"Effective Online Advertising"
List Moderator: Adam Audette
February 18, 2000 Digest #773
"The shyness of success"
From: Rod Aries
Subject: The shyness of success
Allan Gardyne wrote,
Many people who are struggling to make money from affiliate
programs find it hard to believe that some people have actually
figured out how to earn decent money with affiliate programs. So I
like interviewing some of the successful ones... However, I've
found that the REALLY successful affiliates - the cream of the
cream - tend to be rather shy...<
I am not sure if 'shy' is the correct word to use, or strategy to
take. Now don't get me wrong, companies have to 'toot their own
horn,' but they do not have to give away the blueprints to their
My partner and I control over 500 web sites and we have spent
thousands and thousands of hours, over the last five years,
creating highly successful web sites for our clients and for
ourselves. We have clients producing $100,000 per day, net, from
their sites. In four days, we just produced a flower site that had
15,000 visitors in its first two weeks. But as far as disclosing
the names of those site, it just doesn't make any sense.
All of this is know-how and expertise to make a revenue producing
site, and then to simply invite someone over to a SPECIFIC site and
say "Come on in," just doesn't make any sense.
I have experimented, tweaked, read, studied, tested, guessed, got
lucky, organized and discovered many 'secrets' and try to
incorporate these into each site we compose. We have a staff of ten
and spend hours training individuals just on a single facet of
internet marketing or web site design, so that is all they do -
become an expert in a specific aspect. So I can understand why
successful owners want to be shy about giving out information on a
SPECIFIC site. It seems to be smart business to protect your unique
skills and ability.
Some of the lessons learned are evident, and can be shared, such as:
- Revenue creation: Design for show, content for dough.
- Link strategy: They check in, but they don't check out.
- Creating high traffic: Niche, niche, niche.
- R&D: The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your
sources. - Albert Einstein
- Hit counters: Never use them: if your counter is low, they scare
away your customers; if your counter is high, they attract your
Other findings such as spatial keyword analysis, reverse
engineering algorithms and domain/title/content correlations are
really proprietary in nature and are what separate companies that
produce a high amount of traffic from sites that are just on the net.
So, where does that leave me? Well, I went pretty thoroughly over
the UsedCar.com HTML code, examined the affiliate plans that he
uses (he probably spent hours of time to find which were the most
reputable and best performing), determined who is linking to his
site, when his site was constructed, analyzed the last date his
main page was edited, determined what other web sites he owns,
reviewed his keyword strategy, investigated competitive domain
names that still might be available... and then proceeded to do the
same about the affiliate sites. In a matter of 20 minutes, I have a
template of what has taken someone months to discover, create and
Finally, I noticed an interesting dichotomy that has occurred in
your post: The owner of usedcar.com has a reason to be shy and
guarded - it his business and his 'trade secrets.' Yet, most
understandably, you have a reason to want to share his success with
the world, because that is your business, as you offer affiliate
plans. While your goals are the same - the success of your
business; the information you each need to disclose, is opposite as
to what is in each of your best interests.
Moral of the story: While you have to be a bit boisterous about
your strengths, you need to maintain a 'shyness of success' by not
naming too many specific sites so you can be easily reversed
engineered. (Of course, cloaking all your source code prevents
At your service,
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