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Check out the Niche Laboratory blog for details of my first e-commerce store experiment.
OK so my e-commerce experiment #1 continues to grow. My site has now hit a nice landmark - it's getting traffic every single day!
This is a nice achievement, so long may it continue.
I still haven't made any money though - ouch! I think the problem is that I'm showcasing AliExpress products. And people just don't want to buy from that site.
So I've done a bit of maintenence on my site and it can now import products from Amazon. Let's see how that changes things because people just love Amazon. I suppose I should add products from many sources and turn it into a sort of comparison site.
Where I think my store #1 will go is in becoming a vast scraper type site like manythings.online or to some extent my previous "scraper site" FindAForum.net. You can do pretty well with these sites because when you combine content from multiple sources you end up with all kinds of ultra long tail keywords. And you can rank VERY well for them! FindAForum ranks for some wonderful keywords, but it's a shame I haven't really been able to successfully monetise that site.
What else have I learnt from this experiment?
My store's bounce rate is pretty low, so people obviously like the store.
E-commerce stores LIVE OR DIE by the products. If people don't see products they want to buy, they will leave!
As I've added more products, bounce rate has generally decreased.
There are just so many niches out there, I definitely think there is scope for more micro niche sites in the shopping niche. If you can add value to the niche, then so much the better.
I am in the clothing niche and there are just zillions of micro-niches! So the number of long tail keywords is simply staggering.
One other thing I am doing is trying to move up the value chain. I am trying to feature more products in the $60 - $100 price bracket. It's hard to get excited about the Amazon commission on a $3 pair of socks. But commission on a $100 dress + all the accessories is something to get more excited about.
Finally, if I was more outgoing then I would enlist the help of a vlogger to front my store. I would code, they would market the stuff. I suggest you do the same!
Good luck, and if you have any questions about making online stores, then post a comment in this thread.
I've kind of abandoned my e-commerce experiment.
I actually made one sale off of the site - $1.36 commission on an AliExpress order. But $1.36 isn't a lot to show for all that effort!
I think I will pull the plug on this idea. Actually traffic is continuing to grow. But I just don't think it's going to be a money spinner.
The last post seemed too downbeat.
I have some positive experiences from this, and hopefully you can learn from them.
Good things that have happened are:
1. It's pretty easy to get traffic to an e-commerce store in the clothing niche. If you want a niche, then try clothing. Of course you'll need to niche down to a smaller more specialised niche. So try the Niche Laboratory on a few topics and see what sort of keywords you can come up with.
2. I visited Shopify.com and now I am seeing AdSense ads for Shopify all over the place. Clearly Google things I should make an e-commerce store.
3. While I have abandoned my e-commerce experiment in favour of building up Niche Laboratory, I did find something interesting this week. A BIG, HIGH VALUE SHOPPING KEYWORD. I am sooooo tempted to start a website in this niche. The products retail for between $400 and $1200. Please go now and find a calculator and calculate the 6.5% affiliate commission you would make on such a product! So I might actually return to the e-commerce arena in the not too distant future. The advantage I have this time is that I am intending to live in the same city where the products are made. That will allow me to actually visit the factory where these products are made and thus get access to valuable materials for shooting videos and uploading interesting content to my site.
Wow I got a bit excited there but it proves there are still a lot of opportunities to make money online.
So my e-commerce experiment might only be temporarily resting...
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Been around since 2009 means you've had so much experience in this space. I'm really considering expanding into promoting products in other niches using paid ads but my limitation is that I don't know how to speak a second language.
I agree with you that low gravity shouldn't be a criterion for selecting products to promote as there are some uncompetitive products with very low gravity. I'll like to add some characteristics of products you shouldn't promote:
1. Clickbank products that have (external) ads on their sales page
2. Products with buy buttons that do not go to the Clickbank order page
3. Products that exaggerate their promises, especially financial promises. Promises like these will lead to high refund rates (most MMO products have refund rates over 20% in fact).
4. Unresponsive vendors. Before starting to promote a product, ALWAYS contact the vendor (ask for a review copy, or ask a question about the product, or just introduce yourself). If you get no reply within 48hours do NOT promote the product.
Recently, I came across a course created by Clickbank's current #1 affiliate that claims to teach people how to drive traffic to Clickbank offers using Facebook Ads. I've seen some good reviews and positive testimonies online about the course. Here's one https://abayomioloyede.com/commission-hero-review/
What do you think about the course?
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