Sooo… It’s been a little while since I’ve written anything so I figured I should just give you an update on my business.
I’ve completely exited the ‘make money’, ‘work from home’, ‘get rich quick’ and ‘business opportunity’ markets and I’ve stopped buying solo ads.
The longer I was in those markets, the more I learned about it, the more I made friends with people who sell stuff in those markets, the less I wanted to be part of it.
Most of the money made in those markets is made by selling crap to suckers and I don’t want to be part of it.
I don’t want to say much more about it publicly so I’ll just leave it at that.
I’ve completely started over with a different group of affiliate products that serve businesses. It sucks to go from making a little money to losing money but I think it’s a better long term business model.
Also, the ultimate plan is to be in a market where I can get vertically integrated or maybe sell the site and the income from it.
So here’s the current strategy:
Create persuasive content that sells affiliate products using traffic from Googles networks. Search, Display, and YouTube. The focus on selling products that pay residuals in markets with long customer lifetimes.
I’m building out a website with lots of useful ‘how to’ content on it that will help people while selling them stuff.
There are a few big competitors promoting the same stuff which is good and bad. It’s good because they wouldn’t be promoting it if it wasn’t profitable, it’s bad because they have already bidded up the price of the traffic so I have to do 2 things to compete with them and make money in this market:
1. Create content that is more persuasive than theirs. I’ve gotta get more revenue out of each click than they do so I can afford to pay more for the traffic than they can.
There are some serious drawbacks to this strategy. It can be expensive. It’ll require lots of split testing.
They might be taking a loss on the front end and making their profits on the renewals. This could mean that I’ll never get the front end offer in to profit, or that I might never get it in to profit at a big scale.
This would be very hard for me to overcome. I’m currently operating on the belief that they’re making money on the front end of their business and that when my content is good enough I’ll be able to do that as well.
I’m taking a big chance here.
2. Find cheaper ways to advertise the content. Usually an affiliate marketer is really good at one traffic source, so if I can find a traffic source that they all suck at I can find my profit there.
Their sites are very text and screenshot oriented. My plan is to start running YouTube traffic because my site has lots of videos on it.
Most of them have YouTube channels and are getting sales from YouTube, but they don’t seem to be advertising very effectively on YouTube. I think this is where my opportunity is in this market.
The only thing that really matters in digital direct response sales…
No matter which strategy I’m using, the only thing that matters is getting the EPC to be bigger than the CPC. Getting the earnings per click to be higher than the cost per click.
Everything else is bullshit. Engagement, likes, shares, comments, clicks, opt in rates etc… are all useful for making strategic and optimization oriented decisions, but ultimately ECP vs. CPC is the most important statistic to monitor and work on and make decisions on.
So far it’s not profitable but I’m still optimizing the landing pages, and getting used to Google’s advertising network.
Google is a real pain in the ass to deal with but for the products I’m selling I’ve gotta be on Google to scale up in to full time income (so I don’t have to go back to working at a job) so I figured I might as well start there.
I tried Bing out first but there’s just not enough traffic on that network for the relevant keywords for my site.
Currently I’m using prosper 202 to track my traffic and I’m using Sumome’s heatmap to optimize the pages.
I haven’t actually set up split tests yet, but I’m learning how to use php so I can set up a self hosted rotator script. I’ll share it with you when I get it sorted it out properly.
Really I should have been split testing from the beginning but I wanted to get started running some traffic to see what would happen right away.
I want to point out that I’m not trying to direct link any affiliate sales pages and there’s a good reason for that: You google account is ‘linked’ to any site that you link to, even if the campaign is never approved and never runs.
If you link your google advertising account to a site it’s linked to that site forever. If google changes their content policies you’ll have to change your content to make it compliant with the new policies or your account will be suspended.
If your account is linked to any sites that you can’t change then you’ll have to go through the hassle of creating an account under someone else’s name or find some other way of getting another account with them.