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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador
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    Leader is Right
    While my experience is not scientific, I thought I would share my experience. Last year at this time I created two different gardening sites. One had over 1,500 pages of dense, unique content which sold perfectly matched flowers and gardening products.

    The second had just enough original content so that google wouldn't slap me with a duplicate content penalty and a ton of affiliate links.

    I did not link the sites to each other or to the same sites. They were not hosted by the same company.

    Well, all the pages in both sites went supplemental in google. Who knows why. Perhaps my aff link code showed the same person owned both sites.

    I had more visitors to the "content" site. They bought almost nothing. While I had fewer visitors to the second site, they bought a lot more stuff. I have taken my affiliate links off the content site and am focusing on the second site.

    I'm not suggesting that this is the way life is for everyone. Nor am I suggesting that this is the only way to design sites. This is just what happened this year. Next year might be different.

    Lily

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    I think a lot of it has to do with how interactive your content site is. The more interactive it is the more likely it'll be that you start building a community. As we can see here at ABW the community is essential for earning viral traffic and free content. I've seen a lot of sites with content but no interactive features at all, not even comments. I think to remain competitive in building content sites it's important to get a little commentary going back and forth between you and your visitors. Afterall just one person updating a site isn't enough for most update-hungry visitors.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  3. #3
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    I think "going supplemental" is caused by a lack of change over a period of time. it is not necessarily a bad thing as Google (for instance) has revamped some of the servers and software recently for that function.

  4. #4
    affiliate emeritus missdonna's Avatar
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    I almost didn't bother to read this thread. My first reaction was "of course Leader's right" so why bother. But I was curious to see the evidence so I read it after all.
    Affiliate Marketing - The hardest easy money I ever made.

  5. #5
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    From Snib: "I think a lot of it has to do with how interactive your content site is. The more interactive it is the more likely it'll be that you start building a community."

    I guess I thought that describing how to plant and prune roses, would do it. Not much really changes on the topic. But from what I can see most of the talked about sites are interactive. Not really sure if I want to get into that aspect of website building. But I'm thinking about it.

  6. #6
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    "I guess I thought that describing how to plant and prune roses, would do it."

    That's informational content not sales content. People go there to get information, get it and go. You have to understand when Leader talks of content sites not working, it's based on her own past content sites not working, one of the sites she mentioned was a recipe site. Same thing. When people look for recipes online, they find them, print them and go. So content sites can work, all sites can work. As far as content, there have been merchants that posted here, some outdoor ones, where content affiliates are some of their top affiliates. There are other people here who make good money with content. Just search for sales vs. content, there are no shortage of threads on it and the content doesn't sell idea has been ripped to shreds many times.

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Lily
    From Snib: "I think a lot of it has to do with how interactive your content site is. The more interactive it is the more likely it'll be that you start building a community."

    I guess I thought that describing how to plant and prune roses, would do it. Not much really changes on the topic. But from what I can see most of the talked about sites are interactive. Not really sure if I want to get into that aspect of website building. But I'm thinking about it.
    If you have the means, go for it! It makes sense if you think about it, why not read a book or magazine for static content? The internet is about interaction, so it's always a great idea to leverage that aspect.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  8. #8
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    Yes Trust No. 1, I know there have been lots of threads about this. Guess I'm just the kind of person that needs to test things. Thought I would report back just so folks could see what I did and how things worked out. I have a variety of sites and lots of different configuration of content.

    The one thing I learned about affiliate marketing is that one has to keep trying new things and experimenting. I don't find most of the sites where people post very helpful(ABW being a notable exception), so I have a built-in prejudice. For example I go to WebMD to learn about a drug from their encyclopedia, but I don't go to the discussions about drugs. But if that's what it takes to sell products, I just might have to get with the times.

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador Paul_Ward's Avatar
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    I think it's great that people stay away from content sites

  10. #10
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by missdonna
    I almost didn't bother to read this thread. My first reaction was "of course Leader's right" so why bother. But I was curious to see the evidence so I read it after all.
    LOL Donna - I thought the same thing. :-)
    Peace,

    Rexanne

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  11. #11
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Lily
    I had more visitors to the "content" site. They bought almost nothing. While I had fewer visitors to the second site, they bought a lot more stuff.
    And there's the proof of the pudding!
    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Lily
    I have taken my affiliate links off the content site and am focusing on the second site.
    Stick some AdSense or CPM banners up on the c*ntent site, then at least you might get something from the blinking info-moochers...
    But I'll definitely agree that you should focus on the sales site!
    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Lily
    For example I go to WebMD to learn about a drug from their encyclopedia, but I don't go to the discussions about drugs. But if that's what it takes to sell products, I just might have to get with the times.
    Forums aren't where it's at either, sales-wise, from all I've seen or read/heard (there may be some exception or 2 out there). It's still info-c*ntent. And worse, it's too compelling--which means the people have an incentive to NOT leave and go buy stuff! They want to see what's up in the threads/posts, instead!

    Think of how many times you load a new page here on ABW without even clicking on (let alone buying from) an ad that's on here, then multiply that by all the members, and probably 10x that amount of lurkers...and you can see how even popular forums can have several thousand pageviews/day and only have a sporadic sale to show for it.

    I've yet to see an "interactive" or otherwise "community"-based site idea where this same phenomenon logically isn't going to be the norm. The successful ones don't seem to use sales as a revenue source. Rather they have some kind of ads that don't rely on actually selling anything in order for the site owner to make money.

    Of course, there are ego benefits to those site types, but unfortunately, ego-boostage doesn't pay bills.

    On the other hand, I have seen a (fairly) new SALES site idea coming into fashion--the "deal a day" format. Backcountry's got one of these (I forgot the name/URL, blast it) and they were saying it works well. It would need some way of automating the updates, to avoid it becoming a ball-and-chain. Of course, there'll still be the matter of getting traffic to it, which would present a challenge since the deals would change before the SEs could index them. But some of the sites seem to be getting traffic despite this difficulty...
    Last edited by Leader; December 16th, 2006 at 11:34 PM.

  12. #12
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    I think I'll just let it sit without "directly" generating income. It's gathering quite a few quality links and the search engines love it.

    When I need to jumpstart a new site, a link from this site works wonders, even if it isn't related content.

  13. #13
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Lily
    I think I'll just let it sit without "directly" generating income. It's gathering quite a few quality links and the search engines love it.

    When I need to jumpstart a new site, a link from this site works wonders, even if it isn't related content.
    Yeah, c*ntent can be good for that, at least.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  14. #14
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Content can draw in some traffic. As a test last spring I put up a Musclecar content section with photos, facts, history. Other then coping all the photos for their image search GOOFLE refuses to list any of the pages at www.get-in2.com/musclecars/ so 80% of the domains traffic goes to these muscle car pages from the other SE's.

    Summary by Month

    Month Daily Avg Monthly Totals
    Hits Files Pages Visits Sites KBytes Visits Pages Files Hits

    Dec 2006 36240 31435 6531 visits=1925 17569 4871767 23104 78378 377226 434880
    Nov 2006 36456 31238 6360 visits=1796 13144 3500445 16167 57244 281142 328105
    Oct 2006 30110 25960 5962 visits=1636 10704 2721139 13090 47703 207686 240885

    Totals 11093351 52361 183325 866054 1003870

    I rearranged the musclecar pages 2 weeks ago to give more Cybermall leakage and room Adsense clicks. Stupid of me to think Eastwood (body shop supplier) JC Whitney, eCars Classifieds, or even the GoldenCan for Toolking would convert into commissions. Zip for 8 months and I'll assume musclecar fanatics need that crap to protect their investments, or fuel their garage/car/need for speed desires. You can bet the www.get-in2.com Cybermall leakage and direct traffic (1800 daily visits) from Yahoo and MSN etc might trip the Google Bot into action. Whole site hasn't made 10.00 in affiliate commish since November 1st.

    I'm already helping those gang raping these network enabled merchants with "Made for Adsense" click traps and incentive cookie cannons as they hawk my traffic via adwords and site content scraping tools. What odds are there that the wanks running Eastwood, JC Whitney, Toolking would pay slotting fees for exposure there??
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

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