The internet is buzzing with a mantra’s such as ‘passive income‘, ‘affiliate marketing‘ and ‘automation of revenue‘.
Frankly speaking, I feel a lot of people are missing the true potential here.
Sure, if you have a blog with millions of visitors, thousands of twitter and facebook followers or a million youtube subscribers you will make a healthy income through ads and affiliate links, but here is something you have to keep in mind: each conversion individually is peanuts.
It only adds up if you have massive volumes of ‘peanuts‘.
Perhaps the ‘conversion‘ happens automatically, but the audience acquisition and growth is hard work.
More over, for people starting out now, its super hard to break through.
Either way, I’m going to show you another side of the coin, using keyword analysis to find:
“High value and low volume traffic“.
Case Study Introduction
Perhaps if you read my first post on CTR optimisation you would have noticed that I hate empty, abstract talk and so for this post I will use a relatively new web property that I run called ‘fishinguae.com‘.
So besides being in the digital marketing space, I actually run physical, analogue businesses, i.e: in this case I own and operate a fishing charter company in Dubai.
We have 4 fishing boats and a 8 crew members to operate them.
Initially, we only worked through b2b channels, i.e: we had tour operators and agents selling our packages for a commission.
This year, there was a huge slump in the inbound Tourism market and the situation became really desperate.
I had boats that were parked collecting dust.
I had fishing captains that weren’t fishing (but getting a salary) and I decided that I really need to find another avenue for sales, or sell the company basically.
Naturally, online was the first to come to mind and here is an overview of the journey of the last couple of months.
Philosophical Side Note
When you own a real business and combine that with the ability to generate sales to it, its FAR more powerful than just directing sales to somebody else for a small cut.
Think of it this way.
If you have a blog on books, and you post an affiliate link to amazon, someone clicks through, gets a cookie and buys a book – who wins more? You, or the author of the book? The author of course!
Having said that, the article below does not imply that you should start a fishing charter business, but rather, you can find high value, low volume keywords and rank for them, directing the sales to a local business that you tie up with it.
- You will earn FAR more money on each ‘affiliate’ sale
- You do not need to have millions of visitors to your blog
Step 1: Keyword Analysis – Measuring the Value
Very few marketers truly understand the value of the keywords that they go after, simply because they aren’t there on the business side to count the profit/revenue.
Now, I won’t show you how I do my KW research here as it would take too long, but I’ll give you an example of how to put a value on them.
Lets take ‘fishing trips dubai‘ as an example.
That keyword gets 210 searches/month by UAE based ‘searchers’.
The cost of a fishing trip is $500.
The industry standard here for commissions is around 20%. In other words, if an agent sold the $500 he would get $100 commission for each sale.
- Doing some very basic math: 210 x 500 = $105,000
- Lets take 20% of that: $21,000
Thats a very juicy amount for a single keyword. Perfect example of ‘high value and low volume‘ keyword.
If hypothetically you had a single page that ranked #1 for that and got 50% of that business you would be making more than Pat Flynn does from his blog 🙂
So how can this affect you? Very easy, if you wrote me the following email:
I can provide you with targeted leads for your Fishing Business, in return for 20% of every successful sale“
My answer would be “Yes!!”.
Unfortunately, no one did, and so I went ahead and did it myself.
Just to drill the point home, let me give you one more example of a keyword that has $ attached to it.
‘Yacht Rental Dubai‘ gets 2400 searches/month.
The cheapest yacht per hour is around $200 and usually trips are no less than 2 hours. Note: yacht prices/hour go well over a $1000 so this is a very pessimistic outlook on it.
- 2400 searches x 2 hours x $200 hour = $960,000
- Take 20% from that = $192,000
Note: per month, NOT per year.
Step 2: Converting High Value Customers
When you are working with high-value customers like this, you need to deliver customer service.
No shopping cart or automated sales funnel, you need a human being.
Booking Enquiry Forms and/or a phone number have worked numbers.
Here is the thing that most people forget: ‘People like people‘ (generally).
My first step was to hire and train a dedicated online sales rep, who had a cell phone which was on 24/7, a dedicated email ID and a pleasant voice that in combination with indepth knowledge of the product is doing wonders.
If a certain time slot was booked, she would discuss with them another potential time slot that works for them, if they had any concerns, she would resolve them instantly, if they had requirements for bigger boats or unorthodox request she could react instantly over the phone, email or whatsapp.
This has created a very high customer acquisition rate – which on high value keywords is worth a LOT.
Here are some numbers:
Last month (October) fishinguae.com got a measly 1350 Unique Visits.
However, we sold 34 fishing trips and 3 large yacht rentals.
More over we have made another 13 reservations for November.
The total revenue was:
- 17,000$ on the fishing trips (just for October trips that happened and paid for)
- 5500$ on the Yacht Rentals (note: we don’t own any large yachts, simply negotiated a commission from local operators).
- $2000 salary for the sales agent
- = Net revenue is $20,500
- If you add in the additional 13 bookings in the future that is $27,000 NET Revenue
Granted, this isn’t much, however we have a long growth ahead and still are not ranking for many of the targeted Key Words.
Regardless, that is about $15/visitor which is really high, just ask Zac 🙂
As the rankings & traffic grow (and they will) – these proportions will scale and really add up.
Step 3: Customer Life Cycle
The final step in this puzzle is that these 34 fishing trips sold are not a closed chapter.
Each of those customers has received a loyalty card, has provided his email ID, phone number & name and is now part of our customer database.
Unlike with our tourism sales channel, these customers live in Dubai and go fishing often, thus its not about the one-time conversion, its about building a relationship with the customers.
Whenever we have an unused slot on the weekends, we throw in a discount and blast our list with it; 99% of the time it gets filled up within the hour.
In addition we have generated over 190 email list subscribers, using a very simple popup tool.
More over, we also operate a floating restaurant, so we blast our fishing list with offers and events to the restaurant aswell.
This last step is something very few important and multiplies the effect a hundred fold.
Naturally, you need to offer a quality service and in our case actually catch fish on the trips, without which it wouldn’t work – but we do, so people come back.
Its not about the amount of traffic you get. Its about the kind of traffic you are getting and more importantly what you are doing with it.
Achieve a high relative net revenue and scale it.
Identify HIGH VALUE keywords with BUSINESS INTENT.
If you rank for those, finding a partner who will actually provide the service minus a margin that you will keep should be a matter of 3 emails or 1 phone call.
If you run your own business, even better – find those keywords for your business – don’t just focus on HEAD TERMS.
Those guys are super stars in their own right, but it does not mean that you should mimic what they do – and more importantly, chances are that you won’t be able to.
Don’t obsess over passive income and endless automation.
It doesn’t exist. Nothing is easy, and nothing is really passive.
Sometimes picking up the phone and just speaking to a customer can be the difference between a sale and a fail. (just made that up and sounds pretty good).
I’ll be checking the comments if anyone requires any advice please ask or hit me on twitter at @nolabelinc