Even though Affilimate was designed from the beginning to handle accounts where the owner operates multiple websites, that was more on the data-structure side than the UI/UX side.
Today we've released a big redesign that really separates all your data on a per-website basis.
We're hoping that with these changes, we'll be a better fit for affiliates and website investors who own multiple sites and have more complex operations (and therefore benefit the most from a tool like ours).
I've forgotten how SLOW it is to build traffic to a new website.
Thankfully, it seems that Google is starting to like our site for some queries. Just a little. There is finally a visible upward trend in Google Search Console for clicks and impressions.
About 2/3 of the 1K monthly visitors are from Google, and 1/3 are from social media, referral traffic, email, etc.
We also just commissioned our first article from an outside writer (who is actually one of our customers!).
In terms of ranking, our free Amazon Link Checker is floating between pages 1-3 for various queries. Yesterday we got our first lead through it as well :)
Building this feature has been a roller coaster.
We originally built it because, with COVID, we realized how urgently we needed to diversify away from having all our subscribers in the travel industry.
And then, part-way through building it, Amazon announced somewhat dramatic rate cuts that made the entire affiliate world angry at them (as though we weren't expecting it. narrator: we were).
We tabled the idea for a bit, but ultimately came back to it. Until Amazon discontinues their program, trying to support Amazon as best we can will be important.
Aaaaand that's the story of building our Amazon Affiliate Link Checker. Announcement blog post here:
TL;DR - A few other tools offer this as their only or main feature and charge minimum $20/mo for it. We're adding it to all our plans at no extra cost. Hollaaaa.
It's been a tough year for us.
At the end of 2019, we had our first month of nearly $2k in revenue and had a ton of momentum. Conferences planned, partnerships in progress, trials in the pipeline, etc.
This pretty much stopped once COVID hit, as so many of our users are in the travel industry.
However, it looks like things are turning around (albeit slowly).
Some cool milestones this week:
But also a sad one: First churned customer. Thankfully this was more about their situation (again, affected by COVID) than our product so their account is technically "paused". Still, it's our first time having a paying user cancel.
Onwards and upwards :)
A fair number of Affilimate's members run multiple websites. Especially given we started in the travel sector, a lot of people are diversifying into other sectors because of the pandemic's impact on travel and consumer behavior.
So, today's update allows them to track multiple sites from a single account!
Interestingly, it also opens up the question about many-to-many relationships between members/websites/affiliate network integrations. If we handle this well, Affilimate could also potentially be a good fit for agencies.
Most of our subscribers are travel bloggers. As you can probably imagine, the coronavirus pandemic has caused them to lose upwards of 90% of their website traffic and revenue.
Since our SaaS is an affiliate analytics tool, it doesn't provide a whole lot of value if you're e.g. a travel blogger and no one is planning trips right now.
So, we decided to be proactive and give our existing subscribers three months for free.
For us it means the recurring part of our revenue will go to zero.
Meanwhile we will try to support our current members in finding affiliate programs and content that are still profitable, as well as try to diversify our user base to include industries that are less affected or even have an advantage in this environment.
Launching an affiliate program is a lot of work.
Especially since we're running an affiliate analytics tool, we couldn't just go with the most minor MVP: we know better what it takes to be a successful affiliate ;)
So today we launched our affiliate program with the following components:
Now I'm gonna have some guacamole 🥑
Trying to catch up on some updates on Affilimate! Around early November last year, we reached a huge milestone for us: We landed our first paying customer!
It was really exciting because we had no particular expectation that they would convert. We didn't really spend as much time onboarding them or talking to them, but they found value in the tool and subscribed on their own. 🥳
We also had a successful end-of-the-year email campaign when we had a lot of trials running out. This brought us up to fifteen or so paying customers.
Our next step: Try and figure out what our paying customers have in common and what our did-not-convert customers have in common, so we can hone in on our target user 🎯
On Sunday evening, we bit the bullet and shared about Affilimate in three Facebook groups which contain professional bloggers: one group I posted in, two others one of our users posted in on our behalf.
Leads are still rolling in! Our existing members offered testimonials on the posts, and helped boost them. As of Wednesday evening we're still getting submissions.
Stats (so far)
It brings our total number of "In Trial" users to 23. We are still working on winning over our first paying user, so let's see if one of these early adopters is going to be "the one" 😁
*Note: We got permission from admins before posting! If you're considering promoting in Facebook groups, you need to ask first or you might get banned.
Tomorrow is going to be my FIRST WEEKDAY as a full-time founder 😱
We've got about 25 beta users and a few people in trial we're hoping will convert 🤞The main things I'm planning to focus on:
I've already secured permission from the owners of two Facebook groups to advertise there, so my goal is to post in the smaller one this week as a "test round" before posting in a group of 8,000+ members of my target audience.
Happy to get any tips you have for me!
In my spare time, I run a travel blog. I got frustrated that I didn't have much data to help me optimize my affiliate revenue. I built Affilimate to get insights that aren't possible with traditional marketing CRO tools.