Get Up And Go Outside

Yes that strange place you here whispers about coming from the other room….OUTSIDE. Just make sure you take a web enabled mobile device with you.

 

Seems that the mobile bandwagon is coming back into town and this time it looks like it’s here to stay. Well at least I hope so this time. I built my first mobile site back in 2008 when the band was on tour back then. Everyone was all hot and bothered over a mobile web and the world was going to toss their PCs out the window and surf, shop and play on the small screen. Well they didn’t and I guess the little blue pill wore off because it was just a matter of months before no one even wanted to use the words ‘mobile web’ and they all had a smoke and rolled over and went to sleep.

 

NOW fast forward to today and specifically the last few weeks and the mobile army seems larger and louder than ever. And this time, they are right. You heard it here first :)

 

Not only has their been major improvements on mobile devices, The incredibly slow speed of yesteryear has now been replaced with 4G and it’s faster than some of you even have in your homes and offices. Add to that the  juggernaught that is Apple rocked the world with the iPhone and iPad and like them or hate them, it has changed the way of the web world forever. Social networking has become so addictive, along with the games, that most wont even consider venturing away from the home without a mobile security blanket so they can stay on top of their friends and relatives via for Facebook, Twitter and text messaging. Nobody talks anymore. It has become a tap, tap, tap, tap world and that is increasing with every new social doo dad that hits the market. Amazon with their ‘reader’ has just registered so domains that include the words ‘Kindle’ and ‘Social’. Gee I wonder what that could mean :O Even Disney is putting together a social network for the rug rats making sure their is a free supply of tappity tappers for the future.

So what does that mean for affiliates? Well it means that a growth in the user population also means a growth in the shopper, gaming, gambling, poker playing, dauber dabbing population too. Right now it really is in it’s infancy and if you are still kicking yourself for not buying MS stock at $5 when it came out, now is your chance to get in on the ground floor. It isn’t very often you get a second chance and a ‘first’ new big thing but this is it. According to Google, mobile searches for ‘school supplies’ is up a whopping 500% this season and more people than ever before are searching for handheld electronics FROM handheld electronics.

 

Start searching for as much GOOD information you can find on mobile marketing. There are groups starting to form on various social sites and forums. If you aren’t using Google Analytics yet for whatever reason, suck it up and use them. They have added mobile metrics to the script and you can no easily see and track your visitors to see who are mobile visitors, what type of device they arrived on and what they did. I have been amazed looking at my stats the amount of people who are surfing and dealing with ‘normally’ designed websites on their mobiles.

 

And this time I drank the full glass of Koolaide. In the past 2 weeks I have added mobile versions to 2 of my sites and added a new ‘mobile only’ website and have plans to add at least 2 more in the very near future. At the very least it is kinda nice building websites that are not based on large flashing graphics to fill space. Mobile sites need to be very little sizzle and all steak to be effective but thats another topic for another day.

 

Here are a few links to some of the latest Google affiliate information so you can see for yourself just what you will be missing as an affiliate if you stay with the world is flat crowd. This type of information has filled my inbox for the last few weeks from MANY aff proggies, so it’s not just Google. I picked on them because theirs was the latest email in front of me.

 

Five mobile trends to watch and how you can get started today

 

Mobile Insights: Mobile searches soar 500% for Back to School items

 

The Mobile Movement: Understanding Smartphone Consumers

 

 Mobile site optimization (video)

 

 

 

Waaaaaa Waaaaaa they stole my………………………

Whatever.

Doesn’t matter what, feel free to fill in your own object. Article, website, graphic, style (my personal fav). You can find someone throwing a tantrum like a two year old in some forum somewhere almost everyday. While I can almost relate, I rarely agree with it. So many affiliates waste so much time looking to see if anything they ever did has a violatation copyscape someplace out on the web.

“Oh look, I used the word “the” 6 times and so did that person.

“That site has the same ‘style’ as mine and I have been ripped off”

“OMG I have a copyright notice on my blue site and you stole the color blue”

I bet in the course of a week I look at a thousand sites and to be honest, they all look alike after a while.  I am sure somewhere in the back of my mind I may have even seen something that I liked in my years of surfing and put the idea on a site of mine with no malice intended, just the way humans are. You may remember something you liked, but not that you have seen it before. Look TT (terrible twos), if you build a site using say WordPress and say oh, 20 million other people do also and at best you have 6-8 widget spots somewhere there is going to be a few (thousand) sites that look like yours. I seriously doubt you are decended from Michaelangelo or Rembrandt and your creativity will be like the vast amount of other people out there, just plain old average.

I read a blog about this, and IT made me create this very original post :) It takes my feeling a step or 2 further. Not sure I agree with it all but I don’t disagree with it either.

Give it a read HERE and then see what a moderate I really am ;)

Back Off

I am tellin ya. You AMs better start answering emails.

Your result for The Psychopathy Test …

True Psychopath

You scored 17 on Emotional Detachment and 17 on Chaotic Lifestyle!

Congratulations, you are both emotionally detached, and you lead a chaotic lifestyle, which may indicate there’s something seriously wrong with you. A combined score of 30 or more on this test supports a diagnosis of psychopathy. You are likely to commit, or already have commited, a crime. Stay away from knives, guns etc. although with your brilliant and versatile mind you will probably think of a dozen other ways of hurting whoever you feel like hurting.

If your combined score is 5 or less, you are completely average compared to general population. If your combined score is 20 or more, you have a mind of a true criminal. If your combined score is 30 or more, you have a mind of a psycho.

Your Analysis (Vertical line = Average)

You scored 17% on Detachment, higher than 90% of your peers.

You scored 17% on Chaotism, higher than 93% of your peers.

Enough is ENOUGH, the System WORKS

Jeez I am soooooooooooooooooo tired and burned out watching all these Walmart dressed fat assed cows with really bad hair dye marching around the courthouse carrying signs that they probably aren’t literate enough to read.

CASEY ANTHONY is INNOCENT. You know how I know that?

The jury said so and I believe that the jury system in this country works.

I wasn’t in the courtroom to get any of the facts to know any different and neither were these marching morons. They were probably home sitting on the couch eating Cheetos and picking dingle berries off their asses. They watched an army of so called experts and pundits who have spent the last few years convincing this army of troglodites that there is no other explanation other than that she is guilty. The cliche ‘bubble headed bleach blondes’ and aging dudes that forgot that shoe polish is for shoes and not their hair are thinking that they are actual reporters rather than just talking heads and speak with authority to the weak minded masses that unfortunately believe them.

Hey marching, crying, sign carrying idiots. Do you know more than 17,000 people are murdered EVERY year in the US? Where is your outrage for them?

Oh wait, it wasn’t on the Tee and Vee so you didn’t know that :(

You want to rage about something. Try raging about the fact that your unborn grandkids are already over $40K in debt and they didn’t even buy their first comic book yet but my guess is that the ‘ragers’ don’t care much about paying their bills.

The system we have may not be perfect but it is millions of miles ahead of letting ilk of this kind decide the future, guilt or innocence of anyone.

Now turn the channel and go back to watching your soaps.

These people suck

And because they do they will be listed here. I ‘plan’ to keep this category to this single post and update and add to it as time permits. I mean really, to list all the companies, programs and people that suck would keep a large staff busy for the next 50 years. So we will try it as a single updated posting and see how long of a list we come up with.

It’s ALL Social Now

It has reached the point where it’s all ‘social media’ now. Pretty much anything you can update and annoy your friends with a few clicks of a button is now the new social media. Marketing is following this path and if you aren’t, well then I hope you enjoy standing in line waiting for your shot at wearing that snazzy blue vest with the smiley face on the back. ;)

It became a threat when people started spending their life playing games on Facebook and sending 140 character messages on Twitter for no other reason than they could. I admit, I was one of those. I saw FB as a gaming site where you sat around and killed people all day. I was a Mafia Wars addict but have taken the pledge and haven’t wacked anyone on FB for over 6 months :)

It became real when Facebook became the most visited website in the world unseating Google from the top spot it held for year. We all thought Google was out for world domination. We never saw that geeky Mark kid in the corner  just waiting for his shot. Now it’s approaching a BILLION people sitting in front of the screen looking at FB, Tweeting and shortly, playing with their new Circles. Old standbys like Digg, Stumble Upon and Tumblr appear headed for the nostalgia heap to take their place next to 8 tracks and newspapers.

So as much as I may or not agree that 140 char messages with hash tags have any real meaning in life, I will admit they and all the other new players do have a place, and a very large place, in anyone successful marketing plan.

For us it is NOT just Social Media it is SOCIAL MARKETING.

So with this in mind I added this category and will pop in with some of the latest and greatest social media ‘toys’ I run across.

If you have any doubt how much is happening and how fast, just peruse this infographic. All this happened in less time than it took you to read this far. You can click on it if your aging eyes can’t quite make out the letters and a larger version will appear.

60 Seconds - Things That Happen On Internet Every Sixty Seconds
Infographic by- Shanghai Web Designers

Those are some amazing figures and it will only grow. Younguns will carry their world around in their smartphone. Us ‘older’ relics of a bygone era will carry around our tablet because it has larger fonts :O

This blog is loaded with social media plugins and apps and more will be added.I will opine on the better ones when I find them and will especially be looking for those that make our jobs easier, faster, more efficient and most of all, PROFITABLE.

SITE SUBMISSION & THE SECRETS OF SEO

KEWL. We got a killer portal/blog/website with a great domain name and it’s sitting on the slickest server we could find. Tic, tic, tic…………….

So where’s the ^%$!@#$@# traffic?

Well they are out there, and the ARE looking for you, but unless you are pumping mega bucks into your marketing then they just can’t find you. And like they say, if your doing it in the dark, only you know you are having a good time, but no one else does.

So you have to submit the site to the search engines. Before you do, make sure the site is really ready. TITLE, DESCRIPTION, KEYWORDS (which in the <head> are all but ignored these days) all in the nice little META TAGS search engines love. Now we do not intend to reinvent the wheel with this section. Just point out a few of the highlights and point you to places where you can find more information about this topic then you really wanted to know. There are terrabytes of information out there on the net to tell you how, where and when to submit your site. LEARN IT. Or at least as much as you can. It is a simple matter of economics. Would you like to be #1 in a search engine that you took the time to learn about and get all the corresponding traffic for free, or would you rather pay for every stinkin’ click that you get for the rest of your natural born life?

I will assume the former.

This is very simple to do. Go to each of the search engines you want to get listed in and submit INDIVIDUALLY. You will be so much the better for it you will dance in the streets. I know it is time consuming, but we already know, a business on the net isn’t as easy as they say. And forget the super submitters. You know the drill. The ones who will ‘hand submit’ your site to 32,985,937,523 search engines for $19.95. Again, I still have that bridge. They are scams. There aren’t 2 dozen search engines worth the time it takes to submit and the traffic from all the other tens of thousands wont amount to 1% of the traffic from a Yahoo or Google. You can buy the same program that these so called ‘experts’ use to submit your site on the web for less than $100 so if you want to, just buy the program and do it yourself. There are also websites that have very decent submission programs on the web. Free too, so don’t pay for something you do not need to. Your bottom line will thank you someday. Use the resources at the bottom, especially the first on the list. Almost everything you need to know about your site and the search engines will be there.

The MYSTICAL WIZARDS of SEO:

Well that’s what most will have you think. All I can say is BS.

Look, I am an SEO ( Search Engine Optimization  ) specialist, so is my grandma as is the neighbors poodle. Why? Because you don’t need anything to be one, just say you are and you am one. Some of these velvet tongued devils must think it’s brain surgery because they quote prices like a doctor. Some even like to call themselves ‘consultants‘. Must be an ego thing caused by a traumatic experience in the school shower after gym class.


The only reason they get it is because someone is gullible enough to pay it or too lazy to take the time to do it themselves. It takes time, it takes practice, but when you get it, it’s yours to keep since it is knowledge you learned and not a service you paid for. And lets be honest here, there are only 10 sites that are TOP 10 and hundreds of shiesters claiming that they will get you there. Do the math. Even 10 divided by only 10000 sites should scream SCAM to you.

STATISTICS (and other Fairy Tales)

In this case, we are talking about the statistics provided by the casino affiliate program so you can track you progress, or lack thereof.

Stats will become a major part of your life. When you first start you will probably be consumed by them. Checking your stats every hour or so and wondering if they are really tracking. This will ( hopefully ) pass and after the bloom is off the rose you can go back to have a small shot at having a life. But you still need to track them. The more information they provide to you, the better you well know how you are doing. Click, downloads, conversions, deposits, fees will all become second nature. Knowledge is king and if a program has lousey stats, let them know. They may not know they do since they probably aren’t promoting other casinos.

WHY SHOULD I?

Because maybe not all programs have that ‘perfect’ backend software to capture everything, maybe the served was down for a week and they ‘forget’ to tell you, maybe they are just plain dishonest.

OH MY…..A DISHONEST AFFILIATE PROGRAM?!?

No Joe, say it ain’t so. It is. In this biz as much, no, much more than, a ‘regular’ business, there is theft, corruption, greed and dishonesty. Sorry if this bursts your bubble but life in the big city isn’t always kind.

***An odd true fact: In all the years I have been an affiliate, some 15+ years, NOT ONCE has ANY affiliate program server that was recording stats ever had any sort of failure or down time so that the click/sales/income was missed. Now I don’t know about you but that is a MIRACLE. Surely all affiliate programs are touched by the Hand Of God. With just my few servers I have at least a 1% downtime every couple/few months. So either these guys are All personal friends with the Pope or they are pissing on your leg while trying to convince you it’s raining.


‘SHAVING’ is a popular term for this. You send 100 visitors and your stats show 90 or less. It may very well be a technical glitch and it may not. A program may be short of cash and hurting so where are they going for the money first. The players? Don’t pay them and they are all over the net trashing you. The bank? Yeah, like a bank will lend an online casino cash after the dot bomb craze, not to mention they are usually on an island somewhere or well hidden behind a sea of PO Boxes. So they may, just may, shave a little from a webmaster here and there to cover this months martini bill. You don’t have to stretch your imagination to far to see this happening and you wont be in this business to long before you see it happen to you.

Tough love time… You aren’t dealing with the Sisters of Assisi here. This is a tough business and a CASH business so that breeds greed, and you are going to get taken sooner or later. DEAL WITH IT. It is part and parcel of this biz and it comes from all the money floating around in a totally unregulated environment.

See the big picture.

Are you making more then you are spending and getting a reasonable return on your effort? If so, don’t give yourself an ulcer over who is stealing from you because more often then not, it is more than one. Consider it a cost of doing business. just like hosting, advertising, etc. Vito takes his cut before you do. If you can’t hang with that, go sell Amway.

CPA, CPL, CPE, CPC, WHAT THE ….

Various affiliate payment typesSo what do they mean? Well you better learn them because that’s how you will get paid. Which is best? Whichever makes you the most money for your effort. There is no BEST way. Just try them all and find what works for you.

The alphabet in a nutshell:

CPACost Per Aquisition
You get paid X dollars for every person who clicks through from your site and signs up as a real player and deposits a certain amount. The amount will vary from program to program but $50 – $100 deposited is common. The amount you can expect will vary from $25 – $200 so make sure you sharpen your negotiation skills. You will find the first offer is not carved in stone so make sure you get what you are worth, not just what they want to pay. This is a classic case of “If Mommy said no, ask Dad”. If ‘John’ offers you $40 put him off and call/email the marketer back and ask to speak to someone (else) and see what they will give you. Don’t feel bad for them, they get paid the same whether you get short sheeted or not. And this is why.

NO

Did that hurt? Of course not. So what if they say no. It doesn’t hurt and I guarantee you they will say YES far more often.

CPLCost Per Lead
You will be paid for each LEAD that comes to the casino via your site. This could require an email form to be filled out or a much more in depth informational questionaire. The visitor will not need to sign up as a real player at the casino or make any deposits. Payment on these is generally low, in the $1 – $5 range and is not found that often any longer in the casino affiliate area. This is done by casinos so that they can market the prospect themselves and save on affiliate payments over the long haul.

CPECost Per Email
No different then the CPL above, just a different acronym. They wouldn’t want to make this easy on you now would they.

CPCCost Per Click
Just what it says. You get paid for every, usually every UNIQUE, click that comes to the casino via your site. The casino tracks the traffic and determines what click is unique and what is not. This is th elowest of th epayment plans, usually in the .02 to .25 range so if you don’t have a lot of unique traffic this will take a long time to add up. One comment on this form of payment. Casino traffic is worth FAR MORE then you will get with almost any CPC plan. Once you start paying for traffic you will hurt your sides laughing when someone offers you this ‘deal’.

GROSS
This is probably the best deal if you can get it. You get paid on all GROSS DEPOSITS into a players account. You have no concern whether or not they win or lose. If they deposit $100, you get your % no matter what the outcome of the play. Understandably these are not all that common and when found are of a lower % pay out as compared to the next, NET.

NET
This is by far the most common form of pay out for the casino affiliate today. You will receive a ‘net percentage’ of the casinos take on the play. this is not as simple as it sounds as casinos will have a different definition of just what ‘net’ is. Kind of like what the definition of ‘is’ is. Meaning they will not hesitate to use it to their advantage as shown below.

Net = Deposits minus payouts
Net = Deposits minus payouts minus bonuses
Net = Deposits minus payouts minus bonuses minus chargebacks
Net = Deposits minus payouts minus bonuses minus chargebacks minus royalty fees*
Net = Deposits minus payouts minus bonuses minus chargebacks minus royalty fees minus reserves
Net = Deposits minus payouts minus bonuses minus chargebacks minus royalty fees minus reserves minus credit card processing fees

Like life, the higher up the food chain above you are, the more you will make.

Are all these charges real?

Sure, they are the cost of doing business. Just because you don’t pay rent doesn’t mean you don’t have expenses.
Are all these charges JUSTIFIED is what you need to ask. There the answer is maybe. Depending on the way the casino set itself up and how it is managed they may very well be valid. BUT You will find casinos that are popular with affiliates and players and profitable that don’t shove you down the food chain. Why? Dunno, but it pays to look and deal with those that are run well enough and care enough about you as an affiliate to put you higher up the ladder. Respect and trust are two of the most important ideals between affiliates and affiliate programs and, based on the list above, it falls drastically the further down the list the casinos put their affiliates. READ the TERMS AND CONDITIONS of every program you look at and UNDERSTAND them. They are intentionally cryptic. If you aren’t sure what it means, send an email to support and ask. if you don’t get an answer, well then they probably weren’t going to pay you anyway, and move on. They WANT your traffic. They NEED your traffic. Far more then you need them, they need you. With about 1500 casinos online now and more opening all the time getting good placements on good sites is getting much harder for casinos of questionable character.
YOU control the market. YOU have a big say in what casinos survives and which casino fades away. Don’t forget that.

I didn’t forget…..

* Royalty Fees 101 – A casino uses a software for the games that the buy/lease/whatever. There are sometimes ongoing fees imposed by the software company that the casino has to pay. Normally this is based on total dollar played. The percent varies between software companies and casinos based on how big they are in the market ie MGS will normally charge more then Playtech and what kind of deal the casino was able to hammer out.
Not all casino pass on the fees to affiliates. Even if they use the same kind of software. Why, again, dunno, but in many cases it does seem to be just another profit center for certain casinos. if one can manage to make money and pay affiliates without charging it, or charging a very small % of it, why can’t the other. Simple question with no answer I have been able to get. With this fee, some casinos will tell you that they will pay you 40% of the net. Unfortunately the net is far down the ladder and you will really get about 14%. OUCH. Hurt, didn’t it. This is one of those ‘bend over and smile’ moments in the casino affiliates world. Ask a casino why and they will tell you all about the history of the world, but wont answer your questions. Push them for an answer, and they stop answering your emails. This is the voice of experience speaking so listen, or not, it’s up to you.

Here is a good idea.

If you are looking at your stats and the program is making money ( deposits minus payouts minus bonus ( we are being nice here) ) and your not, DUMP THEM.

How to Choose a Niche

If you are looking to enter affiliate marketing and are choosing a niche in which to set your site up in then there are a few things that you should consider before you leap in and get writing.  Whilst eagerness to get going is an admirable trait (too many people spend all their time thinking rather than taking action) t is important that you direct your energies to get the most out of them.

 

A commonly heard piece of advice when choosing a niche is to ‘choose one that you love’ and this is good advice – if you hate the niche you are unlikely to keep going once your initial enthusiasm wears off.  But it is not the be all and end all.

 

So how then should you go about choosing a niche?

 

*  Choose a niche you enjoy.  Love might be a strong word but the niche is going to be something you will be working in day after day, so make sure it is something that you do enjoy.

*  Make sure it is something you know.  Or at the very least are happy to research.  You are (usually) going to be pitching yourself as an expert and if you don’t know what you are talking about you will get found out very quickly.

*  Is it profitable?  No point choosing a niche you love if you won’t make money.  Are there good affiliate marketing opportunities within the niche?  Are your readers also likely to be buyers?

*  Are there readers?  All well and good being an expert in ‘blue widgets that fly’ but if there is no one searching and reading about ‘blue widgets that fly’ you won’t sell any.

* Is there much competition?  Look at the keywords involved, what is the competition like?  If weak then it’s a green light! Go for it. You may be the trailblazer.

 

There are other aspects, but keep these main points considered when choosing a niche and you won’t go too far wrong when you are starting up a site in affiliate marketing.

Another thing to remember is that if you are one of the first in the niche, and you are successful, you will have many copycats in no time at all. Don’t get mad at them. It just means you made the right choice.