What are the best Affiliate Marketing books?

I love learning by reading.  However few books in the online and affiliate marketing space have been of the ‘can’t put down’ category.  These are the exceptions:

80/20 Sales & Marketing by Perry Marshall.

This book knocks 80/20 out of the park.  Perry is a #1 Adwords guru and one day his brain exploded.  This book is the result.  Read it!


Launch! by Jeff Walker

Jeff Walker is the guy to read/understand/follow for launching products.  Launch! condenses his knowledge in a valuable readable and exciting way.


Think I missed one?  Comment below.


Quantcast – how to delete publicly available data

Their FAQ states:

How do I hide or remove my site from Quantcast’s listings?

We do not remove sites from our listing. We recommend getting Quantified in order to get more accurate traffic statistics as well as gain control over which data points you make visible to the public, and which you use for internal purposes only.

Well, yes, true but misleading.

To hide your site’s data from Quantcast:

  1. Sign up with Quantcast
  2. Quantify your site (add the JavaScript tag then wait for ~1-2 days)
  3. Log in to Quantcast again, select the site then deselect every setting under “Public Access” and click “Save All Settings”.

Your site data will now be hidden from Quantcast’s listings.  Your site name will still appear but your embarrassingly large traffic stats will not!


Affiliate Summit West – quick review

If you attended ASW feel free to comment below.

If you didn’t then I truly believe you missed out!  There was value and content for all levels – beginner, intermediate affiliate and expert.

The networking and learning opportunities were tremendous between the Exhibit hall, meet market and experts round tables.  You can meet many other affiliates, networks, product vendors in many niches – literally hundreds of exhibitors bought a booth presence and all were excited to talk about their product, value and engage partners.

Depending on the ticket level you purchase you get entry to none, one per day or all of the education sessions.  I have to say I highly recommend springing for the ticket level above the one you think you can afford – I was careful in selecting sessions I believed were at or above my level in various topics and learned a huge amount from both the session and the typical Q&A during these sessions.


Oh, an a shout out to Shareasale who hosted a party on Sunday with a fully comped bar 🙂


Affiliate Summit West… WE’RE GOING! :-)

Affiliates on Fire will be at ASW 2014… will you?


Why is there so much sh*t on the Internet?

It makes money.  Yes, even shit makes money.

The Internet.  Where nobody knows you’re an asshole.


Will Google murder your niche next?

The trend has become obvious.

  1. Web site owners create niche
  2. Web site owners start making a profit from niche
  3. Google introduces fledgling product in niche
  4. Google destroys the competition by manipulating it’s algorithm or page layout

How much of your traffic comes from Google?  Pop quiz – 99%, 98% or 99.9%?  Yeah, thought so.

Are you next… to be sidelined with:

  • Price comparison (Google Shopping)
  • Video site (YouTube)
  • Business reviews (Google place pages)
  • …your site here…!

Just imagine… as I do – what if your site is the next to succumb to Google’s next endeavor – to be shoved below the fold because they’ve promoted their own product at the top of every single relevant search.  I know for one my best performing sites could be destroyed by Google because they are FED by Google.

For more info and a very interesting read go to James Hussey’s blog here:



Does setting a geographic target on Google Webmaster Tools kill all traffic outside the US? Answer…

Short answer is “absolutely not” (to my disappointment!).

I have a site that is designed for the US and makes income from affiliate links through a service which is directly targeted to US users.  The main problem I have with international traffic is that it often results in a sale quickly followed by a refund since the service typically would not have value for US users.  The refunds hit by Clickbank quality metrics as an affiliate (and also hurt the vendor’s metrics).

About 1% of my traffic came from Canada and I didn’t really want to lose that since the Canadian traffic is still potentially relevant and doesn’t result in as high a refund rate as other countries.

I started the experiment 1 month ago and the results are as follows:

Canadian traffic has actually increased 10% – which is probably due to indexing effects not the geographic targeting change.

Other international traffic has stayed about the same.  It’s much smaller than US traffic as it was before.

So in conclusion setting a US geographic target has *NOT* removed Canadian traffic nor any other country from the incoming traffic.

So unfortunately I’m still stuck with refunds from non-US traffic.


How not to get nickel-and-dimed into oblivion when choosing a hosting provider

Feel like everywhere you turn there’s a new fee, an extra charge and another way to be blindsided by another sucking sound from your bank account?

So let’s take domain privacy.  To avoid copious amounts of extra spam I use domain privacy on every domain I host.  Domain privacy is quite simple and is easy to set up with most providers.  Per ICANN you must have a publicly available domain contact to “…allow rapid resolution of technical problems and to permit enforcement of consumer protection, trademark, and other laws.”  Your hosting provider should provide a service whereby they don’t post your real email, phone number and address in WHOIS but provide a proxy address.

For example if you look up in WHOIS you will see this:



Domain Name:

   Registrant Contact: Private Registrant
      DreamHost Web Hosting
      417 Associated Rd #324
      Brea, CA 92821
Now that isn’t my phone number and it isn’t my email address.  Send an email to that address and it will get to me (or my spam folder) and that meets the requirements for providing a registrant contact.
Anyway, the point is that this stuff isn’t magic and shouldn’t cost the earth.  You could be forgiven for thinking that GoDaddy’s privacy service provides gold plated emails because they’ll charge you $9.99 per year PER domain!  So 5 domains that’s an extra $50.  10 domains an extra $100… you get the idea.  FYI it’s not gold plated and it’s a pain to set up because they send you off to yet another company’s web site to pay for and configure it!  Ugh.
Both Dreamhost and 1&1 currently offer free private registration on all your domains.  Dreamhost has done this for years – thank you DH!
When choosing a provider look for all these little fees – they add up quick.  Maybe you need a certificate, a shopping cart, a static IP, privacy and more.  Do all these cost extra and is it extra for every single domain or can you spread the cost across all domains.  Check out Dreamhost’s list for all the features included in their domain hosting:
DreamHost (affiliate link).
Disclaimer: I love Dreamhost – they are my preferred hosting provider!

Want faster indexing?

Got a new site and want to get it indexed fast?  Daft question, eh?

The best way I have found is to use a sitemap and tell Google about it with Google Webmaster Tools.  In my experience it can take about 2 weeks for Google to re-index a fairly small site with low PR (0-3).  Submitting an updated sitemap accelerates the indexing or re-indexing process and you can see updated results within 24 hours in some cases.  Larger sites will take longer but still submitting the sitemap makes a significant difference in speed.

I have found that typically the other search engines are less important based on Google Analytics results.  For example on my content sites I typically find 80-85% of the search traffic is from Google.  Bing also supports sitemaps from it’s webmaster tools.  We can always hope Bing will become relevant for traffic!!  But let’s face it Google got to the prime position because they had significantly better technology and usefulness than anybody else.

Do get the site working first with good titles, etc and verify the sitemap URLs.  If you accelerate the indexing with the sitemap but it’s full of mistakes you’re now indexed with all the mistakes.  Mistakes such as missing titles, descriptions or duplicate titles can reduce your page ranking so you wasted that first shot of getting in the index.

Google has an excellent tutorial geared at aiming your site and page construction for good search engine positioning.  It’s actually a pretty comprehensive SEO reference.  Google SEO tutorial.


AOF SEO Site Verifier plugin 1.3.2 released

AOF SEO Site Verifier plugin version 1.3.2 is releasedAOF SEO Site Verifier WordPress plugin allows you to quickly and easily verify your WordPress blog with Google, Yahoo and MSN Webmaster tools.

Download version 1.3.2 of AOF SEO Site Verifier here: AOF Site Verifier version 1.3.2

AOF SEO Site Verifier documentation and installation instructions are here.

Version 1.3.2 is fixed to accept the new Google Webmaster Tools meta tag (google-site-verification instead of verify-v1).