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by Paul on April 8th, 2005

I find that a big problem that many people who are trying to make money online have is that they assume that everyone else has the same habits and tendencies that they have. This couldn’t be further from the truth. For example, when I am trying to buy a book online I just go straight to Amazon, while according to my stats many people do searches for specific book titles to find what they are looking for.

Also very rarely do I click on ads, but I can tell you that 1%-5% of the people visiting my sites do.

And finally those one-page sites you see like this may not work on you, but they work on a large majority of the people out there as silly as it may seem. So what can we take from these sites? Research them and find out.

I know that just because I like simple design and ads that blend in with the site that doesn’t mean that everyone else on the web feels the same way. That is what makes testing so important. You don’t think your readers will buy anything from your store? That may be true, but why do you think you need to target the store towards your readers? (*hint* you don’t unless you are selling something original)

Whenver you catch yourself assuming something, throw it away and do your research to see how things really work. People who can do this make a lot of money online, while everyone else continuously questions why they are not having success.

POSTED IN: Personal Thoughts

5 opinions for Assumptions

  • Mat
    Apr 8, 2005 at 11:59 am

    You’re right, and the key thing to remember is that the cost of testing in the online world is extraordinarily low compared to most offline businesses.

    You don’t have to refit your store, or snail mail 10,000 new catalogues or pay for weekend staff, you just make a content or design change and see if it works.

    Once you catch the testing bug, it can become an obsession though…

  • Scrivs
    Apr 8, 2005 at 4:01 pm

    Exactly, the cost to test is only the cost of what you might lose from your current earnings. Of course for most people losing a couple of dollars in a day to test a new ad placement is no big deal.

  • Darren Rowse
    Apr 8, 2005 at 10:46 pm

    Very true Scrivs - the frustrating thing is that its often the ugliest worst designed sites on the web that make the most money. Often its because they stuff their pages full of keywords and place their ads slap bang in the middle of the sites.

    So our assumptions of nice clean integrated sites are sometimes false too. not that I’m suggesting we all get out Front page and start creating trash….but you know what I mean.

  • Mat
    Apr 9, 2005 at 8:17 am

    Darren makes a good point, although I tend to think such sites succeed despite their ugliness, not because of it. They are doing something successfully, but they could be doing more.

  • Ben
    Apr 10, 2005 at 12:19 am

    One thing I do is random ad placement. I use a little code to cycle ads through several positions on the page. It allows me to test out several ideas simultaneously over the sametime period. Sometimes I find good results from placements you wouldn’t necessarily expect.

    I also think the use of the word “ugly” is interesting, b/c a lot of the successful mail flyers are exactly that — blatant, loud, belching keywords. And people snap themup like ravens to nickels. Scrivs, sometimes I think you could get a lot better CTR if you made your ads stick out more. The pages blend so cleanly, I think people could just keep on reading & never click a thing. Why don’t you put your ads in the middle of your posts & have the text wrap around them? Any particular reason, or you don’t want to insult your regulars? Maybe it ties in with your previous post about SE traffic vs regular readers…?

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