Update on Review Style Case Study

by Mike on November 8, 2008
in Case Studies

Well its been about six weeks since I launched my review style case study and I have good news and bad news.

My Best Web Host Ratings site uses the WPReview site plugin to let vititors leave their own comments and ratings about the web hosts they’ve used.  The idea is that people who are shopping around for a web host will find my site, read some of the reviews and comparisons, and click on one of my affiliate links.

The bad news is that I’ve really underpromoted it…I had planned a good sized article marketing campaign but I’ve only written two short articles.  I’ve only gotten 128 unique visitors to the site and there aren’t that many customer comments.  I added a few myself for the hosting providers I’ve used and some I got thanks to a forum post telling people they’d get a free link in return for a review.

However, there is some really good news.  Even though I’ve only gotten 128 visitors…I’ve made 2 sales!  Eash sale earned me $100.   that means I’ve already pocketed $200 with next to no traffic.  And you know what that means?

My combination of the Conduit Method and the WPReview site plugin looks like a winner!

Now it could just be a fluke so I really need to get some articles written and drive some more traffic to this site to really see its power.

If you’d like to help the study move along please go ahead and add your own web hosting review.  And please stumble it, digg it, and add it to any other social bookmarking site you use.

Thanks!  :)

Starting a Pay Per Click Case Study

by Mike on October 24, 2008
in Case Studies, Pay Per Click

Unfortunately, I haven’t had much time to post here lately…my mother in law has been ill, I’ve been working on a project on my house, and I recently signed up for PPC Classroom 2.0 so I’ve been spending time pouring through their modules and preparing to dive into the world of pay per click. 

There’s a lot of money to be made in Pay Per Click so I strongly suggest you consider it as part of your business model.  This is something I’ve been looking to get into for some time but I just haven’t had a chance to educate myself properly.  I’ve played around with ppc before but there’s a lot I didn’t know.  Time to fix that!

PPC Classroom is a course that’s designed to teach you the ins and outs of running successful Google AdWords campaigns.I don’t have an affiliate link and in fact the course in now closed too new members, but if you go to their site you can sign up to be notified if they let new people in.

Going through the modules I’ve already picked up enough tips to make my purchase worthwhile.  Plus, since I bought it through Jeremy Palmers affiliate link I also received a free copy of last years PPC Classroom version 1.0.  That sold for $497 just last year!

Anyway, once I get the PPC ball rolling I’ll post here regularly about my results.  I won’t give away actual links or websites I’m using but I’ll give you some numbers so you can see how it goes.  GOnna start with a really small budget and increase a little at a time as I see results. 

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Case Study – A Review Style Site In Action

by Mike on October 2, 2008
in Case Studies

In this post you’re going to learn about two very powerful products.  Individually they each have the ability to make you a lot of money.  But when used together they can move mountains and form an unstoppable combination that almost guarantees profits.

photo credit: podoboq

This is also the first in what will be a series of posts tracking my progress as I use these two tools to start a new site from scratch.  Think of it as a case study where I’ll periodically discuss my progress as I go.

You’re going to want to read this post carefully because it can make you a lot of money if you follow along with me.

Step 1 – Understanding The Conduit Method

The Conduit Method is a short report written by Chris Rempel (The Lazy Super-Affiliate).  I obviously can’t go into too much detail about it without giving away all of Chris’s secrets…but I’ll give you a little overview so you can see what I mean…

The Conduit Method is all about finding a hot market with lots of products to promote, and stepping in when someone is just on the verge of buying.  And as Chris demonstrates…one of the best ways to do this is with a review site.

Think about it.  You’re looking to buy a new digital camera.  Maybe you’ve narrowed your choices down to a few different models.  Before you make your decision you’re likely to search around for some comparisons and comments from people who already own each model.  You’re in the last stage of research before you make your purchase…and that’s the perfect time for an affiliate to step in and claim a commission for themselves!

NOTE – this is a just a short summary of Chris’s report.  There’s a lot of details I’m leaving out so I strongly recommend you grab a copy of his report here.

Step Two – Applying the Conduit Method With A Review-Style Site

I was blown away by Chris’s report.  It was so simple…yet so powerful.  I immediately started to brainstorm of a way I could test it out.  I wanted to make a review-style site that was easy to update and could have affiliate links for lots of different products.  I saw a few html templates that would work but it would be too manual that way.  What I really wanted was a way to use Wordpress to create my review sites.  But I couldn’t figure out how to make it work right.

Then I got lucky and saw a thread on the Warrior Forum that mentioned Dan Grossman’s WP Review Site Plugin.  It wasn’t free but it was exactly what I needed.  I quickly bought it and started testing it out.  So far I’m very impressed…

It lets me add new product reviews quickly and easily.  It lets visitors leave their own comments and rate the products on a 5 star scale.  Then it ranks the products based on the actual customer ratings.  That’s a great feature because visitors will know which products rate best as soon as they hit my home page.

Starting the Review Site Project

For this project I wanted to pick a niche with lots of different products to promote. I chose web hosting.  I know…its an incredibly competitive niche so getting traffic could take some time.  But the potential rewards make it worth the effort.  There are tons of web hosting affiliate programs and many of them pay between $80 to $120 per referral.

Plus, I had already been planning a site on web hosting for some time.  I have some PLR content I bought to use for articles and I’m already affiliate of around 20 hosting sites so I could get started right away.  Plus I already had a couple of reviews written in advance.

So lets look at the pros and cons of my niche topic:


Very competitive
Organic traffic will be tough
PPC traffic will be expensive


High paying affiliate programs
Lots of different products to promote
Already have some of the writing work done for me
Popular topic with lots of traffic potential with time

The Site

Ok, so here’s a link to the review-style site I created: Best Web Host Ratings

It took me only 2 hours to register the domain, setup Wordpress, install the WP Review plugin, tweak the settings a bit, and write 20 something short reviews.  If you notice, the reviews are really just a list of basic features…nothing too time consuming.

The real power is going to be in the customer reviews…that’s the content that’s going to keep the site growing and keep visitors clicking through to the hosting provider’s sites.  Keep in mind that I’m an affiliate of almost every host listed, so I really don’t care which host gets the sales.  I get a commission no matter what.

Now I’m in an awkward spot because there’s not a lot of reviews yet and so there’s not much selling power either.  So if you want to help out please go ahead and leave a short review of your experiences with various web hosts.  All links are DoFollow so if nothing else you’ll get a free link back to your site.  :)

As traffic and the number of reviews grow I’ll be interested to see what kind of sales the site generates.  I really only need 1 sale to break even and everything after that is profit!

Here’s how I plan to market my webhosting review site…

Article marketing through EzineArticles and other directories
Posting in forums
Yahoo Answers
If sales warrant, perhaps a PPC campaign

As you can see this isn’t exactly a full on marketing blitz.  I’m mostly focused on writing articles and posting responses to people who are searching for a host.  It’s all about finding the right angle to attack the niche.

Am I missing anything?  If you have any ideas for promoting the site please leave a comment…I’d love to hear them.  But keep in mind I want to go free or low-cost with this site.  I want to demonstrate that it can be done on a shoestring budget.

That’s all for now…I’ll check in once a month or so to keep you updated on how the site is doing.

Make sure you subscribe to my free RSS feed so you can come along for the ride.