I came across an interesting post on Reddit recently about a guy named Brock who runs a successful style blog called, The Modest Man. I really liked his post, but after checking out his website and finding something I needed (gym socks to be exact), I noticed a couple of things that could really be hampering his revenue.
In a past life when I was a full time CPS affiliate, a lot of our ecom arbitrage sites wouldn’t even have clickable text links… Only images. This was done for two reasons: 1) intentional small pics lead to higher CTR just from people wanting a better view of the product (this worked extremely well in the used parts niche — Hello Ebay! 😉 ), and 2) people are very visual, and from watching readability reports and user behavior, it’s proven that users are highly likely to be scanners and visual in nature. (i.e. – lazy and not in depth readers unless emotionally motivated)
That said, it’s a lot easier to get people to click on images than it is to read a paragraph and associate a “Brand link” with the information mentioned. A picture of the product, in detail, is likely all they need from a “best of” type list.
Let me explain further… (this might benefit a lot of other bloggers)
In this real life example, take myself for instance… Brock knows his shit when it comes to mens clothing, and I knew that when I opened his website. He already did the work for me by selecting good options for the best no-show socks. It’s a low value/cost purchase, so I’m not too worried about losing ten bucks if they suck… I just want to click through and order them so they’ll be here in a couple days, and I can get back to whatever I was doing.
Cannot pass full size image!
…must. go. back. and. find. link. in paragraph.
Meh, I have shit to do, I’ll do it later.
Later never comes.
I don’t get socks.
Brock doesn’t make commission on the other $200 worth of items already sitting in my Amazon cart. (the reason this is so critical, is because it takes no additional effort to drop aff cookies and get credit for additional sales from impulse buys… It actually does yourself and the user a disservice by not doing it.)
$214 (electronics preexisting in my cart) + $10 (Brock’s sock recommendation) = $224.00 X .06% = $13.44 (missed commissions from a SINGLE!!! website visitor from an unrelated vertical entrance)
Multiply that by thousands of visitors, and you’re burning a hole in your back pocket pal.
Now let’s get one thing straight here: I don’t know Brock, just using this as a real life example to both help him and drive the point home for other bloggers in the same boat. I think his website is awesome, and he’s doing a great job. This is in no way shape or form meant to be negative in nature, or nit pick his operation to hell and back. (he’s obviously doing better than I on the blogging front anyway! 😉 ) I sent Brock a personal email alerting him of this potential improvement, and hopefully this post will help everyone else.
How The Modest Man Is Missing Out On An Extra $500/mo +
Because Of One Simple Tweak
I wouldn’t make half the money I do if it weren’t for image integration in my content, and most websites follow suit. One thing I noticed right away on Brock’s website (not as a nit-picker, but as a user interested in buying no-show socks!) was, that I was expecting to get product info or be able to buy the socks I liked by clicking on them. To my surprise, all I got was a larger image, and that got me thinking…
If that was the particular path of my site flow, how many other thousands of people do the same thing? How many missed opportunities and decreased CTR does that equate to?
Of course that number is hard for me to accurately quantify without some data from under the hood, but after taking a peak at a bunch of Brock’s other posts, the same tweaks and more could be applied in tons of locations. Just that one simple tweak site-wide would probably add a decent amount of revenue alone. Combine that with some page speed tweaks, and Brock might be on his way to eclipsing the $10k month mark with no additional effort/content required. (additionally TOC + would help him in the CTR departments… he already has good sub-heads)
An easy way to test this, would be for Brock to grab his top 5 highest trafficked posts:
And add a new Amazon Associates campaign id just for swapping out the image links. Wait a month, and measure the difference.
If significant, spend the time and energy to implement site-wide changes on all content. There would also likely be other tweaks you’d find along the way to increase revenue, just by making a diligent effort to do so.
Here’s the original story on Reddit: