Affiliates: Heads Up on Mashups

Playing around with APIs and building mashups is becoming quite a popular online sport for webmasters and techies. Mixing products easily and seamlessly from places like eBay, Amazon, Yahoo! and Commission Junction merchants all together in one site–that’s mighty powerful stuff.

Looking at the Commission Junction API info provided on ProgrammableWeb:

Advertisers can now offer publishers enhanced access to their product catalog data feeds, enabling publishers to present the most up-to-date product information to their visitors in the most desirable manner. In addition, advertisers benefit from the ability to customize affiliate program sign-up and login areas, allowing for the creation of a truly branded experience for the publishers in their affiliate marketing programs. Publisher functionality includes direct access to advertisers Product Catalog data in real-time and the ability to perform searches based on keyword, UPC, manufacturer, model number, advertiser, SKU and more.

Appealing, yes?

So what exactly is a mashup:

A mashup is a website or web application that seamlessly combines content from more than one source into an integrated experience. Mashup (web application hybrid)

Take a look at some shopping mashup examples:

Shopping Mashups

Inspired yet? That’s some crazy stuff!

Great mashup ideas can be followed at sites like Mashable.com, Programmableweb.com and Webmashup.com.

Nice list of tutorials:

How To Make Your Own Web Mashup

API List:

ProgrammableWeb API List

The technical side to this is above my capabilities atm, but I can definitely see what an important tool this can be for Affiliate Marketers.

Any bets as to how long before the $97 Affiliate Marketers Mashup guru ebook or $500 cd training package comes out? 😆

Product Attributes vs. Product Benefits – Work Sheet

People don’t buy products – they buy expection of benefits. Don’t confuse product attributes with benefits.*

Products: Anything that can be offered to a market that might satisfy a want or need.

Attributes: Reside in the product; Tend to be concrete, but they can also be abstract; Also referred to as product features; Characteristics by which products are identified and differentiated. Product attributes usually comprise features, functions, benefits, and uses.

Benefits: Reside in the customer; Are always abstract; Often the result of a cluster of product attributes; What the customer receives from products or services; A product attribute expressed in terms of what the user gets from the product rather than its physical characteristics or features; A benefit is what that feature means; Four principal levels: features, advantages, benefits and motives.

Action Steps:

  • List all attributes/features of product.
  • For each attribute, write the benefit(s). Keep in mind each attribute can offer several benefits.

Benefit Triggers:

  • Customer will gain THIS BENEFIT because of THIS ATTRIBUTE.
  • Why would a customer want this feature?
  • “What this feature means to you is …” (speaking to customer)

.doc Worksheet
(or) .pdf Worksheet

*Source: How To Advertise – Kenneth Roman and Jane Maas

Resources/Credits:
How To Prepare For A Copywriting Assignment – By Robert W. Bly”
Four creative ways to add power to your marketing
The Oft-Confused Features And Benefits

Why Customers Buy – Cheat Sheet

Customer Focus (WIIFM – What’s In It For Me):

  • A Solution (product solves a problem)
  • Features/Benefits (improves on/adds to current solution)
  • Performance
  • Comfort/Security
  • Image
  • Quality
  • Price (some lowest, some best value)
  • Relationship (just buy from certain businesses/business associates)
  • Service/Warranty (Return policies, warranties, turnaround time)
  • Selection
  • Location
  • Tradition (habit)
  • Innovation (new innovative products)
  • Emotion (makes them feel good, impress others, show love/appreciation)
  • Convenience

Recognize Why Customers Don’t Buy:

  • Fear of Loss
  • Lack of Trust
  • Lack of Comfort
  • Lack of Quality
  • Not a Viable Solution
  • Lack of Need
  • Contrary to Customer’s Image
  • Not Important
  • Has a Defect
  • Bad Past Experiences
  • Prefers Another Product

Relationships Customers Look For:

  • The Coach/Expert
  • Friendly/Caring
  • Have Same Goals as Customer (customers like to believe your goal is to help them–not take their money)
  • Relationship Marketing (establish a sense of being related)

Customer Motivations:

  • Goal Oriented Motivation (saves time)
  • Image Oriented Motivation (biggest, best, exclusive, expensive)
  • Useage Oriented Motivation (product is best for very specific use)
  • Entertainment Oriented Motivation (adventure, entertaining)

Customer Hot Buttons:

  • Tell the Truth (stats, charts, visual demos, specific claims–thicker, spicier sauce)
  • Get Real (customers buy on quick impressions–tell the truth & get real)
  • Drama (unbelievable offers–any part free if not available, dramatic products)

Action Steps:

  • Find a point to specialize on – find a reason for people to buy that no one else is providing
  • Look at your competitors – list the reasons people buy from each
  • Look at reasons that no one is addressing – see whether they would apply for your business
  • Evaluate relationships, motivations & hot buttons used

.doc File Worksheet
(or) PDF Worksheet

Heavily Based On: Marketing Magic, Don Debelak

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” 😉

Affiliate & Webmaster Forums, Tools, Freebies & Blogs

I finally had a chance to clean up the bookmark pages here on SuperAff. Lots more forums and tools added, plus a new page: Affiliate Marketing Blogs List.

Some of the blogs are from lesser known bloggers, but every one of them has something to offer IMO. I hope you find the list useful–it’s nice to follow what other people are doing online and remember that there are regular people just like you and I trying to hammer out their own thing.

I think sometimes we forget that bloggers are real people with goals. They’re striving to share their online experience as well as reach out to their readers and provide some sort of useful information and resources. I hope the link to each of the blogs gives a little boost of encouragement, I know links and hat tips to SuperAff always mean a lot to me.

There are a few well known and industry respected blogs on the list too, I don’t think they’ll even notice my little link to them. But I think they’re a worthwhile read too :).

On the Bookmark Tools page I added some links to domain parking sites, stock photos (most free), more CSS links and other web dev stuff.

On the main Bookmarks page, I cleaned up the dead links and added a few new forums.

I haven’t looked at Article Submissions page yet, so there may be a few dead links in there.

Lots of goodies and watch the pages because there are more to come! Have a great weekend :).

Bookmarks & Freebies

Haven’t done this for awhile! I’m really behind on my blog reading (months) and bookmark cleaning-up and catching-up, but here are a few goodies for now. Hope you’ll find something useful:

SearchFreeFonts.com

AdLogger is an Open Source AdSense tracker

Slimstat – Traffic Stats
*Take back control of your stats and keep them private from snoopy eyes (offsite 3rd party stats tracking)

The Free iPod Book 2.0

Create Flowcharts & Diagrams Online

What the Buzz?
*It’s a tool to make marketing easier: type in a keyword (like your brand name) and it searches Google Trends, Technorati (multiple searches) and delicious for all occurances of the keyword. End result? A very good snapshot about what people are saying about your keyword. To see it in action, the world cup search is good: http://ekstreme.com/buzz/buzz.php?thekeyword=world+cup

How to Capture & Save Screenshots of Webpages
+ Link to free app

I’ve recently found some great ways to use Excel in manipulating large amounts of text with keywords and key phrases and I thought I’d share the wealth. SEO Speedwagan Wasted Time

Become A Grinder
*Great post about building long term, work hard and focus on building quality

Enjoy 🙂