Friday, August 26, 2016

Traffic: Quantity vs Quality



I've been giving a lot of thought lately to the question of which is more important, quantity of traffic or quality of traffic when it comes to Internet marketing. Let's face it, content may be King but traffic is the Queen and we all know she wears the royal pants anyway, right? So let's dive into this topic and see where we end up, shall we?

Quantity of Traffic

There are many places you can get traffic online. Some are free, most are not. You'll see advertising selling anywhere from a few hundred visitors per day to hundreds of thousands of visitors per month. But is this type of traffic worth the cost? How does this play out in your ROI calculations? Let's look at one example to see what I'm talking about.

A traffic package I recently purchased cost $22 for 7k hits to my website. At the time of this writing, almost 3k hits have been delivered to the URL of my choice. So, how is that working out for me? I've had three sign-ups for the program I was promoting. Well, that's a 0.10% conversion rate. You'll see in a minute why that's pretty abysmal and how to tell which part of the funnel is "broken."



Quality of Traffic

Now what do I mean by quality of traffic, you might ask. Well, quality traffic would be well targeted traffic that is drilled down specifically enough to your target niche that when they click on your ad's link they are genuinely interested in your offer, kind of like website SEO. So much so, in fact, that they will present with a much higher conversion rate on your gateway, splash page, or squeeze page. How do I know? Here's a great example from a campaign I recently ran on Bing Ads.

For starters, my total cost all-in was $54.83 for the entire run of two months. During that time, my ads (I was testing and tweaking too, to be fair) were seen 35,928 times (impressions). Out of all those eyeballs, 364 clicked through to my gateway page. That comes out to a 1.01% click-thru rate. Not the best, but it was an aggregate of all the ads. My best performing ad saw a CTR of 1.10%. Now, let's take this a step further. Out of those 364 who clicked on my ad, 34 became members of the program I was promoting. This means that the gateway page was converting at a whopping CTR of 9.34%!!! So, for me, that's an ROI or perhaps a cost of $1.61 per new affiliate. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself. Now THIS represents quality traffic.



How to Evaluate Your Traffic Source

So how can you evaluate your traffic source? Well, first you have to take control of some of the variables. For example, the gateway page I used in both of the traffic source trials I mentioned above was the same page. Therefore, I eliminated the gateway page as being a problem. With one traffic source it was barely converting at all, indicating that most likely the traffic wasn't very targeted or maybe random, at best. In the other example the page was converting almost 1000% better, indicating much better traffic.

There are other variables to consider, especially if you are running ads in different spots like Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, etc.. For example, how targeted is your follower base? Is it random, or is it people who share a common interest in what you are promoting? I've recently started a new Twitter account just so I can focus on a new, more targeted, demographic. Is it working? I don't know yet. If it does, I'll definitely share it with you! My experience thus far with Twitter is that the traffic isn't converting well, so I suspect my personal account isn't very targeted.

Another thing to think about is the advertisement itself. Is there a strong call to action? Does your ad use words that bring attention to your offer? Do you create a sense of urgency? Don't be afraid to try different ads and even tweak the wording on ads until you get one that starts clicking for you. There are professional copy writers out there who will write ads for you but most programs that you're promoting will provide sample ads for you to get started with. Use them and run with it. You never know, one of them might be the best ad you'll ever try. That's the case with one program I'm promoting!



Conclusion

What's the bottom line, right? Sorry I had to drag you through all those examples, but I think it's important to help you see that it really is the quality of the traffic that matters most. At this rate, my 7k visits will likely only generate 9 or 10 new affiliates for an average cost of around $2.20. I'm running my Bing Ads again and expect to get the same rate as before, about $1.64 each. The one requires thousands of loosely targeted (maybe) visitors, while the other just requires a few hundred of the right visitors (more on Bing Ads and PPC targeting in another blog post).

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Sunday, May 22, 2016

I finally finished!

Stop the presses! Something exciting has finally happened. I finally finished an e-book that has been five years or more in the making. I had the idea years ago after I began working from home online and everyone would ask me how I do that or how they could make money online. Granted, it's not for everyone and it can certainly test your tenacity, but for those who truly want to make REAL money online, the e-book is finally here. I'm releasing it in a "classified report" format. Sounds more exciting that way, doesn't it? Well, I think so anyway. So, before I get all wordy here and just babble on, here's the link to my new e-book, which you can pick up for free ... How To Earn Real Money Online 2016 Edition

Monday, May 16, 2016

Earning Real Money Online With SFI

Well, I did it again. I got sidetracked and lost focus of this blog. I see that it gets some traffic now and then, so I feel obligated to continue writing in the hopes that someone is reading. To that end, let's talk about earning real money online with SFI.


We've talked before about making money from home, what the daily grind at home is like, and various opportunities, such as ClickBank and Wealthy Affiliate. So, we're not going over those things again today, but I will say that I still stand behind my write-ups on all of those pages. I should note that I am no longer a member of Wealthy Affiliate, not because I don't think their system works, but because I needed to host my sites elsewhere for technical reasons. For any beginner who wants to learn WordPress and how to make money blogging, it is a great place to start.

But maybe writing isn't your deal. Or maybe you're looking for something a little more hands-off, or at least the goal of that at some point in the future. That's pretty much where I'm at right now. I'm doing great with my web business but there's one key element that it requires a lot of, and that is my time. Now I'm hearkening back to the days of yore when I was involved in some direct sales companies, such as Amway, before the internet revolutionized the way we do practically everything.

Keeping that in mind, let's take a look at a company called Strong Future International, or SFI. This company was started in 1998 online and took advantage of not only a network marketing model but the power of the internet and affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing, as you likely already know, is promoting and selling someone else's product online and getting a commission for it. Now, imagine if you added in the dupication and multi-level aspects of network marketing. Not only would you get paid a commission for your sales, but you would also get paid a % of your downline associates' sales as well. Ultimately, this can add up to big bucks, as well as that free time we were talking about.

Now, before you go off all half-cocked and spewing venom about the evils multi-level marketing, you should probably know that your insurance agent likely operates on the same type of business structure, as does your financial broker, real estate agent, and many other sales type jobs. They don't advertise the fact, to be sure, but there are levels of management, levels of sponsorship, and commission overrides for the same purpose as in multi-level marketing. According to the FTC, the bottom line is that as long as you have a real product to sell that can be sold to people outside of the business, then the company is probably legit.

The next objection is usually something about not wanting to hound family and friends to sign up to yet another business, lol. Believe me, I understand. Building the list was hard, but for me the hardest part was setting up appointments and "showing the plan." Been there, done that, got the t-shirt, and burned it, ha! The best part of doing something like this online, in my opinion, is that you no longer have to prospect family and friends. You can if you want to, of course, but you don't need to in order to build a real, profitable business.

So, I signed up for SFI back in December, but never got around to doing anything with it until last week. I found that I had missed some bonuses and it sort of bummed me out until I put my head on straight and decided to really put some effort into this business and see what happens. I've already sponsored 13 personal affiliates through Bing Ads, moved up to Executive Affiliate rank, and received 2 new affiliates for me to co-sponsor. Most of them haven't shown any signs of life yet, but I do have one that is doing some reading and logging in, so I'm hopeful!

I'll come back in a few months and give you all an update on SFI, but in all sincerity, if you've been thinking about starting a business online and blogging isn't your thing, you should check out SFI. There is a limited time offer running right now where you can earn up to a $100 signing bonus. Yes, you read that right! Up to $100 signing bonus, and joining is FREE. How can you beat that?

PS - If you've ever thought about starting your own online business but didn't know where to start, what to do, where to advertise or what to sell ... SFI can help you out. Perhaps you think you don't have enough money? Well, I've already mentioned it's free. Beyond that, perhaps you're wanting to evaluate it against other business models, like franchising or direct sales ... so I'm including this handy dandy comparison chart below. SFI is truly a unique opportunity for anyone who is willing to put in the work.

Are you ready to start your own internet business and change your life?


Monday, February 1, 2016

A New Experiment ... Day 1

Sorry for not having blogged sooner. There's been a ton of stuff going on both personally and professionally. But I wanted to post this both for my own recordkeeping and for anyone reading to follow along.

I did some end-of-the-month reviews of all my analytical data for various sites and product promotions, etc. One thing I discovered is that I'm getting more referral traffic to Clickbank from my personal Twitter account (which I have been ramping up) than I was getting during almost two months of promotional ads run on Bing Ads. Unfortunately, all of my sales came from the Bing Ads traffic. However, I didn't promote the same products nor use the same ads, so there are a lot of variables at play here.

This month, I'm going to focus on two projects ... one will be to continue what I'm doing now, and promote products via twitter, but using higher gravity products and direct linking. The second project is my new experiment ... I'm going to build out a new twitter account from scratch and see how many people and how many impressions I can garner in one month. Yes, just one month. I started out tonight by following 89 accounts that I have high hopes for following me back. If this experiment generates significant results, I will put together a short case study and share it with you.

So, that's my update for now. TTFN ... those with kids know what that means, lol. ;)

Saturday, January 2, 2016

How To Start An Online Business For Free, Today!

Learn how to start an online business for free.

I know the title sounds hype-y, but here's why I used it. I was approached recently by someone who is is involved in several online ventures. This person has had great success ... much better than I have had at this point, to be honest. I knew this person was legit because we used to be co-workers of sorts, when we both worked remotely for a startup out of Sana Monica.

What Does Training Cost?


So, when this person recommended a training program to me on how to do online business, SEO, traffic, Amazon sales, etc., I was very interested. I knew that she wasn't blowing smoke up my rear and that whatever was contained in this training program was material that she had found extremely helpful on her path to a five figure a month income (yes, that's five figures per month). If you knew the person was legit, who wouldn't be interested?

The problem came when I watched a few videos an was ready to sign on the dotted line. So what's the catch, right? Well, the training isn't free. Not even a sampler, lol. It's an annual fee of $8000 OR a monthly payment of $700. Wowza! Now I ask you, who has enough disposable income to afford that? I certainly don't. It's unfortunate, too, because I can see through her success that whatever she's doing is working. I just don't have that kind of cashflow to put into a business expenditure right now.

Why Is Training Even Necessary? 


So what is someone supposed to do if they want to start an internet business? I thought one of the big things about starting an internet business rather than a brick-and-mortar business was the cost, right? Grab a domain and some hosting for a few bucks a month and you're off to the races. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite work that way. It can, but it's rare. To be successful in an online business requires some knowledge that we aren't born with and therefore must be learned. Thus, training is very important.

The good news for those who can't afford big-ticket training like the system I described above, there are cheaper alternatives. Are they teaching the same things? I don't know. But I do know they have successful people, just like the aforementioned group. You have to ask yourself this ... is it better to get started and do what I can at the financial level that I'm at now, or give up on my dream and quit. (Hint: NO QUITTING!!!)

What's the Answer?


So, what's my solution? Wealthy Affiliate, of course. Here's why. Wealthy Affiliate allows you to start for free. That's right. You can start your very own online business today, for free. You'll even get two websites of your very own to work with. This also includes step-by-step video tutorials on how to pick your niche, how to pick keywords, how to set up your WordPress site.

It really doesn't get any easier than this unless you've got the money to pay someone to do it for you (in which case, contact me, lol). Then, when you're ready, to you can move to the premium version, which has tons of advanced training and live chat answers, etc.. Of course, the premium version isn't free, but at $47 a month I think it's a lot more affordable than anything else I've looked at.

Check it out. See what you think. Set up a website, or two. Let me know what you think. Have any question, let me know about those as well. I truly want 2016 to be the best year yet ... for both of us.

Wealthy Affiliate is an online business you can start for free, today.