Funny thing here and this leads me to further speculation – a big jump in earnings for the 29th June with regards to eBay. Not that this will offset my over-all losses for the month much at all (down approximately 20% on last month), but it does go to prove to some extent that folks simply have not been spending much and that’s even on relevant seasonal stuff such as bicycles, fashion clothing for summer, barbeques etc.
That is of course a bit of a sweeping statement. It may be that some affiliates are seeing high sales at the moment, but not for me! And quite a few of my eBay related sites are geared to the early spring/summer season too.
Okay, with regards to my eBay sites. I used to buy them up at a rate of knots and then slap up my stuff and job done. Some of them I would SEO a bit, but not too much. It was more about quantity of web pages/sites rather than SEO. Quality? Hmmm, not so great, not so bad.
What a terrible way to be doing things however! Call yourself an SEO, Joseph!
So, of course, I am now re-thinking this strategy and am about to rip to shreds my eBay sites, just as I did my AdSense a few months ago. Sheeesh, I’ll be broke soon enough!
Rip to shreds is a bit harsh. I’ve dumped a lot of under-performers about 6 months ago – about 25 domains in all were trashed. This takes time pressures off. I cannot possibly afford (or justify costs) to be outsourcing work to others to enhance my sites if they are not making much money to begin with.
The main ethos behind building up a business online is to be re-investing money earned from online pursuits, not pouring in good money after bad! Anyway, trying to manage them all myself was simply not happening!
What I have been doing very recently is totally sensible (even for me!). I check out my eBay stats for the previous few months (to take into account seasonality factors) and then list those that are producing decent results – regards to click-through count and income.
I then go into my Goog Analytics and/or Statcounter account and assess if most of the visitors are coming from the same few keyword phrases or if its a whole gamut of stuff.
The ones that are bringing in decent visitors monthly are the ones I have to focus on first.
I really want to see just 2 or 3 keywords that are pulling in the views. This then makes my job easy and the time involved in optimizing this site is much less.
I have been adding the lovely Thesis Theme to a number of the better performers (that includes a couple of the AdSense sites too, so far). So there is a start.
Obviously my best performing keyword phrases have already been analyzed and in each case so far (I’ve focused on only 2 eBay sites as yet), there is a lot of room for improvement! A lot!
Nevertheless, if your site was pulling in between 130 to 150 uniques a day and you had done almost no SEO on it whatsoever, would you complain? No, nor am I!
I say almost no SEO. I seem to remember when I first put up some of those sites, they were not geared to eBay at all. I was not yet with eBay as an affiliate as its a tough job getting accepted. Thus these sites were originally set up for AdSense and optimized to some extent with this in mind.
I backlinked using Unique Article Wizard and nothing else. So let’s imagine here that I used 3 sets of articles for each site, which targeted about 4 keyword phrases in all (for each site). That’s all, nothing more.
A few of these sites are .co.uk
Why? Cos I was living there at the time, and I saw a gap in the market. Gap indeed! And I have not nearly capitalized on it either. What a fool!
Now do you see what I mean when I tell you that when folks come to me and ask me to SEO for them and I (almost) always so “no”? Why do I need the stress of that when I have my own sites that could be doing so, so well for me just sitting waiting for some tender loving care?
(I best clarify this a bit – this is not to mean I do not work with anyone at all. I do, and am in the process of doing and have done so before. But I don’t set out to advertise myself as an SEO company so I have ladies and gents who are keen on “getting to know me” approach me first. I am willing of course to consider all approaches on a case by case basis, so don’t let my rant put you off if you are indeed in need of some guidance and help).
This my friend could also be your own line of thinking. No need for stressing about pleasing someone else when you could be pleasing yourself (while lying on the beach or something ).
Enough of the gloss talk though, that is not the point of this post (or any others on this blog).
I do keep saying this stuff is not at all easy. When you read something like the above it does actually make you see just how easy it can be. Can be does not mean it is! If you hit a hot niche that has a gap and you know some stuff about SEO then you could be doing very nicely, thanks!
There is more to say about this topic – my eBay sites but all in good time. I’ll post up about this in the days and weeks to come. As and when I analyze them further, and then optimize them further. I will report back on the results – which means page rankings, visitor flow and income generated. I don’t like being too specific with the last as it could lead to false expectations etc. I know folks want to know about income – me too! I’ll write about that seperately though, in times to come.
So much to look forward to that I bet you can’t wait!
I wanted to just finalize with something a little different.
I received an email from Pot Pie Girl. Jennifer PotPieGirl. I signed up to her emails a couple months back. They are generally aimed at the beginner internet marketer so most of them I simply don’t have time to read. But today’s was different.
I have a ton load of respect for Jennifer PotPieGirl cos not only does she know her stuff and has learned it the hard way (rings home with me!) but she goes out of her way to HELP PEOPLE, and thereby makes a heap of money for herself and her family by doing so. Respect!!
She talks a bit about how Halloween is a great time for affiliate sales, and how conversions for aff sales have been shown to even better those of Christmas time. Which to me is amazing!
So when she says “Halloween affiliate sales” you should be thinking along the lines of costumes, books, masks – the eBay and Amazon stuff certainly comes to mind here, but I’m sure there are others.
Now, apparently what she has done is set up a number of tight niche sites that she is currently selling on Flippa.com These sites are all about Halloween, what other? The link to the sale is here…
She is looking for a whopping $5,400 for the sale of those sites. Whether she gets that is doubtful, but the point is that the facts are very interesting regards to Halloween sales and the potential for sub niches that are possibly thoroughly under tapped by the internet marketing fraternity.
The only reason I am not too sold on this myself is that you buy up a couple or more domains with Halloween in the URL. When else will the site sell anything at all other than in October? It sits the whole year making nothing and then blasts off in October. Not too enchanting (pardon the pun). (You could of course subdomain here, or something similar, thereby circumventing the problem of lack of sales year round – know what I mean?).
Nevertheless, if you can make even $70 on one site in the year then its already in profit providing you have a couple of others that are doing the same or similar (also taking into account your own time investment). Return on investment (ROI) could be fairly high so for all those economists out there, this is one to tinker with, I guess.
I’m off out tonight for a bit of a social. There is a “thing” called Inter Hash which is something to do with people who are semi-insane and who are generally western, like myself, so I’m in good company cos I am insane too, but for a different reason
Many of them are staying at my girlfriend’s hotel (Basaga.com) and they are having a mad drinking session tonight. I know for Asian’s they think all of us Westerners consume a lot of alcohol regularly. Well, with this crowd that certainly seems to ring true!
Anyways, I have learned there are a few Newzealanders, a lot of Australians, a lot of Brits (inluding a few Scots and Irish), and quite a lot of Europeans too Dutch, Spanish, French, Italian German…
(I really love meeting all these people – you get so much great conversation over a meal and a couple of beers with those who have traveled around south east Asia for a while!).
What has this to do with the post here?
It goes like this…
“Oh hi Joseph, I heard about you from your partner. You live here now, right, having come from the UK?”
“Yup, sure do and I love it!”
“Oh ok, so how do you support yourself and pay the bills?”
“I work online building and optimizing websites, and then go and sit by the pool in my garden while they make me money…” (pardon the “glossy” bit – that’s just for fun – I’m far too much of a work-a-holic to be doing that!).
See what I mean? Opportunity is all around us, ladies and gents!
Till next time…