My name is Tim, I'm from Brighton Colorado, which is about 20 miles northeast of Denver. While I'm not new at web development, (I own a small, which is to say a one man shop) web development firm, I am VERY new at the idea of affiliate marketing and have some questions, but first I'll tell a little about myself so you'll know how I got here.
I was born in... just kidding, I won't go that far back :-). I've had a few different careers and fell into working on the Internet about 9 years ago. I was doing outside sales in the automotive parts industry when the company I was working for over extended themselves and had to lay off people all across the country... I was one of the lucky ones in Denver. A friend and his wife were selling collectibles on the Internet, (alot on a popular auction site that I won't name). He told me that I could make a lot of money selling collectibles online, working for myself. At the time, I was tired of working for someone else, so I thought I would give it a try.
It worked pretty well, so well in fact that after about 2 3/4 years I worked my way out of my marriage... almost 20 hours a day, 7 days a week isn't real conducive (sp?) to a healthy relationship... found that out the hard way.
Did I mention that when I started down this road (the collectibles business), I didn't own a computer, had never been on the Internet and didn't know HTML
from shinola? But I bought some books and taught myself HTML
and developed 10 sites for the collectibles biz. What I found out over that 2 3/4 years, was that I kind of enjoyed developing web sites. By the time her and I split, I was pretty tired of collectibles myself, so after her and I split, I decided to change venues and develop web sites for other people.
I went out and got some clients and also taught myself PHP
... things were going pretty well until December '05 when I found out that all of the crazy things I did as a kid and young man are coming back to haunt me. I was a 15' pole vaulter, rode bareback and saddle bronc, plus quite a number of other not so safe things... anyway, all of the falling from great heights had taken its toll. I have a spinal cord injury, the doc told me I could be paralyzed if I get rear ended in a parking lot, and that I qualify for disability... NOT my style!
It was extremely difficult to work for the first 6 months of '06, but as a result I came up with a few ideas and my business began evolving again. I decided that I wanted to primarily develop my own projects. Projects that help small businesses grow and prosper in some way, and then I donate 50% of the profits to Craig Hospital in Denver. I don't expect many to know about Craig, but they're a leading research and rehabilitation hospital for spinal cord injuries... and no, I'm not a patient there, nor do I profit by mentioning their name. I just think they do great things, plus they're local for me. I can actually meet, and have met with the President of the hospital, so they're who I decided to work with.
So far, I've developed a couple of projects and have ideas for others. I was on the local news in November for one of the projects, and have been getting some pretty good traffic to that site. This site is to help Colorado businesses get found on the Internet. The business pays a one time listing fee, and gets a graphical link, usually their logo, to their business site. But, I'm not getting enough sales, so I decided to try affiliate programs to prime the pump, so to speak.
Which brings me to some of my questions. I joined Link Share and have been approved for some affiliate links. After being approved, I got to see their code to construct the links.
Here's where the challenge comes in, and I hope my explanation makes sense, my site is data driven, (written in PHP
). The area for listings is basically a series of 100 pixel squares, each square is controlled by the DB. Obviously the links are larger than a 100 pixel square, so each llink consists of multiple squares. I'm trying to figure out how to include Link Shares second image source... their tracking image, so I get credit for any sales the merchant may receive from my site without disrupting the look, feel or operation of my site. I spoke with someone at Link Share yesterday and they recommended this site to get some help... so the first question is, has anyone dealt with this on their site? Secondly, I've been browsing the forums and am sometimes boggled by the abreviations... OPM
, what's that? Is there a place on the site that will tell me what the abreviations are?