18 WordPress Plugins For Affiliate Marketers

Ad Management Plugins

Adsense Plugins

  • Adsense Beautifier: Adsense beautifier is a plugin available for WordPress to make your Adsense look beautiful in order to increase you Adsense earnings. Images adjacent to ads can help increase click through rate (CTR).
  • Adsense Clicks Tracker: Tracking adsense clicks with Google Analytics.
  • AdSense-Deluxe: Quickly inserts Google or Yahoo! ads into your blog posts, and managing when and where those ads are displayed.
  • Adsense Earnings: Check your daily earnings in your DashBoard or Options page. You can also check your earnings for specific period and show to the public how many $ do you have for today.
  • Adsense Injection: Takes a random paragraph break in your article and inserts adsense code. It does one per story. It lets you pick how many total ads to do (0-3) and it lets you pick the formats and colors you want it to randomly select from.
  • AdSense Sharing Revenue and Earnings System: Split Google Adsense earnings with your blog’s authors.
  • Author Adsense WordPress Plugin: This plugin allows blog authors to enter their Google Adsense Publisher ID and have ads displayed on their own posts generating revenue.

Amazon Plugins

  • Amazon Media Manager: The Amazon Media Manager lets you add items from Amazon’s catalogue to your wordpress blog. It keeps a list of things you’ve added, too, so you can choose what to display, how to display it and more!
  • WP-Amazon: With WP-Amazon, the Amazon.com product catalog is available right from WordPress. This plugin adds an “Insert from Amazon” link below the post text area on your entry and page editor pages. This link launches a page that will allow you to search Amazon.com by product line

Bidvertiser Plugin

CafePress Plugin

  • CafePress WordPress Plugin: This plugin brings together the CafePress API, WordPress and the PrestoGifto API to allow you to layout your products, adjust thumbnail sizes, pick colors, fonts and more. With this plugin, you can choose any of the 59 million products that CafePress sells and put them in your sidebar, after your posts, in your footer or on a full page.

Chitika Plugins

Datafeedfile.com Plugin

  • DataFeedFile.com Plugin: Integrate affiliate marketing advertisement using DataFeedFile.com tools. Two types: The first is the Left & Side bar plug-in. The second is the middle blogging content plug-in.

Spreadshirt Plugin

  • Spreadshop WordPress Plugin: Spreadshirt is an online gadget service. You can easily sell online your personal t-shirts and gadgets with a cool and fast Macromedia Flash interface.

WordPress Treat: Check out these elegant wordpress themes.

Enjoy!

ETA: Eeeps, forgot one. Added it and changed the title to read “18” rather than “17” 😉

Developing Sites & The Wikipedia Factor

While at work last week a co-worker and I were talking about testicular torsion and wondering what it was exactly and how it could happen. Two gals with inquiring minds. Don’t Ask.

She loaded a search engine page and start searching for answers. After watching her go through the first few results and getting some info, I asked her to type wikipedia.org and do a search for it within wikipedia.

We immediately found the exact result we wanted and with more information on that one page than we had clicking on a few results in Google. Bonus! We didn’t have to dodge popups or dig through mega blocks of adsense to get to the content :P.

A few years ago I helped develop the ‘use search engines for answers’ habit with my co-workers. Google for info and Yahoo for shopping. And now I’m helping them develop Wikipedia habits.

I’ve been thinking about that for a few days now. Years ago we trained ourselves to type Google.com or Yahoo.com in the address bar and look for answers to questions we had about anything and everything. Want a book? First bookcloseouts.com then Amazon.com. Used car part or out of print book? Ebay.com.

Would it be a safe bet to say in five years the majority of surfers will be typing Wikipedia.org in the address bar first when we want answers to questions or when we’re researching something? I think it’s very likely.

If I’m in the business of building affiliate websites to earn an income, I want to keep that in mind and not set myself up to compete with Wikipedia.

What won’t Wikipedia be able to take over or compete with? Some ideas:

  • Personalities/Personas/Identities (ie. Terry at SuperAff)
  • Social Interaction & Activity (ie. forums, blogs)
  • Personal Collections (ie. hockey cards, post cards, doilies, autographs)
  • Sharing Experiences (ie. diaries, weight loss journals, crochet pattern developments, travels)
  • Personal Creativity (ie. scripts writing, cooking experiments, poetry, artwork)
  • Politics, Religious Beliefs

Google, Wikipedia, Yahoo!, Amazon, MSN, MySpace–they own search, information, shopping, socializing. But nothing can ever be engineered or developed that will replace a domain that’s firmly stamped with personal experience, opinions, ideas or personality.

Maybe that’s the secret sauce both MySpace and blogging are hinting at. Creating a space that large numbers of people (traffic) respond to or connect with on a personal level. The tricky part is monetizing that space in a way that converts well without being a turn off.

When Crazy Ass People Knock On Your Door

The web is a wacky, wonderful place to hang around and carve out your own space. But part of the deal is this: Crazy People.

You know that part of your newsletters where you list your physical address (for Can-Spam compliance) and even the information listed on your whois? Check this out:

Dont Publish Your Physical Address!

It was a Wednesday evening, my daughter’s birthday in fact. We were all having dinner and doing our ‘usual thing’ when I heard an unexpected knock at the back door. And there stood a man who had found me online and wanted to speak to me in person.

Lynn was very gracious and she didn’t knock the guy–but let’s face it. That’s a crazy ass thing for him to do.

I use private whois, but even with that I’m not too thrilled about using my home address.

The thing is this. Once you put your personal info out there on the web, you can never take it back. It will float freely somewhere in cyberspace for all eternity.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I have to move. Everything is cached, or otherwise accessible in one way or another (archives people have stored from their email, you name it). I was planning to move next year anyway, as this was a temporary spot to think and rest after my grandmother passed. Of course, now I’m feeling a major sense of urgency on the matter.

Some ideas to check into: Mailboxes Etc., your local post office, mail forwarding businesses. Registering a business name to use for your online stuff may be a good idea too.

Hat tip to ABestWeb where there’s more good reading.

Is SEO For Affiliate Product Sites Dead?

First I’ll say I have a smidgen of affiliate sites still doing ok in both Yahoo! and MSN (for the time being). Never have I done well in Google. With the latest Yahoo! update knocking out some of the power keyphrases I used to rank well in, I’ve been doing some investigating.

Going through some old bookmarks of affiliate product sites to watch (mainly datafeed and store link directory style sites), I see some interesting things.

One, an across the board drop on Alexa traffic charts. Alexa can’t be counted on for true traffic numbers, but it is a good indicator of traffic trends for a domain. I see big drops across the board starting at the beginning of this year (2006).

Two, smaller affiliate product domains being flipped over to monetized parked domains.

Three, not a lot of affiliate sites in the SERPs mix. If there are any, most of them are heavily built around content. Things like forums, articles, interviews and blogs. And with one of the below listed criteria (*).

Four, I see more ‘traffic creation’ techniques such as blog traffic pushing. Take the ‘Fashion’ category for example. A few fashion blogs that link to each other and then link to affiliate product domains. The fashion blogs appear to be duds though (no one linking to them but each other), with reader comments like: “Don’t you love shopping online! Better yet to go make your purchases at FatWallet so you get part of your money back!” or “My advice: Go try these on at the store first – they’re cut large” :roll:. I don’t see the affiliate sites the blogs are pushing traffic to or the blogs themselves anywhere in the SERPs, but it’s also impossible to come up with every possible keyword/phrase. Alexa traffic stats don’t register a heart beat, but that doesn’t mean anything either.

What I see in the SERPs (aside from merchant domains):

  • A lot of eBay
  • A lot of bizrate
  • A lot of nextag
  • Yahoo store
  • Google DMOZ
  • shopping.msn.com
  • Amazon
  • Craigslist
  • shopzilla
  • Shop.com
  • About.com

(*) For the Affiliate sites that are working:

  • Attached blogs with lots of content & strong inbounds
  • Attached forums with lots of content & strong inbounds
  • Affiliate product pages on subdomains of domains that are strong & full of content and quite reputable (inbounds)
  • .edu, Wikipedia, Yahoo directory and DMOZ inbounds ==> !
  • .edu & established non-profit type domains filled with subdomains or pages of affiliate products (Shocked!)
  • Older domains (lots of 1997-2001)

MSN and to some degree – Yahoo! – are still viable options for traffic delivery, but MSN just doesn’t deliver high traffic levels. And Yahoo! seems determined to replicate the Goog–which means an eventual big boot to affiliate sites.

I’m not fond of PPC. I don’t think it’s a good long term strategy since I believe/perceive affiliate pages/sites will be pushed out of PPC by Google and eventually Yahoo! just like they’ve been pushed out of the SERPs. But…

I’m taking my anti-PPC rant off the sidebar. PPC might be the best option for strong levels of hungry, shopping traffic when the SERPs aren’t lovin your affiliate product sites. And I think the SERPs love has been dropping bit by bit, especially this past year.

To me the writing is on the wall that if you want to make money online with affiliate marketing using domains filled with datafeeds and page after page of affiliate products–you either need to relook at how you’re building your money pages/sites or understand you’ll be working with PPC to generate some good traffic.

Unless of course you’ve been in the game a long time and you have some good, juicy older domains at your disposal. If so, lucky-lucky you! ;).

What are you seeing? Do you think affiliate domains are SOL or soon to be SOL in the SERPs? Am I seeing too bleak a picture?

Yahoo Update–My First Boot

So yeah. One site of mine got booted, and booted HARD by Yahoo’s latest update last week. The site enjoyed some nice top 10 keyword phrase rankings so the traffic loss is going to hurt my wallet by several hundred dollars per month. Remember I’m a small fry. So the loss is Not. Nice.

Part of the problem with this Yahoo! update is that I don’t have a bloody clue what to fix.

  • The inbound links are of the same type and quality that my other sites inbounds are–yet they’re not crushed like this one
  • Did I build links too fast?
  • Did I trip some kind of filter?
  • Do I build more links? Is that it?
  • Is my onpage too keyword rich? Too SEO’d? Not enough?
  • Should I just leave things alone and hope it floats back to the top?

I’m in over my head on this one.

After flopping around crying, twitching and sobbing for several days (not really), I accepted that this is just the kick in the pants I needed to get moving on serious traffic generation methods that do not rely on search engines (both ppc and organic).

The search engines lurve ebay (both dead and live store pages). They like russian scraper spam sites. They like myspace and craigslist and wikipedia. And Yahoo! Answers. And tricky subdomain stuff.

My affiliate sites are none of those things and never will be those things. They’re just simple little niche sites that are designed and made in a way for shoppers to find what they want quickly and with no fuss. Shoppers love my sites. Search engines don’t.

Same old swan song on this here blog I know. But traffic generation outside search engines is really an important thing I have to master if I want to survive and have a healthy income online.

Online Focus For Income Growth & Success

I was hanging around WebmasterWorld for a bit the other day and stumbled across a thread 3 steps to making more money via Affiliate Marketing. Great thread!

I used that information to pull together this short list for myself:

Online Focus For Income Growth & Success

  • Increase Traffic & Traffic Channels (ppc, newsletters, advertising, etc.)
  • Increase Commission Rate You Receive
  • Increase Repeat Traffic
  • Increase Conversion Rate
  • Remove Leaks & Purge Regularly
  • Diversify Income Streams
  • Maximize Revenue Potential (What big opportunity are you missing on each domain?)
  • Watch Your ROI
  • Invest Your Income In Growth & Appreciating Assets
  • Look For Ways To Succeed, Not Reasons To Fail

Each point is important and I haven’t put them in any particular order. I’d like to say that each and every day I’m going to work on every single point. But that’s unrealistic for me — my real life schedule doesn’t allow the time.

So for those days that I can’t purposefully work on each of those goals, my top three will be:

  • Increase Traffic & Traffic Channels (ppc, newsletters, advertising, etc.)
  • Increase Commission Rate You Receive
  • Increase Conversion Rate

One is working on generating growth (building traffic), the other two are working with and improving what I already have (increasing commission rate and conversion rate).

A nice recipe I think ;).