Happy New Year, Publishers!
There's no better time for New Year's Resolutions than now. Myself, and the rest of the Shopzilla Publisher team would love to see continued growth in our publishers' performances and figured you would too. So, we put our heads together and came up with the top ten tips for better earnings in 2010.
10. The Shopzilla Publisher Team is Your Resource, Use Us!
Whether it's a complicated question or a request for a password reset, don't be shy. We want you to succeed just as much as you do, so give us a chance to help you and contact us. If you're looking to be a bit more proactive this year, then keep up to date with us by following our blog, becoming a fan of us on Facebook, and following us on Twitter at @szpublisher!
9. Update Your Payment Information.
You'd be surprised how many publishers walk away from their hard earned payments by not having the most up to date payment information. If you move, change you're email, PayPal account, or the name of your payee you have to let us know! Also, be prepared for tax season - please send us your W9s if you haven't done so already.
If you were denied access to our Catalog API or FTP Data Feeds and your website has changed, please don't hesitate to reapply. There are many times we grant access to previously rejected publishers when their websites are more established.
7. Provide Disclosure.
The Federal Trade Commission is cracking down on fraudulent reviews on blogs. Back in October of 2009, the FTC revised its Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials. Since December 1st, fines were being issued to bloggers and companies that did not properly disclose information about endorsements. If you are receiving any kind of payment in exchange for your opinion, you must disclose it. For more information you can read through the FTC's 81 page guide or check out our October blog post about the new guides.
6. Stay Up-to-Date with Current Events in Affiliate Marketing.
Learn from Super Affiliates and your peers by bookmarking your favorite websites about affiliate marketing and checking in at least once a week. Looking for a new blog to follow? Check out Bryan's 15 Recommended Websites For Any Successful Affiliate!
5. Know Which Assets Attract Your Audience - Use Placement IDs!
Have more than one asset on your website or websites? Keep track of which assets are most attractive to your audience by using Placement IDs. You can view the traffic for each Placement ID under View Reports. If you're not sure how to create a Placement ID, check out our blog post on Placement ID usage. Please note that you can only use positive integers and cannot use Placement IDs greater than 999999.
4. Wordpress User? You Can Still Use Dynamic Assets!
In June 2008, Tim Flight gave a great tip on how to use Dynamic Assets on Wordpress during his Publisher Spotlight. Please remember that we cannot be held liable for any code you may break (read our FAQ), we believe the following tip brought GPSReview.net much success.Create the Dynamic Asset using just the letter "a" in the "Search For" field as the keyword. Pick the banner size, set your colors, etc, and then get the HTML code. Look in the HTML code for the following:
/keyword-a/Replace that with this:
/keyword-<?php echo(urlencode(strtolower(single_post_title(",FALSE)))); ?>/
That code should take the title of the WordPress post and use it as the keyword for the ad unit.
3. Keep Your Personal Data and Websites' Data Safe.
Take web safety seriously. Little steps can make a big difference. Get into good habits regarding passwords, sensitive information, third party plugins, and software updates.
Kickoff 2010 by changing all of your passwords. According to the National Cyber Security Alliance, passwords should be at least 8 characters long and include numbers, symbols, and uppercase and lower case letters. Passwords should be changed at least once every 90 days and never reused or shared. When sharing sensitive data, verify that your browser connection is secure and never transmit it over email. Only use third party plugins if you trust the source. Lastly, always check for software upgrades whether it's your browser (ie Firefox or Internet Explorer) or the blogging tool you use (ie Wordpress or MovableType).
To learn more about how you can be safe online, check out Chris's pointers during National Cyber Security Awareness Month.
2. More is Not Always Merrier.
Some say, the more fishing rods you cast, the more fish you'll catch. When it comes to affiliate marketing, it can be quite the opposite. Your website shouldn't resemble the Las Vegas strip. Instead, your website should encourage your audience to stay and enjoy the content and a blitz of ads is not the way to do it. It's easier to choose from a small menu, don't let your audience (and earnings) fall victim to choice overload.
1. Be Relevant.
If you're running a website about sports, more often than not, your audience is not interested in our Home and Garden shopping products. To make the most out of the Shopzilla Inc. content you display, alter the keywords you use and/or use the drop down categories until you get the shopping content that compliments your website's content. For more information on building Dynamic Content check out this blog post on Creating the Perfect Dynamic Asset.
And those are our top ten publisher tips for 2010. How much progress will you and your website make come 2011?