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  1. #1
    Clueless Newbie
    My first day - my first post. I have a web site and just joined commission junction and then found this forum. It seems that a lot of people have problems with CJ and other affiliate networks. After reading through this forum I am terrifed of getting into this business.


    Is this just a case of late or missing payments/slow servers/poor customer service? Or is there some fundamental problem with the way they are conducting their business?

    I have joined 4 merchant affiliates - I don't see them having their own thread. How can I know if they are legitimate in paying?

  2. #2
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    Getting paid isn't the problem. CJ is very good about paying promptly on the 20th of the following month as long has you've met the $25 minimum earnings.

    There are a lot of good merchants at CJ. Unfortunately, there are also some sleezebags.

    Do a search in the forums for the merchants you've joined and see if there have been any threads about them saying a lot of negative things about them. If you see that, then think twice about promoting them.

  3. #3
    Yup, Sure ... now let me check ... Cagles Mill's Avatar
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    I am terrifed of getting into this business.
    Don't worry. This is the path to potential financial independence. I quit my job nearly 2 years ago and have made my living off this stuff ever since. There are other people on this board that have been doing it much longer. What should be terrifying is the thought of having to work for "the man" for the rest of your life and watching him get all the money and credit for the work you do.

    Personally, I would not touch LinkShare with a 10 foot pole, but CJ, Share-A-Sale and WebSponsors pays like clockwork. There are others that you can rely on as well although when the checks arrive may be a little more questionable, e.g., Google AdSense.

    And yes there is a problem with the way companies like CJ and LinkShare conduct their business, but the tide seems to be slowing turning in the right direction. This stuff is still like the wild wild west, but in time the industry will mature as it is hit with lawsuits and the survivors will be legitimate companies that treat you the way they should.

    As for knowing which merchants to work with... that is more difficult. I simply choose the ones I think I can be successful with. If they don't convert, it is either because the page is not getting traffic or they are a lousy company. If I can't get traffic to the page after several modifications to the page, then I dump them. If they get a lot of traffic, but don't average at least one sale per 100 clicks, then I slap an Adsense banner in the middle of the page and make money that way. If I have reason to think they are just plain dishonest in reporting sales, then I dump them.
    Rick M.
    I would rather have a bottle in front of me, than have a frontal lobotomy!
    Does your bubblegum lose its flavor on the bedpost overnight?

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Clueless,

    Sounds like you've been reading the Linkshare parts of this forum and then posted in the CJ part.

    CJ is an excellent network for a beginner. Merchants and links are easy to find. CJ pays on time with consilidated checsk (which LS has yet to succeed). Oh, CJ also answers their support (at their Ask A Question section). It can take up to 72 hours, as they say, but almost always sooner and I rarely get some canned response like I do at LinkShare.

    By the way, Welcome! You will find this fun and rewarding. You should work hard at it and aim for big bucks, but don't get discouraged if it takes you several months to see some real return on your efforts. Be Patient!
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  5. #5
    Full Member
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    Welcome Clueless - I started part time a few months ago and this month quit the 9-5 job - AM is not providing all of my income yet but it is providing $2000 or so a month and growing by 20% per month so I won't be using savings and picking up part-time consulting jobs for too much longer. Be patient - the learning curve seems steep at first but it levels out fairly quickly. Do check out using the Adsence text ads.

    Charles

  6. #6
    Thanks for the words of encouragement. I just got my first click today. I do use adsense but not the text links. I will do a search on my merchants. My site is in the education field which is not the highest paying so I don't know if I will be able to retire on this but it will pay some bills.

  7. #7
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Here's a little known education aff program:
    http://www.edu-partner.com/

    Little known cuz he picks and chooses his affs.

    Run by this company:
    http://www.jergroup.com/

    Dr. John Reid runs this show. John E. Reid = JER. He's outside of Atlanta but has contracts with colleges and university nationwide to provide elearning online.

    He's an indie program and he's honest. He has aggregated so many online e-learning content providers (I used to work with a company that is one) that he literally has 1,000's of online courses that you can offer.

    He allows you to set the retail price from within his admin control panel - so your margin is up to you. Very nice!

    They are a very small company - but focused and they reach nationwide through ~75-100 contracted instructors for classroom stuff they also do (unrelated to aff program). So don't expect hand holding - if you know what you're doing, this is a gem of a program! If you don't, you'll be disappointed and believe there's a lack of support - you can talk to the CEO if you want, but he won't troubleshoot your link setup and he expects you can navigate simple forms and admin features without explanations or help files or phone support. I found his admin system very simple - don't mean to scare you - just mean to tell you he isn't there to teach or help you market. On the plus side, newbies aren't hogging his suppport resources - he doesn't sign up newbies. If you apply, email him after filling out the form and tell him a little about your experience and show him a typical (or your edu) site.

    Within his program, you will find so many companies and independent elearning authors all in one place - a great many who have no clue how to market or leverage affiliates - this means little or no competition. It's a busy industry for sure - don't mean to make it sound simple - but there are relatively few affs in his system or his competitors or the OEMs of the educational content - an opportunity to work closely with his group and kick some butt.

    He's got the elearning that the fortune 500 companies get for their employees - and you can resell it anywhere. He's got accredited courses and stuff that's just for self-advancement (like Excel XP training). As an aggregator of content, he frequently has several courses to choose from in certain areas - so you have instant breadth to offer your customers.

    I've known John for more than 5 years. If you need an intro, PM me and tell me about your yourself - once comfortable, I'll consider introducing you to him. I get no referral and I am not an affiliate of his or in any way compensated for introducing you - he is a friend of mine.

    Your posts sound like you're just getting started. If that's honestly the case, I'd wait a while before applying - from your posts, I'd say at least a year from now. Dr. Reid will decline you once he knows you're not ready to produce volume or if you may need more help than he is prepared to provide. Or if you start and don't produce, he'll suggest, for mutual benefit, that you move on. This is a serious opportunity to make money - but it's not a learning environment. He's a genuinely good guy - don't mistake honest and frank discussions about who is qualified to resell for him and his straighforward no-nonsense business approach for someone who doesn't care or isn;t interested. As a small biz, he knows what he can do and he's capable - he wants the same in his partners.

    There's an elearning package I used to supply to him for MCSE - ~$325 wholesale - one affiliate sold these CD kits (this was 4 years ago) for just over ~$1,000 - netting the aff almost $700 per sale. The aff only sold 2-3 a month, but hey, that'll get you a long way. Most courses are much cheaper of course - this was an extreme case. You won't find the opportunity for margins like his elsewhere.

    Good luck.

  8. #8
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by travisbickle100
    Thanks for the words of encouragement. I just got my first click today. I do use adsense but not the text links. I will do a search on my merchants. My site is in the education field which is not the highest paying so I don't know if I will be able to retire on this but it will pay some bills.
    someone with a home schooling site who posts in the amazon.com forum (but not the one here) has apparently done very well.

  9. #9
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    I'm not a datafeed guy - but he's also got all of the course descriptions and price and details (outcomes, competencies, blah, blah, blah) in his database. -for 1,000s of courses.

    If you're a webmerge / datafeed kind of guy - it's another opportunity area.

    And crap - I just realized I'm in the CJ forum (I have 6 ABW windows open - scatter brain) - if you want to continue this side discussion, create a new thread or PM me.

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador
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    ABW edu forum to launch
    On June 6th we will be launching a new site with schools having
    Carnegie Classification.
    This information tells you if a learning provider is a accredited by an
    accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

    We are currently finishing beta testing of this new site using $5000+ per
    month affiliates in the Education Vertical. Watch for our forum here at ABW.
    Last edited by Merchant Consultant Team; May 19th, 2005 at 10:29 AM.

  11. #11
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Mackin is a success magnet. If he's in a niche you like, find a way to draw closer to him. Good things will always follow.

  12. #12
    Newbie
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    This program will rock. Everything Mackin touches turns to gold. I can't wait for it to come out of beta.

  13. #13
    Thanks for the advice everyone...I am going to spend the next two weeks reading as many posts in this forum as I can manage.

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