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Archive of ‘affiliate marketing’ category

CPA Affiliates going into ebook guru promos?

One trend that’s been bubbling to the surface in recent weeks has been seeing a number of affiliate bloggers (typically practising or at one time practising CPA affiliates) branch into the list building/ebook promotion game.

I’m not sure that this is exactly a good thing.

But first, let’s look at when it might be a good thing.

If your business was heavily dependent on rebills and some of your favorite offers got nuked due to the change in Wells Fargo bank and other payment processors cancelling merchant accounts for some of these rebill offer owners, you’re left with either promoting short form lead gen offers at about 5-10% of the payout of your rebill offers or branching into other areas of internet marketing like domain development/site flipping through flippa, pay-per-sale affiliate programs, promoting/dropshipping physical products or joining the ebook promotion game. Nothing wrong with any of these options.

But here’s the rub. With ebook promos, it can be a guru clusterfrack, especially when everyone is promoting the same offer. That’s already what happens in the information marketing world, especially in the make money online niche. Everyone and his half-sister and dog is suddenly promotion Jeff Johnson’s Product Launch Formula 3.0 making it sounds like it’s the best thing since sliced bread. If so, what’re you going to do when the next product comes along? Again, proclaim that it’s the “bestest” thing you’re ever seen?

What some bloggers or wannabee experts don’t realize is that you have a social goodwill bank to draw upon. Each time you “sell out”, you withdraw some goodwill out of that bank. If you go overboard, you’re not going to have anything to draw upon and will probably lose the respect of your peers and others in the industry.

If you do choose to go down this path, choose wisely because it’s pretty difficult to turn back.

What’s not sexy can still make good money

In the last couple of years there’s been a big shift towards lead generation or pay-per-action (CPA) offers because they’re perceived as “easier” to promote compared to merely asking someone for their name and email, or to request information or quotation for a service.

It would be a mistake to write pay-per-sale affiliate programs too quickly because it can provide long term sustainable income, while CPA offers tend to be more churn-and-burn in nature and I’m fine with adding them as an option to a site where the customers have purchased a product, or are on a subscription or continuity plan.
But operating purely on an arbitrage-only model makes me uncomfortable.

To put my action where my mouth is, I’m building an pay-per-sale affiliate site from scratch.
Having recently won an affiliate site from ShareASale-listed merchant, Mail Order Shoppe, I’ll be building out the site, SEO optimizing it, generating traffic and monitoring conversions from now till mid July.

I’ll be documenting the process as a case study on the Internet Marketing Cookbook, so members can see how I build out websites.
From past experience, I’ve seen that no two successful marketers will do things the same way, even if they’re using the same tools, same site ranking and traffic generation techniques.

If you’re interested in following along, you can check out my earlier post about the Internet Marketing Cookbook version 2 launch. The launch promotion ends this Wednesday, midnight EST.

AffExpert review, AffExpert Discount Code and Lifetime Subscription Promo

Whether you’re a PPC affiliate or PPV affiliate, you’ll hit the wall and find some of the keyword and URL research tedious. Unfortunately this is the start point of any campaign and can be a major time suck.

I probably use the Google External Keyword Tool more than any other out there, though for pay-per-view traffic especially, it helps to use a scraping tool. A scraper goes through website or search engine content and harvests URLs and keywords for your PPV campaign.

It’s going to be a major disappointment if you think that just scraping this information and loading it into a campaign is going to get you a winner right off the bat. But if you’ve got the patience to let the keyword/URL targets gather some data, you’ll have the opportunity to cut the losers and keep the winners and possibly have a profitable campaign on your hands.

Firstly, you’ll need to get through the scraping element, which is where I like to a suite of research tools developed by Besmir Bregasi (whom I’ve also recently developed the SmartLinkManager.com link management/web analytics tool).

He’s just officially launched AffExpert (meaning it’s gone from a free beta, to a paid subscription model).

There’s a bunch of tools for both PPC and PPV marketers. The most useful of which are the scrapers.

You can head over to his page to find out more information about them. I wanted to do a brief walkthrough of one of the tools – a YouTube scraper. You’ve probably seen some news reports that YouTube has a torrent of traffic and has more searches than Google, etc. I wouldn’t get caught up in the details, but do realize that YouTube has replaced Google/YSM/Bing as a search engine replacement, especially for the tween/teen demographic.

The YouTube scraper goes through and compiles a list of YouTube vids based on your keyword criteria. For example, “Free iPad” threw up this list of videos:

youtube.com/watch?v=PCTYwEu8gIg/
youtube.com/watch?v=W1uP6QNt3yE/
youtube.com/watch?v=AapxatFAmlk/
youtube.com/watch?v=–vueWNrR8o/
youtube.com/watch?v=wf-YgyNpwWA/
youtube.com/watch?v=z_BshfWGQos/
youtube.com/watch?v=0f-EYf3REOY/
youtube.com/watch?v=jzhFiC9vsZQ/
youtube.com/watch?v=p1EaAlFxfpU/
youtube.com/watch?v=9UWW9pnSaUQ/
youtube.com/watch?v=6sZLfWq1B6A/
youtube.com/watch?v=OAAx8gDVEB8/
youtube.com/watch?v=5sWvtb8JTJM/
youtube.com/watch?v=z_-LjPyk028/
youtube.com/watch?v=NPZzbktBuq4/
youtube.com/watch?v=Uwd9nbr-RJc/
youtube.com/watch?v=KT2H28pun7Q/
youtube.com/watch?v=khSDYPRxWDg/
youtube.com/watch?v=okqP2xRgl3k/
youtube.com/watch?v=oLutLap65tE/
youtube.com/watch?v=aeaqY70HXnw/
youtube.com/watch?v=zOPXJcp5wbs/
youtube.com/watch?v=XDE_LAAZlrE/
youtube.com/watch?v=PsA_GoyVpSU/
youtube.com/watch?v=9Nv0MVPesk4/
youtube.com/watch?v=CtOYF6LPaFs/
youtube.com/watch?v=hKOlFCukHMU/
youtube.com/watch?v=GH5wHRRKpIA/
youtube.com/watch?v=wS_U_3GgmZU/
youtube.com/watch?v=xyJHLrY8hkI/
youtube.com/watch?v=1AeQchNicA0/
youtube.com/watch?v=BsUQt8vdE6Y/
youtube.com/watch?v=kvCeePJJUQs/
youtube.com/watch?v=cWRvZ4xeNZc/
youtube.com/watch?v=BOzUqheoLKU/
youtube.com/watch?v=VN6mBk-auy0/
youtube.com/watch?v=Z1WmQTw2peA/
youtube.com/watch?v=V1qMXxJuTHw/
youtube.com/watch?v=4vLJyF0zlUI/
youtube.com/watch?v=nvxwVtxXNpU/
youtube.com/watch?v=FTzhXMbOWHE/
youtube.com/watch?v=BVJFLzaMOx0/
youtube.com/watch?v=JkYV7B6MX1A/
youtube.com/watch?v=F_IboXHyBsY/
youtube.com/watch?v=MwQpMMSCyDc/
youtube.com/watch?v=PtsStUbjTJs/
youtube.com/watch?v=UwPDuU9cBOE/
youtube.com/watch?v=J8NOMrel5DE/
youtube.com/watch?v=oLq38EsMcRo/
youtube.com/watch?v=Kw3sczDZY2g/
youtube.com/watch?v=Sxq3pANdgNo/
youtube.com/watch?v=dbRp913rh7E/
youtube.com/watch?v=HuE-XYP-Fms/
youtube.com/watch?v=R2uF0H2oCfA/
youtube.com/watch?v=1LzcpeNbJs8/
youtube.com/watch?v=lp_Xa_GTBYo/
youtube.com/watch?v=_KyZdxt_59s/
youtube.com/watch?v=_GSiSj97p-k/
youtube.com/watch?v=P-gzT6EN6_g/
youtube.com/watch?v=NayiKd4mgis/
youtube.com/watch?v=afBzXWWFHkY/
youtube.com/watch?v=GfvUIE9o0qY/
youtube.com/watch?v=SDhlTHUZMPE/
youtube.com/watch?v=OXDbXW6YN1I/
youtube.com/watch?v=OQ6gk6jaQws/
youtube.com/watch?v=ACfcIEUWO-U/
youtube.com/watch?v=ncw3aQXxdfc/
youtube.com/watch?v=X-CgujQLW-k/
youtube.com/watch?v=-_LWYnfwAkk/
youtube.com/watch?v=biayrX6Toz8/
youtube.com/watch?v=kCJ__TElX2U/
youtube.com/watch?v=ZYUibicEMPM/
youtube.com/watch?v=q12NEgmkXEo/
youtube.com/watch?v=0mkeyGWcav0/
youtube.com/watch?v=pL-PvUI7lMs/
youtube.com/watch?v=KolNoeRN92Q/
youtube.com/watch?v=Z-jmv-oTxSk/
youtube.com/watch?v=iEOYykWMSMA/
youtube.com/watch?v=n0wdhXmBhYs/
youtube.com/watch?v=HTVw9jER4sg/
youtube.com/watch?v=0rAW_n_smOY/
youtube.com/watch?v=111TdKoge1w/
youtube.com/watch?v=2NsJwwT79Lg/
youtube.com/watch?v=MP2LuTdaFkY/
youtube.com/watch?v=KS6mZaksmIs/
youtube.com/watch?v=-3cqzbxSzwI/
youtube.com/watch?v=TUbmFRL049A/
youtube.com/watch?v=6MKuRT_cM74/

youtube.com/watch?v=PCTYwEu8gIg/
youtube.com/watch?v=W1uP6QNt3yE/
youtube.com/watch?v=AapxatFAmlk/
youtube.com/watch?v=–vueWNrR8o/
youtube.com/watch?v=wf-YgyNpwWA/
youtube.com/watch?v=z_BshfWGQos/
youtube.com/watch?v=0f-EYf3REOY/
youtube.com/watch?v=jzhFiC9vsZQ/
youtube.com/watch?v=p1EaAlFxfpU/
youtube.com/watch?v=9UWW9pnSaUQ/
youtube.com/watch?v=6sZLfWq1B6A/
youtube.com/watch?v=OAAx8gDVEB8/
youtube.com/watch?v=5sWvtb8JTJM/
youtube.com/watch?v=z_-LjPyk028/
youtube.com/watch?v=NPZzbktBuq4/
youtube.com/watch?v=Uwd9nbr-RJc/
youtube.com/watch?v=KT2H28pun7Q/
youtube.com/watch?v=khSDYPRxWDg/
youtube.com/watch?v=okqP2xRgl3k/
youtube.com/watch?v=oLutLap65tE/
youtube.com/watch?v=aeaqY70HXnw/
youtube.com/watch?v=zOPXJcp5wbs/
youtube.com/watch?v=XDE_LAAZlrE/
youtube.com/watch?v=PsA_GoyVpSU/
youtube.com/watch?v=9Nv0MVPesk4/
youtube.com/watch?v=CtOYF6LPaFs/
youtube.com/watch?v=hKOlFCukHMU/
youtube.com/watch?v=GH5wHRRKpIA/
youtube.com/watch?v=wS_U_3GgmZU/
youtube.com/watch?v=xyJHLrY8hkI/
youtube.com/watch?v=1AeQchNicA0/
youtube.com/watch?v=BsUQt8vdE6Y/
youtube.com/watch?v=kvCeePJJUQs/
youtube.com/watch?v=cWRvZ4xeNZc/
youtube.com/watch?v=BOzUqheoLKU/
youtube.com/watch?v=VN6mBk-auy0/
youtube.com/watch?v=Z1WmQTw2peA/
youtube.com/watch?v=V1qMXxJuTHw/
youtube.com/watch?v=4vLJyF0zlUI/
youtube.com/watch?v=nvxwVtxXNpU/
youtube.com/watch?v=FTzhXMbOWHE/
youtube.com/watch?v=BVJFLzaMOx0/
youtube.com/watch?v=JkYV7B6MX1A/
youtube.com/watch?v=F_IboXHyBsY/
youtube.com/watch?v=MwQpMMSCyDc/
youtube.com/watch?v=PtsStUbjTJs/
youtube.com/watch?v=UwPDuU9cBOE/
youtube.com/watch?v=J8NOMrel5DE/
youtube.com/watch?v=oLq38EsMcRo/
youtube.com/watch?v=Kw3sczDZY2g/
youtube.com/watch?v=Sxq3pANdgNo/
youtube.com/watch?v=dbRp913rh7E/
youtube.com/watch?v=HuE-XYP-Fms/
youtube.com/watch?v=R2uF0H2oCfA/
youtube.com/watch?v=1LzcpeNbJs8/
youtube.com/watch?v=lp_Xa_GTBYo/
youtube.com/watch?v=_KyZdxt_59s/
youtube.com/watch?v=_GSiSj97p-k/
youtube.com/watch?v=P-gzT6EN6_g/
youtube.com/watch?v=NayiKd4mgis/
youtube.com/watch?v=afBzXWWFHkY/
youtube.com/watch?v=GfvUIE9o0qY/
youtube.com/watch?v=SDhlTHUZMPE/
youtube.com/watch?v=OXDbXW6YN1I/
youtube.com/watch?v=OQ6gk6jaQws/
youtube.com/watch?v=ACfcIEUWO-U/
youtube.com/watch?v=ncw3aQXxdfc/
youtube.com/watch?v=X-CgujQLW-k/
youtube.com/watch?v=-_LWYnfwAkk/
youtube.com/watch?v=biayrX6Toz8/
youtube.com/watch?v=kCJ__TElX2U/
youtube.com/watch?v=ZYUibicEMPM/
youtube.com/watch?v=q12NEgmkXEo/
youtube.com/watch?v=0mkeyGWcav0/
youtube.com/watch?v=pL-PvUI7lMs/
youtube.com/watch?v=KolNoeRN92Q/
youtube.com/watch?v=Z-jmv-oTxSk/
youtube.com/watch?v=iEOYykWMSMA/
youtube.com/watch?v=n0wdhXmBhYs/
youtube.com/watch?v=HTVw9jER4sg/
youtube.com/watch?v=0rAW_n_smOY/
youtube.com/watch?v=111TdKoge1w/
youtube.com/watch?v=2NsJwwT79Lg/
youtube.com/watch?v=MP2LuTdaFkY/
youtube.com/watch?v=KS6mZaksmIs/
youtube.com/watch?v=-3cqzbxSzwI/
youtube.com/watch?v=TUbmFRL049A/
youtube.com/watch?v=6MKuRT_cM74/

If you were to manually scrape these, you’ll spend quite a bit of time.

The videos are quite varied, from 5,000 views to 1.8m views for a couple of them.

Don’t waste your time watching them now. Just load them into the URL targets campaign for your preferred network (pop-ups for trafficvance and media traffic might be a good place to start), then use an offer rotater (free for AffExpert members) and check out which URL targets stand out.

Incidentally, I’ve been using the rotater (self-hosted on yr own hosting account) since Besmir started coding it. Works like a charm and you can setup the rotation ratios (eg: 50% to offer 1 and 25% each to offer 2,3, etc). It works fine as a standalone script, or you can integrate with Prosper202.

Back to the idea. So if you loaded 4-6 free iPad submit offers and popped them over “free ipad” videos on YouTube, you might have a winner on your hands.

If it doesn’t work, then select a different offer (eg: giftcard submits) and test it out.

I’ve got word from affiliate managers that some CPA submit offers scrub more brutally than others. Some advertisers are known to even shave. It helps if an offer is newer and the advertiser has a fairly decent rep (again, check with your AM).

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But there’s more! So AffExpert has a bunch of other tools and I might go through them in this new project I’ll be announcing shortly.

The good thing is that in addition to the monthly subscription, he’s just released a lifetime subscription, which could pay for itself in a month or two if you actually use the tool.

I’ve also got some AffExpert offer codes you can use:

The monthly plan starts with a 7-day trial for just $1 and goes to a $39/month subscription.

You can use the AffExpert discount code: “BETAUSER” or “SPROMO” (depending on which is valid) to get it down to $29/month.

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If you prefer to get the lifetime subscription (expect to get upgrades to the tools as Besmir improves them).

It’s $347 for a lifetime subscription (or if you use the code “50off” you only pay $297 for lifetime access).

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Both plans and discount codes are valid via this link: AffExpert discount code promo



CPA Marketing Shenanigans and What You Can Do About It

I was talking to Josh Todd earlier today and was asking him about the practice of networks asking their affiliates to set up a 2nd affiliate account and bypass the affiliate who referred them. It was probably one of the inspirations for his post “Are your referral commissions being shaved?

Having been an affiliate manager in Josh’s TriFoxMedia CPA network for a time as well as having helped a couple of CPA networks refine their affiliate recruitment and development strategies over the years, I have some insight into how network works, the margins they work on, the cash floats (the difference between what they pay out to you and what they are owed by the advertiser) and some of the dirty stuff that goes down.

Still, it’s one thing to be aware of this, and another thing to have an affiliate manager be all friendly and appear to be a buddy, then know that behind your back they’re asking the affiliates you’ve referred in to set up a 2nd account and go direct with the network.

I get the point that some networks are working on a 5-10% margin and the 1-2% payout they’re making to you can make a difference in the bumps they’re able to give.

At the same time too, I’m investing my time to talk to my buddies who’re already doing big volume with their existing network and are happy. So getting them to add your offer to their rotation takes some convincing. If you’re undermining my time and effort within days of me referring them to you, my questions to you are:

  1. Do you think my buddies wouldn’t tell me what’s going on?
  2. Do you think you can get away with this?
  3. Do you think I will ever send you another referral?

The answers aren’t that hard to figure out.

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Here’s another “funny” incident. Another buddy was generating $1,000 to $1,500 per day off a particular rebill offer. In the last couple of weeks his earnings have dropped to $100-$200 per day. He probably shouldn’t have been relying on this one campaign for 90% of his income. So now with a family he’s got to tighten his belt quite tightly.

If anything he’s boosted his marketing budget, optimized his landing pages, added more pop-ups, just everything short of throwing the kitchen sink at the campaign.

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Yet another story. An AM I’ve known for about 2 years and talk with regularly was pulling offer sheets, bumping payouts for me last week and asking if I’d be at ASE because it’d be a good chance to meet up. I get an email that she’s decided to go back to school and I have a new AM assigned. “Go back to school”? Is that affiliate marketing code for something else?

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In short, I think CPA marketing is exciting because you get a bunch of curveballs thrown at you every which way. Being able to adapt to changes is part of the game.

At the same time, if you’re not setting up your own business or offers and shifting some of the control back to yourself, some of the changes can hurt. A lot.

Affiliate Summit East 2010 Discount Code and Highlights

A buddy of mine googled for “ASE2010 discount code”, “affiliate summit discount code”, “affiliate summit east 2010 discount code” and found discount codes for past shows, but couldn’t find one for the upcoming Affiliate Summit East 2010 in New York city, Aug 15-17, 2010 at the Hilton New York.

Frustrated, he bought 2 platinum passes ($1,249 each). I have Affiliate Summit discount codes that work, so I guess I could have saved him about $240 bucks. Oh well.

Here is the Affiliate Summit East 2010 registration link.

Be sure to use discount code/coupon code “ASE10WIAW10″ it’s good for 10% off silver, gold, platinum or diamond.

Being in New York, it’s not uncommon to find $700/night rooms. The Affiliate Summit organizers have got a pretty sweet $229/night deal at the Hilton. You can save even more with the $189/night non-refundable rate. Expect that with taxes and service on top of it, it’ll be another 10-15% more.

What’s new with ASE2010?

They’re changing the format in which sessions get voted. Previously it was just the Affiliate Summit advisory panel which voted for sessions. For the upcoming ASE2010, there’ll be a public voting segment at Slinkset to vote for your favorite sessions.

There’s a total of 32 sessions slot available (8 time slots with 4 concurrent sessions), plus possibly some spillover might go to the “Ask the Experts” tables.

As of right now the top 3 sessions are:

List Building Playbook

Session Description: Learn how to get recurring customers without owning any products!
Session Speaker: Brian Evans, Internet Marketing Entrepreneur, Rocky Media
Sam Rusani, CEO, Pure Rock Marketing
Session Classification: Beginner, Affiliates/Publishers, List building

132 points

Avoiding the Google Slap

Session Description: Panel discussion with key executives from Google and ClickBank on landing page quality scores and ad quality guidelines, and how affiliates and other site owners.
Session Speaker: Dush Ramachandran, Vice President – Business Development, ClickBank
Frederick Vallaeys, Product Enagelist, Google
Session Classification: Intermediate, Affiliates/Publishers, Google

74 points

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REAL Media Buying Case Studies

Session Description: See the actual results of over $200,000 worth of online and offline media buys for strong niches in the CPA affiliate space, successes, failures and optimizations.Learn new traffic sources you may…
Session Speaker: Rob Craven, Director of Media, AtLast Inc
Session Classification: Intermediate, Affiliates/Publishers, Multiple verticals

60 point

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The biggest pain associated with voting will probably be having to register for a slinkset account.

But might be worth it to catch one of the speakers you want to hear from.

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Here’s some other info about the event:

The info is direct from Affiliate Summit co-founder Shawn Collins:

1) I am guessing that proposal were voted in only based on Aff Summit advisory board votes in the past. Is this right?
Yes, the previous proposals were picked from the voting of the advisory board only – this is the first time to have public voting, and it will be combined with the advisory board voting to get a more comprehensive view on what people want to see.
2) Why the change to this new system?
We’re always experimenting with different ways to improve the conference, and we wanted to see if we could please more people on the content side by considering more opinions.
3) What’s the new weightage going to be? 50% public votes and 50% advisory board votes? If not, can you disclose what’s the ratio?
Yeah, that’s the plan, and we’re monitoring a few things to catch people who try to game the system.
4) With 29 votes for the top presentation and about 4,000 to 5,000 attendees per conference, do you feel it’s representative of the attendees needs?
The voting just opened yesterday, and it goes through May 14. Regardless of the final, overall number of people voting, we are guaranteed to have more voices represented in the process than we ever did in the past.
5) If not, will there be any manual intervention for session approval?
We’ll see how it all works out – if it looks like somebody stuffed the ballot box, we’ll take that into consideration.
6) How big do you expect the attendance to be at the upcoming show?
We’re expecting 3,500, which would be up from 3,076 last year in NYC.
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Here’s the registration info again:

Here is the Affiliate Summit East 2010 registration link.

Be sure to use discount code/coupon code “ASE10WIAW10″ it’s good for 10% off silver, gold, platinum or diamond.

Rebuilding a CPA affiliate business from scratch…

Before heading to Affiliate Summit in Vegas this past January I paused or discontinued many campaigns. Since coming back I’ve been doing some contract work for a media organization, filing my taxes (about a year’s worth of filing in the last 2 weeks) and along the way I’m about 90% recovered from my tendonitis (since Jan) with a steroid shot about 2 weeks back, and my badly sprained ankle is slightly swollen but I’m able to walk now (bike rides might be a month or two away).

So firing up my campaigns again, here’s what I’m working with:

I’ve shortlised a group of 6 CPA networks that I’m planning to work with. Why 6? For the range of offers and having enough options to load into an offer rotater.

The traffic sources? Probably a combination of PPC (tier-1 and tier2) and PPV networks. Although media buys seem to be really hot, I’m holding off for now.

I’ve been helping a friend who does really well with direct linking on a pretty massive scale, so I’ll try some of that out too, especially on the risk management and cashflow management front.

There’s still a couple of other facebook-related projects I’m working on with partners that will likely take up a fair bit of time/capital, so that will probably take the place of the tax filing which had been a major timesuck.

Else, everything situation normal, all fired up. (SNAFU).

How’s things going for you?

PS: I’ll likely aim to post 1-2 times a week. I noticed that my Google PR seems to have gone from a 4 to a 5.