Marketing Strategy Geek - Andy Beard » niche website http://andybeard.eu Internet Marketing, Lead Acquisition, Online Business Strategy and Social Media with Original Opinion and Loads of Attitude Wed, 01 Oct 2014 18:21:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 WordPress SEO – Deep Link Engine Spam http://andybeard.eu/3253/wordpress-seo-deep-link-engine-spam.html http://andybeard.eu/3253/wordpress-seo-deep-link-engine-spam.html#comments Mon, 27 Sep 2010 17:04:03 +0000 http://andybeard.eu/?p=3253 The Deep Link Engine WordPress plugin was released back in March as part of the launch for a product “Auto Content Cash” by Brian G Johnson, Jared Croslow and Alex Goad.

Tags: , , , , ,

The post WordPress SEO – Deep Link Engine Spam appeared first on Marketing Strategy Geek - Andy Beard.

]]>
The Deep Link Engine WordPress plugin was released back in March as part of the launch for a product “Auto Content Cash” by Brian G Johnson, Jared Croslow and Alex Goad.

I quite like some of Alex’s products, I have been critical of most of Jared’s and I suppose I am neutral on Brian’s as I have never bought any.




Hyper lazy affiliate banner

In theory it is like a simplified version of Zemanta with an additional option to check to see if a reciprocal pingback link has been published.

There are lots of options to get rid of most footprints the problem is people are lazy and leave the defaults.

Thus you get nice footprints like this

<p><!-- pingbacker_start --><br />
<h4>Related Blogs</h4>
<ul class='pc_pingback'>

The other problem is people are greedy.

Rather than choosing the most related posts they add as many as they can – a numbers game, and may or may not keep the links.

I am referring to extreme greed.

Deep link engine

  • Is the plugin legit? It is just a tool
  • Can it be abused? Most certainly
  • Are idiots abusing it? Without a doubt
  • Is it blackhat? Not necessarily

If you want to test the plugin you get it as a free download from an exit pop sequence if you visit the site via the banner above.
I don’t think as a tool for finding relevant links it is a bad thing, and if you are automating content aggregation in some legitimate way then those receiving (genuine) (relevant) (followed) links aren’t going to complain too much.
With a lot of creative thought something like this could be turned into a very crude Techmeme clone built on WordPress.

Tags: , , , , ,

The post WordPress SEO – Deep Link Engine Spam appeared first on Marketing Strategy Geek - Andy Beard.

]]>
http://andybeard.eu/3253/wordpress-seo-deep-link-engine-spam.html/feed/ 20
31 Niche Websites In March http://andybeard.eu/1251/31-niche-websites.html http://andybeard.eu/1251/31-niche-websites.html#comments Fri, 29 Feb 2008 10:14:14 +0000 http://andybeard.eu/2008/02/31-niche-websites.html March is almost upon us, and for many it is a time for spring cleaning.

It is also traditionally when new life is brought into the world, so it is an ideal time to clean up some niche websites and turn some ideas into revenue streams and to experiment a little.

Tags: , , ,

The post 31 Niche Websites In March appeared first on Marketing Strategy Geek - Andy Beard.

]]>
March is almost upon us, and for many it is a time for spring cleaning.

It is also traditionally when new life is brought into the world, so it is an ideal time to clean up some niche websites and turn some ideas into revenue streams and to experiment a little.

I am frequently asked by email all kinds of beginners questions

  • How to choose a niche?
  • How to go about keyword research?
  • How to promote niche websites?

I am going to steal some quotes from Franck

Taking about John Reese and Blogrush

1. Release crap (improve later, but start making money with your crap)
2. Test everything (Jay Abraham’s style)

These advice makes me a lot of money, and it was actually my starting point online. I made my first affiliate commission ever with a “crappy crap” forex website.

About what he learned from the Get Altitude CDs

I learned 3 important words from Eben Pagan. When you know these 3 words you will say like “Hmm, is this extraordinary?”. (I said this when I heard Eben tell this).

But I guarantee that it’s important for your business and it produce tremendous results…

Here are these three words… Speed of implementation.

I also have a number of tools I want to test out so this will also involve some rapid learning along with the rapid development and content generation.

These Are Going To Be Rough

That doesn’t mean junk

Diamonds start off in an uncut state that isn’t very dazzling, and many have imperfections that make them only good for industrial use.

In our case we might end up with 31 sites that just pull in a few dollars per month, but most of them will be very low maintenance.

Some of the sites exist and will be revamped, so have existed in the past, and others will be born fresh

Tools

A lot of the tools I have are no longer sold, and a few were quite expensive.

Most of the sites I am going to work on this month will be using free and affordable tools, but if you want me to include one of your products, make sure I have a copy to play with as early as possible.

Product Placement and Niches

If you want to suggest broad niches to have a play around with, or a specific product to promote let me know

I am going to try to have all the sites “worth being in the index” and I certainly won’t be breaking any laws.

Hmm… guidelines… we’ll see ;)

Tags: , , ,

The post 31 Niche Websites In March appeared first on Marketing Strategy Geek - Andy Beard.

]]>
http://andybeard.eu/1251/31-niche-websites.html/feed/ 26
Niche Marketing Opportunities – Wikirage & SquidWho http://andybeard.eu/967/niche-marketing-opportunities-wikirage-squidwho.html http://andybeard.eu/967/niche-marketing-opportunities-wikirage-squidwho.html#comments Thu, 30 Aug 2007 19:08:20 +0000 http://andybeard.eu/2007/08/niche-marketing-opportunities-wikirage-squidwho.html This is one of those days when an opportunity falls right in your lap, and you wonder whether you should really write about it and keep the information to yourself.

Then again I am one of those caring people who really does like to provide some useful information.

Tags: , , ,

The post Niche Marketing Opportunities – Wikirage & SquidWho appeared first on Marketing Strategy Geek - Andy Beard.

]]>
This is one of those days when an opportunity falls right in your lap, and you wonder whether you should really write about it and keep the information to yourself.

Then again I am one of those caring people who really does like to provide some useful information.

First of all Seth Godin launched a new aspect to Squidoo today, SquidWho – meant to be like a who’s Who section of Squidoo, but effectively you are building a Squidoo page with a slightly different template and is like building a fan page, with the income meant to go to charity, but I think you might be able to change that.
Initial creation is almost fully automated. I am not sure whether the “fan page” creator was available before and they just rebranded, but it is useful.

So we are just looking at a Squidoo lens about someone, there must be more to this..

Wikirage

Wikirage is a new site monitoring the content on Wikipedia that is being changed fastest – fresh content

So you could go to Wikirage and grab names or topics that are being changed frequently and using Squidoo import the information.

Then you need to add in a few feeds and maybe find a couple of images

Google Trends

Google Trends has been available for a while, so it is quite interesting comparing which Wikipedia articles are being edited the most, and which topics are currently hot on Google.

There isn’t a huge amount of similarity, but you could easily build up quite a portfolio of lenses with very little effort.

I suggest doing a bit of extra effort to get some more unique information, but using these 2 sources for keyword research could allow you to test out some niche ideas on Squidoo that you could then develop further on your own domains.

p.s. for reputation management make sure you knock something together quickly for yourself as well.

Tags: , , ,

The post Niche Marketing Opportunities – Wikirage & SquidWho appeared first on Marketing Strategy Geek - Andy Beard.

]]>
http://andybeard.eu/967/niche-marketing-opportunities-wikirage-squidwho.html/feed/ 10
Trackback Spider Review http://andybeard.eu/792/trackback-spider-review.html http://andybeard.eu/792/trackback-spider-review.html#comments Tue, 29 May 2007 13:58:15 +0000 http://andybeard.eu/2007/05/trackback-spider-review.html What Does Trackback Spider Do?

From what I have read on the pre-release materials, it sends trackback notifications to create one-way links to your website.

That means:-

  • You are not being referenced on the site sending the trackback

Tags: , , ,

The post Trackback Spider Review appeared first on Marketing Strategy Geek - Andy Beard.

]]>
What Does Trackback Spider Do?

From what I have read on the pre-release materials, it sends trackback notifications to create one-way links to your website.

That means:-

  • You are not being referenced on the site sending the trackback
  • You are not being linked to by the site sending the trackback

This is Blackhat, lots of tools have been available for this kind of thing in the past, and this kind of software is actually fairly unpopular even among most shady web masters.

Fortunately it is not very effective on active blogs for a number of reasons.

  • It is becoming much harder to monetise sites which are using trackback spam. Bloggers tend to be quite vocal and keen to report such sites to Google.
  • Blogspot uses linkbacks – even splogs have to reciprocate a link – Google should really provide a way to moderate linkbacks.
  • WordPress has a number of good solutions to handle trackback spam – my favorite is Spam Karma which always checks for a reciprocal link, and my installation also has quite a growing blacklist.
  • Most bloggers who receive a trackback actually check them

There might be some minor success on old abandoned WordPress blogs, and maybe abandoned blogs on other formats, but those generally are low quality, and fairly low traffic.

So even if you want to wear a black hat, this type of tool is becoming more and more useless daily.

Disclosure: I do have some past history with the developer, as I purchased Domain Dashboard his previous product, and whilst many people were satisfied, I have never managed to get Domain Dashboard working consistently for all my domains, the product hasn’t been updated for months, and support was unresponsive.
I didn’t ask for a refund – if the product had worked with my various hosting plans, it would have saved me a huge amount of time daily. Maybe in the future it will, because I am thinking about moving a lot of my hosting.

I don’t think there is much of a legitimate market for this new product. Most people I know who dabble on the dark side already have similar solutions, and those who I would look on as “grey hat” don’t dabble with this kind of trackback spam.

Tags: , , ,

The post Trackback Spider Review appeared first on Marketing Strategy Geek - Andy Beard.

]]>
http://andybeard.eu/792/trackback-spider-review.html/feed/ 27
Watering The Plants, Digging Holes & Housekeeping http://andybeard.eu/749/watering-the-plants-digging-holes-housekeeping.html http://andybeard.eu/749/watering-the-plants-digging-holes-housekeeping.html#comments Mon, 21 May 2007 19:04:05 +0000 http://andybeard.eu/2007/05/watering-the-plants-digging-holes-housekeeping.html Offline situations can have quite a devastating effect on your blogging, and whilst a lot of my niche sites run on autopilot, that is a lot more difficult for this site.
If I was going to be travelling for some time it would be possible to hand over the reigns to a possible guest author, or to publish some content with a forward timestamp, but because this blog is intended to be a community site, where I interact with my audience, if there is going to be a short delay in my publishing schedule, I tend to take the less complicated route… so be it.

Tags: , , ,

The post Watering The Plants, Digging Holes & Housekeeping appeared first on Marketing Strategy Geek - Andy Beard.

]]>
Offline situations can have quite a devastating effect on your blogging, and whilst a lot of my niche sites run on autopilot, that is a lot more difficult for this site.
If I was going to be travelling for some time it would be possible to hand over the reigns to a possible guest author, or to publish some content with a forward timestamp, but because this blog is intended to be a community site, where I interact with my audience, if there is going to be a short delay in my publishing schedule, I tend to take the less complicated route… so be it.

I have been extremely busy offline for the last week, and whilst I have lots of material prepared, I opted not to publish it, because I knew I wouldn’t have time to respond to any questions. I did have enough time to continue responding to comments both here and elsewhere, and to see what was happening in the blogging and internet marketing world.

Outsourcing

Whilst I don’t outsource work on this blog, I do use out-sourcing for other projects online, and heavily use outsourcing offline. The offline outsourcing is actually setup extremely well, though many might look on it as being a little lazy.

Watering The Plants

In Poland they have a saying roughly translated, “Build a house, plant a tree, conceive a son”. Trees obviously have other benefits, such as looking nice, hiding ugly features, sheltering you from the breeze, and giving some privacy.

So for my new house it was decided that we should get some trees planted as soon as possible around the borders. We should have done it a few years ago when we first purchased the land, but small trees have this bad habit of walking off on the back of someone else’s lorry if left unattended and we had other priorities.

Planting trees in my new (future) garden isn’t a one man job.

trees.jpg

So we had a team of 6 guys plus a small tractor with trailer, and planted ~300 trees in 5 hours.

At the time we thought the ground was moist enough and plenty of rain had been forecast, but the weather let us down.

Early last week I ended up spending a whole day watering the 300 trees – I couldn’t arrange anyone to do it at short notice, plus every now and then it is good for me to get out of the house, plus I was able to oversee other things going on.

The Water Feature

We always planned to have some kind of water feature in the garden, partially because of the “ambiance”, and partially through necessity – our land has a gradual slope, and water collects at the bottom even though it is well drained.

The initial plans were quite modest until my father-in-law got a little carried away.

Pond

By the time the excavator finished the hole is over 2 metres deep in places, a nice figure of 8 with a pedestal in the smaller section approximately 2 metres across that is the basis for some kind of waterfall feature.

Pond a little deeper

The Pool

We decided that whilst we had the heavy machinery available it was time to also dig the pool, and a couple of days later the concrete bed was laid.

Pool

That is a view from one of the guest bedrooms. The pool isn’t huge 12m x 5m x 1.5m deep but as I tend not to leave the house too much, it will prove a useful convenience to keep fit.

Roof & Plumbing

If that wasn’t enough, we have roof tiles now being laid, and the whole plumbing and heating installation being finalized.

House and Plumbing

The guys who are doing the roof also built most of the house, and there is a specialist team of 3 guys doing the plumbing and heating installation.

This Is All About Niche Marketing & Blogging

Some jobs you can do yourself, even gain significant pleasure doing them, but at the end of the day using efficient tools, and sometimes outsourcing specific tasks is necessary.

You can’t afford to do them yourself

I am probably capable of “mucking in with the lads” on the building site, in fact my current 100 year old cottage I spent 3 months full time, with one hired hand renovating, but that isn’t an economic use of my time. Last week was quite exceptional, I have probably spent only 2 weeks so far on the land since we started actually building the house.

In many ways I am probably as far removed from the building of my house as Bill Gates is from the development of Microsoft products.

Me >> My Wife >> My Father-In-Law >> Building Site Manager / Building Firm Owner / Plumbing Contractors / Suppliers >> Manual Labour

I have met most of the people involved, but I don’t handle the day-to-day issues, and when I do it is primarily in consultation with my wife. She actually did her own out-sourcing deal – she runs her father’s manufacturing & wholesale business, and he takes care of the building work (he doesn’t get his hands dirty), and spends time with his friends in “business development” meetings.

We are being “thrifty” with our spending, but that is a much better option than attempting to do everything ourselves.

It is however important to know how to do the tasks you assign to others, or to judge the quality of the work. If I hadn’t spent so much time working on my cottage, I couldn’t possibly spend so little time on the current building work. In the same way, if I didn’t know how to build a website, I wouldn’t be happy outsourcing it.
I also know enough about programming to review code, test it effectively, and release products that work.

Don’t try to do everything yourself

Tags: , , ,

The post Watering The Plants, Digging Holes & Housekeeping appeared first on Marketing Strategy Geek - Andy Beard.

]]>
http://andybeard.eu/749/watering-the-plants-digging-holes-housekeeping.html/feed/ 2
Blogcatalog Slam Dunks MyBlogLog? http://andybeard.eu/617/blogcatalog-slam-dunks-mybloglog.html http://andybeard.eu/617/blogcatalog-slam-dunks-mybloglog.html#comments Thu, 05 Apr 2007 02:02:07 +0000 http://andybeard.eu/2007/04/blogcatalog-slam-dunks-mybloglog.html When Blogcatalog announced their entry into the social network of blogging I almost totally ignored it. Oops…

Blogcatalog History Lesson
(as I understand it)

In June 2005 Brad Jasper sold Blogcatalog to Jacob Gower

Tags: , , ,

The post Blogcatalog Slam Dunks MyBlogLog? appeared first on Marketing Strategy Geek - Andy Beard.

]]>
When Blogcatalog announced their entry into the social network of blogging I almost totally ignored it. Oops…

Blogcatalog History Lesson
(as I understand it)

In June 2005 Brad Jasper sold Blogcatalog to Jacob Gower

Jacob Gower of Bloggy Network decided to concentrate his efforts on Blogflux, Blogtopsites, and their growing blog network. On 20th January 2007 he sold Blogcatalog to Angelica Alaniz & Antony Berkman via Sitepoint for the BIN (buy it now) price of $40000US. (I am not sure of the full ownership status, but Angelica is descibed as the President, and Anthony as head of the new products group)

At the time the site was PR7 with a reported 73,000 blog owners on their mailing list.

On BloggingPro in the comments Antony stated

We purchased the site from Jacob. He had 2 other bids higher than the BIN. Our goal with BlogCatalog is to make it a valuable resource for bloggers and readers alike.
Please let me know if you have ideas on suggestions, opinions of how to improve BlogCatalog.com
Thanks,
Tony

Yep… mailing list – that is a good smart way to relaunch a service, as Erik discussed in his commentary around the time of purchase.

New Features – March 7th 2007

The process of revamping BlogCatalog has already begun. We have given the search results a face lift and implemented a new search algorithm that pushes more relevant blogs to the top of the results. You may have noticed more traffic coming to your blog as BlogCatalog’s traffic over the past 2 weeks has increased by over 100%.

One of the most common questions we receive is how can my blog rank higher. To enable your blog to rank higher, BlogCatalog now offers 2 new features.

The first feature we added is a “Rate My Blog” button. If your blog is useful, this button should raise your position in the search results. We have also added a Category Sponsor option. Login to your BlogCatalog account to take advantage of either of these options.

Damn that was fast work, just over one month they have redesigned, and implemented new features, and they also speculated on new features to come.

New Features – March 22nd – 28th 2007

March 22nd was when it was first mentioned on Blog Herald, the email announcement came March 28th.

What? More new features?

Our new social community features include:
A Personal Profile Page

Close to 700 bloggers have already created a BlogCatalog personal profile. If you haven’t already, setting up a personal profile takes less than 2 minutes. Blogs with personal profile pages are receiving close to 5 times more traffic.
Blog Neighborhoods

Your blog listing now has it’s own neighborhood. More neighbors means more traffic to your blog.
Neighbors

Join your favorite blog Neighborhoods to connect with bloggers who have similar interests.
ShoutBox

Your personal profile also contains a shoutbox that lets other members communicate with you instantly.
…and tons of other new features, all designed to drive more visitors to your blog.

Blogcatalog at First Glance

Well the front page looks clean, I have highlighted some of the best features such as browsing by category, language and tags. You can also browse by country.

Blogcatalog Front Page

The rotation of members on the front page seems to work well, although I am not sure if the featured site is based upon being one of the highest rated blogs, or because you are a paid advertiser.
This seems to suggest it is a paid feature:-

Rotation Paid Feature

The category listing give you a good example of exactly how many members they already have at relaunch.

Blog Catalog Categories

It is only when you start looking at the new features, you realise what the new owners have done with Blogcatalog.

BlogCatalog Social Networking Off-site

The first similarity that people will notice are their widgets appearing on sites. Early adopters have gained some visible traffic from this service, although I am not sure how targetted that traffic was.

Everything about the widgets is similar to MyBlogLog, even the configuration page could almost have been lifted, but then again most options are similar to a host of contextual ad services.

Blog Catalogue Widgets

They also have a number of other widgets such as voting for a blog, and for promoting what I can only assume is an affiliate product. The more of these features you add to your site, the more bonus ranking points they give you.

Ranking points are what governs your position in the listings, for instance you can vote for my blog with this widget (won’t show correctly in feeds)


BlogCatalog Social Networking On-site

Mirror Mirror On The Wall
Who Is The Biggest Copycat Of Them All?

If you thought the widget looked similar, you have to see the similarities in functions internally.

The Blog Description also has links to tags and categories:-
Blog Description

You have your recent viewers:-
Recent Viewers

Neighborhoods instead of communities:-
Neighborhoods instead of communities

RSS Feeds – It should be noted that these contain an excerpt
RSS Feeds

A form to submit a site review, or a comment
Comments and Reviews

Personal Profile

No screenshots of the main features, I am sure you can guess.

One useful feature is that instead of a personal review box, they opted to use a shoutbox. This gives some differentiation between communication and writing something serious which is nice.

shoutbox

Blog Stats

You have seen the off-site voting, there is also voting on the blog profile pages, plus a visible rating of how much traffic that is being sent… that is public.

Here is my rating, having just set up my widgets, although my blog had been listed for over a month previously, before the social networking features were introduced.

Andy Beard stats on Blog Catalog

I think it was actually at 35 before I added the widget, so that small amount of activity made a reasonable gain. I don’t think the bonus from hosting the widget is currently being counted.

I am not sure what counts towards rating. As an example I noticed Wendy Piersall is in the rotation on the front page, I am not sure whether that is a paid listing.
I also grabbed a screenshot of her current stats which seem to be increasing. It should be noted that last time I looked, Wendy wasn’t hosting the widget and I didn’t see a voting box on Wendy’s blog.

Wendy Featured

Wendy Stats

Negative Stuff

  • Pink Links – they are all [tag]nofollow[/tag], and nofollow even when using an extremely slow redirect script. In comparison [tag]MyBlogLog[/tag] has always shared the link love. They should rip out all the nofollow links and let things flow naturally.
  • Tagging – I love tagging, unless it is done badly – they don’t honestly understand [tag]tagging[/tag] – tagging is powerful when it is free flow based on the content.
  • Content – If they are picking up the content they should keep it, and categorise it based on the tags in the content. That is one of the most powerful features of [tag]Bumpzee[/tag] though many people don’t realise it yet.
  • Screenshots – Wendy’s (and my own) are not as good as they should be, and she probably has a paid listing – it has crunched up her CSS, and there is no way to upload a correction.
  • Monetization – they have monetized too soon – those front page slots could be used to drive traffic to their members for free – people seeing their page get traffic will promote the service more – this is viral marketing. Maybe only include 30% paid rotation on the front page, and share the diversity.

Positive Stuff

  • Tagging – They have categories and tagging, but it needs to be improved
  • Traffic? – with a question mark – they really need to encourage people to use the service more
  • Related content – the more related sites, the more people will explore and use the social features of the site – that will encourage growth – they need to emphasis this with more listings
  • Speed – Other than the redirects, I haven’t seen any page loading problems, but then the site isn’t exactly experiencing heavy traffic.

Conclusion

In my opinion they probably copied the look and feel a little too much, and could have done more to differentiate. Familiarity is a good thing, but it feels too much like a clone rather than a unique service.

The content is more niched than is currently possible with [tag]MyBlogLog[/tag], but I can’t believe that is a long-term advantage – they need to gain traction now, otherwise those widgets will be “here today, gone tomorrow”

A huge amount more needs to be done in promotion – viral marketing can fizzle if people don’t notice the benefit of including a widget.

I could actually see more benefit from the service if it didn’t have blogs assigned to people, so that the “tin foil hat” brigade didn’t have to create multiple personas to promote niche blogs.

Tags: , , ,

The post Blogcatalog Slam Dunks MyBlogLog? appeared first on Marketing Strategy Geek - Andy Beard.

]]>
http://andybeard.eu/617/blogcatalog-slam-dunks-mybloglog.html/feed/ 32
AuctionAds Review – AuctionAds Partially Solves Two International Affiliate Problems http://andybeard.eu/504/auctionads-partially-solves-two-international-affiliate-problems.html http://andybeard.eu/504/auctionads-partially-solves-two-international-affiliate-problems.html#comments Tue, 06 Mar 2007 18:21:18 +0000 http://andybeard.eu/2007/03/auctionads-partially-solves-two-international-affiliate-problems.html AuctionAds

Shoemoney Media and Mediawhiz (The parent company of Text Link Ads and ReviewMe) have released an innovative new monetization model, based upon Ebay Auctions – AuctionAds.com

Mainstream media will no doubt not even think let alone write about the 2 core advantages of this system for a large segment of the affiliate marketplace.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The post AuctionAds Review – AuctionAds Partially Solves Two International Affiliate Problems appeared first on Marketing Strategy Geek - Andy Beard.

]]>
AuctionAds

Shoemoney Media and Mediawhiz (The parent company of Text Link Ads and ReviewMe) have released an innovative new monetization model, based upon Ebay Auctions – AuctionAds.com

Mainstream media will no doubt not even think let alone write about the 2 core advantages of this system for a large segment of the affiliate marketplace.

  1. International – Even affiliates in the UK were unable to join the Ebay affiliate program in the US
  2. Payment – Payment is made by Paypal rather than check, with a $10 threshold

International Affiliates

If you are an affiliate based in the US, almost all affiliate marketing doors are open. If you live anywhere else, or if your company is registered somewhere else, you ultimately always hit barriers for your participation.

Ebay International Affiliate Barriers

Here is an excerpt from the Ebay (US) Affiliates FAQ

Ebay US Policy on International Affiliates

The Ebay affiliate program is managed by Commission Junction, who provide an international affiliate management system.
Unfortunately Ebay has chosen to separate their affiliate program by territory, at least for some.
Affiliates based in the US can join the affiliate program of other counties, affiliates outside the US cannot join the US program… one day the European Union might decide that is not free trade.

Here is an excerpt from the Ebay UK Affiliate FAQ:-

Ebay UK Policy on International Affiliates

It is not Commission Junctions fault, they provide an international platform, although it is confusing for affiliates to identify which affiliate programs they are entitled to join.

Commission Junction

International Payment

With Paypal being offered there are several advantages

  • Low $10 payment threshold
  • No excessive charges for processing international checks
  • No delays in cashflow (though it is not specified how quickly AuctionAds will pay)

This might not be a universal advantage for all affiliates, because Commission Junction do offer direct bank transfers in a number of territories. A lot will depend on how AuctionAds calculate when a payment is due.
If their system allows for them to make payments faster than Commission Junction, that is a significant advantage.

There is no need to sign up for our affiliate program because our affiliate program is built right into the ads you display! If a user clicks on the “Ads by AuctionAds” that is displayed and signs up for our service you earn a bonus 2% of all revenue generated by that user for the 6 months.

You will get paid the first of every month via Paypal. We feature a 30 day cookie on all referrals.

Ebay With TradeDoubler

I noticed that the affiliate program for Ebay.pl is actually handled via TradeDoubler – I don’t currently publish any sites in Polish, but that might be something I will look into for some of my future publishing – maybe their Ebay interface is more “International Friendly”.
I do know that the payment threshold quoted was 150 zloty – $50 USD which is far higher than the $10 Threshold offered by AuctionAds.

If TradeDoubler doesn’t provide global Geo-targetting, it would only be suitable for non-English language sites, at least compared to AuctionAds.

Other Advantages of Auction Ads

What is the advantage over CJ/eBay direct affiliation?

Easy implementation and the leverage of AuctionAds’ creative delivery of eBay’s auctions and our ability to achieve the higher performance incentive tiers with the aggregate volume of traffic to make more money than they could with their own affiliate relationship.

I have niche websites which receive 90% US traffic, but I have never been able to offer Ebay as an alternative sales channel. Whilst I have been able to use Chitika adverts, and have included affiliate links through mainly Linkshare, Ebay quite often was offering much better deals for the products my visitors wanted to buy.

Being able to offer the best deals and make money from doing so is always the best option for affiliates.

Live AuctionAds Examples

So here are some example “live” adverts – no screenhots you will have to click through if reading this in an RSS Reader.

Keyword: Blogging

Keyword: Internet Marketing

Keyword: Gardening and “Mole trap”

Feature Suggestions

  • Keyword Targetting – very much like Chitika, a very specific product related keyword seems to be the best option currently. I am not actually sure it would be an advantage to offer contextual or based on several keywords. I did try comma delimited keywords and they didn’t seem to work. Maybe category + keyword would be a good alternative.
  • Remove Ads By AuctionAds – if you wanted to place 3 half-banners vertically because that suited your layout, the AuctionAds link in each of them would be inappropriate. Alternatively provide multiple image alignment options – also allow the colour to be changed
  • RSS Feeds – I would love to be able to use an RSS feed of the adverts, that I could then use to style in whatever way I choose.
  • Direct Affiliate Link – Please provide a direct affiliate link – I missed the link in the interface which is under Account Home.
  • Pay Per Click – It would be great if AuctionAds in some way to provide a bridge for international affiliates to advertise Ebay products in the US market via PPC
  • auctionads_ad_client – for the tin-foil hat brigade, there needs to be a way of generating multiple values for every niche website. Maybe you can do a deal with Google Yahoo and MSN so these don’t appear in search results, but that isn’t total anonymity.
  • Campaigns – Ability to create a campaign on the fly, or at least while you are creating code – this is possible using the wizard, but it seems you have 3 seperate processes currently, and it should be possible to have just one.
  • Presets – the ability to save a preset for colour selection, and maybe retain a complete history of ads already created for different campaigns.
  • Live Results – Currently the number of results are displayed using Ajax, it would be good to be able to preview them
  • Hide Campaign ID – The ability to have none human readable campaign identification (this seems to have been added while I was writing) – I would love to be able to assign my own (as above, campaigns on-the-fly)

Take A Look For Yourself

I strongly encourage you to take a look at AuctionAds for yourself. If you are an international affiliate, it is in my opinion the best option for the Ebay affiliate program, other than features such as PPC and various RSS and API integration. If that can be added to the mix at a later date, AuctionAds as a conduit for Ebay is going to be huge.

Where is the link? At the bottom of the example ads or just click here.

Further Discussion

Actually very few sites so far have picked this up, so I will add links as I see them

Techcrunch seems to be first with the news – they are thinking about giving it a test run on their more product related sites. The advantage AuctionAds for them is that it is Geo-targetted – AuctionAds handle the backend merging of multiple affiliate programs.

Linda at 5 Star Affiliates so far has what she admits to being a short writeup, but she has spotted that sometimes the auction items are expired. She has also managed to hack an affiliate referral ID, which I will have to take a look at doing as well.

Update on AuctionAds

Darren emphasised that AuctionAds is very much a network that will work best with product focused sites. He says he has also had a chance to have a look at the backend – I am not sure that is behind the scenes of what a normal publisher sees, but Mediawhiz normally put together fairly solid services, and I am sure Shoemoney’s team have the security under control.

John Chow also did an in-depth review of of AuctionAds explaining how the payment system works for normal Ebay affiliates in great depth, and also how he intends to use the adverts on his product reviews sites.

Ajay has knocked together some code for making AuctionAds to a certain extent “contextual”, either using UTW or SimpleTags Data.
I don’t think this approach is ideal currently, because I have had a chance to exchange emails with Ddn and currently the widget uses keywords supplied randomly rather than in priority order, unlike Chitika which uses a priority scale. This is something that will be fixed in the near future.

This is important, take for instance this example (though unlikely a good example for Ebay content)

wordpress theme, wordpress, blogging

If these were used randomly, you would probably end up with more adverts which used the keyword blogging, and you might end up with Britney Spears T-shirts or other celebrity stuff. The adverts are often being optimised based on which adverts will finish soon.

If they are taken in priority order then this is ideal, and you could use

barcode number, camera model, camera manufacturer, camera type, photography

For many blogs, using a mixture of custom fields and categories might prove better for targetting, because they can be listed in a specific order. UTW allows tags to be displayed in popularity order, so maybe that could be reversed to achieve almost the same thing.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The post AuctionAds Review – AuctionAds Partially Solves Two International Affiliate Problems appeared first on Marketing Strategy Geek - Andy Beard.

]]>
http://andybeard.eu/504/auctionads-partially-solves-two-international-affiliate-problems.html/feed/ 12
Comprehensive Guide to Creating A Niche Website http://andybeard.eu/494/comprehensive-guide-to-creating-a-niche-website.html http://andybeard.eu/494/comprehensive-guide-to-creating-a-niche-website.html#comments Wed, 28 Feb 2007 14:22:23 +0000 http://andybeard.eu/2007/02/comprehensive-guide-to-creating-a-niche-website.html Have You Heard of Duncan Carver?

Duncan Carver is one of those niche marketers who just disappears off on holiday for almost a year… because he can!

He is also famous for having created probably the best free link manager script

Tags: , , , ,

The post Comprehensive Guide to Creating A Niche Website appeared first on Marketing Strategy Geek - Andy Beard.

]]>
Have You Heard of Duncan Carver?

Duncan Carver is one of those niche marketers who just disappears off on holiday for almost a year… because he can!

He is also famous for having created probably the best free link manager script

So Duncan is now back and proving that once you understand how to research a niche, and create a product to sell to that niche, the world really is your oyster.

In fact I bet he will probably go back on holiday in a few months having created a few more full-time income streams.

The Niche

Worm Farming… yes seriously, and it seems to be a hot niche

I am not going to link directly through to his niche site, because many might think that would influence results too much. Actually it wouldn’t because Duncan with his multiple web properties and his own link network has links pretty much sorted.

So far he has already covered:-

  • Project Introduction – a great introduction where Duncun demonstrates he is following a set business plan
  • Market Selection – this is a really good example of the niche market selection process. It isn’t hard to find real profitable niches, despite people thinking there is too much competition out there.
  • Link Building Campaign – A beginner isn’t going to have the funds or the existing network to use every method Duncan is using, but honestly, if he wasn’t making this new niche site public, and staying under the radar, he most likely wouldn’t need many links to get some good rankings.

This really is a step by step process, and will probably contain many tips that you won’t find in many ebooks, and if you followed this process in another niche you would be almost certain to achieve good results.

My only criticism so far… Duncan please use mod_rewrite for those permalinks

Whilst I have submitted Duncan’s blog to Digg, there is probably too much content for the average Digg user

Tags: , , , ,

The post Comprehensive Guide to Creating A Niche Website appeared first on Marketing Strategy Geek - Andy Beard.

]]>
http://andybeard.eu/494/comprehensive-guide-to-creating-a-niche-website.html/feed/ 6
Darren Rouse on Yahoo – Tags Tags Tags http://andybeard.eu/299/darren-rouse-on-yahoo-tags-tags-tags.html http://andybeard.eu/299/darren-rouse-on-yahoo-tags-tags-tags.html#comments Tue, 23 Jan 2007 14:03:47 +0000 http://andybeard.eu/2007/01/darren-rouse-on-yahoo-tags-tags-tags.html Darren Rouse gets talked about a lot in the blogosphere, and for good reason. He writes quality articles and is a nice helpful guy.

Darren Rouse Logs

Someone was checking results for Darren on Yahoo. How do I know? I spotted it in my MyBlogLog stats that they had clicked through.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

The post Darren Rouse on Yahoo – Tags Tags Tags appeared first on Marketing Strategy Geek - Andy Beard.

]]>
Darren Rouse gets talked about a lot in the blogosphere, and for good reason. He writes quality articles and is a nice helpful guy.

Darren Rouse Logs

Someone was checking results for Darren on Yahoo. How do I know? I spotted it in my MyBlogLog stats that they had clicked through.

I was actually quite shocked

Darren Rouse Log

So I decided to go and check it out…as you do, as you do ;)

Changes at Yahoo

Well I was aware that Yahoo might have had a little tweak of their algorithms recently. I hadn’t been seeing much search traffic, but then this blog really needed to “settle in” a little.
Looks like they have fixed things a little…

Niche Website

Yes, I bet you wish you could rank for uncompetitive terms as well

Darren Rouse in Yahoo

I think Darren Rouse is in many ways a harder term to rank for, because he gets talked about so much.

Darren Rouse in Yahoo

Ooh… is that a tag page

It is actually a poorly optimized one as well – now WordPress 2.1 is finally here I will get to work a little.

Actually if you look at the single post that was on the tag page (before this one), you will notice that the only mention of “darren rouse” is in the page title, and the tag on the page.

Darren Rouse in Google

Do Google still like tag pages?

It looks that way, but then it might just be an “allintitle: Darren Rouse” thing.

Darren Rouse in Google

Anyway this is just a small demonstration on how easy it is to rank for uncompetitive terms.

There are still millions of untapped niche markets waiting to be explored / exploited

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

The post Darren Rouse on Yahoo – Tags Tags Tags appeared first on Marketing Strategy Geek - Andy Beard.

]]>
http://andybeard.eu/299/darren-rouse-on-yahoo-tags-tags-tags.html/feed/ 2
Usuggest – Limited Inventory http://andybeard.eu/207/usuggest-limited-inventory.html http://andybeard.eu/207/usuggest-limited-inventory.html#comments Thu, 04 Jan 2007 08:41:02 +0000 http://andybeard.eu/2007/01/usuggest-limited-inventory.html Mashable have just mentioned Usuggest as a possible revenue stream for bloggers. From what I can see they have a very limited inventory.

As an example I did a quick search for “Diabetes” – a massive marketplace and loads of products… or there should be.

Tags: , , ,

The post Usuggest – Limited Inventory appeared first on Marketing Strategy Geek - Andy Beard.

]]>
Mashable have just mentioned Usuggest as a possible revenue stream for bloggers. From what I can see they have a very limited inventory.

As an example I did a quick search for “Diabetes” – a massive marketplace and loads of products… or there should be.

No results


Tags: , , ,

The post Usuggest – Limited Inventory appeared first on Marketing Strategy Geek - Andy Beard.

]]>
http://andybeard.eu/207/usuggest-limited-inventory.html/feed/ 2