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  1. #1
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    I am trying to put together a newletter for my affiliates, and I want some success stories, tips, epiphanies, or the like. I would also like to put a name to the quote (Big Chuck of "TheCouponGuy" says...) if that is alright with you.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Well I always find that its a question of 'weeding'. You can't just put up links and leave them there. Merchants have a habit of baiting and switching then creating merry hell when you catch them.

    But thats 'business' not 'selling' - which is a highly specific art form. There are many different styles to selling - I think anyone can do it if they choose the mode that reflects their personality.

    Being 'true to yourself' isn't just a moral admonition. Quentin Crisp said the essence of style is 'being yourself but on purpose'.

    We all have different a style we're best at. Leader for instance, with her energy and enthusiam could sell ice to an Eskimo. I can't. A shopkeeper/salesperson approach that would work any time and any place.

    Jim is good at building the roads to the shop. I suspect he'd be good at electrical stuff because he has a feel for pathways and empirical data.

    Pranav's approach is interesting. The one site I saw has a psychological 'flow' to it that taught me a lot. You couldn't tell you were being sold something.

    I'm known far and wide for coming up with inconvienient facts. I'm like a human search engine and cannot help collecting data. My Virgoan nature is good at sifting and evaluating - for ferreting out every last thing a merchant sells in a highly specific fashion then translating it into a search phrase - if my evaluation of the merchant's ethics says its worth the bother.

    I kinda translate between the buyer and the seller as invisibly as possible. And I never attempt to talk anyone into anything - I assume they already want it or they wouldn't be wasting my bandwith.

    Its the exact opposite to Leader and it works too. My customers don't know I exist except as a page to bookmark, and I'm certainly not going to set up a mailing list and remind them. My site is personality free.

    Hm... not quite the 'success stories' you were wanting - more instructions for writing your own [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    Oh, you can quote 'Francis' as saying "I have made lots of money on merchants with 45+ day cookies!"




    f

  3. #3
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Ice to an Eskimo isn't that hard...

    You just have to CONVINCE the Eskimo that your ice is better! But with all-natural, 100% bird-dropping-free Ice, from an area protected from PCBs, kept at the precise temperature needed to ensure proper aeration (and therefore good taste), it's not all that hard. Remind them that they save the inconvenience and discomfort of chopping their own out of the frozen lakes and they're all yours...

    But definitely go with your own personality for selling. Francis does have a point about selling to people who are interested! But I always put a pitch to convince the people they should click MY link--and RIGHT THEN, TOO, darnit! I know how many bookmarks I have (over 100 at least [on my computer]) and how easy it'd be to get lost in that sea...

    But definitely go with what works for you. If you'd do better with low-key selling, by all means do it.

    As for the original question (SUCCESS STORIES)...

    I don't have one that would pertain to any particular merchant, but-- A couple of years ago, I was delivering pizzas...and now I'm NOT doing that or other employment either! Also, I have made more doing this than at any one job. There's been jobs that pay more per month, but TOLERATING those jobs for any lenghth of time is another thing! I could write paragraphs about what's wrong with employment, but it basically boils down to the fact that it's DEMEANING and affiliate marketing is Realms better. Plus, when I want a raise, I just write some more pages. I promote who I want, sell what I want, in the manner I want. It's much more dignified than being at some place that cares most about whether you show up at 8:59 or 9:01 or any of the other petty BS low-level managers pretend is so important!!! Either a page sells or it doesn't.

    Also, if I decide to do nothing for days (or even weeks in the off-months), the money keeps on coming in! No asking for days off or not getting paid while not working! The pages do all the work for me (once they're up)...

    I don't know if that's what you're looking for in a success story, but to me it's Success with a capital S just to not be punching a clock at some factory or trying to deliver pizzas in blizzards, but still having decent money coming in anyway!

    [ 10-31-2001: Message edited by: Leader ]

  4. #4
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    Leader, you are unbelievable. Where can I sign up to buy that ice? My credit card is ready in hand! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

  5. #5
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    You can use my name, but due to my overwhelming celebrity status, and sex appeal to the females of my species, I will have to charge you to use my name - lol!

    Seriously; I have increased my traffic, my sales, and see nothing but more success as I add another site - my seceret web site - along with another 80-90 pages that I look forward to being added to the next google index (I hope).

    In this business, my friendly gift merchant affiliate manager, money is the only true indicator of success - period. bottom line. I don't care how well the web site is built (in our line of business), or how educated and knowledgeable the person is; if money is not being made, success can not be accurately measured, or obtained. I find the epc ratings, even though some have found fault with it, to be a step in the right direction on gaging success. The epc is based off what counts; dollars earned.

    I don't know if this helps, but it is my two cents on what a success story is. When I am sipping iced tea, and fishing on my own 300 acre lake, with my butler putting the worm on the hook, I'll give you a success story to write about :cool:

  6. #6
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    Thinking about it, I guess I have to do *some* selling and thats in the page description.

    What I want is Leader to write those, Jim to make links, Pranav to come up with the ideas, and Haiko to do tecchie stuff.

    Once this is done I'm going to spend the rest of my short but exciting life with two planks of wood on my feet launching myself down snow covered mountains.

    Good plan, eh?


    f

  7. #7
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    rotflmao

    Leader, very funny!




    Now to get back to work. Thank you, I needed that.

    -Tom
    Elbow Creek Magazine

  8. #8
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    monstr- I'll be happy to be one of your 'unsuccess' stories, if you need any of those. You know, the guy who does everything wrong? That's me!

    -elbowcreek

  9. #9
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    Thanks-all of these stories are...er...well...

    Anyway, Give me stories, or tips or epephanies or yes, even what NOT to do.(I will take your story, elbowcreek) And your cookie story too Francis [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    All of you are a wonderful drain on our resources. thanks [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] Keep 'em coming

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador webmarm's Avatar
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    Once upon a time there was a webmistress starting out with this great idea of a cool content site that would draw millions of visitors every day and each one would earn something for the webmistress by clicking on something or signing up for something that in any case was a good idea. The site was built, traffic started to come in...free graphics were made and traffic rose yet more...and no money was made, the pay per click era died, the banner ad era died, and the webmistress found that she really didn't want to design sites for anyone else because she can't match colors well and hates for folks to get picky about fonts but leave incomplete English phrases on the index page of a site. So she started hanging out at the cj boards...

    And with very simple pages, and a whole lot of trying different things to see what would work for her in sales, she has started to make a little more, and a little more money. No whistle yet, but it's gonna happen soon, I can tell.

    The first thing that was important was finding out about the ppc search engine game (don't do it for a content site, it's a drain of money), then finally finding a merchant who stuck around to convert (this was the era of CJ Merchant flight), and a couple of pages that started to get high click through. Analyze why one page works better than another, why one merchant converts better than another, and slowly the picture starts to gel and success slowly begins to raise its head on the horizon.

    The sales pages more than pay for the content site, and the content site adds weight behind the link popularity to the sales pages. And one of these days the content site will begin to make money because what worked on the sales pages will work on the content site.

    The little old webmistress also contacts her merchants to find out what sold (if it isn't obvious from the links that made the sale), to help find more keywords to bid on or add on the page for spider food.

    And very, very importantly, the little old webmistress holds very dear the other webmaster contacts who cooperate with her, give her tips, and exchange links with her.
    {You know who you are}.

    Hope that helps.

  11. #11
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    Nice story Leader! Here is mine...

    I started affiliate marketing as a hobby. I loved the web and creating web pages. It was something I started to fill time after the end of a bad relationship.

    I was working full time and making $9.00 per hour doing Maintenance for a school district while I was in college. I later graduated and got a real job as a Financial Advisor but kept doing the Affiliate Marketing thing to fill time.

    Now I make more than double what I made as a maintenance worker for that school district. And I can do this in my PJs.

    CoRe

  12. #12
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    Webmistress said:

    >The little old webmistress also contacts her merchants to find out what sold

    When I tried that on a cosmetics company I got the awesomely helpful "We sell make up and cosmetics!"


    f

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador webmarm's Avatar
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    When I started webmistressing, I had just quit a job that had lowered my salary, not given me any benes after 4 years, and then screwed me out of proper paperwork to get my unemployment.

    I am also a licensed massage therapist, can make lots of things that aren't available easily where I am currently residing (I make my own real vanilla extract, for instance since I can't stand the artificial kind), have enough basic computer skills that I thought about technical writing (the job I left was a research tech job, which was the profession I was involved in for over 15 years). I learned enough HTML, javascript, graphics, and stuff to be able to design sites (okay, I prefer to have someone else do the graphics, I go screaming mad when working on them), and left a $35/hour webmistressing job when I got a phone call accusing me of changing text and to "change it immediately". Who said I was working on their stoooopid site that day (it took me months to convince the one who left the message on my machine that changing the font, size and weight of incomplete sentences did not.make.them complete)?

    I had a lot of options open, and almost too much choice of what to do.

    Affiliate marketing offers me the ability to be free of "bosses", and of course it just keeps on going even when I'm on vacation, asleep, or just don't want to work. If I design sites, I only make money when I am designing sites. If I do massage, I only make money when I do a massage. I just love waking up in the morning and finding sales happened when I was asleep!

    It's taken me a lot longer to get income from the net than I'd thought, mostly because I spent so much time making the content site with the site owner and learning web master skills. Even after starting to do sales pages, I had this little black cloud over me whenever I chose merchants to market. One of my sites now has only one of the original merchants it started with!

    But with encouragement from my friends and bank account (the latter giving me problems without the regularity of a salary), I kept reading the boards and trying new things. Things are definitely looking up.

  14. #14
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    I have a story, but not a "success" story....(don't know what define "success" though).
    Is success:
    $50/month, $100/month, $500/month, $1000/month and so on ?
    OR
    Success = being happy just getting $1 when making your site?

    Haiko's successful effort to get affiliates join his message board can also be defined as a success story.

    Haiko,
    You can write a real story for this...
    [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    As for me,
    I do this as a hobby, since I always get lots of creative ideas in my head, that needs to be released somewhere.... :cool: :cool: :cool:

    xo
    (dreaming of earning $0.02/sec in pure affiliate commissions)

  15. #15
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    Affiliate marketing is the best thing that has happened to me.
    I never wanted to do a job when I grew up. I wanted to become big right from day one .. I am just a student yet .. although I failed in the first year of my junior college, I still feal that I have achieved a LOT this year!

    the most important thing being self-confidence now I know that I CAN DO IT .. I don't even need to graduate for it.

    My success story (?) can be termed as "The evolution of pranav from Fatty Acid to Internet Guru"

    It all started when I built a small search portal which had a 4 in one search script.

    I had a lot of traffic to that site, I was quite popular in the media (example: www.the-week.com/20dec31/cover.ht m ) I was quite hyped but I knew in my heart that I was not successful .. then came a day when i entered the CJU online forums .. I saw people like leader making more than $1k a month .. some, even more! I was upset , If they did, why can i not make the money, I have all the traffic too, why is this, then one day, I tried to become Leader, I stole her name ( [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] ) Everyone got angry because leader enjoyed so much popularity on the forums because of her extreamly helpful nature! CJ admin changed my name name back to fatty acid
    that day, I told myself, "Pranav -- you have to become like Leader, Some Day "

    I then told evey one that I wont come back to the forums and post .. but I used to come there by the name I_SEEK_MONEY and Learned all the trciks of affiliate marketing from Leader and other Successful affiliate marketers. I came to the conclution that TARGETED TRAFFIC TO A TARGETED SITE MAKES A LOT OF MONEY! .. then, I saw mont's site .. hotlead.net , and desided to have a job-site aafter seeing the unemployment in my country o. then, I thought over how to market it the tatgeted marketing that successful affiliate
    marketers used was PPC search engines .. I thought that if an Indian jobseeker is searching for a job, he would open the "news you can use" page of the times of India every wednesday and apply for jobs they are interested in .. the best part, this classified advertising is dirt cheap!

    Targeted classified advertising and a jobsite made me a lot of money through affiliate marketing . my last check was of 2.8k and I am expecting another check of 2.5k form CJ.. but now my best-performing merchant, hotjobs has closed down , So I had to start a non-affiliate jobsite, http://www.hothrd.com whis is BTW doing great!

    Still, I like affiliate marketing more than running a non-affiliate site. so, I'm developing another affiliate site where I'll be promoting LOTS of merchants and do all the promotions online.

    But, I am NOT yet reached the level of becoming leader, nor am I in anyway near to becoming leader ( Although I may be earning more than her )

    Special thanks to my Guru: LEADER, my Inspiration: MONT, and Everyone @ the CJU online forum and the AbestWeb.com Discussion forums for contributing to this success story!


    -Pranav.

    [ 11-01-2001: Message edited by: Internet Guru Pranav ]

    [ 11-01-2001: Message edited by: Internet Guru Pranav ]

  16. #16
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    Wow! Can I paraphrase your story, Pranav? And I'll leave out the part of identity theft ( [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] On second thought, I'll leave it in-it makes the story have intrigue)

    Thanks-all. I can use all of these. Can I use your names too?

    What about tips or epephanies? or Tricks?

    [ 11-02-2001: Message edited by: Monstrphil ]

  17. #17
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    As long as you're not cussing me out, etc. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] you can use my name but not my URL. Copycats can copy from elsewhere.

    Tips/epiphanies. The biggest one has to be the realization that Content is anathema to sales. Nothing works as good as a pure advertisement!!! From what I've seen, a site will be able to master one but not the other. Either you get a decent information source that makes a only few bucks, or you get a Revenue Site that rakes in the bucks but isn't going to teach anyone anything.

    Content may be good for other things, but as a sales generator it stinks. Considering that the "content is king" line was repeated like a mantra when I came online, it was quite an epiphany to realize this!

    After a few months of frustration trying to sell anything off of my content site, I decided "to heck with that" and put up some 100% commercial pages. Suddenly I had a CR!!! I found that when people are interested in a Content site, they aren't interested in shopping. And when they want to buy things, they look for a store--they don't want to have to fish through content to find that Buy link when they are REALLY wanting to get something.

  18. #18
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    Well I won't waste time writing my huge success story. Many who came from the CJ board already have read it and are aware of the way I was "Shot Down" for sharing it. Thus inspiring me to add my signature at the end of all post "Not until you open your eyes, will you see the pot at the end of the rainbow."

    Basically I am a single mother of two. I started designing entertaining websites as a hobby. Then ventured into trying to make money online with various type sites. However, after trying this for probably two years I never really made enough for a check. Then oneday something guided me to the message boards on CJ, which I say was a blessing in disguise. I started reading the boards everyday and listening to tips. Then oneday someone made a comment that the money was in this certain field and claimed to be making like $1500 a month. I was skeptical but figured what the heck, I'm a web designer, let me build a site for this market and see for myself. Sure enough - this person was right. Believe it or not, I sit here today having made a whole years salary in just 5 months. WAY more than my regular job will EVER be able to pay me. My commissions have sored every month with each new marketing campaign which includes the development of new sites, google submissions, yahoo submissions, and ppc engines. I have had a 100% increase in income over the last few months. It's unreal. But it's real.

    My tip would be to listen to your fellow affiliates, don't shot the messenger, utilize the message boards and other free training materials. Maybe oneday I'll write a book - but for right now I just say believe it can happen to you. I just wanted to make a few hundred dollars a month - and my goal for December 2001 was to make $1,000 a month - I have FAR exceeded that goal beyond my wildest dreams in just five months. My commissions for October are $8K+ from all sources with Septembers commissions being $4K+. Now the skys the limit - all because I took someone's advice and believed it could be done.

    [ 11-02-2001: Message edited by: JadaKiss ]

  19. #19
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    Bottomline --

    Newbies like JadaKiss and Myself became successful because of mainly the CJU discussion forum and a few helpful intellegent people like leader where where always there to help ..

    I wonder that now that they have removed the boards, where will the newbies go for help, obviously, CJ is not going to tell them to come to ABW new success stories like that of Jada's and mine without the CJU forum are difficult.

    Haiko, you should hack the CJU site and make the linkon Cjuniversity.com that says Discussion form link to ABW ( I said hack it because They are not going to give ABW the link even if you give them 10000 dollars, ABW has become a sort of an affiliate union these days)


    -pranav.

    [ 11-02-2001: Message edited by: Internet Guru Pranav ]

  20. #20
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    Well done Jada [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

  21. #21
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Pranav,

    I asked CJ three separate times to put a link to us and I was really surprised that they didn't [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img]

    I am looking into a multi-tiered program wherein we, via various sites and joint ventures, will recruit affiliates and attempt to get them ALL here so that we can create more than just a message board but a true resource for ALL affiliates to gripe, learn, get resolutions and grow rich.

    Haiko

  22. #22
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    Thanks Spiderman...

    and Internet Guru is right - who and where will newbies on CJ learn from now. I'm glad I was educated before they nixed the boards. Very glad!!! Maybe abestweb will become a portal for all CJ newbies and oldies too.

    I'm still waiting for DonC.Steitz the find the board. Hope he joins us soon. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

  23. #23
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    The CJ boards were really useful.. I learnt a lot there, especially about getting traffic from Google.. in fact I get so much now that my web host has asked me to leave!
    How will newbies at CJ find out this stuff? There are so many rip-off sites out there.. the only useful info comes from boards like this.
    Maybe we should run a Google ranking contest after all, for webmaster terms and route the traffic through abws program.

  24. #24
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    Leader,


    quote:
    Tips/epiphanies. The biggest one has to be the realization that Content is anathema to sales. Nothing works as good as a pure advertisement!!! From what I've seen, a site will be able to master one but not the other.


    That was a great post! I truly learned something today, Thanks.

    It only took me about two minutes of read time to find the answer I have been seeking for two years. Thanks again.

    Take Care

  25. #25
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    Not to take this thread too far afield, but I just wanted to say "you tell it" to Leader and the comments about content. I am one of the people who has preached the "content is king" mantra.

    I have a content rich site that gets about 15,000 visitors per day. I get a handful of emails each week about what a great service I provide.

    I've busted my @$$ working to make money with the site (we're talking years here, not weeks). It makes enough to pay for the extra-duty server (transfers several gig per day) and a car payment or two (those would be Camry payments, not Boxster).

    (BTW, less than a third of that income is from CJ and I've had a $$$$$-rating since the first day they were displayed... trust me, the dollar signs don't mean lots of dollars).

    In frustration, I've done two other high content sites. :confused: What was I thinking? I can build traffic in a heartbeat. People love these new sites. They make no money.

    Then I started reading the CJ boards. A lot. And now I've opened another site. Designed purely for sales. There is very little content. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

    We'll see how it goes.

    In the meantime, I've found a great use for the high-traffic content sites. Lots of free advertising for the commerce site.

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