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I can't get rich online and neither can you. Topics include why you won't get rich with your blog, ideas you wish you had thought of, and other Internet phenomena.

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Archive: Affiliate Marketing

Project Wonderful Results

This post is a followup to this post.

Well, the numbers are in, and I can’t say I’m surprised:

Impressions: 3,106 (2,003 unique).

Clicks: 40 (36 unique).

Leads: 0 (0…yeah).

That’s right, I made $0 with my little 125×125 free iPod add. It wasn’t a total waste though. I did find that:

  1. You can get thousands of free impressions and dozens of free clicks with project wonderful.
  2. 125×125 ads aren’t very descriptive or eye-catching.
  3. People may not be as stupid as I thought (doubtful though).

Next on my experiment list: Paying for ad space. I’m going to pick a site that accepts skyscraper banners, gets over 100,000 hits per day, and costs in the $5-$10 per day range. That, combined with a site-appropriate ad, should produce some results. We’ll see.

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Project Wonderful = Free Advertising

I’m trying something new with Project Wonderful.

If you’re a member, do a quick search for ad boxes with a $0 min/max bid.  You’ll notice that there’s about 1,100 sites (with 125×125 boxes, which I’ll be using in this example).  Now, sort that list by highest page views per day.  Somewhere around page 10 you’ll notice that the ad boxes stop having minimum bids.  In other words, it’s absolutely free to put your ad box up.  While this would be a great way to advertise this site, I have something else in mind.  Specifically, affiliate marketing offers.  Here’s what I’ve done:

Offer

I picked a “free ipod” email submit from Advaliant.

Ad

Did a Google image search for an iPod, shrunk it to 125×125, and added “Test and keep a free iPod” as the alt text.

Bids

I placed bids on 91 sites, all for $0 lasting two days (the longest you can have a $0 ad up).  These sites vary wildly in page views,  ranging from 5 to 500 per day.  I figure my ad will get one to two thousands impressions per day.

Will I make money?

I really don’t expect to.  This is just a little case study to see if it’s possible to make a few bucks with Project Wonderful while spending nothing at all.  I’m trying an email submit first because, well, they’re the simplest kind of offer out there.  I plan on trying a few other kinds of offers over the next week, but I’ll let you guys know how this one works out.

Also, keep in mind that I’m only searching for 125×125 ad boxes for this experiment.  Your mileage may vary with larger/different types of ads.

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A Quick Tracking Tip

School + work kicked my ass today, so short post.

You’re bidding on 150 keywords for a campaign, and you want to know which ones are preforming, right? If your top keyword is getting dozens of clicks, but no conversions, wouldn’t you want to pull it (and therefore cut costs)? Well, start tracking your keywords.

You haven’t been tracking them this whole time?!

Personally, I haven’t had any need. I’ve been running 90% of my campaigns through Facebook, where keywords aren’t an issue. That said, I’m using Adwords to promote that Advaliant contest right now, so I need to do things right. So, to start tracking your keywords, there are a few quick and easy steps:

Step 0 - Convert your landing page from HTML to PHP

This one’s really complicated - If your original landing page is lp.html, rename it to lp.php. Rocket surgery.

Step 1 - Change the landing page link in your ad

You need to pass a variable from Adwords to your page. Change your URL to “http://www.landingpage.com/index.php?SubID={keyword}”. This will pass the keyword that the user searched for to the SubID variable on your site.

Step 2 - Change your affiliate links to pass the SubID to the tracking site

*Note: This is the barebones method. It does not encrypt your keywords, so the network will know where you are getting your hits from.

Append this string to your affiliate links: <?php echo $_GET["SubID"]; ?>

So, your affiliate link will look something like this:

“http://www.valtrk.com/URL/track.aspx?AdID=xxxx&AffID=xxxx&SubID=<?php echo $_GET["SubID"]; ?>”

Step 3 - Check your work

Once you’ve got your updated index file uploaded, go to it and give it a variable in the address bar (ie, http://www.landingpage.com/index.php?SubID=test). Then, right click on your affiliate link and select properties. Did your variable get stuck on the end of the link? If so, good. If not, you screwed up, try again.

Easy

Now, let your campaign run for a few days and be sure to check your SubID reports frequently to see which keywords are performing well. Yank the ones that aren’t, optimize the ones that are, etc. Profit.

Technique learned and shamelessly ripped from Revenue Quest.

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Advaliant is Having a Contest

What’s this? An update on Sunday?

I haven’t been doing much in the way of affiliate marketing lately, but I recently found out that my favorite AM company, Advaliant, is having a contest. Even better, it looks like the contest is centered around an offer that I have promoted in the past:
advaliant

I was getting $22-$23 per lead back then, but they’ve upped it to $26 for the contest.

It looks like whoever generates the most leads wins. Here’s a description of the prizes:

Ultra Green Tea Contest - $8,000+ in Cash Prizes
.:. Contest runs from June 1 – June 30 2008
.:. First prize is $2500
.:. Second prize is $1500
.:. Third prize is $1000
.:. Fourth prize is $750
.:. Fifth prize is $500
.:. Sixth prize is $300
.:. Seventh prize is $150
.:. Eighth prize through Twenty-Second will be $100 in bonus commissions! (JUST ADDED JUNE 6 2008)
.:. Ask affiliate manager for more details and terms and conditions

Don’t get all excited. The green tea niche is saturated, so if you want to win, you’ll need a strategy. Since the contest only runs until the end of the month, getting your leads from organic SEO is pretty much out of the question. I’d recommend using PPC advertising to target a specific quality of the product. For example:

  • Lose weight - Advertise it as a diet drink.
  • Energy drink - Advertise it as a fitness/workout drink.
  • Health benefits - Green tea is healthy, so try to get that message across.

In other words, find a sub-niche. Get a good list of keywords, a decent domain name, and go for it. Right now I’m using Adwords to promote it, but I’ve had mixed success with Facebook’s advertising platform in the past. Since I won’t be using Facebook for this contest, I’ll give you a couple of demographic hints. When I was promoting this campaign on Facebook, I had the most success with:

  • Women
  • Ages 35+
  • Who are married

That being said, I only did a little better than breaking even with that campaign, so I’d recommend having a good landing page to go along with those hints.

If you haven’t already, sign up with Advaliant to get started.

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Abusing Facebook

Something magical happened last night. The Facebook Advertising mods were either stoned, asleep, or the building was on fire. Whatever happened, they weren’t checking ads. It was kid-in-candy-store time.

It begins

Matt sent me a message over AIM informing me that he slipped an email submit under their radar. Sensing opportunity, I quickly created an ad that should have sent up about 100 red flags: A free iPhone zip submit targeted at high schoolers. Five minutes later, the ad was approved.

GO GO GO

I tried a few other email/zip submits. They went through. Curious to see how far I could push this without getting retroactively banned, I decided to commit a Facebook advertising mortal sin: Ringtones, free, highschoolers. It went through.

At this point, I was seeing dollar signs.

It ends

After about half an hour of trying various restricted ads, my new ones started getting disapproved. Oh well, I still had half a dozen ones active. I went to bed, and when I woke up nine hours later they were still running. Score.

Why you should care

This isn’t the first time I’ve slipped ads under Facebook’s nose. If you’re a nightowl like I am, I would definitely recommend trying this at some point. Facebook loves to disapprove high paying offers like ringtones, dating, weight loss programs, etc. If you can slip those through, you’ll have a huge audience of morons just ready to fill your pockets.

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