Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 28
  1. #1
    Newbie
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    4
    Hi everyone,

    I just recently learned about this forum and would like to get involved in selling products online. However, I have many questions but have the time to learn.

    How does everything work? You setup an account at http://www.cj.com, choose merchants, select products and post them on your site?

    You do not actually sell the products but refer the user to the actual companies site?

    For example, the user clicks on a shirt which I am selling, it takes them to a page on my site with a more detailed description of the shirt and has a 'buy now' button. Once clicking the button where would this take them? To the product on the companies site?

    I basically only keep track of products on my site and advertise them in an appealing way?

    Does this actually work?

    I specialize in both web and graphic design and can easily create a visually attractive site where products can be added through an admin page. My last project was http://www.leamingtonflyers.com and I am quite happy with the results. However, freelance work doesn't pay that well and I am very interested in starting a larger site. Do I need the site made to start an account at http://www.cj.com? If so, would a nice layout and a few example products be good enough until I get started?

    I hear quite a few success stories but are these very rare?

    Honestly, I have no idea about this, but I am eager to learn. Please explain how some of this works. Thanks.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Doc Sawyer's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Southern California Desert
    Posts
    567
    ArchANGEL,

    Hi and welcome!

    Your questions deserve answers. Please start by searching the archives using the search function at the top of the page. Nearly all of your questions have already been dicussed in detail.

    Be patient with Haiko's antique search function [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] we have been complaining about it for a year. But it EVENTUALLY returns results....

    You will find what you ask....

    and YES!!! it IS Possible and done daily.

    And no!!! Success stories are quite common.

    I think no one has responded yet because your questions are very general and the topics have been covered at length before.

    Welcome

    Doc

  3. #3
    Newbie
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    4
    Thanks for the response Doc Sawyer. I'll be sure to search the archives and let you know if I have any other questions.

  4. #4
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Opposite the Slough of Despond
    Posts
    5,465
    Wow.. that's a very nice site :cool:.. a basic answer is that you need *some* site to get accepted onto CJ programs, but then it's easy to add sites afterwards. The irony of this is that some merchants will check your sites for suitability, but you can easily add new sites later.

    Have a look at Elisabeth's site at buckworks.com which will give you some good basic pointers.

    I got this book from Amazon which is basically Affiliate Marketing 101, but this one (hmm I recognise one of those names as a fellow ABWer) looks a better bet. (Hey those aren;t even affiliate links.. am I losing my mind?? [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] )

    [ 08-07-2002: Message edited by: Dynamoo ]

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    2,341
    ArchANGEL
    Your assumptions about product linking and clicking the buy button are correct.

    This is a great business to be in even part time as you handle no goods. There are problems (like sales not being tracked properly), but you can make a good living from this.

  6. #6
    Newbie
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    4
    A few more questions. Hope you can help.

    Once signing up at cj.com and finding merchants, is there just a list of products to choose from? with information about them and photos? Does it provide you with a url to use for each product?

    If I have an admin page so I can just upload a photo, type in the name of the product, category, details and enter the url of the 'buy' button will this work?

    After this is setup, I just recieve checks from cj.com? Is there anything to look after besides adding products and looking over sales?

    Do I have any idea about what I'm talking about?

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    595
    First sign on up.
    Then there are categories for the different types of merchants, find the one(s) you think would be suitable for your site.
    Then you go thru the merchants and when you see some you might be interested in, theres a button to apply to become affiliated with that merchant. Some automatically accept, other merchants look at your site first. Once accepted it's just a simple copy and paste to get links onto your site. Once you join and root around a little bit, and read whats on the site you should't have any trouble at all with it.

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    595
    First sign on up.
    Then there are categories for the different types of merchants, find the one(s) you think would be suitable for your site.
    Then you go thru the merchants and when you see some you might be interested in, theres a button to apply to become affiliated with that merchant. Some automatically accept, other merchants look at your site first. Once accepted it's just a simple copy and paste to get links onto your site. Once you join and root around a little bit, and read whats on the site you should't have any trouble at all with it.
    The Leamington Flyers site is a nice looking site. Just a little thing: I'm on XP, IE 6 with a 17in monitor and the whole bottom page is white space, other than that it looks great.

  9. #9
    Full Member
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    290
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Once signing up at cj.com and finding merchants, is there just a list of products to choose from? with information about them and photos? Does it provide you with a url to use for each product?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    You can goto "Get Links" and do a search for whatever product you wish.


    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>After this is setup, I just recieve checks from cj.com? Is there anything to look after besides adding products and looking over sales?
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Sales won't come in unless you do some serious promotion. Build the traffic and I mean only targetted traffic like PPC or search engine traffic. You can learn more from this site which has helped me vastly understand website promotion thru search engines: http://www.selfpromotion.com

    Hope this helps. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,650
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>is there just a list of products to choose from? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> Some merchants provide extensive resources, while others offer a few banners and that's it. Rather than asking such general questions, I would encourage you to go to CJ and see for yourself what's available, what merchants might interest you, etc. Invest some time in simply mucking about!

    Make it your goal to create -- on your own -- one page featuring one product or one merchant. You're starting from a knowledge base that should be able to handle that, as long as you take the time to explore things for yourself. The page could be about anything; at this point getting some practice and becoming familiar with CJ is more important than any specific product.

    Then come back and show us. It's much easier to give suggestions when we have something specific to comment on.

  11. #11
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Polk County, Florida
    Posts
    1,878
    Hi ArchANGEL!

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Once signing up at CJ and finding merchants, is there just a list of products to choose from? with information about them and photos? Does it provide you with a url to use for each product?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Yes and no. You apply to each merchant individually. Each merchant sets up their own pay schedule. Some pay 3%; some pay 15% or more; and others pay flat fees like $5.00 per sale.

    Once accepted you are allowed to create links. Some merchants only offer banner-links to their site, but the option to create your own links to individual products or not. Other merchants have well over 1000 product links. When you select a link, you are provided with the html coding you need to imbed in order to get credit for the sale. The code would look something like this:

    <pre class="ip-ubbcode-code-pre">href="http://www.qksrv.net/click-999999-5588888" target="_top" &gt;
    &lt;img src="http://www.qksrv.net/image-999999-5588888" width="125" height="125" alt="Save additional 10% on orders $50+ until 9/1/02!" border="0"&gt;&lt;/a&gt;</pre>

    I changed the numbers, but basically 999999 is your affiliate number, and the other number is the link code. CJ tracks every time the image is viewed by a visitor to your site, every time it is clicked on, and every purchase made via the link.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>If I have an admin page so I can just upload a photo, type in the name of the product, category, details and enter the url of the 'buy' button will this work?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Once you have an account set up with CJ, and log in, you can apply to merchants, check your statistics and earnings, create links. Most photos are a URL link provided with the link code. You can link via text, pictures and/or buy buttons.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>After this is setup, I just receive checks from cj.com? Is there anything to look after besides adding products and looking over sales?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    We all wish it was that easy. Once it is set up you have lots to do like figuring outhow you're going to drive traffic to your site, so that people will see your links, click on them and buy. You receive a check from CJ every month that you earn a minimum of $25.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Do I have any idea about what I'm talking about?
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    You're on the right track. You definitely have the talent for designing a website. Your site is beautifully done. Just remember, it's not just a matter of a great design and putting links up. If nobody sees it, what good is it?

    This board is a great place to learn about all the ins and outs of afffiliate marketing. And "marketing" is what it is all about.

    Tracy

  12. #12
    Newbie
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    4
    Thanks a lot everyone. Without you guys I would still be lost in the dark. I'll try to create an account at http://www.cj.com and learn more about this before I get started.

  13. #13
    Full Member
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    252
    Hi ArchAngel,

    Welcome to ABW, Nice to see ya here. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

  14. #14
    Action Jackson - King of the World
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    2,201
    I just want to emphasize that it is good to try other programs besides CJ. I know many ABW members use other programs such as TgerDirect, Amazon, Performics etc to name a few. It ultimately comes down to what works for you.

  15. #15
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Opposite the Slough of Despond
    Posts
    5,465
    Jackson, you're right except that when when starting off I guess you need to stick to one program just to make it easier to meet commission payment threshold. (Although Amazon will pay small sums as gift vouchers which is useful)

    I think it depends on what kind of site you're running and the type of sales you can make from it.

  16. #16
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    12,817
    Most of the questions about the CJ interface will answer themselves once you get your account and can get in and see it.

    Since everyone is saying how nice your site looks, it's clear that you need the Site Design Warning!

    So...WARNING! Sites that look Too Good, do not convert well. Simple and clean is good enough. If you like web design, you may even call a sales site the U-word [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] . Let your revenue be your salve, and don't forget to underline all the pay links.

    (And don't put a splash page on a sales site!! But enough of that... Put your sales site into Site Review when you're done with it, and then you can get a full review and suggestions.)

    When you have some less general questions I'll try to help, but the great majority of your questions about CJ will be answered once you get in there and see for yourself.

    I will note one thing since I didn't see it when I skimmed the other posts: You do need to be signed up for the specific "advertisers" to get working links. You can sign up for them after you get your approval from CJ. Don't make the mistake of just changing the link code when making pages (but forgetting to sign up for specific advertisers) or you will send a lot of free clicks out! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] (Yes people have actually done that :eek: )

  17. #17
    Full Member
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    480
    I recommend you read the books suggested at the top of this thread. Go to barnes and noble tomorrow, buy a cup of coffee, and read the things cover to cover. It will take you a few hours, but will likely save you countless hours in the end.

  18. #18
    Full Member
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    260
    I have been here for a mth already, I even got my own domain name, but I haven't even started a page on my site yet. Guess I am too lazy. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    4,178
    Leader wrote:

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Since everyone is saying how nice your site looks, it's clear that you need the Site Design Warning!

    So...WARNING! Sites that look Too Good, do not convert well. Simple and clean is good enough. If you like web design, you may even call a sales site the U-word . Let your revenue be your salve, and don't forget to underline all the pay links.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    And why is that?

    Why does a site that's professional, and nice looking, not convert well? I'm not arguing with you, I agree. But I don't understand it.

    I have a couple of friends with sites that do very well, and for the life of me I don't understand why. They're awful - and yes, one of them is without question U*LY!

    Mind you, there aren't any typos on the sites, the punctuation is good, it's clean (for lack of a better word)...but I would never think of buying anything from it! :eek: He put it up and forgot about it, until the money started rolling in. His wife says it's one of the worst sites she's ever seen! But it makes GOOD money, every month, without exception!

    I guess I feel like a webmaster that doesn't go to the trouble to try to create something visual isn't really "in to" the site. I'd rather buy from one that looks nice. I "trust" it more, if that's the right word to use.

    One of the "U*LY" sites does have a page that competes with me a little bit, and the one page that really produces well for them performs much better than my page.

    Are we getting into the

    content site + nice design = no sales

    revenue site + plain/clean design = good conversions

    thing? I must be in the minority, because I don't make purchases from sites that are plain. Give me a nice site, responsibly built without a bunch of java, flashing banners, etc., but with nice colors, fonts, a few images, and good page layout,and they'll get my money first.

    Any suggestions on how to "undo" revenue pages to make them convert better? Do you just start taking stuff away until they finally start to perform?

    I guess this is the one thing that I just don't get about online selling. When you go shopping in a retail store, you want the store to look nice. A rundown store may give the impression of less overhead and better prices, but the fancy department stores seem to really rake in the big bucks as well. Why is web design different?

    Andy

  20. #20
    Full Member
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    399
    "Why does a site that's professional, and nice looking, not convert well? I'm not arguing with you, I agree. But I don't understand it."

    Just guessing here, maybe people get so absorbed in the site they completely forget about shopping? And when they're finally done, it's a matter "I've spent way too much time reading this, time to get outta here".

  21. #21
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    12,817
    (Warning, long post!)

    Andy, all I can do is speculate, but there are a few key differences.

    Note what you said here:

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I don't make purchases from sites that are plain<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Right--you MAKE PURCHASES at the MERCHANT site! And that site is--in fact it practically has to be--Nice Looking to make the sale.

    But we're not trying to get people to actually make purchases at *our* sites. We're trying to get people to GO AWAY FROM OUR SITES, and get them ONTO the nice looking, professional merchant sites where they make their purchases!

    I speculate that a nice-looking affiliate site confuses the buyer. The buyer thinks it's the final destination, and tries to buy right there! Then, when they are shifted over to the actual merchant site, they probably think something is fishy/get suspicious. After all, why would one professional site be shifting them over to another professionally done site, if not for tricks?! They don't understand how affiliation works and don't see a legitimate reason, when one site looks just as well-equipped as the next one.

    So I think the plain looking sites do better because the answer to that question is rather obvious--that the Affiliate site isn't the merchant, nor is it owned by the merchant.

    Plus, (perhaps most important!) people like to help out "the little guy", and a plain looking site is (apparently) run by a "little" guy. A nice-looking site loses that advantage instantly because people outside the business have heard how Real Web Design "costs thousands of dollars"--so nice sites MUST have a big corporation behind them, no matter how they talk (so they think)... Of course the rumors they hear about web design prices are all wet but most people just don't think of doing something technically involved "by yourself"--they expect that an "expert" has been brought in.

    Now onto the "run down store" image: That's not the image I try to project! :eek: Rundown stores are dirty and in disrepair. The site shouldn't look dirty (some background colors can give that effect), or have dead links/broken images (disrepair)! Just like WalMart shouldn't have tiles coming off the floor and dead light bulbs in the fixtures. There's a difference between "discount" and "dying"!!

    Not that all sites need to be discount, though! A few color changes to a "discount" design can turn the same elements into an "upscale" design, for instance. A lot of "Class" is just in the colors used and the addition of a few small items. Kind of like how the color and material of the seats in a car can make the interior "cheap" or "better"...even when the shape of the seats is exactly the same!


    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Are we getting into the
    content site + nice design = no sales

    revenue site + plain/clean design = good conversions
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Well, more accurate would be content site OR nice design = no sales. (Although content is a bigger sales killer, too nice of a design will have the same result. They don't have to be combined...)

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Any suggestions on how to "undo" revenue pages to make them convert better? Do you just start taking stuff away until they finally start to perform?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    LOL, I don't put "stuff" in there in the first place, so I don't have to take it away! But when I tried nicen-ing up a site too much awhile back, I just went back to some of the old u*ly design elements. Some subtraction, some addition.

    But when I removed the u*ly banner from the bottom of some pages, sales stopped. Finally I closed my eyes and slapped it back there, ignoring the desperate clash with the bottom border--and sales returned!

    I also returned Underlined Links to all pages. Pages with un-underlined links didn't sell worth beans! So again, it was a matter of "putting back", rather than taking away, certain elements.

    Try to keep the images down to one or two. Viewers get distracted by a "picture show". And for some products, a representative image doesn't help conversions anyway. And the magazine-page look is to be avoided. People are too used to ignoring magazine ads, and making pages like mags seems to auto-trigger the "ignore advertising" command in their brains.

    I did make a very slight change that improved the looks of the sites but not toooo much. I used to use Zero "designing" per-se, but a rather minimal amount of improvement did help converisons a bit. Basically I put a border around the old style of pages and changed the font and that's it. Other than that and some color changes, any "improvement" in the looks has corresponded to a proportional drop in conversions.

    As for "reworking" a page, it's easier to just set up a Revenue Page layout and then just put your old spin into the new page (more of a ground-up build than a rework). Then rename your old page something like OldDoodadPage (if you want to keep a copy) and call your new page by the original name of the old one.

    Note: I wouldn't suggest doing that to a c*ntent site because it would jar the heck out of the regulars, but for a Real Revenue Site, go for it, if it's not making money now, then it needs Tough Love.

    This post has gotten rather long so I'll close for now.

    HTH

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,650
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>if it's not making money now, then it needs Tough Love. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>That's sometimes the hardest part! We get sooooo attached to our little darlings that it's hard to do surgery on what doesn't work.

  23. #23
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    12,817
    Elis., I hear you! That's why I usually save old pages on the HD if I make major changes. It's not profitable to show 'em, yet I just can't bear to delete *every* trace...

    Jaybat--I think that's the problem with c*ntent sites, exactly! I've done it myself (stayed on a site until I was too tired to think about buying).

    But I think there's something else going on with Nice Looking non-content, affiliate sites, since there isn't a heckuva lot to read or do except buy if there is only sales content (ie, a pitch)! (Long-winded MLM and/or get-rich-quick sites excluded, of course...)

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    4,178
    Well, thank you Leader and buckworks.com. That's exactly it: you don't want to undo all the hard work you've done! It took a long time to create, and you don't want to give it up.

    It makes sense that people get caught up in all the really cool pages, then they start reading, and next thing you know...what was I doing? Oh yeah, too late now. I'll do it later. (Then they don't.)

    I'm trying to build some sales pages that link from my content site. I'm putting them in another file that is named a key phrase. I'm doing all of the things I've learned here at ABW...white background, clean, underlined links, "H1" tags, not a lot of images, but maybe one or two banners for that merchant, and I'm going to keep each page specific to just one merchant.

    Oh yes, it's not a *pretty* page, either. I'm using nice colors, but nothing too special, either. We'll see what happens.

    It's just so hard to get out of that "content site" mind phase you get in! I had the "content is king" hammered into my head for so long, I find myself wanting to do too much to my sales pages. It's very hard to go back and forth from content to sales, but when I find a sales format that works, I'll use it as a template (as suggested) and then it should be easier to build more pages.

    Thanks again,
    Andy

  25. #25
    Full Member
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    315
    >>I had the "content is king" hammered into my head for so long, I find myself wanting to do too much to my sales pages.<<

    Hey Andy,
    Just a thought, but when I was working on my sales pages, I replaced the "Content is king" mantra with "Ad copy is king!" For web content, articles and stories that are short, punchy and to the point work best. I imagine the same would go for ad copy, except that it should be even shorter, punchier and quicker to get to the point (except for those long-winded pages promoting some ebook - that seems to be a formula unto itself. I've actually heard that people get paid very well for writing that copy, so perhaps I should learn!). Oh yeah, and while it's nice to have targeted keywords sprinkled liberally throughout content, it's mandatory for ad copy - ad copy exists only to a) get the person to the page and b) to sell the item to the viewer. The first time I put together affiliate pages, I wrote the copy, then rented wordtracker for a week, went back and put in all the words I chose. Next time, I think I'll start with wordtracker first and then use the chosen key phrases as inspiration.

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Getting Started
    By shobjohn in forum Introduce Yourself
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: September 19th, 2014, 08:11 AM
  2. Getting Started
    By WashburnAffiliate in forum Newbie Affiliate FAQs & Helpful Articles
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: August 25th, 2012, 04:40 PM
  3. Need help getting started
    By kalenga in forum Introduce Yourself
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: April 13th, 2012, 04:25 PM
  4. Getting started here
    By jackhu in forum Introduce Yourself
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: September 28th, 2007, 12:54 PM
  5. getting started again ....
    By Cosmo in forum Search Engine Optimization
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: March 31st, 2005, 01:46 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •