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On Banners - Part Two

What every new affiliate needs to know

Unrelated Product Banners

continued from On Banners - Context Is The King

Luckily, this one didn't take so much time to get identified as wrong and eradicated for good. Promoting e-cigs and having a mind-mapping software banner? (Really!)

But you can see other folks make the exact same mistake over and over again with all those out of their niche banners plastered all over. And then wonder why no money comes their way.

Another slight digression:

Couldn't help thinking of those ads that keep following you everywhere. You know what I'm talking about – Google Massive Spyderman Action. You clicked on something somewhere once and next thing you know the same ad looks right back at you wherever you land. It might have been interesting while it was all new, it might have even brought some dough back then, but now? Seriously? People are freaking out.

Stop it, Google, before you ruin all banner advertising for the rest of us.

Don't get me  wrong here – I'm not telling you not to promote anything out of your niche. However:  

a)      Don't expect ANYTHING if your site is young or relatively young

b)      Don't expect MUCH even if your site is relatively old and established. Here you can even make a few dollars, but the question remains – wouldn't it be more cost-effective if you used your precious ad space seen by many daily for something that fits in completely rather than hand it over to Google for pennies?

You see, gone are the days when people made gazillions with Chitika. Yes, one prominent blogger said  he had made millions with Chitika contextual ads. But those were the days with fewer websites and hungrier visitors clicking their way through any link they see. Today, only huge places can make any kind of significant money on stuff out of their niche.  

In the last few months I had hundreds of e-cig purchases  and zero ( 0 ) non e-cig purchases. Beside e-cigs I've also tried my luck with a  website building company and a mind-map software. (!)

Zero purchases. And a few clicks.  

Why? First – this is not any fault of the companies whatsoever. All have high quality products plus great programs and support for their affiliates.

But I overlooked what the deal was. And wouldn't be surprised if you did, too.

People have come to your site looking for the specific info related to the specific niche (yours). Unrelated product banners are mostly no good for your site, no matter how great they might work for in-the-niche affiliates! Advertising these products  might even hurt you, especially if your banner is not backed  by at least one page of a solid content. 

Now the only banners out of my niche here are promoting an e-mail marketing service. Not just because I've been using it for more than a year with pleasure. There's a  suitable multi-page context here - e-cig affiliate business. So, if you've arrived here via search engine looking for an affiliate opportunity, you might also find info on e-mail marketing tools if not useful, then at least appropriate.

This service is not only user-friendly - it also inspires me. So, this banner isn't just standing here and abusing the ad space. It simply makes sense where it is.


OK, I can almost hear you moaning - can we have a successful example here?

Of course. I've tried and tested many over the months


And The Winner Is...

Believe it or not, here's one that wasn't supposed to be affiliate banner at all. It's not in the list of affiliate banners of the company in question. So I just made a banner out of it and believed it would fit in just right.

And fit it did! This one has been sitting comfortably for months on pages Clearomizers and CE4 Clearomizer Review, collecting both clicks and purchases!

Buy Apollo Clearomizers

What's the secret?

  • Its high contextual relevance – this banner is placed on the pages writing in more detail about clearomizers. So, people are either searching for clearomizer info in general or in particular. Then they are sent to the page which displays more of what they have been searching for.  If they don't feel like reading any further, they don't need to – just click the banner.
  • Good stuff repeated twice with smart placement!  If visitors feel like reading on – great! The same banner is placed at the end of the text as well.

Last slight digression:

This very method works with signup form or anything else you most want your visitors to do  when on your site. If you have a decent newsletter or autoresponder (which you should start planning right from the beginning), place your signup form at least twice on your pages.

Don't forget to spice it up with the best offer you have. It can be something like "free e-cig basics", "free e-cig lingo", list of coupon codes or something else e-cig related. I found one of the colleagues put a nice report on various battery threads and compatibility. 

  • Valuable info – instead of bikers at the bar celebrating their freedom, it features clearomizers lineup. Which banners would work better for an info site than the ones giving valuable info themselves (why the heck didn't I come up with this before?) Likewise, my other winners were the banners containing info on significantly discounted products (which are high quality, don't forget that!)
  • Visual similarity – back to the clearomizer banner - it sends people to the site having the same picture on similar position. So, basically the two sites have at least some visual resemblance. That way, your place looks like the place you're sending your visitors to without you being a copycat! It works, because people tend to prefer this kind of similarity over going to a place that's 100% something else. They may not even be aware of that!

Ignoring the following advice can leave some pretty moolah on the table

  • Make sure you send your visitors exactly where the ad and your content promise to send them. It's usually not the homepage, especially if you're writing about a specific kit or accessory. Thing is people are used to be pointed to the exact spot. If you direct them to homepage, they may not feel like searching further. Clickaway!  Also, some folks may not be internet savvy at all (they have other priorities instead of surfing their life away like us wackos:) So, unless you point them exactly to where they need to go, they simply won't know how to get there. Not finding that fancy kit from your ad. Getting slightly annoyed. Clickaway!


Not a digression this time

More often than not, your merchant does not provide this specific link. So, you'll have to create it yourself.

In the affiliate software find something called Alternate incoming page links.  Then copy the link of the product page from the browser. Paste it into the appropriate field  for incoming page links in your affiliate interface. Voila, the link will be modified, with your affiliate code added.

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