Desperately need marketer's help...

13 replies
...because my sales are diddley-squat and nothing I do seems to fix it. Article marketing works minimally at best now. I've looked at the various aspects of my business and just can't for the life of me figure out what's wrong or what I need to do to start making serious money online.

Recently, I talked in another thread about the problems I face just trying to stay focused because there's just so much to do all the time. Over the past few months, however, I've been increasingly able to get the work done that I plan to do.

The thing is, I'm promoting as an affiliate mostly... been doing it for about 5 years. 3 years ago I received help from a business coach, things began to move along and I started making money, but then it all came to a grinding halt. In other words, I never moved beyond the results I was getting a year after that coaching ended.

I desperately need someone... a marketer or guru who can give me some clues into what the heck I'm doing wrong and how to fix it. I keep giving others advice that seems to help them, but when it comes to getting that knowledge to work on my own business, I fail miserably.

Over the past 2 months, I've focused on article marketing - doing 3-5 articles every week and posting them to the 5 top directories and on my blog. During that time, I also launched my dog product and have put a lot of emphasis on directing people to my sales page rather than to my affiliate links.

In the past 6 months I've seen my Clickbank cheques fall from around $400 a month to $100 and it's getting worse. This past week, I made $17.

It makes me angry because I just seem unable to turn this around.

Unfortunately, I cannot afford to pay for a business coach now because my money has gone. I hate spewing my guts like this because it's embarrassing, humiliating... and just downright depressing.

Last fall my van died so I've had to walk everywhere. I just got back from the grocery store - had to haul everything home in one of those personal grocery carts, or bundle buggies my mother used to call them. As I marched along, suddenly there I was, living my nightmare - the life of a bag lady. OMG! You just can't imagine how much this scares me.

Can someone help me find the path out of this widening pit of failure and onto the path of success?

I'm willing to do whatever it takes and will certainly be willing to pay you back in whatever way I can, ie: writing articles, ebooks, in exchange for your expertise.

You can PM me if you'd rather.

Thank you.

Sylvia
#desperately #marketer
  • Profile picture of the author DavidTheMavin
    There's a lot of dog people on twitter. You could build a nice following and once in a while tweet about your discounts.
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    • Profile picture of the author Nickct
      Well,
      Your doing good because you have a product that has sold or should I say a sales funnel that works!

      Did you change something small in the sales copy? Thats happened to me - go back to whatever was the same pre-400 per month. My guess is you already done that.

      What I think you might lack is a traffic system that works.

      Seek out a traffic guru that really knows what he/she is doing and that you resonate with.

      I've used Howie Schwartz. Hands down the KING of traffic! (organic)
      PPC - Glenn Livingston

      Both these guys have tons of free content that is GOLD! Get on there email lists or someone like them.

      Keep going!
      Best of Luck
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      • Profile picture of the author bminor
        It's difficult to help when you just state your general problem with little or no specifics as to what your site is about or your blog, what CB products you are promoting and how etc.

        Originally Posted by Nickct View Post

        Well,

        Did you change something small in the sales copy? Thats happened to me - go back to whatever was the same pre-400 per month. My guess is you already done that.
        This is most probably a hint in the right direction. You took your business to a point where you made 400 a month and now only 100. You did change something before it started to go down. And if it wasn't the sales copy it was something else. Find out what it was and change it back.

        Good luck
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        • Profile picture of the author sylviad
          Originally Posted by Nickct View Post

          Well,
          Your doing good because you have a product that has sold or should I say a sales funnel that works!

          Did you change something small in the sales copy? Thats happened to me - go back to whatever was the same pre-400 per month. My guess is you already done that.
          No, I do not have a product that has sold. These sales were strictly from promoting a few affiliate products. Little has changed that I can think of. My site is what it is... promoting anxiety products. About 50% of the sales I'm getting are coming from products I'm not even actively promoting that are on my other site. I published a few articles on this one affiliate product and about every month I make at least one if not 3 sales. That article went out about 2 years ago to 5 article directories and that was it.

          What I think you might lack is a traffic system that works.

          Seek out a traffic guru that really knows what he/she is doing and that you resonate with.

          I've used Howie Schwartz. Hands down the KING of traffic! (organic)
          PPC - Glenn Livingston

          Both these guys have tons of free content that is GOLD! Get on there email lists or someone like them.

          Keep going!
          Best of Luck
          Of course you are right, getting traffic is crucial, which really brings us back to marketing. If I'm not marketing correctly or effectively, that would explain my traffic having never gone beyond about 10,000 a month. Most of those don't stick around more than about 30 secs.

          Originally Posted by bminor View Post

          It's difficult to help when you just state your general problem with little or no specifics as to what your site is about or your blog, what CB products you are promoting and how etc....
          Well there's really not much to tell you other than what I stated above. I'm basically doing article marketing to the directories. Other than that, I post to my blog and ping it. This week, I came across some software programs I didn't know were in a product I purchased a year ago. These make site directory and article submissions easy through automation. So I began utilizing those 2 days ago.

          After failing miserably with PPC, I've decided there has to be a better way to spend my money so I don't do that anymore.

          As far as affiliate products, they are popular niches (mental health-related, ie: stress relief, anxiety relief, relaxation, etc.) but only 2 are actually selling regularly.

          On another site, I have one fitness product that sells on auto pilot as I stated earlier. I've been more focused on my anxiety sites over the past 2 years. And that's what's so frustrating. After all this time, I should be able to make regular income in this niche, especially since I am very familiar with the topic.

          What I can tell you is that Google dropped my page rank to 0 (from 3) about 6 months ago and I suspect it was a direct result of the keyword stuffing I did out of desperation... just decided, to heck with it, since my site isn't producing very well anyway. Now I'm sorry I did that, but my site is back to 2 now and has been for several months.

          If anything, I'd say that my sites are better than ever... good original content, better keyword density, easier navigation and a more "personal" experience for visitors who are greedy for info on anxiety, self esteem and depression.

          I'd guess that my efforts to get my site into site directories have run their course because I have not continued to update my site submissions. For sure that will reduce the backlinks I had to give me a better ranking. As I said, I just started submitting my site again the other day.

          Although with the changes now, I'm not sure whether directory submissions works as it once did. People are now more focused on blogging, social bookmarking, twittering, etc.

          I've built blogs and inter-linked them, and that helped a bit too. Perhaps I need to get back to maintaining all those blogs, but they weren't a huge priority - my real sites are.

          It's like I need someone to look over everything I've been doing and point to where I'm going wrong. I'm very familiar with all the marketing options, but there seems to be some sort of moat between knowledge and implementation that I haven't been able to surmount.

          Sylvia
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          :: Got a dog? Visit my blog. Dog Talk Weekly
          :: Writing, Audio Transcription Services? - Award-winning Journalist is taking new projects. Warrior Discounts!
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  • Profile picture of the author David Raybould
    Hi Sylvia,

    I can maybe help you here.

    I used to make a killing from article
    marketing. It's not something I get
    into now, what with all the copywriting
    clients and all, but I can probably
    help you figure out what's wrong.

    If you send me a PM, or an email
    through my site, let me know what
    you're doing, and I'll see if I can
    spot what's wrong...

    Hope that's helpful...

    -David Raybould
    Signature
    Killer Emails. Cash-spewing VSLs. Turbocharged Landing Pages.

    Whatever you need, my high converting copy puts more money in your pocket. PM for details. 10 years experience and 9 figure revenues.
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  • Profile picture of the author Stefan Vee
    Hi Sylvia,
    That first link in your signature already tells me you're doing something wrong.
    I didn't see MY benefit INSTANTLY when I clicked that link!
    To tell you the truth, those two other links in your signature weren't any better.
    I am pretty sure that's the problem.
    Hope this helps!
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    • Profile picture of the author Nickct
      Hi Sylvia,

      Tracking!

      Of all the sales that you have made do you know the buying keyword phrases for each?

      Especially the keyword phrases that you got multiple sales on?

      Then optimize for those converting keywords.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael D
    Sylvia,

    This may sound a bit harsh, but I think you just need a good kick in the arse. I am not sure how long you have been link building to your site, but I am only showing 55 links according to Yahoo for the dog site. This isn't enough for any semi-competitive terms unless you get lucky. You need to keep link building and not just with articles and directories. You need to hit it from every angle.

    I also took a look at the site and the keywords I assume you are working by your meta data are not only way too competitive, they are not buying keywords at all. I think you are probably getting a lot of people looking for just general information on dog nutrition and not someone who wants to buy an ebook on it.

    Getting buying traffic is one of the toughest things about this business. I think you need to do some more keyword research and find long tails that are buying keywords in order for you to have a chance. You do rank well for one of your terms (I didn't check into this too much) but it is a term that is going to get a lot of looky lous and not much else. Honestly, a site like that would be better suited for Adsense. I know a lot of people don't get Adsense, or don't think it pays but if I find a niche that doesn't have a good product and I still know I can rank well I will usually use that.

    I am not suggesting you change your whole site out to Adsense, just the keywords you are after. You want to get as many long tail buying keywords ranked as you can and test, test, test.

    I am not an article marketer because I would rather build my own rankings, so maybe someone more seasoned will take a look at what you are doing there and help. I just think you need to stick it out and build on what you already have. Remember, this business isn't a sprint, its a marathon.
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  • Profile picture of the author Colin Evans
    Hi Sylvia,

    I'm in pretty much the same boat, but I know what I've done wrong and how to fix it.

    I don't have a proper system to throw money (or time) at which will be profitable. For years I've been taking random pot shots at various affiliate products and my own products. Apart from the initial promotion, I've never made the money I'd hoped to.

    I've now realized that:
    - It's not about traffic.
    - It's not about keyword choice
    - It's not about SEO
    - It's not about having your own products
    - It's not about blogging till you're blue in the face

    It's about having a system in place which takes a visitor through a sales funnel. The profit comes from fine tuning the system to get the best conversions. Once you have a system which converts well, you can throw money at it and it will make a profit.

    The system doesn't have to be complicated - it could be a squeeze page and a series of autoresponder messages. The profit comes from:
    - Optimizing the optin form for maximum conversions
    - Optimizing the messages for maximum conversion
    - Re-arranging the messages to put the top converting messages first

    A lot of the initial optimization and promotion can be done using free advertising (e.g. article marketing, giveaways, traffic exchanges etc.). Once the system starts to generate sales, work out the value per subscriber and find ways of promoting it which costs less then the value per subscriber.

    The key is to continuously test and optimize to increase the value per subscriber and reduce the cost per subscriber - that I believe is where the real money is.

    Hope this gives you some ideas - it took me ages to realize that without a proper system I have been fooling around and wasting my resources...
    Signature

    Sig not working today - too hung over...

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  • Profile picture of the author Tyrus Antas
    Maybe the problem is that you're all over the place. You talk about your "sites". How many have you? Have you tried to create a brand? A relationship with the people who visit them? What could have happened had you focused on just one site, your products, your newsletter and stick with it for the long haul?

    The number of content websites is increasing exponentially while the number of potential customers in the western world is reaching a plateau. Competition is only getting worse.

    Doing affiliate marketing you'll always be just a salesperson. You're not building your assets for the long term. You're building other people's assets.

    You need to focus your energies on creating a real business. A real brand. Using your own persona, your own voice. Your own products. That's where the long-term money is.

    Tyrus
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    • Profile picture of the author sylviad
      Thank you for your great feedback, everyone.


      Originally Posted by Nickct View Post

      Hi Sylvia,

      Tracking!

      Of all the sales that you have made do you know the buying keyword phrases for each?

      Especially the keyword phrases that you got multiple sales on?

      Then optimize for those converting keywords.
      The only real tracking I've done is just through Google sitemaps and analytics, along with my own site stats. I'm aware which keywords I'm getting indexed and traffic from, but have no idea which ones actually make money. How do you find that out?

      I purchased AdTrackz a few years back and used it a bit at the beginning but got away from it for different reasons. Partly because my method of coding the links wasn't very effective so that I didn't really know what the results meant.

      One odd thing that I have yet to understand is this.

      When I do a set of articles, they are generally on the same topic related to anxiety. Yet for some reason they trigger sales on my site that has nothing on it in that niche. For example, I submit an article on panic and get a sale on fitness. It makes no sense that these two events could be connected in any way, but I see it repeatedly.

      No articles... panic articles... sales over a few days of unrelated products and perhaps one related.

      It baffles me and I have no idea what that means.

      Originally Posted by Michael D View Post

      Sylvia,

      This may sound a bit harsh, but I think you just need a good kick in the arse. I am not sure how long you have been link building to your site, but I am only showing 55 links according to Yahoo for the dog site. This isn't enough for any semi-competitive terms unless you get lucky. You need to keep link building and not just with articles and directories. You need to hit it from every angle.

      I also took a look at the site and the keywords I assume you are working by your meta data are not only way too competitive, they are not buying keywords at all. I think you are probably getting a lot of people looking for just general information on dog nutrition and not someone who wants to buy an ebook on it.

      Getting buying traffic is one of the toughest things about this business. I think you need to do some more keyword research and find long tails that are buying keywords in order for you to have a chance. You do rank well for one of your terms (I didn't check into this too much) but it is a term that is going to get a lot of looky lous and not much else. Honestly, a site like that would be better suited for Adsense. I know a lot of people don't get Adsense, or don't think it pays but if I find a niche that doesn't have a good product and I still know I can rank well I will usually use that.

      I am not suggesting you change your whole site out to Adsense, just the keywords you are after. You want to get as many long tail buying keywords ranked as you can and test, test, test.

      I am not an article marketer because I would rather build my own rankings, so maybe someone more seasoned will take a look at what you are doing there and help. I just think you need to stick it out and build on what you already have. Remember, this business isn't a sprint, its a marathon.
      Ouch! MICHAEL!

      For starters, my dog site was launched a year ago, but I put it on hold until a few months ago. So you can't count that one. Actually, I'm a little surprised it has as many as 55 links from the amount I've done promoting it, other than a few articles over the past month or so. Those could be my affiliates.

      I have struggled along with one site for many years: book-titles.ca began as a place to sell another book I wrote on buying a car, but it was a washout, so I decided there was no interest in the book and began adding affiliate products on niches I'm familiar. It soon turned into an anxiety niche as I have personal experience in those related topics.

      However, it had many other products not related - fitness, dog training, and business. So I turned it completely to anxiety about 2 years ago and began a separate site for those other subjects. The choice was based on the fact I'd done more promos on anxiety than the other topics.

      I added a blog about that time and spent the past 2 years writing articles and blog posts mostly. Then, I read about using social media more effectively, so I opened several other anxiety blogs on the free sites just to inter-link them as was suggested. The time commitment to managing all those blogs seemed stupid, so I let them wane and not much happened there.

      A few months back, I discovered a few social bookmarking sites where you can quickly go through the directories and submit your blog, so I started doing that each time I made a new post.

      In the meantime, over about 8 years, I kept trying to branch into areas that interest me more, ie: travel, dog care, fitness and history but my need for money and a quick way to get things done was to revert to what came easily - the anxiety stuff.

      A few months ago, I started a second site with a better title in this niche, hoping it would give me a chance to start fresh, with new content and new approaches to marketing, since my first site had become a little cumbersome. So this second anxiety site is anxiety-relief-remedies.com build on a Wordpress platform, rather than a built site, like my other one.

      Well, now I'm so sick of working in anxiety so I tried a few other things: business and travel. I haven't done much with my travel site yet and the business one has content but I'm not really working it either. It always comes back to doing "quick" work - what I already know by heart - that goll-darned anxiety again.

      It always comes back to money. I can't try new areas because it distracts me from getting it "done".

      A year ago, I did launch my dog product but many problems arose and I had to take a break from it. Now that I've put so much more effort into building my affiliate area and getting my sales page looking as best it can at the moment, I'm ready to really push the promotion for that, such as seeking JV partners which I couldn't do when the site was inadequate.

      I don't want this site to end up like my anxiety site - making minimal money 3-4 years down the road.

      So that's why I started this thread. I need to get it right for once.

      At this point, I've received some great advice from Warriors for which I will be eternally grateful. I'm looking forward to the day I can come back here and post about my incredible success - whether it's with my own product or becoming one of those "super" affiliates.

      My mind has been overcome with information, instruction and implementation problems (ie: getting my site working (downloads, optin forms, etc.), effectively using the knowledge I've gained, learning how to abandon old ways that came from people who probably didn't know what they were talking about and knowing who to listen to.

      It's been said many times... there's a lot of garbage out there produced by people who have achieved little success... and advice that no longer applies.

      Keyword choice is one of those obstacles, especially in mental health. It's much easier to find good keywords for other niches for some reason, at least for me.

      In my travels, someone recommended a great site to check keyword buying power.
      Detecting Online Commercial Intention: Audience Intelligence: adCenter Labs

      A check for one of my top keywords shows .79 probability, making this a good keyword for making money, if I'm reading their info correctly. However, I know this one keyword is not sufficient but it has been my focus during article marketing because it is such a strong KW that I do now makes sales. This tool is a great help in finding the potential profitability of a given keyword.

      So Michael... I hope you realize I'm not sitting on my arse playing games or trying everything under the sun, wandering in different directions. You are completely right in many of the suggestions you've made and I certainly do appreciate your excellent advice and feedback.

      For many years, I've known that link building is imperative. About 3-4 years ago I launched into a massive directory-submitting campaign for my one site. Over recent years, however, my site has probably been removed from those sites which probably accounts to a large extent for my drop in sales of late... just when I was beginning to see a gradual improvement, albeit teeny.

      I've commented on related blogs, submitted to blog directories, pinged my blog, written numerous articles (which turned out to be the majority of my efforts) and done a few other things to spread the word. And then I run out of things to do to get links. As an affiliate, I can't benefit from other affiliate links to my offer. But with my dog site, I'm hoping to turn that around.

      In the past few months, I've finally admitted to myself that I can't be good at evertyhing and must find others to do the parts I'm not good at while I create products, put up sites and write/design. It's taken awhile for me to reach this point, but it's finally sunken in.

      Any help I can get here will help me to achieve that goal while improving my marketing skills for whatever I decide to promote.

      So again, I'd like to thank you and everyone who has responded so far, and the Warriors who took the time to PM me with valuable advice, links and suggestions, including Willie Crawford and Shaun O'Reilly who recommended an excellent internship program run by Terry Dean, another great marketer and I do believe a Warrior (but not sure) and last but not least, David Raybould who has given me some great direction.

      I am working hard and taking in all that you are offering - the good, the bad and the ugly.

      To everyone's Mutual Success!

      Sylvia
      Signature
      :: Got a dog? Visit my blog. Dog Talk Weekly
      :: Writing, Audio Transcription Services? - Award-winning Journalist is taking new projects. Warrior Discounts!
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