Sailing the seas of online marketing and plundering the riches as an affiliate pirate.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Make 80x15 buttons easily

As you probably know, 80x15 buttons, or "badges" are very popular, especially among bloggers. People use them when exchanging links, or to show which CMS their site is running on, or that it has valid code, and so on. There even are some banner exchanges which use this format.

If you want to make great looking 80x15 buttons (like this one: ) yourself , there is no need for Photoshop or any other heavyweight image editor. All you need is this online tool from BlogFlux. You can choose text, border and background colors as well as text alignment. The button generated comes in *.gif format. You can also make bigger 88x13 buttons the same way.

If you need more functions, try online button maker by LuccaZappa. This one generates *.png files. There are many fonts avalaible, you can set text position precisely, and upload your own images to be used as part of the button.

Since these websites don't host the buttons you make, you will need to save them to your PC first. Then you can upload them to your own site, or a free image host like ImageShack.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Integrate FeedBurner with Blogger

I'm going to show you how to use FeedBurner with your blog in this short guide. First of all, here are some cool things that FeedBurner can do.

FeedBurner takes over your blog's feeds, enhances their functionality and gives you detailed statistics on your subscribers. You can add social bookmarks like Digg! to both your feed and your blog (see the bottom of this post), offer e-mail subscriptions, show subscriber count on your blog and so on. You can even see what kind of feed readers your subscribers use, and what kind of bots (like Technorati search) visit your feed. And this is just a part of what they offer!

Once you signup at FeedBurner and configure it to your liking, you can integrate it fully with your blog hosted on Blogger. Let's start by changing AutoDiscovery URL. When you visit a site which has feed information between it's <head> tags, all modern browsers display a little icon to indicate that. You will need to change it to point to your "burned" feed at FeedBurner instead of default one.

Start by opening your blog. Right click anywhere on it and choose "View Source". Find the following lines:

<meta content='text/html; charset=UTF-8' http-equiv='Content-Type'/>
<meta content='true' name='MSSmartTagsPreventParsing'/>
<meta content='blogger' name='generator'/>

<link rel="alternate" type="application/atom+xml" title="YOURBLOG - Atom" href="http://YOURBLOG.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default" />

<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="YOURBLOG - RSS" href="http://YOURBLOG.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default?alt=rss" />

<link rel="service.post" type="application/atom+xml" title="YOURBLOG - Atom" href="http://www.blogger.com/feeds/1/posts/default" />

<link href='http://www.blogger.com/rsd.g?blogID=1' rel='EditURI' title='RSD' type='application/rsd+xml'/>


Select the whole block and copy it (not from here, but from your own source code). Once you do that, go to your blog's control panel and click Template>Edit HTML. Find the following line:

<b:data='blog' name='all-head-content'>

And simply replace it with all the lines you just copied from your source code. Now, change these 2 lines you just pasted:

<link rel="alternate" type="application/atom+xml" title="YOURBLOG - Atom" href="http://YOURBLOG.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default" />
<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="YOURBLOG - RSS" href="http://YOURBLOG.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default?alt=rss" />


Into a single line:

<link rel="alternate" type="application/atom+xml" title="YOURBLOG - syndication feed" href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/YOURFEEDNAME" />

YOURFEEDNAME is the one you chose when adding your feed to FeedBurner. Congratulations - now when visitors click the feed icon at your blog, they will be taken to http://feeds.feedburner.com/YourFeedName.

Next, you might want to hide "Subscribe to posts (Atom)" link at the bottom of your blog, especially if you add subscription link on your sidebar. Simply go to "Edit HTML" window and add the bold line to the following code:

.feed-links {
display: none;
}

You might want to add FeedCount chicklet to your blog next to show off your subscriber number, or FeedFlare module to add all these social bookmarks I mentioned.

I have to add that TechCrunch confirmed Google's acquisition of FeedBurner yesterday. I see this as welcome news; they could offer smart feeds on Blogger without users having to edit the HTML code manually. What's more, Google could integrate FeedBurner's tracking system with their own Google Analytics, or perhaps expand FeedBurner's Ad Network (which already pays you for putting AdSense code on your feeds, but only if you have a huge subscriber base) to accept feeds with less subscribers as well.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Agloco banner

Here's a new 468x60 animated banner for promoting Agloco. Feel free to use it in banner exchanges. Just click it to get the full size image and save it to your computer:



Alternatively, you can get it from my website:
http://www.aglocolietuva.com/media/1/agloco468_green_ENG.gif

Banner advertising still remains a good way to get referrals or interested visitors - do you agree?

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Make money with Text-Link-Ads

Text-Link-Ads is a company which allows you to buy static text links on thousands of categorized websites - or put links on your own blog/website and make money. The most important thing here is the page rank of your site. The higher it is, the more money you can make (the amount of visitors doesn't really matter besides making it more attractive to advertisers). You can check your page rank here.

Besides selling text links on your site, you can also make money by referring new members through the affiliate program, putting text links to the bottom of every post you make, or even showing text ads in your RSS feed. These last two options seem to be limited to blogs using WordPress platform though.

I tried submitting two PageRank 3 sites when I signed up. First one was this blog, and it was automatically rejected. Second one was my Lithuanian website about Agloco and it was accepted. Since they both have PR3, I guess the reason was that my website has a second level domain. I might try to resubmit this blog if it gets a higher PR.

Even if your site gets very little visitors, the aim of Text-Link-Ads advertisers is to get higher search engine ranking, not a high click-through, so they will buy links from you anyway. TLA makes payouts by check ($25 minimum) or PayPal each month. If you have a blog or a website with a high PageRank, consider joining Text-Link-Ads.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Blizzard announces StarCraft 2

Blizzard has announced StarCraft 2 at their WWI event in Seoul, South Korea (which is famous for it's StarCraft fans). SC2 is going to be a real-time strategy game like its madly popular predecessor. Terran, Protoss and Zerg are all coming back with new units and abilities! The graphics of the demo look simply stunning, while the interface remains very similar to that of first StarCraft.

Cinematic trailer:


Game play video... Whoa:


Visit the official website for more info.

P.S. I know this blog has nothing to do with video games. So what? It's StarCraft.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Another Agloco directory

Here's a new Agloco directory with a cool design. What's more, it doesn't require a reciprocal link from your site. That's right, you can just add your site there for free and not link back (that's the way directories are supposed to work anyway).

Adding your site to the directory can be useful in several ways. First of all, you might get more traffic (well, not so much from this one since it's new). The second advantage is a link to your site which might help you get a higher ranking in search engines.

The URL is aglocodir.com - or perhaps you'd like to go there and vote for my blog on your way? :) Thanks!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

300

No, it's not the movie - it's my Agloco referrals:


That puts me in top 1% of Agloco recruiters - yay! What's even better, my extended referrals are still growing faster than my direct ones. Even if I can't sit back and watch them increase by hundreds each day like some people do, it's still a big help.

Again, I miss the feature of contacting my downline. But even without it, if you signup through my referral link (see the sidebar of this blog) and start any sort of Agloco-related website, please forward your Agloco welcome e-mail to listerpunk[at]gmail.com and I'll be glad to review your site. Make sure referral ID is BBBD5122 on the registration form - thanks.

Another blog traffic exchange

About a week ago I wrote about BlogExplosion. This time it's another blog-only traffic exchange, BlogMad.net. You get visitors for your blog by surfing, just like in other traffic exchanges. The nice thing is that it has a 1:1 surfing ratio - that means you get 1 visitor back for 1 site you view.

Adding and approving your blog here is really easy. You have to wait for admin to approve your sites in other traffic exchanges - but not in BlogMad! Approvals are done by 'claiming' your blog (similar to the way you claim your blog on Technorati). You just place their code on your blog and activate their 'spider'.

After activating your blog, you can start getting traffic. Your blog will also be instantly added to their directory, and there's no need to link back to them. BlogMad also has an integrated text link exchange (you can place text link ads on your blog or buy them on other blogs). This all is done using the same credits you get for surfing.

BlogMad is in beta, but don't let that turn you down. It's working and improving every day.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

John Chow, the #4 Agloco recruiter

If you have visited Agloco Top Gun site at least once, you probably noticed the #4 Agloco recruiter, John Chow, who has over 15.000 Agloco signups. The amazing thing is that only ~1k of them are direct - that means his referrals are very active. John Chow is also the one who got his hands on the Viewbar early - they even wrote about that on Agloco's blog. Why?

The reason: John Chow is a very successful blogger. His blog has nearly 5 thousand subscribers, and he makes thousands of dollars from it monthly. Heck, he probably only had to make a post about Agloco to get those 15k referrals - while some of us struggle to get one hundred *cough cough*. Of course, Agloco isn't the only thing he writes about on his blog. There are many other money makers, posts containing good advice, and posts containing not-so-good paid reviews.

JohnChow.com is also one of the first results on google for 'make money online'. This is largely thanks to reviews like this one, because Mr. Chow offers you a link back if you review his blog. Some people might know this as 'google bomb' - using anchor text to influence search results. Nevertheless, a link from a PR6 blog is always nice!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Where is the community?

Agloco is a global community. So, why is it so hard to communicate between the members? I'm talking about something as simple as ability to contact your downline, or at least see who's in your downline. This way I could help my referrals to recruit, or perhaps I could get advice myself from my more experienced upline. Spam? Not a big problem. Direct e-mails are not necessary, something like personal message system on Agloco's site would do just fine.

Speaking of Agloco's site, it's... boring. Once you read the promotional texts, there's nothing else to do there. The only dynamic part of the site is Agloco's blog, but we're lucky if we get one update a week. Now, when I read "global community" or "economic network", I imagine agloco.com as a big website with it's own forums, user-submitted news, various statistics of Agloco's network, information about shares and so on. Or, how about personal splash pages for each Agloco member which could have your text ("I have made: $___ from Agloco), referral stats and signup link? Contests, who can bring in most referrals? Widgets for Blogger that show live Agloco account stats? :)

Why? Because people like it. Agloco.com could get insane amounts of visitors once they start paying. Now, make those visitors stay, and then return each day. They would be able to sell lots of advertising not only on Viewbar, but their site as well, which in turn would mean more money for the members. I've seen member created texts promoting Agloco which said something like "YouTube was bought for $1.65 billion - it's members never made a cent from it". Such comparison isn't valid right now. YouTube is user-submitted content site. Agloco has no user-submitted content. It only has (a promise of) a Viewbar right now. I do hope that once they release the Viewbar they will seriously improve their web site as well.

I believe Agloco has an amazing potential and a good team. I'm just not sure if they can make it work - last few months we got nothing but "news" further delaying the launch of the company.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Free traffic for your blog

You just started a new blog for promoting some kind of online money making opportunity. You want readers, and your budget is $0. You already added it to Technorati, exchanged links with other bloggers, but it doesn't seem to be enough. What now?

An easy way to get free traffic to your blog is BlogExplosion. It is a traffic exchange for bloggers (you view blogs of other people and they in turn view yours). You can get 1 visitor a minute by surfing, or you can earn more by voting in Battle of the Blogs. There's also a blog directory and a ping service.

As in other traffic exchanges, the surfers usually don't want to see your blog - they just want to earn that traffic credit :) However, some of them (be it one out of 10, 50, or 100) will find your blog interesting and might become a faithful reader. I found that BlogExplosion works better in this aspect than other traffic exchanges I've tried. People will actually comment, discuss and bookmark your blog. Of course, you must have interesting content to attract their attention first.

In short: it's free, it works, and it's a good way to 'start-up' your blog. However, the traffic you get from search engines, Technorati, etc. will generally be more valuable because those will be visitors who want to read your blog. Also, if you have Google AdSense code on your blog - do not use any kind of traffic exchanges. Google hates them.