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.

The Pros of being a Pro Affiliate – The $25,000 Lesson

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011 at 8:20am by Linda Buquet

I was just reading a great post over at Jonathan Volk and wanted to share.

So You Wanna Be A Pro Affiliate? The $25,000 Truth

It’s been over 4 years since I left my part time job as a computer salesman and forever decided that this thing called the internet could be my vehicle for making it big.

During this time, I have learned a TON about making money online and have made money from so many methods – as an affiliate, an etailer, a coach, etc. Thankfully, I have been pretty successful at all of them. Each one has it’s upside and it’s downside.

I wanted to take a minute to write about the pros and cons of being a full time affiliate as it compares to the other avenues of making money online.

Affiliates – Do This Daily PLUS Why You Should Not Quit

Friday, May 13th, 2011 at 11:11am by Linda Buquet

Our friends and clients over at ShareResults have such great content, that we like to share it whenever we can. Here are 2 of their latest posts for affiliate marketers.

New Affiliates: Make Sure to do THIS for at Least 30 Minutes a Day

When entering the world of affiliate marketing, it can be hard to stay abreast of new information in the industry. This is why setting up a reader and putting aside 30 minutes to an hour every day to read content can help. You benefit from becoming more knowledgeable about affiliate marketing and learning new information that should aim to help your business. RSS readers are the ideal tool if your time is already in short supply.

Why You Should Not Quit Affiliate Marketing

Being an affiliate and starting a small affiliate marketing business is a great thing. Even in this economy? Yes, absolutely. You don’t have to go the small business route alone, because there are plenty of online resources to help guide you to a successful future and plenty of super affiliates who have walked that path before you. While there are always going to be conflicting (and frightening) reports about unemployment rates, one thing is certain, affiliate marketing can only grow in popularity.

Affiliates – LOCAL is Hot! Profit from Local Shopping with LuckyLocal

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011 at 9:29am by Linda Buquet

Partner with LuckyLocal (via CommissionLocal) and capitalize on local shopping with an affiliate model that makes sense!

Google, eBay, Groupon and other major Internet companies are grabbing a piece of the local Internet marketing pie. Savvy affiliates that have been searching for new revenue streams can now earn from LOCAL too!

Feature MAJOR brand name merchants from TOP affiliate networks via the cool tools and easy integration options LuckyLocal offers. You may be familiar with datafeed tools like PopShops and Goldencan or APIs from affiliate networks like CJ, that let you integrate merchant products into your site. LuckyLocal is similar, except it provides LOCAL product feeds PLUS it’s FREE to use and you keep 100% of your hard-earned commission.



LuckyLocal Affiliate Benefits:

.:. Get paid EVEN when consumers shop online – but BUY OFFLINE!

.:. You keep 100% of the CPS, CPA and CPC commission

.:. New revenue streams – Affiliates can make money whether the consumer buys online or in-store via CPA (affiliate networks) or CPC (Shopzilla.com – No purchase is needed. Earn CPC from Shopzilla even if the shopper buys in-store.)

.:. Supported Affiliate Networks – CJ, Shareasale, Google Affiliate Network, Linkshare PLUS Shopzilla for CPC revenue (Earn per click)

.:. Local Product Selection – 2.6 million products from 45,000 local stores

See How it Works – Join Now!

.:. Wide Array of Affiliate Creative – Local shopping widgets, banners, turn-key local shopping templates, datafeeds and deep web services integration via APIs (integrated local search results on affiliate website)

.:. Datafeed or API allows filtering: CPA or CPC, local pick-up vs. shipping, product categories, inventory by individual store or retail center location

.:. Adds sticky functionality to your affiliate site. Affiliates can help their visitors find and research products that are in-stock now at local stores

.:. Features include local price comparison engine from different retailers, geo-targeted for consumers

MORE INFO – SEE HOW IT WORK – VIEW WIDGETS & SITE TEMPLATES
Visit CommissionLocal.com, the affiliate portal for LuckyLocal now!

CommissionLocal is the affiliate portal for LuckyLocal and enables affiliates to have local shopping functionality similar to LuckyLocal.com on their site via a variety of options including simple banners, to easy to integrate local shopping Widgets, advanced APIs, raw data in JSON/XML format and sites templates.

Calling all Bloggers!
Add a local shopping widget and start earning today!

shopping widgets

You want widgets? We’ve got Widgets! Local product search box widgets, single product widgets, multi-product carousel widgets. Got a Mom blog, gardening blog or a sports blog? Get your NICHE local shopping widgets here!

Local is HOT! – Profit from LOCAL Shopping
Set it & Forget it Easy – Keep 100% Commission

JOIN TODAY!

Merchants – Contact Linda if you’d like your products to be featured on LuckyLocal.

Large city directories, local news sites – Please contact Linda for a free consult about how to integrate this exciting technology into your site, to monetize your local traffic.

Affiliates – Write a Strong Call to Action Like The Easter Bunny

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011 at 11:36am by Linda Buquet

A great post-Easter post, with some good lessons for both merchants and affiliates, from our friends/clients over at ShareResults.

Kiss & Hug Me Now!” (Example of a strong call to action!) ;-)

Write Strong Calls to Action Like The Easter Bunny

Every Easter, my hubby and I organize a little Easter egg hunt for the kids. It’s really a scavenger hunt with witty clues toned down to what we hope is a six and four year-old level. As a writer, I’m always put in charge of clue-writing. This year, my six-year old can read, so it’s a bit more exciting. At the same time, it’s also fairly challenging to come up with clues that will result in the action that I would like.

The whole experience got me thinking about how to write strong calls to action, and how important they are to affiliate marketing. Here are some of the basics of CTAs for affiliates and merchants, which the Easter Bunny reminded me of this year.

FTC Busts Fake News Sites – Acai Affiliate Sued – Popular Affiliate Network May Have Assets Frozen

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011 at 11:27am by Linda Buquet

If you promote shady CPA offers that lie to consumers, include fake testimonials or misrepresent products to try to make a sale, you could PERSONALLY BE SUED. Not only that, but the network you promote could have assets frozen and not be able to pay you any of your commissions.

In yet another case involving unethical CPA affiliates, the FTC has filed suit against companies that use fake news sites to promote products like Acai. One of the companies being sued is a popular affiliate network most affiliates know. NOTE: if you work with this network, you may not get paid because the FTC is trying to freeze their assets. (Story and links below.)

But 1st I wanted to point out that it’s not just the networks that are getting busted, but affiliates are too. The Chicago Attorney General just directly sued an affiliate marketer as part of this FTC crackdown.

Chicago Attorney General SUES AFFILIATE for Acai Scams

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today sued a Chicago area man for fraudulently marketing acai berry dieting schemes online, as part of a national crackdown with the Federal Trade Commission against affiliate marketers that con consumers into purchasing weight loss products through phony news websites.

The FTC just had a news conference – here is the latest press release.

FTC Seeks to Halt 10 Operators of Fake News Sites from Making Deceptive Claims About Acai Berry Weight Loss Products

The FTC complaints allege that typical fake news sites have titles such as “News 6 News Alerts,” “Health News Health Alerts,” or “Health 5 Beat Health News.” The sites often include the names and logos of major media outlets – such as ABC, Fox News, CBS, CNN, USA Today, and Consumer Reports – and falsely represent that the reports on the sites have been seen on these networks. An investigative-sounding headline on one such site proclaims “Acai Berry Diet Exposed: Miracle Diet or Scam?” The sub-headline reads, “As part of a new series: ‘Diet Trends: A look at America’s Top Diets’ we examine consumer tips for dieting during a recession.” The article that follows purports to document a reporter’s first-hand experience with acai berry supplements – typically claiming to have lost 25 pounds in four weeks.

“Almost everything about these sites is fake,” said David Vladeck, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “The weight loss results, the so-called investigations, the reporters, the consumer testimonials, and the attempt to portray an objective, journalistic endeavor.”

The following companies were named in the FTC lawsuits:

- Intermark Communications, Inc. DBA Copeac, and IMM Interactive
- Beony International LLC; Ambervine Marketing LLC, and Encastle Inc.
- TL Advertising; Circa Direct LLC; Coulomb Media, Inc.; DLXM, LLC; Lead Expose, Inc., and Uptown Media, Inc.

The only name I recognize is Intermark Media AKA Copeac, a very well known affiliate network.

According to the FTC press release above “The FTC seeks to permanently stop this misleading practice and has asked courts to freeze the operations’ assets pending trial.” So I wonder if they will be able to pay out affiliate commissions owed???

Like I always say “Market with Integrity and Everyone Wins!” If you are marketing spammy scammy offers and a merchant gets busted and can’t pay you, then you’ve gotten what you deserve. Not only that, but you could get in trouble yourself. It’s just not worth it!!!

Affiliate Warning – FBI Gambling Sting Closes 4 Largest Online Poker Sites

Monday, April 18th, 2011 at 10:44am by Linda Buquet

I’ve long warned affiliates to stay away from Gambling, RX and other dicey affiliate programs that are, or could in the future, be under government scrutiny.

On Friday the FBI seized and closed down the web sites for PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker UB.com and Absolute Poker sites, 4 of the biggest online poker sites. The charges were reportedly bank fraud, money laundering, and illegal gambling offenses. Reportedly, even customers can’t get to their money due to the fact the sites are shut down.

I believe all of those companies had affiliate programs. Did they owe any of you money? I’m curious to know if they will be able to pay affiliates, if they have any money left after the hefty fines. I assume their bank accounts and other assets have been frozen too.

FBI seizes online poker websites; customer funds on lockdown.

The end result? Sites are shuttering as have 76 bank accounts in 14 countries. The parties involved are facing fines of up to $3 billion in money laundering fines. On top of that, all of the defendants are facing up to 5 years, and in some cases up to 30 years in prison as maximum sentences for their alleged crimes.

I’m curious if the companies have sent emails to affiliates regarding the situation. If you hear anything affiliate-related, please post in comments.

FTC Forces Clickbank Crackdown on Spammy Get-Rich-Quick Offers

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011 at 9:15am by Linda Buquet

The FTC is really cracking down on work at home and get-rich-quick offers and I for one am happy to see it! Really glad to see Clickbank, one of the major vendors of spammy affiliate offers trying to clean up the industry!

Word to the wise – check ALL your offers, not just Clickbank to ensure they aren’t breaking any of the rules and use the new Clickbank guidelines below as a template for offers and offer language you need to avoid. Here are 2 key paragraphs from the letter that Clickbank sent to vendors. (Bold by me)

Excerpts from Clickbank letter. Be sure to read full letter available at the blog posts below.

Per the new FTC information, sales material shouldn’t create the impression that customers can easily earn money without putting in much work, and should give specific ideas of how they’ll earn the money (e.g., content marketing, video marketing, social media, etc). Sales pages should also not overstate how much can realistically be made, or imply that earnings are guaranteed.

The FTC also strongly discourages false urgency/scarcity messaging (for example, “Only 3 copies left!”) when there is no actual scarcity.

Evidently the new Clickbank guidelines are in response, in part to this make money online FTC case FTC Steps Up Efforts Against Scams That Target Financially-Strapped Consumersand other recent work from home business opportunity cases.

The FTC has updated consumer education materials to help consumers avoid falling victim to these scams. http://www.ftc.gov/bizopps

Here are 2 good blog posts that reference the changes and have good commentary.

Clickbank Clarifies FTC-Compliant Policies Joel Comm

Over the past couple years, information marketers have come under greater scrutiny by the United States Federal Trade Commission. The FTC has taken several companies and individuals to task for deceptive Internet marketing practices.

As the largest seller of information products online, Clickbank.com is now issuing clearer guidelines for the types of products and/or marketing practices that will be more closely scrutinized going forward. In other words, they are going to be working harder to clean up some of the “less legitimate” offers that unfortunately litter their catalogue.

Clickbank to crack down on Spammy make money online offer – Jonathan Volk

Recently there has been a surge of clickbank sales pages that have been very scammy. Making promises that you can make tens of thousands of dollars by pressing one click (seriously… one click) is just pitiful.

What do you think? Would love to hear your thoughts below.

Don’t Make this Giant Affiliate Mistake

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011 at 9:05am by Linda Buquet

Affiliates, mistakes can cost you time and money. Learn how to avoid some of the most common affiliate mistakes and do your research. Read on for some great tips from our partner ShareResults.

Don’t Make this Colossal Affiliate Mistake

This is probably the same sentiment that you have when you are just beginning to venture into affiliate marketing. Not asking the right questions or doing some in-depth research can cause you to sell yourself short. As an affiliate, there are a few key areas of your business that you should be researching on a regular basis, to ensure you’re getting the best deal. Here’s a handful:

Affiliates: 4 Ways to Get a Raise and other Incentives from Merchants

Thursday, March 24th, 2011 at 8:51am by Linda Buquet

Affiliates, do you want a well deserved raise? Want to discover the best ways to get one? Read on for some great tips from our partner ShareResults.

4 Steps to Getting a Raise and other Incentives from Merchants

If you’re an affiliate and believe you’re generating the kind of traffic and sales for a merchant that warrants a higher commission, or some other incentive, then it’s time to put a game plan together to help you achieve that goal of earning more…

Do you have experience negotiating a higher payout? Are you looking for more tips on how to ask for an incentive? Leave us your comments and tell about your personal experience regarding this topic. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Top 10 Benefits of Being a Female Affiliate – Happy International Women’s Day 2011

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011 at 9:21am by Linda Buquet

Since it’s International Women’s Day and since I’m a woman in this industry (thought not an active affiliate per se) I thought I would share a great list my friends over at ShareResults blogged today. If you are an affiliate marketer (male or female) read the list and be thankful for all the freedom and flexibility this business offers.

International Women’s Day 2011: Top 10 Reasons to Be a Woman Affiliate

In honor of International Women’s Day today, we’d like to send a very special shout out to all the amazing women in affiliate marketing and to our own team of affiliate managers (o, my ladies!). We’d also like to contribute a quick list of ten reasons why it’s great to be a woman affiliate.

Affiliates: Will the Google Content Farm Update Kill Article Marketing?

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011 at 1:18pm by Linda Buquet

As you’ve no doubt heard by now the Google content farm update has wreaked havoc with lots of sites. Many of them happen to be article marketing sites and article directories that are popular with affiliate marketers.

According to research conducted by Sistrix and posted at Search Engine Land, here are some of the biggest article sites that lost rankings after the update. EzineArticles.com, ArticleBase.com, FindArticles.com, LovetoKnow.com, AssociatedContent.com. Related sites for publishing your content for an SEO boost that got dinged include Hubpages.com, Squidoo.com, Mahalo, Buzzle and some Q & A sites.

So will Google’s latest move kill article marketing? I don’t know because I don’t own a crystal ball and have never focused on article marketing myself. However below are some good articles from some very smart people like Ros Gardner who knows that market well and has some opinions.

The Death of Bum Marketing

Why is Bum Marketing Dead?

Google’s latest algorithm change, Farmer, spells death for Bum Marketing sites in the same way as crappy, useless Adsense sites were targeted in past algorithm changes.

Is Article Marketing Still Effective After the Google Farmer Update?

“As you all have probably heard by now, the latest Google farmer update has put a pretty big damper on article marketing, as it has dropped the keyword rankings for sites such as EzineArticles, Associated Content, HubPages, and other go to article networks now considered content farms.”

EzineArticles Aims to Get Rankings Back, Following Google Algorithm Update

“While we adamantly disagree with anyone who places the ‘Content Farm’ label on EzineArticles.com, we were not immune to this algorithm change,” said Knight. “Traffic was down 11.5% on Thursday and over 35% on Friday. In our life-to-date, this is the single most significant reduction in market trust we’ve experienced from Google.”

To try and get back into Google’s good graces, EzineArticles is reducing the number of article submissions accepted by over 10% – articles that “are not unique enough”. It will no longer accept article submissions through a WordPress Plugin. They’re reducing the number of ads per page. They’re raising the minimum article word count to 400. They’re “raising the bar” on keyword density limits. They’re removing articles considered “thin and spammy”, and will put greater focus on rejection of advertorial articles.”

Affiliates: 5 Tips to Boost your Chances of Getting Approved for Affiliate Programs and Networks

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011 at 9:44am by Linda Buquet

That 1st, most important step to marketing new products or even getting started as an affiliate, is getting approval from the affiliate network or merchant. Each network and merchant has their own criteria for who gets approved and some are stricter than others.

So how do you optimize your chances to get approved? One of our favorite clients and affiliate networks, ShareResults, has some great tips for you.

5 Tips to Get Approved as an Affiliate in 24 Hours or Less

You’re an affiliate on a mission. You’ve found a new affiliate program that is the perfect match for your website. You love the product and the affiliate support and you’re ready to get started. So what’s the hold up? When it comes time to approving an affiliate’s application from a network or an affiliate manager’s side, there are some key areas that will be scrutinized to ensure that fraudulent affiliates don’t seep in through the cracks.

Here are five tips to get approved as an affiliate in 24 hours or less:

Huge Affiliate Contest: The Special Agent Adventure Begins at RevenueWire!

Thursday, February 10th, 2011 at 8:00am by Linda Buquet

One of our most creative 5 Star Affiliate Programs has the hottest contest going right now. Check out RevenueWire’s Annual Special Agent Contest! Here’s what it is and how it works: Three incredible REAL-LIVE special agent adventure prizes are up for grabs.

Jet fighting. Shark diving. Halo jumping.
Only one can win. The best part is, you get to decide which one!

Not a RevenueWire member? Sign up here!

The Special Agent Adventure Begins with the first prize package, LICENSE TO THRILL. We’ve put together an comic strip to give you an idea of how fun this adventure will be. You can check out the first LICENSE TO THRILL comic strip panel here.

CLICK HERE to Read the Rest of this Post

5 New Years Success Resolutions for Affiliates and Merchants

Monday, January 17th, 2011 at 11:17am by Linda Buquet

I’ve been on vacation for the past couple weeks so am a little late posting this, since it has to do with New Year’s resolutions. But my friends and clients over at ShareResults did such a good job on these 2 pieces I still wanted to be sure to share in case you missed them. One set of resolutions is for affiliates and the other is for merchants and affiliate managers.

5 New Year’s Resolutions to Help you Succeed as an Affiliate

Here at Share Results we work with over 12,000 affiliates, the majority of whom play that tricky balancing act of working full-time jobs while they struggle to make their online marketing business their sole full-time venture. This isn’t an easy feat to carry out, especially if you have bills to pay and a family to feed. So, we decided to put together some advice to help you get closer to your dream this year: five resolutions for 2011 that will help you achieve your goal of becoming a paid, full-time affiliate.

5 New Year’s Resolutions to Help you Succeed as a Merchant

Last week we explored five business-building New Year’s resolutions for affiliates. Now we turn our attention to merchants to provide tips on improving their image, affiliate programs and the way they communicate to their affiliates and customers. Here are some areas for merchants to focus on this year.

Party Lists and Planning Guides for Affiliate Summit West 2011

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011 at 9:34am by Linda Buquet

Many affiliate marketers, managers and service providers are busily trying to wrap up work and get ready to head to Vegas for Affiliate Summit West 2011. So I thought I’d try to compile the best party lists, to-do lists and newbie guides about how to get the most out of Affiliate Summit.

Be sure to plan ahead so you can get the most out of this action packed event!

Parties at Affiliate Summit West 2011
The official party list from Summit organizer, Shawn Collins.

First Timers Guide for Affiliate Summit West 2011
Shawn Collins dishes the Summit newbie guide.

Affiliate Buzz #183 – A Complete Newbies Guide To Getting The Most Out Of Your Trip To Affiliate Summit West 2011
Summit veteran and super affiliate James Martell shares his insights.

PMA’s 2011 Member Meeting
A MUST attend if you want to help grow and improve our industry. Monday, January 10 @ 5:30

How to Make the Most of Affiliate Summit Conference: 10 Tips
Geno shares his best tips

Guide to Affiliate Summit West 2011 in Las Vegas
The unofficial party list from Pace Latin

Wheres the Meat? The Ambitious Affiliates Edge

Monday, January 3rd, 2011 at 9:02am by Linda Buquet

One of the most exciting things about being an affiliate is the freedom to change things up, be creative and continually improve, without the constraints of a boss or corporate rules. However sometimes affiliates get stuck in a rut and stop growing, or just accept things the way they currently are, without challenging themselves to do better.

Here are some tips for affiliates that want to keep that winning edge! Tantalizing text and excellent insights, brought to you by our friends and clients over at RevenueWire.

The Ambitious Affiliate’s Edge

Improving. It’s not always easy, but it’s necessary if you want to compete. You’ve got to think and rethink. Change up your links, banners and marketing strategy. Never stop developing your ideas. Review and renew. Do everything you can to perfect your campaigns and don’t let the raspy noise of customary detractors discourage you.

Do you have what it takes? Of course you do. Here are a few key tools you can use to keep your edges sharp and your pockets money keen.

Happy New Year from 5 Star Affiliate Programs

Friday, December 31st, 2010 at 8:50am by Linda Buquet

2010 zipped by and 2011 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 2011.

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 2011.

Happy Holidays from 5 Star Affiliate Programs

Saturday, December 25th, 2010 at 9:20am by Linda Buquet

Happy Holidays from 5 Star Affiliate Programs



On behalf of all the 5 Star Merchants & Affiliate Managers, Merry Christmas!


All of us here at 5 Star want to let you know how much we
appreciate your partnership and loyalty over the past year.

We sincerely hope this holiday season has been the best ever and
that your sales and revenue continue to grow into the New Year.

We look forward to a continued alliance in the coming year
and wish you even greater success and prosperity in 2011.

Google Instant and Google Previews – Impact on Affiliate Marketers

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010 at 1:30pm by Linda Buquet

Having carpal tunnel problems that make it hard to blog, so just going to quote and send you over to my Friends at ShareResults for the rest of the story.

Google Instant Previews: Cleanliness is Next to Godliness

We’ve talked about the importance of clean landing pages in affiliate marketing before, and with Google’s new image-based snapshots, clean, uncluttered pages with strong calls to action are a real must. With Google Instant Previews, surfers will be able to compare your website to your competitors’, so if ever looks mattered, which of course they always have, then the time is upon us now…

Ryan Singel from Wired writes “The previews are yet another indication that the fight over search dominance is now more about the user interface, than about who has the best 10 results on a page”, and of course if you can conquer both, you will be well ahead in the affiliate marketing game.

Google Instant and the Affiliate

How much will people be swayed by suggestions Google Instant presents remains to be seen. Will someone searching for “get a college degree online” stop their original search based on the instant results provided by Google and check out the results for “get a mac” instead? It could happen; it probably will not happen. There is no scientific method of proving it, and there will be no way to track whether you are losing out on search results to suggestions from Google.

It is my opinion that this is something that could benefit affiliates who investigate closely and learn how this thing is working, and then implement strategies to capture traffic in the same way that they have always done will be the ones who benefit from any usefulness this might present. It could, in fact, give a whole new range of keyword suggestions for affiliates, keeping in mind that qualified traffic is still the goal.