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  1. #1
    Newbie
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    January 18th, 2005
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    I'm new to the board, so first of all, hi!

    I've greatly enjoyed reading through the archives, but still have some questions regarding the economics of site building. How are successful affiliates in the current market making the numbers work, with regard to rates of return relative to costs, including hosting fees, domain registration (although it's only in the ten dollar-range now), etc.? Obviously people are succeeding, but I'm curious how the numbers stack up.

    From the archives, it's apparent that webmasters aren't necessarily going for the cheapest (from a pure cost standpoint) hosting plans available. That would seem to place a higher burden on any one site to succeed. Are there any sales statistics available for our industry as a whole? For example, what's the average sale? The average commission?

    If hosting fees are $15-20 per month, and average commissions are, say, 10%, a site needs to move $200ish worth of product each month to break even, and naturally far more to contribute (as part of a small-to-large network of sites) to a successful business. For mini-sites fighting to promote small-ticket items on Google in a crowded marketplace, this seems like quite a challenge!

    Although hosting is one of the larger initial costs, that isn't the main focus of my questions--it's more about the numbers in general.

    This may all be rather academic (and I promise I'll get back to work!), but I think this sort of discussion could be helpful, if not for others, at least for the OP. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_cool.gif[/img]

    P.S.: Hosting costs themselves are nicely reduced by getting a dedicated server. However, I wouldn't recommend it for someone whose business hasn't grown to support the cost of one

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Affiliateville, USA
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    7,927
    I get my hosting for $5 a month on my sites. All I need to make is one sale a month and I've broke even. That makes it economical.

    Ron
    7 Days A Week Marketing

    "Keep your hands out of my cookie jar!"

  3. #3
    Full Member
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    January 18th, 2005
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    >>Are there any sales statistics available for our industry as a whole? For example, what's the average sale? The average commission?<<

    I don't think there's any way to create a statistical average that would make sense. In the past 30 days, I've made commissions under a dollar and over 20 dollars. Percentages range from 5 to 20 or more percent. Both big and small commissions and percentages are necessary to my site - it depends on the product and the merchant and their relevance to my viewers. I'm more concerned with who's coming to my site and buying, than the average sale or commission.

    Im with one of the more expensive hosting services, mainly because I wanted a company that could reliably handle a sizable traffic volume, stuff like server side includes and, potentially, more sophisticated stuff like php, etc. Still, I don't consider it a big expense - one or two nice sales and it's paid for, and even a beginner like me can come up with that, as long as I pay attention to the more experienced people on this board! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    J

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador
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    January 18th, 2005
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    West Coast USA
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    3,043
    The site we did last week cost:
    $27 Domain Name - 2 years
    $400 for a professional custom template.
    $299 Yahoo!
    $189 INK
    $60 hosting - 1 year

    We figure we will breakeven with 24 sales = about 1 month.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    But I think it should be noted in the case of Adam Ward that he probably has the knowledge and skills (I don't know anything about him, but it sounds like he does), to create a web site that he knows is sure thing. He knows who the customers are, what they are looking for and where to get his site noticed. Much of this comes with practice so you may not want to spend that much the first time around.

    I have a profitable site that I spent the following on:

    Web site template $19.00
    Domanin registration $15.00
    Hosting (with SSI, php, etc) $50/year
    AskJeeves registration $30.00

    It just takes a few sales to make up those costs.

    Some pay less than I do and some pay more than Adam. I'm still learning, but I will certainly be paying more in the future in an effort to get listed with some of my sites.

    Ron
    7 Days A Week Marketing

    "Keep your hands out of my cookie jar!"

  6. #6
    Full Member
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Idaho
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    With regard to hosting, its absolutely critical that that you find a reliable host. The last thing you want is for your site to be down when Googlebot, etc. come acrawling. I pay a little more for this assurance. Also, I look for a host that provides decent stats.

    If you are looking for some templates for free, take a look at http://www.freesitetemplates.com. I make good use of some of them.

    "If I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself." Bob Hope

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