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Easy Affiliate Marketing Days are over

7 People Speaking Their Mind - Put In Your Two Cents!

Posted on July 23, 2008 in Affiliate Tips, PPC  

Just as the post states easy affiliate marketing days are over. Now that doesn’t mean you won’t make money or that you can’t make GREAT money. It more so just means the days of starting up a campaign and going from zero to the penthouse is much harder. The system was easier to game and manipulate. Yes you still can manipulate the system and can get by with things, but to combat this google is updating their Quality Score more oftern.  I read many posts about the latest Google slap. I remained untouched due to it but that is only more so all my sites have moved to more legit sites and not the one page wonders that could make a killing of the past. 

As an Affiliate Marketer you need to:

1. Rake in the money while you can. If you have a hot offer milk it while you can. Can you do the same with a similar offer? Then do it!

2. Change and evolve… What worked last year doesn’t work… well at times things that worked 3 months ago don’t work.

3. Have a game plan and a end goal. Don’t just pile the money in and blow it on things that will depreciate. I mean we all want to do nothing at some point in our lives.

4. Test Tweak Test Tweak…  A/B test, ad test, copy test, site test…. the testing never stops.

With that said there is still a TON of money to be made in affiliate marketing but it takes more work.

No better Time then Right NOW!

3 People Speaking Their Mind - Put In Your Two Cents!

Posted on May 29, 2008 in Affiliate Tips, PPC  

There Really is no better time then right NOW!  Why do I say this, no not because the economy is the best, its not because there is soo much money to be made (even though there is), it is because if you don’t do it right now someone else just might.

Look at it this way so many of us get lists of the top performing offers or even those higher up in earnings we get first dibs on offers but how many times have i gotten that info and done nothing with it. Then 2 weeks later those offers are rocking on the network and then i am trying to play catchup against the competition when i could have been a front runner. So get it promoted right now.

Some tips to help you get new offers going right now!

1. Turn off your AIM, Gtalk, YIM etc… (yes turn it off till you get the new offer up)

2. Don’t check your email for 4 hours. (Yes this would kill some of us but honestly if it is that urgent you should have good enough connections with your AM they will call you)

3. Start doing research. Use all your free tools or paid tools to do other site research and keywords. (don’t let it stop here, I know at times i fizzle out after research and don’t push thru to get it live)

4. Get the page/site designed. If you have a designer start them working on designs while you do your research, if you do the designs yourself unless you are a quick designer find someone that can do the designs for cheaper than what it is costing you time wise (remember time is key).

5. Write 5 ads for the campaign. Do your ads blend in to the other ads or do they stand out?

6. Actually this should come up after your research, Get a domain name. Try for it to be one target and as short as possible.

7. Get the site design up and get your campaigns going.

8. Check back in about an hour or two how is the campaign going? make any tweaks.

9. Turn your IM’s back on feel free to check you email and know that you didn’t postpone and on offer that can make you some $$$.

I hope this helps some of you get more campaigns going. I know when i am struggling to launch new campaigns either cause i am too busy with other things or just because i have gotten lazy/complacent with earnings doing these things help a lot.   Do you have any tips for getting new campaigns launch leave a comment.

Yahoo Minimum bid change, what were they thinking?

9 People Speaking Their Mind - Put In Your Two Cents!

Posted on April 20, 2008 in PPC, Yahoo Search Marketing  

So Yahoo has started rolling out there new minimum bid setup, which most people were hoping this would enable people to bid less than .10 on keywords… I have yet to see them, now i do have some keywords i bid .10 and pay less per click, but i have seen many keywords inflate to crazy amounts for a minimum bid. Expecting me to pay over .50 minimum bid on a term that is only worth .10 to me. While i understand its a new system and there will be things changing but I personnally only see one thing happening due to it, people advertising less thru YSM and people putting more money into MSN and Google. While Google’s quality score is annoying at times you aren’t going to be asked for a crazy amount if your site is an authority on a subject.  What is your take on the new YSM change?

5.00 or 10.00 Google Adwords bids due to Quality Score

3 People Speaking Their Mind - Put In Your Two Cents!

Posted on December 10, 2007 in Google Adwords, PPC  

Are you getting 5.00 or 10.00 Google Adwords bids due to Quality Score.  Don’t worry if you have setup your campaign and landing page properly. I have noticed A LOT lately within the fiirst day of starting a new campaign my bids will jump up to 1.00,5.00, and even 10.00 and a lot of my keywords will go to poor. The crazy thing is i know my landing page or site is good, my ad is good and my keywords are relevant too. What is the deal?  Honestly i think it is Google just trying to get more money out of us. The first time this happened to me i was like oh great here we go again let me figure out what i forgot to put on the landing page or site and fix it etc..  but i found out nothing was wrong. So i waited a day or two and BAM all my words were back to ok and great. What is it… honestly i don’t have a specific answer but i think google is doing it to try to weed out some people or maybe run double or tripple checks on your sites before sending you traffic. It is wierd and a pain, but i have seen it happening more and more. So just let your campaign ride it out. Now if after a day or two you don’t see a change then you most likely have issue with Relevancy, Ad copy, or your site. If you are being hit with these issues you really should read through google terms and suggestions for Adwords they really are helpfull for people getting start or better yet become adwords qualified. One thing you can do is limit your campaigns and don’t put in hundreds of Keywords as i have seen some of my campaigns with more than 50 keywords seem to get hit more often, but as i stated before they go back to good standing. 

Yahoo Search Marketing Courtesy Call and My Thoughts

5 People Speaking Their Mind - Put In Your Two Cents!

Posted on September 24, 2007 in PPC, Yahoo Search Marketing  

I received an interesting call from Yahoo Search Marketing to talk about their “Quality Pricing”. What is interesting is they have no idea what kind of leads or revenue i am producing from an ad but yet they are some how Quality pricing the ads i am paying for based on where they come from. To my surprise without the quality pricing over the past week I would have spent more than 698 and some change on top of what my account showed. While I found this interesting, what was more concerning to me is I brought up that I am US target based but yet I still at times get more than 25% from foreign countries. From there the call went south as she doesn’t deal with that and gave me the generic we are working on it. I would think it is MUCH harder to try to guage a quality of source traffic than it is to just block foriegn traffic.

My overall thoughts to Yahoo Search Marketing:

1. Thanks for the courtesy call to let me know I would have spent more had they not introduce this “quality” system.
2. Thanks for the money back over this past month (X,XXX.XX) due to the foreign traffic you are sending me. (I had to file a click fraud report to receive the credit but well worth the time)
3. Common YSM country targeting isn’t that hard other Search Engines do it much better, even some third tier.
4. Get rid of minimum .10 bid some of the traffic isn’t even worth a few pennies let alone 10 cents.
5. Don’t just follow what Google does be proactive and make a HUGE difference in the Search engine world and you will capitalize more searchers.

That’s all i can think of now. What are yall thoughts… what can Yahoo change?

Microsoft Adcenter takes a stance on Trademark Terms and Bidding

3 People Speaking Their Mind - Put In Your Two Cents!

Posted on August 30, 2007 in Affiliate Information, MSN Search, PPC  

To my surprise and delight I got an email from MSN adcenter today concerning bidding and using trademark terms. (cough Google… I hope your listening) The stance from my point of view is in favor of publishers and puts the responsibility where it is back on the trademark owners and not using the Search engines to police their trademark for them. The Official email:

Microsoft adCenter is changing the way we manage our trademark policy starting September 10, 2007. While no change will be made to the trademark policy itself, this update aligns better with marketplace practices, speeds up editorial review to get your ads live faster, and ensures consumers see relevant ads.

Microsoft adCenter’s Trademark Policy

As stated above, we are not changing the trademark policy itself. You may still use trademarked terms
in your ads  when you, as the advertiser, are the owner of the trademark, an affiliate or reseller of trademarked products or services, or a site that uses the trademarked term in an informational,
descriptive, or non-competitive manner. Infringing use of trademark terms by direct competitors remains a violation of Microsoft adCenter policies. 

What’s changing?

It will now be the advertiser’s responsibility to obtain permission from the trademark owner to use a trademarked term in their ads. It will also be the trademark owner’s responsibility to address ongoing
incorrect usage of their trademark term(s) directly with third-party advertisers.  Microsoft adCenter will no longer intercede to obtain permission for the advertiser wanting to use a trademarked term. 

What does this mean for my search advertising?

Your ads may display next to other ads that contain your trademarked terms.
Affiliates, resellers, and third parties may show up against queries for your trademarked terms.
Competitor’s ads may show up in search results against queries for trademarks in certain scenarios, due to match types other than exact.

For example, if a generic term is included in the overall search query, advertisers who bid on the generic term may show up in the search results.

If you are a trademark owner and you believe your trademark is being misused in Microsoft adCenter, you can submit a report by following the instructions on our Trademark Concern Form.

Sounds like good news for publishers/affiliates when it comes to bidding on trademark terms. While I agree using trademark terms without persmission is bad but there is no reason that for instance a Target ad shouldn’t show up when someone is searching for Wal-mart.

Why Not Tracking Your Campaigns can Cost you Money!

6 People Speaking Their Mind - Put In Your Two Cents!

Posted on August 22, 2007 in Affiliate Tips, PPC, Yahoo Search Marketing  

You can read everywhere that people suggest you track you campaigns and statistics, even on this blog. Meaning not relying on Google, Yahoo, Msn or other networks to rely on them to send you just the country or target traffic you are paying for.  There are many programs out there that you can pay for that will track the IP’s of your visitors and be able to tag to a certain campaign, or you can have one built. I personally had one built for me as the ones out there worked but I couldn’t get the information I wanted or get it in the way I wanted it. Yes this cost me a decent penny to get this tracking program built, but it has paid for itself already several times over.
Take this example. I am running a campaign on yahoo search marketing and I was checking my program stats and noticed that I was seeing a lot of traffic from foreign countries and my whole account is set to US only.  So I dig thru my stats for Aug 1 thru 13 and find that anywhere from 10 to 25% is from foreign countries.  So I log into my Yahoo search marketing account and contact them letting them know what I am seeing and attach a report for just one of the days and state that I am seeing this on all days Aug 1 thru 13. A day later I get an email stating it has been escalated to their click fraud department and I should get an email in a few days. Two days later I get this email:

Our investigation concluded that your account experienced one or more occurrences of the following situations:

?        Unusual end user activity or behavior
?        System issues

As a result, we have issued an adjustment to your account in the amount of $X,XXX.XX. This adjustment should post to your account within three to four business days. You can view your billing history through the Reports section of your account by selecting the Billing Transaction Detail Report.

To protect the integrity of our systems, we unfortunately cannot provide you with the specific details associated with the identified pattern of behavior. We want to assure you that we are always working to improve the quality of the traffic delivered to advertisers and as such we are taking the appropriate steps to help prevent these types of activity from occurring again in the future. Our sophisticated Click Protection System runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is designed to prevent advertisers from being charged for certain clicks. However, there may be instances, such as this one, where we make additional adjustments to your account.

As you can see they don’t come out and say we agree with you that you received foreign traffic, they did offer me a nice credit. With that said I was making a profit on the campaign even with this amount of foreign traffic being sent. So the credit is just icing on the cake, but this is something that is deserved by me as I am paying for US traffic not foreign traffic. This is just one example of why you need to track your campaigns by a third party software that tracks IP addresses etc. to monitor it for foreign traffic or even click fraud that you are billed for.  One other instance you can read about is from PepperJam Search and their $10,000 “Goodwill Credit” .

Q&A Natural Search Engine Rank, Adwords and Landing Pages

13 People Speaking Their Mind - Put In Your Two Cents!

Posted on July 5, 2007 in Affiliate Tips, Google Adwords, PPC  

Today I decided to do a little Q&A due to an email i received from Edwin.

1)I rank number 1 on Natural Search Engine Rank for my niche, but should i still use AdWords?

If you have natural search engine rank for any terms that get searches daily props to you. Especially in a high volume market. Should you use adwords?  YES!!!!  On all my natural ranking sites that i make money off of and i am not capturing the whole audience I use adwords.

a. You can capture more of your audience, as i doubt you are getting 100% of the traffic that is searching.

b.  Make a custom ad towards the search engine visitors, and you can change it often to see what works.

c. Due to you ranking #1 most likely (not guaranteed) you will get good Quality Score which will mean cheap bids.

2)Do colors really make a difference in sales?

 I am assuming you meant on landing and sales pages. Yes they can make a difference. Anything from color to placement to the signup or sale process can make a drastic difference in the amount of sales or leads. The best way is to test different colors or layouts with your main sales or landing page and keep which one converts the best. In the short term you may lose a little but in the long term you will gain more profits.

If you have a question you would like me to answer use the contact form or leave a comment. Sometimes I answer via my blog and others in private. Hope everyone had a happy fourth of July!

Google Slaps Some Affiliate Marketers a round.

5 People Speaking Their Mind - Put In Your Two Cents!

Posted on June 9, 2007 in Google Adwords, PPC  

Google Slaps some Affiliate Marketers a round with adwords latest quality score update. I was checking out the thread on digital point “From great to poor in last few hours” .  While I always hate to see this happen I also realize that Google is trying to clean things up and make progress. BUT I also realize at times Google has thrown out the baby with the bath water.

While i didn’t have any drastic differences take place like going from great to poor, I did notice a few of my keywords that were great go to just ok. But I am not surprised on some of them as they aren’t really targeted. My heavily targeted words stayed dead on the off beat ones had some minor changes but nothing to get up in arms about.

Now on to the big issue if you did get hit by the change… Well here are two Great posts to read that should help, CPA Mini Landing Page Sites and Building a Landing Page.

Whats your take? Did your bids get hit?

Clicks Don’t Equal Sales

2 People Speaking Their Mind - Put In Your Two Cents!

Posted on May 22, 2007 in Affiliate Tips, PPC  

I need a computer to count how many times I see a user post in a forum or send me an email saying. Affiliate marketing isn’t real i sent 10,000 visitors to the offer or site and didn’t get one lead. Usually the main reason it doesn’t convert is the traffic is untargetted or the traffic isn’t really traffic.

First there are programs/sites all over the net that will popup, under, intersestial for a split second your ad/landing page in a window then 98% of the time the user just closes it or it gets closed by a program. But the programs call these visitors when they aren’t. These are those get 10000 visitors for 5 bucks etc… I have tried one or two of these I won’t lie but the traffic is JUST TRASH!

Secondly I find people are taking the wrong traffic and pushing it to the wrong offer. Example one guy emailed me that his stuff wasn’t converting and he was pushing a ton of traffic to the offers. They were mortgage offers. Well the traffic he was pushing was myspace, screensaver type traffic. I told him there is his problem you can’t expect that traffic to convert for mortgage and debt, maybe other screensaver or zwinky or ringtone offers but not mortgage and debt. Don’t get me wrong that traffic may get a convert or 2 for mortgage and debt Just not a 1:2 or 1:4 return.

Some Tips:

1. Target your Traffic to Your offer (common sense you would think).

2. Get Cheap traffic don’t just rely on PPC look to CPM, direct advertising.

3. Track Your results by using your CPA networks Subid.

4. Before you buy traffic form a source search around google, forums and blogs to see what other people say about the traffic seller. (read no 5)

5. Just because a traffic source didn’t work for one person, doesnt mean it won’t work for you.  

6. When you have targetted traffic and it is working well. Play with your bids, and your ad copy to increase your return.

Remember clicks don’t equal sales.

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