Wedding Snap Filter Case Study: Week 1 (self.juststart)

submitted on by None

None on

[deleted]

Humblesalesman on

To be honest, this isn't really a case study. More of a "look at my product" with a couple of broad sentences whacked on. That's not what this sub is about. Truth be told, we don't give a shit about your product. There is nothing to learn by looking at it. Your journey though? That's where you could have had us hooked.

*You could have elaborated on how you came to THIS niche, an obscure one, over all your other ideas.

*You could have explained how you used shopify to host.

*You could have explained how you targeted with adwords, and the success/failure.

*You could have gone into how you designed the filters, how you chose which filters were appropriate.

You have three choices:

  1. You fix this post up, to make it actually USEFUL to a reader.

  2. You delete this post.

  3. You leave it as is and I ban you from the sub.

Ideas for a professional-looking featured image for posts? (self.juststart)

submitted on by Arthix

Arthix on

Hi everyone,

Title says it all. I've been using good product photos as the featured image for product reviews, but can't find anything relevant for general how-tos and guides. There are little to no stock images relevant to the products I review since they're a bit unusual. Having an irreleveant photo, or a lack of one, appears sloppy and untrustworthy.

Anyone have any quick tips/tricks they use to make good featured images? I'm currently making some using photoshop, but it's a bit amateur looking and would turn me off if I was just a random reader.

I don't want to dump a lot of time into this since it's ultimately not that important (unless it is, then correct me).

Thanks for the help in advance.

Humblesalesman on

It's likely you are overthinking this and your amateurish feature images are all you need. A feature image is not going to be the thing that causes someone to hit the back button. The content that follows is.

Criticize my idea : Selling traditional jewelry online. (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by ambambambamb

ambambambamb on

I'm thinking about this idea of a startup and I need you to analyse it.

I'm thinking about launching a website that sells traditional jewelry (mainly silver and coral) online. I'll be working with small artisans who would have more exposition to sell their creations over my website.

The main source of revenue will be commission on sales, and may be ads.

This website should have a certain "luxury" image. I didn't contact any artisan for the moment. I need to mesure the demand on the market, is there any free tool to use to conceive a good market survey online ?

Please criticize my idea. Thank you.

Humblesalesman on

>I don't think this type of jewellery is being sold at etsy

Okay...

>googled "amazigh jewellery"

Okay, now I know what it looks like.

>searched for "amazigh" on etsy

Same thing. Did you even do this or do you just live in the land of "I think"?

Amazon Cutting Commissions to 2%-4% for Some Associates (self.juststart)

submitted on by None

MichaelGrantSEO on

Oh right, I forgot how you lot needed everything spoon-fed.

Humblesalesman on

Just so we are on the same page:

  1. You think inciting discussion on an industry happening is spoon feeding.

  2. You think "this news is over 3 months old" without adding any extra info you learned over those three months adds value to the discussion at hand.

I say this in the politest way I possibly can:

Pull your head out of your fucking ass.

None on

[deleted]

Humblesalesman on

Lots of doom and gloom in this thread, perhaps unjustified.

Amazon likely will eventually lower it's affiliate program rates. We are just fortunate that Bezos is one of the few CEO's on earth who is more focused on growth than the bottom line of the company. Remember, this is only the fifth (sixth?) quarter that Amazon has posted consecutive profits. And even then it was ONLY 250ish million. Walmart for comparison made over 500 Million profit this last quarter IIRC

Part of the reason for Amazons generous affiliate program is that the referral fee is covered by the sellers, in the fees it charges when an item is sold. Walmart and other online sellers do not have this same agreement and is likely a result of the lower (less than 5%) referral fee featured.

When Amazon switches over to a profit focus (it will happen, it's a public company) the referral fees will almost certainly be one of the areas looked at and very likely cut or re-designed to be much more favorable to amazon.

But, and as always there are exceptions. If you can grow big enough, Amazon will do whatever it takes to keep you as a referral partner. I will put solid money on it that sites like the wirecutter did not get their commissions cut. Heck I would be interested to know if camelcamelcamel had their commissions cut since this fits their model perfectly, I am dubious on that one.

So this leaves you with two choices - Grow big or diversify. Ideally Both.

I always try to switch out as many links as possible on established sites to other programs, the commission and more importantly tracking cookie often dwarf that of amazon. Yes, MOST "sell it all" sites do offer a low commission, for that very reason, they sell it all and less effort is needed to convert. But if you find specialist sellers, the commission is always greater. Heck, you can often set up your own affiliate programs with suppliers and sellers if you can prove you are driving good, converting traffic. You know all that MARKETING you have been doing when reaching out to others with your site? That was all practice for reaching out to actual companies and making business propositions.

This is affiliate MARKETING. Not build a site and wait. I personally will be happy if Amazon drops its commissions. That barrier to entry just got a lot higher for those that cannot market. As I Always say, it is currently the EASIEST it has ever been to build a site, rank it and earn. So easy it's stupid. The bar could do with some raising.

Amazon is for beginners. It's great to get your feet wet, but once you have a grasp of what you are doing and driving good converting traffic, you will be better rewarded by exploring new affiliate schemes. This isn't a new concept. This has been mine and W1ZZ4RDs thoughts for years.

fd_by_amazon on

This is affiliate MARKETING. Not build a site and wait. I personally will be happy if Amazon drops its commissions. That barrier to entry just got a lot higher for those that cannot market. As I Always say, it is currently the EASIEST it has ever been to build a site, rank it and earn. So easy it's stupid. The bar could do with some raising.

This is a good point and the silver-lining. I was able to use Amazon to learn how to do this, and now I can branch out.

I don't fully agree with what you're saying about Amazon and their profitability. I think we agree on this premise, but I see it coming sooner rather than later.

Amazon will continue to reinvest the money they make and thus not look as "profitable" when it comes to the bottom line, but they're going to start shifting their money around.

They don't need to pay affiliates as much to get new customers anymore. Instead, everyone knows about them and knows the benefits of a Prime membership. 45% of US households are Prime members, they know that number can go up but it's not going to be because of more affiliate sites.

So they'll pay affiliates less and put that money towards warehouses, faster delivery, digital content, and lower prices which is what they need to grow Prime membership.

At best, they'll lower affiliate commissions across the board with the exception of some categories they don't dominate. They might even raise those. Merch is clearly them trying to establish a presence in Fashion (as well as many of their other efforts) so IMO that's the safest niche to be in right now.

Humblesalesman on

This is all pure speculation and I can only comment based on my own experiences, but I don't believe affiliates are going anywhere at least not as soon as you see it, even in "categories that amazon dominates".

If your site provides value and you have your reader hooked, you can get them to buy anywhere you direct them. When I swap out links, I always create a new affiliate code for that product and monitor it for a month on amazon. I then compare this the new referral link and nine times out of ten, the new referral program performs just as well as amazons. Combine this with the extra commission and longer tracking cookie and even the "add-on" sales in the 24 hours period don't compete. What I am saying is that based on my experiments amazon, isn't the "default buying option" despite it's market share. Even amongst prime members. For some, I am sure it is and I no doubt lost conversions from people who bought on amazon anyway. But even so, overall the new tracking cookies converted and they converted well. Also, the amount of people who buy products over 24 hours after clicking an affiliate link is surprisingly high. Any sales made in these "after hours" sees amazon keep the full referral fee for themselves.

Amazon would have much better data on this than me, but they would be fully aware that a mass exodus of affiliates will drop their sales figures significantly. And it isn't only about new customers. Reading up on a product only to land on amazon, when you have a prime membership is suddenly a huge incentive to buy. But that reader could just as easily land somewhere else. And in this age of limited attention, that purchase may be discarded, especially if it was an impulse buy.

IMO this whole thing is being blown out of proportion. While I have not personally spoken to anyone effected, I would have to see some sites which have been caught up with this before I would call this the end of affiliate marketing with amazon. I don't have a dog in this race anymore, but no one in my network has mentioned anything about this and it appears to have only affected very few people. There was more noise being made when Amazon changed the advertising rules for those that targetted people under the age of 13, and that was pretty quiet too.

This sounds similar to when affiliate websites got smacked down for pushing free ebooks in the hope that the buyer would go on to purchase something else on Amazon (they did, I was one of the people who abused the shit out of this), lowering the cap to 20k free ebooks, going over this number would forfeit your referral fees for the month. These customers were already on Amazon and technically amazon did all the hard work. I felt the decision was justified.

My 2 cents, you won't see referrals cut in half for the next two years, at least not with those who have legit sites. I have been wrong before and I will be again in the future.

MichaelGrantSEO on

This news is over 3 months old...

Humblesalesman on

Well why didn't you share this three months ago rather than commenting on this like a useless twat?

A good example of an amazon affiliate site (self.SEO)

submitted on by bh3244

bh3244 on

For a spray and pray approach with existing social traffic then an amazon affiliate site set out like thisiswhyimbroke.com can prove effective as minimal content is needed and the site can be set up easily in under a day.

This is very nice, thank you. Now I have to find a theme like that.

TheMacMan on

The same things that are going to make people buy from an affiliate site are the same things that'll make you rank decently on Google.

If you provide very little content and have a crappy looking site, people aren't going to buy. They'll be too sketched out to buy from your site.

You think you can drive 10,000 hits a day with social and may be able to initially but people aren't going to keep clicking your links unless it's driving them somewhere of value, they aren't going to keep clicking. You can drive plenty of traffic with paid social too but they won't bother buying if your site isn't quality again and even if it is, generally the affiliate revenue isn't enough to offset the cost of going paid.

It's nothing to drive 10k clicks. Clicks are worthless if only a couple buy. It's much different to create an engaged following where you drive those clicks and a large number of them buy. Because of this stick to posting that kinda stuff on social only when I know it's something very relevant to my followers interests and when it's driving to a quality piece that is right for conversion.

Humblesalesman on

I disagree with this 100%. It sounds like you are speaking from theory rather than experience as I have found that social traffic is much more forgiving of poor design than organic search traffic.

I had the pleasure of being involved with an experiment on a twitter account that targets teen girls. The twitter profile was mainly teenage humour through images of celebrities, texts, thoughts and musings. This twitter account was set up over a year and built up over a million followers. It was largely constructed through automation by scraping other popular users tweets and adding in emoticons and hashtags and tweeting them as our own.

I set up a thin clothing website that added products to a cart then took them to an offsite checkout for the affiliate program I was using. A single tweet from our twitter profile drove over 40,000 clicks that converted at around 3%. This was repeated once a week with similar results. This website was not pretty, was set up in under a day and had almost no content.

Imagine if we set up the same and drove targeted traffic from a fashion based twitter user with that following?

bh3244 on

I'm open to anything. I prefer not making a review site as I don't want to write reviews or pay people to do so. What is the best format then?

Also, I am able to drive a lot of traffic through social media(10000 hits daily), if that makes a difference. I'm not expecting return visitors, my website is just a middleman.

Thanks for the links, those sites look good. I don't have the money/time to create something like that now, but it's good to get an idea of what is out there.

I'd be happy to hear any nuances specific to amazon as well. I am new to SEO, but I am pretty experienced with driving traffic with social media.

Humblesalesman on

Amazon doesn't really have any nuances other than a 24 hour cookies (a customer must buy something within 24 hours in order for you to receive commission) and a comparatively low in the industry commission rate.

Amazon is a great place to start as you receive commission off anything bought, not just the products appearing on your websites. I personally do not use them as I do not like the shorter cookie and low commission but then I rely on highly targeted traffic.

For a spray and pray approach with existing social traffic then an amazon affiliate site set out like thisiswhyimbroke.com can prove effective as minimal content is needed and the site can be set up easily in under a day.

7fb2adfb45bafcc01c80 on

Do you have any recommendations for decent book affiliate programs? Almost all of our sales were from books (recommended reading when a topic shows up), but we've had a hard time getting people to buy anything that isn't from Amazon because the pricing isn't competitive enough.

Humblesalesman on

Most affiliate programs are trial and error. If you are suggesting books why not try ebooks. Many offer around 60-70% commission and are priced around the $19.95 mark. I know a few website owners who see a decent return from promoting ebooks.

ramblerandgambler on

I'd be interested in that case study. What would the two hours work be? Content writing?

Humblesalesman on

The two hours a day a week involves every aspect, from setting up the website and social media to content creation and marketing. Once the website is up and running it is just a simple routine. Stay tuned.

ribosometronome on

Just to clarify - 4k a year?

Humblesalesman on

4k/month.

I wouldn't even bother for 4k a year.

alexpota on

That is not entirely correct If you link to "add to cart" directly Amazon will remember that for 90 days

Humblesalesman on

Thanks for clarifying!

ribosometronome on

Great, interested in reading about your case study.

For some reason, my brain connected the 4k with your year plan and assumed it was 4k a year, which works out to roughly ~7.50/hr pre taxes. I guess it would beat working at Burger King but not by much.

Humblesalesman on

All good, I probably could have explained it better. The first part of the case study will be written and released tomorrow on r/entrepreneur. Stay tuned.

7fb2adfb45bafcc01c80 on

Serious question here; I'm not trolling.

How does everyone deal with the possibility that Amazon could pull their plug at any moment?

I had an affiliate store on a community web site, but Amazon claimed that we violated our ToS by hotlinking to our wishlist for people that wanted to donate business-related merchandise directly to us. The link was directly to Amazon, and none of them were affiliate links.

Anyhow, Amazon reviewed the site one day when I sent a help email because of a glitch in their system, then shut us down. Because of the supposed violation they pulled the plug immediately, then contacted us. We removed the link to our bookmarks, but they said that our site could not be reactivated -- we'd have to re-apply and start over, and any earnings that hadn't been paid out yet were lost.

It didn't sit well with me, so I ditched the store entirely. Then we moved everything else away from Amazon S3.

So, serious question... How do you deal with the threat of Amazon pulling your plug at any given moment without warning?

Humblesalesman on

Diversify. Use a combination of affiliate program's. It is easier to continue if you have lost a third of your income rather than all of it.

bh3244 on

I assume some kind of review site is the best for this as it's an easy way to have some kind of content. My site will have most of its traffic from social media, I don't really care about google. At least that is the plan for now.

I'd like to see an example of a decent amazon affiliate site.

Humblesalesman on

I make all of my income from affiliate marketing. Some kind of review site definitely isn't best. But if you want to see an example of a good affiliate website then outdoorgearlab.com or camelcamelcamel.com both rake in big dollars.

1st of next month I am going to release the first months details of my ongoing case study of setting up an amazon affiliate website with 2 hours work each day with the eventual plan of getting it to 4k (chump change compared to my other sites but many beginners would salivate over that) in under a year. I am only using methods that are available through a simple google search as all the information already exists and is available for free. Stay tuned on r/entrepreneur if you are interested.

How would you improve this site? (self.juststart)

submitted on by OneFlipWonder

OneFlipWonder on

I'd like to hear your thoughts on this site that is currently for sale on Flippa here.

Since lots of us have been following Humble's case study I think it would be cool to have a discussion around what they did well, and what would make it better, especially because all the traffic and financials are available.

Looks like current revenue is around $1200/month with around 12,000 unique visitors per month. From my experience, this falls well in line with a site with decent to good optimization.

What pages are good and what are bad? How would you change the layout of the content pages? How would you go about increasing revenue without creating new content?

Humblesalesman on

As wiz said.

There is fuck-all that is redeeming about this site. I am going to lock this because when there is nothing good about a site you might as well ask "what makes a good affiliate site", which is too broad too be a useful post in this sub.

Edit:There is a reason this site has been listed twice already and not sold, hazarding a guess the owner uses alt accounts to drive up the price.

Going to copy and paste from a mod message as to why I locked this thread:

>normally I leave posts like this if I log on and see that intelligent discussion has happened despite reports. This time I logged on shortly after it was posted and made the decision then and there to nip it in the bud.

>A couple of thoughts went into this, namely despite the user having a background in aff marketing this was OP's first post in this sub - asking for others to spell out what a good affiliate website was. He could have stated what he liked about the website, where HE thought it could be improved etc. - an actual discussion. I don't doubt that OP had some great information to share but he chose not to. The reality, to me, was that this was a cleverly worded spoon feed request. I didn't ban him, I simply locked the thread so that others can see the website.

Would you use an API only CMS? (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by Groady

Groady on

Just wondering what people's thoughts are on API only content management systems. These types of systems are software-as-a-service and are a part of the emerging content-as-a-service market. How they work is they behave like any standard CMS in that content authors can login and create content and upload assets. The point of difference from other CMS' like Wordpress is that they do not serve 'pages' rather admins can create custom content types with custom fields with content retrieved from a RESTful interface (JSON). As a developer / startup / entrepreneur would you consider using a system like this? Why / Why not?

EDIT: I've since started http://contentjet.io

Humblesalesman on

No. And other people will likely agree.

Wordpress as a CMS is very well documented and googling just abut any problem you come across will turn up an answer in some form. While this comes from it being very well established and giant marketshare, this is a huge competitive advantage.

Then there is best practices. How does one implement caching, ssl and the like.

Despite your best wishes, API CMS will never be widely adopted by the average user due to it appearing to be more complicated (whether real or imagined) than wordpress or Drupal. So that leaves the tech savvy, but does API CMS offer enough to appease them?

PSA: Revenue is not important. Focus on profit, not fancy big revenue numbers (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by None

None on

[deleted]

Humblesalesman on

Proceeds to post a picture his revenue. What was OP's rant about again?

So my husky is super cross eyed.... (self.aww)

submitted on by woble24

woble24 on

Humblesalesman on

Hate to break it to you, OP, but that's a reindeer.

Antlers. Dead give away.

Observations of Black Friday and Cyber Monday (Earnings/Analytics) 2015/2016 Compared (self.juststart)

submitted on by themadentrepreneur

themadentrepreneur on

For what it's worth I thought I'd share some data and observations around the Black Friday and Cyber Monday holidays.

Here is an image of traffic/earnings from two different websites between 2015 and 2016:

http://imgur.com/a/uPwiu

List of observations and thoughts:

1) Black Friday hasn't historically been overwhelming for me. I didn't do any specific Black Friday promotion other than adding some Black Friday banners in prominent Ad locations but the conversions were nearly useless on these.

2) Cyber Monday outperforms Black Friday in pretty much all areas. Traffic and conversions both up substantially vs Black Friday.

3) The number of items "shipped" vs the items "ordered" is pretty drastic. I don't know if the vendors have a hard time keeping up with moving inventory or what but it seems that the discrepancy is almost always 1.5 - 2 fold which I think generally correlates with earnings in the days post cyber monday.

4) The two traffic/earning screen captures are from two completely different websites. My new website reduces the number of options and focuses on more carefully selected products. It's not enough to just generate clicks, putting better/more highly targeted offers (products) is definitely worthwhile. My old website generated a higher percentage of clicks per user but way underperformed in comparison to the new one.

5) I'm really kicking myself in teeth by not utilizing e-mail lists. I'm leaving so much money on the table but not capturing e-mails. I've attempted it a couple times but mostly ended up getting lazy with my implementation and abandoned the effort.

If I spent some time integrating and optimizing some opt-ins, with a 2% conversion rate I could get 120 opt-ins per day, and if I just did it today a year from now I could have a highly targeted list of ~ 44,000 users to market to directly. I really need to fix this ASAP.

A lot of lessons learned with this site iteration vs my previous ones. It's always a good idea to always be A/B testing your money pages which I still don't do enough of. I was always worried that if I changed my pages at all that it would tank my SERPs and I was always afraid to make changes but my observations are that this isn't usually the case as long as the bulk of the content remains consistent.

I'm starting two new websites next month after a month of brainstorming and research. One in the shoe niche that is completely off Amazon utilizing the affiliate programs of the major shoe retailers and another one that is going to combine Amazon, Walmart, Wayfair, Best Buy, and Overstock, and testing shorter form content and curated lists over straight buyers guides/reviews, I'm sure I'll post some nuggets and lessons from those projects as we get into 2017.

Anyone care to share any tidbits from their Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales and any special promotional tricks? I could use some more aces up my sleeve to better capitalize around holidays.

Humblesalesman on

Thanks for sharing as always!

Email lists are AMAZING for both prime day and Blackfriday/Cyber monday. I truly regret including them in the sale of my previous sites rather than selling them individually as an add-on, to the prospective buyers.

While this holiday period saw me out of the affiliate marketing game, last year saw one site net 50ishk Friday to Monday. It was amazing and far exceeded my wildest expectations. And much of the success can be attributed to the email list. If you can set up your email list to capture a first name as well, you are in an amazing position. From my experimenting, adding an extra field to email capture does drop the opt-in rate. but increased both open and click through rates. YMMV.

I found including loosely related deals to work well. Let's say your niche was shoes. Sure your site may focus around running shoes. Your readers have shown that they obviously care about what goes on their feet. As you are no doubt aware, your readers don't spend their entire day running. They work, party and live their lives.

My email would say something like:

Hi, xxxx

I hope you had a great thanks giving.

I just wanted to give you a heads up that today is an amazing day to stock up on shoes at a great price. Here are some deals I picked out just for you:

  1. running shoes

  2. Casual shoes

  3. Dress shoes

Personal. Short. And too the point. Could it be done better? Yes. This is not a template, this is just paraphrasing how I set mine out last year.

Now heres where your first name comes in. You sort your list into male and female (Yes, I assume gender based on name, deal with it SJW's). So each of these links is even more targeted than it was before. You don't want your male reader to see bright pink nikes or a pair of stilettos and vice versa.

You then send those people that opened the email to a page on your site before getting them to click through to amazon. This is quite a challenge, You have to not only get your reader to open the email, but click through to your site and then to amazon. That's three clicks. And the conversion rate drops DRAMATICALLY with each click. That's where your skills as a marketer come in. You convince them that each click is more worthwhile than the last. And how you do that will entirely depend on YOUR target audience.

So using the above example, all up you would set up six different pages on your web page.

  1. running shoe sales

  2. casual shoes sales

  3. dress shoe sales

For both male and females. I had custom images made up so as soon as the reader clicked through they were greeted with a banner that took up the entire screen with a timer in the middle of it. Counting down. The entire banner created a sense of urgency, like the reader would miss out if they didn't click. Clicking anywhere above the fold took you to Amazons deal page.

If you scrolled down I had chosen some of the most popular shoes in that category. These pages were created well before the sale. I didn't know whether any of these products were actually on sale, but I acted like they were. Each product lead back to the same place that you would land if you clicked the banner.

From there it was amazons job to convert and convert they did.

With all this in place, you send a blast out on the day of the sales. Then you sit back and enjoy the holiday season. Or in my case, back to work - because this period means fuck all in Australia.

Edit: changed second "opt-in" to "click through"

I use a 301 redirect from .co to .com, but google still indexes both. Is this an issue? (self.bigseo)

submitted on by None

None on

[deleted]

Humblesalesman on

While I am no expert I did 301 my old domain name to a new one last month. If you have told google your website has moved in webmaster tools and your 301 redirects are set up correctly then I wouldn't worry. Depending on how long ago the redirect was done you will still notice residual pages from the old website left in googles cache. I found that this number slowly decreased over three weeks until none were left.

Hope this helps.

First time here, first time committing to a forum, but I've got some SERIOUSLY AGGRESSIVE GOALS (self.EntrepreneurRideAlong)

submitted on by None

witoldc on

Saying that you want to be a millionaire is not a goal.

A goal is something that you actually do and accomplish, a byproduct of which can be a million or a billion.

You talk about mediocrity/whatever but you got a degree in "Media Art" and at 22, that seems to be your only accomplishment...

No offense, but it's time to actually start doing instead of daydreaming. And by doing, I don't mean writing blog posts and reading get rich books and meeting "inspirational" gurus. I mean actually doing something that has potential to make money.

Humblesalesman on

Finally, some sense in here.

Digital Ocean DNS Problems (self.juststart)

submitted on by Handsomedomm

Handsomedomm on

Unless I'm mistaken, I believe /u/Humblesalesman host with them as well.

Humblesalesman on

No issues on my end for my site. Looks like it only affected a portion of them. No site has 100% uptime, you can mitigate this by creating multiple virtual machines that continuously syncronise data across multiple servers (dynamic load balancing IIRC) but this won't be feasible for those just starting out.

A few tips from a six figure affiliate. (self.juststart)

submitted on by themadentrepreneur

themadentrepreneur on

These are good points - it would be cool to create something amazing and go down in history as one of those truly epic entrepreneurs. Definitely something to think about.

What I feel like I've been chasing is the advice of John Goodman in the Gamber. One of my favorite movie scenes:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdfeXqHFmPI

Humblesalesman on

Have not seen the Gambler but that is surprisingly sound advice assuming negative interest rates never roll out. I think I might have to check it out.

I can completely understand the appeal of that lifestyle. The freedom to do whatever you want without having to work another day in your life. 16 year old me would have jumped at that opportunity.

But curiously; when you tick all the boxes to allow you to do that, you may find that you have too much free time. That's why I still do this. There is a real rush to building and grooming a business to your exact specifications. The ups and downs are incomparable to any other experience I have found in life.

But to each his own, and there is nothing wrong with seeking a comfortable life. I kind of wish I could be happy with that, it would put much less of a strain on relationships.

themadentrepreneur on

Other than social media profiles, I might spend a month doing the type of outreach stuff that /u/Humblesalesman did this past month in his study. After the first 10-20 links though it will be very rare to find me spending a month doing that sort of work. You'll get organic links over time and I've never had a problem ranking without them. I'd probably rank even better if I did spend more time but I find that for the sheer volume of time it takes, I'm better off adding content.

Humblesalesman on

I have no idea why the downvotes, this is solid advice. It all comes down to working to your strengths. If you find yourself only able to get 10 backlinks over the course of a month vs adding 20+ pages of content then I 100% agree that after the initial 10-20 backlinks that your time would be better spent on adding content. But to turn this on it's head, if you can nab 50+ quality backlinks in a single month then that would give a much greater boost to your existing content than the extra 20 pages. At the end of the day you need both content and backlinks. Whether you accumulate them quickly or slowly there is NO WRONG WAY to do it.

None on

[deleted]

Humblesalesman on

It can lead to formatting issues if you toggle between tabs and although they may have fixed it, it often inserts unneeded html code

W1ZZ4RD on

Never being truly happy with something you started seems to be the differentiating factor between those that make it, and those that do not.

Humblesalesman on

This seems to be true of everyone I know who has "made it" they continually improve, whether the improvement is in themselves or their venture. We will get there!

eastmaven on

I just want to point out that the studies that showed having multiple monitors increases productivity were funded by companies that make monitors. A bigger screen is better tho. Also hope you can clarify are you recommending the visual tab or not, could be worded better. A lot of this makes a lot of sense thanks.

Humblesalesman on

I would agree that most work places do not need multiple monitors and it's likely that the study didn't even take affiliate marketing into account but I completely agree that an extra monitor or two helps. I generally have word and my wordpress site open on one monitor, a spreadsheet and an internet browser (for reading up on what I am typing about) on the second and photoshop open in full screen on the third.

I had to go without two extra monitors when my Thunderbolt cables shorted in a thunderstorm (ironic, right?) dropping me back to just one and let me tell you, productivity took a hit with constantly reshuffling windows around a single screen.

themadentrepreneur on

Here's to hoping - although I don't see myself being dramatically happier at that stage other than being able to pay cash for a vacation property, making investments, and buying toys I probably don't need heh. It will be nice to cross seven figures off the bucket list I suppose.

Humblesalesman on

I guess it all depends on what makes you happy. I constantly pour the money earned back into my other business interests and that 7 figures quickly turns to zero. Business is what makes me happy and I have a 30 year goal of creating something as magical as Tesla, next year will be year one, I am just taking a break and playing with building a website from scratch one last time. But I agree, if accumulating a few possessions is your primary goal then as an individual you have more than enough to live on for life.

themadentrepreneur on

I thought I'd offer the sub a few handy and uncommon-ish tips from my experience doing affiliate marketing for awhile.

Learn HTML if for some reason you haven't.

HTML is really, an insanely easy language to learn. You should be able to view a competitors page source and understand most of what you see. You don't have to be a master, but if you can at least understand the following tags, you'll be decently ahead of the game. href, img, table, body, span, br, strong, em, body, head

Master Wordpress

Wordpress is freaking amazing. There is a bit of a learning curve, but you should be pretty adept with it after your first few sites. If you can edit the theme php files to customize the functionality of a prebuilt theme you'll have a great understanding of how things work.

Understand PHP

Once you have a decent HTML foundation, PHP makes sense. I can't code raw functionality, but if you can google a problem and make a PHP change to bolster or remove bloated functionality from your theme, you're in a good spot.

Learn CSS (at least how to manipulate it)

I also can't code CSS from scratch for shit, but I can edit the wordpress CSS files to create new classes that I want to use and change the padding and sizes of things. This is really useful for minimizing white space in your header, making sure things are well above the fold, and that your text is nice and readable. Being able to change the padding and size of your headers, h1, h2, ect is really nice.

Stop using the visual tab

In Wordpress, make your content in the text tab. It's a royal pain in the ass because Wordpress by default will corrupt anything you do in the text tab, so I never, ever, switch back to the visual tab. I just preview the page and make changes accordingly.

Get comfy with excel

Excel is a damn godsend. Get the add-on called "ASAP Utilities". I make all of my wordpress posts from excel. I hard code templates for a small handful of high converting post types, where all I have to do is literally paste my affiliate link once and it will automagically make the affiliate links 7-10 times throughout the post, nofollowed, with analytics tracking code embedded in it. With ASAP utilities, I use the "change all characters to lowercase" and the advanced character remove and replace feature to make dozens of product names URL friendly to make image file names SEO friendly. The simplest and easiest function you should learn is the combine cells function. I just take snippets of code and use combine statements to automatically plugin image file names, affiliate links, tables, ect.

Stop wasting time with manual functions wherever possible

If your making tables, comparison tables, or CSS buttons, embedding images, stop wasting time with prebuilt content creators like Thrive Content Builder, or Tablepress. Create them once, and use the HTML/CSS Classes for the objects and put them into your excel template to be replicate the format across dozens of pages and make them unique instead of like every other affiliate site out there.

Get dual monitors

If you're still working off a single monitor I don't know how you work. I have my browser with wordpress in one window then excel, photoshop, and another browser all on the other screen so I don't have to constantly minimize and move tabs around.

If SEO is your traffic source, more content equals more money

You can beat your head against the wall all day trying to perfectly optimize one piece of content, scraping keyword density from all your competitors, trying to get their backlinks, ect. I've never really chased backlinks, just focused on skyscraping content and it's worked infinitely better than trying to build a 50 site PBN just to make a 10 page site rank.

Get comfortable editing images

You don't need photoshop, paint works just fine for pretty much everything. I do use photoshop, but only because it's so much easier to use image templates and layers to produce the volume of images I need.

Don't waste money

You could spend a bunch of money on rank tracking, and more plugins, and themes, and guides, and everything else. It's extremely rare that I spend money in this department, because none of it is ROI generating activity. Reverse engineering a successful website for yourself will give you 10 times the value most guides or blogs will teach you.

That's it for now. Good luck out there.

Humblesalesman on

Great list. Agree with pretty much all of them.

Regarding Wordpress visual editor in wordpress you can disable it completely under the USERS menu in Admin. Pretty much the first thing I do on every new site.

Looking forward to the next update when you become a seven figure affiliate!

SEO Company in Brisbane (self.SEO)

submitted on by mattabbot

mattabbot on

[removed]

Humblesalesman on

I choose not to listen to an SEO company whose LinkedIn page out ranks them for "Zera SEO Brisbane".

What are the worst trends in technology right now? (self.technology)

submitted on by Sputnik3001

drunkmall on

I don't understand what your second sentence means.

Humblesalesman on

While not overly relevant to your statement since businesses will continue to build apps; in a very convoluted way he is likely referring to the leaked, and then officially released google raters guidelines.

Warning, 160 page PDF:

http://static.googleusercontent.com/media/www.google.com/en//insidesearch/howsearchworks/assets/searchqualityevaluatorguidelines.pdf

Unlike previous guidelines, it focuses heavily on mobile and does offer some insight into what google considers a good mobile friendly result.

It's not an interesting read and does not reveal anything that should not be common sense, despite many people preaching that it is the holy grail.

The long and the short: Provide quality content in a way which won't piss users off and you will be rewarded.

The eight ways I have personally made money online this time with the article actually included (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by TatM

TatM on

[removed]

Humblesalesman on

Go peddle your new blog somewhere else. The article is bland, the advice poor and glosses over anything even remotely interesting if you are going to have a good crack at a marketing blog you REALLY have to up your game.

What are people looking for on an affiliate website? Comparison and 'best ... for ...' vs detailed reviews on as many product types as possible? (self.juststart)

submitted on by None

None on

[removed]

Humblesalesman on

So many assumptions in this post it's sickening.

>I bet

>Probably

>Sometimes

Why not give your audience what THEY want? Our target audience is not YOUR target audience. And it's just as likely YOU are not your target audience.

You don't just "make a website" based on assumptions and hope it appeases your audience. What a waste of time. This is MARKETING. Figure out what the fuck it is your audience want's and give it to them.

30 Powerful Backlink Building Strategies that Work - For the Reddit Community (self.SEO)

submitted on by seogainer

seogainer on

Hey redditors - Im not selling anything, just offering solid content that you may find yourself to enjoy. I wrote a great article discussing 30 proven backlink building strategies that I have been using this year, successfully. Let me know if you have any questions, enjoy!

https://www.linkalmighty.com/link-building-strategies/

Humblesalesman on

How I became an Alexa ranked top 500,000 site in 72 hours. Guide on starting affiliate marketing. (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by None

W1ZZ4RD on

I know you enjoy the traffic from the 117k people who are part of this subreddit. I enjoyed your first post, but this is just getting annoying. (All the links are nofollow on reddit btw). Can we just be honest for a second here. No one on this subreddit is interested in buying a smoothie blender =/.

So first, did I read that right? You are doing guest posts with your content on someone elses site? Guest posts with 100% duplicate content? This will get you nowhere, and will more than likely end up damaging your SEO efforts.

Second, of course quality content is important. However, your site has barely any content on it. A few 1000 word articles is nothing. Do you honestly mean to tell me that on the second day of your sites existence, with less than 10k words of content, it is already ranked in google and getting 100 clicks from google search daily? Stop right there, because that is not happening.

The entire point of your site is to drive traffic to Amazon right? You SHOULD be worried about the affiliate stuff. Always be optimizing while at the same time providing value.

Probably the only solid advice here is that when starting a new site, the best way to go about getting your first traffic is to go heavy on social media. This traffic is great but will not rank you in Google on the second day of your sites life.

Harsh Reality, Brought to you by: Me

Edit: I found out how you are getting sales. It certainly is not because of this site it is because you are cookie stuffing reddit. Do not be an idiot man, you will get banned from the Amazon program. Trust me.

Humblesalesman on

u/W1ZZ4RD definitely knows his stuff.

In addition to this, Alexa metrics are iffy at best and should definitely not be used as a measure of success.

Oh, just thought I'd give you the heads up; Reddit links are nofollow to a point but once a set number of upvotes are reached, the links nofollow is removed (check out the links on his previous post and this one if it gets enough votes).

Brainstorming - You have 7 days to build a profitable Amazon Affiliate niche site. Your budget is $300. How would you do it? (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by jonathanp63

jonathanp63 on

I'm interested in hearing what everyone would hypothetically do.

Humblesalesman on

Can YOU do this? No. Can it be done? Yes.

By you asking the question here leads me to believe you do not have what it takes to successfully implement this within a week. There are so many variables that you would be have a higher chance of success putting that $300 on black.

To build a profitable website within a week you will have to rely on the following:

  1. Learning damn fast.

  2. Leveraging an existing social following or influencer network.
    Or

  3. Highly targeted paid traffic (very on-site dependent in relation to conversions)

While I have summarised both .2's each one of these is an essay in itself, do not underestimate how difficult each of these are when starting out.

Since you only have a week, google traffic means squat as no website will bring in organic website within a week of being set up. You can skip the usual SEO tweaking steps.

I assume you will be working 12 hour days for the whole week because you so desperately need this to happen.

It is also worth mentioning that this is using white-grey hat methods. There are black hat methods and down right illegal methods of achieving the same but that's a story for another day.

First thing is first, you need to decide on your niche. Something you have experience in is preferable, as you do not have time to learn about new products and the like. Now decide what are you going to sell? A tangible product isn't going to give you much commission. Your best bet would be an e-book (yes I know these have been done to death and this sub has gripes with them but the fact remains, they sell and they sell well). Many ebooks will offer between 50-70% commission.

Now when choosing an ebook, you have two choices, paying to read and picking a good one or just choosing one based on the write up alone. Some ebook writers will give you a free copy if you plan on marketing it for them but emailing back and forward will quickly eat into your week.

With your niche and ebook/s chosen its time to set about making a website.

So how would I spend my $300? Below are average costs I would expect to spend.

  • Hosting: VPS will be fast enough $15 first month $30 ongoing,

  • Domain: $10 Something short and catchy yet relevant to your niche, not an exact match domain name.

  • Theme: Allocating $50 here should get you a theme in the layout you believe will work. Personally I would avoid TIWIB clones and focus on a long form content page if I was short of time.

  • Logo: No time for Fiverr if you only have a week, download a font from the web, type out your company name and save it as a .png file. Placing it on a colored background use a white font color, you will be surprised at how good it looks.

total spent so far: $75.00

Next step. You have to learn how to write as well as effectively set up a sales page. And fast. Many people will be unable to do this but you need to write in a pursuasive yet entertaining or informative time. There are hundreds of guides out there to teach you. Here is a starting point:

http://backlinko.com/social-squeeze-page

http://www.quicksprout.com/landing-page-optimization/

If you have made it this far you should have spent no more than two days. So your website looks good, your sales page is amazing, now you need to get the word out.

So now you have $225 left over.

You have some options:

Paid advertising if you already have paid advertising experience then this may very well be your best option. Obviously your aim here is to get your CPC down while attempting to drive highly targeted traffic. I would avoid google and focus on niche Advertising providers. While these will drive less traffic, the CPC is much much lower. For this website, steer clear of social advertising.

influencer This is what I would do. Search for and identify influencers in your niche. You want influencers with an engaged audience. You would be amazed at how little you need to pay an influencer for a shout out or tweet. One of my successes was paying an influencer to pin a pin on her board with 120,000 pinterest followers. It drove over 14,000 visitors to my website and I converted just over 3%. The cost? $50. I have had similar success with twitter mentions and Instagram postings. You will need to work on your email out reach and don't feel disheartened when you get a no or ignored. Send out a flood of emails, whittle down the ones who said yes to who has the most engaged audience and go from there.

Forums Tell people about the awesome ebook you found. Only in thread questions related to your ebook of course. Yes, this is considered spamming but do you know why people do it? It works. You would be amazed at how many lurkers actually click these links. Once you have them on your website, it's all down to your sales page.

It will be damn hard work to get all this accomplished in a week. Keep in mind that this is not a long term business model as you will need to keep selling new ebooks and creating new sales pages. However, it is the closest thing you will get to building a profitable affiliate site within a week for scratch.

I personally recommend anyone starting to focus on building an authoritive website with a long term goal of profitability. You will be much happier.

Source: make my entire income from affiliate marketing.

100k per year case study - Month 1 (self.juststart)

submitted on by okletsdothisthang

okletsdothisthang on

You can?? where? I'm paying about $10 per year for that shit.

okletsdothisthang on

Yeah his post comes off as melodramatic. The gofundme thing is cringy. He'll be angrily cashing a massive check soon. Fight the power!

Humblesalesman on

Check out the review stats above from archive.org, this one is pretty cut and dry, he has a great lawyer if he can get out of this one.

ghostbrainalpha on

Sounds like Caper Mattresses are filled with a bunch of dicks!

http://sleepopolis.com/blog/casper-sues-sleepopolis-with-federal-lawsuit/

Humblesalesman on

Just read through that case. It does sound like the owner is in the wrong. I chuckled that he has set up a gofund me, as another reddit user just PM'd me to discuss, the site owner would make more than his current legal fees in a single month. It looks like he is really trying to set himself up as the victim to his readers.

ghostbrainalpha on

Can you ELI5 what the owner did wrong?

Humblesalesman on

Casper used to have it's own affiliate program.

The site owner was a part of this affiliate program.

The site owner reviewed the casper mattress positively, directing readers to caspers website, where he would make money for each conversion.

Casper then stopped it's affiliate campaign. The owner no longer received commissions for directing customers to caspers mattress.

The owner then downgraded caspers review.

So the owner now steers customers to casper competitors, who do pay him a commission for referral.

sleepopolis presents itself as an unbiased review site. Casper is claiming that the reviews are influenced by affiliates. It looks like they may be right....

Did some digging with archive.org.

Ratings when casper paid affiliates -----> After casper stopped paying affiliates

Lessa 4.6/5 = 92% --->96%

Casper 4.4/5 = 88% --->80%

Loom & Leaf 4.6/5 = 92% --->94%

Brooklyn Bedding 4.4/5 =88% ---> 94%

Saatva 4.5/5 = 90% ---> 94%

It looks like across the board, mattresses who HAD AN AFFILIATE PROGRAM had their ratings improved. While casper had it's score decreased.

ibpointless2 on

Humble, where do you place your affiliate disclosures?

Humblesalesman on

Depends on the site. But never in a prominent location.

edit: spelling.

c5corvette on

In the Titan case study posted earlier, he mentioned he found a great niche he didn't go with, Orthopedic mattresses.

Humblesalesman on

I saw that, I speak tongue in cheek of course, I don't even have the time to be discussing niche sites here, much less create a new website. Don't tell my boss I am wasting time on reddit. He can be a total dick.

publicpretender69 on

Casper is going after the fact that the affiliate disclosure is at the bottom of the page rather than the top and being easily missed.

Sounds like I should definitely move my disclosure to the top of the page then. I know most sites don't but idk if it's worth risking a lawsuit

Humblesalesman on

See point 1 in my reply to OP. If a business wants to sue you, you're getting a lawsuit. A couple of these sites caught in the lawsuit don't even physically review the product, even though they claim to, you know like a typical affiliate site. Yet it was the affiliate disclosure placement that casper took objection to.

okletsdothisthang on

Yep I'm on page 1. These are very low search volume keywords though.

Thanks for the awesome answers. All makes perfect sense. I think I'll do some of the more technical tests further down the line once the site is pulling in serious traffic. Then I'll also know what tests will benefit the customers the most.

Glad I'm not in the mattress niche!

Humblesalesman on

> Glad I'm not in the mattress niche!

If anything it has made me want to enter the mattress niche. That to me screams that there is too much money floating around and a lot of it is up for grabs.

K3zzeR on

You guys clearly haven't read the whole lawsuit. Casper have a case.

This affiliate had a relationship with Casper and rated it as the best mattress while he was getting paid commission. After the affiliate program ended, he downgraded it to the worst mattress and directed traffic to other reviews; where he gets commission.

Among numerous other things that will take too long to explain. Read for yourself: http://sleepopolis.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/caspers-original-complaint.pdf

Casper have a very strong case to prove that his reviews are influenced by commissions, and not based on his own personal opinion. He had no reason to downgrade Casper from best to worst; the product stayed the same. The change in affiliate commissions swayed his opinion - which is not in the consumers best interests.

It is my opinion, after reading the whole set of suit documents, that Casper are correct and will win the lawsuit.

Humblesalesman on

Heh, that's just one of the cases. I actually hadn't read this one. If what you have summarized is true that seems a little more damning than the ones I am aware of.

Casper made a similar claim against an associate. The problem in this instance is that this website in question popped up AFTER Casper ceased it's affiliate program and the review remains unchanged. In this case Casper is going after the fact that the affiliate disclosure is at the bottom of the page rather than the top and being easily missed.

Another reddit user was hit although I do not know the specifics of his case, claimed similar, again, casper going after the affiliate clause. Again, not knowing the specifics, his site has recently made the affiliate disclosure MUCH more prominent.

To the best of my knowledge based on what I have been told by these two casper have gone after 9 different mattress affiliates, all of who are ranking on the first page "Casper mattress review" "casper mattress vs. [competitor]" or similar. Terms that casper does not rank in the top three for.

It does appear to be a dragnet approach taken. Especially when Caspers first offer is to drop the case but in return you cannot mention or review casper products. That's a gaping hole in any review website.

But to actually downgrade a review? I'll be interested to see how this plays out.

I would love to know if this triggered casper:

https://www.ghostbed.com/education/ghostbed-vs-casper-review/

Casper competitor actually uses obvious affiliate websites to form the basis of their review. That's hilarious! One of the websites referred to no longer lists ANY casper products. Hmmm.

okletsdothisthang on

I figured I’d slip one last case study in here before the end of the month. It’s been awesome to see so many case studies start in the last few weeks. keep ‘em coming!

My goal for this case study is to make 100k per year. I’m a beginner, so this is going to be ambitious for my first site, but hey, if success is an option, let’s go for it. So this case study will end when the total annual profit of my site hits $100k for any 12 consecutive month period. No time limit.

Let's see if I can do it in 2 years.

Month 1 Snapshot:

  • 10 reviews, a few 2000+ words but most 3000+ words
  • Ranking on page 1 of google for at least 2 keywords
  • Text only. Almost no seo, no images, no backlinks
  • Traffic: 189 pageviews (mostly me and bots)
  • Monthly total: -$30.63 (hosting, privacy protection, email)
  • 12 month total: -$30.63

Getting started - working efficiently

My niche is super technical so it has taken me a few months to learn enough about it to review products. The nice thing about this is that it creates a huge barrier to entry for potential competition. There are several other benefits to this niche:

  • There are two other small review sites in my niche and that validate my niche, so I know I’m on the right track.
  • The google trends for my keywords are decidedly positive with no signs of slowing down, and with christmas coming, the curve is now basically vertical, which is awesome to see.
  • There are a range of products with prices from less than $10 to over $1000.
  • There is huge market demand for transparency in my niche, which can be seen by customers posting on forums that they wish there were a site that compiled all product information in one place.
  • There are lots of new products and keywords popping up every month.

I think my niche is a good one for all of these reasons. And I hope that it is large enough so that it won’t tap out before I hit the $100k per year mark.

In August, I wrote two reviews by typing them out while researching at the same time. That workflow proved to be intolerably slow though, at around 5-6 hours per 3000+ word article. The next two articles I tried researching first and then typing it all out in one go, which was slightly faster, but still took between 4-5 hours total. By that point, I also had the structure of each review pretty much nailed down.

Then I discovered the google docs dictation tool.

Dictation is where it’s at. It’s a total game changer. I have two screens, one with the a google doc open, and the other with a bunch of articles and amazon reviews open. I just speak the information from one screen onto the other, restructuring and repackaging it as I go.

Doing this I can write a 3000+ word review article in 1-1.5 hours when I’m really in the flow of it. The dictated text requires a lot of editing, but I can edit everything in about 30-45 mins. Then publishing it on my site takes another 10-15 mins (formatting included). So total time from blank google doc to published article is about 2.5 hours now. That’s a massive time saver.

Keep in mind though that I’m not adding photos, links or anything else to my articles at the moment. More on this next.

Where things stand now

Over the last month since going live, I’ve written 5 more articles, bringing my total to 10 reviews. They are individual brand reviews, not comparison reviews, which I know convert better. But I need to learn about the individual brands in my niche before I can make kick-ass comparison reviews.

Also, the reviews are just straight up text with no photos, only basic SEO and zero links. I will fix them up this coming month with stock images, links, etc. I’ve done it this way for two reasons:

  • I wanted to see what would happen, because science/fuck you/’merica.
  • I wanted to answer the question: “is my copy good enough to rank on page 1 of google and engage readers without any images, links, and minimal SEO?” Answer = Yes

To my surprise, even though my articles are text only and (IMO) poorly written with little SEO, some of them hit the first page of google after only 2 weeks. That was an awesome boost in confidence. Google page 1 rank = check.

Here is the snapshot from google analytics: http://imgur.com/imOcpVN

Most of the traffic is me and bots. The one interesting thing that I noticed was that someone spent a whopping 25:49 minutes on my site and visited 6 pages. Hell yes. Reader engaged = check.

I have so far spent $30.63 on hosting, privacy protection, and email using namecheap.com. That’s it. I am not going to put any more money into the site until it is in the black. Once the site is profitable, I have about $1000 allocated to put into content creation if I want to.

I haven’t gotten any backlinks or tried to create any. It’s too soon for that. I have no social media traffic either, but my niche seems to be pretty active on social media, so I’ll get that going this month.

Goals for next month

I’m going to continue to focus mostly on generating content next month. I would like to be able to produce at least one review a day, bringing the total to 40 for next month. Whether or not I can do this will be dependant on my time management and discipline. But now that I know about dictation, I should have a shot at it.

My site is in pretty bad shape design-wise. I know Wizzard says it doesn’t matter profit-wise, but I am going to spend some time making the site look better, if only for my own vanity. It’s like when you put on a nice suit and tie after months of sitting around in salty boardshorts, you feel like Jay Z with a fuckin cigar in your mouth. It’s just nicer to work on something you are proud to show other people.

I’m also going to fill in all of the posts with images, affiliate links, product tables, internal links, CTAs and I’ll fix up the on page SEO. Additionally, I should probably make better use of the subheaders in my articles, include a pros/cons list in the intro, and generally try make these massive walls of text more reader friendly. This is a technical niche though so I’m not sure how much I can reduce the reading level. That said, I realize that shorter paragraphs and shorter sentences engage readers more. It’s not my natural style but I’m learning. For instance, I had to edit this post to break down the fucking massive paragraphs into simply big paragraphs. And they’re still too long.

One other thing I’m going to do is make a bunch of resources for beginners in my niche. A long time ago, u/BOOGY_DOG suggested I make a glossary of terms for beginners. Excellent idea. There are a few other types of info resources that I can make so beginners in my niche don’t have to go hunting across the web. I’ve also noticed people in niche-related forums linking to a shitty little unformatted tablepress table on a competitor’s site that I can easily blow out of the water.

As I said above, I would like to see if I can generate some traffic from social media while organic search is ramping up over the next few months. This coming month I will set up social media campaigns on Twitter, Facebook, and IG. Pinterest has potential, but I’m not sure if that’s where my audience is. I’d also like to get on Sina Weibo just to see what happens. Have any of you had success on that platform?

I know absolutely nothing about social media marketing. I do have personal Twitter, IG, Snapchat and Pinterest accounts but I’ve never used them. Except for FB, it’s all totally new for me. But I’m pretty sure I can do a decent job figuring it out and setting it all up next week. After that, I’ll meet with someone I know who is a social media marketing manager for a locally famous sports entertainment venue in my city and get her feedback on my strategy.

Problems, Strategy and Questions

One weakness is that a lot of my keywords have low search volume. When I first did my keyword research, I didn’t really know what I was doing. So what I thought were awesome keywords are actually probably not that great, and the keywords that are good are very competitive already.

That being said, my niche is growing and new keywords with buyer’s intent are popping up every month. Also, humble has said in the past that he doesn’t think keyword rankings are very accurate since keywords that he is ranking number 1 for have much higher search volume than keyword tools suggest.

In any case, maybe I will just do my keyword research all over again. I don’t really trust the keyword research I did the first time, and it’s hard to strategize without the proper intel.

Top three questions I have for you all:

  • For my privacy policy, I just copied it from a few other sites. I’m hoping that’s good enough until I have enough capital to hire a lawyer to write a legit privacy policy. I wouldn’t be concerned except that some of my reviews really bash some major brands. I’ve included names of some of the leaders of these companies because they are famous within the niche and customers will want to know about them. Not that they will care about my shitty little site, but I don’t want to pick a fight with the big dogs. Have any of you received blowback from companies you’ve negatively reviewed? How did you handle it? What do you put in your privacy policy to protect against that? Or should I just continue to not give a fuck?

  • I think the informational pages on my site are going to drive a lot of traffic. For those of you in technical niches, did you run any physical/technical tests on products for your informational pages or reviews? Was the expense worth it? I’ve thought about sending some products to professionals to test some relevant physical properties, but that might be overkill and too expensive. My reviews are already much more in depth and useful than what’s out there. At the same time, if I did that, then my informational pages would significantly raise the bar for my competition and establish my site as the premier authority in the niche.

  • Some of the products in my niche have very few customer reviews anywhere online (0 or less than 10 on amazon and less than 5 mentions on blogs/forums). However, they are popular products want to review. And some are products that the news media in my niche is going bananas over with a lot of “omg look at this” style articles. I expect customer interest in those products to grow quickly and I’d like to get in front of those customers ASAP. I could handle this by writing shorter reviews of those products with just the info I can find and beef them up later. My concern is that, with such skimpy information, I can’t really write much about the product, and that will look weird in context with the other 3000+ word reviews. What do you guys think? Wait till I have more info? Or just go for it and get ranking? Probably get ranking, right?

Final Thoughts

I’m interested in making connections with other serious newbies. Community is key to success and I’m a team oriented guy, so it would be cool to have two or three other people to chat with. I want to have a small round-table to bounce ideas off of. If any of you have started a site in the last month or two and want to pool your knowledge, shoot me a PM.

Thanks for reading this long ass post. I hope you got something out of it. Stay tuned for month 2.

Click here for month 2

Humblesalesman on

Congrats on taking the plunge. Now keep it up!

Here are my thoughts that I hastily put together.

1 . If a company want's to bring you down then no privacy policy/disclaimer is going to save you. There is a fascinating ongoing case at the moment where a bunch of mattress affiliate sites have all been sued by Casper Sleep, a monster of a brand even though IMO Casper doesn't have much of a case but that doesn't matter. Casper has money.

2 . I have only had one website in the past that targeted a "technical" product. The thing you will quickly learn is that a product can be as technical or easy to understand as you choose. The easier to understand a product is, the easier it is to sell. Will these tests benefit the average consumer or a select few? Give the group with the most money what they want. Quoting you:

>My reviews are already much more in depth and useful than what’s out there

Sounds like a great starting point. You can always come back in the future and add these tests once you have a better feel for what your audience wants and how they are interacting with your website. Why blow money on something that doesn't need to be done yet?

3 . The answer is "get ranking if you can provide value" If you are embarrassed by what you put up then there is your answer. Besides, if a competitor sees your weak ass content ranking and thinks they can do a better job then they will.

Edit:

>Ranking on page 1 of google for at least 2 keywords

You do know that googles search results are personalized based on sites you view the most. Are you sure that your own clicks are not skewing your results? Check here:

https://serps.com/tools/rank-checker/

newbieAF on

Don't tell my boss I am wasting time on reddit

Who's your boss? Elon Musk?

Humblesalesman on

Nah, he would get mad If I shook his willy after peeing. My boss expects it.

I write 400-500 word articles that is excellent and SEO optimized. (self.SEO)

submitted on by None

None on

[deleted]

Humblesalesman on

>I write articles that are done right amazing.

I hope the articles you write are worded better than this literary masterpiece.

Leasing Domains? Anyone have experience? (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by melbournewank

ca98am79 on

This is impossible with a domain holding escrow account. The domain is transferred to the escrow company. For example, see: https://www.escrow.com/services/domain-name-holding-escrow.aspx

Humblesalesman on

I know some people have done this successfully but I have also read some horror stories regarding domain leasing and escrow. From domains returned prematurely to the owner incorporating contracts that were easily voidable from his end.

Even if escrow DID work perfectly, Are you really going to be able to get a "lifetime lease"? Probably not. Also, what if you wanted to sell your website? The owner putting up the lease might make you lose that sale.

That lease is going up as soon as the owner can manage it.

melbournewank on

After gaining some profit from a few online businesses (physical products), I've been looking to purchase a domain name for an affiliate reviews site that I plan to start. A domain reseller is offering domains 'for lease'. Has anyone ever rented a domain? Seems pretty weird to me, any tips or advice?

Humblesalesman on

Simple tip: Don't do it. Not ever.

To google, all the goodwill of your website is tied to that domain. All your hard work. Your paid marketing campaigns. Everything you do is going to increase the value of this domain. This domain becomes an integral part of your business.

Your lease expires. Guess who is going to get held at ransom? Even if the lease hasn't expired and the owner says "pay me another 500% or I am kicking you off". He has you by the balls. You have no recourse since your income and livelihood is tied to this domain.

There is a reason why we rent houses and not land (not including farms).

If you cannot afford to buy the domain outright then choose another.

not rocket science part 3 (self.juststart)

submitted on by everlearn

SmokeyFloyd on

Do you recommend WP Super Cache or W3?

I installed WP Super Cache just because W3 hasn't been updated in over 6 months but everyone seems to still recommend W3.

Edit: Never mind, I have my answer. I just installed W3 and it increased both page speed and YSlow without even configuring it.

Humblesalesman on

w3 is far superior IMO.

http://gowebsite.com/article/installing-and-configuring-w3-total-cache-plugin-on-wordpress.html#configuring

A very basic customization that should noticeably improve speed. Note that minify CAN cause problems with other plugin's javascript.

everlearn on

I uninstalled Jetpack. I'll likely add in Google Analytics myself without using a plugin. I also activated all the W3 Total Cache categories although it did change some of my css I assume during the minification process. That's probably my fault because I changed css in the wrong place. Thanks for the tips.

Humblesalesman on

Google analytics is a quick copy/paste, no need to use a plugin. Don't jump in and just start messing around with w3 total cache, you can make a mess of your site, make sure you follow a guide.

everlearn on

I'm using the enterprise pro theme but that was my own choice I didn't get a recommendation for it, only the Genesis framework was recommended. At this point my (possibly naive) belief is that I could have chosen from a variety of Genesis child themes and modified it to get the same result.

Humblesalesman on

> At this point my (possibly naive) belief is that I could have chosen from a variety of Genesis child themes and modified it to get the same result.

This is correct. Genesis themes are all fairly similar and if you like a look or layout from one theme it is generally pretty easy to incorporate it into another, CSS skills permitting.

Handsomedomm on

If you're using Nginx, I highly recommend setting it up to run your cache instead of a plugin. Less overhead on the server and I've found the speed to beat out W3. You can also grab a Nginx Cache helper for WP. I would grab the Git version though since its a later version. This keeps you from having to drop to the command line to clear the cache or writing your own php script.

If you're using Apache, you should think about switching to Nginx.

If you're using IIS...play more freecell.

Humblesalesman on

I personally use NGINX and agree with you 100% but apache is much better documented and the majority of shared hosts seem to prefer using it. While your advice is sound, the majority of people in this sub have very little coding experience.

everlearn on

first post
second post  

With the variety of posts on here sprinkled about of people explaining different internet marketing schemes for different revenue streams I sometimes find myself veering off target mentally from my original goal to make a $2000/month straight-up basic affiliate marketing site. Stop writing such great content everyone! I figure it's best to continue posting as I go to avoid any black hole of magical undocumented time I fail to post about and miss any important details as a consequence.

 

First off, what a slog. To me, nothing sucks more than to research, research, research about a particular widget, create a product table about said widget, write ~1000 words about said widget, find and post images about said widget, publish post about said widget, pat yourself on the back about completing said widget and go on to repeat the cycle for a slightly different alternative widget and on and on. Since my last post I've written a total of roughly 10k words for 9 out of 50 of my widget reviews. I haven't gone as fast as I've liked because I'm currently spending half my time stumbling my way around Wordpress and customizing the site to not look like shit, gathering and creating decent images, and spending enough time on product research to make the posts worthwhile. My V1 system for a post from start to finish is as follows:

 

Initially I google the product and find every major retailer in the search results that sells the product and I read the reviews. Some products in a category have over 1000 reviews, most of which I read/scan individually. In a previous post I mentioned I would pay particular attention to 3 star reviews but good or bad, right or wrong, I've since adopted an "eh-lets-read-them-all" mentality. As an aside, I also make a quick note in a separate google doc for each unique online retailer I gather user reviews from so in the future when this is all done I can have a customer FAQ explaining where exactly some of my review information is sourced. This step gives me a solid understanding of what people like and dislike about each widget including various tips and tricks to make the product better, make the product easier to set up, etc.

 

Next, I go to the manufacturers site to check on a variety of metrics (more on this later) that I use to determine the company's support for their product and their customers. Once I've finished this step it's time to get writing.

 

I'm structuring my blog posts in the following format:

 

At the top underneath the title I place a pricing table with the picture of the product and a bright shiny "check price on amazon" button underneath it (controversial I know). My hypothesis for this is that placing the pricing table at the top of the post and an associated "check Amazon" button gives my low-hanging fruit late-in-the-buying-cycle website visitors the most convenient opportunity to click right through to Amazon. Before I move onto what I put after the pricing table I want to digress a bit. In my experience a lot of the pricing tables I see on the less than spectacular affiliate websites are in my opinion unicorn figures. 4 star this, 2 star this, but nothing backing them up. Maybe affiliate marketers know more than me and have data that shows that people don't care about how those ratings were generated but I'm planning on playing it a bit different. I have 4 ratings that I calculate, each one on a scale from 1-100:

 

  • Price
  • Public Opinion
  • Functionality
  • Company Support

 

Here is a spreadsheet for an actual page I'm using to calculate my scores. Column B is the regular MSRP of the product on Amazon. Columns C-G represent the aggregated 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 star reviews found across all major online retailers for each widget. Columns I-T represent various meta-data and information about the widget and/or manufacturer and widget brand. All this information is used to calculate my review table scores starting on row 28. I intend to pass this information on somehow on my website for visitors to be able to read about in some kind of FAQ about how scores are calculated with the goal of establishing an extra layer of trust with them. Ok, digression over.

 

Underneath the table and the Amazon button is my blog post written in the following way:

 

Overview: A general overview paragraph of the product and an incentive to read on
What's Included: A bulleted list of the items included out of the box for each widget
Widget Setup: A longer section that details the steps to get the widget up and running with any tips or tricks to help ease the process and explaining where users might have trouble
The Court of Public Opinion: An even longer section that dives into what other widget owners think about it and what I've deducted as vital pro and con information about the widget
Company and Customer Support: A shorter paragraph analysis of how supportive the manufacturer is in regards to returns, responsiveness, etc (see spreadsheet above).
Bang for Your Buck: A few opinionated sentences that compare price to value from everything learned in my research
The Verdict: A short paragraph summarizing the key points and whether the widget is worth it or not.

 

That's basically what I have going on for content at the moment. I have two more menu items in my website's navigation menu for a blog and another informational tab but I haven't planned content for those yet. I'm just working on attacking these reviews. One possibly controversial opinion I'd like to disclose is that I've decided that I'm not afraid of spending time and writing a review on a product that is bad and displaying it in a bad light. Some widgets in my list of widgets to review are simply not that good or overpriced or have bad company and customer support. Rather than spin them on their heads and talk about the positive points in the hopes that users will click the Amazon button, my belief is that its not necessarily bad to write honest bad reviews. This leads to another hypothesis I have that viewers will appreciate the bad reviews and again help establish trust. The key for me is to include links to better alternative widgets within the widget's category to funnel visitors to a product with a higher chance at converting. Onto Wordpress.

 

Ok so Wordpress. I'll disclose I'm working off the Genesis framework. In my previous post I mentioned my site structure and linked a google doc to my planned pages, posts and categories. It hasn't really changed enough since that post to warrant discussion. Mainly I've just been beautifying and structuring the content within each page and post. I've already discovered my weakness on Wordpress and it's plugins. I know plugins are bad news if one whores themselves out to them but I like activating them, messing around with them and removing them once I realize they aren't that useful. It gives me a chance to become more familiar with the Wordpress system too. I plan on purging non-useful widgets as I become more knowledgeable about modifying things myself.

 

So far this is what I have installed, some for explicit reasons, some due to peer pressure and I don't know what they do yet, and others by default so they must be important?:

 

Askimet: I installed because it kept bugging me to. It apparently helps with spam which I hope will be useful when I actually have traffic
Contact Form 7: Creates a simple contact form with a shortcode
Custom Sidebars: To display different sidebars depending on the page being viewed. I'm using this because I want to display certain reviews in the sidebar that relate to what the user is viewing. If they are on the main thingy widget directory of reviews I want to show the top thingy widgets in the sidebar, etc.
Disqus Comment System: I saw this on thesweethome.com and I just mimicked them. It wasn't too hard to set up and it looks a bit nicer than the default commenting system Wordpress provides IMO.
Genesis eNews Extended: I forgot what this was for
Jetpack By Wordpress: Another default plugin I think does a lot but I haven't explored much yet
Magic Action Box: I have an email opt in on my home page that's all connected to Mailchimp and I use this plugin to display it. More often than not I read that it's important to start an email list from the get go so that's what I'm trying to do. I haven't planned an email strategy yet beyond just capturing emails.
Remove Category URL: I don't want the word "category" in the URL. Mainly because I'm probably OCD
Show IDs: Shows post and page IDs in the admin section since I don't have them displayed in the permalinks.
W3 Total Cache: I don't know what this is but I installed it because some say it's pretty useful.
WP Product Review: What I use for pricing tables

 

Pro tip #1: if you're going to style css directly, create a new css file and upload it via FTP! I made the mistake of modifying some css for the pricing table plugin and got it all looking better. Later on I went to update the plugin and it all reset. Don't make that mistake.

 

At this point all the posts I'm writing I view as rough drafts. Once I get all the posts published I will go back and link posts to other posts to create a healthy "linkified" site ecosystem, fix grammar, rewrite sections to be more engaging and add all the proper tags and crap to the images I eventually settle on for each post. For now I just want that text up there.

 

A couple other things I did was create and xml sitemap and submitted it to Google. There are plenty of tutorials out there on how to do this. I don't know whether I did it too early or too late or whether I need to keep submitting it as I add or remove pages but nonetheless I did it. I also am beginning to email manufacturers for press packs and/or permission to use their photos on my website. I don't want to run into any trouble down the road. I set up 3 social media accounts for my new brand and linked them all to my site where they're displayed on my home page.

 

Ok that's all I have off the top of my head. I'm going to continue writing reviews and I'll be back when I'm further along with that.

Humblesalesman on

just some thought on the plug-ins

>Askimet

Very necessary once you start seeing traffic. You will have a raging boner the first time it hits you just how helpful this is.

>Disqus Comment System:

Displays in comment advertisements that you have no control over.

>Jetpack By Wordpress

Slowpack. This is by far the best application to slow down a wordpress based site. While it does a lot, you are better off seeking out plugins that only a single specific thing.

>W3 Total Cache:

Set this up ASAP. Browser caching dramatically boosts your speed like nothing else. Minify is great too.

[SuccessOriented] Building a Profitable Affiliate Site: Case Study #2 (self.juststart)

submitted on by SuccessOriented

eastmaven on

Although I'm a baby in IM I keep looking at big authoratative sites and I keep thinking they are shit and that I could beat them. Their content is subpar, or their site is too clunky. They probably have a lot of links but I've seen sites with millions of links lose their status because they were clearly low quality. Any thoughts on that? Have you ever competed against smth big?

Humblesalesman on

How big are we talking? If it's a monster it's not one site that eats it but a large collection. Take thebump.com, it used to be a baby powerhouse, appearing in the top three of nearly every baby related search.

Oversimplification following: affiliate websites and other baby authorities kept taking their articles and churning out better content. Now it is a fraction of it's former self and continues to hemorrhage.

30+ video lessons on entrepreneurship (free) (self.SideProject)

submitted on by theofficialtone

theofficialtone on

[removed]

Humblesalesman on

Save your time, they are uninspiring and don't provide much insight into each topic. Check out the comment history, he spams this in every sub possible under different usernames

http://www.reddit.com/user/theofficialtone http://www.reddit.com/user/sf_user123

I Love You All... (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by None

kobyc on

It's all good I probably deserved it.

But yeah, I only meant to say the experience of being an entrepreneur changes you in the end.

Humblesalesman on

Your above reply to 514represent nailed it and hit it home for me. No need to elaborate on that.

kobyc on

I came here when I was 19 & knew nothing about business, I'm 22 now & have started 3 "successful" companies.

The farther down this road I go, the more I have problems relating to the "average" entrepreneur that I talk with.

Edit: And I'm not saying I'm rich or anything like that. I run a couple businesses & they let me live, that's all.

Humblesalesman on

Must be nice up there on that pedestal.

drunkmall on

Would have been cool to go back and see OP's earlier posts to put this in context. Oh well...

Humblesalesman on

1st post:

https://www.reddit.com/r/Entrepreneur/comments/3rdid8/the_chicken_or_the_egg_why_successful/

2nd post:

https://www.reddit.com/r/Entrepreneur/comments/3scfrj/identifying_niches_and_their_problems_examples/

His posts were fairly well received.

TLDR: OP bursts onto the scene of r/entrepreneur with a foolish optimism that this sub is filled with people who are already running successful businesses. People who are willing to challenge and extend his "advanced knowledge". Reality hits: It's a public forum filled mostly with 15-23 year olds trying to start their first business. OP cries foul and deletes his account.

drunkmall on

You can tell he doesn't have a strong background in marketing, though. Definitely should have backlinked here to his earlier posts and included a link to his new Warrior Forum.

Humblesalesman on

Looks like he belonged in here with the rest of us rookies after all.

kobyc on

If by pedestal you mean I'm saying 3 years of experience has changed me, then I guess.

80% of businesses fail by year 1, even more fail by year 3. 3% of businesses are started by people 18-21 years old. Just statistically speaking it becomes harder and harder to relate with people the longer you do this. Even the older guys who are running a business, it's just not the same talking to someone who started their company when they were 35.

Edit: Not saying I'm rich or anything like that. I run a couple businesses & they let me live, that's all.

Humblesalesman on

> The longer you do this the less you'll be able to relate with the average 50% of entrepreneurs most of whom just recently started.

Makes it hard to reply to you when you edit your post and replace segments. Your edit put's it much more eloquently by the way.

Anyway, everyone has to outgrow the kiddie pool eventually. I was just having a dig at you using the word "average". Even in quotation marks.

What are some problems you ran into creating your site, and how did you solve it? (self.juststart)

submitted on by c5corvette

SEOStefan on

My problem: Amazon earnings are doubling or tripling every month and it's some nice cash now but I worry every day it's going to all slip out for underneath me (Amazon ban, Google update penalty, whatever).

My solution: Starting to work with different affiliate programs and try out different methods of earning money that aren't directly related to Amazon.

The problem here is that Amazon converts at 20% and the best I'm getting with my other affiliate is 5%. Solution: More traffic!

Humblesalesman on

Be careful with how much you read into the data Amazon gives you. That 20% is items divided by click throughs. To put it simply: If ten people click through from your site and one person buys 10 items, Amazon would tell you that conversion rate is 100%.

This is deliberate on Amazons part so that it is more difficult to compare results with other affiliate schemes.

infographic of 10 awesome companies Apple could have bought with $14 billion, instead of stocks... (self.business)

submitted on by grindingnyc

grindingnyc on

Humblesalesman on

By infographic he means youtube video.

I made a rookie mistake and here's my plan to fix it (self.juststart)

submitted on by okletsdothisthang

okletsdothisthang on

Hey guys, I wanted to run this by the community. I made a rookie mistake back in the beginning when choosing my niche by choosing a product that is technical and with which I have no experience at all. It's sort of like choosing to review car engines with no automotive background, or even ever having seen or ridden in a car. I know I can do this, but it has taken months to learn everything. I chose the niche back in September/october and I'm still working on my first reviews in part because I've had to research the crap out of this technical subject (a lot of this has also been due to having to learn everything from html/css to wp to hosting to content writing, etc.). It's a great niche though, so I'm going to see this thing through no matter how long it takes. But because I've made the mistake I made, I have three problems:

  • At a basic level, it's harder for me to judge the veracity of the information I find on the internet, and I don't want to put the wrong info on my site

  • I also don't have any good pictures of the products and their faults/highlights, nor can I readily acquire them

  • I can't test the products if I were to buy them because I wouldn't know how to use them anyway.

So here's my plan. I'm going take a lesson from humblesalesman and just get my reviews out there on the site ASAP. I'm suffering from a distinct lack of speed right now because I'm bogged down in the details of learning about the product. Instead of worrying if I've covered everything and whether what I'm saying about the product is completely accurate (a lot of my info is just someone else's opinion anyway), I'm going to put it out there for the audience to judge. Then later on, once I've got the site generating a small amount of revenue, I'll invest in someone with domain experience to go back and fix the reviews up where it needs it. I am also going to use humble's technique of reaching out to people on forums for product photos. Long term, my goal is to be able to run tests on the products like sweethome and other sites do. But that might take a little while.

What do you guys think of this plan? I should be able to get these reviews up in a month or so. If it fails, I have another niche all lined up and ready to go.

Humblesalesman on

You actually touch on a good point. One I do not think I have yet brought up and that is niche technicality. I would never touch on a medical or dental or car niche because there is simply too much to learn. I am sure your niche is less technical than this but it has obviously proven to be a bit of a stumbling block. The good news is that if you are struggling then so would any other beginner entering the niche. A barrier to entry can also be a good thing.

If you believe the niche has good potential and you have put this much effort into it so far then I would be hesitant to recommend that you drop it in favor for a simpler niche. Three months is a lot of time to invest into anything, even if you were only partially working on the site in this time. Ultimately this is your call however and only you can see the further hurdles that will need to be overcome. Getting your content sorted sounds like a great starting point though.

How to value a viral content website? (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by None

None on

[deleted]

Humblesalesman on

Toss up adsense.

look at the amount earned after a month.

times it by roughly 16.

Thats the amount traffic and also ties in to the value of your website.

Traffic on it's own does not have a value. In fact, it's fairly worthless. Targetted traffic on the other hand is amazing.

The problem with viral sites is that they are designed to appeal to the masses with short attention spans. In order to effectively monetize traffic like this you will likely at least 10 x the number of daily visitors,

Anyone have experience in Affiliate Marketing sites (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by ski7955

ski7955 on

I am really interested in getting into building affiliate marketing sites. I have built a few sites with very little success at this point but I am determined to keep trying. I have fun building these sites and I realize that the right site could have a lot of potential. Thisiswhyimbroke.com is my greatest inspiration so far. Does anyone know of any similair sites that I can draw motivation and inspiration from ? If anyone has any experience in building these sites, how did you start? What's your experience been so far? What are the most profitable amazon affiliate sites that you know of ?

Humblesalesman on

I make my entire living from affiliate marketing. The advice of making a niche website with a set number of pages is an outdated method that does not result in great commissions (these websites are known as "set and forgets"). A regularly updated blog structure using solution based selling currently works best in my opinion.

Choose a microniche that can be expanded upon should you gain traction. For example if your niche is pregnancy pillows you can expand into other pregnancy products. Choosing a generic name will allow you to expand while providing the basis to build a brand. E.g. Bestpregnancypillows.com doesn't give much room to expand logically. PregnancyPal.com is a much better choice.

Don't underestimate just how gruelling it will be for you learning the ropes. It is affiliate MARKETING. Marketing matters a lot more than what is on your website. Be wary of this when choosing how to focus your time.

I have created a detailed guide that anyone can use to find and validate a niche here:

http://www.reddit.com/r/Entrepreneur/comments/2heedi/case_study_how_to_choose_a_niche_for_you_to/

I have just started a new amazon affiliate case study that I plan to grow to 4k/month over the course of a year, reporting monthly with less than two and a half hours work each day. Here is the first:

http://www.reddit.com/r/Entrepreneur/comments/2i1czd/building_a_new_affiliate_website_september_case/

None on

Thanks.

My problem is that it's not really something that can be promoted easily on social networks.

Think an industrial strength bleach.. not really pinterest material you know?

Humblesalesman on

Why not LinkedIn? Reach out to people who work in companies that would require industrial bleach.. Linen services and the like. Also industry specific forums.

FieryGreen on

Yes, I just read your case study. Are you using bots with Pinterest? What about your other sites do you drive traffic using Twitter and Facebook only or other sites?

Humblesalesman on

No bots. You want targeted traffic. You gain this by networking with like minded pinners and build relationships that flow off pinterest. In my personal opinion, bots are crap as they cannot create or nurture a relationship.

I use Facebook, Instagram, twitter, and a couple of others with varying success even industry specific forums can be a fantastic traffic driver. For each website I focus on a max of three social mediums at once. Your organic search grows naturally if you have good content. Building backlinks through the people you are networking with on the social side is a side effect of successful marketing. As a result my websites do bring in traffic from search engines as well.

Research your potential customer and find where they hang. Pinterest is great for females, Facebook for the older crowd (amongst others) etc. don't waste time where your customer isn't.

bh3244 on

backlink well

these are the important details.

Humblesalesman on

Not particularly.

It depends on your goals. Backlinks, while important, are only worth pursuing if you have a long term goal of using organic search standing to drive traffic (and even then there are many other important factors to tie in, backlinks are not the sole defining factor of search position).

If I was to rely solely on social media to drive targeted traffic (arguably easier than relying on google) then my time and resources would be wasted chasing backlinks.

bitpeak on

Sorry, but this comment is really stupid (to put it bluntly). Do you think that some one who is earning $116k a year from just affiliates isn't successful?

The fact that his affiliate income is pretty much passive, and that he's earning just under $10k a month, he doesn't need it to grow any more. Of course it would always be nice, but I am sure that he has other ventures that take up his time, for example he recently launched his own podcasting software.

Humblesalesman on

For anyone else 116k a year is great. For someone like him with his support network who makes money showing other people how to make successful niches it is exceptionally average.

Based on personal experience if he knew what he was doing he would be making a lot more.

magictravelblog on

We have experimented with affiliate marketing but have had negligible success. These days I choose to invest my time elsewhere.

Be aware that there is a massive survivorship bias at play. People certainly manage to make a living with affiliate marketing, sometimes a very good living, but I suspect a huge majority of people make little or nothing before eventually moving on to something else. People will shout big revenue numbers from the rooftops while people not making money tend to keep that information to themselves.

Just don't assume that the stories you hear are typical. Expect a lot of hard work and a lot of failure along the way. Good luck :)

Humblesalesman on

This is 100% accurate.

Even "successful" affiliate marketers can be misleading. Let's take a look at Pat Flynn for example as he always comes up.

You'd think that if he really understood how to make money online he would be pulling more than he is....

October 2008 income report:

  • Ebook Sales: 309 Copies – $7126.91
  • Google Adsense: $596.31
  • Private Advertising (pro-rated): $183.33

Gross Total: $7906.55

July 2014 income report:

  • GreenExamAcademy.com Product Sales: 4803.68
  • SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com: 3259.74
  • FoodTruckr.com: 72.39
  • CreateaClickableMap.com: 669.33
  • iPhone Applications: 920.21

Total affiliate income: $9725.35

He grew his total affiliate earnings a whole $2,000 over 6 years

To put it bluntly, that's shit. I wouldn't get out of bed if my websites grew that slowly.

Ironically his primary source of earnings come from smart passive income by people who try to emulate his "success".

edit: these are the sources of income from his "projects" not his total monthly affiliate income which includes smart passive income.

RetroYouth on

Hey man, have a quick question. So I followed your guide and found a niche according to what seemed like a good sized amount of searches relating to the category. It is a product relating to another product, for example like a tire for a car.

For driving traffic with Pinterest do I repin car's in this example? Like, find sexy cars and write about them even if it's barely related to the product I'm trying to pitch. My niche, just like car handles is not something sexy to write about or that I feel I can write tons and tons on. But it has the potential to be built out with similar items in it's category.

When I get the website up and stuff I'll send you a link if you don't mind critiquing.

Humblesalesman on

If your using that as your example then my reply is going to be based on your example. I wouldn't use pinterest for car tires. Or handles. Pinterest is not the answer to everything. Just because I used it doesn't mean it is suitable for your niche. Pinterest is mostly female, Facebook has a large chunk of over 50's (among others). You need to determine where your target audience is and get amongst them.

Hell, even industry specific forums are great. If you can't write tonnes then don't. You will convert best by solving problems, not writing for writings sake.

It's great if you have found a niche that you can build out though.

I avoid critiquing as I simply do not have the time to provide a comprehensive audit. I am a mild perfectionist and hate to do things half arsed.

Also, avoid posting a public critique to Reddit. (I listed a website on Reddit asking for critique on a throwaway earlier this year. So many people weighed in. So many people were wrong. This website was already earning a lovely 5 figures.)

Just experiment. You will learn so much more if you do it yourself. Good luck!

FieryGreen on

How do you drive traffic to your sites specifically?

Humblesalesman on

Varies from website to website. The website in my case study is currently using pinterest as the only way to drive traffic. With social mediums you can drive traffic to your newly created website today. Google does not provide you with this luxury.

None on

Thanks for this, I've been following your how to find a niche guide, found one that I can try to do just to get a feel for it.

On the front page of Google there's a site that gets listed 2-5 depending on search terms, with a PA and DA around 25, terrible content and layout, clearly affiliate marketing, probably did the site in an afternoon.

I figured it would be easy enough to beat according to reddit guides etc. But how the hell do I do it? Back links?

I've been reading about backlinks and I'm even more lost, currently have a list of about 10 sites to read through and get info from tonight, but man.. it's a much bigger deal than just putting up a site for sure.

I looked into their backlinks as I read it's a good option, just use the same ones, but they link from other sites clearly from the same guy, as well as outdated websites that no longer exist.

Can you point in the direction of a good backlinks guide for beginners?

What am I missing?

Any advice on how to move up the ranking other than backlinks?

Humblesalesman on

http://www.quicksprout.com/the-advanced-guide-to-link-building/

Might be a bit dated now but it covers the basics in an easy to digest approach.

Don't focus on google, these rankings come naturally. My case study saw approximately 50 visitors from day one as I used social to drive traffic. Social gets instant results while it can be moths and months before you start to appear prominently in google search.

AmaxJ on

I was just looking at your Build an affiliate website case study and all of your image links seem to be down.

Humblesalesman on

Thanks, I have had this pointed out and I will fix them next week when I am back from holiday.

SyrioBroel on

Hey Humblesalesman, can't wait for your October report. One thing I'm curious about is that it seems like a lot of affiliate marketers will, when searching for keywords (for not only plausability but competition), use long tail keywords. In your maternity pillow case something like:

best maternity pillow material highest rated maternity pillows best stuffing for maternity pillow

What is your process for selecting these long tail keywords and how do you go about judging feasibility as to whether or not you can rank up past major retailers selling similar products? (i.e. if you google search my long tail keyword I used above, the first site that comes up is ebay)

Thanks for help and inspiration!

Humblesalesman on

Ranking in google should ALWAYS be a long term goal. It won't drive traffic to your website for a long time. I don't suspect my current website will see over 20 visitors per day for another 4 months from google.

Choose long tail keywords that you can write an article around. Pregnancy pillow stuffing could cover all the different types of stuffing, the positives and negatives, health benefits etc. remember that google keyword tool DOES NOT list all the keywords available. If I was to hazard a guess, I would say it lists less than 1% of keyword variations used in search, many of thee you can outrank ebay for because they don't feature on their page.. By writing a long and detailed article you will naturally hit certain keywords that are searched for.

Social media and marketing is what drives real traffic initially. Connect with relevant blogs and influencers, these help build backlinks. You will get lots of nos and only a few yeses. Don't be discouraged. It's how it works. If you don't like rejection then this industry isn't for you.

vinipux on

Do you plan on revealing the domain so we can see your progress?

Humblesalesman on

This is something I will consider when the 12 months are over. Revealing the domain now would lead to all manner of complications including:

Skewed traffic Potential negative SEO attacks Potential DDOS or hacking People harassing others I am networking with on pinterest And many more.

The fact of the matter is, if I reveal the domain now then this is no longer a controlled case study.

What are the best sites to learn about affiliate marketing strategies that actually work? Not just theories. Thanks (self.SEO)

submitted on by azhkn

azhkn on

Humblesalesman on

Ignoring the fact that this isn't an SEO question, I will break down what a lot of beginners do not understand.

Affiliate marketing is JUST marketing, there is nothing special or unique about it. An affiliate scheme is a form of monetization, NOT marketing.

An affiliate website is a website that is wholly or mostly monetized by affiliates. Because of this an affiliate website can take many different forms - a blog, a review site, a price comparer, a parts picker, a news site. Heck, even reddit is now monetized by affiliates since they rolled out their new program that changes comment links to affiliate links.

So your request for "Affiliate marketing strategies that actually work" is broad to the point of being stupid. Who is your target audience? A marketing strategy for senior males isn't going to be the same as 16 year old females.

The best place to learn about marketing that works is marketing blogs r/marketing is also good. "Affiliate marketing blogs" like Spencer Hawes poor effort or Pat Flynns regurgitated garbage have niched down (targeted a specific online marketing segment, a common marketing strategy) in an effort to service people like you who believe marketing and affiliate marketing are two entirely separate entities.

All things being equal:

SEO is the same for a website that isn't monetized by affiliates as one that is. Marketing is the same for a website that isn't monetized by affiliates as one that is.

Content Creation, Copyright Images, and Blog Posts (self.juststart)

submitted on by Oddfictionrambles

Oddfictionrambles on

Popping my cherry in posting here? Sure.

Firstly, I wanted to say that reading posts from /u/Humblesalesman and /u/W1ZZ4RD has given me enough confidence to do my research. So far, I have a chosen niche with at least fifty keywords which have above 500 in terms of traffic and are below 200 in terms of QSR (according to Jaaxy//SEO Strength). I have purchased the domain, I have relevant posts such as Privacy/About Me set up, and I even got a business email.

My big issue? Content creation. Yes, that cliche problem. Bear with me.

Because my chosen niche is related to Pokemon, sites such as commons.wikimedia, pixabay, etc. don't have many "Free" images. In fact, most of the images which I do want to feature are on Tumblr, which means wading into the murky waters of "using images for commercial purposes". Furthermore, I have no intention of becoming an "Authority" site because my goal right now is to set up multiple niche sites of a smaller but competitive scale. For that reason, I'm uncertain as to the content which I should include. Reviews often seem to be the domain of authority sites. Should I bother with reviewing individual Pokemon toys and cards? Or should I just take photos and comment on where the cheapest toys can be found on the internet?

And yes, my biggest concern is the image issue. Because the "free image" sites do not have the plethora of Pokemon-related content such as DeviantArt or Tumblr, I am uncertain how to wade through this troubled waters. Anybody willing to help a Garfunkel out and build a bridge together?

And yes, I'm an Aussie. No, koalas do not evolve into Dropbears.

Humblesalesman on

Firstly, thanks for taking the time to fully explain your situation and your thoughts, it will make it much easier for others to give a thorough answer pertaining to your situation.

I think you need to take a step back and start from the very beginning. You have a domain, you have a niche and you have keywords. But fuck me, can you answer these?

  1. Who is your target audience?
  2. How are you adding value to this target audience?

I'll be blunt, it doesn't seem like you have remotely given this a thought.

If you can answer those two questions then you can create content for days.

And besides, koalas evolve into Teddiursa.

Oddfictionrambles on

I actually thought those two out! I remember you mentioning them in another thread.

Who is your target audience?

20-35 Male, Caucasian, American and Australian geeks. Thought about expanding to women, but after talking to my local Pokemon club, I noticed that most of them are guy anyway.

How are you adding value to this target audience?

Handy links to the places where the cheapest toys can be found; comparing Pokemon Card "Value Packs" against each other.

The problem is... images. Amazon images only take us so far, and I get frustrated that the best pictures of Pokemon belong to Nintendo or are on Tumblr.

Humblesalesman on

I only asked because you didn't know whether to provide reviews or just comment on where the cheapest toys are. If had answered those questions then this should be obvious: Give them what they want.

>but after talking to my local Pokemon club, I noticed that most of them are guy anyway.

Dude, you have access to a club of enthusiasts? Is it possible that <i>they</i> have all the toys you would want? camera up (your phones will do) and get them to show off their collections. If there is one thing that enthusiasts love to do is show off their obscure hobby to anyone who will listen.

Looking to dive in, best books for Internet/ digital marketing? (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by _AMPLiFY

fisch14 on

Best advice I can give in this space is just go and do it. Don't wait and read more books or websites. Get your site up and running asap. You will learn a lot just from that.

Humblesalesman on

Just do it. Best advice ever. I make all my income from affiliate marketing and started off by just doing it. Any question or stumbling block can be solved with a google search as it appears. Reading copious amounts of crap from "gurus" will only hamper you as not only is this advice from an individual perspective but very quickly dated too.

It's like war. You can come up with this amazing plan that will surely win the battle. As a soldier that plan will change as soon as you hit the ground.

One advice for affiliate marketing. When you start its 40% content and 60% marketing (getting it out there, networking and building relationships with influencers)

Handy tip to find Quality amazon reviews with (usually) high quality user photos. (self.juststart)

submitted on by notburst

notburst on

I'm going to email amazon and respond here with the email.

Anyway the post still stands that using this method you can find quality reviews for products as well as my method of finding high quality amazon uploaded photos.

Humblesalesman on

>I'm going to email amazon and respond here with the email.

Fun fact: the people who reply to your email are not qualified to interpret the Amazon Associates operating agreement. Amazon representatives have said this numerous times on their forums when people complain about following the advice of said customer service that lead to a ban.

>Anyway the post still stands that using this method you can find quality reviews for products as well as my method of finding high quality amazon uploaded photos.

Just tread carefully with this one. While there is nothing wrong with rewording their reviews, the images may be your undoing if ever you start to gain traction in the ranks. Regardless, good luck.

notburst on

15k to reach the upper echelons of support. The dream!

Thanks for your outlook mate, helpful as always.

I'm going to take the email response into consideration and start emailing customers whether I can use their images. I think that way I have both bases covered.

Humblesalesman on

Awesome! Be sure to update us in a couple of months with how you are progressing. Keep up the grind and thanks for sharing.

Also, for images

Inspect element -> Resources ->Frames -> (maybe another folder here) -> Images. Will show you every image used on that page.

notburst on

If you were message the user on amazon if it were okay to use their photos do you think that would be fine? Does amazon really look that depth into your site as to find your site, then click back through to the review on amazon, trawl through the reviews until they find the photos and then take action against you?

At the end of the day, if you're providing extra value by using those customer images and it relates to extra conversions for amazon, should they have a reason to care?

Humblesalesman on

>Does amazon really look that depth into your site as to find your site, then click back through to the review on amazon, trawl through the reviews until they find the photos and then take action against you?

No. Do your competitors? Absolutely. Spoiler alert: this industry is cutthroat. If you have a competitor who thinks there is advantage to be had by reporting you to amazon because you violated their T&C's then you had better believe it's going to happen.

slothriot on

Doesn't the operating agreement say that you can't use those user review photos? Or am I remembering it incorrectly?

Humblesalesman on

I have seen sites get banned for using user submitted content from Amazon reviews. However, these sites also had other things wrong with them. Correlation != Causation. My personal recommendation is to not use these photos.

notburst on

Thanks mate. I was referring specifically in that last post to using the amazon uploaded photos, not customer photos!

Fun fact: the people who reply to your email are not qualified to interpret the Amazon Associates operating agreement. Amazon representatives have said this numerous times on their forums when people complain about "unjustified bannings".

Goddamnit, on the merry-go-round again! If amazon deems customer photos to be their property then there should be no issue using them. If they deem it's the customers property then there shouldn't be an issue providing you have customer consent. That's how I see it?

Humblesalesman on

Yeah it can be quite difficult to get information from Amazon regarding how to do things properly, particularly when beginning. When you start to earn more (hint it's above 15k monthly) you will have opportunities to speak to Amazons account managers who are much more knowledgeable in what the best practices are and Amazons exact stance on things at that particular moment. But amazon changes it's stance so often it can be difficult to keep up.

>If they deem it's the customers property then there shouldn't be an issue providing you have customer consent. That's how I see it?

I am not arguing with your logic, I am just here to give food for thought. Just be mindful that if you send three different emails you will likely get three different answers. But as for your mindset, mine would be similar in that situation.

notburst on

I'm not 100% sure on the answer but from /u/humblesalesman's post history:

On the topic of amazon, if you are signed up to their affiliate program they will let you use any image that is found on their website provided you are linking back to them.

Humblesalesman on

This statement does not apply to user made content.

notburst on

Good point.

It's very hard sometimes to get good photos whilst not actually having the item in your possession. Do you think getting permission from the user would be fine?

Humblesalesman on

It all depends on the agreement Amazon has on uploaded photos, whether the user simply grants Amazon a license or the ownership is transferred to amazon. I am unfamiliar with it and since I have never used user images, have not explored the option further. It would be foolish for me to offer speculation as advice.

Recommended Plugins (self.juststart)

submitted on by Akial

vinipux on

Can you give us some examples of what Gravity Forms can be used for? Is this mainly used to create a multi-step landing page flow?

Thanks

Humblesalesman on

  • Passing data onto other 3rd party platforms (aweber or mailchimp for mailing lists)
  • Collecting payment through paypal
  • Conditional logic (shows fields based on previously filled fields

etc. etc. It's really versatile. If you want to know more google is your best friend.

Akial on

You'd think that with so many "Top 10 MUST Have Wordpress Plugins " this is an obsolete post but I'm afraid it isn't. In my experience, the authors of such lists rarely put in the time to review them in-depth and form an educated opinion, lists are easy.

The more I learn about plugins, the more I notice how many of them are coded without attention to efficacy. Bloat, hidden "pro" features etc. I thought it would be useful to compile a selection of efficient plugins that help our visitors have an awesome experience. I only know of w3 total cache as a must, what do you use that you wouldn't live without?

To recap, recommend plugins fill these criteria: Highly efficient, useful and light.

Humblesalesman on

Here are what I am using on my current case study:

Akismet.

Gravity Forms (infinitely cusomizable, can even use them to collect payments. Paid plugin).

Simple Social share (An minimalist social share plugin that has no bloat)

Plugins that won't hurt if you can't set them up yourself:

Google XML Sitemaps

Simple 301 Redirects

Marvin_The_Depressed on

After looking at several niche sites I noticed that a lot of them use up-to-date price data. I guess they use some sort of plugin for that.

Do you have any experience regarding a) such plugins and b) are they effective. Does it matter to the user to know the price beforehand. I would imagine updating prices by hand is rather impossible.

Then again reading through /u/humblesalesman posts he said that he updated a lot of the content by hand (like on a yearly basis). But this was rather regarding if the product was still available - not the price:

I am spending most of this month swapping out expired links and obsolete products in preparation for the Christmas period on my existing websites (from the 7 types of affiliate sites post)

/u/Akial in your research did you also take those price-plugins into account?

Humblesalesman on

I personally do not display prices. This is not something I have tested nor do I intend to. This is more to do with the way I set out my articles rather than any rhyme or reason. Occasionally I will make a choice based on my own irrationality rather than testing and this is one of those times.

Any interest in setting up a monthly "roundtable" thread to swap notes / experiences? (self.juststart)

submitted on by soulchikn

soulchikn on

Hey guys,

So like a lot of you, thanks to the never-ending fountain of knowledge from /u/humblesalesman, /u/W1ZZ4RD (and the rest of you who have shared your informative experiences and case studies), I recently took the plunge and set up an affiliate site. It's been a hell of a humbling (and illuminating) 3-week ride so far, and I'm learning every day which I think, at this point at least, is the real mission.

A couple days ago, I got to thinking about a possible idea for this sub that may help those of us who are currently working on our affiliate sites, as well as those who are interested but still unsure about whether this is a good choice for them. What if we set up a monthly mod-sponsored meetup thread where those of us who are currently working on our sites have the option to post about our experiences in the last month. The specifics could be carved out later, but just as a preliminary example, a typical post could go something like this:

  • Type of site: affiliate review site / lifestyle blog
  • Social media: pinterest, facebook
  • # months active: 1 month
  • Visitors this month (optional): 500
  • % change in traffic over previous month: -15%
  • Clicks (optional): 500
  • Purchases (optional): 23

  • Victories: this past month saw my traffic from pinterest increase due to XYZ....also, I was able to write 2 guest posts which provided a nice bump in traffic...etc

  • Struggles: I A/B tested a new front page which I think confused a lot of visitors, since XYZ....I fell a couple slots in google for one of my major keywords, which made me lose quite a bit of organic search traffic... etc

  • Agenda this month: etc etc

  • Questions: does anyone have experience effectively utilizing XYZ when trying to do ABC?

More or less, that's what I'm envisioning. Now I'm pretty inexperienced in affiliate marketing so I have no idea if this actually would make us all worse off, but I have a feeling it would be both a good way to learn from each other as well as have something to look forward to every month. We could even defer this thread to a couple months down the line when the majority of us have more experience to share around.

Anyways, I'll leave it up to you guys to decide!

Humblesalesman on

This is entirely up to you guys, I won't be participating in such an event and while I can't speak for u/WIZZ4RD he may feel the same too.

The posts that have been the best received are the people "JustStarting" who write a detailed guide on what they have achieved the previous month. Subscribers so far have been quick to point out based on their writeup areas that need improvement and good discussion followed.

I feel that shortening these into a template like the one you have suggested forces prompts succinct responses and the whole experience would suffer. Just my two cents. But if you want to trial it and the feedback is mostly positive then I have no problems stickying a weekly or bi-weekly thread.

Why Flippa Sucks for Selling your Startup's Unused Domains (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by trustdnb

trustdnb on

Have you used Sedo again? I havent tried it myself, but what I;ve heard about it hasnt been great. The folks at WarriorForum just launched Freemarket.com - I figured I would try that next.

Humblesalesman on

It depends what you have. Good domains generally sell regardless. If your domain is average or worse then there is little hope.

Looking at that website from warrior forum I don't see many bids.

I usually buy domains for use rather than sell. I am in no way an expert on this other than sharing a miserable flippa experience.

trustdnb on

I recently wrote about my experience selling some my old domains from failed/defunct startups on Flippa. It ended up being a bit of a rant, but I would be interested in hearing others' experience with selling domains on Flippa:

http://muhammadatt.tumblr.com/post/95129668261/why-flippa-sucks-for-selling-your-unused-domains

Humblesalesman on

Flippa is rubbish for domains from my experience. The whole process was designed to push me towards fees. When I finally got my auction up and underway I quickly discovered there were parts that I could not edit. The auction failed to meet anywhere near my reserve. I feel it is difficult for the public to view your domain auction unless you pay the top tier fees.

Placed the domain name on Sedo.co.uk and sold the domain two weeks later for more than I was expecting.

I will not recommend or use flippa again.

Your thoughts on starting a personal PBN (self.juststart)

submitted on by zot717

W1ZZ4RD on

but would the time be better spent working on getting backlinks from high PR sites where you're truly just playing a numbers game? But they're legitimate. Or is it better to buy some old high PR sites that you can build up with some decent, but low effort, content and get backlinks from them...?

How long do you want to hold the site? I use PBNs on sites that I plan to burst up to the top and them dump them as fast as possible. If you are building something to stand the test of time, go for the whitehat approach but know that it will be a lot slower.

And a sidenote: Charlie floate is a fucking clown.

Humblesalesman on

> And a sidenote: Charlie floate is a fucking clown.

Solid advice.

heisenlady on

Humblesalesman on

Didn't that turn out to be fake?

Social proof for affiliated sites? (self.juststart)

submitted on by GeeBrain

GeeBrain on

I was wondering if there is any value in implementing a social proof plugin (as seen on trip advisor: "x just booked into y") for an affiliated site. Though I can't get real time information on if a person bought the product, I could theoretically notify viewers if someone left the site to check out the product, how many bought was through my site per day, and what others are doing on the site (x just checked out -relevant- y article, could be useful for retention). Among other relevant information that could result in a buy.

I would have to modify existing plugins, or end up building my own. It has been proven that social proof like this works for online shopping, and the goal is to get them to buy the product... What do you guys think?

Humblesalesman on

What do we think on this method that has not really been used outside of ecomerce/travel sites? Test it.

GeeBrain on

I guess I'll build it then, after its done, is there anyone that would like to join me in A/B testing the plugin? I don't think my site is pulling in enough visitors to get enough data to really see what's will happen.

Humblesalesman on

That's the spirit. If it works, you can package it up and sell it. Selling shovels in a gold rush is a great way to make bank. Hopefully someone else here can weigh in on the A/B testing part, I am sure you will be able to get a healthy amount of interest at the low low price of free.

For those *just start*ing - affiliate marketing isn't rocket science (self.juststart)

submitted on by everlearn

everlearn on

In fact, I think it's mostly art. I am by no means qualified to offer advice but I wanted to share my journey and opinion thus far. My impression is that most everything you read about (white hat) affiliate marketing how-to's, tips, tricks and tools boil down to two words; Provide Value. If those words are treated like the north star, then all the other necessary decisions will fall into place on their own. Aside from the basics, I don't believe you need to become a master backlink analyzer or a keyword density guru. With all of the crap out there, it can be easy to drown in the ever-changing overabundance of information about what you should and shouldn't be doing. There's no perfect tool and there's no perfect resource. The only tool worth learning and perfecting is your own intuition.

I'm not very far on my journey but here's what I've done so far:

1) As I'm sure many have done, I read through humblesalesman, w1zz4rd and a few other's entire post history to gather insights. Browsing through entrepreneurial subreddits helped me find people who have had success, and a lot of them have rich post histories that yield some solid nuggets of information. Knowing that information from trusted redditors is provided without an ulterior motive makes said advice more actionable.

2) I went to Amazon best-sellers and sifted through products at a price point of approximately $100. Using Google's Keyword Research tool I put in phrases around my product category and found the umbrella phrase of my product category was getting a lot of traffic and not a lot of competition (e.g. "thingy widget reviews" as opposed to my "thingy dingy widget reviews").

3) I threw my words into an incognito window and analyzed the top 10 results. Basically, are all 10 of these sites providing a lot of value? That's entirely what I based my research on, going through the questionable ones, reading the copy, clicking around and eventually determining if I could write and design content better than the website. It turns out that there were a couple sites that I deemed "certified crap" in the top 10.

4) I'm now in the building phase of my site. Rather than research the "best" site design, what the perfect thing to put above the fold is, or what the proper percentage of keyword density per page is, I just started browsing crappy affiliate sites on Google's top 10. For example, one thing I googled was "best kitchen faucets". That seemed like a solid keyword with 5,400 monthly searches. Lo and behold I found kitchenfaucetdivas.com on result 6 with the tagline "best buying guides for 2015" and we're 2 weeks into 2016. So I grabbed their sitemap (kitchenfaucetdivas.com/sitemap.xml), threw it into a Google spreadsheet, and page by page calculated the volume of information they put on each page (results here). That's one data point for an actual affiliate site performing well on Google and it's not even that great of a site IMO with only 35,403 words in total. Rinse and repeat for several sites and now I think I have a clearer picture of a baseline criteria to implement on my own site in my own niche as far as website structure, article lengths, etc.

I'm not writing this to express what I did, but rather to express what I didn't do. I didn't check for backlink juice. I just looked for sites that didn't look good and didn't seem to provide a lot of value through my eyes. I didn't spend days finding the perfect 4 word long tail phrase in the perfect keyword research tool. I just found a good buyer's keyword that had a decent amount of volume. I didn't try and find the perfect website theme, I just installed one that a successful redditor recommended numerous times in their post history. My next step is reading the copy on successful affiliate sites and copyblogger to understand good structure and form so that I can better communicate and provide valuable content to my potential visitors.

Could my lack of research and understanding come back and bite me in the ass? Maybe. Are products around $100 a bad price point to target? I'm sure there's arguments to be made. Might I have less success because of something else I overlooked? It's likely. All I know is that I'm trying to use my intuition and using Provide Value to guide my rudder through this process. I won't let it be rocket science.

Humblesalesman on

I love this. Your lack of focus on keywords was something I was going to cover in my case study but you beat me to the punch. I am excited to hear about where your site heads as it sounds like it is off to a really positive start.

It really isn't rocket science. It's cooking.

You can't make good food with bad ingredients.

Your content is your ingredients and website is the meal you create.

Which of these two sites content would you prefer to use as your ingredients:

http://www.best-electric-shaver.com/ OR thesweethome.com/reviews/best-electric-razor/

It really is that basic.

But this is also only the beginning.

Now as is also true with food, it won't eat itself.

But good food markets itself. Mcdonalds spends millions upon millions each year to promote it's food. Your favorite hipster burger joint down the road? It mostly runs off word of mouth.

Likewise a valuable website will be much easier to market than a generic copy pasted affiliate site.

So while you are only at the beginning, you are setting really strong foundations for things to come.

iamsecretlybatman on

This is one of the most important pieces of advice; totally agree that everything has come down to value.

I do a lot of the same things you do, most notably observing other successful affiliate sites. And do you know the one stand-out thing I've noticed? 90% of the time, the top sites are not the ones that have the most links or the highest keyword density. The top sites are content-rich and provide a ton of value in an easy-to-understand way.

This next part is my opinion, but it seems that as Google's search engine gets smarter, it is moving away from number of links or most keywords and giving higher ranks to the best value-providers.

So with that being said, go value!

Humblesalesman on

>This next part is my opinion, but it seems that as Google's search engine gets smarter, it is moving away from number of links or most keywords and giving higher ranks to the best value-providers.

You and me share the same opinion. While great content won't instantly rank, it appears to be moving through the ranks quicker than it used to without backlinks.

Top 10 books every entrepreneur should read... (self.juststart)

submitted on by xion-

xion- on

Thanks Humble. I honestly meant to put (just kidding) in the title to avoid losing people who may have not decided to click through. Can you edit that title by any chance?

Creating value is an excellent takeaway from the post. I really believe that when you're trying to get off the ground over-delivering will truly help you.

I do also want to mention that dealing with people is not easy. It's not supposed to be easy. With practice you learn to manage your clients and they all have to be managed in a unique way.

On an affiliate marketing note: I just identified another niche that I'm going to start writing content for today. I'll be back here with another post showing my affiliate earnings soon. Mark my words.

Edit: I whole-heatedly agree. The feeling of creating something and succeeding is one of the greatest feelings.

Humblesalesman on

>I do also want to mention that dealing with people is not easy. It's not supposed to be easy. With practice you learn to manage your clients and they all have to be managed in a unique way.

I am a little out of touch on this point since most of my dealings are via email exchanges. It's easy to become detached from the fact that the other person writing is a human with his or her own quirks,bias and ego. Unfortunately it is harder to figure out how to manage them because there is no clue as to facial expressions, tone etc. Just cold hard text.

But I suppose if you think of it as you interact with people around you in the real world. There are people who annoy you. People you want nothing to do with. Despite pushing your buttons, these are also people that could be your customers. It is a frustrating concept.

>I really believe that when you're trying to get off the ground over-delivering will truly help you.

This 100%. It's already a David and goliath battle in just about any niche. I never got the mindset "if we do the same as [competitor 10x our size] we will succeed".

I am excited to see where your affiliate website takes you. u/everlearn just did an awesome post on going after value rather than doing the same old "keyword research" style that everyone goes into, worth a read, although you seem to already get the idea of value!

You would be amazed just how limited mod tools are. I can't edit your post title unfortunately.

xion- on

[insert top 10 list of books, self-promoting blog post and affiliate links here]

In all seriousness- forget the list of books, the software you think you need, or what the "guru" is saying. Just Start.

A few years back I received a postcard from a local real estate agent in the mail. The postcard had the agents website listed. I was finishing up college at the time and had a great interest in marketing (still do...). I typed in the website and was brought to the GoDaddy parked domain page. I thought to myself, "well that's odd, this real estate agent is spending all this money on these direct mail pieces advertising his business and he didn't even have a live website.

I connected with the agent on LinkedIn and sent him a message with a brief bio about myself, just a couple websites that I made for myself in the past and I told him that I'd love to build his website for him.

He responded a few hours later and we set-up a meeting with myself and his team. We didn't discuss pricing. I just knew I wanted to prove to him that I could do this and help his business, but more importantly I wanted to prove it to myself. He was extremely happy with the outcome of the site. I did it for only $500 (could obviously have charged more, but the amount of business I've gotten from him and connections I've made has made this more than worth it).

Anyway, years later I still do work for his biz, his daughters business and his sons business. And I've made many other connections that have lead to more work and built up some more confidence as well.

Sorry for the misleading title, but the moral of the story here is just to go out and do it. Start now. You won't regret it.

I really look forward to learning from everyone in here, especially /u/humblesalesman next case study. I tried an affiliate site last year when he first put this out, didn't do enough research and choose a terrible niche and kind of got discouraged. I have 2 affiliate sites that I'm currently continuing to add content on each week and I'm excited to see where they take me.

Humblesalesman on

Haha, I was getting ready with the "remove button" when I saw the title... You got me. This is a great post.

Thats fantastic, congratulations on taking the plunge. I think all of us (including me) deep down have a fear of rejection and failure. And rightly so, it downright hurts. I am afraid that the next case study will be a flop, it's been over a year since I first started one from scratch, as is always the case with time, there is now more competition, more people reaching out to the same influencers, etc. But every little victory still makes my heart flutter just as much as when I first began and I know exactly the feeling you had when he accepted your offer to build a website. I'd take that feeling over winning the lottery every single time.

I think your example highlights another good point. You created value. You could have thought "It's only $500, I'm not going to give this my all". But by delivering value, without any extra effort you picked up two extra clients. When you create value, other people do the marketing for you. That is the best kind of marketing.

Thanks for the awesome post!

Edit: Anyone downvoting you has not read your content... maybe a catchier title next time :P

I grew my email list by 2000 in 2 weeks here are 5 things I did to do that (self.juststart)

submitted on by REBenjamin

REBenjamin on

I agree that it's all just about marketing (as you put it ALL the time). And marketing is all about being a person and putting yourself in the shoes of your customer.

I will be the first to admit that it's a metric S#!+ Ton of work to do it this way but I have a good feeling that the connections I've made will actually stick around because they are based on something real.

For a future case study I'm want to write something about using contests to build up a following on an aff site - it seems to be working pretty well.

Thanks for the kudos.

Humblesalesman on

Don't know why the instant downvote on the post, along with the post dramas it seems like someone really has it in for you.

I used to use gleam.io on one of my websites I cannot recommend it enough for competitions. I learned to not use it for emails but rather social shares of the site. For my niche at least, I found that the people who would give their email just to enter a competition wear the least receptive to future email campaigns. Would be interested to read your findings.

Keep up the grind!

REBenjamin on

Hey all, I posted this over at r/entrepreneur and it was removed – not sure why since I truly think the post is valuable but, we shall see… Maybe my original title was too “click-baity” (5 tactics I used in the past 2 weeks to grow my email list by 24,900%)

Does this belong in this sub? I think so since technically the site I'm building is 50% affiliate links.

We were discussing email list building in a private group and sharing our successes for the week. I shared my results from the past 2 weeks and several people thought I had found some sort of secret sauce or way to cheat so they asked me to do a full write up. I'm sharing part of that post with you today.

Basically, they didn’t believe that I was able to grow my list from 8 to 1897 (and growing) in just two weeks – But I did and I did it by focusing on 5 main things. I’ll share them below and hopefully you find them useful.


TL;DR I grew my email list by 24,900% by being human and thinking like my target audience.


Here are the five things I focused on in the past 2 weeks to grow my email list (hint: it’s all about being a real person and providing some value):

1. Forums & Groups

I have been a member of some great forums and groups for writers (think Reddit, Facebook, KBoards, etc.). Normally I just lurk and read the advice that everyone else provides. But over the past three months I have made a concerted effort to share my knowledge with others — when/where I can.

Since my target audience doesn’t hang out on r/entrepreneur or r/juststart you might notice that I haven’t been around here very much. That’s intentional since I am trying to focus on my group (that doesn’t mean that I don’t come hang out, it just means that it’s not my primary focus).

I try and provide REAL value. I answer questions. I ask good questions. I stimulate discussion. I share some of the great resources I uncover. I give feedback when people ask and occasionally I pepper in what it is I’m doing or how I came across whatever it was that I shared.

Because of this I find many people say they are interested in hearing more about this “resource directory” I’m building so I drop the link. There are lots of lurkers out there and I’ll see several more signups from this than the number of people in the discussion.

Takeaway: Find your audience. Join their tribe. Provide some value first, then tell them what you’re doing.

2. Social Media

I like to compare social media to standing on a street corner with a megaphone – most people just ignore you since across the street are 3 others doing the same thing. It’s a hard nut to crack for me but I’ve added it to my strategy anyway.

I think this goes without saying but I have posted stuff about my site on Twitter and Facebook. It’s difficult to really provide value on social media unless you have a lot of time. I don’t have time so my strategy with social media (for better or worse) is mostly push & share.

What that means is I follow and like a lot of the people who are part of my target audience. Then I share stuff that I see that I think they will like. Every so often I’ll drop a question or a link to my site and tell people they can get more information if they join the list.

I’m looking to hit this a lot more in the coming weeks but the strategy won’t change much. I’ll still share great stuff and then schedule posts throughout the day. Not very novel but it seems to be working.

Albeit this is one of the lower converting types of traffic and I haven’t seen many people from social media actually sign up – but they do like to enter contests (see below)!

Takeaway: Social takes time but you can still reach your target audience. Sometimes you have to share other people’s content to get them to notice you then you can interact with them.

3. Team up with Influencers

It doesn’t take long to find some of the bigger “players” in the writing and self-publishing field (that’s my target group). I have uncovered some new influencers that have their own following that I didn’t even know existed (sometimes they’re the folks that create the awesome stuff I find).

Most of them are more than willing to help you out if you offer them something of value as well. Like it or not these people have the WIIFM mentality as well. If you can come to the table with something they want then they will be willing to reciprocate.

Want an example? I contacted several people who had mentioned they had a problem trying to get a handle on a resource list or submission process to control the amount of services and “spam” (their words) on their forums. I messaged them and let them know that I had a similar problem and that I had come up with a solution that might help them out — I said they could send all their requests to me and I would aggregate them for them.

This way it takes the burden from them, gives me more resources (or at least a contact) and solves the problem. A few of these influencers will be featuring my site in their groups/forums once we go live and several of them have already started sending people to my landing page.

Takeaway: Even people “in power” & “with power” have problems. If you can provide a win-win solution then they will almost always be willing to help out — and send people your way.

4. Reach out to the people/products I feature

This was one that I almost overlooked before it smacked me in the face one day.

I know if you mention someone else’s blog or product in a post, you should reach out to them and let them know you like their stuff and you’re going to give them a link. Usually this results in a few shares or a mention on social media (and if you’re lucky you might get a link back). However my brain blocked this out until I realized that my entire site is basically one big backlink pool for these people. I should let them know they’re being featured.

I started reaching out and it’s had some great results. Here’s the best part: when I let some of them know that they’re product/service is being featured on my site I’ve found a few of them have offered up some free stuff that I can give away in the coming weeks. So I’ll have some signed books, free courses, free software and other great stuff that I can use in my “contest” phase.

On top of that, since this is a user-ranked site I’ve found that many of them are more than willing to share with their followers & email lists in order to get them to vote-up their resource when we go live. It makes sense that this is going to help them out quite a bit in the future and it’s already helping me (and will continue).

Takeaway: Spread the love. If you mention someone don’t think they’ll find it on their own. Sometimes you have to let them know that you like their stuff before they’ll notice you.

5. Contests & Giveaways

If you haven’t yet seen the power of a giveaway yet, you might be in for a fantastic surprise. Some people have been using giveaways to grow their lists by 5K subscribers each week. You want more than that? It’s possible.

It’s all about what you’re willing to give away. If you want a bunch of folks on your list then you can try giving away an iPad. But I wouldn’t recommend that type of growth unless your site/product has mass appeal. You don’t just want people on your list, you want TARGETED people on your list — whatever that might mean for you.

My site appeals to writers, authors, indies and self-publishers. That means I need to pick prizes that appeal to only those types of people. To start I decided to give away 10 of the most recommended books on writing craft and in the future I’ll give away some of the stuff I mentioned above as well as some great writing and book marketing courses.

There are quite a few apps, plugins and hosted services for hosting giveaways (I know, I have 7 of them in that category already) I chose to go with Gleam.io since it was very nice looking, offered quite a few options and really was the easiest for me to use. You should check them out since you can build a free contest just to test it. Because of the power of this method, I’ve decided to do monthly giveaways after we go live to continue to grow the list and keep people talking about me.

Takeaway: Don’t be afraid to give some stuff away in exchange for an email. Make sure whatever it is speaks to your audience.

What I didn’t do (hint: I wasn’t a douchebag — I hope):

  • I didn’t add people without asking their permission
  • I didn’t spam forums and groups without providing some sort of value OR establishing myself first
  • I didn’t mass-email the people/products I featured. I sent over 250 individual emails in one week (I’m lucky I didn’t get flagged as spam myself). I have many more email/tweets/FB messages to send. I added personality and I added details that you can’t “automate” so they knew it was personal.
  • I didn’t sit back and HOPE — I went out and actively built my list.

That’s it, you might see that there wasn’t anything special about what I did. Maybe you learned something or maybe you were reminded of something you learned already but forgot about. Hopefully it was helpful.

You can do this too. It’s not hard but it takes time and you have to change the way you think. You give first and many will reciprocate.

Final Important takeaway: provide value and help people.


Do you have any additional tips or ideas for how I could have done even better?

EDIT: even with editing I still had a typo!

Humblesalesman on

Great write up and more than relevant.

>TL;DR I grew my email list by 24,900% by being human and thinking like my target audience.

It boggles my mind that this is really all that needs to be done and is so successful. But because it can't be "gamed for quick wins" people don't often bother with it.

My Experiences With Niche Sites So Far (self.juststart)

submitted on by itchy_niche

itchy_niche on

A subreddit dedicated to niche sites? Where have you been all my life? Glad to be here, I can tell there is a lot of valuable stuff to look through. I will introduce myself with my current experience of building niche sites for the past year (fairly new to the game.) There will be some great tips for newbies and probably some laughable parts for the advanced guys.

My first couple of affiliate sites were complete failures. I went into it knowing about keyword research but knowing nothing about guaging the competition. The result was a site built around a high volume keyword but too much competition to rank for.

This was my first blow to the solar plexus. My second site bombed again. This time I was ranking decently but for keywords that didn't have a whole lot of monetary potential. What I call "info" keywords - keywords where people aren't looking to buy products. Keywords like DIY x or how to fix X for free. These are keywords you want to avoid, unless you're monetizing with adsense, and even then I avoid them unless I'm building a huge authority site.

I had no idea how to monetize my sites properly. I was wondering why nobody was clicking on the one little amazon widget I had in the sidebar. I thought it surely make a few sales but it never did. Since I spent a lot of time writing the content this was another crushing defeat. However, I persisted.

For my next site I worked night and day to find a profitable niche where people were eager to buy stuff. One day I woke up, took my nootropics, and then it hit me...nootropics. The niche had been right under my nose the whole time. Sometimes you just have to pay attention to your immediate surroundings. Find obscure shit that people pay for. Even the scrooges have that one thing they spend money on. That's where you'll find the niches.

Anyways, I built the nootropics site and started affiliating with a supplier. For months I made nothing. Then something amazing happened - I logged into my affiliate panel and noticed my first commission. I was beyond ecstatic as I had been working on this for a while with absolutely zero results.

I started hanging around affiliate communities and picked up some good advice like techniques to uncover keywords, adding my site to Google webmasters, on page seo, etc. Really, I think a lot of success in this business comes down to implementing many small details - details you can only learn from experience.

I began to rank on the first page for major keywords like "vendor X review" One month I made over a hundred bucks with this site. Don't let the big fish tell you that $100 bucks is not a significant achievement. If you can make $100 you can make $1000 and so on. later on, Over the course of a week I noticed that I wasn't getting any commissions. I went to my site and it was completely down - Hostgator had a fuck up on their end and my site had been down for over a week without my knowing. I was further crushed to see that Google had dropped me from the SERPS completely. Although some of the results came back when I put the site back online, many of my very profitable keywords did not. I quickly began to realize that shared hosting was a complete joke. Having worked in I.T. previously, I knew how to operate a VPS so now all of my sites are hosted there. Apache virtual hosts FTW.

I was too burnt out on nootropics to attempt to re establish the site to its former glory. I found a new niche in the MLM space and have been doing quite well with that one. It's currently raking in a few hundred bucks a month on complete autopilot.

I'm now working on a site in the survival niche - it's competitive but that's where I've learned the money is at. I also don't mind writing the content. I guess you could make a lot of money writing blender reviews but who in their right mind could suffer through that? Anyways, here are a few lessons I've learned:

Your content has to be over-the-top good - Google isn't going to rank a crappy 400-500 word blog post that sucks. Further, nobody is going to link to it. Good content is the foundation of your niche site. Put real effort into creating a resource that people find valuable.

Money words - Best X for Y, X vs Y, X Review, etc

Profitable niche sites don't happen overnight - For some reason I thought that I would start making money as soon as my site was online. It takes months to years before you will see any decent rankings in the SERPS.

Autorespnder for all niche sites - have a way to capture leads and setup a 7 day autoresponder sequence. I'm not a pro at this but you're leaving a lot of money on the table if you're not collecting leads.

Keep going - As the subreddit says - just start. Once you start, keep going. Don't allow your niche site to stagnate. Write content everyday because one day that site will pay your bills.

Humblesalesman on

>Really, I think a lot of success in this business comes down to implementing many small details - details you can only learn from experience.

>Even the scrooges have that one thing they spend money on.

Some very solid advice here and a great example of rolling up your sleeves and getting stuck into it. Heres to your future success!

IamA blogger who started at the age of 13-years old and developed an internet marketing company through my blog (self.Blogging)

submitted on by None

None on

[deleted]

Humblesalesman on

Hi Carl,

I am curious as to what makes you an "expert" over anyone else given that the internet side of things has changed so much since you actually ranked for "make money online" - Something you haven't ranked for for a very long time (2011 to be exact). In fact, your website wouldn't even be considered a slight success on google, given how few keywords you actually rank for. If you can't put your own business "on the map" (except for organizing AMA's) How can you do this for others?

Also, it appears you are using paid links (potentially pbns) to target exact match anchor keywords. Is that a service you also offer others? Apparently so because your "user reviews" all have a very similar backlink profile to your website. So it would appear you know nothing about SEO as well. Heck, the fact that you have used the exact match anchor text "internet marketing" in the opening post linking to your website, even though it doesn't make sense to link to your website like that in the post reveals exactly what you are playing at.

edit: spelling.

Anyone have experience with FBA/private labeling? (self.juststart)

submitted on by None

None on

[removed]

Humblesalesman on

This is a generic question that can only be answered with a "yes". If you want help with a specific problem then ask it but this generic question is easily googleable. Also there are hundreds of writeups on reddit and as well as a sub basically dedicated to Amazon FBA.

Wordpress Pages vs Posts (self.juststart)

submitted on by None

None on

[deleted]

Humblesalesman on

All things being equal, Google cannot tell that one webpage is a "page" and another is a "post". You have read up on the purpose each fulfills. Use what is logical.

Writing reviews in 1st or 3rd Person? (self.juststart)

submitted on by KrangSuit

okletsdothisthang on

To go along with those first person claims, do you usually make up a fake name and persona for the reviews? What I mean is, if you are going to write "I tested this product" then there has to be someone who is the 'I' of that sentence. So do you just make that person up? hmm... I guess I'm ok with that. It's not much different than writing "Our company is X and we do Y" when in reality it's just me...

KrangSuit on

Thanks for the insight, Humblesalesman. I think I have some resistance to making those 1st person claims, even if they originally came from a real user. But hell, if that's the game, then that's the game. I'm here to convert readers to buyers.

Humblesalesman on

It's what the audience wants. But even if it was a 50/50, writing in first person builds your credibility on the topic and can lead to you becoming a known expert int he industry. This makes outreach MUCH easier.

KrangSuit on

Is there consensus on whether writing reviews in 1st or 3rd person is better?

In first person, you're commenting directly on the product. 3rd person, you refer to the comments other users made on the product.

I think 1st person is harder, because if you combine multiple reviews it takes effort to make them seem all of a piece. But it seems to give more authority to the review versus saying "Many people noticed the high quality of the product," for example.

Thoughts?

Humblesalesman on

1st person.

>I tested this product

Has more authority than

>I read a review and am repeating what it said.

The exception to this is when you are quoting an expert in the industry or referring to a group who tested the product but the third person stuff should only be a small fraction of the overall copy IMO, otherwise the expert or group should have written the review.

Thoughts on NYTimes buying Wirecutter for $30m? (self.juststart)

submitted on by sanclementejoe

eastmaven on

In your experience how well did you manage to scale your own experience and quality by hiring writers? Since these people are paid and don't have personal stake in the site did the quality suffer or do you feel like you were able to maintain it while scaling?

Humblesalesman on

Yes. Although your concerns are very real and I was quick to fire anyone who wouldn't respond to criticism and replace them until I had the perfect team. People who rely on you for an ongoing income and know they are replaceable are invested in your site for their own sake. It may seem evil/racist but this is why I only hire "employees" from 1st world countries. They typically have a lot more to lose/ bills to pay etc. when you cut off the income than your typical indian freelancer from upwork.

Otherwise, offer bonuses for meeting set targets or even set aside 1-5% of your yearly profit for the workers to split (emphasize that if your site is earning, they will earn too but never reveal the % you plan to set aside). One way or another you do need to make people invested.

sanclementejoe on

According to Recode, the New York Times is buying The Wirecutter for $30 million. Thought it was relevant since there was a related discussion on the post Site to Watch a few months ago.

My thoughts on this:

  • Creating a high quality affiliate site has once again been validated by this fairly big and prestigious acquisition.
  • Perhaps affiliate sites should be built with an acquirer in mind. It shouldn't be the forefront of your decisions, but perhaps something to keep in mind.
  • If you do plan on being acquired, keeping separate expenses and records for the individual site is key to not run into headaches later

Would be interested to hear everyone else's take!

Edit: Notes from Recode interview below:

I listened to the podcast interview at the bottom of the Recode article, and it's pure gold. These are my notes, but I highly recommend listening to the interview in full to get the full context:

Awesome interview before selling for $30mm to NYTimes. Interview in June 2016. They were purchased October 2016.

  • Went to secret business conference where everyone would share revenue. Everyone talked business first, he talked content first.
  • Site was built out as content-centric, start just with content to begin
  • When asked about how they made money, he dodged the question first and talked about the quality and purpose of the site
    • Their purpose is to make shopping less painful
  • They write these long excessive guides but they don’t “bury the lede” which is key
  • People can purchase after reading for 5 minutes, or they can keep going
  • The site only has 1,000 pieces of content
    • Many other sites produce that in a week
  • They’re not paying bots to write articles, they’re paying real people
  • They look at themselves as a utility. Measure themselves on how helpful they are. It’s common sense
  • Every time someone buys something on their site “they get a couple bucks"
  • It just works out in the end
  • Some of their guides, they don’t recommend anything. On some of them, they don’t get paid
  • At the macro level: “shopping sucks, we make it easier"
  • They work with consumer reports, they like them. He’s not trying to create another consumer reports. CR is harder to understand their recommendations. WireCutter has more of a conversation.
  • 8:30 - They’ve done collaboration with other papers. Including the New York Times hint hint!
  • They told the NYTimes to treat them like a freelancer. Old tech columnist was kind of lazy 😃
  • Tech columnist wasn’t willing to find out the best cheap printer
    • The Wirecutter put in the 100 hours to do the research
  • As a columnist, they really don’t have much time to write these things
  • The pieces provide by the Wirecutter were some of the most powerful pieces they have ever seen
  • 10:20 - Whats funny is that business people are so seduced by the power of scale. Brian Lam looks at scale as the quality of the work, most business people look at the quantity.
  • They’ve mastered the tactic of when to best update an article, what time of year
  • A competitor wrote a piece that became out of date right away, the Wirecutter watched as they didn’t update for 45 days
  • Business people don’t understand the need to spend time on quality articles, content. Editors want it but don’t have support from the business people.
  • He doesn’t think people can catch up for another 5 years, since they’re working on new things.
  • He went to business school, hated it, but became useful later.
  • Got kicked out of CES for turning of TV screens when part of Gizmodo. Got sort of a bad boy reputation.
  • 17:45 We loved it and hated it. I really don’t care about a lot of it. It’s service.
  • It was stressful pumping out 12 posts a day at Gizmodo. Felt like a bunch of noise.
  • The average consumer didn’t care about the latest tech news, they just wanted to know what TV to buy.
  • They don’t take a trade approach. They are not beholden to the business.
  • 20:10 - People don’t need advice on iPhones, they’re going to buy them no matter what. They focus on what makes a difference. Very academic approach.
  • Generally media people don’t make good CEOs. But they should keep in mind storytelling and narrative. Marketers talk about storytelling, but it’s not the core of who they are. They have a very mission-based culture, which has mad things easier. Business people just go in and try to grow as fast as possible.
  • Brian Lam started the Wirecutter from his friend’s couch in Hawaii. Couldn’t afford his own place.
  • 60 people at the company. No investors, bootstrapped. He’s good at delegating, doesn’t really run day-to-day, it’s running. After 4 1/2 years he was able to fully delegate.
  • Caught 1,000 waves in a year
  • 24:30 - Can other people replicate his success? There’s a balance in knowing that you’re a freak, but also not being too distant from other people. He thinks about things differently. Everyone should try. Everyone can do it, but not everyone believes they can.
  • 30:00 - Reading books on Apple really prepared him for call from Jobs asking for iPhone back. Jobs got really mad when Gizmodo started telling him what to do. Jobs used to being the boss (snot-nosed punks).
  • 32:20 - They want to do different verticals, but want to do them mindfully. Not ever vertical needs “the best”. Might do fashion next (Brian doesn’t want to disclose it).
  • They only want to do it because they think it can be helpful (and there’s a business opportunity).
  • There has to be a business opportunity.
  • The business serves what they’re trying to build.
  • 34:20 It’s unbelievable how many people don’t get it on the business side of media.
  • The thing they don’t get: they should make money, but it should make some really cool editorial mission happen. If you don’t, it becomes a hollow thing where you’re going trend to trend chasing dollars.
  • People from a competitor who goes wider and shallower have told Brian that they wouldn’t trust their own content. The competitor has started to crater. “Google smells bad content, readers smell bad content, Facebook smells bad content."
  • Acknowledging the power of organic search: Brian doesn’t try to beat Google, just creates awesome stuff.

Humblesalesman on

The Wirecutter will be a commercialized ghost of it's former self within 3 years. I guarantee it. This acquisition is good news for smaller affiliate sites.

Edit: Deleted repeated word.

Should I give up on niche if amazon products are flawed? (self.juststart)

submitted on by None

None on

[deleted]

Humblesalesman on

Heres the thing. Have you EVER used a perfect product? Like every single aspect was flawless? Probably not. But if you answered yes, then I can guarantee if you gave that same product to someone else then they would be able to find flaws and griefs.

The idea of products is to sell them to as many people as possible. Because of this they often will not hone in on features that only a few people would like. Combined with misconceptions ("I thought the product could do this") and of course guaranteed faulty product here and there and you will never see a popular item with perfect reviews. 10% may seem high but lets flip it over. Would you buy a product that was reviewed at 90/100? Probably.

You are not aiming to please everybody. You are aiming to please most people. You can please a higher percentage of people by going more niche but by doing this the number of people you can market to also decreases.

My SaaS startup has an issue with customers paying their invoices on time. I'd like to get new/existing customers a Docusign payment contract. Does anyone have a good template? (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by bombastica

bombastica on

I'm thinking of signing up for Docusign and having my merchants sign a document that states "I agree to pay X per month + Y per volume" within 28 days. In the past I've had issues collecting in a timely fashion and only some of my clients have signed an actual agreement.

My process right now is usually I provide a quote for our services (which require no setup fee) and our billing is a flat fee per month and then a fee for volume which varies based on use. Something simple that states what the service costs and the cost for metered use would be suffice. Anything that would allow me to take people who do not pay for multiple months to court.

I'm a penny pincher so I prefer checks and don't have time to setup an automated billing system at the current time.

edit: if anyone is a lawyer and wishes to put this together (paid of course) PM me.

Humblesalesman on

You have already identified your problem and solution.

This is and always will be a problem with checks. Stop being a tight ass and make automated billing a priority.

Have I found my niche in affiliate marketing? (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by allsorts

allsorts on

Thanks /u/Humblesalesman - I always find your advice very actionable.

I'm going to sign up for a newbie account at ahrefs (is it worth the lite package at this early stage?) and sift through the back links.

The articles on the competitor's site in position 1 are actually very good, but the articles on position 2 competitor's site seem less well written (they cram more affiliate link products into each article).

OK, next step - setting up my website! Cheers.

Humblesalesman on

I'm not up to speed on the newbie packages, IIRC they did not show more than 5 or 10 backlinks with the rest of the list being masked. I am not sure if this applies to the amount of lines you can export.

Do they still offer a week trial? I would make use of that, identify your competitors as well as the top three and scour through for potential websites that could link to yours. Cancel when you are done (obviously before they charge you) as AHREFS certainly isn't a cheap tool by any means, especially when starting out.

Also, SEMrush will provide insight into what keywords your competitors are ranking for (another paid tool, if there is a free option, grab it and try it out before cancelling). Often you will find that they are simply ranking for terms because there is nothing better (even though they only cover this keyword briefly in a sentence) keep an eye out for these as you may be able to build a page around them.

Just because an article is well written does not mean it is beatable. Did it answer your question or is there information lacking? If you can build on guides without waffling on then you are in a good position. google "skyscraper technique" for more info on this.

You have no doubt seen great websites and seen rubbish ones. You want yours to be great. For some reason people think that they can pass something like this:

pickmyshaver.com/the-best-beard-trimmer-for-men-based-on-consumer-reports/

Or this:

http://wisebeards.com/

They both look crap, boring, poorly written and wont convert. A good theme will go along way. I personally use genesis framework and their child themes but this can be costly A good theme from themeforest wont go astray, just make sure its not loaded with bloat inducing plugins that you wont use (faster websites DEFINITELY rank better). I recommend reading:

Quicksprout.com/blog (particularly the indepth guides in the right side bar)

Backlinko.com Lots of good outreach methods.

Copyblogger (sign up for some wickedly good guides about writing effectively).

It's gonna be a lot to take on and it certainly is boring and definitely not for everyone, once that initial enthusiasm stops you will find it difficult to go on (stay off reddit) But you will definitely learn a heap just by trying and doing. Don't over analyze or be afraid to try new things out (even if you have read that they don't work for other people) and most importantly, have fun!

WHOLE_LOTTA_WAMPUM on

position 1 has a page authority of 1 and domain authority of 39, position 2 has a page authority of 16 and domain authority of 23).

If you're new to affiliate marketing and SEO, this is going to be harder than you think. This is the one thing I think Humblesalesman doesn't realize how hard it is for newbies. It's not easy (IMO) to build your DA to that level as a new domain.

That being said, you can still outrank them for longtail keywords. Just get started, it costs you probably 20$ for hosting and a domain. Don't expect results for the first few months.

Humblesalesman on

I completely understand this and have stressed it before. Affiliate marketing is not only hard but also incredibly boring. When I say hard, I mean that you require an EXTENSIVE skillset including;

  • Effective copywriting

  • html/Css knowledge is HUGELY a beneficial

  • photoshop skills or at the very least basic photo editing

-the ability to cold call and outreach to influencers

  • an above basic standing of seo

-ability to use a content management system

-the ability to work for months before you see any sign of reward without losing motivation.

And that's just the basics.... This is a lot to learn, particularly all at once for a beginner. That said if you already have skills that overlap then the transition is not too difficult. At the end of the day, affiliate marketing is JUST marketing. Affiliate marketing is not just throwing up a website and hoping for the best.

allsorts on

So as the calendar ticked over to August I decided to get serious about exploring some opportunities in affiliate marketing.

And I think I've found my niche.

  • It's a subject I have a keen interest in and feel excitement about exploring further.

  • It's got some pretty good metrics in the Google Keyword Tool (14,800 monthly searches, medium competition)

  • It seems to be trending upwards based on what Google Trends shows me. (Here and here.)

  • There are a couple of affiliate sites on page 1 that seem beatable (using the MOZ toolbar... position 1 has a page authority of 1 and domain authority of 39, position 2 has a page authority of 16 and domain authority of 23).

  • There are lots of related products on Amazon (prices ranging from $10 - $150) and some have over 1,000 reviews.

  • I buy products in this niche.

However...

  • All but the .com exact match domains are readily available. (An indication that there's little to no value - or that there is untapped potential?)

  • One of the competing sites (position 1 on SERP) has over 11,000 external backlinks from more than 1,600 referring domains.

  • I am completely new at this.

Should I go for it? And am I better off to go with a .com brandable name that is related to the product/category or should I register one of the other exact match domains that are available?

Thanks to /u/humblesalesman and the rest of /r/entrepreneur for the case study that I have followed to get this far.

Humblesalesman on

If you have made it this far then jump in and go for it. As I often stress, exact match domains mean squat and actually hamper your ability to grow:

Bestmemoryfoammattress.com is not only a mouthful but is just as easy to rank for memory foam mattresses as smellycheeseballs.com domains like this are also a branding nightmare, should you want to expand into anything other than memory foam mattresses then your domain name no longer makes sense.

While there are marginal benefits in buying an aged domain, due diligence must be done to see the domain is not penalised, have crap backlinks already pointing to it etc. etc. I prefer a blank canvas. The new gTLDs are perfect for this.

Moz tools are only a very basic way to determine whether a website is beatable. You will have to do your own due diligence from this point. In addition to reading the articles on their websites (for quality, depth of information, picture usage etc..)I suggest using a tool like Ahrefs to manually go through each and every backlinks of your competitors. Physically sight the page, and read the content and look at the anchor text of the backlink. You will soon be able to work out how your competitor got these backlinks whether it's a paid poorly spun article from a spam site, to a guest post or a natural forum mention etc... This give you a better idea of just how much of an authority the website is or whether Google is just showing the site because nothing better has come along.

Also, take note of any good backlinks and approach these websites for your own site since they obviously link out too related sites in the niche.

As always, I disagree with nichesiteazon. Your competitors PROBABLY ARENT hiding their backlinks. Even if they are it is nothing to worry about, I have yet to come across a page I cannot outrank that relies on hiding spam backlinks and PBN backlinks from crawlers alone.

Just keep building backlinks from quality related sites and ignore what people say about PBNs, while they can provide a good boost in a non to moderately competitive niche, they are highly fallible and should be reserved for the good old fashioned churn and burn sites.

Ebay Partner Network vs Amazon Affiliate for generating links (self.juststart)

submitted on by IHateTomatoes

IHateTomatoes on

Generating links for Amazon products is super simple- they have the tool bar, you go to the product and click the link generator on the tool bar.
Ebay's isn't intuitive at all. I've only found this for a Link Generator. Am I missing something or is this the only way to do it?
Most of the products I want to link to are on ebay and not Amazon

I am not getting ANY organic searches to my website despite being around for a year. Is my product too niche? (slightly NSFW) (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by pleasurepurse

None on

[deleted]

Humblesalesman on

This is the only right answer. Your blog posts are 20 words max.

Backlinks are great but if relevant words don't appear on your website then google will show you in search. How about writing "True" embarrassing stories about when people found family members sex toys and the like. These stories will be easy to share on social media as people love crude or ciringeworthy stories.

Build a brand. Have fun.

Email drip campaigns, and offering free physical gifts in exchange for emails (self.juststart)

submitted on by djbr22

djbr22 on

This isn't something I see talked about very often, either here or /r/entrepreneur. So I thought we might be able to get a good discussion going.

I actually have two questions:


1. What's your email drip look like?

I'm considering setting up a 3-part autoresponder series to start with. Currently, I have about about an 800 user email list and just send out a welcome email. Not a huge list, but it's growing pretty steadily, and I'd like automate this process a little.

I currently use Mailchimp Free, but am considering Getresponse or Aweber, or whatever alternative you guys recommend.

What do you include in each email?

2. What are your thoughts on offering a free niche-relevant gift(where they just pay shipping), and actually shipping them the product?

This may be something only I can answer through testing.

A good chunk of my email list came through offering a free niche-relevant Clickbank offer, where they sign up and I send them the link to the offer. They were aware of the $5 shipping price upon signing up. I've since stopped getting sign ups this way, just because Clickbank comes across as spammy and is blocked by adblockers.

I think it said something similar to 'Sign up to receive the best [insert niche] weekly deals on the web, and we'll send you a free [niche] gift! (just pay shipping)"

I've found a similar product from Alibaba, factored in shipping, packing materials, and I could buy+ship this for $3.40. $1.60 profit each signup that actually checks out. Multiply that by a couple hundred people a month, and that could add up. I could send them a "coupon" once they sign up that knocks the price down to $0.00, and they can check out right on my site.

It might be a ton of work, but it also might be something where I put together a couple hundred packages on a Saturday and just slap on shipping labels once an order is placed. I realize a lot of you make a ton of money from affiliate marketing, so an extra few hundred a month doesn't seem worth it to you. but to someone who makes around $250 a month, a few hundred is a pretty good amount. Still undecided whether or not to try this out.

Humblesalesman on

>2. What are your thoughts on offering a free niche-relevant gift(where they just pay shipping), and actually shipping them the product?

I think they make lovely surprises if you are selling the actual item and include it free in the package without letting the buyer know (underpromise overdeliver blah blah) but you are an informational resource and you sending out free stuff does not make sense to me. To me sending 100 packages (assuming you are doing this yourself) isn't worth $160 when you could use that same time to create content. If you are doing this yourself then this will be labor intensive. If you have the process automated then less so, but I do not believe you are doing this given the low shipping cost. Also, you have to be careful with giveaways since they generally attract people that want free/cheap stuff vs people who have the money to buy your weekly deals.

2 cents.

College Student - Expect 5k-7k Profit This Month - Amazon Affiliate (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by None

Hatch3ry on

I never really understood the scepticism around posts like these and the adsense one. Of course it's entirely possible, but it's not a get rich quick scheme which most are looking for round here.

Like most rewarding things in life, it requires a lot of work and determination.

Humblesalesman on

affiliate marketing is DEFINITELY not a get rich scheme. You WILL be better off getting a job for a year than what you can realistically expect to make from affiliate marketing in the same time. Affiliate schemes are a Long play. The work is unrewarding and very time consuming. BUT if you do nail every piece of the puzzle you can earn redo cultist well.

I have a unique problem - I need some suggestions (self.juststart)

submitted on by ibpointless2

ibpointless2 on

I have this odd problem with one of my sites. I have this site and one of the post is where I tell people what to look for when buying a product and I also give tips. This has established me as an expert, which I would say I am.

I know this product and its industry inside and out which has made making the site quite easy.

Because of this people find my email address and they email me questions about certain products and ask me if its worth it to buy. I've already made a post on what to look for and the vastness of the products and how they change every year it makes it hard to have single post on each product. Plus many of the products can be used or second-hand so it could be a case-by-case question.

So these people find a way to contact me and ask me these questions of whether or not to buy this product. I can answer these question quite easily with a couple sentences, but the problem is that I don't make any money off of this.

Someone once told me "if you good at something don't do it for free". So I don't know how to charge people or make money off the conversation.

I'm sure no one will pay for a 2 minute answer, but I'm only a few people in the world that could honestly answer the question. Plus I'm not advertising this service but yet people are beating a path to ask these questions.

So how do I make money off these ideas? Do I charge people to answer there question, it could work. I can charge a dollar and save them money.

Or should I create a post where I answer all the questions people ask me and put ads on that page? I bet if I actually advertise this I could have many post that I can create to answer the vastness of the questions and have a way to lead people to my money post.

I'm in a odd position and any feedback is welcomed. Anyone else been in this type of situation where people see you as the expert and seek advice from you and you wonder how you can profit from this?

Humblesalesman on

Not really a unique problem. Once you establish yourself as an authority you can expect hundreds of "personal buying requests and questions" from people the world over (assuming product is not localized). It's just how it works. Heck, you can expect to be treated as if you are that brands customer service department if you show up in the top three for a branded search.

Heres how I dealt with it on past sites:

I put a disclaimer on my contact form explaining what the form is designed for and failure to adhere to the terms will not receive a response, automated or otherwise. I then direct them to the comments on that particular product page where I will have ads and afilliate links and their question will be answered (by a community manager). Believe it or not, people read comments and by encouraging comments discussion will occur between readers, often answering question for you. The best labor is free labor.

You can answer your own questions better than any of us. Even if it does involve a little trial and error.

> but I'm only a few people in the world that could honestly answer the question

Unless this is your own product I highly doubt this statement. Experts, or those with enough expertise accumulated over the years on a specific topic are everywhere, whether they are publicly in the spotlight like you are is another question. It's likely you are just the most accessible.

IMO Your questions could be answered with some logical thinking on your part.

>Do I charge people to answer there question, it could work. I can charge a dollar and save them money.

Take the amount of questions asked over a month and times it by a dollar. Then work out how long it takes to answer these questions. Is that a good hourly rate? No? Then don't do it.

>should I create a post where I answer all the questions people ask me and put ads on that page?

Can you direct people to that page without sucking up any more of your time? Can you put together a comprehensive enough FAQ that it will put an end to your emails? No? Then don't do it.

You have two choices and neither is wrong. Monetize or ignore. My preference is for ignore, because if people get wind that you answer personal requests then you are opening up the floodgates. Once you cross the line into specific customer service you become accountable for your answers. And even though you can be right 100% of the time, "customers" don't see it that way. This is my opinion. My opinion is not right. Nor is it wrong. it's just an opinion.

A case study, if you will [I] (self.juststart)

submitted on by None

Lazy-Physicist on

Is there a possibility you will ever explain how you do your copywriting? I found your earlier case study site, and I noticed the way you are able to use white-spacing. I still can't even come close to achieving the results as you do. It feels like you can say more... but it feels like the site has more white-space. In my case it looks more like a block of text.

Humblesalesman on

You probably didn't find my last case study then since that was a pretty bad example of white spacing, I deliberately chose a bold font for that one, which is something I wouldn't do again. HTML formatting and CSS is your friend here. Just keep messing around until you are happy with the results. It's very much a trial and error thing. Be sure to save your style sheet before you goof around with it.

ThoroughlyStoked on

I like Magic Online. I've done pretty well and collected quite a lot of cards without paying a cent. I get an idea for a deck that might do well, build it, test it, amend it, test it some more, and if it still doesn't succeed move onto another decks. I've got quite a few decks that do well based on different color combinations.

I also keep an eye out on the decks other players run with - and see if I can pick up any ideas.

I think all these 'gaming skills' are transferable to other areas - and so I reckon your gaming skills/analytics will help you in affiliate marketing.

Only thing with playing an online game though? Quick positive (and negative) feedback. I reckon you have to promise yourself a number of articles on your aff-site and stick to that promise before you decide its a failure. Giving up on sites too soon seems to be prevalent (according to the experts - I'm still a newbie).

Humblesalesman on

> Only thing with playing an online game though? Quick positive (and negative) feedback.

Excellent point. Something that definitely doesn't exist in this industry.

None on

[deleted]

Humblesalesman on

All sounds super positive, the best part about copywriting is that it is easily learned. Head to copyblogger and read through their posts. The trick here is to focus less on the content on more about HOW they get the point across. Short sentences, white space, colloquial tone, speaking to you as if you having a conversation.

As for webdesign, a good genesis theme (I love them) and you are away, they are pricy (initial setup + 1 theme is $100) but they are still my go-to template for setting up new websites. There are also some great youtube setup videos like this one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BXWD1BQp_k

And others that completely go into the customization process.

My favorite comparison is equating affiliate marketing to time spent on a game, it really helps hit the point home with people that don't understand why they are not seeing results yet have barely put 100 hours of time in.

For the record I have not put anywhere near the time you have spent playing Dota on my case study site. By the time 1200 hours rolls around I would hope my site is earning over $1k/month.

Keep at it, your goals are realistic and if you can put the same time in as you put into Dota you will go far. Just don't forget to take time to relax too!

Hang in there, you are about to learn a heap of awesome new skills!

Thanks for the post! Look forward to reading more.

Lazy-Physicist on

That is really demoralizing, its still miles away from what I do. I tried messing with the css but I just can't get the right mix down. But I guess ill keep playing around

Humblesalesman on

I honestly don't know which website you are referring to but did you try inspect element?

Where's the value in http://www.beststeammop.reviews/ ? (self.juststart)

submitted on by ThoroughlyStoked

iamsecretlybatman on

What do you think the typical come and go cycle is for one of these types of sites? For example, there's this one competitor in my niche that I've been seeing around lately for certain keywords I'm targeting. The site is absolute shit but it's got a ton of spammy blog comment backlinks and it's backed by a PBN. From what I can tell it's been around for about a year now. There are a few other competitors that have similar profiles and I always wonder how long they'll last. Any typical timeframe you've noticed over the years for them to implode?

Humblesalesman on

There is no typical cycle. If nothing is better than the content on these websites then it's still in googles best interests to show them off. In this particular case the site in question has much more helpful information than the Consumer Reports pages which are comparatively barren. Make something better and push them out. If nothing better ever comes around then (pending an algorithm update) these websites will be around forever. Be the change you want to see.

ThoroughlyStoked on

I was exploring various best x search terms and stumbled upon www.beststeammop.reviews. It ranks pretty well for best steam mop & best steam mops. But here's the thing. Although there is a lot of associated steam mop content on this site, there are no product reviews & no 'best' analysis - at all. Yet, it ranks above such worthies as: consumerreports, thesteammopguy, steamercentral, thesteaminsider & thesteamqueen (whose online persona wouldn't win an oscar). These latter websites have reviews and analysis (of admittedly varying quality). How does beststeammop.reviews outrank the lot of them yet totally fail to provide what I am seeking with my SearchTerm?

Using the WayBack website I couldn't find any historic reviews on beststeammop.reviews either. ?!?

Humblesalesman on

Simple, it's propped up by a PBN with exact match anchor text for terms like "best steam mop" and "steam mop reviews". These sites come and go all the time. They set them up without affiliate links then come back later when they are ranking and add them. These sites come and go all the time, magically appearing and disappearing overnight, the .reviews and .review "gTLD's" are plagued with these sites.

Just focus on creating better content and only worry about websites that are ACTUALLY better than yours, and work out how you can offer more value.

W1ZZ4RD Authority Site Case Study 1 - Lazy Six Figure Exit (self.juststart)

submitted on by W1ZZ4RD

W1ZZ4RD on

Quick Note: I have been debating on if I should do a case study here for some time now. I thought I might do it on Merch, but I am pretty sure most people are sick of me talk about that. I thought about doing it on Merch Informer, but most people here are not running software companies, so I decided to stick with what most people are familiar with, Amazon sites. Half this post was written months ago, half I finished this morning in case it reads weird. Original post here.

A lot of people have been sending me emails and PMs in forums asking me to post a case study. The fact of the matter is that I have been extremely busy with an upcoming software release, as well as focusing on another authority site. Most of my small sites are performing just fine, and a case study on those would be downright boring.

So what to do? I have little time to work on a site, but really could use another income stream. How about a case study creating an authority site in the laziest way possible? What about a six figure exit within 12 months without spending time building links? Now that sounds interesting.

So that is exactly what I am going to do. I will show you over the next 12 months how to create an authority site, and I will do it by some controversial methods. Let’s get into what has been done the first month.

RESEARCHING A NICHE

Here is the thing, with the Google Keyword Planner going to shit, and not wanting to waste time combing through Semrush with a fine tooth comb (works great if you have the time!), I decided to do exactly what I did when I jumped into the internet marketing game. I would find people who were doing well and do an even better job than they were doing.

Over the past 6 or so months, I have been looking to purchase a site. Nothing too expensive, but a good steady earner. I found a niche I really liked and over the course of those 6 months, found a few sites that were in the niche and fit all my criteria.

The first thing you usually do when you find a site to buy is vet it. You want to make sure you get added to the webmaster tools, validate earnings, check backlinks.. ect. Basically go over the entire site and make sure that the business is viable and not going to tank on you right after you purchase it.

In total, I found 3 sites in my niche and were added to the webmaster tools and Analytics for all of them. The deals never did seem to go through. The amazing part though, is to this day I am STILL added to the analytics.

Yep, you read that right. I still have exact Analytics on how my potential competitors are doing 6 months later. This is incredibly valuable.

Not only that, but I was able to know exactly how much these sites were making at the time of selling.

So I had a niche, and I knew the niche makes good money. I also knew that the traffic potential is good and that you do not need too many links if you are writing a lot of long form content. Check mark.

GRABBING A DOMAIN NAME

There is no way I was going to be able to make around $4000 a month within 12 months if I started with a clean domain. I do NOT want to build links or bother with outreach at all. I needed an expired domain. No, I needed an expired domain (s) with killer backlinks!

I have been recommending these guys since 2013, and I still do. If you need an aged domain with backlinks, check out TBSolutions. I got in touch, and was looking through the domains they had. I landed on 3 choices domains, each of which would be a good money site name.

I decided to purchase all 3. This ended up costing me…

http://www.passive.marketing/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/domain-purchase.png

One of these was an extremely brandable domain with decent links and is ultimately the domain I decided to build the site on. The most expensive domain is in the exact same niche with great authority links from all types of publications. The only reason I did not decide to build the site out here is because the name does not fit well with the type of authority site I am building. The $70 domain I picked up because it had a few niche relevant links and also a good name.

THE APPROACH

The idea here was that I would build out all the content on the brandable domain. When I say content, I mean a LOT of content. This site should grow to multiple millions of words if I stick with it and decide not to sell. Every few hundred thousand words, I would 301 redirect one of the other domains I bought to the money site. This might be grey hat, but it works and it works incredibly well.

Now that we had some domains, we need to get set up on a host and grab some keywords!

SETTING UP HOSTING

I usually recommend Hostgator because they give an amazing affiliate commission and I still have some sites hosted with them. For this case study though, I needed my host to be FAST. My goal was to have a website that loaded in half a second without caching once all set up.

To do this, I know I needed a VPS. If you are anything like me, you might be good at internet marketing but server illiterate. I have created a Digital Ocean before, but what a pain!

I decided to set up an account at CloudWays and give them a shot. They are essentially an in between UI with caching options to help spin server instances even if you really have no idea what you are doing. This is exactly what I needed! Here is a quick image of how it works. The coolest part is that you can pick from different servers from different companies.

https://www.cloudways.com/assets/img/screen-cast-hm2.gif

I actually ended up moving a lot of my lower traffic sites over to CloudWays on a Digital Ocean server. They make it incredibly easy with a plugin that will basically move the WordPress contents over for you.

Anyway, from my tests, I decided to go with Vultr for this authority site. They seem to be faster (not sure why), plus seem to have a bit more reliability. At the time I signed up, they had a 768MB Ram, 15 GB SSD Disk, 1TB Transfer, 1 Core Processor server as the lowest plan and that is what I grabbed for $9 a month. They changed their pricing a little while ago so at the time of writing this the cheapest Vultr server is $11/mo which is VERY worth it for not having the headache of setting up servers yourself and having a support staff to chat to when you need to.

http://www.passive.marketing/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/server.png

Now that you have your server set up, you just need to point your domain at it and install WordPress. Pointing your domain to CloudWays is a little different than you might be used to, but I promise it is not hard. You can follow this quick article here to do so.

KEYWORD RESEARCH

As I said near the beginning, I do not have very much time to spend on this site. I know I needed some good keywords but I just did not want to take the time to actually look for any.

The best way to quickly mine valuable keywords is simply take them from a site you know is doing well. If a site is doing well but you have better content and better links, you should outrank them. In this case, my site is already starting off with great links, and I will show you how I am getting incredibly good content without writing it myself or going broke.

Once you have identified a site that is doing well and are ready to grab all their keywords, here is how I did it.

For this example, lets use thesweethome.com since this is a site most people are familiar with. All of their URLs are generally the keyword of their articles.

So in this case, I would head to thesweethome.com/sitemap.xml which will bring up the site map for the entire site. It looks a little something like this:

http://www.passive.marketing/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/sitemap-sweet-home.png

After a little bit of clicking around, we come across their reviews: http://thesweethome.com/post_bc_review.xml and would you look at that! There are all our niche keywords that we know are doing well!

So naturally, I copied and pasted all the URLs from my target sites into an excel spreadsheet. I would make a note of how long each article was.

http://www.passive.marketing/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/website-word-counter.png

You can do that here: https://wordcounter.net/website-word-count.

I put all of that information in a spread sheet and kept it for later. That is literally all I did for keyword research and it took very little time.

FINDING WRITERS (OUTSOURCING CONTENT CREATION)

I wrote in my original guide to setting up an authority site that I used Upwork and that is still the case. This is a GREAT place to find writers but at the same time can be a massive headache to find the “right” writers who actually care about their work and timelines you set.

What I have found the best is to hire stay at home moms!

Why?

Mothers are responsible, and most importantly seem to pay attention to detail and care about the work they are doing. Seriously, the people I have hired that are stay at home moms have NEVER been late, or if they do have something coming up, they will tell me well in advance. The content is always great and actually researched without just being rewritten from the top of the serps. The best part is that I get the content at a very reasonable rate!

Here is the exact script I used.

I have a quick article writing job if you are interested in getting some 5 star feedback on your profile and potential long term work.

I will provide you with the article title and would like you to research and then write a 1,000 word article.

The content will be affiliate content based around XXX. Those familiar with writing affiliate content will be prioritized.

Required: – Native English – Interested in completing this job quickly for the fixed bid amount and receiving 5 star feedback – Interested in potential longer term writing after the successful completion of this job – Bid at or below the $12 for this article

The right candidate would be available to write 300-500k words for an entire website.

I ended up hiring a lot of people for this job because I wanted to weed out the bad and bring on only a couple of great writers I could count on. This process took about a month, but i the end, I was left with 2 candidates that are still working with me on this project (6 months later!).

SETTING UP WORDPRESS

We have the server set up, we got our keyword research done, and then we found some awesome writers to start writing articles for us. We need a place to publish them. So after you have installed WordPress, set up a theme and some plugins.

I always recommend the Genesis framework. It seems to be coded well, is very fast, responsible, and there are some great child themes you can apply. Ever since buying this one, I never really went with anything else for affiliate sites.

Here are a list of the plugins I have installed on the site

  • Akismet Anti-Spam
  • Contact Form 7
  • Lazy Load
  • StatCounter
  • Word Stats
  • WP Smush
  • Yoast SEO

You may notice that there is NO caching plugin. For the time I do not need it, and I do not want it to mess up my link localization at all.

I went ahead and set the rest of WordPress up by changing permalinks, adding in the www to the address and playing around with Yoast so it would do titles properly. At this point, we are finally ready to start adding the content given to us by the writers we found.

ADDING CONTENT, ADDING LOTS OF CONTENT

When you get the articles back from your writers, you are going to want to upload it to your site. Now, for almost all my other sites out there, when I added images, I simply downloaded them on to my computer, and uploaded them to WordPress without a care in the world of big the images were.

Since I signed up with a server with 15 gigs of space and less than a gig of ram, I wanted to make sure I was optimizing this site for its full potential since other than that, I was not going to be working on the site myself at all. If I was going to take the time to upload content, I was going to do it right.

Since this is mostly an Amazon site, that means that every article has 5-15 images. This can REALLY slow down your site if these images are huge (like they most likely are if you are getting them from Amazon).

For every single image I added to my site, I downloaded it to my desktop, opened up Photoshop, went to image size, and changed the dimensions.

http://www.passive.marketing/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/imagesize.png

I generally changed the HIGHEST dimension to 300 pixels and let it resize based on that. When you go to save the image, I always picked quality 4 which made the images about 20-30KB which is extremely small.

This does not have much affect on the visit in my opinion because I am more concerned on getting them to click on my links than the absolute quality of the images I use. I did this for EVERY article I put on the site, and I guess you could say it is working.

http://www.passive.marketing/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/website-speed-test.png

Looks setting up that new server was worth it after all!

From here on out, all I will do is upload the articles that the writer gives me. Just so everyone is fully aware, I plan to 301 redirect the best domain I have at 300k words of content.

FAST FORWARD 6 MONTHS

I started writing this post 6 months ago and then put it in draft and got extremely busy with launching and growing my SaaS business Merch Informer. Everything took a bit of a backseat but I still kept uploading articles to this site from the SAME two writers I hired at the beginning. If you were reading this case study and thought the wording was off at times, it is because it was all written at different times so apologies on that.

Amazon Slaps Us In The Face

Keeping it true to form, when a company gets too big, they usually demolish the people that helped them get there. There is nothing much you can do about it besides change out your affiliate links for other programs. Amazon lowered fees for associates all across the board and gave us all a WEEK of warning essentially cutting my income 40% overnight from my Amazon sites.

I thought long and hard about finishing this case study at all. Should I sell all my Amazon sites and finally get away from it while I move into the software space? Should I double down and buy Amazon affiliate sites at a great discount? After all, what makes a site valuable is not always the earnings, but the traffic. If you have traffic you can make money, you just have to figure out how the best way to do it is. Some people will look at this and think I spent a decent chunk on content if they do not built large sites. To some extent this is true, but I decided to finish the case study because everyone out there building sites is currently stuck in the same shitty situation.

Site Stats

In total, I have uploaded anywhere between 40-100k words of content to this site every single month without fail since I started. Just like I said I was going to do, I 301 redirected the other domain at 300k words of content.

This should be the month that I cross a half million words of content on the site, and this is where we sit today.

http://www.passive.marketing/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/word-count.png

The traffic graph is going in the right direction!

http://www.passive.marketing/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/traffic-graph.png

Let’s take a look at some of those sweet hands off earnings!

http://www.passive.marketing/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/authority-site-5-month-update.jpg

I was expecting to see around $1600-$2000 this month, but with Amazon changing everything, we shall see how I do!

WRAPPING IT UP

I will not be updating this case study every month but I will try to post an update when I have time as I am going forward with the content creation. The simple reason why I cannot keep the updates coming is that besides running MI, we have been working on a new piece of software for affiliate marketers that has NEVER been done and I am pretty excited about it.

Until next time (ignoring all PMs)!

Humblesalesman on

It frustrates me that you still don't use photoshop actions.

Akial on

You know, that paragraph made me think of all the possibilities to package this specific type of automation. A smart marketer could surely find a way to sell it to the masses.

Basically IFTT but marketed for a specific purpose.

Humblesalesman on

I know exactly what you are talking about ;)

If: GPS co-ordinate x. Then: Detonate.

newbieAF on

I pretty much do this too, and it's time consuming AF. Am I missing something here? Is there there a faster way of resizing/compressing images?

Humblesalesman on

See my last comment.

newbieAF on

What the fuck....

Makes me wonder how else I'm wasting my life away. Sigh.

Humblesalesman on

Anything you find yourself repeating in the exact same steps can typically be automated in one way or another.

Affiliatethrowaway on

And almost everything has been done before so if you want to automate something, just use google ("how to resize a lot of pictures in photoshop"). And if you can't find how to do it with google, I highly recommend Automate the Boring Stuff with Python.

Humblesalesman on

Yup good advice here. Automation is the bomb. It takes my grandmother 10 minutes to walk from one side of her stupidly staired house to the front door with her bad knees, so if I'm going there I have a gps point trigger a text message to be sent the moment I drive past it, telling "I'm at the front door" Shes almost at the door as I pull up.

Although this backfired once when I had to drive past my grandmothers house on unrelated business. But by and large... Awesome.

Can there be a ban on all affiliate links in posts and comments? (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by doopercooper

doopercooper on

*

Humblesalesman on

Lets compare your post to that of u/W1ZZ4RD:

One of your post contains affiliate links.

One of your posts is a very detailed write up on an a topic that would not normally be shared.

One of your posts tells people the steps to generate an income.

The other post is a shitpost that contributes nothing to this sub and should have been privately messaged to the mods

Have you figured out which of the two posts should not be in r/entreprenuer ?

Hint: It's yours.

Good books on writing? (self.juststart)

submitted on by None

Akial on

You get ripped by shedding fat, my personal favorites for that purpose are fork put downs and table pushaways.

Humblesalesman on

So the Great Famine + 200kg Hand written library books would have worked then.

W1ZZ4RD on

You get better at writing by writing. Do you get better lifting weights by reading fitness magazines?

Humblesalesman on

How heavy are these fitness magazines?

W1ZZ4RD on

Humblesalesman on

Medieval librarians must have been ripped.

None on

[deleted]

Humblesalesman on

Copy blogger free resources are a great starting point for people who don't know how to write. Don't just take away the lesson but look at how they get that point across with writing as well.

Monetizing With Both Amazon + Display Ads: It's Definitely Possible (self.juststart)

submitted on by None

None on

[deleted]

Humblesalesman on

There is a reason why heavy affiliate sites still include display advertising. Heck, even sites like the wirecutter shove an ad at the very top of each page; it earns and it earns well.

Still, I think this cements my thoughts on how Perrin approached this one, 7.5k after 20 months in a niche like this that oozes with money is on the low side for the amount of effort he put in.

How much could one expect to make per month with a domain name like this? (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by Tyler42104

Tyler42104 on

Trying to learn a bit more about domain values, etc. and their marketing potential when done right.

I've recently spent a few thousand dollars on a project I'm working on.

The domain name is an exact match domain name for a nootropic supplement that gets over 60,000 searches for the exact keyword, per month.

I plan on building an informational website around the domain name, with an affiliate link or two for purchase of the supplement.

Obviously my plan is to get on the first page of Google as soon as possible. I don't know how long this would take, but I'd assume with an Exact Match Domain name it shouldn't be TOO difficult?

Once that happens, I'd think I could get at least a few tens of thousands per clicks per month, given the high search volume for the keyword. From this I'd expect at least a few hundred conversions per month, raking me in a few grand per month if done right.

Are my expectations realistic? I do have some experience in this but I am young and this is the largest scale I've worked on so far.

Humblesalesman on

You can expect to make exactly ZERO per month. It's a domain name. Domain names do not directly earn you money. It's what you put on it that will earn you money.

While you can lease it or sell it, these are not applicable to what you asked.

Gone are the days when an exact match domain meant that you would appear high in search. You are years behind if you think a domain name has ANYTHING to do with ranking. You could rank sweatyballs.com first for "double door refrigerators" if you wanted to.

Your expectations are completely unrealistic. If it gets 60,000 searches/month then I can guarantee your competitors are miles ahead of you and given your assumptions that a domain is a ranking factor you have a lot to learn to catch up.

Online Insurance referrals or affliliates (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by Nytim

Nytim on

I'm looking into creating an online insurance referral site where people can type in their zip code and get offered quotes. Can someone point me in the right direction, I don't need your website but I'd like to know how to create one etc...

Humblesalesman on

As someone who runs an insurance affiliate website among others I can tell you now that this is a hugely difficult niche to enter. Earning around $400 per referral, there is insane competition. Even at a super local level.

If you are asking basic questions about how to set this up then , to put it bluntly, I don't believe you can succeed and perhaps your time would be better spent elsewhere.

Nytim on

I stumbled upon this site (not mine and I'm not promoting it either) http://www.hedgeanalyst.com/ and I used these sites to get my own insurance quote. It can't be $400 per referral as these are probably based on 7 day EPC @ $75 or so.

Humblesalesman on

Not familiar with that website, most probably because it's not my competition. The $400 figure is based on personal experience and is a very real commission rate. Websites are not your only competition if you are focusing on auto insurance, used car dealers also promote certain insurance agencies at point of sale and receive this lovely kickback as well.

Is there a need for a better.... (self.juststart)

submitted on by None

WordsMyMark on

Not sure what the issue is here. I'm using EasyAzon (yes some hate it here) and I design my own buttons, images etc. You just change the image link and image dimensions and you still get the geo-targeting.

When I use the product images I'll make sure to add a "sticker": buy on Amazon.

Humblesalesman on

I fall into the hate it crowd on this one. Again, this was just to get a feel for if there is even a problem to begin with. For those that are happy to mess with css, the existing plugins work fine. But there is no arguing that the default layouts are generic, boardering ugly. Appreciate the feedback though!

wisie on

I'm happy to login and manage it if you want 😉

Humblesalesman on

Sure. Username is blackcurlsblack.

The rest is on you.

okletsdothisthang on

OH heeeyyyyy look who it is.

Jk hope you're doing well. No opinion on the plugin. Couldn't care less.

Humblesalesman on

Doing fine. Appreciate the impartiality.

iamsecretlybatman on

Why thank you sir! I'm definitely stoked on knowing it now, CSS has allowed me to create some pretty awesome designs.

Good to know about the API, I'll probably end up steering clear of it then. SO much more shit I could be doing than that lol.

Hmm, didn't know the plugins were limiting in style customization since I've never used them. In that case, I'd say there is definitely a void you could fill there. It's clear people don't want to take the time to learn CSS, but if what you say about the API is true, they definitely won't want to learn that either, meaning there's two serious places you can add value - easy customization and real-time info. Double whammy!

Have you ever used Social Warfare? It's a social sharing plugin that makes customizing social buttons super easy. They've got a killer back-end dashboard; really user-friendly, simple button switches and dropdown options, etc. I could see a dashboard like that doing super well in this link plugin scenario. Some quick screenshots in case you've never used it: Shot 1, Shot 2, Shot 3

Humblesalesman on

I actually use social warfare on the site from last years case study. It is indeed dead simple, and looks good too. A killer combo. Thanks for the heads up though.

wisie on

Welcome back!

A plugin might be a bit excessive but how about a post which provides some guidance on how to better structure and improve the UI of pages with some examples (I.e.simple CSS around products). Although people really should be able to Google what big affiliate are doing and take some inspiration from there.

Humblesalesman on

>UI of pages with some examples

Agreed this would be more beneficial, but there are already much better guides than I would be able to write regarding UI, freely available. Combine these with inspect element and you can do anything. The issue seems to stem from people not wanting to learn CSS in the first place, or finding the concept too confusing.

BOOGY_DOG on

I've been building my own AA linking plugin for a month or so now and will likely release it within a week.

I largely did so so that I could make my own templates that don't look like shit, and offer flexibility - for example, have two CTA buttons on the same page with different color options.

As well as offering geo-targeting and a few other neat features I haven't seen in any other plugins.

Would it be bad taste to post here when it's up on WordPress.org? I'm going to release it completely for free, no plans for monetizing it at this point.

Humblesalesman on

To clarify my previous comment, I don't see why this is something you would give away for free. I mean, on it's own, it's a unique way to differentiate yourself from your competitors. Let's say your main competitor takes it and replicates your layout. Near identically. That thing you have worked on for a month, is now being used by your competitor. And you didn't make a cent off it.

If your going to put something out there, especially something your money site is using to differentiate itself, charge for it! If I was to go ahead with this, I'd be doing the same. At the very least hold off until your site is known for this layout before releasing it.

me-love-money on

My only problem with these plugins is that they do not offer geo-targeting in the links - that's my biggest problem and why I still use geni.us links.

I get an extra $400 a month or so from the geo-targeting. While it might not be a lot for some people it makes a difference as the site scales up.

Is that something that can be done?

Humblesalesman on

Very interesting. While I don't use geni.us, I don't see how this isn't something that could be easily incorporated.

ibpointless2 on

I didn't know this was an issue. I find text links in the content work the best for most of my sites.

How's your case study site doing?

Humblesalesman on

That's what I thought, But I was honestly stumped at the sheer amount of users messaging about it. Figured that I might be able to make something while I have access to some great developers.

Have not even logged into it. TBH it's quite far down on my list of priorities. Further up is adding all the updated case studies to the wiki, which will have better information than my round up would provide anyway.

miamizombiekiller on

Set up a git repo and let's collaborate.

Humblesalesman on

Oh to have the time... I was just going to palm it off onto one of my developers and have him deal with it.

iamsecretlybatman on

Experimenting with my website over the past year has given me a world of knowledge on HTML and CSS that I never thought I'd be capable of. It's incredible how a few simple commands can turn an element from bare bones and basic to Margot Robbie beautiful (ugh, please marry me)

With that said, I feel this is another typical barrier to entry, no different than learning to research keywords or any of the other semi-difficult practices we do on the daily. Could people use a solution to it? Of course. Creating a table is one of the easiest elements on the PLANET, but look how popular Tablepress is. But could people develop the skills on their own with a few weeks of reading and a little bit of trial and error? Also yes. There are shit tons of guides out there on HTML and CSS that can literally take a person from zero coding knowledge to professional web designer. The difference between those who learn and those who don't is purely motivation to do so.

IMO the beauty of those plugins comes from the fact that they offer real-time pricing and other info through the API. I haven't really cared to sit down and learn how to implement the API through my buttons (yet), so I'm not sure whether it's difficult or not, but that feature has always been the value to me of those Amazon link plugins. Seems like that would be more difficult.

Humblesalesman on

>Experimenting with my website over the past year has given me a world of knowledge on HTML and CSS that I never thought I'd be capable of

Best way to learn IMO. Getting in there and fucking up a heap. The amount of times I messed my site up through the functions.php is embarrassing. You should be really proud of yourself! It's a great achievement.

IMO implementing the API by yourself, especially learning from scratch, would be more effort than it's worth. I think you are correct in that the appeal is the plugins ability to draw the prices, but these plugins appear to be let down by the ability to customize the buyboxes etc. in the plugin a la tablepress, which is where I was thinking of making a plugin that could fill the gap.

Was just a passing idea for a next project. Failing that, I can always return to affiliate marketing, although SaaS has me interested at the moment.

Thanks for weighing in!

Crackmacs on

I would love to see what you come up with if you do move ahead with this. HumbleAmazon, I like it.

(links for those on mobile)

Humblesalesman on

Humbleamazon.... hahaha... Definitely wouldn't use that. In fact I would avoid using amazons name altogether... Not going to lawyer up over a plugin.

Any Australian online entrepreneurs getting started out there? (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by jimmijazz

jimmijazz on

Just wondering, I've spent the last year managing many aspects of a retail shop this past year, mainly focusing on all things ecommerce. We've had some pretty drastic changes and growth since I've started and it's been a fantastic experience.

Australia seems to be lacking in a lot of resources pertaining to us, which can make things difficult when you start looking at selling physical items. I'd like to gather all the resources and information I've discovered and make it available for people now that I think online commerce is becoming a more viable option for small businesses.

I'm considering starting a blog as a resource with everything I've learned in this and my previous roles. Everything from packaging, order fulfilment, pricing and touching on basic software development and automation (I've built several succesful websites and iOS apps in the past). It would be as much about me providing what I've learnt as it would be about discovering what I can be doing a lot better. But I'd like to try and gauge what kind of interest something like this would have.

If anyone has any opinions or even questions(!) that'd be swell.

Edit: thanks for all the feedback guys. I will get to work and for the people who asked I will certainly keep you updated.

Humblesalesman on

>Australia seems to be lacking in a lot of resources pertaining to us.

Australian here, completely disagree. I don't know what resources you are talking about but if it's:

>everything from packaging, order fulfilment, pricing, touching on basic software development and automation.

Then informational resources from the UK and US transfer across perfectly. Nothing you have listed there is Australia specific.

The last thing I want to do is discourage an Aussie entrepreneur and If you are doing this to benefit yourself then by all means go for it. I simply fail to see the value add to others and as a result, a way to monetise.

Need some SEO feedback (self.SEO)

submitted on by dudehead

dudehead on

Hi,

I'm putting together a site for a friend's business and I'm having some trouble getting it to rank on google.

The address is http://www.samuelthomasconstruction.com.au/

We can't afford to hire an SEO specialist so I've tried my best to get it up to standards but I think I'm a bit lost in it all. Its wordpress based and I've installed an SEO and caching plugins to help out. I've also added the business to google maps in the hopes of improving local search results.

One obvious factor is missing content i.e. the About Us section. Are there any other glaring things that I'm missing?

The terms I would be targeting are "Newcastle builders" or "Newcastle construction".

Apologies if this is too vague and thanks in advance for any advice!

Humblesalesman on

I suggest reading a couple of basic SEO guides,

  1. If words don't appear on your website then you won't rank for them.
  2. Quality backlinks matter a lot in where your website is ranked in google search.

I have previously ranked a local car dealers website in Australia and it was dead simple because your competitors will seldom have a decent backlink profile.

I would ditch the google map embed. While it may look fancy if someone scrolls over it on a touch device the map scrolls rather than the page a very annoying feature. Use a static image instead.

Also your address on your google map embed is different to the address listed on your website. Keep all addresses in the same format.

What should teen entrepreneurs learn? (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by ElizNewEdge

ElizNewEdge on

I am teaching an entrepreneur class this spring. It is an experiential class with lots of flexibility. What do you think are the most important things for young entrepreneurs to know?

We start with the idea, play monopoly to lose (in order to develop strategic thinking and comfort with loss -- when you are an entrepreneur, sometimes you are going to make mistakes or even fail.) We learn about influence, sales, marketing, knowing our numbers and how to best utilize our support groups or employees.

Do you have any exercises or ideas to spark entrepreneurial thinking?

Humblesalesman on

I disagree with classes for entrepreneurs that are books focused as I believe hands on experience is a lot better and has worked for me personally. If your class is experiential then I am all for it.

Set a project where they must turn $10 into $100 dollars and ensure it is viable to be repeated for a period of 3 months.I first did this when i started but each number had and extra 0. It's exciting for them to realise it can be done.

I like the idea you are getting them used to loss. You can't start a business with doubt in your mind. In all my endeavours I went in without fear and came out all the better for it, taking risks and chances that I wouldn't have otherwise.

Generally speaking, the ventures I went into cautiously or half heatedly, I would fail at.

Oh my god. I just got $4.68. I love you all. (self.juststart)

submitted on by koleraa

koleraa on

It has been a tough time for me. I was a android+game+web developer for ~4 years, before I gave up like 7 months ago. Nothing seemed to work.

You know in indie software development we have a thing called programming burn out. Which is basically when you pour your heart and soul into something, work on a product, an app or website or game, for months, day and night and then it doesn't work out. That's what I've been living for for the past few months.

I did have a semi decent blog, got like 700 sessions a day. Then I found this sub and saw that people are making ~$100-200 from like 200 sessions a day. I felt that that couldn't possibly be right.

Then I started looking...

  • My niche has some pretty expensive products.
  • And it's a pretty wide range of products. I doubt there's anything less than $50, but it goes up to around $2-3k.
  • My readers/fans fucking love me.
  • And they really are looking to buy on topic stuff
  • I genuinely want to help people by sharing my knowledge and I have proven so by maintaining a blog for ~3 years with no ads/paywalls/no monetization whatsoever.

Also...

  • I'm a developer.
  • I already know SEO/setting up native responsive websites on my own server/SSL : All this stuff that I am already doing, but not for making money.

So I thought: Fuck it. Let's give it a shot. Just yesterday, I put ONE amazon affiliate link in one old insignificant blog post (it got like 5 visitors yesterday, way less than my most popular posts).

And motherfuck I got 4.68$ today.

I don't fucking believe it. You magnificent fuckers. I think I am now feeling positive for the first time in years. Even if this was an exceptional occurrence, I now think that earning ~$1000/month is not even so far fetched, maybe even more if I really do this. This would be like 5 times more than I ever got with my 5 android, 3 ios apps and 3 games and 2 other websites combined in 4 years.

Thank you to all of you.

Humblesalesman on

Congratulations. That's pretty exciting for you. Hold onto that feeling.

The first 1, 100 and 1000 are so exciting. Then it's like - Why the fuck can't I get to the next 0. And then when you reach it, you don't feel any better, you just want the next 0. And repeat. But fuck me I still want that next 0 and the infinite emptiness it brings!

I would give anything to go back in time and bottle that feeling of my first sale. But only so I could sell it.

Driving Disruptive Innovation: 5 Steps to Success . . . (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by None

None on

[deleted]

Humblesalesman on

cough Excuse me while I shamelessly promote my own blog post...

Okay, so some of the info was okay, but nothing I have not read elsewhere.

Editing Images Without Permission (self.juststart)

submitted on by Arthix

Arthix on

Hey everyone,

Quick question: Is it possible (or even ethical) for me to use photos from other websites if they're heavily edited? It's tough to find decent pictures relevant to my niche.

I'm not referring to product photos, just generic images (almost like stock photos) for the sake of having sleek featured images for my posts.

Let's say I use an image from another website, throw a blur on it, a color gradient, and then some text.

Could the other website take any action against me if they find I edited their image and used it without permission?

I don't spend a lot of time on this, I'm much more worried about the copy itself. However, I'm not too bad at graphic design and I like to add some extra polish on my website where it's appropriate.

Thanks in advance for the help.

Humblesalesman on

Depends on where the images are coming from. If it's from the manufacturer of the product then they will hardly care since you are promoting their product. Sites like hiconsumption and gear patrol do exactly this. But if you take them from a website like cnet or a personal blog and they identify it then you can bet your ass action can be taken. That action can be as simple as a DMCA request which can drop your site like a hot potato from the rankings to full blown legal action. Survivallife.com is one such website that does what you want to. While it looks like a survival website none of the pictures are their own and the site heavily steals content. While you can get away with it, it's a ticking time bomb

mykingdomforaclose on

If it's from the manufacturer of the product then they will hardly care since you are promoting their product.

But what if for example you're reviewing their product and give it a terrible review and a (deserved) 1-star rating, will they be inclined to take action then? Because in those cases you're not really promoting them, quite the opposite. Or do they simply not care about it?

Humblesalesman on

Why don't you ask them? I am not the manufacturer. And one manufacturer is not the next. I can't answer these questions.

However If I had plans to do this I would ask for a press pack for a review I am doing. This way you have a paper trail.

Do you need to be an MD to start an urgent care clinic or private practice? (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by None

None on

[deleted]

Humblesalesman on

One of the companies I used to sell electrical products to was Perfect Practices. Their soul source of business was setting up Doctor and surgery rooms. They had no knowledge of the medical field, but did know of rules and regulations required in building for medical professions. It started out Asa. 2 person business and now employs over 20 people not including sub contractors. Business is good for them.

Once you have a collection of keywords, how do you co-ordinate them into post/page titles, h1's and h2-h5's? (self.juststart)

submitted on by BritDesi

Akial on

I've met some really stupid people who have made a killing back in the late 90s, boggles my mind. Then again, 500k for some people is the world, maybe they're overstating.

I've always wondered how old you are btw, I know you're a private person so I won't ask. I'm putting you between 30 and 45 :)

PS: Fucking Steve...

Humblesalesman on

30 is still a long way off for me. I am confident I have posted my age before on here somewhere to prove a point...

With the .com boom it wasn't certain and these people who invested their life savings could have gone the other way. There were scammers left and right, fake companies set up over night etc. Bankrupted one of my Dad's friends. Can you imagine the risk of investing in something that you simply do not comprehend? Many investors didn't know what computer code was much less have a working internet connection. Yeah dumb people got rich. Dumb people still get rich but it definitely isn't the rule.

Akial on

Out of curiosity.

How important would you say is it to compile a list of keyword for your niche? Is it merely a tool to come up with ideas for content? What if I already have those idea, would focusing on coming up be worthwhile.

Personally, I don't have a list of keywords and I don't really care about them. I just brainstorm article ideas and get to know my niche in order to come up with new topics for my site.

Humblesalesman on

All depends on your research skills. The average blow is going to go from googles keyword finder, research the top three results on google (if that) to writing up his review. While there may be nothing inherently wrong with this, a list of keywords will allow them to cover everything that they set out to without missing anything. Some people need structure.

My approach is more messy (and closer to yours) and my older reviews will be updated if I see a really good point made about a product that I missed. But by and large I just think "fuck it" and write after researching without a list. Googles keyword finder generally only shows the obvious ones anyway and is pretty unreliable as far as diving deep into a topic is concentred.

So IMO not very.

Akial on

The average blow

Took me a second lol

Googles keyword finder generally only shows the obvious ones

Tell me about it, Google prompts autocorrect for my main main keyword every time. They don't know anything, it's a pretty nice niche though.

Humblesalesman on

Oh, Google knows. It is in Googles interest not to reveal anything but the superficial. Otherwise you would see the same sites appear at the top of the results for EVERY longtail imaginable. I prefer it this way as it still allows good money to be made by people who know a topic indepth. Otherwise google would literally be handing out a blueprint saying "this is everything searchers want to know on a topic". Scary.

Akial on

You think 30-50 years down the road what we are doing right now will be considered "easy money" because ranking new sites on old topics will be 10x more difficult?

I feel like the internet is a look in the past, when things were more simple (not necessarily making money) less restricted, still a bit messy etc.

You obviously have heaps of experience, but ranking a website in 250 hours of work and selling it for 90+ within half a year reminds me of tales of the .com boom and how easy it was to invest profitably.

Then again, there will always be new opportunities. Maybe not as accessible though...

Humblesalesman on

IMO There will always be opportunities for those who are willing to learn and adopt the new. Check out the Amazon FBA boom right now. People are STILL entering and making good coin. People are building Airbnb empires. Etsy is allowing crafters to earn 6 figures annually.

What we are doing now isn't easy money. It's the culmination of knowledge and effort. From all outward appearances it is easy money. But you and me know better. Same can be said for the .com boom. You only hear the glory stories because no one likes a loser. When your life sucks why would you want to hear about someone else's life sucking?

In 60 years while I am sitting on my holo-toilet pooping out panda and lobster flavored nutrient paste there will still be opportunities for my grandchildren (except steve, he's a dick) to make it by thinking outside the box.

BritDesi on

Humblesalesman on

The answer is REALLY simple and should come as no surprise:

You put them where it makes sense.

If these keywords are related then they will be written about naturally as you write up your article.

If your keyword is "Best Butterfly" (It's the Monarch FYI) you could write it like this

"The Monarch is one of the best butterflies on earth".

"But what makes this butterfly the best?"

"There is no second best butterfly, the monarch takes the crown"

Blah Blah Blah.

Write for Humans. Humans have wallets.

Blah Blah Blah.

Stop overthinking this

usernameisvalid on

sitting on my holo-toilet pooping out panda and lobster flavored nutrient paste

Colorful.

Humblesalesman on

Actually it's more of a gray color. I can describe the consistency too...

Paid backlinks worth it? (self.juststart)

submitted on by entrapreneur

Akial on

I wouldn't pay for a guest post unless it's from a huge authority, I mean HUGE (and those kind of sites don't sell guest posts, correct me if I'm wrong)

Why pay for something you can get for free? That's how I am approaching this. Like others have said, it's a numbers game. If my content is on point, I shouldn't have problems securing guest posts.

I would much rather be critiqued on the quality of my site and guest post rather than the depth of my pockets. Any spammer can pay $ to have his links featured on the seller's site. I don't want to be associated with either of them.

Humblesalesman on

This pretty much sums up my thoughts. Would you rather a be featured on a site that links out to any old crap (and likely doesn't have the best following) or one that is exclusive with who it links to.

There is more value here than just the backlink itself. A backlink from a site with the same audience as you can see you syphon off a small fraction. Every piece of targeted traffic helps.

How am I choosing the right niche? Affiliate marketing experiment. Interested? Welcome! (self.EntrepreneurRideAlong)

submitted on by ragin_io

biganthar on

Humble,

I agree with you 100%. I've read so many forums and blogs where they instruct readers to avoid any keywords that possess major retailers within the top ten. But if you do some research, you'll see plenty of small niche sites that have outranked them through simple SEO.

One thing I wanted to ask you was regarding suggested bids in the keyword planner. Is that even a factor when you conduct your keyword research?

Humblesalesman on

Suggested bids should not even remotely factor into your keyword research. I have seen keywords with an incredibly high bid cost yet it would actually cost less to rank in the top three organically.

ragin_io on

Hi everybody,

This is my second submission on Reddit where I will continue my Affiliate Marketing experiment started here: http://www.reddit.com/r/EntrepreneurRideAlong/comments/39x0hg/do_not_know_how_to_earn_money_online_lets_learn/ . Firstly, I wanna thank all those people who left comments both on my website and Reddit, it's very important for me. Secondly, I am very happy to read people advices in my email. And finally, thank YOU for reading this post right now :)

I just finished writing my new post about niche choosing (http://ragin.io/choosing-a-niche/). I think it's obvious that it's one of the most important things for building AM website (or even the most important). The purpose of this post is to help beginners not to make some really stupid mistakes of which they may think that AF is total bullshit. No, it's not. And I am going to prove it :)

I am very happy to receive all your comments, advices, suggestion. Feel free to write me and ask questions!

Take care.

Alex Ragin

Humblesalesman on

I'm sorry but I have no faith you will succeed at this point.

You list FOUR WHOLE SOURCES (and not very good ones at that) that you used to research. IS this what equates to research these days. You didn't even try.

Source 1: Dated information at best.

Source 2: IS AN AFFILIATE WEBSITE THAT MAKES MONEY FROM GIVING BAD ADVICE

Source 3: Speculative advice at best

Source 4: Oh come on now, this was your last post. And the advice was from me. Are you serious?

Next lets break down your take aways..

  1. High demand. Contradicts your next point.
  2. Low competition.

These niches DONT exist.

You have to have a compromise, choose a smaller niche of a popular item. Lets say "fridges" is the popular item. A smaller niche would be "fridges with doors that have the freezer int he bottom" Guess what? That smaller niche is not in high demand but the competition is low.

3.Good income.

>Most of the marketers believe that it’s better to sell products with min price of 100-150$, otherwise you won’t be able to get profit at all

Wrong. Wrong. WRONG.

You are talking about amazon here. It works on a tiered payout structure where the more items you sell the higher your share (expressed as a percentage) of the sale. You can see it here:

https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/join/compensation.html

Lets say you sell 6 x $100 items. That gives you $40. (based on the 4% payout for this number of items sold). Not bad.

BUT

If you were to sell those same 6 X$100 and 25 x cheap items your pay out would be $65 (+ the commission on the cheaper items) for next to no work at all.

Yes, its nice to sell expensive items but in reality consumers are more likely to spend a lot of time researching these and be very mindful about dropping their money. On the other hand, cheap items are bought without a second thought (coffee anyone?) and not only add to your total sales but vastly jump your payout as well.

Expensive items SUPPLEMENTED with cheap items and accessories related to your niche works best!

4.EASY TO SELL. >that means you have to give all the needed information on your website, not to let potential client think much on the partner shop.

Strike 4. You only want your visitor to click through to amazon. Amazon is amazing at converting and will retarget old items that the visitor looks at from months ago. You want the customer to buy ANYTHING. not just something from your niche. You will expect that between 40-70% of items sold on amazon will NOT be related to your niche.

5.Personal Desire. The only half right answer you came up with.

Seriously, if this is the effort you came up with then anyone following along with this ridealong will learn NOTHING BUT MISINFORMATION. And that is dangerous.

Below I will paste a post I wrote late last year on choosing a niche. Feel free to alter it, paste it, claim it as your own. Lots of other people have.

None on

[deleted]
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^0.6649

What is this?

Humblesalesman on

Seeing 2 or 3 >40 on the front page is a good start (I believe moz has recently adjusted how they determine this score, I have not played with it much since writing this guide).

Obviously pregnancy pillows is a bad example now because since I posted that guide a whole heap of people jumped into the niche.

>I'm not going to be able to outrank Amazon, Bed and Beyond, and Target.

Thats exactly what you are going to do. 9/10 these pages only contain products and very little information. These websites, with some good keyword research and backlinks, are not as hard to topple as everyone thinks. A lot of the time they appear is because there is nothing better to show. A deeper investigation will often reveal that websites further down are very poorly optimized or have poor seo practices.

None on

[deleted]

Humblesalesman on

Frequency all depends on you and your site set up. Just make sure it is consistent. If you can keep up that pace without burning out and the articles are good then you are on the right track. But if you cant keep that up then drop it back but make sure it is consistant (mon, wed, fri perhaps).

My portfolio of websites includes:

A website that has a 4'000ish word post added once every two weeks

A website that has two 1000ish word posts added weekly

and a single page website that has never ever had additional posts added.

Amongst websites with a more regular schedule.

All of them see month on month growth. They key is consistent posting. A reader visiting each site knows EXACTLY when the next article will be up.

Your website is only 2weeks old. It is unlikely you will see growth (or even the beginnings of growth) for months and months. This is where most people give up as you do not see a reward for your effort put in and that can be hugely discouraging. But those that soldier through do end up seeing results. The extent of those results depends on you.

Good luck.

None on

I'm sorry but I have no faith you will succeed at this point.

You list FOUR WHOLE SOURCES (and not very good ones at that) that you used to research. IS this what equates to research these days. You didn't even try.

Source 1: Dated information at best.

Source 2: IS AN AFFILIATE WEBSITE THAT MAKES MONEY FROM GIVING BAD ADVICE

Source 3: Speculative advice at best

Source 4: Oh come on now, this was your last post. And the advice was from me. Are you serious?

Next lets break down your take aways..

  1. High demand. Contradicts your next point.
  2. Low competition.

These niches DONT exist.

You have to have a compromise, choose a smaller niche of a popular item. Lets say "fridges" is the popular item. A smaller niche would be "fridges with doors that have the freezer int he bottom" Guess what? That smaller niche is not in high demand but the competition is low.

3.Good income.

Most of the marketers believe that it’s better to sell products with min price of 100-150$, otherwise you won’t be able to get profit at all

Wrong. Wrong. WRONG.

You are talking about amazon here. It works on a tiered payout structure where the more items you sell the higher your share (expressed as a percentage) of the sale. You can see it here:

https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/join/compensation.html

Lets say you sell 6 x $100 items. That gives you $40. (based on the 4% payout for this number of items sold). Not bad.

BUT

If you were to sell those same 6 X$100 and 25 x cheap items your pay out would be $65 (+ the commission on the cheaper items) for next to no work at all.

Yes, its nice to sell expensive items but in reality consumers are more likely to spend a lot of time researching these and be very mindful about dropping their money. On the other hand, cheap items are bought without a second thought (coffee anyone?) and not only add to your total sales but vastly jump your payout as well.

Expensive items SUPPLEMENTED with cheap items and accessories related to your niche works best!

4.EASY TO SELL.

that means you have to give all the needed information on your website, not to let potential client think much on the partner shop.

Strike 4. You only want your visitor to click through to amazon. Amazon is amazing at converting and will retarget old items that the visitor looks at from months ago. You want the customer to buy ANYTHING. not just something from your niche. You will expect that between 40-70% of items sold on amazon will NOT be related to your niche.

5.Personal Desire. The only half right answer you came up with.

Seriously, if this is the effort you came up with then anyone following along with this ridealong will learn NOTHING BUT MISINFORMATION. And that is dangerous.

Below I will paste a post I wrote late last year on choosing a niche. Feel free to alter it, paste it, claim it as your own. Lots of other people have.

Humblesalesman on

Many bloggers and affiliate marketers will tell you to write about your passion. I have never once written about my hobbies or interests. Why? Because affiliate marketing is hard and grueling work. I don’t know about you but I want my passions kept separate from anything I find hard or unpleasant. Rather than choose a niche revolving around your passion, choose one you are less knowledgable about but would like to pursue as an interest.

By targeting a niche you are less knowledgable about you are able to see it with a fresh set of eyes.

Whats that? You don’t have interests? Bullshit.

We all have interests, some passing, others that we take up as hobbies. I am interested in something new every day. So are you. You wouldn’t be on Reddit if that was the case. Reddit brings an influx of interests right to you without effort. Choose an interest. It is now time to explore it.

Still stuck for a niche to explore because you cant pick an interest?

http://creativitygames.net/random-word-generator

I used this to generate my example. Since I already have a list of niches I can expand into but don’t want to use as an example, I used the generator above to make a fresh example. Seriously, finding a niche is so easy it can be done at random.

The word I settled on was “Children”. This is a saturated niche, correct. But by breaking it down into sub niches you can still find money to be made. So with my random word I researched for 20 minutes to figure out where to place it in a pillar. I simply used google and read through a couple parenting publications.I made a mind map and brainstormed ideas. Mind maps are the bomb for finding niches. Scrawl it out on a piece of paper. This should take no more than 20 minutes again.

A very, VERY basic representation of the mind mapping path I chose.

Family-> Parents->Mom->Raising Children->Pregnancy->Sleeping while pregnant

This is a simple column structure, if you were to do an open mind map you would find hundreds or even thousands of categories that are suitable as niches. As you go further up the column, competition increases but do does the money to be made. A niche can be the whole column or any part of it. Niche does not necessarily mean small.

Include the categories further up the column as well as these can lead to you discovering new niches.

For this example I will focus on the base of the column as less work will need to be done in order to validate it.

Next thing you do is do a google search on your chosen niche

“Sleeping While Pregnant”

Read through the first page results by entering each website and place any words or phrases related to “sleeping while pregnant” in an excel spread sheet. Google actually helps you by giving you relevant keywords at the bottom of the search page under “Searches related to…..” section. The words in this excel list are your keywords.

With a bunch of keywords in hand upload them to http://www.google.com/analytics/ keyword finder, this will give you the monthly searches for each. You want to see a decent amount of people searching for each keyword each month. If you don’t then your niche may not be viable.

If you only have a few meaty keywords you can take this a step further. Using the “Search for new keyword and adgroup ideas” part of the tool. Enter shorter more specific keywords to generate even more relevant keywords.

You are doing this to determine whether your niche is big enough to tackle, sleeping while pregnant variations resulted in over 4 million searches each month world wide. Keep an eye out for any keywords related to products. You need these as you will be relying on products to earn a commission.

One particular keyword jumped out at me while I was exploring; “Maternity pillows” Perfect. I can add this to pillar. So for my niche to be I can use sleeping while pregnant or go one step further and focus solely on maternity pillows. My mind map now looked like this.

Family-> Parents->Mom->Raising Children->Pregnancy->Sleeping while pregnant->Maternity Pillows.

Okay, Maternity pillows looks good, a quick search on google keyword planner reveals 6 million searches world wide. Great,. Now we want to narrow this right down to a potential target market

Toss Maternity pillows into google trends to get which countries search for the term the most.

https://www.google.com/trends/explore#q=Maternity%20Pillow

Turns out its United Kingdom, Australia followed by US. At the base of the page you will notice a list of related searches. More keywords! At the top of this list is the term “Pregnancy pillow”

Throwing this term back into google trends reveals this:

https://www.google.com/trends/explore#q=pregnancy%20pillow

The order of the countries has reversed with the US at the top.

So from this you can conclude that if you are targeting America it is better to use the term Pregnancy Pillow rather than Maternity Pillow. Throwing this back into the keyword planner and setting the country to united states will confirm this as well as giving relevant keywords.

In google trends you can also see the popularity of your search over time. Avoid niches that have a descending graph or a sudden spike in popularity which indicates demand is in decline. Use your best judgement. Obviously you don’t want to see a graph like the one below:

https://www.google.com/trends/explore#q=ice%20bucket%20challange

Okay, we are feeling pretty good about this niche. Next step is to download http://moz.com/tools/seo-toolbar, a browser overlay that can give a rough indication of a websites credibility. DO NOT TAKE THIS AS GOSPEL.

Summarizing it: DA = Domain Authority, how big and credible the domain is, higher is better, amazon, etc have a huge number.

PA= Page authority, determined largely by backlinks.

To put it SUPER SIMPLY, if we see numbers of less than 40 in both of these columns then we can beat these websites.

With Mozbar installed we are going to google search through our keywords to see what our competition looks like.

I am going to use:

Best maternity pillow maternity pillow maternity pillow guide

Some websites keep appearing on the front page.

bestmaternitypillows.org/ DA 19 PA 32 www.thepregnancypillows.com/ PA 36 DA 26 www.bestpregnancymaternitypillows.com/ PA 37 DA 25

Look at these websites, A quick glance will tell you that they are affiliate websites just like you plan on creating. The content is AWFUL, you can tell it has been written by a non english speaker. They are not updated and there is not a lot of content. These are how all many many affiliate websites looked 2 years ago. They were successful then but are easy to beat now.

If these are appearing on the front page then you will be able to do the same.

Now jump over to amazon and enter maternity pillows

http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/home-garden/382727011/ref=sr_bs_1

The top 3 best selling pillows not only sell well, (one has over 2000 reviews and we all know that not everyone who buys leaves a review) but are of a decent price. If you refer to amazons commission structure you will be paid a sliding percentage based on how much you sell, starting at 4% depending on the category.

Heres the payout.

https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/join/compensation.html

You want to choose a niche with items that have a fairly high dollar value. the higher the dollar value, the better the pay out. Average price of maternity pillows $50. You will make $2 a pop on the lowest commission rate (but you are not going to be there for long. Sell more for better commission).

Lets say these existing websites sell 120 pillows a month (from my experience this is easily possible) thats a $420 monthly payout. Not bad.

This looks like a inch that is worth persuing. Its popular. Its beatable and the commission isn’t half bad.

Advanced Step To be certain you can beat these websites, check out their back link profile. These websites are spammy, they have backlinks pointing to them from other affiliate websites in a similar style. Great! more niches you can out rank the owner in.

Using ahrefs.com (paid tool) You can see that their back link profile is made up of bought and spammy links. If you do some hard slogging, you can beat these sites with back links alone.

You can even get more keyword ideas by plugging their website into semrush.com (paid tool)

This is a guide for beginners that I made on the fly to identifying a niche that works. It is not the method I use but it is far better method than simply using "google keyword finder".

How I Sold Out My Entire Apparel Inventory In Less Than 2 1/2 Hours W/ A $40 Marketing Budget (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by None

None on

[removed]

Humblesalesman on

So far it's just been a big bunch of "my awesome strategy works" waffle without any proof whatsoever. Your facebook marketing stats you released were pretty average last time. Apparently you have suddenly found the holy grail?

Why should people hand over their email addresses and sites to you?

Does anyone know how to set up goals in Google Analytics for an Amazon Affiliate site? (self.juststart)

submitted on by BritDesi

BritDesi on

Humblesalesman on

>Does anyone know how to set up goals in Google Analytics for an Amazon Affiliate site?

Literally googleable. No text below the heading. Come on guys. Please report these posts rather than answer them, this is trash.

If banning the people who answer these questions is the best way to go about it then that will be considered in the future too. But if this is implemented there will be a stickied announcement about it.This user has been banned.

Why your content marketing strategy will fail (and how to prevent that from happening) (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by zgall1

zgall1 on

Humblesalesman on

I think that your content marketing strategy is going to fail based on this post. You were generic, wrote in slabs of text and while you did cover points of interest, these were glossed over rather than explored.

I want to cold call for you. For free. (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by throwaway_thisacct

throwaway_thisacct on

Edit: I've got more than enough interest from people that didn't want to whine about me destroying their business. Closing this up for the time being.

Humblesalesman on

So you are offering an unreliable service that will very likely cost me potential customers and I waste my time teaching you about my product only for you to say you won't do it tomorrow.

Point out the value add to me?

Dear Mommy blogger - an (ex?) mommy blogger tells her truth on the mommy blog sphere (self.juststart)

submitted on by Ecio78

Dexosaurus on

"Adding value" is a great catch-phrase for modern content marketers, but so often I see people saying it and not really doing it. As I said to someone the other day - writing a whole bunch of content doesn't make you an expert, you might just be a verbose idiot.

The real challenge I see in the general contentopshere at the moment is that it's hard to filter through the noise for the GOOD, authoritative content. IMO Google has really failed at this, and the Twitter culture of "share interesting links" has made it even worse.

We're living in the world of the 10-hour guru, where everyone thinks they have something worth sharing, where people have been told "You don't have to be an expert to sell yourself as one". It's all quantity over quality, and people fool themselves into thinking that the post they share is really insightful and useful.

Anyway, that's my rant on value for the day.

Thought the article was kind of a fun read, particularly because I do have a really unique kids product I sell (for those that don't know me in this sub), and I have been approached by mommy bloggers who want me to pay them or send them free product in exchange for shoutouts. I've received those "media kit with embellished stats" and then you go check out their social accounts and they get like 14 likes per photo on instagram.

On the flip side, I've also been doing that growth experiment with my dog, so I'm going to be coming from the other end pretty soon (we're just getting free stuff sent to us in the last month or so), and some of those things to watch out for (as an influencer) are a bit interesting.

Particularly, points that stand out:

Give-away users have really low engagement

I already assumed this, and obviously I'm not a mommy blogger, but I wonder if this would be different for my kids product - if I give away a unique product and people give me their details to win that unique product, that tells me they want me unique product. I imagine the conversion rate for those users will be higher than someone who wants a mixer from a mommy blogger.

Brand Agreements & Legal Issues

This is interesting - perhaps this is a market gap that an influencer agency could fill by providing some kind of coverage as part of the service. I hadn't even considered legal ramifications of doing something like that. It's a bit of a "duh" moment for me.

Wantrepreneur Economy

I actually think there's a big discussion to be had around industries that exist to sell to wantrepreneurs. It just starts to become one giant circle jerk.

Anyone know where her primary brand home is? Seems like theamericanmama and josidenise across FB/Insta/Twitter only have a max of about 20k followers. That hardly seems sufficient to be flown around the place as per her post.

Humblesalesman on

> The real challenge I see in the general contentopshere at the moment is that it's hard to filter through the noise for the GOOD, authoritative content. IMO Google has really failed at this, and the Twitter culture of "share interesting links" has made it even worse.

Thats likely because most people don't understand what value is.

I actually frequently have discussions on this point. I don't think google and twitter have so much as failed as people have a really low expectation on what "good content" actually is. Unfortunately I cannot reveal examples I have personally worked on but I will use Brian Deans Backlinko as an example. His content is what I would call quality and it gets shared across facebook, twitter and ranks first on google for many keywords. If every niche put out the same great content the barries to entry would be so high that affiliate marketing for beginners would in no way be viable.

The people that seem to have a problem getting lost in "the noise" don't have the strong content that they originally believed. The good news is that it is particularly easy to get noticed with comparably good content. Heck, the wirecutter and sweethome have been doing this for years and every new post of theirs surges to the number one ranking on google.

>if I give away a unique product and people give me their details to win that unique product, that tells me they want me unique product

Once upon a time I would have agreed with this theory, but thanks to just how easy it is to share competitions through social media, you will get a whole bunch of people that just want a free product, they don't care what it is. In my own testing I have found that email open rates amongst signups from giveaways are considerably lower than naturally gained ones through CTA's on your website. Obviously this would require more testing on your part since correlation does not equal causation but I was convinced enough not to bother with it anymore.

Awesome product by the way!

Dexosaurus on

Generally in agreement with you. I still feel like there's a problem waiting to be solved around expert content discovery... I feel like it'd be awesome to have a single site where each business/startup/marketing topic gets 5 experts on that topic writing the ultimate step-by-step how-to. You hit the front page, hit the category you want (eg, Facebook) and click the topic you want (eg, ad strategy) and end up with a segmented break-down of each sub-topic on how to achieve mastery of that area.

Like, can you imagine if we had a site like The Landing Page Course but for every topic in marketing/business/startup? Particularly if it was crowd-audited a bit, with suggestions for updates and changes to keep it truly evergreen.

Unfortunately I cannot reveal examples I have personally worked on

I really wish you would/could. I was looking forward to the unveiling following last year's affiliate case study but then you sold it.

You have no idea how liberating it is to be able to give real examples from your own work when you talk about strategies.

Brian Deans Backlinko as an example

Looks good, I'll have to read through it.

His site reminds me of this idea I have that authority blogs should be split into "cateogries" and "blog". I did an experiment a few years back with writing blog content in the enterprise consulting space i work in and ended up with FIMSpecialist.com. I never really finished it, but the basic idea was that evergreen content (how-tos, guides, general information) is a 'page' (in wordpress terms) and that news, updates, events, and 'situational' stuff (eg, I had issue with this error or "I want to rant about X") goes in the blog.

Any thoughts on that format?

That site is actually somewhat interesting. It really was an experiment (which is why there are menu links that go nowhere), and I stopped after I hit some of the goals I had for it. Anyway, no updates since 2013 and the traffic has barely dropped - not huge traffic, but good for a low-demand niche (and how awesome is that weekly seasonality? Corporates only Google "FIM" Mon-Fri and not at all over Christmas). I still get people after 3 years writing comments thanking me for a particular article, which is cool.

And it's really because the official Microsoft documentation is sub-par to the point of being wrong, and consultants working in my space aren't taking time to write good content. They're hoarding their knowledge and don't see the value of being seen as the authority on the topic. I've actually been considering starting it up again lately - even had a company selling 3rd party components reach out offering to sponsor the blog if I updated it regularly.

But the overhead to create content that I think adds value is so high, particularly in that space... and it's not something that particularly interests me. Honestly, I'd rather write an article about how I'm monetising my dog.

Once upon a time I would have agreed with this theory, but thanks to just how easy it is to share competitions through social media, you will get a whole bunch of people that just want a free product, they don't care what it is.

That's disappointing. I can't wait to test it though - it's really frustrating, but I've had to hit pause on marketing (which is why my web/social presence sucks so hard) until I solve some manufacturing issues. One fun quirk though was that when FB introduced "on this day" last year, it made two of my previous viral campaigns go viral AGAIN, 2 years after they were initally posted. Right before Christmas. Couldn't ask for more when marketing a kid's product. I can't wait to crank up some of my other intiatives with this, but yeah... physical products can be a nightmare if you don't get your supply chain perfect early on.

Awesome product by the way!

Cheers! It was my "kickstarter experiment". Learnt so much. Can't wait to do the next one.

Humblesalesman on

>I feel like it'd be awesome to have a single site where each business/startup/marketing topic gets 5 experts on that topic writing the ultimate step-by-step how-to.

You put five experts in a room and the only thing you can guarantee is arguments. The problem then lies in just how focused do you go? While I agree that the landing page coarse is great for beginners, it is also deliberately generic in that it is designed to be relevant to everyone. While it seems comprehensive to a green set of eyes, it is in reality just the beginning to the endless world of marketing.

Then there is the fact that it is designed to steer you towards a product purchase albeit in a more value added way than others choose.

Truth be told when it comes to marketing what works for one person doesn't work for the next. While a comprehensive guide would be awesome, I feel the best way it to get dirty and find out what works for you.

>Any thoughts on that format?

Categories and blog is a pretty common way of sorting posts and there is good reason for that, it not only allows users to easily find your posts in chronological order, but logically sort through your older stuff.

With regards to starting up again, it would wholly depend on whether or not you have a monetization method in mind and whether the potential money coming in justifies your time/effort/lack of interest.

That's a pretty awesome side effect of Facebooks this time last year feature! Looking forward to seeing your next product, since that one was awfully creative!

Ecio78 on

http://josidenise.com/dear-mommy-blogger/ Just seen it on an news site, I thought it could be an interesting view for people here

Humblesalesman on

It's essentially a long winded rant that can be shortened to this:

The reason a blog sucks is because it does not add value to your reader.

W1ZZ4RD on

I was going to delete this post until I actually read it and the rant is 100% spot on and explains the bullshit entitlement of all the mommy bloggers I have ever dealt with (which is way to god damn many).

Humblesalesman on

It may be spot on, but her rant is skin deep and her new blog is the same old garbage, only now she isn't "playing the game" and will go from seeing some success to none once the virality of this post wears off.

W1ZZ4RD on

Yes true but....

I just enjoyed a mother talking shit about mommy bloggers. Priceless.

Humblesalesman on

It's a sore spot for you isn't it :P

Anyone know of a plugin that does this, or something like it? (self.juststart)

submitted on by None

None on

[deleted]

Humblesalesman on

I am unaware of a plugin that can perform the same out of the box. I highly recommend asking again on r/wordpress, their larger sub base with beginners through to experts may be able to recommend a ready made solution. Good luck.

None on

[deleted]

Humblesalesman on

Coding experience necessary:

https://mixitup.kunkalabs.com/

Or you know how Brian answers each and every comment left on a website? You could just ask HIM.

Edit: Also this is better suited to r/wordpress than here.

Started a website months ago, had to stop so that I could work to earn money now, need help getting started again. (self.juststart)

submitted on by hatterasfish

hatterasfish on

So like my title says, I started a website a few months ago, but had to stop to earn an income at the time, and looking to get back to my website now.

I have no idea where to actually start though. I have my topic picked (obviously) and a few short reviews on the website, and get maybe 30 views per month average.

It is a website that reviews camping gear, but I have only gotten around to a couple tents so far.

I am having trouble finding good keywords that get a lot of searches per month that are easy to rank for, and be easy to fit those keywords into the reviews naturally.

Can someone help me out by providing a few keywords to start with, or the best websites to do the research to find great keywords?

I'd like to eventually cover all camping gear, but will probably stick with just tents for now, as that is the main thing people seem to look for, and it is what I have already started with.

Thanks in advance for any help any of you can provide.

Humblesalesman on

This post has been locked due to violating rule 7 - spoon feeding request on how to do keyword research. Hint - Start at google, come here for clarification on anything you don't understand, giving as much detail as possible on what you attempted.

Any recommended podcasts to listen to ? (self.juststart)

submitted on by kevandbev

kevandbev on

Does anyone have any podcasts they regularly listen to that are related to this field ? I use to listen to the Spencer Haws episodes but haven't done so recently. I often felt a strong suggestion to buy LTP was involved. In saying that there were some good things I picked up along the way.

Humblesalesman on

This is essentially a variation of the "best books to read" question. See Rule 7. I am going to stick to my guns and not allow this kind of post in the sub.

Ok guys... I'm totally screwed and need your help. (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by makemycoffeeblack

makemycoffeeblack on

[removed]

Humblesalesman on

OP designs and develops "custom wordpress websites".

GoodOlTimes.com ---> http://optimizerwp.com/

TheMotoTrend.com ---> http://wpsimplyread.com

MayRobertsTheArtist.us ---> https://www.competethemes.com/tracks/

OP does little more than a basic tweak of existing website themes he has already purchased.

In September of 2015, I created my first and only affiliate site: drunkMall - You can Ask Me Anything you want about it. (self.juststart)

submitted on by drunkmall

lVipples on

I'm currently working on a site that is not yet live, but something I've been worrying about is not having the price of items listed anywhere. Unlike your site, my site does not focus on quirky, weird, etc. type items that people will click on whether there is a price or not so your answer may not be relevant to me, but I'd like to hear your opinion anyway.

I know Amazon has rules about putting prices on your affiliate items, and I'm actually not sure how sites like TIWIB and SUTMM get away with listing prices that are not up to date.

So what I'm wondering is do you think it's a problem not having prices listed? Is it something you've gotten complaints about?

Also, I like your search bar. Is it a plugin?

Humblesalesman on

>I know Amazon has rules about putting prices on your affiliate items, and I'm actually not sure how sites like TIWIB and SUTMM get away with listing prices that are not up to date.

If you are bringing good converting traffic to Amazon, it appears that amazon will gloss over infractions like this. I can rattle amazon affiliate sites sites off all day that include prices in plain text and have not been banned from AA in their years of operation. But they all have something in common. Great search standing for competitive keywords and a darn good social following.

As for displaying the price, IMO I think it's less of a problem for TIWIB and humour websites since detail is seldom something they dive into. But for a comprehensive review site like Cnet or the wirecutter? Displaying price definitely adds to the credibility. Most of my websites generally do not include pricing since during a/b testing more people clicked the links which definitely had a direct correlation to sales. YMMV.+ That said, some pages were the opposite of this.

This is a pretty minor thing to worry about now. When you get hundreds of daily visitors you can mess around with things like this and see if they make a difference.

BOOGY_DOG on

So what are your earnings? I wouldn't ask or listen to anyone's advice in this field without knowing that first.

Humblesalesman on

If this is seriously your short sited mentality then Smart Passive Income may be a better a better place for you to follow along than JustStart. He gave an entire write up of his qualifications yet you come along with a "$ or you are full of shit" statement? I point you to rule #5.

FYI If a user without any credibility posted an AMA in my sub I would have the post taken down and the user banned. I have a lot of respect and time for u/drunkmall, his no-nonsense approach to outreach has seen him reach a place in three months that many people don't reach in IM in years if ever. and he is here to talk about it voluntarily. You would be wise to make the most of it.

swolehopper on

As someone who once had this mentality, let me tell you now that you need a mindset change. This is in no way meant to offend you but rather to help you.

There's a reason successful people are highly regarded for their financial freedom. You rarely hear about the struggles of anyone successful, be it in the media or otherwise. Why? Because who the heck has time for a feel good story. People want the glitz and glamour. They see this and immediately proceed to do two things:

  • hate on the person
  • assume they can achieve similar success with ease

I can tell you from experience (I am growing my own brand on Amazon) that I've seen tons of folks like you. I'm in a few Facebook groups and the mentality is the same. If I make a post that provides excellent value, I get probably 10 likes and comments. Some cool person makes a post with a screenshot for their earnings and they get 100000 likes and comments. I'm not usually one to speculate but I'd bet my entire business that 90% of those commenting will be in the same position they're in a year from now. Even though those same folks are supposedly trying to "build" their Amazon businesses too.

And finally, if there is one thing you take from this long reply, it should be this:

If myself, u/humblesalesman, u/drunkmall or anyone else needs to indulge you by revealing every intricate detail about our business, then you had better be:

  • our billionaire investor
  • close family member (see: wife, child, parent)
  • or a shareholder

Failing all three of those, telling you we make $100 a second or $100 a year, does not help you in anyway. There is no logical argument you can make as to how it adds value to what you need to do for your own life and business. If someone with experience chooses to share their wisdom, you can either listen or move on. Life's too short to have a pissing contest about numbers my friend.

Humblesalesman on

You put it much more eloquently than I could have.

>I'm not usually one to speculate but I'd bet my entire business that 90% of those commenting will be in the same position they're in a year from now

It boggles my mind that with so much free actionable advice people still prefer the "dream of making it" to actually starting out and slogging their way through. A profitable business can be made with low capital with the only real key input being your time. My parents would have killed for that opportunity. Rewind 18 years and you pretty much had to have a physical storefront to see any kind of success. What a money sink. We have it good and people will be looking back on this period of time in the same way they look back on the dotcom boom and regret not taking action.

Is the hype over email lists still valid? (self.Blogging)

submitted on by OhOhOhLaura

None on

[deleted]

Humblesalesman on

You are confusing your preferences with that of your target audience without so much as testing it. That's leaving money on the table. You are not your target audience.

FYI one of my previous blogs had an email list of over 20,000 with your exact same audience (teens/twenties) that you have been dismissive of using. Over the course of a year that same email list generated $7/person when I directly marketed to them. So yeah, pretty damn lucrative for an audience that "doesn't seem interested in it". And all that from maybe 10 emails sent?

And I was very late to the party with email lists having your exact same mindset, so I do see where you are coming from. You are even later to the game but there is still money to be made. The hype is very real.

You will have much more success blogging if you test things rather than assume them this is something I have had to learn the hard way.

None on

[deleted]

Humblesalesman on

> I'm discouraged with blogging. It's not fun.

Welcome to blogging for a job. I can tell you with no uncertainty that I hate it. This wasn't always the case but it is very mechanical, forced and formulaic. Settling into a routine has seen me despise my job and I will be moving on very soon.

Unfortunately to be a blogger these days you also have to be a marketer. And that unfortunately the marketing side will often go against your core values and beliefs. An argument for this is that it gets you out of your comfort zone if you are set in your ways, which you seem to be (and there is NOTHING inherently wrong with that) but with so much "noise" on the internet, without constant outreach and "hey look at me, I'm over here" it is very difficult to build a following much less maintain one.

If I have one thing to say about your blog (and this is understandable as you are essentially the product), it focuses too much on you. Not on me. I like to hear about me. I like my ego stroked. I like to know how something benefits me. I am a self obsessed teenager. I don't care about you.

Seriously though, I read through your posts and am confused as to what value you are actually offering your audience, other than a glimpse into your life which is lovely and all but we as humans are all inherently selfish and self-serving. That side needs to be appealed to. Please only take this as constructive criticism. It is not my intention to offend.

OhOhOhLaura on

If you don't mind me asking, (and this is a really simplified way of asking it, I know) how did you "get" your 20,000 subscribers? Was it because your books already had a large following, or are you offering exclusive content in your newsletters?

Humblesalesman on

Content lockers worked for this particular website. Say you are creating a list of 10 best pens. I would write about the 15 best pens and only open the rest of the content when someone either shared the post or subscribed. If someone found the post valuable they would enter there email without hesitation. Every post also had an email "upsell" where I would send extra information on that topic in a simplified pdf or something similar. I was also very active on social media and mingling with other "influencers" which helped drive a lot of traffic for me to convert on my list.

Its all just marketing. There are some amazing guides out there if you simply google how to build email lists.

CPC Advertising for E-Liquid? (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by iwearmyseatbelt

A_WASP_ATE_MY_DICK on

There is bound to be some popular youtube channels centered around e-cigs, I would contact them and see if they would be interested in some free juice for a shout out in a video.

Humblesalesman on

Besides the username that is absolutely doing my head in, this would be the best way to go, reach out to influencers on various social mediums.

I'm in the Empire Business: Case Study Month #1 (self.juststart)

submitted on by bprs07

TheGGongShow on

Modified some Wordpress/theme files for desired functionality (e.g. edited Wordpress' post.php file so the post displays the last date updated instead of the date published; this way I can edit them and have it look more recent to the user)

Did you have to do that through PHP syntax? Or is there a feature in the dashboard to do that? I've been trying to figure out how to do this but no luck atm

Great post by the way, I'm in the process of building my site so it'll be cool to see how yours plays out alongside mine. Best of luck this month

Humblesalesman on

> I've been trying to figure out how to do this but no luck atm

Yep. You tried everything but googling it.

Shit, what comes up when you do that? Plugins to do it automatically. Blog posts explaining how to edit the functions.php file to achieve exactly what you want.

So what the fuck did you actually try?

A Newbie's Adventures in Affiliate Marketing Part 3 (self.juststart)

submitted on by Affmarkter

Affmarkter on

Yes, I feel like I'm on the right path, but, I feel like I should not focus too much effort on the old site at this point. I had decided after the last case study post to start a second site and just add stuff here and there to the original site just to keep my Amazon commission % higher since I was at least selling some items.

I will surely try to improve at least that post to try to maximize the sales. Especially since it pays 12% commission. The problem is that the cost of the items is so low. I would really need to be converting well and have much much higher traffic coming to see some real money.

Randomly, I was looking at one of my main competitors and noticed that he started selling an affiliate marketing course that he was linking to through his niche site. So I took the plunge to check it out since it was only $10 for a few hours of video.

It was nothing that I could use but what I found interesting is that he says he was making 2,000 a month after a year of working on the site. While that amount is nothing to sniff at, there is no way I am putting that kind of effort into improving my site to make that. My time will be better spent using what I know now and testing on a new site with items that are close to $200 instead of $15.

On a side note, do you know any sites you could point me to that have a good Amazon funnel in the post or a good CTA? I'd love to see an example of what you think works.

Humblesalesman on

CTA's are site and audience specific as well as what you wish to achieve.

nichehacks.com has great CTA's in that is shoves them in your face and can't miss them.

Netflix has a great CTA, short and sweet.

Wirecutter.com has great CTA's in that it buries an affiliate link in the first paragraph sneakily surrounded by informative text.

Lucieslist.com shows a picture with a price next to it.

Other sites bury CTAs mid sentence without a picture to invoke curiosity.

Research CTA's and have a play around. There is no wrong way to do it. Read up, implement, test and refine.

Affmarkter on

Part 1

Part 2

I’m a little over due on writing my case study for my recent work on my affiliate sites. I wish it was because of how much work I was doing on those sites, but it really because my life is completely chaotic right now. (In case anybody is wondering about what happened with that client I got which you can read about here, I spent tons of time trying to get work done for him. I finally pulled the plug since it was going nowhere. I wasted all that time when I should have been working on my sites.)

Anyway, without getting into that let me just start the updates on my progress so far.

At the end of the last update I was getting my original set more or less set up. I have really treated this site as an experiment. Not sure how much money it was going to make, I decided I was just going to try things out and see what happens.

It was slowly but steadily climbing traffic-wise. So, it started with around 0-5 views a day in January to now doing about 100-150 views a day.

I got rid of the affiliate banners in my side bar and kept a few in the content of the posts. I added some adsense to it and actually saw some revenue coming in from that. About $10 a month or so.

I hardly wrote any content. I was so busy trying to market the site and do outreach that it didn’t leave me much time to write. I did write a few new posts in March and April, though.

But outreach had almost zero effect. Most times I was not even getting a response. Most of it was my approach. My e-mails were terrible. It was obvious that I was just trying to get some links since I didn’t have anything concrete to offer.

As time went on, I realized my site was getting more and more cluttered and seemed really just too salesy. It oozed the fact that I was trying everything I could to get you to open the wallet. So, I got rid of adwords (which was also to see if it would affect my Click Thru Rate for Amazon. It didn’t. It stayed the same) and left just a few banners from some of my other affiliate networks. And reduced the number of affiliate links.

I changed the theme and made it look a lot cleaner.

Ok, so for Traffic and revenue. In March I had 4,292 views and made a little over $100. About $70 from Amazon, a little over $30 from Linkshare and $10 from Adsense. I had 67 sales on Amazon, so you can see just how low the commissions are on my products. I did get lucky and have somebody buy a bunch of office products that got me around $30. That was a nice bump. But, not too many people bought anything besides what I was promoting.

1,000 of those views was from a Reddit post, however. Not organic and didn’t result in a single sale on Amazon. Literally not one. So, I wasn’t even angry when a mod pulled my post even though I had about 25 comments on it, and it was in the top 5 hot posts for the day. I asked him why and he said it was such an obvious How To, that it was insulting. I didn’t even bother to argue that if it was that obvious then why were people responding so positively to it? Anyway, it made me realize for sure that people really don’t spend on Reddit.

April saw a dip in traffic but I also didn’t post at all on Reddit. 2,309 views and roughly $75 in revenue between Amazon and Linkshare. This time Linkshare was about $45 and Amazon about $25. No Adense since I removed it by this point.

This month gets a bit interesting. I’m averaging 105 views a day. About half come from Pinterest for one post and the rest are from Google. My most popular post is ranked #1 for many of the keywords I was trying to rank for. It’s linked to my Linkshare affiliate and I make pretty good sales for that strictly from there. No Amazon links on that page. It even ranks above the actual products own website.

I wrote a post about 3 weeks ago that I’m already seeing traffic to it since one of the keywords is ranked #3. A few other posts have made it finally onto the first page on Google. So far I have about 4 posts that are ranked in the top 5 on Google for many of my target keywords.

So what are my sales for this month with all that happening? $5.25 so far. I’m getting roughly the same amount of clicks to Amazon and Linkshare that I got in March and April but for some reason nobody is converting this month. No idea why.

In the meantime I started another niche site, which was going slowly since as I mentioned I was involved with a client. I think I hit on a good one since this time I did my due diligence. Somebody asked me in one of my other case studies about my workflow. Here’s a basic outline of how I approached it this time.

I saw somebody with the product and so checked it out on Amazon and found it’s a best seller in its category. I went through the reviews and forums related to the niche and wrote down a bunch of potential article ideas and some keywords. Then I plugged them into adwords to see what people were searching for and saved the csv to Google Sheets. I went through each of the keywords and ran them through the various keyword aggregators like ubersuggest, soovle, and the keyword shitter (actual name).

I checked out the competition with Semrush and looked at their backlinks, and then tried to surmise if it would be easy to get some links from those sites with some of my article ideas that I planned to write. Looking at some of the sites, I actually came up with some other article ideas.

In a Google Spreadsheet, I list each article with the keywords I hope to target and the searches volume of each so when i write out the article I can make sure I sprinkle them into the post.

So far I only have 2 posts since the keyword research took me weeks since I was busy on the project that went no where. But, I am back on track with it now and feel like I can finally get cracking on it.

Sorry for the incredibly long winded post! But I wanted to be thorough so people could see how detailed things can get when doing this.

Humblesalesman on

A great read as always, thanks for sharing.

It sounds like you are on the right path, while 4k/month is still a site in it's early, early days, it might be worth experimenting with link placement and CTA's on your page ranked in number 1.

Anyone needing a website built, I had a good experience with this designer and he had very reasonable prices. (self.EntrepreneurRideAlong)

submitted on by krontron

krontron on

Well, the only response that I have for you is that you're right. Some few weeks later after stepping back and looking at the whole picture and realizing..you are right. I was rude because I felt attacked, which I was. But I shouldn't have even gotten upset since you got straight to the point with no sugar coating. I am leaving this post up in hopes that other people don't make the same mistake. I hope your home brewed coffee tasted a little better knowing my misfortune is glaringly obvious to me now. Also I am sure that pinky finger being thrust into the air probably made it taste better ;)

Humblesalesman on

I was half at blame too, I later realised that this was in r/entrepreneurridealong rather than r/entrepreneur which I just assumed as it appeared in my subs feed. I wouldn't have included your website in the example list if I had realised as I would have identified the maid one as belonging to you.

You were fortunate at least in that out of all the examples yours was absolutely the most minor problem. I hope you spoke with Anil and get him to adjust the button as it is your call to action, an incredibly vital part of your site. (it should be a 5 minute job as it just requires some minor CSS adjustment to fix).

Tomorrow's instant coffee is going to taste just as awful as ever. (kicks like a mule but gets me through the day). Good luck with your venture!

Behind The Scenes of How I Sold A Passive Income Site for $1,830.40 (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by joelrunyon

piscoster on

Which sales site are you using? FEInternational? I heard they are extremely good and I also like their service.(f.ex.: Thomas Smale is a member of the BUSO forum and openly response to any questions.)

Humblesalesman on

Because the sites I sell are generally larger up until recently I used a lawyer and met I person with the buyer. It's funny you mention FE international, I am yet to hear a bad thing said about them. That said, I also only know of two people who have used them. I am always iffy about using a third party service to sell sites because it gives others the opportunity to look right inside your website, with the earnings on hand without any intention to buy.

joelrunyon on

Hey guys,

New to this subreddit, but I recently sold a very small affiliate site a couple months back for about $2,000 and wanted to share my experience.

Although the sale wasn't HUGE, the process was very illuminating and interesting for future projects. It also reinforced that I should be focusing my efforts on higher leverage options. However, if you're new to entrepreneurship or online marketing, hopefully you find this helpful.

Let me know if you have any questions.

The other day I sold a passive income site I built 2 years ago for $1,830.40 with Empire Flippers.

Here’s an in-depth look at how I went and sold my first website ever (and what I thought of the whole process).

The Background

A couple years back, I started a new web site (to protect the buyer’s privacy, let’s call it GWP.com). It was in the WordPress themes space.

I had seen some success from other sites in the space and knew there was opportunity.

I built the site quickly with the help of an AWESOME virtual assistant, but then had other projects come up that were more important.

The site did well from the get-go because of my initial enthusiasm, but it wasn’t a game-changer for me. It made a few sales a month (off which I made about $30), but I did basically no work on it and it was very under-optimized. It was THE definition of a passive income site.

That said, even if I optimized it, I think I could double or triple the earnings, but probably not enough to make it worth directing a lot of attention to it.

The site was was making about $100/month, which for some people is great, but I had a lot of other areas in general that I could optimize that have greater returns (this site, for one).

In addition to revenue reasons, over the last year, I’ve been working on focus, and I’ve made the decision that I don’t really want to be spending time on anything that isn’t Impossible or Paleo related.

For that reason, this site no longer fit in with my goals and I decided to sell it.

Picking Empire Flippers

I used EmpireFlippers.com, who I know through the Dynamite Circle.

Before listing, I had never met them, but they’ve got a good reputation and a decent buying audience, so I decided to give it a shot.

I know several guys who have bought and sold sites through them. Also, because it wasn’t a HUGE dollar amount, I figured I would give it a try.

The Fees

Empire Flippers charges $297 to list a site for a first time seller. They charge $97 for any future sites.

That’s not a bad deal, especially on bigger sites (most brokers work on a percentage), but if you’re selling a small site (like I did), the fee actually cuts into your profit by a large number since it’s not a scaled percentage.

Either way, I decided the listing fee was worth it and went full-speed ahead (Note: I found out about another “commission” fee later on in the process. More on that later).

The Experience

The experience started off a bit bumpy. I did an analysis on the numbers and had to separate them out since these sites shared a few affiliate accounts I used for other projects.

This is a good lesson for the future: create separate affiliate accounts for each site if you intend to sell them in the future.

That said, I ran the numbers and provided a detailed breakdown in the spreadsheet.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough.

They wanted a login directly to my affiliate account so they could verify the numbers themselves. This is understandable, but a little invasive if you have multiple sites running through the same account. Also, it would have been a much less of a big deal if they would have gotten the numbers right.

Even after providing the numbers (on my end), the numbers they came up with were way off.

In less words – for this sale specifically – ShareASale (the affiliate marketplace that I used for affiliate links) provides the total transaction amount AND the commission you actually make.

The Empire Flippers VAs added these two numbers together instead of just counting the commission.

This meant that for each sale I “made” through ShareASale, Empire was counting my total revenue on the site as 130% of the purchase price – even though I was only making 30% of the purchase price!

Because of this, the initial estimate I got for the site was close to $8k!

While I could have taken their valuation and kept the listing price at that, I have this darn conscience that would have bothered me for a while about it.

I pointed out the error to the team and they re-ran the numbers and agreed to list the website at $1830.40 or about 20x monthly revenue.

Here were the exact calculations:

I gave them a login to my site, Google analytics, and ShareASale, and they approved my listing.

The Multiple

They approved the site for a 20x multiple. I pushed for a higher multiple, but they reminded me I was looking for a quick sale, so I agreed to go with 20x.

The Sale

The sale went up 1 day and was sold within 24 hours.

That was fast!

In fact, I went back to look and it sold just over 8 hours after it was listed.

Getting it sold FAST was awesome, but it also reinforced my opinion that the listing price was too low. That said, I didn’t cry too much because again, my goal was on selling it fast rather than maximizing a few hundred bucks off it.

I figured if I got the sale over and the cash quick, then it all would be good.

The only other thing that bothered me about the listing was that I never got to see it before it went live. As a marketer, I would have liked to have been involved in the listing name, language, etc.

I guess that’s part of their process (and maybe a benefit to people who don’t want to have to deal with it), but it bothered me a bit after the fact (although that could just be because of my inner control freak tendencies).

Again, these were all minor things – I wanted to focus on my other projects – and the fact that they could get a buyer in less than 24 hours was impressive.

The Migration Process

Migration is where I had my biggest issues with the process..

First, I had to provide access to the Filipino techs to transfer my site.

That’s okay, but I had other projects on the same host and it’s a bit nerve-wracking to give someone you’ve never met wholesale access to your hosting backend.

The migration process took a bit (as they had to coordinate buyer and seller info), so I think this part took a few days.

The other annoying thing was that as part of the migration, they had to verify and change what sorts of ad info and affiliate info you had.

In my opinion, this should be solely on the part of the buyer. The seller sells the site as-is and the buyer should have to do the work to swap out ads.

Empire Flippers tries to mitigate this by having their techs do it – but the end result is that it slows everything down for the seller.

The other annoying piece was that I kept getting comments and questions that should have never come up

  • “This link doesn’t work”
  • “What banners perform best?”

These are good questions, but should have been figured out when the buyer was purchasing the site or did their due diligence – not after the sale has been entered into agreement.

As for links that don’t work – they didn’t work when I sold the site and that’s part of the buyer’s opportunity. The site was under-optimized from the get-go and I hadn’t spent anytime looking at it. Changing that link is the reason you get it for 20x vs. 36x.

Also, throughout the process, the migration ticket is handled on 1 ticket for both parties. That means each party can see what the other is typing.

That makes it easier for Empire Flippers, but could be a security risk if 1 side provides passwords or other sensitive information in it.

Domain Transfer

This was the second annoying thing.

It costs zero to create an account on any domain registrar. The best practice here would be to push the domain to whatever registrar it’s currently on, then let the buyer transfer it on their own time down the line.

Domain “pushes” are instant on the same registrar, while a domain transfer (to a different registrar) can take anywhere from 3-10 days. Instead of doing a registrar push, the buyer insisted on a domain transfer which is a bunch more hoops that the seller has to jump through.

They can fix this just by allowing the seller to push the domain to whatever registrar the domain is currently owned at.

Waiting 5-10 days to see if a domain is transferred correctly is annoying and a waste of time as a seller.

Revenue Verification

Empire Flippers holds your money until the other party verifies traffic and sales.

This is annoying as a seller.

I understand why – they want to verify that they’re selling legit sites – but it’s VERY unfriendly to sellers.

Here’s why:

As a seller, you’re selling a site based on past performance – not future guarantees. In any site, technical changes affect SEO and performance. A seller shouldn’t be responsible for changes that the buyer could potentially jack up.

The seller is on the hook for poor implementation by the buyer.

Imagine if you wanted to buy a stock, but only had to pay if the stock went up?

That’d be great as a buyer, but as a seller, there’s only downside. No other market does that.

If something goes bad, the seller is screwed.

The buyer I dealt with wanted it transferred to his specific domain manager.

That’s cool but when you transfer registrars, you are automatically locked from moving that domain again – per iCANNs rules – for 60 days.

This is very annoying.

  • This means that if the buyer screws things up – the seller is on the hook.
  • This means if the buyer doesn’t “verify” the earnings – the seller is on the hook.
  • This means that if the buyer for whatever reason doesn’t like the domain or website – the seller is on the hook AND can’t get back the domain for 60 days. So they’re out the sale, the domain AND 60 days of earnings (at the least). That’s a terrible policy.

I tried to put in a ticket on this, but the support team manually merged it into my transfer ticket (which let the buyer see it as well – which, again, is not what I intended) and is another problem with the shared transfer ticket.

Adding In A “Bonus” Site

Part of my deal with the listing was that I was going to throw in another WordPress theme related site (let’s call this one RT) to the buyer. It was a very similar site that did less traffic due to neglect – I hadn’t really done much with it.

The site generated no revenue and had minimal traffic, so throwing in the domain was meant to boost interest in the sale.

The problem came up (again) that the buyer wanted it transferred to a specific registrar and I was asked to do so.

Again, this is a terrible policy.

I was throwing in the domain and the site as a bonus, and it was a pain that it was taking even MORE of my time.

The buyer ended up creating an account at the registrar the domain was at, which was nice, but that should be the standardized policy.

Surprise: A Commission Fee

I should preface this: this is MY fault. This is pretty standard in brokering situations, but (for some reason I still don’t know), I was under the impression that the listing fee was the only fee I was going to be responsible for.

That said, once I was told how much I was getting paid ($1555.84), I was surprised to see the number lower than the sale price. After inquiring further, I only then realized the commission was on top of the listing fee.

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 4.16.30 PM

I don’t know why I didn’t realize this (I think I was just focused on clearing house and had other things going on). I was so sure that the listing fee was the only fee, that I went back and looked and sure enough, they say it RIGHT ABOVE the button to “sell the site.”

Proof

Oops. Apparently, I’m not a good speed reader.

While this is reasonable on larger sites, in total, between the listing fee and this, EF basically ended up eating 33% of my sale price which sucks.

Again, this is in the terms and conditions and is MY fault, but it’d be cool to see a “profit calculator” or a notice of “this is how much you’ll sell for” and “this is how much you’ll get” earlier on in the buying process so bad speed readers like me don’t get surprised :(

That said, let’s talk MONEY.

Getting Paid (Cash MONEY!) $$$

All right, the deal was done. The buyer was happy and everything was good to go.

Email

Not wanting to deal with Paypal, I opted for bitcoin. I’ve bought a few bitcoin in the past and didn’t mind stocking up on a few (just in case they go to a billion someday :)).

After trying to haggle Paypal minus the fees – I settled on bitcoin.

I got this message from Joe:

At this point, I was antsy to get paid, so waiting a full week to get paid seemed like ANOTHER preventable delay. I know there’s a bit of volatility with the price of bitcoin, but I think they should probably carry some bitcoin as a cost of doing service in order to accelerate some of these smaller transactions).

Nevertheless, on September 2nd, Joe sent $1,000 to my bitcoin address and sent the remainder on September 6th.

Website Sold. Transaction finished. #boom

Vital Stats For This Website Sale

For those of you scanning this, I dug up some of the numbers for this sale in order to give a quick overview of everything. I think it’s pretty interesting:

  • Average Monthly Revenue: $91.52

  • Revenue Multiplier: 20x

  • Listed Price: $1,830.40

  • Profit after Commission: $1,555.84

  • Profit after Commission + Listing Fee: $1,258.84

  • % of Sale Price Profit Realized: 68.7% (ouch!)

  • Time from submission to listing: July 25th – August 17th = 23 days

  • Time from start of transaction to sale: August 17th: 11:07pm – August 18th, 7:15am = 8 hours, 8 minutes – WOAH.

  • Time from sale to $$$: August 18th – September 6th = 19 days.

  • Time from submission to $$$: 43 days (1 month, 12 days). #doubleboom

Lessons Learned From Selling My First Site

If you’re going to sell a site, separate earnings out by the account / website level

This would have helped with the earnings numbers and verifications and cleaned things up from a security standpoint. I would have felt way more secure in sharing multiple accounts with them, and it would have sped up everything.

Get all the terms up front

Part of what annoyed me about the sale was that it wasn’t until after I made the sale that I was told I wouldn’t receive funds until the buyer verifies that they’re making money. I also didn’t realize that the listing fee was in ADDITION to the commission fee. I still would have listed with them, but I would have been aware of it, rather than surprised (to be fair, I take responsibility for this part, but I think it could have been clearer).

Understand the domain transfer clauses

I mentioned this above, but this was annoying as well and added 5 days to the transaction time. Domain pushes and transfers are very different things and can add a huge differential of time to the transfer process.

Know it’s going to be a PITA

I was really hoping that for such a small site and transaction, that it would be quick and painless. It ended up being a minor pain in the a$$ when I had a lot of other things I’d rather focus on – which was the reason I was selling it in the first place.

Conclusion

If you’re a buyer, Empire Flippers might be a good deal. Most of their policies are buyer-centric. This makes sense. Buyers will often buy multiple sites (they have money to spend), but sellers don’t sell nearly as often. It makes sense to build in policies to their business model that protect the people giving them money.

If you’re a seller (especially looking for a quick sell), the sale happened SUPER fast, but the transfer took way too much of my time to be worth it.

I was hoping they’d be much more direct and quick with the sale and hassle-free. However, it seemed like every step of the way (except the actual sale), I was dealing with a headache.

Part of their model includes using Filipino VAs. I have no qualms with that, but it did delay the process somewhat as most of the interaction took place on Filipino time (night-time stateside) and required solving miscommunication issues that did come up. Interestingly enough, if I worked normal hours (9-5 US time), this would have taken even longer – chalk another one up for night owls. This could be fixed by having VAs on duty round-the-clock or on US shifts (which is not unusual for outsourced services).

My Verdict on Empire Flippers

Based on my experience with Empire Flippers, I would give them a 6/10.

I’ve been building sites for a long time, but I’m a newbie at selling them.

Again, I’ve known the Empire Flippers guys since way back when they were Adsense Flippers and they do a ton of volume and move a lot of sites, so maybe people are having better experiences than me, but on this sale, I found a lot of things they could fix or improve on to be more seller-friendly.

I think a major part is that selling a site (especially one that could be considered a “small site”) is a headache in general. I felt like this took an inordinate amount of time for such a small site but to be fair, I’m not sure it would have been better with Flippa or anyone else (since you have to manage the process yourself), but it would be nice for it to be a little less painful.

It’s probably much more worth the squeeze if you have a bigger site that you’re listing, but if you’re thinking about Empire Flippers, here’s my verdict:

Pros

  • Fast Sales

  • Less headaches than other sites

Cons

  • Process needs a lot of refinement

  • Focus is on buyers over sellers

  • Not going to get top dollar for your site

  • Transfer is a headache

  • No insurance if things go bad (that I know of).

Postscript

I talked with Justin Cooke (one of the founders at Empire Flippers) at a conference in Barcelona this past weekend about a lot of these issues.

One thing that I didn’t realize is that this size of deal (under $5k) they don’t really do much of anymore. For a lot of the reasons I outlined above, they don’t take on smaller sites, but also, the people BUYING smaller sites tend to be less experienced and delay the process (via many of the things I mentioned above).

For this reason, I think you’ll run into MANY of these problems with ANY sale UNDER $5k. It’s just the market and there’s not a lot of good options for getting rid of them. If I knew that going into this, I would have either

1) deleted it,

2) hired an assistant to grow it to something more salable,

3) just forgot about it.

Given the new knowledge, if I had a site to sell in the 5-10k range, I would consider giving them another shot, however, there are things from the seller’s side that I would like to see fixed.

This post was originally posted on Impossible. If you found it helpful, I'd love to hear your comments! Thanks.

Humblesalesman on

It's funny you mention the VA's stuffing up the valuation. I have spoken to 5 different people who have sold on empire flippers and it has become brutally clear that the VA's have very little experience and EF needs to train them properly.

One VA actually told somene that he was concerned that some of the products bought on amazon on did not line up with his website niche. If they knew the 24 hour tracking cookie applied to ANYTHING bought on amazon they would have realised how stupid this question was.

Despite often selling websites, I will never use empire flippers because I am yet to hear of a sale go smoothly, each instance EF being at fault.

Everything you have learnt from r/Entrepreneur What was the most important thing you have taken away and into consideration from this subreddit? (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by inspire70

inspire70 on

Humblesalesman on

My takeaway: In this sub you will find both experts and rookies on various subjects. Both are just as entitled to answer any question presented. Both will give their opinion as if they are an expert.

Is $1,000 a good return on $450? (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by spacejames

spacejames on

So the profit will be $550. Is this a good return? I've been experimenting in different markets and had some great success and some terrible losses, but I'm learning and that's what counts. This next product I want to sell though has a huge untapped market, but as you know, cheap products sell cheaply. Right now I'm selling through eBay so there is also their fees and paypal withdrawal fees to consider after the profits, then postage costs, and then I'm guessing the profits will sit at around $480. Just thought I'd ask for some input. Thanks :)

Humblesalesman on

I am a little confused. Your question is vague.

You say $1,000 return on a $450 investment, then you say profit is $550 then you say profit is $480. Just to clarify profit is what is left after total costs and taxes are deducted from the sum.

I'll go with the end number of $480. How often will you be selling this product? Once a month? Once a year? Could you comfortably live off this?

The return is only as good as your lifestyle. If you are a chronic gambler with a lot of addictions then your will burn through that return a lot quicker than someone who lives simply.

OK... I've got a descent site. Now I need some marketing advice where do I start? Who do you guys use for marketing? Also advice for improving the site is always nice. Thanks (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by ricktheman1

ricktheman1 on

Here's the site https://deepwoodsinnovations.com thanks again.

Humblesalesman on

To put it super simply: Start by identifying your target market. You should already have done this. It's definitely not everyone. IMO I couldn't think of anything I want less than ugly wooden switch covers. I am not your target audience. And spending money targeting me will not change my mind. To get the best ROI you need to identify your target market. You then need to figure out the most cost effective way to reach them.

Once you have identified your target market you need to find where they hang. Is it a reddit sub? Is it a niche woodporn site? Is it at craft shows? Once you know where your target audience is hiding you then spend money on these avenues. Refining where and who to target will see you get the best ROI. You can use PPC or other paid advertising methods, Free samples, promotions and giveaways or just straight rub your product on peoples faces at craft or trade shows.

Marketing is very much trial and error. While general rules apply, what works for others will not necessarily work for you. Just jump in and see what works.

Why is a strong backlink of mine not getting indexed? (self.bigseo)

submitted on by woklikeme

woklikeme on

I was featured in an article for .inc.com and linked my month-old blog. I keep checking openlinkprofiler and other sites but the Inc. link will not come up for my paid SquareSpace site. Is it a problem on my end or theirs?

Humblesalesman on

Stress less.

Semrush (shit crawler for backlinks) ahrefs (much better) and other sites that monitor backlinks crawl the web at their own pace. You do not care that these sits have not indexed your backlink as it means absolutely nothing if they do.

You only care that Google has crawled it (which I strongly suspect they will have).

Do you have google webmaster tools set up? Just keep checking there (although it can take a week or more to appear here).

1 link from a big website isn't going to be the thing that makes your website surge to first position(despite many people wrongly thinking that it will), link building is a long play. Stop worrying about a single link and chase more.

Looking for Ideas for my website - Not sure where to take it really. . (self.juststart)

submitted on by Swifttolift

Swifttolift on

Hey everyone, So I have a website which is kindle related. If you don't know what Kindle is; It's the biggest ebook reading platform in the world by Amazon.

My site has been around a while now ( almost 2 years ), I think.

Anyway.. I feel like I could take it somewhere but honestly, I just have no clue where to start with it.

The website is not Amazon affiliate based but I have made money with this website using other programs and using facebook groups to advertise the posts. Back then, I could post in 600 groups at once and not get any blocks so it worked out well and I gained traffic.

Needless to say, I kind of gave up on the site due to lack of direction / interest and shiny object syndrome.

That being said, I notice people still upload their covers and use the website and it generates like 20 views a day which I guess is kind of okay.

So, I'm not looking for a backlink here but I'll share my website as I really don't care if anyone tries to copy it or not honestly.

www. Rate my kindle cover . com is the website

oh, I do have a mailing list of 100 people which is also another plus.

What would you do if this was your website? - Obviously the loading time is painfully slow and the site is a tad buggy but I can see some potential here.

Maybe I'm wrong, maybe I should just give the site up and stop wasting money on it.

Cheers :)

Humblesalesman on

If you have had the site for two years then you will be more cluey than most of us as to what the ceiling of the site would be. 20 views a day isn't a whole lot more than zero views a day in terms of traffic.

Kindle websites used to draw big bucks and I had a run of abusing it before amazon enforced the "20k free downloads forfeits your commission" rule.

The real question rests on you. If you don't have the love or interest for your site then starting from zero would likely be a better option. Motivation plays an important part in success. There is no point in churning out 50 pages if you are going to give up in 5 months. Your time would honestly better be spent gaming or partaking in another vice. At least you will enjoy it.

Digital Marketing - Let's Talk About It - Get 3 Actionable Improvements on Your Site (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by Peddlir

Peddlir on

Alright here we go:

General advice: You should really find a better more targeted niche. The reality is your competing with massive news sites/magazines when you do a topic as general as men's lifestyle and entertainment. Ranking for keywords and getting organic traffic is going to be inherently difficult for you and very unsteady. I'm sure you've seen an eb and flow of organic traffic when one of your articles happens to do better on organic for a month but then slowly fades away. Consider going into a more specific niche (similar to how the above guy specializes in style for short people).

1) SEO - On page SEO is on point, no issues. Your off page SEO (backlinks) are the real weakness you've got here. You have a few powerful ones (fourhourworkweek) and a bunch of no-follow links. Unfortunately, these aren't much related to your niche (or lack there of) and aren't super beneficial. You've got great DA and PA, but to progress forward, you're going to need a LOT more backlinks.

Your at a very advanced point of your SEO journey, moving forward you either need to hire an SEO content generation firm (if they don''t create content specialized for SEO (no this doesnt mean keyword stuffing), then it won't work), or self train yourself through SEOthatworks.com - Well worth the money and you'll learn how to readily create content that generates backlinks.

Social - No easy ways to access your social accounts directly from the home page (besides a barely noticeable hyperlink on the newsletter) - I'd highly advise creating some sort of community, as I explained above, social media isn't for marketing, its for engagement and community building. Build a community around men sharing their lives or adventures/lifestyles and connect people. Consider making an exclusive Club of sorts. A great example of this is ecommercefuel.com - they have a paid exclusive group for eCommerce pros to talk. Point is, build communities, don't just blast your articles.

Paid Adverts - I don't currently detect any paid advertising - in general, paid advertising will be necessary for long term growth, but you'll need to do some math first. Generally speaking, a campaign can be set up so you never spend more than you make. So step one is to figure out how much one user makes you (typically counted as number of people on your email newsletter) - the average is $1 dollar per month per person. If you have a conversion rate of lets say 20% of visitors turn into newsletter subscribers, then 5 clicks at 20 cents each would result in a net zero acquisition. This will take a lot of research or hiring a firm but I think you get the point.

I apologize that your answer is a bit similar to the one above, but you are both in a similar space with similar needs to move forward.

P.S. I'd really focus on getting a more niche, niche, and backlink building

Humblesalesman on

I have to ask: did you really look at his site? Because clicking any one of his links automatically opens a spam advert in a new tab.

Then there is your piss poor-recommendations.

> SEO - On page SEO is on point, no issues.

You obviously missed his lack of browser caching among many other flaws, like serving scaled images. This is most definitely an on-page issue.

Based on your current write up I am convinced that ALL you do is plug the site in a few automated programs and draw all info from that. As a result the suggestions you provide are basic and generic to the point that they are in-actionable.

Why anyone would pay you for more generic advice is beyond me.

Peddlir on

Hi everyone,

I'm relatively new to this sub, I've browsed around for a few months now and maybe posted a few times but I've never deeply engaged with the community.

In my experience as a digital marketing consultant and through groups on other social media sites, I've found that lots of people don't speak openly about digital marketing with each other and instead result to constant googling and self help guides etc that end up becoming overwhelming or confusing. I'd like to change that.

Let's talk about digital marketing! Ask me anything (ranging from SEO, to social, to PPC, to email, etc.) or post your website domain and I'll share at least 3 actionable changes you can make to improve your web presence immediately (or at least noticeably within a few weeks). Also, feel free to blast me on my thoughts or give feedback on how even I could do it better!

Lastly, feel free to message me for my LinkedIn contact info if you'd like access to a more long term digital marketing friend :P

Thanks and I look forward to chatting :D

*Note: These take me awhile to research and write (up to 30 min), please be patient with me <3

Humblesalesman on

OP simply uses a few generic online tools to plug your site and provides POOR Generic advice based on this, missing anything that even the most basic of site audits would have identified.

>1) SEO - On page SEO is on point, no issues.

When the site most definitely does have issues. OP cannot do his basic job description for free, so why would you pay for it?

Need help coming up with position name! (self.smallbusiness)

submitted on by Just_got_stoned

None on

Business Development, don't provide a title, just the description. That's what I use.

Humblesalesman on

In Australia the latest buzz word is "Business Development Manager". One year ago they were all called sales representatives. Then over the last year all the business cards in the industry have gradually been updated to reflect this new title.

Also, using the acronym "BDM" when referring to them sounds like fancy execu-speak.

Source - I worked in the Australian electrical Industry for sourcing for a major wholesaler and would see 5 or so BDMs a day.

The Drunken Goat - My startup soap company, my soaps are made with beer and raw goat's milk (self.SideProject)

submitted on by None

None on

[deleted]

Humblesalesman on

As an Australian who uses a beer shampoo and conditioner (bars, not drinking beer) and a goats milk soap I wish you all the best, it's amazing just how good for your skin an hair these two ingredients are.

Outline to Making Money with Online Marketing! (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by yalcinbo

yalcinbo on

A lot of people have been asking about the basics of online marketing and how to get started and make money. So, I decided to put together this “outline” on the steps you need to take to get started, and what you need to be successful.

Keep in mind this is not a comprehensive explanation on exactly what you need to do, and as with anything else it takes time, patience, and a lot of effort to make any real money in the online marketing arena.

Sorry for the length in advance, but I wanted to make sure I give everyone a good layout so they can either ask more specific questions or they can take some immediate action with this information.

When I was learning it was nearly impossible to find an affiliate site that I could use as an example, it seemed everyone out there, the guys writing books and charging for this info, were so secretive. I don’t want you to go through the same trial and error. So I’m going to post the first site I ever made below for you to look at and see what not to do (I used black hat SEO with terrible content, which led to an 89% bounce rate and no money). I’m also going to post the site I launched last month which has useful content and no tricky SEO business which ranks on Google after only one month and that makes money. This way you’ll have a template to use for your own site.

www.paleodonebetter.com (this is the site that makes nothing) www.lyftsignup.us (this is the site that has generated $750 in just 30 days)

Step One: Find a Niche

You need to find a niche. The way I go about this is first search Clickbank.com to see what products are paying well and actually selling. I look for a Gravity score of at least 50, this means people are actually making money off of this.

After I find a couple good affiliate programs I head over to Amazon to see if they have products that I can sell to my readers, you need to make sure Amazon has enough items. This will supplement your income that you make from the affiliate program that you chose.

Step Two: Do the Research

At this point you should have at least 2 to 3 products in mind, possibly in different niches, but you need to do the research to see which is the most feasible. Your going to need a Google Adwords account for this, but don’t worry its free. After you get your account heard over to the Tools tab and use Google Keyword Planner, click the generate ideas tab to begin.

Type in your main keyword, for example if your affiliate program is for weight loss pills you might type in weight loss. Google will give you a bunch of related search data, export this into an excel file.

To get more keywords, long-tail keywords, take that weight loss keyword and put it into a site called ubersuggest.org. This will give you a giant list of long-tail keywords. Take that list and import it into Google Keyword Planner to get the data on the keywords.

Put that data into an excel sheet and delete anything that has less than 50 monthly searches. After this combine the lists, and sort it by monthly search volume. I don’t target anything over 1,000 searches because the competition is to stiff.

At the end you should have a list of at least 50 to 100 keywords with a search range of 1,000 to 50. These are the keywords you’re going to be focusing on.

Once you have this spreadsheet download Market Samurai, the free version will do just fine, and analyze the SEO completion for each keyword. Select the 20 keywords with the least completion from your list, we’re going to use that for content creation.

Step Three: Make a Publishing List

With these 20 keywords you need to start creating content targeting each keyword, this is your gameplan to get ranked on Google . Make sure each post is between 300 and 600 words, generally lists; along with short paragraphs do well. Make sure you use your targeted keyword a few times in the post, and once in the first paragraph for SEO purposes.

Finish at least 10-12 posts ahead of time, so you have content on your site as soon as you launch.

Step Four: Wordpress Site

I use GoDaddy and buy a domain name with hosting for a Wordpress site; once you have multiple sites it’s much easier to manage using the GoDaddy platform.

Select a theme, if you need help selecting a good theme let me know, then begin planning the design of the site and putting the blog together (include at least one picture for every post and link it to your affiliate code).

Your site should have at least a blog section, a resources section (for your Amazon Associate products), an about us page, and a contact page. Use the Yoast SEO plugin to do your on page optimization.

Step Five: Getting Traffic

Once your site is ready, meaning all your products are up, the affiliate links are placed, and the design and flow are to your liking you’re ready to start driving traffic.

The quickest way to get results is Google Adwords PPC, but this will cost you money. Start slow with a max daily budget of $5 and see what your CTR rate is on the ad (should be at least 2%). Then use a/b testing to improve these results.

In addition to this talk to as many people you can about what you’re doing, don’t spam anyone rather help people. If you have a weight loss website find some weight loss threads or forums and give people some good content, trust me your site will start getting a lot of traffic this way.

If your content is good and you add content at least once a week to your blog you should start ranking for your long-tail, low completion keywords in a few months. This will bring you organic search engine traffic and you’re off to the races.

If you’ve read this far I appreciate your time, and I hope you found the information to be helpful. You may have a lot of questions now that you know what you didn’t know 10 minutes ago. If this is the case feel free to contact me, I’ll do my best to either help or point you in the right direction. Below are some resources that are going to make your life easier; I hope you find them helpful. Again, thanks for reading and good luck, just work hard and give it some time, if you stick with you’ll start seeing results and dollars soon enough!

Product Selection (Niche Research): Clickbank.com (easy to join and start using immediately) Peerfly.com (there’s an application process, but its worth having a backup marketplace to find affiliate products) Amazon Associates (low commission (4%-7%, but it will supplement your website with pages/session numbers and some income)

Keyword Research: Google Adwords (free to start an account, you just need a Gmail account, you’ll be using Google Keyword Planner here and Adwords for PPC marketing) Ubersuggest.org (completely free and it’ll give you keywords that Google wont, great for long-tail keywords) Market Samurai (the full version is $150 if I remember correctly, but the free one is good enough to analyze your competition and see which keywords will be easier to rank for)

Website: GoDaddy.com (find the hosting tab and chose the managed wordpress option, purchase your domain name and build out your site from here) Yoast SEO (crucial for on page optimization for your SEO, also gives you good details on what your posts/pages are missing so you can improve them for SEO) vCite (great for inputing widgets that call your users to action, or for collecting emails to begin an email list you can blast market to push products)

Humblesalesman on

I know you have the best of intentions and I love that you have taken the time out to help readers of r/entrepreneur but a lot of your recommendations are flawed in my opinion.

Word Count:

This is VERY niche dependent. While you can get away 300-600 on your lyft site this approach will see you struggle on your Paleo site. Lets take "best paleo solutions" for instance. This is your competition:

http://robbwolf.com/shop/products/the-paleo-solution-the-original-human-diet/

Not much to look at and definitely a poor example of a sales funnel. But if you explore the REST there are many many posts covering the 1200+ range.

Writing to a wordcount DOESNT MAKE SENSE. An article is long enough when it's objective has been satisfactorily reached (be that a indepth case study, answer a simple question, entertain, etc.) Writing to a wordcount means your content quality suffers.

Market Samurai:

Like Longtailpro, this is a terrible tool. If you are relying on this to determine what to target then you are leaving money on the table.

You are asking a computer program to decide what you should and shouldn't target. This is nuts. Since these Recommendations are only as strong as the algorithm behind them (which are pretty basic IMO based on the amount of false competitive keywords it flags). While using these programs may be better than simply guessing, they will in no way shape or form beat a human.

Chasing your identified keyword is simple: Can you do a better job (better pictures, more info, easier to read, better layout etc) and add more value to the end user than what appears on the front of google?

Yes ----> Chase it.

No ----> Move on.

It boggles my mind that people enter niches based on an arbitrary score when you do not know what factors determine that score.

Godaddy:

Just don't. They are by far one of the most unscrupulous domain registrars in existance. Name.com is not far behind. They do not need encouragement.

Yoast SEO:

A lot of people are going to disagree with me on this one but yoasts copy optimization is just terrible. Things like writing to a keyword density and forcing your keyword to be at the start of your opening paragraph makes copy come across as unnatural. If you DO choose to use yoast, use it sensibly and write in a way that flows naturally, otherwise you end up with forced sentences like this:

>Treadmills are an exercise machine that allows the user to walk or run in place. Most treadmills can be set to various uphill angles and will move at different speeds ranging from a slow walk to a full-out sprint. Treadmills provide an aerobic workout in the comfort of a home or gym.

Courtesy of smartmonkeyfitness.com.

These are just my thoughts for anyone else who is considering following this to the letter.

But congratulations on your success so far and with more hard work I am sure it will continue!

Edited for clarification

Do you need to get to the front page of Google to make money? (self.juststart)

submitted on by peachesandguacamole

peachesandguacamole on

Obviously ranking your site on the 1st page of Google is the holy grail in terms of keyword searches.

Is it still possible to make money if you're on much lower pages?

Anyone have sites that are making good money and aren't on page 1?

Humblesalesman on

If you build a social following it can be just as lucrative if not more so than ranking on google.

k9instinct.com makes a good 4 figures/month with little more than a facebook following.

But you know what's better? A good social following AND organic search standing. And this is what you should be aiming for since it is a great indication that you are providing value to your audience. After all, social is all about real people.

Is sleazy outreach the way to go? (self.juststart)

submitted on by Akial

SEOStefan on

Hey Humble, could you give an example of the type of email outreach that you find works well?

Humblesalesman on

No. This is one of those things that you will have to test for yourself and should vary depending on who you are reaching out too.

Akial on

Hey [Name]!

I recently read your [insert random well performing post] and just loved that you focused on [best piece of content] and how you blah blah blah...

As it so happens, [include pitch]


I agree, when we talk about broken links we can't just say "I was scraping the web for broken links and I'd like you to do me and your readers a favor and include my site in your page" (although I will be trying it), but when we reach out to people who have been around the block once or twice, do we really have pretend?

Wouldn't it be better to be honest and skip the first paragraph and instead focus on how WE are going to provide THEM and their readers value?

I've seen this template way too many times and I'm just annoyed.

What has your experience been, deviating from what the gurus recommend?

Humblesalesman on

>I recently read your [insert random well performing post] and just loved that you focused on [best piece of content] and how you blah blah blah...

I don't use this. I myself delete any email that starts with this.

Get to the point where we can help each other. Short and sweet. I find this get's the best results.

The gurus are not entirely wrong. This method once worked. But after many years and bajillions of emails sent in the same template, are you surprised it doesn't anymore?

Boosting FB posts with an Aff link in the txt. (self.juststart)

submitted on by manohman66

ShitBasket8 on

I believe you are not supposed to direct link to Amazon. So you can boost a post that leads to your website which then leads to Amazon, but not directly.

Lots of people still do however.

Humblesalesman on

This is the correct answer.

W1ZZ4RD on

Hmm, could be the group page that triggered it. I know a few people who find those popular videos and then spam their amazon affiliate link to the top comment and most of those accounts are still going.

Humblesalesman on

Odd, considering it was my group page with nothing that could be classified as spam :/ It's possible there is a human element in the Amazon review process causing the discrapancy. Or I just got unlucky.

W1ZZ4RD on

I have asked before in chat and posting links on social media is fine, just not paying to promote that post is what I was told.

Humblesalesman on

I remember you saying so but that mini site I made late last year got banned through direct linking from fb. No paid promotions, just through a large group page.

83,000 boo Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott at sporting event. (self.worldnews)

submitted on by MeltingDog

Kronic187 on

I wouldn't know where to find a source but I attended 2 of them myself. The 1st being the march in march in Melbourne alone they were claiming in the area of 30, 000. I think that's an exaggerated claim but I would estimate 10-15, 000. That was just in Melbourne, the same time there were protests in sydney, brisbane, canberra, even darwin. There was no media coverage at all from what I saw. The other 1 I attended was fairly recently, I think around late August. It was much smaller but at least 5, 000 in Melbourne. There were many more in between with various numbers but my only source for those is the March Australia facebook page so the numbers aren't very reliable

Humblesalesman on

Awesome, thanks for actually following this up as I genuinely was curious. There definitely has been no media coverage in my state except in a small local paper which only referred to a few hundred.

Thanks again!

Kronic187 on

There have been big protests around the country since march but they've been largley ignored

Humblesalesman on

>big protests

The only protests I have heard about have a involved less than a hundred people. Care to post a source?

Hint: People booing at sporting events isn't a protest.

Our community Facebook page just hit 100,000 likes. Ask me anything! (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by kobyc

kobyc on

I apologize, I didn't give the specifics of my total sales, just my sales that are directly from Facebook.

It doesn't take into account my mailing list, Pinterest, Adroll, or direct hits. All of my new sales basically come from Facebook, and then I continue to advertise to them over and over again in different places that I can't tie to Facebook.

And please remember I didn't start with 100,000 likes. Last week we did $2,000 in sales.

And I never claimed to be rich. Just been posting my growth man and calling B.S. when I see B.S. as with the "Facebook Fraud" video. If that video is correct, can you please explain why I have a 98% page engagement?

Humblesalesman on

Yes you did not start with 100k likes and my look at the business starts at the 50k like mark. I am more interested in the relation between likes and sales which, in the sample I presented, there isn't any.

I just wanted to post this as I was looking to throw money at Facebook and upon digging through your posts found inconsistencies which lead me to believe it may not be worth my time.

Out of curiously what do visitors from Facebook to your store convert at as I believe you may have over estimated the 2% you originally said.

This is not an attack on you and I honestly wish you the best of luck in your endeavours.

kobyc on

Yeah the conversion rate has gone down a little bit when it was 50 hits per day vs 300 hits per day from Facebook. Conversion rate at 100K likes is about 1.3% now with a average order of $35.

It costed me $3,000 to get to this point, and now I have it. I get it for the rest of Facebook. Take that however you want man.

Edit: I can't grammar.

Edit #2: I only post 1 product picture a day too, I try not to spam people.

Humblesalesman on

I hope you update r/entrepreneur on the Feb-April and there is a relation between Facebook likes and your sales.

Look forward to seeing it.

Sucked in by r/entrepreneurridealong (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by Tyhole

Tyhole on

The idea of owning my own business has been extremely appealing to me for quite some time. I found the guide to starting up a professional cleaning service over at r/entrepeneurridealong ... but its just something that seems too good to be true. Yet there's a piece of me that thinks it is actually plausible.

I've dabbled in the business before as a teen when a family member owned 2 residential cleaning services. Pay was good and the work was tedious. I've recently decided to get back into it on the side and have had a few clients and done all the work myself. Considering expanding it and building it up into a profitable business.

Anyone have experience in running this type of business full time? Any pointers / suggestions.

Humblesalesman on

Sounds like you have already identified where you might find information on this (Hint: r/entrepreneurridealong).

And to help you when you post this over there, refine your question.

>Any pointers / suggestions.

Is not going to get you any sort of meaningful response tailored to you at all. Instead ask about something specific. Specific questions get specific answers. Your general question has been answered a hundred times over.

Tips for Securing and Hardening WordPress (self.Wordpress)

submitted on by antonnette-mira

antonnette-mira on

Humblesalesman on

Bonus points for listing the sources that you ripped these generic and unhelpful pieces of advice from.

How aggressively should I be going after plagiarism? (self.juststart)

submitted on by None

BOOGY_DOG on

So a "backlink" to an image is worthless? That's just what they're doing, I guess I will go the troll route then.

Humblesalesman on

It's not a backlink. If you can change the image as it appears on their website it's a hotlink. These are useless and can end up causing a lot of harm if they appear in bulk.

None on

A few small websites have started copying and pasting my content, and I'm curious as to how much this can hurt me.

So far, I've been aggressively going after the ones that are in the same space as me, but there are a few completely unknown blogs that have copied me and don't appear to be selling anything. They just have a bunch of random articles with large chunks copied from a bunch of websites (and a weird disclaimer that they'll go after anybody who files a DMCA takedown against them).

Is it worth going after every example of plagiarism? It seems like that could get expensive.

Humblesalesman on

I only do this with direct competitors. If the website is large enough that a backlink will help me then more often than not I let them feature my article with a canonical link using the anchortext "This post originally appeared on XXXXXX.com" at the top of the page. Simply dropping a DMCA takedown can void some good networking opportunities.

The ones with "random articles" are likely part of a much larger PBN. It is not worth going after these as their existence does not negatively impact you. You only have so much time in the day after all.

BOOGY_DOG on

This is the approach I have taken as well. Got a pingback from a site that just straight copy and pasted my content, but left the 3 or 4 links to different pages on my site in the article.

Another time I had someone steal an image to my site, but they direct-linked to the image hosted on my server. Thought about changing it to something pornographic or obscene to fuck with them, but decided to not risk them removing the backlink.

Humblesalesman on

>but they direct-linked to the image hosted on my server.

I assume you are talking about hotlinking? This is seldom a good thing, especially if it happens in bulk. They are using your bandwidth to deliver an image on their site. And unless they are direct linking to your page then a backlink to an image is essentially worthless.

Influential Twitter accounts (Monetizing twitter accounts) (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by lasvegas51s

kueller on

How do you find the conversion rates? I've heard Twitter is pretty terrible when it comes to conversions..

Humblesalesman on

2-4% conversion seems to be the norm. It really varies according to tweet content and time of day the tweet is posted. Used supplementary to additional traffic sources, it definitely has its place.

HOPEFUL-ENTREPRENEUR on

Do you own the influencer accounts, or do you pay for them to tweet something for you?

If the latter, could you share where/how you go about finding influencer accounts that are willing to take money for 'sponsorship'? And maybe perhaps the cost of doing so?

Humblesalesman on

I own my own twitter accounts. Your best bet is to contact relevant influencers directly if you want them to tweet your content.

G-Solutions on

Thr twitter account itself is worthless. If it drives conversions for your business then it's worth something.

Humblesalesman on

This is the correct answer. I use influencer accounts in tandem with my affiliate websites, driving targeted traffic. Without the associated website the twitter account would be fairly worthless.

kueller on

Thats surprisingly better than I'd expected from some of the stories I've heard, which is good to know. Thanks!

Humblesalesman on

Ultimately it comes down to targeted traffic. A lot of people build followers for the sake of having a big number. If half of this number are interested in cars and you sell apples then you will get people clicking out of curiosity but that will be where their journey ends.

RetroYouth on

Hey buddy, just wanted to let you know for your case study post that several of your image links are down.

Humblesalesman on

Thanks for this. I'll fix them up when I am back from holiday this week.

dreams_of_ants on

influential Twitter accounts? Is that like an alt-account you have that posts relevant posts to a field?

Humblesalesman on

It's essentially a twitter account with a large and engaged following specific to an industry. A celebrity such as Angelina Jolie would be considered an influencer.

'Google submission services': The newest scam? (self.SEO)

submitted on by topspeedj

topspeedj on

Bought a couple more domains recently and the email I registered them with was bombarded with emails thereafter from marketing companies offering 'Google submission services' or 'Search engine submission services' talking about 'how vital this service is for getting found'. Also got one or two sales calls from similar companies.

Clearly it's nonsense and a complete waste of money, since Google et al index websites all by themselves at no cost to you. It just takes a little bit of time, sometimes as little time as a few days. In one case a company was charging over £100 for this service.

I've bought more than 20 domains in the past two years and this is the first time this has happened, but you just know that a few people less experienced with Google and SEO will fall for this trick.

Humblesalesman on

Been around for years. When I bought my first domain name 10 years ago I was emailed a search engine submission service for the low payment of $19.95, recurring annually. Many registrars still offer this service and are happy to email you the offer.

Anyone recently, find a niche on Amazon? It seems that every niche I know well is saturated. (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by MusclesBrah24

MusclesBrah24 on

Well, check out resistance bands on amazon. I mean tell me thats not saturated. I mean there has to be a limit to how much you can improve a product currently. Resistance Bands --> Add thicker bands for quality, Add handles for better grip, Add a carrying case, different resistance, different colors, add special deal: buy 2 get one free, yada yada yada. How do you add more value than all that for example. Literally all those resistance bands from alibaba. All has been done.

Anyways, the affiliate marketing is pretty much being an expert on the topic. Write bunch of blogs --> content marketing. Get website views --> Add affiliate link --> Profit.

Its like I know the methods, but I'm just sitting here poor

Humblesalesman on

Again, my reference was for affiliate marketing and google.

I am willing to bet that in the next 5 years we see a completely new resistance band design. As we have seen them change in the past 5 years.

If you are using resistance bands as an example then I am guessing you are looking for a low investment quick win reselling something from Alibaba. That isn't going to happen since you are years late to the party. But if you wanted to up the ante then there are numerous ways to find out what resistance band users want by asking them directly, you know, good old market research.

> Anyways, the affiliate marketing is pretty much being an expert on the topic. Write bunch of blogs --> content marketing. Get website views --> Add affiliate link --> Profit.

This is in no way shape or form accurate. I strongly advise you to steer clear of affiliate marketing unless you strongly rethink this mindset, you will waste a lot of time and not get anywhere.

MusclesBrah24 on

So I am working on only one business that definitely has a higher barrier to entry. On the mean time I was doing a resell business, failing hard. Not going to source anymore, just whenever I am in a store then I will pick it up. So, for months I have been searching tirelessly fora niche to do the alibaba PL --> amazon thing. Seems everything is saturated.

So I gave myself a break, started to do some things I would normally do. I ended up on amazon because I needed things for my hobbies. Now with my newly found entrepreneurial perspective. I had no idea literally every product for my hobbies is a alibaba PL --> amazon. I'm like... what do I do now.I lived my life as a customer and still can't find a profitable niche.

Started looking into affiliate marketing. I just jumping around on idea and idea, while doing my real business. Still stay with ecommerce? learn affiliate marketing? They always said that nobody takes action, WTF everyone takes TOO MUCH ACTION. Tons of DO'ers.

Humblesalesman on

In relation to affiliate marketing: I think this comes from not looking hard enough. No niche is really as saturated as you make out. Lets take a look at "best hot air brush" as an example. You see a bunch of results and assume saturation. I see crap that is being used as a placeholder until something better comes along.

No single site on the first page adequately addresses the searchers intent. Each page just rattles off a bunch of generic things about hot air brushes. Useless and easy to outrank. That's a freebie and from experience will be a saturated niche within 3 months due to people stalking my comments, so probably don't go after that one.

The problem stems from you not knowing what value is. There are going to be competitors in EVERY niche. Surprise! But most of them do a pretty crap job. If you can identify your target audience and give them what they want then you can literally print money. Source: I do this for a living.

New Case Study Part 1 (self.juststart)

submitted on by None

None on

[removed]

Humblesalesman on

Excited to see where this goes, particularly with a key SEO knowledgebase that many beginners would kill for. Be sure to update us! Good luck!

PBNs (self.juststart)

submitted on by Akial

Akial on

Although I have had some entrepreneurial success, but I never had to do any SEO or ranking to get to my customers. I'd like to find out what your stance is on PBNs.

This is what I know about them, mind you I know not enough.

PBNs or Private Blog Networks are minisites that I would create with the sole purpose of ranking my main site. They are in the same general niche and talk about complimentary topics. I don't care about their content nearly as much. I write them for the search engines, not for the people. My goal is for them to be easily recognizable for Google. After that, I link to my main site. This way, instead of doing contributing for my backlinks - I create them myself. I add nothing of value for these backlinks, they don't contribute at all, nor will they ever bring in direct traffic - they just "look" good in Googles eyes.

One of my first businesses was a YouTube marketing service (We sold views). This was around 4 years ago when it was extremely profitable. 1MM views would get you to the front page of YouTube, where you would pick up another 300-500k in 24 hours. It was a gold mine. Instead of us trying to rank videos, we serviced people. We sold the views. 1MM went for $900 back then. Cost was minuscule, it was mostly profits. We battled with YouTube almost weekly. They would find a way to stop us, we would search for a way to get around it. Fortunately, I wasn't the technical guy. I just had to find buyers. Unfortunately, I went in at the end of the golden era. I made some easy money but it was a bad experience. I know I was gaming a system and (call me a pussy) - I disliked it. I knew that there were hard working content creators out there who were hurting.

BTW, you'd be surprised how many people bought views. Most of the biggest YT celebs did, politicians as well.

Ever since, I have a strong dislike for anything "unethical" that tries to game the system. I don't believe in faith or karma or any of that mumbo jumbo. I'm much more narcissistic in that aspect - I just want to work hard and get rewarded accordingly. Putting in the effort and seeing what I produce blossom is what makes me happy in all aspects of life. As such, I will never use a PBN, I'll concentrate on producing insightful content and market it as best I can. I'd like to hear your stance on this issue.

Humblesalesman on

u/W1ZZ4RD is much more qualified than me to comment on this.

My stance is not to use them. While they can work (they still work really well for BING), you rank your website first on google, then what? You rely on people clicking in their thousands to earn a paltry amount because your on page just does not have the love and attention it needs?

Gaming a system puts you in a different field of competition. it comes down to who can game the system better. This was the problem with backlinks that saw sites having to constantly blast their website with new links or fall behind the competition. Anyone can do this. As a result your competition is in the thousands.

But going the true marketers route you actually have less competition. Much less. On most "best" modifier words there are generally a max of 8 sites that are even halfway decent. Only 8. These are really your competition. PBN users will come and go and should not be given any weight. yes they may appear above you every now and then but google is pretty quick to slam them down.

My thoughts.

What to look for to create a brand/style (self.juststart)

submitted on by Lazy-Physicist

Lazy-Physicist on

As most of you know I had my first couple of sales on my site last week, sales dimmed down however but it was expected (some referal caused most of those). On the other hand my social media traffic is starting to rank up, to a point of 80 people a day.

Conversion on them is lower then I hoped for, but I found an affiliate that gives away a free item so I am expecting that will get me some extra cash (great deal as far as I am concerned).

However when I started the site I just rushed most of the design parts, because honestly I am not a very creative person.

However now, more and more I realise that I need to create a solid brand and logo and design pattern in my posts in fb and instagram. To get more people to recognise me as a authority.

Any advice on the follow:

  • What would be a good place to get a logo designed, I don't really plan on spending more then a couple of bucks. But I feel like fiverr has low quality designs.

  • How did you guys decide on your colour pallete? I am using lifestyle pro a genesis theme and honestly I can't get the right colour in that makes it look clean.

Am I overthinking it? or am I on the right track here?

Humblesalesman on

  1. You don't need a logo. Just make a colored circle and put a letter or two inside (white font always looks sleek). Looks simple and effective. Change it when you can justify paying for it.

  2. http://www.colorcombos.com/

And yes, you are definitely overthinking this. Audience will be more forgiving of design/colors if the content is great.

Got 6 Out of 9 Front Page Google Spots in 3 Months... What Do You Want To Know? (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by tfimg24

tfimg24 on

Hey everyone, I'm working on a case study about a client of mine who was able to go from a base of zero to significant first-page rankings on google within about three months.

I feel like the article just keeps getting longer and longer, one principle leads to another, etc... I need to focus it down.

I want to make this really helpful and actionable, so my question for you is what specifically would you like to know about how he did that?

Are you working on something similar and hitting any particular road blocks? The more specific you can be about your project and your question, the better of an answer I can give.

I'll answer some things here, and post the full workup here when it's finished.

Humblesalesman on

< 6 out of 9 front page google spots in three months.

What does that even mean?

6/9 posts are ranking for their targeted keywords? You are ranking for 9 keywords and out of those 6 are on the front page?

Without knowing the competition of these keywords, a case study is pretty useless. I do this for a living and it's not uncommon to rank on the first page for long tail words in under a month, three months should see you well on your way to picking up more than 9 if you are doing everything right.

zeymad on

Thank you for answering. I had a question but....... you already wrote so much so I deleted it. Thanks again.

Humblesalesman on

I personally have a strong love of studiopress and the genesis frame work. It is a little pricier ($99 for the framework but comes with a free theme) but they are well coded and give you no gripe whatsoever. While some people don't like them because they look simple, the focus should be on a content (and more importantly your affiliate links) and I have never had a problem with converting them.

Unfortunately I have no experience with thrivethemes, I have been so happy with studiopress (after trying many awful themeforest themes) that I have not really felt a need to try anything else.

zeymad on

How come with your extensive knowledge you don't open your own "guru" site for an easy extra income? I imagine there are a lot of people who respect your opinion. The only reason I can think of is that you think you can make more money by not sharing your strategy OR you're so morally driven that you don't want to endorse products with affiliate systems you dont' believe in? It's not a marketing question it's a .. person.. character question I guess? ( I'm very sorry for crashing your comment like this but you've said you don't want personal messages) If no answer I'll respect that and keep silently learning from you still.

Humblesalesman on

Firstly, I cannot tell you how much I appreciate not PMing me this. My inbox is a huge collection of hatemail, people trying to blackmail me into revealing my websites and pople asking for advice that is a simple google search away. As such, I ignore it.

This has been pitched to me before and I have absolutely no interest in it and I have a few problems with it.

Firstly, I find that people that read guru websites are too easily lead astray, hanging on your every word. If you are willing to pay for an ebook or software that will "guarantee riches" then chances are that you are interested in nothing more than the template for success. This template simply DOES NOT EXIST. Gurus prey on the stupid and the desperate. To be blunt, they are an audience that I do not want.

Secondly, most "gurus"promote crap products. Long Tail Pro is hands down the worst piece of software I have ever had the displeasure of using and don't get me started on half the crap that Pat Flynn recommends (bluehost is one of the worst hosting platforms, I refuse to use them after experiencing just how bad they are for myself, but they have a kick ass affiliate program). The reason my affiliate websites are so successful is that I promote the best. I don't care if the product is the cheapest, if it does the best job then that's what I will recommend. I run a business not a scam.

Here's the deal, the only software/tools for affiliate marketing is:

  • Scrapebox (this piece of software can literally do ANYTHING, I love it with all my heart)

  • Screaming frog (or xenu for windows users) is the bomb for link analysis.

  • A good backlink tool (currently Ahrefs but it's quickly becoming an overpriced piece of bloatware, it has so many useless features that do not work all that great, but for now I consider it the best).

The following are optional but helpful since all this information can be obtained with scrapebox:

  • Semrush - Competitor analysis

  • Ubersuggest - great free tool for finding keywords

Lastly, a guru site builds a brand around your personal name. I am a very private person, I have no social media presence, My name does not appear anywhere on the internet and I have worked hard to keep it that way. I don't even like people knowing how much I actually take home a year. While I am happy to post an income report here or there, that is the extent of it. I would prefer to reveal a niche website than reveal who I am. On reddit I am anonymous and I get hate mail and death threats. It's not something I need in my personal life.

Although it's funny you mention this. I am currently shopping my next case study around to a few marketing blogs so that if I sell the site or anything happens to my account, the case study will still be publicly available (unlike my last one).

Thanks for the question!

tfimg24 on

Good question; For one targeted keyword, the front page has nine organic results. Of those, six are his site. So basically he owns the front page for that search term.

As for competition, what single metric would you use to communicate how competitive a keyword is? Avg monthly searches on Google from the keyword analyzer? Perhaps something else?

Humblesalesman on

I may be wrong, but this to me screams of low competition and is not typical behavior of the SERPS. Unless it is a brand name, (easily doable) or a keyword that is incredibly obscure (read: worthless) a single site should not appear more than once or twice for a single keyword.

Probably the best resource for Amazon affiliate marketing I've seen written. (self.juststart)

submitted on by themadentrepreneur

js_throaway on

Hope this doesn't break rule #5 - don't be a dick.

This guy is total trash - here's why:

I was able to figure out his money site by just examining the image he had in his post (http://i.imgur.com/fy3EafP.png). I simply adjusted the contrast/levels/exposure options in Photoshop to reveal enough letters in order deduct his money site (proof: http://i.imgur.com/oBjAKRu.jpg) These few letters along with the preview thumbnail was enough for me to believe that his money site is https://www.portableacnerd.com.

So I did a quick backlink audit and determined this guy does a hybrid PBN + hacks into sites/finds exploits to place links back to his own money site.

He has backlinks from the following sites (completely unrelated to his niche and can tell they were sneakily added into the article to go undetected):

http://www.poynter.org/2010/states-undertake-a-cash-for-clunkers-program-for-appliances/100971/ http://www.helliwood.de/2009/01/learning-and-technology-world-forum-2009/ http://www.kasplacement.com/writing-an-effective-sales-resume/

I stopped looking through more cause I don't really care that much. Plop it into OSE or any other backlink crawler of your choice to verify.

This guy gives SEO peeps a bad name - who wants to report him to the Google Spam authorities? Hell, I am sure he is breaking a few laws as well.

Humblesalesman on

Rule 5 was more set in place as the subreddit was finding it's feet, a sort of cover-all for anything we had missed. Short of maliciously doxxing a user, facts will never violate rule 5.

Great sleuthing on your part.

I always found it funny how these kinds of sites always have the same "look" to them. Even without exploring the backlinks you could assume with 99% certainty how this site ranks. No value added here.

>Summer is not merely about pool parties and barbeque, scorching heat is an inevitable part of this season too. Thanks to the mercy of technology, we have a messiah in the form of air conditioners to keep us comfortably alive under tremendous heat and humidity.

That sales pitch...

themadentrepreneur on

I'm usually not a link sharing sort of guy, but as someone who is always on the lookout for some gems to get an edge up and learn new stuff I thought I'd share this one if you haven't seen it yet:

https://techtage.com/amazon-affiliate-niche-site-guide/

I have to give his kid Rohit some credit, after looking him up he's really been hustling since he was crazy young, like 14 young.

If you have years of experience in this space it's probably nothing earth shattering but it's still one of the most in-depth and transparent guides I've seen on the topic in recent memory.

Humblesalesman on

There is some good advice in here and some bad advice. Anyone who is using a SINGLE guide as a foundation for their knowledge will likely set themselves up for failure, even if it is better written than most.

As is my longstanding opinion, anyone who recommends longtail pro should have their credibility scrutinized.

I stopped reading here:

>I'm a technical SEO fanatic.

>Recommends 17 "Fundamental" plugins that he uses on every site.

I'll tell you right now that all of those plugins are going to slow down your page speed substantially.

>If you have a topic in mind, it usually takes less than 2 weeks to set up a complete niche site with all of its contents.

Uhuh.... We all know what kind of sites this guy makes then... And how he ranks them.

I got nothing against the kid but I do warn you to do your own research rather than following a single guide to the letter.

Akial on

The best thing on that site is the logo.

I always found it funny how these kinds of sites always have the same "look" to them. Even without exploring the backlinks you could assume with 99% certainty how this site ranks. No value added here.

Preach. Yesterday I found a "competitor" with a slick theme and a few posts up. His "reviews" are each a paragraph long, every umbrella post is titled "Best [keyword] 2016", every single picture is stolen. All that jazz.

But, here is what takes the cake: His sidebar content (Removed)

Yes, this guy is proudly displaying Sitebull (an "authority niche creating service") and a PBN rental service (<-- lol).

Who said niche marketing isn't fun?

Edit: I've removed the image from my post as it came up on google image search together with the guy's website.

Humblesalesman on

If that site appears on the front page for anything then you should be happy!

If I was a guru I would tell you to immediately breakdown his backlink profile and copy it. There are obviously no exceptions to this rule.

Looks like you beat my PM to you regarding reverse image search.

Would love some feedback on my first affiliate marketing store (self.AffiliateMarket)

submitted on by treasureseason

treasureseason on

Thanks for the feedback. Unlike This is Why I'm Broke, we stay away from over-priced products, no matter how cool they are. We also avoid adding gag products or products that have no real use to the end-user, no matter how share-worthy they are. If it's not apparent upon landing on our site, we're also targeting a less geeky & masculine audience. So far it's working out for us, however, we do have to work on communicating our value proposition better. We've just been focusing on traffic since it's holiday season.

From a marketing perspective, social media IS our primary focus, and an area at which we both excel so it's not a concern for us.

We actually just moved from full time to part time. It was in no way a financial risk, we just both have busy lives. So far, it's turned out to be well worth it.

Humblesalesman on

>We avoid adding gag products.

Front page has "mona Lisa smoking a joint poster"

Seriously, you guys have no idea who your target audience is. Work on that.

treasureseason on

Hey Redditors,

Two months ago my best friend and I decided to quit our full-time jobs and dive into the world of affiliate marketing. With backgrounds mostly in marketing, we had no idea how to build a website, but after a few Wordpress tutorials and many, many headaches, our site, Salt n Pop, is now live!

So what is Salt n Pop? It's basically a hand-picked selection of the coolest lifestyle products available online. We have about 100 products up at the moment, but lots more are on the way. We'll also be posting blogs regularly.

We would love your feedback in terms of branding, design, user experience, and your overall opinion of the site and its content.

Check it out here: http://saltnpop.com

Thanks a bunch :)

Cassandra & Angela

Humblesalesman on

So... You're marketers. Maybe you can tell me your value add because it was not immediately apparent to me.

Yet another mish-mash collection of product albeit presented nicer than most. Unless you have a unique marketing angle or a prebuilt email list or social following, this style of affiliate website does not typically succeed.

This type of affiliate website is easily built as a side project by a single person. I am seriously worried that two of you quit your full time job to jump into this.

SEO: The State Of Linkbuilding In 2015 (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by nomiddlemanco

nomiddlemanco on

Humblesalesman on

This could also be titled "The state of link building in 2014"

During outreach for guest posts, how do you handle the sites that require the article to be sent in your very first email? (self.juststart)

submitted on by iamsecretlybatman

iamsecretlybatman on

For some reason my incredibly small mind couldn't come up with a better title to this thread, so let me explain.

I'm currently doing a ton of outreach for guest posts to build links to my site. In most cases, the site owner will ask you to pitch them with topics first, giving you a chance to actually talk to them before writing so that you can agree on a topic and not just write some random article they have no interest in. In this scenario, I'm getting great results and having no problem scoring guest posts and links.

However, there are also a good majority of sites that tell you NOT to pitch them, to just send in your guest post and if they like it they will post it. These sites range from small blogs to high-authority brands, and I'm coming across a lot of them that I would love to get links from.

For those who have experience in this outreach scenario, what are your results typically like? Do a good percentage of sites accept your guest posts and end up publishing with your links? The last thing I want to do is spend time writing a shit ton of random articles just to get 3 of them accepted. With that said, I also don't want to skip out on the opportunity to score links from these sites either.

Curious to hear everyone's opinions on how you usually go about this scenario.

Edit: clarification

Humblesalesman on

This is another one of those "try it and see if it's worth it for YOU things."

If I told you I have had good success with these sites, and you sent 10 articles to 10 blogs and zero get published (or worse, get published with your links stripped) then any advice given counts for naught. No matter how positive it may be.

iamsecretlybatman on

Oh I definitely agree with that, I didn't expect to take anyone's answers here as absolute. Was just hoping to hear some experiences from anyone who has gone through this before to see if there were any out-of-the-ordinary tips on approaching these types of sites other than just send-and-pray. (I can see you rolling your eyes at this now haha)

Last month I built an excel of about 250 sites in my niche accepting guest posts. Over the past few weeks I've emailed a big majority of them and am getting a great response rate, but of those 250, about 50 or so only accept articles up-front with no pitch, which is a pretty sizable number. So before writing those sites off and just continuing with what I've found works well for me, I figured I'd put the question out there to see if I get any noteworthy responses.

Humblesalesman on

All good. Just remember, once you have gone through this list, it's time to start outreach on sites that DON'T publicly announce they accept guest posts. These are the ones you want links from since any average competitor can pretty much copy your link building efforts so far.

Hey /r/entrepreneur, I started a men's gear blog, suggestions, insights would be appreciated. (Link in description) (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by None

Richy_Rich_ on

How are you monetizing your site/ blog? It appears that your website doesn't carry any products and there weren't any ads.

Humblesalesman on

The website contains affiliate links. In fact that's, pretty much all it contains.

None on

[deleted]

Humblesalesman on

I'm going to lay some harsh truth on you:

This isn't a blog. This is crap. This isn't going to make money.

Where do I begin?

  • it's pictures with 1 line of text underneath them. In your years of using google, have you EVER seen a website like this on the front page?

  • it is disjointed. You call the blog proper male yet the products have no connection to one another. From car to cookware it jumps all over the place.

  • You have literally put no effort into this. This "blog" could be recreated in under two hours.

  • box grid is a poor choice for a wordpress theme. The lack of copy on the front page means that you have to really up your efforts to get it ranked. There are other quirks about this theme that I don't like but going into them will result in an essay.

If you want to make money with an affiliate website you are going to have to try much harder than that. This isn't even up to par with affiliate websites from 2008, and those were awful.

Unfortunately I feel I have to be harsh. This is a very crowded market place and there is no need to sugar coat it. Look at popular mens blogs from prominent influentials. It should immediately become apparent what they do well, what they don't and how you can squeeze in.

Expect to put in many many many hours of work if you want to succeed. It's hard. Good luck.

How to Access the Free Keyword Planner Tool in Google Adwords (self.SEO)

submitted on by kenn987

kenn987 on

Hi everyone, I seen some people talk about how it is still possible to use Google Adwords just for keyword suggestions, but whenever I sign in to Google Adwords I don't know where to navigate to to get to the keyword planner tool. Here is a picture of the screen I land on when I sign into Google Adwords, any pointers would be appreciate, thank you. http://imgur.com/TsoMJBD

Humblesalesman on

Create a new email account and follow these instructions:

http://www.blackhatworld.com/blackhat-seo/white-hat-seo/758834-google-keyword-planner-how-skip-first-campaign-part.html

You will be unable to use the keyword tool on the current email you are using without filling out the details.

Using your real name, no name, a website name or a made up name? From what perspective should one make an affiliate site? (self.juststart)

submitted on by Marvin_The_Depressed

None on

[deleted]

Humblesalesman on

If you want to try something then test it. Remember the name of the sub?

My thoughts are it will lead to brand confusion (why do some products link to affiliate sites and others are readily available). It's not something I do or have seen done successfully TBH. But I have not looked into it much at all. It's on you to dig deeper if you find it appealing.

Marvin_The_Depressed on

Thank you for your answer. So I guess my next step is to figure out how to get the right legal documentation in order to get something like a business started.

Should be rather simple - but as I haven't touched this sort of stuff it is always intimidating at first.

I already run two websites under my name and I always hated it and it blocked me from writing content from a not-me perspective. Guess that's about to change now. :) I'm kinda curious if I could also make them into some kind of affiliate site as they already have some backlinks, etc., but I better make a clean start with a niche that seems more profitable.

Again thank you for your response.

Humblesalesman on

>Should be rather simple - but as I haven't touched this sort of stuff it is always intimidating at first.

I am sure hundreds of people less qualified than yourself have done this successfully, nothing to be afraid of.

Backlinks should not be used as the determining factor as to whether or not to continue with a site IMO. If you can add value to a larger audience then by all means start again, but you can always just swap out your identity with your business name if you think the sites have potential. However, only you can make that call. Good luck!

barfolamew on

Do you create a new company for each site or do you run them under a single umbrella company (presumably with separate accounting books)? Business entities are not exactly cheap to form and maintain in my state, so I'm curious if it's worth it for relatively small sites that may not prove successful.

Humblesalesman on

Umbrella company.

>so I'm curious if it's worth it for relatively small sites

You would have to discuss this with an accountant.. In Australia I can claim business related expenses (new computers, desks,stationary, anything remotely businessy) as a work expense. This sees me avoid GST (sales tax) and other benefits. In Australia the cost is far outweighed by the benefits. My situation is not your situation and you will have to dig further to find out what is right for you.

None on

[deleted]

Humblesalesman on

I speak in generalisations. Mostly because I want to give you as much to think about as possible to make an informed decision. It's up to you to pick and choose what advice to follow and what to ignore. The thing to remember is that although I have a lot to say, I am not responsible for your success or failure.

If your local business needs a website then it sounds like you already had a grand plan in mind. Roll with it! When starting out I always recommend focusing on a single website. There is a lot to do and two websites will stretch you pretty thin, especially since you are both learning and executing.

Marvin_The_Depressed on

How are you doing all the social media stuff for your sites?

  • Are you posting as you personally?
  • Are you using your website as brand identity or something like that?
  • From what perspective are you writing your articles? Yourself or more general like Wikipedia?
  • Do you create a fake person like Dr. Phil (Pregnancy Pillow expert) or Susan Whatever (Caring mother of three)?

Asking as in my country (Germany) we have to make an imprint on the website stating our full name, address, etc. So everything I do is under my name and that's what always holds me back (as I'm working in another field and don't want them to find too much regarding my e.g. pregnancy pillow fetish) - so far they can only find my portfolio and mostly things I like others to find.

How do you approach this? Should I create some kind of company (then it would only be the company and no one would directly know it is me).

Humblesalesman on

I am a private person and will never post personally. All my websites a developed with the intention of becoming a brand.

I write articles as if I am a person. When was the last time you thoroughly enjoyed reading something on wikipedia? Never? Pretty much. Turns out people are emotional and cold hard factual and technical content does little to inspire emotions like greed, lust and envy (all great emotions to draw out to sell).

I create a fake persona. If I was a 40 year old male, pushing pregnancy pillows comes across as more of a fetish than a genuine interest in curing the sleeping problems of pregnant women. Same can be said for a bra salesman or anything like that. Women think that only women know women.

IINAL but when it comes down to this a company is a must. Even when I first began selling online as a teenager I made a company. Obviously I can't speak on behalf of Germany but here in Australia there are lots of perks to running websites from a business (hosting fees and the like are business expenses rather than personal expenses).

wannabe_ee on

Any good recommendations for finding stock photos that are cheap? I looked them up on google and the sites that I found had expensive monthly memberships.

Humblesalesman on

Submission history.

None on

[deleted]

Humblesalesman on

Just be mindful that leveraging your own name comes at a cost. You cannot distance yourself from your brand. What happens if you ever want to sell your company? While you can, it will be with great difficulty since you are the product.

bobbytheaxe on

When I approach a site that I do not want to use my birth name with (there are different reasons), I approach it just like an author or screen writer. I develop a character. I mean fully develop it. Often, this happens over time. Some characters have families. Others are heroin addicts. One is an OCD, pregnant pre-op transgendered person that only uses pencils to write with (don't ask, it is complicated.

You get the idea.

Some characters are all over social media. Some are very private. All have pictures and a digital footprint that might include an abandoned blog.

This is not hard to do and can be quite fun if you approach it correctly. Don't get too carried away. Don't wanna splinter your personality.

The point of some of this is to be able to pass the Brand off to a buyer without the complications of a powerful REAL persona. The persona can continue on or quietly be phased out.

Humblesalesman on

Good advice, maybe not taken to such an extreme but definitely the right idea. Another benefit to this is readers find themselves enjoying the personality quirks of this imaginary persona. You have a real opportunity to have your character shine through the copy and can really help differentiate your article from bland competitors. While scarymommy.com is mostly crap, it is a great example of combining personality with copy. It has helped them build a very loyal following who read each article as if they are conversing with a friend rather than a distanced and mechanical piece of copy.

Akial on

Bit better. Personally I like baby blue online. It's an inviting color, easy on the eyes. Royal blueA(zKOL73Z-0QEkAAAAYmZmNzJjMTUtNGU1ZS00NmI1LWFkNGItMDM5OWNhZTFiMzEwIZvWR1u4klMCdlgvlrM2WyXR6c1))/Images/Store/Hi-Res/144%20royal%20blue%20(G).jpg) is always nice, might be a bit too dark for some.

EDIT: Strike that, baby blue will look worse. Whatever floats your boat. Just talking about baby blue raises my estrogen levels...

Humblesalesman on

Just played around, nothing personal but the baby blue was just a bit too light on the flips-side royal blue a wee bit dark. My personal preference is for red but so many other subs use that color.

Akial on

Totally off topic, but I love what you have done with the design of this sub (or maybe it was one of the mods?)

EDIT: On topic - when reaching out you use your pen persona?

Humblesalesman on

That was me. I am amazed r/entrepreneur has not done this before, it literally took me 30 minutes to set up. CSS knowledge helped a heap, but it was just the same as tweaking a wordpress themes stylesheet. Oh and for the record, u/thepowerhungrymod is a fake account without any permissions, it was just a stab at the mods over at r/entrepreneur.

>EDIT: On topic - when reaching out you use your pen persona?

Always. This persona is you now. The second you log into the site you type and act in a way that your imaginary persona would. When you log off you can have your life back. And as always, use a site branded email. Reaching out with gmail.com is just tacky.

Akial on

On your about us page, do you use pictures of your pen persona? It's should help out with credibility, likability and the relationship with your readers, at the same time it would have to be a low key stock image. Otherwise a simple google image search would reveal the trick.

I'm going to run out of relatives to photograph...

Humblesalesman on

Stockphotos --> search for what you want (redhead woman etc.) Sort by popularity --> Go to last page.

Generally the least popular photos are often poor quality snaps of people using their family as models. These are VERY RARELY used because of the low production value. These are perfect to give your blog that authentic personal feel.

Edit I'll often go a step further and flip the image and change the hair color. As simple as that and google will NEVER find it.

None on

[deleted]

Humblesalesman on

Neil Patel.

Oprah.

Jamie Oliver.

You become the product and your website is just another marketing tool. This is not my experience because I like to keep to myself, after all, who would really want fame?

http://i.imgur.com/pODC8Pd.jpg

But all the same marketing principles apply only now you have to add credibility (what makes you so knowledgeable on the subject).

iamsecretlybatman on

As far as on the actual site goes, where do you place your "about me" section that has a little description of your fake persona? I've seen some people do homepage sidebar, and also some people that have it on every page (which I feel like is not necessary?). Do you have a preference?

Humblesalesman on

Where it makes sense for your website.

Akial on

Looks very sleek, clean and responsive (maybe the blue at the top is a bit intrusive, my opinion). I almost forget how hideous this Reddit is (goes to show how content trumps everything, shocker - I know).

Humblesalesman on

Haha, yeah. It's part of the reason why brit.co is so popular. That site is gorgeous.

Is that better or worse?

I built my first affiliate website. Now what? (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by LoveDaCheese

LoveDaCheese on

I wanted to start by thanking the great entrepreneurs of reddit for giving me such great feedback on my SmartHome affiliate site. I appreciate all constructive criticisms and have made a lot of changes.

One comment that stuck out to me was that I needed to optimize my affiliate links to route to the appropriate amazon link based on the country the user is in. I've found that 40% of my views have come from countries outside of the US so it seems like a necessary thing to do. It was suggested that I use GeoRiot, which I signed up for but it looks like they charge a 15% commission. Is that a standard price point or should I be shopping around for other companies?

My next step in this process is to set up an eCommerce system so that I can start selling some of these products on my own. I was thinking of setting up a FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) while I wait for my ranking in the search engines to go up (I'm only two weeks old). After that, I'll slowly start shifting to an ecommerce website. Is that a good idea or should I let this ride, build a following, and jump right into selling on my site?

I know a lot of people take the more passive approach with Affiliate websites but I am looking to be a little more active in the process, at least early one.

Sorry for the long winded post!

EDIT: Also, can I request that anyone outside of the US click one of those affiliate links and verify that you are taken to the appropriate Amazon address? Thanks in advance!

Humblesalesman on

>need to optimize my affiliate links to route to the appropriate amazon link based on the country the user is in.

Slow right down there tiger. In the early days your traffic WILL be largely from international and you know why? Social media. Once your ranking in google improves (assuming you are correctly geotargetting a country) you will find that the vast majority of traffic will come from the target country.

I think you have much more pressing issues to worry about other than monetizing traffic that will probably not buy anything anyway. If you do want a plug in that does not syphon commissions, try easyazon. I dont use it. Or like it. But many beginner affiliate marketers swear by its ability to help you somewhat automate affiliate links.

It just doesn't feel like you have researched your target user. Your blog is not tech savvy enough and glosses over too much information to appeal to early adopters who get their rocks off on geeking out. It is also not written simply enough to appeal to those with a non-technical background who want to show off their snazzy new technology without the need to understand why it works.

So who on earth is your target market? Figure this out and write for them!

I would also avoid selling your own products until you can draw in users. Check out http://www.fishfindersource.com/. that used to be a site that sold fishfinders. Now it uses affiliate links and makes MORE profit than it did when it actually sold them.

>I know a lot of people take the more passive approach with Affiliate websites but I am looking to be a little more active in the process, at least early one.

Then seriously, FOCUS ON CONTENT. I cannot stress this enough. You have to be doing much better than you are now to enter this niche. When starting out it is easy to stretch yourself thin.

Heres how I would focus your next month.

30 New detailed and helpful articles.

Yep. That simple. You are A NEW BLOG. If you want to get google to notice you then get some interesting and HELPFUL content behind you. Figure out what people want to read and give it to them. Explore forums. Look for the most commonly asked questions and WRITE ARTICLES around these. If the question is being asked in forums it is definitely being searched for on google. You just want to answer the question better than anyone else.

Can someone tell me what is making this site rank so well. (self.SEO)

submitted on by illzx2

Hungryone on

noob question:

how do u know it's ranking well? and how do u see all his bank links?

Humblesalesman on

There are plenty of free sites that will check back links to a website, some are more accurate than others.

A popular one is opensitexplorer.org by Moz although you have to pay to get full benefits.

A simple google search for "backlink tool" will give plenty of free results.

illzx2 on

I have my competition he is on the front page of Google at the top. I was wondering what is making him rank so well local. The keyword is computer repair long island or computer repairs long island. Or laptop repair Long island. What is he doing that makes him rank so well locally. http://www.longislandcomputerrepairs.com/

Humblesalesman on

Combination of things,

Massive backlink profile, despite the fact that many are directories and blog posts they still look kind of natural and are mostly relevant to the computer field.

Website age, 5 years old makes it look more trustworthy in googles eyes.

On page seo, he has good keyword density for Long Island computer repairs.

$39 for 100 stock photos - Is it a good deal? (self.juststart)

submitted on by None

SmokeyFloyd on

Thanks for this! I've been waiting months for Dollar Photo Club to open back up but I don't think it will. This is even better!

Humblesalesman on

It won't. It's parent company Fotolia was acquired by Adobe.

Affiliate Website Case Study Part 4: April 2016 (self.juststart)

submitted on by None

loveiot on

Humblesalesman - Excellent Series - Thank you for taking the time to document your journey..

When you get a chance - can you talk about the ideal product review page in your opinion? Topics include but not limited to:

  • Number of words per review
  • Number of images per review
  • Image naming conventions
  • Inbound links (quantity per review / Inbound link source ideas)
  • Outbound links (follow / no follow)
  • Primary keyword density within review
  • Keyword linking strategy once review is written (inbound links within site)
  • Page title/page description tendencies
  • Writing styles

Do you have a checklist of items that need to be considered before you publish a single review page?

Thanks again

Humblesalesman on

I'll be honest, I am sick of drumming this into peoples heads:

If you are looking for a template you are going to be severely disappointed. There isn't one. It varies from niche to niche and target audience to target audience. All of your points can be answered with this statement:

Add value to the reader in a manner that makes sense.

There is no blanket answer so stop looking for one.

Is the wordcount for a pillow going to be lower than a review for a car? I would hope so.

Is the writing style for a baby stroller going to be different to the writing style for laboratory equipment? Of course it is.

Are the outbound links for a huge niche going to be more bountiful than that of an extremely narrow one? Duh.

Is a reader going to want to see more pictures of a fork or a more more technical product like a vacuum?

It really isn't rocket science. Stop over-complicating it and add value.

ThoroughlyStoked on

The whole Canada thing is interesting. Maybe it makes sense if Google is changing their algorithm to give more SERP presence to a website based on the locale(s) where the backlinks come from. If the backlinks are genuine, and a bunch of websites in Seattle are pointing to your website - there would be some logic in Google in bumping your website up the SERPS in this area because people there obviously find value in your website. Or that's how it seems to a SEO nube like me - what do you think? On a lesser note - such a Google strategy will play havoc with those websites that have a 100 backlinks from Lithuania or Finland (or some other such country that some websites do seem to collect links from).

Humblesalesman on

I'm just going to have to disagree with this one, the problem would be much better documented if this was actually the case. The whole idea of the GeoTargetting option in Google Search Console is to tell the big G where to point the site at.

ullapudlian on

Fantastic read as always. What is your reason for not normally chasing comment links?

Humblesalesman on

They are essentially worthless. Because it's a common way that spammers get links they do not have a lot lot of value other than driving real world clicks.

Warlaw on

Hey humble, great post just like always. Had no idea about using broken links, this is great. Thanks.

Humblesalesman on

Thanks for reading, broken backlinks is one of those things where you have to be first in, otherwise it's pretty fruitless since the site may have had hundreds of pitches prior to yours.

Akial on

I'm aware why he is does business with amz, but it doesn't address my question:

What has your experience been working with different affiliate programs for general consumer products?

Humblesalesman on

My experience is generally better with programs outside of amazon. The longer tracking cookie is what really does it. The reason Amazon is so generous with their affiliate marketing program in that you get a slice of anything bought within a 24 hour window is that they make the bulk of their money through purchases bought after this period. They are re-marketing experts.

Obviously you have to pay attention to the conversions and look at stores or distributors that have a decent landing page but for higher priced items you know you are going to sell lots of I swap out amazon links wherever possible. Low priced items are fine to leave in the hopes that they buy something else in their shopping cart on amazon.

Jorgep8nt on

what do you mean by :

"From the pages linked to I then used internal linking to spread the “link juice” of across as much of my site as possible, where it made sense of course."

eastmaven on

Got ahrefs and will be using it. Thanks. Also not sure what a PBN site looks like but guess I'll google that and I'll just avoid everything that looks bad.

Humblesalesman on

It will stick out like a sore thumb when you look at the backlink profile as you explore where and how the links are placed on the sites. This will be a whole new learning experience for you. Enjoy it!

usernameisvalid on

I've come across several sites where the domain is something basic, like johnnyathome.com. These sites have a maximum of about 12 posts going back about 6 months. Each contains a short description and link back to a different website (best , how to gamble, buy youtube views, etc.) with keyword anchor text. I have to assume these are PBNs.

I've been keeping my eye on a competitor's backlink profile. They just went from about a dozen to well over 200. They still only have about a dozen referring domains, so I looked a bit further. This one particular site is loading the same 12 or so posts on the page. However, because of some editing of the .htaccess, any URL will load those posts.

As a result, thegrandwick.com/admin/getList?4123, thegrandwick.com/post/show, thegrandwick.com/authorized/TOS?show, etc. all show the same posts. Each counts as its own unique page. This is true for all 200+ backlinks.

Is this a PBN you're saying sticks out like a sore thumb? Or is the one site with 12 posts just as bad? I see several top-ranked niche sites using sites like these for backlinks. How long does it take for Google to catch on to these?

Humblesalesman on

>Is this a PBN you're saying sticks out like a sore thumb?

Based on your desciption the first one is almost certainly a PBN. The second one could depending on the site content or it could just be a poorly formatted site. Not uncommon.

How long does it take for Google to catch on to these?

Ranges from "never" to "the next penguin/panda update". Or much more likely: Google is waiting for something better to come along. You may find that despite your competitors having poor sites, they are still the best option. In which case you posting improved content and a site with backlinks from relevant and related websites will be all it will take to topple them.

Now you know what to look for, don't focus on what your competitors are doing, focus on building your own superior backlink profile

themadentrepreneur on

This will be interesting to follow along with. I started a website with a similar vision in January, it will be interesting to compare your earnings with mine and number of posts from month to month.

Humblesalesman on

If your background is building websites, I'll race you to 50k ;)

SEOStefan on

Interesting read, Humble. Great to see you continuing to move forward.

Some questions: Do you think your success with obtaining backlinks would have improved if you weren't asking for links to a review?

Since reviews and best-of posts are the money posts and will likely benefit more from links, is it still a good idea to use a...pillar/informational/epic guide article when asking for links and then interlink that to your money posts?

Thanks Humble, looking forward to next months update.

Humblesalesman on

> Do you think your success with obtaining backlinks would have improved if you weren't asking for links to a review?

Yes. This month was just a race to do as much as possible. Emails were not tailored to each target, in fact in some instances the emails were just sent through the generic "contact" box which can go anywhere.

>is it still a good idea to use a...pillar/informational/epic guide article when asking for links and then interlink that to your money posts?

There is no wrong way to do it. Do what works for you. If you can drive links directly, do that. If you can only obtain them from interlinking from your supplementary guides, do that. If one way yields 10% conversion while the other a minor 1% then I don't have to telly you what to do. TEST TEST TEST.

Rizzzzle on

Hi humble, thanks for putting together these case studies. I have a question about the content you are creating:

"So my aim was to create 30 articles in January. 5 reviews each across 6 different categories. This is where the bulk of my time was spent."

Would you say the majority of the content pages you have been building have been reviews? What would your content breakdown look like? (e.g. FAQ's/product reviews/tutorials/other)

Humblesalesman on

Read month one. This is an all review site.

ThoroughlyStoked on

The guy that created -uavcoach.com/cheap-drones-for-beginners/ ran some article on reddit recently about his whole strategy with this page. What's your (brief) opinion on his strategy (or if you have not read it) just the page? Any specific Goods/Bads?

Humblesalesman on

If we are thinking of the same post then he claims he spent a week crafting the article? To be honest, that's too long for what is essentially grouping of specs into a single location. I think that the page is a good example of outreach rather than a good example of content. IMO the copy that is not specs is quite weak and you don't have to go far to find errors. In fact there is one above the fold. See note 2, cuts out mid-sentence.

>Note #2: When checking out prices, we’ve included both Amazon and Banggood, two of the largest and most respectable online drone retailers. We do our best to update prices every week or two, but sometimes they’ll c

loveiot on

My apologies - i didn't realize this was a sore subject with you (I just recently started reading your posts)..

Many others have written on the subject and i wanted your take - For instance Neil Patel writes exhaustively on the subject on his blogs and specifically on his $100k a Month challenge

no big deal and sorry to bother you.. it's amazing how quickly my opinion of you changed in 30 seconds..

Good luck to you sir..

Humblesalesman on

I am not a guru. I do not make money by trying to be likable and sharing those false templates to get rich. I am upfront, honest and blunt.

And for the record, Neil Patels whole $100k a month challenge was faked. From his final months "profits" to the hired writers to the amount he paid for the "unique images" from his shutterstock account. I don't get paid to lie exhaustively to you.

Edit: And the whole, "Neil not paying his friend, Mike Kamo" to work on the blog is crap too:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/mike-kamo-80378791

Mike has worked with Neil as a partner for the last 2 and a half years.... When did his case study start again? Oh yeah...

timsoulo on

why do you think Ahrefs new interface is ugly? I would love to know what can be done to improve it

(I work at Ahrefs)

Humblesalesman on

I have been a subscriber for years and get your loyalty discount which is a pretty sweet gig. That said, every time I use the new interface I have a different gripe with it.

While I am not writing these down, my most recent annoyance is that your organic keywords graph (previously found in keywords explorer) used to default to US only keywords. Your new one shows all the countries at a glance which I find to be useless I couldn't care less what keywords are ranking in Japan etc.

eastmaven on

Massive thank you for the teaching. Once I've "made it". I'll make sure to give you a shoutout and I'll hope you see it.

Humblesalesman on

Looks like you are well on track to making it!

themadentrepreneur on

challenge accepted

Humblesalesman on

Please post a 6 month update when it rolls around, would love to read about how you went about establishing your site, it's likely very different to how I did it.

themadentrepreneur on

Sure - I have you at a bit of a disadvantage though simply because I'm outsourcing a lot so and you're bootstrapping so I'm a bit ahead of you in the content department but similar structure and progress overall on similar timelines.

Humblesalesman on

I'll take that disadvantage! It will keep me motivated :) I would normally outsource everything but this whole case study is to show everyone that you can make good money with minimal investment, something a lot of people believe can no longer be done.

Besides, if you hit 50k/month first while I am still back at 10k/month... it's hardly a loss since it's still money coming in :)

eastmaven on

Question, I've got a list of backlink methods that I extracted from the pointblank guide and I'm thinking about now aggressively trying to get my primary keyword to a top 3 spot (atleast). Outside of failing to properly diversify my anchor text are there any pitfalls that I should be aware of?

Humblesalesman on

Relevant sites are a must. And avoid the spammy ones. You can go further and avoid sites that are backed by PBN's and have shadey links pointed at them but this will require a backlink tool like ahrefs.

Alternatively if it appears in the first 5-10 pages of google then it can't be all bad.

Jorgep8nt on

But do you point most of your internal links to those externals? and Are you using rel="nofollow" in them?? and last, Do you use rel="nofollow" on your internal links going to external sites.??(ex. affiliate links with rel="nofollow" since they are going to another site)

Humblesalesman on

>But do you point most of your internal links to those externals?

I do not even remotely understand this question.

If you are asking about nofollows in this manner it would appear you do not know anything about them. Easy to understand version here:

http://searchengineland.com/infographic-nofollow-tag-172157

eastmaven on

Another question! Do you also actively think about no-follow do follow ratio when building backlinks?

Humblesalesman on

no.

Akial on

What is your framework when gauging a niches value? Let's say your site is related to 10 niches. A to K. Those are all the niches you will cover, not more. Did you just figure

"A+B+C...+K" combined are big enough for me to make 50k+/month

I'm asking because I'm starting to think that I have chosen a niche with a very low ceiling. I'm also aware that a person's business & marketing skills are directly correlated with how much he/she can extract from a niche.

Is it once again one of those things that will reveal themselves with more experience in doing niche sites as well as more experience with the niche?

Until now I have been adding 20% of total searches for (hundreds) rankable keywords and slapping on some assumed conversion rates to come up with a number. I feel like it's a complete waste of my time and that reality will prove to be completely different.

PS: Yes, I'm taking this as a learning experience, but we're all in this to make money. I'm an ambitious guy...

Humblesalesman on

Its a tough question and largely unanswerable. Even with prior experience you cannot look at a niche and go "this is going to make me 50k". While this isn't the case with my current pure review site, ordinarily I would have aimed at a smaller subset of a niche and logically expanded until I reached that amount. Then aimed higher. This is largely why I recommend choosing broad niches over targeted ones, if you were to use my mindmap example form january.

Family -> Parents -> Mom -> Raising children -> Babies -> sleeping babies -> Blankets

My preference would be the middle of the map, either babies or raising children.

From here I would identify a product or group of products and drill down into them. Let's say strollers. From here you have:

*All-terrain strollers

*umbrella strollers

*sit and stand strollers

*jogging strollers

*carseat strollers

etc. etc.

Each one of those could be a best of guide, worked into a a guide on supplementary content. Including the reviews you have 60 pages of content ready to go. Then there are thousands of other baby products you can logically expand into one step at a time.

You can even start at the other end and focus on uncommon baby items like this before expanding into the larger products:

http://www.amazon.com/Windi-Gas-Colic-Reliever-Babies/dp/B007RAGALO

I'm sorry that product always makes me laugh. Sodomy is okay if you can't yet pronounce words. But my point remains, if you have chosen a broad niche you can always focus down. A narrow niche will not easily allow you to expand.

My point being that if you have chosen a broad niche, the ceiling is almost limitless.

notburst on

Great post as always.

When it comes to backlinking, say you have a website with 10-20 posts and you create a detailed guide on your product. Would you be reaching out to sites with that article when you publish it or would you wait until you have say 50+ posts which makes your site look more fleshed out?

Humblesalesman on

It all depends, my site is purely reviews so I do not have this luxury. However if you have a detailed guide that can be used a s a standalone resource then by all means roll with it.

-uavcoach.com/cheap-drones-for-beginners/ is one site that has used a single guide to pull in a lot of good backlinks.

Akial on

Sodomy is okay if you can't yet pronounce words.

Legit loled at this.

Follow up: How does your end game look? I know Wiz loves selling his stuff as soon as he feels he has peaked. Do you hold until circumstances change or do you always have the exit in mind?

Humblesalesman on

Nah, I'll be that guy who goes down with his ship for staying on too long. Whether it's because of ego (most likely), skill (less likely), or gods will (least likely); I believe that I can make a website better than anyone. A key contributor to my other websites being sold is that I have a new opportunity one up them. At the point of sale all were still having new content added and experiencing month on month growth. My exits are circumstantial and often ego driven.

tjyedon on

Looking forward to seeing how your backlinks affect your SERP positions and earnings.

I think you will find the crawl up the Google SERPS is longer and slower than the last time you did this, back in 2014.

It seems like not only is the sandbox real, but you will be on the outside looking in for any meaningful keywords (1,000+ searches) for at least six months, at least in my recent experience.

This is based on my latest site started in January in the health/fitness niche that has strong white hat links but cannot manage to break onto the 1st page yet.

Last month's earnings: https://imgur.com/6xPVCGL

Good luck.

Humblesalesman on

Great work on the earnings! You should be really proud that the effort you have put in is rewarding you with cold hard cash!

>I think you will find the crawl up the Google SERPS is longer and slower than the last time you did this, back in 2014.

My last niche was a lot more focused, less competitive and used supplimentary content to drive links. This one has taken a very different approach in that I have not even bothered with backlinks until month four. Normally I spread my time roughly 50-50 on backlinks and content but for this site I just want the content there I have already broken page one for some longer tails [Best x for y] and the addition of links will only speed up the process. Also I am position 12 for a 3800+ monthly search term and if I was driving links to that page it would already be on the front.

I disagree with the whole sandbox thing. As I posted on one of the other case studies, with an influx of backlinks and content, the effects just are not there. Obviously to achieve this is more than a one man job (or requires a larger initial cash investment) but if the "imaginary sandbox" can be bypassed then it doesn't exist. A sandbox by definition will either exist for all new sites or none. What you are seeing is google comparing your much smaller site to larger sites and shuffling around while it determines the quality and relevance of your content.

Keep up the good fight and hopfully you can double that figure next month.

picklesfranklin on

Loving this study mate. Have just caught up on the last few months. In regards to your Canada problem, have you ever used a link globalizer (Geniuslink, A-FWD) to target readers to the right geo-located Amazon store? I've found it to be cost-effective, in that the cost of the service is returned in sales from UK, Canada, German Amazon sites. Cheers!

Humblesalesman on

Glad you have ejoyed it. More to come.

Fortunately the problem has been resolved. No idea what caused it. Teething issues.

No. I don't use them. My site is for Americans. I review American variations of products. If I cannot provide the best possible experience to that particular geographic location then I simply choose not to encourage them visiting my site. It also helps reduce the "my product didn't have this feature from your review" comments since products of the same model often vary in features depending on their local release.

drunkmall on

Wow, you kicked ass in April...

Many seem to think that creation of superior content ought to be enough to succeed in this endeavor. Great content is just the price of admittance. Everything you did in this post is the real work that is so often fumbled or even totally neglected by those who fail.

Humblesalesman on

You are 100% correct, there is no "build it and they will come" anymore. Even sites that are seemingly viral hits have a lot of work behind the scenes to get them there. You are the perfect example of this - drunkmall required you to draw on your contacts that you had built up over your working career and the launch was much more planned than it would have appeared from all outwards appearances. From proof of concept to initial outreach.

BOOGY_DOG on

I love the link building posts, some great stuff in here I'll try.

Do you have any special methods or tools that help you email faster, or scrape emails? Dividing your 750 emails by 35 hours, that's a bit less than 3 minutes per email which seems like a pretty fast rate when you factor in finding the relevant sites and pitching your idea.

Did you focus primarily on one strategy over the other, and did one method return disproportionately more links than expected?

Thanks

Humblesalesman on

'Cause I was time poor I just used "canned responses" which were essentially templates I have had success with in the past. Finding the emails was probably the most time consuming thing, I would just use details found on the contact page of the site. No contact page, onto the next. Since it is a numbers game you have to move quick. Edit: that was a typo, it should have been 650, and I might have spent more or less time, it was difficult to keep track since it was spread right across the month but I do feel this was in the range.

Ahrefs did most of the work from there I would immediately look for contact pages. If I had more time I would have approached this differently with a more targeted campaign and more effort into finding the best email address for my cause which would likely see a higher conversion rate.

No Primary strategy, if I didn't find the bankrupt site I probably would have continued removing competitors backlinks and trying to substitute my own. The bankrupt page returned more links than I expected most likely because I was the first to contact all the sites to inform them of the broken links.

Dexosaurus on

Another great post /u/humblesalesman !

In terms of choosing a niche (or products within that niche to review), how big a role does average unit price play in your decision?

If my math is right, in month 1 you seemed to be around $200, but the last two months it's around $40-55.

Is $50-200 the sweet spot?

Humblesalesman on

There is no sweet spot. If you are getting caught up on price then you are already overthinking this. Focus on the VALUE that you can offer. You can get rich selling socks. You can get rich selling cars. And everything in between.

Think logically. Amazons top tier commission requires you to sell 3.3k items to reach it. If you are not hitting this then you are leaving money on the table for EVERY item sold. Will cheaper items get you there quicker? Yes. Will more expensive items give you a greater commission? Yes. Does it make sense to have both on your site? Yes.

Price is honestly of little importance if you cannot provide more value than others in the market.

eastmaven on

alright. good morning! 11PM here. thanks.

Humblesalesman on

good night!

Gartenschlauch on

I really love your case studies. For whom would you recommend the AHREFS abo?

Humblesalesman on

I would recommend Ahrefs to anyone who is seriously jumping in to building backlinks. It is uglier than semrush and even their new "improved" beta is poorly set out but IMO it gives more accurate data with their better crawler.

Obviously you would want to be able to subsidize the cost with what your website makes since it isn't exactly the cheapest SaaS you can buy.

bpfergu on

Nice update! How often do you add an external, non-affiliate link to your content? Looking over my sites I've noticed that I rarely am linking out to other pertinent sites and wondering if that is something I should improve upon.

Humblesalesman on

TBH, I don't. It's something I should improve on and if things move slowly up the first page I may consider playing with outbound links to see if that's the differentiator but for now I am seeing movement without outbound linking.

LucasOFF on

Good job humble!

I have read all your posts and articles, and most important - comment section.

I see a lot of people fall into the 'seo article' trap, the same I fell at some point with my first site and it never got any decent traffic and I just dumped it.

I have started a second website a month ago. You are 100% right when it comes to Content is King.

Can tell you that that when I stopped writing SEO-like articles and moved to satisfy my visitors - I start to get more page views on site as well as users tend to stay way longer on my site(from 20 sec to 2 minutes).

Being a complete newbie in SEO, all I do is just experiment and see how it goes, so I kind of start to get a feel of how my niche treats my content and I started to write it more accordingly to that.

Keep up the good work, would be interesting to see how May treated you.

Humblesalesman on

>Being a complete newbie in SEO, all I do is just experiment and see how it goes, so I kind of start to get a feel of how my niche treats my content and I started to write it more accordingly to that.

Best way to do it. Test and adjust your direction. And repeat. Always repeat. Good luck!

picklesfranklin on

Cool, thanks for the quick answer. I really like your commitment to serving your audience as opposed to just taking shortcuts or easy options.

One question, when you are writing reviews for your products, are you focusing on the product name as the keyword (eg. Hudson Muslin Baby Blanket) or more generic search term keywords (eg. Muslin Swaddle Blanket)? What would a post title example be for one of your reviews say?

Humblesalesman on

Using your example it all comes down to what your audience is referring it to. And here is where is helps to know your target audience inside out.

If a brand calls their product the "Hudson Muslin Baby Blanket" but consumers refer to it as a swaddle wrap then Id call it the "Hudson Muslin swaddle wrap". Despite what SEO gurus want you to believe, Titles don't play that major role in ranking for keywords any more. Heck, you could still rank for "Hudson Muslin Baby Blanket" with the title "Hudson has created the softest baby blanket ever". Give your audience what they want.

I have an idea for a website and no knowledge of getting started. What do? (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by Norm-Hull

None on

Go to Day X: bla bla, none of them take you to where they say it will. Useless site.

Humblesalesman on

Hmm you are right. They have completely broken a useful resource. When I first learned wordpress this was an amazingly detailed guide.

Thanks for picking up on this, I definitely won't be recommending it anymore.

None on

Oh, for some reason I thought word press was like a standalone application or web app. Thanks.

Humblesalesman on

It is essentially the framework for you to build out any number of websites, from eccommerce stores to blogs and the like. While it is in no way perfect, it is a very widely used and as a result has thousands of guides covering any problem that may arise.

Norm-Hull on

I can make the site I want with something like FreeWebs, and I'm sure I can get a decent community going.

For the sake of creating a kickass resource, pretend I know nothing other than the above. How do I build a successful website?

None on

I haven't used word press before, or even made a 'proper' website however. If on word press for example I made a rating button like: 1 2 3 4 5, and it calculated an average and displayed it as like 4.5 for example. Where would it store the information of the numbers inputted? I don't know if I am necessarily asking the right questions as I am only now starting to look at creating a website.

Humblesalesman on

http://buildyourwpsite.com/

Had a look around, this site very quickly covers everything from choosing a domain name to hosting to setting up wordpress. A good short form checklist to get started. Google any point for greater detail.

None on

I haven't used word press before, or even made a 'proper' website however. If on word press for example I made a rating button like: 1 2 3 4 5, and it calculated an average and displayed it as like 4.5 for example. Where would it store the information of the numbers inputted? I don't know if I am necessarily asking the right questions as I am only now starting to look at creating a website.

Humblesalesman on

There are plugins that store this information for you, the information is stored in a file on your hosting.

Will Google favor local TLDs? (self.SEO)

submitted on by simobk

simobk on

Simple question. Everything else being equal, will Google favor a local TLD in its search results?

ie. if I perform a search from Canada, will domain.ca rank better than domain.com?

Thanks,

Simo

Humblesalesman on

From my experience. NO. This would mean that a country specific domain (ccTLD) will trump a gTLD like .ninja every single time which simply isn't the case. If you are at the stage where you are choosing your domain, simply go with what works best and set your target country in webmaster tools.

How much do you have to tweak a picture to make it unique? (self.juststart)

submitted on by iamsecretlybatman

CompVert on

Although you're right, this guy just wants to use pictures he does not own. (Scared of getting a Getty Images Extortion Letter for example)

Bit scary you can make this the top comment, while it is not answering OP's question...

Humblesalesman on

>Bit scary you can make this the top comment, while it is not answering OP's question...

How about this: Fuck off.

If you took the time to read ONE COMMENT FURTHER you would see OP asked me to sticky this AND I answered the question he wanted further down.

iamsecretlybatman on

There's a particular product that I can't get real user photos of. I'd like to still try to make them "unique" to Google if possible, does anyone know what it really takes to make images appear unique (to Google)? Let's say it's a typical product photo taken by the manufacturer, is changing the background from like white to grey enough? Or do I need to tweak other things like contrasts, etc.?

Just looking for ideas here, not sure if anyone even really knows what needs to be done in this case.

EDIT: Worded this completely wrong for what I was actually trying to accomplish, I got my answer in the comments. Thanks.

Humblesalesman on

https://www.reddit.com/r/juststart/comments/4521iz/how_to_make_an_image_unique_to_google/

>Why are you trying to make an image unique to google? The idea of a unique image is that it will help your audience better understand the slab of text around it. A visual prompt if you will. If an existing photo works just fine without needing to be modified (assuming you have the rights to do so) then use it as is.

>I will repeat this:

>You are creating a site to help people, NOT google.

mykingdomforaclose on

But why exactly would you want to do this? You should make content for humans and not for Google. Visitors won't give a crap that the picture is flipped or rotated, they'll notice that it's basically the same picture as all the others. Just because it looks uniquer to google doesn't mean that it provides more value to people.

Humblesalesman on

This is the correct answer.

CompVert on

You are going to have to point to me where he asks how to modify images he doesnt own so that it's harder gooogle or the owner to identify them.

That's the exact thing he asks in the OP...

Humblesalesman on

> EDIT: Worded this completely wrong for what I was actually trying to accomplish, I got my answer in the comments. Thanks.

CompVert on

When I see a post on Reddit, I would like to see the best answer first (upvoted). Your sticky wicky is not related to the OP. TS just wants to use images he doesn't own and is scared Google (or actually the owner of the pic) to know... That's why he asked how to modify the image.

Your reply is a bit sad as well...

(Probably get downvoted because it is YOUR sub and you get respect here...)

Humblesalesman on

>When I see a post on Reddit, I would like to see the best answer first (upvoted).

Firstly, I don't care what you want you have contributed nothing and have not helped anyone in this sub to my knowledge yet burst in here with your opinion of what you want to see. Secondly, prior to me stickying this the most upvoted answer was an unhelpful question asking WHY he would want to do this in which case BAD information followed in the comment trail. Using your theory this was the best and most relevant answer. It wasn't.

>TS just wants to use images he doesn't own and is scared Google (or actually the owner of the pic) to know... That's why he asked how to modify the image.

Do you just stop reading after the top comment? OP clarified further down, regardless of what he MIGHT have wanted, he SAID that this is what he wanted:

>I completely agree. I think this thread is just going way out of proportion based on the comments above, and maybe I didn't word it right in my initial post.

>This just happens to be 1 particular instance out of 100 where I can't grab a real hands-on product photo. The rest of my reviews have hands-on photos and I like the fact that I'm providing extremely detailed valuable images that not a single other competitor has. Since that's the case with my site, I want to continue the trend. My personal opinion is that stock photos look bland, so I wanted to tweak it enough to be unique to my site and hopefully to google. I realize that having stock photos in one review isn't going to make or break anything SEO-wise, I was merely curious for my own knowledge.

You are going to have to point to me where he asks how to modify images he doesnt own so that it's harder gooogle or the owner to identify them.

>Probably get downvoted because it is YOUR sub and you get respect here...

If you get do downvoted it's because your comments are irrelevant and adding nothing to the sub. Which brings us full circle back to what you originally wanted regarding the best answers being upvoted. So I guess I do care what you want after all.

iamsecretlybatman on

I completely agree. I think this thread is just going way out of proportion based on the comments above, and maybe I didn't word it right in my initial post.

This just happens to be 1 particular instance out of 100 where I can't grab a real hands-on product photo. The rest of my reviews have hands-on photos and I like the fact that I'm providing extremely detailed valuable images that not a single other competitor has. Since that's the case with my site, I want to continue the trend. My personal opinion is that stock photos look bland, so I wanted to tweak it enough to be unique to my site and hopefully to google. I realize that having stock photos in one review isn't going to make or break anything SEO-wise, I was merely curious for my own knowledge.

Humblesalesman on

I would just stick it in. A reader is not going to bat an eye over the inconsistency in image if it better helps them understand what you are saying.

iamsecretlybatman on

There's a particular product that I can't get real user photos of. I'd like to still try to make them "unique" to Google if possible, does anyone know what it really takes to make images appear unique (to Google)? Let's say it's a typical product photo taken by the manufacturer, is changing the background from like white to grey enough? Or do I need to tweak other things like contrasts, etc.?

Just looking for ideas here, not sure if anyone even really knows what needs to be done in this case.

EDIT: Worded this completely wrong for what I was actually trying to accomplish, I got my answer in the comments. Thanks.

Humblesalesman on

There is a LOT of misinformation floating around in this thread.

Unique Images ONLY matter if it helps your reader better understand a topic. Will changing the background or flipping an image do that? Probably not. You are creating a website for Humans. Not google.

Those of you saying unique images help SEO. Get your fucking head out of the clouds. I don't even know where you would pull this from.

Google "best stroller" and tell me if ANY owner that created the unique image appears in the top results. I can rank any image I take from a manufacture first in google image search.

Pictures are there to help readers better understand the surrounding slab of text. A unique image may help that better than a stock one. But wasting your time trying to alter an image when you could be grinding out content or spending time on outreach (you know, those things that help grow your site) is beyond stupid.

Akial on

I assume the majority of people try to mask their pictures because they don't have the rights to them. I try to avoid this whenever I can, but 10% of my pictures are stolen, I always mask them.

This is the first time I'm hearing about masking images for google rankings. This is so low EV, I would be more productive stuffing my TOS & Disclaimers with keywords ffs.

Humblesalesman on

>I try to avoid this whenever I can, but 10% of my pictures are stolen, I always mask them.

Valid point.

CompVert on

You are going to have to point to me where he asks how to modify images he doesnt own so that it's harder gooogle or the owner to identify them.

That's the exact thing he asks in the OP...

Humblesalesman on

Look, at the end of the day, you don't have to be here.

If you want to contribute to this sub and help out other people with what you have learned so far then I will be much more receptive to your suggestions. But you are here because the information on affiliate marketing is the best you will find on reddit, and a large reason for that is because I am quick to point out misinformation and remove irrelevant posts and comments. There are plenty of subs on affiliate marketing that are not heavily moderated, letting users post whatever they want. But you will find they are poor in comparison.

Building a premium/ lifestyle type affiliate site, progress so far (self.juststart)

submitted on by Broofah

Broofah on

I have started work on a premium feel affiliate site in a broadish niche of the type described by u/Humblesalesman here: https://www.reddit.com/r/Entrepreneur/comments/3rgdby/7_different_styles_of_affiliate_websites_a/. I wanted to record what I've done so far to make myself reflect on it, and hopefully be of interest to r/juststart.

Why premium, given that this is arguably harder to succeed in than standard review/ comparison table type site? Primarily because I have some experience in Photoshop/ web design but none at all in copyrighting so it seems logical in terms of playing to my existing strengths.

The other factor is that I've built an Instagram page in the niche (which has the same name as the domain) to ~10k followers, and have two other, related accounts, with 7K and 4K followers. Obviously these are not huge numbers, and IG conversion may turn out to be poor, but they should provide some initial free eyeballs. I've also had people email me offers for products to promote and review on the 10K account, which could definitely be used on the site!

I've built out the basis of the site with the Genesis framework and a premium theme. Plugins I'm using at the moment:

  • Akismet - I read somewhere that this will come into use further down the line...
  • UpdraftPlus - backs up the site daily to Dropbox. For free!
  • W3 Total Cache
  • WP Smush - compresses pictures. No idea how necessary or effective this is, but seems quite widely recommended.
  • Simple custom CSS - adds extra CSS to site. Initially made the complete n00b error of editing the theme CSS directly, which would get undone by theme updates. And I said I had web design experience...

I've also set up Google Analytics, Facebook, Twitter, and added a mailchimp sign up box to the site.

I should mention at this point I haven't blindly dived into building a site without any market/ keyword research. I am coming at the site from two angles:

  • On a broad scale I think there is a opening for a premium feel/ high brow site of this type in this niche.
  • I've done some preliminary keyword planner research and believe their are some opportunities in the (broad) niche that the site will cover. This research will guide the specific article content.

Questions I am mulling over:

  • One of the aims of this site is to improve my copy-writing, so I will do a lot of it. But given my inexperience, should I restrict my articles to the more objective/ newsy ones?

  • How "premium/high brow", in design/ content / social media do I go? I want it to feel cool, but not pretentious.

Hopefully this wasn't just a long winded way of saying "Look at me I built a WordPress site", but provides some motivation/ guidance to those thinking of starting an affiliate site, and some for me to keep building and be back with a part 2!

edit:formatting

Humblesalesman on

Great work on taking the plunge! You have to start somewhere, and logically you have started at the beginning. Yes that may just be a wordpress site but it is more action than many will ever take. Be proud of your efforts, no matter how small you perceive them. To other people that small effort is a mountain!

To answer your questions:

>One of the aims of this site is to improve my copy-writing, so I will do a lot of it. But given my inexperience, should I restrict my articles to the more objective/ newsy ones?

For something to be newsy it has to be current and relevant. IMO this means it only has a limited window of interest. When starting I recommend content that is evergreen (valid year round) and has a long shelf life. This means that rather than constantly churning out new content only to have 10 current pages on your website, you are building somewhat of a library. A useful resource for everyone visiting.

>How "premium/high brow", in design/ content / social media do I go? I want it to feel cool, but not pretentious.

You can be pretentious to the point of being a downright douchebag and still build an audience, but is it the audience that you want? Remember: Douchebags hang with douchebags. Ultimately it comes down to the audiences that interacts with your niche and what portion of that you want to target. Remember, high brow websites do not appeal to everyone, so you will not capture EVERY single person in your niche. Since you have limited expertise in copy, you will likely find that your writing style will change as you get better and better. You may just want to go with what feels natural and let it evolve on it's own.

Keep up the good work and looking forward to part 2.

Broofah on

Basic outline of the IG process:

  • Post content I found on tumblr (crediting author) every day - important to do everyday, 2/3 is optimal but it becomes a drag finding enough pics. I use tumblripper to rip all photos from a tumblr account and ImBatch to resize them (make them square so they look good on IG).

  • Follow the most recent followers of large accounts in a similar niche. You want to go through every big account in your niche and calculate the number of average likes they get over the last 3/6/9 pictures. Then divide this by their followers to get their engagement. Only follow the followers from the accounts with the most engagement, as you can be sure that these people are 1) real and 2) more active.

  • Keep doing this until you hit the 7.5K follow limit. You should have 2 - 4K followers Wait a few days then unfollow everyone at a rate of a few hundred a day. This is where you discover whether you are actually providing value: If your followers number went down as you unfollowed people, chances are they just followed you because you followed them. If it keeps growing, they actually want to follow your account!

  • This can be done all be done manually for free - when I started I made it a habit to just crack through 60 - 100 (un)follows on my phone every time I was sitting on the toilet!

Alternatively, there is a piece of software called FollowLiker you can use, which costs $98. Obviously I wouldn't condone using a bot, and it can get your account banned, but I hear it's very powerful.

I learnt anything I know about it from reading this forum for 20mins /day for a couple of weeks. http://www.blackhatworld.com/blackhat-seo/f215-instagram/.

Issues with IG:

  • Organic engagement is dropping in the same way FB

  • They are introducing a non-chronological newsfeed in the way FB does

  • You cannot post links in captions, but can put one in your bio

But let's not be too negative, it still has great engagement rates at the moment and is growing more than any (I think) other major social network

Humblesalesman on

Great insight, thanks for sharing!

Amazon shakes down affiliates - Closes thousands of accounts (self.marketing)

submitted on by howtohockeydotcom

ChiefMasterBadass on

Silly question from a guy on the internet: If you where making money with an affiliate program, why wouldn't you have an updated email with them?

Any reason why you all aren't just creating new accounts to continue to monetize the traffic?

Humblesalesman on

This entirely. If you moved house, you would update your address. Updating your email address literally takes 2 seconds. There is no excuse but laziness.

Amazon sends notices of whether you have been paid or not each month to your email as well as any other problems. Email is a vital method of communication between yourself and Amazon.

The people complaining about this are definitely in the minority. Amazon gave a grace period and sent three separate emails (to me at least) warning that my account would be closed if I did not comply.

howtohockeydotcom on

Yes I should have updated my email, however everything has been working just fine for 5 years, and I'm a busy guy so there was no imminent need for it to be done. I'm on the net a lot I have about 6 emails (2 old hotmails, 1 new, 2 gmails and business) and numerous accounts and passwords across all kinds of accounts. Shit gets lost in the shuffle and I don't change it if it's working.

Regardless of my scattered online life, it seems a bit odd that Amazon, in all their wisdom would not use some secondary method to alert associates JUST in case they didn't get those emails. They send me cheques every month, a little note in there would work. I shop there, and log into my account, perhaps a flag or warning screen after logging in that forces me to check a box (as I've seen done many times for important actions on other websites). Maybe a 2 week suspension first, THEN close the account, close the account and IF the option is updated reinstate it. A permanent account ban for something like this is poor business practice, it's meant to benefit their bottom line, they are trying to weed out people who are making a passive income from

Humblesalesman on

I understand. As a busy person myself I have missed numerous deadlines in the past through sheer complacency. As much as I would love to curse others, the fault was always my own.

But amazon has always communicated with associates through email. If you are earning enough to the point where two missed months of income (Amazon works on Net 60) are affecting you then you should be treating this like a business. If you didn't receive a letter from the IRS [or insert federal tax agency of your choice here] You would be at fault for any deadlines missed, same can be said of power bills and the like. This is not a unique situation.

everyone_wins on

It sounds like amazon no longer needs affiliates. They rank really well in Google and they retarget with display ads featuring products you've previously viewed. My guess is that they are getting rid of their affiliates because they are no longer necessary for the success of the company.

Humblesalesman on

Except Amazon sent three separate emails regarding this, warning that there was a grace period before your account would be closed. The people complaining are definitely in the minority.

10 free video-lessons on online marketing & growth (self.webmarketing)

submitted on by theofficialtone

theofficialtone on

[removed]

Humblesalesman on

Save your time, they are uninspiring and don't provide much insight into each topic. Check out the comment history, he spams this in every sub possible under different usernames

http://www.reddit.com/user/theofficialtone http://www.reddit.com/user/sf_user123

"Generate & Capture Your Million Dollar Ideas Like a Boss". I created this guide to help entrepreneurs generate & organize their ideas systematically. This may be really helpful for problem solving on your journey. (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by None

None on

[deleted]

Humblesalesman on

>I didn't want to reveal what I had written.

PROTIP: If you don't want to reveal something then don't upload it to the internet. Your excel spreadsheet is legible on a retina screen if I zoom in. But don't worry, there is absolutely nothing of interest, no one cares that you want to stay fit and healthy.

Internships - I would like to gauge the interest of existing r/Entrepreneur business owners at recruiting interns through this subreddit. (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by yanni

branfip4 on

What value are you adding in excess of an owner such as myself that pays all employees?

Humblesalesman on

Be honest, a new employee fresh out of school taking the lead on a project of their own choosing. Have you or would you ever offer this to one of your newly recruited paid employees?

Looking for Experienced Affiliates to Create PBN or Work on Joint Venture (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by pocketsRus

pocketsRus on

Thanks, I love a good honest reply. I went with the affiliate model because it doesn't require any start up capital. I'm 20 and hope to use the money made from affiliate advertising to create other online businesses. I might turn the affiliate site into an eCommerce site if that's a viable option. I don't write or use spun content, I hate it as much as you.

Would you mind taking a look at my website and telling me what you would change if you had a similar website? Thanks.

Humblesalesman on

Why would you turn an affiliate website into an ecommerce store? You say it like affiliate websites are dirty. Fishfindersource.com went from selling products as an eccommerce store to an affiliate website. In the first month after the change over the owner made more commission advertising the products than the profit he previously made from selling the actual products.

Why would you want to make it another business or use it to find a new one? I make my entire income from affiliate websites and a very good one at that. It is a very viable business model. It just requires very hard work from your part. Throwing around words like PBN is not the solution.

secretagentdad on

As a guy managing some of the larger networks out there, I'm going to give you some friendly advice.

  1. Never ever ever write "PBN" anywhere ever. It makes you sound like a stupid black hat affiliate wanker.

  2. Investing in a network as an affiliate is a losing game. If you don't control your sales funnel and customer experience competitive SEO is a fundamentally losing proposition. Your best case scenario is competing with other guys making the same commissions happy to compete down to the last dollar. You will end up spending more on ranking then you can ever hope to make before you get wackamoled.

  3. Stop thinking like an affiliate, go find somewhere you can provide a bit of value, figure out how to do it and then put all those affiliate tactics you've read up on to good use.

  4. For gods sake don't pollute the internet with shitty half assed spun content bs "pbn sites" not only are they basically just digital pollution but the rate of return on putting a bit of effort into creating real and valuable content is far higher.

Humblesalesman on

I was going to weigh in but you have summarised my thoughts in a very concise manner.

I would also add that, from experience, if your affiliate sites monthly earnings have stagnated between $100-500 then you are in the beginner category and need to properly implement marketing tactics that you have no doubt read about. A collection of beginners does not make an expert. Collaborating with other beginners may actually prove to be detrimental to growth.

How to shift from old school to eCommerce while keeping it simple? (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by throwaway_holla

throwaway_holla on

Thank you.

Our items and orders are relatively high dollar so 2% per order isn't doable for me: Our highest priced item is $7,000, and we also have a bunch of different $200 items so orders end up at $800, $3,500, etc.

Instead of paying someone to manage a website, can't I just have someone set it up and then I or someone who works for me will add new product pages as we go? I've done this myself, and also had other people do it, back when I worked for other people. It was always easy to add new products/prices/SKU's/images/verbage into existing categories and generate new product pages.

Humblesalesman on

You certainly can. Again I spoke without knowing anything about your business and it is hard to give advice without all the information. The percent cut they take drops the higher the plan to 0 on the larger ones.

The main reason I recommend shopify is because of its low maintenance. They make sure it is compatible with tablets, mobiles different browsers, look after site security, etc.

My friend who runs a business self hosted experienced drama when google updated their chrome browser and his sight was not displayed correctly.

The other most common solution is a self hosted wordpress account with a woo commerce plugin.

throwaway_holla on

Thank you. I will look at Shopify vs. Wordpress+WooCommerce plugin.

I see that Shopify does this automatically: "Your secure shopping cart lets you accept VISA, MasterCard and AMEX credit cards - no payment gateway required."

I scoped out Woo just now and it looks good. I apologize if this seems like a dumb question, but I searched their site a bit and am still confused: does their plugin automatically hook up with my Stripe or Paypal account and handle payment automatically, and then it emails me an invoice which I need to fill, basically like I assume Shopify does?

Thanks again :)

Humblesalesman on

There are no dumb questions, people learn by asking.

Unfortunately Wordpress with Woocommerce is not my area of specialty. If you google 'Woocommerce review' you should find information in laymans terms laid out by bloggers.

I wish you the best of luck in your transition. However you choose to do it, you will learn a lot!

throwaway_holla on

Hi folks, and thanks to all in /r/entrepreneur for the constructive posts here. I've gotten a lot out of it already in the few days I've been here.

I own a small company in California. We sell our own branded products direct as well as through distributors. We process credit cards manually and we ship from here.

1) What is the easiest and quickest way to start selling products on our site?

.

2) What is the easiest and quickest way to start having our vendors ship to someplace like Amazon and have them automagically ship orders?

Our site (a placeholder with a phone number :P ) is on powweb.com and has access to a ton of features, free:

  • ShopSite Starter Shopping Cart
  • Built-in OsCommerce Shopping Cart
  • SSL - Shared Secure Certificate
  • Accept Paypal Payments
  • AgoraCart

and more. I'm open to anything, including ditching powweb if there's something that suits us better.

I read that guy's peel.com story about how he went from doing all the postage and shipping himself, to automated fulfillment, and I feel like I'm in the stone age. :(

I hate to waste time learning it all the hard way like Peel guy did. But it seems a poor use of my time to try to become a super knowledgeable web guy when my strengths are better used on the things at which I'm great.

Thanks in advance and thank you for reading!

Humblesalesman on

Those features you are listing on Powweb are very generic across hosting providers. You will still have to pay to build a website and implement it all.

I assume you have no coding experience as it has taken you this long to contemplate transitioning your business online.

I firmly believe that for you a hosted ecommerce solution would be better. There are a number of solutions including shopify which come with a nice premade website that you can adjust to suit your look with detailed easy to follow guides.

Downside, it is a monthly fee + depending on your plan 2% of your transaction value. Again not knowing your items being sold and profit margins etc. this fee could be a lot smaller than paying someone else to manage a website on a hosting provider you choose.

There are numerous other websites similar to shopify such as big commerce and volusion but with no coding experience I would stick with shopify for the support network.

All these sites come with a free no obligation trial so you have lost nothing but a bit of time by giving them a go.

Looking to start a fashion-oriented alpaca clothing line, where can I get items manufactured? (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by sepultura

sepultura on

That's the plan! The wool used for carpets is actually not even as soft and comfortable as the type (quality of the fiber) used for clothing. It's a pretty amazing fabric that I just don't think is being used to its full potential yet.

Humblesalesman on

Not even as soft as the fibre use for clothing? You just blew my mind. My parents carpet was very pricey, I assume your clothing range would have to be marketed at the higher end of fashion?

sepultura on

Yeah it would definitely be priced as a luxury item, which is why I'm a little hesitant to enter that market. Breeders have reported that fiber can sell for $2 to $4 per ounce, but I've read that the real world wholesale price for processed, spun alpaca is really only between about $10 to $24 per kg (depending on the quality)... so about $0.28 to $0.68 per ounce. I'm really not sure at this point, I'm trying to find manufacturers.

Humblesalesman on

There are a lot of blogs around about alpaca fibre, set up an email template, send it to each blog writers email. Copy, paste, repeat. This has worked for me in the past when I needed to research baby proofing sources.

Would love some feedback on my new Australia based website! (self.smallbusiness)

submitted on by ThriftShark

ThriftShark on

Harsh, but true. That's what I'm looking for ;) Some good tips, I'll definitely work on those points..

When starting out on this we (myself and the bf) had zero experience of design, coding, SEO or anything business so it is by no means perfect. Constantly trying to improve it the more we learn, thanks for adding to that! :)

Humblesalesman on

Given that you have zero experience, the website turned out surprisingly well. Congratulations on that. It is a huge step to jump into an internet business and I wish you the best of luck. My strength is online marketing and have seen many people that have spent thousands upon thousands and ended up with a much worse product than you.

I wish you much success in your venture.

I looked past the main page and found another thing that irked me.

New: Not Available Used: $10.00 Ex-Rental: Not Available

Why are you showing me my unavailable options? It is confusing and unappealing. Change this so that it only shows the available options. Less clutter is better. It doesn't benefit me that I cant choose these options, yet they are displayed.

Also, why are there 7 links taking me to the same page in each box?

>read more (not needed)

>see more (not needed)

>The product image

>the product heading

>The price of the product

>two unavailable options (not needed)

Ebay should have taught users to expect that you click on either the image or the heading to view more information about a product in online market places. Again, less is more.

ThriftShark on

More constructive, helpful tips - thanks!

Personally I like that its clear what is for sale, and helps me to make a quick informed decision, but I can see how that's not for everyone! What would you prefer to see at the product availability level?

New: 0 Used: $10.00 Ex-Rental: 0 ?

Or Used: $10.00 (unless unavailable, when it could say "no product available" or something similar?)

And thank you for the congrats, much appreciated :) We haven't spent much, myself doing a lot of the work. And we'll continue to improve it and invest a bit more if interest starts picking up.

Humblesalesman on

There are numerous ways to tackle this one.

  1. In a larger box with a coloured background (to draw attention) you could have it say "From [lowest price point here]" Upon clicking into the listing it reveals the new, used and ex-rental availability.

  2. You could colour the boxes of the options that are available, in this case used: $10.00. This way the eyes are drawn to the available option first, rather than reading naturally left to right.

  3. You could only show the available option(s).

Number 1 would probably be my go to option if I were to implement one. As you are more likely to get a click through to the product listing, which is one step closer to a transaction taking place.

Further to this, I would simply hide listings that have no options available. There is nothing more frustrating to a user than to click onto a product only to discover it is unavailable.

Don't forget, tweaks like this can be made as you go. Right now your primary focus should be gathering users, since this is what will be the driving force behind your service.

Have a great weekend!

ThriftShark on

Hi everyone,

In the process of launching this website - basically its an online Australian marketplace, that specialises in DVDs, games, CDs and Blu-ray. Its free to use (no fees or commission), and hopefully will become a place we can all buy cheap goodies.

I've been working on it for about 10 months now, and it's really hard to see it as a new user because I know it so well.. I'd really appreciate any feedback :) happy to answer Q's if anyone's thinking of setting up a similar website.

In particular: Is it obvious what it is? Is navigation confusing?

Thanks!

Humblesalesman on

>Is it obvious what it is?

Nope. Not even remotely.

> basically its an online Australian marketplace, that specialises in DVDs, games, CDs and Blu-ray. Its free to use (no fees or commission), and hopefully will become a place we can all buy cheap goodies.

Uhuh. See what you did there? You explained what it is that your website offers and how it can benefit me

Now look at the landing page of your website. I am greeted with a webpage that tells me absolutely nothing.

>To sell your items, simply click ‘sell now’ above!

>Search for products by typing keyword(s) in the search box

>Browse products by category using the tabs on the left

>welcome to thriftshark

>get started today, it’s so easy

See that? It's wishy washy crap that will see me hit the back button in under three seconds. If I cant figure out what it is that your website does in three seconds then I doubt someone else who is less tech savvy will be able to either (which I am guessing is your target market as tangible digital products are a dying medium).

Also, Why is your main page one big image? This just screams lazy coding, as not only are you not telling me what your webpage does, but your not telling google either. Hell, there is not even any alt-text to go with it.

Things like "Monthly Newsletter" look like they are clickable. They are not. It's an image. Why? I don't know, ask your freelancer, but it means that to change your home page you have to replace it with another image, rather than swap out a few words.

Please only take this as constructive criticism.

My experience following HSM's last case study (self.juststart)

submitted on by BOOGY_DOG

BOOGY_DOG on

In 2014 I made a nutrition site that became the most upvoted post of all time on fitness that wasn't posted by Arnold Schwarzenegger. I made about $600 in affiliate income over the course of a few days from the surge in traffic (I think over 400k people visited. The site was a useful tool, not easy to monetize though). The site's traffic soon shits the bed, because the mods of that subreddit remove my post because it's an "advertisement". It doesn't matter that it had a 90% upvote ratio or that celebrities like Arnold get to come in and advertise anytime they want, but whatever. I end up selling the site for $1300 and got my first tiny taste of making money online.

In early 2015 I come across HSM's case study and it sounds very reasonable and doable. In February, I start up two niche sites and work on pumping out content for them regularly. I slowly see earnings start to pick up, and in July each site does ~$350 in income for $720 total. We're getting close to paying my mortgage, yee haw!

But in late August I wanted to go to Europe and get engaged. I decide to sell one of those sites which was focused on drones and got $8600 for it. The main reason why I sold it is because that niche is so incredibly competitive, and 95% of the organic traffic was coming from variations of one single search phrase - "best quadcopter for beginners 2015". I'm sure the site did at least $1-2k in December alone so the buyer made out, but I don't regret the decision because of what it allowed be to do.

In December alone I did $4.4k in earnings. God bless the holidays. For the year 2015, I had nearly $10k in earnings, plus the $8600 that I sold my site for. This month I'm on track for $2k.

http://i.imgur.com/d4Lyhcf.png

I guess the point of this post is - if you follow his case study, you can definitely make a life-changing amount of money. I almost wish he wasn't going to do another case study because I don't want a potential influx of competition (I know my sites aren't anywhere near the quality that HSM builds), but I'm sure I'll learn so much that in the long run it will be a major benefit. Thank you HSM.

Humblesalesman on

Good score on grabbing $600. I know it may feel like shambles but reddit traffic is notoriously difficult to monetize. The average user is low-income savvy males aged in their mid-twenties. The first taste is the best. It's like a "holy crap, it's not just a myth... I did this myself!" It's an awesome feeling.

If I had a dollar for every drone site I saw pop up in the last few months I would be rich. High value items that are constantly in the media. It is a license to make bank but it draws the competition too. IMO if you were not going to physically review the drones yourself then it was a good time to get out. You can't begrudge the new owner for making money. He bought the site with the intention to make back his investment + more. Don't dwell on it, push on with your other sites. This is something I had to recently overcome, because my sites grow month on month, the owners are always going to earn more back than I am getting for the site and in my head it is a fool proof investment. But you have to remember to them it is a huge risk on their part and in reality, any site can tank at any time.

Here's to your success in 2015!

Also, interesting tidbit.. I always find it is near 50/50 amazon items shipped vs 3rd party items shipped and your earnings report was very similar.

Local SEO and backlinks (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by provvv

provvv on

I wouldn't call myself a "sucker" for reading about SEO as a beginner--I'm pretty sure I was noting the absurdity of the backlink situation and Google's role in it. You sort of come off as angry...

Humblesalesman on

>I wouldn't call myself a "sucker" for reading about SEO as a beginner.

I would. Your limited knowledge has allowed you to be easily deceived. That is the very definition of a sucker. TBH I am scratching my head as to why that small slight is the one thing you focused on in my reply.

provvv on

I've been reading a lot about SEO lately. One of the factors that seems to be very important is having something called "backlinks." A website gets backlinks when another website links back to them. The theory is, the more trusted backlinks you have pointing to your site, the better your website will rank organically on Google because Google likes backlinks, and thus more traffic and more customers. Oh, and the more trusted and authority the backlink has, the more legit your website and company, shall become.

One way to get easy backlinks is by adding your company to business directories. Everything from Yelp, to the YellowPages, to obscure local directories can give you backlinks. The more trusted the better.

What I've noticed is that there are entire cottage industries which have developed for the sole purpose of adding a company's information to a directory. These data aggregators are very expensive and cost up to $500 a year with a company like Yext for example.

Then there are other companies that have popped up that act as middlemen to directories like Yext. If you're just beginning they sell themselves as the gatekeeper to the internet when all they're really doing is adding your company to a directory which takes 10 minutes. They charge about $200/month for this service.

With Google's algorithms, they have literally created a monster. I feel like once a small family company adds their website to a directory like Google My Business, Yelp, and the Yellow Pages, they should be set. But with all the emphasis on getting "backlinks" to directories, I don't see this happening.

Google is ran by very smart people. I wonder why they have kept this backlink/directory scheme going for so long. Is it because there are so many people's jobs depending on the backlink industry (and this industry is absolutely huge by the way, I can't over emphasize this), that they feel like they have to keep it going? It doesn't make any sense to make all these small companies do this backlink dance for the sake of doing the backlink dance. Once you're in 3-4 very trusted directories, what more do they need to know your site is legit?

Does anyone have any insight into any of this?

Humblesalesman on

You are going about this the completely wrong way. The original intention was never that the "backlink" had value itself, but rather the relationship between your site and that of others. A site that had more backlinks "more talked about" would get a boost in search because it was more relevant. Unfortunately this was quickly gamed and became the "backlinks are the value" because it once upon a time lead to quick ranking in google. The best backlink is one that DRIVES REAL WORLD TRAFFIC.

When is the last time you used one of these "directories" to find what you wanted? Never? Exactly.

>I feel like once a small family company adds their website to a directory like Google My Business, Yelp, and the Yellow Pages, they should be set.

Why? This is like saying:

>I feel like once a small family company sets up a retail location they should be set.

Whether offline or online you have to do something to stand out. This should not come as a surprise.

>Once you're in 3-4 very trusted directories, what more do they need to know your site is legit?

I can submit my "instant weight loss pills" website to any of these directories just as easy as you have. This is a terrible measure of credibility/popularity and would quickly be gamed (like backlinks).

>and this industry is absolutely huge by the way, I can't over emphasize this

Because suckers like you keep buying into it. I could spend $10k on 20 exceptional links (bribes go a long way in the industry) and would still not see a boost in ranking it if other metrics are off (time spent on your webpage, CTR etc.) Backlinks, while important are only one of over 200 different ranking factors google uses to determine where to put your website.

You obviously put a lot of effort offline. Online is the same.

Should I Show Prices on Affiliate Buttons? (self.juststart)

submitted on by ecommercequestions

W1ZZ4RD on

I have never gotten close on a single site (with amazon), but rather multiple. One can only hope the hustle pays off!

Humblesalesman on

Sell them all and focus on one! Early days for me but I have a good feeling about this one., and not having to even think about other websites is quite liberating!

lVipples on

I'm surprised Amazon has yet to crack down on these 'mega traffic source' sites. I'd think they'd want the prices to be even more accurate from sites like that. I'm not saying I'm surprised they haven't banned them because that would obviously be dumb, but I'm wondering why they haven't forced them to either remove the prices or display current prices through the API.

Humblesalesman on

I get that it's hypocritical, but would you risk negatively impacting your revenue stream? These sites can bring Amazon hundreds of thousands of dollars/day, especially when amazon uses effective retargetting long after the tracking cookie expires. Amazon might be a lot of things but they are not a stupid company.

This is a great example of how being an affiliate that controls traffic can give you a lot of power. There are murmurs that thewirecutter and smarthome get a higher commission than a regular user too. It's good to be big.

W1ZZ4RD on

There are murmurs that thewirecutter and smarthome get a higher commission than a regular user too.

I wouldn't doubt it. I think I saw a post by them featured on Amazon a while back. They certainly have an excellent relationship.

Humblesalesman on

Think you and me can reach that level?

Marvin_The_Depressed on

You and your work here is really great. I'm still in the very first steps of building my site but seeing you and the wizzard answering everyone's questions is always motivating.

This affiliate marketing thing has really changed my hope and outlook for the future. I'm currently still stuck in a job where I have to work 8-10 hours a days and although it's a cool product I help building I'm looking for the day I can quit because my site shows some positive trend.

I'm currently making really small steps, getting up every day 3 hours before work to put in some work into my site and although it's only going forward slowly (1 finished article, just bought the domain, all social names secured, got a host, wordpress setup) - I hope to have enough to show for to be "free" by the end of the year. (As a said a positive trend is enough for me - still got enough savings...)

Thank you for lighting that fire.

Humblesalesman on

If you can motivate yourself to put two hours or so a day into your website then you are way ahead of most. Small steps is where it's at. Just remember, content really is king and do not get bogged down in the analytics in the first few months, seeing no movement in the analytics seems to be what really makes people throw in the towel. But if you are providing value to your target audience (perceived by them, not you) then you will almost certainly pull in a side earn. Remember, this is a one day at a time thing. Bricks and mortar businesses often don't see profit for years, relative to that this industry ears quite quickly but it is definitely far from instant.

It all sounds positive and if ever you need advice, this sub is the place to ask it.

Keep up the fight! And remember, VALUE! Why should your target audience go to you and not your competitors?

Is it worth starting an Amazon affiliate site today from scratch? (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by doopercooper

piscoster on

Hello Humblesalesman! Intersting answer! I deeply follow your case study. One more question for you: If you would research if an amazon product sells well or not, how would you do that?

Humblesalesman on

You will find that Amazon actually ranks many of it's best selling (insert product category here) under it's "Amazon best sellers" unfortunately it can be diffucult to navigate to your desired category due to how they have structured it. To overcome this, type in "Amazon top 100 pillow" (replace pillow with product category) into Google and it should come up as first result.

The other way to gauge popularity is to go off the number of reviews. Only a fraction of buyers ever leave reviews on a product. Now go to the reviews section and have a look at how frequently the reviews are left. The closer to daily, the more popular a product is.

piscoster on

Any prove for that?

Humblesalesman on

This is misinformation. You can rank a website that has 30 affiliate links on each and every page just fine. The trend is that websites with 30 or so affiliate links per page are generally poorly optimised (with their sole intention to trick people into clicking to amazon by using more links) and have other underlying issues (usually a lack of helpful and well written content padding out the affiliate links).

enkrypt0r on

I suspect they'd still do well. They go so far above and beyond, purchasing the items and taking their own photos is key, in my opinion. Stock photos generally suck, even for really great products, and they really nail it, enhancing every product. Content is king, no matter how you slice it. Blaming failure of an Amazon Affiliate site on rankings is just lying to oneself.

Humblesalesman on

It all depends on whether someone else had done it first or not there is a reason why similar websites are referred to as "TIWIB clones". I suspect the owner would struggle if he started from scratch today as he simply could not leverage Reddit advertising to the same degree of success as he did years ago. But I completely agree with you, content is king!

doopercooper on

I've read about a lot of ones that were all whitehat with unique content getting hit with some of the more recent Google updates. They're not deindexed, they just don't rank well anymore

Humblesalesman on

I would examine these websites closer, if they are in fact revealed. I think you will find that while these websites are white hat, they are poorly put together, don't help serve a purpose other than to push the individual to Amazon and don't solve a problem.

I always tell people who say that their website isn't ranking to look at the first three results of Google for the keyword and variations they are trying to rank for. There is ALWAYS something these websites are doing better than yours, be it backlinks, optimised images, detailed and well written copy even copious amounts of social shares. Google has determined that these are the best result for this keyword for a reason. It quickly becomes obvious that their website is lacking when compared side by side.

There are no such things as affiliate websites. There are websites monetised by affiliates. When people think "affiliate website" they think of a basic review website with a comparison chart when in reality it can be a blog, ecommerce store, comparison search engine, TIWIB clone, News aggregator etc. etc. this is why when people say that their "affiliate website" is not ranking that it means nothing. 99.9% of the time it is implementation and execution that is letting them down. Feel free to read my case study on a "affiliate website" I created mid-September 2014 that is on track to hit 30k visitors this month, if it just leaves you with more questions, ask them in my most recent case study (currently December) and I will do my best to answer.

Oh and to answer your original question, yes, but expect to do some damn hard learning and some damn hard work to see success if this is not an area you are familiar with.

piscoster on

Using an url shortener would help?

Humblesalesman on

The purpose of URL shorteners is to make long links look pretty on social media where space is limited. They provide no benefit whatsoever to webpage optimization, unless you are using the attached analytics that many shorteners offer.

A simple "no follow" currently suffices.

doopercooper on

One thing that I've seemed to notice about the high ranking sites in Google is that their pages are really long. For example, you used to see a "Product ABC Review" page that ranked high and it was 500 words and a picture or two. Now it seems like all the high ranking pages have 1,500+ words, multiple photos and embedded videos.

Humblesalesman on

This is correct and you know why? Because they provide value and likely cover everything a consumer may need to know about a product. Don't get me wrong, many of these reviews still leave plenty of room for improvement but they are definitely a helpful resource.

The thing with a review is that it's a detailed look at a product. As such, a longer review will tend to cover more about that product and be more detailed than a shorter article, hence the trend you are seeing. The same can not be said about comparison charts which only touch on information and other article formats. It all depends on the avenue you proceed down.

Less Research, More Action! Part 2 (self.juststart)

submitted on by eastmaven

eastmaven on

Just another income report with little information.

November: 0

December: 0

January: 0, applied to amazon

February: in the end 3 dollars from selling pink lady running shoes. (not my niche)

March: http://imgur.com/KXbsFUb 67 dollars

April: http://i.imgur.com/w31wOvU.jpg 139 dollars

Assuming I don't get higher search rankings I estimate another ~100 again atleast this month.

Successes: Noticed some problems with how I worked. The problem with 3rd party software is that you do not know how it will mix with your main bread and butter software. ( I was using grammarly and it inserted code into my wordpress/thrive html.) Any suggestions how to check my writing? Hemingway app or something else?

Failures: Did not write enough content nor did I build as many backlinks as I should. Will try to write atleast one post every day and then increase that to atleast 2 posts a day.

Plan Go after big best of articles which I think should fall under my domain and that I think I can outcompete. Since my niche is MINE!. Primary goal at the moment for them is to age. Once I've established those bigger value keywords I plan to tackle more reviews in the sub-niche that I'm already making money in.

Much Love, Keep up the work!!

Humblesalesman on

>Any suggestions how to check my writing?

I personally sleep on it then re-read it in the morning with a fresh set of eyes and out loud as if giving a speech. I find this way the brain doesn't "fill in the blanks" as you go through it.

By hearing yourself speak you will be better able to identify which sentences don't run smoothly and other grammatical problems. Spell check should catch the spelling issues.

Looks like you are seeing month on month growth which is awesome, now build on that momentum!

LittleLunch on

Hey Humble, do you use American spelling of words like color and favorite etc? I'm Australian too and most of my visitors are from the US so I have been changing the spelling. Just curious. Cheers.

Humblesalesman on

Yes. Give your target audience what they want.

ibpointless2 on

You can also use the text to speech that many computers have nowadays.

Humblesalesman on

As someone who is overly perfectionist I never found myself happy with a single sentence after saying it and would edit it until it sounds right. Coupled with an Australian accent and the fact they are awful with brand names and I could never work with them.

Is there any advantage to posting articles in batches vs one by one at launch? (self.juststart)

submitted on by barfolamew

Akial on

Hmm, thought I did just that. Must have screwed up somehow. Cheers!

PS: Just bought my domain, found a beautiful niche (interesting, good volume, mediocre competition). Can't wait. Also just paid $215 for an English exam from ETS, a non-profit - so damn expensive...

Humblesalesman on

We have non-profits like that in Australia. You would be amazed the wage the owners pay themselves.

Congrats on buying the domain. Baby steps! Looking forward to reading about your successes and stumbling blocks.

oozoob on

Yea so at the start I would think it would be okay to post say 10 articles at once, just so you have a base of content to work with. From that point on you could post routinely.

Wouldn't that be the best way to go about a new site?

Humblesalesman on

Referenced this mindset in the comment trail. You are correct.

Akial on

Haha, I can only imagine.

I was thinking of doing an "over the shoulder" type thing. Maybe biweekly or once a month. Not that anyone will learn from me, but maybe they can from the discussions in the comments. And hey, if it so happens and I see some financial success it might motivate some more peops. Whaddya think?

Humblesalesman on

u/everlearn appears to be going down this route and is writing about things as he learns them. It is very interesting to read because he is approaching this with an entirely fresh set of eyes he is testing and doing things that people seasoned in the industry often gloss over.

Share whatever you feel comfortable with. If writing out your progress helps you order your thoughts then by all means. If you only want to post about your successes, just fine. Only want to post your stumbling blocks for advice? Also good.

Regardless, by starting a discussion I am sure there will be some good information thrown around.

Akial on

To avoid Google indexing a half-built website with "Sample Page" as a title and lorem text as a description. Last time it took Google 2 weeks to update that info to my custom meta tags.

Humblesalesman on

Webmasters ---> Dashboard ---> Crawl ---> Fetch as google ---> enter page ---> submit to index ---> Crawl only this URL.

Indexes and updates the page within the hour in google SERPS. You can crawl a single page 500 times/month or the whole site 10 tiems/month.

barfolamew on

Cool, that's what I assumed but was curious if batching gave any sort of SERP bump early on

Humblesalesman on

Unfortunately ranking is a long play. What you do in the first week in terms of pacing content is going to make little to no impact on that.

Akial on

I think he meant when building a new site. Should it go from 0 content to a basic frame (say 10 piece of content) or should it go from 0 > 1 > 2, does it make a difference?

Batch vs gradual, when it's absolutely new/blank.

Humblesalesman on

Misread the question. Wouldn't make a difference. But the sooner you post the sooner google can index your content. Why delay?

barfolamew on

I finished two articles today for my new site and I'm curious if I should publish them on the fly or wait until I have 10-20 and post them all at once? I would think the former since content is out there earlier but want to be sure I'm not missing anything.

Humblesalesman on

The key to posting is consistency.

Whether it's 4 times a week or once a week, you need to let your audience know when you are updating your your site. The post release should be almost to the minute (their are scheduling tools available). Stick to this routine.

You are building a brand. A consumer should expect to check back the same time next week and see your newest reviews in the same way that you check back to reddit and expect to see the front page updated.

Hiring VA's and running multiple websites. (self.juststart)

submitted on by Draws-Your-Request

Draws-Your-Request on

Hi all! This sub is amazing. Such a wealth of information. Two questions here.

I have a work term coming up in March. I'll be working approximately 100 days straight. So I was thinking of having a well oiled system up and running before then. I was thinking of hiring a VA to write for my sites. Ideally, I would almost prefer to offer a percentage of profits instead of a flat wage. But I could see that being incredibly difficult to work out, especially since I am just launching these sites new. It's not that I want to rip someone off. It just would be nice to have the growing incentive to keep them engaged with the sites for the long term. Does anyone have any experience hiring virtual assistants to write for their niche affiliate sites?

Second inquiry. This may be a tall order here, but I like to go big or go home. I am launching somewhere between 10 and 15 affiliate sites. I picked a category on amazon that had another 130 subcategories. I just simply did the research on these with keyword planner to see if the monthly searches are there. For the ones that had decent search traffic, I then checked to see if they had much for competition on the 1st page. I narrowed down my choices to 15 niches that seem to have decent search volume and not much for competition on google. Now this is where I get stumped. Should I be launching 15 separate domains? Or one big site with a bunch of different categories? Everyone talks about making a brand for your niche. Seems more like a brand and more focused having a unique domain for each niche. It would also be nice to have the domain pretty close to the high traffic search term in the keyword planner. And even though these 15 niches are in the same category, the types of people they cater too are pretty varied. Or should I just say screw it and squish it all into one big site? I wouldn't even be sure how to brand it or where to begin. But if I don't do that, I might be losing out on leverage I would have by having it as an all in one website.

Any advice is appreciated!

Humblesalesman on

Look at it this way, It takes a lot of effort to rank as single site. You are multiplying that effort by a factor of 15. Why make life harder for yourself. A single site is definitely the way to go. Look at cnet, it has vacuums and mobiles (and everything in between). Do all mobile users want a vacuum? highly unlikely. There is nothing wrong with having a broad target audience on a single site, as long as you are taking action to target each portion of that audience with value.

When it comes to VA's detail detail DETAIL. If you do not provide instructions to the letter with what you want them to achieve you are going to have a bad time. For things like website maintenance, photos, editing, etc. You can pay someone in india. But when it comes to content you definitely get what you pay for. The thing is, unless you can do all the steps yourself (including identifying WHAT makes good content) then it is unlikely you are going to be in a position to effectively write down the steps to get someone else to do it with any degree of success.

Draws-Your-Request on

Thanks for the detailed response Humble! I will probably roll it all together into one domain. Now figuring out a good domain to cover it all is going to be the tricky part. I'm pretty indecisive. How did you settle on a domain name for your case study?

Humblesalesman on

Well my friend, you are going to have to learn to be less decisive. Overthinking does not help you out in this industry. It makes you perform each step slower.

If you are providing value then your name will become brandable as you build an audience.. Is Addidas a good name for a shoe? No. It downright sucks. What about Roomba? Crap again. X-Box one? Seriously? Crap names are everywhere but you do not notice this because you look past the name and see the value.

Seriously, I would take a good hard look at your thought process because if you are overthinking this step then it is just going to get harder for you as you progress. ACTION!

My Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing Resources (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by steveharrry

NewThisIs on

Thanks. So when most people use the term, it roughly translates to 'I do marketing, and I'm better at it than most people'?

Humblesalesman on

From my experience I have found it to mean: "I do marketing and I need to use an in vogue term because my key differentiator is not being better than others but rather appearing to offer a difference service to marketing when in reality it's the same thing"

The word hack is tacked on to everything these days because people feels it gives them street cred.

Anyway I'm off to hack myself some cereal. Then I make even consider hacking together a shower and hacking my teeth clean.

Is it possible to get a loan for a profitable business? (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by None

nicketc on

So you're going to buy a business for 3x monthly profit?

I'd recommend not taking out a loan because it sounds like a scam.

Humblesalesman on

This. Unless you are omitting certain information like buying the business from a family member or another reason for the great deal, this sounds like a scam.

Something I saw from /r/entrepreneur that might lead to a good discussion about this subreddit! (self.juststart)

submitted on by doog_good

doog_good on

I honestly think rule 5 is the best rule ever as civility really goes a long way. On /r/entrepreneur, it's like although shitposts, bad attempts at marketing, answering questions with no business experience etc might irk me, what super irks me is when people are being gigantic dicks to others. Yes, I know doing business requires having thick skin but that doesn't give you the right to be an asshole to people online.

Humblesalesman on

It helps encourage discussion that's for sure. It is possible to be objective without being insulting. I often fall into that trap where I am blunt to the point of being a dick but I do try to be receptive to counter-arguments.

All discussions have been pretty much on point in here. Besides some hiccups with outbound links, everything has been running pretty smoothly.

doog_good on

Hi JustStarters, I hope you guys remember me?

So I saw this thread last night in which someone was complaining about how /r/entrepreneur has gone to shit. Now although I do see posts like that probably once every 2 weeks, I can see OP's point of view as the mod team just lets users decide what they want and don't want to see. In other words, they are just about completely hands-off. The OP, however, didn't propose any solutions so his whole post can be seen as a gigantic whine with no plans to take action.

I know /u/humblesalesman migrated here permanently as he was very displeased with people there while I think some people here are also migrants from there as well? It's like /u/humblesalesman was the opposite of the OP from that thread as instead of making a thread about how he hates the current state of /r/entrepreneur, he simply left and created this sub. While this sub isn't getting like super popular nor getting on anyone's radar, I do like that it's small and thus making it more exclusive and also inclusive as last thing we want is to have people looking down on others and having the whole "you can't sit with us" mindset. Sadly, that's a very common mindset on /r/entrepreneur.

I suppose what I found interesting about the above thread from /r/entrepreneur is that the things I actually dislike about /r/entrepreneur actually made their way into that thread or were actually mentioned by others. Don't get me wrong, I myself do dislike the "5 things you need to do for marketing" or "10 ways to help you close sales" posts as they typically add little value and assume that every sales or marketing process is the same for every company (it's not). Instead of reading lists, I think one's better off with trial-and-error and learning from experience.

I know for me, I dislike how /r/entrepreneur doesn't really allow for decent discussion as one can be put down by getting called a 'wantrepreneur' thus shutting down discussion due to name-calling and the need to prove oneself or people with little-to-no business experience providing input on topics they really shouldn't be providing input on. I know I also dislike how if anyone tries to provide value by posting about their company or just about a particular topic in-depth, people are super skeptical and they demand a photo proof of bank account as surely only people who have made lots of money are the ones worth listening to (not the case).

One thing that also jumped out a bit at me was this post talking about how someone needs to send proof to the mods showing that he/she's a successful entrepreneur so essentially they know who to listen to and who they shouldn't listen to. Interestingly, a similar topic was also discussed on here and both mods decided that although it can be a good idea, it can kill discussion as it would create an unwelcoming environment. For me, I don't like such a proposal because it can create snobbery in which someone thinks they know everything about business cuz they are successful while everyone else thinks everything that person says is gospel. Something I will continue to reiterate is...just cuz someone is a successful entrepreneur doesn't mean they know everything about every industry. A real estate agent would know little about import-export while a CEO of a software company would know little about process engineering in manufacturing companies. As mentioned, such a suggestion to provide proof of wealth or success screams elitism and snobbery and this can shut down discussion fast in the near future.

So what was the point of my rambling? I would love to see /r/juststart become what /r/entrepreneur could have been! I like that although the creator and the mods are experience affiliate marketers, they also allow topics about other industries thus creating an open environment and encouraging discussion. Interestingly, there was a brief discussion about what subs one can move to as they have gotten sick of /r/entrepreneur and although I was tempted to mention this sub, I decided against it as I don't think /u/humblesalesman wants to see this sub flooded with spam and arrogance.

So what are your hopes for this sub?

Humblesalesman on

>So what are your hopes for this sub?

Whatever you guys want for it, I just use it as a round up for the threads I would have sifted through mountains of crap on r/entrepreneur anyway. I am strictly enforcing rules 5 & 6 though.

Possible algorithm update targeting affiliate websites? (self.juststart)

submitted on by themadentrepreneur

ibpointless2 on

Any news on your next income report? Anything interesting happened last month?

Humblesalesman on

I'll likely do two in January, and wrap it up.

themadentrepreneur on

After reviewing some data and tracking about 25-30 of the larger affiliate websites I noticed a trend from the past 10 days that seems to indicate that most affiliate websites have suffered a 15% (+/- 5%) hit to organic rankings post cyber monday.

The only ones that didn't seem to take a hit were the super giants that are operated by major media (Hearst/Purch/NYTimes/ect).

Just an observation. Either there was a tweak to sites with outbound affiliate links or they reduced the weight of backlinks from weaker sources.

Thoughts and observations?

EDIT: Here is an image of this trend among a sample of the sites I looked at

http://imgur.com/a/ZDmfV

Humblesalesman on

What are you using to track this? If it's just one tool like SEMRUSH then your whole results are reliant on their algorithm and crawler, which may have been adjusted since. How does SEMRUSH's charts fair against another tool like ahrefs?

Also, Google is always tweaking and two weeks data is very little to go off.

Heres my case study:

http://imgur.com/a/XxnYt

All looks normal there. And on the keyword front, all tools I use report an overall gain in keywords ranked for, up again from last month. I'll ask around my network, but no one else appears to be making any noise about this.

themadentrepreneur on

I'm using SEMrush (see screenshot I added in) primarily and correlating the results with my own analytics (down traffic ~15%). I don't have the paid version of AHREFS but from the limited "unpaid" queries I could do the data seems to support the conclusion among both platforms.

Humblesalesman on

Without seeing the sites you are tracking, I can only speculate. Here are a few sites I tossed in.

Hiconsumption.com - (increase Both)

My Case study - (Semrush - increase/Ahrefs - Decrease)

mommyhood101.com (Semrush - increase/Ahrefs Organic traffic page wouldnt load)

mamanatural.com (Semrush increase/Ahrefs rebound increase)

Themodestman.com (Semrush increase/Ahrefs Decrease)

Sleepopolis.com (Semrush increase/Ahrefs Spiking)

Pickabow.com (semrush slight decrease (although it had plateaued for months)/decrease)

It took seven goes to get a decrease. This is a VERY limited data set and this may come down to luck, but these are some authority sites I would have expected to dip in an algorithm change, particularly ones devaluing backlink weight.

Edit: Ahrefs moved to a new database for their keywords in the past month. This may also skew results.

Rant: Feeling extremely frustrated and depressed reading success stories (self.Entrepreneur)

submitted on by MusclesBrah24

MusclesBrah24 on

So, I have been going on this entrepreneur journey literally ripping my hair out with zero results.

I then go online and see people choosing the flawed methodologies of lets say, of branded products arbitrage (no control over inventory) ecommerce. They are selling other people's products and it takes off like the moon. While me on the other hand, by the time it gets into FBA hands, forget it the margin already dropped dramatically and I am already liquidating. WTH.

Or they randomly pick a niche for private label on amazon and just list it (no social media yet or even website), just the typical amazon and eBay sales channels. Zero marketing involved and skyrockets to the moon. Thousands within weeks. Note: These are their first products. I'm just sitting here with all my non-moving private label products, sulking. Kill me. 10k down the drain and a year in and tons of people have been successful. And the only thing happening to me is depression, fustration, no friends, family, fun, going out, or anything in existence. Pretty much just want to die.

Its like these people haven't suffered at all.

EDIT: thanks for responses guys, I honestly thought this would get downvoted