LeechBlock - FireFox Plugin to Keep You On Task

Written by The Shops at 24Seven on Monday, December 08, 2008

In a post from a few months ago titled, Start Working...Stop Checking Your Stats I talked about 7 time wasters that keep us from staying focused on growing our affiliate business. Most of the time it's our web surfing that keeps us off task.

If you use Firefox, I recently discovered a Plugin called LeechBlock. I'll let them explain what it is:

LeechBlock is a simple productivity tool designed to block those time-wasting sites that can suck the life out of your working day. All you need to do is specify which sites to block and when to block them.
Bottom line, if your one who is always wondering away from your work, you need this.

Frustrated with Affiliate Marketing?

Written by The Shops at 24Seven on Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Josh at ScrappyBusiness.com had a great post last week about being frustrated with affiliate marketing. I like his punch in the gut approach. To summarize in 2 words...work hard. I'm tired of the "get rich quick" lies around the web marketing world.

Josh outlines 11 princples to approach your affiliate marketing plan. I'll quickly summarize, but it'd be better to head over there and read it for yourself.

  1. Write out your financial goals.
  2. Write out a game plan.
  3. Figure out what your good at and love to talk about.
  4. Know what your plans of action are.
  5. Know what your offers are.
  6. Get your butt to work.
  7. Manage your time properly.
  8. Fail.
  9. Set a goal with deadlines.
  10. Optimize like crazy.
  11. Keep educating yourself.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Written by The Shops at 24Seven on Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Affiliates - Wanted to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving! I've got 12 family members sleeping at the house, plus our 5 for a total of 18 people. It's fun, but gets a little crazy at times.

Real quick, I've setup a 1-Day coupon code for Cyber Monday. For CornerStorkBabyGifts.com affiliates, promote the code CYBER and your users will save 15% off anything in the store. We've never had a coupon this low and IT WILL expire come Tuesday.

Lastly, wanted to quickly pass on some helpful info for you all that I came across. The Freebie Blogger has a nice list of some free Black Friday stuff.

- Jason

Facebook vs. MySpace

Written by The Shops at 24Seven on Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Using Google Trends you can see that Facebook (blue) continues to grow, leaving MySpace (red) in it's dust.

From an Internet Marketers perspective there are two things I want to share from this.

  1. Did you know you can advertise on Facebook? I've heard some marketers that have had some nice success with it too. Since all the ads are behind a login and Facebook users basically share all kinds of information about themselves, you can create campaigns targeting by gender, age and location.
  2. The constant growth of Facebook shows just how social the web has become. Is your website adjusting to this change? I discovered a great tool last week that allows your visitors to leave reviews (comments and ratings) for any page/product on you website. It's called JS-Kit and the best part is that it's completely free! I've tested it and love it. It adds a whole new social element to your site, giving your visitors a reason to come back.

The Art of a Targeted Click

Written by The Shops at 24Seven on Friday, October 03, 2008

A visitor to your site should be handled with care. Your visitors are busy people and they’ve trusted your site with their precious time. Ultimately, in our affiliate minds, we hope that visitor translates into either some sort of commission for you or becomes a repeat visitor. There is a wrong way and right way to handle your visitors.

When your visitors click on your affiliate link you want it to be as targeted and of the highest quality (best position to convert). Don’t make the mistake of quickly sending your visitors off to another site in hopes they convert. That’s the equivalent of crossing your fingers, hoping your business succeeds. I understand that many affiliates have the mentality of "if I can just get them to click on my affiliate links as much as possible, the sales will come." That is the wrong approach.

It is best to keep your visitors on your site if they are not going to convert. Why give away free clicks to a merchant so they can brand their sites name into the head of YOUR visitor? Foolishness! Your great content (which you do have, right?) is better used by branding that visitor with your site. You want visitors to return to your site in the future and if you just send them quickly off to an affiliate offer, your site is just a blur in their experience.

Are we clear? Now, here is want you want to do. On your product or money pages you want to qualify that click before sending them off. How is this done?

One of our affiliates, favorideas.com, is a pro at this. Take a look at this product page for one of our wedding favors.


See the button she uses? It says Buy Now. Not click here for more information, not shop now. She is telling the customer what to do. Want to buy this now? If so, this is what you need to click. They know the price and have seen the product. The obvious next step is to buy it. If the user is just browsing then they won’t click and will stay on her site. Again, you don’t want YOUR visitor browsing someone else’s site. Browsers don’t buy. Browsers build up ideas in their heads. If they find a good one, you want them to remember YOUR site so that they return later to buy it through you.

One last thing FavorIdeas.com does. When you click the Buy Now button is opens the site in a new window. This is also a great strategy because if the visitor doesn’t like what they see after the click, her site is still viewable. Yet, the affiliate cookie is still set so even if they do go back to the merchant's site, she will still get the commission.

Now go...and make your business better.

Top 10 Wedding Favors for Fall Season

Written by The Shops at 24Seven on Thursday, September 25, 2008

MyWeddingFavors.com - With fall in the air, brides are planning their fall weddings and ordering their fall wedding favors. Here has been our top 10 best selling products for the month of September.

  1. Good Wishes Pearlized Photo Coasters
  2. "Turning Leaves" Bookmark with Burgundy Silk Tassel
  3. "Love Beyond Measure" Measuring Tape Keychain in Sheer Organza Bag
  4. "Memories" Guest Photo Album Favors - Pressed Leaves
  5. LOVE Glass Coaster Set with Free Personalized Tag
  6. Personalized Mini Hershey Bars
  7. Personalized Shot Glass
  8. "Hugs & Kisses From Mr. and Mrs.!" Scented Soaps
  9. Monogram Chocolates in Color
  10. Forever Photo Glass Coasters

Baby Shower Favors Video

Written by The Shops at 24Seven on Wednesday, September 24, 2008

We've just finished up with our latest video dedicated to baby shower favors. Our affiliates can now feature these videos as ad units and earn commissons on any sales. Below is the video you can feature as either a My Wedding Favors affiliate or a Corner Stork Baby Gifts affiliate.

For the affiliate network ID you'll put in your CJ PID.


MyWeddingFavors (Commission Junction)

CornerStorkBabyGifts(Commission Junction)

New Winter Wedding Favors

Written by The Shops at 24Seven on Wednesday, September 10, 2008

MyWeddingFavors.com - We recently launched 3 new winter wedding favors. With winter weddings being planned now, brides will be looking for these unique favors.

"Snowflake" Bookmark with
Silver Finish and Elegant
Ice-Blue Tassel

"Embossed Elegance"
Snowflake Favor Box
(Set of 24)

"Snow Flurry" Flocked Glass
Ornament Place
Card/Photo Holder

These winter wedding favors are also available on Favor Affair and can promoted as winter party favors or Christmas party favors.

Desktop Computer for $229

Written by The Shops at 24Seven on Tuesday, September 09, 2008

I've never pushed products on here as that is not the reason for this blog. However, I do care about the businesses of our affiliates and so I pass on this great deal I found this morning. I'm a big fan of Tiger Direct. This morning I received one of their e-mails and it was promoting a desktop computer for $229. I immediately picked one up for myself and wanted to share the deal with our affiliates. I don't think I've ever seen a computer that cheap with that many features.

This system comes with an Intel Pentium Dual Core E2160 dual-core 1.8GHz 64-bit processor, 1GB of memory, a 320GB hard drive, a DVDRW burner with Lightscribe, and 250 watt power supply. All running on Windows Vista Home Premium.

Here is the offer page (no, that is not an affiliate link). The system is refurbished, but that's never bothered me. Many times those guys that refurbish things put it together better than the manufacturer.

Using Your Keywords In Your Pagenames

Written by The Shops at 24Seven on Thursday, August 21, 2008

While at Affiliate Summit, one of the better sessions was by Wil Reynolds. Wil is an SEO guru and openly provides tips to better your search engine ranking. I HIGHLY recommend you watch his videos on YouTube. I've included a short one below where Wil talks about a strategy of naming your pages with the keywords you are trying to target.

We use this technique alot here. If you look at our domain names, our top keywords are in our domains.


We do the same thing with our category pages. You'll see what our targeted keywords are for these pages.


Here is Wil's opinion on this technique.

Meet With Me at Affiliate Summit East

Written by The Shops at 24Seven on Wednesday, August 06, 2008

This weekend I will be in Boston at Affiliate Summit East. Any Shops at 24Seven affiliate that will be at the conference and would like to meet up, I'd love to sit down and share some ideas and internet marketing advice with you. E-mail me by Friday afternoon and I can schedule something with you.

-Jason Forthofer

Start Working...Stop Checking Your Stats

Written by The Shops at 24Seven on Thursday, July 31, 2008

This post was inspired by Zac Johnson who wrote a great post today on a similiar topic. To often we spend to much of our time logging into CJ, ShareASale and LinkShare seeing if we got any sales. Then you see that your balance went up and you check out where the sale came from. Now, off to see what other merchants generated a click yesterday. And we do this for all the affiliate networks we promote. Whew! An hour has gone by...

Now, don't get me wrong, reporting and analysis is critical in affiliate marketing, but...

too often we are wasting too much of our time logged into the network and not enough time working on projects.

Now, these next set of rules may seem a little hardcore for some, but I guarantee you, that if followed, you will get more work done and more commissions earned.

  1. No TV watching. The biggest no-no in affiliate marketing. You will get distracted.
  2. Turn off your IM. When your focused on a project, this is nothing but a distraction.
  3. In line with #2, no replying to emails, especially that one from mom. Get to work, this isn't social hour!
  4. No Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or other social time-waster. No matter how much you've convinced yourself that your "networking", they are called social tools for a reason. If you must be social go Digg, Stumble, Reddit, Mixx and Propel your money pages.
  5. Close iTunes or at least start your play list and minimize it for the next few hours. I'll admit, I can throw on some tunes and get into a great work groove.
  6. No Googling...unless it's essential to your project. Googling only leads to surfing unrelated to your project.
  7. No phone calls. You have an answering machine right? You'll be OK, they can wait.

Don't get me wrong, some of the above activities are business related. But when your focused on getting a project done, they ARE distractions. You'll be amazed by how much you can get done in a few hours by minimizing distractions and focusing completely on your goal.

Favor Affair Re-Design Launched

Written by The Shops at 24Seven on Wednesday, July 23, 2008

FavorAffair.com - Yesterday we launched our new design for Favor Affair. Our designers did a great job, a vast improvement over the previous look. We wanted to give the site more of a party feel and I think we accomplished that. Check it out and let us know what you think.

We expect the new design to improve our conversion rates, which of course, means more commissions for our affiliates!

What Is EPC?

Written by The Shops at 24Seven on Friday, July 18, 2008

When evaluating an affiliate program it is always important to look at the merchants EPC. EPC in a nutshell is Earnings Per 100 Clicks. Here’s an example of what your EPC would be if you earned $150 in commissions off of 767 clicks.

EPC = (Commissions/Clicks) x 100

EPC = ($150/767) x 100

EPC = $19.56

What does an EPC of $20 tell you? Well, on average, affiliates earn $20 in commissions for every 100 clicks they send that merchant. If you divide this $20 EPC by 100 you’ll see that comes out to $.20 per click. This is a very helpful indicator to use when deciding whether to promote an affiliate program or run Google Adsense. Interestingly, many website owners think they are earning the most they can by just using Google Adsense. However, if they were to actually test Adsense next to a strong converting affiliate program, they would earn more by promoting the affiliate program.

I’ve found the main reason website owners like Google Adsense is because they make at least a little money every day, even if it’s $0.20. They tell me, they can count on it. Maybe so, but they are losing money. They can’t stomach not seeing any commissions for 10 days or sometimes more. We have one affiliate that was hesitant about promoting our program. They were using Adsense but agreed to test out one of our links also. For a month or so they didn’t see any sales come in. But they didn’t give up. Just a few weeks ago they generated a $632 sale for a commission of $102!

Why wouldn’t I just promote the programs with the highest EPC?

Great question. Too many times affiliates make the mistake of just promoting the programs with high EPCs. A high EPC usually means, the merchant pays well, but in a very competitive industry. The cost to promote their products is much higher than the programs with a lower EPC. Most of the programs with EPCs above $80 in Commission Junction fall into 2 categories. Web hosting and Insurance. Very competitive markets, very expensive to promote.

30-Day EPC vs. 7-Day EPC

What does this mean? It’s pretty simple. The 30-Day EPC is what affiliates average EPC is in the last 30 days. Therefore, the 7-Day EPC is what they average within the last week. Currently, in ShareASale the My Wedding Favors programs has a 30-Day EPC of $34.11 and 7-Day EPC of $38.55. Why the difference? It’s not always easy to say, but last week wedding season began its peak season.

EPCs Can Be Misleading

While an EPC is a good indication of a program, it is not a great indication. In some cases an EPC can be a skewed number. Here are some reasons:

  1. A program can have an EPC of $5 (not too great). However, it could be low only because one of their affiliates is sending a bunch of garbage traffic to them. They could be launching that merchants site as a popunder. Those clicks would still be calculated in the overall EPC, even though all their other affiliates have an EPC around $15. But you’ll never see the $15 EPC, only the $5 EPC.
  2. An EPC can also be inflated. A merchant can have a great affiliate who drives 80% of that merchants business. That particular affiliate could have an EPC of $50, while all the other affiliates are more in the range of $12. However, since most of the clicks are coming from this large affiliate, their EPC will be closer to $40.
  3. Lastly, an EPC can be inaccurate, typically lower, only because they do not yet have many affiliates promoting them. And the ones that do, are not very good at it.
To Conclude

It’s always better to test for yourself. What converts on your site may not convert as well for someone else. EPC should only be used to eliminate a really weak candidate. If you want to promote wedding favors and the My Wedding Favors EPC is $14.72, while another WeddingFavorXYZ has an EPC of $1.50, that’s a no-brainer!

Affiliate Marketing Mistakes I Still Make

Written by The Shops at 24Seven on Friday, July 11, 2008

Paul Bourque at UberAffiliate had a good post recently titled, Affiliate Marketing Mistakes I Still Make that is worth the read and reminders. Paul has quickly become a young super affiliate at age 19! I suggest reading the full post, but here is a quick summary.

  1. Getting distracted
  2. Focusing on too many campaigns at once
  3. Laziness
  4. Not using Yahoo/MSN for PPC
  5. Not split-testing

New Fall Wedding Favors

Written by The Shops at 24Seven on Thursday, June 26, 2008

MyWeddingFavors.com - Yesterday we launched five new fall wedding favors for the upcoming season. These are all in the datafeeds and available as product links within your network.

Miniature Gold Chair
Favor Box

"Autumn Branches"
Bronze-Finish Photo
Place Card Holder

"Autumn Elegance"
Laser-Cut Fall Leaf
Favor Box

"Lustrous Leaf" Copper-Finish
Bottle Stopper

"Fall in Love" Scented
Leaf-Shaped Soaps

Commission Junction Firefox Extension

Written by The Shops at 24Seven on Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Do you use Firefox? If so, and you're a Commission Junction publisher, you'll want to install this nifty little extension that displays your CJ balance at the bottom of your browsers status bar. Rad! No more logging in 25 times a day to see how much money you have (or haven't) made.

Free Affiliate Marketing Magazine

Written by The Shops at 24Seven on Friday, June 13, 2008

FeedFront is the newly released official magazine of Affiliate Summit. FeedFront is the work Shawn Collins of Affiliate Tip and Co-Editor Missy Ward. It is dedicated to bringing ideas, resources, and opinions from Internet marketing innovators to you before your next project or venture. The coolest part, right now you can get a free one-year subscription.

Can't wait to get your first issues in the mail? Click the cover below to download the PDF version.

ShoeMoney on Becoming A Super Affiliate

Written by The Shops at 24Seven on Thursday, June 12, 2008

I wanted to pass on this short video from Jeremy Schoemaker who gives some good advice on how to become a super affiliate. It's something you've probably heard, but it's a nice reminder and worth more to hear it from someone who actually IS a super affiliate.


New Summer Coupons for The Shops at 24Seven

Written by The Shops at 24Seven on Tuesday, June 03, 2008

With summer in full swing, we just released our seasonal coupon codes for each of our shops. Summer is the peak season for both weddings and births, so be sure to pass on these savings to your visitors.

FavorAffair.comSUMMER7Save 7% on our party favors by entering SUMMER7 at checkout. (Order minimum $120)
MyWeddingFavors.comSUMMER7Save 7% on our summer wedding favors by entering SUMMER7 at checkout. (Order minimum $120)
CornerStorkBabyGifts.comSUMMER7Save 7% on our baby gifts by entering SUMMER7 at checkout. (Order minimum $100)

The links for these coupons are also available from within your network.

Balancing Life and Affiliate Marketing

Written by The Shops at 24Seven on Thursday, May 29, 2008

Most of us don’t have the luxury of working in our PJ’s on our affiliate marketing efforts. Usually, it is a side business that provides some nice supplemental income. Or in many cases, your working hard for very little. Whatever the case, it can be a challenge balancing your everyday life with affiliate marketing.

Though I am an Affiliate Manager by day, I dabble as an affiliate marketer by night. Here is what I do. I have a huge white board in my office with all of my current projects and tasks listed. I try to create one new site per month. For you, it may be one new site per quarter. My whiteboard currently has this written on it:

GetFootballHelmets.com – May Project

The entire month of May I am focused only on getting this site finished. Would I love to get more done? YES! But I’m married with 3 kids. At the end of the day it’s more important that I remain a good husband and father than it is getting one more website done. So, I set a reasonable goal I know I can accomplish.

Some months, my project will be to tweak all of my completed sites. By tweaking I mean making the sites better. Over time your site collects data that you need to be looking at. Does it convert well? If not, then tweak the design, layout, products offered, logo, etc…I also spending this time working on the SEO for each site. This is extremely important. If you not doing SEO, then you probably have no traffic. This is why every 3 or 4 months I just focus on “tweaking”. For more on this check out this post.

A few suggestions to keep the balance:

  • Dedicate one hour per night to your site(s). Give it your full attention. Turn off the television, radio and iTunes.
  • Dedicate one hour per week to educating yourself. Expand your knowledge, this industry is always changing. Read blogs, articles, books, etc…
  • Keep to your time limits. It’s easy to get into a groove and lose track of time. I’m all for staying in a groove, just remember…balance. Sometimes staying in a groove too long will put you in the doghouse.
  • Work smarter. An hour goes by fast. Don’t waste your time doing things that have no impact on finishing your project.
  • Tunnel vision. Whatever your objective is for this month, work only on that. This is very hard to do. I always get caught up reading my e-mail or a blog too long.
  • Keep your computer running fast. If your having to constantly wait for things to load, then you’re really only getting 45 minutes worth of work done in your hour.
  • Plan a boot camp. These are weeks or nights when you commit your entire time to finishing up that project. Warn the family, stay up till 3am, whatever it takes! Then do the following.
  • Take a break. Sometimes you just need to step away and refuel and unwind.

Balance is important. Affiliate marketing will always be there for you, your time with friends & family will not.

How To Get More Visitors To Your Website

Written by The Shops at 24Seven on Wednesday, May 21, 2008

If you’re a Shops at 24Seven affiliate I wanted to share with you a great idea. Recently, I shared with one of our affiliates, ForBrideandBaby.com, an easy way to grow their e-mail subscriber list. After they took my advice, within a few weeks she added over 1,000 new subscribers. Here is how you do it.

  1. Run a sweepstakes. Give something away that a bride-to-be would want. It doesn’t have to be all that expensive, something like a $20 gift card.
  2. Post your sweepstakes for free at Online-Sweepstakes.com. To enter your giveaway, users will need to signup for your newsletter/e-mail. You just got thousands of visitors to your website.
  3. Because of the huge popularity of this site, you will get over 500 signups within a week or so. Offer something more attractive and you’ll get more signups.
  4. It’s that simple. Don’t abuse the system. Make sure you post who your winners are, ship out your prizes, provide an opt-out, define eligibility requirements (US residents only) etc…
  5. $20 = 500 signups. Hmmm. That’s $.04 per signup. Now you have 500+ people receiving e-mail from you (don't spam or they will opt-out) that you can use to promote our party favors, baby gifts and wedding favors.
Some may say that the quality of the signup is not that great. I would not agree with that. These people will be checking their e-mails to see if they have won anything so I’d guess your open rate would be pretty good. From my experience, I gave away 5 prizes using this method and all five of the winners responded within 2 hours from being notified.

The Bigger Picture: Now that they are a regular subscriber, you’ll want to e-mail them some coupon codes to My Wedding Favors or Favor Affair. You may even want to run a giveaway every few weeks or so and continue to post your sweepstakes on related websites.

Bookmark and Share

Top 10 Best Selling Wedding Favors

Written by The Shops at 24Seven on Tuesday, May 20, 2008

MyWeddingFavors - With wedding season at full throttle I wanted to share the top 10 best sellers for the last 30 days. These are the favors you'll want to promote through direct product links. We continue to notice that brides prefer wedding favors that their guests can use after the wedding day.

  1. LOVE Glass Coaster Set with Free Personalized Tag
  2. Luminous Mini-Lanterns
  3. Good Wishes Pearlized Photo Coasters
  4. Personalized Shot Glass
  5. Beautifully Beaded Photo Frame and Placeholder
  6. "Love Beyond Measure" Heart Measuring Spoons with Free Personalized Tag
  7. Calla Lily Elegance Vase Shaped Candle
  8. "Our Love Grows!" Flower Seed Packet
  9. Forever Photo Glass Coasters
  10. 'Mint to Be' Bride and Groom Slide Mint tins w/ Heart Mints

Top 10 Best Selling Baby Gifts

Written by The Shops at 24Seven on Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Here is the list for our top selling baby gifts in the past 30 days.

  1. "Five Little Monkeys" Five-Piece Gift Set in Keepsake Basket
  2. "Different - Just Like Me" Custom-Made Personalized Infant Bodysuit
  3. "Welcome to the World" Pink Baby Wagon - Ten-Piece Gift Set
  4. Tillie the Turtle - Four-Piece Hat Box Bath Time Gift Set
  5. Bailey the Bunny Cashmere Soft Booster Pillow and Growth Chart Gift Set
  6. "Mother Goose" 7 Piece Gift Set with Plush Nursery-Rhyme Buddies and Books
  7. Slumber Bear with Silkie - Plush Toy, Blankie and Audio Pacifier Set
  8. "JoJo Giraffe" Blanket and Plush Gift Set with Keepsake Box
  9. Dilly the Duck Cashmere Soft Booster Pillow and Growth Chart Gift Set
  10. "Pig in a Blanket" Two-Piece Gift Set in Adorable Vintage-Inspired Gift Box

All of these products are available as links within your affiliate network. They are also available to feature in your storefronts in PopShops.

Top 10 Best Selling Baby Shower Favors

Written by The Shops at 24Seven on Monday, May 12, 2008

Our baby shower favors continue to sell like crazy. Here is the top 10 best sellers from the last 30 days. The first two are really hot. It drops off a little after those top 2.

  1. "World's Gratest Mom" Cheese Grater in Gift Box with Organza Bow
  2. "Heaven Scent" Baby Powder Fresh Frosted Glass Votive
  3. A Star Is Born Starfish Soap with Gift Box
  4. "A Star is Born" Star-Shaped Cookie Cutters with Gift Box and Organza Bow
  5. "Over the Moon" Vintage Moon Bookmark with Tassel in Nursery Rhyme Keepsake Book Box
  6. "A Star is Born" Bottle Stopper in Adorable Showcase Display Box
  7. "Bun in the Oven" Scented Candle (Set of 4)
  8. Polka Dots Manicure Set
  9. "Baby is Brewing" Coffee Cup Mini-Candle
  10. "New Beginnings" Glass Photo Coasters in Charming Pram Box

IDEA: If you have a baby shower related site/blog use this top 10 list to create a storefront. You can create a storefront using our PopShops service (Commission Junction - ShareASale) or pull the products from within your network.

How Do I Grow My Affiliate Marketing Business?

Written by The Shops at 24Seven on Wednesday, May 07, 2008

On Monday I had one of my posts featured on Jangro.com. While I was writing it, I had all of our Shops at 24Seven affiliates in mind. Please read.

Product Videos for My Wedding Favors

Written by The Shops at 24Seven on Thursday, May 01, 2008

MyWeddingFavors.com - Today we've launched our product video widget for all Commission Junction affiliates. The videos feature 10 of our top products complete with voice over and a buy now button embedded with your affiliate link. Get your video code.

Here is a screenshot of the product video for our Prince Charming Tea Light in Castle:

You'll notice below our logo their is a link to our latest coupon. This also is embedded with your affiliate link.

A Great Way to Use PopShops

Written by The Shops at 24Seven on Tuesday, April 29, 2008

MyWeddingFavors.com - I discovered one of our affiliates today that was using our PopShops feed perfectly. They have a page dedicated to Calla Lily Wedding Favors and I love how they have layed out this page and then feature all of our Calla lily favors. Check out the MyWedding Favors PopShops service: CJ - ShareASale

Using Squidoo for Affiliate Marketing

Written by The Shops at 24Seven on Thursday, April 24, 2008

Do you Squidoo?

If you’re not already aware, Squidoo can be used as a great affiliate marketing tool. Squidoo users create what they call a lens (clever word for web-page) about a particular topic. A Squidoo lens is usually about a very specific topic such as funky laptop bags or Monty Python. One MyWeddingFavors.com affiliate has a great Squidoo lens on Beach Weddings.

The cool thing for you, the affiliate, is they allow you to link over to related offers using your affiliate links. Before you jump over and start creating your first lens, read these tips.

  • Don’t spam. We all hate it and your visitors will too. Create a lens that is first, informative and engaging. Now, compliment it with a few (did you get that? A FEW) strategic affiliate links. Don’t be a SquidSpammer.
  • Be specific. Don’t create a lens on weddings. Their is probably already thousands of those already. You can build hundreds of lenses so create a few that are targeted. My suggestions…create one about twin babies, baby shower cakes or spring weddings.
  • A Squidoo lens can get great search engine ranking. A google search for cool laptop bags will find a Squidoo lens in the # 1 spot. So, when creating your lens, do it in a way that optimizes it best for the search engines. Remember to link to your lenses from your website.
  • Have fun and be realistic! Creating a successful Squidoo lens isn’t going to allow you to quit your day job. However, over time a constant stream of lens can compliment your overall business income nicely. And remember, link back to your website from within your lens.

Still confused? No worries. Squidoo has a learning center that walks you through the whole process, SquidU.

-Jason Forthofer

Subtle Sells

Written by The Shops at 24Seven on Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What is the definition of subtle? According to answers.com here are a few:

  1. So slight as to be difficult to detect or describe; elusive:
  2. Characterized by skill or ingenuity;

Many times I hear potential affiliates say, “I don’t do affiliate programs because I don’t want to fill my blog or website with ads.” I couldn’t agree more with them. I own a few sites myself and feel a site with banner ads all over is just too loud. However, I think staying away from affiliate programs all together for that reason is a mistake. Why? One reason. Text links.

Banner ads come off as advertising (imagine that), while text links more of a recommendation. Thus…SUBTLE SELLS (unless you write it in all caps). If your site is content rich, try finding keywords in your articles that you can link to relevant affiliate products. See how that’s done:-) A visitor that is taking the time to read an article on your site is displaying a trust in you. How? Well, they are displaying enought trust in you by the fact that they are going to spend 5-10 minutes of their time reading your article(s). A subtle and strategically placed affiliate link can convert as well and many times better than a loud banner ad.

The Best Kind of Affiliate Link

Written by The Shops at 24Seven on Wednesday, April 23, 2008

As an affiliate, what is the best kind of link to use?

What a question. If more affiliates would listen to the answer of this question, they would make much more in commissions. I have nothing to back this claim up, but I would guarantee that hundreds of millions of affiliate commissions go unearned every year because the wrong kind of links are used.

The Answer
I did an analysis on our two sites (MyWeddingFavors.com, CornerStorkBabyGifts.com) and here were the conclusions I discovered. All of these conclusions are based on year-to-date.


  • For MyWeddingFavors.com, 7 of the top 10 performing links(EPC) were text links.
  • The top 3 links were all text links, and they were all coupon code (free shipping, 10% off, 5% off) related!
  • In addition, the conversion rates of these 3 links were over triple what the others came in at.

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  • Of the top 10 converting links for the year, 9 of them were text links!
  • The top converting link and most lucrative was a coupon related text link.
  • All but two of the top 10 links were either coupon related or were discount related (gifts under $50, affordable baby gifts, etc…) in some way.

In case you missed the point. The best converting affiliate links you can use are text links that offer a coupon code or mention some sort of discount. Here’s what I’ve discovered. Internet shoppers are looking for a deal. Anything that’s “in your face” such as large banners, they don’t believe. It screams obnoxious, scammer, etc… Text links they do believe. Subtle sells. A text link comes across as a recommendation. A text link mentioning a coupon code or discount turns your recommendation into a timely treasured secret.

Think about a time when you walked into Best Buy. If an employee walked up to you right when you walked in and said, “Hey, don’t tell anyone but if you buy a DVD today and tell the cashier SAVE10 when you checkout, she’ll give you 10% off.” Guess what, if that happened to me, I’m making a beeline to the movies.

- Jason Forthofer

About Your Affiliate Manager

Written by The Shops at 24Seven on Wednesday, April 23, 2008

With the start of our new Shops at 24Seven Affiliate Marketing Blog, I thought it would be appropriate to introduce myself and give you my background.

I have over 10 years of Internet Marketing experience. At 19, I started working in e-commerce for CBS Sports. I worked as an E-Commerce Producer for 4 years before moving onto Fairfield Resorts (Wyndham Resorts, Inc.). While at Fairfield Resorts, I managed their search engine marketing campaigns, SEO and e-mail marketing efforts. In addition, I created all of the banner ads and supporting web assets promoting Fairfields mini-vacation website.

In 2005, after 5 years, I left Fairfield Resorts to focus completely on my growing affiliate marketing business. For the next 2 years I would gain more small business experience and marketing strategies than the previous 8 years combined. In 2006 I earned over $250,000 in affiliate marketing revenue.

However, the landscape of web marketing changed and Google Adwords policies continued to make it more difficult for affiliate marketers. In September of 2007 I took this position (which I love) as Affiliate Manager for The Shops at 24Seven.

I encourage you to subscribe to The Shops at 24Seven Affiliate Blog. I have had both success and failure as an affiliate marketer. With the things I have learned (and continue to) I will be sharing with you here. I will be posting marketing ideas, introducing new products, and all happenings related to our programs. Whether your an affiliate of ours or not, the information we share here will be of value to you and your business.