31 October 2007

ClixSense now offering FIVE level Affiliate program

Its not often I get really enthusiastic about a program ( and I have never used the BIG RED TEXT before !) but the changes announced by ClixSense recently offer the opportunity of some really substantial earnings for those signing up for Premium accounts and promoting the ClixSense service as an affiliate. You will be real crazy not to get in early on this one! I will benefit from it if you do but so will you - but only IF YOU GET IN EARLY TO THE CLIXSENSE PREMIUM AFFILIATE OFFER


I referred in previous posts to the fact that I had signed up and having clicked all the ads as a Free member decided to enroll as a Premium member. This cost me the grand total of 10$. That's right 10$. I probably lose that much in loose change in a week down the back of my chair!
(Must check that chair)

Anyway,Clixsense have just announced

An amazing Deal for Clixsense Premium members.

Once you sign as a Premium member when anyone you refer upgrades to a Premium membership, you get paid $2 for that members upgrade. When that Premium member refers a new member who then upgrades to premium you are then also paid a $1 override commission. You just got paid for doing nothing! Yes you heard right.

It gets better though - wait till you hear this! This same arrangement continues not for one or two levels but FIVE LEVELS DEEP!

Let's say you refer five new members to ClixSense.com and ONLY three upgrade to a Premium account.

First at your own level you are guaranteed payment for each advertisement you click on and view for just 30 seconds. ( I am now up to 25$ through this arrangement )

Level one - You refer 5 new free members = 50 cents. Now 3 of them upgrade which earns you another $6.00. Total so far is $6.50 plus your paid to click ads.

Level two
- Each of your referrals refer 5 free members of which three each upgrade to Premium accounts. Your total now is $15.50!! ($6.50 for level one, and $9 for level two.)

Level three - These members perform same as the above levels and only refer an easy 3 upgrades each. Now your total earnings is $42.50!! ($27 for level three, and $15.50 for levels above.)

Level four - These members perform same as the above levels and only refer an easy 3 upgrades each. Now your total earnings is $123.50!! ($81 for level four, and $42.50 for levels above.)

Level five - These members perform same as the above levels and only refer an easy 3 upgrades each. Now your total earnings is $366.50!! ($243.00 for level five, and $123.50 for levels above.)

Imagine what happens if you refer more than three members or even just three members per month! You get paid again when your referral renews their annual Premium membership!

Think about it, the old affiliate program paid a mere $15 when you had three upgrades. The new and improved program pays you up to $366.50 for those same referrals!!

Whats really interesting is that at every level there is a really strong incentive for everyone to go out and get new referrals. Obviously CLixSense are not likely to keep this particular offer open for long so I am real glad I am already a premium member. If you want my advice - join up - now!!

If you join up using my link below then I get a start through the five levels. Its takes no money out of your pocket and you might just feel that its a nice thank you for having put you on to this one! So please use my link and then get promoting your affiliate Cixsense program !!!

28 October 2007

Pasting AdSense code to a Blogspot Blog

Someone left a comment recently asking about the basics of pasting the AdSense code into a blogspot blog.
So for all you newbies out there - here goes.

First - make sure you go to the PAGE ELEMENTS page in your blogger editor. See the screenshot of this on the left.

Notice the bit that says "add page element"

Click this.

You should now get a pop up window which gives you a range of widgets that you can put on your blog. The next screenshot shows some of these.

The ones we are particularly interested in are the one labelled AdSense - and the one labelled HTML/JavaSCript.

The easiest one to use is the AdSense one. Just click this and then give the information that you are asked to give. When you save it this will place your ads on the page ( As long as you have an AdSense account and have given it the right information !)
If you dont like where a widget is on the page you can drag and drop it elsewhere.

The second method involves using the HTML/Javascript widget. For this you need to have obtained the ADSense ad code from your ADSense account and set up your ad size, color.

I always preferred this method because it gave more control over the ad types but it doesnt really matter.

Here is a screen shot of what you will see when you click the HTML/Javascript button.

Dont bother filling in the Title field.

Just copy the ADSense code that you got from your AdSense account and paste it into the box.
Then click save and the widget will go into your template.

Finally save all changes to your template and then view your blog - your ads will now be showing. Dont forget you must have an active AdSense account for this to work - if you dont you wont have any ADSense code to paste!

27 October 2007

AdSense targeting issues

To get the most out of Adsense you need to understand how Ads are targeted. When you join AdSense you get AdSense HTML ad code which you place on the webpages on which you want to display Google ads. Google then uses its own search and page-ranking technologies and delivers relevant Google ads to those content pages.

How Google AdSense Ads are Targeted
Google claim that this process involves more than simple keyword matching and that their technology understands the context and content of webpages. They include factors like keyword analysis, word frequency, font size, and the overall link structure of the web, to extract semantic meaning with the aim of precisely matching Google ads to each page.

The Google technology is also able to determine the main language of a page but only if the content is in a supported language.

Adsense Geo-targeting
Google is also able to geotarget the ads which it serves. Advertisers who use the Google AdWords system to purchase ads are able to select specific countries and regions where those ads are to be displayed. The AdSense code is a then able to detect where a visitor is from and deliver the appropriate ads.

Does AdSense Ad targeting always work?
In short the answer is no. If you want your ads to be targeted really well then you need to consider writing in a style that will fit with the AdSense targeting algorithms. These tend to work less well where the content is wide ranging and less specific. If you want the targeting to be really tight then it important to try to write so that each page, or post, covers a very specific topic. The narrower and more specific the topic the more likely the Ads are to be targeted properly.

This aspect of the AdSense delivery of Ads can be criticised as forcing Internet authors to write in a pre-determined way in order to meet the needs of AdSense targeting. Of course no one forces you to write in this way and you might be prepared to accept Ads that are somewhat less well targeted for the sake of writing in your own style. After all why should Google determine the way we all use the web!

Nevertheless if your main aim is to maximise your income from ads then you are well advised to take these ad targeting considerations into account.

If you do write in a more wide ranging way or are having other troubles with Ad targeting then there are things you can do to improve matters. I will have a look at these in another post.

23 October 2007

Adsense copies Bidvertiser!

Google AdSense recently announced that AdSense users will be able to change the colour and border format of their ads from within their Adsense accounts ; (from the Google blog)

This new ad management feature means that your ad unit settings (such as colors and channels) for new AdSense for content ad units will be saved in your AdSense account every time you generate ad code. Then, if you'd like to change any of these settings in the future, all you do is make the update within your account --you'll no longer need to manually replace the ad code on all of your pages. For instance, you can quickly change the borders of all your 300x250 medium rectangles from red to blue with just a few mouse clicks. Fancy! We hope that this new feature will help you save time and will simplify the process of optimizing your ad units.

This sounds like the way Bidvertiser works. In Bidvertiser you design the ads using a template within the account and then paste the code to your site. When you make changes within the template in the account these are immediately reflected in the ad display on any site using that template. This certainly makes it easier to tweak ad settings and it is good to see that Google is finally catching up with this approach.

On a less positive note these announcements do sometimes sound a bit like fiddling while Rome is burning given the continual anxiety that many AdSense users have about invalid click activity. This is really the area that Google should be putting its efforts into sorting

AdSense Help Forum Cartoon Series

AdDense Cartoon series

One of the places that newby AdSense users usually end up at is the AdSense help forum at Google Groups. This help forum is a very mixed resource for newby AdSense users. One of the problems the newbie user will encounter is that recently the board has had some quite hostile postings between regular members and has been haunted by at least one and possibly more clickbombers who have managed to get a number of peoples accounts terminated.

Partly in reponse to this and as a way of creating some humor about the whole issue of AdSense and affliate marketing I created a cartoon series loosely based on some of the characters who inhabit ( and I use that word advisedly) the Adsense help forum.

If you want to check out the AdDense cartoon series then follow this link and then use the right arrow below the cartoons to move through the series.

AdDense Cartoon series

22 October 2007

Choose an Affiliate Program with seven rules

If you are new to Affiliate marketing it is important that you use some guidelines to help you choose the best Affiliate program. They say rules are meant to be broken but if you are a beginner then its best to have some rules for choosing an Affiliate program when you start out.
Here are some guidelines for you; ( see also the note at the end of this article)

1) Don't just pick the first affiliate program that you see- particularly if signing up is going to cost you any money. If you are going to integrate an Affiliate program into an existing website business then you need to make sure it is a good fit. This is less of an issue of course if you decide that you are going to build the website around the affiliate program - but that's another issue.
If you are integrating an Affiliate program with an existing website product then he product you choose to promote will reflect on you and your business - so take time to thoroughly examine the affiliate program first.

2) Consider testing the Affiliate product yourself. This can be money well invested. However, if you do not feel that you want to do this then do some searching an see what you can find out about the product. Use the Internet and do a standard search and see what others are saying. See who else is promoting the Affiliate product and how they are doing it.

3) Read all of the Terms and conditions, rules, restrictions, or guidelines associated with the affiliate program. Many affiliate programs prohibit their products from being advertised on websites that display pornography, foul language or other offensive content. If you know the rules then you will avoid the risk of being denied from the program or later banned.

4) Make sure the product relates to your your website or business, in some way.

5) If you really like an Affiliate product and your existing website does not relate to it then consider if you could create a website around that niche. Think about what will be involved in doing this and marketing this. This can be an extremely profitable way to do Affiliate marketing -- but only if you are serious about it.

6) What is the Affiliate commission rate and how dear is the product. Consider the volume of sales that you might reasonably generate from the product. Think about the commission you will earn on each sale. Some products may have high sales but low commission. Some may have low sales but high commission. Do the Math.

Commission rates for affiliates can vary from as low as three percent of each sale made to programs that pay around fifteen percent and more.

7) Trust your own judgment - at the end of the day its your business. As long as your mistakes are not very costly you will learn from them You may learn how other Affiliate marketers operate and even how some of the Affiliate product suppliers work which could be your next step up the ladder.

If carefully chosen, you can easily make a full-time living just with affiliate programs. You will usually need to sign up with more than one but believe me it can be done by almost anyone.

Tip: When you leave this page/site a search box will pop up. This will show you a vast range of Affiliate programs that you can check out and search. This is meant to be helpful rather than annoying!

20 October 2007

Getting paid for clicks 2

Getting paid to click adverts

In a previous post I said that I had signed up for ClickSense where you get paid to click an ad and spend thirty seconds on the advertisers landing page. I said I would give an update on this program and whether it was worth using. One of the things that had interested me was that you could turn your earned click money into paid ads and so use it to promote your own site or products.

Actually some of the ads were quite interesting on the site - but thats another story. I decided to have a go at the premium account. It wasn't costly and it gives access to a much larger number of adverts than the free account.

Here is a tip though! When you sign up you will be asked to give a profile and say what ad areas you are interested in. Make sure to tick all the boxes! Luckily I did as I realised later that this determines how many ads you can click on and that you can only change this profile every 90 days.

Anyway I signed up with a Clixsense Premium account and there are indeed hundreds of ads that you can select to click on. The numbers of ads that you can click on a with a Clixsense free account is much more limited.

It didn't take much effort to earn back all the money I spent on a Clixsense premium account and I am now quite well ahead. The next step will be converting some of my earnings into payment for ads and I will see how well these ads convert. I will report on this in a later post.

(For the latest news on this and changes to the Clixsense Affiliate payment scheme read this post)

Domain Appraisal Scam

Like many webusers I sometimes have domains that are yet to be developed or which I have decided not to develop for one reason or another. Recently I decided to park a small number of domains at Sedo until I could get round to developing them or to look to the possibility of selling them. I hadn't used their parking service before and it seems a reputable operation.

Being scammed in the process of parking and selling a domain name was not something that I had heard of before so I wasn't really alert for this. The domains that I parked were mostly fairly newly registered and undeveloped so I wasnt expecting to recieve very high offers for any of them.

So imagine my surprise when I recieved the following by email;


from : TGN Consulting McGovern@toughguy.net

Hello,We are interested in "somedomainname"
Your name was listed in online auction. What is your price for the name?
Our company is involved in software development/support business. Now domain invetsing/reselling is just an additional direction of our investment strategy.
Looking forward to do business with you.
Andrew McGovern
PresidentTGN Consulting

Ok I thought - this is good, someone interested in one of the domain names. I decide to try to check out who they are and so as not to appear over keen I just send a holding reply and say I will get back to them.
Meantime I discover that the email has originated from a proxy email service called toughguy.net. Note the similarity between this name and the name of the company TGN Consulting. I also check the register of companies and sure enough there is a TGN Consulting registered with a London address.

I then recieve this;


from : TGN Consulting McGovern@toughguy.net

I need to know the lowest price you can
What is your price range: $10,000 or $15,000 or even
I'm sure it will take a lot of time and efforts to find someone
who will offer you more.
Please send your answer to me as soon as

Now this is an undeveloped and newly registered domain name remember. The figures he was quoting were vastly more than I had anticipated selling for. But hey I am human - and he had got my attention. Which is of course exactly what he was trying to do.

At this point it is sounding too good to be true. At the same time I am not an expert in the domain name market so I think to myself - hey I am going to look really stupid if this is genuine and I blow it.
So I decide to be fairly measured in my reply. I am also a little surprised that the expression of interest has not come through Sedo itself. I am a little suspicious so I decide also to reinforce that I would want any sale handled through Sedo. Meantime I start a search for scams relating to the sale of domains.

Here is my response;


I have not fully appraised the domain http://allsxy4u.com/ as yet but you are within the range that I had anticipated. I may consider a lower end bid for quicker turn around however.

My prefered route for handling bids will be through Sedo. I have only just registered there however and am still getting to know their system.
My understanding is that once an initial bid is formally recieved an auction would be triggered - I assume that you are happy to handle negotiation through that route?

If you are trying to build a premium domain portfolio I have recently listed the following additional domains through sedo.

He responds promptly but I notice that he doesn't actually address my question directly about handling any sale through Sedo. Instead he raises the subject of appraisal of the domain name.
By this point I have found at least one reference to scams around the sale of domains and in particular around the appraisal of domain names.

He responds:

from : TGN Consulting McGovern@toughguy.net
This is a regular practice to provide buyers or resellers with professional
and independent valuation. Serious investors must be sure in your price.
Without it they risk to overpay.
Anyway, you won't be able to sell without professional appraisal.
Of course, serious investors cannot accept auto-generated services. They need an accurate valuation made by humans not scripts.

Well of course they would want to properly appraise the domain - particularly if they are talking 10k to 15k!
However notice that he is already beginning to put some constraints on the type of appraisal when he talks about "investors cannot accept auto - generated services" and an appraisal by humans. Sedo of course offers appraisals.

By this point I am almost 100% certain that I am dealing with a scammer.

So I respond;

I am considering using the Sedo appraisal service- which I have
not used before. I assume you would be using the same appraisal service. Do you
want to suspend discussions until that point? I have had a couple of other
expressions of interest but no firm bids.

I know what to expect from him now and he does not disappoint. He of course doesn't want to use Sedo - because he has his own domain name appraisal services that he has either set up or has signed as an affiliate for.
His response:

from : TGN Consulting McGovern@toughguy.net

Sedo is a good broker and we can use it for transfer/transaction.

Unfortunately , Sedo is not acceptable as an appraiser because your names are listed with them and they are not independent. They are interested in earning 10% commission on every sale. I need appraisals from a company which is not interested in selling your domains.I heard many appraisal companies often made inaccurate appraisals. So I cannot accept appraisal from each and every site. I will only accept appraisals from independent appraisal companies I know and trust.

Its clear of course that he is going to try to get me to pay for an appraisal and the bait for this is his ridiculously high initial suggestion of 10k to 15k for the domain name. The scam works by dangling this bait and then manoeuvring the mark into agreeing to pay for an appraisal. I decide to play along but make him spell it out.

My response;

You are of course free to use whoever you wish to use for your appraisal. I would entirely understand that you would wish to obtain an appraisal that you
have confidence in.

He forges on and has to deal with my assumption that it will be him that will pay for the appraisal ( he's the one doing the buying remember)


from : TGN Consulting McGovern@toughguy.net

It's a big risk to proceed without professional valuation. I already spoke to industry experts and they prohibited me to do business without valuation..

Sorry, but it's difficult to understand your position.

As a seller, you can use a valuation certificate to sell names to other buyers. I cannot do the same because I don't keep control over your domain.I'm still interested in your domain. Hope you'll change your position. I simply don't want to take additional risks.Thank you for understanding. I'm looking forward to do business with you


Sorry pal but that's not my understanding at all. If you want to buy my domain then the money for getting an appraisal is very small beer compared to the price you are offering me. if you are so keen on this domain why would you be haggling trying to get me to pay for the valuation when I have already told you that there are other parties interested. Doesn't smell right at all.
However I want to find out how he will play this one out so I tell him that I am "content for another appraisal to be sought" and ask him what firm he has in mind.

His response;

I researched several companies and here are the results:I wanted to use Afternic.com, but their service is questionable after all.Just read this:http://www.igoldrush.com/links3.htm"Capsule Review: After lots of complaints, Afternic is no longer a recommended service. We will re-review the service in the near future."Another complainthttp://www.out-law.com/page-1630So we should avoid Afternic.com.The same is true for GoDaddy and SEDO. Their services are not manual since they are cheap.

Nobody will do a research for several bucks. They are just collecting money using their well-known names.I asked about other reputable appraisers in a forum. Several experts recommended me DomainSecondHands' appraisal service -http://www.domainsecondhand.com/appraisal.htm as a fast, accurate and non-expensive (about $70 or something like that) manual service.I also trust the manual appraisal service from http://www.domainmart.com/ but it's very expensive - $200/hour. This service was also recommended by many people. If you can afford $200 DomainMart.com's fee it would be great. They also provide cheap automated service but it's not acceptable.

Wow now there is a surprise. He has reasons for discounting any other appraisal services other than the ones he wants me to use. He also covers himself by not just recommending one but by giving me a choice. He makes the $70 one sound cheap of course by referring to another dearer one. Just in case he assumes I will go for the cheaper one I try to make his life difficult for him by suggesting the dearer one.
I also want to try setting him up to see if I can scam him back so I point out that I have already paid out for an appraisal.

My response:

I assume that you will probably want the appraisal to be from DomainMart? I note that its is more expensive than the other one but given that we may be talking in the region of 10k then perhaps it is not that expensive.
Let me know. I do have an appraisal from Sedo already but I understand that you are feeling that this is not independent enough for you. I am obviously keen to ensure that you are satisfied with the arrangements.
He then responds quickly saying that he will accept either appraisal service

So I respond;


Ok then I think we can go ahead. I have already had appraisal through sedo for this domain so any further appraisal would be additional expense for me. I am ok with doing this and purchasing an appraisal. I am prepared to go for the better quality appraisal but feel that I need some token of your good faith in this - ie to confirm that you are genuinely interested.

I have decided to try to get him to deposit a small amount of money in my paypal account as an expression of good faith. I am not hopeful that he will agree to this because scammers are very alert to scams. Sure enough his response is a simple one liner

"I am interested to see independent appraisal results"

Sure you are pal , sure you are. I really dont believe that your only interest here is to earn an affiliate fee from me ordering a domain name appraisal from one of these sites. Sure I don't.
I have spent enough time on this so lets see how keen he is.
I respond;
I think its only fair to let you know that I have had another expression of interest in my site. The other party states they will not accept appraisals from the sites you recommend and that they will recommend their own sites to me.
I wonder if this might make him think that some other scammer has hold of me - but that is the last I hear from him.

So what do you think? Did I blow the chance of a lifetime or did I manage to body swerve a domain name appraisal scam. I have little doubt in my mind.

Remember - when you are selling a domain name it is up to the buyer to satisfy themselves of the worth of your domain name. A domain name at the end of the day is worth what someone is prepared to pay for it. No more and no less.

If you are selling domain names watch out for scams like this!


Monitoring comments by email

As you visit blogs leaving comments it can be helpful to know which blogs and posts that you have commented on are still actively recieving comments. This means that you can monitor the ongoing conversation and perhaps revisit to make further comments.

Blogger has a feature which allows you to recieve further comments via email to your gmail account and this makes it very easy to follow comment conversations. You can choose this option when you leave a comment.

On the subject of comments on blogs more generally I notice as I visit blogs that it can be difficult for blogs to attract their first comments both on the site as a whole and to particular pages. If you are visiting other peoples blogs don't forget that most bloggers are delighted when they get comments - thats one of the purposes of blogging after all ! So dont be shy about posting a comment.