The Twitter Experiment – Day 1 and Introduction
I recently decided to try an experiment to see how much I could make in affiliate marketing using only Twitter. I honestly don’t expect to make a lot, but it will be interesting to see what the potential is. When I say recently decided, I mean about 3 hours ago, and since then I’ve been setting up the experiment so that I would have something to put on this first post.
The goal of this experiment is to use only affiliate links from Amazon.com, and market them without a blog or a website. I’ll be running the experiment for exactly one year. Today, March 15, 2011 is the first day, and I’ll be putting up either weekly or bi-monthly updates as I go. Hopefully this will give both me and my viewers some insight into the world of website-free marketing.
To set up the experiment, I made a new Twitter account which I called NaturalMonkey. My first choice was HealthMonkey, taken of course, so if you own that name and you’re reading this, I hate you.
The theme of the experimental Twitter account is natural health. It’s a broad term, I know, but it’s something that I’m interested in and it allows me to promote useful products that I actually believe in. Subject matter will range between alternative medicine, bodyweight exercises, kettlebell workouts, intriguing health experiments, spices for health (turmeric, garlic, cayenne, etc.), and whatever else I get interested in along the way.
I can only promote these products via Twitter
I can only promote natural health products
After setting up the Twitter account, I looked at Twitter’s ‘recommended’ list under the health category. I followed all the accounts provided there, and then proceeded to go through the followers of several of those guys looking for either a)normal people or b)other health related accounts.
There are a lot of people who set up Twitter accounts and then don’t tweet but just fill their profile with #followback, #dofollow, etc. tags. I find these people worthless and annoying, so I tried to avoid following them. I might be able to get better results if I DO follow them, since for some reason they always seem to have eight million followers, but my gut tells me no. This is sort of a spam-ish experiment, I understand that, but I’m going to try to make it as legitimate as possible.
After roughly an hour of going through people’s followers and then their followers and then THEIR followers (to pass the time I recommend iTunes, The Downward Spiral by NIN works…) I have amassed 382 people that I’m following. At the time of this writing, roughly 2 hours after creating the NaturalMonkey account, I have 71 followers. My strategy is to follow as many relevant people as possible and build up followers through them. It seems to be working. By contrast, my HandleyNation twitter account has about 140 followers after a little more than 2 months.
As a note, my inbox tells me that more people are following by the minute. I suggest creating another email address if anyone attempts to try this on their own. Between crappy automated direct messages for following and ‘HooplaDan is now following you’ messages, your inbox gets filled up pretty fast. Also, you can turn off email updates in twitter.
After the mass following adventure, I went to futuretweets.com, a tweet scheduling service. In another tab I opened Amazon.com and looked for books to promote. To begin with, I chose 3 that I have read and used in the past, got the affiliate link, shortened it in bit.ly, and started scheduling my tweets.
Now, this is what I did at this point: I took one of the shortened links, wrote a little blurb about the book, and then copied the entire ‘tweet.’ Then, I went through the calendar and scheduled one tweet with that message every 5 days for the first few months. Around May I made it every 10 days, and somewhere in June started scheduling it every 15 days, until March 15, 2012.
I then took the next affiliate link and went through the same process, using different dates. For example, the scheduled dates for the first product would have been March 15, 20, 25, 30, April 5, 10, etc. The scheduled dates for the second product were March 16, 21,26,31, April 6,11, and so on and so forth.
Then the third.
This took about an hour as well.
It’s a very hands on, labor intensive approach, and if there’s an automated way to do it, I don’t know about it. Every service I’m using is completely free, which makes this a no-capital experiment.
As an extra touch, I went ahead and scheduled tweets on holidays with no link.
I’ll be keeping up with this as I go, possibly adjusting my approach if this one turns out to be a complete flop.
If you want to follow my Twitter account you can find it at NaturalMonkey
My main twitter account is of course HandleyNation, and if you’re interested in seeing where this goes you can subscribe to my RSS feed over there on the right.
As per the rules, I won’t be posting any of the affiliate links on this blog, and I actually won’t even mention them by name just to be safe.
That concludes day 1.
Check out the next installments here: