Archives for February 2008

Top 5 Referrers for January 2008

I very nearly forgot to do this again this month. I need to set up some sort of reminder for it. In any case, here’s the top 5 referrers for the month of January 2008.

There’s a few newcomers in there this month. I hope that means that I’m gaining readers, but it could be just a fluke as well. We’ll have to see what February brings. Still half a month to go to get a link for your site as a top referrer for February.

Chow: Blog Business Structure

While I normally don’t like John Chow’s writing all that much, he has been doing a great series on how he runs his blog.  The latest is on an article on his “Blog Business Structure“.  I think it provides some great insight into how a true “problogger” runs things behind the scenes from a financial perspective.

What I would have like to see is a little bit more detail as well as a U.S. version(only because I’m in the U.S.).  I’m sure that John may not be able to provide a U.S. version, but maybe we can talk another U.S. blogger into it.  Shoemoney perhaps? I know that after the results of 2007, I’ve been thinking a lot more of a move away from the proprietorship kind of business and more towards a corporate structure of some sort.  For the exact same reasons that John mentions that he does it.  I look forward to a few more of these articles from John.  Sure beats the paid reviews and food reviews that we normally get from him.

Sales Tactics: …and More!

Before you get ahead of yourself and think that you don’t need to know how to sell, remember that one of the biggest parts of affiliate and online work is visitors buying items. It’s how you make your money. A visitor comes to your site, clicks on a link, and then buys the item. You, in turn, get paid a percentage of that sale. It’s the lifeblood of being an affiliate.

A certain amount of your affiliate links are, to be certain, just links. They have no copy to accompany them and are just “there”. Most of the time those links will do you very little good. What you need to do is sell the product.

There are many, many ways to sell a product and there are plenty of sales tactics that you can employ. Today, lets talk about the sales tactic that I like to call the “and More!” tactic. The “and More!” tactic is one of the more popular ones being used today. Why? Because it works. Buyers are attracted to the “and More!” that it implies. From infomercials by Kevin Trudeau pushing Debt Cures they don’t want you to know about to the many useful products out there, the “and More!” brings them in by the dozen.

How do you employ the “and More!” tactic? Simple.  Give the customer some extras.  Whether it’s something as simple as a little extra info in the form of an ebook or a little extra trinket on the side. Selling a book?  Add a informational CD on the subject with further research.  Give the customer “bonus” books.  You see it all the time on the sales pages of the many ebooks touting instant wealth through adsense.  When you pay for the ebook, you get three other great reports and ebooks valued at $XXX.XX along with it!

Whatever it is that your selling, the “and More!” tactic dictates that you at least make it seem like the customer is getting a great value.  Even better, give them a great value.  Just make sure you tell them about it!

Akismet/Popularity Comment Count Workaround

When I moved to the new design, I switched the “popular posts” plugin to the much more feature rich plugin “Popularity Contest” by Alex King.  I really like the plugin and the features that it added.  I like that I can weight the different aspects of the posts popularity.  If I think that Comments are most important, I can weight them higher than pageviews.

One downside to the plugin is that it counts all comments made.  That means that any comment that a spammer leaves gets counted.  Even if Akismet catches it.  What that does when you have a couple of popular spam comment targets is to skew the popularity counts and make your spammiest posts your most popular.  In effect, it becomes a most popular spam post list.

I haven’t yet found a permanent fix to the problem.  One way I’ve found to help with it (I haven’t implemented it) is to use both Akismet and Spam Karma.  I haven’t done that because I  didn’t like Spam Karma the last time I used it.  Personal choice.

I did, however, find a bit of a workaround to the problem.  The plugin options page has a button for recalculating the numbers.  Every time I go to delete my spam from Akismet, I then just add the step of going to the options page for Popularity Contest and click that button.  It resets and recounts the counts without the deleted spam comments included.  Giving a bit more accurate list.

Of course, the downside is that if I don’t delete spam for several days it still will be heavily skewed until I delete them and recalculate.  I’d like for it to be automatic or just not count the spam queue comments altogether.  I’m sure that it could be done via some code to eliminate certain flagged comments in the DB, but I really don’t feel like tearing apart the plugin code to figure it out.  Hopefully, Alex will find a way around it in a future release.

Until then, that’s my workaround.