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  1. #1
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Free Advice - Do With it As You'd Like
    I just read leeann's thread about JetBlue stopping payments and Kim's thread about DiscountTire program closing.

    The best thing I ever did was get rid of my coupon site - which meant I no longer had to work with/partner with 5000 blithering idiots - er, merchants.

    I've been doin' this for over 20 years, and the most important thing I've learned is the first and most important step in being an affiliate... is picking the right business partners.

    Do the research FIRST. Pick a product or niche with 3 to 5 merchants. Research here at ABW - and many other places - as to if the merchant is a good one.

    The plus sides:

    1. Stuff like Staples not paying commissions because they went over budget don't affect you. You have less stress - live longer.

    2. You don't have to spend hours updating 1000 coupon codes. Time that can be spent more productively earning money.

    3. By working with a small number of merchants, they will get to know you... which means you won't just be a nameless number... you'll get better deals, meaning more sales, which leads to even better deals and more sales... a domino effect.

    My affiliate site features 5 merchants - and all of them are in my cell phone. Can you say that about all of YOUR merchants?

    End jaded rant

    All my Best,
    Billy

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
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    What's the saying, many ways to cook a duck or something. Every model out there, somebody is successful with. Sites with a handful of merchants, to thousands of merchants.

    I guess you mean other types of business for over 20 years since the first affiliate programs sprung around 94-96.

    Some of the problems you mentioned and all kinds of other problems can happen to any merchant, maybe even the 5 you have.


    "2. You don't have to spend hours updating 1000 coupon codes. Time that can be spent more productively earning money."

    Goes back to my first paragraph. Some people are wasting their time not making anything, others make millions of years updating coupons. And you have everything in between.

    Some of the other stuff I agree with. I get the general idea, more niche, get to know your partners better etc and it works for you and many others. That's one way. But I would go easy on limiting the amount of merchants you work with, the old eggs in a basket potential problem.
    Last edited by Trust; May 26th, 2010 at 03:45 PM.

  3. #3
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    My affiliate site features 5 merchants - and all of them are in my cell phone. Can you say that about all of YOUR merchants?
    I've only been doing this for 11 years and, nope, can't say that about ALL of my merchants. But I can say that about the four who provide 80% of my income.

    As Trust says, however, there are many ways to approach this business and earn a good living. I'm still having fun and that's why we opened a couple programs as merchants. But so far that is not stressful.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
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  4. #4
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    Billy the biggest take away from this is that you actually talk to the affiliate managers on the phone. Many affiliates sit home by phone wondering why they make no money.
    Vinny O'Hare - OPM - Contact Info email: vinny at teamloxly.com ~ 702-582-6742 Twitter

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador
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    Maybe they're sitting at home working on their sites and they don't have time to chit chat on the phone? I'd rather do it thru email anyway, that way there is a trail and something I can reference later. And it's pretty rare I need to talk to any of them anyway. What's the saying, different strokes for different folks

    I would call you Vinny but I don't want to interrupt your yoga or the Sex in the City marathons

  6. #6
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    What's the saying, different strokes for different folks
    What's the saying, different strokes for different folks
    I'll buy you a book of quotes for xmas Trust

    It doesn't HAVE to be in your cellphone.

    Point was, having a relationship with a merchant with a name rather than generic support @ generic merchant dot com makes more money.

    The relationship can be on Yahoo Messenger, FB, email... whatever relationship works best for both parties.

    Mine generally START on the either the merchant or myself has an idea or question... then it's flushed out on yahoo... then finalized via email, where it's obviously easier to copy and paste links.

    And like Trust said... having a paper trail is always good.

    Yes, there are successful people with 5000 merchants, and successful people promoting just one... my comments were directed to the masses, who are free to totally ignore them if they so choose.

    And I left out an important "rule":

    4. Always have a back-up plan with an alternate merchant. Actually, that's why I started the coupon site. I used it as a testing ground for merchants.

    All My Best,
    Billy

  7. #7
    http and a telephoto
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust View Post

    I would call you Vinny but I don't want to interrupt your yoga or the Sex in the City marathons
    He lives to be interrupted And it's Desperate Housewives, not Sex in the City, lol.

    Seriously, the highest performing affiliates we have are people that have emailed, called, IM'd or otherwise have had some kind of actual contact with us. Other affiliates are quite successful without communicating with us, but the very best are in touch. somehow.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Daniel M. Clark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loxly View Post
    He lives to be interrupted And it's Desperate Housewives, not Sex in the City, lol.
    Only because Sex in the City is off the air now?

    I think I agree most with the sentiment that different methods work for different people. I tend to get overwhelmed when I'm an affiliate for too many programs, and I periodically go back and drop merchants that I don't have links up for. It's not a reflection of them, it's a matter of me not having the ability to spread myself that thin. Other people do just great with having dozens, hundreds or thousands of merchants... and I don't understand one bit how they do it lol
    Daniel M. Clark
    Tech Manager
    Greg Hoffman Consulting

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