Archive for the ‘Affiliate Marketing’ Category

“Mad Libs Converts!” says Case Study

When I was in 3rd grade, I got in trouble for putting curses in a Mad Libs book during lunch hour. We were laughing our asses off and the lunch lady monitor came over, took the Mad Libs book and sent me and my cohort “to the principals office.”

I remember crying for like 2 hours thinking I was going to be in so much trouble as they “called my parrents”. But when my mom came in she was like “OK but look, he got all the parts of speech right: adj, verb, noun – even the adverbs.”

Who gives a shit?

Well, probably no one, but it’s an anecdote that’s tangentially related to this cool case study: so go fuck yourself if you don’t like hearing my life’s story.

In the case study (should I hotlink the pic? – Fuck it, i gave ’em a link, I’m gonna hotlink the pic.) here’s what they did:

And supposedly “Mad Libs style forms increased conversion across the board by 25-40%. ” If true that certainly doesn’t suck and should be added to your arsenal of split run testing.

Now zoom out: What other “games” can you incorporate into the offers you’re promoting? Off the top of my head, I do remember those banners that were like “shoot the duck” or “swat the fly”. They ran forever, so they must have worked.

What other games can you play with your potential conversions to get them to interact more?

Open Thread: Who is the Best Banner Designer Out There?

Looking for links to the best banner designers out there.

Shameless self promotions invited.

Welcome to Two New Sponsors

Just saw that 2 ads were submitted today to my sponsor module.

The two savvy investors are The Green PPC and Sick Profile maker.

Welcome!

Internet Marketing Top Blogs

Gyutae wrote me:

Hey Quadszilla,
I wanted to let you know about a new tool that I launched today called IM Top Blogs. Basically, it’s the ultimate ranked list of the best Internet marketing blogs in the industry. It factors in data from Feedburner, Alexa, Compete, Technorati, Google PR, Yahoo links, StumbleUpon, delicious, and some others to create a more accurate list of the top blogs.

My feedback was:

I don’t use feedburner – you might consider comparing bloglines subs to get an estimate for those of us that don’t (or any other feed service that shows subscribers).

The badge is, of course, a great idea for backlinks if you can get traction on it. To be blunt, however, that badge is rather ugly. I’d have it redesigned by an artist.

Overall though, nice job. It’s a good place to check out for blogs you may want to give a spin in your RSS reader.

140 Online Business Niches

Many times people get wrapped up in driving traffic and links without having any idea how their online business will eventually make money. Traffic, visitors, number of subscribers, SERPs and referrals are all fine and dandy stats, but the most important (for me anyway) is profitability.

A good place to start is:

“Where are people making money online right now?”

Here’s a list of some of the online business sectors that are profitable right now:

acne medication
adult
adult toys
advertising (site web)
amazon
as seen on tv
audio books
auto loan
automotive
baby shower
banks business loan
beauty products
bill consolidation loan
black lights
broadband phone
business finance
business opportunity
car accessory
car insurance
car rental
casino
cat food
catholic / christian / religious products
cell phone
ceramics
chess
chocolate
cigarette
classic car
computer hardware
credit card
cruises
customizable vitamin store
dating
debt consolidation
debt management
dental
discover card
dish network
domain Registration
dropshipping
dvd rental
ebay
ebook
ecommerce
educational software
ezine
fantasy sports
fast cash loan
finance and investment leads
fitness
floirst / flowers
forex
garden plant
gift basket
gifts
golf
gospel msuic
gospel music
health fitness
hemp
home depot
home safety tip
home security
home theater
homeschool
horse
horse racing
hosting reseller
hotel
infidelity test kits
insurance
internet marketing domain free free
jogging
karaoke
lasik
life experience degree
low fat recipes
magazine subscriptions
make money internet
prepaid credit card
maternity
medicine alternative
medical vacation (plastic surgery)
merchant account
MMORPG
modern furniture
mortgage
motorcycle
movie tickets
multi level marketing
muscle and fitness
music
nail care
nba tickets
netflix
new age
office supplies
online bill pay
online casino
online cigarette
online games
online pharmacy
paintball equipment
pay per click
pc 2 phone
penis pills / breast creams
pet friendly
phone card
photo developing
poker
pottery
projector
psychic
real estate
relaxation
ringtones
satellite
shopping cart
skincare
software
speciality music
sportsbook
mobile phone service
textbooks
travel
travel insurance
victoria secrets
voip / vonage
watches
web design
web site promotion
wedding
weight loss
wine
xm radio
yacht charters
yahoo / yahoo auctions
yoga

Affiliate programs exist in all these sectors.

Are you trying to get the right kind of traffic? Because traffic alone isn’t enough. You need traffic that will convert. Will someone find one of your sites when they are ready to buy in one of these or another profitable niche?

If not, it may be time to rethink your business plan.

The Most Cutting Edge SEO Exploits No One is Publishing

You know that the best SEO Black Hats are doing something more than scraping, using a site generator, comment spamming, and pinging to be raking in more than $100k per month.

But what is it?

Right now, there is way too much good stuff that I simply can’t publish on the SEO Black Hat blog. If I posted these tactics and exploits they would immediately get all the wrong kind of attention. The detailed conversations about how exactly to abuse search engine algorithms, generate massive traffic, and what other Black Hats are doing must remain underground to retain their effectiveness.

But what if I told you that you could discuss these exploits with me without paying my $500 an hour consulting fee? What if I told you there was a way to join in on the private, cutting edge discussions with some of the best Black Hats and web entrepreneurs in the world?

Would you be interested?

Because now you can . . .

Today is the official launch of the resource you’ve looked everywhere for but never found:

The Private SEO Black Hat Forum

Normally what you get on forums are people who don’t know anything talking with people who don’t want to say anything. You can occasionally find amazing tips on some forums: but you have to dig through 400 crappy posts just to find one post that is useful. That becomes a huge time sink.

How are the SEO Black Hat forums different?

Quality: We’re not going to have any contests to see who can make the most posts. That just creates tons of crap that no one wants to read. Our focus is on quality over quantity. Our primary concern is with succinctly answering one question: “What works?”

Sophisticated: Many of the topics we discuss are very advanced and require a high level of technical or business acumen to appreciate.

Expert Discussions: The SEO Black Hat forums are not for everyone and they may not be right for you. If you are relatively new to SEO or building websites, then do not join the SEO Black Hat Forums: you will be in way over your head. There are plenty of newbie forums out there for you – this is not one of them. Our forums are for successful web entrepreneurs to develop strategies that drive more traffic and generate more revenues.

Forum Membership Benefits

Access to Expert Advice and Discussions
We have both White Hat and Black Hat Experts that are already benefiting from new tool development, techniques, scripts and the sharing of ideas.
Some members you may already be familiar with include:

* CountZero from blackhat-seo.com (Black Hat)

* RSnake from ha.ckers.org (Web Security Expert)

* Dan Kramer from Kloakit (Cloaking Expert)

* Jaimie Sirovich from seoegghead.com (Token White Hat / SEO Geek)

There are several other members that you are certainly familiar with who are using handles for anonymity. We have others who are more focused on security, vulnerabilities, and coding. There are still more that you are likely unfamiliar with but are nevertheless web millionaires.

Databases – Large Datasets
If you want your sites to have massive amounts of unique content you need large data sets. The trading, discussion and posting of large data sets is going on right now on our forums.

Expired / Deleted Domain Tools
Want to use to use the same domain Tool that I used to get a Page Rank 6 site in the Gambling Space for just $8? This domain tool is available for members to use for free.

50% off on Kloakit – The Professional Cloaking Software

Scripts – Several useful scripts have already been posted – interesting thing you may not have thought of before are being discussed and developed.

Exploits and Case Studies: The really good stuff I can’t talk about on the SEO Blackhat Blog is being discussed on the SEO Black Hat Forums. Right now, some of the conversations include beating captchas, domain kiting, data mining, hoax marketing, XSS vulnerabilities as they relate to SEO, and much more.

Pricing: $100 per month.

The price will soon be rising significantly as more databases, hosted tools, scripts and exploits are added. However, once you lock in a membership rate it will never go up and you will continue to have access to everything.

So, if you think you’re ready for the most intense Black Hat SEO discussions anywhere, then here’s what you need to do:

1. Register at the SEO Black Hat Forums.

2. Go to the User CP and select Paid Subscription.

I’ll see you on the inside!

Google Storefront Will Bring Affiliate Marketing to the Masses

Via Battellemedia, Cnet says that Google settlement or not, click fraud won’t go away:

some click auditing companies still claim that between 20 percent and 35 percent of clicks on Net advertisements are fraudulent.

Despite those figures, click fraud is not deterring spending on search marketing, which JupiterResearch predicts will rise from $4.2 billion in 2005 to $7.5 billion in 2010.

Indeed, clickfraud will continue to grow. Soon, more than 2 out of every 3 will be done by sophisticated bots and tunneling or people working for a few hundred dollars a month clicking adds. Clickfraud is going to reach a point where it will almost completely kill PPC.

However, there will still be a place for it on the right hand of Google’s search results. The only clickfraud there is done to increase the cost per acquisition for one’s competitors. However, throughout the content network, I think it’s much more ominous. As long as it’s so easy for crooks to steal, it’s just going to create more and more crooks doing it on a bigger and bigger scale. It won’t be long before the system collapses.

The Solution to Clickfraud

The solution to the clickfraud problem is PPA (Pay Per Acquisition) affiliate marketing. In this model, which was pioneered in adult, advertisers pay only for the leads that turn into sales. This is the route that Google must go to solve the clickfraud problem and steady their relationship with advertisers. Which brings me to:

Google Storefront

I’m gonna pull a Cringley and make some predictions. Google is going to get into affiliate marketing management like Commission Junction and Azoogle. However, they are going to do to affiliate marketing what they did to blogging with Blogspot – make it simple for the masses. Within the next 2 years, they will launch Google Storefront.

With Google Storefront, anyone will be able to sell almost any good or service (except Porn and Guns) with an affiliate program managed by Google. All the credit card processing, all the management software, and all the analytics will be provided by Google. The software will be free and Google will take a piece of every transaction. They will cycle the best converting and highest paying ads to the top of what is now google adsense.

Google Storefront will combine the best aspects of contextual advertising with affiliate marketing. Instead of advertisers picking the Keywords they want, Google’s massive user date will algorythmically determine which ads to place on which sites. Your Ads CTR, how well your site converts, and what your are selling will determine how often and where your ad is placed. There won’t be any advertising budget concerns, because Google will take the advertising fee directly out of the sale.

I predict that Google will do this first, and may therefore eventually win in the affiliate marketing space if they execute correctly.

However . . .

It’s Still Anyone’s Ball GAMEY

Anyone of GAMEY (Google, Amazon, Microsoft, EBay, Yahoo) could still win in affiliate marketing advertising space. Whoever is the first to do it right (the Google Storefront for the Masses model), will have a huge advantage.

Yahoo’s been a little bit slow lately, but they could take back the initiative in a major way by beating Google to the punch with “Yahoo Storefront”. If they got in the game 9 months before Google, and did it right, they could get entrenched in the marketplace and possible even win. But what are the odds of Jeremy Zawodny and crew taking advice from a black hat?

We have seen a lot of innovation out of Amazon lately. Plus, they have e-commerce expertise. So it would make sense for them to get into helping other people manage their affiliates. Their user review system could help people pick the right affiliates and we know their affiliate tracking system is already best in class. The only question is whether they would see this as potentially cannibalizing their own business. This is, of course a short sited view of potential market, but we haven’t heard much from Jeff Bezos since that first internet Bubble.

EBay already has personal eBay storefronts, but this differs from the Google Storefront model I described. They own paypal and it would therefore seem easy for them to start helping people to manage affiliates and processing. Maybe they’ll buy Commission Junction, but that’s not quite the easy, turnkey solution for the masses that Google Storefront could be.

Microsoft; don’t count them out yet. If “Live Store”, is launched correctly and well before the others, they could get the head start they need to win. However, M$ has not big on the innovation front lately. I predict they will launch about 2 months after Google Storefront – enough time for Google to have already recruited 10,000+ affiliates and become firmly entrenched in the marketplace.

Adult SEO

This Post relates to the inquiry:

“The search traffic that we have converts very well – we want more. Will you do SEO for [our Adult Affiliate program]? Do you have any information about Adult SEO on SEO blackhat?”

Targeted Adult Search Traffic is the most desirable traffic you can send to your adult sites for 3 reasons:

1. When MSN, Yahoo, or Google Search traffic converts, you don’t have to pay an affiliate or a Webmaster referral – you keep 100% of the money from search traffic sales.

2. This search traffic continues month after month – long after you’ve factored in the cost of your investment in Search Engine Optimization.

3. Unlike TGPs (Thumbnail Gallery Posts), where your conversion ratio is often 1 in 1500, a high-ranking, targeted-search-term converts better than 1 in 100.

Because it so competitive, Adult & Sex Site owners need to employ a portfolio of “SEO best practices.”

Unfortunately for Adult site owners, many of the more reputable SEOs will not do Adult SEO (Search Engine Optimization for Adult Sites). Porn is considered one of the “Evil Trio” of Sex, Drugs (rX), and Gambling. Most of the better SEOs who do consulting don’t want to risk tarnishing their image by working in these fields (there’s just too much money in “clean” SEO).

As a successful Black Hat SEO, I don’t really need to do any consulting work. However, there are some cases where it just makes sense for me to do SEO consulting for a client who owns an adult affiliate program. When contacted to do Adult SEO, I look at all the numbers (searches, affiliates, revenue . . . etc.) and sites to decide if there is a good fit.

I know what SEO techniques work. Some of the techniques I discuss on seoblackhat are too risky for affiliate program owners (and as such, I don’t use them with clients).

I’m one of only a few SEOs confident enough to work on a success basis. For qualifying programs, we can work out a pay-for-results contract. These agreements amount to what the other Search Engine Optimization firms and SEO consultants don’t offer – an SEO guarantee.

SEO Friendly Affiliate URL Structure

Greg Boser did a nice piece on SEO Friendly Affiliate Systems on his fledgling webguerrila blog.

Is it possible to structure an affiliate tracking system in such a way that the links used by affiliates end up helping the merchant site rank better in organic SERPS?

The answer is

YES.

Basically, if your run an affiliate program, you want:

http://merchantsite.com/anything/12534

vs.

http://www.merchantsite.com/?affid=12534
or
http://www.merchantsite.com/redirect.php?affid=12534

It’s obvious when when you think about it – and pushes me more in the direction of wanting to start a few affiliate programs (most likely in Adult).

While Greg notes instances of potentially offending major affiliates, I think this is a non issue. If you run an affiliate program, you know who your important traffic sources are.

One obvious time to make the switch in URL structure would be when a company makes the jump from 3rd party billing to their own merchant account. It generally makes sense to make this jump at around $7-10K per month and becomes imperative around $25K

If the big dogs start to complain about the syntax of the Affiliate URL, of course you’re going to make an exception for them! But enough affiliates won’t care about the syntax that instituting this type of URL structure is a no brainer for new affiliate programs. It even seems to make perfect sense for incremental affiliates on existing programs.

In my mind, the only question would be whether or not to try to get existing affiliates to adopt this linking structure. One approach to this might be an e-mail updates with new products / Galleries / whatever that include the new URL structure.

Your Thoughts?