30 highly pertinent Amazon products (3 per hub on average)
1300 page views
427 unique visitors and many returning visitors
1:18 min average page duration
BUT ONLY 1 AMAZON CLICK, which I got the day I signed up!
What's going on?
It is hard to get sales from Amazon. Your ads have to be completely related to your content. For example, I have gotten sales from a hub that discusses Fred Astaire movies or book reviews. Even then, sales are few and far between.
Just pointing out - some products not found
Thanks for pointing that out, Lobobrandon. I checked all the products and there were indeed two that were no longer available. This raises two more questions:
1.) Is it okay to click on our own Amazon links to check on product availability (I had been avoiding this for fear of self-clicking...)
2.) It's possible to check products for ten hubs, but how do people with 1000 keep up?
Letitia, you have two problems with your Amazon capsules.
On the Hub I looked at, your Amazon capsules are right at the end of the Hub. Any Hubber will tell you, Amazon capsules at the end of the Hub never get clicks. You will see other Hubs like that because it's a common newbie mistake - but it doesn't work.
The other problem is that your products may be pertinent to your text, but they're not pertinent to your visitors. For instance, I looked at a Hub on vultures. What are your visitors looking for? Information on vultures. So if you want to sell Amazon products, you need to find books or DVD's on vultures - not general bird-watching related products, or books about a country.
I also looked at one of your Riviera Hubs. There, you've placed the Amazon capsules in the text and they are relevant to the topic of the paragraph - but the title of the Hub is about decorating, which will attract searchers wanting to decorate the inside of their house. They're not in the market to buy fruit trees, build a pond or learn about Jean Cocteau.
I couldn't find any Amazon capsules on the first few Hubs I looked at.
One other tip - I notice you've included links to your other Hubs in every Hub. That's a quick route to getting your Hubs unpublished. You can only link to Hubs and websites which are directly relevant to the topic of the Hub.
A huge thanks for your tremendously useful comments! When I first posted this, I actually meant "what's going on technically", convinced that there was a glitch. That there were no sales was one thing, that there were no clicks seemed another. I have a much clearer picture now of where I need to go, but it does raise some questions:
For instance, Hubpages has an English language readership, so when I write about European Vultures and where to see them, I'm assuming that 1.) these English speakers will have to travel to France to see them, and 2.) they are interested in nature in France,
Hence the Amazon book on where to see nature in France. Am I just thinking too much?
For the decorating article, I totally see that the title isn't consistent with the content and people don't know where they are going when they start to read it. I'll work on this.
As for links, I'm still not clear on policy. I pepper my texts with links to other people's hubs wherever I find relevent (quality) hubs to link to. I do add my own links at the bottom, but only relevent ones: In my hub on the Alpine Ibex of Mont Blanc, I assume my readers are interested in wildlife in France and/or Mont Blanc, so I link to my other hubs on French wildlife and to a hub on the first women to climb Mont Blanc (my 11th and last hub for which I didn't even bother adding Amazon capsules). But I don't link to my hub on decorating St. Tropez style. Is this not allowed?
Sorry to bother with all these questions, but I want to get all of this straight before I spend any more time writing hubs the wrong way!
Not really, I think the issue is more about focus. If your Hub is about where to see european vultures, you should call it "where to see European Vultures", because that's the phrase people will be searching for. How many people do you think type "Europe's wild vultures and where to see them" into Google? Online, you have to curb your writer's desire to create catchy titles, because Google can't interpret them accurately, which will reduce the number of visitors you get.
Having changed the title, you should then start with that section - where to see the birds, how to get there, what equipment you'll need etc. Then directly alongside that information, you could place guidebooks, binoculars etc. Follow that up with an explanation of the various vultures. Or put that in a separate Hub and interlink them.
If you leave it as is, many people will take one look at the top of the Hub, decide it's just about the vultures and not about where to see them, and click away.
I think focus is the thing you need to work on, because the decorating Hub and the fox Hub are also not very focussed.
Bad idea. Readers find too many links irritating. Also bear in mind that if someone leaves your Hub by clicking on a link, they don't leave your Hub by clicking on an ad. Sale lost!
If there are good quality Hubs on the same subject, I link to them at the end of the Hub - when people have already passed by my ads, so I have nothing to lose.
I can see links to your decorating Hubs under the vulture Hub.
All just part of the game buddy. Get use to it.
I am seeing this rather late, but I would like to share that for the last two months, I have only had two Amazon sales. These sales were decent in size and at 4% payout on the sales of each, it is not bad. Both sales came from product review hubs which feature in the Amazon capsules the same products that are reviewed....very related to the hub subject matter.
Yep, I sell more hub related items than otherwise, Dale. I sold more items yesterday than I sold all last month. But you never know when a big sale will come your way accidentally. I made $300 on one such sale last year, but some items I really had luck with are now not available. The commission on them was very good too.
But now it's harder to sell items since Google sends the searchers directly to businesses in many cases. I wish Google would fall down a few notches so they weren't so invasive on the net. I feel it's only a matter of time.
Really, it's not that easy to get amazon sales. My hub on 'sweet smelling perfumes', brought just few sales.
You've stumbled onto one of the aspects of making money online that many people don't consider: what drives sales?
Think about your own web surfing habits. Wherever you go on the web, there are ads encouraging you to buy things. When do you choose to click on a link and buy something? Not very often. What can overcome your reluctance?
Or think about real life. Where are you more likely to buy a product: the cool goodies at the checkout counter of Staples, the souvenir shops you're forced to walk through at the end of a Disneyland ride, or the stuff at the checkout counter of a gas station when the pump won't take your card and you have to go inside to pay? Part of it depends on the store display and what's available; part of it depends on your own circumstances when you encounter the checkout counter. (For the Disney ride, it depends heavily on whether you have kids in tow. For Staples, you've entered the store TO shop, so you're already in a shopping frame of mind.)
This holds true for web purchases as well. Some pages tend to attract search traffic that's looking to buy a product (say, "best ipad apps for art"). Other pages attract readers who just want information, and need to be converted to a buying frame of mind. This is harder to do, and the rate at which it happens will be lower than on, say, Amazon, where nearly everyone has arrived in a buying frame of mind.
There's a special skill, Conversion Rate Optimization, which can help boost sales. "Conversions" means the process of getting a visitor to click a link, fill out a form, buy a product, or do whatever you hope your visitors will do on your page.
Some of the basic CRO skills are hard to do on Hubpages: you'll need to upload your own product photos to utilize the Hero Photo effect, in which a good photo of a product tends to attract attention to the product. Other aspects of CRO are easier: "talk benefits, not just features" is all about the language you use, and you can "establish trust" by showing you know what you're talking about and are a real person (even a smiling profile photo can help; it makes a webpage seem less anonymous and more friendly).
Here's a free PDF on conversion tips. Check out the "six persuaders" part of this chapter for some tips you can use to boost sales (I didn't write it, I just found it online a few years ago when I asked myself the very question you're asking, and it's helped me.)
Or Google "How to Get More Clicks, Sales," for a tutorial I wrote last year after learning a little more about this. It's NOT easy. But there are ways to encourage people to buy.
Let's face it; marketing is a billion dollar industry. If we're doing this for income and not just for fun, it's wise to learn the web equivalent of marketing. Just make sure you're only recommending things you'd recommend to a friend (or use and like), and you won't feel too slimy about it.
Wow Greekgeek, I don't know what to say. You are awesome, as always. I printed up the PDF and read it last night. One of my goals in writing on hubpages is to understand how all of these issues work so I can later create a site for my own purposes. This will be of immense help on all fronts. I also printed up your quick list.
One thing is becoming very clear, writing for the web is nothing like the writing for books and publications I've done in the past. Thanks again.
I had a bit of success in the past with Amazon sales here, not any more though. I think faults with the products not displaying properly and changes to layout etc. made my conversion rate (I mean sales not just click thro's)drop off between Christmas and May.
After this month when I had a lot of clicks thro's to Amazon that did not result in any sales; I think the Pinterest button they have added has not helped. The person can pin the item they are interested in and purchase it, at a later date.
Thanks 2uesday. It's surprising that it would drop off at Christmas, though I suppose the competition is steeper. Your point on Pinterest is interesting. I'm starting to wonder if Amazon is worth the space it takes on hubs. I'll check out your hubs to see what you're doing right! Thanks again.
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