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On Banners - Context Is The King

What every new affiliate needs to know

Yes, you've read every single letter just right. Context is the king in your affiliate business. Many have realized it the hard way. Many more have given up, totally oblivious of the fact.

I've lived to tell.  

Slight digression No1:

Track whatever you can on your site. Banners, links – everything. As soon as you learn how to insert Statcounter or Google Analytics code. And as soon as you learn how to build your affiliate links. Why? Because only then will you  be able to recognize your winners from your losers.   Let me tell you - I wouldn't have made a zlich without it.

If you don't commit to track and test, you may well go do something else and leave the web to trackers and testers. Because theirs is the online biz present and future.

You can't have any sustainable affiliate business where you just put up what you like best or what looks best on your site and perfectly fits in. Or perfectly stands out. Or both.

So it's time for the mistake No1. of Yours truly

Wrong Approach

Boy, did I line up a regiment of beautifully designed happy people pictures, all perfectly fitting in with my site.  

Was I delighted beyond description with banner of a smiling vaping mother holding her child! Did I envision families of smokers out there clicking like crazy on this wonderful affiliate banner  and ordering piles of kits and bulks of stash! Or how about this one with  two beautiful girls holding e-cigs and having a chat.

And my merchant partners having a panic attack, unable to meet the sudden waterfall of demand placed upon their heads by my Omnipotent Marketing Genius (OMG)!  

Did I visualize a truckload of nonsense here.  

My results: the Grand Jury of the market determined my crappobanner strategy value: 0-cent income! The webmistress was sentenced to come to her senses as pronto as possible.  Yes, I had to do some good thinking on why it all failed spectacularly.

See, people come here searching for info. More often than not, my site provides it. The keywords glass clearomizers, how long do ce4 last and alike bring here visitors already in the thinking and info searching mode.

So, what my wannabe emotion triggering banner strategy did was only to insult their intelligence, that's for sure. I do apologize to all of them for my rookie stupidity.

Now, before you completely discard any type of banner with any blanket statement, this needs to be said: they aren't duds everywhere. And none of them is crappy per se. The one I put up above is still nice and doesn't offend anyone. But it hasn't been of any use on my site either. Except looking beautiful.

Take for instance a dating site like  Plenty of Fish, with hundreds of thousands of visitors at any given moment. I've read that a guy placed a half-naked woman with an e-cig on one of these sites, targeted male smokers and collected thousands (or was it tens of thousands?) in just a week.

What's the deal here?

People on sites like that aren't in e-cigarette thinking mode, really.  Most of them anyway. And even if they do search for something, e-cig is surely not on the list. So, why not give them an illusion of  what they want (a half naked girl) to get them doing what you need (sending some $$ to your account). 

Slight digression No2:

What about the product, you may ask.

Which product? The advertiser himself probably hasn't even tried it. 

But he surely invested some hundreds or – more probably - thousands into his banner ad campaign. Then tweaked the heck out of it until he got a winner. Also lived in fear other sharks might outbid him there and steal his campaign.Another reason why I  don't really like that environment.

But if you do, more power of the half-naked girls to you!  (I hope you don't expect a pic here.)

Point is all these banners can have their appropriate context - dating site, family forum, fashion site, biker site – you know, like that one with guys lined up at the bar, beers in hands and  claim your freedom  or similar crock written all over it. They are just not an adequate fit for an e-cigarette info site that wants to be serious and promote products with integrity.

And I really don't know what I was thinking (for months - big eyeroll here) but my visitors were thinking just right when they happily ignored my crappobanner action or clicked away from me.

Time for my mistake No.2. 

Read on - On Banners Part Two