Is affiliate marketing dead in 2018?

There was a time when I use to make affiliate sales as low as 1:18 with one of the top programs that I send traffic to.

As I look through my stats for the entire year of 2017 I see that those number has dropped drastically but they still aren’t that bad – I mean if you consider all things.

My sales ratios for the year with this program are now 1:292. Yes a far cry from the days when I was pushing out sales at 1:18 but still 1:292 isn’t that bad.

That means on average out of every 292 people I sent them, I’m I make 1 sale. To me those numbers are okay. Because even back when I was making 1 sale for every 18 visitors, the average affiliate was happy with ratios of 1:350 and 1:450.

Today I’m told the average affiliate jumps for joy with sales ratios of 1:500 to 1:700. Those are considered “good” or even “premium”.

So, clearly at 1:292 I’m still way above average.

This means that despite the downturn in membership sales, my traffic is still producing. I’m still able to do what I did 15 years ago, only with slightly less success.

That being said, I can only say what I do with confidence because I know the quality of my traffic.

I don’t run tube sites and the majority of my traffic comes from search engines through my SEO efforts. It’s also very targetted traffic. So if someone visits one of my websites they came there looking for something specific, such as a specific porn star like Meggan Mallone, Hanna Hilton, Chasey Lain or maybe Megan Rain.

When they get to my website, they find exactly what they were looking for – content specific to that porn star and I advertise affiliate products specific to that porn star, such as the movies she starred in.

So while I may not generate as much traffic as a tube site does, the quality of my traffic is better and as a result, I make more money. How is that possible you ask? It’s a pure numbers game!

If I have 37 sales this month, it’s most likely that 31 of them will renew their membership. So not only will I make the money form those 37 sales, but I’ll also make money next month from the 31 members who renewed. So as you can see, not only do my sales convert better but I also have a crazy amount of rebills. More than 80% of all my joins will result in a recurring membership.

Tube site traffic, although plentiful isn’t as successful.

I sent an affiliate program I work with 19,823 unique visitors. In return, I was paid for 68 sales. This makes my sales ratios 1:292.

Now the argument is, if you run a tube site you’ll generate more traffic. This is true. Tube sites get much more traffic than my tiny little porn star websites do. However, their sales ratios aren’t as high.

  • 1 out of every 292 people who I send to the affiliate website will join.
  • 84% of those will stay a member of that site.
  • For all of 2017, I had only one membership refund/chargeback. 1 TOTAL!

Tube sites can boost much bigger numbers than me. They quite simply draw in more traffic. But their sales ratios are often as bad as 1:10,000. So the question is, do bigger numbers = more sales?

I not only have fewer expenses because I don’t need as much bandwidth because I’m not running high traffic websites and I don’t need all that disc space for all those videos they are hosting for their tube sites, but I’m also making more money.

After speaking with a few friends who run tube sites and comparing the numbers, I can safely say that the average tube site generates about 10 times more traffic than my porn star websites do. However, since they only make about 1 sale for every 10,000 visitors, that means that even with their extra traffic they are still only making about sales for every 68 that I make.

And that’s being generous. Ask around and I’m sure tube site owners will tell you they often have sales ratios much worse than 1:10k. In fact many report sales ratios of 1:30,000 and higher!

That means to get the same 68 sales that I sent them, some tube sites will have to bombard your website’s tour or preview area with over 500,000 visitors and in some cases as much as two million. Not only does that suck up your bandwidth but it also puts a heck of a load on your server.

The point I’m trying to make is — quality matters. Just because you build a website where you throw up a bunch of free porn doesn’t mean you can still make money as an affiliate in today’s market.

it takes time and effort to make your website unique. You have to offer people something of value. You have to really focus on putting together something that isn’t just a banner farm with a few free videos thrown in for good measure.

It is very much possible to make money in today’s affiliate market but it does also take effort.

Here are a few tips …

  • You should always limit the number of ads you have per page. Don’t have more ads than you do content. Focus your attention on creating a page with more content and fewer ads. Seriously.
  • If I visit your website the first thing I should see is your content, not an advertisement of any kind.
  • Tailor your ads to your website’s content. If your site is dedicated to blondes with big boobs, then sign up for affiliate programs that offer that kind of thing as well. If your website is dedicated to Asians then promote affiliate programs who offer Asians. I know that sounds obvious but you would be surprised how many people don’t bother trying to match the affiliate program with the theme (niche) of their own website.

 

Stupid HostGator

For those of you don’t run their own website, this post probably isn’t going to mean much to you, but for the rest of you, I think you’ll appreciate what I learned recently.

Last year during the Thanksgiving Black Friday sale, I was able to buy a year of web hosting for like $25 at HostGator. I put one of my smaller mainstream sites over there. I mean for a price like that, what can go wrong?

I know, famous last words.

Turns out, you really do get what you pay for.

The website I host with HostGator is a small WordPress website that gets less than 100 unique visitors a day.

This little website never really gives me any trouble. For the most part, it stays up, with an occasional 10 minutes down here and there — so I wouldn’t normally complain about the hosting.

But last week I got an email notifying me that my WordFence plugin was deactivated, by me. Now considering the fact that I didn’t deactivate it, I decided to log into my WordPress admin and see what was going on.

Turns out the site had gotten infected with Malware, so anytime anyone visited the website, a few of those pesky popups would appear.

I contacted tech support and they immediately redirected me to a third party company which they use and they require $150 to fix the problem for me.

I knew where the Malware was. I could FTP in and see where they had created a folder and were running a script. The only problem was, every time I tried to delete said folder it would come right back.

I wasn’t going to pay my hosting company for web hosting and an additional $150 to delete a damn folder for me. So this time I called in. Their support informed me, that they are not allowed to delete files from my server.

So I asked him, what exactly is it that you do then as tech support for host gator. He couldn’t really give me an answer.

But for $150 this 3rd party could clean up my website of the nasty Malware. They didn’t guarantee it wouldn’t come back, but at least, “for now” it would be gone. Now for $1440 they would protect me in case it did come back.

I explained to him that for a fraction of that price I could just take my website to a new hosting company and have it done for free. He didn’t seem to care.

Still, I was determined not to be defeated.

I knew I could pay WordFence $99. That would save me some money, but still, that seemed high. I just wonder if there was something else I could do myself.

Here is what I did ….

#1 I made sure there were no other users, other than myself.  If there are other users, and you know they don’t belong there, delete them at once.

#2 I delete my theme and re-uploaded a fresh copy of it so that just in case they have infected any of my theme files, I got rid of that issue.

#4 I made sure all my plugins were updated. I then deleted any plugins I didn’t absolutely need.

#5 I deleted WordPress completely –  I didn’t just install an update. I mean I actually FTP’d into my server, deleted all the WordPress files manually and then installed a fresh version of all the files that I had downloaded earlier from WordPress.com – obviously except my wp-config.php file. Make sure you don’t accidentally delete that.

PROBLEM SOLVED!

Turns out the hackers had inserted an extra file in my WordPress wp-includes directory that didn’t get deleted/updated when you updated WordPress because it wasn’t really part of the WP core files.

So next time you have an issue, don’t just give up and pay the money, try and fight it yourself first. With a little patience and persistence, you can get rid of the problem on your own.

Side note: Just to be safe I also deleted all my plugins and installed a fresh copy. I also updated the password to my WordPress database installed on that website, making it slightly longer and more complicated. I wasn’t sure if they had compromised my database but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

 

 

Is Twitter a Dying Platform?

I have a friend who always insists that Twitter is a dying platform. He’s adamant about this and says it all the time. But is it? How is Twitter really doing?

Number of monthly active Twitter users worldwide from 1st quarter 2010 to 4th quarter 2017 (in millions)

As you can see, Twitter has had exponential growth of ACTIVE users, year after year, every year since its inception.

While Instagram is doing much better, with 800 million monthly active users, Twitter is still holding its own with positive growth year after year after year.

 

Twitter vs Instagram – Let the showdown begin!

While Facebook remains king when it comes to monthly active users, today’s post is on Twitter and Instagram.

They are both micro-blogging platforms, but the question is, which one is most popular?

Twitter has 310 million active users while Instagram boasts 800 million.

While on the surface that may seem that you want to put all your focus on Instagram because it’s more than twice as popular but that would be very short-sighted.

If popularity was all that mattered then you should just focus all of your attention on Facebook with it’s over 2 billion active users. But as a porn star, you already know Facebook isn’t porn friendly, so why bother?

I’m not saying don’t bother with Instagram but what I am saying is, don’t forget about your Twitter account either.

Twitter has always been a good way for fans to connect with their favorite performer.

But even more than that, Twitter is a great way to promote your OnlyFans account, which to date

If you aren’t using OnlyFans by now you are crazy. Porn stars are making money hand over first with OnlyFans. It makes every single porn star I have spoken to far more than they have ever made with their websites.

The secret to Twitter success is being active. You need to tweet at least 5 times a day. The more often you tweet, the more followers you will get and more importantly, the more chance you have that some of those new followers will join your OnlyFans page.

Another reason to consider not ditching your twitter account is that producers and directors look at a porn star’s Twitter account when considering who they want to work with.

You’d be surprised how many girls get passed over for a booking because their twitter account wasn’t active.

The lesson here is tweet and tweet often. Even if it’s just to say good morning or to talk about what you want to wear.

 

Secure Your Twitter Account Today or Risk Losing it Forever

It always amazes me how many people think “it won’t happen to them”. But in reality, anyone or anything that is connected to the internet can be hacked. Period.

The more famous you are, the more likely you are to be a victim of hacking.

So what can you do to protect yourself?

1) Never share your password with anyone.

2) Don’t use the same password for multiple sites. If you use a password for Twitter, don’t use the same password for your email! If one gets hacked, you might lose both if they share the same password.

3) Have a more secure password. iloveporn123 isn’t a secure password. I’m sorry but it’s just not. You aren’t stupid you know that you use that password because it’s easy to remember. But it also makes it vulnerable.

Instead, try the more complicated version

1LuvP@rn123!

Instead of the letter I, you used a number 1. Instead of using the correct spelling of love, you use Luv but you capitalize the L in luv.

Instead of porn you spell it P@rn. That’s a capital P and a @ symbol in place of the o.

And at the end of the 123 you add the special ! character.

Sure it’s not the best password ever, but it’s a heck of a lot better than iloveporn123.

4) And last but not least, you must activate 2-factor authentication. This means to log into your twitter account (or your email) you have associated your account with your phone and you will need to enter a secondary temporary password that is texted to you.

If you are not using a 2-factor authenticator then you’re at high risk of losing your account. It’s not a matter of IF you will be hacked, but when.

Don’t be a victim! Protect your account or risk losing it forever!

 

Use common sense when it comes to getting SEO advice

I know I’ve said this before but apparently, sometimes I have to repeat myself to be heard.

Just because someone says something, doesn’t make it true.

Even if that someone is a self-proclaimed expert in a given field.

It’s important that you don’t take things people say at face value, especially in the adult industry. You need to do your own research and use a bit of common sense.

I could tell you all day long the sky is neon pink and even explain to you in a way that sounds legit, adding in the fact that I’m a professional sky color cosmologist, but it still won’t make that fact true. The sky obviously isn’t neon pink. I mean you can just look up and see for yourself that isn’t true.

When it comes to SEO though, you’d be surprised just how many people will believe anything people tell them because the person claims to be an expert or because the information kind of sounds legit.

a few months ago XBIZ published an article about SEO. It was talking about a report recently released by Search Metrics, a very popular SEO website.

The problem with this article on the XBIZ site is it quotes someone who claims to be an expert.

The problem is with XBIZ doing this, it perpetuates the confusion and the spreading of misinformation in regards to SEO.

I want you to look at this statement …

“the new data analysis shows that backlinks have less value than they once did”

They go on by quoting some expert who goes on to back up this statement, spewing information that makes him sound like he knows what he is talking about.

But int he end it doesn’t matter what he says because all we needed to know about him what that he sported this one single statement …

“the new data analysis shows that backlinks have less value than they once did”

This information couldn’t be further from the truth. Backlinks are as important today as they were last year and 10 years before that.

Any person, no matter who you are tells you otherwise, RUN as fast as you can away from them because they clearly have no clue what the fuck they are talking about.

Even if they are right or kind of right in certain areas, the fact that they don’t know the #1 most important thing about SEO should be enough to lose confidence in anything else they have to say.

I mean how do you not understand the most basic information about the foundation of the company that helped to build a multi BILLION dollar empire??!?!?!?!?!?!?

But let me explain … if you and your friend had an idea and built your entire company around this idea, hell you even named this idea after yourself, and that foundation then helped to generate BILLIONS AND BILLIONS AND BILLIONS in revenue, would you be so quick to ditch said idea? I mean it was after all the very foundation that built your empire.

Now let’s go back to what I first said to you …. just because someone says something, doesn’t make it true.

Just because some jackass who claims to be an expert doesn’t make what he (or she) says true.

Larry Page is the man who co-founded Google with his buddy Sergey Brin.  When they were in college they worked out this system of relevancy. Prior to Google if you searched for something you often times got a bunch of spammy ass results.

This is where Larry Page and Sergey Brin came in and said, hey wouldn’t it be cool if you actually used a search engine to find something that you actually searched for?

Sounds simple right? Well back then it really wasn’t. Back in the day, search engines were a hot mess.

Until Google came along if you searched for something like Blue Shoes you could get thousands of listings about anything. Maybe a few were about Blue Shoes, but most of them were just spam.

This is why what Google did was such a big deal.

They (the two Google founders) named part of their invention (their secret plan to make relevant search results appear) after Larry Page and called it Page Rank. Get it? “Page” rank. 😛

Basically here is how it works.

It’s a buddy system. Just because you say your website is about blue shoes, doesn’t mean it really is. The more other websites link to you suggesting your site is in fact about Blue Shoes, the more Google starts to trust that in fact your site really might be about Blue Shoes.

But then the system gets even more complex. It says if a website Google already really trust links to you, then Google will trust you even more so than if just some regular website links to you.

In other words, it’s a popularity contest. The more “friends” you have the more popular you are, but the more popular friends you are, your popularity will skyrocket.

The problem is, one day SEO people started abusing the system. Since they knew how it worked and had a public method to track the results they started buying links.

So by buying those friends (or links) it unfairly inflated their popularity, until finally, Google said ENOUGH!

They took away the one tool SEO experts used to track popularity and then people went crazy and coming up with their own theories. They did this because they thought if we didn’t know who was the most popular it might stop people from trying to buy friends.

But in the end, just because they all had theories about what will and won’t work, it didn’t make them true.

Sometimes we have to use common sense.

Sometimes we have to remember not to panic and start listening to anything any random person on the internet is saying. Even if that random person on the internet calls himself an expert. Anyone can put anything they want in their profile on Twitter, it doesn’t make it true.

I can call myself a green eyed purple people eater. But you know what? It wouldn’t make it true.

Do backlinks still matter? YES, of course, they do.

I can’t say that loudly enough. Google isn’t going to suddenly change the way they are doing business. All they did was put in some effort to not make it so easy for SEO guys to game the system.

Google wants to be the best search engine out there and to do that, they have to provide users with the most relevant results.

And they do that, as we already know based on their system of trust. It’s what they’ve always used and they’ve said time and again, what they still use.

The only thing that really changed is, now Google doesn’t tell us what level of trust a given site has. Only Google knows that.

The point I am trying to make with this article is, don’t be so trusting of random people on the internet. Don’t just blindly trust people because they tell you they are an expert.

Just because someone says something, doesn’t make it true.

 

Is Google Analytics really telling you the whole story?

I love statistics. I love knowing exactly how many visitors come to one of my websites, how long they stay and what where they came from in the first place.

Without knowing this kind of information, how can I work to improve my websites?

Google Analytics is a free tool that helps me know some amazing information about my website. It is, in fact, the best free tool out there that isn’t hosted on your own server.

But there is a problem with Google Analytics and really any tool out there that generates states that aren’t hosting on your own server, and based on your own server logs. They are notoriously inaccurate.

Years ago the inaccuracy was about 5% to 10% on small traffic websites and as much as 10% to 20% on sites with more than a few thousand visitors per month. Not that bad, right?

But times have changed and so has the technology and it makes remote tracking even more difficult so I decided to take a look at just how crazy off the numbers being reported really where.

I picked one of my websites and ran a report for the year (so far). It tells me these are the unique visitors who have visited that site in question.

Jan Feb Mar Apr
5,281 4,535 16,217 20,546

The problem is, when you actually review the real numbers, those from my server logs, you find that Google Analytics didn’t even remotely come close. Here is what my website actually had in terms of unique visitors.

Jan Feb Mar Apr
15,498 13,192 18,995 23,656
  • January was off by 10,217
  • February was off by 8,657
  • March was off by 2,778
  • April was off by 3,110

That’s 21,762 people in the first 4 months of the year that Google couldn’t properly track on just one of my websites.

This is why you need to have your own server stats program like AW stats – something that actually tracks your traffic stats internally.

Sure Google Analytics is great for many reasons, and I still strongly suggest using it, but when it comes to accurately tracking the total number of unique visitors to your website, you need to use your own server data. It’s the only way to know for sure just how many people visited your website at any given time during a month.