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

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Affiliate Marketing 101: Converting Your Prospects

Going from squeeze page to sale can be a difficult part of affiliate marketing. There's a massive difference between free information and information that costs even $1, and making your prospective customers convert from passively reading to pulling out their credit cards can be a difficult jump. There are really three things to check off your list before you should try to sell to your customers. First, you need to build the trust and immersion in your ideas that cause people to buy. Secondly, you need to introduce a deal so valuable and worthwhile that your prospective customers become interested. Finally, using a combination of psychological selling and informative copy, you should hook your customers into a purchase. These three steps are explained in greater detail below.

Building Trust:

This is the fundamental and primary goal of any marketing campaign. With so many competitors out there, truly innovative and powerful marketers need to build trust to ensure that their prospective customers keep coming back to them, and not falling to the competition. Building trust starts with creating value for your customers, which can take the form of free information or sample products, an informative guide, or merely brief video or text content explaining how you can help them. Without being able to offer anything for them, you can't expect your prospective customers to convert immediately.

This is where so many wannabe affiliate marketers make mistakes. Instead of building trust and creating the environment that results in sales, they sell their products short and introduce a sale from the get-go. While this may result in one-off sales and some low conversion rates, it immediately puts the buyer on the defensive, and destroys any potential trust that could have lead to greater sales. It's ultimately your decision, but the smart money (and massive payoffs) rest with building trust and introducing sales later on in the process.

This means that the most lucrative and profitable campaigns are almost never those that focus exclusively on direct ad -» sale advertising. While Google AdWords might bring in a sale now and then, it's never building relationships with your customers, never creating a permission asset, and ultimately never creating the trust that's so essential for a profitable business. Focus on trust first and foremost, and then worry about monetisation and sales targets once you've built the trusting customer.

From here, it's a matter of introducing offers that interest and entrance your prospective customers. Simply mentioning your product isn't enough -- it's about building the benefits that the product can create for your customers, and highlighting why they're so important. This part of closing a sale is introduced in greater detail in part two of this quick guide to affiliate marketing, along with the best methods to make your customers pull out their credit cards and convert from passive readers into active buyers.

To learn more about affiliate marketing, check out the free Affiliate Marketing 101 report. Feel free to distribute this article in any form as long as you include this resource box. You can also include your affiliate link if you sign up at Clickbank Pirate.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

How to Create Your Own Membership Site

It is almost guaranteed that you have, at some point, signed up for a membership website. Some of the most popular websites on the internet are membership sites. Many of them are boasting millions of users. I am sure most of you have used or at least heard of Youtube, MySpace, Twitter, and Facebook. While MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter are actually social networking sites, they are also membership websites (in other words, you sign up for them and use your account to access them).

If you only notice these sites as membership websites, you'll fail to see the millions of other membership websites. Many of these are actually based around monetary gain. Many internet marketers pick a smaller niche (such as dog training videos, for example) and build a membership website around it. These often lead to extremely profitable sites that earn loads of income. The normal advice here is to pick a niche that you love - that way you'll love to write about it. This advice is shattered when you see the income and realize that you'll love writing about any niche that brings with it cash.

There is so much information around the internet about membership websites that it would be pointless to try to contain it in this very spot. There is, however, a free report named Secrets Of The Membership Millionaires that you should check out. It's absolutely free so there's no reason not to skim through it. The report talks about membership websites in detail and examines how many newcomers fail to correctly set up their first websites. It also covers how to get started with a membership website and go from scrounging coins from the couch to earning over ten thousand dollars a month.

Click Here To Dowload Your Free Membership Marketing Report

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Use Internet Marketing Techniques on Offline Businesses

As an internet marketer, I know just how lucrative it is to make money marketing online businesses. However I have to let you on a secret I just stumbled upon. I have just found out that instead of concentrating only on online businesses, it is just as easy to earn easy cash using internet marketing techniques on offline businesses!

The main reason for this is because to offline businesses, internet marketing proves to be something new. They are not aware of this market and avenue of free marketing, which brings increased sales and profit for them.

We as internet marketers have nothing to lose as all we have to do is to teach all of them the tricks of internet marketing. Basically, offline businesses at present carry out similar marketing and advertising tactics like using coupons for promoting their businesses and perhaps getting listed in the yellow pages.

However what they do not know is that they can save money through internet marketing - while we make money! Instead of spending money printing coupons, we can teach them how to use online coupon companies for free. And instead of getting listed in the yellow pages, we just have to show them the global audience the business gets by listing their business in online yellow pages and directory sites.

We can also carry out workshops to teach them all there is to internet marketing and earn some money by charging for attending the workshop. We can also offer to start blogs for them, and manage them by adding fresh content on a regular basis, and by perhaps starting an e-newsletter for interested people to sign up for.

So you can see that by offering our internet marketing skills to offline businesses, not only do these businesses flourish, we can also earn a sizeable amount through their internet marketing. They save while we earn.

There are more tips and techniques to learn by implementing internet marketing techniques in offline businesses. This is why I highly recommend you download this free report called Easy Offline Cash. It discusses everything about using internet marketing techniques in offline business. If you care at all about making more money with what you always to, you will at least download and read the report, it's free!

Click Here To Download Your Free Easy Offline Cash Report

Saturday, July 11, 2009

ImageShack Hacked

It seems that ImageShack.us image hosting service has been hacked - at least I think so. Instead of my images on several of ImageShack servers (img20, img47, img99 etc) the following picture is displayed:


Good thing I already moved most of my pictures away from this hosting as I think that ImageShack sucks because of frequent downtimes and slow loading. However I still had some pictures hosted with them that I used with several of my Squidoo lenses. I suppose I'll have to finally take my time and move them all somewhere else. Too bad it's pretty hard to find a reliable image hosting service.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Fix Userinit EXE Error

I've recently had my Windows XP installation seriously messed up because of a userinit.exe application error: "The application failed to initialize properly (0xc0000142). Click on OK to terminate the application." This seems to have been caused by some nasty malware. Luckily the tool described in this page about how to fix exe error worked. At any rate, here are the steps to take if you are getting a userinit application error:

1) Click Start > Run, type in regedit, press enter and navigate to HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version\Winlogon. There should be a string named "Userinit". Make sure it points to userinit.exe in your Windows directory, in almost all cases it should be C:\Windows\system32\userinit.exe. If it does not, correct it. If that doesn't help, try to get a copy of a "good" userinit.exe from another computer and copy over it to your system. And if that doesn't work either...

2) Use a specialized tool like ErrorFix to attempt to repair the userinit.exe problem. It should work in most cases. Note however that tools like these will only fix the error, but not remove the cause. If it was caused by a virus, trojan or other malware then you should update your antivirus and scan your PC, or at least the Windows directory when booted in Safe Mode. If that fails also...

3) Use your Windows CD to repair the installation of your OS. This is the last resort to take since it will overwrite most of your Windows settings and the registry, so a lot of installed software will stop working. Still, this is a 100% surefire way to fix all Windows errors!

4) Use a good antivirus and an antispyware scanner to test your computer. Even if you use Windows Repair, some viruses might remain (only a full format will get rid of them, and who wants to do that unless absolutely necessary). I rather like the antivirus and antispyware all-in-one solution from PC Security, but you might want to use Comodo or any other alternative. The important part is removing the virus from your system; remember that some antiviruses might detect certain malware while others won't find it.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

MSI K9A2 Motherboard Beeps Two Times

While this is not a computer hardware blog, I just have to share this super annoying story of my new motherboard, MSI K9A2 CF-F beeping twice on boot (after the "normal" boot beep that is) and making me crazy. I looked all over the net for an explanation and all sites said this was a sign of "parity error" so I spent over an hour checking the cables, reseating RAM modules and almost was convinced that my motherboard was faulty - despite everything actually working normally.

Turns out this MSI motherboard BIOS beeps for the number of USB devices that are connected to your PC. I had my USB mouse and USB keyboard connected, so there. Removed the mouse, booted the PC - only 1 additional beep. Connected my mouse back and added a printer - 3 quick successive beeps. Does that makes sense? No! Stupid MSI decision, imagine if you had 6 USB devices and have to listen to six additional BIOS beeps on every PC boot up sequence?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Clickbank's New Design

Anyone using ClickBank affiliate marketplace probably noticed that their site got a huge facelift, a new brighter and sleeker design both on the front page and in the affiliates area. This is a welcome change since the old site had a bleak and boring look. Not that design is what matters most in an affiliate marketplace, but still. Nice move.

You can read ClickBank's comment on the site improvements here:
New Website Look and Feel

In the spirit of the many improvements we've made so far this year, ClickBank is excited to unveil our new look! We've made significant changes to our company colors, as well as the look and feel of the navigation bar and the layout of several pages on the website.

This is the first phase of making the ClickBank website more attractive and easier to understand for new clients.

Please note that these changes do not affect existing functionality or page locations, so you can continue to use the ClickBank system in the same way you always have.

They have also released HopLink shield, a great tool for encrypting affiliate links - and increasing your privacy as well as possibly decreasing affiliate link hijacking.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Last.fm to require a paid €3 subscription fee

Last.fm have announced on their blog about plans to make the streaming online radio a paid service with a subscription fee of €3.00 per month. This will come into effect as soon as March 30th. You will still be able to use the scrobbler and other features if you do not pay, but you won't be able to listen to music online.

Here's the real shocker though: this only applies to countries "outside" United States, United Kingdom and Germany. In other words, US, UK and Germany - which already get some premium features for free, such as Free On-Demand - won't have to pay, while people from other countries will have to cough up 3 euro a month for what is essentially inferior service (meaning, you still won't get all the features that people from said 3 countries receive).

Now, I have no problems whatsoever in paying a small and reasonable €3/mo fee for a service I like, but I do have a problem with this discrimination where people from some other countries get same, or even better service for free.

Looks like I have to say "bye" to last.fm and look for some alternatives.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

WebHostingBuzz Coupon for 50% Discount

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

NameCheap sucks - URL redirection

I just talked with NameCheap live support and here's what they told me:
we are having a technical issue with forwarding at the moment

That's their answer to my question as to why domains using default NameCheap nameservers and URL redirection (301 or standard 302) do not work (again!) and we get a "The server at domain.com is taking too long to respond."

Now, this is far from new. NameCheap had been under a DDoS attack in October last year which made all of their domains using NameCheap DNS servers, unusable. That is, you could use their domains if you parked them on some hosting and changed the nameservers. You could not use them if they were on NC DNS servers and using CNAME, URL Redirect, URL Frame or any other form of redirection. That means affiliate URL redirection, affiliate URL cloaking, Blogger blogs using CNAME alias; they were all down for a few days, and some people lost a lot of money.

Then just a week ago there had been a Connection failed: too many connections showing up instead of domains using URL redirection. Apparently it was either some technical problems or a DDoS attack on NameCheap again.

Now this is happening once more, and while NameCheap support say they are working on fixing it ASAP, I am rather disillusioned with their service and looking for an alternative. I've been registering domains at NC for use in cloacking and redirecting affiliate links, since they offer low price and free Whois protection. However this "domain downtime" is unacceptable. Hosting problems I am familiar with; however, I haven't even heard of domains themselves not working before this NameCheap fiasco. How hard can it be to simply redirect a domain to another URL?!

The truth is, NameCheap sucks, and hard. The fastest tech support is useless if all they can tell me is that "they're working on it" and in the mean time the domain redirection is timing out. They even delete all the (polite!) posts that their members post on NameCheap forum about the redirection problem, or say that "it's a problem with your browser cache".

OK, I guess that's enough of the ranting. If anyone has any suggestions of a good alternative to NameCheap where I could buy .com and .net domains under $10 and get a free or cheap whois protection, please let me know. All I care about is fast and stable domain redirection. I used to think this comes without saying, but NameCheap proved me otherwise.

Blogger blog posts disappear from homepage

I've had problems where posts on my blogs on Blogger.com were gone from the homepage completely. They are still accessible via blog archive or direct bookmarks, but the main page becomes blank. This bug happened to two of my blogs yesterday and the day before yesterday. Needless to say, it's no fun, and your visitors won't appreciate not being able to read the posts either.

Thankfully, there was an easy fix. If you go to your Blogger Dashboard and then Layout of the bugged blog, click Edit on the Blog Posts element, and then click Save without changing anything, that should do the trick and make your posts appear on the homepage again. I've read reports on the Blogger support group on Google that publishing a new post helps as well.

This happened once to my DarkfallBlog and about three times (!) to AoCBlog. However it seems everything is going fine after I "fixed" this invisible posts on the homepage bug yesterday. I am posting the solution in case someone still needs it anyway.

ClickBank HopAds

On 16th February, Clickbank has introduced HopAds: a text ad system serving ads for various products from CB's marketplace. It is not in fact a contextual advertising system, for the script doesn't read your site's content; it picks the ads depending on what keywords you enter.

You can see the ads in action to the sidebar on the right. HopAds are served from the new hopfeed.com domain, so that's what you want to block with NoScript if you do not wish to see them.

I have no idea what their EPM and other stats are compared to, say, AdBrite or AdSense. However, it has some advantages such as no special requirements for the website HopAds are shown on. It is also not against terms to show them on traffic exchanges.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Connect failed: Too many connections - NameCheap

NameCheap fails once again! Right now I'm getting a "Connect failed: Too many connections" message on ALL of my domains which use NameCheap nameservers. That includes pretty much all domains I use for affiliate link redirection. Thank you for wasting my affiliate clicks, NC.

Since this is not the first time I'm having problems with them, I'm strongly considering moving all of my domains to another registrar. You know, one that isn't so cheap.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

This site may harm your computer - Google error!

If you used Google search during the last few hours, you might have noticed that all websites have a "Warning - visiting this web site may harm your computer!" message. It seems to have been sorted now. It's not that big of a problem at all, but it draws attention to the fact of how much internet users rely on Google. I have already seen messages related to this on several online forums that I visit, and more is sure to follow, including people worrying about lower amounts of traffic and sales today. Google is, undoubtedly, the leader among search engines, and a lot of people can't imagine browsing the net without it. I myself do tens of searches a day, if not more. I like Google myself, but then again, monopoly is never a good thing.

(Edited) and here's an official explanation from the Google Blog:
http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/01/this-site-may-harm-your-computer-on.html

Thursday, January 22, 2009

GetTheBar: the new Agloco?

I've recently learned about a new program that pays people for surfing, clicking, searching, referring, and using e-mail through their special toolbar. It's called GetTheBar, and it's looking quite good, especially considering they are still in pre-launch.

After downloading and installing The Bar, you can make money very easily just by using the various functions it offers. If you do a Google, Yahoo, MSN or Ask search, for example, you make a little bit of money. If you view and click the classified ads, you make money. If you use their e-mail called Bmail, you can also make money from the ads that are shown alognside the e-mail messages. You can also earn from your downline, 7 levels deep. They even offer you a way to earn by receiving commercial text messages to your mobile, but I'm not sure if that works yet.

The best part of GetTheBar is that it pays to PayPal after you reach $10 in your account. Easy, fast, and simple!

As for the problems, there are a few. First of all, the website isn't very easy to use (but hopefully that will be solved when it gets out of prelaunch). Second, only members from US can make money with The Bar now, because they do not serve international ads yet. However, members from all around the world are free to signup and start building their downlines. They expect to offer money making options to international members this quarter.

So, I'm signing up and checking it out. Hopefully it won't follow the path of Agloco.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

FeedBurner moving accounts to Google

FeedBurner is moving all their member accounts to Google. All accounts are to be moved by February 28, 2009 (you can also do so manually, by logging in and moving your account yourself). You have to be logged in to a Google account for the move to work.

The somewhat annoying part is that if you use the MyBrand service, you will have to change the CNAME records for your feeds to work. I'm still getting 404 errors for some of my feeds which use MyBrand, or they're showing feeds2.feedburner.com domain instead of the branded one. Hopefully this will fix itself in some time.