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Chitika Launches Official Forum – Sphere

Chitika have today Launched a forum for its publishers called Sphere. I’ve been using it for the last few days and its been a good way to chat with Chitika developers and other publishers. It is another forum to have to keep an eye on (I don’t really need yet another one) and I do wish it had an RSS feed to follow it – but it will come in handy from time to time – especially there are issues with the ad system.

Chitika extends referral program to 15 months

Here’s some good news for Chitika publishers who have referred other publishers to the system – they’ve extended the referral program to 15 months instead of 12!

This means that those who started referring people from the first month that it was possible to do so (around 12 months ago) now will continue to earn 10% of the earnings of those that they referred until the end of the year instead of having it end around now. Not bad considering the next three months are traditionally bumper months for online advertising.

Now if we can just get them to make it an ongoing indefinite deal….

Full details at Chitika Blog

Chitika Publishers Report Increases in Earnings for October

I’ve had emails from 5 different Chitika (aff) publishers this morning all asking me if Chitika have made some sort of change to their system because yesterday’s (1 October) earnings were significantly up.

Publishers are reporting 20-40% jumps in earnings for the first day of October. The increase seems to be coming from higher click values (Avg Cpc) with CTR much the same as usual.

I noticed the increase also (my increase was around a 25% jump) and thought it was just one of those freak things but as 5 others have independently contacted me I am wondering if there’s something bigger going on.

The other reason that i suspect that this is wider than just me is that my unaudited referral revenue went up by 26% on 1 October. This indicates that publishers I’ve referred to Chitika had higher earnings on that day than normal.

Ultimately time will tell whether this was just a one day glitch for some reason or whether Chitika have made some sort of change to how much they’re sharing with publishers. Lets hope it’s an ongoing increase because it’s not everyday that you get a 25% increase in earnings.

Did anyone else notice a bump in their earnings on 1 October?

I’ve sent an email to Chitika asking for more information/explanation on the bump and will report back on anything that I find.

Update: Since publishing this a number of people have contacted me hypothesising that this could be linked to Shopping.com (one of the advertisers on Chitika) increasing the amount that they are paying per click for the last quarter of the year in the lead up to the holidays (something I wasn’t aware that they did). No word from Chitika as to whether this is the case.

Also – I note that the figures for the 2 October (which just came in) were back down to a normal CPC level for me and were only up by 15% or so in my referral payments. Maybe it was just a one day thing after all. What were your first two days like? Up, down or normal?

AdSense, YPN and Chitika Preview Tool

Have you ever wondered what ads are showing in your AdSense, Chitika and YPN units around the world in different locations?

These advertising systems are all geographically targeted advertising systems (Chitika less so but they do to some extent). The ads you see in your part of the world can be quite different to those you see in mine.

AdSense does offer a preview tool but it only works in windows versions of IE. Chitika and YPN don’t offer such tools.

Digital Inspiration has a cool tool that might be useful for you.

The sandbox tool shows you what type of ads your site is likely to show in different geographic locations. It will also give you a comparison between the ads that the three different systems will serve to your sites in different color schemes to help you to choose what ad system might serve the most relevant ads to your blog.

I can’t vouch for the accuracy of it but it seems to work and might be useful for some. Let me know what you think.

Chitika eMiniMalls Advice from Chitika

Ryan over at the Chitika Blog has posted some helpful tips for bloggers just starting out with Chitika in his Chitika eMiniMalls Blogging Toolkit post. It includes some nice tips for getting set up on different platforms as well as some more general tips.

Chitika enable Referral Links on Multiproduct eMiniMalls

Chitika have done something that I put on my wishlist to them almost 12 months ago and have made the link to Chitika in their multi product eMiniMalls an affiliate link (announcement – aff).

So now when another publisher sees your ads and clicks the link to see what ad system you’re using you make 10% of their first year’s earnings if they sign up.

This is a nice move and is a good little bonus for publishers – however I’m confused as to why they’re only doing it on their multi-product units and not their normal eMiniMalls or their shoplincs.

PS: now if we could just get AdSense to do this with their ‘Ads by Goooogle’ links!

Chitika allow Embedding of ShopLinc via iFrames

Chitika have posted on their blog that their Shoplincs can now be embedded in iframes on your site (if you’ve been accepted into the program).

You can see their article on how to do it in their knowledge base.

Chitika Shoplinc Review

Shoplinc
Chitika have just gone public with a new feature – Shoplincs – a CPC (cost per click) branded shop that you can host on your own domain and attatch to your blog/site.

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of a small (very small from what I can tell) beta test of ShopLinc and now that it’s public can tell you a little about it.

In effect what ShopLinc gives you is a shop for your blog where you are paid on a CPC basis (the same as eMiniMalls). Take a tour of shoplinc here.

The shop I’ve been testing is a Digital Camera Shop attached to my digital camera blog. You’ll see when going to it that it is customizable so as to integrate it to the rest of your blog (I’ve not done a brilliant job of this yet due to lack of time) and that you can have it on your own domain to further integrate it.

The four products featured on the front page of a shoplinc blog (in a multi-product eMiniMall and as separate products) are directly tied to the products you are writing about on your blog as they are driven via your RSS feed. This is a new approach that I’ve not seen anyone else doing to this point and ensures that people heading over to your shoplinc shop are seeing products that relate directly to the content you’re writing about (of course this assumes that your RSS feed is product specific).

Also on the front page of your shop are the last three recent posts from your RSS feed as well as a categories section that has links into other sections of the shoplinc. Categories include gadgets like Camcorders, Cell phones, digital cameras, MP3 Players and Printers but also include other products including Health and Beauty, Home and Garden and Clothing and Accessories).

Topping and tailing the central ‘shop section’ are customizable areas (a header and footer) in which you can put anything you like including banners back to your blog (as I currently have), other advertising (you can run chitika eMiniMalls here, AdSense ads etc) or you can leave them blank.

There is also a ‘search’ tool that lets visitors to your shoplinc search for products (from my initial analysis this seems to be being used quite a bit).

When visitors click on a product they are taken to a product page (here’s one for the new Sony Alpha A100 DSLR) which contains a number of elements. Firstly there is an eMiniMall unit, under that are a number of offers from different dealers offering the camera (a click on these is what earns you money) and to the left of this shopping area is a section for ‘research’ – firstly any related items on the product from your own blog (driving traffic back to your blog) and secondly any other research from other parts of the web.

To this point Shoplincs are not available to everyone – but there is talk on their blog of them opening up applications wider.

First Impressions

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Chitika add New Categories and Ad Sizes

Chitika have announced a number of changes to their eMinimalls over night.

Firstly they’ve added 18 new categories (giving you a total of 44 now). The new categories are:

  • Photography Accessories
  • Cellular Accessories
  • Computer Games
  • Computer Speakers
  • Laptop Accessories
  • Scanner Accessories
  • CD and DVD Burners
  • In Dash Receivers
  • Small Appliances
  • Pet Accessories
  • Xbox Games
  • Game Boy Advance Games
  • PlayStation 1 Games
  • PlayStation 2 Games
  • PlayStation 3 Games
  • Nintendo 64 Games
  • Dreamcast Games
  • Video Game Accessories

They’ve also announced four new sizes for multi product eMinimalls. Up until this point there’s only been one size available (something I complained about when they launched). The new sizes are:

  • 468 x 60 (something I know a number of users were asking about)
  • 250 x 250
  • 300 x 250
  • 728 x 90

I’m not convinced about the banner ads as much as I like the square ones but it’s good to see them giving more options and options that are standard ad sizes. I’m sure quite a few publishers will be pretty happy with the changes.