31
Jul

Facebook Advertising Report

Facebook AdsOver the last 3 weeks or so I’ve had the joy of trying to make money with Facebook Ads and trying to figure out what the minds in the ad department will allow to be shown on their site. Luckily I was able to secure $250 in free Facebook advertising coupons (some have expired as of this post) via NeilsWeb.com so this little advertising experiment didn’t cost me anything.

Probably the biggest drawback to advertising on Facebook is just trying to figure out what the ad editors want. In a previous post I lamented that the ad editors were so arbitrary in their decision making that they were causing blood to shoot from my eyes. After posting some 28 ads and getting 8 disapproved, I think I finally have somewhat of a handle on what is acceptable. They won’t accept anything that even remotely resembles spammy advertising, whether it be in the way you write your ads or the product you’re advertising.

Their old advertising guidelines don’t give you much direction on how your ads should be worded and while their new guidelines (not yet published, but found at Nickycakes.com) are much better at explaining what they’re looking for, their philosophy on advertising in general is bizarre to say the least. The text in your ad can’t imply that there is anything wrong with a person who might click on your ad. For instance, ads for weight loss products can’t say something like, “Want To Lose That Weight?” because that would be implying that those who want to lose weight are overweight. Well ya! Your ads must be worded in a neutral way such as, “Lose Weight With Product X” or Product X Weight Loss”. Completely lame.

It seems like the ad department at Facebook needs a little schooling in long established marketing principles because they seem to be hell bent on rewriting the rules of advertising. For Facebook to not even allow you to creatively pique a potential customer’s interest by asking a question, to establish a need, is just plain foolish. The powers that be at FB might have to rethink that one when their ad revenue starts drying up.

So what exactly happened with the $250 in free advertising credits? Well, my results didn’t turn out all that well. After spending $247 of the $250 I managed to only earn back $87.15, not a good return. Here’s how it all breaks down:

28 total ads created

8 disapproved

4 ads generated revenue

AzoogleAds Campaign = 9.50
Azoogle Campaign 2 = 23.35
Azoogle Campaign 3 = 2.50
Market Leverage Campaign = 51.80

Total = 87.15

3 Paused due to bleeding revenue to the tune of $97 in about 2 days time.

Probably the biggest hindrance to earning back the $250 was the high bid prices that are suggested you start your campaign with. Many of them are in the 50 to 70 cents per click range and I started 3 campaigns that ate up $97 rather quickly and produced zero results. I didn’t really figure out how some people such as Neil from NeilsWeb.com are able to get their bids low and still get a decent CTR. Most of my campaigns ran at a ridiculously low CTR of 0.03% and while I ran one campaign after I’d spent the $250 in free credits that got a 0.27% CTR, it ended up producing zero revenue after spending around $30.

Okay, what did I learn from this? While it’s still somewhat of mystery as to how some people are rockin Facebook Ads and cleaning up in revenue, I learned these basic things:

  • Don’t advertise spammy offers.
  • Find the fine line between neutral and creating too much of a sensation and you will get your ads approved.
  • Watch your ads closely and reduce bid prices accordingly if you are spending too much.
  • Look for offers or products that pay high, cost the consumer little and have appeal to the young Facebook audience.
  • Don’t listen to me, I essentially lost money! For crying out loud, read NeilsWeb.com and NickyCakes.com and learn from people who actually make money with Facebook Ads.

I’m not taking this as defeat though. There is a way to make money with Facebook Ads because other people are doing it, I’m just going to be a lot more careful with the next $250 spent, because this time it’s my money on the table.

Popularity: 15% [?]

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30
Jul

Would You Buy From Your Own Website?

Skeptical Web Shopper DudeThere’s another huge secret in affiliate marketing I don’t see many people talking about although it is probably one of the more obvious ones. The title already gave it away, but it’s worth saying it again because it is one of those things you really need to think about if you aren’t making any money from your web marketing efforts.

I had a reader leave a comment yesterday asking me to look at her blog because she’s wondering why there isn’t much revenue coming in and the question just has to be asked, and it’s a great one for all affiliates to consider:

If you were shopping on the net for the product or service you are offering, now really, really think about this, would you buy from your own web site?

No I’m not kidding, that’s probably one of the biggest considerations new and even seasoned affiliates miss (I’m speaking to myself trying to make a quick buck at times). When you shop online, you probably like to do business with the sites that are generally the most visually appealing, have a professional feel about them, give you a feeling of all important trust and are focused on what you as the customer are looking for. All those things are important to you before you want to spend your money, or in the case of an affiliate site, trust the site enough to take their recommendations and maybe click on an ad or go somewhere else to buy a product.

Now that we’ve established how important those things are to you, why wouldn’t you provide exactly the same experience for your visitors and customers?

Look at your own sites…no, I mean really look at them, are they focused, trustworthy and appealing, or are they cluttered, scattered in their content and focused on the sale instead of the experience. If your customer has a great experience on your site, you stand a much better chance of having the experience of earning revenue.

Come one now, really, would you buy from your own web site?

Popularity: 11% [?]

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30
Jul

What I would Do With $8,000

As an affiliate it’s great to dream a little and think about those what if I had more money scenarios. Well I came across one of those what if moments a couple of days ago with a hefty price tag of $8,000, but it is actually a pretty good deal. Here’s what I’d do if I had a quick $8,000 windfall.

Since I’m a drummer I’m always perusing the percussion category on eBay for deals or just to see what people are selling. I’m especially fond of drum sets with very exotic woods and finishes and I found the DW drum set below just a couple of days ago and I’ve fallen in love with it. 

Sweet DW Drum Set

The set is made by Drum Workshop, DW for short, and it is one of the most incredible looking  set of drums I think I’ve ever seen for sale on eBay. They are truly a thing of beauty. If you aren’t a drummer it would help to know that DW drums are some of the highest quality and most expensive drums in the world. At full retail price you may be able to find a set like this, drums only with no hardware, for around $12,000 however, this looks to be an exotic wood and paint fade that may have been a custom order so it could possibly be retailed for somewhat more.

The auction ends 4 days from this post and the price is up to a little over $4,000 right now and there is a Buy It Now price of $7,999. And let me tell you what, if the cash were available, I wouldn’t even hesitate to pay the asking price and be done with it. Even though the person doing the auction has a 100% positive feedback rating, I might send the guy an email just to make sure the whole thing is legit before spending $8,000, but that’s about it. You can see more pictures of this once in a lifetime find and check out the drum set auction here.

Now I just need to find the affiliate offer or product that can make $8,000 in the next 3 or 4 days. Any suggestions?

Popularity: 6% [?]

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29
Jul

Google Page Rank Update

It looks like Google has gone through and started another page rank update and AffiliateConfession.com came out on the good end of things for the second time in as many updates.

My first post for this blog was on November 1, 2007 and by January 2008 I got a PR 1. The next update was sometime in May and Google handed Affiliate Confession a PR of 3. The latest update must have happened on Friday and I’m now at a PR 4.

It seems like Google is being friendly lately to the blog because they have been sending a lot more search traffic to the tune of about 25% of all visitors. That’s up from 17% in June and 11% in April. Hopefully that trend will continue. As much as I rag on Google this sure isn’t something I can complain about.

The best way to get Google to notice your blog and treat it in a friendly way is to get those all important links coming in by writing good content, sponsoring contests, guest posting, publishing articles to article directories, commenting on other blogs that give a link to top commentators and making an attempt to stand out above everyone else (not that I’m there yet, or anywhere near it).

How much does page rank matter though, is the big question. I outrank John Chow in Google PR now. He is a PR 3 and Affiliate Confession is a PR 4, but it’s not such a big deal when JC is making 10 times what I’m making and that’s just from his blog alone. It doesn’t look like Page Rank really carries that much weight any longer.

Anyone else seeing a page rank update in the last few days? 

Popularity: 6% [?]

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28
Jul

Build A Niche Store Earnings Exceed $1000 For July

Build A Niche StoreJuly is already a record month for my Build A Niche Store sites through the eBay affiliate program and with 5 days left (of accounting) in the month it should be a record by quite a large margin. As of July 26th total earnings from eBay are at $1,063.45 and total earnings from Build A Niche Store Sites are $1,047.57. I have a couple non BANS sites earning a trickle of cash from eBay.

eBay Build A Niche Store Record Earnings

This is the first time earnings for BANS and eBay have exceeded the $1,000 mark as the next closest month was $893.54 for total eBay earnings. The month started out very slow and I was anticipating riding out the summer slump not earning that much through eBay. During the first week of July, total earnings for eBay were a measly $80.46 and by the end of the second week they were only at $242.02. However, the next 12 days have been great, earning more than $800 or around $66 per day.

I do have one store that continues to be the revenue leader bringing in slightly more than $800 and the plan is to continue to build on that store and work on another store in the same niche, but expanded to cover a much broader range of products. And of course there are 9 more BANS stores that get tweaked on once in a while.

It is interesting to note that the best producing BANS store is also the first store I built. Finding the right niche, with a popular, high priced item that sells for $400 or above is what makes all the difference. You can learn how to find one of those niches here.

If you’d like to know more about how to make money with BANS, you can read my 7 part tutorial series here and read about the most basic steps to getting started with BANS.

If you are interested in using BANS you can buy Build A Niche Store here.

Popularity: 8% [?]

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