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  1. #1
    Newbie
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    June 19th, 2007
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    Can you monetize a successful website?
    This is a question for experienced affiliates. I have a couple of websites which are successful in the SE but are not very successful in bringing actual profits (ie they do bring profits but not as much as I hope). I would like to get opinions from experienced affiliates on how much revenue do they think a certain website is capable of generating per month.

    Sadly,I cannot reveal the actual websites or the exact keywords for which these sites are ranked but please keep in mind that all SE traffic is valid and comes from good relevant keywords. This IS NOT junk traffic.

    1) A clothing website with 20k uniques per month
    2) A perfumes website with 12k uniques per month
    3) A dating website with 5k uniques per month
    4) A printer ink website with 1400 uniques per month

    I will be the first in admitting that the actual design of these websites could use a drastic improvement. However, since I simply do not have the time to do it myself I will need to hire someone to develop and maintain them. The purpose of this question is to see if keeping them and paying to a third party to do that is a viable option for me.

    Thanks in advance to all who reply...

  2. #2
    Online Marketing Consultant
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    October 16th, 2006
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    Are you talking about unique vistors, page views, hits or what?

    You can definitely monitize them if you do it correctly, but remember, with a new page and site design, you might loose some of your SE rankings.
    Adam Riemer Marketing, LLC. Online Marketing Blog and Affiliate Management Company
    Do you need help with your Marketing or Sales funneling, write me at adamr (at) adamriemer (dot) me

  3. #3
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Interesting question, but there's no way to make any reliable estimates from the information you've given. Without knowing why those visitors came, why they are there beyond the first glimpse and what they are doing while they remain there, I can't make any estimates or guesses. What if your perfume site is a bunch of content about the history of perfumes... nobody's there to buy, they're reading.

    Below isn't an estimate, it's an exercise to see where your problem is...

    For the perfume site, I'd say if it's a product shopping, review, display, presentation or comparison site, most affs have no trouble getting it to at least a 5% click thru rate to your merchants.

    Using perfume.com's 30-day EPC at SAS of ~$13...

    12,000 uniques x 5% click thru = 600 clicks to your merchant / month.

    6 hundred clicks x $13 earnings per hundred clicks (aka EPC) = $78 a month in commissions.

    To make more than $78 / month, you need to:

    get your visitors to click through at a higher rate (by having compelling site-oriented reasons to do so and by having traffic that wants what your site offers)

    -or-

    you need to average a much higher EPC than the average affiliate of theirs (make sure your traffic is made of focused buyers in the first place, guide them well and land them on your merchant accordingly).

    -or-

    raise both your click thru's and your own EPC.

    Without revealing anything too specific, can you share your ballpark...

    click through rate? (12,000 visitors, what % of them click through to your merchants)

    typical EPC? (and compare it to the merchant's average EPC for all of their affs)

    And you may want to rewind to the very beginning... what is the purpose of the site in the consumer's view, does it accomplish that goal well and does that result in a sale for your merchant? This is the most important thing we can discuss - "adding value leading towards making a sale" - if properly concepted, hatched and raised to maturity in your site's structure, the numbers will work themselves out.
    Last edited by Donuts; June 19th, 2007 at 01:25 PM.

  4. #4
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Little sharing...

    My lifetime EPC with Perfume at SAS is $64.52 (30 sales, 256 clicks, 11.7% CR).

    Usually, by the time I hand someone off to a merchant from an aff site of mine, they're going there with heavy buying interest and they already know lots of details - I've pre-sold them well.

    So when you look at average EPC for a merchant, not just here at SAS or in the perfume.com program, but everywhere - know that the average EPC numbers generally suck and aren't reflective of what is possible. Averages reflect what everyone's doing - you can't be like everyone, you've gotta be better than average.

  5. #5
    Newbie
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    June 19th, 2007
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    Hi Donuts, thanks for the insightful replies.

    All of my merchants are from CJ. I promote 3 programs in total but one if them is promoted more than others (they are definitely the cheapest of the 3). It also shows at the end since they have the best CR. The site is mostly price comparison between perfume stores but it is not very in depth. However, it's not a blog where I talk about perfumes and just have a couple of banners on the side.

    My problem doesn't seem to be CTR but CR. My CTR is about 25% but my CR with my best program is only 2% (barely). EPC around $10.

    I'm surprised about your very high EPC. You mention that it's lifetime but I can't tell over how many months is that data. Is your site 100% about perfumes? 256 clicks is not a lot so I can only assume that people that to go from your site to the merchant are either very interested in perfumes (for example, let's say that you have a site that is mainly about skin care but you have a banner that advertises perfumes. You won't be getting many clicks but those that will are probably very interested and are more likely to buy) or that you are ranked well for low traffic/high conversion keywords.

  6. #6
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    25% CTR is decent, but on a comparison site, it's still a little low. Invest some time in reviewing your title tags as well as reviewing what your SEO listings show - perhaps the people arriving are not targetted super good, just decently.

    But the problem seems to be your EPC / CR. It's hard to guess what the problem is, maybe you're covering things too broadly and they still haven't seen price or details on the items or whatever... but <2% conversion seems low... your visitors should have already chosen an item via comparison, seen others they've decided aren't right for them (feeling satisfied they "looked" around at alternatives is important), seen the price, maybe seen a picture or at least thumbnail, recognized the merchant's name, picked one they feel comfortable doing business with or at least exploring, and clicked through in pursuit of buying... your CR should be much higher than 2%.

    overall, with 25% ctr and a low CR/EPC, i'm guessing you're not preselling far enough - more data, better comparisons, include coupons, show the price, add ship details if you can - on top of other things you're comparing...

    if your own EPC is ~$10, what is the merchants average EPC? With a comparison site, you should be at least 2x, if not ~3-5x the average. Add coupons with your comparison (so you don't have leakage to the coupon portion of the sale) and your EPC should rise to ~4x-7x the average.

    obviously, i'm a big fan of comparison sites! the numbers tell me that yours can be better for sure!

    experiment with perfume.com at SAS too - they have great prices. a compelling domain name and more. and look around at other comparison sites for more merchants, their quality might be one thing affecting your own EPC. a consumer likes to know they're getting a good deal - the more you show them, the better (but more than 6 or 7 and you might overkill it, shoot for more than "few", less than a "bunch", centered on "several").

  7. #7
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    don't underestimate the power of coupons on your comparison site, in my experience, comparison shoppers are highly likely to look for a coupon - they are information seekers and will take the time to explore the details before buying.

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donuts
    don't underestimate the power of coupons on your comparison site, in my experience, comparison shoppers are highly likely to look for a coupon - they are information seekers and will take the time to explore the details before buying.
    Coupons and Price Comparison will never work, especially if you include a shipping calculator

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

  9. #9
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Jetson, replying to your offline message means I'm no longer anonymous, you'll just have to wait until you earn PM privileges to communicate with me. I get a lot of requests to help affiliates, yours is the third I received today. I do a large amount of mentoring, but real mentoring takes time - so I can only say yes once in a while - maybe every 60-90 days. I am currently mentoring two people actively and have two more waiting. There's no sign up form, I choose who I want - I will say I only choose people who are active at ABW. So, I don't mean to be rude, but the answer to your question is no. And I also have a perfume comparison site of my own planned (got a great domain name months ago), though I may not get to it this year (I have 2 other new sites and one site overhaul / rebuild ahead of that, plus I have a major coupon value add project in the works, and I do ppc consulting for merchants, and the mentoring thing, plus travel, affiliate summitt, fun, wife and kids, tennis, a little fishing and surfing planned and my thursday beer nights...).

    My daughter used to work at Ulta and she's been beating me up for a while to build a site for perfumes. Hope to bump into you later. :-)

    Best way to get help is...

    For your site specifically, if you don't mind disclosing your site, is to submit your site in the site review section of ABW and ask for feedback:
    http://forum.abestweb.com/forumdisplay.php?f=146

    In general, continue engaging members of all levels here to further your own knowledge and skills, as well as those of your peers by sharing your expertise and experiences.

    Again, welcome to ABW. I'm personally glad you're here. I look forward to posting alongside you here at ABW.

    Good luck!

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