Affiliate Marketing in October: NOT Scary at All

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Affiliate Marketing in October

There is a whole slew of holidays and events during the month of October that present affiliate marketing opportunities. The most prevalent of these include:

  • Yom Kippur
  • Columbus Day (2nd Monday in October)
  • Canadian Thanksgiving Day (2nd Monday in October)
  • Halloween

Month Long Observances include:

  • Adopt a Shelter Dog Month
  • American Pharmacist Month
  • Apple Jack Month
  • Awareness Month
  • Breast Cancer Awareness Month
  • Clergy Appreciation Month
  • Computer Learning Month
  • Cookie Month
  • Domestic Violence Awareness Month
  • Eat Country Ham Month
  • International Drum Month
  • Lupus Awareness Month
  • National Diabetes Month
  • National Pizza Month
  • National Vegetarian Month
  • National Popcorn Popping Month
  • Sarcastic Month
  • Seafood Month

Here is a list of other events to celebrate in October.

  • 1 International Frugal Fun Day – first Saturday of the month
  • 1 World Vegetarian Day
  • 2 National Custodial Worker Day
  • 2 Name Your Car Day
  • 2 Oktoberfest in Germany ends, date varies
  • 3 Techies Day
  • 3 Virus Appreciation Day
  • 4 National Golf Day
  • 4 National Frappe Day
  • 5 Do Something Nice Day
  • 5 National Kale Day – first Wednesday of October
  • 5 World Teacher’s Day
  • 6 Come and Take it Day
  • 6 Mad Hatter Day
  • 6 Physician Assistant Day
  • 7 Bald and Free Day
  • 7 World Smile Day first Friday of month
  • 8 American Touch Tag Day
  • 9 Curious Events Day
  • 9 Fire Prevention Day
  • 9 Leif Erikson Day
  • 9 Moldy Cheese Day
  • 10 Columbus Day – second Monday of month
  • 10 International Newspaper Carrier Day
  • 10 National Angel Food Cake Day
  • 11 It’s My Party Day
  • 12 Cookbook Launch Day
  • 12 Emergency Nurses Day- second Wednesday of month
  • 12 Old Farmer’s Day
  • 12 Moment of Frustration Day
  • 12 Take Your Teddy Bear to Work Day -Second Wdenesday of month
  • 13 International Skeptics Day
  • 14 Be Bald and Free Day
  • 14 National Dessert Day – take an extra helping, or two
  • 14 World Egg Day – second Friday of month
  • 15 White Cane Safety Day
  • 15 Sweetest Day Third Saturday of month
  • 16 Bosses Day
  • 16 Dictionary Day
  • 17 Wear Something Gaudy Day
  • 18 No Beard Day
  • 19 Evaluate Your Life Day
  • 20 Brandied Fruit Day
  • 21 Babbling Day
  • 21 Count Your Buttons Day
  • 21 National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day find a recipe, too.
  • 22 Make a Difference Day- fourth Saturday of the month, neighbors helping neighbors.
  • 22 National Nut Day
  • 23 Mother-In-Law Day – fourth Sunday in October
  • 23 National Mole Day
  • 23 Tv Talk Show Host Day
  • 24 National Bologna Day
  • 24 United Nations Day
  • 25 Punk for a Day Day
  • 25 World Pasta Day
  • 26 National Mincemeat Day
  • 27 National Tell a Story Day – in Scotland and the U.K.
  • 27 Navy Day
  • 28 Frankenstein Friday – last Friday in October
  • 28 Plush Animal Lover’s Day
  • 29 Hermit Day
  • 29 National Frankenstein Day
  • 30 National Candy Corn Day
  • 30 Mischief Night
  • 31 Carve a Pumpkin Day – no surprise here
  • 31 Halloween
  • 31 Increase Your Psychic Powers Day

This is a GREAT time of year for affiliates in the genealogy space with it being Family History month. Share ways to celebrate this month-long event with your subscribers and promote the heck out of genealogy sites.

Food bloggers can concentrate on apple and nut recipes, while animal lovers can celebrate Adopt a Shelter Animal month— by promoting plush animals to those who can’t.

Last, but not least of course, there’s Halloween which is the ultimate time to dress up your pet and promote costumes for dogs and cats as well as those treat-seeking little munchkins.

Shown here is Jasper, my chocolate Labrador wearing my “Bat-hat”. He will have to get cape to complete the ensemble. :-)

So how are you celebrating October on your affiliate site?

Did you find this post informative and useful? If so, please share it with others! If you have a comment, question or suggestion, please leave a comment below!


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October 1st 2016 affiliate marketing, iphone

7 Amazon Alternatives for Affiliate Marketers

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If you live in Arkansas, Louisiana, Maine, Missouri, Rhode Island, or Vermont; you aren’t eligible to joing the Amazon Associates program.

Moreover, if you join the Amazon Associates program and then move to any of those states, you become ineligible to participate in the Program, and Amazon will terminate their operating agreement with you on the date you establish residency in that state.

So, what’s an affiliate marketer who lives in AR, ME, MO, RI or VT to do?

Well, they should sign up for merchants’ with a wide variety of products and affiliate programs which don’t exclude people from their states from joining.

Amazon Alternatives

Here are 7 alternatives to the Amazon associates program…

  1. eBay

    Affiliates in the Ebay Partner Network earn double commissions for the first 3 months after they join.

    For example, let’s say you drive a visitor to eBay, who ends up with a winning bid on a laptop with a total sale amount of $500 and revenue of $40. If the Electronics category rate was set at 55%, your earnings would be $22, or 4.4% of the total sale amount.

    According to eBay…

    With 162 million active buyers shopping, there’s no end to the great listings that you can share with your audience. We have 5 million sellers offering nearly $70 billion in gross merchandise annually. Plus eBay has global reach, operating in 13 countries around the world.

    Check out the Ebay Partner Network.

  2. Wayfair

    Formerly known as CSN Stores, Wayfair, INC is an American e-commerce company founded in 2002 that sells home furnishings and décor items.

    Apparently, Wayfair affiliates benefit from dedicated in-house management, 5% commissions, a 30-day referral period (cookie length), and over two million products available through their data feeds.

    I say ‘apparently’, because although I am a big fan of Wayfair and a stellar customer, they declined my affiliate applications.

    Try signing up for Wayfair’s affiliate program on the ShareaSale network.

  3. HomeDepot

    Home Depot’s current commission rate is 3% on products, mobile, and buy online pick up in-store orders and 5% on custom blinds. One day cookies.

    As posted on CJ, their EPC’s are as follows:

    3 month EPC: 15.96 CAD
    7 day EPC: 23.61 CAD and operate separate affiliate programs through CJ by Conversant.

  4. Overstock

    Earn up to 7% commission on’s broad range of products including: Apparel & Accessories, Books, Movies, CDs, Games, Electronics & Computers, Home & Garden, Jewelry, Sporting Goods, and Handmade Goods. Data feeds are available in both .CSV and .XML formats.

    Overstock’s affiliate program can be found at CJ by Conversant.

  5. Target

    You can earn 5 – 8% on apparel, accessories, home and outdoors goods, between 3 and 5% on baby gear and furniture and 1% on health and beauty products.

    They have a 7 day cookie and send a weekly newsletter with updates on promotions, contests, and sales opportunities.

    Target’s affiliate program is run through the Impact Radius network.

  6. Walmart

    Walmart has 3 separate affiliate programs, one each for the U.S.A., Canada and Mexico. Commission rates vary as follows:

    • USA – 4 % commission {For all products not covered in specific SKU Lists}, 1 % commission [WM Electronics, Video Games, Movies, Music, Books, Photo ], 1 % commission [MP Electronics, Video Games, Movies, Music, Books, Photo
    • Canada – 1 – 2%
    • Mexico – 4 % commission {For all products not covered in specific SKU Lists},5 % commission[Audio, Electrodomesticos, Electronica, Fotografia], 7 % commission[Hogar, Patio Y Jardin, Muebles], 8 % commission[Bebes, Deportes, Juguetes, Mascotas], 10 % commission[Accesorios, Libros, Salud Y Belleza, Papeleria]

    Makes you want to learn to speak Spanish, right? :-)

    Walmart’s programs are available through the Rakuten Affiliate Network.

  7. Best Buy

    Best Buy claims to be the #1 retailer and most trafficked website for consumer electronics. Their commission rates vary between 0% of sale on Gift Cards, Warranties & Apple Tablets/Laptops/Desktops/iPhone Hardware/Watches, to 0.5% of sale on remaining laptops & tablets and 1% of sale on All Remaining Categories.

    You can also earn a $10 flat fee (bounty) on Geek Squad SKUs and a $5 flat fee for mobile plans.

    Best Buy’s affiliate program is on the the Rakuten Affiliate Network.


Amazon isn’t the only game in town when it comes to having millions of users just primed to buy the stuff you want to promote!!

Did you find this post informative and useful? If so, please share it with others! If you have a comment, question or suggestion, please leave a comment below!


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September 7th 2016 affiliate marketing, News

Understanding Affiliate Marketing Lingo (Glossary of Terms)

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I get a lot of newer, aspiring affiliates on the Sugarrae site and when you’ve never done affiliate marketing before, all of the terms can get a little confusing. So I created this glossary of affiliate marketing terms to help newer affiliates and bloggers understand the terminology used within the industry. Above the Fold The… Read More

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June 26th 2016 affiliate marketing

Affiliate Marketing in June: Dads and Grads

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Although the lazy days of the summer ‘sales slump’ are just about upon us come June, don’t give up your affiliate marketing efforts too soon.

June is the time to pick up revenue from Father’s Day, graduation season sales and other holidays.

Holiday Observances in June 2016 include:

  • 1 Dare Day
  • 1 Flip a Coin Day
  • 2 National Bubba Day
  • 2 National Rocky Road Day
  • 3 National Doughnut Day always the first Friday in June
  • 3 Repeat Day (I said “Repeat Day”)
  • 4 Applesauce Cake Day
  • 4 Hug Your Cat Day
  • 4 National Trails Day First Saturday in June
  • 4 Old Maid’s Day
  • 5 World Environment Day
  • 6 National Gardening Exercise Day- Get out and exercise with your plants.
  • 6 National Yo-Yo Day
  • 6 Ramadan – date varies
  • 7 National Chocolate Ice Cream Day
  • 8 Best Friends Day
  • 8 Name Your Poison Day
  • 9 Donald Duck Day
  • 10 Iced Tea Day
  • 11 National Corn on the Cob Day
  • 12 Red Rose Day
  • 13 Sewing Machine Day
  • 14 Flag Day
  • 15 Smile Power Day
  • 16 Fresh Veggies Day
  • TBD Nursing Assistants Day – First day of National Nursing Assistants Week
  • 17 Eat Your Vegetables Day
  • 18 Go Fishing Day
  • 18 International Panic Day
  • 18 International Picnic Day
  • 18 National Hollerin’ Contest Day – third Saturday in June
  • 18 National Splurge Day – Oh yeah!!
  • 18 World Juggler’s Day – Saturday closest to June 17th
  • 19 Father’s Day – third Sunday
  • 19 National Kissing Day
  • 19 World Sauntering Day
  • 20 Finally Summer Day- Summer Solstice, date varies
  • 20 Ice Cream Soda Day
  • 21 Go Skate Day
  • 21 International Yoga Day
  • 22 National Chocolate Eclair Day
  • 23 National Columnists Day
  • 23 National Pink Day
  • 24 Swim a Lap Day
  • 24 Take Your Dog to Work Day Friday after Father’s Day
  • 25 Log Cabin Day
  • 25 National Catfish Day
  • 26 Beautician’s Day
  • 26 Forgiveness Day
  • 27 Sun Glasses Day
  • 28 Insurance Awareness Day – Now who do you think invented that!?!
  • 28 Paul Bunyan Day
  • 29 Camera Day
  • 29 Hug Holiday
  • 29 Internatioal Mud Day
  • 29 Waffle Iron Day
  • 30 Meteor Day

From years past, here is a list of topic ideas and titles to consider in June:

  • Top gifts for Grads
  • Top gifts for Dads
  • (Merchant name) Offers Smart Gifts for Dads and Grads
  • Dads and Grads June Special
  • Celebrate Dads and Grads
  • Top Tech Gifts for Dads and Grads (or just Dad, or just Grads)
  • Top 10 (product) for College Students (think laptops, cellphones, etc.)
  • Top 10 Tools for Dad in 2011
  • 10 Excellent (product type) Gifts for Your Dad or Grad
  • Dad’s and Grad’s Gift Guide
  • Greener Gifts for Dads and Grads
  • Personalized Gifts for Dads and Grads
  • Unusual Gifts for Dads and Grads in (year)

My personal preference is always to promote the unusual as well as stuff folks really want, and here’s my list of gifts suggestions for Dads and Grads this year. :-)

  1. Microbrewed Beer Delivered Every Month
  2. Salsa of the Month Club
  3. Pizza of the Month Club
  4. Beer of the Month Club
  5. The Roll Up Drum Kit.
  6. BBQ Sauce of the Month Club
  7. Multiple-Gadget Charging Stations
  8. The Stainless Steel Wallet.
  9. Gaming Chairs
  10. Emergency Roadside Kits
  11. 1,000 Places to See Before You Die (I LOVE this book!)
  12. Fogless Shaving Mirrors
  13. MP3 Speakers & Docks
  14. Leatherman Multi-Tools
  15. BBQ Tools
  16. MBA Degree in a Box
  17. Life.doc: Your Life Buttoned Up
  18. MOVA Globe

OK, so maybe that’s MY list of wants. :-) Actually, I have the MOVA Clouds Satellite globe in my office and it’s too cool. It rotates without batteries or wires. Of course, it sits beside my Sony Digital Photo Frame that flashes pictures of all the places in the world that I’ve visited over the past half century (plus). :-)

Tips for Promoting Grads and Dads

Promote the 2 separately if your niche allows it. With different needs and interests, it’s best to target the markets separately.

In the USA, UK and Canada – Fathers’ Day is celebrated on the 3rd Sunday in June since being made a national holiday in 1966. In Australia and New Zealand, fathers are honored the first Sunday in September. Other countries celebrate fathers throughout the year.

Graduation ceremonies typically are held throughout the month of June in North America.

Make your blog and email subject lines enticing, i.e. “No shipping fees for Graduation gift purchases.” NOTE: Avoid the word “Free” in your subject line to make sure your message doesn’t get caught in a spam filter.

Speak to your potential buyers – not recipients. If you are addressing parents of graduates, avoid ‘hip’ terminology.

Present an array of options. If your niche is fishing, promote everything from cheaper lures to boats. Don’t underestimate the willingness of people to spend big money online.

In 2010, Internet Retailer reported that among the consumers celebrating Father’s Day:

  • 36% will spend less than $25 on a Father’s Day gift.
  • 27% will spend between $25 and $49.
  • 15% will spend between $50 and $74.
  • 22% will spend $75 or more.

The top three Father’s Day gifts are hobby-related items for golf, running and baseball (43%), entertainment gifts such as music, video games and movies (30%), and outdoor items such as barbecue tools (26%).

Last but not least, give your readers the option of purchasing a gift certificate, in case the buyer isn’t sure what the dad or grad will like.

Did you find this post informative and useful? If so, please share it with others! If you have a comment, question or suggestion, please leave a comment below!


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May 31st 2016 affiliate marketing

Affiliate Agreements: Make Sure You READ Them!

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Affiliate Agreements

Affiliate agreements are typically long-winded legal documents, often making them tedious and difficult to read, let alone understand (without multiple reads).

But as affiliate marketers, we must read and understand those agreements!

Case in point…

One afternoon about a year ago, I spent a couple of hours logging into affiliate accounts to look for products I hadn’t actively promoted in quite awhile.

One of those was A Foreign Affair, a dating site that I market on A Foreign Affair runs their own affiliate program, independent of affiliate networks.

Imagine my surprise when I saw that I had earned $5000 in commissions and that the money had been languishing in my account for a LONG time.

‘Finding’ $5000 was a very nice surprise, but it wouldn’t have been a surprise had I remembered this clause from their affiliate agreement / FAQ:


You can cash out your account at any time (minimum $50 due). Simply login to your affiliate interface and click on the cash out option and we will mail you a check normally within 3 business days. We can also pay by wire transfer and very soon will offer a PayPal payment option. It’s a simple process, and pays a generous commission – with LIFETIME PAYOUTS AND TRACKING!

Indeed, their Terms and Conditions specifies the same information:

Affiliate may make a request for pay out of commissions at any time regardless of the amount of commissions earned.

Sadly, most ‘surprises’ related to not reading (or forgetting) the terms of affiliate agreements aren’t very happy at all. Many of them can result in account closure and even commission forfeiture.

To avoid these nasty surprises, pay particular attention to the important clauses noted below.

Affiliate Agreements: Important Clauses to Note

Commission Structure

This is just a portion of Amazon’s associate agreement regarding Advertising Fees (section 7).

Qualifying Purchases exclude, and we will not pay advertising fees on any of, the following:

  • any Product that, after expiration of the applicable Session, is added to a customer’s Shopping Cart, is purchased by a customer via our 1-Click feature, or is streamed or downloaded by a customer, even if the customer previously followed a Special Link from your site to the Amazon Site;
  • any Product purchase that is not correctly tracked or reported because the links from your site to the Amazon Site are not properly formatted;
  • any Product purchased through a Special Link in a Mobile Application that was not an Approved Mobile Application or where the Special Link in an Approved Mobile Application was not served by the AMA API, Product Advertising API or other linking tools that we make available to you;
  • any Product purchased through a Special Link by you or on your behalf, including Products you purchase through Special Links for yourself, friends, relatives, or associates (e.g., personal orders, orders for your own use, and orders placed by you for or on behalf of any other person or entity);
  • any Product purchased through a Special Link that violates the terms of this Agreement;
  • any Product purchased for resale or commercial use of any kind;
  • any Product purchased after termination of this Operating Agreement;
  • any Product order that is canceled or returned; and
  • any Product purchased by a customer who is referred to the Amazon Site through any of the following:
    • a Prohibited Paid Search Placement; or
    • a link to the Amazon Site, including a Redirecting Link, that is generated or displayed on a Search Engine in response to a general Internet search query or keyword (i.e., in natural, free, organic, or unpaid search results), whether those links appear through your submission of data to that site or otherwise.

Did reading that make your head hurt?

Note that you need to know the terms Special Link, Prohibited Paid Search Placement and Qualifying Purchases, to fully understand that clause.

Here’s an example from Bing Ads. If you though you were getting paid for account signup leads, you’d be sadly disappointed.

Bing Ads Program Terms

Affiliate Payments

Many affiliate programs offer different payout options (as discussed in the opening paragraphs of this article). But did you know that accepting a particular type of payment could actually end up costing you money?

Here’s an example from the Amazon Associate’s Program agreement:

Payment by Check. If you select payment by check, we will send you a check in the amount of the advertising fees you earn, but we may accrue and withhold advertising fees until the total amount due to you is at least $100. We will deduct a processing fee in the amount of $15 from the advertising fees payable to you for each check we send to you.

In other words, opt for either direct deposit or an Amazon gift card!

At least Amazon gives their affiliates different payment options. I deal with one dating service that charges me $15 every time they do a direct deposit to my bank account. NOT nice!

Affiliate Site Content

Here are requirements posted in different affiliate agreements regarding what is, or is not, acceptable content on an affiliate site.

  • Any page that contains links, banners, or code must be written in English.
  • X-rated sites and sites that contain or promote sexually explicit materials; Sites that promote violence or discord; Sites that promote discrimination based on race, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; Sites that promote illegal activity, including hacking; or Sites that violate intellectual property rights.

Affiliate Links

Some affiliate programs do not allow URL shortening or redirected links by affiliates.

Affiliate Account Promotional Activity

Here is ShareaSale’s take on affiliate account activity (or lack thereof):

Affiliate accounts that are left inactive will be removed from our system if their balance is equal to or less than $25. If an abandoned affiliate account has a balance between $25 and $50, a $25 fee will be assessed once per calendar month, until the balance is equal to zero dollars – and is closed. At no time will an affiliate ever owe monies to, Inc. based on fees – the account will simply be closed. An abandoned affiliate account is defined as any account that has not been logged in to for a period of 6 months, nor have any transactions been posted to that account. If one or the other of those conditions are true – the account will remain in an active state.

Email Marketing

The first issue affiliate programs and network have with email marketing by affiliates, is SPAM. Every affiliate agreement I’ve ever read contains a warning about SPAM, similar to this one from JVZoo:

SPAM. SPAM, OR UNSOLICITED COMMERCIAL E-MAIL, IS ABSOLUTELY PROHIBITED. We will terminate Your Account and immediately dismiss you from the Affiliate Program if We determine that You have sent SPAM or Unsolicited Commercial E-mail, whether in connection with the Affiliate Program or otherwise, and You will not be entitled to any payment or reimbursement for funds remaining in Your PayPal Account. Further, You agree to comply with all U.S. state and federal SPAM laws, including, but not limited to, the Federal CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. You also agree to indemnify Us from any liability connected with SPAM or unsolicited e-mail transmissions by You or connected to You.

Programs vary in what they allow in terms of sending to a subscriber list. For example, Carbonite’s terms specify that “You may NOT send dedicated email blasts to contact lists unless you receive prior permission from the Carbonite Affiliate Program Manager” while 99Designs allows it provided the subscribers have opted into the list.

Search Engine Marketing

Here are 2 clauses from Carbonite related to HOW you may promote your affiliate merchants on the search engines.

  • Carbonite does NOT endorse the practice of optimizing for competitor keywords within natural search results (SEO) in order to mislead users into landing, either directly or via a redirect on the Carbonite signup page. Such promotional tactics will result in automatic reversal of commissions and immediate expiration from the Carbonite Affiliate Program.
  • You may NOT apply to register any domain name or trademark incorporating the Carbonite brand (or any part of it including misspellings as outlined in the Protected SEM Bidding Keywords section of this agreement) without Carbonite’s prior written consent.

Social Media Marketing

Most of my merchant partners do allow promotion of their products via social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), and some provide stipulations beyond just being ‘Allowed’. Indeed, the Amazon Associates program has a FAQ devoted entirely to acceptable Social Networking by its affiliates.

For example, Amazon places its social media affiliate link share buttons directly into the Site Stripe as shown in the graphic below.

Amazon Social Media Affiliate Links

Paid Search Placements

Here are some typical ‘do-nots’ regarding paid search placements.

  • You may NOT bid on any of our trademarked terms, including any variations or misspellings thereof for search or content based campaigns on Google, MSN, Yahoo, Facebook or any other network without prior written consent from the Carbonite Affiliate Program Manager.
  • You may not direct link to our website from any Pay Per Click ad or use redirects that yield the same result. Affiliate links must be directed to an actual page on your website.
  • Publishers may use “eHarmony” in ad copy, but you may not use “official site,” misleading information or derogatory information.

I hope this article has motivated you to start reading the agreements posted by your merchant partners. When you’ve done it often enough, you’ll know exactly what you’re looking for and they become a lot simpler to read.

Did you find this post about affiliate agreements informative and useful? If so, please share it with others! If you have a comment, question or suggestion, please leave a comment below!


P.S. This article is part of the Affiliate Marketing Mistakes series.

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May 23rd 2016 affiliate marketing

Affiliate Links Allowed Again on Pinterest

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Pinterest Affiliate Links

On May 12th, Pinterest announced that they will be allowing affiliate links on their site once again.

In the past, we removed affiliate links from Pinterest because spammers were abusing them. Now that our spam detection system is so much stronger, we’re ready to allow affiliate links again. To make way for these changes, we’re making minor updates to our acceptable use policy. We’ll start rolling out all affiliate networks today and over the coming weeks.

Read the full press release here.

Affiliate links were banned from the site back in February 2015, much to the dismay of bloggers and affiliate marketers who had concentrated their marketing efforts using Pinterest and suddenly lost their ability to generate revenue. When the ‘Power Pinners’ left, so did a good portion of Pinterest’s traffic.

Allowing affiliate links should motivate Power Pinners to return to the site — a win-win situation for both the pinners and Pinterest.

For more information on how to use Pinterest, see their acceptable use policy.

Will you be monetizing with Pinterest? Let us know by leaving a comment below!


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May 21st 2016 affiliate marketing

How to Cloak Affiliate Links (& Why You Should)

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I always run my affiliate links through redirects – also referred to as cloaking affiliate links – for several reasons: Running them through my redirects means I have a click count to match up to the one the merchant is reporting. Affiliate links are usually ugly and impossible to remember without doing a copy/paste. Redirects… Read More

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May 4th 2016 affiliate marketing

Affiliate Marketing Mistake #10: Not Paying Attention to Affiliate Program Emails

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Over the past almost 20 years, I’ve used a multitude of different email addresses to sign up for affiliate programs and affiliate networks.

In 1997, I used the address linked to my first Internet service provider, which became unusable when I left Prince George, B.C. a couple of years later and signed up with a new provider in Calgary, Alberta.

I then picked up an online email account with Bigfoot because I was traveling a lot and could access it anywhere at anytime. However, their service went by the wayside pretty darned quickly. Fortunately, I hadn’t signed up for many affiliate programs or networks, so changing the email address on those accounts wasn’t too tedious.

Not long afterward I started using CPanel, and got the bright idea to use a different email address for each affiliate program, i.e., and so forth.

That setup worked especially well while I was using Eudora, a computer-based email client. I created separate mailboxes for each program, which would ‘light up’ when a new email had arrived.

Sadly, Eudora went the way of the dodo, and I signed up for my Gmail account which I’ve now had for over a decade.

It took awhile to change all those email addresses to my Gmail account email address.

Then, during one of my server moves, I decided to ‘clean up’ the ‘extraneous stuff’ on the server and deleted most of those forwarding email addresses.

BIG mistake.

When you are working with a lot of programs and different networks, you might not notice if you don’t receive an email from one of them for awhile — months even. This is especially true if you don’t do much business with a particular program and don’t check your stats regularly.

And when you’re not receiving the affiliate program emails, you might miss one or more that can affect your affiliate relationship status with that program… to the point of termination.

Imagine the surprise / shock when you finally log in to an affiliate account that you’ve had for years and read a statement:

“This account is closed and will not generate referrals. Access to this site is for historical purposes only.”

Yup, that’s what happened to my Amazon account.


Apparently, back in October 2015, the Amazon Associates Program sent out a number of emails requesting affiliates to confirm that they were in compliance with Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which is mandatory for participation in the Amazon Associates Program.

I didn’t get those emails, so my Amazon Associates Program account was closed on November 1, 2015, which I didn’t know, because I still wasn’t getting any email from the Amazon Associates program.

Between then and now, I created a number of affiliate links to various products on Amazon, such as books I was reading and products I’d purchased and did NOT see a notice that those referrals wouldn’t generate commissions. Their bad.

It was only when I went into the associates program interface that I say the notification about the account being closed.

I sent a few queries through the a portal asking why the account had been closed – with no reply. It was only when I phoned that I got some answers and action.

Unfortunately, the original account couldn’t be re-instated, so I had to re-apply for a new account (and a new ID) in order to participate in the Amazon Associates Program again.

And THAT is why I spent my weekend changing links…

TWO Moral to this story:

  1. Use ONE email address for your affiliate programs and affiliate network sign ups.
  2. READ the emails those affiliate programs and affiliate networks send!!

Did you find this post informative and useful? If so, please share it with others! If you have a comment, question or suggestion, please leave a comment below!


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May 1st 2016 affiliate marketing

Affiliate Marketing Mistake #9: Being Afraid of Email Marketing

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9How many emails do you get everyday day by result of having signed up for newsletters about topics in which you are interested?

Ten, 20, 50… 100? (I get WAY more than 100).

Are you often curious enough about the topic discussed in certain emails to click the link and visit the website?

If you answered “yes” to the last question, you already KNOW that email marketing works.

I KNOW it works too, because I click many of those links everyday and while I may not buy anything, I learn LOTS and may purchase something from/through those people at a later date.

Why then, haven’t you tried email marketing in your own affiliate marketing business?

Having taught tens of thousands of people about affiliate marketing, getting involved with email marketing seems to be a sticking point for a lot of people.

They’re willing to go to all the effort of building a website, blogging regularly about a topic and promoting products on their website – but for some reason or another, they won’t build a list of potential customers whom they can contact regularly.

YES, as an affiliate marketer with decades of experience, that reluctance baffles my brain considerably. :-)

Let’s consider some the reasons why one might be afraid to start email marketing.

  1. Email Marketing is Spamming and You’ll Get in Trouble

    This is SUCH wrong thinking!

    Whichever autoresponder service you choose will encourage you to set up your lead capture form in such a way that subscribers must double opt-in, meaning that once they sign up on your blog, they receive an email to which they must respond, therefore confirming their desire to receive the emails.

    Here’s the standard set-up form…

    Email Marketing Confirmed Opt-in

    Your subscriber clicks the link in that email and afterwards can’t complain of having received spam.

    Oh, they might try, but you have PROOF that they elected to receive the newsletter, so you’re on the good side of the CAN-SPAM law. :-)

    Granted, if you provide great information every time you send them an email, they’ll NEVER mark your emails as spam.

  2. Email Marketing is Too Much Work

    If spending 15 minutes once to setup a ‘blog broadcast’ that delivers an email to your subscribers every time you post an article to your blog is too much work, then maybe you shouldn’t be doing business online.

    Granted, I spend about 15 minutes each time I write an article to craft an email newsletter for my subscribers that looks a little better than what the automated blog broadcast sends out.

    Fifteen minutes isn’t too big a drain either, considering you set up a template once and can use it over and over and over again.

    Here’s the template for the email I set up in my autoresponder to send out to my subscribers for THIS article.


    I’ve used the simplest template available (Plain) and made it left-aligned.

    The Footer was set up long ago and repeats itself in every email I send. So, in effect, I’ve only had to write the first four lines of the email, add a link to the new article and Poof! my work is finished.

    Considering you’re probably smarter than I am, it’ll only take you 5 minutes to write those 4 lines.

  3. Email Marketing is Too Expensive

    I’ve used Aweber’s autoresponder service for almost 2 decades and believe me, the benefits (pay back) of using an autoresponder service FAR outweigh the costs.

    Aweber offers a free trial on each of its package plans, and then depending on whether you choose a monthly, quarterly or yearly plan, their service costs $19 per month, $49 per month or $194 annually.

    Seriously, for less than $200 per year, you get unlimited emails, integration, segmentation and a lot of other bells and whistles.

    Cost is NOT a reason to be afraid of email marketing.

    Email Marketing is Worth its Work in Gold

    Let’s do a little math on the potential returns for investing a little bit of time and money in email marketing…
    Let’s say you have 1,000 subscribers.

    When you send them an email informing them of your latest article, 80% of them look at the email and 50% click through to your blog.

    Of the 50% (500) who click through to your blog, 5% (25) of them buy the product that you are promoting which costs $100 and earns you a commission of 25%.

    DO the math.

    25 X $25 = $725.

    SEVEN HUNDRED and TWENTY-FIVE bucks for sending out ONE email and my estimates are conservative based on my experience.

    That MORE than pays for your annual subscription to Aweber and leaves you with more than $500 in the kitty.

SO… the question remains… WHY are you NOT email marketing?

Autoresponder Providers

I’ve listed Aweber as my provider of preference, but here is a list of autoresponder services if you’d like to look at more options…

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The post Affiliate Marketing Mistake #9: Being Afraid of Email Marketing appeared first on

April 24th 2016 affiliate marketing

How to Create a Clickable Affiliate Ad as a Backup for an AdSense Unit

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Sometimes an AdSense unit won’t display an ad to a user for whatever reason. When an AdSense unit doesn’t show an ad, it leaves an odd amount of space within the content, and reduces my ability to monetize those pages – and I find that unacceptable. This used to be a much more significant problem,… Read More

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April 5th 2016 affiliate marketing