I took some time out yesterday to think long and hard about what I’ve been doing with regard to my online marketing. I think it’s important that you regularly take stock, see what’s working, see what’s not working and then do something about it. If you’re running any number of online activities, it’s sometimes easy just to focus on your main bread winner and neglect the other sites. It’s also easy to keep on making the same mistakes over and over again so I’ve taken a step back, looked at what I’m doing and have realised that the single biggest mistake I’ve made so far is not maintaining focus.
I started reading an eBook yesterday by Ken Evoy. Anyone who is actively involved in online marketing should be familiar with his work. He is considered something of a guru when it comes to a technique called PREsell. I picked up his eBook The Affiliate Masters Course from the Associate Programs website. It’s 193 pages and it’s free. I’ve printed it out and will be consuming it in full over the next couple of days and will post my spin on it later in the week. Sure it’s full of affiliate links to his own products but when you take those out of the mix, the eBook is packed with invaluable information about how to succeed with your online business.
One of the things that became clear to me whilst reading it last night was that I have totally lost focus on what I’m trying to achieve. It wasn’t something that Ken had specifically mentioned which made me realise this but his whole eBook is about how to be a successful affiliate marketer and the techniques involved. It’s a very different proposition from creating a site simply full of adverts (i.e. MFA).
As far as I see it there are 3 types of website
- Affiliate websites
- MFA websites
- Legitimate websites
Regular readers will be surprised that I even mentioned MFA sites but let’s forget the terminology for a moment. Calling #3 legitimate suggests that the other two are not. That’s not what I’m meaning. Let me try to explain.
1. Affliate websites. This is a site where you’re looking to promote one specific product or company. The whole site is based around providing content to drive the customer to the checkout of your affiliate partner.
2. MFA websites. I use the term MFA as it’s universally understood but I’m not referring specifically to AdSense. Basically the site is purely a tool to generate clicks through any PPC tool.
3. Legitimate websites. These are sites where the main focus is not about trying to generate an income. Maybe it’s a hobby site or a personal site. The content is written in a way which is SEO friendly but it’s not all about getting customers to purchase something or click on a PPC ad.
The mind set in creating these three different style of site should be very different because the purpose of the sites are very different. The mistake I was making was one that I’m sure everyone new to online marketing makes and I was looking to generate income from all 3 styles of site in exactly the same way. Create the site and slap in a load of adverts.
It simply doesn’t work. The majority of surfers switch off when they see banners or ad buttons and your CTR is less than 0.5%. Create an affiliate site which is genuinely adding value to the customer and give them information they can’t find elsewhere, your CTR will increase to 4-5%. Equally if you create an MFA site and put affiliate links in there, you’ve lost sight of what an MFA site is all about! Use blending and Google’s heatmap to generate clicks – that’s all the site is about so forget using affiliate links. On your legitimate sites, the purpose is not to make money so forget putting anything on there at all. OK maybe leave an AdSense block in there or links to affiliate products which are of value to your readers but leave it at that.
My thoughts are that you need to be very clear about the purpose of your site before you start. Which of the three categories does it fit into? Once you’ve decided that make sure you stick to it. Don’t confuse the reader or yourself by trying to make it all 3 at the same time.
The final point is that regardless of which style of site you’re making, remember that content is King. Nobody will find your site unless you’ve written good copy for both humans and spiders to read. Your content has to be fresh, informative and most importantly unique. Don’t slap in an article from Article City or any of the other online article sites. That was one of my biggest turn off’s for MFA’s but I’m starting to see that provided you are writing fresh informative content for your reader and that they’re gaining some value from visiting the site then mabe there’s a place for MFA after all.
Right, I’m off to read Ken’s book cover to cover. I’m turning off the PC and walking away from it. One of the other things that hit me like a sledgehammer last night was how I’d neglected The Balance. I’ve spent far too much time online reading information that I’ve forgotten what the outside world looks like. Also my RSI is playing up again so I need a break from my computer.