February 22, 2019


Building a $100K+ per month Amazon store from scratch

How much have we been focusing on Amazon, lately? You noticed, right?

By now, you should have at least 200 products listed on the ecomm platform and Amazon Ads running everywhere.

No? Well, maybe we didn’t stress it enough. And in fact, today we have Zack Franklin in our magazine again. And his speech at AWA 2018, where he broke down a 6-figures per month Amazon store.

Zack starts with the key reasons about why you should join this Ecom Giant:

  • 15-30% conversion rate.
  • Massive trust.
  • 100M Amazon Prime subscribers: The size of Japan’s entire population.
  • 51% of American households are subscribed to Prime.
  • 70% of those Americans earn more than 150K a year.

Zack goes on and says that affiliates have a big advantage on Amazon:

  • You just have to worry about bringing traffic, Amazon will convert it.

It doesn’t matter where the traffic comes from or if it will actually convert on your listings. Amazon will convert it elsewhere.

  • The majority of Amazon sellers do little to zero marketing. The giant Chinese sellers Zack works with have no marketing strategies: No FB Ads, no Google Ads, no website, no email list. Wow, it makes Amazon look like a gold mine, yeah?

Are you a Shopify dropshipper? Well, selling on Amazon is a little different, and there are good and bad sides:

  • Selling on Amazon comes with higher risk: You have to invest a lot in the products. And product quality is everything on Amazon. Zack suggests at least $80K to start.
  • Higher margins: The earning margins on Amazon are much higher.
  • When people see the product you’re promoting on your Shopify store, they go on Amazon to look for it. They trust Amazon more than anyone else.
  • Selling on Amazon is a sustainable business and it’s also easy to sell an Amazon store.

Talking about picking products to sell on Amazon, Zack has some serious tips:

  • Dropshippers will have a hard time on Amazon, cause it wants to know where you get your products from.
  • Keep your price point above $40 and a minimum 4X ROI.
  • Ideally find consumable and repeat purchase products.
  • Simple products: With less moving parts and support costs.

How to test a product?

List your competitors’ product at a higher price: In your seller centre analytics, you can see the traffic details for a product and you’ll understand how much it is going to cost to advertise that product, even before you start selling. So, you’ll know if it’s a good choice without spending a dime on advertising it! And before actually manufacturing your products.

How do sales happen? Amazon is a search engine. So, it’s a bit like Google.

But what determines a product ranking?

  • Add to carts: They affect product rankings by 59%: The more ATCs you have, the higher you’ll be in the ranking.
  • Purchases: The more purchases you have, the higher your listings will be shown
  • Conversion rates don’t matter: Amazon just wants traffic, because if it doesn’t convert on your product, they’ll convert it elsewhere. So, a low CTR doesn’t necessarily mean a low ranking.
  • Reviews impact the rankings by 1%, but they’re important to convert buyers. Plus they generate more ATCs.

How about marketing off Amazon?

  • Amazon’s buyers are Amazon’s customers. Not yours. You’ll only get their address and name. No emails! No cellphone!
  • Very limited data sharing and no sales attribution.
  • Build Custom Audiences and Lookalikes using Facebook Ads to retarget them. You can use their name and address as a Custom Audience upload.
  • Cheap traffic tip: Many people search for Amazon products using Google search: bid on keywords like: “Headphone+Amazon”.

That’s all about Amazon. But only for now. We are now hoping that this helps you take that step towards building your Amazon biz. Especially the part where Zack shares that very few sellers actually do any marketing should be tempting!

Want more details? Here is Zack’s entire AWA18 video.

But don’t act impulsively, even if you’ve been getting bombarded with Tai Lopez ads about Amazon. See if it’s for you after all this info and decide if you want to put any of your eggs in Jeff’s basket.


Google vs Search community. And new alerts from Search Console

Clicks and CTR matter. Clicks and CTR don’t matter. This is the debate going around for the last month or so between Google, Search community and their leader Moz. We bring you latest updates on that and then we look at some new alerts coming from Google’s Search Console.

Will this ranking debate ever come to a conclusion?

Google has said countless times, in writing and at conferences, that click data is not used in their ranking algorithm. Yet the debate doesn’t seem to find any consensus.

And now, Britney Muller from Moz pointed to Google’s own document that implies otherwise.

As per the Google doc: “When you click a link in Google Search, Google considers your click when ranking that search result in future queries.”

This clearly says Google DOES indeed use click data for core rankings.

Google’s response? It’s an old doc about how Google uses personalization.

“When you are logged in to your Google account, we adjust the rankings of your search results for you only, based on your most recent click data.”

“Dwell time, CTR, whatever this new theory is (referring to Rand Fishkin from Moz), those are generally made up crap. Search is much more simple than people think.”

Basically, Google agreed that it uses click data for rankings, but only to personalize the search results for users who are logged into their accounts. Google doesn’t use click data in their ranking algorithm for ranking their search results, outside of personalized results.

So, what’s the conclusion?

There is no conclusion and might not be one anytime soon. While the Google doc does clearly say it uses click data for rankings, it’s unclear whether it was written by someone from Google’s Search team or someone from their Cloud team.

Zoom In:

Google should really stop confusing the community and end this debate once and for all. The least it can do is focus on clear communication around CTR and behavioural signals. Or maybe, their attempts to keep the confusion looming are intentional.

Saying it matters only for personalized results is arguing semantics by Google. How many people who search on Google are logged in and get custom results? 90%+? So CTR only matters for 90% of searches? Just our rough guess, but you get our point!

New alerts coming from Google’s Search Console

And then, there is another update from Google. It’s a blessing-in-disguise kind of an update!

Google is sending out new type of traffic alerts from its Search Console! This will happen when it detects substantial traffic and ranking drops to your website compared to previous weeks.

Here’s the screenshot of the notification spotted by a marketer.

How will it work?

Google will compare your site and query clicks under Google Search Console’s performance report. If it sees huge fluctuations, alerts will be sent to verified property owners.

What are some common click drop scenarios?

  • When your website that ranked in a certain position on Google no longer ranks in that position.
  • Spike in time-sensitive news related searches that stopped trending after that week. Not much you can do here.

How is this helpful?

Well, we don’t regularly find a chance to look at Search Console performance reports of websites. These alerts can quickly help you be aware of such changes to your website’s performance in Google search. The sooner you find and address the issues, the less significantly it will impact your business.


Sweepstakes and lead gen affiliates: One special tip to possibly double your ROI!

Many affiliates don’t actually understand what happens in a lead gen flow so we’ve asked the team at Big Bang Ads to provide a simple explanation.

“Users are shown campaigns (coreg) that fit their profiling. If they select yes to any of the campaigns, this information is transmitted to the client. The more campaigns the user would answer, the more valuable it becomes, the more times the advertiser can export its datasets to clients.“

In simple words, after a visitor opts in, they get offered to opt-in for surveys to energy companies, telcos, e-com sites, etc. And if those are legitimately interested people, NOT artificially incentivized *cough cough* the quality goes higher and higherMisleading people into opting in will just end up with you getting kicked from the offer.

Now, let’s look at what matters to these companies, aside from an honest interest in their services:

  • Age – ideally between 25 to 60 years old.
  • Gender – about 50/50 split of male and female.

These 2 factors maximize the value leads have for the advertiser’s partners! How can you get that?

Well, targeting by age and gender is one option. And it’s the easiest one. But even so, there are some important tips from Big Bang Ads.

Use brands that appeal to everyone! So, if you choose the right brands you will solve the issue of age and gender. Some examples are Decathlon, Starbucks and the classic iPhone.

Tip number 2, as an alternative – split your brands! Big Bang Ads offers countless brands under their sweepstakes lead gen campaigns. From local supermarkets, gas stations, Amazon, Starbucks, all the way to the classic iPhone and other gadgets. So you will be able to “target” by choosing the brand that appeals to over 25-year-olds.

They have the biggest variety of landing pages and prizes for the same offer that we’ve ever seen!

Why would you want to do that?

  • Scale. You will be allowed more and more cap on the offer if you bring good quality.
  • Stability. When working with Big Bang Ads, you have an experienced partner who has been keeping offers alive since 2001. If you bring quality traffic, you benefit from their stable offers.
  • ROI. Good quality means significant payout increases. Talking from personal experience, when quality backed up, Big Bang Ads offered us up to 50% payout increases.
  • Transparency. Good affiliate managers, like those at Big Bang Ads, are transparent in where the affiliate should draw the line in how aggressive they can go to maintain quality.
  • Cashflow. Weekly payments are the norm, even for an direct advertiser like Big Bang Ads, once you hit $1k/week in revenue.

Let’s keep it simple. Want to do well with lead gen? Go direct! Sign up with Big Bang Ads. Take advantage of all the ROI-boosting benefits they provide.


Pinterest quietly going public

Pinterest is soon going to join the ranks of big-tech companies with its decision to quietly go public soon.

Formal paperwork has been submitted and Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase have been hired as lead underwriters for its offering. The IPO is scheduled for later this year.

Here are some figures to give you a build up:

  • The visual search company was last evaluated at $12.3B (2017).
  • Current user base stands at 250M MAUs.
  • Advertising revenue figure for 2018 was around $700M.
  • 1600 employees in 13 cities globally.

Apart from Pinterest, Lyft, Uber and Slack are also scheduled to go public in the coming months. Time to invest those internet marketing earnings, eh?


Big brands pulling out of YouTube Ads

Recently, a scandal hit YouTube and many big advertisers stepped down from the video platform.

What happened? On February 18, Matt Watson launched a campaign against bad actors using YouTube videos of young children for controversial purposes, causing a big debate online.

This led YouTube to an “adpocalypse” and many big brands decided to stop their ads on the video sharing platform. Because they don’t have the control over which channels their ads are shown. And brands don’t want to associate their image with such videos.

What does this mean for Youtube?

Obviously, the scandal has hit YouTube hard and their ad revenue could suffer. Even though such channels are rare and YouTube constantly works on taking them down, brands are demanding 100% assurance. So, they went for the full stop.

YouTube needs to react to this, maybe giving advertisers more control over their ad placements. Additionally, they need a more powerful moderation system.

Since the scandal exploded, they already limited ads running on some videos and have applied those ad restrictions to millions of other videos. So, it looks they’re responding reactively.

What does this mean for advertisers?

Many will likely join the boycott, especially the big brands. They have to protect their brand image.

This might mean less revenue for YouTube and for content creators too, who earn from video monetization.

Less advertiser competition will likely bring the advertising costs down. And this might benefit the brands that chose to run their ad campaigns irrespective of the things going on. Or the ones that don’t feel threatened by what is going on.


Facebook shuts down Onavo

Two days ago, we reported about Facebook’s VPN app Onavo, intended to provide security. And how they actually used it to gather data to make more informed decisions about their competitors.

Facebook bought Onavo in 2013 to gather users’ data and thanks to the data generated, they decided to spend a $19B fortune to buy WhatsApp: The data revealed that WhatsApp was sending over twice as many messages per day as Messenger.

Eventually, Onavo has been shut down, and will not be in a position to pull user data anymore.

Facebook realized that offering its users a VPN utility in exchange for quietly examining their app usage and mobile browsing data wasn’t such a wise strategy.

They will instead focus on paid programs. Where users clearly understand what info they’re sharing with FB for a financial compensation.

They crave data as much as we crave conversions, eh?


Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things affiliates like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.

When you pick the wrong chicken

Choose your audience carefully.

Learn from this guy’s mistake, who tried to extort money from a poor 94-year old man.

He announced the elderly person as the winner of $15.5M and a Mercedes-Benz and demanded just $50k to cover taxes.

Things soon turned violent and the guy threatened to shoot the poor old man and burn down his house if he didn’t make the payment ASAP.

As it turned out, the poor old guy was an ex-director of FBI and CIA, William Webster. Having served directly under George Bush.

In a blink of an eye, the guy got arrested and sentenced for 6 years.

In marketing words, wrong audience targeting and very low relevance score = Ad account getting banned for 6 years!


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