Ninja Affiliate Plugin for WordPress – Special Price for ProBlogger Readers

ninja-affiliate.pngI’m about to head out the door for a 10 day vacation but before I do I want to pass on a special offer exclusive to ProBlogger readers (that I’ve just had offered to us) for a cool product that those of you who run affiliate programs on your blog might want to check out.

It is a WordPress plugin called Ninja Affiliate and you can have it for a third off the normal price.

I know some of you use this one already but I’ve only had the opportunity to check it out more recently and I have been quite impressed by it. In short it is a management tool that allows you to manage all of the affiliate links on your blog.

This product has a lot of features built in including:

  • Easy Affiliate Link Management – You can easily give each affiliate link an easy-to-remember name.
  • Flexible Link Management – Accepts every affiliate link format out there, so you don’t have to waste time with various affiliate marketing tools..
  • Create Professional Redirect Links – Use professional looking redirect links that let your prospects know you’re a pro marketer..
  • Manage Links by Groups – Too many affiliate links? Ninja Affiliate allows you to easily create different groups to manage your links..
  • Prevent “Affiliate Theft” – Cloak your affiliate links to prevent link theft and affiliate sabotage. No one will ever steal your hard-earned commissions again..
  • Insert Affiliate Links Directly – Add your affiliate links directly for your WordPress blog editor – you’ll never have to hunt for links again..
  • Transform Keywords to Links – Automatically turn keywords in your blog to affiliate links. You can set a limit too, so your posts don’t look like a spam blog!
  • Advanced Display Options – Ninja Affiliate allows you to display any text you want in your web browser’s status bar..
  • Use “No-Follow” Links – Control your link juice and escape punishment from Big Daddy Google with ninja precision. In fact, you can control your links any way you want to.

There is a lot more information on the sales page (the videos will show you how to use it and give you a good feel for whether it is for you) for the product and I’m not going to rehash it all here – except to say that I wish I’d had something like this when I started promoting affiliate products.

The special offer for ProBlogger readers…

is this – $30 off the plugin. It’s normally $97 and until midnight on 28th February it’s $67 – a third off. You can install it on as many WP blogs as you own.

You have 8 weeks to test it and see if it is right for you and then they offer a money back guarantee.

To get the discount you need to buy it from this special page that they’ve set up for ProBlogger readers.

PS: While I’m gone on my break….

ProBlogger will continue to have some great content. I have a few guest posts from some great bloggers already scheduled as well as a 10 part series of posts that I wrote over the last few weeks on ‘how to take your blog to the next level‘ – a series especially for bloggers who have moved past their launch phase and are wanting to step it up.

Increase Amazon Sales with Best Seller and Popular Product Lists

This week we’ve been looking at a variety of techniques to help you increase your blogs earnings in the lead up to Christmas.

Today I want to share 2 similar techniques that I’ve used in the last week that is a big part of tripling my Amazon earnings for the month of December – best seller and popular products lists.

These are two techniques that I’ve used semi regularly on my photography tips site – let me explain, with examples, how I do them.

Best Seller Lists

This technique is used in retail stores everywhere. Head into your local bookstore and you’re bound to find a ‘best seller’ list or even a full display showing what the best selling books of the month are.

Books that sell well and get on these lists often go to the next level – simply because they are on the list. People see that they’re popular and so when they are looking for a book – they’re more likely to go for them because obviously others like them. It’s partly about using the wisdom of the crowd to identify quality and make decisions but it is also partly about ‘social proof’.

Here’s an example of how I use this same concept to create my own best seller list on my blog.

You can see the list at my Popular Digital Cameras and Gear page. On this page you’ll see a number of lists of best selling photography books, DSLR cameras, lenses and point and shoot cameras. The lists were compiled simply through my Amazon Affiliate program statistics.

Amazon gives you quite detailed reports of what products have sold through your affiliate links. You can arrange them by the number of items sold and it isn’t hard to take that information and put it into a list of your own.

Of course this works best if you have an audience who has been making purchases – but if you don’t all is not lost. Go to any Amazon category page (for example this Small Business and Entrepreneurship Books page) and you can see the products there arranged in order of ‘best selling’.

There’s your best selling books on that topic. Simply find a category that relates to your topic and you can create a relevant post on your blog that taps into the social proof idea.

Popular Product Lists

Another similar technique that I’ve found to be very effective is to create ‘popular product lists’. This is similar in that it creates a list of products that are popular for your readers to interact with – but the difference is that you don’t use Amazon stats to put the list together – you use your readers own feedback to create the list.

Here’s how it worked for me recently:

The result was really good. The post didn’t generate a lot of comments – but it did generate quite good sales at Amazon over the coming week. Interestingly the post was also very very popular when I linked to it in the following week’s email newsletter – it was the most clicked upon link in that email with over 5000 people viewing the post.

This resulted in some good sales of the lenses mentioned in the post – but also considerably secondary sales of other products when people continued to surf around Amazon.

Again – this technique relies upon your blog having readers and readers who leave comments – but even with a small group of readers I’m sure it could be done.

Good luck creating your best seller and popular products lists!

PS: One more type of List that I’m experimenting with on DPS today is a compilation of reviews that I’ve published on the blog previously. You can see this in action in a post titled 12 Great Digital Photography Books for Your Christmas Stocking.

In short it is a list of books on the topic of photography, with links to Amazon and the reviews that I’ve previously written on the books plus short quotes from those reviews. I’ve not done this type of list before but suspect it’ll do well.

Increase Your Christmas Earnings with the Amazon Associates Program

We are right in the middle of the ‘silly season’ when it comes to shopping for Christmas and as a result as bloggers wanting to make a little extra money from our blogs at the moment we are presented with a unique time of the year – many of our readers are in the mood for buying.

Here’s a very simple way to put yourself in a position to capitalize upon this and to earn a few extra dollars via the Amazon Affiliate program.

Get your readers into the Amazon Store – just get them in the door.

If there’s a time of the year to earn some commissions via the Amazon affiliate program – it is now.

Let me illustrate why it is important to get people in the door at Amazon.

Two days ago I posted about the new Huffington Post Blogging Book that has just been released. In that post I linked to the book on Amazon using a tracking id that enables me to see what people buy as a result of visiting Amazon with that link (#’s indicate how many were purchased).



MP3 Downloads

Office Products

Video Games



When you refer someone to Amazon (an online store with established trust and brand that most people are familiar with) you earn a commission on anything that they buy within a 24 hours period after visiting from your link.

You can see above that the greatest number of people bought the book I referred to – but the biggest items with larger commissions were on other items.

Of course you don’t want to just lace all your posts with random and irrelevant links to products on Amazon – relevancy and useful links for your readers is key – but once you get people in the door you never quite know what they might end up buying (and earning you).

An Open Letter to the Amazon Associates Program

Dear Amazon.

I have been using your Associates program for quite a few years now – from the early days when I earned just a few dollars a month to today when I send you tens of thousands of dollars of business each month. I’ve written about why I believe in your program and have no doubt sent you hundreds (if not thousands of affiliates in my time).

By my calculations I’ve sent you around $1,500,000 of sales over the last five years.

I’m very grateful for the $70,000+ you’ve sent me in affiliate payments and am by no means am I your biggest affiliate but I hope that having reached the million dollars in sales mark you’ll forgive me this note to express a concern that I have in the hope that it might help improve your program.

I am increasingly frustrated by your payment system.

While you offer direct debit payments to those situated in the USA – I live in Australia and so have two options for payment – gift certificates and check. Lets take a look at both methods:

1. Gift Certificates – as someone who earns $2000-$3000 in commissions each month from Amazon it is simply not feasible for me to take my payments in certificates. For starters I’d run out of things to buy pretty quickly – particularly because most of your high ticket items cannot be shipped outside of the USA.

This leaves me with the option of either just buying books, DVDs and CDs ($2-$3k worth a month….) or buying things, shipping them to US friends and having them repost them to Australia. It also means having to pay for international shipping on everything I buy – not cheap. Lets just say that all of this rules out the gift certificate option (although I take it once a year if I’m doing a trip to the US).

2. Check – this leaves me with only one option – receiving a check. Let me say that your checks do come quickly. I get them within a couple of weeks of the end of the month – a lot faster than others (nice work) – however a check of over $2000 in Australia needs to be processed and sent by my bank back to the USA before it can be cleared. This takes six weeks from the day I bank it.

This means that money I make from Amazon on the 1st of a month can take six weeks before I get the check and then another six weeks before I can see the money. That’s 3 months!

All in all this is one of the slowest and antiquated payment systems that I have to use. Every other affiliate program or ad network that I use (and I use a few) gives either the option for an international direct deposit or a PayPal transfer, particularly to affiliates who earn over a certain threshold.

The only other affiliate program that insists upon me receiving checks gives me the option to have them split into smaller amounts (so I get 2-3 of them each month) so that the check can be processed locally without the six week delay.

I love the Amazon affiliate program but the payment system is increasingly frustrating me. I’d love to see you do something about it for myself and my fellow non US affiliates and in doing so improve your already great program.

I know you must be kind of busy with your big Black Friday sale – but I’d appreciate your consideration to this.

Darren Rowse –

PS: having just added up how much business I’ve sent you ($1.5M made me have to sit down) it strikes me that you’re the largest affiliate program or ad network that I deal with that I’ve never had any personal contact with. Again – I’m sure I’m a small fish in comparison to some of your other affiliates – but other affiliate programs and ad networks give their medium to large affiliates quite a bit more personal attention.

Some assign account managers, others call every now and again to see how we’re going, quite a few offer special premium commissions for larger publishers, quite a few send a gift…. or even a card at Christmas time to say thanks for the business. Amazon…. well you send me checks that take 6 weeks to clear.

Don’t get me wrong – checks are nice and you’ve more than helped me make a dent in my mortgage…. but when web publishers are making the choice of which affiliate program to use on their websites, sometimes the little things count.

Amazon Associates Program Add ‘Site Stripe’ – Make Affiliate Links from Any Page on Amazon

I just logged into Amazon Associates just now and found that they’ve done a redesign of their Associates area and have added a very handy new feature for Amazon Associates publishers.

It’s called ‘Site Stripe’ and essentially it allows you to create affiliate links as you surf Amazon. It’s a little grey stripe that appears at the top of any page that allows you to link to that page, add a product to an aStore, see your Earnings Summary, See ‘what’s New’, go to a discussion board or see ‘settings’.

Here’s how it looks (click to enlarge):


Click links and you are taken to an Associates area relevant to the selection that you make.

This is going to be really handy for Amazon affiliates that link to a lot of products on Amazon – it’ll save flipping between Amazon pages and Associates back end pages and should speed up the process and remove a few steps in the process.

When you log into the back end of Amazon Associates you can set up the settings for this feature by clicking the ‘Links and Banners’ tab and then clicking the ‘Learn More’ button in the ‘Site Stripe’ section. Here you can turn Site Stripe on and off as well as selecting which features you want in the stripe.

Affiliate Marketing on Twitter – Does it Belong?


What do you think about affiliate marketing on Twitter?

Lately I’ve noticed more and more affiliate marketers getting onto twitter. There’s been a real buzz about it actually in many internet marketing circles – almost like it’s the latest ‘new’ thing (I guess it is relatively new).

The unfortunate thing is that the model I’m seeing some internet marketers use on Twitter is quite spammy. Some have spammed Twitter so much directly that they’ve been booted off.

Today I got an email from Joel Comm. I’m one of his affiliates and have promoted some of his books and ebooks previously. We’ve met in person and I admire his knowledge of internet marketing greatly. However todays email didn’t really sit that well with me and I’d love to hear your opinion on it.

Joel is currently promoting an AdSense Secrets ebook. I actually like his writing on AdSense and some of what he teaches helped me a lot in the early days of getting into blogging.

I’ve promoted his AdSense stuff before and would probably do it again – but not in the way he’s asking his affiliates to do it this time.

The promotion he’s asking people to do is to Tweet a link to his book. Not only has he asked us to tweet about it (something I wouldn’t be anti doing to some extend) he’s given his affiliates a link to make the whole process automated.

All you have to do is click the link and it sets up a tweet in your own twitter account (if you’re logged in) and it embeds an affiliate link into the tweet automatically for you so you can earn money if people make a purchase of one of Joels products as a result of clicking on your link ($10 a month for each month they stay in his program).

Looking at Twitter Search just now it seems that his tactic is working – to some extent.

Picture 4.png

I wouldn’t call it a raging success (yet) but with 30 or so people tweeting about it (largely using the automated script Joel’s provided) there’s been some take up of it.

Now on some levels I don’t have a problem with Joel’s campaign. I am not against affiliate marketing, I’m not against promoting products in new media – however there’s something that has been playing on my mind about this all day.

To be honest I’m not completely sure why I don’t like it (as I say above I don’t have a problem with some of the principles behind it) but there’s something that doesn’t sit well with me about this.

Risky Behavior and Spam

I think one of my main problems with it is that it almost seems like Joels asking others to engage in a little risky behavior for him and putting them a little at risk. Twitter is pretty anti spam and while he’s not done it directly the search results do look quite spammy when you line them all up and see the exact same message over and over and over again. I wonder how Twitter will respond to this and who will suffer? Joel or those who tweet it?

Impersonal Marketing

Another thing that I am reacting against with this strategy is that the tweets Joel is suggesting seem very impersonal.

“Download Joel Comm’s Adsense Secrets For FREE! “

This just doesn’t resonate with me as the type of message that would do well on Twitter. A message out of the blue about someone encouraging a download. I’m not sure it’s where affiliate marketing is going online either.

My own experimenting with affiliate marketing over the last few years is that it works best out of relationship and trust with those that you recommend products to. I find that promoting products do best when you are able to give an honest review of them, when you’re able to tell people who they are best suited for etc

This is actually why I think blogging is an ideal message for affiliate marketing. It’s a great place to build trust, fully review a product and give a balanced recommendation – 140 or so characters just doesn’t seem enough to do much to do most of that.

I guess what I’m coming to is that a tweet like this doesn’t really sit comfortably with my style of affiliate marketing.

What do you Think about Affiliate Marketing on Twitter?

But that is just me – what about you? Does affiliate marketing belong on Twitter? If so – how would you do it?

To be clear – I’m not wanting to start an anti Joel Comm thread of discussion here – like I say, I like the guy and don’t have anything against his products, but I am interested to hear what you think about the topic of affiliate marketing on twitter (and other forms of social media). Over to you….

How Affiliate Marketers Should Use Twitter?

It’s pretty easy to say you don’t like affiliate links on Twitter and not say anything constructive. So tomorrow I’d like to attempt to put forward some ideas on how Twitter (and other social media sites) could be used by affiliate marketers appropriately and effectively. Keep an eye on my RSS feed over the next 24 hours to see when the post goes live.

How to Make Money With Affiliate Programs on Your Blog – More Thoughts

Yesterday I shared 5 lessons on making money with affiliate programs on your blog.

As I read through the comments on that post and pondered it some more thoughts came to mind that I think are worth adding:

Test and Track Results

I’ve written numerous times on ProBlogger about testing and tweaking advertising on your blog (for example – this post on how to run Split Testing).

The same principle is true for running affiliate campaigns on a number of levels.

1. Split Testing Banner ads

If you do run banner ads to promote your affiliate campaign (do remember yesterday I said that they don’t tend to work as well as in post promotions) you can run some split testing in a similar way to the one mentioned in the Split Testing article. Instead of showing two different versions of AdSense ads – just show two different types of banner ads that promote the product you’re promoting. You just need to make sure you have a method of tracking which banner ad is converting best (many affiliate programs will either give different tracking ids or will track different banners for you).

2. Track What Your Readers Respond to

Yesterday I mentioned that instead of just promoting an affiliate product once that it can be worth running a series of different types of posts to promote it over time. The beauty in doing this is that you begin to see what your readership responds to. You might find that few people sign up for a product when you first announce it but when you write a review that sales increase. Alternatively you might find that when you offer a bonus they sign up more or even that they respond to you doing an interview with the person behind the product. The key is to try different things but then to watch how they convert.

Testing the conversions on affiliate programs seems so basic – but it amazes me just how many bloggers I see using affiliate programs who just seem to slap up a quick post saying to ‘buy this product’ and don’t seem to get creative in trying new methods of promotion.

3. Test different programs and their conversions

In yesterdays post Omar asked for a list of best affiliate programs. It’s a common question but one that is really impossible to answer because there are literally thousands of options open to bloggers and different programs will convert differently for different blogs. As mentioned in yesterday’s post, this partly depends upon the relevancy of products to your content and audience – but it also depends upon other factors including the sales copy of the landing page that you send traffic to (some pages will appeal to some audiences more than others), the profile and brand of the site you send traffic to, the price of the product etc.

The key when you’re in the affiliate marketing game is to experiment with different affiliate programs and products within them. You might find that a program like Amazon’s Associates program fits best for your audience (despite it’s lower commission rates than some others) because your audience is familiar with it, or you might find a program like PepperJam (which has a lot of great affiliates in the one network) is better suited to you or you might even establish a relationship with a smaller company who has their own private affiliate program because their product just ‘fits’ with your audience.

The key is to look for relevant products that fit your audience’s needs and then to track the conversions.

One more thing about Choosing Affiliate Programs

There are some great comments in the previous post about choosing affiliate programs – particularly from Lex G and Linda. They both pick up that it’s not always the highest paying affiliate program that is best. While it’s great to find a high priced program that pays out a high percentage commission – you might find that the price is out of the reach of the type of audience that you have and that another program that pays less commission and that is lower priced could actually earn you more.

A lot of people write off programs like Amazon’s Associates program because of their lower commissions and price points on items like books – however I’ve found that Amazon can work very well for me (it remains in my top ways to make money blogging at #4 on the list. While I don’t see the spectacular sales that some other programs can earn – the hundreds of smaller sales that I can see on any given day can certainly add up.

How Much Traffic Do You Need?

Dainis asked in the comments of the previous post how much traffic would be needed before starting to promote affiliate programs.

This is another good (and common) question – and as with many aspects of making money from blogs it is a question that different people will answer differently.

My personal approach is to start promoting these types of programs early. I’ve written a long post on when to put advertising on a blog previously and much of what I say there is also relevant to affiliate programs but my main reasons for starting early are:

  • While you might not make much with just a little traffic you could make some.
  • Starting early gets your readers used to the idea that you make money from your blog. Adding it later could put some offside.
  • Learn how to monetize your blog before you have readers so you can make your mistakes in front of just a few rather than a lot of people.

5 Lessons on Making Money with Affiliate Programs

In the last 24 hours I’ve been interviewed 3 times and on each occassion I was questioned about affiliate marketing and how to make money from it.

Here are 5 lessons that I found myself touching on in each interview.

Image by foundphotolj

1. Relevancy between Audience, Product and Content

One key to high conversion when promoting affiliate products is to align as much as possible the needs of your audience, with the product that you are promoting and the content being produced on your blog.

For example if my readers are all beginner digital photographers, I’m producing a blog with content that teaches basic principles of photography and I was to promote to them a book or course on beginner to intermediate photography tips – I’d have a pretty good chance of generating some sales and therefore commissions.

However if I was to promote the same course here on ProBlogger the campaign would fall on it’s face and I’d probably do my reputation more harm than good.

2. Trust is Crucial

I find that affiliate promotions tend to work best on a blog that has been around for a while where the readership has been journeying with the blogger for a while.

When you read someone’s solid advice on a daily basis over a couple of years you’re much more likely to buy something that they recommend than buying something off a complete stranger. It’s all about establishing credibility and trust.

3. Traffic is Key

There’s no getting around this one – you increase the chances of a conversion with the number of people who see your invitation to purchase a product.

Of course it partly depends upon the audience – not all traffic is equal.

For example I could hit the front page of Digg with my post promoting a product and get 100 times the traffic that a normal post would have and the conversions would not be 100 times higher (simply because Digg readers don’t tend to take much note of affiliate products and because I have no established relationship with them).

However as your loyal readership grows in numbers you do tend to increase conversion possibilities.

4. Reinforcing the Message

I wrote about this in my ProBlogger Newsletter a few weeks back – but I find that rather than just posting once about a product that you’re promoting – it can be much more effective to find ways to reinforce a message over time. You might start off with an announcement post that tells your readers about what you’re promoting, you might follow up a few days later with a review of it, then follow up a week later with a reader testamonial, then follow up with an interview of someone behind the product….

The key is to find useful ways to talk about the product without annoying your readership (not always easy). In doing this you remind and reinforce the ‘pitch’ for you reader to buy.

5. Positioning

Affiliate promotions tend not to work very well if all they are is a banner ad in your sidebar. They will still convert – but nowhere near as well as if you position your promotion inside a post itself as the topic of the post.

Write about the product you’re talking about, talk about how you’ve used it and make it personal.

Get more tips like these at 10 Tips for Using Affiliate Programs on Your Blog

Interview with Kristopher B. Jones – PepperjamNETWORK

kris.jpgEarlier in the week I posted that PepperJam Network was giving all new publishers who signed up with their network a signup bonus of $10. Today I’ve managed to get a quick interview with Pepperjam Network’s CEO and President Kristopher B. Jones to ask him about the network, why he started it and what tips he could give us as publishers for using it in a way that earns us the most money.

By the way – the $10 Signup Bonus runs through until the end of the month but to get it you need to sign up through this link – Pepperjam Network

Could you start by explaining to ProBlogger readers what the Pepperjam Network actually is?

The easiest way to describe Pepperjam Network is that we help affiliates and bloggers monetize Web traffic (aka, make money) by partnering with well-known advertisers on a pay-for-performance basis. The affiliate or blogger promotes the advertiser through links (banners, text links, pepperjamADS Widget, etc.) provided through Pepperjam Network – when a referral is made, the affiliate or blogger gets paid either a percentage of the sale or a flat fee on a lead. Affiliate marketing is really easy to get started with and we are finding that some of our top performers are bloggers just like your readers!

There are quite a few other affiliate marketing networks around – why did you start another one? What differentiates you from the rest? Why should bloggers consider joining pepperjamNETWORK?

I can’t disagree with you – there sure are a lot of affiliate networks out there!

However, most of the other affiliate networks either run off of the same technology platform (Direct Track, for instance) and / or are small operations with minimal reach and little to no access to top tier publishers and advertisers.

Unlike many of the “start-up” affiliate networks, Pepperjam is no stranger to affiliate marketing. I started out as an affiliate marketer myself in 1999 (see below). By 2002 I became (so I’m told) one of the most successful affiliate marketers in the business and had already started working as a consultant on the advertiser side of the business.

Before we launched our affiliate network in January of this year we had already established our company as one of the industry leaders in search maketing, affiliate marketing, and online media planning & managment – we already had a client roster that included some of the leading brands across all areas of business and we brought over 8 years of experience to the table!

In short, the above makes us different! But here’s how we executed….

Pepperjam Network is a “next generation” affiliate marketing network. It took us about two years to build and we incorporated the input of over 100 top advertisers and affiliates. In addition to being a network built with Web 2.0 technologies like AJAX, which dramatically improved user experience (aka, usability), Pepperjam Network addresses the two most prominent shortcomings of other networks, namely (1) poor communication tools, and (2) lack of affiliate transparency. Among other tools, Pepperjam Network empowers affiliates and advertisers to communicate more effectively through an internal, real-time chat solution called Pepperjam Chat – with PJ Chat affiliates and advertisers can negotiate private offers, discuss promotional strategies, request coupon codes, and talk about anything they want to improve the relationship. On the side of improving affiliate transparency, Pepperjam Network “ranks” all affiliates on a 5 point scale based on their willingness to disclose promotional methods, Web site(s) used for purposes of affiliate marketing, and accurate, verifiable contact information. In short, the more “transparent” the affiliate is within the network the more likelihood they will get approved to a program, qualify for higher payouts, and be eligible for special incentives.

The goal with Pepperjam Network was to provide a next generation solution that both advertisers and affiliates could build long-term profitable relationships.

From what we are being told by our advertisers and affiliates we have advanced the affiliate marketing industry further in a shorter period of time than anyone before us. :)

One of the concepts that you talk a lot about in your promotion is ‘affiliate transparency’. What is it and why is it so important to you as a network?

l talk about this a bit above. For purposes of Pepperjam Network, “Affiliate Transparency” is a relative measure of any given affiliate’s willingness to disclose and share important information to PJN advertisers. For instance, we ask affiliates upon signing-up for PJN to disclose basic promotional methods (i.e. search, direct linking, loyalty, software, etc.), all Web site(s) used for purposes of promoting PJN advertisers, and to provide accurate, verifiable contact information. Based on this transparency data, along with an analysis of marketing potential, the affiliate is given a score from 0 to 5. While the affiliate may start out with a low transparency score…the good news is that the score is dynamic. This means that if the affiliate really wants to be transparent with the advertiser than they can log back in to their PJN account and become more transparent!

Transparency scores can have a significant effect on how affiliates are viewed by Pepperjam Network advertisers. On the one hand, some PJN advertisers (not all) see low affiliate transparency scores as representing a higher level of “risk” or overall lower level of potential. On the other hand, if an affiliate has a transparency score of 3, 4, or 5 they may automatically qualify for special commission payouts and incentives from select PJN advertisers. In addition, some PJN advertisers automatically approve affiliates with a high transparency rating – this means that an affiliate stands a considerable advantage to other affiliates if they have a high transparency rating. Another benefit of a high transparency rating is that the affiliate is more likely to have access to higher commission payouts.

At the same time, just because an affiliate has a 1 or 2 transparency rating doesn’t mean they can’t get accepted to Pepperjam Network affiliate programs or can’t get higher payouts – however, it does mean that they become a more transparent affiliate.

BTW – let me address a concern that some of your readers may automatically (and rightfully!!!) have regarding “transparency.” “Being transparent” on PJN does not mean that we will disclose confidential or proprietary affiliate information to advertisers. In fact, Pepperjan Network is absolutely committed to maintaining the confidentiality of important affiliate information and data – we will never share that data (i.e., SSN, reerring URL’s, etc.) with advertisers without legal intervention. However, we strongly believe that it is very important to provide enough basic, verifiable information to advertisers so that they are in the best possible position to build an open, honest relationship with the affiliate and pay the absolute highest commissions!

Many ProBlogger readers are new to affiliate marketing or have had limited success with it – what tips would you give them to lift their performance?

The key is to find something that works, replicate it, and scale it. This is the formula I used back in 1999 when I started out as an affiliate and in my prime (I’m now an old man at 32 years old) I was making enough money to do just about anything I wanted. Instead of buying a big house (my current house is modest) or a $200K car (disclosure – I do drive a Cadilac Escalade in the winter and a BMW Z4 in the summer :)) I took all the money I generated as an affiliate and helped build the fastest growing full-service internet marketing agency and affiliate network in the United States. So the moral of the story is that my simple formula works!

Again, here is my three step process to affiliate marketing riches. (1) Find something that works. (2) Replicate it. (3) Scale it.

For instance, I shared this formula last year during the A4U Expo to an audience of about 400 attendees and I even gave a specific example of how it can potentially work, which I will now share with your readers.

I said…while I never personally tried it, that bidding on high traffic typos on pay-per-click engines was something that I knew would work, was easily replicated, and highly scalable. Typos are common misspellings of words that people might use when looking for a specific product or service. Anyway, the idea was that an affiliate could easily and most likely make money by bidding on a typo such as cheeze or Pollo Shirt and sending the traffic through a landing page with an affiliate offer or directly to an advertiser selling cheeses (i.e., or Polo Shirts (i.e. I also argued that since there are literally thousands upon thousands of affiliate programs across multiple networks my “typo” affiliate marketing strategy was both easily replicated (think about it…offfice supplies, Nick sneakers, Blueflie, etc.) and easily scalable (Amazon, eBay, Pepperjam Network, Tradedoubler, Linkshare, Google Affiliate Network, etc.).

A few months later I spoke at a conference and asked if anyone in the audience if they had ever heard me speak before and learned enough to make a lot of money. The good news is that a few dozen people raised their hand, including the TYPO GUY!!! The “typo guy” heard me speak at A4U Expo, took my advice, and said he was poised to make 6 figures in 2008 based on that strategy. True story.

The simple formula works, but it is worth spending as much time at step one (1) as necessary since it is the most difficult, challenging, and critical step in the process!

What are pepperjamADS?

pepperjamADS is an affiliate marketing widget that an affiliate can use to serve customized contextual ads from one or multiple Pepperjam Network advertisers at the same time. The ad units come in various shapes and sizes. The affiliate can mix and mash ads from any of their merchant partners. For instance, the affiliate can create a fashion widget by selecting various ads from multiple fashion merchants. Likewise, the affiliate can create a specific widget with ads from any one merchant.

We find that pepperjamADS converts almost five times as well as normal banner ads and about three times as well as normal text ads. In addition, we find that pepperjamADS works especially well with blogger affiliates since pepperjamADS looks a lot like Google AdSense units, which are very easily integrated into existing content / posts. Also, since you can choose the ads you want within the widget, and can change the look and feel (i.e. color, size) to fit the theme of your site, pepperjamADS are worth testing if you are a blogger.

Click Here for a Video Tutorial of pepperjamADS.

Could you talk us through the blogger incentive program that you’re running this month?

Since we launched Pepperjam Network we have had a very successful publisher referral program that paid out up to $7 flat for any new affiliate referral.

For the month of July we decided to increase the payout to ALL Pepperjam Network Publisher Referral Program affiliates to $7 flat…but that’s not all.

We also decided to give our affiliates the ability to give away $10 for free to help them sign-up new affiliates…but that’s not all.

Finally, we decided to launch the affiliate marketing industry’s first ever Blogger Incentive Program!

There is no doubt about the fact that Bloggers are the lifeblood of the PJN Publisher Referral program and tend to be our biggest supporters and closest friends.

As a result, we created a sort of “Pay Per Post” incentive program where any PJN publisher / blogger receives $10 for each post they make (up to 5 per month) that promotes Pepperjam Network or any Pepperjam Network tool.

The cool thing about the PJN Blogger Incentive Program is that not only can the blogger make $10 for each post, but they can give away $10 to new affiliates, and make an additional $7 for each new affiliate they refer to Pepperjam Network.

BTW – if any of your readers are interested in signing up for the PJN Blogger Incentive Program they first need to be accepted as a Pepperjam Network publisher / affiliate. Then they have to apply to the Pepperam Network Publisher Referral Program, which is found under the “Find Partners” tab once they log-in to their account for the first time. Once approved for the referral progam they should read the rules to participate in the program, which includes sending a topic proposal and blog URL to the PJN Blogger Incentive Program management team for approval, along with a few requirements to reduce spam and maximize quality. While this is an easy way for bloggers to make money we are absolutely committed to making sure the program is of the highest quality!

BTW – for those Problogger readers looking to learn more about Pepperjam Network and to look for blog ideas they can visit the Pepperjam Network blog –

Explore the Pepperjam Network for yourself by signing up here