The online world seems to be buzzing with a couple of mantras that are almost omnipresent, however I think by following these principles, many people miss out on the true potential of the revenue they could be getting. This post will be focused on keywords search traffic, which in my opinion is the most valuable source of traffic that the web has to offer and a specific kind of search traffic too.
So here are some mantras that I seem to see everywhere.
#1: Passive Income
This is #1 for a reason: this is the ultimate goal. The idea is to earn money in your sleep, i.e: not be involved with the sales process, but rather create processes through which one would be able to systemically generate revenue. More on that below.
#2: Complete Automation
This feeds into #1, passive income comes from automating a process entirely, where the sales pitch, the payment checkout and the product delivery all happen automatically – without the involvement of the entrepreneur or ideally any other human.
#3: Huge Traffic, Large Number of Followers
Getting huge amounts of traffic, twitter followers, Facebook likes and YouTube subscribers is the ultimate goal. The more the better.
I cannot say I entirely disagree with these mantras, but frankly, I think they are not painting the whole picture and neither are they the easiest and/or most profitable modus operandi online.
The other thing to note is that getting a huge audience/traffic base is actually enormously hard work – hardly passive!
To summarize, the goal of most bloggers and social media gurus is
“Get a huge number of visitors, followers, likers and make marginal affiliate revenue from each one”.
Here is the OTHER side of the coin, which in my opinion is where the real money resides:
“Get a low number of high value visitors and make huge affiliate revenue from each one”.
- Low Volume but High Value Traffic
- Personalized Customer Service
- Conversion Through Real World Contracts & Relationships
Lets dig in!
Part 1: Finding & Valuing Keywords
The first step is to understand the value of various keywords that are in your space or a space that you wish to move into.
Firstly, you need to filter out keywords with BUSINESS INTENT, i.e: keywords which reflect a persons intent to make a purchase, not simply research or gain insight.
Secondly, you need to do some basic math: Number of Searches times the Average Sale
Lets get specific here, using fishinguae.com – which is a web property here in Dubai that I run.
Now, doing keyword research is an entire art + science but here is a brief run down on some high value keywords that I am targeting.
Example #1: ‘fishing trips dubai‘.
This keyword gets a measly 210 searches/month – and many people would ignore it and rather focus on a term like ‘fishing in uae‘ which has 1900 searches.
Here is the difference, the first one has clear cut business intent, i.e: the searcher is ready to take out his wallet and make a payment, the second search term is more informational, even though it has higher volumes overall.
Doing some basic math: 210 x $500 (cost of fishing trip) = $105,000
Now, the average commission rate here in Dubai on such trips is 20%, thus if you don’t own the fishing business and simply want to resell your traffic, i.e: become an affiliate you would be looking at an estimated potential of $21,000/month
Example #2: ‘yacht rental dubai‘.
- This term gets about 1900 searches monthly, and has clear cut business intent.
- The average yacht rental is 4 hours with no less than $200/hour on the cheapest yacht
- Taking the most pessimistic outlook: 1900 x 4 hours x 200$ = 1520,000$
- Take the affiliate commission (lets say its even 10%) = 152,000$
Not bad, right? Per month!
Now compare that to 3% on a book sale or $1.5/click on Adsense?
Here is the funny thing, any serious internet/SEO marketer could take over that space with far less effort than competing on marketing space terms or achieving huge overall traffic.
Part 2: Conversion & Affiliate Mechanism
Fine, you have identified these high value keywords.
Naturally, the next step is to actually rank for that traffic, which in off itself is another science. The good thing is, despite their high value, their low volume often puts off much of the competition and thus its not as challenging as it may appear.
Either way, once you are ranking or close to ranking for those terms – you don’t always have to look for affiliate program. You can make one!
For example, if you take the example of fishing charters, simply send them the following email:
“To whom it may concern,
My name <John> and I run a website <url> which ranks on page #1 for <search term>, <search term> & <search term>. We are able to direct targeted business leads of customers looking to book <service> at a commission rate of <x%> for all successful conversions.”
The fishing charters or any other business for that matter have nothing to lose and out of 10 emails, I am sure that 50% or more will agree.
From that point, you can either charge the customer a 20% down payment online as a reservation which in actuality is your commission or just avoid that altogether and simply have a booking request form or email address that simply redirects the request to the operator.
In my specific case, I also operate the charter business, thus the sales are generated for my own businesses, however I work with a couple affiliates gladly on exactly the model described above, e.g fishfishme.com
- You don’t need high traffic websites to generate revenue. In fact fishinguae.com only had 1400 unique visits, but generated approximately 26,000$ revenue last month. Focus on high value keywords
- You don’t need to just focus on generic affiliate models such as clickbank, a small effort in manual relationship building can go a long way
- In reality there is no such thing as passive income. The super star bloggers who paint lavish lives achieved this through hard work. Blogging, tweeting & posting daily is hard work. Sure, the actual ‘conversion’ happens automatically – but the audience acquisition does not.
P.s: building a startup around high value keywords is probably the best way to validate your idea and have a clear cut path to success versus basing it on some assumptions that are likely to be subject to inherent bias.