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

Monday, October 29, 2007

Google PageRank update

Google PageRank has finally been updated, and I'd like to congratulate myself for getting a PR4 on Andrew Owns Agloco. I'd also like to thank all my link partners who helped me achieve this.

There are a few changes regarding link exchange. First of all: regrettably I had to cancel my mini review program due to lack of participation. Second, I'm still open for sidebar link exchange deals with Agloco related blogs only. The requirement stays the same - your blog must have a page rank of at least 3. This shouldn't be a problem, considering that most active blogs should have got a page rank assigned in the recent update.

Naturally, this doesn't apply to already existing exchanges from older deals - your links will stay whatever your page rank or blog topic is.

Finally, a short note about Agloco. There haven't been any updates ever since the Oct 12th post on the official blog, but I expect a news soon that should tell us whether payouts will be made of October or not.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Making money with Bidvertiser

I have recently joined Bidvertiser because a fellow Agloco member ismabera suggested it. You can see their ad at just above this post. I think it is a great idea to get some other revenue source from my blog, besides simply referring new Agloco members.

With this, I've also removed my blog from all traffic exchanges I was a member of. I didn't do that because of Bidvertiser rules - actually, it's one of the few pay-per-click advertising systems which have a friendly approach to traffic exchanges and "get paid to" sites - but because I want to track how much "real" traffic I receive, and perhaps open up a way for this blog to show ads from other networks in the future.

Putting Bidvertiser code on my blog here at Blogger proved to be a little tricky. After causing my blog to stop working altogether a few times, I took my time and read about widget tags that Blogger uses. I had to edit the HTML of my template and put the green code there:

<div id='main-wrapper'>
<b:section class='main' id='main' showaddelement='no'>
<b:widget id='HTML4' locked='false' title='' type='HTML'>

Basically, it created a new widget right above my posts, which I can edit in my "Page Elements" menu like others. All I had to do then was add the Bidvertiser code. If you want to add their ads to some "standart" location, like your sidebar (or wherever your template lets you), you won't have to edit the code - just insert another HTML/JavaScript widget from your "Page Elements" and you'll be good to go.

As for the earnings, it's too early to say yet. I have heard that Bidvertiser pays less per click than, say, Google AdSense or AdBrite, but I prefer to do some testing and see for myself.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Yuwie social network

I mentioned Yuwie in passing when I was talking about Agloco's payment system in my last post. I think it deserves a little more attention than that, so here's a short review.

Yuwie is a social networking site, like MySpace or Facebook. What makes it unlike others is that Yuwie pays it's members for using the site. To tell you the truth, I've never been a member of a social network before, and I probably wouldn't be, if money wasn't involved. I signed up for Yuwie since it looks like what Agloco could have become (a social network that shares it's profits) and I'm quite impressed with them.

Yuwie pays you for page views you or your referrals (down 10 levels) generate. The payment rate, or RSR, is different each month and dependent on Yuwie's income. For example, this month's estimated RSR is around $0.18 CPM ($0.18 per thousand page views). Other people viewing your blog, pictures, or profile, and even you browsing around your control panel all count as page views.

Since I'm not a member of any other similar sites, I can't say for sure, but I believe all features Yuwie has (profile, blogs, picture albums, clubs and schools) are common for a social networking site. So, you problably won't find anything unique here if you're are an experienced MySpace user or such. Still, everything that is there works quite well, and I'm not sure I'd ask for more features even if I could.

If my review has sounded very positive up till now, that's because I am impressed with Yuwie. However, I have two problems with it as well.

First of all, too many people there are just to make money. I probably shouldn't complain about that, since I joined just because of "money making" part as well. However, I try to be ethical about it - that includes not spamming notice boards, messages, and blogs or begging to look at your new post. Like I mentioned, I'm a newbie when it comes to social networks, so I was surprised when people just started adding me as their friend and then posting picture comments to my profile after I did. I have a suspicion that's one of these "friend bots" I heard about, or perhaps a really persistent person, but it's clear that they are doing this just to make as many friends as possible, to generate more page views or get more audience with their notice posting. That's usually not a good thing, since it leads to spamming and abusing in order to make more money.

My second problem, and probably bigger of the two, is the referral system of Yuwie. It's a MLM program with 10 levels - what's more, your own "level" is only 10%, that is, you only earn 1/10 from your own page views. Second and third levels are 10%, then they get smaller, and bigger again, with 10th level being a staggering 30%. That means that you are earning 3 times more from some guy you don't know 10 levels away in your downline, than you are earning from your own personal page views. That's why aiming to generate more personal views (via blogs and such) is futile. You should be aiming to build your downline instead, and it's very important to recruit someone who can recruit other people himself. Personally, I hate this system, and I think something like 100% for your own page views, 10% for direct and 5% for indirect (second level) referrals would be more fair.

My advice? Join Yuwie, but don't expect to earn much, unless you're a MLM professional. You will probably be making more money for someone else than for yourself. However, since Yuwie just passed 100k members, there's still a huge room for growth, so you will have time to build your own downline as well.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

My take on Agloco: payment plan and more

It seems that latest post on Agloco's blog got quite a reaction from the community. Many members are complaining that the payment system Agloco introduced is a "joke" or a "scam". Agloco supporters are a minority. Some of the commentators at official blog threaten to close their accounts, but are seen again the next day, posting same negative comments. I'd like to post my opinion on this as well.

First of all, the payment plan is not the problem. Of course, most complains about it are valid (getting only a few cents each month, not being able to cash out unless you have a lot of referrals, etc.) but that's not the point. The payment plan shouldn't be there in the first place! Agloco didn't make profit yet, so we shouldn't get paid either.

The official blog itself said that this payment plan was created after the release of Viewbar (that is, it wasn't planned from the beginning). What's more, with it's losses, Agloco obviously cannot afford to pay $0.5 per hour, so it introduces something like "monthly residual payments" over the period of 10 years. I wouldn't mind this plan if I knew that Agloco is a stable and paying company - but now it looks like nothing more than a marketing trick, to show that Agloco really pays. That's unneeded - I'd rather wait few more months for them to solve all the problems and introduce a solid payment plan, instead of this attempt to calm down the community.

Second, I need to point out the real problem of Agloco. Again, it's not the payment plan! The problem is that in all this time (I've been a member for nearly a year) all they managed to do is create an incomplete Viewbar program!

Let's take a look at this text from Agloco's official site, since it illustrates my point very well:

Today’s hottest Internet businesses are all about the power of social networks. Companies like MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube have become worth billions because businesses have realized that these social networks are generating huge advertising and marketing opportunities. As these social networks grow, the economic potential for its owners – and the advertisers who target the site’s users – is remarkable.

At AGLOCO, we asked a simple question: The users created the community, where’s their share of the profit?

It was from this question that AGLOCO set out to create the Internet’s first Economic Network, harnessing the power of Internet-based social networks to directly benefit the Members who help to create the community.

Agloco's promotional text speaks of "power of social networks". When I signed up for Agloco 11 months ago, it was just an old-fashioned, boring looking site. I was expecting the "social network" part to come in later. After 11 months, it's still the same old-fashioned, boring site! They didn't even get rid of the "beta" part. They don't have a forum, let alone a social network. The only thing connecting users to Agloco is the Viewbar. How do you expect to make money from user created content, when there's nothing users can contribute to? What exactly is the development team, if it took them a year to develop this little program?

That is the real problem of Agloco. If they had all these things I mentioned, if we actually saw the results of their work, I wouldn't mind waiting for payment for a long time, because I'd know Agloco is a serious company that's becoming a big thing on the internet. If you'd like an example, take a look at Yuwie. It's everything Agloco could have become - a social network, that shares it's profits. Why couldn't Agloco create something similar is beyond me. They talk about these "tech teams" and "development teams", but it's like they don't do anything besides adding small improvements to Viewbar occasionally.

So, what I'm going to do? I'm going to stay with Agloco, obviously. I'm not loosing anything except a little of my time, but I could potentially win. Perhaps Agloco still has something up their sleeve? A big update, just waiting to be introduced? Even if that's not so, I'll continue using the Viewbar and updating this blog and see what comes out of this. Since I'm in 0.5% top recruiters, it's very likely that if Agloco pays, I will get paid.