Thursday, May 03, 2007

What is "CPA"?

CPA: A Quick Rundown

"CPA" stands for "Cost Per Action" where an action can be anything from a click to a lead or a sale. For all the long-time Clickbank affiliates that advertise with PPC campaigns, the excellent news sits with the leads especially. The sales work in much the same way as with CB where you get paid a commission for selling whatever product. The lead offers on the other hand usually require no purchase by the visitor.
There are a few "types" of lead offers I've found.

Type 1: "email submit" offers, as I've heard them be referred to. As the name implies, these pay out just for someone submitting their email address (similar to all those "get an ipod for free" looking sites, but also used to build email lists). These usually pay out ~$1-$2.

Type 2: "Personal Databases", like dating services etc. These require the user to sign up (all the ones I've seen are free for the user) to whatever service, and the pay out is about $4-$6.

Type 3: A common lead program is a variety of insurance companies, mortgage companies, car quotes, and everything similar. In this case you send the visitor to a "sales" page and payout occurs upon completion of some contact information. If you think of it in terms of CB sales, it almost feels like cheating. If the user is interested enough to learn more (with no obligation to pay), you get paid. These are usually 1 to 2 page forms. From what I've found these have payouts from $10-$30.

Type 4: These are the subscription services like VOIP etc. These can pay out up to and over $100, but require a sign-up (so kind of like a sale).

What remains are the ones that pay per click and per sale.
The PPC ones are simply that: each time someone clicks on the link/banner, you get paid ~$.01-$.05. If you get a lot of traffic on your website you might be interested. The good thing with these is that often if they follow your link and that results in a LEAD, you get paid a considerably bigger sum, and possibly even bigger with a sale (similar to some of the offers Shareasale has).

The PPS (pay per sale) ones are straightforward and all us CB guys know how it goes, but here it can get a bit interesting. There's lots of offers on here that don't require any specific product to be sold, just whatever product off a website (for example a coffee shop website). These are a lot like Linkshare.

Why promote CPA networks?

Most importantly: ROI! My ROI is absolutely ridiculous with CPA offers when compared to Clickbank even at its best. Simply put, these convert like crazy, and if you find the right offer with the right payout, your home free. As an example, I started slowly promoting some Azoogle offers starting on the 1st of March on a $4 a day budget, and by the 8th or so I had made over $400. Often I hadn't spent close to my $4 a day (low CPC costs), and so on an investment of ~$12-$15 I made just over $400. That kind of ROI is what made me jump head long into CPA networks.

Affiliate Managers
Second, and also very importantly, the affiliate managers (your contact with the CPA network) are amazing! They will more than gladly help you with any questions over the phone or AIM, they'll gladly tell you what offers are converting the best (because the more you make the more they make), and they'll even boost your payout if you ask them (example: I went from $40 payout to $42.50 on an offer, and from $1.20 to $1.70 on some email submits). Even better, you often don't even have to ask them. My AM told me out of the blue after I asked her some questions that she'll boost the payout on any offers I want to promote.
Summary: Fantastic communication with the network!

These are just my opinions so far in the 25 days or so since I've joined CPA networks. Perhaps ClayTrainor and hgarcia can correct me on anything I may have inadvertently misrepresented or will just add anything I missed.

Hope that helps a bit.

Blog rejuvination!

This beginner's guide to marketing for my friends is back. I've been busy exploring the opportunities presented by CPA networks. I'll be posting a bunch of info about this in the coming days. :)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Finding A Clickbank Product To Promote

Good evening!
Today we answer the question:
How should I choose a product to promote through Clickbank?
First, make sure you've followed all my directives from my previous posts (most importantly signing up with Clickbank and AdWords). Now head over to the Clickbank Marketplace (Did you notice the new layout by the way? Looks a lot like Paypal, doesn't it?).
Popularity Of Product
1. Let's first group the products by popularity. There are highly popular products, average ones, and little known or new ones. Which product should you try to choose?
The highly popular ones will have lots of clicks and hopefully sales, but the affiliate market for them is already saturated, so unless you find a new spin on marketing those products it will be hard to find a way to be successful.
How bout the not popular or new ones? Well, you have to be careful with these. They may be not popular simply because they don't convert well, or are scams. The new ones may be a good choice, but then of course you risk low traffic and the possibility that the product is a dud. On the other hand, if you catch a new product that's a mover and is on the rise, right before it explodes and becomes hugely popular, you can ride that wave and make a huge profit. It's really difficult to find products like this though, unless you know some people that have a history of making great products, and you know when they're launching them (yet again I'll refer you to eWealth, where many highly skilled publishers are members).
The "average" products, or the ones with moderate popularity, may be the previously mentioned movers on the rise, or else are just mediocre, and produce similarly mediocre results for affiliates. More often than not, such mediocre products simply aren't worth the time spent to promote them, as the ROI (return on investment) may very possibly be too low.

For the reasons above, popularity alone should be no means decide what product you wish to promote. The most important factor is #4 lower down.

Clickbank Stats and Numbers
2. Make sure to look at the information provided by Clickbank about the product. Not much else to say, it's up to the individual affiliate to decide what to do with these stats. The following is an explanation of what the Marketplace product stats mean (as taken from Clickbank):

In the Marketplace products are ranked by their "productivity score". To preserve the integrity of the system we do not publish the formula for the score, or the score itself, but we can say that it is a function of these four factors:

  1. $Earned/Sale: Average net amount earned per affiliate per referred sale. Note that this is the net earned per actual sale, and so it is impacted by refunds, chargebacks, and sales taxes. (Effective 28 July 2005, unfunded sales, such as returned checks, do not impact this number.)
  2. %Earned/Sale: Average percentage commission earned per affiliate per referred sale. This number should only vary if the publisher has changed their payout percentage over time.
  3. %Referred: Fraction of publisher's total sales that are referred by affiliates.
  4. Gravity: Number of distinct affiliates who earned a commission by referring a paying customer to the publisher's products. This is a weighted sum and not an actual total. For each affiliate paid in the last 8 weeks we add an amount between 0.1 and 1.0 to the total. The more recent the last referral, the higher the value added.

Commissions and Product Pricing
3. Now let's discuss commissions and product pricing. You're interested in a high enough comission to cover the costs of advertising, and then some (for your profit). You should make sure that the cost of keywords for a product, given some sort of conversion rate (for product-selection purposes, assume it to be a bit lower than the conversion rate advertised by the vendor), will not run over whatever the commission is that you're being paid. I have yet to choose a product that pays less than %50 commission (heck, it wouldn't even be fair, after all you're doing half the work!), and some great products pay up top %75 commission. Also look at the price of the product. If it's too high, customers looking to spend only a small amount of money may not be interested in buying it. I think products in the range of $35-$50 are ideal, assuming a 50%-75% commission.

Sales Page - Are You Convinced?
4. Take a good look at the sales page of the product. Ask yourself if you, were you looking for a product of similar type or function, would buy the product. Is the sales page convincing? Does it look clean and professional? Does it highlight too much, making it look like that math test you got back in high school? All these things done right can make a sale, but even one wrong move can leave the consumer running.

Here's wishing you good luck finding a product to promote,

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

eWealth Affiliate Program

eWealth, the forum I've advertised so often as being an invaluable resource, has some other benefits as well. First off, when you become a member, after 50 posts you're eligible for a newbie member pack of eWealth gear, which consists of a t-shirt, mousepad, pen, sticker, and/or bookmark (Picture of the eWealth gear above - note: available only while supplies last, and they're out of mugs). On top of all the free information available on eWealth, and also on top of the eWealth gear, eWealth offers a rewards program for regular posters. For every 1500 posts, you can redeem $200.
While all these incentives to stick around should not be the reason of joining, they're certainly very appreciated by the community and demonstrate a high level of professionalism from the Procash team. Allow to reiterate: if you plan on becoming an active poster, make sure you're joining for the right reasons (information, knowledge etc) and not just to make useless posts and abuse the prize system.

Affiliate Program
eWealth also has an affiliate program which internet marketers can promote. The kind owners are paying $2.00 for every free sign up to the forum. Also, if the member you referred makes 100 posts, you can make an additional $25! Not only it is a good idea to refer new members for the profit, but also keep in mind that each member referred can be another helpful insight or another valuable viewpoint on the forum, thus making our community a better one.
If you're interested in promoting eWealth, sign up here! Its fast and free.

Remember, this affiliate program converts fantastically (after all, its a free sign up to a great information source!) so it's very possible and fairly easy to promote it with PPC campaigns, for example through Adwords.

Hope to see you on eWealth and as an affiliate,

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Earning Money With AdSense - Getting An Advertisement On Your Website/Blog

Today we'll cover the topic of how to create an ad to place on your website or blog.
1. Login to your Google AdSense account, and click on the "AdSense Setup" tab up top. The "product" sub-tab should be automatically selected.
2. Click on "AdSense For Content" (later you can set up the other choices on your site if you wish to).
3. Select "Ad Unit" and leave it at default settings (text and image ads), and continue on to the next page.
4. This page is where you can make or break your CTR (click through rate) for your ads, as well as to some degree select for higher paying ads to show on your site. First, depending on your site, find out where you have free space that could be used to display an ad, without hurting your site. Remember, AdSense should not be the focus of you're site, but merely a bonus. If it hurts your site, it shouldn't be on there. From personal testing an experience, I've found that the ads that get me the greatest amount of clicks and pay the most per click are in the following formats:
Large Rectangle
Wide Skyscraper - Though it performs very well, I usually find it to be too overbearing for my sites, and thus choose to not use it. Remember, choose ads that complement your page setup.

As far as the Leaderboard format, I'm afraid again I can't comment on its use with confidence as I've always needed the space up top for my own site-banner or for a banner important to my site that I can control (such as the eWealth banner on this blog).

5. Once you select a format, choose colors and borders that complement your site instead of clashing with the rest of it. They should be seamlessly integrated into the web design, but should also draw some attention so that people notice them and click them.

6. The custom channel option is a bit more advanced, so don't worry about that for your first AdSense ad.

7. Alternate ads or colors: Don't leave this on the default setting of show public service ads, as this will display ads that have limited to no relevance to your site, and that you don't get paid for . Choose "fill space with a solid color", and select a color that matches the background of your website. If no ad can be displayed, google will show a box of your selected color, and so it will simply look like a free space on your site. Once done, click continue.

8. For the final step, copy the code that's displayed on this page. Don't modify it in any way. Simply select it, copy it, and paste it into your website/blog wherever you wish it to be displayed. For a guide on how to ad the AdSense code into your site, go here.
PS If you have any questions, visit eWealth by following the banner on the top of my blog, and post there to get a quick and helpful answer.

English Speaking Countries - Targetting The Right Audience!

Remember that you can set your ad to show in various territories/countries. Often, people only add the most common ones and don't give it much though. Don't limit your ad exposure only to popular english speaking countries such as the US, UK, and Australia. The more people see your ad, the bigger the chance for a sale.

English is either an official language or is spoken by a significant portion of the population in the following countries.
• Antigua and Barbuda
• Australia
• Bahamas,The
• Bangladesh
• Barbados
• Belize
• Bermuda
• Botswana
• Brunei
• Cameroon
• Canada
• Cayman Islands
• Dominica
• Fiji
• Gambia,The
• Ghana
• Gibraltar
• India
• Ireland
• Jamaica
• Kenya
• Lesotho
• Liberia
• Malawi
• Malta
• Mauritius
• New Zealand
• Nigeria
• Pakistan
• Papua New Guinea
• Philippines
• Seychelles
• Sierra Leone
• South Africa
• Sri Lanka
• Swaziland
• Tanzania
• Trinidad and Tobago
• Uganda
• United Kingdom
• United States
• Zambia
• Zimbabwe

This list by no means implies that you should try to market to all these countries. Keep in mind also the economic situation of certain countries, and whether you would have any chance of actually selling your product to that country's market.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Earning Money With AdSense - Setting Up Your Account

Hello, and happy Labor Day to you all!
Today, in surreptitious defiance of the holiday, we're going to engage in the fun and joyful non-work that is setting up your new AdSense account. Remember that you need a site (be it a website or a blog) with some content to get approved for a free AdSense account.
What Is AdSense?
AdSense is, in short, a means of selling advertising space on your site. Google shows ads that are relevant to you're site's content, and everytime a user clicks on your ad, you get paid a fraction of what the advertiser pays for showing the ad (and Google keeps the rest of that cost). AdSense is free to sign up, and this can be done by following the button-link in my sidebar to the AdSense sign-up page, right beside the AdWords button. The sign-up process is free and easy to complete. After submitting your site, you will have to wait a few days to get your site confirmed by Google. My site was good to go the very next day, but I've known people that had to wait a good three to four days, so don't stress out if it takes a while for them to e-mail you.
You can find examples of what the ads may look like here on my blog. You can see an example of a banner ad on top of my page beside the eWealth banner, and an example of a skyscraper ad on the right of my blog. Clicking on any of these would lead to Google paying me a fee for the advertising space. This fee varies from ad to ad, and you have no way of knowing how much an ad will pay, as Google doesn't disclose this information. The only choice you have over what ads to display is the banner size, and filtering out pages that you don't want to have shown on your page. AdSense has become especially popular with sites and blogs that have been created for non-commercial purposes. Since Google shows ads based on content, you'll have a greater chance at making money if your site is focused on a single topic, since then the ads displayed will be highly relevant, and visitors may be prompted to follow ad links from your site.
PS - Go rest, relax, and stay away from that work! Though knowing the motivated people that get into affiliated market, most of us won't follow that advice.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Signing Up With Clickbank

Good afternoon on this bright and sunny day in Virgnia.
Today, it's time to sign up with Clickbank. Clickbank is a third party affiliate website (or an affiliate program network). This means they are the middle-man between the vendors (or the real product sellers) and the affiliates. Managing an affiliate network is hard work, so instead of each product vendor making his own affiliate program, vendors often head over to popular third party affiliate sites to take care of their advertising. Clickbank gets a small percentage of the sales in exchange for providing statistics and exposure for the product being sold, as well as providing solid affiliate program support.
The affiliate sign up is free. Just head over to Clickbank, click on the "Sign up" link, and fill out the form they present you with, and hit the "Submit" button. Keep in mind that once you start making a significant amount of money, you'll have to report your earnings and pay taxes on them.
Feel free to look over some of the information and programs offered at Clickbank, but don't pick a program to promote just yet. In the next blog update, I'll go over what all the terms mean that you'll encounter on Clickbank, and how to select the program that you can best advertise and make the most money off.
Going back outside to make the most of a beautiful day,

Saturday, September 02, 2006

What Is This Whole "Affiliate Marketing" Deal?

Good evening!
I just recieved this great question from a friend interested in what he's heard me babbling about recently:
"What is this whole 'affiliate marketing' deal?"

That's an excellet question to address for those of you that are hearing about it for the first time.

What Is An Affiliate Program?

This is a program that a website owner creates in order to help him sell his product. He creates a program where affiliates, in otherwords individual advertisers, use their internet marketing skills to expose the product to as many people as possible that are willing to buy the product. They pay for whatever means they choose to use, and get a certain preset percentage of the sale, called a commission. The percentage of the sale can range anywhere from %1 to %75, and often hands around the %50 mark. From the affiliate's prospective, the goal is to introduce the product to as many targeted customers as possible. Targeted customers are best found by letting them come to you. This is where adwords comes in. When someone searches for a keyword in Google, they more than likely have an interest in it. With adwords you can specify what keyword searches should prompt your ads to show.

Targetting Your Ads

Now more about targetting your ads. Targetting your ads is highly important if you want to keep your costs down, and your click-to-sale ratio up (and that, ultimately, is the goal of all affiliate advertisers). You want to pay less and get more out of it.
When someone searches for "buying fluff" in google, they're clearly interested in getting their hands on this "fluff" product. You don't care why or what it is, you just want them to buy it from you, so you make a comission. "Buying fluff" can be a terribly broad search though. What if the customer is actually interested in a certain type of fluff? You wouldn't want your "buying fluff" ad to attract all sorts of customers that may or may not be interested in the type of "fluff" you're selling. Also, the customer may not be interested in buying from a site that seems so painfully generic and uniterested. If this is an important subject to the user, they'll be more likely to buy if they see an interest from the advertiser too. So you should narrow your ad. You change your ad to "buying pink fluff". Good, but you can do better. Often, customers prefer to buy from a location they can relate to, specifically they're home town or city, or even just state or country. So you change your ad to "buying pink fluff in San Francisco". Now, if someone searches for that, you can be quite sure that if they see that there's an ad exactly for what they're trying to buy, they'll go onto the vendor's site with confidence that they can find it there.
Of course, such a targeted ad won't bring in many sales on its own. So you have to make more of them. As you can see, targetting your ads can be very time consuming. The more you target, the more ads you have to create to cover all the other possiby colors of fluff, and then all the locations where someone might want to buy that color of fluff, and then repeat until you've covered all the possibilites. In the interest of time, you may be tempted to make the ads less targeted and just bring in more traffic to them. You'll pay more for this, and you'll get a lower sale percentage, but if you're willing to cut your profit and just try to make it up with sheer volume, its up to you. You have to be careful not to get lazy and unmotivated and just stick horribly general ads that will get clicked on, but won't get any sales. Many new affiliates in the making get impatient after their first sale, and want to see many more come in very quickly, so they overload on the traffic, or make more general ads. Then, once they end up paying a lot of money for limited to no sales, they get discouraged and quit. Learn from the mistakes of others, and don't follow in their steps.
Luckily, there are programs out there that can help you with this keyword process and make it less time consuming. Some are expensive, some don't work, but some are absolutely worth the cost, and quickly make it up. More on this in the next blog update.
PS Remember, get your friends involved if you can! Its much easier to have someone learning as you are. You can bounce ideas off each other, and share helpful tips you learn along the way. So adobt the buddy system of marketing, and join up! The eWealth community is another great place to get your questions answered.

Getting Started With Adwords

We'll start the journey towards a steady income from affiliate marketing with an introduction to Google AdWords. To be a successful affiliate marketer, you have to expose the product you're promoting to a large group of consumers. The more people see what you're promoting, the more sales you'll make. Google AdWords is one of the ways to make this possible. When you search for something in Google, you may have noticed that ads appear on the right of the search results, in the form of little text-ads. Each time an ad is shown, it counts as an impression. Each time someone clicks on the ad, it counts as a click. Advertisers pay per click (PPC). The cost of a click can vary greatly from $.02 to $12, depending on the niche, the popularity, the keywords used, and the competition. It's most profitable to discover a new niche that has yet to be saturated with advertisers, and then to make your ads as targeted as possible. More on all of this later.
For the first step, setting up an AdWords accounts. Follow the button in the sidebar of my blog that says "Target your ads. Try Google Adwords." The sign-up fee for an AdWords is a one time $5 payment - a small investment, considering products most often pay ~$20 comission on a sale (though this can very greatly and be anywhere from a few bucks to hundred's). Follow the step by step instructions. When you're nearing completion of setting up your account, make sure to set your monthly budget at 0, so that the beginner ad you make doesn't run and waste you money. There will be a lot of learning to do before you make your first ad, and its imporant to not become impatient.
Once you've set up your account, its time to visit the Google Adwords Learning Center. This is Google's own tutorial for beginners. The videos are made to be highly instructive about what all the terms you'll run into mean, and they're significance. Although for most people the videos tend to drag, resist the urge to skip ahead (consider this the first lesson in combating your impatience). When I went through the videos, I decided it was going too slow, and skipped ahead to the meatier stuff. Well, two videos later I had to sheepishly admit ignorance and return to the video I left off on. The quizes on the side reiterate exactly what's covered in the videos, so take these only if you feel you might not have grasped a certain concept. In essence, they're similar to the worksheets you might have gotten in middle school to see if you were paying attention. Completely unnessecary, unless of course you weren't paying attention. Feel free to split this up over two days or more, as its a lot of information to take in at once. After you're done, if you have any questions on the material you just took in, head over to the eWealth Forums and register to be able to post it. Remember to first use the "Search" feature to look for threads in the past that might have already addressed your question.
Wishing you an educational evening,
PS Check back soon for the next installment of the Marketing for Beginners guide.

Friday, September 01, 2006

eWealth - #1 Affiliate Forum

For my first official blog post, I would like to begin with the most important bit of information I can provide. Visit the eWealth Forums. This is infact how I began my journey with affiliate marketing. One day, while searching for something completely unrelated (after all, I had no idea something like internet marketing even existed) I stumbled onto the eWealth forum. Always on the lookout for new information that I can potentially turn into a way of making money, I joined the forum and stuck around. This turned out to be perhaps the best web-based decision of my life. This became only the second forum I've ever been a part of, simply because most forums don't have anything valuable enough that would merit spending my time on them (Time is money, right?). Well, eWealth is certainly worth every minute spent on it. The backbone of the helpful and intelligent community consists mostly of highly-skilled professionals that have been in the online-marketing business for years. For many of them, marketing is both a job and a hobby, and it brings in a full-time income while having completely flexible hours. In fact, you often will find yourself making money while you sleep, but more on that later. One of the professionals on the board, Miles Baker, runs a very eye-pleasing and informative website, Marketing With Miles. His site is a great resource for beginners and advanced marketers alike, providing marketing hints, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tips, software tools, and much more.
So hop onto to the eWealth Forums, introduce yourself, and start learning!
Sincerely Yours,

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Welcome to my new "Internet Affiliate" blog. As the name justly implies, this blog will focus on getting started with making an income from the online affiliate business of internet marketing.

Affiliate marketing honestly eliminates all boundries to how much money you can make from home. As with any work, the more effort you put into it, the more you'll get out of it. As an affiliate marketer, you simply pick a website or product or program to advertise, and then post your ads through one of the internet search engines. I use Google Adwords to post my ads, and have had no problems bring in a steady flow of cash. There are many eBooks online that are advertised as having all the "secrets" to becoming rich by doing nothing. I've read them all, and rarely do I see any of them live up to their claims. Affiliate marketing has become a great way for me to pull in a few extra bucks a month, allowing me to spend more time and money on my other hobbies, such as car audio. In the coming days I will post multiple reviews of software and eBooks that can jump start you on your way to financial freedom.
Till then, get motivated and stay positive!
Your friendly internet marketer,
Location: Virginia, United States

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