Jan 20, 2009

Google Affiliate Network - Part 2

A few posts back I had talked about signing up for "google affiliates network". I'm not sure how many days ago that was but it feels like a lifetime.

Originally I just put a couple of affiliate ads up on my main website. Random links actually, just put there to see if anyone would scroll down far enough to click on it (lazy).

I decided that wasn't really a good enough test. I promised to let people know if it was worth it and I didn't put the work into it! (shame shame on me)

So - What have I done?

  • I decided that what I needed was a site that I could get ranked in what they call "organic" search results. How? Well I have to have a site that TALKS to people - give information, have some value. That's what they say blogging is all about - and this age of social networking.
  • I also decided I needed to target the affiliate ads I put on the site. So the site has a general "theme" and the ads are related to that theme.
  • I wanted to target something I knew about - or was passionate about because unless I wanted to pay a ghost writer then I was on my own.
  • I wanted to target a "theme" that had advertisers (in the google network) and that were products I found useful or have myself (or was offered at an amazing price)
  • I need a new domain name in case I wanted to promote it other then in search engines organic results
  • I had to create some basic content to get started - but I know it takes time so I have to keep adding new content that is useful.
Nothing I talk about is anything new. People have been saying it forever but I decided I had to play my own "Myth-Buster".

So I promise to put in the actual work, add Google Analytics so I could share the results and see what happens.

By the way the site is doxiedogstore.com a simple simple html site (one anyone with basic html knowledge can do). I hear blogs work just as well if not better. I went with html so I could use one main website for my google affiliate account (You have to be approved by domain name - so I am "pointing" this new domain to a folder of my main site). If you're looking for a free blog for your website try wordpress.com or wordpress.org

OR OF COURSE Blogger.com

As always... I'll let you know what I learn or if I rank this Myth BUSTED!

Jan 14, 2009

How to keep and grow your customer list

People ask me all the time how I get so many customers for my website. It's not a fancy dangle site like others. It's not a recognizable "Brand" name and I don't do email marketing to previous customers, or offer a newletter! How How How can my site be doing as well as I say??!

I'll let you in on my secret.

  • It's one that has lasted the test of time.
  • A secret that ALWAYS works!
  • One that everyone knows, and everyone can do.


Yes that's right. The old "The customer is always right". One thing I offer my customers is a money back guarantee. No questions asked, if they wish to return the items they will be refunded their money (all except the original mail cost but I only charge what the post office charges!) I don't tack on any so called "handling charges" or "restocking fees". I stand by my guarantee even if the product was used for 30 days.

I always respond to customers emails as soon as I get them. Sometimes emails get lost in cyber space and I can't help that but that's why I use paypal. If the customer can't reach me by email, you can bet they will let paypal know. Paypal emails always seem to reach me but it also shows right on my interface page if there are any opened disputes.

Each customer is a potential marketing tool! I always ask for customers to remember our site and to recommend us to any friends or family. Guess what...when they are happy...they will even tell strangers! Especially in the "social networking" era.

It really is an easy thing to do. Treat customers like you would want to be treated.

Jan 12, 2009

Google Affiliate Network

I'm sure you all know about google adsense. For those of you who don't know you can find out more at this LINK

Basically Adsense allows you to place google ads on your website's pages in order to earn money depending on the clicks they get. Some people seem to do well with them. I don't. I had ads up for the last month and earned all of $4. Yippy~

Then I found out about Google Affilate Network. You have to apply, and have your own website and agree to certain terms (such as not bidding on companies keywords) but once you are approved you have a large list of affiliates to join.

The network provides you with banners (or text links) which earns you a % if people purchase any items at the links store. It also inserts cookies so it can track your "click" sometimes upto 90 days. So if 45 days later, a person makes a purchase I can still earn a commission. Some commissions for affiliates are upto 25% (a heck of alot more then amazons offering of all of 4%)

They have a great selection of banners (see example above) for each advertiser. They also have a pretty nice reporting section. It shows the number of impressions the ad displayed, the number of times the ad was clicked...as well as, of course, the sales you make. They pay out by check (or transfers to US bank accounts).

I just added it myself this weekend. No sales yet but a few click throughs so who knows, maybe in 24 days :P

Jan 10, 2009

2009 Mobile Phone Browsing

I have been spending some time reading up on what people forecast for internet use in 2009 and found some interesting things.

One thing I kept seeing was that everyone predicts a large increase of mobile phone browsing and using phones to make online purchases.

I guess I just always assumed my site was fine for mobile phone use until I started reading more about it. I did a search on google and found a excellent blog CLICKNEWZ which gave me the great free resource for creating your own mobile ready site.

Within 30 Minutes I had created a fully Mobile friendly site. It even re-directs any PC, laptop or mac users to my .com instead of my new free Mobi address www.viewithere.param.mobi but makes sure all phone inquiries go to the mobi pages (pretty darned neat for a free service).

It allows me to add paypal buttons relatively easy (although don't try to add any options -1). It includes a tracker so I can see how many phone users are really surfing my site. I'll be interested in seeing if 2009 is really the age of the Mobile phone, if it is I may even cave and buy myself a blackberry!


Jan 3, 2009

Using Youtube for your website

Youtube can be a great resource for your website. I'm not talking about google's "YouTube for adsense", although that may be an option if you do not have your own video.

Youtube gives me the chance to embed my video on my website to show my customers how to use the product they purchased. It also allows me to show customers how easy the product is to use and helps convince them to make the purchase.

When making my video I decided to put myself in my customers shoes and asked the questions I thought they may have.

1. What does the product look like when it is on.
2. How easy is it to use
3. How long will it take to put on
4. Can I do it myself
5. Will it be noticeable

Youtube also offers some great insights

  • how many times your video was watched,
  • which countries are viewing your video most,
  • where people are viewing the video (i.e search engines, external links, embedded on websites or virual shared links),
  • Who is viewing your video (age, sex),
  • HOT SPOTS of your video (the area people leave, or if they rewind to re-watch a certain part ect).

All great information when you're looking to make improvements or test different videos.

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