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Affiliate Marketing

My First Affiliate Checks and How It All Started!

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While I was cleaning up my office, I came across a few copies of some of my first affiliate checks I earned online over twenty years ago! It’s funny when I think back to how you got started, because everything was so different, yet the same. Affiliate marketing was just starting out… companies were taking a chance at a new form of advertising and most didn’t know what to expect. Imagine if the Amazon.com Associates Program had never exist… would affiliate marketing still be as big as it is today?

C’mon everyone, hop into the delorean…  and let’s step into the affiliate time machine and go all the way back to 1997!

Back in the 90s… Domains Cost $70!
Before finally spending the big bucks to get my own domain, I spent years on free web hosting sites like Geocities, tripod and mostly through my free AOL accounts. Who didn’t have 20 or 30 free AOL disks sitting around… so I went for a very long time without having to pay for internet access. Getting my own domain several years later was one of the biggest events yet to hit my business, not to mention… one of my first big expenses!

networksolutionsdomainregistration by you.

Back in the 90s… CJ was Personable!
Sure, Commission Junction is now one of the largest affiliate networks out there… if still not the largest! However, years before ValueClick even thought about buying them, I was an affiliate and merchant on their network for years. Along with your monthly check, you also received a printed letter from CJ and their President Lex Sisney… and YES!, he actually did sign off on each of these original letters.

commissionjunctioncheck by you.
Commission Junction Monthly Statement, Signed by President Lex Sisney

Back in the 90s… Checks were smaller, but meant so much more!
No matter what sites you visit today, it’s not hard to come across their affiliate program. Back in the 90s they were far and few… and many companies weren’t even online yet! One of the first companies I worked with was a hosting company called eAds, and they were the equivalent to what ValueClick Media and CasaleMedia are today. They had a small network of banner advertisers that you could place on your website and you would be paid a specific amount per click.

eadscheck by you.
eAds Check: $10.45, September 16, 1998

One of the most lucrative companies I worked was a hosting company called AdGrafix. What was really great about their affiliate program was that they offered residual income on any new web hosting clients you sent them. I used to go into the AOL chat rooms and find people that wanted to get a website for themselves or their companies. I was around 15 or 16 when I started pushing the web hosting programs and they continually made me residual income for years. Affiliate programs now as days just pay a large affiliate commission per signup, to avoid paying nice residuals and keep it for themselves.

adgrafixcheck by you.
AdGrafix: $29.65, October 5, 1998

Back in the 90s… Amazon was King!
Not only was Amazon.com one of the largest and fastest growing sites online, they were also one of the first affiliate programs available. Here is one of my earlier checks from Amazon.com. During the first few years of their associate’s program, you could earn 5-15% on sales, depending if they were books or movies (since that is all they sold at the time). Using FrontPage97 I created hundreds of celebrity pages with Amazon.com book/movie listings to generate sales. The high-quality content from the sites ranked very well in the search engines, bringing in new traffic and sales. Still, at this point, I hadn’t spent any advertising dollars to promote my sites… but I was still able to send Amazon.com a couple hundred thousand dollars in sales.

As my online shopping sites became more popular, so did affiliate marketing. I added new advertisements to the site and found I was starting to make more money from getting signups to CPA offers, then pushing sales for Amazon. I gradually moved everything over to a CPA perspective for affiliate marketing and my main focus.

amazoncheck by you.
Amazon.com: $38.72, Jul 30, 1998

Back in the 90s… it was all coming together!
Everyone has to make a start somewhere. Below is one of my first financial reports and as you can see, payments from AdGrafix hosting revenue was one of my biggest money makers. Seeing this type of revenue, while just starting high school, only fueled the fire to excel and make the most out of what I had started. It was only a matter of time before everyone else started to get into the game and more affiliate marketing opportunities became available.

97revenuechart by you.
Beginning Monthly Earnings Chart – 1997/1998

Back in the 90s… The Almighty Banner Started it All!
But what really started it all?… it was “The Almighty Banner Ad“. Before affiliate marketing, before affiliate networks, mailing lists, and blogging… there were always banners, and even more importantly, the AOL Web Diner. The Web Diner was a chat room on AOL where webmasters and designers could talk about what’s happening on the internet. Long story short, I made my first dollars online by designing 468×60 banners for people to promote their website. There was no Paypal at the time, so I would receive actual dollar bills in the mail… well, most of time (imagine that, people ripping a 15-year-old kid off!) Nonetheless, the experience was amazing and even in it’s the smallest form (of $1.00), it showed the true potential of the internet and what was to come!

Looking Back, 20+ Years Later…
It’s amazing to look back and see how everything started. I still have my original computers that I worked endless nights on, cranking out new web pages and absorbing as much information as I could. I should load them up again and see what other old school goodies I can find. It’s been an amazing journey, and it’s still just in the beginning phases… I’m still so excited for what the future holds and the fire is still burning to excel that much more!

When did you make your first dollars online and what stories do you have from yesteryear?

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Affiliate Marketing

Save Time and Increase Earnings with Binom Pro Tracking Solution

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For entrepreneurs, business and brands, and of course affiliate marketers — time is money. As a performance marketing professional, you don’t want to be wasting your time working on campaigns that aren’t contributing in a meaningful way to your bottom line. You also don’t want to be wasting your time looking for the right kind of data on which you can base those kinds of decisions. The more time you’re able to save, the more money you’ll be able to make.

Designed as a tracker for professionals, Binom puts speed first and foremost. From the speed of click processing to the speed of report generation, Binom strives to save your time and increase your efficiency.

Pro Tracking Excellence with Binom

A self-hosted tracking platform, Binom offers an incredible bounty of data and functionality. Everything is just a couple of mouse clicks away.

And even though you are presented with such a wealth of information, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. The core metrics and data are broadly organized across intuitive tabs, so you can easily sift through your campaigns, landing pages, affiliate networks, offers, traffic sources, trends, conversions, clicklog and users.

This may sound overwhelming at first, especially for beginners, but Binom has been designed such that even novices can use it. Tracker-related errors are minimized if not eliminated altogether. You’ll also find detailed documentation and an extensive FAQ to help you get a better sense of how best to use the product. And then support is always there to help when you need it too.

What’s Better?

Binom is certainly not the only tracking platform on the block, but it confidently boasts that it is better than the competing software. Whereas some other solutions charge you based on click volume, Binom offers one low monthly price for unlimited traffic, handling millions of clicks per day.

But again, it really comes down to speed and this really is something that Binom prioritizes in its solution. Whereas other trackers can suffer from long redirect times, performance drops under high load, and click loss, Binom promises a click processing time of just 5 ms under any server load. You don’t want to lose clicks just because the server can’t handle it. Processing speed does not depend on volume and Binom guarantees zero losses.

Look at this stuff. Isn’t it neat? It really does look like Binom is complete. The sheer size of this feature list is remarkably impressive, handling just about anything and everything that you would need with click tracking, traffic redistribution, detailed analytics, and even a full API for more advanced functionality.

Traffic Distribution

At the most basic level, you look for an appealing offer on an affiliate network, you grab your affiliate link, and then you start to promote that offer using your link. However, this can be far too simplistic of a model if you really want to maximize your earnings.

That’s why it is so valuable that in addition to all the tracking and reports, Binom also offers a robust traffic distribution solution. You can work with simple A/B split-testing if you want, but the system can also handle multivariate testing for more complex combinations.

You’ll also find a great rotation system, multiple paths, multiple landings, redirecting of proxy traffic, distribution rules based on 20+ metrics, and the list goes on and on. By setting these rules, you can redirect traffic based on a wealth of parameters, like country, browser, language, part of day, lander, connection, device and more.

It’s when you leverage more powerful implementations like this, coupled with the incredible depth of data analysis, that you can really elevate your earnings. Look for where you’re getting the most clicks and if those clicks are actually converting into revenue. How much is this traffic costing you? What is your ROI?

Dig Into That Data

If you’re only running a small handful of campaigns with a couple of landing pages, getting a handle on the data can be pretty easy. When you’ve got hundreds or even thousands of campaigns at scale, you’re playing in a different league and that’s when you’d need something like Binom.

Remember that Binom is a tracking solution that is geared toward professionals, so this means that is geared toward handling just about any volume you can throw at it. With those super fast click processing times, the traffic you generate will reach where they need to go more quickly and this provides a much more positive user experience.

The next step, of course, is to dive deep into the wealth of data at your fingertips. Everything that you need is here, and it’s all easily filtered, sorted, and searched through. Look for parameters that are offering the best CTR or look how you’re doing with EPC or CPC. This can reveal new opportunities for growth, as well as what campaigns you should probably drop.

Visually, it can feel like a lot, to be sure, but that’s kind of the point. Binom has done a great job is presenting this data in such a way that is more easily digestible, including convenient color coding and sorting. Filter by network, time frame and more, looking for where you’re getting the best ROI (and where you’re not).

One of the best ways you can get a good handle on how Binom works is to have a look at the product tour. You’ll learn more not only about speed, but also about how the group system will help you organize your information, how the traffic distribution can offer smart rotation, how the deep analytics can offer incredible detail, and how just powerful the tracking solution can be.

The live demo is worth checking out too.

Monthly Subscription Price

Tired of complex pricing schemes where you’re not really sure what plan is right for you? Binom has kept things very simple. You can choose to pay $99 monthly or, if you prepay for a year at a time, the monthly cost for the license is cut down to $69. In both cases, you get one server, unlimited clicks and domains, and lifetime updates, as well as a 14-day free trial.

Binom will install the tracker on your server for free. Updates are pushed out as single clicks, so you don’t have to replace files manually. Support is always available via Skype and the web with responses in five minutes or less. If you need additional licenses, they’re $49 each.

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Affiliate Marketing

How to Make Money with CrakRevenue Affiliate Network

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What do you look for in an affiliate network? You want to make sure that it’s got some of the top offers in the industry, of course, because what good is a network if it doesn’t have the right offers. You also want to have good lines of communication open so you can get the support than you need. And you want to ensure that the network is run as efficiently and as effectively as possible.

Ticking all of these boxes is CrakRevenue, the CPA network crowned with 20 international awards in the past five years, including best affiliate program and best overall company of the year. Are you ready to follow the whale?

Make Money Online with CrakRevenue

As fresh and as exciting as the new kids on the block might be, they’re unproven in the industry and you can have little assurance of where they might go next. It’s far better to work with an established entity that has proven its success, year after year, and that’s what CrakRevenue is all about.

The CPA network has been around for more than ten years at this point. From the very beginning, as Chief Operating Officer Axel Vezina, they’ve known that “having the expertise, knowledge and passion for developing new features and the knowledge of the industry” would put them “well ahead of the curve.” These days, they’ve CrakRevenue has grown to become “the largest, longest running, most reputable and the most trusted CPA network in the industry.”

You can expect to have everything you need to be successful as an affiliate with CrakRevenue. You’ll have access to over 1000 offers at your fingertips, dedicated account managers who can offer customized ad tools and insight, exclusive products to promote, high payouts, fast and accurate reporting, high CTR ad tools, and even extra earning opportunities.

Targeted Adult Offers

Generally speaking, the CrakRevenue affiliate program focuses mostly on offers that are geared toward adults. These include offers that are related to dating and adult entertainment, like cams and paysites, as well as offers that are more generally appealing to an adult audience, like crypto and gaming.

What this means, then, is that the audience that you have and the targeted traffic you intend on sending should be geared more toward this type of demographic. It’s noteworthy that because many of the offers are from adult entertainment advertisers, the corresponding ad creatives may contain nudity and other adult-oriented content.

When you log into your affiliate dashboard with CrakRevenue (more on this in a moment), you’ll be able to sift, search and filter through the list of offers to find one best suited for you and your audience. You’ll notice two toggles for enabling and disabling both G offers and 18+ offers. When you choose only to show G offers, that really means that the creatives are only “G” rated, as the advertisers may still be offering adult-oriented products and services.

Dashboards and Rankings

Getting set up as an active affiliate with CrakRevenue is a standard, straightforward affair. Logging into the dashboard, you’ll be presented with an attractive interface that is easy to navigate too.

All the core navigational links are in the left sidebar, and it is on this initial page that you’ll be presented with key information. This includes current active promotions, like the Back2School challenge for September in this case. And in addition to a list of top offers, the latest blog posts, your payment history, your recent statistics, and your affiliate manager’s contact information, there’s also something called the affiliate ranking.

This is a brand new account that we’re using for the purposes of this review, so of course our total payout thus far is zero. That being said, seeing your ranking among all the affiliates on the network can provide a bit of “gamification” or motivation to keep you going, as it puts your efforts into perspective.

Based on what I see here, there are at least 11,000 affiliates on the network. There’s a note for how much I’d need to earn to move up one spot in the ranking, but more importantly, there’s a note on how much it takes to get into VIP status.

Affiliates with CrakRevenue fall into one of three rankings. The active affiliate is where you start. When you crack the top 200, you become a VIP affiliate with added benefits like a dedicated account manager and exclusive offers. Break into the top 50 to join the elite club. With that, you get a 20% one-month referral bump, a 10 day annual payout bump, and a Christmas gift too!

Applying for Promotions

As of the writing of this review, the CrakRevenue affiliate network boasts over 1,200 affiliate offers. Naturally, I wasn’t able to go through all of them, but based on a random spot test, it appears that as a new affiliate, you will need to apply for each offer that you want to promote individually.

So, for example, this is currently one of the top offers in the network. You get to see some of the most important information, like a description of the advertiser and the offer, as well as the payable action, payout amount, accepted countries, and the conversion flow. I found having the conversion flow helpful so it’s crystal clear what is required before you are credited for the user action.

But you will also see at the very top that you need to request approval in order to promote this offer. Furthermore, the offer is also “temporarily capped to a maximum of 25 leads/day while we review the quality of your traffic.” On the one hand, this can be a little frustrating for affiliates, as it is an extra hoop to jump through.

On the other hand, by taking this extra step of requiring approval and by assessing the quality of traffic, CrakRevenue is able to maintain a certain level of quality for its advertisers. In turn, the advertisers can then be more confident about increasing payment amounts and this, as a result, leads to more lucrative opportunities for legitimate affiliates. It’s ultimately win-win.

More Affiliate Features

As you make your way around the dashboard, you’ll uncover a wealth of tools and features as an affiliate. The SmartLink technology, for example, makes it easy to maximize your earnings as you don’t need to identify a single offer you’d like to promote. Instead, the system can find the best offer for the user on an individual basis.

You can customize the smart link based on the type that you’d like to use, like a banner ad or a simple link. From there, you may unlock additional options like banner size, language and format.

Another useful tool is the Native Ads Generator. Choose between about a dozen different templates, include vertical blocks, horizontal blocks, separated blocks, text over, three vertical banners, and more. Choose niche settings (like sexual orientation and nudity), widget settings like max width and number of ads shown, image settings, and text settings. More advanced affiliates can even apply custom CSS.

Survey Machine by CrakRevenue

As you can see, CrakRevenue has a nice selection of their own useful tools and generators for affiliates to take advantage of. This is just one of the many features that have made CrakRevenue stand out of the crowd in the super competitive affiliate marketing space.

Let’s now take a look at their Survey Machine, which helps affiliates not only better understand how much revenue they might be able to generate based on the type of traffic they have, where their traffic is from, and how much of it they are getting — but also to create online surveys, polls, content, applications and more that they can profit from in the process.

You can see a few of the tool features and concept ideas in the screenshot below.

 

Of all the tools offered by CR, this one is definitely the most popular amongst their affiliate. In fact, it even has it’s own loading page for people that would like to learn more about it. Head on over to https://www.surveymachine.com to learn more and to try the tool out yourself.

Payment Terms

When you work with CrakRevenue as an affiliate, you are treated to generous payment terms that will ensure you are suitably rewarded for your efforts in a timely and efficient manner. Payments can be issued via Paxum, wire or check and all commissions are issued in USD. The minimum threshold is $100 for all payments except for wire, where the minimum is set at $500.

There are two payment periods each month (up to the 15th, and up to the end of the month). Depending on the arrangement that you have, you may be eligible for a net-7, net-15 or net-30 payment schedule.

How to Make the Most Money with CrakRevenue

As with any affiliate program or money making offer online, it’s all about the amount of time, work, and effort you put in to master the system. CrakRevenue provides affiliates and marketers with the tools they need to find success, while also coming out with the best offers and CPA amounts possible.

Join CrakRevenue today, then connect with your affiliate manager to start promoting the best offers today.

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Affiliate Marketing

5 Different Scenarios Where Discussing Money Is Taboo

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Being an affiliate marketer or an entrepreneur, and working in the internet marketing industry is completely different from any other business or job in the world today. Head to any major affiliate marketing or business event, and everyone is talking about how much money they made from their recent ad campaigns, promotions, mailings, and product launches. In fact, not only are people talking about how much money they’ve made, they are also helping others to make more in the process.

Jump outside of this industry, and you will find a completely different world, where the concept of talking about money or how much you make, is completely taboo!

To further stress this point, most companies consider discussing salaries among co-workers an offense for which one can be fired. Remarkably, this mindset permeates society at large. In fact, a University College London study found people were more comfortable discussing romantic or intimate matters with a stranger than to discuss financial matters.

All of which leads one to wonder, why is discussing money taboo? To answer this question and concept, let’s take a look at some of the most popular places where the discussion of money and self-made profits usually isn’t an acceptable talking point.

At Work

Employers frown upon co-workers having salary discussions because it will ultimately cost the company more. If you find out the person at the desk next to yours, who has the exact same credentials and experience as you make more money, you’re going to seek parity. And well you should. Keeping everyone in the dark about pay means employers can choose to reward individuals as they see fit—rather than base it entirely upon merit.

In Social Situations

Money is a way to “keep score” for a lot of people. They use it to measure their relative success against others. In a consumption-driven society like ours, people tend to pass judgment on others based on where they live, the car they drive and how they dress. People with money problems are (regrettably) considered unsuccessful. Meanwhile, people who aren’t doing well console themselves by believing people must be greedy to be rich. If money were discussed openly, this would only exacerbate the phenomena. Therefore, in an effort to avoid such uncomfortable conversations, people tend to avoid talking about finances altogether.

In Personal Relationships

One of the leading causes of divorce is varying expectations surrounding money. By and large, children learn to deal with money from their parents. If one partner comes from a family prone to frugality and the other comes from a household given to indulgence, the resulting disconnect can be quite jarring. Arguments surrounding fears for the future lead to strong disagreements as well as loss of intimacy. The earlier a couple discusses finances and finds a space within the topic where they can co-exist, the sooner they can get on the path to building a solid financial future together.

Fear of the Unknown

Out of sight is out of mind for many people. They believe if they never talk about money, they can live blissfully unaware. However, this attitude can create money problems. If you give your finances no thought, spend freely and worse, resort to credit to acquire the trappings of success, you could find your income incapable of supporting your desired lifestyle. You could also inadvertently pass these habits along to your children, dooming them to the same fate.

It’s OK to Consult Professionals

As difficult as it might seem at first, especially if you’re in a situation in which money problems have escalated into missed payments and collections calls, working with a financial professional can be of great benefit. On the other hand, even if things are flowing well, you could benefit from the services of a financial planner who can help you ensure the security of your future.

If you’re having problems meeting your obligations, then one might find comfort in talking with a professional financial and loan company for guidance. A perfect example of this can be seen at Freedom Debt Relief reviews where they provide a list of financial solutions that openly discuss the topics of interest rates, terms, loan amounts, and much more.

Silence Isn’t Golden

Ultimately, keeping quiet about money does you more harm than good. Talk to your spouse, teach your children, and try to learn from your friends. There really is no good reason why discussing money should continue to be taboo.

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Hi, I’m Zac Johnson

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