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  1. #1
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    I have an Idea what do you think
    My site is a content site so I really don't place ads in the articles I write even if I am selling a product I could probably make commission off of. I sometimes do but most of the time I don't because I think it takes away from ones credibility.

    Anyway I have an idea (Patent Pending)

    You knose the vibrantmedia ads the ones that make links green and you get alil pop up ad when you hover the link?

    I was thinking doing the same. Lets say I am reviewing a product and I mention that its available at CompUSA for 30. dollars.

    I would make the CompUSA link a hyperlink but it would perform like the Vibrant Media ads. A mini popup shows up when you hover the link and in the pop up two links.

    The first link would be a direct link to CompUSA the second would be an affiliate link and above or under that link it would say (Use this link to support this site) or something similar.

    You guys think thats a good idea?

  2. #2
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    That's not a bad idea.

    People who cares about what you write will want to support you but on the other side, some will just use the "regular" link, just to be on the safe side.

    I don't know if it's worth the effort of programming the system, though, but it might be a good idea to try it on a page or two.

  3. #3
    Influencer Marketing GravityFed's Avatar
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    I think Affiliates acknowledging they are Affiliates is a good practice..

    For your ads HG, I don't think you should include the direct link, though. Keep your tracking there. I think a little disclaimer saying something to the affect of 'we are not the merchant, although we can refer you to a reputible merchant to buy this product' is a good approach. It helps (some) people understand why when they click the 'Buy Now' they end up on another site.

    I know one Affiliate in particular who has seen increased conversion by ~not~ trying to come across as the merchant. For example, by saying, 'Browse *merchant name's* featured products' intead of 'Browse our featured products'.

    Just a thought...

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador Sam Bay's Avatar
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    It's a bad idea and here's why:
    If you're going to link to CompUSA's product page anyway, doing it so with your affiliate link is not necessarily a comprise of your editorial integrity. It's not advertisement if you would link to there even if you weren't getting paid for it.

    Also, I don't like to be disturbed with things popping around when I am reading, so you users people would probably not mind going directly via your aff link, then having to read a pop up explaining what their choices are etc.

  5. #5
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    I would try it and see how your forum members react to it. I've seen these type of inline ads make forum members annoyed and they even claimed that it confused them as to what was editorial content and what was advertising. So it may be a more straightforward and less confusing approach to just put some "our sponsors" type links at the bottom that will earn you money if they're clicked or if a purchase is made. In any case you might need to politely remind your members that you're not running a charitable organization and that you very much appreciate their support.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Sheri's Avatar
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    I hate ads that pop up at me. Period. Linking to products with affiliate links inside of valid, relevant content is a great way to go.

    Sheri

  7. #7
    Outsourced Program Manager e-Gazer's Avatar
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    I understand where you're coming from on that idea HWG but as for me personally - I'm always slightly annoyed when I'm trying to read something I'm interested in and I'm distracted by little mouse-over pops... I prefer to see the text links embedded in the text normally and just know that if I want to know more that I can click through if I so choose. Having said that, embedding text links within your legitimate, relevant content is a very good idea - in my opinion that is one of the best ways to do affiliate marketing because you're not "just" optimizing your content for the SE's - you thought about your reader 1st - and affiliate marketing second. That usually converts better in my experience.

    Just my $0.02.


  8. #8
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    what if I create a link that goes to another page for example

    CompUSA link goes to ---> another page on my site with a big dispclaimer saying you are leaving my site blah blah blah and are going to CompUSA click here to continue with the continue link a non affiliate link.

    And then underneth that have different coupon offers for comp USA that are affiliate links.

  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    I agree with egazer & Sam. The pop up hover links can be an annoyance to many people. Also I do not think it is unprofessional at all for you to make the merchant name as a link.

    I see this all the time in articles written by everyone from product viewers to the FDA and federal government.

    If your goal is to write reviews, that's one thing. But if your goal is to write reviews that can link to product sales and commissions, then you should not be shy about using the featured names in the article as links. People who visit web sites KNOW that when they see a name or topic highlighted (underlined) what it is and they either click on it as an impulse response or they read past it. Either way - it works to compliment both of your real goals.

    Best Of Luck
    Alan

  10. #10
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardwareGeek
    I was thinking doing the same. Lets say I am reviewing a product and I mention that its available at CompUSA for 30. dollars.

    I would make the CompUSA link a hyperlink but it would perform like the Vibrant Media ads. A mini popup shows up when you hover the link and in the pop up two links.

    The first link would be a direct link to CompUSA the second would be an affiliate link and above or under that link it would say (Use this link to support this site) or something similar.
    If it's your review, why shouldn't you get the comm? Why would you need the straight non com link? Am I missing something?

    BTW I know a co that offers this software (and yes it is patent pending)
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
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  11. #11
    Outsourced Program Manager e-Gazer's Avatar
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    Thumbs up
    Hey HWG,

    Don't be shy! The more clicks to get to the merchant and the product, the less likely your shoppers will actually make it there. Fewer clicks = better conversion in most cases.

    No need for a disclaimer page. Just set up the affiliate text links to open in a new window (when a user clicks the related text link) so your site is still beneath the new window - if you're concerned about the navigation away from your page.

    As long as the popped window is initiated by a user click then you're in the green.

    Embedding relevent links w/in legitimate content is a good strategy to increase your CR% and it IS fully legit if you do it that way, so go for it.

  12. #12
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    Just do the link, and make sure to do it even when you give it a bad review or unfavorable mention. People will buy what they will regardless of your recommendation (especially games etc). So show you're impartial by putting it on all mentions, because the question isn't the link but if the link influences the content. As long as it doesn't you are good to go.

    Chet

  13. #13
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    "I sometimes do but most of the time I don't because I think it takes away from ones credibility."

    I can understand what you're saying. If i'm reading somewhere and I see an affiliate link, it's going to cross my mind that you're recommemding a product or service etc, only because it's a chance to make money off the affiliate link, I think one of the reasons affiliate links aren't allowed in threads here. There are other forums where it is allowed and they're very spammy. Someone asks a question and then someone answers it with their affiliate id attached.

    On the other hand, it takes money to run a forum/site and if someone has a problem with it, too bad.

    You can argue it both ways and I can see merit in all the arguments.

  14. #14
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Do some A/B testing. Try half your pages with straight affiliate links to the product page and the other half to the merchant coupon page on your site. Let the numbers decide.

  15. #15
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haiko de Poel, Jr.
    If it's your review, why shouldn't you get the comm? Why would you need the straight non com link? Am I missing something?

    BTW I know a co that offers this software (and yes it is patent pending)
    Because if it is a good review. I don't want it to seem as if my intentions were to give it a good review just to get commish. Most of my visitors are tech savy and can tell whats an affiliate link and whats not.

    Well. I changed a direct link to techdepot in one of my reviews to an affiliate link since I just got approved and 1 day up 1 sale.

  16. #16
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Without reading through all the other comments, I'll bark and say this: WHY NOT use ONLY YOUR aff ID? WTF?! Are you afraid of making money?!! You're providing a service, giving your visitors information about a product and leading them to it ... it's well worth a commission (that costs your visitor NOTHING). Your integrity is in the fact that you're not going to recommend a product you don't know anything about and/or don't believe in, NOT in screwing yourself out of a commission that's well deserved!!

    Now I'll let Leader have at you ... LOL
    Peace,

    Rexanne

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  17. #17
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    I decided what to do.

    Review with Link ---> Link goes to secondary page on my site ---> Secondary page contains only affiliate links. Top link says continue to Merchant site seperated by an HR or something and various deals for that merchant.

  18. #18
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardwareGeek
    I decided what to do.

    Review with Link ---> Link goes to secondary page on my site ---> Secondary page contains only affiliate links. Top link says continue to Merchant site seperated by an HR or something and various deals for that merchant.
    As long as that 'continue to merchant site' link is YOUR aff link!

    Leader, where are you?!! Mike needs inspiration to "embrace his capitalistic self!" LOL
    Peace,

    Rexanne

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  19. #19
    CPA Network Rep JohnLeadFlash's Avatar
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    Maybe you could have a "footnotes" type section at the bottom of your pages that would link to the product(s) that you are reviewing. This should be mess less intrusive than the pop ups in the content which break your concentration. They distract the heck out of me!
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  20. #20
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    It's a fine line. One of the reasons Consumer Reports doesn't except advertising. Dell could purchase some advertising and if Consumer Reports rated their computers high, some people might think the only reason is because they're an advertiser. It's why Consumer Reports crushes another consumer magazine doing the same thing that accepts advertising.

    "Review with Link ---> Link goes to secondary page on my site ---> Secondary page contains only affiliate links. Top link says continue to Merchant site seperated by an HR or something and various deals for that merchant."

    I kind of like that idea. Another way to make it appear like you're not just saying good stuff about a product is to have some merchants that don't have an affiliate program alongside the ones that do.

    Like, you can get this product at:

    Merchant with affiliate program/affil id.com
    Merchant with affiliate program/affil id.com
    Merchant.com - no program no id
    Merchant with affiliate program/affil id.com
    Merchant.com - no program no id

    And let them pick which one they want to buy from.

    We have different types of sites. So this issue is going to be different for different affiliates. Mine is a straight up affiliate site with deals. Which would be a little different from a site giving honest reviews (credibility) and don't want the appearance that those good reviews are just to make money off affiliate links. I think there is some middle ground tho.

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    Someone wrote something about being confused with which link is a good link, or whether one is an advertisement.

    If I remember correctly, I've been to a couple of sites that seemed to have double underlined the link text (I have no idea how). Might be a good way of differentiating b/w the two - if you want to.
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  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador Sam Bay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardwareGeek
    I decided what to do.

    Review with Link ---> Link goes to secondary page on my site ---> Secondary page contains only affiliate links. Top link says continue to Merchant site seperated by an HR or something and various deals for that merchant.
    Then, you deserve the more work & less conversions that will come with it!

  23. #23
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    I think there needs to be a clarification here ... Mike, do you want a review site where you are NOT making any money (AdSense only maybe?) or an aff site?

    You need to pick one and then run with it. If you want to be an unbiased consumer report site, figure out how to benefit from that (charge visitors?) or review products with aff links included. I'm getting out of this thread because I don't understand the option of not making money from my traffic and can't be objective ... ;-)
    Peace,

    Rexanne

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  24. #24
    Verbosely Virtuous Mutt spacedog's Avatar
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    Ah Rex, you're such a flaming capitalist.


    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    I kind of like that idea. Another way to make it appear like you're not just saying good stuff about a product is to have some merchants that don't have an affiliate program alongside the ones that do.

    Like, you can get this product at:

    Merchant with affiliate program/affil id.com
    Merchant with affiliate program/affil id.com
    Merchant.com - no program no id
    Merchant with affiliate program/affil id.com
    Merchant.com - no program no id
    This begs the question as to whether HWG should use the onMouseOver trick:

    onMouseOver="window.status='http://www.etcetcetc.com' etc..."

    ...on those merchant sites he writes about and links to with his own affiliate links. I generally do this on my landing pages, as I had read that people are more likely to click on links to merchants if the links, when hovered over and the destination URL is seen in the status bar of their browser, do not look like aff links (especially those horrible CJ aff link domain names with random letters).

    I also agree with Liz and Sam Bay that the fewer pages the viewer must navigate to get to the product, the more likely he/she is to continue on and buy it. And I hate those double-lined links that pop up with crap; every time I find myself on a site with those, I get the uncontrollable urge to go back to the SEs to find my information somewhere else. It's just so ugly and shoving it in your face that the webmaster is trying to make affiliate money by touting only their affiliated merchants. In your case though, I see no problem putting regular affiliate links up in your reviews.

    If you're worried about how you come across ethically as a comparison site or review site owner, maybe you can put in your disclaimer/TOS/legalese page that you are compensated for products people buy through your links if the product happens to be one from a merchant you affiliate with. I've seen websites that expressly say that "we make every effort to be fair in our reviews and we review as many competitors as we are able to, whether we affiliate with them or not..." etc, which might give the visitor a feeling that you are not in the game simply for the commissions but to provide a service to visitors as well. A warm and fuzzy feeling, to some. It makes you look honest but also it's understood that your livelihood depends on writing the reviews and creating/updating said website. Nothing at all wrong with that. Your intentions are to give it a good review, AND to get a commission in many cases; the editorial integrity stands up when you provide links to merchants whose products you gave a poor or average rating as well.

    The main decision, if you decide to use regular affiliate text links, is whether to "hide" the affiliate code with onMouseOver or not. I've actually been wondering how ethical this is, since I do it myself to encourage more clickthroughs from my landing pages to the merchant sites. In very limited eyeballing, it does seem to get more clickthroughs but I dunno about conversion rates. I figure most people realize from my landing page that it is an affiliate site, so "hiding" the aff code just makes it look nicer.


  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador Paul_Ward's Avatar
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    I don't do reviews, but I do mention products in articles and I follow the sentence or paragraph with a "buy this here" or similar text link - that works from time to time.

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