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

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

NameCheap under a DDoS attack

NameCheap is apparently suffering a massive (over 113,000 pps) DDoS attack on their DNS servers. As a result, none of the domains using their DNS are reachable. They are very close to resolving the situation at this point though (and it has been over 10 hours since the domains went down).

Personally I have 15 domains at NameCheap and a number of them are using their DNS servers. First I have 3 of my Blogger blogs, and I use a CNAME alias to point the domains to them. Second, I have several domains registered purely for masking my affiliate links, and using URL redirection. As you can probably guess, I wasn't at all happy with them going down. Luckily, NameCheap provided a fast solution: you can switch to Enom DNS servers which act as a backup. You will have to re-enter all your host records manually, and do each domain separately if you want the changes to be made as soon as possible (since multiple domain modification tool has a pretty large delay). After I did that, I could access the sites and redirects in a mere 5 minutes.

Anyway, I'm pretty unhappy with NameCheap as this is not the first time I'm having problems with them. I think this long downtime will cost them a lot of customers. Hopefully they will prevent this from happening in the future as they promised in their forum.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

ImageShack sucks

I had used ImageShack free image hosting service before and was utterly disappointed. It does work for most of the time, but they often have downtimes or periods when your images take ages to load, if at all. And I don't mean they have 95%+ of uptime, oh no (else I wouldn't be complaining) - it's more like 70% or so. The worst part is, of course, putting hosted images on your websites or online forums and then finding out that they are slowing down the page for every visitor..

Alternative? Buy some cheap hosting package that offers unlimited or big amounts of bandwidth and a reasonable amount of disk space. That's all you need to worry about if you only want to host pictures.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Personal Tax ID Number required by e-gold

It is pretty interesting that e-gold, as a part of their recent "transformation" to conform to US laws better, has started requiring a "Personal Tax ID Number" from all members:
For US persons, this must be your Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). Non-US persons enter your national tax ID number. This number cannot be changed so be sure to enter it correctly.

This kind of sucks for me and for some other international members, since my country doesn't use a tax ID number system like US does. Furthermore, I won't ever be able to change it... Talk about stupid.

Anyway, I'm thinking of just entering my full name or something along those lines. Supposedly, I could just enter my social insurance number, but I'm not sure that's what e-gold wants from me.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

6dgr social network

It seems the list of paying social networks just keeps increasing. I just found this new site called 6dgr which is a social network that too pays you cash for using it. It's a little bit different than, say Yuwie or Zenzuu however. 6dgr does not pay you for page views, it pays you for referring people and using their financial "products". Don't worry - everything's 100% free, it just merely means that 6dgr will only pay to their own debit card; you get paid for each referral that signs up for this (free!) card, and you also get a few cents each time he or she uses it. It all adds up pretty quickly!


What a huge ad ^^ Anyway, here's the basic info of what 6dgr pay you for:

$4 for your 1st level referrals
$3 for your 2nd level referrals
$2 for your 2nd level referrals
And, your monthly residual income (whenever someone uses a 6dgr MasterCard to pay for something).

Remember, you only get credit for referrals who have activated their WaMu (Washington Mutual) payment accounts, since that's the payment processor that 6dgr uses - but, as I said before, it's free.

Note however that at the moment only US members will be able to get paid at 6dgr, since WaMu is US-based payment system only. However, international members can still join, recruit, and earn money once an international payment processor is added (should be in a few months, according to the site admin, so you'll have plenty of time to build those downlines).

The site doesn't seem very finished yet, but look at this as your chance to 'get in early', so to speak!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

List of best traffic exchanges for you to use

Hello, my name is Andrew, and I'm a traffic exchange junkey! Hehe. Seriously though, I love how much traffic TEs can drive to your site, and that's usually with very little to no cost at all! Sure, it might not be as effective as using Google AdWords, for one, but if you know what you're doing, you will soon learn how to capture the attention of the traffic exchange surfers and make them look at your site or the product you're promoting.

An important part of your traffic building strategy is choosing the best TEs. Some are just better than others: they offer better features (such as geotargeting), they have more members (wider audience!), they deliver more traffic, and so on. Now, I've reviewed a number of traffic exchanges on my blog, but that's still far from the number I use regularly. The thing about TEs is, you have to surf and promote a lot of them at once, building downlines until the whole thing just takes off by itself!

So getting to the point now, here's that list of best traffic exchanges that I was talking about. I hope you will find it useful and it will aid your marketing efforts. Don't forget to use splash pages to capture the attention of those zombie clickers!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Is Liberty Reserve Scam?

If you're looking for an asnwer to whether LibertyReserve online payment system is a scam or not, I'll let you know. Quite simply, it doesn't seem to be. On the contrary, it looks like a trusted payment system with highly advanced security features and low fees - sometimes even lower than those of e-gold, which was a long time leader in this industry when it came to offering the lowest transaction costs.

So, if you haven't already, you might as well create a LR account right now. Their cool Wallet system makes it really easy to pay for goods and services offered by the growing list of merchants accepting this type of online payment.

Do note that there are a number of so-called "HYIP investment" programs that accept LibertyReserve. In over 99% of cases they are scams. Do NOT waste your money this way! They have nothing to do with LibertyReserve payment system itself, however. HYIP programs simply choose to use LR due to anonymous nature of its transactions.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Free URL rotator with no ads

If you are looking for a free URL rotator that can be used in traffic exchanges, shows no ads whatsoever, redirects directly to the site instead of showing it in a frame, and also tracks statistics, look no further than TEToolBox. I've been using it for a while and I must say it's one of the best URL rotators I've ever seen. You can also create subrotators (basically, more rotators if you need them), make splash pages and even filter domains.

Yes, domain filtering... That has to be one of the best features ever! If you are promoting your TEToolBox rotator on StartXChange, for example, then if there's a StartXChange referral URL entered in the rotation, it will not be shown, in order not to waste your credits! StartXChange users won't see StartXChange referral URLs, and so on. Pretty smart, huh?

Now, I'm an upgraded member there, but upgrading isn't really needed. Even the free option of the rotator can be used without any ads! The only perk is up to 200 URLs instead of 5. The price is $10/mo which I think is a bit too high. That's why I upgraded at StartXChange traffic exchange instead for a mere $6/mo, got all the benefits of the upgrade there, PLUS a free upgrade at TEToolBox... $4/mo saved, plus, I get upgraded features both at StartXChange AND TEToolBox! Remember, you saw this tip here first ;)

Edit: it so happens that I've created a Squidoo lens on this topic. So if you're looking for more info about free rotators, feel free to visit. Yes, rotators in plural, since I've listed an online URL rotator service (TeToolBox) and a free rotator script (one from LJScripts) there, as well as some explanations about what are rotators used for.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Unauthorized URL modification message from ClickBank

If you are using TinyURL to mask your ClickBank affiliate URLs and suddenly start getting 'Unauthorized URL modification' message (well, actually it says 'Unauthorized URL Modifiction' - oh my god, ClickBank, learn to spell) - that's probably because you are using a browser plugin or some software that causes this to occur. Rest assured, other people will still be properly redirected to the merchant's website through your link, unless they use that software as well. The most common case is using a Firefox plugin called NoScript. If you turn it off temporarily (click the 'S' on your status bar and then 'Allow scripts globablly (dangerous'), you will notice that ClickBank affiliate URLs are once again redirecting properly through TinyURL. Alternatively you can just disable its XSS cross-site sanitizing function (although that will prevent NoScript from protecting you against XSS attacks).

If you want to make absolutely sure that redirects work for everyone, you will be better off using your own website and creating a .php file with a redirect. For example, create a file named affiliate.php and put the following code on it:
<?php
header('Location: http://www.your-affiliate-site.com/?affiliateid=123');
?>
Now link to yoursite.com/affiliate.php, and it will redirect you to the affiliate link. This redirect will work properly in almost all cases.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Yuwie down

Yuwie.com is down right now for me. It wouldn't be such a big deal if I weren't running advertising campaigns by using the banners hosted on their site. There's one on my blog, too, and it's causing the whole thing to load really slowly. Annoying. It is certainly not the first time that Yuwie is down, but I don't think this is how a trustworthy social networking site should be.

Hopefully it will be up soon. Perhaps I should host the banners on my site instead? Not that it makes a difference since people won't be able to register anyway, but at least it wouldn't slow down the loading times where your browser tries to download information from an unresponsive server.

Friday, August 1, 2008

IrfanView sucks

You're probably wondering, why the harsh title? Well, the program itself might not be so bad, and above all, it's free. I've been using it for a long time. IrfanView resized picture quality, however, is simply terrible no matter what settings I use. I got much better results when using other software to resize pictures or photos.

A good alternative is XnView - like IrfanView, it's a free multimedia viewer, and it allows you to view no less than 400 hundred graphics file types!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Blogger is slow

Blogger has been painfully slow today. I also got a few 502 server errors again. Hopefully this is just a temporary problem. Well, I am sure they will fix it sooner or later, it's just that such problems seem to be more frequent lately. It's a free service so I don't expect it to be perfect, but I've come to expect only the best from Google :-)

And man, the CAPTCHA code seems to become harder to recognize every day. I'm on my 7th try as I'm writing this.

Friday, April 25, 2008

New music community

I just discovered a new site which is a blend between a social network and an online radio. It lets you to listen to streaming music for free, plus, it allows the artists to create their profiles, write blogs and such, and fans can leave comments and beg for a spot in the friends list of their gods (ah, the good times). The site is named Cyloop, and this is my Squidoo lens I'm linking to which contains the info I was able to find about this social network/music community.

So, what's the big deal you say? It's true that there are many online radios (like the famous last.fm) but this is the first one that lets you connect with the artists (which many rabid fans will be happy about) and also create customized playlists and actually choose what exact tracks you want to listen to. Of course, there are the good old radio channels as well (Rock, Hip Hop, Dance, etc).

Seems like this one has a potential to grow huge!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Qassia - backlink building and ad revenue sharing

I have read about this new site on a Squidoo lens and decided to signup. Qassia proudly names itself an 'Intelligence Engine'; it's basically a collection of random pieces of information (they call them 'intel') about anything and everything - be it articles, guides, a few lines about your favorite pet, or even poetry. After you submit your 'intel', it will be screened and rated by other members, and then linked from your profile page. It will also be added to Qassia's directory, where people can find it when browsing the topics.

Qassia offers two things to it's members: free backlinks, and ad revenue sharing. First of all, you can place a link to your sites next to each of your 'intel' pieces. It's a good idea to write an article and link it to your website which speaks about the same topic. The backlinks aren't worth much right now, but when Qassia becomes more popular (it's still in closed beta right now) they might become quite beneficial from SEO point of view.

Ad revenue sharing is the second reason to join Qassia. If you enter your Google AdSense publisher ID, all ad revenue from clicks on AdSense shown in your pages (intel and profile) will go straight to you. However, I am still a bit cautious about Qassia, and I'm not sure if I'd feel too comfortable entering my AdSense ID with them. Perhaps it's wiser to wait till they quit beta at least.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Feedburner Sucks

Seems like a great tool to track your subscribers, as well as add other cool things to your blog, right? Wrong! FeedBurner has been down lately way to often, and if you have their FeedFlare added to your blog (a little neat script that adds automatic social bookmars to the footer of every post), it makes your blog load extremely slowly. It takes a few minutes for most browsers to 'realize' that the FeedFlare isn't loading and to stop attempting it. The end result is you loosing your visitors.

Screw FeedBurner. In the butt.

Edit (April 22nd): It hasn't been down since (or I didn't notice it). And apparently this problem might only be limited to specific geographical locations. I wouldn't want to badmouth something which otherwise is a great service - but I still think making my blog unloadable is the worst thing such service could do!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Another new blog

Ah, it seems I'm starting new blogs pretty often nowadays (even though it's only my second one). This time it's closer to the topic of Andrew Owns Agloco (making money online), but much more specific. Squidoography is my new blog dedicated to Squidoo social network that lets you build small, simple web pages on a specific topic, and make money from them. The idea is great: just write about anything you like (everyone's an expert on something, right?) and get paid for the visitors you get and the sales that your lens (that's what they call the pages on Squidoo) generates.

With Squidoography, I will be tracking my progress by posting my monthly payouts, as well as sharing interesting ideas and reviewing my own and other interesting lenses. If you are interested in making money by writing about topics you like, or getting more visitors for your own blog or website, consider joining Squidoo. I believe I already had mentioned this project a number of times on AoA, which just proves how much I like it :-)

Friday, April 4, 2008

My new blog

I'm glad to say that after a long period of inactivity in this area, I finally started a new weblog! Following the 'blog about something you like idea', I thought, why not write about the MMORPG I'm looking forward to playing? Thus, my brand new Age of Conan blog was born. It is hosted by Blogger too, since I don't want to worry about server costs right now - only to post some of my thoughts about the upcoming game. Even if my new blog has a completely different topic from this one, I think several months of writing to Andrew Owns Agloco was a great and educating experience (seeing how this was my first blog ever). Hopefully the things I learned will help me with AoCBlog too.

I suppose I should tell you more about the game, too. Or not. You can find out everything if you just go to my blog, or even better, the official site for Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures. Suffice to say, it's one of the most anticipated games in 2008 and the first one of the big three MMORPGs coming out this year.

On a different note, you might remember that I used to have Bidvertiser ads in this blog. I tried adding them to AoCBlog, but their idea of "games" were online casinos and poker. Ugh. So, I decided to test out AdBrite instead. I'll post an update of how it turned out later.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Google's Blogger and GMail down

Well, apparently the great Google isn't immune to errors either. For the last hour or so, my blog was down - I was getting the 502 error. I've seen some people reporting the same errors with their GMail accounts and such.

This is by no means a complaint. Blogger.com is, in my opinion, the best free, hosted blogging platform. They let you park a domain, they let you add ads, they allow adult content if you're into this stuff - all this for free, and you don't have to worry about server costs, huge traffic spikes from Digg and such, etc.

As for the recent downtime and server error 502, I believe there should soon be a post on Blogger Status about this.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Come, join the debate I started

As I posted earlier, I'm a member of a cool social networking site called Squidoo. They already paid me more money than Agloco ever did (LOL). It's a great social network; I have fun creating lenses (as long as they don't crash, which regrettably happens as well). Recently they gave me this cool badge for getting my debate lens in top 50:

It's about the eternal question of who would win in a fight: a pirate or a ninja. Please join!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Come on, have a go!

I think I'll let people have a go at Agloco, especially those who never believed it would succeed in the first place. Post a comment, say "told you so!". Bet it will feel kind of good to be right.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Death of Agloco

It seems Agloco has finally died off completely, because now even their site isn't loading. About time, too!

As for me, I'm making some cash with Squidoo and Yuwie, but not too much. I'm still earning more doing occasional jobs for people that involve writing and translating. Hopefully, my income from affiliate marketing will be my #1 earner one day.

My money maker blog is still in the planning stage because I'm playing around with some other ideas first.