Tweak your site
STEP 18: Tweak your site
To boost your conversion rate (your visitor-to-sales ratio), try little experiments, one thing at a time.
Try changing the heading on a page, the words, the colors, the placement of your links. With each change wait until about 1,000 visitors have seen the change, and monitor your affiliate commissions to see if they rise or fall.
You do this because you understand that if 1% of your visitors are buying and tiny changes boost your success rate to 2%, you'll DOUBLE your commissions.
Experiment with the way you're using AdSense.
Study Google's AdSense heat map. It shows you the most effective spots to place your ads. Small changes sometimes make big differences to your income.
Will placing AdSense ads more prominently distract your visitors and lower your affiliate commissions? Maybe. Maybe not.
Many affiliates have been surprised to discover that affiliate programs and AdSense co-exist very nicely on their site, increasing their total revenue. Experiment to see what happens on your site.
If you're really good at preselling affiliate products and earning large commissions, you may find that having AdSense ads placed prominently on your site lowers your total revenue.
If you're new to all this, you'll probably find it's easier to earn revenue from AdSense than affiliate products. So start by following the heat map and placing your AdSense ads prominently.
Remember, if you don't experiment, you won't know. You could be throwing away thousands of dollars.
STEP 19: The future
When you reach your goal of $300 a month, you wonder whether you should expand your site, perhaps adding a newsletter, an autoresponder course or two, a forum, RSS newsfeeds, a blog, a whitepaper, a report to sell … and turn it into a portal. You dream big. Perhaps you even start dreaming of having your own affiliates promoting your reports for you…
Or perhaps you just research another little overlooked niche and start on your next simple little, low-maintenance, money-generating site.
It can be done. The main ingredient needed is persistence. Been there, done that, and I have a very nice lifestyle to prove it.
The $300 a month target is very conservative. If that's all you earn, you've done something “wrong”. You haven't chosen profitable keywords carefully enough, you haven't built enough attractive, keyword-rich pages, you haven't learned the basics of optimizing pages for search engines, or you haven't attracted enough good quality links to your site.
That's the wonderful thing about this business. You can make lots of mistakes and still earn useful money. Just don't make TOO many mistakes.
STEP 20: Take the first step
The first step is the one that matters most.
I suggest you go back and read through this Affiliate Program Tutorial again.
Picture yourself owning a successful Internet business.
Picture yourself opening letters and finding checks in them. Picture yourself going into your PayPal account and seeing the latest commissions you've been paid by affiliate merchants. Picture yourself looking at your latest bank statement and seeing that affiliate commissions have been paid into your account by affiliate merchants, and by Google AdSense.
Imagine enjoying yourself spending the money, perhaps even giving up your day job so that you can concentrate on your own business.
Now take the first step.
And when you've quit your day job, please write and tell me. I love getting emails like that.