“It is wrong and immoral to seek to escape the consequences of one’s acts.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
Project earnings report:
Total off of Amazon For A Penny: $11.12.
I ended up falling about $29 short of my $30 goal. While Amazon For A Penny had been incredibly successful on Reddit, it had some difficulty transferring over as a blog. There wasn’t as much traffic, and people didn’t click through links just for the sake of killing time. In contrast, my two remaining affiliate links that are on Reddit made one tenth of what the blog did. They’ve been sitting there forever and I still get money from them.
While internet gurus love to talk about affiliate marketing, it’s one of the harder ventures that I do. While you can make money off of it, and a lot of people are very successful, I just have a difficult time doing really well. When I write articles I make between $13 and $35 an hour. As long as I actually sit down and type I’m guaranteed that money. With affiliate marketing there’s a huge chance that you’ll make absolutely nothing.
Although I have a difficult time with affiliate blogs, I do still plan on making five of them this year. As long as I can make a few sales a month and get some traffic, the sites will all be worth something if I want to sell them. Right now I can get five figures for 30 Days To X, if I could sell one other site for half of that, I’d be happy.
What I did wrong with my site (and how you can avoid this mistake).
My biggest problem with Amazon For A Penny was the fact that I tried to fight too many battles on too many fronts. I made a Twitter account for it. Dropped a commercial, and did Reddit promotions. Going back I’d have just focused on one of those things. I spread myself too thin.
My second biggest problem was content. All of my posts relied on people clicking through and then buying something that wasn’t the product. While this worked on my original Reddit version, where bored teenagers and office drones clicked every link they could find just to kill time, it didn’t do so well here. On Reddit every post was a picture and a funny tagline. “Spend a penny to watch Hans shoot first” linking to an old Star Wars VHS would get traffic. A guy would click the link to see more and end up aimlessly browsing Amazon. He’d end up buying a cheese grater and I’d get the commission on it.
By having full posts I lost that click bait appeal. people could click a post and know exactly what was in store. I lost a lot of the mystery that my first version of Amazon For A Penny had.
Would I do it again?
While I didn’t make much money, I would go back and write some more posts. Making stuff for the site was fun. It was a vacation from writing about software or tech companies. I got to goof off and write about silly things.
Additionally, Amazon For A Penny did better in its second month than this site did. I put a lot of effort into Thirty Days To X when I was starting it, and didn’t do nearly as well. With this site I phoned it in and earned twice as much.
While there is nothing wrong with having an affiliate site or generating a passive income, I still think that freelancing is a better way to make money. I can earn more in an hour of work writing than I can from running an affiliate blog. If I worked a full 40 billable hours a week as a freelancer, which I don’t yet due to the amount of time it takes to find clients, I’d make roughly $4,000. Even back when I first started on Fiverr I’d make more in a day than 30 Days To X would make in an entire week. Having a skill like writing or drawing is just as, if not more, lucrative as running an affiliate site. While I’d still like to make a profitable niche site, I’m going to continue to focus on writing.
Since my inbox has been getting spammed with people asking basic questions about everything from blogging to eBook creation, I’m going to spend the next 30 days writing about entry level stuff that anyone can get into. I think that it’s going to be both informative and engaging.