How Focus Produced My First Sale

Last Update: May 02, 2016

I've been on WA for just over 3 months, my site is almost that old and I've been an Amazon Affiliate for 2 months. I got my first sales last Thursday and Friday. One on Amazon US and 3 on Amazon France. So the prediction that I read somewhere here on WA soon after I joined has come true. It IS possible to start making money within 3 months. I say "within" because I choose to do this part-time. If I put in full-time hours that sale may have come sooner.


Focus

What I really want to discuss is the need to FOCUS - this is important for all of us, but especially for new comers.

I have focussed on having ONE website, One Affiliate association and TWO social networking sites.

And in a weird way I have found that this approach has made other same-niche affiliate bloggers into collaborators rather than competition.

One Website

My site, "Older Motorcycle Riders" is a mixture of motorcycle gear review articles and general motorcycle lifestyle articles. A ratio of about 3:1 (more reviews than articles). I decided to mix it up just for the sheer enjoyment of writing in a wider context about my passion. Maybe it could be argued that this is a loss of focus - maybe if I wrote only reviews my first sale would have come sooner....

But I don't think so - my lifestyle articles have attracted just as much traffic as my reviews and I can still include affiliate links in those articles.

My earlier articles were far too short and, in a word, c***p. But I'll keep them and will go back to rework at least some of them at some point. I started three months ago by churning articles out without much thought about my readership. I was learning about keywords and getting to grips with the technicalities of my WP dashboard. My head was in a whirl and I never envisaged that I'd be writing THIS blog.

Nowadays I write fewer articles - 2 a week instead of 5 or 6. They are longer and have proved to be much stronger in terms of reader captivation, keeping visitors on my site and SEO power. I have quite a few page one articles. And they have produced my first sales. Search engine entries onto my site are growing steadily.

One Affiliate Association

I applied for various niche-related affiliate programs and I was accepted on to all of them. However, I found that I was spending a lot of time learning about how to use them and how to integrate them into my site. This took me away from writing content.

So, I shelved the bespoke motorcycle luggage, motorcycle hire and motorcycle tour affiliate programs for now. I will go back to them when my site is more mature and I have a lot more "evergreen" content. I made a point of writing to my contact person on each program and got very supportive replies.

I also decided against having google ads on my site. I don't like the look of them and personally, I've never clicked on a google ad .... so, not for me ....

Amazon Affiliates is where I've put all my eggs, so to speak. Yes, I know the adage about the danger of putting all one's eggs into one basket. But, Amazon is a safe bet. It has a huge customer base and it's so easy to add links. I have a plugin that automate the links in my text and another that makes my Amazon links world-wide so I don't lose a sale if somebody from, say, the UK clicks on my US Amazon links (proof, the 3 items sold via Amazon France following a click-through on my site).

Two Social Networks

I set up G+, Twitter and Facebook accounts when those processes came up as part of the training here on WA.

Twitter and G+ are really working for me. Twitter is where I really get a lot of great niche-related followers and interaction. G+ grows quickly and I get a lot of good SEO juice from there. It is important to stay as niche focussed as possible and both communities will repost what they consider good content. It's important to do the same for your followers. I'm slowly collecting a lot of evergreen niche related articles from other blogs that I regularly re-tweet and repost on G+. I do this at a ratio of 4 posts by other people to one of mine. Every blog post that I've reposted/ re-tweeted I have commented on. I am beginning to get comments back as a result. All these comments are niche-related comments from niche-related blogs and all give me great back-links.

I have a FB profile and a FB page - both strictly niche related. I have had hundreds of followers join me in just a few weeks but I rarely log in. I've not taken to this platform. But I'll keep both FB pages. As my site matures they may well prove important. My posts and other niche related stuff that I like from around the Web get posted to both FB pages automatically.

I worked hard to set up a system in which I can do all of this and a little more ... in just 15 to 30 minutes 5 times a week (live contact) and one 2 hour session once a month (when I set up a month's worth of reposts of evergreen content). I shall write about this in another blog - or maybe even venture into my first WA training ....

As a result of sharing good content and mixing it up with my own content on Twitter and G+ I am getting increasing organic traffic.

FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS .......

  • Don't be tempted to have lots of websites just because you can here via the WA system.
  • Stay niche-focussed when you write and mix up the types of niche-focussed articles on your site.
  • Choose which social networking platforms you ENJOY and have strictly niche-focussed accounts on them. Have separate personal and niche-focussed accounts.
  • Being strictly niche-focussed you will find all sorts of great contacts, ideas and opportunities falling into your lap.
  • Being strictly niche-focussed you will find loads of evergreen content on other blogs which you can comment on. Then you promote those blogs on your blogs and via your social networking. You will get comments back .... it takes time, but it works.
  • With your focus on your one niche site, your one affiliate association and your niche-focussed social networking - the competition seems so much less. WHY? Because you are working in collaboration with them. I've had somebody who also promotes motorcycle gear via Amazon promote posts of mine with Amazon links for motorcycle gear.

Plenty of time to set up another site a year or so down the line when your first niche site is bringing in a good monthly income.



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laurenjean Premium
Wow Julie, fabulous post. I am so excited to learn about that Amazon plug in. Was wondering how to access Amazon UK customers having only signed up for Amazon US. Is it just a wp plugin or are there further steps I need to take?
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jastewart Premium
Hi Lauren, and thank for reading and for your comment.

It's a WP plugin - "Amazon Link Engine" by GeoRiot Networks. It is free and by itself will localize your Amazon links is somebody clicks on one from, say, the UK. BUT to actually earn from that process you also need a GeniusLink account - also free (and link is in the Amazon Link Engine documentation. You then earn from those links. But it's also best to then join the Amazon Programs for each country that you want to and add you Amazon Ids into your GeniusLink dashboard. I'm signed up to 7 Amazon Affiliate Programs and it feels great to be able to say so in a text box on my site so that people know they'll be redirected to their Amazon region on-line site.

It's easy to set all of this up. I did it! The set up instructions are really clear. Get the plugin as usual from within your WP dasboard - PlugIns - Add New and search for Amazon Link Engine.
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laurenjean Premium
Thank you Julie. I've taken the first step - added the plugin. Will get cracking on the next steps! Hope I find it as easy as you did. ;)
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laurenjean Premium
Hi Julie, Ok, I signed up for Genius Link this morning and just joined the Amazon programs for Canada, UK and EU, but now I can't login to my Genius Link account to add Amazon details - Genius Link says they are still building my account. Did you also experience a delay before you could go ahead and link everything?
PS. I just noticed that Amazon Germany and Italy rejected my application to become an affiliate after reviewing my website.
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jastewart Premium
It will work fine I'm sure.
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jastewart Premium
I've answered this via our PMs - but I'll give the answer here for others who may fly by and wonder .....


..... yes, it did take time for Genius Link to build the account. I'm in Europe and the time difference meant that it wasn't ready until my next working day. So, forget about it until tomorrow.

If I remember right, I also had to clear my cache because I kept getting the "account being built" message (or words to that effect) from GL.

Re: being rejected. I'd ask them to reconsider. I was accepted by all the programs I applied for except France (where I live ! ) - I wrote to ask them to reconsider and I said that if the problem was that my site's language is English they need to know that I specifically target the English-speaking ex-pat communities (I don't necessarily ...). Then they accepted me.

Genius Link is free unless you want more detailed reports from them. Details here : https://wordpress.org/plugins/amazon-link-engine/faq/

Even though it is free for us I found their support excellent. It was they who suggested I clear my cache for example.

Once your account with GL is "built" you then add you Amazon Affiliate ID for each account.

Stick with it. I am seeing click-throughs from Amazon.com to other, regional, Amazon stores.
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laurenjean Premium
Thanks so much Julie, and for your PM's
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RayAleksandr Premium
Hi Julie, thanks for the great post and advice.

And well-done for the first sales, that's great! I've thinking about ditching the Google ad from my sites as well, earned £5 in the last 6 months from it, better than nothing but no I don't like the look of it either, very ugly.

Your site's looking so impressive now, congrats!
Ray
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jastewart Premium
Aw, thank you Ray for your kind words. I think I made the right choice in not having google ads, they look so messy I think. In fact, I think it was my mentor here (who I signed up under) who told me that he never uses them .... so I copied him.
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abe17 Premium
Hi Julie,
thanks for the post and advice,
best wishes,
Graham:-)
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jastewart Premium
Hello Abe, Thank you for reading and for your good wishes.
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TonyHamilton Premium
Wonderful advice Julie and congratulations on your focus bringing your first 3 sales via Amazon my Friend. Keep sharing & caring, Tony
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jastewart Premium
Thank you Tony, Ambassadors like you and JudeP, with your experience also helped (and still help) me a lot
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JudeP Premium
Great information, thanks for sharing :)
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jastewart Premium
Thank you Jude - I wanted to YELL OUT that it works ...
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