Amazon Update: May 2014

Earnings

Amazon
Units Sold: 911
Gross Sales: $11,043.22
Profit (Money Banked): $4,499.12
Clickbank
Affiliate Commissions: $1,122.61

Total (Banked): $5,621.73

Not as big a increase as I’d like, but at least still moving in the right direction.

Feedback

amazon-seller-feedback

I passed 100 seller feedbacks this month. Feedbackfive is really giving me good results here.

As for products feedback, the reviews are coming in slowly and getting some nice traction. I’ve had a couple bad reviews this month but managed to negotiate with the customers and got them taken off.

SEO

No ranking or movement here.

Amazon UK

I have signed up for amazon.co.uk, an EU account. The account is still not active yet as I’m waiting for address verification. This is proving to be difficult as they require a utility bill with the address. I’m working on getting this done.

The goal here is to duplicate my products/listings from my USA account over to the EU. Since I already have a supplier getting started should be reasonably easy once my account gets approved.

What Next?

It’s time to create some new listings now and add some more products. I’m very comfortable with my current range but would like to earn more.

I went to the mall last week and came back with a list of about 20 possible products. I’ve gone through amazon and narrowed the list down. I have my sourcing agent in China looking for sources now and getting quotes for me.

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Amazon Update: April 2014

Earnings Report

Amazon Earnings Jan - April 2014

Amazon Earnings Jan – April 2014

Units Sold: 889
Groos Product Sales: $10007.57
Profit (Money Banked): $4225.68
Clickbank Earnings: $690.95
TOTAL: $4916.63

I’ve started to include my affliate income on these posts now. I usually get 4 figures from this source, but April was a slow month for affiliate earnings. As for Amazon however, it’s been a good 4th month for me here, nearly doubled last month’s Amazon profits and hit +10k in gross sales.

My average profit per item sold on Amazon jumped by $1.31 which helped massively increase the amount of profit I reaped compared to the number of extra sales.

The increase in profitability is mainly due to two factors:
1. My buying agent finding me cheaper sources.
2. Slightly increasing my prices across the board on a few selected items.

SEO Results

The SEO I did for my listings hasn’t increased my Google rankings for any of my keywords. The URLs have some awesome links and they theoretically should be ranking. But, they’re not.

I’m not investing any more money into this side of things until it shows some rankings. I’m looking forward to the next Google Page Rank Update. We’ll see….

Amazon Advertising

amazon advertising results

Amazing ROI Forom Amazon Advertising!

The results from doing Amazon advertising are incredible. Spending $13 to make $627.54. I’ll do that deal all day long! If you’re not doing advertising on Amazon, you need to get in there NOW.

Reviews

I have sent a lot of my products to professional reviewers in the Top 100 reviewers list. The reviews are trickling in and seem to be having a positive effect.

I hired someone on Odesk to troll the list and input all the names and email addresses for the Top 1000 reviewers into a spreadsheet for me. $25 well spent there. The list is awesome. I’m keeping track on there who and what I send out and what reviews come in.

My seller rating is continuing to grow strong. I have had a few negative product reviews this month, but they posted them as seller reviews, so once I submitted a ticket to Amazon they all were removed, yay!

The reviews I get from using Feedbackfive are great. I’ll keep my subscription with them for sure too.

Where To From Here?

It’s hard to make goals since things are happening so fast. However one thing I definitely have in the pipeline is teaching others where I live to do what I do. Since I’ve started this heaps of people have been asking me about it. I do tell them about PAC and have affiliate links on my website. However, I’m possibly thinking of running some workshops.

As for my own sales, who knows. As long as things keep increasing I’ll be happy.

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Amazon Update: March 2014

March Earnings

Amazon March Earnings

Amazon March Earnings

Sales: 657
Profit: $2261.74 (Gross Sales $6827.35)

Interesting thing this month is that my gross sales actually dropped but I still made more profit. This is due to the cheaper sourcing costs because of my new buying agent in China.

I’m slowly coming to terms with how slow this business is. Shipping, production and product listing growth all take a lot more time than I realised.

Seller Feedback

Amazon Seller Feedback Stats

Amazon Seller Feedback Stats

Since I started using Feedback Five I am getting a lot of positive seller feedback. I think the way the automated emails go out, it seems to favor seller feedbacks as opposed to product feedback. At the moment I’m happy with this, but may change the email structure soon to generate more product feedbacks.

Amazon Advertising PPC

Amazon Advertising PPC Results

Amazon Advertising PPC Results

I’ve started doing Amazon PPC for some of my more established and well stocked products. The results so far are excellent. As you can see from above, the ROI is amazing. I will definitely be expanding more into this area. The key for me is finding high traffic buyer keywords which convert for my particular products.

SEO For Amazon Products

I started this last month, but realised early this month that I made very big mistake. I used the wrong URL. I didn’t realise that there were multiple URLs for every listing and the one Amazon directs you to through your seller account is not usually the one Google will index and give the highest rankings.

For example, seller central shows me:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/asinnumber

But if you Google your product title to see which URL Google is ranking, and the one you should be doing SEO for you find something like this:

http://www.amazon.com/Your-Product-Title-Here/dp/asinnumber

The first URL (top) is the one I did SEO for first. This is wrong because the second one is the one Google ranks. It can also contain, if you set up your product correctly, your main keyword. This will give you a huge leg-up in the SERPs. Add to that the fact that Amazon.com is a huge authority domain and you have a recipe for success.

I’ll be doing some more SEO for my products once I have lots of stock there to cope with traffic. No use getting traffic if there ain’t anything to buy eh.

Goals For Next Month

My goal for this month is to have ALL my products ‘In Stock’ and selling. I think by May I will have achieved this. I’m not going to add anymore new products to my inventory at this stage, even though I do have a list of products I’m going to investigate.

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Amazon Going Gangbusters!

Amazon Stats Feb 2014

Amazon Sales Feb 2014

Since I’m doing something new, selling on Amazon, I’m feeling more inspired to write in my blog more often. Here’s the latest update from my February sales.

Sales: 538
Profit: $1765.79 (Gross Sales $6902.81)

This profit has jumped a lot in just one month, so I’m pretty excited about that. Especially with the ridiculously small amount of time and effort I put into it. Added to the fact that not even half my products are in stock, I can hardly wait until things are going full steam.

One of the best things I’ve done this month is employ a buying agent in China. I hired her through Odesk and it is working out great. A native chinese speaker is able to negotiate and find much better deals and options than any westerner can. I have already saved a considerable amount of money on sourcing.

Anyway, I’ll keep this short and hopefully be back again next month with even bigger news!

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New Income Stream: Selling On Amazon!

Amazon FBAWow! It’s been way too long since I last wrote a blog post here. Ever since Google Penguin I’ve been kinda lazy. Affiliate marketing is still bringing in some decent money (down to 4 figures now :() and I spend only about 2 days per month on this now. I’ve kept ALL my websites as they still bring in traffic. As long as they keep making $$$ there’s no need to not renew them. Domains and hosting are dirt cheap.

Anyway, the newest thing I’m doing is selling physical products on Amazon through their FBA program. When I say physical products, I just mean things you can actully touch and use as opposed to ebooks, software and digital content (affiliate marketing). Selling through FBA means Amazon handles all of the shipping and customer support. All I have to do is send the stock into Amazon and they sell it for me on amazon.com.

I only started doing this in late October 2013, but already have made some good profit. January profits were $302.42. Might not seem like much, but the hours required to do this are less than one day a month. What makes me even more excited is that when I started affiliate marketing, it took me a lot longer to become profitable and really “get it”. With Amazon though it’s much easier so the progression will (hopefully) expediated.

The job basically comes down to finding good products which you can source from China or wholesale. There are a few criteria in terms of profitability and specifications, to make the shipping process easier. I’m actually possibly thinking of running local courses about how to sell on Amazon. Anyway, we’ll see how it goes for February and March.

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Negative SEO on My Site

I can’t believe this! I just checked my site backlinks in my WMT account and found that someone has created 40,296 backlinks to my site from the domain miningwise.com.

Negative SEO Example

Screenshot from WMT showing the negative SEO to my site

Unbelievable! I mean this site was already down due the Penguin update anyway. What really shakes me up is that there are some guys out there actually doing this stuff now.

I checked the site and it is definitely a splog. Crappy spun articles, which is probably the purpose of it really as to NAIL my site in the serps.

Looking at the whois the domain is registered to prime domains located in NY. I just did a quick search for them and couldn’t find any contact or business details. More worrying than that is that I found they have already been identified in a phishing scam. Here’s the link: http://www.phishtank.com/phish_detail.php?phish_id=1247412&frame=details

Bottom line, it’s hard to say what effect this had had on my site since it was already a bit down. I haven’t received any WMT link notifications for any of my sites, but I may be expecting something soon from this site. We’ll see….

 

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Penguin Update: Where To From Here?

I’m afraid the day has come. A lot of my business relied on organic search traffic from Google and unfortunately with the latest Penguin update a lot of that traffic has disappeared.

Some of my sites which had secure #1 rankings for over 2 years have dropped drastically. This is the most serious algorithm update I’ve experienced since I’ve been doing this business.

Penguin Killing My Site

The site in the image above has ranked #1 for over 2 years for the main keyword and has over 20 pages of uniquely written content which also ranked (past tense :-(…) in the top 10 for their respective keywords. As with all my sites they all have a lot of strong social signals (all real) including likes, +1’s and tweets etc… My data from Google analytics shows lower than 50% bounce rates and an average of around 1:30 minutes on-site per visitor. Unfortunately this obviously isn’t enough for Google. Something I’m doing triggered the latest algo to penalize these sites. This result is typical for most of my sites.

The bad news for me is that I’m going to have to suspend some of writers and VA’s. I’m sorry guys, but my business costs just won’t cover you now. It’s time to downsize and consolidate. Until the dust settles, there is really no need to continue building backlinks or make new pages for my sites (some may disagree with this). But, really creating new content on sites which are penalized is not productive. I don’t see any reason to continue building links until I know that this strategy still works.

My diagnosis: I’ve been reading a lot of opinions on what flags/triggers people think are causing the drop in rankings. Here’s my opinions based on what I’m seeing on my own sites.

Keyword stuffing: I don’t do keyword stuffing in meta tags or on-page. However, I do use the keyword in the title tags, URL and meta description. As this is one of the things being thrown around I’m going to change one of my sites by removing/changing these things and see what happens.

Brand / High PR authority sites: Looking at some of the search results in my various niches I can see that there is not a disproportionate number of authroity sites dominating the rankings. The results I see show the usual mix of exact match domains, affiliate sites and so forth. So the idea that these types of sites are getting more weight in the rankings is not something I agree with.

Anchor text backlinks: This is what I think is definitely included in the new algorithm. I do have a fair share of these types of backlinks because they used to be ‘the best backlinks you can get’, now the opposite seems to be true. Unfortunately, it’s virtually impossible to remove all of these links. If this is hurting me (which I think is highly likely), my search traffic is effectively gone.

So, where to from here….

I don’t see it as productive to try and resurrect my rankings since there is no way to know what to do to gain my rankings back. Here’s a brief outline of what I’m going to do;

1. I did after Panda, but the first thing I did was cancel ALL of my blog network subscriptions. I also seriously looked at thee other services and subscriptions I use and ditched the ones to do with link building ( I cn always pick them up again if this strategy still works later).

2. Change the meta tags, title tags and meta descriptions on 1 site only. This is for me to determine whether it’s worth while changing the on-page facotrs for the rest of my sites. I’ll probably choose my most authority site. If that site site doesn’t go back, it’s probably going to be an off-page factor (not in my control).

3. The main thing to do is change the focus to my non-Google traffic sources. I’ve been getting good results with answer sites, YouTube and other social media sites. I’m going to start investing more time and energy in this direction.

Hopefully, by NOT worrying about search engine traffic, it might come back anyway. If my sites start doing great again, they’d hopefully be hard for Google to ignore (well, that’s the theory?). If they don’t rank again, so be it, but this time I’ve definitely learnt my lesson.

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Black SUV For Sale – Nissan X-Trail

My X-Trail

My X-Trail

We are leaving Brunei so we’re selling our baby below market value! We absolutely love this car. It’s a dream to drive and had served us very well here. We’re sad to have to get rid of it.

When we first got to Brunei we were only looking to spend 10k, but luckily for us we decided to spend a bit more to get something nicer. I’m glad we did because in Brunei you spend A LOT of time in your car! Having a nice car is worth its weight in gold.

Here’s the boring stuff;

Nissan X-Trail 2001 – SUV – Black – Automatic – 2500cc Petrol – Beige Interior – 180km

Asking price: $12.5k
Nissan  has given Market Value of $16k

Service record at Nissan Boustead
Available: 12th Dec 2011 (deposit required)

Full service Oct 2011 at Nissan;
– New battery
– 2 x new tyres
– 4 x new spark plugs
– Full cooling system flush
– Oil change, filters etc…
– Road tax / insurance paid until 09/12
– Only 2 owners

Call or TXT Neville on 7103657

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Planning and Monitoring for Clickbank Success

I’m in the middle of my beach holiday writing this post, but I just read a sad post on another forum which moved me to get these thoughts down on paper (keyboard?).

The most important thing to do in this business is to have a clear set of goals and then come up with a plan of action to follow to achieve these goals. This involves more than just writing down ‘I want to make $1000 a month’. A goal without a plan is just a dream. Goals should be achievable and you should be able to see, at least, a realistic way of how you’re going to achieve it.

Once you have a goal, usually in IM this will be a monetary goal. The next step is to reverse engineer what you need to do in order to achieve this goal. This will be your plan. Using Clickbank Analytics (under the reporting tab) this step is very easy. Let me explain.

Once you’ve been promoting Clickbank products for awhile you will have compiled some very valuable information. My advice is, if you’re not doing it already, to keep a monthly spreadsheet of all of the main KPI’s (key performance indicators). The main ones to monitor are # of hops, net sales and total sales amount. Personally I also add in others like order form impressions and average sale value. This is a task I do myself at the end of every month. You simply change the date range to last month and download the CSV file.

I simply copy the bits I want from this file to my master spreadsheet and they will automatically be added to my overall stats. Monitoring in this way is essential to both my continued goal setting and also is a great motivational tool. The numbers don’t lie, statistics give you a lot of power!

Now here’s how to use this info. Firstly, you need to use these numbers to calculate your conversion rate as a percentage (# of sales / # of hops * 100). Next up, work out your average sale value (total $ sales / # of sales), and finally I also like to work out the earnings per hop (total $ sales / # of hops). Now I’m not gonna hold back here. Here’s a close indication of my own stats for use as an example;

Conversion rate: 1%
Average sale value:$25
Earnings per hop:0.23c

Now here’s how to use this data. A conversion rate of 1% means that I get one sale for every 100 hops I generate. So, if I want to make $100 a day I need to generate 400 hops per day. Yes, it’s this easy if you keep good stats! Working it out the other way 100 hops multiplied by 23c per hop gives me $23 per day (almost the same result worked out differently).

Can you see how easy goal setting can be if you use these stats? To make $1000 a day on Clickbank I’d need to generate 4000 hops.

The good thing about keeping these stats is that these numbers get more and more reliable the longer you track them. You can also keep stats for each product/offer you run, it’s really up to you.

Clickbank, Amazon and I’m sure most other sites offer these stats for free, so if you’re not using them yet, you’d better move your ass!

 

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Clickbank Conversion Rates Bombing This Week?!?!

I’ve been on holiday for most of the last week, but as always I’ve found a way to check in on my clickbank stats daily, and I have to say that it hasn’t been good at all!

I track my stats monthly and have my own spreadsheet. My historical hops per order number is 51 (I make a sale every 51 hops I generate). My earnings per hop is $0.48 which I’m quite happy with.

The start of this month (March 2011) has been quite good for me going along at this similar pace. But in the last 7 days I haven’t made a single affiliate sale AT ALL! Unbelievable!

I’ve done 393 hops during this time frame and going by historical stats I should have made at least $188.

I’ve checked my links and they’re all intact. I know this anyway because I’m still receiving data in my clickbank analytics. However, it seems strange for me that these sites are just not converting this week. I wonder what’s going on?

My goal is still to make US$100 a day. I know that I need to generate 1500 hops per week to achieve this mark and I’m getting to closer to it every week.

Hopefully, the CB stats don’t any worse for me or this figure will probably go up.

 

 

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