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  1. #1
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    Seeking recommendations
    As I posted in my introduction – I’m new at this and I’m seeking good information. That’s why I came here and I am finding a wealth of knowledge here. But as we all know there is no “one” place to go to feed your needs. If there was, each one of you would probably have only one web site to maintain.

    So I have two questions.

    I know you visit this site and what ever network or partners you work with. But what web sites do you visit on a regular or daily basis to look for information, news or insight about the industry? By industry I mean affiliate marketing, other online marketing and the general online community?

    Right now I visit – Here - Pro Blogger – Clicknewz - Quit Your Day Job - The Longtail - The Daily Flip – Revenews – Advaliant Blog.

    My second question is what would you recommend in the way of books you have read or publications you read that have helped you succeed in your online business? It can be self help - computer – business - about the web - marketing - any topic that helped you.

    This is a quick list of what’s on my book shelf that I’ve read or have waiting. Some had a small impact or value, some a great impact or value. Some of these come from years ago, Click I bought this week. Most of the internet related ones come from my brief look at AM a few years ago and now with my more recent interest.
    Any book by Tom Peters
    Think and Grow Rich – Hill
    Unlimited Power – Robbins
    Advanced Selling Strategies – Tracy
    Principle Centered Leadership - Covey
    The e-code – Vitale and Mok
    Net Words – Usborne
    Customers.com – Seybold
    Success Secrets of The Online Superstars – Myerson
    Emyth Mastery – Gerber
    Naked Conversations – Scoble and Israel
    Affiliate Millions – Borelli and Holden
    Internet Riches – Fox
    The Online Millionaire – Joyner
    Net Ready – Hartman and Sifonis
    Selling Online – Lowry
    Next Now, Trends for the future – Salzman and Matahia
    The New Rules of Marketing and P.R. – Scott
    Smart Start-Ups - Silver

    Reading Now
    Clear Blogging – Walsh
    High Performance Affiliate Marketing - Palmer

    On the shelf waiting to be read.
    The Design of Sites – Van Duyane, Landay and Hong
    Small Business Start-Up – Adams
    Search Engine Advertising – Seda
    Click – Tancer

    Also I used to pick up Revenue Magazine at the book store and at the first of the year when it went to a free subscription I signed up, but never received any issues. I also have signed up for the new magazine Net Effect.

  2. #2
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    Wow, my reading seems inadequate after seeing your list!

    I tend to read more about my niche than affiliate marketing strategies (to improve my content). I read this forum, a few seo-related sites, and stay on top of technology within reason, that's about it. I also spend a lot of my time looking at my own site stats & visitor behavior. What they click on, what works on my site, what doesn't... what keywords they used, search patterns... historical sales, etc.

    To me, Affiliate Marketing as a business like every other & I have no interest in books that talk about online millions. If you can make millions online, you can make it offline too... it's a goal, but not a realistic expectation. It's like owning a library of self-help books - some may help, but not all.

    I don't spend too much time reading about what I should do - prefer to test online. The beauty of owning a website is that you can test theories in real time... in my niche, I need to be timely with info/content, which gets picked up in search engines. I'm old school - "content is king". If I bring in traffic through good content, I can work on conversions. Conversions don't exist without traffic..

    If I see something I like on another site, that can set me off on a research path - while not a true programmer, I'm good at finding scripts to do what I need. No book can help me with that. But a have a few basic guides if I'm stuck (Photoshop, css, etc). I think I'm just better at reading online than off...

    Not really the answer you were looking for (no books/sites listed here!), I just wanted to share my experiences.

    A little bit of a rambling post, but I haven't had that second cup of coffee!!

  3. #3
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    teezone

    Thanks for taking the time to respond.

    I agree that having a web site to test will greatly speed up my education. But I haven't decided my direction yet.

    So I'm looking at reading here on the net and books to help me out. I feel that even though some books promise a lot and some are unrealistic, they may contain some nuggets of information that might keep me from reinventing the wheel all over again.

    That's why I am looking for some guidance here. With all this experience to draw from here I figure I could get pointed in the right direction quicker than me bumbling from one site, one book or publication to another trying to figure which is is good and which is crap.

    I understand that different people will have different opinions, different sites to look at and different books to look at, but after some discussion you start to see some come to the top like good cream. It's like the web hosting survey thread running here. I now have a lot of information to use in making my future choice of a hosting site. I don't have to go through the agony of a bunch of bad or inattentive host sites. If I'm lucky enough to come up with multiple sites, I feel that by picking any or all of the top three host sites, I will be pretty confident that I shouldn't have too many problems. I can use the combined experience of this fine group to help me probably be more productive quicker.

    Maybe I should have made this a survey instead.

  4. #4
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    I won't presume to give more advice than what was requested (!), just make sure you don't end up with information overload.

    Everyone has different experiences to share - I know (first-hand) that what works for some doesn't always work for others. Case in point, my niche is supposed to be on the decline, yet my revenue is up this month. I've kicked the tires of many ideas along the way. My best merchant doesn't have a presence in any affiliate forums.

    Only thing I will say is to pick a topic you like, it will make this process more enjoyable.

  5. #5
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    Disappointing - 110 looks and only one response.
    **MERGED WITH ORIGINAL THREAD**

    In the Newbie area I posted – Seeking recommendations

    Asking the questions I did,
    is in the secret realm - nobody wants to share where they get their information?
    or is it in the wrong forum area?
    or it's too long of a post?
    or I should only ask one question at a time?
    or maybe I should have made it a survey and not listed my information?
    or is it that most of these views are from guests that cannot post?
    Last edited by Ed Byerly; October 22nd, 2008 at 02:43 AM. Reason: Merged...

  6. #6
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    http://forum.abestweb.com/showpost.p...43&postcount=2

    Said it all, I think many of the 100+ viewers would agree, I don't think you'd be enthused seeing 100 yeah what he said posts, would you?

    Information overload is a real issue in AM, learn to tune out to get productive. I think the net has proven to us all if we need the info it is easily accessible, the part that is missing is the drive, got that then pull a Nike ... just do it, learn and tweak and grow. Along the way you ask, search and help.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador jodyq's Avatar
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    Wow thats alot of books to read about affiliate marketing, and money making online. here is the question out of all those books and visiting have you started making any money. When I started this "ok you can all laugh at me now" I bought the How to Process Rebates from that angela person. I figured out in week one that it was a scam. But I pulled some great ideas out and tweeked them and made them work. Commission junction if you have signed up offers something called CJU or Commission Junction University. That has been by far really really helpful. It is filled with tips and great strategies from the best. and its free.
    Wear Short Sleeves!!! Support the right to bare arms!

  8. #8
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    I know you visit this site and what ever network or partners you work with. But what web sites do you visit on a regular or daily basis to look for information, news or insight about the industry? By industry I mean affiliate marketing, other online marketing and the general online community?
    I subscribe in google to keywords and have google send me what matches and then I visit the sites as needed, If I spend too much time trolling from site to site I'd end up with no time to do any work so I keep a focus on a very small number of sites and let google take care of the rest for me. One site that I visit a fair bit (other than amwso.com and ABW ) is E-consultancy.com.

    Read wise, I don't read a great deal of business books, I like my reading to be fun, I found a lot of Seth Godin's early books to be great, the latest ones not so interesting

    Cheers

    Chris
    Affiliate Marketing by AMWSO. Skype - chrissanderson ::: TEL 1-720-336-1784 ::: www.amwso.net
    Join our affiliate programs :Vaper Empire, Iolo, Art of Tea, or See ALL our Programs here

  9. #9
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    Haiko

    Thank you for your response.

    No I wouldn't want 100+ of the same. What I was hoping for was 100 different comments like I got from my introduction post. I believe it was Ed that said go get the High Performance Affiliate Marketing book it's a great place to start. I did - it was helpful. I was hoping for posts like - here is a great SEO site or here's a good web building helper site or this book really helped me learn html or don't go here or there or don't buy this ebook it was a waste or here's where to get the current news. Also being new I was trying to start a dialog with the people here.

    I agree that you can get info overload. I'm trying to tune in and be productive. Yes the net has proven that the info is easily accessible, but knowing where the creditable info is in the vast expanse of the web, about the ins outs, the news, the what's going on in AM, you and the other regulars here already know the where, be it on the net or in print. I was just trying to get this good solid quality info quicker without having to sift through all the make me rich with one book or subscription sites as I sometimes do now. I wasn't looking for the Holy Grail, just looking for some info to build with and grow with.

    As I said in my response comment that I understand having a site will speed things up. But I also haven't found that niche, idea, item, whatever that I can or will be "passionate" about. And that is one piece of the puzzle that everyone agrees on that you need. I keep seeing this advice over and over - if you don't have the knowledge or the passion for your subject - you might as well not start. Should I quit learning about the industry because I don't have a subject yet to apply what I've learned so far?

    You see the drive missing - I see that the drive has just pulled out of the old garage and is headed for the new one. But ahead is a forest and and to just driving blindly into it would be a short trip. It's this short trip many a start-up take being unprepared. I am seeking that path that others have traveled and offered to help me navigate, to see which forks are better to take than others. To find some new ground for me to lay a good foundation on so when I do it, learn, tweak and grow maybe my garage stays up when the winds of change blow against it.

  10. #10
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    jodyq

    Thanks for the reply and the CJU tip.

    No I haven't made any money because I haven't found my Subject yet. See my response to Haiko in my "disappointed" post and my introduction post.

    Most of those books about internet and AM I read a few years ago when I first explored AM. But like you I had to separate the wheat from the chaff. But they did expose me to AM and I found that it was something I wanted to explore. Through them I found Revenue Magazine and web sites and then I found ABW. Each place I never regretted my expense or time spent. I'll spend 24.95 on a book that I get two or three things from or 40.00 a month on a subscription if it saves me reinventing the wheel over and over or gives me ideas.

  11. #11
    Believe knight01's Avatar
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    As I recall you have a rather extensive offline sales background and have been relatively successful in your field.

    I'm sure you've seen others in sales that spent many hours of their time, reading how others did things. How to be successful, how to win friends and influence people. Planning for their big sale. Preparing for when they get a shot at the whale. Laying out every contingency and possible outcome.

    I know I've seen many of them in the years I spent in offline real estate and finance sales. The thing I noticed about those people was, they were very busy.. but they didn't get anything done. They rarely sold anything and struggled to understand why. Perhaps the answer was in the next book they were going to read this weekend.

    To be successful in offline or online sales is simple, find people who need what you've got and tell them you've got what they need.

    The big difference between offline and online sales is, if you get it wrong the first time, it's easy to change your approach and try again.

    People buy from (or for affiliate marketing, through) people they like and trust, everything else just gets in the way.

    There's nothing wrong with preparation. There's nothing wrong with reading books and scanning websites for tips. There's nothing wrong with getting ideas from others. Unless it becomes all encompassing and takes so much time that it prevents you from achieving your primary objective of making a sale.

    Put down the book, pick up a mouse and get started. It's the only way to succeed online.
    Someday starts today
    Military Discounts

  12. #12
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    Chris

    Thanks for the response and the tips.

    I know what you mean about trolling. I have spent a fair amount of time looking at other sites and ones in areas that I think I might want to get into - comparing - doing some analytics on them - seeing their traffic patterns - seeing how they navigate and boom it's midnight or beyond before I know it.

    I just to other way with books. I read very little fiction. But I enjoy the business and self help ones and now with AM I excited with the future possibilities. I have read some of Godin's books. I did not put down my entire book shelf, only what came to mind as relevant for background.

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    The most valuable lessons are learned by trial and error. To stand looking at the daunting woods without stepping in is to deny yourself those lessons.

    I have always operated on a need to know basis. Start with the big picture first. That picture may simply be "I want to market on the web". The "need to know" step is, "how do I do that?". That eBook I recommended to you originally gave you a good overview.

    As you mentioned, the big missing piece of the puzzle is "what do I want to promote?". As so many have said, and I fully agree, look to your passions, whether they be politics, religion, debate, hobbies, counseling, firefighting, hot rods, construction, and the list is endless. Two reasons to go where your passions lie; your presentation will naturally be higher quality, and you will be less likely to burn out in drudgery. Until you determine a goal there's no further "need to know" because your objective will dictate your methods.

    Once your goal is set, you can determine the method[s] required to accomplish it. For instance, a blog site for articles, a forum, or a product site, or a database site...

    The next "need to know" is "what is required technically" to develop the type of site you need[?]. And under that, each individual step can be taken on a "need to know" basis only without getting bogged down by all those other "trees".



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  14. #14
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    Not sure how you can analyze traffic patterns of other sites (unless you mean their linking strategy?) - numbers reported by the likes of Alexa are misleading.

    Here's a tip I learned from a successful publisher.. she writes GREAT content & has thousands of readers daily. She structures her pages in such a way that her competitors never really know which page/idea is the most successful. The copycat sites haven't figured it out, and she wants to keep it that way.

    I think you really need to find your niche/interest/specialty.. something concrete for all this knowledge you're accumulating. Affiliates are virtual sales reps, you have to enjoy & believe in the products you will try to sell (and only you know what interests you)

  15. #15
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    knight01

    Thanks for the reply.

    Yes I know you can waste a lot of time preparing and that ends up to be your non-paying job. As I said in my introduction and again in my response to Haiko in my disappointed post. I have not found a subject I have a knowledge of and/or passion for and that is the other half of my search. I have narrowed it down to about three and I am now looking at if and what competitors there are and where my ideas would fit in, etc. So until I find something worthy of the effort I plan to put in it, I gather information from people like I find here.

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    Addendum...

    You may look at our website and wonder, what kind of passion drove my goals for the site. Here it is; I love talking about the good old days and telling the stories. And getting others to tell their stories. Our products site is an eCommerce site with affiliate links mixed in. Product sales is our primary income and affiliate commissions is secondary at this point. The products site is the first phase. I'm working on a couple companion sites where I'll be able to tell the stories that I love and cross promote between the sites.



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  17. #17
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    teezone

    I don't know if traffic is right. One place I look is on Compete to see if their site is getting more or less unique visitors. I understand some of these places, to see information about sites, may not give you a true picture, but doesn't Compete give you some sense of the "traffic" they're generating. But then that's some of the info I'm looking for here. Am I looking at it wrong or should I be analyzing or gathering different information on potential competitors?

  18. #18
    Believe knight01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by D.L. Wood
    knight01

    Thanks for the reply.

    Yes I know you can waste a lot of time preparing and that ends up to be your non-paying job. As I said in my introduction and again in my response to Haiko in my disappointed post. I have not found a subject I have a knowledge of and/or passion for and that is the other half of my search. I have narrowed it down to about three and I am now looking at if and what competitors there are and where my ideas would fit in, etc. So until I find something worthy of the effort I plan to put in it, I gather information from people like I find here.
    I perhaps lost my point in the long windedness of my post. You've found three ideas. Hopefully these are things you know something about already. If not, decide on something from your past or something that you currently know and enjoy and tomorrow, make a site about it.

    How many competitors there are doing the same thing isn't relevant. Create a blog, it requires little to no technical ability. Write what you know about the topic. Your 'take' on it, in and of itself, is going to be unique and there is no one competing with your insight. Build a base of repeat visitors and then do some research on how to monetize them.

    First step is to help others solve a problem. Second step is to find a way to make money from helping them. Third step is to repeat the first step.
    Someday starts today
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  19. #19
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    I never analyze/gather competitor info .. only ever look at competitors to see what I have done well... and what they're missing. I analyze my own traffic to ensure steady growth.

    I just checked Compete for my site.. shows approx 100 visitors/day, in reality the number is 1,000. I hope my competitors see that.. they won't realize how well I'm doing!! Excellent...

    You are looking at this the wrong way around... if everyone tried to build sites for current traffic patterns, no new sites would ever appear. It's the unique ideas that make money on the web (or the unique spin you put on an existing idea). I think you need to put down the books, stats, analysis.. and put some emotion into your decision.

    Or maybe the time just isn't right for you... for the most part, personally owned affiliate sites start out with passion & excitement for a topic.

  20. #20
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    Ed

    I agree I have to make the choice and soon. But I still feel I can learn somethings before actually having a site.

    I feel that a blog or a blog as part of a site is very important as I understand that they get looked at often by the internet god Google. So that is why I am reading Clear Blogging.

    Thank you for tip on the ebook. I finished it over the weekend. I was up in Michigan visiting family and it is a rural area. This is one reason I like books. I couldn't keep a wireless connection for more than 5 minutes and when I did it was soooo slooow that it was worthless. My phone worked, but not the internet, I turned the computer off and read. I was hard not having internet for 3 full days. Kinda like drug withdrawal.

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