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  1. #1
    Newbie Jeremy Morgan's Avatar
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    Does anyone actually make money from CJ?
    I am curious, does anyone actually make real money from CJ? Like money you can live off of?

    I tried three different CJ campaigns, and one I even let drag out for WAY too long. The sources of my traffic:

    1. People going to my SEO blog. mostly SEO/marketer types. 2000 uniques a day, nothing.

    2. Then I tried a social media type site. About 2-3k uniques per day in a web forum of quite a few people. used a very targeted campaign, selling mustang parts to a forum full of mustang fans. Nothing.

    3. Then I built an SEO campaign. Targeted SEO traffic, lots of clicks, no sales. I tried some niche products and some mainstream, sent around 1000 uniques per day, and got nothing. I tried some PPC stuff, and still ended up short.

    I have still yet to receive a single check from CJ, and I've been a member since 2001. I'm wondering, is anyone making any real money? If so, what kind of traffic are you sending?

  2. #2
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    CJ is making money off CJ ... You probably have made more than a few sales which were no doubt poached by tool bar parasites, CJ employees acting on their own behalf as affiliates and the list could go on and on and on and on.

    Tracking is never effected since CJ 'steals' most of everyone's sales in one form or another. The place is loaded with parasites and the people at CJ care less about affiliates.

    But hey ... they are working on fixing things ... once a year they change a picture on
    their home page.

  3. #3
    Half a Bubble Off Plumb RemodelingGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by net4biz
    CJ is making money off CJ ... You probably have made more than a few sales which were no doubt poached by tool bar parasites, CJ employees acting on their own behalf as affiliates and the list could go on and on and on and on.

    Tracking is never effected since CJ 'steals' most of everyone's sales in one form or another. The place is loaded with parasites and the people at CJ care less about affiliates.

    But hey ... they are working on fixing things ... once a year they change a picture on
    their home page.

    Jimmy McDonald - Your Local Hard Working RemodelingGuy ( & SprinklerGuy - & GarageGuy )
    StartRemodeling.com .... MySprinklerGuy.com .... MyGarageGuy.com ....
    We're Bettering YOUR Life by Improving Where YOU Live It ...
    Do What You LOVE & LOVE What You Do! ....

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador ToughTurkey's Avatar
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    Don't be fooled, it is very possible to make a nice living through CJ - though I would recommend spreading your empire over all the major networks. There are many people on these boards living the dream. Don't give up.


    1. People going to my SEO blog. mostly SEO/marketer types. 2000 uniques a day, nothing.

    2. Then I tried a social media type site. About 2-3k uniques per day in a web forum of quite a few people. used a very targeted campaign, selling mustang parts to a forum full of mustang fans. Nothing.

    3. Then I built an SEO campaign. Targeted SEO traffic, lots of clicks, no sales. I tried some niche products and some mainstream, sent around 1000 uniques per day, and got nothing. I tried some PPC stuff, and still ended up short.
    1. People interested in a SEO blog are IMHO more likely to buy through their own affiliate links. I would.
    2. Those numbers are confusing all right. Way too many clicks for no results. Were you direct linking to the merchant or directing to your own site?
    3. How much time did you give this? Are you saying you did this 2001?

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador ladidah's Avatar
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    That sounds like a lot of TARGETED traffic so I'm suprised no sales. Although I don't know how many SEO/marketer types are looking to buy something.

    Split test various offers across different networks and different merchants. Other networks SAS, Avantlink, .... Have you tried them?

    If you see one network/merchant converting well, and not the others perhaps there is something up. You can also do a test purchase.

  6. #6
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    Great question. I've been wondering myself and am starting to dig into this.

    For me, CJ is nearly a complete bust. I have a small network of sites and have been doing affiliate stuff only about 10 mths, so I'm no expert yet.

    But I run affiliate ads from a bunch of programs in addition to CJ vendors and the data show that the CJ vendors consistently do the WORST. Like absolutely terrible compared to other programs. And these are very good companies I'm pitching. Grade A. They should be selling.

    Best example is a company that operates programs on both CJ and self-managed. The CJ program offers 50% commission on sales -which is pretty juicy. Self-managed offers 10% which sucks in comparison.

    But after fairly systematic testing, i'm going with the self-managed one because it actually converts whereas CJ program doesn't.

    Specific data last month for this company on self-managed platform, I did $658 in gross sales with about a sale per day through the month. Got bumped up to higher level commission rate and earned 20% on that.

    I'm thinking to myself, this is great, I'll roll over to CJ version for July and get $300+ for the month at50% on gross. Nope. Sales dropped like a stone the day I switched.

    Didn't get A SINGLE SALE off this affiliate for 1st 15 days of July on CJ. Not one. Zero. From about a sale a day for entire month of June to zero sales over 2 weeks in July.

    Switched back to self-managed on July 16 and since then have gotten $210 in gross sales and am back to about a sale a day.

    This is not randomness. This is a systemic problem.

    Previously (like a ocuple months ago), when I asked CJ why I was seeing such crappy performance, I was told that I hadn't implemented my links correctly - which may well have been true prior to July 1. But as of July 1, they are done exactly as they told me to do.

    This has yielded some result since I've gotten $70 this month from other vendors (not one cited above) which is as much as I got in the previous 9 months with them when my links were apparently screwed up.

    But with this caliber of marketers, I should be doing much, much better than they are - at least as well as the other firms I'm pitching. But the CJ conversion rates are simply abysmal.

    Click tracking also seems not good. I use a pretty sophisticated ad management platform and i believe it tracks things pretty accurately. Perhaps not surprisingly, the CJ click data don't agree too well with what my ad platform is telling me re: click rates. You'd expect a certain degree of disagreement, but CJ stats are comparatively worse than similar data with other programs.

    At this point, I have to assume, as the comment above suggests, that they are poaching on a massive scale.

  7. #7
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    I am happy with what I am making now! Sure... you can make good money from it.

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador ToughTurkey's Avatar
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    When you say you tried "some PPC stuff", you give away that you didn't take it too seriously. Am I wrong? PPC is very lucrative but there is a steep learning curve where you must invest $$ & time finetuning your KW all the time adding -KW to your campaign. But just "trying" it won't work whatever network you are on.

  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager jclaydon's Avatar
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    The naysayers here will tell you that CJ is ripping you off, or parasites are stealing your sales. Remember it's always a lot easier to blame someone else than own up to your own inability.

    Our program pays six to seven figures a month to our affiliates, the majority going to a handful of major players (none of which are parasitic/BHO/trademark poachers etc.) Keep in mind that most of these guys have been affiliates before affiliate networks even existed, so don't expect success overnight.
    [FONT=Arial][B][COLOR=Navy]Jonathan Claydon | [email]jclaydon@real.com[/email][/COLOR] |[COLOR=Gray] Director - Affiliate and Partner Marketing[/COLOR] |[/B] [COLOR=Blue]Real[/COLOR]Networks, Inc.[/FONT]

  10. #10
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    There are people making money in every network. I'm sure there are plenty of 5 bar CJ affiliates here, even some CJ Performers. We have a 229 reply CJ Balance Drop Thread, so people are making money.

  11. #11
    15 years and counting
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    Quote Originally Posted by jclaydon
    Our program pays six to seven figures a month to our affiliates, the majority going to a handful of major players (none of which are parasitic/BHO/trademark poachers etc.) Keep in mind that most of these guys have been affiliates before affiliate networks even existed, so don't expect success overnight.
    You don't consider shopathome or we-care, parasites? Strange!
    discounts.shopathome.com/Coupons-RealNetworks___SuperPass.discounts/5542/
    we-care.com/Merchants/Real-Networks

    Yes, you can make money with CJ but are all your commissions tracked and reported? I don't think so.
    How much is lost?

  12. #12
    Affiliate Manager jclaydon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeus
    You don't consider shopathome or we-care, parasites? Strange!
    discounts.shopathome.com/Coupons-RealNetworks___SuperPass.discounts/5542/
    we-care.com/Merchants/Real-Networks

    Yes, you can make money with CJ but are all your commissions tracked and reported? I don't think so.
    How much is lost?

    Statistically, they are less than .001% of our entire program, so no I do not worry about them. If we ran a retail program, that might be a different story.


    As far as tracking and reporting, it depends on how an advertiser is set up. Straight pixel tracking will lead to a discrepancy of anywhere from 5-10%.

    I would encourage any advertiser to pixel + batch to ensure everything is tracked correctly (we are working towards this at Real).
    [FONT=Arial][B][COLOR=Navy]Jonathan Claydon | [email]jclaydon@real.com[/email][/COLOR] |[COLOR=Gray] Director - Affiliate and Partner Marketing[/COLOR] |[/B] [COLOR=Blue]Real[/COLOR]Networks, Inc.[/FONT]

  13. #13
    15 years and counting
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    They may be less than .001% of your entire program, but it's not the case for other merchants. By keeping them, you approve their business model and give them more power to rip off other affiliates.

    But, it was not my point. If it's hard for a clean program to be 100% parasite free, it's impossible for a network run by unethical managers whose best interest is to promote these parasites.

  14. #14
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    Yes you can make money with CJ. I do.

  15. #15
    Half a Bubble Off Plumb RemodelingGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBoy
    Yes you can make money with CJ. I do.
    BB is a Bazillionaire and makes money with everything he touches.

    That and few junior smilies will buy you a soft drink.

    Jimmy McDonald - Your Local Hard Working RemodelingGuy ( & SprinklerGuy - & GarageGuy )
    StartRemodeling.com .... MySprinklerGuy.com .... MyGarageGuy.com ....
    We're Bettering YOUR Life by Improving Where YOU Live It ...
    Do What You LOVE & LOVE What You Do! ....

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador Lanadili's Avatar
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    I have been making money with CJ from the very beginning, so it is very possible. I learned early on that it's not necessarily the networks you have to worry about, it's the merchants. Some merchants track and are great converters, other suck.

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    I learned early on that it's not necessarily the networks you have to worry about, it's the merchants. Some merchants track and are great converters, other suck.
    I agree 100%.
    The reason I think that way is that maybe only about 5 or 10% of the merchants I've joined ever make me any steady commissions. And when they change networks (even to a network people love to bash), ...seems like I still make those sales when I follow them to the new network.

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador Joshua's Avatar
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    Do people make real money from CJ? Yes. I've been doing it for over 3 years now on a consistent basis, and I'm a CJ Performer. Traffic sources for me have included both PPC and SEO, and I don't only work with CJ merchants.

    Quote Originally Posted by jclaydon
    Statistically, they are less than .001% of our entire program, so no I do not worry about them. If we ran a retail program, that might be a different story.


    As far as tracking and reporting, it depends on how an advertiser is set up. Straight pixel tracking will lead to a discrepancy of anywhere from 5-10%.

    I would encourage any advertiser to pixel + batch to ensure everything is tracked correctly (we are working towards this at Real).
    If Shopathome represents less than 0.001% of your program (which I can believe, based on experience in a similar industry), just get rid of them. Their program does redirect paid SEM clicks through their software without any user interaction the last time I was working for an advertiser in CJ. They weren't even giving cash back for this specific advertiser due to incentive terms. Stealing traffic from a paid source, and not even giving the end-user a benefit is just LOW. They, more than anyone in the loyalty field, are simply stealing from your pocket.

    Also, do you have an email address I can contact you at? I've been looking to put up a search campaign featuring Real on the landing page, but I really need third party pixel tracking (adwords confirmation pixel) to make things work.

  19. #19
    Half a Bubble Off Plumb RemodelingGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua
    Do people make real money from CJ? Yes. I've been doing it for over 3 years now on a consistent basis, and I'm a CJ Performer. Traffic sources for me have included both PPC and SEO, and I don't only work with CJ merchants.


    If Shopathome represents less than 0.001% of your program (which I can believe, based on experience in a similar industry), just get rid of them. Their program does redirect paid SEM clicks through their software without any user interaction the last time I was working for an advertiser in CJ. They weren't even giving cash back for this specific advertiser due to incentive terms. Stealing traffic from a paid source, and not even giving the end-user a benefit is just LOW. They, more than anyone in the loyalty field, are simply stealing from your pocket.

    Also, do you have an email address I can contact you at? I've been looking to put up a search campaign featuring Real on the landing page, but I really need third party pixel tracking (adwords confirmation pixel) to make things work.
    The OP needs to understand what a landing page is all about.

    Jimmy McDonald - Your Local Hard Working RemodelingGuy ( & SprinklerGuy - & GarageGuy )
    StartRemodeling.com .... MySprinklerGuy.com .... MyGarageGuy.com ....
    We're Bettering YOUR Life by Improving Where YOU Live It ...
    Do What You LOVE & LOVE What You Do! ....

  20. #20
    Affiliate Manager jclaydon's Avatar
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    Hey Josh - You betcha

    jclaydon at real dot com

    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua
    Do people make real money from CJ? Yes. I've been doing it for over 3 years now on a consistent basis, and I'm a CJ Performer. Traffic sources for me have included both PPC and SEO, and I don't only work with CJ merchants.


    If Shopathome represents less than 0.001% of your program (which I can believe, based on experience in a similar industry), just get rid of them. Their program does redirect paid SEM clicks through their software without any user interaction the last time I was working for an advertiser in CJ. They weren't even giving cash back for this specific advertiser due to incentive terms. Stealing traffic from a paid source, and not even giving the end-user a benefit is just LOW. They, more than anyone in the loyalty field, are simply stealing from your pocket.

    Also, do you have an email address I can contact you at? I've been looking to put up a search campaign featuring Real on the landing page, but I really need third party pixel tracking (adwords confirmation pixel) to make things work.
    [FONT=Arial][B][COLOR=Navy]Jonathan Claydon | [email]jclaydon@real.com[/email][/COLOR] |[COLOR=Gray] Director - Affiliate and Partner Marketing[/COLOR] |[/B] [COLOR=Blue]Real[/COLOR]Networks, Inc.[/FONT]

  21. #21
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    Garbage In ... Garbage Out. Even I make money from CJ ... but it is down 95% from
    what it used to be ... and that is because the sales never get credited or are stolen by
    parasites. I pretty much gave them up for lost, when I sent close to 1,000 PPC visitors
    to what was a decent converted for years, but who switched over to the darkside and
    sales vanished.

    The problem with CJ is not can you make any money, but do you get credit for all you
    should make. The answer from my seat is NO and it's getting worse everyday.

    There are a few HONEST merchants on CJ, but the number is down to a very small number. But hey, if you are Yahoo, CJ will make you money and they probably won't
    cheat you since you have a herd of attornies to keep them honest.

    BTW ... traffic at CJ merchants is so off, that Vons & Lower My Bills & Safeway just added me to their program after declining me for years.

    Plus, everyday, I get three or four emails from CJ merchants asking me to join their programs - and they are not NEW programs.

    The secret to CJ, is to look for merchant programs and then see if they also have an
    INDIE program ... join the Indie program. You might even make a monthly check.

  22. #22
    Newbie Jeremy Morgan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToughTurkey
    Don't be fooled, it is very possible to make a nice living through CJ - though I would recommend spreading your empire over all the major networks. There are many people on these boards living the dream. Don't give up.

    1. People interested in a SEO blog are IMHO more likely to buy through their own affiliate links. I would.
    2. Those numbers are confusing all right. Way too many clicks for no results. Were you direct linking to the merchant or directing to your own site?
    3. How much time did you give this? Are you saying you did this 2001?
    I started in 2001, and ran several campaigns over the years, but gave up. And yes, I didn't take the PPC campaign too seriously, because obviously with a commodity you're simply competing against other affiliates selling the same product. I can do a lot with ads and landing pages, but I'm still simply bidding against everyone else. I like selling a unique product or service much better.

    I'm not trying to say they scammed me or anything like that, I'm just saying I could never get it to convert like so many other products. If someone is making 5 figures from CJ, I imagine they're spending close to half that to purchase that kind of traffic, or they are running some insanely large site like digg or something.

  23. #23
    Affiliate Manager jclaydon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy Morgan
    I started in 2001, and ran several campaigns over the years, but gave up. And yes, I didn't take the PPC campaign too seriously, because obviously with a commodity you're simply competing against other affiliates selling the same product. I can do a lot with ads and landing pages, but I'm still simply bidding against everyone else. I like selling a unique product or service much better.

    I'm not trying to say they scammed me or anything like that, I'm just saying I could never get it to convert like so many other products. If someone is making 5 figures from CJ, I imagine they're spending close to half that to purchase that kind of traffic, or they are running some insanely large site like digg or something.

    A 150% ROI in this economy would be pretty impressive. I imagine that most of my affiliates are working on much slimmer margins. While it may have been possible a few years back to have multiple campaigns that are this lucrative, I think the reality at this point is that they are few and far between.

    If you are aiming for a huge ROI, running campaigns through CJ with major advertisers is unlikely. My experience with the major players in the space has given the impression they are working on somewhere close to 10-15% profit. Then again when we are paying them six figures a month that isn't a bad return.
    [FONT=Arial][B][COLOR=Navy]Jonathan Claydon | [email]jclaydon@real.com[/email][/COLOR] |[COLOR=Gray] Director - Affiliate and Partner Marketing[/COLOR] |[/B] [COLOR=Blue]Real[/COLOR]Networks, Inc.[/FONT]

  24. #24
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    Here's the REAL point about CJ ... CAN THEY BE TRUSTED to track and report your sales?

    And the answer is NO ... Making 20% ROI on PPC advertising is a good thing ... but only if you trust that the merchant is going to pay you. It's easy to spend $1,000 on PPC and make $1,200 ... but you are totally shafted IF for any reason, you do not get paid.

    Now if you are a Yahoo, more than likely you will be paid ... if you are Joe Affilaite, then it's a 100% crap shoot. Merchants will cheat you at the drop of a hat, because they can do it and get away with it.

    CJ will NEVER help you ... because their money comes from the monthly fees they get paid by the merchants. Plus, since they also make a fair amount from parasite affiliates
    why should they care if you the average person gets paid ... there is a new sucker born
    every minute.

    You really have to go some to find HONEST merchants on CJ ... and it's even harder to find an HONEST affiliate manager with clients on CJ.

    You can take it to the bank, that CJ is lying thru their teeth no matter what they say. It's been that way since Value Click too over. It's just getting worse due to the bad economy. But there are a few very good convertering merchant WHO do pay you and do not let the parasites join their party ... Finding them is REAL difficult.

  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador MeeMaw's Avatar
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    With all CJ problems was is scary is they are still the most reliable on being paid, and tracking. That is saying a lot about this industry.

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