The good news is that for the past years, even though I have spent MAYBE a few hours total updating a few things every couple months, my sites have continued to bring home a nice passive income stream. My little neglected sites even managed to pay for part of my wedding and all of my awesome, all-inclusive, super-plush honeymoon. Sweet, right?
The truth is I put A LOT of effort into the sites when I first created them. I spent hours and hours researching how to perfectly optimize my sites for maximum profits. The huge work load on the front end has meant years of easy money for me. Plus, the recent panic about MRSA in the news helped out quite a bit! It taught me how important it is to start on a topic during the time period when the rest of the world says “huh?” when I say MRSA. Sure, It didn’t make a killing the first year, but after the super-bug was plastered all over CNN for days, I was patting myself on the back for my coincidental foresight.]]>
On top of the problem with ad relevancy, there is a user interface issue with YPN. It starts out when I have to log into my account. I have to type out my password every-time. As opposed, on Adsense my computer automatically puts my password into the field so I only have to press “enter.” Then when I am logged in there is no easy summary of my clicks and impressions like on Adsense. In fact I can’t even see what sites have been clicked until the next day. I have yet to figure out how to tell which website served the ad that was clicked. Even getting the ad code is cumbersome and annoying.
Ultimately, I have decided to stop using YPN, for now. Currently it is wasting my time to even test it. I hope that eventually they will make some changes so that they can at least begin to compete with Google. What about your experiences with YPN? Anyone getting good results? Or care to share your frustrations?]]>
I don’t think they are allowing any more beta testers at this time, but the official launch is set for mid-April. I’ll be sure to post with an update when their service is available.]]>
2. Be Specific.
If and whenever possible use affiliate links to link to specific products. Using the kitchen sink site as an example, if you just plastered banners to sites that sell sinks you may get a few sells, but not nearly as many sells as if you wrote reviews to sinks then linked each individual sink to the affiliate product. This makes it easier for your visitor to get to the exact sink they are interested in, and thus makes it easier and more likely for them to buy the sink. I have found this trick to be especially beneficial. I am currently getting roughly 500% more clicks for a specific product link versus a general banner to the affiliate site, and nearlly 95% of my actual sale commisions come from specific product links.
3. Give Them a Reason to Buy.
When people search for products online they usually have decided that they are atleast interested in buying the item. This means you need to give them a reason to stop what they are doing and buy it now with your link. How do you do that? Well I have found special promotions work great for this. Often the companies offer free shipping for orders over a certain amount, or even send out promotional discount codes to affiliates. Let your visitors know that if they buy that sink by clicking on your link they will get 10% off and get free shipping. Sometimes this can be a pain to update as the promotions change, but it’ll be worth it when you get the commission check.
The easiest open source option to build an Amazon store that I have found is Amazon Products Feed. This script is simple to install and use. Just unzip, upload in ASCII to a directory, and then CHMOD amazon_products_feed.cgi (775). Then point your browser to the apf_config.cgi file and follow the onscreen directions.
You can see your store by visiting amazon_products_feed.cgi and after that you’ll most likely want to use php includes to create static pages for each major page you wish to show in your store. There is plenty of documentation with the file, so be sure to read it for further details.
I have created a simple template for the Amazon Products Feed (APF) that anyone can use. To make it easier to install the template I have included my template as the default in the following zip package of APF. You can see a preview of the store template below:
Download Amazon Product Feed with Template Installed
If you find the template useful and would like to leave a donation you may do so through paypal with the button below:
AOL traffic 6.17%
MSN traffic 6.03%
Yahoo traffic 4.07%
Google traffic 3.83%
A nearly double conversion rate is huge. Why the difference? Their conclusions included “With portals rich in content and services, AOL, MSN and Yahoo may tend to appeal toward a more buyer friendly demographic. Google, meanwhile, may appeal to more browsers – those with less of an intent to buy.” Personally, I have long regarded the MSN/AOL users as less technically oriented than Google users. It is possible more technical users are blind to ads. I think more than anything this proves that you shouldn’t put all your egg’s into one basket just because that basket is the biggest.]]>