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Affiliates Forum

    
Affiliate program advice
where, what, how, why?
macgregor




msg:3904735
 5:38 am on May 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

Greetings.
After some intense and extensive research into the plethera of affiliate marketing programs available out there I keep arriving back at one that seems to stand head and shoulders above the comp. I'll refer to them as "CJ" because Im not trying to promote anyone here. I'll assume the folks that have been around the block once or twice know who that is. Ive since signed up with them.
What Im hoping is that I can get some input and advice from some veterans here about this company....experiences, successes, problems, issues, etc.
Their merchant list is a who's who of top companies and there are thousands of choices. Nice payouts on some. And support seems excellent. We're putting everything in place but not live for another few weeks. Just trying to get some feel for what to expect if possible.

Any and all input much appreciated.
thanks

 

wyweb




msg:3904738
 5:43 am on May 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'll refer to them as "CJ" because Im not trying to promote anyone here

Hmmm.. wonder who that might be...

macgregor




msg:3904745
 5:53 am on May 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

I realise and understand the rules...I also want to stick to them. The question would be impossible to respond to though without at least a hint of who Im referring to. Just looking for some feedback is all.

JollyK




msg:3904968
 2:40 pm on May 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

macgregor, I've been using CJ for many years (along with other affiliate networks). All I can really say is that performance really varies by the type of site and traffic YOU have and by the programs you choose.

I have had zero success with ANY affiliate programs on one of my sites (but Adsense does great there), for example, while another does great with CJ ads and doesn't do much with Adsense or YPN.

I've found that the CJ ratings as to network performance are sometimes helpful, but not as much as you'd think. Many programs that are highly rated network wide for CTR and earnings have done diddly for me while some lower-rated programs have done tremendously well.

Here's what I can say: test, test, TEST. Pick some programs that seem relevant to your site's visitors, put the ads up, and if nothing happens in a month or so, drop them and try new ones.

Oh, and read the fine print of the individual affiliate agreements. One program I WAS going to sign up for actually said something like, "You may not refer to (the company) in any capacity, orally or in writing, for any purpose, without (the company)'s prior written consent."

Um ... exCUSE me?

"The first rule about (company) affiliates is you do not talk about (company)." Heh.

Sure, it was poorly worded and I'm sure that's not what they meant, but I did not sign up for their program because of it.

I have found CJ's support to be poor to nonexistent and their reports could be better, but perhaps support is better if you have larger sites -- although the support there wasn't any better when I was really working affiliate programs and bringing in over 1K a month from CJ alone. That's just my experience, though: I still use them for the affiliate programs that are appropriate to my sites.

Don't be disappointed if you don't get much off the CJ ads, though. Make note of which individual ads are highly rated as well as which programs and try those. However, there are some programs that are WAY highly rated and I have yet to make a dime off them after trying several ways of marketing them. I guess YMMV.

Good luck!

JK

purplecape




msg:3904974
 2:45 pm on May 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

My best experience with CJ was that through them I connected to a merchant who also had a direct affiliate program. When CJ made some changes to their program that would have required me to redo all of the links I had to that merchant, I just joined that merchant's program, and got a better rate....

wyweb




msg:3905006
 3:10 pm on May 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

I realise and understand the rules...I also want to stick to them. The question would be impossible to respond to though without at least a hint of who Im referring to. Just looking for some feedback is all.

Not trying to give you a hard time macgregor. It's a good question. A valid question. I'm just not really sure how to answer it adequately.

My first affiliate earnings were through CJ. The check was for 25.99 (payment threshold was 25.00) and I have a photocopy of it framed and hanging in my office. It was validation of what I was doing... proof that I could make money on the internet. It took 6 months to make that 25.99. My business took off like a rocket shortly after that and I kicked CJ to the curb in favor of other, more lucrative programs. CJ was proof of concept though.

In the beginning it was CJ and Amazon. There simply wasn't anything else out there.

CJ would later boot me out for some vague, non-participation thing but that was what we did back then. CJ and Amazon and I had this other deal going with History Kill. Man, we're going back here. Way back.

As JollyK pointed out, your milage may vary. There are a ton of factors involved here. Your websites demographics would of course be the main thing to consider. What sort of traffic do you get? How do people find your site, the particular keywords they use, etc... Can you tailor individual products to match these? The closer you can get to your users needs, the better off you'll be. I guess that goes without saying.

Are you doing adsense? 95% of my available real estate goes to them these days. There are several advantages to this. One, I don't have to chase down multiple programs, programs whos terms may or may not change overnight, requiring active participation on my part. Two is ease of use. A kid can do this. In fact i'm sure kids are.

My advice would be to look at your market. I think you're probably already doing this. Do it again. What do your visitors want? Give it to them and you'll profit from it....

stevebaik




msg:3959300
 12:51 am on Jul 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Pros:
- most comprehensive listing of advertisers
- easy to use interface
- tons of creatives to choose from
- direct communication with advertiser

Cons:
- lowest payout for most affiliate programs
- beginning affiliates may have a tough time making money with CJ
- CJ doesn't have a clean track-record (class action lawsuits)

I think after the lawsuits, they cleaned up their act.

farmboy




msg:3959519
 4:26 pm on Jul 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Pros:
- most comprehensive listing of advertisers
- easy to use interface
- tons of creatives to choose from
- direct communication with advertiser
Cons:
- lowest payout for most affiliate programs
- beginning affiliates may have a tough time making money with CJ
- CJ doesn't have a clean track-record (class action lawsuits)

Another Con:
- If you're not careful, you'll end up providing space to merchants to promote their brand and you'll have little to show for it

FarmBoy

farmboy




msg:3959520
 4:32 pm on Jul 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

We're putting everything in place but not live for another few weeks. Just trying to get some feel for what to expect if possible.

I think you might be going about things a bit backwards. It's similar to your planning to open a brick & mortar retail store and asking whether you should sell shoes, televisions, groceries, or books.

Who will be your visitors? Why will they be visiting your site? Will they likely be returning to your site again and again?

Answer those questions and then look for products/services you can sell (via affiliate programs) to those site visitors.

Also, FWIW, I have had much more success with affiliate programs where I could create my own text links to their products/services and incorporate it into my content vs. those where the merchant supplies banner/image ads and pre-written text ads.

FarmBoy

macgregor




msg:3959521
 4:53 pm on Jul 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

This Forum is so completely overwhelming in size and scope....

All good info thus far. Thanks.
Is there a rule against my asking what the better affiliates
are that have been mentioned?

eljefe3




msg:3960814
 7:10 am on Jul 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

You can always look at networks and products that will show EPC. This will give you an idea of which products and services generate the most income per click.

As farmboy says above, you will need to have products to offer your visitors that match their interests. Tough to sell diet pills if your visitors are looking for information about a trip to Easter Island :).

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