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My First Affiliate Marketing Journey in Fashion.

Discussion in 'Follow Alongs and Online Journeys' started by SEOBlogPosts, Mar 16, 2021.

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  1. SEOBlogPosts

    SEOBlogPosts Affiliate affiliate

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    "A community of minds will always prevail over a single mind."

    I really liked that quote above and it became the single reason why I decided to give this a shot.

    The farthest I have ever delved into affiliate marketing has been placing a banner on a page. Although, in 2019 I promoted a couple of CBD posts on a Facebook page I made. This was before I got banned for a year from making ads. I had no clue I couldn't make a Facebook ad for CBD products. It was a shame because I made two sales from those posts before they were banned.

    I really wanted to give a follow-along a try because I'm always doing it alone. I'd like to see where I can get to with the help and advice of the AffiliateFix community.

    My First Goal is simple. I merely want to make enough in commission to fulfill the ShareASale's $50 min. I'm already up to $11.71 from the 2 CBD sales I had made previously in 2019. After that, I have no idea, direct me!

    Below is a recap of how I started this project and have progressed over the past couple of days.

    This is my journey building an affiliate website. Thanks for following along!

    __

    3-7-21
    Today I'm looking through Amazon at bestsellers, looking at the titles of things and category names to come up with keywords to search google for to find out the volume and then check to see if a domain is open. I stumbled on a few niches with a good selection of products with a domain open.

    6voltrideon.com Vol 1,600
    coolesthoodies.com Vol 49,500*

    I picked the highest volume one on my list. CoolestHoodies.com. If the other one is still there, go for it :)

    I picked this one because it's popular, I like hoodies, it's easy to remember, easy to say, I've said it before many times myself, there is a large selection of items to sell, and in my opinion, is a rare domain to find. It looks like it has only had 2 owners including myself.

    Now that I have the domain registered, I am heading over to my hosting to create a new WordPress installation for my new domain.

    I tend not to let names sit for long after I register them. I'll usually have a site on it within an hour or so because I like to see what the site is doing before I even really touch it.

    Because of that my first thing is to add the ability to see traffic stats. With this site, I have connected it to statify, jetpack and google site kit, and a couple of other basic stats to give me an average between all the totals.

    I've noticed one might say I had 10 visits and one might say 40 and another might say 4. Confuses the hell out of me. Maybe someone has an explanation?

    I came back about an hour after installing the stats and it has almost 13 direct visits.

    [​IMG]
    This is pretty cool. I had hoped for direct type-ins. It made sense because it is something I personally would type in and add a .com to so I'm excited about the fact that I may have a source of traffic built into the domain already.

    The quality of it, I have no idea about yet but I'm thinking it may be more helpful in terms of SEO by having so many hit the site daily. I would think would be sure to send some good signals googles way.

    [​IMG]
    I worked on the site theme, logo, categories, and affiliates to pull hoodies from. I'm adding products from ShareASale and eBay.

    The theme I'm using is Customify. I really like it. It's an easy point and click page builder that went super fast.

    I have added 8 products this evening after doing the site design. I find it takes me about 8-20 min depending on what my wife and son need. She broke her toe the other day so she is off her feet, as much as I can make her be lol.

    I'm still pretty excited about the direct traffic. I hope they end up converting into sales.

    3-8

    Busy day today but I'm adding more products when I can.

    3-9
    Since I'm on SSI disability and at home all the time now with our 19-month-old son, I don't really have the ability to schedule things, so I give the time when I can throughout the day.

    [​IMG]
    Today I'm sitting down to make a larger replica of my logo because I'm going to add it to my own hoodie design and sell it as a brand for coolesthoodies.com.

    I'm going to do it in Inkscape since it's a vector and will resize to whatever I want. I'm also adding in more products.

    Today The site has had 35 direct visits and it's 11 am. No Clicks on any affiliate buttons yet, however, they are venturing further within the site to product pages and category sections. Why do they stop there?

    I can't afford an SSL for the domain at this very moment and I don't want to switch from another site and mess that up so my birthday is on the 13th and it's on my wish list lol. Like I said I'm on SSI and it all goes to be able to almost make it throughout the month by paying minimums to keep things turned on and the car from being repoed, but such is life. My goal is to get us out of that.

    3-10
    Had some stuff to do today so I'm getting to this a bit late (7 pm)

    Focusing on adding products to the kid's section. There aren't a ton of places that have super cool hoodies for kids but between the ones I've found there are maybe 50-70 or so I can add that I have seen so far. I'm finding a bunch on eBay too.

    I'm also going to add meta details for some of the category pages.

    [​IMG]
    So far I have been sticking to adding in products from ShareASale and eBay to minimize the number of programs I'm using.

    Today I also decided to stay off the site until around noon. When I checked my stats I had almost 43 direct visits. They also seem to make it to product and category pages but I lose them after that because I show no affiliate clicks.

    I've really been thinking about my social media approach for this. I know things like fashion can be viral and easily shared and easy to tag but with a low budget, I'm uncertain how to move forward. I have a page built on Facebook and need to work on other platforms too.

    3-11

    Today I'm putting this follow-along together, updating my privacy policy and related files, adding more products, and researching a list of content topics to write about as well as a list of questions and answers. I'm also going to add some images to the site to show off hoodie categories so I'm hunting ways to get this completed and added a form for email subscriptions.

    52 visits so far today including 9 from google and 1 from bing.

    3-16

    My birthday was on the 13th so we were out of town visiting my mother on her 134-acre property which has absolutely no internet access for a few days which was nice.

    Stimulus payment came in while we were there (happy birthday from Uncle Sam lol) Anyway, I added an SSL to the domain last night so got that finally completed. Having issues though, tell me if you notice but I keep seeing a brief "not working" page then after about 3 sec it refreshes to the secure form.

    Anyway, I've added a plugin today called go viral. I have used it on SEOBlogPosts.com and liked how it complimented the site so I figured I would add some of the features that the plugin has to help with social sharing on the website.

    Today I also created a Twitter account for Coolest Hoodies so I can start posting there.

    The site has seemed to maintain around 50 direct visits per day with today having almost 90 so far and many venturing to a product page, but still, no clicks on the "buy this hoodie" button. Are these "direct visits" living beings or bots? Should I modify the wording?

    Now that the website is up and functioning, the posts after this will be on traffic, and my next step, building up social media profiles.

    How am I doing? What have I missed? Is my next step the right next step?
     
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  2. Voluum
  3. Honeybadger

    Honeybadger Affiliate AffKit Ninja affiliate

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    1. Domain is perfect, what process did you use to find it?
    2. Logo, I recommend using a hoodie in your logo
    3. Social, you did the right thing claiming your Twitter, claim the rest / www.namechk.com
    4. Subscribe button, what's your plan?
    5. Blog, will you publish posts? Good format is "Top 10 Coolest Cat Hoodies in 2021"
    6. H1, every page needs H1 tag, start with your homepage
    7. META title is missing, try "Coolest Hoodies - Hand-Picked Selection of the Coolest Hoodies"
    8. META description also missing
    9. SSL, force redirect http to https
    10. Links, try to internal link so less than 50% are external, start at the sidebar and footer
    11. Permalinks, change "product-category" to "hoodie-category"
    12. Products, add keywords in product categories, so "Animals" becomes "animal-hoodies" and the URL becomes "coolesthoodies.com/hoodie-category/animal-hoodies", the world "hoodie" should be in every file level name
    13. Images, use keywords in your image file names and alt descriptions
    14. Content, can you create category sections on the homepage? Section 1 pets, section 2 movies, section 3 drugs, or something on those lines
    Good start, well done for taking the plunge !!
     
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  4. SEOBlogPosts

    SEOBlogPosts Affiliate affiliate

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    Well, while I was looking at Amazon I ended up coming across a listing for a hoodie design I thought was nice. It got me thinking about the fact that a site I have, bannerlicious.com always shows traffic from the fashion banner ad templates I have listed there. I decided to take hoodie and investigate the word. I first started at answerthepublic.com

    That made me want to see what google suggested so I stopped over there and searched for hoodie and hoodies, both returned the same 550k vol.

    I like to look at natural, common two words that are used together in content and titles for inspiration for domain name ideas. While I was scrolling I noticed this title from a search result that started with "cool hoodies".

    When I checked google and ubersuggest, it returned a volume of 49,500. I then decided to go check it out and see if I could add it to my list of open domain names.

    I also did research on Facebook and the ads that I would see would have comments saying exactly what that domain name said.

    coolhoodies.com was taken. I had a feeling that it would be, so I decided to check out coolest and went back to google to see how it would relate the two, and coolest returned the same 49,500 and a ton of natural references in content.

    I went back and checked coolesthoodies.com and well, you know the rest, so far lol.

    • Logo, I recommend using a hoodie in your logo
    I'll try that out and see what I come up with.
    • Social, you did the right thing claiming your Twitter, claim the rest / www.namechk.com
    It's almost depressing looking at everything on one page like that lol. Thanks for the site though. That is a cool resource.
    • Subscribe button, what's your plan?
    I would like to publish an email highlighting different designs, artists, etc.
    • Blog, will you publish posts? Good format is "Top 10 Coolest Cat Hoodies in 2021"
    Yes, I will be publishing posts here soon.
    • H1, every page needs H1 tag, start with your homepage
    I'll look into getting that included. I have an idea of where in my theme to do just that.
    • META title is missing, try "Coolest Hoodies - Hand-Picked Selection of the Coolest Hoodies"
    One of the things already on my list is to continue going through all of my pages and adding that and descrpitions.
    • META description also missing
    • SSL, force redirect http to https
    I tried to contact my hosting company to have them do this but online chat has been offline all evening.
    • Links, try to internal link so less than 50% are external, start at the sidebar and footer
    This I plan to accomplish with blog content and with more products which will give me some things to link to.
    • Permalinks, change "product-category" to "hoodie-category"
    • Products, add keywords in product categories, so "Animals" becomes "animal-hoodies" and the URL becomes "coolesthoodies.com/hoodie-category/animal-hoodies", the world "hoodie" should be in every file level name
    I will add those to my list for tomorrow. Thanks.
    • Images, use keywords in your image file names and alt descriptions
    One of the tasks I have been doing too is adding in those things when I upload to my media section.
    • Content, can you create category sections on the homepage? Section 1 pets, section 2 movies, section 3 drugs, or something on those lines
    In what format do you see that looking like?
     
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  5. Honeybadger

    Honeybadger Affiliate AffKit Ninja affiliate

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    Thanks for sharing your keyword domain strategy
    It's a smart method

    You made the correct decision for your shop page to be your homepage
    It's good because it will be updated every time you add a new product
    So customers and search engines will always have something new to find
    I recommend to add minimum 1 new hoodie per day, eventually adding product will get very boring, then there are some options 1/ outsource or 2/ automate or 3/ use a drag and drop tool or 4/ ignore the boredom and rejoice at all the commission
    • The more often you update, more often search engine robots will visit your site, faster you can rank on Google
    Recommend to use a project management tool
    I use Google because it's convenient, reliable and affordable (free, at the moment) although it's a privacy black hole as @Graybeard correctly states
    1. Brainstorm - I am using Google Docs (or anything to wrote on) and brainstorm all project ideas
    2. Ordered List - Then organize the brainstorm with Google Sheets into a to do list in order of importance
    3. Schedule - Finally I use Google Calendar to schedule tasks (but don't get overwhelmed, and make sure everything on the schedule gets done, or attempted)
    4. Action - This doesn't need to be difficult or complicated, just break each task down into bitesize chunks
    There are many other tools to do it, but that simple method works for me
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2021
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  6. Honeybadger

    Honeybadger Affiliate AffKit Ninja affiliate

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    Just 1 more thing
    Keep updating your site and improving it - You will start earning commissions
    It can be demoralizing at the start when you don't get sales
    But have alot of work to do
    Fear not, it's just a matter of time
    Stay the course
     
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  7. SEOBlogPosts

    SEOBlogPosts Affiliate affiliate

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    @Honeybadger Thanks, I've always like to use that method. I always find cool names.

    I like the fact that I chose that shop page but I really wanted to custom make a page. That shop page doesn't allow for adding anything to it and those red button styles only show up when I use the shop page.

    When I try and create my own with widgets the buttons are dark grey and I haven't been able to figure out where to fix that. Plus, the last time I tried to edit those buttons the entire design reverted to the original and everything I had done was like it had never happened. I just stay away from it lol. It looks good.

    I will give your list of 4 ideas a shot and see how it helps.

    I am going over the points to edit that @Honeybadger mentioned.

    #6 H1 on every page - Done. There is an option to add custom HTML to the top of each page. I had already been using it for the "hand-picked" text so I decided to just add an h1 tag.

    #7 META title. I updated that with @Honeybadger suggestion.

    #8 META description. I updated this as well.

    #9 Force SSL redirect. Apparently, my hosting company is having "disruptions" in the control panel today so I can't get a hold of support to get this accomplished but consider it checked off the list.

    I will be working on #11 and #12 today after we get done doing whatever it is getting ready to leave the house to do today. I seriously don't remember so I'm just playing along, she drives anyway lol.

    @Honeybadger , thanks for sharing your knowledge with me! This is turning out to be a fun experience :)
     
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  8. Certified
    T J Tutor

    T J Tutor GM Administrator Certified Vendor Dojo Master affiliate

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    I've been in this game a long time and this is still the case with every new project.

    It's just a matter of studying data, testing, refining, valuable content, everything and anything can make a difference.

    I changed one of my sites look and feel last week with a new color scheme and a new menu structure that gave way to a 4% increase in conversions averaged over the last 8 days.

    Ya' just never know sometimes until you give it a try.
     
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  9. Graybeard

    Graybeard Well-Known Member affiliate

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    https: // www .coolesthoodies it is?

    Did you remember to exclude your own IP address from the stats?

    Looks good for the beginning
    I might add a pop dialog for a new tab when someone clicks BUY --email opt-in --maybe a coupon offer on their next purchase if the seller has this available?
     
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  10. Certified
    T J Tutor

    T J Tutor GM Administrator Certified Vendor Dojo Master affiliate

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    There are plenty of places offering free SSL's out there. Most hosting companies do. It is quite important due to some browsers and extensions warning visitors that the page is "unsecure".
     
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  11. SrLudwig

    SrLudwig Affiliate affiliate

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    Thanks for posting your journey in such great detail. Best of lucks on your journey! What a great domain BTW. :)

    It looks like you already figured out the SSL certificate issue; but LetsEncrypt is a great free option and CloudFlare also offers a free SSL option.
     
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  12. SEOBlogPosts

    SEOBlogPosts Affiliate affiliate

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    @SrLudwig Thanks for following :) The SSL I got figured out. Thanks for the sites. I put one of my sites on Cloudflare to try it out today but I'll check out the other one too.

    3-18
    Today I accomplished forcing redirect from http to https. Thanks for the tips on the free services. I'll check them out.

    Changed product categories adding "-hoodies" to the url.

    Added more metadata for category pages.

    3-19
    Adding some more products and going over things that I missed before today. Still have more to do though.

    I've had 24 visits today so far and had 2 clicks yesterday on buy buttons. I did remember to exclude my own visits when I set things up.

    I like the idea of adding an autoresponder to subscribe and receive coupons.

    3-22

    I've added more social accounts and have been posting.

    I started out posting links to products and pages on my site. Today, however, I tried a more direct approach on Twitter by including the affiliate link in the post which resulted in 19 clicks so far. It came out looking like this.

    In the example below I did not use any hashtags, it had about 12 clicks on the ShareASale link. In the second one, I did use hashtags and got 7 clicks. I found some hashtag ideas on best-hashtags.com and also by just opening a new post on Facebook or Twitter and start typing ideas after # and see what comes up.
    [​IMG]

    I ended up like I said getting 19 clicks from two different posts. I do think 4 of those clicks are from Twiter itself following the link because almost instantly I saw 2 clicks for both times I posted any link.

    [​IMG]

    84 visits so far today.

    I'm going to be doing research today on blog content ideas to start writing on. I'm going to make a list of a hundred questions or so, that way I have something to quickly go to for ideas. I'll be using answerthepublic.com to find some good questions to start asking google about.
     
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  13. Graybeard

    Graybeard Well-Known Member affiliate

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    My experience with a twitter bot feed, that was established for some time, was that; Each new post got 1 or 2 clicks from Twitterbot and 4 or 5 followbot scrapers. So, 5-7 clicks per post may be useless. This is why I redirect the clicks to the same or a related domain name. Could be a sub; //2.coolhoodies.com --then you have a detailed log of each hit and you can also defeat the bots right there. Sometimes, bots will not redirect. But if you only redirect HTTP/2.0 most (not all) bot will be bounced ;)
     
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  14. SEOBlogPosts

    SEOBlogPosts Affiliate affiliate

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    I will have to look into that. Right now I know there are bots, but not how many and that would be nice to know. At t his point, I don't believe anything but a dollar amount in my balance lol.
     
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  15. Graybeard

    Graybeard Well-Known Member affiliate

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    my feed at twitter had 680 posts over a 6 week period --that's why I said 'established' bots are like flies -- they smell 'food' :D
     
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  16. Honeybadger

    Honeybadger Affiliate AffKit Ninja affiliate

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    Go easy on the question research
    It's important that you identify search volume, above all else
    Only spend your valuable (and limited ) time on a blog post if a) there is search volume, or b) you see customers are querying this in your internal search - are you tracking this in Google Analytics?
     
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  17. Honeybadger

    Honeybadger Affiliate AffKit Ninja affiliate

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    That's great, so early on
    I'm not saying to have a champagne, coke and stripper party (just yet)
    But 84 visits in 1 days suggests your idea has legs
    Are you tracking all this with Google Search Console?
     
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  18. Honeybadger

    Honeybadger Affiliate AffKit Ninja affiliate

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    Your twitter post looks good
    It doesn't appear spammy
    If you will use hashtags?
    I recommend use only 1 hashtag per post, why?
    It gives your post (and hashtag) more weight
    Ideas, and suggest tp use generic hashtags --> #hoodie #tiger #fashion
    Always keep the focal point of product images in the central 3rd of the canvas
     
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  19. SEOBlogPosts

    SEOBlogPosts Affiliate affiliate

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    I do use hashtags, but no more than 5 but will try less.
     
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  20. SEOBlogPosts

    SEOBlogPosts Affiliate affiliate

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    Ok so, I figured something out that I thought I would share.

    I wanted to use youtube for Coolest Hoodies but couldn't come up with an idea for a video from a product image.

    While I was making a post on Facebook I ended up going to the creator area and clicked post.

    A box showed up with the normal editor. I decided to click on the settings and it asked if I wanted to use the advanced editor. I said yes, and was given new options, one of which was the ability to make a video from an image "Turn into video"
    [​IMG]
    I decided to give it a try and come to find out it will make a cool 10-sec video with a few clicks in about 30 seconds. It gives you two different layouts I chose the first one so I could feature the logo and URL at the end of the video. I just added the URL text to a copy of the logo.



    If you right-click on the Facebook preview you can save the video in a landscape format, if you save the Instagram one it will save it as a tall video.

    I thought that was pretty cool so I decided to create a youtube channel to post the videos I make for each product post for Instagram using this editor. That's another thing, the editor makes it easy to post to Instagram.

    So far I uploaded 2 videos. 15 hours later, One has a first-page rich feature result on Google, the other ranks #1 on video search for the exact keyword. Low volume but every little bit helps and this video idea helps to stand out in lower volume keywords I think.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I had done this before with youtube. I like the fact that you can indirectly get views to not only a youtube channel but also potential sales and website visits and, the videos if selected in the right area will stand out. All from that one upload.

    I think I'll add these videos to each product listing on the website too and I am also uploading the videos to Facebook in the video section because I noticed if I post it as a post it doesn't show in my videos but if I upload one I saved I can have that video doing more in the video section than it will ever do as a post. I think it is more permanent.

    A lot of keywords don't have a video that google can let stand out on the front page.

    Just thought I would share :)
     
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  21. Honeybadger

    Honeybadger Affiliate AffKit Ninja affiliate

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    @SEOBlogPosts
    You are making very good progress
    Don't worry too much about search volume right now
    It's important you get this ranking system right

    This is more important than all the others combined
    Because you want your product page to rank higher than your video page
    So adding your video to your product page is perfect
    Also, don't forget to optimize your images, so that you get 1st page on Google Image Search
    Right now the Amazon landing page is top for that search
    Try to add additional product images on your product page

    Search ' mens jungle leopard hoodie '
    • Your video in 1st page on Google Search
    • Your video 1st result on Google Video Search
    • Your channel 1st result on You Tube Search
    Nice work !!
     
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