The Money

The Money "Is Not" in the List Anymore…

…or is it?

Recently published data seems to indicate that Facebook fan pages are quickly becoming a better vehicle with which to reach your prospects than the decades-old tradition of email marketing. At a minimum, they are becoming at least as viable as email marketing.

Is the money still "in the list"? The answer may, for the first time in a long time, be "no".

Facebook fan page reach often outperforms traditional email marketing open rates by as much as 38%. Post engagement often outperforms email marketing click-through rates, and negative feedback on Facebook posts are, on average, 1/7 of the number of email unsubscribes. Fan page engagement is also often more cost effective than maintaining an email list.

Based on the above statistics, it does, in fact, appear that social media may be poised to soon overtake traditional email marketing as the best strategy for engaging both current and potential customers / readers.

Understanding Facebook Engagement vs Reach

Understanding Facebook Engagement vs Reach

If you plan on using Facebook to drive traffic to your website (you ARE doing this, right?), you need to understand the relationship between Engagement and Reach because if you don’t, you may be one of the marketers whining on the forums about your piddling 2% reach and complaining about needing to used boosted posts to reach your audience.  Don’t be that guy (or girl).

Post Engagement

Engagement is a pretty broad term.  The engagement metric encompasses any interaction a person has with your posts.  Likes, shares, clicks, and comments are all common forms of engagement – and they are all important to a successful Facebook presence.  The more post engagement your Facebook content generates, the better – because it fosters a community and relationship with your fans.  Your goal should be to drive as much engagement as possible.

Facebook Reach

Reach is defined as the number of fans who see a given post on your Facebook page and it is measured as a percentage.  For example, a post that is seen by 100 of your 1000 fans is considered to have a reach of 10% (1000 divided by 100).  While some Facebook pages see a typical reach of 10%-20%, other experience a much, much higher reach.  Some see much, much lower reach (less than 4%).

Although Facebook has made changes to its algorithm to cut down on reach in general, many Facebook pages continue to thrive with outstanding reach.  Why is that?

The Relationship

Facebook wants to ensure that users are sharing useful and wanted content and they are willing to reward those who do so.  That reward is improved Reach.  As such, the relationship between Engagement and Reach is pretty straightforward – as Engagement improves, so does Reach.  It’s really that simple.

Because of the direct relationship between these two metrics, it is critical that the Facebook page owner continues to provide quality content that is interesting to his fan base.  Otherwise, reach will plummet and traffic will dry up.

Don’t Be Fake!

Now that you understand the relationship between engagement and reach, you should understand why fake likes are so detrimental to a Facebook page.  In case you still don’t get it, let me explain.

Let’s assume you go out and purchase 1000 fake likes from some Fiverr seller for your new fan page.  Since these likes are all fake, very few of the “fans” are going to interact with your fan page content at all, producing a terrible engagement metric for your page.  If you are lucky, you may get a handful of interactions (post likes, shares, etc) – let’s assume you get five.

Why would Facebook reward you with higher reach when your content clearly is unimportant to your “fans”?

Now, on the flip side, let’s assume, instead, that you’ve run a solid Facebook “Like” campaign and built up an following of 1000 REAL fans.  Since these fans are genuinely interested in your content, they are far more likely to interact with the content.  Instead of receiving 5 engagements, you may see 10x or 20x that amount.

As a result, Facebook will reward you with a much better reach when you post to your fan page.

So…  Before you start trying to drive traffic with Facebook, make sure you have a plan to build a REAL fan base and to provide quality content to that fan base.

This is Why You are Failing as an Amazon Affiliate

This is Why You are Failing as an Amazon Affiliate

There are lots of reasons one can fail as an Amazon (or CJ, Linkshare, ShareASale, etc) affiliate. However, some reasons are more obvious than others.

Listed below are some of the more major reasons I’ve seen for folks failing at affiliate marketing (especially Amazon). 

You are targeting products that you can’t possibly rank for…

So you want to earn monster commissions in the HDTV niche eh? Well, so does everyone else. If you rely on organic search for traffic, stop promoting "Best Sellers" and popular items. Everyone and their grandmom is doing this. Unless you can rank above the fold on page one in Google, your product reviews just aren’t going to be seen. Instead, go after the less-competitive products in the same niche.

You are spending more time on backlinks and less time creating content…

If you need to spend 5 hours per day building backlinks just to rank your product reviews, you are really making life difficult for yourself. There is so much low-hanging fruit to chase that I never understood why people chase generic, high-traffic / high-competition terms that require such effort to rank for. Target lower-competition stuff and spend more time writing content for your site and less time trying to rank. You will have far fewer grey hairs and results will be realized more quickly.

You are not targeting "buying" phrases…

Sure, the term "HDTVs" will get you a TON of traffic (if you can even rank for it). However, how many people who are searching for that term are going to actually buy anything anytime soon? I’ll answer for you – not many. Stop targeting "traffic" and start targeting "buying" traffic. Think about what terms you would search for when researching something you were ready to purchase. Those are the terms you should be targeting.

Your content is not compelling…

If I am searching for information about a product I am ready to buy and I land on your site and I’m immediately greeted with a wall of text, I’m clicking my "back" button. For Pete’s sake, break it up! Add some images! Add some paragraphs! A wall of 800 words just isn’t appealing to me. By the same token, please don’t tell me 4-slice toasters are great or that I can toast more slices of bread faster. Stop with the mundane details. Give me something useful. 

Oh, and PLEASE don’t just repeat what Amazon is saying. Chances are VERY GOOD that I’ve ALREADY been to the product page on Amazon. I already know what they are saying about it. At least give me YOUR opinion on what Amazon/others are saying about the product. Simply parroting what Amazon already said is not helpful to me.

You are promoting things that people simply do not buy online…

I realize that "anything" can be bought online. That said, some things just aren’t as conducive to online shopping as other things. Some things are simply too expensive for many to trust buying online. Some stuff requires the buyer to try it on. Some stuff is just cheaper at a brick and mortar. Think about what you are trying to promote and ask yourself if people really buy it online.

You are promoting things that you know nothing about…

I just thought of this one. Please folks, know something about what you are promoting. If you know nothing about HDTVs, either learn about them first or simply do not promote them. It becomes painfully clear in your wording when you have no idea what you are talking about. Your visitors can tell.

I’m sure there are others and I’ll add them as I think of them. That said, address the few mentioned above and you will give yourself a much better chance of success.

Amazon Versus ClickBank – Who Wins?

I often see people arguing over which affiliate program is better. Is Amazon the better opportunity or is ClickBank? The argument invariably boils down to commission rates. While Amazon offers commission rates of anywhere between four and 8%, ClickBank often offers commissions in excess of 75%. On the surface, the 75% commission sounds like the better deal. However, is it really?

While ClickBank offers much higher commissions there are other factors to consider in addition to commissions. Conversion rates are a critical component to consider when comparing the two. For example what good is a 75% commission rate if the conversion rate is one out of every 1000? When trying to determine which is better you need to consider both pieces of information (conversion rate and commission).

The strength of Amazon is the site’s ability to convert visitors into buyers. More often than not, your job as an Amazon affiliate is to simply get the visitor to Amazon and let Amazon handle the conversions. However, as a ClickBank affiliate, you often need to pre-sell your traffic before sending them to the product’s landing page. You will often miss out on sales if you do not do a good job of pre-selling your traffic. For these reasons, I prefer Amazon. I’d much rather simply have to get traffic to the product that I am promoting than have to presell.

For me, Amazon is the better program. What do you think? Why?