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Help Making my First Conversion


Hello all! I am having trouble making my first conversion and I was advised to post here to see what others thought of getting me on the right track. Here is my situation:

I bought the Average Joe package exactly one month ago. I have been setting up blogs, websites, Squidoo Lens, and the like, as well as, posting articles to tons of places and US Free Ads for both my websites and direct links to the landing pages for my hop links. After hours and hours of working hard on these projects, I have gained fairly decent traffic for one product and a little for another, but I still haven't seen one penny yet.

That makes me think that my content is bad, my product choices are bad, and/or that my work is being concentrated on the wrong area and my marketing is simply not working.

Average Joe does respond to my questions, but only three to five days after I email them and they never address my real panic - the lack of conversion from my efforts. (In their defense, though, they do respond eventually and I have gotten some great advice from them, even some directly from the man who started the program, to increase my traffic and optimize my SE ranking.)

Can you suggest things that I need to be thinking about or ways to improve the quality of my traffic such that I may see my first conversion?


Linda Buquet

Hi Will,

Welcome to 5 Star.

You don't mention what type of products, but it sounds like you are making the classic mistakes most newbies make.

Are you promoting any type of get rich quick, how to make money online, webmaster secrets or ANY other type of Internet Marketing stuff? Thats where all the newbies start and that market is filled with slick pros, gurus and scammers all preying off newbies like you. You CAN'T COMPETE!

Don't waste your time going down a path THOUSANDS of newbies have gone before with the same result. No money and ready to give up. I don't know what makes newbies think they know enough about how to make money online to sell other newbies products about how to make money online.

Also Clickbank IMHO is the hardest place to start. Too competitive and too many of the type of programs I mention above.

Find a small niche to start. Find one you are interested in and know about.
Read all the stickies in the Newbie forum and all the posts in the niche forum for ideas.

Don't give up - just SWITCH GEARS!


<b><font size=2>In Memoriam - Loyal Administrator<
Will, thanks for posting your question here in the public forum like I suggested.

I will speak the truth. I am not trying to sell you anything. I am not going to tell you that I have some great information at my site or blog about this so you can go there and see advertising and possibly act upon some of it. I am not posting to give exposure to my signature. There are no affiliate links in my signature or anything in it for my personal benefit.

It really makes me angry when people try to make people believe they are trying to help others when all they are actually trying to do is help themselves. That is especially true of so many, but not every single person who has an ebook to sell. But a lot of them are trying to make as much money as they can by taking advantages of newbies who have high hopes and big dreams and believe these ebooks are going to make everyting happen for them.

I am speaking in general terms. I am NOT talking specifically about the particular item you mentioned. I have not used it.

Most of these type of things are aimed at people who are just getting started. They usually make it sound very easy. Some make it sound as if you will be making thousands of dollars a second with money falling out of the sky. Others try to make people believe that they will be another Albert Einstein after buying what they offer because they will learn so much.

The people who created these ebooks and various packages often make money. Some of the people who buy them make money. Most of them do very poorly.

Many times the person who created the ebook will tell you that it is loaded with opportunities to make money. What they don't tell you is that they are using affiliate links to promote all of that great stuff in their ebook. It is great only because it will make them money if you believe them and use their affiliate link.
You might find people writing something in their blogs about how great a certain ebook is. They will really praise it. But they are selling it themselves. They are going to say it is great because it is to their financial advantage.

Often I see signatures in posts made by beginners for some ebook that is suppose to have the secrets to making tons of money. That person hasn't made a penny but they have the answer to how you can make a fortune.

It takes time. It isn't easy and it takes work. Someone might run into a lot of luck and make it seem easier than it is for most people, but don't count on that happening.

You need to learn as much as you can from an objective viewpoint. You can actually do that absolutely free.

We have some very big names among our membership. We have members with years of experience and an abundance of knowledge. There are members who have become successful and they give back by helping others.

You won't find people advertising anything in our discussion forums because that isn't allowed. There aren't affiliate links in our discussion forums. Some people might try to find ways to sneak them in, but we catch them. You will find lots of useful information.

You should start reading as much as you can in the Newbie Affiliate Forum There is a lot of great information there and you will learn a lot. It might take a while, but it will be worth it.

When you have expanded your knowledge with the help of the Newbie Affiliate Forum, you might then want to do some reading in the Niche Marketing Forum

After you have done some reading and learned a little more, of if you get confused, you can ask questions and our friendly members will answer them for you.


Hello and thanks for your posts, both Linda and Lawree!

First to address Linda's question: I am not promoting the internet marketing get rich quick products you mention. In fact, I have avoided those like the plague. Instead my top traffic sites are devoted to custom tattoo designs online. other sites and products with which I am working include bonsai gardening, dog training, and second language acquisition. I have started working on a movie and television show review site that I plan to link to downlad services. I feel that market is rather large and the site will mostly be for my own entertainment, so it is on the slow burner (but not off the stove, as it were,) and I work on that one as I get time.

My courses of action (somewhat outlined in my first post) goes something like this:

I set up a review site, Squidoo Lens, or blog (usually all three)
Then I post US Free Ads to get some traffic to the site
Next I write an article that has something to do with the product indirectly (Tips on getting your first tattoo, et cetera)
I make sure to link back to the review sites that have my hop links tastefully placed throughout the page.

Sometimes I go back and place more US Free Ads directly to the hop link. I also spend free time posting articles to more sites (I have about 250 article sites in my bookmarks now and I use them as I have time, keeping EZ Articles, Go Articles and a few others as the first choices.)

I have been watching my traffic ramp up from zero to as many as 50 visitors per day on each site (the Squidoo Lens do the best consistantly) but as I have mentioned, no conversions yet.

To turn to Lawree's concern about the product I purchased, I would have to say that although I have not gotten the immediate responses to my emails that I would like, I will say that they never claim that you will get rich quick or over the top sales pitches like that. They are geared towards beginners and what attracted me to their service is that they are up front about telling their customers you will have to do some work. They did make it sound like I would have my first conversion by now, however, and thus I am slightly panicking. Overall, though, the Average Joe package seems t be a great source for gaining an understanding for the channels of internet marketing and there are some good SEO tricks and low to zero cost marketing techniques I would not have know about otherwise. The service is updated, too, and the cost of the package includes lots of great tips and tricks, not just ebooks to resell.

I will be the first to admit, though, that I am new to all of this and that the things included in the package my not be for everyone, nor may they be useful past the beginning level. I skipped over many such packages when I was first researching how to get started with all of this.

With that being said, I am off to read more of the postings and see if there are any other suggestions that I can gather, especially ones that are things I would never have thought of on my own to put into action!

Thank you again, Linda and Lawree, and I will post more questions here as I get more techniques under my belt. Please feel free to post things for me to try, just in case, too! I will always be appreciative of new ideas!



Will, to be brutally honest, I think it may be your product choices.

You need to get in contact with each merchant and ask them what their EPC and conversion rates are. Then you will know whether they are worth promoting.

For a newbie, I would also take Linda's advice and avoid clickbank. There are some high converting lead offers at,, that would probably be an easier starting point to get some quick converions and the confidence/experience that goes with that.


Thanks Rob.

I will take that into consideration immediately. The tattoo design services are something I know a lot about, and perhaps that is why they are doing better than the others. I will definitely look into these other affiliate programmes taht you mention and try my efforts again.

Let me ask, then, if it seems like my product choices, then are my methods of promotion sound enough (from what you can tell via my post descriptions)? I don't want to "start over" with a new line of promotions using the same methods if they are not sound. I assume from your comment, though, that my attack plan is not so bad, just the product choices.

Thanks again Rob!


The attack plan is fine if it is driving TARGETTED traffic. Check your stats to see where people are comiung from and what terms they are typing into search engines.

Personally, I always spend a bit of money on PPC first to see if an offer is converting. If I think it's worth the time investment, I will do natural SEO later. I also track my PPC keywords VERY carefully.

I remember a few years ago a very experienced marketer who demonstrated his approach with a tattoo design ebook - even he with all his marketing experience couldn't get it to convert particularly well. And he had a PPC budget.


It also depends on not on the products you are promoting but your web pages. It is best to have some images on the page and to be sure to have some call to action links throughout the page like for more information click here or to get started with click here or to stop your ..... click here now.

Make sure that your page is interesting and is answering many of the questions that buyers are asking.


Linda Buquet

Hi Colleen,

I disagree with this. "It also depends on not on the products you are promoting but your web pages."

You can have the greatest site in the WORLD but if the product is wrong, the price it wrong or the merchant site can't convert, then you aren't going to make any sales.

It's a delicate balance between a number of factors that all need to fit together like a puzzle.


Right Product
- You can have a good site and lots of traffic but it the product is not right people still arent going to buy it.

Right Price - The right product and the pricing is up to the merchant, so affiliates can't do much except be "good pickers".

GOOD Conversions - This too is up to the merchant. If the site can't convert, the merchant copy is crappy, the price is too high, the cart is too complicated or the merchant has big leaks like 800#s and Adsense - it doesnt matter how good you are. IF the merchant's offer or site can't convert visitors to buyers you won't make much money.

Tracking that works right

Honest on-time payment


Specific targeted BUYING traffic
NOT just people interested in a topic because it's fun or they are curious or info seekers. That's the problem with some of the Web2.0 traffic sources. You can get lots of traffic but are they buyers?

Good landing pages, marketing content, presell and/or call to action.

Probably more issues than that, but I'm tired and need to get a 5 Star proposal out to one of the BIGGEST companies in the entire world :p so I can't make this too much longer.

But most of the things above need to be in place and fit together.

Wrong product at a wrong price - affiliate does great marketing, get lots of traffic - no money.

Great product at a great price, sucky merchant site that can't convert or has leaks - affiliate does great marketing, gets targeted traffic, works tail off - no money.

Great product, great price, great conversion - affiliate doesnt know how to market - no traffic - no money.

If you are doing something and it's not working you really need to evaluate each of these. Test, tweak until you get hit pay dirt.


Hi there Colleen and Linda!

My sites do feature images, some of myself even, and call to atcion links (although not as many as my US Free Ads simply because I think too many are obnoxious and detract from 'validity" of my reviews and sales pitches. I find that if I run across a page with too many calls to action, I get irratated and I simply click out and never return.)

I may not have these techniques down well enough yet, but I do have a feel for placing introductory text, calls to action, images, links, and other copy such that readers will at least stick around to read a little more, rather than glance at my page and hit the "back" button. (That may sound a bit over confident. I am always up for taking suggestions and I do appreciate your comment and post!)

I do really like the tests presented by Linda. I will have to take my sites and products and evaluate them with these criteria in mind. I am no expert, obviously, so I may well be posting questions about whther or not my end of these tests is up to snuff, and along those lines, I think that I may need some guidance with determining if the sellers products and landing pages are doing their part too. I have certainly seen some poor landing pages and products in my searches for what to promote, though, and I am beginning to get a sense of when I page looks poorly thrown together and expensive for what is offered, et cetera. Great tips! I will be evalutaing my current promotion projects within the next few days and then I will try to tackle both some new projects with these factors in mind and revamp the old projects, if possible, to try and salvage the untold hours of work I have put into them so far.

Thank you ladies! You are all being infinitely helpful and it is greatly appreciated!


P.S. Is it kosher to post my website here so that some of you can look at it and give me suggestions on improvement? Or is that a No-No? I don't want to break any rules, especially with everyone being so helpful! Just let me know and I will act accordingly. Thanks!


<b><font size=2>In Memoriam - Loyal Administrator<
Will, none of our members are allowed to post their sites in the discussion forums.

We do have a Site Review Forum. In that forum our members can take a look at your site and give a typical site review and possibly make suggestions for improvements or changes based upon what they see when they look at your site.

If you are sincerely interested in a typical site review, here is a link to our Site Review Forum


That's what I thought (and why I didn't just post my site address...)

Currently I am digging through new affiliate listings to see if I can find other products or services to promote. The trick is finding something that a) I know something about already, b) that I like or that will hold my interest long enough to promote it knowledgably and sincerely, and c) has high enough quality to make me comfrtable selling it or has a well-constructed landing page such taht I am can make conversions.

Does anyne have suggestions on how to narrow my search so I can find a product that suits me without having to click on hundreds of links only to be disappointed over and over again or compete with other affiliates who have a much larger monetary base with which to work?

Big questions and I expect the answer to be "No. Just keep digging" but I needed to ask. Thanks for all the support!


Linda Buquet

Will, you CAN have your site URL in your sig if you want or just listed in your profile, so if people want to see what you are doing to better be able to help steer you in the right direction. Just be advised lots of pro affiliates never list their sites for fear of copycats or someone stealing their niche. But if you are just getting going and are not worried about that, it may get you more targeted responses to your questions. (However you can't say "check out my site in my sig or profile because - spammers do that to just get traffic.) FOr this example you can simply say, Linda I added my site and anyone that wants to look will be able to help.

You said "Currently I am digging through new affiliate listings to see if I can find other products or services to promote." And asked if there's a better way.

OK let's back up a bit. I may have missed it but have you PICKED your niche??? Searching for products that suit your fancy is not the way to go and is kinda backwards and could be terribly confusing.

1st pick some potential niches.

Then do KW research to see if one may be good to target.

THEN you can search Google "My niche keyword" affiliate program.
OR go to some top affiliate directories and search based on the category your niche products would be in.


Hello again Linda!

I do start by picking a niche, but I am so new to the game that I am not fully familiar with what may be available to me. I basically am picking things that would be fun or something of which I may have some knowledge. Then my stumbling block comes when I do the research on keywords and find no sites that link to affiliates (no competitors) and/or affiliate list searches that yield no results (no programmes or products to support and promote.) I continually seem to pick niches that don't exist! Therefore I started searching the affiliate lists first to see what is available, then going to key word searches, et cetera.

Starting so blindly at affiliate marketing means that I have to do some extra research on affiliate marketing possibilities, I suppose.

Back to the drawing board...



Look at the epc and conversion rates.

That way you know it is converting and that at least someone is making money from it. If you can somehow find out if the program has been around for a while and if its been making consistent profits, that would be a bonus too.


Definitely a good tip, Rob! I have been checking the conversion rates, but I find (pehaps erroneously,) that they don't always match up to what I expect from them. For instance, on clickbank (the place where I have had the most experience so far,) the conversion rate may be high or low, but I have to take into account the gravity rating as well to give me an idea if there is tons of competition and conversions actually happening out there in cyberland.

Any other thoughts on how to interpret the conversion ratings/percentages?

Thanks Rob!


Hi Rob!

I am working on ditching clickbank. I followed the links that you posted a few days ago and I have signed up for all of those services, but they require 24 hours to get approved, et cetera, so I am still working with my current projects in the meantime. That's all. Advice taken and in progress.

Thanks again!

Linda Buquet

Will, here's another tip, that may help.

If you are picking things YOU are interested in, chances are others are too.
Could be the products people would look for are RELATED to the niche, but not quite the KW you searched for.

1st you need to research to find the answer to how popular AND competitive the niche is BEFORE you start looking for products to promote. You need to find out if indeed the niche or product you are considering is even in demand 1st by finding out how many search for it.

When you do your KW research you will likely find a product in the KW research. It even could be that the product you searched Google for: "cool widget affiliate program" does not come up because people are searching for "hot new gadget" instead so you were just looking for the wrong keywords when searching for products to sell.

Maybe you are already doing this, and it so, this may be too elementary -
if so it may help someone else.

I'll just use the broad example of fishing.
(DISCLAIMER - there are a ton of KW tools and many different ways to do KW research. This is just an easy way to uncover and research niches."

Go to

Enter fishing and be sure keyword variations and keyword search volume is selected.

We already know the word fishing by itself would be too competitive so we are looking for a sub-niche or a product people interested in fishing may be interested in that's not too competitive.

As you go down the top set of results you'll only see phrases with the word fishing included. Click July Search volume to sort by most popular. For me in US top 3 are: Alaska fishing, bass fishing, charter fishing.

Keep scrolling down till you see some things of interest, worth doing more research on. Copy and past into notepad or word.

NOW here is where it gets more fun. Scroll way down until you see:
Additional keywords to consider

These phrases dont include your root KW fishing. BUT could be related or of interest to people interested in "fishing."

how to fish, boats, lures, tacklebox, fly rod, etc.

So copy some of the words in that list that sound like they may be good.
(Using your root main KW for the example instead of fishing.

Ok now go to SEO Book Keyword Suggestion Tool.
Use this to find out HOW MANY searches are done for some of the KW you picked and drill down to find some niches or products that are searched alot but not too competitive.

NOT SAYING these are good niches - but for example.

I put "fishing lure" into SEOBook. 2 near the top that caught my eye:

1) "vintage fishing lure" - 2583 searches
2) "how to make fishing lure" - 2195 searches
(#2 just has a few less searches)

Now we go to Google to find out how competitive those 2 are. allintitle "key phrase in quotes" narrows it down to competing pages that have keywords in title and may be optimized for the phrase.

allintitle: "Vintage Fishing Lure" 1,080 competing pages

allintitle: "how to make fishing lure" only 8 competing pages. lures plural which is more like people would search that phrase still only 189 competing.

NEXT look at the top 10 pages in the search results for allintitle: "how to make fishing lure" and see how tough it would be to compete and get in the top 10.
(as you search the top 10 you may also find related products they are selling or you may even find that one has a cool fishing lure affiliate program.)

So if you're liking that one "how to make fishing lure" - decent search volume but very low competition. Then you search for books about "how to make fishing lures" or maybe kits for making your own fishing lures.

Then you can start a free hub page or squidoo lens if you want to test the market for free. OR if you really like this one and think you can make it work, buy a kw domain and start a blog about "how to make fishing lures".

Those are just some ideas but that process will help you research and find a potentially good niche - then armed with your KW knowledge go find products with affiliate programs.



Hello again Linda and thanks for all your wonderful suggestions!

I have been using a similar process to find keywords and competition figures and suggestions. What I haven't been so successful with is finding the products that match the keywords. Although I can find related products, they are usually ones with a much higher competition level than what I can handle with no money.

I say no money here because that is what I have curently. I have spent all my money during this jobless period of mine, on affiliate marketing things and to be honest I doubt that I have enough money in the bank to eat off of for the next month, so I am having to stick with free sites and Squidoo lens in hopes that some nibbles will come through.

The good news is that my sites are getting some traffic and good ratings in search engines. The bad news is still that none of the click outs are converting. many people are clicking out on the hop links, but no takers yet. I am retrying again from scratch, basically, with two new products this week to see if it is simply bad product choices or if there is something wrong with my writing, methods, or something else that is keeping me from joining the money making team. At this point, I don't want to get rich, I just want to see that I am not completely wasting my time and that conversion do happen somewhere along the line.

Don't worry, either, as long as I am able to get to a computer and creat a review site, blog, lens, article, or US Free Ad, I will keep chipping away at this, because if it works, then I will be able to finish school with some level of relaxation and food in my fridge!

Thanks again and I will post an update soon!