Creating Your Own Ebook Cover

3D Ebook Cover Generator
3D Ebook Cover Generator

For anyone in the process of creating their own informational product, I highly recommend using the 3D E-Book Cover Generator from 3d-pack.com.

Not only does it create the awesome reflection effect for your E-book cover, but you can rotate the image any way you want and the on-page Flash will render it to either a gif, a jpeg or a png image for you.

Creating each side could not be easier. Simply upload an image for the cover, the top, the side (and optionally the back, if you so choose) and voila -- you have a beautiful fake image for your e-book.

I was able to create this e-book in less than 10 minutes in order to demo it here:

Your Product
Your Product

Sure, you might notice that I could have spent a lot more time making it look fancy but I just wanted to show you how powerful this free online tool is. Here are the three graphics I used:

E-book Front
E-book Front
E-book Side
E-book Side
E-book Top
E-book Top

I just uploaded each image to the corresponding areas and within ten seconds, I had a beautiful E-book graphic. Could not have been easier.

If you guys have similar recommendations for creating 3D E-Book covers and the like, please feel free to share them!

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Tracking202 Pro Goes Live!

Tracking202 Pro Goes Live
Tracking202 Pro Goes Live

After several months of public beta, Tracking202 is finally opening its doors to the public!

Click here to receive a 10% discount off your monthly fee.

So just a gloss-over of features:

Full Integration with the Big Three

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.

iPhone/Smart Phone-friendly

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.

Conclusion

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.

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What Are Your Favorite Affiliate Tools?

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?

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Affiliate Marketing Dictionary

I've decided to start using my Affiliate Marketing Dictionary in posts to link to terms that new affiliates might not know. I figure, this will help clarify my posts a bit more. I also plan on linking to it from the e-book I just released in its new version.

Yes, it will take more work but it's worth it to help people to understand this crazy business. The dictionary is a work in progress, so if you have a suggestion for what should be there or an alternate definition for a particular word, please let me know.

As for now, feel free to look up any of the terms I've already defined. I'm adding a suggestion feature in the next few days so that I'm not missing anything important.

Just another tool from the Affiliate Toolbox. Hope you like it.

Scott

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Holy Grail of Landing Page Information

As a nice complement to my How To Get Started Affiliate Marketing e-book, I stumbled across a post on Digital Point forums where someone had posted a link to a post by Christina Laun of the Virtual Hosting Blog on Landing Pages titled The Landing Page Design Toolbox: 100 Tools, Tips and Resources (click here to jump).

The first author referenced is Seth Godin, so you know it's good information.

If you're new to affiliate marketing, a landing page is just a fancy term for a small website that funnels traffic to a customer site through your referral link. A good landing page can be the difference between no profit and tons of profit, so they aren't to be taken lightly.

I skimmed and scanned some of the sites listed and so far, I've found some pretty good information. I recommend you take a look.

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New MacBook Pro

Awww yeah. Just got my new MacBook Pro lapintosh

The best part? The battery on this lasts over four hours versus the fifteen minutes on my wife's Dell laptop. Owned.

Here are a couple pics-

Lapintosh 1

Sorry about the mediocre quality. I took the pics with my iPhone and the lens needs cleaning.

Lapintosh 2

Isn't she beautiful?

You know .. technically, this is my first laptop. I bought it so my 47" LCD TV would stop killing my eyes. Yeah, it sounds like it'd be the cat's pajamas .. until you go blind.

Anyway - I've been a PC guy my whole life so I'm still getting used to using a Mac, but so far it's pretty sweet.

Life is good.

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Landing Pages: Single vs Mini Site

Lately, I've been experimenting with both single-page landing pages as well as mini sites. A single-page landing page, as you might imagine, is a landing page that links to no other sites but the jump/hop links. Mini sites are an extension of single-page landing pages in that they have other pages, such as the "about us" page, the "contact" page, and the like.

What I've discovered is that for some offers, mini sites seem to do four good things:

  1. The site looks like a legitimate website vs. just a sales pitch, so people are less likely to leave right away (increases stickiness).
  2. Because they look like actual websites, they increase the trust factor and therefore, increase conversions for some offers (decreases skepticism).
  3. Provides a site people can actually look to and gives the search engines something to index, so your chances of getting free sales go up (increases organic traffic).
  4. Search engines like sites with multiple pages as they provide a better end-user experience (increases search engine friendliness).

All these things contribute to an overall increased profit margin. However, there are a few drawbacks to mini sites:

  1. They give the user a distraction from the sales pitch. Landing pages are built to be a funnel to the end goal: a sale.
  2. They take longer to build. Not everyone is going to want to build a whole website for each offer they run.
  3. They're harder to change for split testing. Basically, you have to adapt the whole site to a split testing environment in order to make this feasible.

So, where landing pages are a quick pitch and a quick build, mini sites are a bit more complicated to implement. And keep in mind, they don't always lead to better conversions but, of course, you know to split test everything you do. In general, mini sites lead to a better user experience and are much easier for search engines to index. And I'm a firm believer in organic traffic as it it leads to free conversions in the long-run.

One little trick I've been doing lately is making an HTML-based landing page with links to a WordPress blog on the back-end. So if my site is http://www.awesomelandingpage.com/awesome_item.php, then it contains several links to very contextual information I post in the site's blog, located (hypothetically) at http://www.awesomelandingpage.com/blog and that does a couple of cool things. First off, it automatically gives search engines something to spider and secondly, it also does a ping-back to sites like Technorati and the like, which provides even more traffic.

Overall, my results have been positive. Just make sure you clear up any out-going links on your blog. Your site should be a funnel to the hop-link, as that's where the sale occurs.

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Offer Vault: Compare Offers .. and Free!

Offer Vault

As of this morning, I received an email from the people at Affiliate Radar, announcing that Offer Vault is now free. Yeah, that's right. You can now cross-compare offers from multiple affiliate networks for free.

Here's the email they sent out:

Dear Scott Weaver,

After much heated debate between my partner, Raakesh, and I, we have
decided to allow free access to OfferVault.

In case you are not aware, OfferVault is a research tool for
affiliate marketers that contains a database of over 10,000 offers
from the top CPA and affiliate networks, updated daily.

You can sign-up at http://www.offervault.com

With this powerful tool you can:

Compare offers and payouts between networks

Research niches

Receive optional email alerts based on your own search criteria to
stay on top of new offers as they come out

Preview landing pages (this is huge!)

Quickly sign up for new networks

This tool was formerly available only as a component of our paid
membership site, Affiliate Radar. Now you have the opportunity to
access it free at www.offervault.com, so don't pass it up!

Get your free membership now at http://www.offervault.com

What does that mean for you? It means you no longer have to log into each different network to see where the highest payout is. What it also means is that yet again, I've increased your profit margin. But hey, that's what I'm here for.

Now you can see what networks are offering before you even bother signing up. Apparently, all that OfferVault is asking in return is that, much like on my blog, you sign up using their referral links to new networks you join.

Just this morning, I've found several higher paying offers than the ones I'm currently running and those are the default prices. Not even the negotiated prices.

If you're worried about a product monopoly (even though it's free), don't worry. I'm aware of another site that is whispered to have a similar product coming out soon.

For now, Offer Vault takes the cake as the cat's pajamas. Incidentally, if you want to go right to registration, click here.

You're welcome.

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Free Money! No, But Seriously..

Although I'm sure you've seen links out there just like these, I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't try to inform every new affiliate about these bad-ass offers. If you're just getting started with affiliate marketing, you'll probably want to get your feet wet with some play money, so take advantage.

First off, we have the free $50 in clicks for Google Adwords (courtesy of the Volkswagen). This only works for new accounts, so make the most of it.

Second, we have the free $25 for Yahoo! Search Marketing. Again, this is only for new customers, so use it wisely.

Third, we've got the free $50 Microsoft Adcenter coupon for new customers only.

I just saved you $125 in ad spending. The least you can do is give affiliate marketing a try, now that it's free.

Don't worry, it won't bite. Not that hard.

But seriously, if you do use it, tell me how it goes. That would make an interesting follow-up post.

Scott

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Get Started With CX Digital (Incentaclick)

Any affiliate marketer worth his (or her) salt knows that you have to run your affiliate marketing business LIKE A BUSINESS, and as such, you should do whatever you can to increase your overall revenue and even moreso, your profit margin. One thing you'll notice as you snuggle up to your affiliate managers is that they start to put pressure where they know it will hurt if you don't give in. If you are a push-over, they will take advantage. Rightly so, as they are extremely helpful in finding you great offers and getting you paid when you need to in order to grow your business and they are very aware of that fact. They are where they are, after all, for the same reason you are -- to make money.

Don't Get Screwed

With that in mind, you should know that it's good to be tight with your affiliate managers, but never to the point where it compromises your bottom line. That's why, as a general rule, you should always price shop for every offer you come across. Put simply, you should ask EACH affiliate manager you have what price they can give you and let other affiliate managers know, just so they have the opportunity for the business. Of course, there are some managers that won't play ball, but most will. It's just like buying a car -- you want the most bang without paying too much. Just remember, don't shit where you eat. Don't ever back stab your AM's and they will be good to you.

Incent-a-Click For The Win

Incentaclick

Firday, I was price shopping for a particular offer, and I happened to be reading UberAffiliate's post on CX Digital (formerly Incentaclick). So I decided to sign up and see what all the hubbub was over and I was happily surprised. Within the hour, I was given a confirmation call and not long after that, my new affiliate manager gave me a ring. All things considered, I was up and running within a couple of hours. I consider that a great turnaround.

Incentaclick Rewards

So check this out, not only do they have the nice 2% referral program that pays monthly, they also have a decent rewards program they call their Loyalty Program. Their loyalty program basically gives you a point for each dollar you earn and depending on how many points you earn, you qualify for certain tiers that will give you reward options. The tiers are as follows:

  1. Level One - (15,000 - 37,499 points) - When you reach this level, you can get moderately cool things like a Nintendo Gamecube or a $100 Gift Card to Amazon or Star Bucks.
  2. Level Two - (37,500 - 74,999 points) - At level two, the prizes take a step up. You can get things like a PSP or an Acer 19" LCD Monitor.
  3. Level Three - (75,000 - 149,999 points) - Level three gives you even cooler selections - Get a PS3, an XBOX 360 or a Weber Grill.
  4. Level Four - (150,000 - 299,999 points) - This is where it starts to get interesting. Choose from things like a MacBook, a Toshiba Laptop or a JVC 32" Flat Panel LCD TV.
  5. Level Five - (300,000+) - Get a 50" plasma, or a Bose Home Entertainment system, or a Panasonic Home Theater Proejctor.

Or, for any of the levels you reach, you can ask for objects of equal value. In other words, these guys are really cool. You get prizes for earning what you would otherwise earn elsewhere, but they obviously want you to do it with CX Digital.

Statistics

One thing that usually bugs me about affiliate sites is that they're slow to update their statistics. I value statistics that are at least updated every five minutes, but what I've noticed about CX Digital is that their stats are updated LIVE (or as close to live as possible). This is an incredible feature that I won't soon take for granted. I honestly hope they never get rid of this feature, whatever they do. They allow filtering on SubID's as well as several other options, like date and offer.

Charts & Graphs

Incentaclick Revenue Chart

This is a really cool feature that I wish more affiliate-based services would take advantage of. This is just one of two graphs they offer and this alone is awesome to see. It helps put things into perspective for you. I love this feature and I think overall, it speaks for itself. The screen cap is a picture of the offer I'm running with them and so far, I'm happy with the results.

Offers

CX Digital doesn't yet have tons of offers but they do have just enough to get you started and perhaps that's the beauty of the service. You can jump on the bandwagon before it gets a bit too saturated and I recommend that you do.

Payout Terms

Another strong point to CX Digital is its payout terms. They start out at biweekly (once every two weeks) and can be arranged differently from there, depending on what you and your affiliate manager agree on. I was told you I to do around $500-600/day in order to qualify for weekly payments, so it's not such a big deal. Based on my revenue so far (as you can see in the screen cap from the last three days), it won't be a problem with just one offer.

Overall

All in all, my experience with CX Digital has been nothing short of great so far. I like my affiliate manager and all the features I mention above are a breath of fresh air. I highly recommend them and if you're interested in trying them, please feel free to sign up through my referral link (here).

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