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Failing affiliate campaign - 700 CTRs and 1 sale

kschmandt
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Joined: 06 Jul 09
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Failing affiliate campaign - 700 CTRs and 1 sale

I am a new affiliate with some web development but no sales experience. I have been marketing My Shed Plans, since I know about construction, I figured it would be a good place to start. I set up quite a few sites, lenses, hubs, and articles over the past 2 months.


http://www.plansshed.com
http://www.buildashedhouse.com
http://www.squidoo.com/myshedplansscam
http://www.squidoo.com/howtobuildyourownshed
http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Kris_Schmandt
http://www.squidoo.com/buildashedhouse

I have had over 4k article views, 700 click-throughs (to my sites only a few hundred have clicked my affiliate link), close to 3k views at my lenses, and several hundred views at my domains. To date I have had 1 sale (which was refunded) from some ppc early on.

What am I doing wrong? I had one experienced marketer tell me it was the product, just not a "hair on fire" item. I am sure that’s part of it but the clickbank grav is 60, not great but there are sales being made. Is my copy bad? Should I expect to have less than 10% of my targeted visitors click my link? If that is the case it seems to me I need 1k visitors to get 100 people to click my affil link and only 1-2% of those are going to buy.

I thought of pushing all my traffic through a masked domain straight to the product but then I don't get any property that could at some point be worth something.

Sorry for the length I'm just kind of stumped. Any ideas?
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Last edited by michellerana on 05 Oct 09 4:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: title changed to describe the post better
 

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wollowra
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Hmmmm, this is a bit of a loaded question...lol

400 click throughs to merchant site and .5% conversion would be 2 sales.
So don't be hard on yourself yet.
1. Get more linkbacks
2. More content
3. More keywords

May I suggest you separate your article paragraphs into more manageable pieces. It will be much easier to read instead of all bunched up together.
Also, You need some more content on your site.

You may also want to have comments/questions that people can ask so you can answer them as you said you were a builder?

Your friend is right in the fact that this is a small market.
Small shed plans ( Keyword ) has only 1000 searches a month globally.

If you were to gather 20 top keywords to do with sheds and write more articles you could tap into 10,000 to 20,000 searches a month for all the different keywords related to shed building.

I don't like the fact that the merchant hits my prospect up with a sign up box as soon as I go to the front page.
He gets the lead and can market to them with a discount.
This is unavoidable sometimes.. sigh.

I would also like to see some sort of a header at the top of your page.. maybe with a graphic etc...

I hope this market works out for you.
If after 6 months.. you have really got heaps of links back to your site and it's SEO is spot on... and you are still not making money.. my advice would be to either sell the site or put adsense on it.
You could even sell advertising if you have enough traffic.

Just my 2 cents.
Kind Regards
Troy
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Last edited by michellerana on 05 Oct 09 2:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: spelling errors
 

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize
they were the big things.

-- Robert Brault
 
kschmandt
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Joined: 06 Jul 09
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Thanks for the advice. It sounds like you are generally saying that I am doing the right things. I just need more keyword targeted articles, more backlinks, more content, and more design on the sites. I wanted to do some graphics on the sites but haven't done it yet. I am trying not to spend a ton of money until I prove to myself that I can make this work. I haven't wanted to buy a bunch of shed pix. Probably just being cheap when I shouldn’t.

I guess my gripe is that I feel that I have drummed up a good bit of targeted traffic, and still seen no results. If i have to drive 20k ppl a month to a site to make a small handful of sales something seems wrong. "Plans Shed" is searched over 100k times a month, hence the domain purchase. I got to 28th position in Google in about a week and a half but yesterday I checked and I am now 98 or something horrid like that. I also targeted "shed house" (8k searches a month) and am jumping back and forth between the first and second page still.

My concern with conversions is that I have heard that you want a 1-2% conversion rate when doing ppc to a landing page. That’s nearly 1 in 50 targeted visitors buying. I have had way more than that. Should I expect lower conversions with organic traffic? I figured that people clicking through an article were pretty targeted, at least as much so as a person clicking through a paid add. I am loosing them at this point, I guess. That’s why I have concerns with my copy.

All in all I worry that something is wrong with either the product or my copy/site design. It seems to me that if I haven't made a sale after a few thousand targeted visitors I am not really likely to make one.
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wollowra
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kschmandt wrote: It sounds like you are generally saying that I am doing the right things. I just need more keyword targeted articles, more linkbacks, more content, and more design on the sites. .


:)

It is what it is and after the tweaks above are made.. you need to keep going with it.
If it does not make money after this... then you would not be the first person to drop a niche and move on let me tell you. I know I have done it.
Others may have an opinion. I hope it works for you after a few tweaks.

Interestingly enough there are some really good keywords that I found in this niche so you really are not optimizing these and taking advantage of them and matching the keywords to some good content.
Get those linkbacks happenin' ( Important )

Regards
Troy
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Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize
they were the big things.

-- Robert Brault
 
kschmandt
Posts: 11
Joined: 06 Jul 09
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Thanks, I am glad to know that there are good keywords out there.........:)

I thought I had found a few but I know I don’t have good placement on many. What are your criteria for a "good keyword"?

I have been going for over 1k searches a month and under 5k competition when searched in "" on Google using Google keywords tool, oh I am looking for low advertiser competition too. Then I am writing an article submitting to ezine articles (and others) and pushing the traffic back to my site. I am trying to put the same (al-be-it altered) content on the site too. I must admit I have not had much luck with SEO on anything but articles. My sites have not been up that long though, I know it takes time.

So tweak and trudge forward eh...

Other than the actual presentation do you see anything wrong with my content, especially the review and directly sales related stuff? An is there any trick to optimizing a site for a specific keyword fraise other than having the fraise on the page and link backs?

Which brings me to another question. How the heck to you get good link backs? I put up all I have access to (article directories, hubpages, squidoo, usfreeads, forums). What else can you do, e-mail someone and say hey give me a link? What’s in it for them? Thanks for all the advice, hey I will try some link building right now...

http://www.buildashedhouse.com
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vqaa
Posts: 201
Joined: 24 Apr 09
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Hi
I have seen shed niches do well, they target things like how to build a shed,garden shed, shed for men,even women, build a shed from recycled materials etc but you basically have an information blog on shed plans which is competitive, these visitors are not good buyers
As you have experience in this, make yourself an authority on it and then lead the visitors to your products
Suggestion is to make an user friendly site with targeted articles and add then add the blog to it
Here are 2 sites I found that are doing well, research them and others
I have no affiliation with them
http://shedking.net
http://www.secrets-of-shed-building.com
View the page source and check their keywords
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PremiumMember
kieran
Posts: 100
Joined: 11 Apr 09
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Hi

One of my sites is in the same market as you, although I am promoting a range of products: http://www.buildthingsdirect.com

I too have been trying to promote MyShedPlans, with loads of hoplinks but no sales after about 3 months. My only sales have been in the chicken coop and solar energy areas.

I am beginning to think that this is a dead-end niche, but am reluctant to give up just yet. It is very much for the information-seeker, and the forums seem to be full of 'experts' who sneer at anybody who wants anything other than free plans!

The problem I have is that this niche ticked all the right boxes from Clickbank marketplace when I chose it, and I am using so-called 'excellent' Moneyword Matrix keywords (ie those with 1,000 searches per month or more and 10,000 search results or less).

Not much help to you, I'm afraid, but I'm feeling very frustrated today.

Regards

Kieran
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Kieran

www.moneymakingbuzz.com - the Key to Online Wealth
www.buildthingsdirect.com - the Top Site for Home Improvement Projects
 
kschmandt
Posts: 11
Joined: 06 Jul 09
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Thanks for the info that is very helpful to know. I have about 12 articles up at ezinearticles.com and have had around 1300 clickthroughs to my landing page and through a masked domain. I just made my second sale 2 days ago in about 3 months. The first was from paid traffic and was then a refund. Fortunately this buyer bought the backend pitch and I got $41. I figure at this rate I will make about $20 a month.

I am with you I think its the niche. I also worry about my sales copy. Hearing your situation though makes me think I should maybe keep up what I have set up for the shed plans but in general move on.

Thanks
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kschmandt
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Joined: 06 Jul 09
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I looked at your site. Its really clean and concise, I like it. What did you use to build it? Also I am curious are you having any luck with search engine placement and organic traffic?
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Site Admin
markling
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Joined: 13 Jun 06
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As has been mentioned some niches are just slower than others, and take longer to build up, but it would be easy to become discouraged if youre not getting sales. I liken it to youre working on an engine and its running rough at the moment so it takes a while to fine tune all the different pieces to get things running smooth.

Review Week 9 of AffiloBlueprint - theres a video there about what to do if youre not making sales - you might find some helpful points there.

The other thing is to look at other ways to make those visitors count without having to sell to them, maybe (I dont recommend this for newbies) get into CPA offers or driving AdSense.

Mark
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Limited time special - Try Affilorama Premium for just $1 for 7 days: http://www.affilorama.com/premium
 
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kieran
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Hi kschmandt

Thank you for your kind comments about my website. I'm using Wordpress and really like it. I used to use Komposer but, after doing the AB course, switched to WP and think it is much better.

I am only doing SEO, and have several pages ranked in pages 1 to 3 in the main search engines. So all my traffic is organic. I lost several hundred dollars trying PPC before finding the AB course, and will not be doing PPC again until I am really confident about my keywords.

Let me know how you get on.

Regards

Kieran
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Kieran

www.moneymakingbuzz.com - the Key to Online Wealth
www.buildthingsdirect.com - the Top Site for Home Improvement Projects
 
PremiumMember
kieran
Posts: 100
Joined: 11 Apr 09
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Hi Mark

Thanks for your comments. I have thought about CPA and think it is not for me just yet. Adsense, though, is interesting - perhaps for some pages that are just not doing anything.

Regards

Kieran
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Kieran

www.moneymakingbuzz.com - the Key to Online Wealth
www.buildthingsdirect.com - the Top Site for Home Improvement Projects
 
kschmandt
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Joined: 06 Jul 09
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One thing I have thought of doing is pushing adsense traffic through a masked domain and only using the content network to keep the cpc down.

As we have mentioned it may just be the niche/product but I also worry about my sales copy. I thought cutting me/my writing out of the process might help.

I am going to press into another more "hair on fire" niche and see if I can make some sales that way.

Interestingly within a day or so of making the first post in this string I had a sale then 2 days later another. Who knows...
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kschmandt
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One thing I noticed is that your site looks like a typical site not a blog. Is there a theme that gives you that look or did you do some heavy editing?
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Site Admin
michellerana
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Thanks, I am glad to know that there are good keywords out there.........:)

I thought I had found a few but I know I don’t have good placement on many. What are your criteria for a "good keyword"?


There are 3 things you need to look for when selecting your keywords:

1. Keywords should contain 3 words or more.
Keywords with less than three words are too general. Longer keywords are more targeted and easier to rank for.

2. Keywords should have an average search volume of 1500+.
You may use the Google Keyword Tool to check the search volumes of your keywords.
Keywords with very high search volumes are vague and too competitive. A “huge” search volume would be over 50,000 per month.

3. You should have at least 25 regular keywords that cover a variety of topics on your niche and 5 product name keywords. It's okay if your product name keywords have less than 1500 search volume since these convert a lot higher than your regular keywords.


One thing I noticed is that your site looks like a typical site not a blog. Is there a theme that gives you that look or did you do some heavy editing?


It seems that http://buildthingsdirect.com was built using the Affiloblueprint theme :) Am I right, Kieran?
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Go to this link to start building your profitable affiliate sites now!
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kieran
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Hi kschmandt and Michellerana

Yes I have used the Affiloblueprint theme, it's great and I have used it for 3 sites so far. I think you have to be an Affiloblueprint member to be able to use it?

Regards

Kieran
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Kieran

www.moneymakingbuzz.com - the Key to Online Wealth
www.buildthingsdirect.com - the Top Site for Home Improvement Projects
 
freelinks
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Is this shed site produced by Affilorama? Just thinking about why this piece of code is part of it.
Can you explain this please.
Cheers
Pete
"pageTracker._trackPageview('/outgoing/167e4dw100u5i48nvjsxrcp81z.hop.clickbank.net/?tid=100f&referer=http://www.affilorama.com/forum/website-building/failing-affiliate-campaign-700-ctrs-and-1-sale-t5155.html');"
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kschmandt
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I dont know what that piece of code is.
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freelinks
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It's on a few of the links. I don't know and that is why I'm asking but with all the techniques available to affilorama members. Is this so affilorama can track traffic from that page ( links) ?
Pete
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Moderator
wollowra
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It just looks like a tracking ID to me.
Nothing to worry about.
Regards
Troy
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Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize
they were the big things.

-- Robert Brault
 
freelinks
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That was my question?
Why would Affilorama be tracking these links as they belong to a separate entity?
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Moderator
wollowra
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Where did you see this code?
Also, what are you trying to find out? Just trying to understand what you need to know.

Regards
Troy
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Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize
they were the big things.

-- Robert Brault
 
freelinks
Posts: 4
Joined: 28 Sep 09
Trust:
The query comes from a comment from staff to Keiren about his website http://buildthingsdirect.com/
It would appear that this plug for AB is being tracked via the links on that website. I was only wondering how you would explain that as I can see no reason for the website owner to have tracking codes back to this forum.
Why is this?
Cheers
Pete
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myideas4
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Hi I,m new here
But I just wanted to help with a fresh set of eye's here I took a look at your site and I would say your conversion problem is not what you have or your knowledge of the topic. It your site its not engaging. you need to pay attention to the look as well. When I went to your site all I saw was words. you need to include interesting picture's of Shed's and there applications. Maybe Share some plan drawing that show how these plan differ from others. On one page you talk about your wife being not sure of the plans and then coming and saying you need to do this and that maybe show some of the projects you did for her. Overall I find your Website hard to stay on because there just is not enough visual engagement to keep my interest. Check out some of your competitors and see what they have done to there sites.

Again not Bashing your site, your info is great just need a good balance of visual with textual.
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pockets
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You should cloak those clickbank hop links ASAP. Anybody that has any knowledge of clickbank etc will soon lose interest in your shed reviews if they realize your making money from promoting them.
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PremiumMember
kieran
Posts: 100
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Thanks for the comments, and I will be making changes to the site to try to make it more interesting for the visitor.

I should point out that I am also a newbie and have been folowing the AB 2.0 course to the letter. This teaches to start with a basic page with plenty of text content and only a few monetized links and images. The result is, I agree, a fairly dull-looking page.

Oh well, onwards and upwards!

Kieran
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Kieran

www.moneymakingbuzz.com - the Key to Online Wealth
www.buildthingsdirect.com - the Top Site for Home Improvement Projects
 

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