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just lately the money that was coming in has slowed to a
putting my dread to one side I decided to log in to CJ
anyway and take a real good look around, OH GOD!
I thought that the postings about CJ on various
webmaster forums on the web where bad enough but
I just discovered that if you click the CJU tab
that CJ have their own forum, I say again OH GOD!
If you use the CJ forum and you do not suffer from
a weak heart take a look at the 'No Money in the Bank!!!'
thread under the topic entitled 'Commission Junction'
I also took the time to visit some of the merchant websites
that I have been an affiliate of, yes, we all know the new
cookie duration trick and I thought that was the main
reason for the slowdown but it's not, it's just one reason
To be honest, I just cannot belive the way the way that some
of the merchants are behaving
Heres a few of the reasons I discovered for the sudden slowdown
of my leads
1. Merchants using ListBot for leads
2. When you arrive at a merchants website there is nowhere to
3. When you arrive at a merchant website you can only sign up
with that merchants 3rd party affiliate, In other words they are
blatently stealing your leads and while your merchant gets paid
for that lead, you get NOTHING
I also discovered websites that where 'down', websites that take
too long to load and others that I can only describe as a complete
I try and give my visitors quality content but now I wonder what
the hell they must think when they click on an affiliate link and
arrive at THAT!
All that and I am only about a third of the way through my merchants
In conclusion I think CJ are finished, they may be a multi-million dollar
company but they are only as unsinkable as the titanic was and they won't
be the first dotcom to fail
people ARE going to flee the sinking ship, I know I am
In my categories (travel, real estate) everything has been going fine. Stats work, reports work, check ($400+ this month) comes in the mail. No significant complaints. Are most of the troubles concentrated among the freebie merchants?
>I dread logging in to CJ these days
I feel your pain. Logging in just ain't like it used to be - used to log in to see how much $$$ was in my account, now I log in to see which merchants dropped out or lowered commissions.
However, IMO, CJ is worth working with - in my experience they are much better than linkshare, befree, clickxchange, etc. They do have their faults, but I think they are the lesser of the evils. And they DO seem to work towards getting things right, even if they don't at least they try.
Looking at your list of reasons for declining leads, I would say the merchants you have chosen are more the problem than CJ themselves. Though there are some bad apples out there, I have had decent success with many CJ merchants.
The best thing to do before promoting a merchant, is to check out their site via your affiliate link. See what your visitor will see - nowhere to signup? Axe 'em. Bombarded with popups? Axe 'em. Lots of 3rd party affiliate stuff you won't get a dime for? Axe. Check for affiliate link code leaks, signup problems, etc. and you can eliminate looking for this kind of thing before sending your valuable traffic to a worthless merchant.
As far as the CJ thread you mentioned about direct deposits being late, I wouldn't sweat it. I have been paid on time every month for about a year, without fail. (not direct deposit) They are probably verifying accounts before sending payments, and are a little behind. They have recently installed some software that automatically cancels affiliates that appear to be violating their TOS. Problem is, many of them were canceled that were not in violation. Some have been reinstated. I would bet most, if not all, non-violators will be reinstated once each case is looked in to. This probably has something to do with the direct deposit delay.
>flee the sinking ship, I know I am
Good luck. If you find anything comparable (several hundred merchants with aggregated payments and some semblance of customer service), please let us know.
I tried to sign up with CJ as a merchant, but was rejected outright because of the nature of the product (I operate a post-click advertising tracking system that reports which ads and sites are leading to conversions). We actually compete with them.
As a merchant I would not want to make my ads available to any publisher trying to score a good deal. The ads need to be well targeted towards advertisers since it’s an advertisers tool. Therefore, I decided to forget about CJ and scale down. I am now choosing to target specific publishers with an offer of a partnership. I can easily manage this by tracking my own ads and measuring the leads that come in.
But measuring advertising for the last year or so has got me thinking:
I think there needs to be, or could be a total reversal in who reports ad stats in the industry. In other words, if you are running ads as a publisher you should not only be in a position to report impressions and click-through’s to advertisers but also report conversion for them. If you worked closely with a small amount of advertisers that had very trageted ads that fitted with your content and they would agree to put code on their sites for you to measure their conversion for them, you as a publisher will have the power to pull the plug and control what your users are seeing and where they are going to. No networks, no complexities, just honest and reliable one on one contact with an advertiser and reporting everyone should be happy with. Not only that, if you are seeing a bad conversion should have a say as to how the campaign can be optimized or you and the advertiser can make an agreement on what the best course of action is.
Sorry, I went a little off subject with my own thoughts. But in general I agree that CJ is heading for trouble. They’re too big for their own good.
Glug, glug, glug.
Well I suppose it is the merchants that I should be screaming at but I will closely monitor my merchants from now on as well as what people are saying about getting paid.
I am considering a few options, one of them being just concentrating on two or three reliable payers, anyone know any websites where this is done effectively? I would love to take a look.
I did'nt realize that I had an email account here, can I allow people to send me emails to my stickymail from my profile?
Anyway I already visited the link in my email on the day I first posted, very immpressive, sometimes I think the web would be a better place if all advertisers died like [alladvantage.com...] did
but then I visit a site like the one in your link and am reinspired, it's not just a matter of being picky with which sponsors you choose, a major part of it is seamlesslly integrating these merchants in to your site and still providing relevant content, I have been searching for websites that are cathederals to capitalism and have come across all sorts of designs that I could see at a glance could not help but make money but they employ tactics like putting their content in a narrow nav panel on the side whilst the main viewing area is filled with themed affiliate links
I was about to dump all of my advertising as soon as I got my check if it meant selling out like that, thats not why I built my websites, but like I said I am inspired again now, so thanks very much
>seamlesslly integrating these merchants in to your site and still providing relevant content
BINGO! One of my models has alway been the print version of 'Hemmings Motor News [hemmings.com]' -where people happily pay to subscribe to the book that people paid to be listed in.
The cookie duration, i.e., how long the affiliate gets credit for the lead or sale with the merchant. Many onlines sales or form submittals are not consumated the first time the visitor is sent to the site, he often comes back later to buy or register. If your merchant has set the cookie duration to 30 days and your visitor returns to the site 31 days after you first introduced the merchant via a click-through from your site, you don't get any credit.
P.S. Having recently moved from working with hardware to working in 'Internet markerting' I have been on a VERY steep learning curve and have found this forum invaluable!! Keep up the good work !
>worth the effort
The definitive answer is "Maybe." Perhaps you've read this thread which touched on much the same concern, i.e., Can I make it?
Personally, I like travel and real estate categories. They're treating me moderately well, even in these tough times. But you can't do anything without traffic, so you're starting at the right place.
Edited to update moved thread url
Edited by: Drastic
I made a new post about building sites around affiliate programs here [webmasterworld.com].
Feel free to fire away with any questions you may have.
I don't use clickxchange much, but they are notorious for being slack with emails. From what I understand, they usually respond, but sometimes several days later.
You may want to put "NEED REPLY PLEASE" at the end of your email subject.
Not aware of any contact phone numbers, but there is a contact number for admin on their whois info: 714-536-1903 but don't know if that will get you anywhere.