Category Archives: Affiliates

Affiliate Programs I’m Connected With – Part One

There’s a young woman (I’m assuming she’s young) that’s been asking me a lot of questions lately about different affiliate programs. I’ve realized that other than the couple that have irritated me lately I haven’t really written about many of them in a long time. I figured that over the next few posts I would talk about some of the affiliate programs I’m a part of and how they do for me; I hear a voice saying “finally he’s talking about making money online”.

I’m going to start by talking about the affiliate program that’s done the best for me, that being Google Adsense. It’s what they call a PPC (pay-per-click) program, which of course means if people click on the ad then you make money. And the more niched you are the more money you can possibly make if you pick the right niche.

My Adsense income has been steadily going up month after month, albeit slowly. If everything holds steady I will break $300 this month for the first time ever. Man, that’s been a long time coming, and I’m happy about it. The truth is that I make most of the money on one site, my medical billing information site, and since all the content is geared towards medical billing issues, it’s will niched because those folks pay well for clicks.

My second best paying affiliate program is Infolinks, and once again I make most of my cash from it on that same medical billing site. I’m averaging close to $40 a month from Infolinks, which is pretty amazing because the first couple of years I had it I didn’t make $40. Actually, both of these affiliate programs have proven that if you can get a site with even moderate consistent traffic you can do well, because that site doesn’t get the kind of traffic this site gets.

Another affiliate program I have that I’ve made almost no money from is Kontera. It’s like Infolinks, but for some reason when I had it on two of my other sites it generated nothing. At one point I did some split testing on my medical billing site with it and Infolinks, and Infolinks won hands down; wish I could tell you why.

Even though I’ve linked to my own articles on the last two affiliates, if you don’t go check those out I’ll tell you that these are those affiliate programs where you go to a page and you see these double lined words every once in a while, and if you hover over them you’ll see a pop-up window like conversation bubbles in comic strips.

There’s the start; stick around for the next round of affiliates.
 

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Why Do I Have So Many Problems With Commission Junction Affiliates?

It must be something with me because I don’t see all that many other people complaining about these things, although I bet they are and I’m just missing them. Once again I’m having an issue with a Commission Junction affiliate that won’t pay me and another affiliate that’s dropping me; sigh…

The one that won’t pay me is called NothingButSoftware, which of course means they’re all about technology. I purchased a LCD projector from them for one of my local organizations, a non-profit, and I should have gotten a very nice commission from them. Instead I’ve gotten nothing. I’ve sent them 5 emails, 3 regular emails and 2 through CJ, but I’ve not heard a thing.

Here’s the other side of this, though. CJ states that the best they can do is contact their affiliates and ask them to respond to their publishers. That’s the response I’ve gotten every single time from them. That and their standard “if we haven’t heard from you in 3 days we’re going to assume the problem has been taken care of.”

What the hey? You know, I’ve had this love/hate thing with CJ. Some of the affiliates they’re hooked up with have been wonderful. I would easily recommend 123inkjets because they usually pay you within hours. I had that one issue with GoDaddy but once they learned about it they took care of me. Once I had an issue with FootballFanatics, a sports apparel company, but once I provided them proof they paid me (well, eventually anyway). But some others, like these NothingButSoftware people and 101Phones (which still shows me as an affiliate even though I yanked them over a year ago) are horrible. I did have a problem with Finish Line as well but that was through Google Affiliate Network.

I can’t be the only one who believes that if a company signs an organization to help push their products that they should establish some standards for how they’re supposed to work with you. I get the impression that each advertiser is running things their own way and CJ is just the puppet intermediary. That’s a shame, and they probably wouldn’t like the association, but I keep getting cheated by their publishers and it’s not fair. And if it’s happening to me consistently then it’s happening to others as well.

I did say I have another affiliate dropping me, right? This time it’s a company called Organize.com, and they’re dropping me because I live in New York, and our state has decided that these companies are supposed to be tracking any commissions I might have and paying taxes on anything I make. And Organize.com has decided I’m not worth it; okay, all New York publishers aren’t worth it.

I have to admit that years ago I didn’t like any of this, and now I’m siding with the companies against the state. Sure, states need money, but what gives them the right to pretty much take money out of my pocket, money that I’d be spending in the state and paying taxes on the stuff I purchase, to try to get funds that, for the most part, I’m not really earning anyway? I can imagine the trouble it must be for some of these web companies to try to track all these different state rules; I’m not mad at them for this. At least they didn’t drop me because supposedly I wasn’t making them sales like Brookstone did. And get this; even PokerStars hasn’t dropped me, although I pretty much can’t do anything with them for now since I can’t advertise to an American audience and thus it pretty much kills what I can do with them.

Affiliate marketing isn’t supposed to be this difficult. You make a sale, you get paid, you move on. This type of thing keeps coming up, not having affiliates pay you, and then it destroys the confidence we have in the process. It’s no wonder we’re always writing and worrying about scams.

Except this isn’t a scam; it’s just bad business practices.

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Make Your Blog Available Via Kindle

I guess it was time for me to push this blog to the next level, and I owe it all to our friend Allan Douglass and his post titled Now Available on Kindle. In essence, he found out about a neat little deal where you could sign your blog up with Amazon such that people can subscribe to your blog and view it on their Kindle readers.


Volcano by Chris Leavens

I thought that was just the coolest thing, but thought about it for awhile because, well, like most minds, you sit around trying to figure out why anyone would want to pay to read your blog when they can read it for free on their computers or laptops. I waited a couple of months, pondering it all the while, until I came to this thought; it’s not up to me to determine what someone else might want to spend their money on.

Sometimes that’s a hard thing for people in business to come to grips with. It’s like a friend of mine told me many years ago when I created a product that I felt anyone else could create if they just spend some time on it, “Yeah, but you did it, and if they don’t have to think about it they just might buy it.”

And so it goes. Now, Allan sells something that will tell you how you can set it up, so I’m not going to steal his thunder there. I will say that I figured out how to set it up on my own, though it might have been easier doing it his way; I guess I’ll never know. lol

Anyway, I set this blog up and my business blog, and I have a little image there to the right offering the service, so I decided not to put the same exact image here, going with something else instead (I figured I’d add one of my Imagekind/Share-a-Sale product images up there, plus I was talking about volcanoes with some people yesterday). However, I will put the link to the Amazon page where you can find this blog if you wish to subscribe, or if anyone else wishes to subscribe.

They charge 99 cents a month; heck, for the year that’s only the cost of a small pizza (yes, I calculate things based on pizza). Unfortunately you can only read and not comment, but since the majority of folks subscribed through Feedreader are only reading anyway, here’s another way to enjoy seeing some of the goofy stuff I come up with.

As always, happy reading!

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As Seen On TV

I can’t remember the last time I wrote a post on an affiliate like this, but I’m doing it this time around because, well, it’s fun stuff. And I needed something to get the taste of that other affiliate mess out of my mouth.

Who hasn’t seen those commercials on TV for all that stuff that we look at and say either “that looks like garbage” or “that’s the coolest thing; I need to get that”? Well, it seems there’s a website called As Seen On TV Store, and I just signed up to be an affiliate of theirs because, well, I’ve obviously had some experience buying things from TV, with different outcomes. For instance, I’ll own up to the Shamwow absolutely stinking up the joint. But my wife bought these things called Moving Men that have literally saved our backs because what you do is get them under heavy stuff and then it just glides across rugs and floors. As a matter of fact, we have 3 sets of them; absolutely fantastic purchase.

Of course, this now allows me to talk about some other things we’ve purchased, which I’m linking to in case you want to check it out and maybe buy something. For instance, we also bought a couple of these Mister Steamy things that you put in your dryer, putting some water in them, and they help your clothes not to wrinkle. They work pretty well if you don’t stuff the dryer or don’t leave stuff in there longer than an hour after it’s done. And I don’t know many people left that don’t have at least one Ginsu knife; even Mom has one of these things.

My wife also bought a Ped Egg, which one uses to scrape their feet. Most guys know nothing about this, but as someone who has to now take great care of one’s feet, I’ve used this thing and it’s pretty amazing, and it catches all the dead and dry skin in the egg so you don’t have stuff all over the floor; man, I’m strange sometimes. lol

As Seen On TV Total Pillow

Of course I’d love to talk about the Snuggie, which we both have as well as my mother and grandmother, but of all things they’re totally sold out of those things, so you can’t get that right now. But I can talk about this thing to the left called a Total Pillow, which we have two of and is very relaxing if one is sitting in a chair watching TV; doesn’t work as well sitting at my computer desk, however.

Anyway, they have lots of stuff that we’re used to seeing on TV, and the shipping and handling charges are lower off the website, as well as some of the prices. So, if you like this kind of stuff, go take a look at least. Of course, I’m undecided on if I’m going to tell my wife or not. lol

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Finish Line Steals My Money Then Cancels My Account

Wow, talk about a “nice” wake up message. Yeah, I’m lying about the nice part. I post this not only to get back at the company that has basically lied to me as an affiliate but has then decided to cancel my account. Here’s the exchange, mine first:

Greetings,

I am one of your affiliates through the Google Affiliate Network. I recently purchased something for myself through the affiliate link and I’ve yet to get credit for it. I’ve never seen anything which states that affiliates can’t purchase items through their own links and get credit for it, so I assume there’s an oversight issue somewhere. The full receipt is below; I’ve attached a pdf of the same information in case what’s below doesn’t come through to you. My publisher ID is XXXXXXXXXXXXX. This is the fourth email I’ve sent; please let me know what’s going on.

You’ll notice I wrote “fourth”; that was over a 2-week period when they were ignoring me. Here’s the response I got earlier today:

Although it is allowed for affiliates to purchase shoes for themselves, we do require a site to look up to a certain standard and we do require a certain amount of sales per month. All that being said, I have reached out to our GAN team and we are not seeing anything on your transaction which means your cookie was not activated for your transaction thus why you did not get credit for it.

In addition, your site does not go along with our theme and your 3-month EPC is $0.64 while your 7-day is $0.00. Unfortunately, since the transaction is not in the affiliate channel, I can do nothing at this time. In addition, due to your site quality and low EPC and 7-day I have to cancel our affiliate partnership.

Good luck. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Wow, really? The site has been the same since they originally approved me, even updated some, and now suddenly they don’t like my site anymore? Would they have canceled my account if I’d never written them? What the heck; how bogus can an affiliate get?

This is the downside of affiliate marketing folks. You’re at the mercy of these guys who come up with arbitrary decisions as to whether you fit what they’re hoping for. And unfortunately, it often comes up when you make a sale, even if it’s you purchasing the product. I mean, it took them two weeks to come up with a reason for not giving my my legitimately earned money, since even the guy says I’m allowed to buy from my own affiliate program, and they weaseled out like this.

So, I’m done with Finish Line. I will obviously continue wearing the sneakers I ordered from them, but I’m cutting up my Finish Line card and I’m never giving them any more of my local business, which is close to $400 a year; they could care less. I can buy sneakers anywhere, and I’m sure I’ll find better loyalty, honesty and dignity from someone else.

All this for maybe $12 or so; wow…

Follow up: I have now been threatened by Finish Line for this post, and I have the email to prove it. I’m not removing it, but I have removed the guy’s email address and added this statement here:

“All personal messages express views only of the sender, which are not to be attributed to Finish Line and/or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates, and may not be copied or distributed without this statement.”

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