It's always helpful to look back over the previous year at Christmas and question what went right and what went wrong. In doing so you usually discover traits that have happened over the year, and can discover aspects to continue or improve upon through 2013. Here's what I learnt during 2012. More
This post was probably better suited to January 2012 but it's been a busy start to the year that I'm only now getting around to a spring clean. I try and have a spring clean of my business each year so as to weed out the rot and to factor in new opportunities. More
I read an excellent article on Mashable from Lance Ulanoff yesterday on 20 life lessons we can learn from the late Steve Jobs. Whilst reading them they sounded like they could be attributed to small and medium sized affiliate marketing activities so here's my take on the 20 life lessons. I've had to crowbar a couple of suggestions to fit but overall I think you'll get the picture! More
This can also be referred to as "things I know I should be doing but haven't quite got around to yet"!
Having been in the affiliate marketing industry, I've made many observations. I've watched enough people around me to work out what I'm doing wrong and can therefore explain why it is I'm not as successful at affiliate marketing as I'd like to be. As such, I thought I'd make this list which might help a few affiliates avoid making the same mistakes I have. Sharing is caring!
Firstly, let's look at the business model. Affiliate marketing (on a CPA basis anyway) works on the principle: More
I was reflecting last night on what kind of year it has been for me. December is a busy time of year what with trying to tie up loose ends, make sure websites focus on Christmas traffic, etc. It's also the time when the inevitable New Year's Resolution lists appear mine being no exception.
This got me thinking on who I've met this year, who I've worked with and who I've had the occasional chat with this year. Without realising it I've surround myself with rather successful people (I can honestly say I hob nob with millionaires, which are all real down to earth folk), all of whom are an inspiration. I've chatted with and met fellow affiliates, account managers, merchants and even chit chat with a network Director ;-) mostly care of Twitter interaction. This then got me thinking what can I do to be as successful as them. Here's what I came up with. More
I'm tight. I make no excuses for it but when it comes to spending £499 on a tablet computer, that's just a little too expensive for me. After failing to secure some snazzy new banners on this site in exchange for an iPad and iPod, I went straight to eBay and picked myself up an ePad, a Chinese tablet PC running Google Android.
Before the review, let's rewind and see why I was after a tablet. More
Being an affiliate can at times be lonely, repetitive and a little uninspiring. I reckon everyone at some stage doubts whether this is really for them, not just in affiliate marketing but in life. Sometimes it's easy to question whether there really is a future in what you are doing.
Here's 5 things that are important for me as a sole-affiliate in order to keep spirits high! More
This last week I have been debating whether to get an iPad. I have a stack of content to edit and publish which should in-turn boost affiliate commissions. I have circa 4,000 product reviews to work through.
I know and you know that's not going to happen in day-to-day mode so I wondered how I could find more time. The answer is to work whilst in front of the TV. Sure productivity would be low but low is greater than nothing.
The problem for me consists of many things, price being the biggest barrier. More
It's no secret that the affiliate industry is ever changing. What was in fashion last year is probably old news today. As it's approaching the end of the 2009/2010 tax year, it makes sense to re-assess my business strategy. If you've got a huge portal website (the likes of a popular voucher code site, a competitions site, a freebies site, etc.) then the chances are you don't need to do this as much as a small non-specialised affiliate although it's probably still a worthwhile activity.
I thought this process might be of some use to other affiliates so here's my thoughts on the matter. More
After a while of working in affiliate marketing, you'll soon find you have too much to do and not enough hands or time to do it. I'm there now with a to do list of 116 days (ish) which is around 700 hours or so work. Eek.
Reducing this down to something more manageable is impossible as it all needs doing. The answer is prioritising but how does an affiliate prioritise? More
Remember my moan about how I was penalised other affiliates promoting a voucher code that they shouldn't be? Well since then I've heard nothing from the agency managing the program. I sent them the link and they said they would read the article but I've not heard any comments from them.
Anyway, a second sale was generated for them last week and alas, it too was cancelled. Different reason this time:
Dear Affiliate we were unable to process some of your transactions due to you not being the last referrer before the sale. Please contact xxx @ xxx.com if you wish to discuss this further. Kind regards, xxxThey're having a right laugh now!
Around a month ago I locked myself away and immersed myself in airport parking. The result is something Iím very happy with, listing all affiliated car parks around the UK. It was all hand crafted including the data that powers the site.
It wasnít long before my first sale rolled in. And it wasnít long before it rolled back out. I checked the network a couple of days later to see the sale cancelled, with the reason cited as:
"Dear Affiliate we were unable to process some of your transactions due to voucher code use. We are unable to accept unauthorised voucher codes. Please contact xxx @ xxx if you wish to discuss this further. Kind regards, xxx"(The merchant shall rename nameless as itís an industry wide problem. As confirmed readers of this blog, they know who they are.)
"xxx makes voucher codes available strictly for certain groups such as the airline industry. Affiliates are prohibited from adding these to their websites or promoting them via other means such as in their newsletters. This is actively monitored. If an affiliate has promoted a voucher code, all their commissions will be revoked.The overall vibe I get from this is that no voucher codes can be promoted by affiliates whatsoever. All good and well, I tend to avoid voucher codes like the plague.
xxx would like to emphasize that if any affiliate transaction is found to have used a voucher code, no matter from which source the voucher code has been acquired, whether it is the affiliate site or not, that transaction unfortunately cannot be paid for."
Unless you live under a rock, you'll have heard about the trouble Woolworths is in, after 99 years trading. But when you think of Woolworths, what do you think of?
(Woolworths Storefront photograph care of markhillary) More
You know when you are not wanted when you click on a deeplink from a product page only to be taken to this page: More
Over time you learn a thing or two and you get accustomed to the way the industry ticks. For example, I can now distinguish between an idea that will make me money and one that won't. That's a skill that takes time and is always being fine tuned by actual results.
I thought it might be handy to jot down a few simple "rules" for ensuring your affiliate marketing efforts are a success. More
I understand the value of my time. I understand that if I am not doing ABC because I'm doing XYZ, I'm running behind.
This week has been a crazy week of messages from networks, potential merchants, affiliates and clients. However, all seem to have a common theme - they all don't understand how much my time is worth. More
LoveHoney, the purveyor of adult toys rather than honey based products, has removed it's free delivery minimum order value threshold in favour of universal free shipping across the entire range.
That means that if you want to order just one whistle or Birthday card, you can do so and not pay any postage.
So is this a good tactic in terms of their affiliates? More
In my post It's All Complimentary I discussed how complimenting websites rather than copying them was a smart move. Rather than copying a website, building something that could compliment it or improve upon it is a smarter solution.
Today I'm looking at the strategies behind the sites: the affiliates themselves. More
In my Confetti Wedding Planning book, it says a bride takes on average 250 hours to plan her wedding. But given that wedding co-ordinators work office hours and my other half works roughly the same, it would be difficult to get any venue sorted quickly. So I've leant a hand and have been doing the venue research. It's taken me 4 solid days but we seem to be getting somewhere.
Nevertheless, there are a couple of things I've noticed about wedding venues that will help your Internet business.
Here goes! More
If you run a blog and you enable comments, please don't lock the comment form behind a user login. I've come across a few recently where comments are enabled but I'd have to sign up to comment.
That's a sure fire way to make me not comment, and probably not return as sometimes the comments are as interesting / more intersting than the blog post itself. More