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  1. #1
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Lump Of Coal For Content Sites
    I run mostly content sites these days. Boy, the traffic really takes a hit during this holiday time.

    I guess I need to get back into a few more sales sites to balance this out. Made some sales a week or two ago but those have stopped all together this week.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  2. #2
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    I have a mix of types and always see the chart of hits, alone, slump steadily for the sites with mostly content. I don't mind being surprised once in a while by a sale, though . . .

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  4. #4
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Ward
    Yes? And what should I gather from this site? Pretty basic stuff. I am not saying my sites suddenly lost rankings. My sites suddenly lost visitors because of the busy holiday time. This is normal even for sales sites as the shopping ends, it just comes a bit sooner for content sites. On the other hand, my content sites do their best in the several months after Christmas.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  5. #5
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    If you do content the goal is to figure out how to integrate sales pages with your content. You gotta keep within the same theme or the SEs won't bother with your sales pages. That's my experience anyway.

  6. #6
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    The page is interesting but his site seems somewhat disjointed to me. Based on that site I wouldn't consider him to do SEO. But maybe he is good at SEO and a poor site builder. He did say that he made it in a day.

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Make a sales content site Those do really well if you can get some good, unique content to compliment the sales data.

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

  8. #8
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snib
    Make a sales content site Those do really well if you can get some good, unique content to compliment the sales data.

    - Scott
    Did I just hear MY tune?
    Basically to put a sales pitch (sales c*ntent) in with the hard data?

    Or were you talking about having a hybrid of nonsales c*ntent and sales data. That last one is much harder, judging by the sites I've seen trying it. They usually either have so few sales links that the buyer can't reasonably find them, or they go too much the other way and end up with a phony-editorial feel.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader
    Did I just hear MY tune?
    Basically to put a sales pitch (sales c*ntent) in with the hard data?

    Or were you talking about having a hybrid of nonsales c*ntent and sales data. That last one is much harder, judging by the sites I've seen trying it. They usually either have so few sales links that the buyer can't reasonably find them, or they go too much the other way and end up with a phony-editorial feel.
    I'm not talking about spin though. I don't consider any amount of sales-driven spin to be content. I'm talking about real world accounts, reviews, questions & answers, scores, professional reviews, usage instructions, buying guides, etc. Anything that compliments the sales directly without putting obvious pressure on the customer to buy, that's what I like.

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

  10. #10
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    My site is mainly content, and my traffic is up and the few things I promote have been selling well. I kicked ass with newegg last month and so far this month as well

  11. #11
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    What is a sales site
    Vinny O'Hare - OPM - Contact Info email: vinny at teamloxly.com ~ 702-582-6742 Twitter

  12. #12
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snib
    Make a sales content site Those do really well if you can get some good, unique content to compliment the sales data.

    - Scott
    Good suggestion!

    I am working on a site for this Spring that may be able to fit both bills (content draw and contextual ads PLUS sales).
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesehead
    * * * I am not saying my sites suddenly lost rankings. My sites suddenly lost visitors because of the busy holiday time. This is normal even for sales sites as the shopping ends, it just comes a bit sooner for content sites. On the other hand, my content sites do their best in the several months after Christmas.
    I'm seeing the same thing, especially for my personal web sites that draw an "education" audience (teachers or students), but also for general-interest sites.

    An interesting observation: as traffic drops, the eCPM from AdSense seems to go up, so that revenue does not drop as much as traffic. For example, on one site, I am seeing barely half of "normal" traffic this weekend, but the eCPM is nearly double normal.

  14. #14
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snib
    Anything that compliments the sales directly without putting obvious pressure on the customer to buy, that's what I like.
    YECH! I loathe the soft sell.
    As a customer, it makes me feel like I've been slimed.

    And as a seller, I don't have any use for the anticapitalistic.

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader
    YECH! I loathe the soft sell.
    As a customer, it makes me feel like I've been slimed.
    How can you enjoy being pressured into a purchase you don't want to make?

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

  16. #16
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snib
    How can you enjoy being pressured into a purchase you don't want to make?
    How can YOU enjoy reading stuff from any site that insults your intelligence by trying to sneak their pitch by you? Or that is trying to trick you into thinking it's not there to sell stuff?

    Also: DON'T assume it'd be a purchase I "didn't want to make!" It's a wrong assumption. If I didn't want to make a purchase, I wouldn't be on a sales site to begin with.

    And, having someone try to TRICK ME into deciding to buy with a "soft sell" sure as Blazes isn't going to get me to become interested, either. I don't like sites that try to con me, to say the least. There's nothing trustworthy about such sites--after all, they can't even be honest about the fact that they're trying to sell stuff!

    If I'm on some apparently nonsales site, I really, really, really HATE to read all through some "article" only to find that it was a disguised sales pitch! It's slimy and insulting to my intelligence, two things which will guarantee that I'll never click their links, return to their site, or recommend it.

    In fact I'm still quite steamed at one I came across not too long ago, purporting to have "reviews" while "just happening" to say that [Paying Merchant] was better! GGRRRR!

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader
    How can YOU enjoy reading stuff from any site that insults your intelligence by trying to sneak their pitch by you? Or that is trying to trick you into thinking it's not there to sell stuff?

    Also: DON'T assume it'd be a purchase I "didn't want to make!" It's a wrong assumption. If I didn't want to make a purchase, I wouldn't be on a sales site to begin with.

    And, having someone try to TRICK ME into deciding to buy with a "soft sell" sure as Blazes isn't going to get me to become interested, either. I don't like sites that try to con me, to say the least. There's nothing trustworthy about such sites--after all, they can't even be honest about the fact that they're trying to sell stuff!

    If I'm on some apparently nonsales site, I really, really, really HATE to read all through some "article" only to find that it was a disguised sales pitch! It's slimy and insulting to my intelligence, two things which will guarantee that I'll never click their links, return to their site, or recommend it.

    In fact I'm still quite steamed at one I came across not too long ago, purporting to have "reviews" while "just happening" to say that [Paying Merchant] was better! GGRRRR!
    I don't know, maybe I misunderstood. When I think soft sell I think of a traditional product sales page where there is a description, price, thumbnail and Add to Cart button. Something I wouldn't consider a soft sell is something like those long single-page ebook or software pitches. Or maybe a timeshare salesperson on the Las Vegas strip. High pressure sales where the customer didn't really ask to be there.

    To me it sounds more like you're advocating traditional internet sales where each product page is clearly marked as a product sales page. I've got nothing against this.

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

  18. #18
    Affiliate Manager MINDsprinter's Avatar
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    Why try and integrate the marketing pitch? Now, I happen to think that this approach works sometimes, but ad supported content works just as well I'd say. You've got your article, and you've got relevant ads around it.
    Jason Rosenbaum
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  19. #19
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader
    How can YOU enjoy reading stuff from any site that insults your intelligence by trying to sneak their pitch by you? Or that is trying to trick you into thinking it's not there to sell stuff?

    Also: DON'T assume it'd be a purchase I "didn't want to make!" It's a wrong assumption. If I didn't want to make a purchase, I wouldn't be on a sales site to begin with.

    And, having someone try to TRICK ME into deciding to buy with a "soft sell" sure as Blazes isn't going to get me to become interested, either. I don't like sites that try to con me, to say the least. There's nothing trustworthy about such sites--after all, they can't even be honest about the fact that they're trying to sell stuff!

    If I'm on some apparently nonsales site, I really, really, really HATE to read all through some "article" only to find that it was a disguised sales pitch! It's slimy and insulting to my intelligence, two things which will guarantee that I'll never click their links, return to their site, or recommend it.

    In fact I'm still quite steamed at one I came across not too long ago, purporting to have "reviews" while "just happening" to say that [Paying Merchant] was better! GGRRRR!
    I know what you mean about being on a content site that skews all the content for the sake of a sale - these are pretty bogus sometimes. The content sites I have, however, are truly CONTENT sites in that they provide tutorials, "how to" instructions, etc. If I promote something, I promote the product I personally use if possible. With ebay, that can be anything under the sun, if you are OK with 50 cent commissions and an occasional signup bonus. Contextual ads provide a fairly steady income, especially if one can diversify into different content areas.

    Content sites are nice for the person still working a J*b in order to afford family Health In$urance for a bunch of dear hooligans that break their arms, knock out their teeth, etc. You can leave a content site alone for a month with no adverse effects, as opposed to a sales site. Actually, the big G helped me go in this direction by wiping out my sales site pages.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  20. #20
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    My number one fitness affiliate is a content maestro and he taught me a good lesson the other day. Retail sites list features, he lists benefits. Yes this treadmill has a 3.5 hp motor, what does that do for you (no running fat jokes now)?

    All I know is that he sells $3000 fitness equipment everyday of the week.

  21. #21
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snib
    I don't know, maybe I misunderstood. When I think soft sell I think of a traditional product sales page where there is a description, price, thumbnail and Add to Cart button. Something I wouldn't consider a soft sell is something like those long single-page ebook or software pitches. Or maybe a timeshare salesperson on the Las Vegas strip. High pressure sales where the customer didn't really ask to be there.

    To me it sounds more like you're advocating traditional internet sales where each product page is clearly marked as a product sales page. I've got nothing against this.
    The traditional page you describe would be on a merchant site. Those are good, but don't seem to work on affiliate sites, probably because the end purchase happens on some other site (it looks phishy). I wouldn't consider that a "soft" sell, because it's plainly there to sell, rather than pretending it's only there to help you (or some other such angle).

    I wasn't advocating the EXTREME sledgehammer-hard sell of a "get rich quick" type page.

    But, for an aff sales pitch, I do like 2 or 3 paragraphs of sales pitch. Not a "screaming" and ultralong ebook pitch, but definitely a pitch. The customer always knows that my pages are trying to sell stuff, but I'm not saying to go so far overboard as to beat them to death with it, either!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesehead
    The content sites I have, however, are truly CONTENT sites in that they provide tutorials, "how to" instructions, etc. If I promote something, I promote the product I personally use if possible. With ebay, that can be anything under the sun, if you are OK with 50 cent commissions and an occasional signup bonus. Contextual ads provide a fairly steady income, especially if one can diversify into different content areas.
    Results must vary by category. I tried that with gardening, no luck. Recipes, still no luck. I moved a couple cookbooks, but it took wheelbarrows worth of pageviews to do it. Now those sites serve more to show ads to MY sites, at least I can get some PR out of it that way...

    As for contextual ads, I've got a blog that's there for AdSense, but I couldn't keep the "fire" needed for frequent posting. That's often what ends up happening if I do c*ntent. Then the engines start to ignore the sites, and they're not lucrative enough to justify putting PPC to 'em.

    You can leave a content site alone for a month with no adverse effects, as opposed to a sales site.
    Funny...I find just the opposite. I'm making sales right now off of pages I haven't touched in a year (and now I don't dare touch them, in fear of de-ranking off of whatever engine decided to be nice!) But c*ntent always seems to be an insatiable monster greedy for more updates, and has proven itself just as hard to get out of the abyss on a sitewide basis.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick
    My number one fitness affiliate is a content maestro and he taught me a good lesson the other day. Retail sites list features, he lists benefits.
    Oh, I always try to put benefits and not just features! It's simple Retailing 101. People don't emotionally connect with mere features, and it's often hard to people to imagine what Feature X is going to do for them. But I put the benefits on sales pages, in the sales pitch.

    Ironically, it was a fitness "review" site that got me so irked when I made my last post. One for Smooth Fitness. I didn't like his "X brand treadmills are okay, but..." tactic at all (but then, I know d*mned well that SF has an affiliate program, and what to look for in the link, so all stealth value was dead). But I don't remember that site as pushing the benefits like you mention.

    All I know is that he sells $3000 fitness equipment everyday of the week.
    Ah, but that's NOT "all" you know. You also know the conversion ratio...and that's where the difference in effectiveness really stands out. If, for instance, it's burning through 10000 hits/day to sell 1 item, it's actually wasting a lot of traffic.

    I'm saying that it could quite well be that the sales you're seeing aren't the result of the presence of c*ntent, but rather the result of the presence of good SEO.

    If the conversion ratio is indeed good, I'll add "high end exercise equipment" to my list of exception categories (which currently only has 2 categories on it).

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    NOOOOOOOO.... NOT another SALES verses CONTENT thread...!!

    Hasn't this been done before...?? A LOT........

    I don't see why this is such a HUGE discussion that is brought up over and over again... When it is OBVIOUS that you need BOTH... sales and content... but most importantly you need to ADD VALUE.....

    VALUE is relative to the END USER... if they want to read and research... give it to them... If they want to buy right away give it to them...

    If you concentrate on YOUR users and providing them with VALUE then you stand a better chance of getting more bookmarkers and more word of mouth advertising.. which leads to more traffic and more sales....

    It is all relative to the end user..... add value and win... regardless of what that value seems to be at the moment...

    It is NOT a sales VERSES content kind of thing... it is a HOW TO INCORPORATE BOTH AND ADD VALUE KIND OF THING........

    Well rounded sites stand a better chance of adding value...

  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AddHandler

    I don't see why this is such a HUGE discussion that is brought up over and over again... When it is OBVIOUS that you need BOTH... sales and content... but most importantly you need to ADD VALUE.....
    I totally agree. Sometimes content doesn't add value, so it doesn't help convert the customers. It's the content that converts that's really what we need.

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

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador Paul_Ward's Avatar
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    I always feel these discussions are like talking about Mozart witht he tone deaf

  25. #25
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    That might be because some people think that 100 text links on a page IS content.

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