767 subscribers, only $40 earned. Scrap site and start again in a different niche?

by mc9320
14 replies
I started a music site in August as my first attempt at building a list. I tried to create something I know quite a bit about and so far I have made about 8 sales as an affiliate for Clickbank and Amazon products, from 767 subscribers, totaling a whopping $40

From day one, I have offered value to my subscribers, sending e-mails every 4-5 days, but only recommending a product 2-3 times a month (I always send an e-mail which contains 'value' to help build a relationship)

However, despite all the testing I have done, by offering different products in the e-mail series, offering a bonus if they purchase an item etc, it's all to no avail.

Here's where I think I've gone wrong

Mistake # 1
I aimed to get subscribers who were beginner/intermediate level musicians, but from the testing I've done, a lot of my subscribers on my list are very knowledgeable about music already. Therefore it is very hard for me to find products to promote to them, especially on Clickbank.

Mistake # 2
Does my site solve a serious problem where hungry buyers are desperate to spend money? Well obviously not, as my site is geared to offering advice to improve skills as musicians, and while this is important for some, I get the feeling most just want some 'free' advice plus a lot of musicians don't have much money!

Mistake # 3

Not enough products to promote on Clickbank. Most of the music products are really poor, and there aren't that many of them

I just wanted my first attempt at building a list to be in a niche I know something about but should I....
(a) Ditch the site
(b) Carry on but start thinking about another niche
(c) Just persist with it and keep driving more traffic!

Despite all this, I have learnt a lot in the last 2-3 months such as.
- What traffic source converts best in terms of opt ins
- How to obtain subscribers who stay on my list and like my content (I often get e-mails saying they like the tips I offer). I also have very few unsubscribers
- Creating a fairly engaging e-mail series. My unique open rate is about 35%, which to me seems ok, but I can improve on this in the future

I know I should have researched the niche better first, but I am glad I did it in something I am passionate about to try and get an understanding of list building. But what now? To scrap it and move on is quite disheartening, but I have learnt a lot in the process which is a real positive!

If you guys were in my position, what would you do?
#$40 #767 #earned #niche #scrap #site #start #subscribers
  • Profile picture of the author KristofferIM
    Why don't you share the site so we can see what's going on?

    Wanted to give you some advice but it's real hard when I can't see what you're doing.
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  • Profile picture of the author KenThompson
    There was a thread last week in which the OP talked about some guy who has a Youtube channel. He's a music teacher. Then he created a membership site where he teaches music, gives tips, etc. I think he charges something like 47 a month and had over 100 members. So that's pretty cool.

    Do you play an instrument? If so, then maybe you can do something like that.

    You mentioned that people appreciate your tips. So that could be an encouraging clue.

    If you're not established, then maybe charge a little less. You don't have to target musicians or guys in bands. Probabaly people who play in bands are too busy for this. But as you know, there are lots of people who just like to play. Or they're in the process of learning.

    I wouldn't give up so early. Also, you don't have to promote CB products. There are music stores just about everywhere. So they can easily find a lot better info at local music stores.

    The online membership idea is unique and is cheaper than paying a local instructor for lessons.

    Maybe take a poll or survey. Don't ask too many questions and make the answers yes or no. Ask how long they've been playing. What genre or style they like. If they're interested in solo playing or rhythm, if guitar. Things like that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Stuart Walker
    You seem to be focusing solely on promoting Clickbank products? Clickbank products can be pretty poor especially in the music niche. There are much better products / services out there that are not on Clickbank in that niche. I don't know what type of musicians you are targeting but there are some really good websites out there that offer online guitar, drumming, DJing, violin (just to give you examples that I've seen) lessons with good, non spammy looking, websites that convert well. The Clickbank offers I've seen in that niche mostly look really bad whereas some of the things I've mentioned look great and people wouldn't be suspicious or even think you were making money out of recommending these services.

    So if you have just been focusing on Clickbank offers consider moving away from that. Also 700 subscribers is a good effort but not huge so you should continue to grow your list.
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  • Profile picture of the author MrDay
    I wouldn't scrap it!!!

    But I surely would want more conversions than that.

    I think we could get a better idea on what's gong on if we could take a look at your site.

    The best way to make it online is by doing something that you are passionate and knowledgeable about. And it sounds like you're already in the right niche.

    Make sure your keywords are "buying words" and not more for the free loaders.

    Try some different affiliate products to promote, many CB products just don't convert well.

    Or, try different ways to monetize your site like Adsense.

    Keep testing and I'm sure you'll have your breakthrough soon enough.
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    • Profile picture of the author xbarnettx
      Don't scrap it. The niche may not be huge but I have made good money selling website templates to bands. I know they will spend money. What are the products you are promoting?

      I wouldn't get rid of it but I think you should focus more on an instrument you play instead. Derek Pierce took a look at my Template site and said it was good but the niche was too small. He told me to focus on a niche like the guitar because it is evergreen and people are spending lots of money to learn how to play.

      So a few months later and I listened to him. I started a guitar website and the response is much better, since a lot more people play guitar than people in bands or groups. I am new to list building but already have a lot of subscribers. I have made $150 this month just off of 2 broadcasts. Now I know that isn't anything to brag about but remember list building is my weakest link right now.

      So if I were you I would stick to an instrument and have a website dedicated to teaching people about it.

      I also have a product coming out soon that is geared towards bands and musicians playing gigs. Please PM me your email and I we can see if it is something you would promote to your list. It has some great recurring commissions (50%) for the lifetime of the customer.
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      • Profile picture of the author Nightengale
        I agree: don't scrap it! It's a good niche and you have a good list going already. It seems like one of the biggest problems you have is lack of products to sell to them.

        Personally, I've never (and would never) promote Clickbank products. I'm sure there are good Clickbank products, but I wouldn't want to base my entire business on Clickbank.

        You have a good niche and a good list going, but you're making a fundamental mistake many (if not most) Warriors make: you think a website (niche/product/etc.) makes a business. In fact, a business has a website, not the other way around. (IM is NOT a business! It's merely a medium, just like direct mail, print media (newspapers, magazines, etc.), broadcast media (TV, radio, etc.)).

        If you can't find appropriate products for these people, create them. Or find another source for them. If you don't have the skill or expertise they need, find someone who does and do a JV with them.

        How can you be of service to these people? Where can you find the resources they need?

        Good luck!

        Michelle
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  • Profile picture of the author surferman
    If a site earns money it means it can earn more. Do not scrap it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Troy_Phillips
    With almost 800 members there has to be something wrong with the marketing. Sorry.

    Have you tried to change things around. Maybe send more emails and try selling a little more often. Seldom do I give advice of doing more but .. you need to do more.

    There is a breaking point but if you want to increase sales .. sometimes you need to increase the opportunity to buy.
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  • Profile picture of the author David Micheal
    Try searching physical product from amazon and CJ. You said your subscriber have knowledge on music right. So, despite promoting digital product, you can promote physical product. I think the problem is you promote wrong product to wrong people.
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  • Profile picture of the author evilsaigon
    I think you should venture beyond clickbank. True, music niche can be quite tricky, but there is potential to monetize in other areas, such as Plimus and adsense. You can also search for those music teaching websites and see if they offer affiliate programs, but you should check their standard thru their youtube demos.

    If you're a musician, you should be able to compose songs yourself. You can consider offering a service for creating custom songs, be it a studio recording or even just out of midi.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    Echo: don't scrap it. Try different things than you've been doing, you never know when you'll hit on something.

    If all your offering is infoproducts, why not try physical products. For example, review a new guitar, or a new effects pedal, or a multi-track recorder. Review new music releases, or introduce people to less than famous but still very talented musicians.

    A good way to engage them and make sales is to offer tutorials using different products, then link to the products you just taught about using your affiliate link.

    By the way, one reason for the "starving musician" is because they spend their money on their musical passion! There's money there if you find the right groove.
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    • Profile picture of the author Sparhawke
      Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

      Echo: don't scrap it. Try different things than you've been doing, you never know when you'll hit on something.

      If all your offering is infoproducts, why not try physical products. For example, review a new guitar, or a new effects pedal, or a multi-track recorder. Review new music releases, or introduce people to less than famous but still very talented musicians.

      A good way to engage them and make sales is to offer tutorials using different products, then link to the products you just taught about using your affiliate link.

      By the way, one reason for the "starving musician" is because they spend their money on the musical passion! There's money there if you find the right groove.
      I actually like this idea, while I know next to nothing about music and can make it sound like a grand piano hitting the ground from 500 feet easily I am sure you know a local music store who have just got a new product in that you can review...for a tasty commission just to check what works and what doesn't?

      They have nothing to lose and neither do you...and it might be the start of something, never be afraid in the beginning to sell for someone else, it is how you find out things sell
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  • Profile picture of the author Confined To Life
    From where I'm sitting, I think you need to do two things. Firstly, make your own product. You said there was nothing decent on ClickBank? Make something yourself that also addresses the consumer hunger issue.

    Also, you need to focus in on a mission statement more. Are you going to be targeting beginners or intermediates? You need a very specific group of people that you must be an expert on.

    Of course, marketing to this small group will give you some collateral damage in that you may sell to intermediates, but you should focus on becoming the authority on the beginners.
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  • Profile picture of the author webpeon
    Find other ways to utilise that list. Here's a couple suggestions.

    Youtube videos with ads enabled, offer to post and share their music on your youtube channel and tell people about it via your email list.

    If you think you can manage one, add a forum to your site and throw some adsense on it. Then tell your list about it.

    Both these methods will give you an income without them having to buy anything as well as providing your site/emails with free content.
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