All posts by Mitch Mitchell

I'm an independent consultant in many fields, so I have a lot to share.

Verify Your States Dispute Laws

Clickbank has a new contract which everyone who participates with them has to digitally agree to. I know most people don’t take the time to even look at these contracts. I’m a little better in that I do usually glance at them, looking for something to stand out that I might not like.

Anyway, I’m not going through the entire contract here, but only one small piece of it. And, since I read the entire contract and saw nothing which said I can’t repost it, this is the clause I’d like to talk about:

# Governing Law; Dispute Resolution. You agree that Idaho law will govern this Agreement, other than such laws, rules, regulations and case law that would result in the application of the laws of a jurisdiction other than the State of Idaho, and that any action, suit, proceeding, or claim arising out of or related to this Agreement must be brought exclusively in federal or state courts located in Boise, Idaho. You hereby submit to the in personam jurisdiction and venue of such courts and waive any objection based on inconvenient forum. YOU HEREBY IRREVOCABLY WAIVE ANY AND ALL RIGHT TO TRIAL BY JURY IN ANY ACTION, SUIT, PROCEEDING, CLAIM OR COUNTERCLAIM ARISING UNDER OR IN RELATION TO THIS AGREEMENT.

Dispute resolution is something that most companies would rather have than having to go to trial. They do this for two main reasons. One, costs are greatly reduced. Two, because juries tend to initially be on the side of potential victims, not companies that seem like they’re piling on the “little guy.” So, going to dispute resolution, they feel, gives them not a balance, but an edge, because they can still send as many lawyers as they wish, while the plaintiff usually won’t have the resources to mount a real challenge, nor feel they’re going to get any sympathy from the judge, which may or may not be true.

Anyway, you can see above that Clickbank uses Idaho as their base for dispute resolution. Companies usually look for a state where they feel they can get the best deals from the law. Many companies use Florida also; maybe it’s just statistics, because I know no one is saying these guys are on the take. However, they may be pro-business; I’m really not sure. However, the main point in the above clause is this one: “other than such laws, rules, regulations and case law that would result in the application of the laws of a jurisdiction other than the State of Idaho“. Why is this so important to know about?

Because some states, such as New York, don’t allow that law to apply. So, if I have a complaint against anyone, I can still file a claim against them in this state and it totally invalidates this clause in the contract. I pointed out that little piece of law a few years ago when my wife was going to sign a contract to do some part time work with this one company, and got them to alter the contract acknowledging it. I could look up the law if need be, but since I know this one, I feel pretty secure in putting it out there.

Anyway, my hope is that everyone else knows at least this portion of the law for where they live, as a “just in case” backup should something negative occur. After all, many of you reading this blog are hoping to make money off some of the products you sell, but, as you saw in my post about the one affiliate not paying me, you just never know.

Fun Indian Dance Video

A friend of mine put this video up on Facebook. I have no idea what they’re saying or what the song is about, but it’s infectious and this guy, or guys (I’m not really sure) is having a great time. So, very short post, some quick fun, but if anyone can translate this for me I’d appreciate it; I don’t even know who this is. Actually, the most I watch, the more I’m starting to think it’s not Indian, but possibly Arabic, Saudi Arabia; I just don’t know. No matter; I think you’ll like it:

Update! Thanks to Khaled, I got some information on this song. It’s called Tunak Tunak Tun, and it’s by an Indian artist named Daler Mehndi. It’s also from 1998, so no wonder I can’t get a clearer copy of it. Also, I can’t find a translation anywhere, even though I did find lyrics. I’ve seen 3 different English lyrics, which is why I don’t trust any of them. So, I guess we’ll just enjoy the song and move forward.
 

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March Statistics; A Dichotomy Of Success

A new month, some new statistics, and, as I said, a dichotomy of success to talk about.

First, here are the actual numbers, only talking about what made me money:


Adsense – $101.63
Paid Advertising – $25.20
Kontera – .84
LinkXL – $2.50
Chitika – .06
Infolinks – .32
Commission Junction – $0, with qualifications
Grand Total – $130.55

Let’s look at a couple of things above. This was my first month making at least $100.00 with Adsense, and I’m proud of that. Almost all of it came from my Medical Billing Answers site, and as long as that one stays prominent, it gives me something to build on. The Commission Junction thing, well, if you remember yesterday’s post about the affiliate who hasn’t paid me, you see that I actually made sales that I didn’t get credit for, and if I’d gotten credit I’d have made at least $60 this month, which would have prompted my receiving a check in April; that’s irksome, but I’m doing what I can there. Overall, February was still my best month ever, but this month easily could have been.

I still have my gripes about Chitika and Kontera, with the low sales, but I’m going to make a change. I’m going to remove Kontera from this blog, which has been somewhat irritating for some visitors anyway, and I’m going to use it on alternate pages on my Reviews Of Everything site instead, as I already have Infolinks on that site. I haven’t even had Infolinks a month yet, but that’s not the issue here. I’m thinking that type of site is more geared towards this type of text marketing, so that’s where I’m taking it.

Also, though I don’t want to do it, I’m thinking that I may move my leadership book and my leadership CDs lower onto the page, while still keeping my one internet marketing book up there at the top, and moving some other things around. We’ll see about that one, though; after all, traditional wisdom still says it’s always better to market your own products first, but talking about leadership and motivation may not work as well with this kind of blog, although it should! Yeah, I said that!

And there we are. Not so bad, a slight step back, but with qualifications, and it’s on to April.

Hank Aaron Hand Signed 8x10 Photo - 3000 Hit

Hank Aaron Hand Signed 8×10 Photo – 3000th Hit






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Not Getting Paid By A CJ Affiliate

While I sit here fighting my urge to go to the store and buy a package of Double Stuff Mint Oreos, I thought I’d talk about one of my latest issues with an affiliate.

It’s bad enough that I had another affiliate drop me this month because I live in New York. I belonged to Newegg only three weeks before they decided that I didn’t qualify for them anymore; oh well, as least they didn’t string me along for months, even though they did send me something saying that I had agreed to some contract in 2008, then, when I wrote them to inquire about it, they acknowledged they were wrong. Maybe it was proving them wrong that got me bounced; oh well,…

In this case, though, it’s about money, and legitimate sales. The affiliate is part of Commission Junction, and they’re called Football Fanatics; yeah, I’m naming names. They’re a company that has all kinds of products with both professional and college football teams logos and colors, and, as America is in love with football, I thought that would make a great addition to my listings.

Then I got lucky, and had someone ask me if I knew where they could purchase some football related items. She told me what she wanted, and I sent her the specific links to each of the products. These weren’t cheap things either; I knew that, if she bought, I was going to make a nice little chunk of change, and it would have made for my best month ever with CJ.

Well, I didn’t get credit for any of these three sales, and that’s just not right. I waited a week just to make sure, but saw nothing. I first wrote CJ, who said I should write the company. I then wrote the company, giving all the information that I knew they needed, because CJ told me what they’d need. After a week of not hearing anything, I wrote CJ again to mention that I hadn’t heard anything from the company. They wrote me back saying they’d contact the company, but reminded me that all payments have to come from the company themselves, and that CJ is basically a go-between. The actual response was:

Please be aware that is it there (sic) responsibility to maintain their affiliate program. If they are neglecting it, you may wish to promote a different advertiser.

And there you go. Of course I knew that part, but a big part of my thinking is that one doesn’t get to totally abrogate responsibility from someone they represent just because that someone isn’t acting properly. In my mind, I may not ever get my money, but CJ should seriously look at these people and decide whether they wish to sanction them being a part of the CJ “family”, if you will.

Of course, a big part of me is hoping that I get my payment, but I will be looking for another football items related affiliate, though it looks like I’m going to have to find out outside of the CJ family. Too bad, since they offer the ability to post products also, but hey, I’m not doing this just to promote a business that’s not going to follow through on their fiduciary responsibilities. Yeah, I know, big words; so sue me. 🙂

Overall, I know that CJ is a reputable company, and I’m not leaving them any time soon. But I guess this does point out that companies like CJ and Clickbank, who I’ve also talked about before when I was warning people to verify product links, are really just conduits to the ultimate prize, which are the advertisers whose programs and products we hope to market and make a little bit of scratch from. Affiliate marketing can be tough enough as it is. Be ever vigilant; it’s your money, after all.

Update I ended up voicing my displeasure on another blog, and was contacted by the affiliate manager for Football Fanatics, who promptly looked into my situation, and I ended up getting credit for my sales; yay!

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Product Vs Advertiser Ads

Most blogs these days have ads, and unfortunately, most of us don’t take the time to look at anyone else’s ads because, well, we do have our own. However, I’m someone who does take a look at ads, because I want to see what other people might be marketing and how they might be doing it; learning how to be a good internet affiliate marketer is difficult work, after all.

It’s occurred to me that basically there are two types of ads; product ads and advertiser ads. Product ads are, well, marketing products. For instance, if you look at my blog, you see that along the left side there I’m marketing products, starting with mine, then a couple of books. Some of my blog posts will have specific product ads, such as my last post (and I’m buying those suckers one day soon). Sometimes the product ad looks like an advertiser ad, but it’s a product.

When we get to specific product items, such as computers, jewelry, or items like that, only myself and Sire, of Wassup Blog, seem to have actual items that we market, though his are more consistent than mine, as I have mine rotate on the side via TTZ Media, and within specific posts I decide on a product through Commission Junction and post it here.

Advertiser ads are promoting advertisers, and I’ve noticed that a lot of blogs have those, including mine. For instance, over on the left again, you see advertisements for Buy.com, National Geographic Store, Lapworks, etc, and in some posts, like this one, you see I end the post with an advertiser ad. Those take you to a page where you can look around and buy something.

But those aren’t the only types of advertiser ads. Though I noticed that I don’t have any right now, there are advertiser ads that market the advertisers themselves. For instance, on Caleb’s blog, Market Secrets Blog, he has ads that market Adbrite and Pepperjam network, two that I haven’t tried out yet. On Sire’s blog, he has ads that market Onmarketer, Chitika, and ClixGalore. Yan’s blog Thou Shall Blog, he’s marketing Oiopublisher and Market Leverage. Even on Darren Rowse’s blog, Problogger, even though all of his ads are actually sponsors, he’s marketing Inlinks, LinkWorth, MLTV, and some others.

My question comes in wondering which types of ads for most people actually work for you. For the few of us who own up to our monthly blogging or online income, I don’t see all that many of these ads working all that much for anyone. It’s because of this that our friend John of 21st Century Affiliate Marketing has said that he’s beginning to remove almost all of these types of ads to try something new, which he hopes will help stimulate online sales. Indeed, though I like having lots of different types of ads and products on my site, and other sites, it seems that these items rarely get all that many clicks, let alone sales, and yet I’ve noticed that I have clicked on some of the items listed above as advertiser ads, mainly because I’m thinking about marketing by using them to see how they fare. So, my impetus is purely as a test market, and not necessarily because I’m hoping to buy anything. But I believe that, when I actually decide to sign up via one of these links, if I got there through someone’s site, they get some kind of monetary reimbursement from it.

Anyway, I’m wondering what y’all think of things like this? If our goal is really to make money with our blogs via affiliate marketing, it almost seems that the best way to do it is to write good content, try to jump up in some kind of rankings such as PR or Alexa, which seem to mean something to advertisers, and sell advertising on your site, ala Problogger. Visitors drive advertising, which is why I tried earlier this year to do my RSS subscriber contest, and goes back to a conversation I’ve had lately with our friend Mirjam of Me Myself And I Blog, as we’ve been talking about this issue of massive traffic that we both wrote about. Indeed, trying to obtain that kind of traffic just might be the only reason one may not care as much about targeted traffic.

So, share your thoughts and feelings on this topic, if you will. No, I didn’t get into the contextual ads specifically, but I consider those as product ads, even if the products aren’t always so clearly defined, because they’re not trying to get you to go back to the site itself to help market them.


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