In his tutorial from May, Jay gives estimates for earning with a keyword. So here is what he gives:

And here are the faces of the audience when they hear such a low value:

I am going to argue here that the reality is much worse. How I know? I apply it on my own sites, and so can you too.

1. Searches are rarely so high, instead of 1000 realistically it is below 100. His own examples show that; "football snack helmets" are with 64 only, and one of his helmets "baltimore ravens football helmet" is with only 72 monthly searches.

Note, we go after long-tail keyword, so naturally searches are lower. So take 1/10 of his value (at best). This is 100.

2. Commission rate on Amazon is always below the assumed value, but OK keep this as it is, Amazon is not the only one.

3. He speaks about 17% of traffic if you are ranked on the top position (or within the top 3). But how many people can count on the ranking positions 1-3, and for how many posts?

4. Further, the mentioned 2% conversion rate. This is too high. Say you have 10% click on links rate, and 10% of these who click will buy something. These are very high numbers in both cases. The result is that 1% of visitors will buy something. Realistically, it is probably lower, say 0.5%.


So here are my results:

a) $100 value of the item. This is probably close to my stuff.
b) Commission rate 10% gives $10.
c) 100 people searching for the keyword (instead of 1000).
d) 17% of them come to your site. This is 17 people out of 100 who search for the keyword.
e) 1% "convert", which means 0.17 people.
f) Monthly Keyword Profit is b) multiplied by e). This gives $1.7 or even half of it for Amazon commission rate.

When I apply these numbers to my 2 sites with 30% and 15% posts ranked in the top 3 in Google, I get that they are too-pessimistic roughly by a factor 5. So the value should be around $7 - $8.

But remember, there are also other posts, in fact the majority, that are not top-ranked and that are not included here. They also may bring some traffic and bring me closer to my own values of $7 - $8 (but not much closer).

So my own case is 5 times above my estimate, and it is 4-5 times smaller than Jay's estimate, it is roughly half-way in between the two estimates.

So the bottom line is: it is terribly hard. You need a lot of stuff, hundreds or thousands of posts, and many of them top ranked. My own ranking is very strong and yet the results are not so great. Check your own.

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SondraM Premium
Excellent analysis. I read some thing a while back that suggested this is the reason why affiliate marketers should eventually try to get a number of websites running. Your income will rise faster if it is coming from a multiple websites.

Selling your own products or services is also more profitable than marketing someone else's. However, same principle applies. Small sales require significant volume.
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jvranjes Premium
Thank you Sondra, there is a lot in what you are saying about more websites. You are right, I have been thinking about that recently and have been in search for some appropriate niche. It becomes hard to maintain them, I write texts myself.
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SondraM Premium
You are correct, maintaining them is a huge challenge. Just try to pick something you enjoy at least occasionally

Even worse, is not setting Amazon individual tracking ids up correctly and then not being able to figure out which site the sale came from.

Yesterday, I was just happy that one of my sites produced a sale resulting in a $2.60 commission. This is happening more frequently.

One step at a time.
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jvranjes Premium
In the beginning I made such a mess with tracking IDs. Now it is clear for each site. My niche is season-dependent, outdoors, and I can see it in the past month or so, a decline in traffic and in sales.
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SondraM Premium
Best wishes on maybe finding a niche that is opposite of your current one.
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WilliamBH Premium
Great Post Jovo .. Cheers, William.
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jvranjes Premium
Thank you William.
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steviec92 Premium
Being an engineering major I couldn't agree more with you about crunching the numbers. Numbers simply don't lie.

I think niche and what you're actually promoting play a massive factor in terms of income. As said below, selling small inexpensive products will take hundreds if not thousands of posts to make a decent income.

Thanks for the post, Jovo. It's good to put things in perspective and it just shows that nothing is going to happen overnight.
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jvranjes Premium
Yeah, omnia in numero.

I made mistakes in the past, cannot understand what I was thinking by starting a site with items of the order of $10 or so. I am keeping it alive as a monument to my stupidity.
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Bamanand Premium
It depends on lots of factors
1. niche
2. buying or informative keyword
3. demographic
4.your content and website design
5. and few more things

you can make more than 40k/month in 8 months by just writing 10-12 post in total.Read below
http://nichepie.com/30k-archived/
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jvranjes Premium
Could I really? How about you?
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StefanC Premium
Your numbers are realistic and I also think it's extremely hard. The problem is the niche, isn't it Jovo?
I feel like promoting phisical products as an affiliate is the toughest route.
Just a tiny percentage of your traffic will convert, so ideally you need to promote a high-ticket item or a membership with recurring fees to make the best of this traffic. Still, it will never be easy.
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jvranjes Premium
Hi Stefan, in my case it is all about physical items, Amazon stuff. It is around 1% of visitors that will buy something. In a narrow niche this percentage can be better because of a buying intent. The same is with a young and old site, the former tends to have a better rate, the latter becomes ranked for many non-targetted keywords which do not necessarily lead to sales.

True about high-ticket items; I abandoned one site because of the opposite items - such small inexpensive items need thousands of reviews to generate a decent income.
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StefanC Premium
That's true! Depending on the niche, it's also a good idea to create your info product, as opposed to being an affiliate.
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jvranjes Premium
How would you monetize something of that kind? Subscription or perhaps courses? Leo was writing a lot about it.
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DaveSw Premium
Perhaps sell through Udemy for a training product, or list it on JVZoo and open it up to affiliates selling it for you, through a membership site, or maybe using PPC and targeted audiences after testing (much like people who do this for recruiting WA members)?

Of course, this course of action opens a whole new can of worms for you as an online marketer...This is a good way to augment your online affiliate efforts, and many of the lessons here apply to that realm as well...
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StefanC Premium
You said everything DAve
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jvranjes Premium
Thank you Dave. I feel I have nothing to sell.
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MCrim Premium
Thanks for sharing!

mitch
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jvranjes Premium
Most welcome.
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PatrickM1 Premium
Jovo - Excellent post. Crunching the numbers always keeps things in perspective for me. Thanks for sharing.
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jvranjes Premium
Some do not like numbers but 'omnia in numero'.
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NemiraB Premium
I admire your honesty and ability to show that kind of reality it is. Not just in this case:) Thank you:)
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jvranjes Premium
Kind words Nemira, thank you.
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NemiraB Premium
You are welcome:)
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GayleneNepia Premium
Good to know Jovo, thanks for sharing :-)
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jvranjes Premium
No problem Gaylene, welcome.
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Paul1916 Premium
Yes it's much tougher than expected.
that's why I don't put all my eggs in one basket and work with multiple suppliers across multiple networks both in the UK and The US. The short cookie duration with amazon is a major drag and i am seeing better success with other merchants with longer cookie periods at present.
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jvranjes Premium
This is a right way. I am all on Amazon. Wanted to have Walmart and they rejected me.
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Paul1916 Premium
Reapply to Walmart - no harm in trying...
Some suppliers rejected me first time round but after a few months and reapplying I was approved...

Also Target affiliate program has a 7 day cookie duration which may be worth having a look at. They apparently are the second biggest hard discounter in the US after Walmart. I applied to them 3 weeks ago and was approved easily...
Something to think about...
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jvranjes Premium
Definitely so, thank you Paul.
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TaniaHersel Premium
Being an entrepreneur means getting out there and creating opportunity. Making it work. Wealthy Affiliate is a vehicle to help achieve the goals. To achieve comes from within. Others can help but we got to find own way.
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jvranjes Premium
This is nicely said, we learn the basis and the rest is up to us.
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Phil-58 Premium
Very interesting and does'nt make great reading, unfortunately
How do we counteract this bad conversion rate...
I guess we will have to keep plugging away and hope for the best
Cheers PB
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Sylvain34 Premium
Thanks Jovo. It too early for me to try this, but this was very interesting to read !
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jvranjes Premium
Thank you Sylvain.
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BrendaW1 Premium
Thanks for the reality check. It is hard (and a little depressing) but hopefully it will pay out in the future!?
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jvranjes Premium
It already works at my side, it is just so terribly hard.
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BrendaW1 Premium
You're starting to scare me
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jvranjes Premium
This was not the idea. It was checking my own working model on the estimate, so this is good to know when people start a new niche, this is why Jay presented his tutorial.
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dancinscot Premium
This is depressing! But after so much work, no point quitting!
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jvranjes Premium
No quitting, it works, but it is depressing indeed.
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phakacha8 Premium
Hey man, what the heck are you talking about?
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jvranjes Premium
Numbers.

Just apply to your side.
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MozMary Premium
I'm feeling good about that one sale last week for $69 commission without a keyword :D

though notice Jay is stated in the training to be currently pulling in $700 per month on the snack helmets site...and that seems like such an obscure little niche...
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jvranjes Premium
Yes this example was great.

There are many parameters that are hard to incorporate. For example, the majority of items sold in one site are not promoted items, but this is quite different in my narrow niche site.

Jay's case is a very narrow niche so probably statistics is far cleaner and easier to follow.
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Loes Premium
below the average:(
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jvranjes Premium
This depends on how broad the niche is, how many top-ranked posts, many things.
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JamesJB Premium
It certainly is no walk in the park to make some real money...
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jvranjes Premium
No as you rightly say.
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JamesJB Premium
There's no wonder why so many pull out from here...
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ShuiHyen Premium
My site is new and none of posts in the 1st page, I hardly get one click per week. This is a master mind game and everyone is hunger for traffic. But really these traffic turn into profit, I doubted. We can barely survive with Affiliate Marketing, might need to add on other income stream.

My personal view only.
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jvranjes Premium
After more than 700 posts, yes I can say it is very hard.
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skmorrow Premium
:(
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