It is a fact that not everything you do online would work for you 100%! When you were in school, were you good in all the subjects? Definitely not! I myself was good in English and a few other subjects but sucked terribly at maths. :(
Every time the maths teacher would enter our classroom, I would almost start palpitating as I knew that if he asks me any question I would just draw a blank. :(
The good thing about internet marketing is that no big brother is watching over you. No one is going to see how good or bad your site is. No one is going to hold you accountable if your site doesn't prove to be profitable. That is why you are free to market in any niche you choose, and put up any kind of site you want to!
However, like I said earlier, not all of your websites would make you equal money. Some would be 'dead sites'. What would you do with these sites?
Have you Worked Hard Enough?
Before I go on to tell you about the 'solutions', let me define what I mean 'dead sites'. A 'dead site', in my opinion, is one which is not making me at least $50-100 per month (you may set a different target number if you want)!
Keep in mind that it is very tempting to call a site 'dead' if it doesn't make you money within the first few days. However, I would wait for some more time before declaring a site 'dead'.
I would try out all the available traffic generation and conversion avenues I know of. In spite of my best efforts, if the site is still not generating the target income for me, that is when I would call it a 'dead' site.
Let me give you an example. I have an affiliate minisite in a very competitive niche. It is now one of my top Clickbank earners; however, it wasn't always like that! On the month I launched that site, I tried out every possible traffic generation method I could think of! I did social bookmarking, article marketing, link directory submission, freeware submission, blog commenting…well, almost all the free traffic methods I could use for an affiliate site! Still, even after 1 month and a half, I didn't make a dime! :(
I thought of giving it up! First I blamed my keywords and then the niche for my 'failure'. I had almost decided to sell that site.
One day a thought crossed my mind that I should check my server logs to make sure that my site is getting sufficient traffic. I checked and saw that at that time I was averaging between 60-110 visitors per day. That was more than enough traffic I needed to clinch a sale! So what was going wrong?
I then remembered what Paul Hancox said about split testing in his ebook 'Small Changes Big Profits' (if you don’t have it, I recommend you BUY it => http://smallchangesbigprofits.com/). I thought I would make one last attempt by split testing my ads.
As a first step, I installed this free ad rotator script on my site:
It is perhaps the best free html ad rotator I have ever found! I used this tool to rotate multiple ads on my sites randomly. I used a different tracking link for each ad (with the help of a third party ad tracker software) so I know which one is pulling in the most clicks!
While the content of all the ads were more or less the same, they were different from each other in one way or other. It took me a month of split testing to realize that I was not making sales because my offer was not convincing enough! The above split test helped me separate the gold from the cr*p.
Once I knew which one was my best converting ad, I placed it at the top of the site and started watching. A week later, I got two sales in Clickbank. A couple of weeks later, another couple followed.
By this time my site's traffic had started increasing bit by bit as well. All in all, it took me almost three months to start making money from this site!
Had I sold the site, it would have probably fetched me no more than a 100 bucks, since it was fairly new. However, this same site has by now generated several hundreds of dollars for me in Clickbank sales (I stopped counting after $400)!
I know it is nothing to write home about but it is proof of the fact that sometimes a little patience really pays off big time!
Just as all keywords are not created equal, likewise not all niches are equal. With some niches, you would start making money right away, while with others (typically, the more competitive niches), it would take a few months before you see the profits rolling!
So make sure that you have really worked your butts off before you declare a site 'dead'. If my site is getting enough traffic but not making at least 50 bucks per month from Clickbank, then I usually choose one of the following options:
1. If the site is in a niche where there is a huge scope for backend sales (examples of such niches are self-help, weight loss, internet marketing, etc.), then I replace my Clickbank ad with an optin form. The first few messages of my autoresponder sequence consist of content and a little bit of pitch; this helps in warming up my subscribers. :D
Once they are warmed up a bit, I start the actual selling process. No, I don't tell them 'Hey Firstname, Here is my affiliate product. Buy it NOW at http://xxxx.com/affiliateid-1'. That would obviously tick them off big time. :D
What I do instead is create individual product review pages for each of the products I am promoting. I make sure the review contains valuable information about the respective product and not a just a pitch.
Usually my reviews are impartial but sometimes I do tend to lean a bit in favor of my affiliate product. But I try to make my reviews as natural and free from hype as possible.
In my autoresponder message, I include a short teaser about one of my affiliate products; the teaser is usually impartial and written in a semi-news reporter style, just like journalists write. At the end of the teaser, I include a link to the product review page where they can get more information on the product.
Again, I don’t try to 'hard sell' them! With the above method, some products would sell better than others! But one thing is for sure – if you follow this process, you won’t get a lot of unsubscription requests from your subscribers ;)
2. If it is a niche where there is no scope for backend sales (such as the "registry cleaner" or "anti-virus" niches, where people's problems are usually solved after they purchase a software program), I usually replace my Clickbank ad with eBay ads. I mostly use eBay, but of late I have also started using Chitika! Ebay generates decent revenue for me; I am yet to make a dime from Chitika, though ;)
You can signup with eBay Partner Program here:
And here is Chitika's site:
Making such quick changes to your ads becomes easier if you build your sites using 'php includes'. I discussed this in an earlier issue of NuttieZine; if you missed it for any reason, here is the link:
Those two are what I call my 'last resort methods'. Again, they may not work for all niches, but remember that if all else fails, selling your site is always an option. ;)
As always, your comments are appreciated! :)