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.

 

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.

 

Let’s talk about domain names … again

With the release of so many new domain name extensions it’s time to revisit the issue of a domain name’s value.

In the past I’ve always said dot com in king. But what about now that there are all those crazy new domain name extensions like the ones listed below…

.academy .accountant .accountants .actor
.adult .agency .airforce .alsace
.amsterdam .apartments .archi .army
.associates .attorney .auction .audio
.auto .band .bar .bargains
.bayern .beer .berlin .best
.bet .bid .bike .bingo
.bio .black .blackfriday .blue
.boutique .brussels .build .builders
.business .buzz .bzh .cab
.cafe .camera .camp .capetown
.capital .car .cards .care
.career .careers .cars .casa
.cash .casino .catering .center
.ceo .chat .cheap .christmas
.church .city .claims .cleaning
.click .clinic .clothing .cloud
.club .coach .codes .coffee
.college .cologne .community .company
.computer .condos .construction .consulting
.contractors .cooking .cool .country
.coupons .courses .credit .cricket
.cruises .cymru .dance .date
.dating .deals .degree .delivery
.democrat .dental .dentist .desi
.design .diamonds .diet .digital
.direct .directory .discount .dog
.domains .download .durban .earth
.education .email .energy .engineer
.engineering .enterprises .equipment .estate
.eus .events .exchange .expert
.exposed .express .fail .faith
.family .fans .farm .fashion
.film .finance .financial .fish
.fishing .fit .fitness .flights
.florist .flowers .football .forsale
.foundation .frl .fund .furniture
.futbol .fyi .gal .gallery
.garden .gent .gift .gifts
.gives .glass .global .gold
.golf .graphics .gratis .green
.gripe .group .guide .guitars
.guru .hamburg .haus .healthcare
.help .hiphop .hiv .hockey
.holdings .holiday .horse .host
.hosting .house .how .immo
.immobilien .industries .ink .institute
.insure .international .investments .jetzt
.jewelry .joburg .juegos .kaufen
.kim .kitchen .kiwi .koeln
.kyoto .land .lat .law
.lawyer .lease .legal .lgbt
.life .lighting .limited .limo
.link .live .loan .loans
.lol .london .love .ltd
.ltda .maison .management .market
.marketing .mba .media .melbourne
.memorial .men .menu .miami
.moda .moe .mom .money
.mortgage .moscow .nagoya .navy
.network .news .ngo .ninja
.nrw .nyc .nz .okinawa
.one .onl .online .organic
.osaka .paris .partners .parts
.party .photo .photography .photos
.physio .pics .pictures .pink
.pizza .place .plumbing .plus
.poker .porn .press .productions
.promo .properties .property .pub
.qpon .quebec .racing .recipes
.red .rehab .reise .reisen
.rent .rentals .repair .report
.republican .rest .restaurant .review
.reviews .rich .rip .rocks
.rodeo .ruhr .run .ryukyu
.saarland .sale .salon .sarl
.school .schule .science .scot
.security .services .sexy .shiksha
.shoes .show .singles .site
.ski .soccer .social .software
.solar .solutions .soy .space
.store .stream .studio .study
.style .supplies .supply .support
.surf .surgery .sydney .systems
.taipei .tattoo .tax .taxi
.team .tech .technology .tennis
.theater .theatre .tienda .tips
.tires .tirol .today .tokyo
.tools .top .tours .town
.toys .trade .trading .training
.university .uno .vacations .vegas
.ventures .versicherung .vet .viajes
.video .villas .vin .vip
.vision .vlaanderen .vodka .vote
.voting .voto .voyage .wales
.wang .watch .webcam .website
.wed .wedding .whoswho .wien
.wiki .win .wine .work
.works .world .wtf .xyz
.yoga .zone

So instead of ILoveYou.com how about a .love? Or a ILoveYou.online? Has the value of a dot com fluctuated now that you can pick from so many alternatives?

That’s a complicated question to answer. First and foremost you should know that for the immediate future dot com is still kind.  However that is quickly changing. It will be just one generation and everything will change. The days of the dot com standard will be a thing of the past in that time.

In no time .work and .wtf will be as common to kids growing up right now, than a dot com is for us.

Kids growing up today will consider a .world or a .yoga just as valuable or as common as we do a .com today.

But what about today? What do you do when you are going to register a new domain?

#1 Always go with something that is relevant.

Look at say, www.SexyBlondes.pizza. Sexy Blondes have nothing to do with pizza so that obviously is a terrible choice. Instead going with something more relevant like .com, .online, or maybe .info or even .pics.

While .adult, .xxx and .porn are obvious alternatives to an adult site, you must remember these domain extensions are very expensive. Instead of paying $8 to $11 a year, they charge like $80 to $110 a year. Why in the world would you pay $100 a year for a single domain name? That’s CRAZY.

I’m not sure how much .sexy domain names are, but that might be a good one to consider.

#2 Think of your extension as part of the total keyword makeup of your domain. Let’s go back to our example of sexyblondes.pizza. How many times a day do people Google “Sexy Blondes Pizza”? I’ll give you a hint – none.

Online, info and com are treated as stop words so sexyblondes.online is treated as “sexy blondes”.

Stop words are words which are partially or completely ignored by search engines.  These are words like about, online, www, com, the, for, and, this, that, will, with.

#3 Think before just grabbing the first name that comes up or one that might be on sale. Let’s look at the .xyz extension. abc.xyz is a great domain name but can you really think of any other good ones that go with the .xyz domain extension? Probably not and that’s why it’s so cheap. If it doesn’t make sense, don’t buy it, even if it is on sale. People aren’t likely to take you serious if you have a really stupid domain name.

That’s all I can tell you right now about the new domain name extensions. Don’t be afraid to use them because as time goes on they will become more and more common.

I would rather see you with a good .whatever than an iffy .com, just because it was a dot com.

 

Let’s talk about quality traffic

Google now handles trillions of searches per year. Just ten years ago they processing about 73 billion a year. What a difference a decade can make.

  • Searches per second: Atleast 63,000
  • Searches per minutes: Atleast 3.8 million
  • Searches per hour: Atleast 228 million

So why does all of this matter to you? Because today we are going to talk about the quality of the traffic to your website.

Let’s say you run a website dedicated to Alexis Adams (like me). You want to get traffic to your site so you post video clips on tube sites, because hey, tube sites have tons of traffic, so why not, right?

Well in theory that may sound like a good idea but is it really? I mean if the point of your site is to make money, then why do you want to attract a bunch of traffic that is only looking for free porn?

People call tube traffic shit for a reason. If someone wants free porn, why would you want them at your site? You want visitors that want to spend money so that you can make money.

So what makes search engine traffic so much better?

If you are looking for a pair of red high heels, you go to Google and type in red high heels and then get your search results, right? You get what I mean? It means that the people who find your site via search engines are specifically looking for what it is you have to offer.

That makes it high quality, targeted traffic. If you provide them with exactly what they are looking for, and it’s a quality product then you have a much better chance of getting that guy to spend money at your site (or click on one of your advertisers and spending money there).

My friend runs a membership website and gets his traffic exclusively from tube sites. He currently converts at a rate of about 1:11,200. That means that out of every 11,200 visitors who visit his website from a tube site, one joins.

My porn star websites get more than 80% of all of their traffic from search engines like Google and Bing. When I send traffic over to Vivid, it converts at around 1:150 (right now – as of May 2016).

So which sounds better to you 1:150 or 1:11,200?

So now don’t you think it’s time to start learning more about SEO? While it’s not easy to get a lot of search engine traffic, it’s worth getting every single visitor you can from Google.

Affiliate Marketing in the new age!

Most people say that affiliate marketing is dead. I couldn’t disagree more. I just think it’s changed. The days of 70%+ commissions are long gone and as I’ve always said, anyone who offers you those kind of numbers should scare the living hell out of you.

Because no program can be profitable by paying out so much and if they aren’t profitable then they won’t be in business for long.

So I decided to look into mainstream because website owners are reporting massive profits in promoting mainstream programs. So why is that? What does mainstream pay? I decided to find out.

Amazon’s affiliate programs payout varies from 4% to 6%. No that is not a typo. They actually pay less than 10% and have an INSANE number of affiliates promoting their shit all day long. Top Amazon affiliates report earning $10,000+ per month. Last December one Amazon affiliate boasted earning $30,000. Not a bad Christmas, ey?

But that’s not the only thing that surprised me about Amazon’s affiliate program. Their cookie length is 1 day. 1 freaking day?!!!!!!!!!!! In porn affiliates bitch if it’s under 6 months. LOL

Walmart also has an affiliate program. They pay typically 1-4% and their cookie length is 3 whole days.

How about Target? They pay about 2%-5% and have a cookie length of 7 days.

Surely Best Buy pays more, right? Nope. They pay between 1.7% to 6% depending on the item purchased. Their cookie length is 3 days.

Home Depot – 3% to 5% with a 1 day cookie length.

Plenty of Fish – a popular mainstream dating site pays only 20% but that’s much higher than any other of the mainstream programs and they even offer a 60 day cookie length.

So with so many big time mainstream affiliate companies paying so low, could that be the reason why porn affiliate programs struggled?

As someone who has been an porn affiliate for almost 20 years, I can tell you the biggest problem I have is getting paid.

I typically only get paid on about 25% of what I actually earn in any given month.

I probably spend more time chasing my money in a month than I do actually earning it. How sad it that?

So what are the options?

  • #1 I now only do business with companies that have a solid reputation.
  • #2 I have a two strikes and you are out policy. If you are late or bounce a check more than once, I will put you on my fuck you list.
  • #3 I no longer expect any affiliate program to help me with the promotional material I need to well … promote their website. I get it on my own.
  • #4 I don’t do business with affiliate programs that have large payouts. As I said before I know that no business can maintain profitability under those conditions so I know eventually they won’t be able to pay me what I earned so I do myself a favor and avoid doing business with them in the first place.
  • #5 I’m not afraid to do business with a program who is only paying 25%-35%. Why? Because I would rather do business with a guy only willing to pay me 25% and actually pay me what I earned ON TIME EVERY TIME than to do business with a guy offering me 70% and pays me late or his check bounces. I don’t have time for that shit. I want to get paid. I’m tired of the bullshit that comes with the big payout guys. As long as I know up front what I’m going to get, then I’m good with that. I actually do business with a program that pays me 30% but they convert well and pay on time so I’m more than happy with my 30%. I make more with that 30% program than I do with any other programs I work with and some of those pay me up to 60% revshare.

 

What is content marketing and how can it make you lots and lots of money?

What is content marketing and what exactly does it have to do with you? Well content marketing is a buzz word we seem to be hearing a lot about lately. But it’s not a new concept at all. Content marketing was around a hundred years ago and it’s just as important today. Only today with the advent of the internet, it’s become a more prevalent part of our lives.

Let’s look at our friends over at Porn Doe. Their Alexa rating is something around 7,301 at the time of this posting. That means out of the millions of websites out there (according to Alexa.com), Porn Doe is the 7,301 most popular website.

As I’m sure you can imagine, their website gets thousands and thousands and thousands of visitors a day. According to one source, they get more than 130,000 unique visitors per day. That means that more than 130,000 actual unique people visit their website each and every single day.

But you know what I’m sure they would like? Even more visitors per day.  I mean, who wouldn’t, right?

Content marketing is a strategy they can use to draw in even more traffic. But what does that mean?

Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

For example …. infographics.  You see them all the time now on sites like Facebook and Twitter and they are in fact a perfect example of content marketing. Some company took valuable information they have from their own website, and put it out there in a way that not only informs and educates you about (whatever subject) but in doing so, promotes their own brand at the same time.

Case in point:  When people visit the Porn Doe website they often times will use the search feature to try and find a specific type of video. Porn Doe can then release that information to the public letting us know the most popular type of videos right now.

(I’m making these number numbers up for example purposes)

51% of all visitors from the United States  prefer “teen” videos while 64% of all visitors from India prefer “lesbian” videos.

One company posted an infographic that said “Leading bloggers outsource 25% of their blog posts to external staff.”  It’s one simple fact that some people will find interesting and pass it around and every time someone does, that promotes their business.

Let’s look at a sample infographic from The Wall Street Journal. Now every time someone shares this picture of internet social media facts, it promotes The Wall Street Journal.

social-engagement-infographic-498x554

Think it’s not a big deal? Think again.

78% percent of chief marketing officers think content marketing is the future of marketing.

It’s better than your typical advertising methods like banner or text links for a variety reasons but I think the most important is that if it’s helpful, it’s usually more memorable than normal advertising.

Content marketing builds trust and grabs people attention.

Infographics aren’t the only form of content marketing but they are probably the most popular.

You can also do it in the form of eBooks. Create an small eBook about a specific subject that is relevant to what your website is about. Save that bad boy as a PDF and then give that eBook away for free. Now every time someone shares that eBook with someone else, it will promote your website.

Just remember, the rule of thumb here is to educate and inform, NOT SALE! Sure you can put your website name on the footer of every page of that eBook but don’t do anything else to push your website. Instead make an actual eBook that is informative and helpful. Create something that people will want to share with others.

You can also create helpful and informative YouTube videos (as long as they are G or PG rated. Remember YouTube hates porn!)

Look what this guy did.

 

Creating videos like this inform and educate and at the same time promote the guys website. That video is a perfect example of content marketing.

So if you aren’t content marketing, get on it! You have no excuse now that you know exactly what it is!