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  1. #1
    Member Krugge's Avatar
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    I have a Popular Forum. How to earn money with it?
    Guys, help me please with next issue. I have a popular forum.
    Visitors often insert into posts links to Amazon (discuss about items, sales etc).

    And as you understand, visitors of my forum go on Amazon website, but I earn nothing.

    Maybe redirect script can help in this situation ?

  2. #2
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Change your terms to not allow links, and enforce it...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Convergence View Post
    Change your terms to not allow links, and enforce it...
    No, the redirect script he mentioned is right. Let those people drop those links. Example - Blu-ray Forum - Blu-ray Community and Forums

    Every link somebody posts to Amazon, when clicked turns into an affiliate link for Blu-ray.com.

    "Maybe redirect script can help in this situation ?"

    Yes. There are ways you can do it yourself and also services out there like http://www.bounce.cc/ even tho I haven't heard from them in awhile but there are ways to do it.
    Last edited by Trust; March 25th, 2011 at 05:07 PM.

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  5. #4
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust View Post
    No, the redirect script he mentioned is right. Let those people drop those links. Example - Blu-ray Forum - Blu-ray Community and Forums

    Every link somebody posts to Amazon, when clicked turns into an affiliate link for Blu-ray.com.
    Guess if a site owner wants to do that - so be it...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Convergence View Post
    Guess if a site owner wants to do that - so be it...
    Of course they would, they want to make money. What he is describing, is exactly what's happening at the Blu-ray.com forum I posted a link too. People dropping straight links or any other link to Amazon.com all day long, when clicked, turn into Blu-ray.com affiliates link. They make very good money. Disallowing links would just be cutting down the chances of him making money.
    Last edited by Trust; March 25th, 2011 at 05:11 PM.

  7. #6
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    That wouldn't be considered "link hijacking"?

    I'm curious - if it's legit, then I think it's a great idea!
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  8. #7
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    A lot of forums have people posting straight (non-affiliate) links. I see nothing wrong with using a script for link harvesting. Avantlink offers a script for just that purpose and they do things by the book. With the Avantlink script in your headers, any link someone drops straight to your merchant in comments becomes an affiliate link when clicked.

  9. #8
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Well, I'll be...

    Learned something new this afternoon...

    Thanks everyone!
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  10. #9
    ABW Ambassador superCool's Avatar
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    superCool thinks he heard some things about skimlinks and viglink. seems that they intercept outgoing links and convert to affiliate links. they take a cut, but with their volume they might also get higher commissions. would be worth a try

    let us know if SC does not understand
    Last edited by superCool; March 25th, 2011 at 06:18 PM.

  11. #10
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    You can probably do the same thing yourself with .htaccess URL rewrite.

  12. #11
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2busy View Post
    You can probably do the same thing yourself with .htaccess URL rewrite.
    That's what I was thinking ...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  13. #12
    Member Krugge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust View Post
    No, the redirect script he mentioned is right. Let those people drop those links. Example - Blu-ray Forum - Blu-ray Community and Forums

    Every link somebody posts to Amazon, when clicked turns into an affiliate link for Blu-ray.com.
    Great script ! But there can I find (or buy) the same ?

    Thanks to all.

  14. #13
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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  15. #14
    Speechless OTProf's Avatar
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    Hmmm.... seems to be tiptoeing on the edge of ethics.

    Someone puts an affiliate link (let's say thinking "I answer someone's question and make $3 along the way") __but__ forum owner changes the person's link to their own affiliate link?! Sounds pretty skanky to me.

    Hopefully those who do this REALLY CLEARLY spell out in their terms (not buried in endless 8pt font...) that they will convert affiliate links to their own. Better yet - To build on what was noted above -- perhaps best to say NO AFFILIATE LINKS with the warning that any & all affiliate links will be converted to those of the forum owners.

    When it is a basic link (i.e. see Amazon.com w/o affiliate ID) I suppose it is OK, but still seems a tad disingenuous as the forum isn't the primary 'mover' of the traffic to the merchant.

  16. #15
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OTProf View Post
    Hmmm.... seems to be tiptoeing on the edge of ethics.

    Someone puts an affiliate link (let's say thinking "I answer someone's question and make $3 along the way") __but__ forum owner changes the person's link to their own affiliate link?! Sounds pretty skanky to me.

    Hopefully those who do this REALLY CLEARLY spell out in their terms (not buried in endless 8pt font...) that they will convert affiliate links to their own. Better yet - To build on what was noted above -- perhaps best to say NO AFFILIATE LINKS with the warning that any & all affiliate links will be converted to those of the forum owners.

    When it is a basic link (i.e. see Amazon.com w/o affiliate ID) I suppose it is OK, but still seems a tad disingenuous as the forum isn't the primary 'mover' of the traffic to the merchant.
    I was thinking along those exact lines - but if it's clearly outlined and it's SPAM you are 'rewriting'...

    My concern still remains: What would a merchant think?
    Last edited by Convergence; March 27th, 2011 at 03:04 PM.
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  17. #16
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    My concern still remains what would a merchant think?
    The merchant would see your traffic coming from your site, there would only be one cookie if you were able to overwrite another affiliate's link.

    Many forums these days monetize ordinary text into contextual ads and allow users to disable that feature for a fee.

    If the merchant doesn't mind their affiliates dropping links in forums maybe they don't care if the link is altered on it's way to the server either. Assuming that your posting/linking policies are clear I would not consider that the same as overwriting an affiliate's link if they were to drop links on my forum - I'd be repurposing spam, like recycling garbage. Many programs and top networks don't permit their links to be posted on newsgroups and forums- sites not owned by the affiliate. If it is a forum that allows users to post affiliate links then it is a different story, but then the forum owner wouldn't likely be complaining or seeking a script.

    From the OP I got the impression that non-affiliate links were being posted but it does not say that.

  18. #17
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    It's not unethical at all or any of the other stuff posted.

    As I pointed out there are services like bounce.cc that have a forum here. There are ways to do it yourself. These links to the merchant are originating from the affiliates site/property. These forums usually have something in the terms saying they do this. As 2busy pointed out, some networks like Avantlink offer a script for this.

    "that they will convert affiliate links to their own."

    The example I gave with blu-ray.com, people post straight links, not affiliate links. Those straight links are converted to blu-ray.com affiliates links, those links are posted on their site. Amazon is completely fine with it, why wouldn't they be? That forum is a sales driver, Amazon is loving it. I think if somebody is looking to do a story on an affiliate doing it right, they should check that site out. The price trackers they have are nice, saving me a lot of money, causing me to spend a lot of money

    As far as the links being dropped being affiliate links or straight links, doesn't matter. It's on that person's site and dropping affiliate links in somebody else's forum is rude, usually against a forum's rules and then some forums might be fine with it, since they get changed to their affiliate links anyway.

    This is just smart affiliate marketing.
    Last edited by Trust; March 27th, 2011 at 04:08 PM.

  19. #18
    ABW Ambassador superCool's Avatar
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    seems like the script or service would only recognize straight links anyway (??). if affiliate links are added to the forum, then those would not be converted. superCool has never seen a network that allowed posting your aff links directly into a forum or onto a site that you don't own, but it might be allowed by someone (??)

  20. #19
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    "if affiliate links are added to the forum, then those would not be converted."

    I'm sure every link would be converted to that forums affiliate link, whether it was a straight link or an affiliate link that wasn't the forums. It would just make sense too.

    Also, this is nothing new, this is from almost 5 years ago talking about the bounce.cc product - http://www.abestweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=76349

    And people have been doing in their own before that.

    "Someone puts an affiliate link (let's say thinking "I answer someone's question and make $3 along the way") __but__ forum owner changes the person's link to their own affiliate link?! Sounds pretty skanky to me."

    Noooooo The only skanky thing I see there is somebody trying to drop an affiliate link in somebody's else's forum. Most forums have rules against that and that usually ends up in the person being banned.
    Last edited by Trust; March 27th, 2011 at 04:27 PM.

  21. #20
    Full Member bobby131313's Avatar
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    All affiliate links, and redirections to affiliate links, must be property of "My site". No other affiliate links are allowed in posts, signatures, or profiles. No exceptions. Immediate and permanent banning could occur depending on the severity and deception involved in the posting of these links.
    Clear enough?

  22. #21
    ABW Ambassador I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust View Post
    "if affiliate links are added to the forum, then those would not be converted."

    I'm sure every link would be converted to that forums affiliate link, whether it was a straight link or an affiliate link that wasn't the forums. It would just make sense too.
    I have a bit of familiarity with the Skimlinks product, though I'm not an authority on the topic. Skimlinks converts regular links into affiliate links, but it respects existing affiliate links. From their FAQ:

    Quote Originally Posted by www.skimlinks.com/faq
    Our technology will not over write or affect existing affiliate links you have on your site. We of course understand you might have existing relationships you need to honour but if you can let us handle all your affiliate links then we can generally offer better rates due to our scale, and always offer you consolidated reporting, one simple pay check, and accurate link creation and maintenance.
    On forums I am familiar with who use skimlinks, an existing affiliate link posted by a member is not overwritten by the forum's own affiliate link... This is the default behavior because it enables the site creator to overrule skimlinks and use custom affiliate links at their preference, rather than doing whatever skimlinks thinks is best.

    I don't know if this is true of any other scripts or utilities which automatically create affiliate links out of URLs; this is only what I know of Skimlinks. YMMV. IANAL. ETC.

    EDIT: And other site affiliate links often get new members banned if discovered. Existing members usually get by with a warning, assuming they accidentally copied and pasted the affiliate link from another site like slickdeals.
    Last edited by I.M.O.G.; March 28th, 2011 at 03:40 AM.
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  23. #22
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    Last edited by Trust; March 28th, 2011 at 04:47 AM.

  24. #23
    Speechless OTProf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust View Post
    "Someone puts an affiliate link (let's say thinking "I answer someone's question and make $3 along the way") __but__ forum owner changes the person's link to their own affiliate link?! Sounds pretty skanky to me."

    Noooooo The only skanky thing I see there is somebody trying to drop an affiliate link in somebody's else's forum. Most forums have rules against that and that usually ends up in the person being banned.
    Ah, Trust, our first spat

    I still don't get the idea that if Forum Participant A asks a question about "what's the best case for my macbook air" and Forum Participant B answers and says "the Acme Case - on sale now at Vendor World" that with or without an affiliate link included by Participant B that the Forum Owner (who was completely not a part of the exchange) somehow has the right to run a script that puts his/her affiliate link along with that link. It seems a lot like a Mall Builder deciding they can come around and put their hand in the various stores' cash registers just because they built the mall itself. Again - this is not saying forum participants should be able to use affiliate links, just that I don't at all see how a forum owner can justify hijacking/rewriting links on content they did not create.

  25. #24
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    It's their forum, it's their forum, it's their forum.

    Those people that go to other forums and drop affiliate links are usually called spammers. Now some forums are ok members putting their own affiliate links in but most, no. Those forums would be overrun with people dropping links all day long.

    Again, you own the site/forum/blog/whatever, it's your property. You have every right to monetize it, you would be crazy if you didn't.

  26. #25
    Speechless OTProf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust View Post
    It's their forum, it's their forum, it's their forum.

    Those people that go to other forums and drop affiliate links are usually called spammers. Now some forums are ok members putting their own affiliate links in but most, no. Those forums would be overrun with people dropping links all day long.

    Again, you own the site/forum/blog/whatever, it's your property. You have every right to monetize it, you would be crazy if you didn't.
    One more time: I am not defending the link dropper.... I'd say it 3 times, but that would be copying you

    So, by analogy, would you be fine with Google switching/scripting all their SEO result links to include their affiliate ID??

    This makes me curious on ABW. If someone here asks a question about a product/service and someone (w/o an affiliate link) says check out [amazon/keyword discovery/apple/etc] is ABW swapping in affiliate links?

    I've always thought the sine qua non of affiliate marketing was the affiliate DIRECTLY & CLEARLY bringing a buyer/potential buyer to a merchant. This talk of what forum owners might/could/should do to "monetize" their site is quite shocking to me. Love to know what some Networks and Merchants think on this link swap/hijack stuff.

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