June’s Progress Report

Affiliate Site Focus Project

Traffic: 4654 Unique Visitors
Affiliate Earnings: $745.48
Increase From May to June: $267.52

Earnings per Unique Visitor: $0.16
Up .04 from May

*Remember this is not ppc or paid traffic. Just organic search and link development

I had a nice enough monthly income increase for this site, but overall my monthly earnings were only up by $140. Some sites are just really slow right now, but I’m still happy with the upward trend.

This site was at $350 avg per month as of March. By the end of June, I had more than doubled that income by drawing more traffic and paying attention to which merchants were stronger than others and playing with onpage placement.

This will be the last progress report for this site. Although it’s been slow moving, I think it’s clear that if I do take time to market a site and develop links, it does pay off and start to grow at some point.

Net Marketing For Charity

Something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is poverty, Africa, homeless people, abandoned children, street kids. Plenty of overwhelming things. Maybe it’s all the media focus lately on Angelina Jolie (gotta admit–love her or hate her–she does raise awareness to issues).

Just wondering if anyone is doing or has thought about creating a site or two (or a dozen :lol:) that is monetized, promoted and worked hard on–with the income earned every month sent to a charity of your choosing?

Does someone have experience with this and any advice to give?

Some of my questions are:

  • Do you broadcast the fact that all site earnings go to charity, or is it better (and less hassle) to just keep it to yourself
  • Do you setup a separate affiliate account specifically for these charitable earnings, or do you just do the math & cut the cheque on your end
  • Has anyone had the merchant send payments directly to the charity and is that even an option

I realize Squidoo has a great feature to donate all earnings from your lens to go to charity.

An Idea I’d Like To See Happen

I don’t have the abilities or resources to set this up properly, so I’m just going to throw this out there and hope someone who can do it successfully will run with it:

As net marketers and webmasters, we buy a tonne of stuff. We buy ebooks and reports and scripts and graphics and templates and yada yada.

I think it would be a great idea for a well known and respected company or online marketer(s) to setup a website with the sole purpose of generating cash for charities.

An open call goes out for reports, ebooks, web dev tools, seo papers, whatever, to be donated to the site.

The author/product donor is given credit, a link and some promotional space in return for creating and donating the product.

Once a month a product is selected to be offered for sale at a reasonable price (say $25).

The proceeds of all product sales goes to a choice of 3 charities or divvied up between all 3 (rotated monthly) that the buyer selects.

The products offered aren’t crap, outdated or the-ever-typical internet marketer hype. Quality and true usefulness is a goal that is maintained to assure repeat (and hopefully monthly) buyers.

Anyone up for that? Anything currently out there like this? Good idea or ridiculous? I’d like to hear about it.

Affiliate Managers That Pay Attention

I’m nowhere near a big enough affiliate to determine if or when I should request an increase in affiliate commissions. I guess in my mind a Super Affiliate is someone who rakes in $5,000 – $10,000 or so a month in commissions (minimum).

And in my mind these are the guys that are in the position to request better commission rates. They have both the traffic and the sales numbers to back them up.

Since I’m not even close to the big boys, when do I know it’s time to request an increase? The past several months I’ve gotten a few clues that maybe my perceptions are a bit out of wack. I know that’s really hard to believe, but still–I’m wondering. Two personal notes:

First:

I’ve had one or two merchants email me that I was one of their top affiliates. Schwiiiing! Surprised me though. A lot. Because sure I am making some money and some sales, but not what I perceive as spectacular.

Second:

I’ve had affiliate managers email me out of the blue to bump up my commission rates. Sometimes double. Again–sure I was performing great for my personal level, but? No big big numbers in my mind.

I realize that no one is all that interested in paying more for something that they could get away with paying less. The affiliate managers that bumped up my payday–they had me at the lower numbers and I was none the wiser about an increase being in order.

But…here’s the thing. I remember these guys. They caught my attention. I’m on the road to SuperStar Affiliate Status. Is it in their best interests to pay me as little as possible now, or stand out head and shoulders above the crowd and pay me what I’m worth?

It seems every month I turn around and am greeted by yet another *really smart* person in the affiliate marketing arena. I do appreciate the chance to learn from them.

PS: Does anyone have any advice as to when it’s a good time to work out better commission deals? I think realistically it’s too much to expect all affiliate managers and merchants will step up to the plate when the numbers come in.

btw: guess which merchants are getting the white glove treatment from me ;).

Figuring Out Linkshare Payments

Well this is something I never bothered with before because my payments ranged from a buck to $50, so hey why bother :lol:.

But this month I ripped open my Linkshare cheque and was S-T-U-M-P-E-D.

Why so little? My sales have increased the past few months and I expected something along the lines of a nice jump.

I logged into Linkshare and was stumped again.

There’s nothing on the cheque stub showing which merchant paid for what month’s commissions.

There’s nothing in the report area to pull up the data that shows who paid what when.

Scratched my head and then hopped over to the ABW Linkshare Forum and found this thread from last year: Any idea what month LS is paying for? with this explanation:

To see which merchants and what periods are included in a check, go to Synergy Analytics > Network Transaction Analysis > Affiliate Payment Summary, then click the month and the specific check number. This will give you a report showing which merchants, periods, and amounts are included in that check.

After some hopping back and forth between the Linkshare report area and the SynergyAnalytics area, I now have a spreadsheet tracking this year’s who’s paid what when and who still owes me how much and for how long.

It didn’t take me all that long to setup, from now on it will be a snap to track on my end!

I see that I’m paid up til the end of April with one merchant owing me less than $10 for that period.

I guess Linkshare’s right on track with my payments after all.

But the next one is gonna be big money big money big money! đŸ˜› (j/k)

SuperAff Is On The It List Again This Year

The MarketingSherpa Reader’s Choice Blog & Podcasting Awards nominations are up and and I’m just as thrilled as I was last year to be included!

One great thing about this year is that they’ve included an Affiliate Marketing section, last year it was a mix of Online Marketing blogs.

The list of nominees this year is huge with plenty of incredible and fantastic marketing blogs–a lot of which I’ve never come across. I don’t understand that or why they’ve been kept such a secret, I follow *a lot of blogs*. I wish our little corner of the blogosphere was a more open and link-happy community.

When you have some time to browse, open up your feedreader and take your time going through the list. Some real gold nuggets are to be found.

Don’t forget to vote for all your favorites and submit your opinions while you’re browsing through the list.

Enjoy your day!

Have You Looked At Linkshare Lately?

Eons ago I swore off Linkshare as one of the most craptastic networks on the planet.

C-R-A-P-T-A-S-T-I-C

No matter what I did or what I sent to its merchants…only dribbles came back. If that. It was more like random drips. It was a clown with big funny shoes.

Then they sold and made a few changes. I’m not kidding when I say this:

Those changes were like someone poured liquid draino down the pipes. BAM! Sales started flowing in.

I only had *very very minimal* Linkshare merchant exposure at that time and I couldn’t believe the difference. Sure I’m still talking about small numbers, but somehow Linkshare turned on a dime. Same sites. Same traffic sources. Same merchants. Same placement. Night and Day results overnight.

The past couple months I took a harder look at Linkshare and decided to expand a bit with them. Still quite limited, but somebody kissed me because I’m now making triple digits in commissions with them. With only a handful of merchants. That works for me ::grin::.

I don’t know my way around Linkshare that well, but I’m going to try working more with individual product displays and grow my merchant base some more and add them to more sites. Right now I basically just have a few banners and the odd text link up.

If you wrote off Linkshare awhile back because you were experiencing poor results–consider giving them another try. You may be pleasantly surprised like I have been.