Happy New Year from 5 Star Affiliate Programs

Saturday, December 31st, 2011 at 8:30am by Linda Buquet

2011 zipped by and 2012 is already here. It’s really true that the older you get the faster time flies. So I hope you make every minute count this year and that you reach new levels of success and prosperity in 2012.

On behalf of all the 5 Star Merchants and Affiliate Managers

Happy New Year!

Thanks for your partnership and support over the past year.
We wish you all a profitable and successful 2012.

Happy Holidays from 5 Star Affiliate Programs

Saturday, December 24th, 2011 at 8:00am by Linda Buquet

Merry Christmas from 5 Star Affiliate Programs


On behalf of all the 5 Star Merchants and Affiliate Managers,
Merry Christmas. We hope you have the happiest holiday ever!

Thanks for your partnership and support over the past year.
We wish you all a very profitable and successful 2012!

Cyber Monday Sales Surpass Black Friday – Up 33% Over Last Year

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 at 8:47am by Linda Buquet

Well if shopping is a good economic indicator, looks like the economy is doing pretty well. According to research from IBM CoreMetrics Cyber Monday 2011 online sales were up 33.0 percent over 2010 and Cyber Monday sales were up 29.3 percent over Black Friday.

comScore just reported Cyber Monday reached $1.25 billion in online spending, which is the heaviest online spending day in history and the second day on record to surpass the billion-dollar threshold.

Click the image above to read the rest of the report. There are some good mobile sales stats too.

Happy Cyber Monday 2011 Affiliate Song – Sing it With Me Now

Monday, November 28th, 2011 at 9:00am by Linda Buquet

HAPPY CYBER MONDAY 2011
cybermondaynew.jpg

Remember that good ole Mama’s and Papa’s song, “Monday Monday?”
I juiced up the lyrics and made it a tribute to Cyber Monday.

Sing it with me now, then spin around 3 times, pull on your right ear and pray to the Google Gods. I absolutely guarantee that if you do this little ritual, your Monday Holiday sales will increase! (If funky eBooks promise you can make a billion $$ in your underwear, then I can make a crazy claim too!) ;-)

Sing to the tune of “Monday Monday” by the Mama’s and Papa’s

Cyber Monday… so good to me,
Cyber Monday it was all I hoped it would be
Cyber Monday morning, Monday morning will guarantee
That Monday evening sales will still be comin’ in for me.

Every other day, every other day,
Every other day of the week is fine, yeah…
But when Cyber Monday comes, when Cyber Monday comes
You can find me smilin’ all of the time…

If this song stays in your head all day and drives you nuts – please feel free to yell at me in the comments below! ;-)

Click to watch the Mama’s & Papa’s sing the original “Monday Monday”
Then change the words & sing along! The Cyber Monday Song

Huge Holiday Affiliate Bonus From Empyre Media Affiliate Network

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011 at 5:57am by Linda Buquet

Empyre Media

Empyre Media is showing its appreciation to its affiliates and the affiliate marketing industry by offering a huge End of the Year bonus of 10% on all commissions earned from November 15, 2011 through December 31, 2011. The bonus is offered to both existing Empyre affiliates as well as those that join the network during the promotion period. With traffic accepted from all offers, in all verticals and on all media types, affiliates are sure to dramatically increase their Q4 revenues through this unprecedented bonus. Complete bonus details here.

Empyre Media is a leading CPA Affiliate Network that works to bring its affiliate and advertising partners the highest standard of service while ensuring the best quality traffic and offers. Through a combined 22 years of affiliate management, our Affiliate Managers know what makes affiliates successful and how to assist them every step of the way. Our dedication to delivering the highest quality, targeted traffic to our advertiser partners has resulted in countless sales and satisfied consumers. Whether you are monetizing your blog, your network, your list or your website, Empyre Media provides customized service and revenue potential that is unparalleled by any other affiliate network in the industry.

Join Empyre Media today!

Savvy Affiliates, SEO and How to Stay on Top of Your Game

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011 at 8:46am by Linda Buquet

Panda got ya down? Hitting other roadblocks in your affiliate business?

I just read a post that had several inspiring insights, so wanted to share. Nichola Stott just returned from A4U London and has some really good take-aways from that event. This post is written with SEOs in mind but I think message for affiliates carries even more merit.

What SEOs Can Learn from Savvy Affiliates

Given that over the past two or three years most of the significant Google algorithm updates have negatively impacted many affiliate-model sites, I was expecting to hear some pessimism and foreboding last week at A4U London. In fact, it was quite the opposite at the annual conference for the affiliate industry that brings together online marketing professionals from across the board including merchants, affiliates, affiliate networks, SEOs, publishers, tool-providers and more.

I want to share some of the success-tactics and behaviors of the affiliates with innovative strategies and offerings; but first let’s recap some of the more tangible Google updates of recent times and how some sites were affected.

SkimWords 2.0 Launches Today – Monetize your Affiliate Site Automagically

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011 at 8:06am by Linda Buquet

Skimlinks just launched SkimWords 2.0, a totally automated and very cool way to monetize websites and blogs. If you’re an affiliate or publisher you’ll want to check this out. Here’s a video and press release that expalins how it works.

Press Release

SKIMLINKS LAUNCHES SKIMWORDS 2.0, AN ADVANCED IN-TEXT MONETIZATION SOLUTION DRIVING E-COMMERCE

SkimWords 2.0 Increases Publishers’ Revenue, Improves Users’ Online Shopping Experience

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Oct. 26, 2011 – Today Skimlinks launched SkimWords 2.0, the newest innovation in its highly advanced in-text monetization solution for Web publishers. SkimWords 2.0 is the first real-time, fully automated content monetization solution to feature in-text product and price comparison across multiple verticals – including consumer electronics, fashion, beauty, mothering, automotive, and lifestyle categories. With SkimWords 2.0, publishers earn incremental revenues, consumers are directed to the optimal retail site to make their purchases, and advertisers receive highly qualified traffic.

CLICK HERE to Read the Rest of this Post

California Repeals the Anti-Affiliate Amazon Tax

Friday, September 23rd, 2011 at 2:10pm by Linda Buquet

Great news for California affiliates! The California Governor just signed AB155 which gives California affiliate marketers a one year reprieve.

The PMA did amazing work to help force this much needed change. You can read the full story at their blog.

California Repeals the Affiliate Nexus Tax Law
Governor Signs Legislation That Will Help 25,000 California Companies Get Back In Business

CAMARILLO, CA — The Performance Marketing Association (PMA) representing 25,000 web-based Affiliate Marketing businesses in California, is very pleased Governor Brown signed AB 155 (Calderon) into law earlier today.

PMA executive director, Rebecca Madigan stated, “The signing of this legislation means these 25,000 web-based entrepreneurs will be able to get back in business. For the PMA, this issue has always been about keeping the vibrant Affiliate Marketing sector of the economy strong and growing.”

Thank you Governor Brown. Great job PMA. Thanks for all you do to help the industry!

Good News for California Affiliates – Amazon Nexus Tax

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011 at 8:05am by Linda Buquet

I’m just madly playing catch-up from being gone on an unplugged vacation, being quoted in the NYTimes (and the other media interviews that followed as a result) and being part of the big SoCal power outage. So excuse me if I’m a little behind the times on this story. It’s important news, so wanted to be sure to share. According to the PMA it’s not GREAT news but at least it’s a temporary reprieve.

California Legislature Passes Legislation: 1 Year Reprieve of Affiliate Nexus Tax

The California legislature has passed legislation that temporarily repeals the affiliate nexus tax. The affiliate nexus tax will go back into effect September 15, 2012 if a federal sales tax solution is not implemented by July 2012. This is a deal brokered by California retailers and Amazon, who has agreed to lobby for a federal solution, or collect sales tax if it isn’t implemented by the deadline. The law will go into immediate effect upon the signature of Governor Brown. The PMA has come out in opposition of this proposal.

3 Signs it’s Time to Demand More from your Affiliate Manager

Monday, September 12th, 2011 at 8:11am by Linda Buquet

Affiliate Managers are there to help YOU the affiliate be more successful. Are you using your AM to your full advantage? If not, then this article from one of our favorite affiliate networks, ShareResults, may help!


3 Signs it’s Time to Demand More from your Affiliate Manager

Almost every affiliate dreams of the opportunity when they can quit their day job, grow their affiliate marketing business, and eventually run it full-time. And there are those who actually do it. You may not be a beginner affiliate or a super affiliate, you might very well be somewhere in between. And though you may not always realize it, you do have more clout than you realize to negotiate more for your business. If you’re an affiliate that fits into this category, it may be time to start demanding more from your affiliate manager. Here are three signs that you are advancing to the upper echelons of affiliate superstardom and what to do about it.

SugarRae Suggests 13 Ways to Make Your Affiliate Program Suck

Thursday, August 18th, 2011 at 11:18am by Linda Buquet

Day 127: Suck It Up!If your affiliate program is anemic, stagnant or stuck OR if you are considering launching a new affiliate program, read this sage advice from super affiliate Rae Hoffman AKA SugarRae.

Also be sure to read the comments filled with more great advice from other pros.

13 Ways to Make Your Affiliate Program Suck

Now, I know I’m going to hear from a lot of affiliate program managers that there are plenty of things affiliates do to annoy them as well, but I’m an affiliate, not an affiliate program manager so I can only speak about the view from my side of the fence. ;-)

I’d also like to acknowledge that there are a lot of great affiliate program managers out there, so this isn’t a bash against managers as a whole, but a bash against certain aspects of some programs.

Affiliate Feels Heat from California Amazon Tax Law – Moves to Nevada – Video

Thursday, August 11th, 2011 at 11:49am by Linda Buquet

Wanted to share a story from WebProNews that testifies to the devastating effect the California Amazon Tax Law is having on affiliates.

California’s Amazon Tax Law Forces Affiliate Marketer to Move to Nevada

After years of operating a successful comparison shopping site in California, Nick Loper recently had to shut down his business and move to another state to start over. Why? Loper was one of the affiliate marketing victims of the online sales tax law that California passed earlier this summer…

Almost immediately after this law went into effect, online retailers, such as Amazon, cut ties with affiliate marketers in the state…

According to Loper, this action meant that a half dozen of his largest advertisers on ShoesRUs terminated their relationship with him, leaving him shy of 70 percent of his revenue. “It was, essentially, out of business overnight,” he said.

Read the rest at WebProNews

Dynamic New Buzz Control, Branding and Recruiting Solution for Affiliate Networks – Bevo Media Networks Interface

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011 at 7:34am by Linda Buquet


Introducing Bevo for Networks – The Bevo Media Networks Interface

The amount of money that some networks are willing to spend at the popular trade shows and summits can be outrageous. Networks spend tens of thousands of dollars to recruit affiliates by sponsoring parties and brand themselves, with no guarantee that affiliates will stay or even join. However for affiliate networks, branding and recruitment are essential, and Bevo Media has recently came up with a new and innovative way for networks to get results for a fraction of the price.

The Bevo For Networks platform is not a network tracking platform like Linktrust, Cake, DirectTrack, etc. Rather, it is a complimentary interface easily integrable with all major platforms and custom platforms as well. The purpose of the interface is to accelerate growth and better manage your affiliate network with recruiting publishers, increasing branding efforts, brokering offers across all network platforms (Cake to Linktrust, Hitpath to Hasoffers, etc), managing online reputation, and searching/exposing blacklisted advertisers and affiliates.

Some Features of the Bevo Media Networks Interface Include:

· Offer Import Tool - Bevo Partnered Networks are able to broker offers between all major network tracking platforms (Cake to Hitpath, Linktrust to DirectTrack etc.) with a simple click of a button. Never has it been this easy to get your offers in to the hands of affiliates and to find offers for publishers.

· Buzz Control - Networks are able to manage their online reputations by receiving emails when they are mentioned on various industry forums and social media outlets. This allows networks to view and respond to posts addressing concerns, answering questions, and possibly resisting flaming.

· Recruit Affiliates in the Bevo Performance Connector - Need an affiliate who emails Bizopp? No problem! Bevo Partnered Networks can browse through the Performance Connector and find specific publishers based on verticals, promotion type and experience level. Bevo offers a way for networks to request specific publishers and also keeps the ‘Performance Connector’ updated with the newest active publishers on Bevo.

· Blacklists - See what other networks have shared about a certain advertiser or publisher and see if it’s worth the risk to do business with them. Bevo Networks will share their stories about advertisers and publishers in a searchable database so networks can easily access information on people they might do business with.  Bevo essentially supplements a network’s risk management efforts.

There are many more features revolving around those core features. The Bevo for Networks Interface is the first of its kind in the internet marketing industry. Never has there been a management platform to help networks efficiently run their businesses.

Become a Partnered Network Throughout The Entire Bevo Media Exchange:

Not only will becoming a Bevo Partnered network give networks full access to the Bevo Networks Interface, but networks will be fully integrated in to the Bevo Media Affiliate Portal. The Bevo Media Affiliate Portal is a state of the art centralized interface used by several thousand active affiliates to track their stats, browse offers and much more. Being integrated with The Bevo Media Affiliate Portal means your affiliates can easily track their stats, optimize their campaigns and have access to several of the Bevo premium campaign research apps.  Also, with Bevo’s large userbase, being a partnered network will give networks great exposure, branding and put them right next to some of the most powerful networks in the industry.

If you are a current network owner or employee, it’s evident that this is going to be something all networks need to be on. It’s clear that the Bevo for Networks Interface is going to change the game. Finally, affiliate networks have a viable option to get the word out about their companies without the hassle of getting extravagant booths and sponsoring huge booths at the summits.

To get more information and to schedule a free demonstration, please visit 
http://networks.bevomedia.com

The Bevo Media Networks Interface

Join Bevo For Networks today!

Five Key Points on New California Sales Tax – Impact on Affiliate Marketing Industry

Friday, July 15th, 2011 at 10:58am by Linda Buquet

Chris Trayhorn over at mThink just posted some good questions and insights into the new California Tax law and it’s impact on affiliate marketing. Wanted to be sure you saw it and am anxious to here your thoughts.

Five Key Points On CA’s New Sales Tax

Armageddon arrived two weeks ago in the fight against online sales taxes. California signed their version of the affiliate sales tax into law and Amazon, along with many other online merchants, responded by terminating their CA affiliate programs. But as the dust begins to settle, who are the winners and losers? And where does the affiliate marketing industry go from here?

How to Search for and Find Lucrative Niches

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011 at 5:09pm by Linda Buquet

I have not done a niche finding post for awhile, so I think I’m long overdue. Just read a great one over the weekend that offers great advice and refers to some good tools, so thought I’d share.

Niche Hunting

If you’re the type of SEO who builds and markets a variety of sites, there’s something very satisfying about spotting an area that few people occupy, and making it your own!

There are various software programs available that help you find niches, often based on finding keyword terms with high traffic and low, or no, PPC bids. These tools can be very useful for keyword list building, however finding great niches requires a little more analysis to establish viability.

Let’s take a look at a few ideas on how to weed out the most lucrative possibilities.

Freedom and Independence – Happy 4th of July

Monday, July 4th, 2011 at 8:47am by Linda Buquet

fireworksAre you thankful for your affiliate independence? Think about it! We work in the most “free” country in the world. Plus affiliates and outsourced affiliate managers have the freedom to work from home and the independence to largely create their own destiny.

I hope you all take time to celebrate: your freedom and independence, this wonderful country we live in and this amazing opportunity we have called affiliate marketing.

Freedom is a beautiful thing!

Enjoy a day off with your family and Happy 4th of July!

Photo credit: Michelle Jones UK

Amazon Uses California Affiliates as Pawns in their Tax Fight – PULL YOUR AMAZON LINKS

Thursday, June 30th, 2011 at 10:48am by Linda Buquet

Danny Sullivan captures the essence of SO many of the frustrating issues surrounding this whole crappy nexus tax fight – especially the way that Amazon handles relationships with affiliates.

One good point he makes that I haven’t thought about yet… All these terminated affiliates have links that just aren’t going to come down. Many affiliates have multiple sites with hundreds or thousands of Amazon links. Most affiliates are too busy to pull links anyway PLUS will be scrambling to deal with the domino effect that is sure to follow from this unjust California tax law. Amazon will just continue to profit UNFAIRLY from Affiliates that don’t have time to track down and remove all the links.

Danny makes so many good points and really summarizes this issue well. Read it, weigh in, reblog/tweet this to show your support for Danny’s open letter.

And for God’s sake – PULL ALL YOUR AMAZON LINKS! They should not profit from your efforts after they royally screw you. SCREW THEM!

An Open Letter To Jeff Bezos On Terminating The Amazon Affiliate Program In California

Thank you for your letter today, informing me that after seven years of being one of your affiliates — and having earned for you about $150,000 in that time — that you “deeply regret” unilaterally terminating my contract with Amazon to be an affiliate. I also especially appreciated the part where you reassured me that this action wouldn’t affect my ability to keep buying from your company. Nice touch.

Now, because of your squabble over the sales tax issue, you’ve decided to just take for free what you’d previously paid for. If I don’t find time to track down and kill those links, you keep grabbing orders that get made through them and keeping the cut I previously received.

I Get To Be Your Pawn With Only 10 Hours Notice? You want to just up and terminate my contract with you with only ten hours notice?

Amazon Threatens to Terminate CA Affiliates due to Pending California Nexus Tax Bills

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011 at 1:23pm by Linda Buquet

Unfortunately it appears the HUGE state of California could be next in line for anti-affiliate Nexus Tax legislation. It will be a very sad day for thousands of California-based affiliates if these bills pass. And it sounds like these bills are likely to pass and the law go into effect within the next 2 days.

UPDATE: 6/29 10PM Bad news! California passes Affiliate Nexus Tax
via Performance Marketing Association

I wish California would realize they are not HELPING the state economy but HURTING it! Any tax gains they think they will make, will be offset by the economic losses due to small and large affiliate businesses losing income (therefore paying less income taxes), having to layoff staff (putting more strain on state resources) and/or moving out of California so they can continue their businesses in more supportive states.

Yesterday the PMA made this foreboding announcement:

ALERT: CA about to implement nexus tax – effective immediately

Governor Brown of California has announced he has secured enough votes to pass his budget, including the Affiliate Nexus Tax and 2 related nexus bills: AB 153, AB 155 and SB 234. The law will go into effect immediately upon signing, and he must sign before July 1st, 2011.

We are doing everything we can to block this from moving forward but we believe passage is imminent. If you are a California-based publisher, or an out-of-state advertiser, please seek immediate advise from a tax or legal professional.

Andrew Shotland AKA @localseoguide just posted an image of the Amazon California Associate Program termination notice.

TheNextWeb reports:

Amazon is terminating the Associates Program in California due to new tax law

Even though the bill has not yet been passed, Amazon is pulling the program preemptively in California. Apparently it believes that the bill will get passed and the new tax laws will go into effect. Amazon says that the bill is ‘supported by big-box retailers, most of which are based outside California, that seek to harm the affiliate advertising programs of their competitors.

Geno has some good advice for merchants as always here: Bad News from California: Affiliate Nexus Tax Law on the Threshold

If your Affiliate Business Sucks – Read this!

Monday, June 27th, 2011 at 11:37am by Linda Buquet

If lack of success in your affiliate business drives you nuts and make you want to pull your hair out, read on!

This is one of the BEST articles I’ve read in awhile. It points out SO many of the wrong turns many affiliates make. I hope the author will put up with me quoting more snippets than I normally would. But there are so many great comments! However you really need to read the whole thing to get the most benefit!

Closed Indefinitely…Because I Was Wrong and I Intend to Stop Adding Junk to the Web

…suffice to say I’m bored out of my mind blogging about questionable niche website practices, writing content for search engines and building questionable links – you know all the artificial things that we do to make ourselves believe that our websites are an asset to the web. There is really only so much I can take before I bash my head against my monitor out of sheer boredom and frustration that I fooled myself (and my readers) into believing I’m building a “business.”

For the past 2 years I blogged a great deal about quasi-SEO (or what I thought to be SEO), building niche websites, flipping websites, etc. I used many tools to help build spammy, artificial, low-quality junk links and I spent a great deal of time waiting to be ranked — favorably of course. Ultimately, I got what I wanted (read: rankings) but it wasn’t sustainable and it was mind-numbing and certainly not what I was passionate about doing since I only wanted to get in, get ranked, get paid and then get out.

Affiliate marketing isn’t dead. Promoting someone else’s products instead of creating your own is still very much lucrative, but expecting to get results from dead-end ‘marketing’ tactics and then whining when you don’t get rich within the proverbial 6 months that “gurus” tell you wait doesn’t work.

7 reasons why its best that you keep your day job:

– Your website doesn’t really solve a problem or provide a solution because you believe that is the job of Adsense ads.

– You don’t know where your audience is online — and you have no intentions of finding out either because long-tail search traffic from Google is all your website needs to survive.

– You believe that SEO stands for HubPages, Squidoo, Ezine Articles, mass press release submissions and forum profile links.

– The latest WSO that you purchased told you exactly what you need to do in order to make money online.

– If Google disappeared, you wouldn’t know how to get traffic since you hedged all your bets on the trickle of traffic you receive from your 70+ websites.

– You believe that you DESERVE to be ranked number one in search engine results because you have 5,000+ links while your competitors have less than 100.

– Your online marketing strategy = write content + automate backlinks + outsource more content for linkwheels + automate more backlinks to said linkwheels + repeat 4 more times and then start a new website.

If you suffer from these ideologies, these articles may help you: Must-read #1 , Must-read #2 and Must-read #3.

…if you plan to change nothing about your outlook or business model after reading this, then start updating your resume and cover letter. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but Mr. Panda Update meant business.

Now GO, seriously, just go and read the rest. Lots of good points, resources and articles!

If what you are doing is not working – STOP!

If the regurgitated advice about ‘get rich quick’, link wheels and guaranteed ‘systems’ is getting you nowhere – STOP!

If any of the above resonates with you, what are you going to do TODAY to break the cycle and change things?

Image Credit: graur razvan ionut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

5 Star Affiliate Tips for Generating More Revenue

Thursday, May 26th, 2011 at 8:05am by Linda Buquet

You work hard, right? Then you should listen to every tip that could help you find ways to generate MORE revenue from every effort you make in your business.

Here is another insightful post from our friends and clients over at ShareResults. As affiliate managers, they know what works and what doesn’t. Heed their advice and see if it can help YOU generate more income. And work with your affiliate manager for the programs you run, to see how they can assist you in being more productive with their offers.

What Affiliates can do to Increase their Revenue

As an affiliate manager, I am constantly reviewing, approving and, yes, sometimes declining affiliate applications. Additionally, I oversee websites that affiliates are using to promote offers in our network. So, what have I noticed? Affiliates are spreading themselves too thin, not communicating with their affiliate manager and forgetting to promote the offer! Increasing your revenue in affiliate marketing isn’t just about joining programs, hosting affiliate links and sitting back as the money rolls in to your account. It’s about knowing where to strategically direct your efforts.