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6 figure blogging 4

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6 figure blogging 4

  1. 1. Six Figure BloggingSix Figure Blogging Call 4Transcript AdSense Do’s and Don’t’s Andy: We want to start off with the AdSense dos and don’ts. Darren: That is right. It is really worth stating that there are a few things that you should never do with AdSense. They have some rules and really you want to not break those rules at all and not risk that. It would be my worse nightmare to lose my AdSense earnings at the moment. Don’t Click On Your Own Ads Darren: Number one rule is don’t click on your own ads. I am constantly surprised by how many people actually engaging in this practice of clicking on their own ads. I know it is tempting but don’t do it because they track where the clicks come from especially if you are logging into your AdSense ads from the same computer that you are clicking on. They track that stuff so don’t get into that. Don’t ask others to click on your Google ads. I had someone yesterday ring me and asking if I wanted to go into a program where they click my ads and I click theirs. Andy: Wow. Darren: Just don’t do it. For one it’s going to get you banned from the system, and two it is unethical, and three you’ll get sued for it if you get into that thing. So don’t go for that. If you do accidentally click on your ads, it’s probably ok. You’ll maybe get away with it once or twice. Generally if I click on the ads, I’ll email Google and tell them, “I’m really sorry. I accidentally clicked on some ads.” They© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 107http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  2. 2. Six Figure Blogging respond really well to you emailing them to let them know of the problem. It is just not worth it. No Pop-Ups Darren: Don’t employ pop-up prompts or automatic software installations. Some people have been experimenting with installing AdSense into pop-ups so their ads just suddenly appear in your screen. That is against their rules. Be aware of how your site is promoted. Don’t use spam to promote your site. Don’t email people out. You can get in trouble with that. Don’t place AdSense ads on sites that contain prohibited content. I think we talked a little bit about that last week. They don’t like to be on adult content. They don’t like to be on sites with lots of swearing and that type of thing. There is a whole list of dos and don’ts in that regard on their policies page. Don’t Mix AdSense with Other Contextual Ad Networks Darren: Don’t place Google ads on the same sites as Yahoo! Publisher contextual ads. You are not supposed to place them on the same pages as AdSense ads. Basically the rule is that they can’t be on a page where there are other contextual advertising, that is, all other ads that look too much like Google AdSense ads. Don’t Tamper with AdSense Code Darren: Don’t tamper with the AdSense code. You can change the colors of your ads. You can change the sizes to the sizes that they specify but don’t get into trying to change too much more than that without getting permission first.© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 108http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  3. 3. Six Figure Blogging Basically you want to give your users a positive experience. If you are cluttering your page with lots of pop-ups and lots of too many ads then Google sometimes actually sends you an email and says, “Can you pull it back a little bit?” Don’t Have Content-less Pages Darren: You actually have to have some content on your page. It is amazing how many people just fill up a page with ads and don’t actually have any real content there. So that will get you into trouble as well. If Google emails you, respond to them as quickly as possible. I find that they are really quite courteous and they will respond you. If you are emailing on a business day, they’ll respond to you usually within twenty- four hours or so. Weekends, they don’t tend to work as much which is probably a good thing. So they are pretty responsive to you so give responses back to them. Don’t Reveal All Your Stats Darren: Don’t reveal all your stats. You can, I think, reveal the total of what you earn in a month so what your check amount is, but you can’t reveal things like click-through. You can’t reveal what your impressions are, you can’t reveal what the click value is for each ad so just be careful of that. If you are going to reveal your overall stats, you need to do that for a reason, I wouldn’t recommend most people do that just because you’ll start getting people copying your site. I do that because I am trying to build some profile around this topic of AdSense and to do that, you need to show that you got some earnings on the board. But really, you wouldn’t want to reveal that too much. Andy: I think a lot of this goes back to why the Google text ads were so successful. I remember when we had all the banner ads, back in 1999 and© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 109http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  4. 4. Six Figure Blogging 2000; there was so much banner fraud back then. The reason Google’s ads work is because they are more subdued and they are not in your face. Darren: That is right. If you consider what people are seeing on your site and ask yourself the question, “Would I want my products to be advertised on this type of site?” You are doing a service for advertisers as well. Google is now experimenting with ways that advertisers can now target your site. So you want to actually have a good site up in that regard. Don’t Mislabel Ads Darren: You don’t want to label your ads as anything other than sponsored ads or advertisements. Some people label their ads. They put this banner above the ad saying, “Special product, click here,” or something like that. That is seen as fraud again. You are not actually allowed to draw any attention to your ads anymore than just saying sponsored links or advertisements. Don’t Insert AdSense Into Emails Darren: Don’t try to insert your AdSense ads into emails. I know a few people who tried to do that and one person has even worked at how to do it. That is not in AdSense’s rules so you’ll just want to avoid that. So that is a list of do not’s which we wanted to fit in last weeks but we just ran out of time. This is a program with incredible potential so don’t mess it up by breaking the rules. Andy: Great so if there are any questions on AdSense or the content we had from last week let’s go ahead and wrap that up so we can get into week four. Leah: Andy, I have one quick question. This is Leah. Andy: Hi Leah, go ahead.© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 110http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  5. 5. Six Figure Blogging Leah: I get blogs emailed to me from other people quite often. Is that an ok practice to do? If you do that, is there a special way to do so that you are not violating the AdSense? Andy: Do you mean people are sending you their URL? Leah: No you actually bring up the email and it has what their blog looks like and then if you click-through, it will take you to their actual blog page. Darren: I haven’t seen this practice before. Does it actually show you live ads in the email or is it like a screen capture or a picture of what you’ll see on their site? Leah: That is a good question. I can forward one to you guys. Darren: I would love to see one. I would think if the ads are live than it is against AdSense’s policies. If they are just doing that on a mass, spammy way to thousands of people, that is against their policies also. I quite regularly notify people who I think would be interest in a post of something I’ve written but I generally wouldn’t just sent that out to anyone that I didn’t think would be interested. I think that is spam. Leah: Ok. Darren: So be careful. Affiliate Programs Andy: Alright well let’s dive into affiliates, Darren. Darren: Okay, affiliate programs, for me, I’ll be upfront about this: They don’t make me the majority of my income. I probably would say that it is about ten percent of my income would come from affiliate programs. I use Amazon.com’s affiliate program. You’ll get the links for some of these a© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 111http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  6. 6. Six Figure Blogging little bit later in the call but that would probably be the main one and then there is a program call Click Bank, which we will talk about later. So just up front, they are the two that I use but there are thousands of affiliate programs online. If you do a search on Google for affiliate programs, you’ll find many, many results. Just about every online store that you go to, every person who is selling a book or ebook, most of these people will have some an affiliate program. How Affiliate Programs Work Andy: Do you want to walk through on how they work first? Darren: Yes. Do you want to give us the brief on that? Andy: Yes, usually with affiliate programs and probably a bunch of people know this but if people in the call are not familiar with how they work with an affiliate program, usually you go to either of the publisher’s site, the product maker’s site or there are different affiliate services that will handle affiliate programs for large amounts for different companies. So you go ahead and sign up. Usually you’ll get a certain user ID and a referral link. For some programs, you have to register per product promoted. Other ones you’ll just get one link and then you can find products that are aligned with your site’s focus and topic. Then feature those on your site with a special link that is tracked to your account. So when a visitor on your site clicks the link that is your affiliate link, if that person purchases, you get a commission. Many times, it is not just a big click-through right then. A lot of times it tracks that particular lead for months or years sometimes. Darren: That is right. With a program like Amazon it is not an easy product that you link to but any products that they buy after clicking on your link in their system you’ll make a small commission. Basically it is a© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 112http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  7. 7. Six Figure Blogging commission based system. Each program will have a different percentage of what you are being paid if someone buys the products. So last week with AdSense, you get a payment when they click on the ad. Here you need to not only get the click but you need to get a conversion of some sort or sometimes they’ll pay you if you give them a ‘solid lead’, is the terminology. Really you need an action beyond the click to get a payment with an affiliate program. Affiliate Program Tips Darren: We’ve put up some affiliate program tips. We are going to work through these thirteen different areas and just talk about these ways that you can improve your affiliate programs. Then we’ll move on to talking about giving you some examples I guess of different affiliate programs that we’ve used and would recommend that you might want to start with. 1. What Are Your Readers Searching For? Darren: The number one tip is really considering your audience. This almost goes without saying that you really want to put yourself into the shoes of your readers as they surf by your blog. Ask yourself the question, “What are the needs that they have? What do they need to buy around this topic?” I think it was Julianne who has a blog on scuba diving. She was talking last week in this call, there is a need. You got to think about, "What are the readers of her blog looking for as they surf by? Are they looking for just tips on it or might they be interested in scuba diving gear, books on the topic, tours that they could do, and holidays that they might want to go on to scuba diving destinations?” You begin to think about what would the readers of this blog be dreaming of doing ideally on this topic? Then go searching for products that you could promote that relate to that.© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 113http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  8. 8. Six Figure Blogging Andy: Just like we were aligning the niche with the content and the blog and the Google ads. We want to align all of this with the affiliate program products as well. Darren: That is right. Really, one great way to check what people might like on your blog is if you’ve got a statistics package associated with your blog whether that is one of the free ones like Site Meter, or whether it is a hosted AWStats. You can have the ability with that statistical package to work out what people are finding your site after searching Google for. I know on my digital camera blog that a lot of people search my site looking for ‘digital camera tips.’ I see that constantly come up in my stats. People are looking for that information. So I went looking, about a month ago, for some affiliate products that talk about how to use digital cameras and I’ve added them to my blog in the hot spot up in the top left hand corner, as we talked about last week. They are selling really well. I get seventeen dollars every time someone buys one of those little ebooks on digital camera tips on how to use digital cameras. I’ve checked out the products. They are good quality products and so I recommend them. I found out, “What are people really looking at my site for? What are they searching for?” Then I give them a product that matches that need. A lot of people get sucked into finding great products and then trying to find readers for them. I tend to do it the other way. I got the readers and I am going to find a product that matches them where they are at. Andy: I think along with what you are talking about just then was that it is not just always the tangible product but it can also be information that so much online usage is either for finding out how to do something or how to do it better or information around a certain topic.© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 114http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  9. 9. Six Figure Blogging 2. Genuine Product Recommendations Darren: Yes, absolutely so that is the first one. The second one is genuine product recommendation. Andy: Yes this one I have found really works for me. This one really works for me and I have found that the more heart-felt and sincere you are with a product review, the more it is going to sell. I think it is really fascinating that people, again with a blog, react to that really warm human voice. The moment that is behind a recommendation or a review, I think the better it is going to do. Darren: That is right. I think to review a product and to point out how you’ve used it, number one, and how you found it to be a benefit to you but also some of the weaknesses of that product. Those endorsements actually have a profound impact upon your readers. The internet is full of sites that are just popping up products. You have to wonder sometimes whether the person writing those reviews have even used those products. I did a review of Joel Comm’s ebook, which I think we linked to in those last week’s notes, which is an ebook on AdSense. The review I give is actually I conclude by saying that this is great for beginners but I wouldn’t advise it for advanced users of AdSense. People really responded well to that. I sold a lot of books through that program because I’ve been really clear about who wouldn’t be good for that book and that really also cuts down on the amount of call that you get afterwards saying, “You recommended this really rubbishy product.” I had one person saying that they didn’t find that book helpful because I was really clear about who it was for upfront. So be genuine with your links. It is really important.© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 115http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  10. 10. Six Figure Blogging 3. Link to Quality Products Darren: Tying in with that is number three is: link to quality products. I always test the products I link to if it’s a big ticket item like that. On my digital camera site, I don’t test them all obviously but I give people the opportunity to buy them there. If you are recommending a product, make sure you test it first. I think that is really important. 4. Deep, Contextual Links Darren: Number four is: contextual deep links work best. I’ve given you an example there. If you click that, it will take you to another digital camera site actually my competition. The guy in the UK, we’ve are quite good mates actually but if you click on that example link in that post, it will take you to a review that Mark did of the high speed photo smart eight span seven camera. What Mark has done there is he has written this genuine review. It has got eight parts there, you’ll see at the top. If you scroll down a little bit, he comes to a section called ‘price’. In that price section, he’s got some affiliate links to Amazon.co.uk. and to Amazon.com. Amazon has a variety of different affiliate programs for different countries and really what he has done there is he’s linked to that specific camera in the middle of his review. So it is a very relevant link. It is not just sitting on his side bar somewhere. You see it on every page. It is relevant and it is deeply linked into his site. He has gone the trouble of finding out the code for that specific product. Those are the links that I find do best on Amazon and on most affiliate programs. You’ll see on the right hand side of his page there he’s got two banner links, two sky scrapers to Amazon as well, one again to the dot-UK site and one to the dot-com site. I would have a guess that they wouldn’t be converting anywhere nearly as well as the individual links that he has got© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 116http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  11. 11. Six Figure Blogging in posts just because they are random cameras that don’t really relate to the camera of whatever page they are on. That is the way I do it. So think about, “How can I deeply, relevantly, contextually link to products in the midst of my content and not just in the side bars?” Andy: Right. That probably also helps as people get to know you with your site, they start to learn where the ads are, they get better at tuning it out, and they are there for the content. Then as they are reading the content, they stumble across a link that is an affiliate link but again, it is still useful and important to that reviewer, that post, or that content. Darren: That is right. That doesn’t mean that you can’t use banner ads or you can’t use buttons or skyscrapers like that. I still do that but really I only use those as fillers when I don’t have a better advertisement to put into those positions. 5. Link Positioning Darren: Number five is considering the position of your links. This taps into what we were talking about last week with the positioning of AdSense ads. That little heat map that we showed you last week, it is in the notes. That is gold not only for AdSense but also for all affiliate programs. If you go back to my site, digitalphotographyblog.com that we looked at last week, you’ll know that the affiliated links are put on the top of the left of my side bar. There is one there I’ve got ‘Digital Photography Secrets’ and I’ve put a recommended note next to that. That is the hottest spot on my site, at the moment, at that top left hand side bar. So that is where I’ve put those high paying affiliate links. So the positioning of your ad is rather important. Ask yourself the question, “Where are people looking when they come to my site?” Again, above comments, at the top of posts, those positions tend to do pretty well.© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 117http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  12. 12. Six Figure Blogging Andy: Darren, do you make a decision based on the commission from affiliated programs versus how much you might make with the Google ad depending on where you put stuff in the hottest parts of the page? Darren: Yes, I tend to do that. I find the AdSense ads do very well inside of the content as I showed last week. And the side bars, they don’t tend for me on that side, at least to do as well in. The affiliate links, they seem to do very well there. I found that most people on my site, a couple of months ago, were clicking on that digital cameras deals link. That is how people left my site the most. I thought that is the key position I am going to put in some other things that could bring in some decent money there. 6. Traffic Levels Darren: Number six is that traffic levels are very important. This goes without saying. It is true for AdSense; it is true for all advertising. The more people who come to your site, the more chance you’ve got of them seeing and responding to the advertisements that you got there. I put it in there because I find that a lot of people, when they get into affiliate marketing, they get so obsessed with the links and so obsessed with the products that they actually forget to build a community. I just want to keep hammering this in. We talked a little bit about this last week. Don’t become obsessed with the money side of your blog. Become obsessed with the community and the content of your blog and you’ll find the other side of things will, in time, look after itself a little bit. 7. Diversify Without Cluttering Darren: Number seven is to diversify without the clutter. Don’t put all your affiliate efforts into one basket. There are plenty of products out there to link to. You don’t just need to work with [just] one. I find that some bloggers become obsessed with a particular program and really no© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 118http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  13. 13. Six Figure Blogging other opportunities as well. It may be that you actually are ignoring some really great products out there. 8. Be Transparent Darren: Be transparent. We’ve already talked a little bit about this but it is really important, I think, to not fool your readers. Again, I see a lot of people linking to affiliate programs in ways that they are almost trying to suck people into buying them. I don’t know if you’ve seen the Chitika review I did recently. It is a review of an advertising program called Chitika. I am actually an affiliate for that program so I make some money out of people getting involved with users of that program put a disclaimer saying, “I am an affiliate, I do make some money out of this but I also believe in the product.” I find people really have responded well to that. They like that fact that I am being upfront about it, that I do have an agenda behind it as well but that I am also genuine about it. I would recommend that you consider especially on big ticket items like that where you are recommending something and not just putting up a link to find a price or something along those lines. You actually say, “This is an affiliate program. When you buy it, I will benefit from it as well.” So be genuine in that as well. I think it is really important. 9. Avoid the Sleaze! Darren: Related to that is number nine, is avoiding the sleaze. I put that in there at the last minute last night just because I found a site in searching for the affiliate programs links that really was incredibly sleazy and incredibility almost manipulative to readers. I just want to emphasize that again. You can go that way and probably make some good money but© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 119http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  14. 14. Six Figure Blogging I’d much rather create a much genuine site. That is just in there as a little bonus for people. 10. Mix In Other Revenue Streams Darren: Number ten is combining with other revenue streams. As I said last week with people becoming obsessed with AdSense and some people become obsessed with affiliate programs, you want to mix it up a little bit. Advertising programs and affiliate programs are not mutually exclusive. You can run both on the one site. I actually find that they actually help one another in a sense. You’ll find that some people will respond very well to AdSense and they’ll click those ads. I don’t know why for some reason. Other people respond much better to an affiliate program so actually go with both. I think one of the listeners last week talked about how adding extra outbound links to your site can actually help things sometimes. I found that out to be true also. Don’t be scared of running both at once. Andy: Yes. I think of it like when people will say with a stock portfolio you don’t want to be in all one certain industry. You want to diversify the income across the board. Darren: That is right. If the worst thing happens and AdSense does fold one day, I doubt it will but if it does then I know that I’ve got other income streams coming in. But if for some reason they do banned me, I know that there are other income streams there. So it is really important to do. 11. Track Results Darren: Number eleven is to track your results. Most affiliate programs have some statistics package associated with them. I know in Amazon, they tell you what links are performing best. They track the products that are coming into and looking on the site. So I know that a lot of people are looking at a particular digital camera and that may make me go, “Ok, I’d© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 120http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  15. 15. Six Figure Blogging like some more information on that camera.” I’ll highlight that post a little bit more. It seems to be a hot product at the moment. Really, you want to watch those stats. One I’ve got there, I think, a link to MyBlogLog. Did I include that Andy? Andy: Yes, it’s in there. Darren: I started using that probably six or seven months ago. They have a free version which tracks yesterday’s results, not today’s. They’ve got a paid version which attracts a lot more results. I think it is twenty-five dollars a year so it is not that expensive. That is twenty-five dollars per blog. So if you are running multiple blogs, you multiply that by the number of your blogs. It tracks two things. It tracks the inbounds referrals. It tracks where people are coming from to your site which isn’t really that amazing. The great part about it is that it tracks where people are going when they leave your site. That is how I discovered that that digital camera deals link was so hot. I discovered that more people left my site through that link than any others. So for me that began a process of tracking my results and really those links that I’ve got at the top left hand side bar there are the hottest links on my site at the moment. I track how they are going with that. It is really important to track those results. It is really a quite useful tool. 12. Searching for Affiliate Programs Darren: Searching for affiliate programs. This can be a bit overwhelming at times. I remember when I first got into affiliate marketing, doing a search for affiliate programs and just being overwhelmed by the thousands of them that are available. I would recommend that probably the best place to start is to start on Google. Just do a Google search for© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 121http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  16. 16. Six Figure Blogging your niche topic and the word, ‘affiliate program’ and just to see what comes up. You’ll probably find that they’ll be at least one for each niche that you are looking at. There are a variety of affiliate program directories out there that recommend programs. Just be careful of those. There are some of the sleazy ones I was talking about. Most of those affiliate program directories have affiliates’ links so they are selling something too but they can be useful. Andy: Yes, some of those are on the next page. I’ll just give a sleaze warning. Darren: Look at the footers of online stores. If you’ve got an online store that you’ve found that relates to the products that you are talking about, a lot them will have an affiliate link in the footer which will lead you to a way of signing up to become an affiliate footer. If they don’t have one, and if there is a product that you love that doesn’t have affiliate programs, actually email the person behind that product and ask them to set an affiliate program up for you. Those Chitika ads that I’ve been talking about recently, I started talking to the guy at Chitika a couple of months ago and started using their products and just fell in love with it. It is making me very decent money so I though to myself, “This is a great product.” I asked the guy at Chitika, “Do you have an affiliate program?” They said, “No”. I said, “I think you need one and I’d like to sell your product for you. If you have an affiliate program then I’ll do that for you.” That suggestion that I gave them actually started their affiliate program. I was the first one and I’ve been testing it for them and it is going to go public in a couple of weeks.© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 122http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  17. 17. Six Figure Blogging If you’ve got a product that you’re in love with, why not suggest that you could sell it for them and then make a little bit of money on the side as well? 13. Don’t Start Too Big Darren: The last point there is don’t start too big. Start with a small amount of affiliate programs. As I said, there are thousands of them out there and one of the downsides of enrolling in too many programs at once is that you end up with a very busy business. Each program has a threshold for how much you need to earn from it before they’ll send you a check. If you spread yourself too thin, you can never get any checks on some of the programs. So I’d choose wisely. Start with two or three programs maybe that you are genuine about and really work on selling them rather than cluttering your blog with thousands of links to different programs. There are my tips. Have you got any to add? Andy: I think, like you are saying, keep it diversified and spend time in investigating to make sure again that it is align with the content, the topic, and the niche. I really want to try out that MyBlogLog. It looks like it is a really useful tool. Like you said, focus on building a community not necessarily on massive, huge amounts of cash for the onset. Darren: That is right. You want to build it over time. Another tip that I’d give is affiliate links can go stale over time as your community of reader comes, they see that link over the months it may be that you want to rotate the affiliate programs that you use and find fresh ones. There are always more products that are coming out that you can recommend.© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 123http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  18. 18. Six Figure Blogging Examples of Affiliate Programs Darren: Excellent. Shall we moved through the examples of, I think we got the post out there called ‘Affiliate Program Examples’. Andy: Yes. Darren: The ones that I am familiar with and the ones that I have been trying are some of those along at the bottom. Andy, those that are not in there are ones I am looking forward to hearing about. 1. Amazon.com Associates and 2. Amazon.co.uk Darren: Amazon.com, obviously I talked a little bit about already. The beauty of Amazon and the reason that it is attractive to so many bloggers is that the stretch of products that it has in its range. They have books, electronics, jewelry, CDs, makeup, and virtually anything that you want. They must have hundreds of thousands of products on there. So it is like being involved in a hundred of different affiliate programs all through one which I find actually quite attractive. They have a reliable payment system. Their payment system is on a three- monthly basis so that is a little bit of a downer in some ways as you can sell a product and not get any payment for it for three or four months by the time they send a check to you. Their system is reliable; they are not going to disappear anytime soon, I would think. They have a different variety of payment options including you can get paid in gift certificates or checks. I think for the US customers, the publishers may have a direct debit option. They are fairly easy to use even I can use them. I am not a technical person at all. They have a variety of linking tools. You can link in text links but you can also use banners and buttons. They fairly are well regarded by© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 124http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  19. 19. Six Figure Blogging your reader as well. Most people know the name Amazon and so they are trusted there. On the downside, their commissions can be a bit lower than some of the other programs that you might find. I find that I am getting about five percent payment. So if someone buys a digital camera, I get five percent of the value of that camera. It is not as high as some of the programs that are out there but it is reasonable. It can be a little bit difficult to understand some of their stuff. They’ve got this incentive bonus game. If you sell a certain amount of products, some people find that a little bit difficult to understand and I just tend to let that go in the background and just go, “That is nice.” And don’t actually go looking into it that much. Some of their buttons and banners can look a little bit dated. You can change the color of their links but you can’t really change too much about them so just keep that in mind. Some of the products they won’t ship internationally. So if you’ve got a big Australian readership like I do on some of my blogs, just be aware that Australians cannot buy digital cameras through Amazon. That is a bit of a downside of Amazon.com. Generally, I think, Amazon is a great place to start if you want to try affiliate marketing for the first time. It will give you a little taste of it. Likewise, they also have Amazon.co.uk. They also have a Japanese one, I think and a Canadian one. So if your readers are from those countries, it might be worth experimenting with those. Unfortunately they are all four different separate programs and not integrated but much the same features on them all.© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 125http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  20. 20. Six Figure Blogging 3. ClickBank Darren: Number three there is ClickBank. ClickBank is another affiliate program. The problem with ClickBank is that it has got a bit of a dirty reputation. Andy: That is what I was going to say. Darren: A lot of their products are very dirty and sleazy. You get an ebook that promise the world and deliver nothing and costs an exurbanite amounts of money. I’ve been sucked in once or twice. Andy: Me too. Darren: That is really unfortunate because they also have some really good quality products on there as well. I do promote a number of their products that Joel Comm’s book that I mentioned earlier, he uses ClickBank. I was really disappointed when I saw that he used it just because I knew it would be harder to sell but it is a quality book. Some of the photography ones that I do are ClickBank books. I’ve checked the books out and I know that the ones I’m recommending are reasonable; they are useful but be very careful with the products that you choose there. ClickBank is easy to use. This is as simple is putting your affiliate name into the code that they give you. The commissions on the upside are very good. Some of them pay out as much as seventy percent of the value of the product. I’ve made commissions of up to seventy dollars on some of the products that I recommended from there which is a nice injection. If you sell one or two of those a day, you’ll do OK. On the downside, as I said, some of their products are quite cheap and nasty and a lot of get rich schemes, dirty ebooks. Their affiliate interface is very basic. I am just constantly surprised by really how poor their© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 126http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  21. 21. Six Figure Blogging reporting system is and how trying to find affiliate programs to recommend. The back end is pretty average. There are very few built in options for creating automatic links. One of the good things about Amazon is that you can get plugins for blogs software like WordPress that actually help you to automate putting the links your Amazon products in but nothing like that as far as I can see with ClickBank. Do you have any other experience with it Andy? Andy: No I bought some of those hypey ebooks in my earlier internet days thinking that I too can make millions of dollars from min-sites so I was just going to come in with that. Darren: You got to be a bit careful with it as I said. If you find a good program there, it can actually be really beneficial. I think this last month, I made about twelve hundred dollars through it just by recommending five products that I actually do recommend on that system. It does pretty well. Any: Yes, if you go to ClickBank and you click on ‘buy products’ it will show you a catalogue. You can start looking at where you got nine main categories. You can see where you might be able to find products that match your particular niche. Darren: That is right. I think they rank their products in orders of how many they sell which might be an indication of merits of the products a little bit. You’ll still want to check them out. It may give you an indication of what is going well on other sites which might give you an indication on how good they are. Andy: And it is entertaining just to see what some of these products are. You know, stuff on acne, stuff on seducing women, it is entertaining. Darren: Yes. There are some good information products there as well.© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 127http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  22. 22. Six Figure Blogging 4. Linkshare Darren: Number four is LinkShare and I’ve given you a link to that. LinkShare is a program and I haven’t used it a lot but the thing about LinkShare is that they have hundreds if not thousands of affiliate programs within the one. So you sign up as an affiliate at LinkShare but you have access to hundreds of other affiliate programs all through their system. So it is a way of integrating affiliate programs like iTunes has an affiliate program through LinkShare, Dell has one; Disney has one; Footlocker has one; so really LinkShare is good at integrated systems that really pulls together a huge variety of different affiliate programs. I’ve only really had moderate success with it. Maybe a hundred dollars a month or something like that. So in comparison with Amazon and other affiliate programs it is not much. If you got some products that related to their programs, it is pretty easy to use and it might be worth checking out. 5. Commission Junction Darren: Similarly, Commission Junction is a very well known one. It is pretty much the same deal as LinkShare. It is like an affiliate program mega store which offers thousands of different affiliate programs that you can get involved with. Commission Junction and LinkShare, they are like the middle man between you and the affiliate program companies that have products to sell there. It is worth experimenting. A lot of people use them very well. When I did a survey on Problogger, probably a couple of months ago now, I found that some people loved these two, LinkShare and Commission Junction and some people just haven’t made a cent from them.© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 128http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  23. 23. Six Figure Blogging I think it is probably like anything how well you learn how to use the products. I would be interested when we open up for question if other people have used LinkShare and Commission Junction. 6. All Posters Darren: All Posters, I’ve included there is a bit of a niche affiliated program. I know there are a couple of celebrity bloggers out there. If you’ve got a blog on sport stars or music stars, they sell posters. You’ll find that they’ve got thousands and thousands of posters there. It is just another program I was just looking the other day. A few of you out there have celebrity ones. It may be something for you to explore. 7. DMG DGM. That is an Australian one. I know there are a few Aussies on the line. It is very hard to find Australian things. I won’t talk about it too much. I’ve had moderate success with it. 8. Trade Doubler and 9. Clix Galore Darren: Try Trade Doubler, it is a European one. Clix Galore is another Aussie one. So really, they are the ones that I’ve experimented with over the years but to be honest, Amazon is probably the one and ClickBank is the other two that I get most benefit from. Have you got some other links Andy? Andy: Yes, I added some affiliate program directories. Again, some of these tend to be on a little hypey side and I am guessing that a lot of the links if you click to get more information, they might be a second to get your commission to get a referral type thing.© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 129http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  24. 24. Six Figure Blogging I know that Refer-It, which is at refer-it.com has been out since 1997 or so. So I really know that this site has been out for a really long time. The other three were the ones I found searching for the different directories for the most popular affiliate program directories. The Commission Junction, I’ve had success with, Amazon.com, I’ve had success with. I think if you start with the big ones that are going to allow you to manage multiple niches with a large share products. I try to keep in mind that I am going to have to go and check the stats on these different systems at least once a week, maybe every two weeks to see how I am doing. If I have a handful of those to check into, the better instead of having this affiliate for this niche for this topic on this blog and having to check that and having dozens and dozens of sites to check into. Darren: I’d be really interested to hear about what other people have tried. I know there are a few experienced affiliate marketer in the call live tonight. If you want to leave a comment on that post of your suggestions, that would be great. We might open it up now for questions if you’ve also got suggestion of another affiliate program that has worked well or hasn’t worked well for you, I’d love to hear about that too. So we want to open up for questions. Tip: Using Forwarding Pages to Fix Expired Affiliate Links Brad: Hi Darren, this is Brad and I’ve got a quick tip if that is ok. Darren: Sure. Brad: One thing I was going to say was I found that it is usually better to create a static HTML page that I am going to imbed my affiliate link into© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 130http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  25. 25. Six Figure Blogging and then have it redirect to the actual URL. The reason for that is if I’m recommending that product and something happens later on and the guy ends up becoming a problem, I wouldn’t recommend it anymore. Then I can then just change that one file on my server and then redirect it to a different affiliate. Does that make sense? Instead of it being on the search engine or ebooks or a lot of other places as a hard coded long affiliate link, I could just change it from one little place. Andy: So you are using the meta tag refresh? Brad: You can either use that or a JavaScript redirect but the meta tag refresh is probably better. Andy: Gotcha. Darren: So Brad, that is something I know a number of what I would call hard core affiliate marketers. That is what they do all the time. It is something that I’ve often thought about but never got around to. That is a great tip. Any other questions or suggestions? ClickBank’s Reputation Connie: This is Connie. Darren: Hi Connie. Connie: Hi, I have a question. I was concerned by your comments about ClickBank because I was referred to them. I am just concern by what you guys were saying that you found an ebook that it had actually had come from there, I mean, that they were selling it there. Darren: Sorry, I missed half of that in the middle there from the beep. Connie: You just seem to state some mixed feelings about ClickBank. I was concerned because on the one hand your are saying that it has made© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 131http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  26. 26. Six Figure Blogging you money but you were concerned about selling something that was on that site because you were concerned about the quality of the items there so I’m a little unclear whether you are recommending it or not. Darren: I would recommend it only on products that you’ve read and trust yourself which is I would say for all affiliate programs but especially on ClickBank. With people who know ClickBank products, some of them will have a negative reaction as soon as they see you are linking to a ClickBank program. So you’ve got an uphill battle there with some people is really what I am trying to say. If it is a quality product and you recommend it then by all means sell it and promote it but just be aware that there are some negative views of some of their products out there which may work against other products that is in their system. I am giving you mixed signals but just be careful and be aware of the reputation that some of their products have. Connie: My other concern about it is that I actually was thinking of selling something there myself, so you are saying that by sending people there, they are going to be skeptical of my product being on that site. Darren: That is right. Having said that, some of the products that I recommend do very well there. So I guess it is about weighing up the pros and cons. From what I know, some people who sell their products there, I can give you their contact if you like, it is a fairly easy system to use from their end and that is why they’ve gone there. But they had to weigh up the pros and cons of that. If you email me, I would be more than happy to give you their email addresses so you can chat to them about how it works for them. Participant: Ok. Thank you.© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 132http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  27. 27. Six Figure Blogging Andy: Other questions? Maryam: Darren, this is Maryam, can I make a comment? Darren: Sure. Maryam: If you have a shopping cart, you can sell eproducts through your shopping cart and most shopping carts do have an eproduct sales module that you can upgrade to and also an affiliate program module of your own. If that helps. Darren: Yes, I think that does helps. Andy, you’ve done that. Andy: It is a real toughie when you’ve got maybe one or two products and you are just starting out because, like my shopping cart, without the affiliate program, it is about forty bucks a month but with the affiliate program, it is eighty bucks a month. I wasn’t able to justify that for many months so unless you’ve got that volume, it is going to be a ramp up trying to get that all set up. So I understand, it is a tough issue when you got maybe one or two products initially if it is worth the expense at the outlet to get that all set up. Darren: That is right. That is something I am struggling through at the moment too because I got something I want to sell. Maybe it is just better for me to just go through ClickBank for the first time around and then withdrew it later. I don’t know. That is some of the questions that I am asking as well. Maybe you need to partner up with someone else who’s got a shopping cart already. Andy: Also the reason I went ahead and spent the money to have the affiliate program even though it wasn’t high volume enough to really justify the expense was I didn’t want to have people have to sign up again if I changed providers. Darren: Yes, that is true.© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 133http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  28. 28. Six Figure Blogging Andy: So if you are thinking long term, long range, you might consider using an ecommerce system that you have more control over and that people are signing up to be a part of your program rather than a general one at ClickBank. Then again, there are so many hairs to split. It is totally a tough argument. Chitika eMiniMalls Q & A Darren: Any other questions? Alright. We’ve got about ten minutes left Andy? What if I just talk a little bit about the Chitika Ad. Would that fit in now? Andy: Yes, I think they are slick. I got to figure out how to use them on something soon because I think they are really slick. Darren: That is right. I’ve put up a link to it on the front page of the Six Figure Blogging ecampus which is just a link to a review I did of them. I thought it would be interesting just to give you a few extra tips that I am finding in my use of them. They are doing very well there. For me, they’ve gone above AdSense as my top earner which I am really excited about. I am in the affiliate program but you don’t have to sign up through me. I am more than happy if you go your own way with that. The first tip I’d give is if you are going to use them with AdSense on the same page, you need to trigger them to be known contextual. You cannot run them in contextual modem on the same page as AdSense or you’ll get banned from AdSense. So be careful about that. I’ve put some code on my review and my comment of how to do that. You just need to add a little bit of code to it. In positioning them, I would say the same principles apply to AdSense. The heat map that we looked at last week is really important. So position them where people will look on your site. That may mean that you need to put them either in place of AdSense code or put them above or below it. You might need to make some© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 134http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  29. 29. Six Figure Blogging decisions there about how many ads you want on your page. I find on most on my blogs, I am putting one in the side bar and on targeting that on particular keywords that relate to the niche that I am talking about. Then I put one, at least maybe two in the contents. I am putting one above comments below a post and that seems to be converting quite well. Sometimes, I am putting one at the top of the post also. Just experiment with that. Put them inside posts if you can. There is a plug in now for WordPress users to help you to do that. You can put them in the middle of a post and position it. Get rid of the borders on it. Use the same principle as AdSense. You want to blend them into your site a little bit. Get rid of the borders. Use the same link colors as other links on your site. One thing that you can do is to trigger the ads with titles of your posts. So on WordPress and on Google type, the way you get a title on your page, you’ll see in your template, there is a little code, a title tag. You can actually trigger your posts with that which seems to work quite well. I’ve also included in that review some code to rotate ads through different products so you can actually target ten different products and have each different time someone comes to you site, you have them see a different product which will help with ad blindness. You can have multiple ads per site. I think I’ve already mentioned that. They haven’t yet implemented channels onto Chitika but they’ll do that in the next few weeks I am told. This will really help a lot in targeting specific key products that will give you. I guess though the channels you got to track which products they are paying and how much. That will be really useful information and introduction to how to get Chitika ads up on your site and working well.© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 135http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  30. 30. Six Figure Blogging They do work very well on product sites. I know some of you have non- product sites but product sites, they’ll do very well. Virtually anything you find on Amazon.com you’ll be able to get ads for it because Amazon are one of the things that they use. I know a number of you have fashion blogs. The Chitika eMiniMalls apparently work quite well on fashion sites. The Manolo shoe blogger, he uses Chitika eMiniMalls and I think they are right up there for him as well with AdSense earnings. Having said that, some of you will know the blog Ensight, www.ensight.org. That is Jeremy Wright’s blog. He is using them. His blog is not a product blog at all. It is a blog about blogging and apparently, he is doing very well out of them. From what I can tell, he has taken AdSense completely off his site because the mini malls are going so well. Even if you haven’t got a product blog, it might be worth checking out Chitika’s eMiniMalls. Andy: You guys are also using that on the B5 network right? Darren: Yes, we are not using them on every blog on B5 yet but specifically on the product related ones definitely. So anything to do with fashion or gadgets, they’ll be fit heavily there probably even more so than AdSense. Participant: I have a question. Darren: Sure. Participant: I am wondering how do you find out what products they have available? Darren: On the Chitika?© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 136http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  31. 31. Six Figure Blogging Participant: Yes. Darren: It is trial and error really at this stage. I think you’ll find, and this is the inside word, not an official inside word but I’m pretty sure that if you find it on Amazon you should find it in Chitika. Participant: Ok. Darren: So that would be a good starting place but put an ad up for a target keyword and if they got it in their system, it will come up straight away. That is probably the only real way to test it. Participant: Ok. Thanks. Darren: Another hot tip is if you go to Amazon’s top selling products pages, so you’ll see the digital cameras that Amazon has that top selling digital camera pages. What I’ve heard, and this isn’t official either but they are the top paying Chitika ads for that category. So if you include the top one for the top digital camera top selling digital camera in Amazon, that has more of a chance of paying more than any other camera. That goes for different categories as well. Just don’t tell anyone that I’ve told you that. This is between you and me and the other eighty people in the call. Andy: Was there a question out there? Participant: Darren, I have one. With the Chitika ads, if you have multiple sites do you have to have multiple accounts with them or can you do it off one master account? Darren: You can do it all from one master account. The only problem they are having is with some of bigger publishers, if an earning is ten thousand dollars a month, which most of us aren’t going to struggle with but if you do, I think you’ll get some problems with PayPal because they can’t make payments that big. You can manage multiple sites easily and© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 137http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  32. 32. Six Figure Blogging when they bring in the channels, that will help that a lot because you’ll be able to track which sites are well for you. Participant: Terrific, thank you. Darren: No problem. Andy: Alright, let’s go into the fieldwork for this coming week which is pretty simple. It is about going through the different affiliate programs and the directories that we’ve talked about and start to find products and services that align with the niches of your particular blogs as well as maybe even finding products that don’t yet have affiliate programs and seeing if they would be interested in putting one together. Darren: That is right. I think that the best way, as with everything is to just do it and experiment and see what works for you and you’ll find that for some strange reason some programs just don’t work on some blogs but others do very well. I would be interested to see how it goes this week. Andy: Great and next week we are going to be talking about metrics and content and how to really start to figure out exactly where the traffic is coming, where it is going, and how to have an unending stream of content of things to write about. Darren: Yes, which is the key really isn’t it? Andy: Alright, there is one last call for questions? Alright folks, we will talk to you next week and feel free to leave us comments or shoot us emails with questions you got. Thank you everybody. Darren: Thank you. Andy: Bye. Darren: Bye.© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 138http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  33. 33. Six Figure BloggingSix Figure Blogging Call 4Worksheets Evaluating Affilliate ProgramsEvaluation Blog 1: Blog 2: Blog 3:CriteriaWhat products orservices are readerslooking for on myblog?What affiliateprograms might offerproducts and orservices related to myblog topic?Hint: search on theproduct or servicename followed by thewords affiliate oraffiliate programWhat other revenuestreams might Iconsider adding tomy blog?How will Icommunicate to myreaders that these areaffiliate links?Which of my affiliatelinks will be locatedin different areas ofmy blog? Which keylink will be in thebest “hot spot”?Which products orservices would begreat to feature onmy blog but which© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 139http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  34. 34. Six Figure Bloggingdon’t have an affiliateprogram? Hint: Theremight be anopportunity to createa partnership.What tool am I goingto use to track myresults? (i.e.MyBlogLog)© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 140http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0