Trying to Learn an Affiliate Marketing System

Q: I have been exploring & investigating the industry of Affiliate Marketing. I have read quite a bit (including your blog), and have tried learning a system. Consequently, I spent some money and they used Clickbank to process the sale. Clickbank doesn’t seem upfront as I found unknown charges on my card. Do you know/find clickbank reliable?

Shawn CollinsA: I’ve worked with ClickBank in various capacities dating back to the 90′s, and have never had any kind of issue with them at all.

That said, ClickBank provides a platform, and there is always the chance that somebody using that platform is trying to cheat somehow.

I would encourage you to investigate those charges and determine if they came from that transaction or the source of the charges otherwise.

If these charges were not authorized, charge them back.

As far as trying to learn a system, there are a lot of people trying to hawk various systems and programs on how to get rich quick or whatever.

None of those are real. Don’t waste your money on them. I actually created a site to combat the get rich quick garbage out there at http://www.extramoneyanswer.com

On this site, I go through all of the steps from choosing a topic for your site to setting up WordPress, hosting, and a domain, as well as coming up with content, driving traffic, and monetizing the site.

So, the whole site goes through how I create my affiliate sites, and it’s all free.

Don’t spend $100 or $1,000 on a program on some affiliate marketing system, because it will be money down the drain.

Video: Trying to Learn an Affiliate Marketing System

Ask Shawn Collins your affiliate marketing question and it will be added on the affiliate blog.

Launching New Browsers vs. Straight Clicks for Affiliates

Q: When building a affiliate website when they click on the buy now button is best to open the page in new tab/Windows or just go straight the merchant website?

Shawn CollinsA: Part of this comes down to personal preference.

I set my affiliate links to go direct, instead of launching a new tab or browser windows.

In my opinion, it’s a bad user experience to launch new tabs or browser windows.

However, I would encourage you to test it with your audience, because all audiences, niches, etc. vary.

Try it both ways and see which yields the best results for you.

Video: Launching New Browsers vs. Straight Clicks for Affiliates

Ask Shawn Collins your affiliate marketing question and it will be added on the affiliate blog.

Affiliates With 100 or More Sites

Q: I am a novice and have heard several marketers mentions that they have 100-150 active websites. Can you clarify that statement? Are these all full blogs or modified sites? And, how does one manage them all meaningfully?

Shawn CollinsA: When somebody says they have 100 or so sites, they are likely domains that point to a landing page, rather than fully developed sites.

These pages are also known as squeeze pages, and they are intended to insinuate the affiliate into a transaction that was likely going to happen anyway.

In my opinion, these pages do not provide value to the advertisers or consumers.

I would highly suggest that you aspire to make sites that are resources that help people and solve some problem – the kinds of sites you would use yourself.

Video: Affiliates With 100 or More Sites

Ask Shawn Collins your affiliate marketing question and it will be added on the affiliate blog.

Monetizing Instructional Videos

Q: Is putting an instructional video on YouTube a form of affiliate marketing? I watch girls showing how to apply make-up then they feature the line and girls showing how to apply fake hair, some without featuring products. Is it better to have an instructional video on YouTube or to put the video on my site? YouTube gets alot of exposure.

Shawn CollinsA: Yes, YouTube does get a lot of exposure. It is the #2 search engine behind Google.

As far as whether the videos you are seeing are being monetized through affiliate marketing, it depends on the relationship the person in the video has with the advertiser.

In some cases, the advertiser will pay a flat fee to people to make videos.

If you see a video where the URL featured in the video or description that goes to a site other than the advertiser, then they are likely an affiliate.

When it comes to putting your videos on YouTube or your own site, I would encourage you to upload to YouTube, and then embed the videos from YouTube to your site, so you can optimize your exposure with YouTube and Google.

Also, check out the Video SEO Plugin for WordPress to get a greater impact in the Google results for your posts that include videos.

Video: Monetizing Instructional Videos

Ask Shawn Collins your affiliate marketing question and it will be added on the affiliate blog.

Should I Hide My Affiliate Activity from My Boss?

Q: I work for big company who would not want me moonlighting but I want to start affiliate home business and eventually quit my job when (if) I can. Can I temporarily startup a biz using anonymous user name(s) (Facebook, twitter, Affiliate registration, etc)? Once I learn and get experience I can “start over” with my real name.

Shawn CollinsA: The thing there is when you join up with an advertiser or a network, you have to provide a name or company name when creating the account.

The commissions have to be made payable to some person or company, so you can’t fake that information.

I suppose the account could be in the name of a spouse or friend.

Has your company explicitly said it would be forbidden to become an affiliate on your own time? If so, don’t risk your job or get a different one.

As far as those various social media accounts and your domain, I would suggest getting the same name for all of them for consistency.

Those accounts won’t display your name, but rather the brand that you are creating.

But in the end, your name does have to be attached, so you can get paid.

Video: Should I Hide My Affiliate Activity from My Boss?

Ask Shawn Collins your affiliate marketing question and it will be added on the affiliate blog.