Aweber Enhances Email Marketing Services
If you do any email marketing at all, you're probably signed up with an autoresponder service. One of the most widely used services is Aweber (it's the one I use for my rather small lists) and they've just announced their new enhanced services, which sound like they will provide marketers with a ton of analytical data.
Reading through the list of new services, I can see where this would be an amazing deal for medium-sized and large firms, as well as marketers with very large lists.
I mainly use my Aweber account to maintain a small number of equally small newsletter lists. I don't do much selling through my lists - mainly it's a means of updating my readers. I will one day branch into doing a bit more niche-targeted promotion through my lists (hence the list-building right now) but I'm not doing this yet.
Luckily, Andrew Wee reports that existing customers can choose not to opt for the new services (which come with an increase in price). Andrew notes:
The old package cost $179.40 for 10,000 list members for a year. The analytics-enhanced service costs $69 per month for 10,000 list members.
With about a 362% increase in their prices, email marketers will have to decide if they need the enhanced analytics functions.
In an exchange between marketer Kevin Riley and Aweber founder/CEO Tom Kulzer, Kevin mentioned in a twitter update that existing customers can choose to remain on their existing plan.
I will be staying with the basic plan that I have right now, so I'm glad to see that option exists.
I will likely be setting up a newsletter for Adventures soon - to be honest, it's something I wish I'd done earlier. I have another blog where I do have a newsletter, and I have three times the number of newsletter subscribers as I have feed subscribers - that's definitely food for thought.
I suspect that the new analytics features will be very enticing for marketers who sell their own infoproducts.
Succeeding with the Amazon Affiliate Program
After three years of participation in the Amazon affiliate program I've finally figured out how to achieve (moderate) success with it.
It's only since the beginning of this year that I've started receiving monthly payments from Amazon. The other day, I generated a bunch of reports, and took a good look at what was selling for me.
Which made me realize something.
What makes the Amazon affiliate program work? Traffic.
That seems to be about it. My list of items sold is the most eclectic list I've ever seen. If I wasn't using different tracking codes, I'd be hard pressed to say which site made which sale, because the actual item sold often has very little to do with the niche of the site from which the sale came.
Early this year, I began adding Amazon links to a couple of sites of mine that were high traffic but poorly monetized. It was more or less a "well, why not" thing on my part. I had a bit of time, so in went the links. Once my traffic started hitting those links (and I find that Amazon links tend to get a higher clickthrough rate than a lot of other merchants' links), I started seeing sales. Not usually the product I was linking to, but sales nonetheless.
My theory is that people click through to Amazon because the product linked to sounds interesting, then when they get there, they either remember something they meant to buy at Amazon, or one of the very many links on that Amazon page leads them deeper and deeper into the Amazon labrynth. They eventually emerge from somewhere deep within Amazon, order placed, but what they order will often have absolutely nothing to do with the product link they initially clicked.
I know, because I've done this many times myself. And my sales reports confirm this.
So if you have a site that gets a nice bit of traffic but isn't making as much as you'd like, find some related products from Amazon, put in your links, and see what happens. Chances are, if you can draw the clickthroughs, you'll make the sales. Sales of what? That's the interesting part - you won't know until you've made them!
Article Marketing for Affiliate Sites
Creative Article Marketing has a post up about the best way to write your articles (for article marketing) to drive traffic back to your product-based site (which, if you're like me, means an affiliate site that focuses on tangible, physical products rather than infoproducts).
I've been doing a fair bit of article marketing for the past six months now, and this was the exact problem I mulled over initially - if I wanted to get backlinks to a site that promotes shoes, for example, what kind of article should I write?
It always seemed so much easier to me to write articles related to sites that either promoted infoproducts - which typically help solve a problem - or and Adsense-based site, which also typically helps solve a problem.
The approach outlined at Creative Article Marketing (which is the blog for SubmitYourArticle) is what I use now when writing most of my articles for article marketing purposes. It's a good write-up, and should help to inspire you if you've been trying to figure out how to write an article for physical product-based affiliate site.
Jeremy Palmer's The Black Ink Project
Not that long ago, Jeremy Palmer took his best-selling ebook off the market and instead provided it as a free download. Now he's come out with The Black Ink Project where he's offering a series of 20 webinars on affiliate marketing:
the Black Ink Project is an affiliate success course designed to help new affiliates bridge the gap between my e-book and making a profit. Some find that the book and forum support is all they need to succeed, but others need a little more hands-on training to connect all the dots.
The webinars are being offered daily, from Monday to Friday, over the course of four weeks. Although the program started earlier this week, registrants can download any webinars they've missed.
What's truly incredible is that Jeremy's offering these webinars for FREE.
And yes, I know you've all been exposed to more than your fair share of "free" Internet marketing materials, and whether they're ebooks, videos, reports, templates, whatever whatever, most of them are pretty terrible - and there's usually a catch of some sort, too.
Well, in this case, all I can say is, go to The Black Ink Project and register! I signed up for the course a little late, so I haven't been able to catch any of the webinars live yet. I downloaded the first two today, and just finished listening to the first one, which is on finding your niche.
And I have to say, wow! I've been an affiliate marketer for three years now, and I ended up taking some great notes. Make sure you catch the Q&A session, too - there are some gems in there, and Jeremy's truly sharing his expert experience with us.
If you're at all skeptical ("what's the catch? There must be a catch somewhere"), I'd recommend you sign-up and give at least one of the webinars a listen. Jeremy's always been on my (rather short) list of trustworthy Internet marketers. When you've finished listening to this first webinar, he'll likely be on your list, too.
Affiliate Marketers Give Back
If you'll be in Seattle on September 12 to 14, 2008, you can join Team Affiliate Marketers Worldwide as they walk the Susan G. Komen 60-Mile Breast Cancer 3-day Walk event.
Last year Team Affiliate Marketers Worldwide, with only 2 team members in the 2007 walk, raised $17,000 for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and National Philanthropic Trust - this year there are already ELEVEN team members who've signed on for the event.
Seattle's a beautiful city - wish I could join them!
Six Tips for Learning More about Web 2.0
One thing that I've been discovering about all the various Web 2.0 techniques is that marketers need to always be in learning mode.
For example, I've been online most of the morning, reading more about the intricacies of StumbleUpon. I've been a StumbleUpon user for a couple of years now, but it's only been recently that I realized that Stumble traffic is actually viable as a longer-term SEO strategy. (I'll blog more about this later - don't want this post to get sidetracked).
I have a funny feeling this is one of the things I love about publishing websites and affiliate marketing - it never gets stale and there's always something new on the horizon.
So it's really helpful if you like the idea of lifelong learning. Lifelong learning is one of the things that drive me - it makes life so much more interesting because there's just so much to discover every day. Mind you, this continuous learning curve just happens to be one of my stumbling blocks to implementation, because I can spend a vast amount of very enjoyable time learning new things, which most definitely keeps me away from the "doing" aspect.
Here are some things I've discovered about learning new Web 2.0 techniques:
1. Broad research is very important. Don't just read one person's opinions and go with it as the be all and end all. Read as much as you can about the particular Web 2.0 vehicle you're interested in.
2. Test it out for yourself. Play around with a particular Web 2.0 site and get into it. Click through the site, and get a feel for the users and the community.
3. Become a part of the community. This is a biggie. Participation in a Web 2.0 community is extremely beneficial. It's also time-consuming, too, so the trick is to decide on a small number of Web 2.0 sites you want to focus on ... and then dive in.
4. You don't have to buy the ebook(s). I've discovered that while ebooks about various Web 2.0 methods are great for saving time, much of what various ebooks outline is out there, available on various sites (mostly blogs) for free. Since I personally am always very interested in saving time, I'll generally buy the ebooks that look interesting, but often I do find that when I'm researching a technique, I'll find information that I bought is already online, just in the form of various tips scattered across different blogs.
5. You need to have fun with it. Whatever techniques you choose, the ones that you decide to put your personal focus on (vs. more automated or outsourced Web 2.0 techniques) should be fun for you. Otherwise, it just gets way too tedious.
6. The learning never ends. Always be on the lookout for new techniques. Seriously, there are new tools and sites coming out every day. Be open to new developments, because many of them can be extremely useful.