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August Q/A Roundup
Hey it’s Opossum here! Welcome to my free monthly Q/A Roundup. Today’s post is on some of the best questions in the last month. Each week I write about a new topic or analyze a new digital business. If you’re not a subscriber, here’s what you missed this month:
I’ve been told I should NOT do affiliate if the average payout per order is less than $50.
Nothing is absolute but you will make way more money on higher ticket items. $50 is a good guide for CPG products. You have to think about it wholistically because the money you earn is a combination of many things and not just commission payout.
Traffic X Ctr X Cvr X Payout
How easy is the traffic to get compared to a high ticket item?
What's the clickthrough rate of that traffic?
What percent of those users convert?
What's the payout?
$50 as a rule is a good guide to keep beginners away from starting amazon affiliate sites and sites they won't make much money on for the work they put in. It doesn't mean that if the commission is $40 AND RECURRING that you shouldn't do it.
Using that as an example, if on average, that sale recurs 4 times... It's actually a $160 sale.
If you *magically* found an offer that had a 50% ctr and 50% cvr but only had a $20 commission... You build that site as fast as you can.
The Honey browser extension had small average commissions (probably $7) but because of their model, they generated $100M in 2018 before they were sold.
Guides are there to guide your thinking. Not hard and fast rules that you can never ever break. Have to put some thought into why the rule/guide was mentioned.
This post goes into more of the thinking/math of revenue creation.
I've been having a number of issues realated to my wifi biz
1. My google ads account got banned and I have no idea how to get it fixed?
2. I've made the mistake if trying to build back links on forums, which apparently is a big no-no.
Do you have any suggestions to address these problems? Are they fatal errors?
1. Figure it out. If you can’t, create another account. Simple.
2. Just stop doing it and get good links
You’re not having issues. Those things just come with the territory. Building absolutely anything comes with a ton of problem that you constantly have to triage. The game is all about problem solving. “I’m not making enough money”, “I’m not scaling fast enough”, “I don’t have money”, “I can’t advertise on X platform”, etc.
They’re all problems for you to figure out. As for fatal errors, almost nothing is fatal. Even if you get a penalty, it can still be reversed.
Would you recommend paying for content writers or just learning to write and taking the time to do it yourself?
You can’t afford to hire someone that knows what they’re doing. That’s what this boils down to. If you could, you’d just buy a functioning small business.
There are a few situations where someone knows what they’re doing and you’re probably not going to hire them.
They know what they’re doing and won’t start their own biz. If they’re American, you can’t afford them.
If they’re a VA and know what they’re doing (and aren’t starting their own biz). Their employer is probably paying them above market for a VA since they don’t want to lose them. Since you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re going to think their market price is outrageous and only hire the people that don’t know what they’re doing.
They’re a VA or former VA from a cheap country that has started their own biz. They’re not working for you or anyone else. They’re only going to get paid $1,000 a month from having a job. They’ll make a lot more working for themselves when they’ve figured it out.
And it’s not just “writing content”. You have to learn to write and structure articles the way Google likes, learn KW research and targeting, learn interlinking, etc...
You can't outsource the process to someone that doesn't know what they're doing if you don't know what you're doing. You'll just be wasting money on content that won't rank.
You should outsource it but only when you know what you’re doing and have a process to train the outsourcer.
Currently waiting to hear back from suppliers to start a brand. In the meantime, should I use $ to hire writers for a separate affiliate site in same niche? I want to do both (yes, I know impatience won’t help, but trying to keep taking action), but you mentioned that funds would be better used for ecom if you have the money.
You should not start an affiliate site. You should start to plan out/build your content for your ecom site. (once it's finalized that you're for sure going that route)
Do heavy KW research and ensure you're doing it right. If your KW research or how your content is structured is wrong, you're wasting a lot of money on the content. BowTiedTetra has some great articles on this. Don't pay for the content until you hear back from your supplier.
Actually, don’t pay for the content until you can train them how to do it right. See question 3 above.
Stand up the site and get the copy right. Get the copy right. Get the copy right. Get the copy right. Also value prop. Which is part of the copy.
Start figuring out how you're going to get the links
Figure out how you're going to market
If it's social/email/etc., start building up assets and contacts
Lay the groundwork. You statistically will fail if you're trying to build two projects at the same time when you've never done it before.
Take note from Alexis and this thread. She laid the groundwork way before she launched. Also good to note her experience in digital businesses. (look her up)
I have a $5K budget for setting up a Shopify page. Random questions hiring designers.
I have $10k in ad spend. Random questions about hiring an ad agency.
Stop trying to hire everything out and actually learn what you’re doing.
First, you don’t have enough money to do this. You’re going to blow your whole load when almost all of your money should be going towards growth. This could be ad spend, or hiring a VA to do link building, create content, etc.
At that budget, do everything yourself. Build everything but the images or videos. (It takes too long to really be an expert here) Build/design the site and run your own ads. Not only is it the only way to learn, but you don’t have the budget to waste money.
You’re not going to just turn on ads and start printing money. You’re going to lose a ton of money getting brand awareness, finding your target audience, building trust, etc. You want to squeeze every dollar you can back into growth.
I get where this is coming from. These people work for companies that outsource everything. Companies do that because most people in large companies aren’t actually specialists in anything. They can’t do anything but send emails, have meetings, debate, play politics, and track projects.
Most employees’ at large companies, given a shoestring budget and no brand name, would fall flat on their face if trying to build anything.
Guess what? You don’t have the budget like they do. You also don’t have the brand name, connections, or distribution that allow them to launch haphazardly and still pull off successes.
First, if you have any questions, please drop them in the comments below. I’ll be at my computer most all of the weekend so I’ll have plenty of time to answer anything.
Secondly, you’re looking at a 3 day weekend. These are the few times that you have zero excuse to not be working on your business to escape Shawshank. Are you really going to barbecue and celebrate your “labor”?
If you’re subscribed to this newsletter, you need to keep in mind why we’re here.
Your boss and company, no matter how nice, doesn’t care about your future. Nobody outside of a few family members and select friends care about your growth and your future.
You are the only one that can save yourself and make your life what you want it.
Single player. Just you.
This Substack is here to help you build a business and build the life that you want. I’ve laid out the basics to understand, analyze, & grow most any online business.
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Disclaimer: Nothing written here should be construed as legal for financial advice of any kind. These are opinions and observations, written by an anonymous cartoon Opossum, built up over years working in e-commerce & affiliate marketing.