Affiliate Summit East 2010

On Saturday I’ll be headed to New York City to attend ASE2010.  I’m excited because this will be the first time I’ll be going to New York and going into the city.  I’ve been to the airport a few times for layovers to/from Europe, but never had a chance to head into the city.  If you’re gonna be around, hit me up.  I’ll be at the meet market on Sunday, the expo Monday and Tuesday, and probably many of the socials/parties in the evenings.

Here’s a nice party list I found.  I recommend RSVP-ing ASAP if you want to get in to any of them.

Party List

See you there!

Cool Toolz

A friend of mine showed me this new tool called the Google Font Previewer.   Basically with this tool you can edit text and change fonts then just copy the code onto your website/landing page.  Here’s a getting started guide for more information.  There are more Google tools here if you want to browse.

Another pretty neat tool I found is the Bing photo search tool.  Basically you can pick colors and it will search for photos that match those colors.  This is useful for making theme based landing pages or finding images to use in creatives.  Go to Bing Image Search then select Color > Specific Color.  Then, simply fill in the box with the colors you are looking for and Bing will bring up the search results.  There are a ton of other features like being able to search for just faces, or choosing different styles such as illustrations.  Remember to be sure you aren’t breaking any copyrights when using images in your creatives/landing pages (this will limit your chance of being sued ;-).

Another sweet tool is the Demographic Predictor tool from MSN.  This tool predicts a site visitor’s age, gender, and other demographic information, based on their online behavior, such as what queries they search online and what web sites they visit.

Some top ad networks to check out

Publishers should always be on the lookout for new traffic sources.  I recently read a few articles that listed some top ad networks and I spent some time going through them and hand picked out the following.  Soon, I will be updating my traffic sources page in the Affiliate Marketing 101 section with a spreadsheet so you can sort by different variables.  Many times, traffic is cheaper at less-known traffic sources (with less people bidding and competing for ad displays, this just makes intuitive sense), and you may be able to work one-on-one with a rep if its a smaller company.  My first suggestion when you start using a traffic source is to talk to a representative at the company and ask them questions related to the traffic: how are your ads displayed? what are the targeting options?  what types of campaigns have the most success on your advertising network? what affiliate offers work best? do you have any coupons/special pricing?, etc…

Here’s the list:

spotxchange.com

adready.com

sportgenic.com

mobclix.com

centro.com

greystripe.com

audiencescience.com

millennialmedia.com

targetspot.com

bluestreak.com

pulse360.com

jumptap.com

premiumnetwork.com

adbrite.com

bidvertiser.com

burstmedia.com

advertising.com

admob.com

chitika.com

kontera.com

247realmedia.com

vibrantmedia.com

collective.com

marchex.com

buysellads.com

quattrowireless.com

mediamind.com

7search.com

specificmedia.com

zestadz.com

undertone.com

contextweb.com

adify.com

Up Your Game with the John Wooden Pyramid

(Below: Meeting the Legend himself at a UCLA game)

The passing of coach John Wooden came to me with great sorrow last week.  The world has lost a great inspiration and American cultural icon.   With his legendary success on the court and the way he lived his edifying life, this holy &  humble man was a true example to all.  As a former UCLA student who was huge into the college basketball scene, I had a deep respect for this man.

Since most affiliate marketers work alone from home, I thought I’d recommend one of  Wooden’s philosophical building blocks for winning at basketball and at life– called the Pyramid of Success.  Self motivation when you work alone can be tough, so following a guide like this is essential to helping you achieve your goals and keeping one step ahead of the rest.

Here are some ways to apply this to your affiliate game:

Enthusiasm & Industriousness – these are the foundational cornerstones of the pyramid.  By applying energy and resourcefulness as the foundation of your business & campaigns, you will work more efficiently and this will ultimately help your bottom line.

Competitive greatness – be competitive!  If you see someone making money at some traffic source, ask yourself why you aren’t doing the same.  Obviously, if someone has been running ads for Penny Stocks (example) on Pulse360 (example) for a long period of time, they must be making money.  Get in on it!  Come up with some innovative ideas on how to run the same campaign.

Poise – don’t let your campaign failures affect you emotionally.  This will put you in the doldrums and you wont have the drive to test out more campaign ideas.

Confidence – have confidence in yourself.  If you have a great idea, don’t let it pass you by.  Have confidence that you can get it to work and go for it.  Don’t let a failure on your first test let you down.  Figure out why it didn’t work and keep trying.

Condition & Skill – keep yourself on top of your game by reading industry news, learning what the other successful affiliates are doing, and browsing ads at different traffic sources.   When you run a campaign on X traffic source, spend some time learning how to fully utilize that traffic platform.  Don’t half heartedly throw up a campaign and expect it to work.  Learn as much as you can about all of the different features and apply what you learn on your campaign.

Team Spirit, Friendship, Loyalty, & Cooperation- work together with your affiliate managers and traffic source contacts and treat them as true business partners.  Everyone is in this business to make money.  Ask a lot of questions.  Bring something to the table and provide value.  Make friends with other affiliates and run campaigns together.

Self-Control & Alertness – set a schedule for your online business and stick to it.  Don’t be a lazy sack and sleep in till noon everyday.  My most successful affiliates who consistently make thousands of dollars a day profit generally work a consistent schedule.  Control the draw of web browsing and Wickedfire lurking and focus on the task at hand.  In a nutshell, GET TO WORK, SON!

Initiative & Intentness- take a sheet of paper, and write down your goals.  Put this sheet somewhere you will see it from where you work and remember what you are working towards.  If you are a newb, I would set a goal of making $100 profit/day consistently.  Once you reach that goal, set a goal of $300/day (comes out to approx $100k a year).   Continue setting new goals and follow through with them.  Set a date to achieve these goals and regularly assess your progress.

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Print this out and tape it to your monitor to remind yourself of the principles that will launch your business to success:

http://www.coachwooden.com/pyramidpdf.pdf

Domain Aribtrage

Let’s say a certain site, blah.xyz.com, gets a ton of traffic (yes it’s a subdomain).  How many people forget to put that period in and type in blahxyz.com in their browser?  A lot.  Why let those people go to a blank page?  Spend $10, buy that entire subdomain string without the “.”  (blahxyz.com if available) and send those visitors to a landing page of your choice (perhaps related to the target site) or just park a page there at the least.  Once you buy the domain you WILL get free traffic.  No doubt about it.

You can make a lot of money with this technique.  Just do some research and find a subdomain that gets a lot of traffic, then check to see if the subdomain string without the period is available.  I’m keepin this post short because there’s really not much more to it.  There are more techniques but I’ll talk about those in a later post.

Ad:Tech San Francisco 2010

I’ve been super busy since Ad:Tech and although I’ve been meaning to write about it, I just haven’t gotten around to it until now.  All in all this was probably my best conference in terms of networking and meeting a lot of important industry people, outside of affiliates and affiliate networks.  The parties were pretty good too.  Monday afternoon I met up with RicDes, Mattern, Heavy T and a few other guys for lunch.  Took em to a place called House of Nanking on the border of North Beach and ChinaTown.  Monday night involved heading to Clift and “The Great American Music Hall” (what a dumb name) for some company’s party.  Tuesday night was the 202 meetup and a bunch of other stuff.

Here are some snapshots:

The AffBuzz Bday Cake (above)

Phoenix Morgan

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Ian Fernando

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Saurik.  This guy is an internet celebrity and he looks like Gandalf from LOTR.  He basically figures out how to jailbreak/unlock anything that apple comes out with.  After talking with him for a few mins he pulled out his newly broken iPad and showed me that Cydia and Icy were installed.  This is only a few days after Apple released the product.  Pretty cool.

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Saw this on a poster board.

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View from my room at the W.

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Thought I’d throw this in.  This is Picnic Day at UC Davis on Saturday before AdTech.  Basically just thousands of college students partying all day long.

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Some random band at the American Music Hall? ( I think that’s the name).  It was open bar.

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EWA party

There’s No Money At All in Local Lead Gen

Yeah, I’m being sarcastic.

Today Tech Crunch released an article about Groupon‘s financial situation.  The current valuation of the company is $1.35 BILLION dollars.  They just raised $130 MILLION in VC funds.  That’s on top of the $1 MILLION + they are making per week in PROFIT. We all know there is no money in local lead gen 🙂  lol

In my opinion, Groupon is a pure example of how much potential there is in local lead generation.  People like the idea so much that they have been copying Groupon’s site idea and starting similar sites overseas.  Some even use the exact same design and everything. There is huge potential with local markets, because competition is minimal, and barrier to entry is low.  Even with Groupon’s seemingly “monopolistic” takeover and intimidating size, there is virtually limitless potential in the local space. Remember, Groupon is only advertising ONE company’s offer in a geographic area each day.  There are thousands of other companies to target.

If you are looking to get into this space and learn what you need to know to get started, consider ordering Local Lead Plan.  Its a set of PDF guides to teach you all the secrets of a successful local lead generator.  I’ve heard many good things about this program/tutorial, so consider it a good investment.

$15,000 in Free Traffic?

Step 1: Find a weakness in an advertising platform

Step 2: Keep this information to yourself

Step 3:  Take advantage of the weakness

Step 4: Go deposit profits at bank

Last year, there was a trick people were using on a popular social network advertising platform that involved manipulation of bid prices, and affiliates were able to pull in traffic for 1-2 cents a click where clicks were normally 30-60 cents.  I won’t mention the network specifically but in short, you created an ad, put your bid price per click very high, waited for your first click, then lowered your bid price to a couple cents.  The system read the high bid price and gave your ad priority impressions, and continued giving your ad priority impressions for a short time even after changing the bid price down to a couple pennies.  This resulted in tons of clicks for almost nothing.  Using a program like iMacros, you were able to automate this and let it run.

More recently, someone (not saying who) found a loophole in a certain advertising platform (if I said the name you would know what I’m talking about because you probably advertise there).  In short, this person was able to get about $15k in traffic in a couple day’s time (until the loophole was closed).  The trick involved setting up a new advertising account with no funding, submitting an ad for approval, getting the ad approved, and clicking a button to make the ad go live.  The ad would go live for about 15-20 seconds and would receive massive traffic (assuming you put the bid high enough).  After that time the system would recognize that there was no funding for the ad and would pause it.  Using iMacros the whole operation was automated until the trick stopped working.

I’m not saying you should build your business around finding loopholes, but just keep your eye open.  Whenever a new system/platform comes out, its bound to have weaknesses that you can monetize.

Make Bank with Facebook Groups

You can make money by creating free Facebook Groups.  This simple, free traffic source is often overlooked by many.  Recently, a friend of mine created a bunch of Facebook groups, and now (a few weeks later) the number of members for each group is in the thousands. With Facebook Groups, if I’m not mistaken you can send direct messages to up to 5000 members at a time.  If the number of members in the group exceeds 5000, you can’t direct message all members.  Good to keep in mind when your group starts to grow past 5000.  If you create a group that reaches membership in the hundreds of thousands, you can sell that group online for thousands of dollars. Once you have your group, treat it like an email base — don’t blast messages to them too often, otherwise they will leave your group.  Once a week should be okay.  Make your message blasts relevant, informative, and monetize-able. For each group you create, be sure to add a script so that new members can invite ALL of their friends to also join the group.

Tips for creating groups that will naturally attract large membership bases:

1. Create a group based on world events or pop culture.  If something huge happens in the news, create a group about it.  If a famous person dies, create a group in their honor.  If one of the Judges on American Idol annoys the heck out of you, create a group criticizing them in a unique/funny way.  Come up with your own ideas!

2. Create a group based on past events or eras.  “People Born in the 1980s,” “My Grandfather F aught in WWII,” Etc…

3. Create a group based on location.  “People of San Jose California” etc…  Once you get massive membership in local groups like this, you can do some Local Lead Gen.

4. Create a group based on interest.  For example, “I Love Golf.”  Imagine if you had a user base of even just 5000 in a group like this.  Blast out a direct message telling them about a new, sick golf game you  found (wgt.com), and tell em they can play it for free.  If even just 5% of your members sign up to play, at $1/lead that’s $250.

5. Create a group based on a Facebook App or Game.  Once you get massive membership, send out messages like “Get 50 points for X in Y game by Playing this new game!”  or “Get 50 Points in X game for inviting all of your friends to play Y game” — then put your affiliate link for the new (related) game in there. Then, create an ebook detailing the secrets of how to win Y game, and sell it for $50.  At least a few of the 5000 members will buy it 🙂