Above: Some weird stuff may have happened with the video-audio synch. Either that or I should stop lipsynching.
As I’m coming back to rebuild my online business after about 2 years of neglect, I’m looking at what I have now.
Since shifting webhosting a couple of times to my current SSD cloud VPS hosting, I’ve lost a number of my product sites along the way.
Part of the rebuilding over the next couple of weeks is to have them up again.
If your sites are down, then you won’t be able to get sales from a website that isn’t there.
Likewise in the world of Internet marketing, if you don’t have campaigns up, you’ll be earning nothing.
Which is why I like Stefanie Hutson’s threads on SEO (search engine optimization) and building long-term online assets.
If you’re a member of AffPortal, you can look at “The Asset-based Approach to SEO”.
In the piece, Stefanie talks about the importance of building and owning elements of your own SEO network.
When third-party websites may remove backlinks to your site, link to you but with weird anchor text like “click here”, and do other weirder stuff, it can mess your search engine rankings,
She goes on to mention a couple of third party sites that you can create accounts at, like Blogger, Xanga, Scribd, where you can build your own asset and link to your site.
By controlling the linking asset, you have control over the type of link, anchor text and other variables which would affect your result.
Additionally, the advantage of owning one of these sites is that it has the potential to rank for your keyword in the SERPs. Have enough of these and you’ll see a wall of SEO sites where most of the results on page 1 and 2 are your sites, whether they’re YouTube videos or Pinterest pages or an Ezinearticle.
Setting up these types of sites takes time. It’ll probably take three times as long as setting up a quick-and-dirty paid traffic arbitrage campaign.
However, the payoff is that you’ll continue to benefit from them for years to come, especially if you’re building quality content.
The area I’m spending more time focused on is content strategy and content marketing.
If you’re building something that people want, it gains value.
If it’s something that people refer to often, then it gains even more value.
Can you remember the point at which Wikipedia started to replace encyclopedias, going down to the library to look at microfiche and microfilm? (If you’re younger, you may not know what this stuff is).
Likewise, the same with Google becoming the search engine of choice, and Facebook gradually become our social network of choice. (Unless you’re really young, in which case you’re probably already at Instragram or Snapchat).
The thing is that SEO and asset-based sites take much more effort to build than arbitrage campaigns.
On the flip side, they’re likely to have a much longer lifespan than the average 6 to 12 months for a CPA offer.
So you might want to spend time to diversify your income sources, even if you already are successful.
To find out more about long-term SEO strategies, you can sign up at AffPlaybook via my AffPlaybook discount code link.
Yes, I’ve disappeared from my own blog since about late 2012. No, I didn’t quit the industry or start promoting some weird MLM.
So here’s a breakdown of what I’ve been up to.
2011-2012: Neverblue affiliate manager
I had a good experience working with some of the top affiliates in the industry. Seeing how they systematize their business and scale was a good example of how you can build a business which generate fairly consistent results on a long-term basis. During my time as an AM, I was part of a team which travelled to Bangkok, Thailand, to conduct the first Neverblue Interact event. It was so popular we hosted 200 affiliates over two days.
Also, as part of the development effort, I organized an overnight hackathon-style training with hands-on campaign building in Singapore. We had some Malaysian affiliates ride a coach from Malaysia to come for the Singapore event. That was pretty strong dedication to spend about 8 hours on the bus each way to come for a workshop. At least one of them has gone on to become quite a successful affiliate.
After I left Neverblue, I did consulting work for clients, primarily running in-house paid traffic campaigns for various verticals. I had a chance to work with traffic sources that typically only large corporates or agencies had access to, which was quite an eye-opening experience. Seeing how affiliates tend to be overpaying for PPV pop traffic, I was getting a good perspective seeing what would be considered good quality leads at $0.50 CPM. That would give a good ROI for most lead gen campaigns.
July 2014: Back to the grind
With client projects finishing earlier this month (July), I finally have a chance to work on my own projects. Despite the inactivity on this block, the backlinks, pagerank are still pretty inactact and some small tests have shown that the market has only grown stronger, especially in the area of social media stuff. I’ll be working on content-based marketing and some cool social media strategies I’ve picked up recently.
Oh, and in case you missed it, I launched a suite of WordPress-related services with a partner, Siggy Gudbrandsson. It consists of a webhosting service, optimized for WordPress blogs and WordPress-powered e-commerce sites. Our own sites which reside on the platform are showing that they are ultra fast and stable after we’ve made server-level tweaks for performance.
The other service is a hand-tuned optimization service for WordPress sites. Siggy will optimize code on the theme and plugin level to optimize site speed, a factor which Google is including in it’s search engine result page (SERP) algorithm.
You can read about the launch of the WordPress optimization services and WordPress webhosting.
Complimenting the WordPress services is the launch of a new blog, AndrewWeeInside.com (nothing major on it yet) which I’ll be documenting as a followalong campaign on this blog.
Stay tuned for some interesting stuff!]]>
As any Internet marketer or business owner marketing your business online, your website is your lifeblood.
You live or die a virtual death, based on whether your blog or e-commerce store is up and running.
So, your website MUST be up at all times.
Although I had been with Bluehost shared webhosting for about 5 years, I made the choice to switch two years ago.
Much of my decision had to do with the chronic overloading of it’s servers, leading to poor performance as resources were throttled and conserved. If you exceeded 1% CPU usage, it’d be common to see a blue error screen that your site was inaccessible because it had exceeded it’s allocated resources.
So instead of rejoicing that my blog had made the list of top viewed Internet marketing or affiliate marketing blogs, my visitors would instead see the equivalent of a Windows Blue Screen of Death (BSOD). Talk about a wasted effort.
It looks like things haven’t changed much. Yesterday, I did some webhosting benchmarking for a friend, James Tippins, for his blog which is hosted on Bluehost.
This is what I saw:
If you can’t see the screenshot, it says that there are 999 other domains on that C-class IP (the unique number that a website is linked to).
While this means that Bluehost is getting good returns on each server, it isn’t as good for you for the following reasons:
There are other factors which will hurt your business, especially on overloaded servers. I can understand how a webhosting company which charges as little as $2 a month would want to max out their servers, but it will ultimately come back to bite you if you use these cheap plans.
So, after a few bad experiences with bluehost, pre-emptively blocking my site in the middle of a product launch, and a few server outages, I decided to jump ship.
I moved to another webhost, A Small Orange, on a friend’s recommendation.
The server was much more stable, compared to Bluehost and I left my blog there.
During this time, I was focusing on my affiliate manager work with Neverblue and later as a lead generation consultant for a few advertisers/clients.
It was only in the last 2 months that I had time to focus on rebuilding my Internet businesses which I had left dormant for the past 2 years.
It was also during this time that I meet Siggy Gudbrandsson, a programmer and self-confessed hacker, who had spent the last year doing client work, focused on WordPress optimization and while consulting for them would fix bugs and errors inherent in many WordPress themes and plugins.
While I hired him to work on optimizing this blog, he found that there were some bottlenecks on a server level which made this blog 25% slower than usual. In the process of mailing A Small Orange’s tech support, he was told that they would not change the server settings. I suspect that they are deliberately kept at a lower setting so that the server is stable as they host more websites on them.
Frustrated, I took up Siggy’s offer to host this blog on a SSD-based cloud VPS server. This is a bit techie, so here’s a layman’s explanation of the differences:
Server data storage: Ok, all your WordPress files, photos, data needs to be stored on a hard disk. In regular computers and servers they use magnetic hard disks, the regular boxy hard disks that have been around since 1956 when IBM developed them for use in their mainframes. The technology hasn’t changed a lot, though storage capacities have increased many thousands of times (ie: Moore’s Law). The new development is that Solid State Drives (SSD) have been invented. SDDs use flash memory, similar to the ones used in USB storage drives. Since there are no moving parts, the speed of data access is much faster, which lets your website be displayed faster. So SSDs are better than the regular hard disks which they use in cheaper webhosting plans.
Cloud-based VPS: Based on the concept of cloud computing, our webhosting server is not located on a physical machine, but rather in a cloud. The cloud comprises a section in a network of servers. While it is in the cloud, it is not located on one physical server, but distributed across the cloud. If one part fails, another part of the cloud takes over. So there will be higher reliability as the server load is distributed across multiple servers.
I could see that this blog was loading faster as a result of the WordPress optimization and the faster, better hosting.
Here are some before and after stats:
But more than just the numbers, I could see that the site is loading much more quickly now.
So, it just made sense to form a new business with Siggy to offer the WordPress-optimized hosting to more users.
Our plan is to focus only on hosting WordPress and static HTML sites, and provide the fastest and most stable webhosting environment for these types of sites.
We have just completed a webhosting install for a client this week. You can see an improvement in her website stats:
With an improvement in page load times from 6.4 seconds to 2.1 seconds, her visitors will experience a better user experience, fast page loads, which has translated to an increase in revenue.
Here’s why you need to use our service
More importantly, we want to make sure that our platform helps you grow your business, so we’ll be periodically getting your feedback for improvements and enhancements to our service.
Ok, I’m convinced, let me in
You can check out the webhosting plan here.
And request a site speed audit and find out about our WordPress hand-tuned optimization service here.
* Note: Most webhosting companies offer a pro-rated refund based on the number of months left on your contract. So you can contact them after you have moved your website to our server, then put in a refund request. If you need advice, we’d be happy to help you.
So, here’s what I feel doesn’t work for long-term email promotion – continually sending pitch emails to the list, consisting of messages asking people to buy something. I’m pretty sure most people didn’t join a list so that they’d get ads all day.
Unless you’re sending out massive amounts of email, the promotion is likely to tank, whether it’s for a CPA (cost-per-acquistion/lead generation) offer or a CPS (cost-per-sale) offer.
Eventually the list will burn itself out, with members unsubscribing from your list, flagging you as a spammer (sending you to the spamhaus doghouse) or probably both.
With a slightly longer term view, some marketers may use an article spinner, buy PLR articles, or hire a cheap writer to knock out articles for maybe as low as $1 apiece, and post an article or mail that article out to the list. Sending low quality content to a list is better than sending ads, but not that much better. It still won’t build your long-term online business.
If you’re doing either of these approaches for some time, you’ll likely find that it’s not work.
You might find yourself trapped on an ever-spinning hamster wheel of doing stuff that gives you a poor return on your time and money. You might either end up buying email data, spend most of your time doing email swaps with other list owners, or running paid ads to replace leads which have burned out (mainly due to what you’ve done).
But what’s killing your business is not the quality of your email list, but what you’re doing with that list.
I don’t really like the “churn and burn” routine of building a list, then hammering it with offers and abandoning it a year later to build a new one, so in the course of looking for long-lasting strategies I came across Jimmy D Brown’s Promo Payoff, which he recently launched.
What attracted me about his resource of “75 email starters” or conversation starters is that you can also use them for blog posts, how to guides, landing pages.
That’s because he skips a lot of the BS marketing that most ebook marketers use and instead focuses on teaching the core principles he himself uses in his business.
Key to that is a heavy dose of attraction marketing – getting your prospective customers interested by appealing to something that THEY are interested in (rather than what you’re promoting) getting them engaged in your angle and importantly, making them want to take action.
I like this approach. I’ve used it in my dating life (in a previous lifetime). It’s always easier to make the girl come to you and give you her number…I noticed that a number of these conversation openers could also be adapted to the dating/pickup artist (PUA) vertical, so if you use them, do report back on how they’re working for you.
But, back to the product itself.
I bought a copy last week and got down to reading it early this week.
Officially it consists of 4 guides in PDF format. They average about 35 pages each, and module 1 is geared towards newer marketers (as mentioned above, the techniques apply whether you’re using it for an email sequence, a one-off or series of blog posts, adcopy for offer landing pages, etc). Because it’s not based off of some weird trend or loophole, you’d find that the techniques help you build a solid foundation in content-based marketing.
Here are some highlights.
In module 2, angle #51, Jimmy goes into the “What else are you missing?” promotion angle.
By hooking on a development in your market, you can build immediate interest, then dovetail your offer into that.
Let me give you an example.
Say you have a Google News alert set for a specific keyword like smart phones.
Once you get the news alert, you get to work, crafting content themed around it.
If there’s a malware-specific alert (like the Heartbleed bug), you focus on the key questions:
1) What’s this issue about?
2) Why is it important and how does it affect me?
3) What can they do about it and how does the thing you’re promoting help with the solution.
The “thing” (solution) you’re promoting could be a mobile CPA offer, a CPS product, a paid guide.
If you’ve done your work correctly, you’ll have a decent conversion.
Because they’ve already bought into your angle – they’re read through the content, they agree with it (if they didn’t they’d stop reading).
So when they get to the recommendation, they are already pre-sold into you and the next step is pulling the trigger.
You can do some damage if you’ve set this up right.
Use your power responsibly.
And if you need specific pointers, Jimmy goes into some detail in his guide.
Module 2, Angle #60,
I call this the “cat shit” angle.
Have you heard of “Kopi Luak”?
It’s a special coffee found mainly in Sumatra, Indonesia.
The Asian Palm Civet feeds on ripe coffee berries in the forest.
Since only ripe and the tastiest berries are eaten by the civet cat, the seeds it swallows also end up in its stomach.
So organically, the cat has “curated” the best coffee beans. This is in contrast to normal coffee harvesting where machines gather coffee beans, regardless of whether they’re ripe or green and unripe, leading to an inferior flavor.
But to havest the coffee beans from the civet cat, the harvesters look for civet cat poop, then dig the undigestible coffee beans from it. They wash it and package it, selling it for a premium.
A cup of Kopi Luak can sell for $40 to $75 at speciality coffee shops.
But if you were to send out a mailing for ‘cat poop coffee’ you’re proabbly going to see poor response rates, and maybe a number of unsubscribes.
Instead, the marketers have decided to focus on the taste profile of the coffee and how rare and exclusive it is.
Both realities are true -
1) The coffee comes from cat poop
2) It has an excellent taste profile and is (pardon the pun) a pain in the butt to harvest.
But picking your angle and working it through fully (ie: not just a few random bullet points) is what’s going to get you the conversion.
Every product/service/offer has it’s positives and negatives, if you as the marketer are dwelling on the negatives, you’re pretty much sunk.
So while Jimmy gives you a massive swipe file of what works, the important thing is not just to clone and blindly use the templates, but to study them and figure out why they’re working and the key principles involved in getting the conversion.
On the content marketing front, Jimmy covers strategies in module 3.
Take angle #33 for example.
He describes and decontructs the “Top (number) tips for (getting a good result)”
“Top 5 tips to lose 10 lbs in 2 months”
“Top 9 ways to attract the woman of your dreams”
There’s a sequencing involved in presenting the pre-sell, you want to emphasize that it wasn’t something you just banged out in 5 minutes, so showing the effort with an opener like
“It took me a lot of trial and error, but I’ve work out the best way to (name the goal).”
(top 3 to 10 tips to do _____)
There’s some other stuff you need to include to make the message work as a whole, so you can check it out for the step-by-step.
He also shows you how to embed a relevant targeted call to action in the mail.
There are 50 samples of formatting content to embed these calls in your messages (again, it works equally well in emailing, blogging, landing page adcopy).
In modulet 4, there’s a list of 52 promotion methods to boost conversion.
1) Testing coupon codes, how to structure your bonus/incentive for offer conversion
2) Payment plans, – how to structure and present them
3) Loyalty programs – why and how you should implement them
4) How to effectively use scarcity strategies in your campaigns.
5) Tying a promotion to a popular culture reference, how to boost boost virality by incorporating elements from YouTube and Vine.
6) How to reactivate and entice inactive customers to come back
7) Tips to edge out competitors by making minor tweaks to your promotion, especially their blindspots
8) Packaging promotions – multiply the effect of a promotion by these bundling strategies.
9) Creating an “Everyone wins” promotion (page 28)
In additon to the core course, Promo Payoff also comes with 4 bonuses
Hey, are you still here?
Go get your copy of Payoff Promo at the 50% off early bird launch price now.]]>
Would you pay for something that you can get free online?
Specifically training in online marketing, affiliate marketing and lead generation?
How do you compare a free Internet marketing forums like the Warrior Forum, Wicked Fire or one of the other free forums, compared to a paid forum, like AffPlaybook?
A simple reply might be “You get what you pay for”.
But let’s assume you don’t buy the “free is junk, paid is quality” argument and look at the facts.
When I’ve gone into one of the free sites, I’ve found that the content posted by members tend to consist mainly of jokes, casual chat, stuff for sale and tips.
What you get out of most Internet marketing forums?
Often the jokes and chat stuff takes up most of the bandwidth, with some members coming up with stuff or services to sell to other members. The stuff for sale could be good, especially if it’s a newer provider or developer who wants to establish themselves and do some beta testing, build up goodwill or collect customer reviews.
The “tips” you get are often very hit and miss. You might occasionally get a gem, but often it’s a miss, particularly if the person giving you advice is pulling stuff out of the air, or plain making up stuff or lying through his (or her) teeth.
So, I don’t have a problem with free stuff (heck, Wikipedia is free), what I have a problem with is the low signal-to-noise ratio. There’s too much noise (junk) for the signal (useful stuff) you get. It might cost you nothing out of your pocket, but it will cost you in time to go through the lot, trying to find something useful.
To put things into context: Time is a finite resource. Everyone, whether you’re Donald Trump, Elon Musk or (insert your favorite business person or celeb) is subject to the same 24 hours per day. If you’re starting out and money is tight, it seems like money is your biggest limitation. But time is ultimately going to be your biggest bottleneck in starting or growing a business.
So it’s important to see that in the bigger picture, time is your most scarce and precious resource.
Building your online business
When it comes to building your online business, I think most people will agree that making the best use of your time is going to show the biggest results whether you succeed or fail.
That’s one of the reason why I’ve been going for quality, even if I have to pay for it, rather than try to hunt for gold in the mud heaps of free stuff out there.
It takes time and it takes money to come up with a quality product, so yes, I believe in “you get what you pay for”. That’s one of the reasons why I’ve benefitted from my membership in AffPlaybook (formerly called PPV Playbook) since early 2010, and why I’ve been recommending it to new and experienced affiliate marketers and internet marketers since the time I’ve joined.
The site’s members consist of newer affiliates as well as veterans who’ve been in the business for 10 years or more.
AffPlaybook affiliate marketing forum review
In it’s current form, the site’s content consists of:
Here’s an idea of some of the discussion sections in the forum:
As of writing this AffPlaybook review in June 2014, there are more than 12,000 discussion threads, 100,000 posts across the tutorials, traffic generation and offer conversion discussion sections and case studies, with an active membership.
Here are some of the major threads / case studies / training in the site:
Is AffPlaybook worth it? Will I see results?
The thing to realize about AffPlaybook is that you will get results only if you take action.
And by action, I don’t mean, launch one campaign and when it doesn’t show results immediately, then you give up.
Internet marketing and affiliate marketing are a long-term play. A principle that a mentor shared with me early on was “If you do what you’re supposed to do, you’ll get what you’re supposed to get”.
Some of that stuff out there that says “You can generate full time income in just 30 minutes a day” is flat-out hype. If you’re earning what you might earn in your day jobs, working 8 hours a day, in just 30 minutes a day, it’s likely you’re taking a massive short cut somewhere, or doing something less than ethical or legal. It won’t last.
An online business can be as “solid” as a bricks-and-mortar one. Look at Amazon.com. And it wasn’t built in a day. Neither can your online business.
So what does it take to be successful on the internet?
If you’re someone that gives up easily, then internet marketing, affiliate marketing are probably not a good fit for you. (Neither would day trading, options trading, forex or any activity that involves any risk, for that matter).
If you’re motivated to succeed, then focus on build up your online business.
If you lack ideas on how to get started, or want strategies and systems to bring it to the next level, then I think AffPlaybook would be a good fit for you.
Oh, and there’s more…
So, you know how you hear that you need some keyword tool or research tool so you can do market research so you know how to better position or market your own product or an affiliate product?
The bad news is that some of this stuff can cost hundreds of dollars. That’s hundreds of dollars per month!
The good news is that AffPlaybook includes a suite of tools as part of its membership.
Aff Robot tools worth it?
Some might be wondering if these are some second-rate tools that have been bundled in to increase the value of the membership.
But before we get to that, here’s an idea of what you’ll be getting.
AffPlaybook Tools include ones dealing with PPC traffic, PPV (pop up) traffic, display/banner traffic, SEO analysis/optimization tools. Additionally there’s landing page buildings, page rotation scripts, which you will need to use.
In addition there’s other goodies like WordPress plugins, specially for internet marketers/affiliates.
Oh, and like I mentioned earlier, if you’re doing datafeed sites, there’s a datafeed script which you can use to create them.
But don’t just be impressed by seeing more than 20 tools for you to use. Many of the experienced members just use those tools along, without having to buy more $97/mth or $197/mth, to build their income to 5-figures per month or more.
AffPlaybook discount code?
So if you’re interested in building out or growing your online business, then you should check out AffPlaybook.
And to sweeten the deal, if you signup via the link below, it includes an in-built $10 discount every month, which will help you save more of your ad budget for your traffic campaign.
>>> AffPlaybook discount code signup
As the presentation was presented primarily in a series of data screenshots and brief commentary, I’ll add transitions so it won’t be as jarring.
Some info about App Annie:
It recently launched a new product focused on ASO – app store optimization – which lets you see the keywords apps are ranking for.
App annie intelligence covers the iOS and android markets worldwide
Of the top 10 countries:
Top iOS store countries
Top Google Play countries
Turkey, Mexico, Brazil and Thailand are the leading emerging markets for downloads
India doesn’t have a major PC gaming market, but mobile gaming opens up the market to all phone users.
Emerging market opportunities:
The top Google Play games in Mar 2014, by revenue comprised mostly Japanese and Korean games, with 1 standout being Brave Frontier by Gumi, which launched in multiple languages in multiple countries over a period of 3 months.
Also for the month of March 2014, the top Southeast Asian countries were:
The top game publishers in Southeast Asia include:
Most of the top game developers are based in Thailand, with some coming from Singapore
The top game publishers by revenue include:
Line in contention to dominate SE Asia?
Line is prominent in the games market in Southeast Asia, especially Thailand
Its Facebook and WeChat games are expected to launch soon
The dominant mobile messaging platforms include:
Some background about 6waves.
Challenges facing game developers
Here are some of the key challenges new developers face:
Here are 5 keys to increasing your chances of success.
Key 1: Clearly define your goals
Most of developers don’t have a clear enough focus. If you’re not clear what you want, neither will the gamers and consequently your chances are success are much lower.
Here are some questions you and your team should be able to answer:
You should play to your development strengths
Once you have fleshed out the basics of the game’s direction, you should refine the vision:
Who are you targeting?
Is it a mass audience? Niche audience? Or somewhere in between?
Be sure to define your success
Set formal targets like
Also work out and be willing to adapt to a realistic timeframe for success
Investment (both time and money) are required
Be sure to factor in continuous tweaking and balancing to optimize product to make it the best you can bring to the market
Here a reality check:
Most games don’t immediately take off.
If your game publishing platform allows you to collect user feedback, use that data to continually refine your game.
If you’re following these steps, it lessens your chances of getting lost in the marketplace.
Most games launched are likely to fail and game marketplaces are filled with these “zombie games/app” (ie: not the undead, but almost behaving like it).
In summary, launch the best possible game you are capable of, making sure to think clearly about your focus.
Key 1 takeaways-
1) Your goals inform your launch strategy and tactics
2) Be sure to follow the markets and competition closely
3) Innovation and the first mover advantage are key differentiators.
Key 2: Launching your game is only the beginning
If you want to maximize the chances of a successful game launch, consider the life cycle of a game.
Doing stuff after the launch is important for your success.
Consider the importance of live ops – creating and adding new content, events, promotions to your game to keep users engaged and occupied.
Some examples of live ops:
1) Clash of Clans added a clan vs clan (ie: guild war) feature
2) Developer SuperCell did a crossover with GungHo and featured Dragonball manga/anime characters together with GungHo game characters.
Here’s an example of live ops done well: GungHo’s Puzzle and Dragons is 2 years old, yet it is showing record sales and profit, due largely to its live ops.
The topic is important for live operations to be featured in investor calls for listed developers.
The principle in live ops is pretty simple.
Invest in your players and they’ll do the same to support your efforts. Look at opportunities for crossovers and events to keep players happy and engaged
Key 3: Take more shots
The riskiest thing you can do is launch your game on a single platform, in a single language, for a single market.
Spread out your risk. Think cross platform, leverage on technologies like Unity 3D and get as many platforms as possible.
Some of the platforms you might want to consider include: iOS, Android, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, as well as specialist/proprietary platforms like Tencent, Line,.
Games which have implemented the multiscreen strategy well, enabling seamless play between platforms like Facebook, and letting players also have a similar experience on mobile, include Game of Thrones Ascent, King’s Bounty, Farmville 2.
Once players are invested, they will play wherever they can.
Going cross platform is something you should do if you have the capability.
Key 4: Think globally
Somewhat related to the previous point,
Most games launched only in English
If the English language game doesn’t get traction, the other language versions will usually never launch.
This could be a mistake.
The breakdown of mobile gaming revenue is as follows: 50% from Asia, 50% from the rest of the world.
The top grossing countries include:
Creating German, French, Italian, Spanish versions of your app, could give it a second chance, even if it doesn’t make a big splash in the English market.
The top iOS games in Japan as by Japanese developers. You’ll need to localize your game if you want to appeal to Japanese gamers.
The game Wonderland Epic, based on Alice in Wonderland, underwent an extensive makeover in game art from Western to Anime/Asian art when it was marketed in Japan.
Factors like language, graphics, UI (button colour, button placement) make a big difference in how your game performs.
For example, red is an auspicious colour in Chinese culture and is used for “Ok” or confirmation buttons.
But in the West, red is typically used for stop signs.
Another example of successful localization: Boom Beach, following translation to other languages, saw revenue increase 17x, and profit increase 4x.
There can be significant revenue in other languages.
Culturiation goes a long way.
Key 5: Team up when necessary
Most developers may prefer to self publish (and keep the bulk of revenue and profit) vs working with publishers
The biggest benefit of distributing your game via a publisher include the following:
1) User acquisition from an existing playerbase
2) Ability to distirbute globally
3) Saving on your need to allocate resources for marketing, freeing up time
Allows developers to focus fully on development, instead of marketing and distribution.
Here’s a summary of the 5 keys:
1) Clarify your vision: stay focused
2) Plan for post launch – especially live ops engagement
3) Think cross platform – increase your chances of success
4) Think globally – expand your reach to more countries, more markets, more languages
5) Leverage strong partners where appropriate
With most publishers Jeff’s company iDreamsky will optimize the game’s source code.
The general observation being that Western developers take a fairly passive approach to monetizing their app.
For example, in Fruit Ninja (by Halfbrick Studios), the store is located two screens deep, making it difficult for gamers to find the storefront.
After tweaking by iDreamsky the store is located on the front page.
Giving players a chance to try out purchase options
New players may not be aware that they are able to buy various blades and swords and more importantly what benefit they get from buying the blades.
So after some tweaking of the game code, they can try out the various blades, by buying a time-limited trial using free or paid currency. In this way they can try out various blades and find one that they like.
With most American game portals and platforms offering hard cash purchases in denominations like US$1, US$2, US$5 and so on, the Chinese game platforms give game developers the opportunity to provide purchase options in smaller amounts, as low as US$0.50 or even US$0.10.
Active player reactivation
After the system recognises that a player has not been playing for a week, it proactively starts a re-engagement, re-activation process by offering a promotion, like offering a $0.10 package for items which would normally cost $3.
By converting a free player into a paid player, the process of promoting further paid upgrades becomes easier.
Also, with the micropayment options available, it gives iDreamsky a variety of tools and options to not only reactivate dormant players, but also move their status into one willing to make in-app purchases.
By using these promotions to convert free-to-play players to players willing to spend on in-app purchases, the playerbase increases in value and revenue also increases correspondingly.]]>
I attended a session by Jeff Lyndon, EVP and co-founder from iDreamsky which is a mobile game publisher focused on the Chinese market.
China is a growing area in mobile game development, both in terms of the games coming from Chinese developers and the country as a market.
Here are some stats he cited for the rapid growth of gaming in China.
China game market 2013
Worth US$1.8 billion
Average revenue per user US$6
23% of gamers are mobile gamers
China game market 2014
Worth US$4.1 billion
Average revenue per user US$10
45% of gamers are mobile gamer
60% use smartphones
China growth areas:
1) Migration of feature phone users to smartphones
2) Multi screen gaming across PCs, tablet, phone
From iDreamsky’s stats most Chinese players are still using dual core processor phones, with more potential presenting itself as they upgrade to quad core, octo core phones.
There is a growth in the mobile gaming ecosystem as seen in the following areas:
1) mobile payment
Wechat conducted a viral red packet campaign, generating US$100 million
2) The majority of phone data coverage is still mostly focused on 2G networks with expected growth in 3G and 4G network coverage.
growth from going to 3g, 4g
3) Growing sophistication of gamers.
With gamers typically in their 20s, having graduated from university, they would likely be used to making in-app purchases, especially since such purchase options have been present in MMOs since 2008.
“Time on screen” strategy
The key metric for iDreamsky is the amount of time users spend on its games, rather than ARPU figures.
Jeff mentioned the network’s strategy is not to focus on how much money it makes from user, but rather how much time it can capture from the user.
With time being a limited resource, it is seen as more valuable while money spent can shift easily to other apps.
The Chinese Opportunity
The following areas are growth areas in the Chinese market:
1) Genre defining game – A genre-defining game like an Angry Birds or Temple Run, can establish itself, define and grow a segment in the market
2) Multi screen – Smart TV, Tablet, Phone
Creating a multi screen experience enhances user engagement, although not many apps offer the experience now.
The smart TV market is potentially set to grow faster than other countries with offerings like the Xiaomi TV, a 4,999 RMB (S$1,000 or US$800) offering which boasts, 4k resolution (or ultra high definition TV), 49” TV.
3) Increasing mobile broadband penetration.
With an expanding rollout in faster data networks, mobile gaming are set to exceed the current benchmarks.
iDreamsky select user stats:
On average an iPhone user 125mb of 3G data
and more than 3gb on wifi data
While an android user uses about
80-90mb of 3G data and more than
3GB on wifi
With high data transfer rates available on 4G networks there are opportunities to create bigger apps in the region of 200 megabytes or more, as well as richer graphics, more complex game physics.
This also opens possibilities for persistent games which require players to be online all the time, which becomes easier when they are not limited to small mobile broadband quota.
The challenge facing developers
“The Window is closing (for western developers)”.
2011-2013 was the window for Western developers to come into China, primarily due to the lower barriers to entry.
Since mid-2013 – the number of foreign games in China that have hit blockbuster status has decreased dramatically.
In Q1/2014 iDreamsky’s operation guys saw fewer games being ported to their platform from the US. Instead more games from Japan and Korea which require less localization and less reskin have been introduced on the iDreamsky platform.
Jeff’s advice if you want to go into China, you have to go this year. Unless you have a groundbreaking game like Candy Crush or Clash of Clans
China: A gaming market like a “World War”
While Korea and Japan have gaming markets with content and games developed primarily by local developers, China presents a different picture.
A highly competitive market with at least 8 different countries jostling for market share, developers from the US, Europe, Japan and Korea are fighting for a slice of the China gaming pie.
China developers in particular have an innate advantage with their deeper understanding of developing compelling concept, smoother monetization funnels and a deeper understanding of the market
During the short question and answer section, Jeff said that roleplaying games (RPG) and trading card games (TCG) are highly competitive categories and it would be difficult to establish a foothold.
Instead newer entrants can spot market gaps and go for games categories like racing titles, for which there is no major leader in the market now.
Trademarks are another major area of contention.
If someone had already registered the trademark, for example Angry Birds, before Rovio decided to enter the market, and they had also made an Angry Birds clone and launched it, then it would be seen as the legitimate trademark owner by the Chinese government. Additionally, the recommendation is to trademark the Chinese version of your title.
The maxim for the Chinese mobile gaming market according to Jeff is very Darwinian. There is no middle ground. You either make a lot or you make little/nothing.
PS: I also had a question for Jeff about the difference in in-app purchasing behaviour between Chinese gamers and other gamers. His answers were very insightful and will follow in a later blog post.
And when the books were good, they usually offered a “trick” of some sort, usually a loophole that Google, Squidoo, YouTube had left open.
Depending on when you bought the ebook and how fast you took action, your mileage on being able to generate earnings from the technique would range from a week to a few months.
And that is for the good ebooks. The bad ones would just suck, and some newly-published ones would cover techniques that had died the previous year.
Buying this stuff left a bad taste in my mouth, so I quit the “make quick money online” niche for some time (About 2010).
What I decided to do was focus on training that created long-term, sustainable income. It helps me build out several products and sites that continue to generate regular monthly income. Note that the level of earnings is usually lower than something geared towards making quick cash. But if you factor that I’m making that amount or more month-after-month, rather than seeing good earnings for a few weeks/months then seeing a “quick cash” campaign die, it’s not too difficult to make the decision to focus on the steady income stuff.
Which is why I’m happy with promoting and still recommend training resources/sites with a longer term focus.
That’s one of the reasons why I’ve liked the training provided by Internet marketer Jimmy D Brown.
I bought one of his training programs which helped me to plan, launch and operate a subscription-based site which generated a steady monthly income and it continued to grow as I applied his step-by-step techniques to generate new signups. What I especially liked about it was that he provided easy-to-follow instructions, so that even if you were new to a traffic source or script, it’d be an easy process.
I sold off the site as I went on to do more consulting and affiliate management work in recent times. With young kids and focusing 100% on the consulting business, I didn’t want to do a half-ass job on the membership site.
It was kinda in synchronicity with what Jimmy was doing in real life too, as he took a hiatus and on October 2012, he posted “I’m starting on a journey that will hopefully culminate in raising over a million dollars for needy orphans in Reynosa, Mexico”.
He later moved to Omaha, Nebraska, to serve full-time in ministry at Redeemer Church and mentioned last month “I’ve been there almost two years now and am loving every bit of it!”
Now back “part-time” in Internet marketing, Jimmy is getting back into the Internet marketing game and re-launching his products. One of the first products is his “Imfoproducts package”.
Looking at the salesletter, it sounds like a bargain. At $20, it’s at a 95% discount off their value.
I went ahead and bought it and here’s a review of the products to help you decide about getting it.
The reports are in PDF format, which means you can access it on your desktop/laptop or tablet or phone.
I’m reviewing the products in the order it appears on his sales page.
Report #1: “More Orders on Autopilot” (20 pages)
He shares emailing strategies and provides formats which you can customize to your vertical/niche. When you’re using an integrated and systematic approach, using the principles that Jimmy shares, you’re more likely to see the results you’re shooting for.
Report #2: “Productimity Lost Issues” (2 issues) (Single 47-page report)
The strange name aside, it’s a product to improve your personal and business productivity. He goes into what your might be experience in your personal and business life now, how you should deal with these sticking points, then gives you a series of strategies to unblock the stuff holding you back with specific examples.
Report #3: “Traffic that Pays for Itself” (35 pages)
Guides you step-by-step from planning a campaign, putting the marketing bits together, setting up the paid traffic element (even if you’re a paid traffic noob), launching, optimizing the traffic campaign and monetizing the backend. If you’re following this detailed guide, you’d easily make many times what you paid for the whole package.
Report #4: “Big Ticket in 24 Hours” (18 pages)
No-nonsense guide to launching a big ticket online business within a day. Gives samples you can follow.
Report #5: “More Buyers at your Site” (25 pages)
How to use content marketing strategies to generated pre-qualified leads to your offer (physical or virtual). Gives multiple angles so you have many different ways to promote a product and lengthen the longevity and also find opportunities to reboot and relaunch the campaign.
Report #6: “Secret to Great Ebooks” (24 pages)
How to beef up the quality of information-based products like reports, courses. This’ll help improve conversion rates, lower refund rates and increase retention rates.
Report #7: “Free Social Media Promos” (18 pages)
If you’re only posting content on social networks, you’re missing out on marketing opportunities that they also give you. Goes into how you can use various networks’ built-in functions as well as third-party service providers which can boost the reach of a new or existing social media campaign.
Report #8: “Blogging Course PLR”
Blogging package which contains blogging-related course material, marketing creatives, salesletter. Probably about 50 pages of material.
Report #9: “Two Additional Report” (37 pages each)
Since these are not named on the salesletter, I won’t break the silence either.
They are each 37 pages. One of them is geared towards newer marketers, or experienced marketers who are starting new online projects. The other report is geared towards intermediate to advanced marketers and is like a detailed project management plan to launch an online business with recurring income.
Report #10: “IM Report membership site” (13 reports)
Issue #1: How To Get Your First Affiliate Sale In The Next 7 Days (26 pages)
Issue #2: The Simple Way To Build A Long-Term Affiliate Business (20 pages)
Issue #3: 27 Ways To Promote Affiliate Programs At Your Blog (38 pages)
Issue #4: 3 Ways To Turn Ezine Articles Into Autopilot Income Streams (23 pages)
Issue #5: How To Write A Solo Mailing That Gets Attention And Results (26 pages)
Issue #6: How To I.M.P.R.O.V.E. Your Information Writing (28 pages)
Issue #7: How To Make Money Offline In Your Hometown (21 pages)
Issue #8: 101 Ways To Build Your Business With Business Cards (22 pages)
Issue #9: How To Create Your Own Mini-Membership Site (24 pages)
Issue #10: How To Get Fresh Site Visitors Without Buying Ads (23 pages)
Issue #11: 8 Ways To Get Top Affiliates To Promote Your Offer (18 pages)
Issue #12: How To Promote Your Offer With Free Webinars (23 pages)
Issue #13: (Bonus) How To Get Your Customers To Spend More Money (20 pages))
I don’t mean for this review to go to 2,000 words, so here’s an overview about these reports.
They cover the basics of building an online business, from creating email opt-in pages, landing pages, how to encourage return/multiple visits to your sites, incorporating multiple marketing channels to increase user stickiness.
Is the package worth it?
Let’s face it, if a product is no good, paying even $1 for it would be too much.
Fortunately, this isn’t the case here. The Imfoproducts package is packed with solid info that both new and experienced Internet marketers can benefit from.
If you’ve been in Internet marketing for a couple of years, you would be familiar with these topics. What Jimmy does well is cite case studies, so even if you’re already doing the stuff he covers, you might pick up a couple of tips or additional strategies to incorporate into your current campaigns.
If you’re new to this, I would encourage you to focus on one of the reports and working it through from start-to-finish and measuring the results you get. Once you had a handle on how a technique works and how you can get more mileage out of it, then move on to the next report.
The most important element out of all of this is to take consistent action. If you’re only doing one or two steps of the process, you probably won’t see the results you would compared to following through.
It’s a system, so you need to follow it from start to finish to get the results you are shooting for.
Tip: Jimmy gives you multiple samples and case studies you can follow in the material. I would not try to copy/clone the same products and campaigns he’s doing because you will probably not learn as much as doing it yourself and going through the research and brainstorming process he guides you through. If you’re just copying his examples, you will very likely crash and burn at some point and not be able to troubleshoot your way out.
The biggest takeaway you will get is learning a system and framework you can follow and use to see long-term, sustainable and more importantly, profitable results.
You can check out the Imfoproducts package here.
(Note that he mentioned it’s a time-limited offer).]]>
Hence, “Maximizing Player Retention and Monetization in Free-to-Play Games: Comparative Stats for Asian & Western Games” probably ranked as the best session for me on day 2 of Casual Connect Asia 2013 which was held in Singapore.
Some stats about Kongregate:
Kongregate uses the following metrics in measuring Free-to-Play (F2P) games:
David showed a series of graphs and charts, of which I’ll post a summary here. If I get access to the presentation, I might link out to it.
These stats will give you a rough idea of what was shown.
MMOs outperform single player games (not too surprising)
Single player games tend to have lower ARPU $5-10 range
MMOs have a greater variance in their range: $20-350, thought the majority of them fall within $0 to $3 range. Having said that MMOs feature a few outliers that kick ass. Big spenders can spend in excess of $300+ and there is a linear correlation between how hardcore a player is and their spending patterns.
When it comes to ARPPU (paying users) game developers can take heart that big spenders (ie “whales”) are not caught, they are created. The longer you can keep them in-game, the more opportunities you can present them to spend.
Asia F2P games vs Western F2P games vs Mixed F2P games
This is going to be a little tough without the chart, so bear with me.
Asian MMOs have a higher ARPPU of $181 vs $54 for western MMO.
Asian MMOs have lower conversion rates for new player signups vs Western equivalents.
Asian games have slightly lower retention, defined as the percentage of people who have played 50+ times.
In general with Asian games have higher ARPPU, tight player funnel and caters to big spenders.
Western games have good intiail retention, broad conversion at lower prices, and the Pay-to-win model (where you might have to unlock a paid stage or purchase a key to finish the game) is not accepted by Western game players.
Mixed games are defined as games which have a mix of elements from both Asian and Western games. They tend to have high conversion rates, have a wide funnel and can create big spenders.
When it comes to monetizing your game, the cardinal rule is that the more people play, the more likely they are to buy and they are also more likely to spend more.(repeat of the last section but this is an important one).
With Western multiplayer games, 55% of ARPPU revenue is generated by people who play 500+ times.
With Asian multiplayer ARPPU, 58% of revenue is generated by pepoel who play 500+.
F2P best practises for optimizing retention
Keep players engaged
Daily play bonuses – motivate players to come back regularly. There are many ways to improve on the 5-7 day cycle of daily bonuses With one successful title, Wartune, every day you check in, you get a stamp, up to 26 days. With longer time = better stickiness. Wartune’s system doesn’t reset every 5-7 days, doesn’t punish for missing a day. With another game (from one of my favourite studios, Edgebee) Card Monsters’ daily login opens up bigger rewards on successful days.
Use of punishments – Punishments can deter unwanted behaviour, but they can also drive away players if not used correctly: Don’t punish people for taking a break (castle raided, troops killed).
Players need a break from time to time, it’s a psychological need. Exams, vacations, illness are some of the more common reasons for taking a break from gameplay. Having strong punishments (ie: other players raiding their castle, stripping resources, killing all their troops, etc) may otherwise drive away users who might have been re-activated after their break.
Getting whipped for not playing regularly will create a “there’s no point coming to the game since I lost everything” mentality.
Meting out punishment:
Wartune keeps players busy with various types of activities (PvP, PvE, team PvP, team PvE, individual raid bosses, world raid bosses, etc).
More things to do = more players staying
It’s important to continually add new features, but pace the gameplay and introducing of new game elements so the learning curve is not intimidating.
Players don’t want long, boring tutorials.
Track player’s progress: Without progress you have nothing. Not having a way of keeping score means your players can’t measure how they are doing.
Asychronous does better than synchronous (online at same time): asynchronous (aka “fake multiplayer” where the other player’s character is controlled by the computer AI) vs both players having to be online at the same time so they can fight.
*Important*: Shopping should be easy and frictionless
Best practices for community building
Make it easy for a community to develop – provision for players to easily create chatroom, forums. This lets players easily build relationships.
Kongregate monetizes better compared to other platform (more sticky userbase, real relationships result in higher ARPU (can be 5-10x higher compared to Facebook)
*IMPORTANT* Guilds are awesome
All top games have guilds.
Guild members spend 10-20x more than normal players.
Guild members have a social incentive to return – to see their friends
Social pressure element is in play- “I don’t want to disappoint my buddies, so I’ll be sure to show up for the raid, rack up points, etc”
Psychology of buying is boosted in guilds and hence spending goes up- “I’m doing it for team, not me”
Community mgt and customer service
Important, especially for Western audience. Expectation of good quality control, customer service.
It may be your game, but it’s their experience.
Be visible – on forums, chat, email.
Listen to conerns (you don’t always have to agree with criticism), acknowledge their emotions, be transparent, honest, accurate (especially with game downtime, give advanced notice of upgrades)
You can use downtime to surprise with good customer service and as an opportunity to give out some freebies and delight players (ie: Sorry for the downtime, here are some credits you can use in our premium store).
Consider the marginal cost of virtual good vs losing a player. Do what you need to retain players, but don’t do something unless you are willing to do for everyone. Players talk to each other, so if you show favour, it will come back to bite you.
So it was great to get an insight into how the company put together its strategy to come up with a winning game.
DeNA Singapore managing director Tetsuya Mori presented a session “How a Japanese mobile RPG made it big outside Japan” at Casual Connect Singapore today.
Mr Mori said that previously a game’s success had been often linked to a gaming platform, like Super Mario being linked to the Nintendo video game system and the Final Fantasy series and the Sony Playstation.
However, the trend has been towards a decoupling of games from platforms. Hence Rage of Bahamut was a hit, but not specifically tied to specific game hardware.
Similarly, DeNA has seen an encouraging take up rate with Blood Brothers, which is now celebrating it’s one year anniversary.
With its slick graphics and game engine, the average player might not be aware that its game code was developed in Hanoi, Vietnam, and some of its art was also done in Vietnam.
On a strategy level, while some might attribute the success of a game to its art/creative aspects, Mr Mori said that’s not really the case.
The ART element of a game refers to its:
But what’s more important is the SCIENCE, or system behind the game, referring to its:
Special game events make a big difference to the game’s performance.
A well-planned event can double ARPU (average revenue per user) compared to a non-game driven period.
An event can be defined by the following criteria:
In the PvE context, these could include special global boss raids, treasure hunt type events.
Customisation and toggling/catering to player’s of different skill levels is also key.
With some planning, the following factors can be customised:
Key event design factors:
Making money from what you’re doing:
The size of your game’s userbase is not most important.
The player’s paid vs free player ratio is as important, if not more important.
Success game architecture:
Be sure to actively manage the game as a service (something you continually improve, enhance). The old way is thinking of a game as a product that you box up, ship out and never touch again).
I liked how Mr Mori finished off his presentation:
“Come and join DeNA as players, developers and employees!”
PS: If you decide to try out Blood Brothers on the ios (iphone, ipod, ipad) or Android platform (phone or tablets), you can use my invite code to unlock some nice goodies: 7RGWtR]]>
Despite fallout after Facebook started steadily imposing their 30% “tax” on in-game purchases last year, the Internet’s largest social network has seen a steady exodus of game publishers from the platform. On a rough basis, it feels like anywhere from 30-50% of hardcore players have chosen to move their game playing to dedicated game platforms like Zynga, Kongregate or MochiGames, or are playing on standalone game sites like Ninjakiwi or Armorgames.
Recent coverage in the Wall Street Journal has talked about the trend of major game launches fuelled by major ad budgets.
For example, mobile app developer ZeptoLab UK whose “Cut the rope” which was launched in 2010 on the back of mostly word-of-mouth viral marketing is now spending as much as $1 million on launching the latest version of their game, “Cut the Rope: Time Travel” boosted by tie-ins with Burger King which bundled the green Nom Om monster plush toy with their kids meals.
It’s not all for nothing either, as NPD group said mobile game sales topped $2 billion in 2012.
Another mobile app developer, Tokyo-based GungHo Online Entertainment, launched Puzzles & Dragons in Japan boosed by TV ads, an unusual marketing tactic for a smaller (in relation to major developers like Electrionic Arts and Blizzard) game developer.
So it’s probably an opportune time that Casual Connect is conducting another game development conference in Singapore. The event takes place later this month (May 21-23) at the ShangriLa Hotel.
A number of app developers are based in Singapore and in Southeast Asia, so there’ll be some good sessions during the event.
There’ll be reps from Facebook’s game publishing arm, PopCap Games (which publishes Plants vs Zombies) as well as local developers talking about their experience.
If you’re interested in game/app development, you should take a look at the Casual Connect Asia event website.
It was a great experience working with Sam Brachat, then Michelle Reid from Neverblue, as well as a great time of account managers (who’ve a great understanding of how advertisers structure their offers and the best ways to provide great lead quality and get onto accelerated payments).
Tips for aspiring affiliates: Work hard and probably more importantly, learn from your mistakes.
Almost every campaign will start off as a loss-making one. Being able to pare away losing keywords and high volume keywords with don’t have a chance of recouping what you’re paying in ad costs will only bring down your campaign.
Having a Vegas mentality that after spending $100-200 on a single keyword or url target or demographic, seeing zero to a handful of conversions is treating your business like a lottery and won’t help anyone (except maybe the ad network).
Get a book on statistics, read up on statistical significance, split testing. Learning the business, rather than learning how to use spy tools will give you a better competitive edge in the long term.
Is everyone gradually moving from promoting casual dating offers via adult traffic to mobile offers? Should you blindly follow them?
Are you a sheep? Can you think for yourself?
There’re still relatively new affiliates (3 years or less experience) who’re doing 3- to 4-figure profit days consistently working relatively unsexy verticals, stuff that isn’t widely discussed on affiliate blogs or forums.
I had a conversation the other day with a newer affiliate who asked “Should I be considering these offers? It’s not mentioned on the forums or blogs.”
Here’s a tip.
If you’re making a killing with a particular method or offer, should you:
1) Tweet about it, brag about how much you’re making and how you’re going to spend your earnings?
2) Post pictures about what you’ve just bought, go to the network’s facebook page and say “Thanks ABC affiliate manager, I’m making a killing with XYZ offer.”
3) Shut up about it and bank in silence.
You go figure it out.
Success has a lot to do with:
1) Figuring what works for you with the type of traffic you’re using and the offer you’re promoting
2) Coming up with a system to follow, so you’re going through a series of steps that make sense and maximise your chances of success and ability of scaling what you’re doing.
3) Repeating what you’re doing, being able to scale the traffic (at about the same quality level) that you’re sending to the offer.
The steps are easy, aren’t they? Being able to follow them is not.
Back to 2013: The past couple of months have been a little busy for me, with my older daughter starting primary school (grade school to you yanks) and working a couple of consulting gigs that had been backlogged.
In the next couple of weeks I’m working on:
1) Launching a resource site that will be useful for affiliates and product owners
2) Developing/revamping and launching/relaunching existing and new products/services.
3) Publishing some stuff for Amazon’s Kindle platform
4) Publishing new blog posts (hopefully more frequently than once a year).
So what’s on your plate for 2013?
PS: This is a new blog template, not everything is fixed yet. It should be…any day now.]]>
At first glance both words refer to a category or topic (like gardening, or finance, or games) that you hope to theme an online marketing campaign around…so it seems similar, but it’s not.
A niche in time…
Let’s look at some examples: A niche (variously pronounced as “nitch” or “neesh” depending on which side of the pond you’re on, or maybe how many beers you’ve had) is something specialized. So the stuff on Clickbank tends to serve a niche. For example “low calorie recipes to promote hair re-growth for vegans” would be a niche. “Dog training for hearing impaired pet owners” might be another niche. These tend to be specialist products with interest from a smaller subset of the Internet audience. The key driver of why this product does well is because the user can’t easily get this info or service elsewhere. After all, how easy is it going to be to find a book on “501 woodworking project for someone with zero technical skill”? So the $27 or $47 e-book on clickbank tends to find a ready audience.
In most cases these niche products tend to top out at a couple thousand in revenue per month. So to bank with these products, you’d usually have to market several of these types of products. If the products are related or complimentary, there exists opportunity to cross-sell and cross-promote, so you can, to borrow a phrase, “stack that money”. You might do this be cross-selling a range of photography books (outdoor photography, fashion photography, shooting kids (taking their photos, not going at them with an AWP…)). If you upsold stuff, you might sell camera paraphernalia, like camera equipment, online photo services, photo events, confences, workshops.
The times I’ve promoted niched products, I’ve felt like a sniper, shooting at demand for long tail demands for which people are willing to pay to make the pain go away, or bring themselves pleasure, or a combination of both.
Generally, you’d need to promote maybe 3 to 5 of these types of products to generate a decent income.
When promoting offers such as CPA offers, you’d realize that these tend to address big markets – dating, finance, gaming, downloads, travel, fashion – some of Neverblue’s top verticals. With verticals you’re dealing with entire sections of a market – within the finance vertical, you’d have credit cards, insurance, credit scores, financial profiles, stocks, mutual funds, forex, etc.
So when you promote a vertical, you’re addressing a potential market of millions (instead of just thousands in the case of most niche markets). The promo style is different too, which is why most CPA affiliates favor paid traffic.
You’d probably hear the familiar refrain that CPA marketing is a volume game. The more traffic you buy, the more leads you generate, the more you get paid.
In contrast to more specialized stuff, the key is to become a dominant player with each offer you promote. While niche marketers might be content with generating $5,000 per month with a niche product, the CPA marketer might aim at $5,000 per day or more in revenue to make their business model viable.
The CPA marketer is often arbitraging traffic. If your commissions exceed your traffic costs, you’re in the money. In most situations, you’d want to go for the offers with the highest potential in terms of traffic (ie: demand), scalability (how big you can grow the offer) and importantly for affiliates who think of themselves as business owners – your bottomline (how much it will put in your pocket at the end of the day).
My advice for newer affiliates is to find an offer that has potential to scale to something big and aim and work towards at least $1,000 or more a day in revenue. It’s only when you make this a goal in your overall business strategy that you will experience bump in your business and your profits.]]>