How Should You Treat Your Affiliates?

As an affiliate you play a very important part because if you do your job well you’re making whoever you’re affiliated to a lot of money. That being the case you would think they would treat you properly wouldn’t you? Generally companies who are looking for affiliates to help sell their products will make sure they offer fair compensation. They may even offer other incentives to entice people to join as an affiliate. After all, the more affiliates you have working for you the more potential for increasing the money in your coffers.

This leads me to the crux of this post. The other day I was approached by someone to design a website for them. Knowing I couldn’t design a professional looking website I convinced them to let me start up a blog for them. It wasn’t too hard to convince them once I explained how easy it was to update a blog as compared to a website.

As these guys belonged to a non profit organization I told them I would do the work for free, thinking that the money I would get from using products I was affiliated with would be enough compensation for my time. The first thing I did was email HostGator as they offered a great product at a great price. I explained the situation and asked if I would still get paid the commission if I licked on my own affiliate link? Their reply.

Hello,

Thank you for your email.

No, you will need to have them setup and pay for their account using their own details simply using your affiliate link in order to receive credit. Thanks again!

Please feel free to let us know if you have any further questions.

Honestly, if someone was paying me to set up a site for them they would expect me to set it all up from start to finish wouldn’t they?  So I wrote them back explaining how I was expected to set it all up for them and saying that I had no option other than to source another host to which they replied;

Hello Peter,

Thanks for the consideration, understandable. Unfortunately that policy is in place for numerous reasons and isn’t able to be lifted. We wish you the best of luck and if anything changes we hope you’ll bring them our way! ;)

Thanks again, have a good one!

Please feel free to let us know if you have any further questions.

Roman Gods

Sorry people but that makes no sense to me. As far as I’m concerned I can’t see any reason why an affiliate can’t click on their own link. What’s the difference if someone else clicks on that link or I do? They make exactly the same amount of money don’t they? And what’s wrong with giving their affiliates a little discount for buying their product.

Another case in point; you all know about my Lottery site? Well, I wanted to write a post on how easy it was to Buy USA Mega Million Ticket Online and the best way to do that was to actually buy one. I figured why not ask the guys at MyLotto if I would still get my commission if I joined by clicking on my own affiliate link. They said not a problem, and true to their word I got 10% of the sale. You see that is what looking after your affiliate is all about. By letting them join, or buy a product, under their own affiliate link not only are they making money their affiliate get’s a discount. By not allowing them to do so only costs them a sale.

As it is I still needed a host and so I asked the guys at BlueHost if they were OK with it and they said they were which just goes to show there are people out there who know what good business is all about. As for the theme, naturally I’ll be using FlexSqueeze and yes Ryan has given me the approval to click my own link.

All I can say is that when I finally have products for sale online and I’m looking for affiliates I have no problem at all if they click on their own link when buying a product. What about you, are you willing to reward your affiliates buy letting them purchase under their own link?
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Las Vegas More Than Just Casinos

Yep, its time for another post on Las Vegas. If you remember the last time I wrote about Las Vegas Itold you about my experience with the Bellagio, well for this post I want to talk about some of my other experiences and naturally I will be sharing some photos with you. One of the things that I enjoyed so much about Las Vegas was there were so many photo opportunities. Almost everywhere we went I had to stop to take a photo, and a lot of the times, with a little effort you could almost imagine that you were somewhere else.

This is because a lot of the hotels in Las Vegas are built around a theme, ones that come to mind are Caesar Palace and The Venetian, both very remarkable hotels. sea horseThen again, it doesn’t matter which hotel you visit in Las Vegas, they all have something unique about them. That photo of the mythical sea horse was taken outside Caesar Palace. Caesar Palace has quite a bit to offer, more on that later, but one thing that I never forget is the meal we had on the first night there. It wasn’t anything flash just a clam chowder but the way it was presented in this hollowed out bread was to die for. I had others while in Vegas but the one is Caesar Palace was the best.

Something else we noticed in Vegas was there was a lot of people trying to make a few bucks off the tourists. In Hollywood they normally dressed up as movie stars or did performances on the sidewalk but in Vegas they were a different breed. Sure there were some who were showing their talent by playing a musical instrument or something, but in Vegas a lot of them just sat around holding signs. A sign might say something like; “Why lie, I need money for a Jack Daniels”. vegas parisAnother might say, “Why lie, I need money for a whore!”. I’m sure you get the idea. I couldn’t work out who would give money to these guys until someone sake me to take a photo of him and his girlfriend. I said, “NO worries mate, what do you want to use as a background?” Instead he lead me to one of this guys and posed next to him. I took the photo and the bloke them paid the one with the sign. Looks like there are money making opportunities everywhere, you just have to look for them. I’m sure we can apply this to blogging or just about any online venture.

You may remember that I mentioned the incredible size of these hotels, well it’s not too hard to believe when you take into consideration how competitive they have to be to fight for their share of business. They have to be more than just a hotel or casino, they also fight for the entertainment and shopping dollar. gondola singerThe more they can capture your attention they greater the possibility of removing some dollars from your wallet. Take this picture of the gondola singer, it looks like their outside doesn’t it? Nope, we’re actually inside The Venetian and those canals ran through it. Even though it seems we’re outside the ceilings were painted to look like the sky so rain or shine the customer is always protected. Not that I would imagine it raining that much in Nevada, Vegas being in the desert and all.

The arcades within the hotels were filled with shops and I have to say most of them were geared at the women. I reckon the ladies in Vegas had a ball, especially considering that it’s always been my experience most of them live to shop. We work our butts of to make venetian arcadethe money and they work theirs off spending it. As you can see in this next photo my wife is checking out some bags to add to her collection. I’m constantly amazed at the amount of bags and shoes women have to possess. It must have something to do with being brainwashed by Sarah Parker in Sex In The City. You may also notice from the photo it seems we’re outside, but again the ceiling has been painted to give that appearance and we’re actually inside.

Don’t get me wrong though, there are heaps of things to buy in Vegas, not just shoes and bags. There are heaps of designer shops selling all those expensive brands but we didn’t do much except window shopping, and near then end I waited outside as I soon tired of looking at crap that I had no intention to buy, not the wife though. Perhaps if Vegas wasn’t so stingy and let me win a few bucks instead of just taking it all. :tongue_wink_ee:

Here in Australia we have something that’s called a toffee apple. It’s basically an apple on a stick and the apple is covered with toffee. I suppose the idea behind it is that you stuff your teeth up by eating the toffee and then it’s the apples job to clean them thereby keeping the dentist away. :lol_ee: toffee apples Well, over in Vegas they had something along the same idea but as usual for those Yanks, they’ve taken it one step further. I have to admit though, they looked pretty yummy and the names were obviously meant to entice you. They had Thunder Crunch Apple, Chocolate Pecan Apple and Chocolate Walnut, just to name a few.

While in Vegas and Hollywood we were never lucky enough to come across any celebrities but apparently they are well known to pop in, and I don’t just mean the ones working the shows. There was this one particular store that used to be a favourite of Michael Jackson. I remember seeing a show once where they filmed Michael walking through the store and as he walked through he was basically buying everything that caught his eye. I would have loved to take some photos of the inside of the store but venetianMJunfortunately that wasn’t allowed so you have to settle for this one of the store window display. In case you’re wondering we didn’t actually buy anything in that store because as far as we were concerned the prices were outrageous. I’m not saying the merchandise was overpriced, just that we weren’t prepared to outlay that much money, after all, I’m just a poorly paid blogger, I’m sure as heck haven’t got Michael Jackson’s pocket book.

If you ever make it to Vegas just make sure you take a camera with you. I took my Canon EOS 550D SLRDigital SLRs) but because I didn’t want to leave any of the lenses behind I brought my Lowepro SlingShot 202 AWCamera Cases) along. The Lowepro made it easy to carry all my camera gear including my digital camcorder and batteries.

I will be doing a few extra posts covering my time in Vegas but for now I will leave you with this photo of a ceiling in the Venetian. If memory serves me well that store that Michael Jackson used to frequent can be found right under this ceiling, just remember to bring lots of cash.

venetian ceiling2

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What You Need To Do To Make Your Blog A Success

Most people who become bloggers do so with high expectations of striking it rich. You can’t even blame them because the net is full of people promising they can show them how to make a whole lot of money online, saying that all they need is a blog or a set of websites. A few have actually done it and they get a whole lot of traffic because people think if they stick around long enough some of that fortune will rub off on them. Others haven’t come anywhere near making a decent online income but they write as if they hold the key to financial freedom. Unfortunately they manage to fool a lot of people, all those newcomers who come online to hopefully improve their financial status.

Many who fail to reach their dream of financial freedom continue the online life because they’ve come to love blogging. After all it has so much to offer, you get to express yourself, to share your knowledge with others and the interaction with your commentators is truly sublime. Unfortunately the rest will give up in disgust once they’ve come to realise it wasn’t as easy as they were made to believe.

Now, I’m not here to tell you that I have the secret because I haven’t and saying any different would make me as dishonest as all the rest. However, over the years I have discovered certain things that every blogger needs to know if they want to make their blog a success.

Traffic

El Alto, BoliviaThis is the most important part of making money online and yet most of those people selling their ‘secret to success’ fail to mention it. All they tell you is get your niche online and the money will start to flow in. Start up another ten and you will increase your income tenfold. Unfortunately no traffic means no customers which means no money and ten times nothing is still nothing.

Getting traffic is possible though but it takes a lot of work and a fair bit of time to drive traffic to your site. What makes things worse is you don’t want just any traffic, you want targeted traffic. This means if you have a blog that is selling computers you don’t want people coming over who are looking to buy dog collars.

The way to get targeted traffic is all tied into the keywords you use in your domain name, your headings, blog titles and posts. Even that is not going to work unless the search engines think you have something of value, and the way to do that is by getting backlinks via blog commenting, forums, writing articles but most importantly by writing brilliant content so other will link to it. My post How I Am Marketing My Online Lottery Niche highlights some of the strategy I’m using to market my latest blog.

A Product To Sell

Most everyone will tell you to make money online you need something that you can sell, preferablyscreen3 your own. Unfortunately most of us don’t have that and so we do the best we can by placing Adsense ads on our sites or by promoting other peoples products as an affiliate. I’ve had a bit of success selling products like FlexSqueeze (a brilliant blog theme), Market Samurai, web hosts and a few others. The problem with those products is once you sell someone a product they’re no longer a potential customer, at least not for that product, which means you’re forever looking for new customers.

In my post The Secret To Online Success Is Passive Income I outlined a few methods I used that were making me money on a regular basis. I also spoke about my latest venture, one that I am confident will be my biggest earner because I am now selling a product that people buy on a regular basis, lottery tickets. I am now in the process of driving traffic to Buy Online Lottery Tickets with the knowledge that every time I gain a customer I will make money whenever they purchase a lottery ticket online. I’m also offering others the opportunity to become a MyLotto affiliate giving them the same opportunity to make money online, knowing that I also make a percentage of their sales.

Building Your Brand

InteractionAt the beginning of the post I said the most important facet of making money online was driving targeted traffic to your blog, well that’s not quite true, there is something way more important. The most important part of your online businesses is YOU! You are the face of your business as everything you do online affects the way others perceive you. That being the case it doesn’t matter how much traffic you drive to your blog because if your online profile is suspect you’re screwed.

By everything I’m including blog commenting as this is by far the most popular method used by bloggers to market their blog. I’ve known this from the beginning and I am constantly surprised by the amount of people who fail to use commenting to their advantage. This is probably because done properly it takes time and many prefer quantity over quality failing to see that a lot of poor comments only serves to hurt their brant. If you’re not sure what constitutes a good comment I suggest you read Teaching People The Proper Way To Comment as I used this post to grade people on the quality of their comment.

One thing to remember while online is that unlike the offline world you have time to think before responding to any negative comment, or feedback on one of your products, that you may receive. Never, ever, let anger cloud your replies because once you blow up online you reveal to everyone your loss of control and lack of professionalism. Two posts taking about this subject that you may find interesting ate Kristi’s 3 Questions To Ask About Offensive Content On Your Blog, although you can apply this to a lot more than just blogging.

Social Media

Social media is an important facet of your online business and one that I still have a long way to go as far as online promotions go. It’s also very important as far as branding goes and so you have to be very careful how you conduct yourself when using them. Something that many people fail to realise is that almost everything you do online is open to public scrutiny and that being the case acting in a manner that can be seen as untoward by others can cost you business. So be very careful what you say online or even what you link to. You may think that something you saw online was extremely funny and so you tweet the link to all your followers not thinking that many of them may find it very offensive.

When it comes to social media it’s my opinion that ChingYa would have to be the online social media guru, blog posts like her 7+ Major Tips In Enhancing Your Upgraded FaceBook Page just goes to show the wealth of her knowledge. You could do a lot worse than going over there and learning from what ChingYa has to say.

Phew, I don’t normally rave on like this but I reckon I just had a lot to say, and even so there is probably so much that I left out. This is where you guys come in by using the comment section. What are you doing to make your blog a success? What have I missed out and how can we help each other to attain our goals.

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