Newbie Question(s) so dumb, you're afraid to even ask!

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inventory: 100 twitter accounts created in 2009
I think each has a profile pic, and is following 20 people or so.... any intrinsic value due to age?
 
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Okay so I'm pretty green but here goes - I get that many people use the Amazon affiliate program given how popular Amazon is but how on earth do people run businesses on such thin commissions?

Crunching some rough numbers, at roughly 5% commission, I'd need to do a pretty high level of sales value to be able to do this full time.

I'm not put off - just trying to understand if it's possible?
 
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Volume @TriForce - not a glamours answer but that's how they do it. Pick a range of product keywords where you could achieve the goal based on total volume.
 

Ryuzaki

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What's a good opt-in percentage to aim for a popup?
This was a good question, and of course it varies widely, but with enough data you can average it out pretty well, which is what Sumo.com did in this post over 520,000 sites. They said:
  • 1.95% average
  • Top 10% get 4.77% average
  • For popups only - 2.9% average
  • For popups only - Top 10% get 6.5%
inventory: 100 twitter accounts created in 2009
I think each has a profile pic, and is following 20 people or so.... any intrinsic value due to age?
I think Twitter is getting a bit better at detecting bot activity, where age isn't a determining factor any more. What they're doing is locking down accounts and forcing you to give them your phone number to verify some pin number. I don't think, but don't quote me on it, that age has anything to do with it any more.

Okay so I'm pretty green but here goes - I get that many people use the Amazon affiliate program given how popular Amazon is but how on earth do people run businesses on such thin commissions?

Crunching some rough numbers, at roughly 5% commission, I'd need to do a pretty high level of sales value to be able to do this full time.

I'm not put off - just trying to understand if it's possible?
Volume and Item Price.

It's not just "getting people to Amazon" and hoping they buy something. Depending on what the items are and the price, you need to pre-sell on your landing page well. If it's Google traffic, there are certain types of keywords (all covered in Day 6 of the Crash Course) that have "user intent" already built in. Someone searching "lawnmower" is far less likely to buy than someone searching "lawnmower reviews" or even "lawnmower coupons."

I see people regularly do 5% to 10% conversion rates, and I even know someone getting 30%+, which drives me bonkers but it's not high priced items. I vary between 2% to 3% and earn a full time living from it, among other monetization methods as well. Took about 2 years to ramp up to that level on this project, but I've been around the block quite a few times. It's very possible. It's very possible to become obscenely wealthy on ~5% commission rates.

Then again, there's also much better methods. Amazon is to product sales affiliates as Adsense is to display advertising affiliates. It's bottom barrel for sure. You can do CPA forms where you collect a name, address, & phone number and get upwards of $25 a pop or even much higher. I do Pay Per Call leads and get $350 a pop. There's a lot of stuff that makes Amazon look silly, but where Amazon succeeds is volume and being consistent and not randomly shutting down or not making payments.
 
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@Ryuzaki - thanks for going into such detail on your answer. I guess it's a mind shift that I need to adopt - businesses can be made through volume not just through a few high paying clients.
 
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Ok guys, so I don't have that much data to go on, since I don't have Ahrefs except free version, but consider this:

Review keyword, I am currently ranked 6th, I have 2.9 DR according to Ahrefs.

Sites behind me are at least 1-2 years older, fully optimized Title etc.

7th rank has 34 DR and 2 years more. I have maybe 10 good links. They have 100 and have spent probably $5000-$10000 or more buying advertorials and PBN links. Small numbers for some of you, but this is a much smaller country and market.

Why I am moving past them? This is the second time it has happened, also happened with my niche site.

Allow me to speculate that it is content grouping.

For example, I list my sources at the end of all articles. I link my money pages with info pages as recommended here, but just as important is that I link out. I link to respected sources such as scientific papers and I link to forum discussions etc. I see a clear connection here. Could a factor in the new Google be to put yourself in the right neighborhood? Imo, why would you ignore that Google results now are all about grouping content? Video, shopping, studies, pdf, images and for each keyword you click on "image" for, they are even so nice as to group related keywords. Google knows topics now, it is clear to everyone right?

Maybe this is common knowledge, but to anyone still considering going the PBN/advertorial route, it doesn't seem good value to me honestly. As CCarter and others have pointed out, it is a massive time and financial drain on what could be used on your site.
 
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Ryuzaki

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Could a factor in the new Google be to put yourself in the right neighborhood?
This isn't new at all, but you're right about it for sure. Relevancy has been a thing for a long while now, outbound and inbound relevancy. Check this out about the Hilltop Algorithm. Sometimes Google wants to rank authorities on the matter (who has the most links) and sometimes they want experts (who gives the most links). That's super simplified but that should put you on the trail.

Why I am moving past them?
Could be freshness. You state that these other sites are much older. I did an experiment recently where I refreshed all my old commercial posts and got 20% extra traffic (traffic I had lost over time). That definitely plays a role too.
 
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Very interesting Ryu. Expert vs Authority. Something to keep in mind for sure.
 

Jared

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Does anyone have a reasonable estimation on visitors-to-links ratio you expect for quality content?

I was just watching a video from Ahrefs, and they suggest around 1,0000:1; that is, for every 1,000 visitors to their blog, they expect to organically acquire 1 backlink from those visitors.

Is anyone here actually tracking this metric?
 

Calamari

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Does anyone have a reasonable estimation on visitors-to-links ratio you expect for quality content?

I was just watching a video from Ahrefs, and they suggest around 1,0000:1; that is, for every 1,000 visitors to their blog, they expect to organically acquire 1 backlink from those visitors.

Is anyone here actually tracking this metric?
That depends heavily on the niche. So if ahrefs said you can expect the same ratio, they a wrong.

A large percentage of their readers are also seo bloggers and will reference them on their own blog.

You're just not going to get the same ratio of webmasters to readers if you operate a website in the car repair or gaming niche. You might do better, or you might do worse, but you won't get the same as you will in the seo niche with either of those examples.
 
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Totally agree with @Calamari. I've been a long time out of the affiliate game after getting sucked into agency work and jumping back in with two feet.

Have to admit while I've hated being at the beck n call of others, it has given me the chance to dip my toe into a lot of niches and the type of numbers can vary widely from niche to niche, but also with the demographic. Working with a couple of travel brands, one did really well as it had a young, hip vibe, whereas another with a much older, less tech savvy audience was much slower (though converted extremely well when people hit the site).
 
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Google is increasingly not returning useful results for me (anyone else notice?), so I will ask here instead.

Has any studies been done on what verticals people buy at which times of the day? Surely such studies have been done, but Google doesn't seem to understand.
 

Jared

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Any suggestions or rules of thumbs on the number of outreach emails a person should send a day?
 

Ryuzaki

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Any suggestions or rules of thumbs on the number of outreach emails a person should send a day?
As many as you can handle in terms of responses and getting quality articles written.

But you shouldn't keep emailing the same recipients over and over again. One follow up maximum, if you ask me. I have people hit me up with goofy automated systems where I end up with a chain of emails 5 and 6 deep of the same copy pasta. They seem to keep pushing until you hit "spam," and then they take you off the list. But I see people using this on their actual domain emails, which is insanely dumb.
 

turbin3

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Any suggestions or rules of thumbs on the number of outreach emails a person should send a day?
I recommend testing consistently over a long enough period of time to measure and estimate for yourself. The reason I say this is, volume might differ quite a bit from niche to niche. Say you're going after bloggers in an entertainment niche, and approaching them in fun, casual ways. That type of outreach could be quick and easy, meaning more volume.

Also, volume, alone, means nothing.

If you're in a B2B niche and going after GOV and EDU links that you care about, and you don't want to ruin your brand name, volume is going to be much lower. In cases like that, I found the absolute max I could do was ~150 emails per day. This included inspecting 100-200 opportunities and gaining intel (contact name, role, agency / institutional knowledge, etc.). The emails were manually written, very personalized, and targeted towards what I thought would provide great value to their audience. Maintaining that quality of outreach, greater volume wouldn't have been possible for me at that time. That was a stressful rate, but the ROI was worth it at the time.

With outreach, the thing to keep in mind is the value and number of opportunities available. If you keep iterating and improving, eventually you will reach a level of scarcity. What I mean by that is, if you're trying to build a brand, there are only so many outreach opportunities you should be willing to burn through before your game is on point.

Sometimes, it might be time to put outreach on hold, and figure out how to make a killer "product" (or content) first. Know what I mean? Like there are only so many govs and edus you can burn up with crappy outreach and crappy "opportunities" for them, before your reputation turns bad and awareness of it grows.

These days, my outlook is precisely the opposite of how people go into outreach at the beginning. They start with, "What's the most I can send?" I only care about, what's the fewest I can send with the highest conversion rate.

I would ask the question, what's the longest you can spend on R&D for a single outreach, before feeling like it was your best? Try that out a bit and see what the ROI looks like.
 

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^^^ I think you've summed up the eternal dilemma, turbin. Balancing time spent actual outreach and on actually making money. A lot of it is down to intuitiion, but i find, sometimes, you have to be REALLY pushy with blogger out reach and keep messaging. Leave a little break, then message again.
Using an automated emailer service sometimes helps.
 
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How do you attribute "underperforming" pages?

First of all, there's a massive difference pr. keyword, then there's a massive difference in who buys what and when. Then there's the Google search traffic variance (for newer pages), then there's the copy, the layout, the comparison tables (or lack off).

That's not even talking about CTR vs CR.

TL/DR, I feel like some pages are underperforming, clearly looking at CTR.

Initial reaction, I lack clear defined goals for each page. If I make an info/long tail page, then the goal can be click through to money page, social share or link. In that case, lay off affiliate links entirely? On the other hand, if engagement isn't great from these long tail info pages, then cram some more affiliate links in there?
 
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How do you attribute "underperforming" pages?

First of all, there's a massive difference pr. keyword, then there's a massive difference in who buys what and when. Then there's the Google search traffic variance (for newer pages), then there's the copy, the layout, the comparison tables (or lack off).

That's not even talking about CTR vs CR.

TL/DR, I feel like some pages are underperforming, clearly looking at CTR.

Initial reaction, I lack clear defined goals for each page. If I make an info/long tail page, then the goal can be click through to money page, social share or link. In that case, lay off affiliate links entirely? On the other hand, if engagement isn't great from these long tail info pages, then cram some more affiliate links in there?
This is how I define performance.
• Lead Generation Page ( How many leads generated and conversion rate via all traffic generation)
• SEO Traffic Page (If it's On Page and Links are good enough to appear #1 and how much organic traffic generated)
• Scholarship Page (how many edu links built)
• Power Page (how many links built from other sites)
• Sales Page ( How many sales based on traffic from Traffic pages)
• PPC Page (how is the quality score and converion rate)
Based on that list I can quickly see... yep... this is a good page.... or... it needs work!
 

darkzerothree

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I'll add my own really stupid question.

Used to be that I could see "Product clicks without orders" in amazon reports.
Can't find it anymore.

Dead for good, or just well hidden?
 

Ryuzaki

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Used to be that I could see "Product clicks without orders" in amazon reports.
Can't find it anymore.

Dead for good, or just well hidden?
This was deprecated in late February, 2018. There were some tears shed on the official Amazon Affiliates forum. Here's an example.

It's always the same 3 or 4 faces though up in arms, blaming Amazon for Google algorithm changes because they don't know how to look up stream and don't have enough data and sales to make sense of anything, which I suppose is why they moaned when a useful piece of data was removed from the dashboard.
 
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On my one niche site I refer to a product (otc meds), which seemingly is very price elastic. The one supplier with a low enough price to sell online, has now been out of stock the entire month, meaning close to zero commission for me on that site.

I sent about $5000 revenue last month, so I thought seriously about going into ebiz and simply selling it.

Of course life is not that easy. I contacted the usual Indiamart supplies and they could hook me up at like a $1 pr. serving, which would make revenue = profits. That was naturally a pipe dream as when you begin to research archaic laws for selling otc meds. Horrible, just horrible. Set up to clearly protect brick and mortar pharmacies.

Such bs!

Anyway, do you have any recommendations in such a situation (monopolized price elastic product)?
 
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Do you think it lowers conversion when you make a link early on the landing page like:

"Click to see all Red Gadgets at Amazon"

vs a link only with the products:

"Click to get best price for Red Gadget X at Amazon"

I know the second converts better, but I am asking if you should refrain from using links the first. Could there be a risk of leading the visitor to the vendor too early. Like if they click early in the article, they might check out the product, but haven't been sold enough to make a decision. They might not go back and read the rest of the product recommendations.
 

Jared

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If I were to add an affiliate-tagged link to Amazon in my site's nav bar, is that something Amazon would get their panties in a bunch over, or is it a safe move?

Thanks.
 

Ryuzaki

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Do you think it lowers conversion when you make a link early on the landing page like:
It depends on the type of product. Is it a logic-based purchase (more expensive, technical product) or an emotional-based one (cheaper, affects their status or place in culture, etc.) Both of those things can be dictated by marketing they've already seen too. Like Apple should be a logic-based purchase, but they market based on being a part of their culture and subtle inclusion/exclusion that it's an emotional purchase.

Considering all of that, yes, you need to pre-sell for logic-based purchases more and start disarming them, maybe even hit some of their emotional buttons. For emotion you're better off just getting them to Amazon ASAP and letting Amazon do the work.

However, the ultimate goal with Amazon isn't always to sell what you promote. It's to drop the last cookie and make money on whatever they buy. So sometimes getting more clicks is worth a drop in conversion rate when it equals more money on your side. It's def worth a test.

In most cases, more clicks ends up equaling more money. But you can get those clicks in better ways than "see all of this type of product" and linking to a search result. Comparison tables at the top are an example of better ways to still funnel traffic straight to a product while getting more and more clicks. You need to squeeze them down the buying funnel. "See 10,000 possible options of tennis shoes" isn't really doing that.

If I were to add an affiliate-tagged link to Amazon in my site's nav bar, is that something Amazon would get their panties in a bunch over, or is it a safe move?
I think it entirely depends on the anchor text, where you send the traffic, and if the traffic converts. I don't think Amazon tolerates broad and generic links, say to their homepage, that isn't using one of their own creatives they give out for those reasons. They also don't like... for example, a site about wood working tools sending traffic that either never converts or only ends up buying groceries.

There is an expectation that you'll get them conversions on what you're promoting. Otherwise they're giving you a commissions for traffic arbitrage, on sales they'd likely have gotten a large chunk of anyways.

Now if Amazon is constantly running a sales section on their wood working tools lander and you linked out to "Current Sales," that might fly. I'd definitely explore the ToS before doing it.
 

Jared

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Let's say you're doing outreach, and a webmaster gives you the freedom to add a link to any inner page on their site. Do you go for:

1. The most-authoritative page.
2. The most-trafficked page.
3. The most-relevant page.
4. A "middle ground" page that best combines the above factors.