Mini sites get click back

Associate Programs Newsletter #138

My series on affiliate mini-sites has sparked fascinating letters from readers willing to reveal some of their best affiliate marketing tips.

And there will be more next week...

Want to share your affiliate mini-site tips? I'd love to hear from you.

For those who came in late:
Researching affiliate mini-sites (Part 1)
Researching affiliate mini-sites (Part 2)
 (scroll down to item 3)

THIS WEEK: Researching affiliate mini-sites (Part 3)...


1. Affiliate mini-site gets the "click-back"
2. How to buy domain names for only $10
3. Phil Wiley's mini-site adds value to a good offer
4. How to choose the best pay-per-click search engines
5. ValueClick buys onResponse network
6. American Express program - correction
7. Fast way to replace old links
8. Increasing hits by improving link popularity
9. Newbie Club First Website Builder
10. How to sell to teenagers
11. I found that article in Small Biz Backwire
12. Affiliate news headlines
13. Purchase of SiteSell looks good for affiliates
14. Thought for today: Going viral

Commission Junction, the leading affiliate marketing solutions
provider, has transformed sophisticated affiliate marketing soft-
ware into an affordable and easy-to-use Web-based service that
provides a turn-key solution for managing revenue-sharing
relationships. As an application services provider (ASP),
Commission Junction provides a network of more than 1,600
merchants and 350,000 content sites with a comprehensive suite
of affiliate marketing services. [UPDATE: This link is obsolete.]

1. Affiliate mini-site gets the "click-back"

Here's an affiliate mini-site which is well worth careful study.

It's designed to be useful enough to encourage users to bookmark it and "click back", as George Kastoras calls it. I have.

George explains his site:

"I had no choice but to build after continuously receiving so much great info on domain names in the Associate Programs Newsletter. My initial intent was to build a practical site to display my own domain names for sale, with some associate program links thrown in, but I eventually decided to give the site more of an interesting theme in order to encourage people to stick around or rather 'click back'.

"While visitors to often click through to merchants, they ALSO want to come back - to get the rest of the information.

"In my opinion a good affiliate mini-site should never LOSE a visitor to a merchant, but rather cause that visitor to remember and appreciate the referrer.

"If they don't rush back, you haven't given them a reason to.

"And for goodness sake don't recommend affiliate links that don't over-deliver a high quality product. Trust is the number one affiliate tool on the market today, it makes all the difference and doesn't cost a cent.

"Interest + Trust = click back (to affiliate mini-site).

"It's that simple.

"George Kastoras.

"PS. Thank you for providing an associate program directory that made it so easy to quickly find high quality affiliate merchants to recommend, and for being one of the only newsletters that's never met my delete button. Keep it up."

If you have a look at you'll see that George:

Registered an attention-getting, memorable DOMAIN NAME.

Designed a search engine-friendly site which is rich in KEYWORDS.

Has decided on a THEME - domain names and closely related services - so his site should be highly attractive to search engines of the future.

Did lots of RESEARCH and provides plenty of useful information to encourage users to bookmark the site.

Has built a site which is good enough to be accepted by important DIRECTORIES such as Yahoo! and the Open Directory - - which will increase its ranking in other important search engines. A listing in LookSmart would be a nice addition.

Breaks up long text to retain readers' attention. Boxes, bullets, color, quotations, sub-headings and links can all be used to do that.

Leads the user through the site.

Makes it really obvious where he wants you to click.

He places keywords in his URLs, for example: "url-forwarding-internet-addresses.html"

He introduces affiliate links IN CONTEXT - so the links are part of the useful information provided.

He concentrates on a SMALL NUMBER of GOOD affiliate programs. If you study the site, you'll see how he leads the user eventually to Corey Rudl's program in a credible way. This is done only after he has built credibility by providing lots of useful information on domain names and closely related services.

While he works on improving the site, adding more useful info, George isn't paying for advertising yet. He's just experimenting with free publicity so far.

George's site is new and he's still working on finishing touches. (I'm sure he'll improve those hard-to-read purple expired links on a black background on the main page. Well, they're hard to read on my laptop, anyway.)

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Get pre-release details about the book and about the new
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details AT [UPDATE: This link is obsolete.]

2. How to buy domain names for only $10

George Kastoras of came across a site which lets you register a domain name for a remarkably cheap $10. (The company makes its profit by selling web hosting.)

I won't spoil George's promotional tactic by telling you the name of the company. You'll have to follow the trail of bread crumbs which he has laid for you...

George wanted to promote these cheap domain names, and the fact there was no commission on them didn't stop him.

He figured out a way to send visitors to the site through an AFFILIATE URL - and with any luck, he'll earn commissions from the traffic.

Here's how he does it.

At one of the first things you see is a graphic saying "Register domain names $10".

Unfortunately, when you try to click on it, you discover that there's no link - clicking on the graphic doesn't do anything.

If you hunt around you'll soon discover that in "Lesson 1" George has an "***IMPORTANT UPDATE!!!" and in a blue box a bold link urging you to...

"Click here to find out who The Undisputed Winner Is!"

After clicking on that, George says, scroll down to the bottom left of that page, and click on "REGISTER DOMAIN". This will bring you to the $10 domains and you can bookmark the page for future reference.

The "Undisputed Winner" link takes you to a web hosting company (I'll let George tell you which one) which lets you register a domain name for $10.

The web hosting firm has an affiliate program, which you can join at Be Free so that's how George may earn commissions.

To find those $10 domain names, start following the bread crumbs here:

3. Phil Wiley's mini-site adds value to a good offer

Phil Wiley of has created a highly effective affiliate mini-site by ADDING something extra to an already powerful affiliate program.

"I'm just writing to mention the big success I'm having with one of my mini-sites - ," Phil says.

"Built around an offer for Marlon Sanders' book 'Gimme My Money Now', it's working very well because I'm offering a great incentive for people to buy plus there's both a time limit and a limit on how many people I'll sell to. Because I'm offering to help people set up their mini-sites and hosting, I have to limit sales to just 15 people. When I made the same offer a month ago I sold out in a couple of days.

"Previously I've boosted affiliate sales by offering an extra guarantee, on top of the one offered by the vendor of the product being sold," Phil says.

Now he is using this combination:

mini site
bonus offer
time limit
limited number of sales allowed

"It's far outstripping anything I've done before," Phil says.

I'm not surprised that the offer is working well.

Phil started on the right track, selecting a very good program with a high conversion rate.

(Marlon, as you probably know, is the author of the big-selling "The Amazing Forumula Which Sells Products Like Crazy" - - which is an absolute must-have for every marketer's library.)

Then Phil added value to the offer by promising to offer highly relevant, hard-to-find information of his own, offered to HELP the buyer, and then added urgency to stimulate an immediate buying decision.

See how Phil does it here:

...learn from the Internet Experts.
(that's why you're reading Allan's newsletter, right?)
So when "Nothing But Net" author Michael Campbell says
" this before you buy anything else"... may want to click...

4. How to choose the best pay-per-click search engines

So many pay-per-click search engines exist now - you can find 54 at - that trying to choose the best ones to advertise in is very time-consuming.

You need to know not only which engines are likely to send you the most traffic, but also the likely QUALITY of that traffic.

To help you sort through the maze, I interviewed three web site owners who use pay-per-click search engines extensively and have analyzed their results.

One of them receives about 1,000 visitors a day from pay-per- click search engines.

My article "Which Pay-Per-Click Engines are Best?" - has now been published by Stephen Mahaney, author of the Unfair Advantage Book On Winning The Search Engine Wars on his fee-based site:

It's just one example of the in-depth reports you'll find on the site of this highly respected search engine guru.

5. ValueClick buys onResponse network

Pay-per-lead, pay-per-sale network onResponse has been acquired by ValueClick.

"By acquiring another profitable, like-minded company, ValueClick is reinforcing its worldwide leadership in pay-for-results online advertising, the fastest growing segment of the online advertising industry," says Jim Zarley, chairman and CEO of ValueClick.

OnResponse President and CEO Scott Averbach says the purchase will mean "lots of good things to come for affiliates".

OnResponse has more than 8,000 website publishers in its network, and guarantees "timely and consistently high payouts".

6. American Express program - correction

Patrick Anderson of ADNet was a little over-exuberant last week when he told me that Declan Dunn is managing the American Express program, which is bundled with the "Totally Free Christmas Gifts" offer.

Actually, Declan is consulting to help promote the American Express program and will help affiliates, but by no means is he "managing" or guaranteeing the program. "The spirit is right, but American Express hardly needs me to assure they will pay their affiliates...;-)" Declan says.

Totally Free Christmas Gifts:

If you just want to join the American Express program, you can do that at LinkShare.

7. Fast way to replace old links

Last week I published a complaint from an affiliate who had to replace lots of links for a defunct affiliate program.

Here's a tip from Bob Blackwell:

"I recently had a similar problem with replacing all links on a customer's site, but using Frontpage 2000 the job took only about 15 minutes. I used the following procedure:

"Edit/Replace (Ctrl H) opens a dialog box where you can enter the old URL or partial URL and also the replacement URL. If you check the 'all pages' radio button you will also get the option to check the 'find in HTML' option. Check both and the hit the 'Find Next' button. Frontpage will search all of the website, list all pages with the URL and the number of occurrences.

"When the search is complete, double click on each page and the changes will be made. Frontpage will ask if you want to save the old page before going to the next page.

"It is fairly straightforward and seems to work well..."

Bob does Website Marketing for
"We Make Occasions Special One Cake at a Time..."

8. Increasing hits by improving the link popularity of your site

Link popularity, the number of sites that are linking to your site, is an increasingly important factor as far as search engine placement is concerned. Other things remaining the same, the more links to your site, the higher its ranking will be, says Sumantra Roy in this in-depth examination.

9. Newbie Club First Website Builder

Joe Robson and Tom Glander of the Newbie Club have launched a new product which is "100% newbie-friendly".

If you're a newbie and you still haven't built your first web site, this product will get you started quickly and easily. It's a package of four e-books written by three 'newbie-friendly' specialists and a NEWBIE.

Book 1 is: "How A Newbie Built A Great Website In Just 2 Days - Absolutely Free".

You can get a free trial here:

10. How to sell to teenagers

According to Teenage Research Unlimited, teenagers in the US spend an average of $100 a week.

If you're brave enough to be trying to sell to fickle teenagers, you'll find this article fascinating and helpful.

What do teens want?,3532,ART21117_CNT53,00.html

11. I found that article in Small Biz Backwire

The "What do teens want" article was in Small Biz Backwire, which has editors who scan the Net for the best articles on a huge variety of topics.

Whatever subject you're interested in, Backwire will probably have a newsletter aimed at you. I've tried only the Small Biz newsletter, and it's good.

Backwire gives concise summaries of articles, so you can quickly scan them to see which ones you're interested in.

Backwire has an affiliate program with Commission Junction, paying 50 cents per subscriber (not as much as it used to pay).

[UPDATE: OnResponse was bought by ValueClick. seems to have disappeared.]

12. Affiliate news headlines

BlueLight, the online retailer affiliated with Kmart, is buying "selected assets" of Spinway to maintain free Internet service for its customers after Spinway closed its doors.

Payment system PayPal has 4.5 million users and processes more than $7 million in transactions on an average day.

Stalking the Super Affiliate
Super affiliates - or "performance partners" - fall into one or more of six categories, says Dan Gray. Selling Domain Name to

Babygear has filed for bankruptcy.

Microsites Emerge as Powerful Tools

13. Purchase of SiteSell looks good for affiliates

Ken Evoy has sold his SiteSell company, but will remain at the helm.

Ken says SiteSell has been bought by "the 'kid' who I used to coach in baseball 25 years ago! Or, to be more exact, by the company that he (Joel Leonoff) and his business partner (Rory Olson) of many years founded."

The purchaser is SureFire Commerce an e-commerce solutions company which Ken says is large, dynamic and rock solid, with $30 million cash on the balance sheet and no debt.

The deal looks good for SiteSell's 13,000 affiliates.

"SureFire Commerce has some exciting products coming down the pipe... store-building solutions and hosting, e-payment technology, transaction processing," Ken says.

"It's going to be business as usual, for SiteSell, you, and me. Except much bigger, much faster. The rewards will be much greater, the risk much less."

The structure of the deal gives Ken a strong incentive to make sure SiteSell, which has sold more than 30,000 books in the past 12 months, continues to do well. The deal was half cash and half shares.

If you've somehow managed to escape hearing about the highly innovative Ken Evoy and SiteSell, the best introduction is to grab his brilliant 10-day course, "Affiliate Masters". It's about 100 pages of affiliate marketing wisdom which is the best step-by-step instructions you can get on how to create a themed affiliate web site. And it's free.

Download the 10-day free course here:

Free Affiliate Masters Course

[UPDATE: Ken wasn't happy with the way things were going and bought the company back.]

14. Thought for today: Going viral

"The next time you see a marketing guru talking about how to drive a truckload of traffic to your site, remember the "Am I Hot Or Not" site. ( ) It's viral. It's fun. And it's getting a TON of free publicity. Some of the best ideas are the simple ones."
– Damon G. Zahariades,


All the best

Allan Gardyne

December 7, 2000

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