to find several niche shopping subjects and try your chances with merchants whose products fall in that niches.

    About Chocolate_Chicken's suggestion:
    If 40% of your income is generated by a particular merchant, devote 40% of your time and effort to updating or adding content to promote that merchant.
    It's a logical suggestion but there are two things you should be careful of:
    - Don't let one merchant bring in a huge chunk of your commissions. Should something happens to that particular merchant, it wouldn't be too good.

    - If a merchant/concept/website is working for you, it's great, just do necessary updates, do not tweak or change many things ("don't fix it unless it's broke" law). Just move on other projects. If it slows down or stops working for you, then make changes as necessary.

    Good luck.

  22. #22
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    to diversify is always good idea

  23. #23
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike O
    As many as you can keep pages reasonably updated for.

    What "reasonably updated" means probably differs widely among affiliates.

    If you show prices you'll need to update more often.
    I agree.

    For me, the number of merchants hasn't been a limiter, at least not on the sites I pay attention to. The big mall is automated, and the nonautomated malls are small enough that I can see what's going on.

    But, I have had to come to terms with the fact that I have too many aff sites (over 30)! Last time I went through them, I found some I had forgotten about (other than a vague recollection of their existence) since 2002! I don't show prices, but even so, that's too long. At that point, I had to acknowledge that I had found out just how many sites is indeed "too many."

    I am now pruning down the number of sites to a manageable amount. Also I think it'll help my SEO efforts if my efforts aren't being diluted by the weight of a bunch of never-looked-at domains whose pages and linking were set up for pre-2004 algos!
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  24. #24
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    So the consensus here is that number of merchants should not be a limit and depending on your model, you can go as many as you want which gives rise to further questions like :

    1. How many non-automated sites you can handle?
    2. How often do you go back to those non-automated sites for updates/modifications? daily, weekly, monthly or without any schedule?
    3. How many single merchant sites (dedicated to promoting a single merchant) which are not automated you can handle?
    4. How many non-automated sites can turn into the your top moneymaking sites?

    Thanks
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  25. #25
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    But, I have had to come to terms with the fact that I have too many aff sites (over 30)! Last time I went through them, I found some I had forgotten about (other than a vague recollection of their existence) since 2002! I don't show prices, but even so, that's too long. At that point, I had to acknowledge that I had found out just how many sites is indeed "too many."
    So Leader, 30 is too many for you
    This is what I am trying to understand - for me I am currently having about 10-12 sites (some are not completed yet) of which one is making me money. Now either I have to give more time to the one which is giving me money or keep churning out more sites with the hope that every 10 sites I make, I can make one moneymaking one
    The Best Forums
    Nothing in the world can take the place of persistance
    . Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistance and determination are omnipotent.
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