Tag Archives: affiliate programs

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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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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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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How Do You Market Short Sales Products?

I’m actually putting a real question out to the masses (yup, y’all get to be the masses today) because I honestly don’t know what I could possibly do with this particular situation.

Most of you know that I’m hooked up with Commission Junction. The ads at the top and on the left side are CJ ads, and they rotate the banners each time someone stops by. And when you see products at the bottom of each post, most of them come from CJ as well.

One thing about some of the affiliate programs I participate with is that they send out regular emails talking about some of their promotions. Those that have a one month promotion are easy to deal with, because I have that sales page you see to the right with me holding the parrot that I update every couple of weeks with those types of things as they come. Those are fairly easy to handle.

The ones I’m having an issue with, and that I’m asking y’all how you’d handle them, are the advertisers that have sales that last anywhere from 24 to 72 hours only. These things come fast and furious, and sometimes the deals are pretty sweet. However, I do have other things to do, and having to go through all those emails every day, set up the code on the site, then go back and remove it during the same time period is overly cumbersome.

I had thought about popping those things onto this blog quickly, but my mind says that would degrade the quality of the blog, as who’d really want to see a post with only sales ads in it? I don’t think I’d want those things popping up in my reader all the time, even with big sales, because I doubt I’d be interested in every one of those products. I know some people might be, but I’m thinking that’s a bad way of handling things.

So, my issue is what to do with those things. Do I just ignore them and move on with my life? Do I create a blog where I can just pop those links in and go about my business? Do I try to find an hour every day to either pop new links in or remove old ones? How would you handle it?

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Is Your Blog Successful? My Version

I’ve often said that you can get inspiration for writing blog posts from anywhere. In this case, I got the inspiration for this post from a blog called One Cool Site Blogging Tips (not to be confused with Sire’s blog tracking site Cool Blog Links, and this post titled Is Your Blog A Failure Or A Success? The conversation on that post wasn’t quite what I thought it was going to be based on the title, yet it made me want to throw the question out to everyone else, so it did its job.

How does one decide to measure success? I think that’s the most important question for everyone to answer for themselves. It all depends on the reason you continue to write your blog. I say that because I started this blog for a much different reason than why I write it now, and as those parameters have changed, so have my expectations for it.

My original reason for creating this blog was so I could say whatever I wanted to say without worrying about being filtered or worried about how it might impact my business. I also had high hopes that I would make some money from it. So, when I first started writing it, half of the posts were geared towards talking about something that I thought I’d make money from, and the other half talking about some things that were on my mind, though not necessarily personal.

At some point, the blog focus changed to talking about affiliate programs, blogging, and writing for the most part. That was fun to a degree, but there wasn’t anything personal in it. Well, I have my writing style, so I guess that was personal, but I almost never talked about anything I was feeling, never taking a real stand on anything, just doing reviews. The thing is, to do a legitimate review takes some time to investigate, and, well, like everyone else I needed to make money, thus I was draining the bank account while doing a lot of that stuff.

Then in September, I changed once more. I decided I was going to start talking about a few more personal issues, more of my beliefs and the like, while still keeping up with some of what I’d talked about in the past. Though I’d still like to make money with this blog, the focus definitely moved from that direction a long time ago. I still put up products and the like, just in case someone has an interest, but mainly I just like to write, share my thoughts, and see how others respond.

So, based on all of that, how successful do I view this blog, which certainly can’t be called a niche blog? Overall I think it’s a fairly successful blog for what it is. I’m certainly not at guru status when it comes to internet sales, but I think I have a nice loyal group of folks I get to interact with here and there. And it’s changed a lot; the people I was talking to a lot between the middle of 2008 through the middle of 2009 has drastically changed. Many of those folks either stopped blogging or their priorities changed.

New folks have come along, in higher numbers yet, and that’s pretty neat. And I know when people comment here, they’re not doing it just to get a link onto a popular blog that offers them nothing except an opportunity to maybe steer people to their blogs by kissing up to the owner of the blog, who most of the time doesn’t even see their responses. Oops, let’s not get into that discussion again! 🙂

Yes, I think this blog is a success, and I’m happy with it. What say you about your blog?

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