Online Marketing

Update: I will not go to Affiliate Summit part2

I need to clarify my last post.

The other day, I write a post about why I will not go to Affiliate Summit West.

It is a personal opinion.

First, I want to say “Bravo” to the team that organizes the Affiliate Summit. I know it is hard to organize an event. I do not want to be the Hater but I will express my opinion.

I can go back to my story now.

I receive many e-mails since then. Most people were shy to go public on the comment section unless you are Shawn Collin (the organizer). This is his comment:

I am sure that every session are white hat tactics and quality.

You can view the agenda here:

the agenda from affiliate summit west

I was not talking about the quality of those sessions. Those tactics are great but most “super affiliates” are ready to test those grey areas. That is the problem.

Some are able to produce results with white hats trick (like those coupons sites or shopping review website) but most of them test those grey areas. Is it ok? Yes because there is no rules.

A small group goes beyond those grey areas. At first, their “trick” seems grey/white hat but in reality, it is black hat.

From the e-mails I received people are confused.

Does auto-blogging system is black or white hat.

Answer: it can be black hat or white hat… it is how you are using it.

Does a blog is white hat or black hat? Answer: it can be white hat or black hat.

Moreover, the list goes on.

One of the most important key elements in marketing and affiliate marketing is “split-testing”. Some people are ready to test almost anything for a quick buck.

What do they test exactly?

They test the ad copy in their landing page, ads etc… This is where the trouble begins. Most of the time they change a word to mislead the reader. One of the best examples was those Acai offers and those fake “personal blog”.

Almost everyone promote it, almost every affiliate manger suggest that you promote it. We saw some ugly stuff. They use basic marketing tools like scarcity, social proof etc and they go straight evil with this offer. They use Dr Oz image to promote this offer, fake testimonial etc…

What is the link between those horrible marketing stories and affiliate summit?

Those dark horses will be over there. They will have coaches programs to promote to newbie.

I can remember the first time I hear about affiliate marketing. My friend was back from the first edition of affiliate summit. One of the “guru” (no name) promote is “free” program. The program was about creating a blog to generate money. The strategy, back then, was to create as many mini blog as possible with you favorite keyword. (add your affiliate links all over the place)

How can you not use this trick?

The “guru” is living the lifestyle.

Now, the industry is a little bit more ethic. However, we are not there yet though.

Yes, you should go to affiliate summit but watch out, there are sharks ready to sell you the moon.

I will not go to affiliate summit because I feel that there is better conference to learn how to build a real business online. (This is my personal opinion).

Can you learn something at Affiliate Summit?

Yes, you can.

If you go:

You should ask if the person lost their Facebook ad account, Google ad account recently.

The person answers yes.  That person was playing in the “grey/black” area. Does that person is a bad person? The answer is no.

My whole point was take note, meet people, but do not trust anybody without a huge verification about this person after the event.

Enjoy your affiliate summit west while I am working on my next venture.

Online Marketing

Why I will not go to affiliate summit west ?

All around the web, people will give you gazillion reasons to go to affiliate Summit West.

It is the biggest meeting for affiliates. (so what?)

This week I discovered an article about Facebook suing many affiliates and ad network. (Is it the real face of affiliate marketing).

You might think that Facebook is against affiliates.

Facebook loves affiliates but they do not love them all. Recently, I read everywhere that many affiliates lost their Facebook account. (many super affiliates….)

Almost, all of them were “surprise” and mad that Facebook is closing their “business”.

The reality, they should not be mad and they should check their offer. Most of those offers are just ok but almost every affiliate is ready to “test” the system to improve their ROI (return of investment).

I saw some ads; frankly, they were bad, very bad. (of course they convert)

Best example: those fake personal blog to promote weigh lost product

Those Super affiliates will be at affiliate summit west like everything is cool.

If you go to this event, ask them how they really make their money online. Most of them will talk about running some ads vaguely (or I cannot tell you to “protect” my landing page design, traffic source etc.)… Then they will switch to their “new business”.

Most of them are now coaches or teachers with their own “product” and their e-mail list (it is the new trend)

On the other hand, they will tell you Google suck and you are stupid if you are not using media buys, CPV or mobile ads. Why?

Those networks do not have restriction like Google or Facebook (right now until the FTC steps in)

It is a negative post but not every affiliates are bad or runs offer they will never recommend to their mom.

My mom only remembers the big lawsuit against spammers. (What is on CNN)

Of course, you can go at this event and meet great people. Personally I will not feel confortable shaking hands with people I have no idea how they really run their business.

This is probably the main reason the government will steps in the industry more and more. This industry is not able to regulate itself.

Online Marketing

Ban comment: Content locking the good, the bad, and the horrible

The other day, I left a comment on daily conversions and the owner never publishes my comment. At first, I taught, it was a mistake but, I realise, it was not a mistake. My comment is ban.

You can view my comment

ban daily conversions comment

I say nothing bad but I understand that BLAM ads is his sponsor… anyway it is not important. (The owner is cool and writes good content)

The real issue is making money online. (it is not a bad thing)

How far are you ready to go to make money online?

BLAM ads is a content locking ad network. I never use it but I see similar services online. BLAM ads might be good or bad. I do not know.

However, similar services, I see online, are just bad.

What is content locking ad?

I will use an example I saw online the other day.

Imagine you have a video (a movie or live sport event video). You are ready to show this video in exchange of money

As you may know, not everyone has a credit card. Not everyone is ready to pay for a movie or a live sport event when it is free somewhere else.

This is where content locking ad can be useful. The user completes an action (mini survey, “free” offer etc…) to watch those videos. It is “free” on their side.

The ad network pays you for each complete action. You can get from pennies to $XX+.

Advantage: you get pay and the user does not need a credit card.

Many people call it the virtual currency.

On paper, it is the best solution ever to make money online. However, there is a problem.

I will never recommend those offers to my mom. They are not mom friendly.

It opens the door for many spam and scam actions. Recently I read this article about Facebook suing many affiliates and ad network. (Scary stuff  … some people are ready to do anything)

They use this information to spam anyone.

Again, I do not know about BLAM ad ethics and service. So far, no offer I saw online with content locking is mom friendly.

It is cool to make money but it is cooler to do it the right way.

Online Marketing

Choose the right URL shortener before it is too late

There is so many URL shortener service out there. I did not know which one I should choose.

I decide to go with the most popular. I choose . It is a great service for many reasons.

They give you a great analytic dashboard with vital information.

I like the fact that you can know exactly where the traffic comes from. (Long url description and twitter traffic.)

Las week I decide to test a new URL shortener. This URL shortener is from Google.

They do not give you a great analytics dashboard like .

( I hope they will connect this information with Google analytics though).

However, Google gives you two things that I like.

First, their redirect is super fast. looks slow compare to Google. May not be a problem with low traffic but with high traffic it can become a huge problem.

Second thing that I like about Google URL shortener is their QR codes generator.

It is now easy to create those codes.

Look, I create this one.

blackysky qr code

Grab your smartphone with the scanlife application and you will discover the message behind my code.

(Hint: it is my website)

The question is or Google URL shortener.

I will keep as my number one URL shortener but I will use Google URL shortener to generate those QR codes.

By the way QR codes are going to be important in the future ( it is very popular in Asia).

UPDATE: adds QR Code

Online Marketing

The secret to e-mail open rate at 98%

E-mail marketing is very important. I decide to use it more now but I realise that my open rate sucks.

I use mailchimp and they tell me that open rate in

the industry is 18.0 %. That is low.

How can you improve that today?

Top gurus teach you headline.

Copywriters expert say that headlines are the most important aspect of your e-mail.

One of the famous headlines I see so far is “thank you.”

It is very simple and very powerful at the same time because only a friend should use thank you.

Headlines are great but do not increase your open rate that much.

Link in your e-mail

Right now, I see top e-mail marketers use their own custom link (their own domain) in their e-mail.

Personally, I have no idea if it works or not. I guess it helps because they use it.

How to boost your open rate now

Every tip above can increase your open rate. You need something faster and simple.

This trick is to ask them to add them to put your e-mail in their contact list. It is simple and very effective.

Many e-mails get into the spam box. To fight that make sure you get into their contact list as soon as possible.