Offer Attractive Ads with Peel Away Ads

One cool thing about internet marketing and advertising is that it is always growing, changing, and adapting based off advertisers needs and the latest technology.  If you follow new technology pretty closely, you might have noticed a new type of advertising which was specifically designed to attract your readers attention.   I, of course, am talking about non other than Peel Away Ads.   Though Peel Away Ads is not designed specifically for WordPress blogs, it works great on WordPress and you’ve probably seen many of the top bloggers using it on their blogs with great success.

Basically what Peel Away Ads is designed to do is draw a readers attention to the top right corner of your blog, then when someone clicks on it, they are shown your advertisement.   I’m sure you can imagine the possibilities for this, ranging from promoting your affiliates to actually promoting internal pages of your website.   If you are an affiliate marketer and want to use this as a strategy on your landing pages, you could do that as well, even if you aren’t using WordPress!

Obviously there are a lot of reasons to love Peel Away Ads, but probably the best is the price!   Right now it only costs $37.00 and comes with a money back guarantee, making it a no-risk purchase.

Introducing IowaGuide.org

Since I can’t really share my niche sites with my readers, and I’ve covered most of the basic affiliate marketing strategies that I wanted to talk about, I figured instead why don’t I provide you with an actual example of a site I’ve been working on.  This of course is not a niche site, but instead an actual website I’ve developed.

While finishing my WordPress eBook over the past few weeks, I’ve also been throwing together a new informational/reference website named Iowa Guide, which is in the process of being monetized with affiliate marketing.

Probably the first thing you’ll notice when visiting the website is the incredible logo (courtesy of Mark) and the beautiful theme it uses (at least in my opinion).  Recently Brian Gardner released a new City Revolution theme which was designed specifically for these types of portal websites.   One of my favorite things about this theme is that it contains a drop-down menu for both the pages and the categories, which isn’t something you see very often.  It also does a great job of maximizing screen real estate, which is something I really appreciate.

Why I picked this domain? I am fortunate to own a number of GEO domain names in both the dot com and dot org extension.   As someone that is located in Iowa, I felt why not start with developing one from Iowa?  I already know my way around pretty well, and live near most of the states attractions and other things I’d want to write about.  Besides, now if I were to visit a restaurant, hotel, or other landmark and then write a review of it, that is a business expense!!  :mrgreen:

For this particular domain, I was unable to obtain the dot com extension, but I’ve found that with Geography-based domain names, sometimes you have an advantage with dot org.   Dot org has developed a strong trust with internet users because it is traditionally used to house non-profit organizations.  With dot org, readers feel more trustful because org domains are typically informational and usually aren’t trying to sell you something.

In my next post, I’ll be talking about how I’m monetizing this domain name with affiliate marketing.

Affiliate Income Report – June 2008

Last month I kicked off a new monthly Affiliate Income Report series with my May Affiliate Income Report, which is basically a report of how much income is being generated by me via affiliate marketing.   Overall, I would say that it received a positive response, so consider this to be the second installment!

This series was originally created because I’ve found that the blogosphere has been filled with a lot of distrust lately due to the many “Make Money Online” blogs launched by pretty much everyone, yet most fail to bring in even $100.00 income.   Do you really want to take advice on how to make money from someone that isn’t?   I’ve also found that this series also serves as a great way for me to gauge my progress over time as Apricot Media continues to grow.

June Affiliate Marketing Income Report

So, how’d I do?

  • E-Junkie – $1279.10 ($1,269.21)
  • Clickbank – $159.64 ($176.09)
  • Commission Junction – $4.79 ($1.69)
  • Amazon Associates – $0.54 ($21.87)
  • eBay Partner Network – $195.31 ($89.08)
  • Other Miscellaneous Affiliates – $398.35 ($395.55)

 

  • Gross Income: $2,037.73 ($1,953.49)
  • Advertising Costs/Banners Purchased: $108.00 ($85.00)
  • Total Net Income: $1,929.73 ($1,868.49)

**All numbers in quotes represent the previous months income figures**

You’ll probably notice that this months figures look a little different.  That is because last month I talked about total online income, where as going forward I will only be disclosing my affiliate income.   Additional income sources such as Google AdSense and private advertising have been removed because they aren’t affiliate income. 

As you can see, a few went up and a few went down, but I basically stayed the same for the most part (which sustaining success is half the battle).   As far as I can tell, the main difference is with my BANS income.   I spent a lot of time in May of 2008 working on BANS stores and you can see that has REALLY paid off.  I’m sitting at around 30-35 stores currently, so if you factor in the cost of BANS, plus the BANS templates I use regularly, then the cost of registering the domains for my stores, I’ve pretty much broke even just in the past two months.   Anything going forward is 100% profit until those domains come up for renewal.  At that point, the stores that aren’t at least producing $10.00 a year will be let go to expire and the rest will be renewed (with no additional work required).  

I also managed to maintain the E-Junkie income and improve upon the miscellaneous additional affiliates, which is the 30 or so small affiliate programs I have that are directly with the company, rather than via an affiliate service.

Expectations for July’s Online Income

July will be an interesting month (plus we get the extra day!).  I got one really big project that I hope to have finished within July that will likely be a decent earner, but that income may not start showing up until August.   I’m also planning on doing some additional article marketing for the niche sites that are already profitable (to push that profit higher), and I hope to launch some campaigns for Market Leverage, NeverBlue Ads, and possibly my favorite new option, Pepperjam Network.   These companies provide you with a campaign manager and provide affiliate opportunites that include getting paid percentage of sales, fixed profit sales, and some that pay you simply for qualified leads.

Make Money Online with E-Junkie

When I came out with my May Income Report a couple weeks ago, many people were surprised that my primary earner for the month of May was a company called E-Junkie.   Based upon what I have been hearing, many of you either have never heard of it at all or you weren’t aware that they had useful products that people would actually buy!

I’ll be the first to admit that at first I wasn’t overly impressed with E-Junkie.   I actually signed up originally because there was an eBook I wanted to promote and their affiliate program was through them.    After looking around their website and learning how to navigate and create my affiliate links, I stumbled into their marketplace (shop tab) and started looking through the different categories that either interested me or that I already had related indexed content.   I was surprised to find a few things I had written about in the past that I was promoting for free.   

After signing up for each product and getting my affiliate links for each one, I grabbed my copy of the WP Affiliate Pro WordPress plugin and began adding affiliate links to all my old posts with a single click for each affiliate link.  Once done, I looked around and found some other products that I felt I could convert sales on and added them to my existing BANS site, niche sites, or created small sites to promote them.   The rest is history. 

Unlike previously reviewed affiliate programs, E-Junkie seems to specialize in digital products (though they do have merchandise as well), and it is easy to find products with huge percentage payouts.   You’ll find all sorts of digital goods like eBooks, training classes, tutorials, and also a lot of services like dating services, foreclosure consulting, lessons, etc.

So far, my only complaint with E-Junkie is that they don’t actually collect the money when a sale is made.  They simply manage the affiliate program for sellers.  Sellers have to login and manually make a payment once a month, or however often they want to.    I have a contact within E-Junkie and she informed me they are actually working on this, so hopefully this will be fixed soon.   I’ve only had a problem once; otherwise, I sometimes have to e-mail people and remind them to pay their affiliates, but it has never been a real problem getting paid.  

Taking Advantage of Opportunities as They Present Themselves

Earlier this week I talked a bit about being a free affiliate, and what opportunities are passing many people by. Many of us blog for free because we enjoy it, but there is no reason you can’t be getting paid for the things you are already doing, right?

I think the post was well received overall, but I’m not sure everyone understood the point of that post. There was no showing off involved as many of these affiliate websites others have make $250.00 or more PER DAY and they run 100+ sites. I was simply trying to give my readers a push towards going out and attempting to better themselves.

Why is this important? There has never been a better time than now (okay, maybe a couple years ago) to get started affiliate marketing. I mean, it is just now truly starting to take off as more companies see themselves falling behind their competitors, who are finding success with the help of their affiliates. Once they start offering an affiliate program as well, affiliate marketers get more and more options, and the affiliate percentages continue to go up. And the best part? These aren’t infomercial products and other worthless products either. Most large companies you are already promoting have affiliate programs these days.

For example, I’ve got a network of comic book sites that have a huge selection of companies to work with, making it easy for me to focus each individual site on specific comic book characters or comic companies, and in turn place very specific and relevant affiliate advertisements on those sites. I also have a toy site (and no, I won’t get more specific than toy site) that has a large choices of companies to be affiliated with. I even have a recipe site that is making quite a few sales through Amazon’s affiliate program.

Most of these sites started out as random domains I had sitting in my account unused and so I decided to start using them. Others are domains I specifically registered to create niche sites with. They all use different companies as affiliates, but they are mostly all profitable. The few that aren’t after a years time will be dropped. I’ve come to the conclusion that pretty much any website or blog these days can be a successful affiliate for someone if you put some effort into tracking down those affiliate programs.

In the United States, there is a recession happening (whether they admit it or not, I live here and it is), but the online economy has never been healthier. Each year large corporations advertising/affiliate budgets go up, so there has never been a better time in my opinion to get started with affiliate marketing in some form. 90% of the world still is not online and when they are, they will begin buying products online. Much of Asia is starting to go online. It is truly a great opportunity for anyone to make some extra cash.

You’ll notice that my past few posts have not housed any affiliate links. That is because I’m not really trying to sell you anything here, other than the idea of starting to use affiliate marketing to make some money. Affiliate programs are all free to join, so there is no reason to put off joining them and growing your site(s) around them. I think if you take a look around the internet, you’ll see all sorts of opportunities that will present themselves. The question is whether or not you will take advantage of these opportunities.

Social Networking Sites and Their Impact on My Life

As you may remember, last week I wrote a post about Twitter, where I mentioned I am doing my best to send tweets more often.  So far, I’ve been pretty good at doing 1-2 a day, which more than enough in my opinion.  If I’m doing it more often than that, I’m probably giving to much information.   I’ve also had troubling keeping up with others in my Twitter account, so I’ve considered dropping a few people I follow that send 5+ a day.   It makes it hard to follow everyone.

Anyway, on a typical day after updating my Twitter account, accepting follower requests and using the Find and Follow feature to track down others on Twitter, I hop on over to Facebook to do the same.   Approve requests for friendship and application invites, then check my wall for new messages, then check the homepage.  Then, I’m off to check my StumbleUpon profile, sometimes my MyBlogLog profile (which sorely needs updated).  Once that is done, now its time to check my Google AdSense account, Parked domains account, then E-Junkie/Clickbank/Commission Junction accounts.  Once that is done, I’m off to my sites to check for comments that need moderated.   Now comb through domain backorder lists and check on some of my domain auctions.  Once that is done, now I head over to my feed reader and start flipping through the feeds I track.   One days worth usually isn’t to bad, but more than 1 day backlogged and I have to get selective on which ones I choose to read. Once that is done, now its finally time to write some posts!   But wait, my kids need put to bed.

So, as you can see, keeping up with social services can sometimes be difficult.  If I maintain them, along with my other responsibilities, it can sometimes be difficult to find the time to blog or do website maintenance, which is probably the most important part, right?  I mean, I probably enjoying blogging more than I do all this other stuff.  It is kind of the behind the scenes stuff that needs done but isn’t fun to do.

How do you guys do it?  It seems I’ve got to many accounts and I find that I’m neglecting several, rather than just committing to a few of them and making them actually useful.

An Update And Committing Myself to Twitter…

Some of you may have noticed that the posting schedule here has been umm…..light lately. While I’ve tried to maintain a posting schedule here of at least twice a week, circumstances have required most of my attention to be shifted towards some of my other projects that I’ve tried to get up and running.

Most of my blogging time has been committed to maintaining Hack WordPress because it brings in about 85% of my online income. For those that enjoyed my discussions on domaining and developing domain names, I’ve moved most of these types of posts to their own spot over to Slick Domains, which is the business name I operate my domain profile under. Lastly, for anyone else that has Celiac Disease (or knows someone that does) and has an interest in reading about that kind of stuff, I’ve launched a site called Gluten Free Resource. This site will house all things related to Celiac and living Gluten Free, including recipes, restaurant locations, etc.

So, that is what I’ve been up to. I’m hoping to resume my regular posting schedule here in the next couple weeks. I’m planning on discussing more of the usual topics, including Firefox 3.0, niche blogging, affiliate marketing, etc. If there is anything you want to get my take on, please post it below.

In the meantime, I’m going to be making an extra effort to keep my Twitter account up to date for anyone that wants to keep up with me. I know I wasn’t a big Twitter fan before (and its still slowly growing on me), but that has changed a little. Now that I’m managing so many things, I’ve started to really see the value of Twitter. If you’re interested, you can follow my Twitter updates from my profile page. Also, if you have a Twitter account, please post your details in a comment below so I can follow your updates as well. 😀

Check Out The Domainer’s Toolbar

Whether you are an active domainer or just someone who likes to research and monitor current trends in the niche of buying and selling domains, there are a few tools out there that can make your life a little easier.

One of these tools is the Domainer’s Toolbar.    This toolbar provides a feed for many of the top domainers blogs, provides the latest domaining news, provides easy access to many domain marketplaces, as well as tracking various domaining forums.

Domainer’s Toolbar

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not huge into toolbars.   In fact, traditionally, the only one I usually use is the StumbleUpon toolbar, but I’ve found this toolbar very useful in getting around.   I like to see previews of the headlines in each forum, so this toolbar saves me a lot of time.

Which toolbars do you rely on for your day-to-day web browsing?

Dot Com Boom: Where Are They Now?

Back in the late 1990’s, there was a much pretty significant dot com boom that took place, spawning all sorts of early business that would be later known as Web 1.0.   In the decade since, a lot has changed and many of the dominant online businesses are no more.   If you’re wondering who has survived and who hasn’t, Webware has compiled a list of the Dot Com Pioneers and looks at where they are now.

There are some success stories on the list, such as Amazon.com, About.com, and even Monster.com.  There are other companies on the list that are still around, but are no longer as relevant as they used to be, and you’ll also find several companies that no longer exist.

Click over to check out where are they now!