A quick introduction to our first entry in the success stories series. The goal here is to develop a complete archive of people's successful conversions to MyReviewPlugin. MyReviewPlugin offers hundreds of great features to expand, update and inject new life in to your business or web development projects. These features can be exercised in such a wealth of creative ways that the success stories contained within could be overwhelmingly valuable. Peter was a member of a private affiliate marketing forum that I recruited to test MyReviewPlugin.
For the sake of full disclosure, Peter was given a free unlimited license to MyReviewPlugin in exchange for his beta testing efforts. He has also been an involved member of the MyReviewPlugin project by way of testing and reporting bugs since version 1. He is not getting any compensation for this success story, however future success story authors may be rewarded for their time in the way of extra themes and plugins for MyReviewPlugin.
If you have questions about the success stories or would like to get in touch regarding MyReviewPlugin, please contact support to be put in touch with the right person.
Mark, MyReviewPlugin: Hi Peter, I want to start this by thanking you for joining me for this interview and even more so for your efforts in beta testing. Recruiting good beta testers is nearly impossible and you've contributed a lot of useful testing and commentary that has been mostly unseen in other contributors.
Peter: Thanks Mark! Its been a pleasure working with you and I always love to help! I can't wait to see future versions of the script.
Mark: Great. Can I start by asking you to tell me a little about your business and how you got in to affiliate marketing?
Peter: Sure. I started 3 years ago... no, that's not right. I started officially 3 years ago, I've been indirectly involved in affiliate marketing for a lot longer than that. I got suckered in to Kirby Vacuums right out of high-school, which believe it or not taught me a lot of what I know about marketing. I got out of Kirby, and began working for a small company producing diet pills as a entry-level market research slave basically just collecting data in any way that they needed. Their business plan is what got me interested in affiliate marketing as it was very dependent on other individuals (unrelated to the company... "affiliates") doing their marketing for them. Unrelated but at almost the same time I started a review blog on Blogspot.com with absolutely no way to monetize it. I ran Adsense and then eventually Amazon's affiliate program and made pennies. I remember my first $100 from Adsense, I was pretty excited... all of this leads up to where I realize that Adsense pays almost nothing (buy low) and products are expensive (sell high). I was going to get in to the actual product side of things... but no funding... I realized that with a simple game of numbers I could make money on Amazon's affiliate program if I pushed electronics... but failed.
Mark: Wow, that was a detailed history. So where does that leave you today?
Peter: Well. Amazon seemed to be a lost cause for me at the time. I tried a few more times and failed. Then I discovered (laugh at me now) Clickbank. Clickbank indexes those spammy ebook products, basically. But **** the haters really, Clickbank products convert. I set up a few sites that were basically flogs around various Clickbank products and sent traffic to them via AdWords... they talked about how I had tried the products and they were great... the kind of stuff the FTC would kill you for today. I found myself a niche that was making money though, built up a bankroll and here I went. Moving forward to today, I don't really run those flogs anymore but I do a lot of legitimate websites that have affiliate marketing components. I run a technology site that has affiliate links to all the major tech. retailers in the "hot deals" section that makes me a sizable portion of my income, I run a few software review sites that do quite well too. The rest of my time is spent putting together what are basically very large content sites that build links through a variety of methods to drive more and more search engine friendly links to money sites. I rank in Google for hundreds, maybe even thousands of product names and model numbers... usually with Amazon links and reviews, but if possible other affiliates. Combined these things make me a sizable amount of money. This is kind of the "hidden side of affiliate marketing", affiliate marketing that isn't directly dependent on traffic sources like Google (I make a lot from that, but my real content sites have forums and a following of visitors).
Mark: Interesting. So then, MyReviewPlugin, for you is building the big database sites?
Peter: Yes. I'm also using it for some profitable money sites though. I mean, your final version of Import Man (ed: more info) is a huge improvement over the development versions, so a lot of my earlier time was spent building money sites with MyReviewPlugin mostly manually. Since then I started tossing together some database sites driven by Import Man with some great CSVs that I got from some careful Googling and the purchase of a giant ZIP of CSVs for $20. I've got 10-20 sites with about 50,000 indexed pages so far but I've only spent a handful of hours working on the database sites. The 1.0 version of Import Man is a great improvement and I can see myself launching dozens of more sites from databases for pure SEO purposes. That said, some of the product databases that I'm hotlinking off to Amazon on were powered with database imports and some slight modifications to add the affiliate links in. This is really excessive though, and probably would've been just as easy to do without Import Man.
Mark: Cool. Cool. What about user reviews?
Peter: That's another great feature that all the review plugins share. Its active on my legal review site and actually gets used a little bit... the site isn't really the right type for users to come and regularly review things (who reviews their lawyer?), but I do get a steady (but slow) stream of reviews... I know for a fact that a feature like this is a successful way to build a community in markets like technology products and web hosting stuff (because its the basis of my technology product site).
Mark: Are you using WordPress and a review plugin on your tech. products site? You mentioned it was one of your most successful.
Peter: Funny story actually. I was using WordPress on it (and actually, PHP Nuke before that) but I found it was limited because I couldn't implement reviews effectively. This was a long time ago, and obviously there's solutions like MyReviewPlugin for this now... I moved to a fully custom back-end 2 years ago... cost me like $10k to get developed, but it fits the particular needs perfectly.
Mark: Glad to hear that MyReviewPlugin is worth near $10k a copy on the custom market. ;-) How about simple product review PPC landers, do you do any of that?
Peter: PPC is really not my cup of tea anymore. I haven't run any of that style site, however, the "shortreview" theme looks absolutely top notch for running pages like that.
Mark: Okay, finally. Do you have any questions for me that our visitors might be interested in?
Peter: Yeah, can you tell me anything about the next version of MyReviewPlugin?
Mark: Privately, sure. I don't want to publish that information - I have competitors who will eat up all my great ideas themselves! That said, you can expect to see a fantastic improvement released around the New Year. Beta testing will be available to license holders sometime before then.
I want to thank you again for all the time and effort you've put in to this project. To everyone else, if you're interested in contacting Peter to discuss MyReviewPlugin or business related stuff, he's available for contact. You'll have to get in touch with our support to get his contact information though.