2nd Update: Content Marketing Experiment

Best Family Vacations in AsiaTime for another update on my content marketing experiment. (Here’s the last update).

Remember what the experiment’s about: I set up a travel website on 1st February, for the purpose of earning affiliate income through promoting tours to Asia.

It’s built with WordPress and configured to look like a static website. The objective is to see if I can earn affiliate commissions from it without doing any paid promotions at all – relying purely on content marketing.

Although the site has a blog component, it’s clearly set up as a site to promote and sell tours. The title of the site is ‘Best Family Vacations in Asia’, and the title of the blog page in the menu bar is ‘Places to See’ – not ‘Blog’.

All the articles I write are about places I’ve visited – they offer reviews, comments and pictures of each location.

So, how’s it been going …

At the end of February I was able to report 129 visits, with 20 to the tours pages and 2 landing directly on the tours pages. No money earned.

Here are the figures for March:

  • Visits: 289
  • Visits to the tours pages: 61
  • Visitors landing directly on the tours pages: 11
  • Exits to my Travel Merchant: 14
  • Dollars earned: $44.00
  • Top 5 sources of traffic:
    • Google: 84
    • Facebook: 27
    • Yahoo: 19
    • Third Tribe: 17
    • LinkedIn: 14

I’ve written 2 articles a week, all based on trips or visits I’ve made to various places around Asia. The majority cover Hong Kong locations – not surprising since I live here :).

Last month I said that I’d add article marketing to my promotion strategy. I didn’t do that, because I got tied up with other things on other sites. Maybe this month.

The majority of the visitors go to the blog articles – no surprise there, either. But there’s a call to action at the bottom of each blog article, inviting people to visit the tours pages – and that’s working.

And, as I mentioned before, what I really want is for the search engines to send search traffic directly to the tours pages – which is also happening. Not a lot yet, but it’s moving in the right direction.

As with any site, particularly a blog type site where you’re adding content regularly, getting through the first 6 months is the hardest part. Until then, the site has no track record, few (if any) incoming links and no ‘credibility’ in the eyes of the search engines.

So search traffic is hard to come by and, as a result, I’m pleased with its performance to date, low though the numbers are.

But as I keep adding content things will slowly start to change. The momentum will start to build and, as the site gains more incoming links and rises in the search engine rankings, the affiliate commissions should start to grow.

That’s the theory, anyway!

OK – that’s my March update. I’ll let you know how it’s going in a month’s time.


Martin Malden

What do you think?