An Update On All That Is Me

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lol

lol

Sorry for the pause between posts, people. I've been doing some heavy experimenting here and there. For some reason, I've been craving to write about whatever pops into my head and to spare you people the off-topic rants and random funny pictures I find, I started writing in the ScottMW blog. I figured you'd be grateful.

Yes, of course I'm still doing internet marketing. Although, lately I've been switching it up.

You see, I've had some recent success doing organic marketing that kind of took me by surprise. By no means is it what I'd consider 'easy' though. To the contrary, it's been quite a rollercoaster and when you're dealing with organic traffic, you're basically doing a lot more work than you would with PPC to stay in the same positions you'd get with PPC and you're waiting a lot longer to get there.

The beauty of it is -- once you're there, the profit margins are upwards of 90%. Yeah, no kidding.

So while I may not be doing $20,000 in daily revenue these days, I am pushing a few hundred a day with organic and actually keeping most of it. Although, due to a bit of greed on my part, I've been pushed back into the double digits for profit. Needless to say, if you're going to do any kind of organic marketing, DO NOT mess with any kind of black hat trickery. The bads outweigh the goods by far. A good organic campaign can get you a few thousand a day if you play your cards right and that means no hidden links on popular sites, no link spamming and no huge, sudden growths of backlinks. It's all about taking your time and having a plan.

Anyway, so that's where I am right now. I'm still around every day for questions, comments, that sort of thing but until I have something more profound to say in regard to affiliate marketing, I'm going to leave you fine people alone. I think the content on the blog is sufficient for most n00b Q&A.

So until the urge hits me or I have something amazing to tell you...

You stay classy, San Diego. I'm Ron .. Burgundy?

"Dammit. Who typed a question mark on the Teleprompter?"

Download Ringtones

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Verizon Ringtones

Click the image to Download Ringtones

Have you ever noticed the odd things your sites get ranked for? I sure have.

Most oddly, my most common have to do with Marla Singer from Fight Club, Ringaza, Sales Speeches and random things related to Incentaclick. Sure, they get indexed for numerous reasons -- people like them, no one else cares to dominate for the terms, etc. -- but part of the beauty of this sort of thing is that it's almost transparent.

If I watch from A (posting) to Z (referring clicks from the related search), I can analyze the patterns that led from one to the other. In fact, this post itself is a test in doing just that. I'm trying to see if I can get the post ranked for any related terms -- Verizon Ringtones, Download Ringtones, Sprint Ringtones, Cingular Ringtones -- you name it.

Then, and only then, will this phenomenon become useful to both you and I. That's partly why I want to do it publicly, to see once and for all whether a simple link here and there will generate not just traffic, but targeted traffic on an authoritative blog.

It's taken some time, but I am finally beginning to rank for organic terms and have them convert into actual leads/sales. It's about three (3) per week but I'm not paying for them, so it's all gravy at that point. This post is an extension of that experiment.

Organic Marketing: Not Sunshine and Butterflies

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100% Organic Search

100% Organic Search

Despite hundreds of dollars spent on organic search rankings and things of that nature, one thing is becoming quite clear about methodized organic affiliate marketing (or MOAM): it ain't easy.

That is, at least not for me.

From what I can tell, if you want to rank for short-tail keywords organically, you're going to have to spend about the same as you would for the search terms (surprise, surprise). There are exceptions to the rule, of course. For instance- popular service-based websites (like plentyoffish.com) that already have a huge and growing user-base are going to have little trouble making thousands per day in affiliate conversions.

But you already knew that and so did I.

What the experiment has done a great job of is confirming that you need to spend a good deal of money to make money with affiliate marketing, unless you're clever. That's because clever people can do any of several things with less traffic:

  1. Create a highly-relevant website that naturally makes people convert
  2. Use incentivized offers to generate leads
  3. Disguise affiliate links as real links/images within the site (Greyhat)
  4. Generate tons of back-links to interesting things (link-baiting) to put their site in the spotlight
  5. Do traditional marketing with affiliate offers (putting up signs on the street, overpasses, etc. & sending out mailings)

Sadly, I have yet to be successful at any of the above but I'm a pretty stubborn determined person. However, the clarity that has come with this small realization has helped me narrow my focus and my funds on two of the above methods in order to continue with this experiment: #1 and #4.

If you can create a highly-relevant website (like a dating site, a niche news site or a health information site) where good, unique content gets created daily, and then you can use link-baiting techniques to get people to promote that site, suddenly you've got a cash-generating machine. Of course, this is speculative based on conversations I've had with people who own niche sites that just get organic traffic. The only problem is that conversion rates are typically much lower than with PPC, depending on how well offers are foiled.

To make a long story short, that's where I am now -- having things created that match the above description in hopes that I can cash in on the work of others. I'll keep you posted.

Bum Marketing Is Harder Than I Thought

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So I'm about a week into my experiment and I actually have ranked for some long-tail keywords. The particular keywords I've chosen are high volume so they're naturally going to be difficult to break into. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if this difficulty has been the rumored 'sandbox' that Google places new websites into when they're related to high volume (and therefore, high spam) topics.

I've gotten a trickle of traffic from Google for the long tail keywords and I'm on page four for both. I can definitely hear the rushing rapids of pages one and two coming up soon though. It just pushes me foreward. The funny thing about this is - I've only paid for a few websites to advertise my link. Other than that, I've been writing articles, posting in topical forums and manually submitting unique descriptions to directories (although none have kicked in yet). Oh, yes, and I've been paying people to post on the website's forum.

All this and I get page four for long tail keywords! Ouch. This could get rough.

So now I'm researching other bum marketing methods as well as just methods that just flat-out help you climb the rankings. I'm also trying to think of a few clever ways as well, like link bait articles or some sort of side service that gets people to back-link the site. It works well for my Myspace Layouts site. :)

So that's where I am right now. I'll keep you posted on the status of this project.

Ten Thousand Dollars

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$10,000.

How many people can say they've generated that much revenue in one day? Not many. In fact, you might not even believe people make that much or anything close in the affiliate marketing business on a daily basis. You'd be wrong, but you are entitled to your opinion. Your next logical question should be something along the lines of "well, Scott, how do you know?" Let's just say I know from experience that it's achievable and maintainable, but achieving that much revenue every day isn't the problem.

The problem is keeping it.

Depending on a lot of variables that I won't touch on right now, your profit margin for these types of sales can be anywhere from 15-50%+ if you do it right. While that might sound, taste and even smell like what you might imagine a million dollars would, think again.

What most seasoned affiliate marketers know and what many of the greener affiliates are starting to realize is that profit is never cut and dry in this business. Sure, you might profit $5,000 out of that $10,000 but where are you going to get the money to maintain your sales the next day? What about growth? What about variations in your profit margin? What about unforeseen expenses and things of that nature? Yes, it can be confusing. It's expensive.

Despite your large buffer of money, you always need more money to spend on ads the next day, and the next day, and the next day. This is a never-ending cycle that's hard to break free from. Don't get me wrong, you'll start building up a nice chunk in the bank account but it won't be what you expect. And all because for the business to work, you have to keep re-investing in the business on a daily basis. PPC (pay per click) is certainly not free.

Some people might be satisfied with a business like this despite the aforementioned drawbacks but if you're like me, you like to fix what isn't broken.

What if you could go from that 15-50%+ profit margin and take it up to about 95%+? Would you do it? I certainly would. And as I was doing it, I would tell other people about it in my blog. Not that it's some big secret, but it definitely needs to be discussed and utilized.

You guessed it. I'm talking about the golden goose, the holy grail, the cat's pajamas: organic traffic.

Now before you angrily hit the back button on your browser and talk about how much of a hack that Scott guy is, just bear with me. The people with the most successful affiliate marketing campaigns are doing three key things to be successful:

  1. Bidding on short-tail, high-volume keywords
  2. Paying much less than you per click
  3. Getting paid more than you per lead/sale

I know; it's enough to make you want to curl up into the fetal position and cry. It's not impossible to out-do these guys, but it's going to cost you.

Here's the good news: you don't have to out-do them on pay per click if you can rank for the same keywords organically. Sure, it's a no-brainer but have you seriously considered it? If you ranked in the top ten results for a short-tail keyword or two and funneled that into your same marketing campaign, your profit margin would go from measly to grizzly.

In fact, if you're already sending PPC traffic to a website, you're already getting ranked organically for those terms. Now if you start getting other people to backlink to your site, you're going to start climbing the search result ranks. After a while, you can start diverting your direct marketing campaign money (PPC) toward getting more and more back-links. At some point, you're going to have somewhere in the neighborhood of 5,000-10,000+ backlinks and at least a few of those will be from authority links. Eventually, you can cut off your PPC spending altogether if you so choose.

Of course, at this point you'd be fully maintaining a website full of high-quality information and resources with a nice marketing funnel. Google would love you, Yahoo would love you and even I would love you. And you would love your profit margin.

Now whether all of this is 100% accurate is still up for debate. Call it another case study I'm doing, but I'm definitely gunning for some short-tail keywords with a couple of my landing page sites. If it fails, it fails and I'll definitely let you know (after a reasonable period of self-pity and self-loathing), but if it works, you'll definitely be the first to know.

Stay tuned.