Am I On the Right Path? Anyone Willing to Look at my Site?

24 replies
Hello Warriors!

I'm feeling pretty excited cos after a week of late, coffee-fueled nights I've got my first IM site up. Woohoo! It's an Amazon Affiliates site.

It's been fun so far and I'm gearing up to put in my two weeks notice here at the day job.

Before I get too carried away, though, I could really use the advice of some seasoned Warriors.

Would any of you be willing to look at my site and offer some advice?

teasfordetox[dot]com

I'm mostly concerned with layout and whether or not I've monetized the site well. I.e. Is this site providing a user-friendly experience that will (hopefully) lead to conversions?

Some additional info in case you need it:

This is a WordPress site running the Weaver II theme.

I'm only using free plug-ins at this point -- "WP Amazon" mostly although I did try "Amazon PIP".

I've currently got five articles up and each one is 500+ words (and a few are over 1,000 words). If this site generates any interest I'd like to slowly build it into a mini-authority site.

I'm a perfectionist and the way ads display in the post themselves is driving me crazy. I'd like a bigger more info rich ad, but what you see is the best I can do (at this point) with free plugins.

Alright! Any help/advice/criticism would be appreciated. Thanks!

Paul
#path #site
  • Profile picture of the author TomYevsikov
    I dont do review sites but here's my 2 cents..

    this is very good, the loading speed of the site is unbeliveble and the articles are very well written, however you want to add banners on the top right side of the website(if the theme allows that sort of widgets) because a picture is worth a thousands words, and its like two articles.

    give it a try, youre on the right direction
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  • Profile picture of the author sitefurnace
    Hi, first of all your site doesn't load for me. Anyhow seeing the site is not important, you can test and tweak the layout and ads later on but first you need TRAFFIC.

    The site is probably the least important part of the equation, getting traffic IS.

    Don't even think about quitting your day job on the back of one amazon affiliate site. Wait until you have been earning twice as much as you need to for a couple of years, plus have savings to keep you going for a year if it goes tits up. Then you may realistically think about it.

    I have a full time job, I work as a firefighter. Luckily it is a good shift pattern that gives me a lot of spare time to work on my IM. Something happened a couple of months ago and I ended up in hospital and it really made me appreciate what I have. My employer pays me six months full pay with no questions asked. Then another six months after that on the back of an assessment then half pay.

    Point is, if I was self employed it would have been a very stressful time. People think that they will never get I'll or injured. I am a very fit person and thought the same but **** happens, it really does and when it does, that's when you are glad you have your back ups in place.

    Ask yourself, "if I were to drop out the loop for six months starting from right now, would my income survive" when you can answer yes to that question maybe it's time to give up the day job but not before. Just trying to stop you making a rash move
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    • Profile picture of the author TPaulBuzan
      Tom,

      Thanks for the input. I'd like to add a few more visually rich ads/banner around the site. It's just a matter of getting them up there and looking right.

      Hey, sitefurnace! Yes, I agree: Traffic is key. I'm going to focus mostly on SEO so we'll see how that goes.

      And no worries: I wasn't serious about quitting the day job. I don't think my accountant (the missus) would be too crazy about that!

      Thanks again, gentlemen!
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    • Profile picture of the author TomYevsikov
      Originally Posted by sitefurnace View Post

      Hi, first of all your site doesn't load for me. Anyhow seeing the site is not important, you can test and tweak the layout and ads later on but first you need TRAFFIC.

      The site is probably the least important part of the equation, getting traffic IS.

      Don't even think about quitting your day job on the back of one amazon affiliate site. Wait until you have been earning twice as much as you need to for a couple of years, plus have savings to keep you going for a year if it goes tits up. Then you may realistically think about it.

      I have a full time job, I work as a firefighter. Luckily it is a good shift pattern that gives me a lot of spare time to work on my IM. Something happened a couple of months ago and I ended up in hospital and it really made me appreciate what I have. My employer pays me six months full pay with no questions asked. Then another six months after that on the back of an assessment then half pay.

      Point is, if I was self employed it would have been a very stressful time. People think that they will never get I'll or injured. I am a very fit person and thought the same but **** happens, it really does and when it does, that's when you are glad you have your back ups in place.

      Ask yourself, "if I were to drop out the loop for six months starting from right now, would my income survive" when you can answer yes to that question maybe it's time to give up the day job but not before. Just trying to stop you making a rash move

      hey, traffic is not the key, traffic and conversions are the key, if you have traffic without conversions your product/site is useless and if you have conversions without teaffic it is also useless.

      checking out his site is crucial so he could improve the conversions, traffic is a different
      story. i got what you intend but i just had to respond since you gave a non related advice.
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      • Profile picture of the author Ian Jackson
        If you want to operate an Amazon aff site, I recommend you contact specialist John Schwartz (aka Zeus66) here...
        View Profile: Zeus66

        hth
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      • Profile picture of the author sitefurnace
        Originally Posted by TomYevsikov View Post

        hey, traffic is not the key, traffic and conversions are the key, if you have traffic without conversions your product/site is useless and if you have conversions without teaffic it is also useless.

        checking out his site is crucial so he could improve the conversions, traffic is a different
        story. i got what you intend but i just had to respond since you gave a non related advice.
        How is this non related advice? Without traffic you don't get ANY conversions at all. To work on conversions you need to test what works and to do this you need traffic, the more the better.

        Get the traffic first and then work on the conversion rate. I wouldn't waste time at this stage on tweaking the site because you will be just guessing, I would concentrate on getting targeted visitors then you can actually test and start finding out what's working.

        If the OP had said "Check out my site, I'm getting 100 uniques a day and a conversion rate of X" then it's worth looking at. It's like saying "come check out my new car - but it doesn't have any fuel in it yet so you can't drive it"

        You are right when you say that it's about traffic + conversions. It's just that you have to ALL parts of the formula in place before you can do anything.
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  • Profile picture of the author Joshgarrod
    Hi Paul,

    I have done a bit with Amazon affiliate sites and have a couple of suggestions that worked for me:

    - put an image of the product in your article and link directly to the product on amazon
    - add some anchor text links in your article body e.g. "herbal tea" and link to a super category on Amazon, you can increase your order value this way
    - drop the widget and use a proper link and graphic at the bottom of the article with something "find out more at Amazon" - Amazon are great at converting and upselling so let them do the rest of the work
    - finally, I would search for Chris Guthrie @ make money on the Internet dot com, he has made an insane amount of money using Amazon Associates and is quite willing to share some quality tips on his blog

    Your site looks nice and it is clear you have spent some time on those articles. Are you getting good traffic so far?

    Josh
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    Website design, development and SEO at garrodmedia.co.uk

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  • Profile picture of the author wolfmmiii
    Originally Posted by TPaulBuzan View Post


    Before I get too carried away, though, I could really use the advice of some seasoned Warriors.

    Would any of you be willing to look at my site and offer some advice?
    The site loaded VERY slow for me. My preference is to stay away from banners and widgets as they convert horribly. I'd do more with in-content text links and kill the banners/widgets.
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    • Profile picture of the author TPaulBuzan
      Thanks for the advice, Warriors.

      @wolfmmiii, I still need to enable compression and set up my set up my cache. Hopefully that will speed things up. But I'll definitely keep in mind what you have to say about widgets/banners/etc.

      @Joshgarrod, I appreciate your advice. So you'd suggest just getting rid of the widget and doing a "click here" text link with image?

      Has that approach led to conversions in your experience?

      P
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  • Profile picture of the author larry1113
    It's a pretty good site. I would make the main banner smaller though. It's taking up valuable room above the fold.

    Also I would put an opt-in form on the sidebar so you can build a list and then continue selling the tea through email.
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Stone
    The problem with widgets is that they are pretty vague and don't pre-sell or build trust.

    You'd be better off doing product reviews (e.g. link to them on the sidebar, and have some on your homepage).

    So say 2-5 times a week, you may decide to write good quality articles ~500 words (to attract traffic), and once a week write a review article with aff. links to the product within it.
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  • Profile picture of the author sitefurnace
    Ok your site is loading for me now.

    To be honest it doesnt really compel me to do anything. I think you need to funnel your visitors into taking some kind of action. I forced myself to read your intro page but it didn't catch my attention.

    you should build a list. Ask your visitors to download a simple ebook that offers the 5 best herbal recipes to relax you. You can then send them a short email every week with why a certain tea is good for you and a link to buy it. You have now turned a one-time visitor into someone you can contact time and time again at will.

    Add some pictures and some links in the text, give me somewhere to go to keep me engaged!

    I ended reading your front page and was left thinking 'what next'?

    I click through to another page from the menu bar and it's slightly better, there are some images that catch my eye. Perhaps move these to the front page to make it more interesting.
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  • Profile picture of the author nasuryono
    The layout is quite well thought out but to me, Amazon might not be a good monetization strategy because the item price that you are promoting (tea) is quite low.

    I would suggest you take a look at some CPA offers in that niche since it might give you a bigger payout.

    Also, you need to know that setting up a site is just 50% of the battle. The other 50% comes from your traffic generation strategy. Make sure you can drive enough traffic to generate the profit that you want.
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    • Profile picture of the author TPaulBuzan
      Wow. There's a lot of great advice here for me to chew on. I appreciate it.

      Here's the deal: This is my first foray into IM so obviously I've got TONS to learn. The thing I wanted to avoid was spending months puttering about the WarriorForum "learning" rather than "doing".

      With that in mind, this site is sort of my laboratory. Just gonna throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks!

      @Nasuryono, I agree that there probably isn't much money promoting herbal teas strictly as an Amazon Affiliate. Forgive my newbieness, but could you tell me where to find out more about CPA?

      @Sitefurnace, Yes, my splash page isn't the best. Honestly, I just slapped it together and posted it. I was desperate to get something online.

      I'll need to do more to make it compelling.

      Traffic is my next battle. I'm gonna give this site a few days to marinate while I start up another niche and then hit it hard with link building, web 2.0, and other best practices (well, assuming there are best practices for SEO -- everything seems to change so quickly!)

      I figure if I just keep at it slow and steady I'll finally figure out what works for me.

      Here's hoping!

      Again, thanks for all the help everyone!
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  • Profile picture of the author austinslimteddy
    Banned
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author Langknow
      Hey man,

      It's funny because I'm using the same theme for a couple of my websites. It's easy to use.

      All the advice above is good, but I think you should focus even more and go down to this.

      Who is your target demographic or market ? What age range ? Lifestyle ?

      Are you targeting similar people to yourself, who travel a lot and want to drink herbal teas ? Are you focusing on korean drama fans who are obsessed with anything korean including herbal teas ?

      So far I like your message .
      "
      Originally from mid-west America, I spent five years in Korea where I was able to discover first-hand the power of herbal teas."

      This gives your site more character.

      So I would really hone down and ask yourself those questions. Who is my target market ?

      Once you know this you can really focus on creating content for these people. And remember articles are only one form of content, you can also make videos, ebooks, video guides of you making tea. Maybe even have a section for tea making essentials like cups, heaters, and water stuff.

      Also, if you know who you focusing on, you can look at other sites, and maybe start doing some small media buys (buying advertising). Maybe even create your own tea related product.

      Hope this helps.

      Lang
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  • Profile picture of the author jdiaz
    I really think it looks great. I actually began to build my site only about one month ago and so far I'm in the top 7 million most visited site.

    That may sound bad but about two weeks ago I was in the 22 million. My point is that what I'm doing is certainly getting me some traffic and I haven't even really hammered it hard.

    You and I are a bit in the same boat as we are striving to get traffic to our blogs. Keep going on writing those articles and you will see results.
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  • Profile picture of the author The Star
    so far your site is good, you can just add some more articles that describe your product. due to product review articles then visitors will be helped by what you are selling on your website.
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    I like the header graphic. The Amazon widgets are cool. Be sure to post around 1-2 times per day on your blog, and do the necessary marketing to get it more traffic and commissions for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author marketwarrior06
    Banned
    its simple and attractive. but the footer ads are not going to convert dude. its not attractive at all. may be the size and the color combination is the problem. please check it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Joshgarrod
      Yes I would do away with the widgets completely, they look too much like an ad a people are less likely to click it. In my experience, everything amazon tell you to do converts poorly (which seems odd considering they are fantastic at it on their site!).

      Why don't you try some split testing? Try some different pages with different ads, text links, image links, widgets, etc and see what converts best for you. It's easy to measure and doesn't cost anything. The thing is every niche can be different and I have no experience on this particular niche.

      Good luck with the site!

      Josh
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      Website design, development and SEO at garrodmedia.co.uk

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      • Profile picture of the author TPaulBuzan
        A split test is a great idea. Thanks, Josh.

        So ditch the footer widget? I might get rid of it and allow comments. This isn't a hard sell site, and the content of the articles might lend themselves to discussion. We'll see. Like I said, at this point I'm just mucking about to see what works and what doesn't.

        I know it is primarily anecdotal, but for those of you who include ads within your post content, how well does that typicall convert?

        I know, I know WIIIIIIIIDE question, but entertain my curiousity!
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  • Profile picture of the author SteveSRS
    my advise get a better hosting..
    I saw I'm not the only way and your site is just not loading at all due to time outs..

    The worst thing for getting people interested for you site is long loading times (or well not loading at all )
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    • Profile picture of the author TPaulBuzan
      @SteveSRS,

      That's troubling. I'm with an (as far as I can tell) highly reputable host and I've checked the site with pingdom, Google page speed, and web tools and it was consistently getting a high score.

      Thanks for the heads up. I'll look into this.
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  • Profile picture of the author Content Traders
    You'll get hundreds different suggestions, some people may say your blog is perfect and some may say your website is unable to grab by attention. This may confuse you a bit and don't start walking behind the people rather test each and everything yourself. Keep the widgets as they are, just drive some traffic and see if they convert well. If the widgets fail to get better conversion, then replace them with text links. Move on with testing things. Best of Luck
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