Cheap Traffic? Sure I’ll Take Some!

So I’m sure many of you wonder why in the hell it took me so long to update you all since my last post.  The truth is this is not such a simple answer. 

What happened was that I started playing around with the contextual traffic I had posted about earlier and it made me really start to see that I need to not be so narrow minded on traffic generation.  I started testing tons of different sources (not contextual traffic, but any source of traffic I could buy) to get traffic and ran into a lot of little networks and companies to purchase traffic from way cheaper than using adwords like most everyone else has been doing.  So in the process of testing out all these new sources I also was testing out my tracking script to make sure and nail out any of the bugs in case we really do end up releasing this sucker to the public. 

So during allll of this I also ran across a lot of really good campaigns and more than quadrupled my overall revenue and profit levels for March.  This month was a pretty decent month for me and I realized how big this world really is.  There are literally thousands of different ways to generate traffic…and I’m starting to see that more and more.  When I originally started out with internet marketing my plan was to master ppc.  Since then, my goals have changed however.  I am now not as concerned about ppc, although that is still a big concern…I want to move my focus to finding much cheaper/better converting/more volume methods to finding quality traffic generation.

I’m noticing a much easier to recognize pattern of users for each traffic source also.  Its now much easier for me to see an offer and know which source it will probably perform well on and which it will perform poorly on.  It can really be hit or miss on making something work.  It’s starting to come around to simply testing and tracking everything.  When you can start mass testing and tracking, you can find the traffic sources that perform strong with a certain offer in a matter of minutes to a couple hours usually, depending on the volume you receive.

I’m unlike many internet marketers, which I also think is one of the reasons I am succeeding in this game.  Most marketers get very emotional over their campaigns.  They think they can make anything work or find that one keyword that will start pouring in the profits.  The fact of the matter is although you MAY be able to expand enough to find that special keyword, the odds are not in your favor that it will happen.  Not only that, but why waste your time and money trying to make it work.  You should be testing as many offers and sources as you can.  Its all like a puzzle, you have to piece together the traffic source with the right offer and the right types of people, THAN when you find that match you will see some major dough roll in.  DO NOT get emotional with your campaigns, if it isn’t making money, DROP IT….don’t continue to try and make it work.

I also want to let you all know, my computer is dead and dell’s replacement won’t be here for like 10-15 more days.  This has been a bit of a good thing as I was becoming glued to my computer throwing up campaigns and analyzing the data all day and night.  I will try to keep you all updated but realize the next couple weeks I will continue to post but it may not be everyday like it regularly is.

I want to really try and ramp up my reader base for April so I will try to get some pretty good quality posts going on this month.  Also, I get a lot of questions from people so I am thinking maybe once a week or so I will just post up a couple questions from readers and answer them.  If you have anything you would like an answer to just use the contact me form and send me your question.  If I don’t post it on the blog, I will get back to you with the answer, I am pretty good about answering everyone.

Make money money, Make money money MONEY!

Well the last week I threw up some new campaigns and wanted to play around with Camtasia Studio so I decided to make a little "proof" video of the work I’ve been doing the last couple of weeks.  I did this intentionally to show a couple of my family members the possibilities of internet marketing in a "cool" fashion, but my buddy talked me into throwing it up on the blog for everyone to see instead….oh well.  Here you go!

 

 

 

 

 By the way, I know this isn’t the best video solution…I’m working on something.  For now though, if you can’t see the video, you can click the little full size icon right next to the audio in the lower right hand part of the player.  This will maximize it to full screen so that you can make everything out.

Keep tabs on your CPA Networks!

When I started all of this affiliate marketing/internet marketing, I started with a very organized infrastructure….however I didn’t know how to correctly handle everything on the business side.  I just got done getting everything ready for my CPA to do my taxes and let me tell you it was NOT fun.  However, out of everything bad, comes a good.  As I was looking through all of my cpa networks, I found 2 networks that hadn’t paid me a significant amount.

If I wouldn’t have caught this, I pretty much can guarantee I wouldn’t have gotten this money that belonged to me.  One of the networks I had been calling and calling and calling and leaving messages, but getting no reply.  I actually found a personal line to someone at the company and contacted him that way.  The other network I dealt with was very responsible about the matter and it was just a little mix up.  The nice thing is I will be quite a bit richer when this cash comes next month.  Its kind of like a bonus.

Either way, I wanted to mark the importance of keeping organized with everything and to KEEP TABS on what the networks owe you!

Check out the ultimate snake oil salesman.

This is so freakin funny.  This basically reminded me of all the "guru"s and many of the big name guys in our industry

snake oil salesman

With internet access cheaply available to anyone this has opened up the vulnerability of many dingbats entering the area of internet marketing.  The only thing is they seem to think "make money anyway online with no morals" when they should be thinking something entirely different.  It seems like every hack out there has something they are willing to sell you.  Not only are people out there trying to sell you absolute trash, but loads more are out spreading around information that isn’t even accurate.  I don’t know how many blog posts or tutorials I come across online that are just flat out not right.  The information is wrong.  That is in my opinion one of the worst possible things…being fed FALSE information!  Oh well, lucky for you, you found the white hat guy already!

Anyways, this video sums my entire post up and with a lot more comedy added to it.

 

Let me know who you think the biggest hacks are out there right now! I’m curious…

Search Blingo and win cash…I do!

A couple weeks ago on my plane ride back from Affiliate Summit West I sat next to the guy from Publishers Clearinghouse who brings the people their million dollar checks.  It was a pretty cool experience chatting with him, especially since I had always thought that publishers clearinghouse was kind of……bogus.  Ends up they aren’t as bogus as I thought.  I remember at one point when our plane landed he made a quick remark something like "that guy better not be stealing my publishers clearinghouse van window stickers!".  Hahaha

So anyways, this experience reminded me of another company called Blingo because Publishers Clearinghouse bought these guys  out like a year or two ago.  Now at the time, Blingo claimed to give out random prizes as searchers used the search engine.  The deal was that they would give out prizes based on random searches all throughout the day and night.  I was curious as to if this "really worked" so I signed up for an account and used it the maximum of 10 search entries per day.  I never seemed to have any luck winning anything searching….however…I referred a handful of friends over and they actually won a total of three $50 visa gift cards and a free Fandango movie ticket.  The great thing about Blingo is that if anyone you refer to the network wins…so do you!  You actually win the exact same prize that they won.  So I got $150 bucks in visa cash cards and a free Fandango movie ticket for absolutely nothing!

I haven’t been using Blingo as much as when I was first checking it out, but I am going to start using it at least 10 searches a day again.  That’s not bad at all since I normally use google as my search engine and Blingo uses google to pull its results from.  I have no problem using this a few times a day for my searches to get a chance at winning some cash…or maybe something like a new plasma tv.  They do give out bigger prizes like these.

Either way…if you haven’t heard of these guys, go sign up now and start winning some awesome stuff! 

Blog monetization made EXTREMELY simple!

With the hundreds of different ways out there that I can monetize my blog, I have decided to try something just a little bit different.  I don’t think it makes any sense to go through any sites like reviewme.com or payperpost.com who simply take a cut of the work I am doing.

I wasn’t quite sure what exactly to do until I stumbled upon a pretty badass WordPress (it works on many other platforms also) plugin called OIOpublisher.  This plugin makes it extremely simple to seamlessly integrate my own monetization methods such as site advertising, paid reviews, and more.  With this plugin I can actually setup an affiliate program for my advertising!  I could think of some pretty cool contests to hold now that I have this plugin!

Anyways, I have added some 125 x 125 banner slots, a recommended links widget on the side, and last but not least, I will now be offering to write paid reviews.  If you want to get in on any of this, just find where you want to advertise and click the Advertise Here links that are available.  If you don’t understand that or don’t see the links, than you can always click the Advertise link in the menu bar and this will take you to more information.

The really nice thing about this plugin is that now everything is AUTOMATED!  That is one of the things I attempt at doing during all of my business ventures, automating everything I can as much as possible.  I hate having to waste time on things I don’t want to be doing or that are just filling my time when I could be doing something I enjoy.

I had been looking for a solution like this for a really long time and didn’t think anything existed.  I am guessing many of you have these same problems that I am so  if you are running a blog and need a great way to start monetizing that space…then make sure you check out OIOpublisher right away and start making some more cash flow!

What to do when your out of traffic?

Well that was a loaded question haha.  The last few days I have been talking with someone who had a campaign and thought he was out of traffic.  Now I will admit he definitely had everything optimized extremely well and had really taken advantage of adwords.  However…adwords isn’t everything!

Just talking PPC alone here, I had him expand to Yahoo Search Marketing, MSN Adcenter, Miva, and Looksmart.  Now I won’t tell you which one didn’t make money but every source we tested except for yes…ONE…added profit on to the campaign.  He is now making almost triple what he was making with that exact same campaign as he was less than a week ago.

Now this post is short, but its short for a reason.  Sometimes the BEST tips, are the absolute simplest things we take for granted.  You know how to market, now go find the audience (traffic source) that is perfect for you.  Don’t get so one minded thinking you have to do everything in adwords.  This is something I see happening all the time.

Until next time, spread your campaigns out among some new traffic sources and start earning some more BLING BLING!

Don’t listen to crap, listen to Paid Search 101 rap!

Here is a great youtube video of Poetic Prophet rapping about search engine marketing (sem).  Everytime I see this video it puts a smile on my face so I thought I would pass it on to the rest of you incase you haven’t seen it.

 

 

I would LOVE to see someone else break out some internet marketing rhymes!

Let the contextual traffic begin!

Well I finally started getting some traffic through the contextual adware networks.  Media Traffic was definitely the quickest at getting back to me and even offering help.  I met Basil from Media Traffic at Affiliate Summit and he has been nothing more than helpful along the whole path of getting things converted over for testing.

One thing I have run into so far is that this network doesn’t pass on a referral URL.  Instead they use a different method to send on the variable so you know where the traffic is coming from.  Because of this me and my programmer have been working on modifying the script so that it is compatible "out of the box" with this sort of traffic.  I will probably be putting in a lot of time this week yet testing everything out.

So far adding campaigns is way way easier then setting up a PPC campaign.  Not only that but you don’t ever have to write ads, which is usually the longest and most tedious part of the process for me.  I have noticed with adware traffic using the same keywords as my PPC campaigns wouldn’t really be possible in many cases.  The way you target your traffic with contextual is yet very similar to PPC, but still different.  These are the changes I am trying to adapt to throughout this whole process.

I haven’t showed INCREDIBLE results yet with this type of traffic, but am certainly seeing the opportunity if I can work everything out and play around with this for a week or two.

If any of you are testing out contextual traffic, leave a comment and let me know what your experience has been!

LinkValu shows their professional side.

**UPDATE** April 30, 2008 – Updated news on LinkValu **UPDATE**

The other day out of the blue I received a call from Debi Rabin over at LinkValu.  As soon as I heard the words "LinkValu" I was quite stunned to be honest.  What stunned me even more was that Debi started the conversation off by apologizing for how I was mistreated by my previous contact from LinkValu.  She went on to explain how LinkValu made some personnel adjustments and that a big part of the problem was misunderstandings and miscommunication.  Either way, Debi apologized repeatedly, and persuaded me into giving them another shot.  I haven’t had any time to personally test out any offers yet, but if you have any sort of traffic related to insurance/life insurance LinkValu definitely has some good offers you should test out. Debi went over a lot of their offers with me over the phone and was really happy to help me get a roll on things.

So if you read my initial post, and were biased towards hating linkvalu.  I urge you to give them a chance.  They may not be so bad after all.  As soon as I get some spare time I will certainly be giving a few of their offers a shot.

It takes more guts to call someone up and apologize for something, especially when it wasn’t you that caused the problem.  I would have to say Debi did a great job of contacting me politely and respectfully and doing whatever she could to help make up for the problem that had occurred.

** END OF UPDATE **

While I was in Vegas at Affiliate Summit West I ran across a lot of people and companies wanting me to come check out their networks or hoping I could get them traffic.  One of these companies was LinkValu.  When I got home I went to the network, signed up, waited for my call to confirm the account.  Note that I have never ever been denied from any network and I am in A LOT.

So I get a call a couple hours ago from a friend asking me if I have ever heard of LinkValu.  I said no other than the fact that I had just signed up a few days ago to check them out.  He was telling me how they called him up and just made no sense, treated him like shit, then denied him.  Ok…whatever….certainly not a good way to do business but that’s their choice, doesn’t mean they treat everyone that way.

I am not kidding you within 15 minutes of my friend telling me about this situation…I get a call from LinkValu.  I don’t remember who I was talking to but he starts off telling me he is from LinkValu.  Asks me how I plan on sending traffic.  I explained I would be sending almost all of my traffic through PPC.  He then starts explaining how they have these insurance offers and that they only make a couple sales a year…yada yada…..I mentioned that I already run a couple different insurance offers so I’m familiar with that sort of traffic.  I don’t think he even quit listening to his own voice to hear me say a word because I certainly wasn’t acknowledged.  Next he asks me how much I spend monthly informing me that they only deal with people who spend over $20,000 a month in ad costs.  I told the linkvalu loser that I did around $200 a day which was only $6000 a month.  He stuttered a bit then said "actually that doesn’t come out that high in my calculations".  Come on dude, $200 x 30 = $6000.  That is a very simple formula.  Now as if all of this wasn’t just stupid enough….the guy than says.  Well we don’t generally accept blogs either.  Are you serious?????  I JUST GOT DONE TELLING YOU I SEND ALL MY TRAFFIC THROUGH PPC! 

Anyways, I didn’t feel like wasting my time arguing with some network I had never heard anything about so I told him to please disregard my application because I no longer wanted to join their network and I hung up on him.

There are many things to be said here.  First of all, if they can’t treat the average person with a little bit of dignity, how do you think this network will treat you when you are their affiliate?  I guarantee the first time a problem arises you will be taking it in the ass…not them.  Second of all…..when are people going to figure out it isn’t about your ad costs.  I can either a) lie about what i spend a month or b) actually be effective at what I do being able to maximize profits while keeping my ad costs extremely low.  It just goes to show how little some of these networks really know.

Linkvalu is definitely voted the worst Affiliate network of 2008!  Congratulations guys!