Dealing with Affiliates

Reader QuestionsRhys asks – ‘I’ve been running a site with a few affiliates on it, I have enjoyed a healthy relationship with said affiliates, and likewise they’ve commented to me on a number of occasions that I have generated business for them from my site. Recently my site has experienced a huge upturn in visitors, and the amount of money I’m getting from the affiliates – which previously covered my hosting bills – is no longer covering it.

I am wondering if it is reasonable to ask at the end of the current agreement to ask for more money. If so, how would you go about asking them?’

Interesting conundrum Rhys.

I’m a little curious about why the increase in traffic hasn’t brought about an increase in affiliate sales? I suspect it’s the source of that traffic – for example I find Digg traffic doesn’t’ generally convert well for ad or affiliate program performance and loyal readers tend to become blind to them also.

Whatever the reason – you’ve got an interesting problem on your hands but I think you could have already stumbled on the answer.

Talk to your affiliates and see what they can do for you.

[Read more…]

AdSense add Checkout to Referral Products

More AdSense news today – Google are now letting publishers promote their Google Checkout system as a referral product.

Their support page that explains how much publishers can earn from their different products lists ‘Checkout’ as a referral product saying that publishers will earn $1 if the person they refer becomes a buyer and purchases at least $10 (before tax and shipping) within 90 days of sign-up.

Not one of their most lucrative referral products – but I guess on some sites that are shopping based it could convert quite nicely.

Thanks to Dave for the tip off.

AdSense Referrals Beta Test Launched – CPA Ads

Technospot has a post with details of a new beta test that AdSense are doing in their referrals program (official site).

I’m writing this on the run as I’m in the middle of a session – however it looks like an interesting development based on publishers being in control of what ads will be shown on their blogs through choosing keywords and making them look like other AdSense ads on your site. You can choose the same ad unit sizes and designs.

The payment is CPA (ie you don’t get paid until your readers do something – specified by the advertiser). Below is a pic of how they’re promoting it (click to enlarge).

Picture 1-2

Here’s how AdSense are talking about this:

“In just a few minutes you can hand-pick and display ads that will appeal directly to your users’ tastes and interests. After choosing relevant ads or keywords, you will be able to customize referrals units that complement the look and feel of your site. Then you can start directing visitors to the products or services you’ve selected.

With referrals, you’ll be paid when your visitors click through to an advertiser’s site and complete an action defined by your advertisers, such as a sale or sign up. Because these actions are often more involved than a simple click or impression, advertisers pay more for these referrals, which can translate into higher earnings for your site. Further, you’ll see the expected earnings and advertiser performance ahead of time, so you can make the best decisions about what to refer. You can also choose to target the keywords that will ensure you get the highest-paying referrals for your ad space.”

I’ve applied to be on the beta program and it’ll be something to watch. It’s an interesting move and one that is definately moving towards the Commission Junction model.

How do you set up ads (if accepted into the program)?

Step 1: Select the keywords, products or services you want to refer
Choose from our extensive list of advertisers in a variety of different categories.

Step 2: Customize your ad unit
Select the size and color scheme that best matches the look and feel of your site.

Step 3: Copy and paste the code to your pages
Paste the code into your webpages using your HTML editor and publish them to the web.

So you can use this via choosing specific products or on a keyword basis.

Thanks to JohnTP for the alert on this.

5 Tips for Improving AdSense Referrals Earnings

Yesterday I asked Do AdSense Referrals converted well for me? Today I’d like to turn our attention to some tips on how to make the referral program convert better.

How do you get more readers to click through and sign up to referrals?

Here are five tips that I’ve used:

1. Give a Recommendation

One of the differences between the AdSense referral program and their normal advertising program is that you can actively promote and encourage readers to click your referral links. This is because you don’t get paid per click but only when the reader meets the required action. So no one is out of pocket if you encourage your readers to click or label the buttons as recommendations. In fact if you do recommend the product (genuinely) you’ll increase your chances of conversion as you’re really pre-selling the product (and all affiliate or CPA programs work best with some pre-selling).

2.Relevancy is Key

The only reason that AdWords and AdSense referrals work reasonably for me is that my blog is on the topic of making money online. If I were to put them on any of the other blogs I’m involved with the conversion would be terrible. I’d steer clear of the program altogether unless you have readers who would naturally be interested in the topic.

3. Use Your Allowance of Two Referrals a Page

Google recently changed the rules to allow publishers to use two referral links per page instead of the previously allowed single link. I have one text link positioned at the bottom of individual posts and one in my sidebar (for AdSense). I find that the ones at the bottom of posts work best.

[Read more…]

Do AdSense Referrals Work?

Today’s reader question is – ‘I would like to know your views on Google referral ads. Do you make money out of them, or is it something to run away from?’ – submitted by gabo_uy.

Google AdSense Referrals are the CPA ads (cost per action) from the popular AdSense service. At the time of writing this they have four products for their publishers to choose from (AdSense itself, AdWords, Google Pack and Firefox plus Google Toolbar). Putting it most simply – if a reader makes that you send to one of these services does a certain thing (they are different in each case) you then get paid a certain amount.


For example if I refer someone to the Firefox plus Google Toolbar and they actually download and use it I get paid $1. If someone someone downloads and installs the Google Pack I get $2. If someone signs up for AdWords and spends $5 within 90 days as an advertiser I get $5 etc (full details of what you can earn for different conversions here).

So onto gabo_uy’s question – do I make money from the Google referral program?

There’s a short answer and a long one.

The short answer
Yes I make money from the Google AdSense Referral Program.

The long answer
I’ve had very mixed success with AdSense Referrals.

I’ve attempted to promote all four of their products (in fact there used to be a fifth – the Picassa photosharing service) and the only two that I’ve had returns on that have amounted to anything are the AdSense and AdWords programs.

I’m not sure I can give specific details of my conversions on the referrals program – but let me make these observations on my own earnings:

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Zlio Review – Add a Shop to Your Blog

ZlioOver the last week or so I’ve been playing around with ZLio (aff) – a service that enables you to add a a shop to your blog or website. The most similar thing I’ve seen previously is Amazon’s aStore and Chitika’s Shoplinc program.

ZLio’s service is a very professional looking set up with some great features. It has previously been released in France and it’s only more recently been launched out of the US (they tell me there is a UK version on the way). You can tell that they’ve developed their product for some time now as it is quite advanced in how it can be used.

The best way to fully grasp the features of Zlio shops is to start one and start experimenting – before you do let me spit out some features and first impressions for you below.

While you read them feel free to check out the ProBlogger Bookshop Zlio that I whipped up (it took me about 15 minutes once I added all my products – they mainly come from my essential books for bloggers list). I’m yet to do any customization or personalization of it but you’ll get the idea of what can be achieved hopefully. [Read more…]

Affiliate Marketing – Speedlinking Special

There’s been quite a bit of chatter around the blogging for money community about affiliate programs in the last few days. So here’s three of what’s being written on that topic:

Don’t know what Affiliate Marketing is? Read What is Affiliate Marketing?

booBox To Help Bloggers Sell Stuff

TechCrunch report that booBox (a Brazillian start up) are getting ready to launch a service that will help bloggers and other webmasters monetize their sites.

It’s an interesting concept which is best understood by using their demo of it here.

Boo Box 1 In short – bloggers add tags to images on their blogs which adds a little icon to images (you can see the little red icon in the top left hand corner of the image to the left).

If a reader clicks the icon they are taken to a ‘lightbox’ which opens up above the page with some pictures of the item (and others related to it).

The lightbox is where any transaction will take place (ie they don’t really leave your site as the blog will remain open behind it) and it can be closed down at any time during the reader interaction with it.

Readers are asked ‘Do you want to buy any of these items?’ (see screenshot below – click to get an enlarged version).

[Read more…]

How to Get Multiple Amazon Associates Tracking IDs (channels)

Have you ever wanted to be able to track your Amazon Associate program’s performance with channels (like you can with AdSense and Chitika)?

I’ve heard a number of publishers complaining about this and even a few saying that they have multiple Amazon Associate accounts for this purpose.

It seems that Amazon actually do have the capability to allow for this type of tracking without having to have multiple accounts (which incidentally isn’t a great idea as it decreases the numbers of sales credited to your account which in term means your % earnings goes down under the tiered system).

Gene writes that all you need to do to be able to track your individual Amazon Associates campaigns is to ask for it by emailing them at [email protected] and telling them:

1. Your main Associates ID.

2. “I would like to receive XXX Associates tracking id’s to track multiple campaigns I am planning to run.”

That’s it. XXX can be any number up to 1,500. You will receive an email within 24 hours with your tracking id’s.

Tracking id’s will look very much like your Associates ID but a bit different. If your Associates ID is “MyWebSite-20”, then your tracking id’s look something like “MyWeb1-20” through “MyWeb1500-20”.

You will then be able to use your tracking id’s in the same place as you would use your Associates ID.

Pretty cool isn’t it! I wish I’d known this earlier.

Read Gene’s full post at How to Track Multiple Amazon Associates Campaigns