Kontera Invite a Friend

I got an email today announcing the new Kontera “Invite a Friend” feature. The text of the email:

Kontera recently launched an “Invite a Friend” program that offers their publishers a $25 bonus for recommending Kontera’s contextual advertising to friends.

Spreading the word about Kontera has never been easier or more rewarding. Here’s how to do it:

1. Log into Kontera’s Publisher Center using your user name and password.

2. Select “My Account” tab and click on “Invite a Friend”.

3. Type in your friends’ names and send away.

4. Your friends sign up through the link on your email.

5. You will get a $25 bonus from Kontera for every active Kontera publisher you bring. By active publisher they mean reaching 50,000 page views within 60 days of sign up (that’s about 833 page views a day)

See “Invite a Friend” Terms & Conditions

Sounds great doesn’t it? Well, not really. Let’s take a little closer look. Anyone that you refer must reach 50,000 views within 60 days of sign up. What?!? I went back and looked. I run three sites through Kontera. Two are the main sites in my portfolio. I didn’t even hit 50,000 in 90 days. Strike 1.

It’s not an affiliate program? Why not? Everyone else has one. For each referral that you refer (that also gets 50k views in 60 days) you get $25. Once. No more. Why wouldn’t you just do some sort of tiered affiliate program? Something like 5% for 60 days for the first 5 referrals, then 10% for all of them after that? That way, I refer anyone and everyone. As it is now, I’m not going to waste my time. What percent of the referrals that I make will hit 50k in 60 days? I’m guessing that it’s something like 10% or less.

Finally, I referred someone and then asked them to send me the email so I could see the link that it sends. The link: http://www.kontera.com/ads-for-site/become-a-kontera-publisher

Notice how there is no customization of that link. So what do they do to credit my account? I’m guessing that they compare the list of emails that you sent the invite to with a list of new publishers. If they find a match, you get the credit. But what happens if you and I both refer the same person? Who gets the credit? First come basis? Also, what happens if I send the invite to one address and the person signs up with another? Do I get credit there?

Overall, I don’t think this was very thought out. (have you seen Meet the Robinsons?) “But Master, I have a big body and short arms. I don’t think this plan was very well thought out.”)  There are holes all through it and I really think they’ll get more complaints on it than they get compliments.

I do like Kontera and have had some decent returns with it.  I’d love to push it.  I would really like it if I got something back from that as well.  And not only if they turn out to be the next big star or a big enough current site that isn’t already running Kontera.

What do you think?

Online Income for March 2008

After a pretty flat February (only increased by $2.62), I can’t help but be a little impressed with my March.  Whether it’s the posting schedule (I don’t think it was) or just some of the changes I’ve been made (not that either.  at least not wholly.), or maybe some random mix of those and several other items, March was a pretty darn good month.  Not only that, but it put me over the threshold on many of the accounts, so I should be receiving some pretty nice checks in the coming days.  So, here’s the numbers for March 2008:

  • TLA: $43.66
  • Adsense: $225.00
  • LinkWorth: $49.00
  • Amazon: $36.54
  • CJ: $25.90
  • Kontera: $56.23
  • Shareasale: $27.92
  • ClixGalore: $22.00

Grand Total: $486.28

That’s good for an increase of $148.39, or 43.92% over February.   I’ll take it.  So, why the increase?  TLA is up a little on account of me lowering the price of one of my properties (not this one.  I don’t use TLA here anymore) enough to sell out the spots.  Quantity wins over quality there.  Adsense is up, but mostly just on increased traffic and a little bit of a CPC increase.  I don’t attribute the increase in traffic to the posting schedule here only because the traffic increased almost everywhere.  I’ve been doing a little extra SEO and I’d like to think that that is what caused the increase.  My guess it it’s just fickle ol’ Googley Moogely again.

Amazon is up, but February was a horrible month for Amazon, so that isn’t saying much.  A couple of higher ticket items certainly helped there though.  CJ came through with yet another of the sporadic commissions that I seem to pick up here and there.  Not regular by any means, but again, I’ll take it.  Kontera keeps rising after a pretty precipitous drop after December.  Up over the $50 mark this month which would be nice to keep going.  Shareasale increased from $0 last month to $27.92 this month.  All on one sale.  The funny thing there is that the sale was from a PPC campaign that ended on February 13th.  The only other major increase comes from ClixGalore.  The reward there nearly doubled from $1.25 per signup to $2 per.  That and an overall increase in sign ups and you get a pretty nice number for a banner that I haven’t touched in forever.

Overall, I couldn’t be happier with this month.  The increases are nice to see and I really am hopeful that I will be able to continue them on into April.  There are still quite a few things that I would like to continue improving and hopefully that will help me increase those numbers each month.  I’d really like to see myself over the $500/ month mark consistently in the next Quarter.  I think it can be done, but only with some more work on my part.

Here’s to March!  On to April!

How to Get Where You’re Going

How are you going to get where you are going?  It’s a fairly simple question.  If you’re taking a trip, you find a map and plot your course.  Even that has been extremely simplified in recent years.  Instead of a Sextant, you only need an internet connection and a browser pointed to mapquest or google maps.

There are some that have the innate ability to get where they are going without a map.  They just get in the car and drive and manage, somehow, to get where they’re going.  Those people amaze me.

Enough with the analogy.  Those very same people exist in every walk of life.  There are those that can just as easily pick up a pc and make the pieces work together.  No manual needed.  There are also those that seem to get the knack for making money online just as easily.  Some will claim that they work hard for their money and even harder to get to where they are.  Most are telling the truth.  Some are lying.

The point of all of this is to make the statement that I am not one of those people.  While I do make money online, it isn’t anywhere near the amount that I would like it to be nor does it increase in leaps and bounds.  Instead, my income has been steady for several months.  All because I don’t have a map.

Unlike travel, there isn’t a one-stop place to get your map for making money online.  You’ll need to make several stops along the way to get your bearings and direction.  Maybe you’ll start off at Darren Rowse Boulevard headed in a Problogger sort of direction.  Then you stop off at the Aaron Wall SEO Stop looking for a little bit of a map for making the great Googely Moogely happy.   Somewhere along the way, you get distracted by the bright lights of John Chow Avenue.  Weeks or Months later, you find yourself still marveling at the pretty lights and have expanded your wonder to encompass the John Cow Court and the SuperAffiliate Alley (sorry, I like alliteration).  And lets not forget the wonder that is ShoeMoney Marketplace.

Sound familiar?  It does to me.  Mostly because I just told you what my path has been so far.  I started all this off with some inspiration from Darren.  I learned a little SEO on the way from Aaron.  Then I stumbled upon John Chow.  And he’s great for looking at in amazement because he’s a true success story for money bloggers.  But he isn’t so great for learning much from.  Heck, John only posts about 2 or so posts a week that he actually penned.  The rest are paid reviews and guest posts.  Good for him.  If I was making 30k a month on my one site, I don’t think I’d want to be writing many posts either.

Then come on down to John Cow’s pasture.  What began as a full fledged mimic of John Chow has become an icon in it’s own right.  But, again, great story and little direct helpful direction.  Although a great read, it’s not going to get you anywhere.

Then there’s Zac Johnson and Jeremy Schoemaker.  These guys truly put out some great content. It’s amazing in it’s helpfulness.  They are leaders in their fields and they take the time to try and share what they can.  I enjoy reading both.  But it won’t do you any good if all you do is stare in amazement.

You’ve got to make your map and get in your car and drive.  At that I’ve failed.  I tried to be one of those people that can get in the car and drive, sans map.  I’m not one of those people.  I got lost along the way and have been driving in circles trying to find my way.  Each month I end up at the same intersection and even though it seems like I take a new turn, I still end up right back where I started.

From now on, I’m making a map.  I’m going to set goals for myself to meet each month.  It’s not something that I’ve ever been particularly good at, so I’ll probably miss a few here and there, but I’ll still have them.  And if I have them, I truly do try and hold myself to them.  Especially if I make them public here.

You can do the same.  If you find yourself driving aimlessly through the super blogger/affiliate neighborhood, get yourself a map.  Stop trying to drive without a map.  Decide what you want to accomplish in the next month and write it down.  Hold yourself to it.  Share it if you want. But do make a map.

Is Kevin Trudeau the Best Salesman of Our Time?

Every body knows Kevin Trudeau. He’s best known for his “Cures they don’t want you to know about” book of health “cures.” He’s also written a follow up to that book along with “Weight Loss cure they don’t want you to know about” and now, “Debt cures they don’t want you to know about.”

I’ve seen very little actual coverage of his books that was positive. But each of his books seems to hit the bestseller lists. Why? I think he’s one of the best salesmen of our time. Next time you see one of his infomercials playing, watch it. Don’t flip the channel or turn off the television. Watch it. I’m willing to bet that even if you know that it’s a sham, you’ll have at least a twinge to buy the book.

There is a lesson to be learned in his sales techniques. He is quite obviously quite adept at selecting some of the most hot-button issues to write about. He also is quite obviously a superb researcher (or pays one) because I don’t believe he really knows all that much about most of the subjects. He is also a great public speaker. He knows what words to accentuate to make your ears perk up and listen. He then knows what words and phrases to use once he has your attention so that he can sell you on the product.

We as affiliates, bloggers, all around entrepreneurs can learn a great deal simply by attempting to mimic those traits. You have to select the best niche products. If you’re going to go after a popular one, you better be able to sell gum in the lockjaw ward. Learn how to sell. If you’re like me, you’ll probably fail many, many times before you succeed. I’ll let you in on a secret. That’s called learning.

In the case of Kevin, information is his product. If he were a poor researcher, he would either have no information to sell or very poor and incorrect information to sell. Think of your sales page or sales copy as your information. Do your research so you can knowledgeably write/talk about your product. If you’ve chosen to sell ringtones, you had better know how to load one on your phone. Even if that means using BitPim. Don’t know what BitPim is? Don’t sell ringtones.

Lastly, learn how to get your readers attention. Learn how to use action words in your writing. If you use poor wording, you won’t sell nearly as much as you should. Tell your customer about your product and then call them to action. Give them a very clear action and use that action to make them buy your product.

Proper use of all these techniques has made Kevin Trudeau a worldwide bestselling author. It has also made him a very rich man. If you’re like me and want to be a rich man, you’d do well to learn how to be the best salesman in your niche. I’m still working on it, but a little bit each day gets me that much closer to being top of the class.

Added: If you’re looking for the “Debt Cures they don’t want you to know about” book, this is not the place. But do visit the Debt Cure that I want you to know about to find a debt “cure” that really does work.

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