Using Independent Affiliate Programs

So, you are finally interested in affiliating a specific product, only to find out it's not on one of the big name affiliate networks. Guess what, PepperJam Network and CJ don't have all the affiliate programs out there and sometimes the smaller guy can pay bigger commissions by eliminating the middle man. That's why I also use independent affiliate programs in conjunction with the big networks to maximize my earnings.

The largest benefit I've seen to using an independent affiliate program is the level of service. Generally speaking, these guys want your business bad and are willing to go the distance to make sure you are happy. I've personally had custom ads created for my use and had questions answered so fast it'll make your head spin. Not saying that PJN and CJ don't do a good job at customer service, but there is something refreshing about getting help from someone who is generally interested in your success.

But let's be honest, the real reason we are all here, independent affiliate programs can and do pay more money. This becomes especially true with digital products and media, where the distribution can be handled in house. Therefore there is no middle man, only me the salesman (affiliate) and the manufacturer (product creator). This means I get a bigger piece of the pie that would normally go to pay PJN and CJ's expenses.

Affiliate Espionage Update For FireFox 3.5

There needs to be an update made so that Affiliate Espionage Fire Fox plugin will work with the latest release v3.5. Like an idiot, I went ahead and upgraded my browser, without first waiting for a release by the plugin developer. Hopefully I won't have to wait too terribly long.

This plugin has proved priceless for a few of my Adword campaigns and has provided me with a wealth of keyword ideas. It's been awhile since an update has been made, so hopefully there is something in the works as I hit 'Publish Post'.


What Makes A Landing Page Suck

Scoring a sale is more than just getting a visitor to click, it requires a sales technique projected through a quality landing page. Unfortunately, living in a world where visitors have the attention span of a gnat, we see landing pages being chocked full of flashy text telling the consumer what they want to hear. This does not always translate into a sale and more times than not will discourage the visitor and resent such an in your face sales attempt.


Stock photography is another method used by landing pages that show people completely unrelated supposedly jumping for joy over whatever you are trying to sell. Guess what, buyers are not stupid, they saw those same 20 somethings excited over car insurance that are now trying to push your Viagra lead.

My suggestion, be creative, take some of your own pictures. Or at least, if you are serious about your affiliate business, try purchasing some one off photos. You gotta spend money to make money.

Long Ass Page

Ugh, the dreaded 5 page, page. It's a never ending wall of text and quotes that never seems to end, no matter how far your scroll bar takes you. If it takes you that long to sell me, chances are you need to rethink your sales tactic. Remember, consumers online generally don't have that long of an attention spam. To put it into perspective, would you really want that used cars salesman to go on for 45 mins about the $1,000 car you are about to buy?

My suggestion would be to use better descriptive terms and consolidate wordy paragraphs. Flowery talk can work depending on what niche you are working in, but generally short, sweet, and descriptive sentences will get the job done. Tell the buyer what they want to know and nothing else. This can better be accomplished by having multiple landing pages, focused on the keywords or ads used to find the page.

Unrealistic Quotes

Again, this gets back to the idea that the people you are selling to are not complete retards. Show some respect to those about to spend money with you, don't try and pull a smooth one by them by having outlandish quotes from supposed customers. I don't care how great the product is, no one will be quoted as saying that your digital download was better than an orgasm.

My suggestion, get real quotes from real customers. If you are an affiliate then generally you can contact the company offering the product and request some reviews from actual customers. If this is not possible, then please don't fall into the trap of making junk up, just leave big quote marks off of your landing page.


Look, I know not everyone can create sales worthy landing pages that convert well, but there are alternatives available. For starters there are always graphic artists available to create these pages for you, assuming you are good at writing and can write up the copy. Or, there are free landing page templates available that can get you started on the right track.

Good luck affiliating, it's been a touch summer so far for some, and the end of the year isn't looking any better.


Bing Not Showing Up As A Search Engine

Those of you keeping a close eye on your web stats over the past few days may have noticed that Bing is not being recorded as a search engine. As of now I've been using HiStats for my reporting and it lists Bing underneath referral websites, instead of search engine referrals. This may be happening with other tracking programs as well, so keep an eye out.

As far as Bing is concerned, I've been receiving respectable traffic from them so far. Their rankings seem to be on par with Google and I'm actually higher in a specific keywords. Hopefully this additional traffic will hold out. I hate having all my eggs in the Google basket.


Automatically Generate Amazon Product Posts

This is another great WordPress plugin I've been using to help populate my blogs with product posts. Amazon Auto Poster was created by Lunatic Studios and is available for immediate download for free or $29.99 for a premium version.

Basically this WP plugin will automatically generate posts, complete with comments, reviews, and descriptions from Amazon. Simply enter a keyword, starting point, how many posts, how frequent to publish, and hit go! It really is that simple to start adding post inventory, complete with your Amazon affiliate ID, to your blog.

The Amazon Auto Blog Poster plugin will also add images from to your blog. Each image is linked to your affiliate ID, so if a visitor clicks on the image they are taken to the Amazon sales page with your tracking cookie in place. Furthermore, the comments (reviews for each product) are also links to the Amazon product page with your tracking cookie in place as well.

See the Amazon Auto Post plugin in action on my Golfing Blog.
Click Here - To Download The Free Version of Amazon Auto Poster (Shows me Affiliate Commission Love)

More Affiliate Plugins For Wordpress

Chitika Big Ass Ad

Believe it or not, there is a reason ads are placed in obnoxious places on websites, it's because they convert. Chitika has just released a giant ad, which converts awesome, but can look a little out of place on some websites. But, if it converts and you don't lose visitors, what's to lose?

According to Chitika the new 550x250 ad is generating close to 4 times more clicks than the next closest performing size. Like other Chitika ads, the Mega Big Ass unit comes complete with images next to the text advertisements, thus increasing your click throughs greatly.

As a side note, in regards to a Chitika Review I made a few months ago, their cost per clicks are increasing. At least in the automotive niche where the majority of my earnings come from, I'm seeing my earnings per click increase on almost a weekly basis. Where I was once only receiving 3-4 cents per click, I'm now seeing $.13- $.15 per click.

And lastly, in regards to their audited earnings report. Last month I did not receive a cut in my earnings. What was reported on a daily basis was within pennies of what I was actually paid out at the end of the month. So no worries on getting robbed of bad clicks, they do a good job of filtering out the junk live.


Server Woes With CPC Affiliate Marketing

Like a lot of affiliate marketers I follow a very basic and simplified plan. I build a website, add content, some affiliate links, and then for immediate traffic create an Adwords campaign to start bringing in the buying customers. Obviously this is oversimplified but is extremely effective when everything jives. This week is not one of those weeks.

My dedicated host at ManageMyBox has decided to take a dump and be down about 50% of the time. This means that I'm constantly in monitoring mode to jump over to my Adwords account and shut down campaigns as to not waste any money. Obviously sending clicks to a dead server only wastes money, thus killing any kind of ROI I was working with.

Furthermore without a reliable server that visitors can be sent to means testing is null and void. You really don't know how many times they were greeted with a time-out or 404 error. It's impossible to be successful without a constant connection, playing field, reliable, garrrrrr

Yes, I'm frustrated, but I'm also taking action. Yesterday afternoon I signed up with a VPS hosting company called WiredTree. I'm currently waiting in que for their migration services, which will hopefully be completed by the end of the day. That is if they are able to access my current dedicated host to get the files they need.


3 Ways To Make Money Without A Website

So, you've heard of this magical place online that allows you to generate income from home, but you are too scared to drop $10 on a domain and $5 per month on hosting. No problem! There are plenty of free solutions to that predicament, although not optimal, it's possible to make money through affiliate marketing without even owning your own website. Let's look at 3 ways you can start generating income today, without all the tedious money spending part.


Of course, this is the format and blogging back end that DMB uses. It's free to sign up, free to start blogging, and offers plenty of customization options to start monetizing immediately.

Adsense is the big ad network currently in bed with Blogger, but that's just because Google owns Blogger. However, it's easy to add text and javascript widgets onto any blog template currently on Blogger. This means you can add snippets from networks like PepperJam, Commission Junction, or even eBay to start monetizing.

It's the ultimate in one page publishing, where you put all the information you can about a niche on a single page. This single page consists of videos, links, content information, etc along with Adsense and options for Amazon and eBay products. It's free to sign up, publish, and very user friendly with setting up affiliate accounts.

The bonus with Squidoo is that Google loves new pages on their website, which means more times than not a Squidoo page will rank almost immediately. Furthermore, some of my Squidoo pages get great attention from long tail keywords.

Hub Pages

This is another Squidooesque type website that allows single page publishing on any topic you want. Again, super newbie friendly when setting up affiliate accounts like Amazon and eBay so that you can monetize the page you just created.

Hub Pages seems a little bit more social than Squidoo, at least in my opinion. There are published rankings of pages, automatic links to other similar pages, and comment system. The entire process of setting up a page is a snap and takes less than 10 minutes.

Total Benefit

These are just a few short ways to get started in affiliate marketing, today! The long term benefit is that you can interlink all of these sites, since you retain creative control, so that they all rank well in the search engines. This will provide residual traffic for potentially years to come, always producing a small affiliate ad income.