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What Is Affiliate Marketing – Introduction To Affiliate Marketing

July 6, 2009

One of the two main ways I make money online is through affiliate marketing (the other is through Internet marketing consulting).

For those of you who are new to affiliate marketing, I thought I should give you an introduction to the basics of affiliate marketing…

“What is affiliate marketing?”

Affiliate marketing is a method for people who sell things online to share their revenue with people who are willing to promote their products for sale. Affiliates (those willing to promote other businesses products on their website) are paid based on performance measures, typically in the form of sales, clicks, registrations, or a combination of methods.

Affiliate marketing is a great way to make money online. In the future I intend to talk about some of the proven affiliate marketing systems that I have successfully used to make money. For starters, here’s a list of the most common used affiliate marketing methods…

What are the most common affiliate program models?

Based on a survey in 2007 by AffStat 80% of affiliate programs today use revenue sharing or cost per sale (CPS) as compensation method, 19% use cost per action (CPA) and the remaining 1% use other methods, such as cost per click (CPC) (ie. Google Adsense). I will discuss each of these methods in more details in future posts.

The main thing to remember is that affiliate marketing allows you to make money online by sending people to visit other people’s websites and buy their products/services. This means you don’t need to deal with customers, you don’t need to create products, you don’t need to store inventory, and you don’t need to ship products. All you do is refer people to the affiliate site in a buying frame of mind and the affiliate site does the rest of the work. This makes affiliate marketing a very easy business to start. No inventory, no product, no customer service, no problem!

When Should You Use Kontera Ads?

August 20, 2008

I have been meaning to write about this topic and was reminded of it recently when I read Shai’s post last week called, “Kontera: In-Text Advertising“.

At the end of the post, Shai asked:

“ you think Kontera is something you’ll be interested in using on your blog or site? Why or why not?”

Here is my answer:

I have played around with Kontera ads on some of our blogs and I know from that experience that some people don’t like to see them on a website, while some people do like to see them on a website. Why is that?

Why are there so many mixed opinions on Kontera In-text Ads?

I can tell you why. In general, I have found that the people who don’t like them are the people who see them on “make money online” blogs and on tech blogs. At first I thought the problem was that tech savvy people don’t like them. While that may be true, I think a bigger reason that they don’t like Kontera ads may come down to the fact that the ads just aren’t targeted well on non-product related blogs.

I put Kontera ads briefly on our Summer Olympics blog and it was horrible. The ads were showing for all sorts of random words and made the blog look ugly.

On the other hand, I have put Kontera ads on product related blogs and most of the ads are relevant and help people find things they are looking for.

So, when should you use Kontera ads on your blog or website?

I don’t recommend using them on blogs or websites where there is a focus on information (news sites, “how to” sites, etc.). I do recommend using them on non-technical product type sites, or on “how to” sites that make mention of a lot of products in the text of the articles (like a recipe site).

What do you think about in-text advertising? Would you ever use in text advertising like Kontera on a site?

Ebay Drops Commission Junction

March 20, 2008

Early this week I read on SEOBook that eBay has dropped commission junction as their affiliate program. Ebay is launching a new affiliate program in May. This kind of sucks for those who have Ebay links scattered across multiple sites. I have a bit of work to do on some of my sites, but it is definitely worthwhile for me to join the new affiliate program.

Ebay has a pretty good affiliate program (it’s one of my favorites). You should join the Ebay affiliate program if you have websites related to anything sold on eBay. If you want to see an example of the primary way I use Ebay’s affiliate program then check out my dinosaur toy pages.

Mock Not the Humble Mini-Site

March 13, 2008

I look back at my original money-making concepts, and while they were valid, they leave me
with the same conclusion.

I goofed.

It’s not that I got the principles wrong, because you can make money from content sites and
blogs. No, it was more a question of a resource mismatch. My manpower consisted entirely of me and any task I happened to outsource as I needed. That isn’t so good when you’re trying to maintain a blog or content sites.

Those types of sites take a lot of work to keep fresh unless you’re a scraper, and you never want to become one of those because some people consider scraper sites to be unethical. You can’t just let them sit, because fresh content is the only way you get repeat traffic and in the case of blogs, syndication. This means you’re always adding or changing content, which adds work you could be spending making money with something else less effort-intensive.

Mini-sites are another matter entirely. For those of you unfamiliar with them, a mini-site
is a tiny site built specifically to do one thing well. This includes such things as:

  • Get you to buy something. If you’ve ever landed on a sales letter page, you’ve seen this type of mini-site.

  • Get you to opt-in to a list.

  • Get you to click and buy through an affiliate link.

In fact, when it comes to making money online, mini-sites are ideal for the single individual entrepreneur. They don’t take much to maintain once they’re optimized and working, don’t require regular content updates, and aren’t megabytes worth of code in size. Once you add the fact they focus the attentions of their visitors on a single thing, you have a good concept for a low-cost, low-maintenance sales tool. In other words, less time in building and maintaining the site, and more time to promote and profit from it.

I grasped this myself, but my other mistake was to make my mini-pages part of my existing web site instead of giving them their own URL’s. This won’t work well because:

  • The URL will be unattractive, or at the very least not memorable.

  • It gives your visitors too much of an opportunity to be distracted.

  • It makes it impossible to brand with a catchy URL of its own and perhaps go viral.

So learn from my goof, and mock not the humble mini-site. You can make money in other ways, but the mini-site is ideal for a single individual to make and then use in list gathering,
affiliate page promotions, or sales of ebooks. It’s the reason I won’t be using anything else in the future.

Seriously, how do you make a beautiful, sellable ebook? Find your answers today with The Ebook Walkthrough!

My name is Ryan Ambrose, and I’m one of the co-authors of Can I Make Big Money Online.

How Far Are You Willing To Go To Make Money Online?

November 7, 2007

Before you decide how you are going to make money online, you need to know how far you are willing to go to make money online.

What are your limits?

Until recently, I haven’t clearly defined how far I am willing to go to make money online. Sure, I have had some general guidelines, but over the years I have been asked to do some things that have been on the borderline of what I am personally comfortable doing.

From now on, before starting any online project I will ask myself:

“Is this method of making money something I feel comfortable sharing with my children, my friends, my family, and others?”

If I am embarrassed to tell my kids what I do to make money online, then I am not going to do it. For me that rules out a lot of things (splogs, some affiliate marketing strategies, gambling, prescription drugs, p@rn, etc.). However, there are a lot of ways of making money online that it doesn’t rule out.

How far would you be willing to go to make money online?

If you knew you could make a really good living, by setting up black hat SEO sites, would you?

What about p@rn? If you were guaranteed to make a million dollars, would you set up a p@rn site?

What about “burn” sites? Would you be willing to tell someone they will win a free ipod if they just follow five easy steps… The first four are easy steps that put money in your pocket through CPA (Cost Per Action) affiliate marketing and the last “action” is purchasing a new car through your affiliate link that pays for the ipod and then some?

I have learned a lot of ways to make money online, but a lot of those ways I am not comfortable with. You need to set your limits up front, otherwise you might wind up creating an online business that you regret.

Am I A Sheep In The Googlesphere?

October 12, 2007

There were some rather interesting posts and developments this week. Most of them were about Google. So instead of my normal “Internet marketing tips from the web” post, this post should be titled “Internet marketing tips from the Googlesphere”.

Hmmm… Did I just create a new term?

I will have to go “Yahoo” it… back in a sec.

Nope, Yahoo shows 999 results for Googlesphere, rats!

Anyway, the biggest news of the week across the blogosphere was that Google is lowering the pagerank of sites that sell text link advertising. I don’t know if this includes buying and selling banner links or not, but it should since banner ads normally don’t use the no-follow tag.

I think that those who made this decision at Google don’t understand how powerful the blogosphere really is, or they expect most bloggers to act like sheep and fully support Google.

Here are some of the many posts I have read this week about paid links causing websites to lose Google page rank:

Official: Selling Paid Links Can Hurt Your PageRank Or Rankings On Google (I read it here first)

Part Three – NoFollow is for Blog Spam…no Paid Text Links, wait…Paid Ads…Aww Heck, Just Stop Linking and Let Calacanis Decide the Rankings

Penalty Confirmed – But I Don’t Sell PageRank

Dancing With The Gevil – Defamed By Google?

Garry Conn and Google

How to Profit from Google’s War on Paid Links

Last, but not least, Aaron Wall pretty much takes the words out of my mouth on this topic:

Google is Becoming Wikipedia Without the Talk Page

So, what am I going to do about this issue?

I haven’t decided yet. On the one hand, I have come up with a plan that could REALLY tick off Google, on the other hand I can be a sheep. Decisions, decisions...

In other news…

Tiny start-up rival to Google?
A new company called Proximic has come up with a very cool new technology. From the sounds of things it might become a great way to monetize your site and be a huge competitor to Google’s Adsense. Microsoft, Yahoo, Google… let the bidding wars begin!

Lastly, I got an email from Google’s Adsense program last night about a new service that lets you make money from YouTube videos. I am very excited about the possibilities for some of my other blogs.

That’s it for now…

Now What Do I Do With the Affiliate Link?

July 16, 2007

If you’re a beginning affiliate marketer, this may be among your first questions. You get the links, but then what do you do with them? You have to get them out into cyberspace to get people to click on them, but how?

The obvious answer is that you put them on your web site, but that’s not the half of it. People who are making good money with affiliate marketing aren’t just posting links willy-nilly on their content sites without any thought. So if you’re looking to make a decent income this way, what do you do with your affiliate links?

  • Write entire mini-sites around them: Review pages, landing pages, and pre-sell pages are all examples of this technique. You write a single page centered on the product or service you’re promoting designed to get the reader to click through and then convert.

  • Promote them with ezines: You start your own ezine, collect a list of subscribers, and promote your links in content ads or solo advertisements. While running and successfully promoting an email income of this sort requires it’s own set of skills and knowledge, collecting a list only takes a single web page.

  • Aim pay-per-click ads directly at the link: This is an older method that’s falling out of favor because companies like Google don’t display multiple pay-per-click ads aimed at the same URL at one time. Nowadays, most marketers aim pay-per-click ads at landing pages (which I mentioned above) to get around this and improve on conversions.

  • Write affiliate links into ebooks, free reports, or other ‘.PDF’ products: In this approach, you create your own information product and include affiliate links from related programs. Then you sell the product or give it away as a bonus for doing something else, like an opt-in. Your affiliate links potentially generate back-end commissions, plus you get to add a name to your list for more promotions later.

So if you’re just starting out in affiliate marketing and wondering what exactly you’re supposed to do with your links, you can take some ideas from the methods above. And if any of you more experienced marketers would like to share your ideas for promoting affiliate links, feel free to comment

Seriously, how do you make a beautiful, sellable ebook? Find your answers today with The Ebook Walkthrough!

My name is Ryan Ambrose, and I’m the co-author of Can I Make Big Money Online.

3 Internet Marketing Tips From Around The Web 7/13/2007

July 13, 2007

In this Friday the thirteenth version of my Internet marketing tips from around the web, I am only going to write about 3 posts that I read this week. This is in keeping with Daniel’s Big Three Project, which caused me to read through 115 posts to come up with a top 20 list. If that wasn’t enough blog reading, I went ahead and read three more posts this week:

1. What is a Blog Post Really?
This post was prompted by Jakob Nielsen’s article “Write Articles, Not Blog Postings” that kind of disses blogging. I don’t think that Jakob get’s that blogging isn’t just about the article, it’s about the conversation.

2. Comment Spammers the End of Do-Follow Movement?
Based on the comment I left, I obviously agree with Chris’ final decision on the matter. Whatever he decided, I would still be a reader of his blog, because it is quickly becoming one of my favorite blogs to keep up with.

3. Why Text Link Ads Work For Me!
Amanda has had some really great results with selling text link ads and doing paid reviews to make money on her blogs. If you are interested in blogging for money, I highly suggest you keep an eye on what she is doing with her blogs.

In case you missed it… here is my top 20 list from Daniel’s project.

Here’s Why You Should Try The Affiliate Classroom

July 11, 2007

After going through the Stompernet trial, I decided to compare it to other membership programs that I have tested out. There were two membership programs that I felt beat the pants off stompernet in terms of bang for your buck. One of the programs is the Affiliate Classroom (the other is Easy Profit Auctions).

Here’s the deal. The Affiliate Classroom gives you everything you need to succeed as an affiliate marketer.

They have recently revamped the Affiliate Classroom to make it even better than when I first I checked it out. One of the best new features they have added is a complete step by step online system for creating successful affiliate sites. This brand new system even tracks your progress all the way through and you can use the system for as many projects as you want. In my opinion, it is a perfect way for beginners to start making money online.

My personal favorite part of the Affiliate Classroom is the case studies. The case studies review various affiliate marketing products/techniques and give honest feedback on their results. If you join the Affiliate Classroom, you have to read the case studies. They are VERY helpful.

Another thing I like are the monthly interviews. They provide lots of solid Internet Marketing information in the monthly interviews.

The Affiliate Classroom also has live conference calls, which I found to be very unique and definitely excellent for beginners.

It also provides free ebooks and information that teaches you everything from HTML to Search Engine Optimization. With all the tutorials and books available in the Affiliate Classroom, a beginner really has everything they need to start up a successful affiliate marketing business.

You can ask questions directly to the affiliate classroom coaches or you can ask questions on the private forum and get back answers directly from the owner Anik Signal.

If you are new to affiliate marketing, I suggest that before joining the Affiliate Classroom you read through the free sitesell book The Affiliate Masters Course. Then if you are still interested in affiliate marketing, but you feel like you need more help and/or personal coaching, then you should join the Affiliate Classroom.

While there are some pretty interesting tidbits of information for seasoned affiliate marketers, I think the Affiliate Classroom is best suited for beginners and intermediate level affiliate marketers. However, if you’ve been online for a while making money in other ways, but you’re ready to add affiliate marketing to your arsenal, this product would definitely make it easier to make that transition.

The price is pretty awesome, especially for a program that is loaded with so much information. Right now, you can get a 2 week trial membership for a dollar. That’s a pretty hard deal to pass up…

Click here to learn more about the Affiliate Classroom

Does Web 2.0 really drive business?

June 24, 2007

The following is a guest post by Sourav Sharma. Sourav is the owner of, a marketing blog with an essence of blogging, social media and search marketing.

We all know that loyalty pays. It’s widely said that more customer involvement will result in building more loyalty. And it is true as well. But the question remains, does Web 2.0 really bring loyalty and business? When we stepped into the Web 2.0 concept, many started believing that it would revolutionize the internet experience, and the user would have the final say. So, advertisers’ move towards these sites was pretty much expected.

Web 2.0 introduced the concept that users can play around with the content, and many seem to love contributing to and consuming that content. Many advertisers started their Web 2.0 campaigns with visions of generating more revenue than before, but the true picture tells a sad story. MarketingSherpa points out the black hole in the concept. According to the research, ads on a Web 2.0 site don’t convert quite as well as ads on traditional “Web 1.0″ sites.

When we talk about traffic, we can bank upon several 2.0 sites (like YouTube, MySpace, etc), but what we are not looking at is the maturity of an audience. The audience of these sites are still very young, so it’s not fair to draw a comparison. In my article SEO – Sandwiched between Conception and Misconception I showed some concern over the many professionals who have started believing that 2.0 sites rank better then non 2.0 sites. For me, this is also not true.

For me, the 2.0 sites have a long way to go compared to sites like Yahoo or CNN or even MSN, which already have established mature user bases and are doing well by changing and playing with various monetization techniques.

So we should give some more time before directly comparing 2.0 and non-2.0 sites.

Modern Day Approach: Finding Success With Adsense

June 5, 2007

Introduction: Who Is Garry Conn?

Successful Blogging Tips Hello. My name is Garry Conn. I have been following George’s blog for quite some time now. I own and maintain well over 100 various dot Com ventures. However, my heart and soul gets spilled into my personal blog. I enjoy helping people. I hate to see people down on their luck. And when people, especially bloggers, who work so hard to achieve a goal but can’t succeed, I totally feel for them. I want to see people achieve success. I want to see people reach their goals. And I know from experience what it feels like to be down on your luck and I don’t wish that upon anyone.

Agenda: Why Am I Blogging Here?

George and I have known each other for over a year now. We communicate back and forth between our blogs and through email. George and I have a lot in common and I am here to provide some breathing room for him. We all know how busy of a guy he is… and I am too for that matter. However, in May of 2007, I have set a goal to venture out and make guest appearances on other successful blogs. And after talking with George about this, he invited me to come on board and help pull some of the weight here on his wonderful and highly successful site. It is a privilege to be here, and I want more than ever to see George lead the way in teaching thousands if not millions of people about the many different ways you can make money online.

A Modern Day Approach: Finding Success With Google Adsense

I spend quite a bit of time visiting other blogs. Typically these sites are authored by bloggers who share a very similar interest: Making Money Online. However, on so many of these sites, when I contact the authors and get to know them better, they typically say the same thing: “I want to make money online, I have joined and participate in many programs that are supposed to make money, but none of them do!” 

Because I am such a caring person, I really feel their pain and in most cases I spend time with them and show them what they are doing wrong and provide solutions to help them gain success. The most common rant that people talk to me about is their failures with Google Adsense. And with that being said, this is what my first article is about here on Can I Make Big Money Online.

The root of most failures with Google Adsense is caused largely by the fact that most people who participate in the program also roll out and launch the program on their sites that attract readers who already know about the program. Think about it… when was the last time you clicked on a Google Adsense ad? Granted, it happens, and I click on a few here and there as well. But because I know about the program, it is human instinct for me not to click.

...When Was The Last Time You Clicked On An Adsense Ad?

Why Don’t I Click On The Ads? Well, I am not sure what your reasons are, but for me, the main reason why I don’t click very often is because I know that they are advertisements. They are sponsored links that have nothing to do with the owner of the site. Yes, they are relevant… but they are ads that link to pages outside from the site I am visiting. I don’t do this on purpose… it’s just an instinct or habit.

How Do I Find Success With Google Adsense?

I find success with Google Adsense simply for the fact that I author and maintain numerous dot Com websites that attract people who don’t know about the program. The fun part of this is the fact that most of my sites don’t even generate over 100 visits per day. But because of the time I invest into each of my sites by providing creative, unique and strategic writing, I generate extremely relevant ads. Having all this coupled with well thought out and very strategic placement of the ads in addition to highly micro-managing my content and incoming/outgoing links, I produce an unbelievable click through percentage. And to be honest… I have only been doing this for a few months now. On the flip side, it has taken me three years to discover what I have learned. I have participated in many programs on the Internet that make money online. However, Google Adsense has been my golden brick. And three months ago, the blind was removed from eyes and today, I know how to be successful using Google Adsense. I stand by the program 110% and now that I know how to use the program, I am now starting to reap the benefits.

Successful Blogging Tips Again, my name is Garry Conn. I write primarily about successful blogging tips. I am a guest writer here for my friend George who runs a very successful, useful and informative blog. If this is your first time visiting the site,  or if you are a regular reader and haven’t already done so; I strongly recommend that you subscribe to his feed. Sit back and join the fun and witness George Manty archive his goal of making big money online. He wants to make $1000 dollars a day! This blog documents his progress and also draws you a map so you too can make money online and follow along the way!

Internet Marketing Tips From The Web 5/4/2007 Take 2

May 4, 2007

I mentioned earlier that I read a lot of good articles this week. Well, I read so many good articles this week, that I decided to post a second group of articles for your reading enjoyment…

How to Make Money with a Video Blog: An Introduction and Guide
I haven’t read the guide that Maki talks about yet, but I can tell you from experience that this is an excellent way to make money with blogs. Like I said in the comments, “...I have been considering turning some of the blogs that I don’t have time for, into mostly video posts. I also tend to get more links to the posts with videos. I highly recommend testing this out. I think you will be pleasantly surprised with the results.”

Copy Is Not About Selling, It’s About Serving
Excellent post by Michel Fortin on the future of copywriting.

Should You Build a Blog or an EMail Newsletter List?
I totally agree with Chris’ conclusion in this post.

Interview with Search Engine Guide’s Jennifer Laycock

Excellent interview with some solid SEO advice.

Stay Away from In-Text Advertising
I removed Kontera ads from this blog, but I am continuing them on my other blogs for now. I might discuss this more later. Come join in on the argument (errr… discussion).

Clicking Adsense Ads
Interesting discussion on clicking Adsense ads. Do you click on them or ignore them?

Unique Content – Where to Find Topics and Ideas
Good post by Gayla on places to find topics to write about. I currently use all of them.

There were other good articles that I read this week, but between part 1 and 2 you should have plenty to read…

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