Sunday, August 30, 2009

Important Factor in Promoting Affiliate Programs; Diversification


The other day I was talking to another website owner / affiliate about how his commission check from one of his affiliate programs was a late. He told me that his check was over four weeks late. I understand his pain as no webmaster likes waiting for late payments. This affiliate was in a state of panic because of this late payment. The reason he was in such a panic was because this was one of his top programs...in fact, it was his only program where he was receiving any substantial revenue. He said that he was promoting this casino more then any other affiliate program and that his websites had more ads from them then any other advertiser. The reason he said he was doing this was because he found that program to be the most productive and profitable for him. I explained to him that it is great that he is heavily promoting his top program and making money from them. What I also told him, was that he needed to start diversifying and spreading his materials and traffic around to other affiliate programs...even the ones he finds a little less efficient in converting players. Because this affiliate failed to diversify his affiliate advertising, he was basically being controlled by this one company. A lack of diversity with your advertisements can really cause extreme headaches for website owners and affiliates. When promoting sportsbooks and casinos, you should always make sure to promote at least four or five quality programs at a decent volume. Don't just flood your sites with creatives from one sportsbook, casino, or whatever else you may promote. The reason it's important to do this is to prevent what was happening to my colleague. If you are only in receiving substantial commission checks from one single program, a late payment can really make your life miserable. Also, if something were to happen to that affiliate program, not only will your regular income be seriously affected, you will also have two spend days, even weeks, replacing the creatives on your website with one's from other partnerships. So, always make sure to find a few quality programs that have good conversion rates along with quality service and spread them out equally throughout your websites. Sure, everyone has a favorite affiliate partnership that they like to promote. It's OK to promote one company slightly the more then another, but make sure you give all your partnerships a sufficient amount of promotion and traffic, or you will find yourself in a serious jam if things happen to go south with your one top program. I hope you guys will take this advice into consideration when promoting affiliate partnerships on your websites and sending your valuable traffic to your partners.

Best of luck with your websites!

-Lou

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Twitter Tracking Your Links? Entrecard's New Policy...

Entrecard is now changing their current policy starting September 1, 2009. Entrecard bloggers will no longer receive credit for drops they receive from other members. In other words, having an Entrecard widget in a prominent location on your blog really earns you nothing but the right to be an Entrecard member. For sites without a lot of ad purchasers, in order to receive "Entrecard Credits" (or EC), users must either buy them from Entrecard or spend a few minutes each day dropping on other blogs. They can also provide services in the "Entrecard Market" in return for credits. But, having a high traffic blog with a widget, no longer earns you any credits, even if you are helping the network more then a blog that gets 5 visitors a day. It appears that they are now running out of operating cash and this is their solution to what they call "Entrecard credit inflation". Now I feel like a sucker for spending $50 on 10,000 credits the other day. If they need money to operate, they could charge a small yearly fee (say $10 or $15 per year) for the right to use entrecard. I am not sure that the people who run the whole Entrecard operation are the most business savvy people, as this new policy may soon be the death of Entrecard. Bloggers have absolutely no incentive to keep their Entrecard widgets on their blogs now. Why would you put your Entrecard widget at the top of your high traffic blog if there in no incentive to do so. Sure clicks to other sites may help you get repeat advertising buyers. However, with less credits on the open market, the less that bloggers are going to be inclined to purchase ads on other sites. The whole idea of visiting other blogs for payment or other ads doesn't really work. What's the point of have a boat load of traffic that has no interest in your content at all. This is why I usually only advertise on other Entrecard blogs in the same genre. I have also been reading about Entrecard banning people for no reason at all and for speaking out against Entrecard (i.e., all the "Entrecard Sucks" blog posts). Hopefully, this post doesn't warrant a ban from the infamous Entrecard. I will definitely let you all know if it does. I see Entrecard falling deeper and deeper into obscurity if they keep this up. I currently have Entrecard on all my blogs. However, the Entrecard widget will be lowered on all my blogs. As for this blog, the widget will stay at the bottom of my sidebar, unless this new policy beings to hurt my overall traffic. If that happens, I see no point at all in using Entrecard at all anymore. This blog is a new blog, so I don't have a whole lot of traffic to begin with. But, I always prefer organic traffic anyway.

As for Twitter, the popular social messaging service was down with an outage for a few hours yesterday. Oh no, what will Ohco Cinco and Terrell Owens do for their own personal amusement. Are multi-million dollar athletes really that bored that they spend their free time Twittering all day. I am not complaining. I just find it rather amusing. Anyway, Twitter was down for a few hours. Right before they went down, I noticed that a lot of the links on people's Twitter profiles had tracking URL's attached to them. The linked URL's were being automatically modified. I thought that maybe the actual users were doing this to their own links. But, I added my own shortened URL link and what do you know, a tracking URL was automatically attached to it (making it no longer a shortened URL, LOL). I don't know if they were testing out some type of system that tracks the clicks on your links or what. But, they were definitely doing something. Perhaps this is what caused the Twitter outage yesterday, because right after I noticed the tracking links, Twitter immediately went down for a few hours.

Anyway, I just thought that I would provide you all with an update on what I have noticed from Twitter and Entrecard. Thanks you for reading as usual. I will monitor both situations and keep my readers apprised. If anyone has any questions or comments, feel free to post or let me know by email. (mysportsmarket[(at)]gmail.com). If any new or novice webmasters have and general marketing questions or otherwise, please feel free to ask. I am always delighted to provide assistance.

Enjoy your day...

-Lou

Monday, August 24, 2009

About Viral Marketing, Twitter & Getting Free Twitter Followers

My Sports Market has joined Twitter and we plan to update our tweets regularly. You can follow My Sports Market on Twitter at; Twitter.com/MySportsMarket. We registered all of our sports blogs and websites on Twitter as well. As I am sure you are aware, Twitter is an absolutely fantastic and surprisingly easy was to gain followers, readers, and customers. There are a plethora of ways to promote and market your own products and affiliate products on twitter. You can gain hundreds and thousands of followers by putting your link to your twitter page on your blog sidebar or website. You can also follow other people in your genre to gain followers. Gaining followers is like building an email list with newsletter subscribers which is not only a necessary tool in online marketing, but is the best way to acquire customers and readers.

A new style of popular online and internet marketing using Twitter, Facebook, and other social network sites is called 'Viral Marketing'. Many people don't understand what Viral Marketing is and have no idea what the word means. A lot of people in the online business are afraid of new marketing tactics because they think it requires too much additional work. But, Viral Marketing is not only easy and fun, but the possibilities are endless. Using Viral Marketing, you can get thousands of free Twitter followers without being at your computer.

I would like to give my fellow sports bloggers and website owners as well as new online marketing fans an idea of what Viral Marketing means and how it's used. First of all, there really is no basic form of Viral Marketing and it's a pretty broad term. But, the general idea is that you would use social networks and web tools to spread your affiliate links, product links, videos, books, games, etc. You can use a tool or create something that has a high probability of spreading throughout social networks. I would like to provide you with a few examples that not only will give you an idea of what Viral Marketing is, but it will also help you implement it on your own sites or Twitter pages.

Below is an elaborated and educational example of Viral Marketing using twitter. It may seem complex at first glance, but read it carefully and check out the free tools I provided you will understand it. It's actually quite simple and very interested. None of the links I provided below are for paid products. It's all free info and tools that you will find useful and educational.

First, please take a look at this Free Twitter Followers Chain System. You can use it if you'd like as it's a great free way to build followers of your twitter page. It works like a chain letter type system, where you follow five people on your Twitter account and you pass your Chain System link along with you name automatically on the top of the list and automatically removing the last name from the bottom. You then post Free Twitter Followers Chain System link on your twitter page, and it keep getting passed along as you gain hundreds, even thousands of followers in the process. This is pretty a basic example of Viral Marketing as you are using social networks to build followers and potental customers on your list. You can see "mysportsmarket" on the top of the list. Try it out and you will build lots of Twitter followers.

But, we can the Chain System Tool even further. This is such a useful and popular tool. I found it just the other day and posted it on my twitter page. I have already seen at least 20 people posting their chain link with my twitter ID on the third and forth spot on the list. I started my twitter page three days ago and got 50 followers in three days. So, it obviously works. Everyone wants to gain thousands of free folllowers. Even non-marketers want to gain followers because they enjoy it. It's become a massive social fad. Celebrities even talk about how many followes they have. Because this tool is so popular and useful, we can use this Free Twitter Followers Chain System to our own advantage.

The Free Twitter Followers Chain System that we just talked about is something that you can offer as a free gift or product. What I mean is, it's something that you know about and not everyone else does. So, why not get something more in return for passing it along instead of just posting it. I have found a Twitter Promotion Script which is completely FREE and a very simple tool. With this Twitter Promotion Script, you can upload it to your website which requires a person to post a message on their twitter page in return for access to a website URL. You can view and download the free "Twitter Promotion Script" tool for free, by clicking here.

So, you can post a message that allows the person to access the Free Twitter Followers Chain System by going to a URL. But, in order for the person to access the free chain system, they will have to enter their twitter name and password which will automatically post a promotional message (of your choosing) for you. So, you will get a free promotional message (of your choosing) on that person's twitter page, and they will be taking part in your twitter chain system which will help you gain followers as well. You are double dipping; getting the promotional message of your choice on their twitter page and and watching your Twitter Followers Chain spread at the same time.

You also have to pick a promotional message to put in the Twitter Promotion Script that will be posted on the person's Twitter page in order for them to access the Free Twitter Followers Chain. I am sure most of you have a product you want to promote. You can have it set to post a message about your website with a link to your website or blog URL. You can just put a general affiliate link on there as well. It's a good idea to post an affiliate link that has to do with Twitter followers and perhaps making money online.

I suggest you check out these useful tools and affiliate program, called "The Twitter Report". The Twitter Reports offer lots of free tools and advice on how to make money or twitter. They also have some tools that you can buy. I just used the free ones. But, you can also create a "Twitter Report" affiliate link to earn money. So, when you tell other people about it, you earn commissions if anyone clicks and purchases a paid product. I was putting my affiliate link for "The Twitter Report" in the Twitter Promotion Script. Therefore, if someone wanted to access the free chain system, they would post my affiliate link on their twitter page and then they would get the chain with my twitter username on there.

This is a great example of using Viral Marketing to promote affiliate links and products as well as gaining thousands of free Twitter followers. Just one person following through on the system I used a above will help spread and promote your products affiliate links and help you get free twitter followers all at once. I know it seems very detailed and confusing, but I just wanted to explain it so that a novice can understand it. Check out the tools and read it again, and you will get it. When posting it on your Twitter page, it looks very simple and very organized. I hope this gives you an idea of how Viral Marketing works and how you can use social networking sites like Twitter to promote products and affiliate links.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Key To Any New Online Business or Blog: PATIENCE

Many people, who I have talked to about what I do for a living, ask me questions like, "How can I do that?" and "You really work from home?" I know about 10 or 15 people that have started blogs and quit after just a month or two. I have friends that see me working from home and have the idea that I don't work hard and what I do requires little effort. No online business is easy and to grow any new sports handicapping service, blog, betting site, or service, it always requires one thing; 'patience'. 'Patience' is the one virtue that you must posses, especially if you are starting a blog. As with any business, it takes time for it to grow. Keep writing and working to promote your web site or blog and it will get there one day. The reason that 95% of people, who set out to start an internet business, make money online, or just start a blog, fail is because they are not satisfied if they aren't making money right away and their traffic isn't robust in a few months. So, they just throw in the towel after a few weeks or months and make excuses for the poor results. Believe me when I tell you that it takes time. There are millions of blogs and sites out there that haven't been updated within the past year. Why? Because they gave up. Don't be one of them. Stay motivated and think of it as a hobby to start. If you are writing about your passions, you should enjoy it and make the best of it. If you have not built your web site or blog up to the point where you are making substantial earnings, do not stop working. Keep writing and promoting your site or blog, even when it feels like you aren't getting anywhere. The day will come as long as you keep on working hard. The one great thing about an online business is that you can work 24 hours a day / 7 days a week if you want. The more effort you put in, the more it will pay off. Just don't let your impatience and weaker qualities get the best of you. Keep at it.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Pitching & Selling Your Product or Service

Have a product or a service that you want to sell on the internet? Need to create an advertisement for that particular product or service?

You spent money on reaching your targeted audience and bringing traffic to your website that offers your product. Internet advertising has changed in a big way. Social networking sites and millions of blogs on the web have made reaching one particular type of audience a lot harder. Most people don't even notice banner advertisements anymore and many people also have Fixfox plugins that block your big banner advertisements. Text links and pitch pages seems to be a much more effective way of getting your message across and selling your products. However, it still takes a more creative approach to get people to buy your product or service.

Here are some general tips and advice;

  1. Keep it simple - Keep your ads short and sweet. Don't make the reader have to read a long paragraph unless they have already shown some interest in that product by clicking on an advertisement about that product. The deeper (more clicks) a visitor is willing to go to learn about the product, the more material (or text) that visitor is willing to read on that particular product. Just don't bore them along the way. Keep the opening ads short and pitch them when they have shown interest by clicking on an ad.
  2. Informative Ads Work - If you can create a text ad that informs the reader and promotes your product at the same time, your ad will be very effective. Some short and sweet bit of text that informs will catch a visitors eye and make them more interested.
  3. Make Them Imagine - When you tell your visitors about your product, talk or create text as if you were telling a story. Give them a mental picture of what it would be like if they used your service or product. Create a mental utopia for them (lot of adjectives)
  4. Give Them A Taste - Show them a little something by giving them a sample of your product for free.
  5. Offer Them Something Extra - When you see infomercials on TV, they always say things like "free with purchase". Why? Because it works. People want to feel like they are getting a lot more then they bargained for.
  6. Tell Them To Do It Now - Give them a reason to buy right now and not later. So many customers are lost because they see the ad or website and say to themselves, "maybe I will buy this later on". Encourage and push them to buy RIGHT NOW!

Hope this will help you in your quest to pitch your service or product. If you have any pitch tips, please share them in the comments.