6 Months in - A lot learned - Still need help

21 replies
Hi there,

So I think I started thinking about internet affiliate marketing and adsense around 6 months ago. I started to study the topic and have listened to a lot of youtube videos and read a lot of blog posts too.

So I first of all made a site to gain adsense approval. I achieved it in just a 10 post site so I was happy with my start. That site is What is Charcoal? All you need to know about Charcoal
I thought charcoal would be a good micro niche and is starting finally to get some regular comments but still very very low traffic and hardly any adsense clicks. But I'm not that bothered about this site as it was only set up to get my adsense code. I do own buycharcoaltablets.com too as a way of possibly monitising the concept down the line but the cost of the tablets on amazon is peanuts so dropped that idea.

Next I set up The Magic Store - All the magic you can shake a wand at as an adsense site that failed to get any traffic - This was down to my complete lack of knowledge or interest in magic and hence my terrible free-to-share youtube video plus not even 500 word posts. So I know the content on this site is complete rubbish. Then I added a Woo Commerce Amazon affiliate shop to it and filled it full of magic products with a cool code canyon plugin.
So far no real traffic and no redirects to amazon.

Then there's my latest site Home - Health Solutions Compared which is designed to review and promote CB offers. I have only added 3 pages so far and I know I need to add about us, contact, privacy policy etc soon. It is an unfinished website. But I was keen to just test out a bit of paid traffic.
So a couple of days ago I got my feet wet with Bing advertising. So I spent $30 to run some small tests.

I got 43 clicks to healthsolutionscompared.com weight loss page with some split tested ads and had most clicks with '5 Ways to Lose Belly Fat' headline. My spend was $8 and my CPC was therefore 18 cents. No sales and only 4 unique IP addresses visited the Venus program I was targetting a number 1 of the weight loss page. Only 3 clicks to the next one down. No clicks on 3, 4 and 5. So no sales there and a very concerning CTR from my landing page to CB products. So I've paused the ads.

I have run a couple of ads for Magic Kits and Magic: the Gathering page on topcointricks. Bidding a max 30 cents a click I got about 12 clicks. A couple of products were added to the cart but 0 redirects to Amazon and 0 sales obviously.

I also ran a direct test of the reverse Type 2 Diabetes CB offer with Bing and had 32 clicks in 2 days with an average CPC of around 25 cents. Again, no sales.

So, I'm thinking about doing another site that is a either:
- A high end expensive niche Amazon affiliate review site with good commissions and very subtle links.
- A website design tips blog. I have been designing for years and could create good original guides to using Indesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Wordpress, Divi Theme 2.4 etc.

Any help or ideas you can give me would be appreciated folks. I could really do with just one sale somehow to perk me up and drive me on but it's not come yet.

Cheers folks,
#learned #lot #months
  • Profile picture of the author Miguelito203
    One of your biggest problems is choosing a niche. Because of how the search engines work, you need to narrow down your niche. You should only have one niche per blog. People who want to lose weight aren't going to be worrying about how to get rid of herpes or diabetes. Well, having diabetes might be one reason someone might want to lose weight. In other words, that's a slant you could use if you were going to write an article. Does that make sense?

    The reviews on your site are also not very in-depth. It just looks like stuff you copied from the sales page. That is not good enough. The whole point of a landing page (what the pages on your blog act as) is to answer any lingering questions that a person considering purchasing the product may have. It's called "pre-selling." In order to do this effectively, you either need to purchase the product and go through it or contact the product creator, and ask for review access (the term we use to mean free in the IM world).

    Finally, you also need to make sure that you are targeting the right keywords. By right keywords, I mean keywords that indicate a person has encountered the product before and is considering making a purchase. Some of the more common ones include things like "product name + review" and "author name + product name." Oh, you shouldn't start paying for traffic until you know that the free traffic you get from the search engines converts into sales. Once your site starts bringing in money that way, you won't be having to take money directly out of your pocket. I hope this helps some.

    Good luck,
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    • Profile picture of the author jackarts
      Thanks for your help Joey, it's back to the drawing board...
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    • Profile picture of the author chrisfoose
      I would be interested in your web design blog.
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      • Profile picture of the author Boris Qs
        I think you are doing too many things at once. Take one site that you are passionate about apply the steps Joey shared in his post and start working from there when the site is up and running and can take care of its self then you can skip to another site.One site is already too much work for one person considering you are managing everything alone. Do not spread yourself thin.That way will not only be missing many important things that can help grow your business but you will not be focus to make it grow hope that helps as well.
        Learning and Growing as an Affiliate Marketer with My Secrete Tube Mechanic Notes
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  • Profile picture of the author kk075
    Hey Nick-

    After taking a look at your sites, I keep seeing one recurring theme.....everything feels so random. For example, if I go to your Magic site I first see playing cards for the Magic: The Gathering Game for $221. That has nothing to do with your niche/theme....but that's your lead product anyway.

    Then I see what I think is a book by Penn and Teller.....but I really have no idea because there is no description. On the cover itself though, there's a note that says, "Note: This is not the actual book cover." Well that clears things right up. Here's the problem though- whatever this item is, you're asking $151 for it......and not a singe person on Earth with spend that kind of cash when we have no idea what the product actually is. Can you see that?

    Here, I'll prove it to you- I want to sell you something. It's $151. Please send the money to my PayPal account and I'll send you the item. Oh, and it has something to do with magic....but it could be fantasy playing cards. Which really has nothing at all to do with magic. But it's only $151, which may or may not be one heck of a deal. When can I expect the payment to arrive?

    Your latest site is even more bizarre....it's just a sales page with random stuff flashing as #1 or #2. No real navigation between health solutions, no information anywhere....it's just a jumbled mess of random products and numbers. Anyone could literally build that site in an hour and consumers aren't stupid....they will see it for what it is. A cheap sales page. You didn't even take enough time to get a banner photo of something medical related....you had to know that it wasn't going to work with such minimal effort.

    Your problem is that instead of going all-in on one idea and trying to build a brand around it, you're spending a few days-weeks per site and then pushing straight to monetization....even though there is nowhere near enough info there for anyone to make an actual purchase. Since your sites have almost zero content they will never rank for anything, so you're stuck n this cycle of buying traffic that will never convert.

    Then I'm reading that you're doing SEO pyramids and that kind of garbage....why not just build one genuine site with the intention of helping people? Genuine content lets you rank, information drives sales and people come back to those types of sites. You're failing because you're far too focused on shortcuts and not even thinking about the end-user....when that should be your one and only goal.

    I know that was harsh but you needed to hear it...I hope it helps. And to answer your question- the Amazon site is a HORRIBLE idea. Why? We just talked about why...you give up far too soon. That's the problem here, not the sites or the ideas themselves. So pick one and follow through....and invest some real sweat equity on learning about your potential customers and how you can best educate them. Then get to work delivering that information and maybe you'll make some money.

    Learn to sell like a pro through Web Synergy's marketing blog.

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    • Profile picture of the author jackarts
      Firstly, thanks for the harsh critique, yes I did need to hear it, and I knew I was in for it when I posted on here. I am guilty of trying to find a quick fix without putting the time and effort required in with healthsolutionscompared and topcointricks but the charcoal one is actually a well written little blog by a published author, if you take the time to read it.

      Basically, I must stress that topcointricks was and is just an experiment and so is the health one and is very much unfinished so far. The next site I do for myself will be much much better and I will take time over it before sharing the link around.

      Thanks for your input though guys, I will take on board all the comments and be back with ONE far improved site that I can and will be happy to share with you then.
      Cheers, Nick
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      • Profile picture of the author keiran
        This is a really helpful thread - thanks to everyone who posted.

        I'm going through a similar process myself, starting with a general health website then trying to focus more specifically on weight loss. I tried to do what was suggested here and see what I could achieve through organic search before paying for traffic, but that has been a very slow process.

        Although I'm no expert myself, I'm trying to build a list so that I can let subscribers know about new content and bring them back to the blog. Have you considered that? The biggest challenge so far seems to be coming up with a free gift that's valuable enough for people to leave their email address.
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      • Profile picture of the author kk075
        Originally Posted by jackarts View Post

        Basically, I must stress that topcointricks was and is just an experiment and so is the health one and is very much unfinished so far. The next site I do for myself will be much much better and I will take time over it before sharing the link around.

        Thanks for your input though guys, I will take on board all the comments and be back with ONE far improved site that I can and will be happy to share with you then.
        Cheers, Nick
        I get that you're new and you were just trying to see what would happen...there's not a problem there at all. But look around the web at the most popular sites today-

        - Facebook
        - Google+
        - cNet
        - Web MD

        These sites all started with the exact same concepts you're dealing with, only they did it on a much larger scale. The thing you have to realize though is that Facebook went almost 3 full years before their first ad even appeared there, simply because theri only goal was to wow people. With Web MD and cNet...it was the same thing. Build an awesome site first that helps people, then worry about profit.

        Heck look at HubSpot. Most people don't even know that they have their own product- they just see it as an authority site for on-page optimization. And they're good with that since they can sell to one-tenth of 1% of their visitors and still make billions. And like everyone else, they had thousands of authority articles published and a full free online marketing course before ever offering a single product.

        So how does that apply to you? Follow their business plan. Start with a great layout. Then add content people in that niche search for daily. Then build relationships and get subscribers....and only message them about things that would be helpful and interesting to them. This all lets you grow quickly with no out-of-pocket expense (unless you need to hire a writer) and people learn to trust and respect you.

        THEN YOU MONETIZE....but only with common sense things that your readers/subscribers are already searching for. And it's money in the bank because you did things the right way, the natural way.

        And that's how it should be done for every niche and every possible product under the sun....because we have millions of success stories based off that exact approach. Amazon. Zappos. NewEgg. eBay. They all followed this exact formula to build a brand and gain trust before monetizing.

        Yet you come to an internet marketing forum and somehow 99% of the members completely ignore how 10,000 of the top 10,000 website on the Internet built a successful brand. Instead people spend months or even years looking for shortcuts but I'm sorry....that's just plain retarded. Just be genuine and help people...you'll be amazed how much easier it is and shocked when the sales start roaring in.

        Learn to sell like a pro through Web Synergy's marketing blog.

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  • Profile picture of the author GillW2015
    Your really need to concentrate on one site. All of your energy and passions can then be focused on that site. Make sure you add an opt-in form to collect subscribers. When you stop jumping from one idea to another and put all your effort into the one thing you will start to see some results.

    Make sure you add really good and informative content that people will want to read and you will get visitors. Do your keyword research and you will get a better idea of what people are searching for and see where you can help them with their problems.

    One piece of advise - Don't chase the money. Give good information, build a relationship with your audience so that they learn to know, like and trust you and the money will come.
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  • Profile picture of the author objectiveman
    Watch out for bing ads. I used them once and found there was a lot of click fraud going on (mainly from competitors). Also, the ads run on the content system are often clicked by bots sent from the site to run up ad revenue.
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  • Profile picture of the author jbsmith
    Dude - try flipping it from chasing where you THINK the money is toward serving an audience demand that you are willing to dig deeply into (because of a passion, a purpose, an interest, background knowledge, etc...)

    Fundamental to anyone who has achieved major-league, long-term success in business is being fueled by passion for understanding and then serving an audience/market - why?

    - It's damn hard to build a successful business and keep it growing - not so hard if you are passionate about the business
    - Your authenticity will come through to your market - that's more than half the battle in marketing
    - You are willing to try, learn, adjust and grow which is the only way to build a big business
    - You stop flipping around chasing different opportunities and changing your mind every few months - all your energy goes into growing your main business
    - You gain knowledge (insider knowledge) the longer you grow your business, that becomes your secret weapon to beat your competition - you have better insight, understanding, empathy, knowledge and experience with your market that gives you the edge
    - You build a brand which places you in a position to dominate your market - it's the only way
    - Who the hell wants to grow businesses they aren't interested in anyway? That just sucks.
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    • Profile picture of the author jackarts
      To Jeff (jbsmith)
      Thanks for the input. I agree, and my next site is going to be about something I'm very passionate about.
      Cheers, Nick
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  • Profile picture of the author hannahlist
    Why not sell those non-performing sites on Flippa?

    As long as you are realistic regarding pricing, you can unload them.

    Use the GREAT FEELING of selling a site to PUSH you to create better sites.

    The best approach would be to just focus on finding sites that already work and dominate a niche and REVERSE ENGINEER them and see if you can FLIP them.
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    • Profile picture of the author jackarts
      Originally Posted by hannahlist View Post

      Why not sell those non-performing sites on Flippa?

      As long as you are realistic regarding pricing, you can unload them.

      Use the GREAT FEELING of selling a site to PUSH you to create better sites.

      The best approach would be to just focus on finding sites that already work and dominate a niche and REVERSE ENGINEER them and see if you can FLIP them.
      To hannahlist

      Cheers for the idea. Roughly how much have you sold start up sites like mine for on Flippa in the past?

      Thanks, Nick
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      • Profile picture of the author Charles E. White

        I'm going to give you the same advice I got when I started out..."Stay Focused". In 6 months time you did all that huh? You took on that many different niches? You are in way too many things in such a short period of time, You are just jumping from one thing to the next. The best advice I ever got was to "Stay Focused". You need to "stay focused" too.

        Charles E. White
        Internet Money Making Programs
        ^Find out the programs and products we have found to be worth the money^
        Join our FREE newsletter and get up-to-date details.

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        • Profile picture of the author Devilfish168
          actually I also on the same boat with thread starter...

          last years I like testing mode while I working full time on the same time....than come this year May

          I concentrate just one site and two alternative earn money iM products.

          so consider 4 months ...fully concentrate as I presently jobless so still need to explore and learn more.
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  • Profile picture of the author marc100
    I think you're off to a great start. The sites look nice, however I feel that they are too broad and not focused enough.

    For example The health site talks about diet, and herpes, and diabetes, its not focused.
    I'd think youd do much better with a topic like "Weight Loss for Seniors with Arthritis"
    or "Paleo Diet for Diabetics". Youll get targeted traffic that are more serious buyers.
    Then you can get a focused domain name like PaleoForDiabetics.com or something like that. really focused. Right now you just have the domain name "Health" and you'll be buried on page 9999 in Google for that, too broad.
    FYI I just checked and there IS a Paleo for Diabetics facebook group lol.

    Also since there is NO CURE for herpes or diabetes, I know that your "Cure for___" is fake and that instantly loses trust and legitimacy with me, I'd use the terms "Top Treatments for Diabetes" etc

    I feel like the magic site is a nice niche but was a little slapped together. Its about coin tricks but the first thing I see are games for magic the gathering and other games which confuses me and turns me off.
    If the site is about "Coin Tricks" the first thing I should see is Coin tricks.

    I'm no expert but just giving my opinion, I think the opening page should be this All The Coin Tricks You Need at Top Coin Tricks
    with a link to "Shop" and on Shop page I would put the coin products listed first, then other magic tricks and games

    I also think that if you make the opening page this All The Coin Tricks You Need at Top Coin Tricks then you should take out the ads on that page, it makes it look cheap and not quality.
    Instead offer a link to join your email list to "Get 5 Amazing Coin Tricks FREE that will Wow your Friends" or something. Or a popup to join your list.
    Id rather do a popup to join a mailing list than adsense ads.
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    • Profile picture of the author jackarts
      Thanks for the help marc100.
      I will make those changes asap to top coin tricks. I'm on the look out for someone who can do coin magic and want to take a series of videos with that person for use on the site. Love the free tricks pop up lead magnet idea, cheers!

      I've made the changes you suggested on the health site and will think about your point of targeting more of a niche on that one with a new domain name. I think I just wanted to make what appeared to be a large style website that had pages that were laser targeting niche topics with keywords when I set that up.

      To kk075, again, thanks for the input. Definitely food for thought there.
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  • Profile picture of the author The Cypher
    Just going to point out something not entirely mentioned much in this thread... $8 of paid traffic to a single ad, or $30 to a site isn't enough to get real results with anyway. Generally, even running cheaper paid traffic (rev content etc) you still need 100-200 clicks to determine if something we will or not. Then you scale up from there.

    I didn't go o your sites yet, because everyone else ripped them apart apparently, and I also know that paying for traffic is tough especially when you may be limited on funds. Just keep in mind you'll need more money to test properly.

    Also in regards to Bing or any other major PPC provider having bots that ramp up clicks? That's rubbish. As a competitor, you should be clicking other companies ads so you can see if there are areas you can improve on. That's cheap spy tools there.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    Also in regards to Bing or any other major PPC provider having bots that ramp up clicks?
    On Bing you must stay tightly targeted or you will quickly end up with a bunch of "surfer" clicks.
    Get Off The Warrior Forum Now & Don't Come Back If You Want To Succeed!
    All The Real Marketers Are Gone. There's Nothing Left But Weak, Sniveling Wanna-Bees!
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    • Profile picture of the author The Cypher
      Originally Posted by Brent Stangel View Post

      On Bing you must stay tightly targeted or you will quickly end up with a bunch of "surfer" clicks.
      Absolutely. Bing traffic as a whole seems more 'casual' traffic. The "Hmm... I wonder what this is about but have no real interest" traffic. Certainly not bots.
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