It’s been one month since we officially launched our affiliate website experiment OutsmartCarbs.com and we want to share all the numbers with you… including revenue.
Part of us starting this affiliate website experiment is to be able to share with you what we are doing and what we are learning (what worked and what didn’t). While we are only one month into this, we’ve got a lot to tell you! We get into a lot more detail (of the different pieces of Outsmart Carbs site) below but if you are in a hurry, here is a quick overview of the first month (from October 1 – October 31, 2018):
- Website = Added 75 Products and 12 Comparisons
- Amazon = 443 Clicks / 16 items ordered / $5.20 revenue
- Pinterest = 29,792 impressions with 90 clicks (Main board)
- YouTube = 25 Videos / 4 subscribers
- MailChimp = 1 Subscriber
- Google Analytics = Not functioning properly… see notes
We originally launched the website with 112 Low Carb Products and 28 Low Carb Comparisons and over the course of this first month we have grown it to 187 Low Carb Products and 40 Low Carb Comparisons. That is a 66% increase in Products and a 42% increase in Comparisons. Not bad for one month, considering all the other things we were doing to grow the website (more on this below).
Knowing that some people need to limit salt or count calories or want higher protein, we added a new way to sort the products called Counters. All of the information on this screen is automatically pulled from the product custom fields so there is no additional work for us to do to make this page happen.
We didn’t make any changes to the overall design, however the footer now contains the latest few blog posts that Amy is experimenting with. It’s a different format than the comparisons but contains similar information.
We also created an automated machine using Mechanical Turk to write product descriptions for us.
Besides sharing our experience with the Web Designers Academy audience, generating revenue using using the Amazon Affiliate Program is another top goal for this experiment. Mostly every product on Outsmart Carbs contains a link to a product on Amazon (read more about how we get paid) however some products are not affiliate links at all… we did this because some low carb products are not sold on Amazon but we want to build a useful website for visitors.
The first month saw 443 clicks with 16 items being ordered and that generated $5.20 in revenue. See more numbers below:
While we are not buying a private island just yet… it’s good to see some money come in the first month.
To spread Outsmart Carbs on social networks we opened a Outsmart Carbs Pinterest account and have been very committed to posting regularly. We alternate between posting pins to our Comparisons (using the shareable image at the bottom of each Comparison, like THIS ONE) and repinning other peoples pins/boards.
Here are some stats from our Pinterest account:
People like watching videos, so we opened an Outsmart Carbs YouTube account and have been creating a short video for each low carb comparison on the website (as of this writing, we are not done yet). We’ll publish a tutorial about exactly how we create the video (HINT: no software to download or video editing skills necessary). We received official permission from the Amazon team to post our affiliate links in the description of our YouTube videos, so each video (on YouTube) has our affiliate links and people can click on the links and buy products right from YouTube.
Here are a few examples of these videos, keep in mind that our affiliate links are displaying below the video when it’s viewed in YouTube.
So far we’ve published 25 videos and have 4 YouTube subscribers.
YouTube (Google) has limitations on using a custom thumbnail for videos, once our account restrictions have been lifted we’ll be adding a custom thumbnail to each video.
At the top of each page there is an email signup form. We’ve discussed giving away something free to build our email subscriber list… however we don’t have anything to giveaway just yet, so we only have one subscriber. That’s okay, we love that one random person.
Installing Google Analytics had got to be one of the simplest things to do HOWEVER something is not right in our account. As you can tell from the stats listed above, we have people finding our website and people clicking on our affiliate links BUT our Google Analytics account traffic stats is not counting anyone BUT US for some strange reason. Let me show you.
Here is a report about visitors for the ENTIRE month:
See how it’s only 2 visitors from the United States? When we click on that it says that the only two people to visit the website are from Tampa… yeah… that’s us Google!
All the other Analytics reports are showing similar data so we know it’s not correct and we need to look into it soon.
Month 1 Recap
Overall we are happy with the first month of Outsmart Carbs! We’ve got some traffic (regardless of what Google Analytics says), we’ve got some revenue, we’ve got some subscribers on social media and we’ve made money. We’re going to continue to add products and comparisons and find new ways to display the data.