Long time no update. Basically, I've been focusing on work for a long time and now I'm sort of checking on things and they're ... interesting. Currently, I've got a decently-ranked site that talks about health careers, yet it's lacking some decent content. So the purpose of this post here is to ask you fine people how you would monetize such a site.
Obvious first step is to get more useful content in there, because right now it's very dynamic in terms of the way it's generated and I don't think it's even functioning the way it's supposed to anymore. But beyond that, I'm not up to date on what offers would be decent as far as networks go.
Yes, new people, we get it. You came up with this genius idea:
I have a site/blog/whatever that earns $1/day. Now I just have to make 1,000 more and I can make $1,000/day!
This is not an original idea
This is not a realistic idea
You will most likely fail
Maintenance is a bitch on the few blogs I do have; imagine maintenance on 1,000.
The reason you're making $1/day on one site is because you're putting effort into it. 1,000 would be beyond mind-numbing.
I challenge you to come up with 1,000 completely unique niches. Or even 100. I will give you $20 if you show me proof that you did.
Thousands of people have tried this and failed (hence #3).
So now that I've discouraged you from wasting everyone's time spreading this idiotic notion around, how about you spend some time building up a few EXCELLENT sites that will actually get you PAID, son?
Instead of having to log into each advertising account (Google Adwords, Yahoo! Search Marketing, Microsoft AdCenter), now you can interact with each one remotely from one interface. Tracking202 is fully integrated with all three and does nightly downloads of data.
This way, you can easily see which campaigns, ads and keywords are duds and, more importantly, which ones are profiting you.
Full Integration with the Affiliate Networks
T202Pro will download your earnings and subids automatically every few minutes and give you accurate earning stats! Now you can just login to the platform and all of your costs and conversions will be ready for your analysis right away!
This is an outstanding feature that I've been looking forward to. As I've been using the free version more and more for my campaigns, it's been a bit of an inconvenience to go back and forth between affiliate network and the database to update sales data.
Like checking your stats throughout the day? Do you own an iPhone? Well you're in luck! Use our Stats202 iPhone Web App that comes with T202Pro and check your stats on the fly wherever you are (will work on other mobile browsers for other phones but is optimized for the iPhone). Now you can, simply with a touch of a button, press on your Stats202 button on your iPhone and clearly see how much you've earned for the day wherever you are, anywhere and anytime. It will pull stats from every affiliate network you work with!
As an iPhone owner who checks stats like it's a crack addiction, this is a most-welcome feature. I've hacked together a script that does this but it only works for a few networks, so I'm happy to use the new application.
No More Re-Redirects
If you've used our old system, you'll understand that it relied on redirects. On our new Tracking202 Pro system, redirects are a thing of the past. Unlike the old system, we do not process redirects through our server anymore, so in a case of a system wide server failure, you can be rest assured your traffic will still be up and you'll still be banking! Should a storm hit, an earthquake destroy our servers, or something else go wrong, your traffic will still arrive to the offer!
I am honestly impressed by this feature. Adding another hop to any jump-link is sure to annoy possible customers, especially if it takes longer than half a second. Great going, guys.
Keyword-level Conversion Tracking
Our keyword conversion tracking isn't just about seeing a list of keywords that converting. It is about seeing all of your keywords across all of your accounts, where they exist in their associated adgroups, and being able to see 100% accurate cost and revenue data drilled down to each keyword. Then right from the interface you can resume or pause the keyword if needed. Imagine being able to see a list of all of your keywords, across all of your accounts and being able to pause them from one application, no longer do you have to login to your accounts to do it one by one. Also to be able to trace exactly where each keyword originated from, from which adgroup to which campaign to which account, something not present in our regular Tracking202 system.
If you aren't using something like Tracking202, you're losing money. Tracking at the keyword level allows you to see exactly which keywords are profitable and which are not, and for which search engine / social media you're advertising on. Being able to see which adgroup and campaign the click originated from in real time is just beautiful.
Not much I have to add besides what I've pointed out and described. Tracking202 Pro is a very welcome addition to the affiliate marketing world. The amount they charge is a small price to pay for the service you're getting in return.
Lately, I've been hearing people complaining about the saturated markets for the hot sellers, the latest of which is the Acai Berry. The list is long and includes things like Ringtones, Acne cures, the Dating niche and any other fad market you can think of.
What's funny about this complaining is that there's nothing special about the Acai fad; it's really just another weight loss solution on a long list of "solutions." There will be another fad and another fad will come after that. Affiliates like you and I will flock to it and try to get a piece of the pie before the fad dries up and people will complain that the market is much too saturated.
To all you complainers, here's a little secret: no market is ever saturated, angles are.
What that means is that the only thing that gets too expensive to compete in is the actual advertising method used to sell product X. If that means PPC, that doesn't mean trying organic won't work. If that means organic is saturated, what about e-mail marketing? If e-mail is saturated, try Craigslist. If Craigslist is saturated, try classified ads in your local newspaper. If that's saturated, get creative. Not even I'm above taking my bike out at 2AM to post flyers. But then, that's the difference between wankers and the people actually making money: action.
I've had over 500 RSS subscribers for quite some time now. While that might seem like a big number to some, I have a feeling most of it's fluff because if it's true, only a few of you visit regularly and fewer still ever comment.
So if you're out there, I'm interested to hear what you have to say.
As an affiliate, what tools do you use to make your life easier?
You are a marketer, a salesman. In the world of sales, those who know their product best usually know why other people want to buy it. They can easily relate to their customer base. It's a simple matter of sympathy that goes deeper than - I think this is how they might feel.
Chubs the hamster can probably whip up a pretty kick-ass sales page for dieting hamsters because he's been through the ups, the downs, the binges and crash diets. Now Christmas is in the air and Chubs can't help but indulge in some delicious holiday treats, but he can also use that shameful indulgence as fuel for the fire.
Put simply, in deference to you, Kent, it's like lasing a stick of dynamite1. Okay, maybe not like lasing a stick of dynamite but the point is that knowing is half the battle. Here's why:
As previously stated, if you've been through it, you know it
The emotions that go with it fuel your ambition to tell other people
As you might have guessed by now, I'm not targeting this directly at fat people. It applies to any person who has a characteristic that society deems "bad." People who have gone through the trauma of teenage acne, profuse sweating, hair loss, STDs, etc. have the kind of experience that goes a long way in selling other people. It's sad, but it's true.
However, what I've found to be even more valuable is actually having your own story -- preferably photo documented. You are the best person you could hire for this type of thing. For one thing, it's free and for another, you have no reason to lie. So if you're a little over weight (or even tremendously overweight), do yourself a favor and get yourself on the track to health and document the entire process. If you've got acne, stretch marks, baldness, whatever -- take some before, during and after pictures.
Shoot, you can even make a blog about it and people will eat it up (heh). Once you hit your goal, you've got a product with photos, a testimony and results. Now you're happy, more confident and you can better relate to your target audience.
And once you've got your product, if you want, you can go back to your old ways just like Chubs did. Poor bastard.
This is Joel from JoelComm.com giving all the n00bs a decent beginner's explanation of what Affiliate Marketing is. I randomly came across it and liked what he had to say, so I thought I'd show all you fine people.
Ever since I got Netflix, I've been watching a lot of movies while I work. Hands down, my favorite so far is American Gangster. I'm going to watch it one more time before I send it back.
The movie is based on a true story where, basically, the premise is that Frank Lucas figures out how to cut out all the middle men (that would be us in an analogy) in his drug-pushing business and a team of detectives is trying to take down the drug bosses. Great premise, even better execution by the actors (if you don't want to bother with Netflix, click the image to buy it on Amazon).
Now as for how I thought it applied to you and me -- a few parts in the movie stuck out for me. Number one was this little dialogue:
Frank Lucas: What is that you got on? Huey Lucas: What? This? Frank Lucas: Yeah, that. Huey Lucas: This is a very, very, very nice suit. Frank Lucas: That's a very, very, very nice suit, huh? Huey Lucas: Yeah. Frank Lucas: That's a clown suit. That's a costume, with a big sign on it that says "Arrest me". You understand? You're too loud, you're making too much noise. Listen to me, the loudest one in the room is the weakest one in the room.
If there's one thing you'll learn as you make more and more money, it's that Frank was exactly right. The more money you make, and the more powerful you become, the quieter you'll be. You can always tell new money and the big fish apart, just by the way they advertise themselves. I know because I'm guilty of that very sin but I am deliberately quiet now.
For one thing, no one really cares much beyond "wow, that's a lot of money" before they go on about their day and for another thing, flashy people attract leeches and nosy people. Two words: lotto winners. These days, the smart lotto winners pay millions just to keep their name private. Stupid lotto winners end up broke again.
I think you get the point. Besides, there are better ways to garner publicity.
The second line in the movie that I liked was this one:
Chinese General: It's not in my best interest to say this Frank, but quitting while you're ahead, is not the same as quitting.
If only we were smart enough at all times to live by those words. I've been there countless times. I'm sure you have as well. Many a dollar in profit has been lost to prideful ad spending. In other words, if you observing trends in your clicks-per-lead (CPL) and adjusting your advertising accordingly, you are losing money. Affiliate marketing is an art and you must develop it just like a skill.
Part of that skill is knowing when to hold and when to fold.
Aside from that, if you haven't seen American Gangster, go rent or buy the DVD and watch it right now. You won't be sorry.
Have you ever noticed the odd things your sites get ranked for? I sure have.
Most oddly, my most common have to do with Marla Singer from Fight Club, Ringaza, Sales Speeches and random things related to Incentaclick. Sure, they get indexed for numerous reasons -- people like them, no one else cares to dominate for the terms, etc. -- but part of the beauty of this sort of thing is that it's almost transparent.
If I watch from A (posting) to Z (referring clicks from the related search), I can analyze the patterns that led from one to the other. In fact, this post itself is a test in doing just that. I'm trying to see if I can get the post ranked for any related terms -- Verizon Ringtones, Download Ringtones, Sprint Ringtones, Cingular Ringtones -- you name it.
Then, and only then, will this phenomenon become useful to both you and I. That's partly why I want to do it publicly, to see once and for all whether a simple link here and there will generate not just traffic, but targeted traffic on an authoritative blog.
It's taken some time, but I am finally beginning to rank for organic terms and have them convert into actual leads/sales. It's about three (3) per week but I'm not paying for them, so it's all gravy at that point. This post is an extension of that experiment.
To be honest, my last post (Goal #1: Automation) was inspired by this book and with good reason -- this guy is all about outsourcing. In fact, if I were to sum this book up in a nutshell, it would be about removing all your repetative tasks that don't necessarily need you to be involved and outsourcing them to your virtual assistants. This leaves time for you to do the other things you want to do: start new businesses, travel, work on your hobbies, spend time with your family, etc.
Ferriss even goes into detail about getting rid of actual employees and talks about hiring staffing firms in places like India and China to do your work. Rather than outsourcing to individuals in those countries, staffing firms allow you to split test your distant assistants to see who can provide you with a better hourly ROI. Yes, you can even split test your employees. Also, staffing firms come with the added benefit of someone watching over your workers as an added guarantee that things will get done.
There are numerous other great pointers in the book that I won't divulge here but I will say I am thoroughly impressed with the information the guy is handing out. I've been incorporating it into the business and I must say, it does help. I love my assistants and wouldn't go a day without them.
Definitely give this book a read if you want to save yourself thousands of dollars and even more in time and effort.