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    heh! heh! Still long winded but at least it had a little guts this time.

    IH
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    Originally posted by "yintercept"

    Affiliate marketing is really a scummy business. Saddam's Iraq is a fitting parallel....It is really an ugly business.
    I couldn't disagree with you more. I'll be brief in my critique for the sake of others reading the thread.

    Virtually every large e-tailer offers an affiliate program and employs a full-time affiliate manager (which by the way in many cases is a 6-figure salary position)...Why? Because affiliate marketing is a key part of an e-tailers overall marketing strategy and it works very successfully for both parties.

    Sure there are tons of people who have failed miserably at affiliate marketing, but the failure of some (or even many) does not mean the system itself is a failure.

    AM's are not "parasites feeding on the inefficiencies of the SE's". Sure there are incidents where this is true but in many cases, AM's build quality sites that offer categorized product information for interested buyers. A lot of us will feature one product niche and offer several related products within that niche available from multiple affiliates.

    The true failure on the web is the content site. You spend 100's of hours and 100's of dollars producing a quality content site only to earn little if any revenue. If builders of content sites would start with a business plan before venturing into the development of the site maybe there would not be so many failures in that aspect of web business. If your content site was unable to close the sale and the surfer went back to Google to continue shopping for a product then the fault is not in the system of affiliate marketing, the fault is on your inability to provide enough information to make the user want to buy.
  4. #33
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    After my previous post I came upon a situation that I think illustrates what I feel is wrong with content sites and what I believe should be done to remedy the problem of content sites not earning revenue.

    My wife needed coloring pages for her Girl Scouts troop. I went to Google and searched for "easter coloring pages", the first site didn't have anything that I needed, but the second listing did. In fact there were plenty to choose from in color and B&W and in multiple screen resolutions. I downloaded the ones I wanted for free, and left the site. The site owners made no money and I got what I wanted for free. Albeit the bandwidth was minimal, but technically it cost the site owners for me to retrieve the pictures for free.

    What is wrong with this situation? Well it is obvious. The content was made available for free, and there was little if any chance for the site owners to make any money. In fact the banner ads they had on the site were completely unrelated to the site. I doubt many people would be searching for coloring pages and think "oh hey I feel like buying sneakers now". BTW the site had multiple pages with coloring pages and related type pages for virtually every topic you can think of. Google has over 14,000 pages in their index for this site, so this is no small site.

    Now if I was building this site what would I do different? Well first I would not offer these images for free. They are copyrighted images that someone obviously took the time to draw, digitize and put into different file sizes and colors. Give the surfer a non-printable sample and sell the fact that for a small fee they can have access to the entire library of images. People would be willing to pay for the images if you made a good sales presentation for the quality product that was offered. Sure there are 100's of sites where you can find images to download and print for the need I have, but that shouldn't matter. Why does this site in question feel the need to give all of their content away for free?? It is a poor business model, plain and simple.

    To contrast, clip-art.com offers clip art on a membership based site. They start at $7.95 for a week and the price goes down for longer membership plans. They obviously have found something that works. Sure you can get clip art for free, but they offer a nice service that people are more than happy to pay a small fee for.

    In conclusion, I really think people that design content sites need to rethink what they are doing out here. Determine how much your time and talents are worth and charge appropriately for what you are offering. Information such as maps, phone numbers, news, etc should be freely available. However content - your original creation should not be free. Stop thinking like programmers and start thinking like business people. Change the way you conduct business and you'll be out here in five years. Keep doing things the way you always have been doing them and you'll be taking a side job at the 7-11 to make ends meet.
  6. #34
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    Tony,

    You have a well stated and well thought out position.

    It reminds me somewhat of the debate we had years ago about wheather support should remain free or move to a pay per use plan.

    What about sites that are not devoted to content (unlike the example you gave of the Easter eggs)? By that I mean sites like mine which are (hopefully) designed to get you to pick up the phone, call and hire us for the services we provide. How would a site like that fit in?

    HWG

    www.dbdinc.com
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    Originally posted by "altyfc"

    My experiences of affiliate marketing are very poor, despite having some reasonably high traffic sites.
    I tend to agree. You need to have pretty targetted content in order for affiliate links to be effective. Also, "book through rates" are pretty frequently in the 1-2% range. So, it takes a lot of clicks before you get a sale.

    Good luck.

    Mike
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    Originally posted by "hgoldman"

    What about sites that are not devoted to content (unlike the example you gave of the Easter eggs)? By that I mean sites like mine which are (hopefully) designed to get you to pick up the phone, call and hire us for the services we provide. How would a site like that fit in?
    Your site is a totally different type. You site is there to generate clients for your own company and I am guessing you use online and offline marketing to generate business. I would compare yours to a real estate agents site or a web design company. You are looking for clients moreso than sales as e-tail and affiliate sites are. The site is there to provide info about the company and services, rather than offering the instant gratification that an affiliate marketing, etailer or content site offers. I wouldn't even bother with any sort of affiliate ads on a site like yours.


    Originally posted by "hhr-mike"

    I tend to agree. You need to have pretty targetted content in order for affiliate links to be effective. Also, "book through rates" are pretty frequently in the 1-2% range. So, it takes a lot of clicks before you get a sale.
    Now this is where I am at a loss. When you say this I wonder what exactly the purpose of your site is? If all your site is made up of valuable content and you aren't making money from affiliate links then why do you continue to operate the site in its present form? I don't mean to target you directly, but this seems to be the statement I see over and over on boards like this. People complain they arent making money with their sites cause no one is clicking on banners, but I wonder then why even bother having the site? If it is a ministry or a non-profit I can understand, but if you are on the web as a business then you really need to rethink the business model.
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    AM's are not "parasites feeding on the inefficiencies of the SE's".
    In the long winded post I used the term SEO-Affiliate. I was careful not to say all affiliates. I am more bullish on basic affiliate marketing than the post implies.

    SEO-Affiliates (someone who's sole strategy is to pick up lost search engine traffic) is a parasite by definition. They are just trying to inject themselves into a transaction that is occuring on its own.

    A web site that is basically nothing but white noise with an ad attached is parasitic. It has no real value.

    I have a great deal of respect for affiliates who are dedicated to providing good service and helping people find the best products. I hope that, as the market it matures, it becomes a more honorable profession.

    However, the mathematics of the industry are not that good for all sites.

    Total ecommerce is still something like only three billion a year. Google has 3 billion pages indexed. Google indexes maybe a tenth of the total number of pages. That means that there is only about a dime of net commerce per page per year. Those numbers are likely to get worse.

    Think of this way: How much does the average web surfer spend online in a year? Let's say it is $4,000. How much of the amount spent is actual profit for a web sites...perhaps $400. How many emails and web pages does average joe surfer view in a year? Maybe 40,000. We are looking at a penny a page.

    Take the low numbers and throw in all the diversionary tactics on the net. You will see that there is not that much cash floating around. And, it isn't going to be easy money.

    It is tempting to bastardize the content on a site to try and make a go with affiliate marketing. The sad truth is that that route just leads to bastardized content, and no money.

    I pointed out earlier that I think a better approach for content sites is to keep the content pure, then to establish direct deals with businesses for positioning on a sponsors page. This thread started with the question of what is the best affiliate for a content site.
  14. #38
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    This is the best post I've read in ages.

    (File -> Save as -> My Documents/ecommerce basics(a/b/c).html)

    Thanks.
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    Can the person that claims to make $20,000 per month please elaborate on how he achieves it?

    Thanks

    Aaron
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    That is interesting. I would love to learn how to make $20,000.00 a month too!
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    If anyone's interested in learning then take a look at:

    http://www.sage-hearts.com/

    The site owner makes $20,000+ Per Month profit promoting this site through pay per click search engines.
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    It seems to me people are looking for 1 specific way to make money using affiliates, some sort of Holy Grail. IMO there are 1000's of different ways you can make a decent living online.

    After a few years of hardwork and research I now have a method where I can create a site in 3 days and that site will make at around $1,000-$3,000 per month with NO WORK other work. A friend of mine who shares this strategy with me calls it 'passive income'.

    Sure my income per user isn't as good as some people here, but to me that is irrelavent. The bottom line for me is how much each site can earn per month for X hours of work. The beauty of these sites is the require no maintainence. Once I figured out this method I simply duplicated over and over and over again. My target is 50-100 sites over the next year or so - do the maths .

    Ok I'm waffling here, my point here is no-one is just going to hand over all their secrets and dilute the effectiveness of their sites - are they now?

    My advice for people looking to make a living out of the www, is work hard, read as much as you can, test lots of different methods/ideas, talk to as many people as you can and don't expect something for nothing. Eventually you will find something that works for you. My original goal was for recurring income for as little work as possible, I had several ideas before I arrived where I am today, most of the ideas didn't work out but 1 did.

    Set your targets and keep pushing to achieve them - perseverance is everything but luck helps too!

    All the best

    Chris
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    Great Post Chris.... Thanks!
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    Originally posted by internetheaven
    With around 5,000 uniques a day I earn $20,000 a month from affiliate programs.

    Yeah Right! Prove it dude - this guy has to be all talk.
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    Well man, not to burst the bubble, but its very possible to do so.
    It just depends on what you are selling and who your visitors are. Take this statement, and think about it: "A broke man is going to be a better customer than your average millionarie."

    Scratching your head huh? Well what you have is what a broke man wants because he has nothing and will eventually find a way to get it, while a millionaire has everything.

    Don't worry its some random phrase I pulled from my head. But really ask yourself in your affiliate marketing strategy, how easy is it to sell my product? Make its easier.

    As someone referenced up in one of the posts above, you can have ten of thousands of visitors or impressions and only make 5 bucks a month. Try to sell Life Insurance Quotes on a childrens website....not many takers? But I have seen it happen.
    People are misdirected and misinformed about affiliate marketing. Shot, I was till I found something that worked, then the rest followed. I loved Chris's statement:

    "I had several ideas before I arrived where I am today, most of the ideas didn't work out but 1 did."

    One idea, not 20, made me good money as well, the amount of visitors is just a bonus.

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