Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Craigslist Fights Back Against Black Hat Affiliate Marketers By Unveiling a New Warning Page

If you visit the Craigslist jobs section on a regular basis, then you are probably well aware of all the fake job postings created primarily by affiliate marketers. If you are living on another planet and have never witnessed one of these bogus Craigslist employment opportunities in action, let me explain how it works.

A black hat affiliate marketer will sign up with a quality CPA network like Clickbooth and search for cost-per-action programs that pay per lead. Normally the program will pay the affiliate between $.50 and $100 per lead referred, depending upon how valuable the lead is to them. Typically black hat affiliates are drawn to email and zip code submission programs because they are easy to campaign and market. Black hat affiliate marketers love these kind of CPA programs because they can be rather easily manipulated creatively on large social networks like Facebook, Craigslist, and MySpace. Quite often, these below-the-belt scam artists utilize emotional response marketing in conjunction with a sneaky redirect scheme. It is this redirection tactic where they strike their victims below the belt because often times they send the candidate through hoops, inevitably leading them nowhere. You see, what they are offering simply doesn't exist 99% of the time! Their solitary objective is for the "lead" to fill out a form, submit an email address or zip code, or some other required action on the part of the victim of this charade.

Craigslist has now taken some drastic (and very wise) measures to crack down on the manipulation and deceit being inflicted on many of it's innocent victims, at the hands of the black hat affiliate community. The visitors to Craigslist Jobs section now are confronted with a very detailed, bold typed warning page, which outlines the various objectives the scam artists are looking to achieve through their phony employment postings.

Check out the screen-shot below of the new Craigslist Warning page, which users now automatically encounter prior to reaching the Jobs section of the site.

Since the implementation of the new black hat affiliate alert page, I have noticed many less scamish job postings. For instance, black hats like to use Gmail for their automatic account follow ups (vacation auto-responder), often creating hundreds, even thousands of gmail accounts to mass produce their results. Not surprisingly, since the site's smack-down on these villain affiliates, many less Gmail addresses are being used for job postings. I suspect that the black hats are altering their strategy as we speak, starting with dropping their Gmail email addresses (site users are now very skeptical of any ad that uses a Gmail response email address) from being displayed in their ads.

Will the ultra-strict Craigslist crack down on black hat affiliates work? Time will tell I guess, but I can tell you this much - there is no avoiding the new scam alert page. Potential employment seekers have no choice but to encounter this red flag in every single city, before they can continue to the job listings. Since there are several hyperlinks on the page, one has no choice but to at least browse over the jist of what the moderators have to say in order to find the "Continue To Job Postings" link. In my opinion it was a drastic step in the right direction for Craigslist, and a long time coming.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Unleash the YouTube Producer Within You! (Part 1)

Last I checked, YouTube ranked #4 (globally) with Alexa for the most visited websites on the internet. With an audience that diverse, the potential is there to make an absolute fortune. In order to do so however, aspiring video producers must play their cards just right. Viral is what you aspire to create, because if your video goes viral, you will become an instant internet sensation. You will have swagger, pull, and most importantly, power. With power comes money!

So what makes for great viral TV? Well for one thing, you will need a high quality video camera, which is capable of shooting high definition video to shine on YouTube. Flip Video makes a great ultra high definition camcorder which is capable of shooting 120 minutes of HD video on 8 GB of built-in memory; no tapes or additional memory cards are required. (See Image Below)

If you own an iPhone or Blackberry, then you are already all set up to shoot superb high-def right from your phone! These high tech devices are quite capable of recording ultra high quality videos, which you can then upload directly to YouTube.

The Viral Factor

The simple fact remains, unless your video is noteworthy of being shared with people in mass, it probably won't make you a single red cent. But what makes for a memorable video? What makes a memorable video turn into a viral video? Let's take a closer look at some of the YouTube viral video categories, across the board.

The Insane

I'm sure you've probably seen the many, many viral videos which have been produced out of sheer insanity. Remember the little boy who visited the dentist, and was videoed still buzzed up on Novocaine? His name is David, and the video is "David After Dentist". This video has almost 32 million YouTube hits to date! The best part of it is, exploitation of a minor for fame is crazy as hell, isn't it? I think so.

The Unique

These days, some of the most explosive viral videos are those based almost completely upon the premise of uniqueness. Think about it this way, when you shop for a new car do you settle for the same make/model that your parents have? Or do you shop for the car which is unique to you? YouTube surfers similarly shop for videos which are one-of-a-kind.

Think about some of the most recent viral video hits. Remember the wedding party entering the church, then proceeding to dance down the aisle to a hip-hop song? The "JK Wedding Entrance Dance" was the first of it's kind. It's uniqueness, coupled with the comedic factor of a wedding party having so much fun on their wedding day, made it an instant monster viral success. To date it has well over 27 million views!

The Spin-Off

About a week or two after "JK Wedding Entrance Dance" came this spin-off "JK Divorce Entrance Dance", which simply took the success of the first video and followed up on it. Much like a successful television sitcom spin-off - "Cheers" spun "Frasier", "Happy Days" spun "Laverne and Shirley", "Grey's Anatomy" spun "Private Practice", "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" spun "Angel", etc, etc., captivating viral videos can also have successful viral spin-offs.

This concludes part 1 of this topic. Stay tuned for part 2 which will discuss a few more categories where great viral videos normally fit. Then we'll talk about some ways in which this strategy can be employed by just about anyone.

While you await part 2 of this tutorial, I recommend that you check out this fabulous  Easy Video Player, which is currently being used by many of the big players and YouTube producers.

Friday, June 19, 2009

How To Promote Amazon Associates Program with Twitter (part 2)

In part one of this tutorial, we talked about promoting Amazon Affiliate Program with Twitter, and I helped you set up your Twitter profile so that it is optimized for both twitter search query's and Google Search. Now that you have your profile set up, let's do some altering so that your profile is one-of-a-kind.

Go to the 'Settings' tab at the top of the page and once you're there click on "Picture" and browse to a recent photo of yourself. You will want to use a real image of you, rather than something generic, because it gives off a much more warm, personal appeal to those who choose to follow your updates. If you don't have a photo of yourself, snap one real quick on your cell phone and upload it to Twitter. I mean after all, everybody has a camera phone these days, don't they?

Next, click on "Design" then go down to where it says "Change Background Image" and click on that button. Now you need a great little logo to use for your tile background image, so do another image search for something "bargains" or "deals" oriented. Something as simple as a piggy bank would work very well. Once you've found something you like, save it to your machine and then browse to it and upload it to your profile. Check the box that says "tile background" below the background you just uploaded. Then click save changes and see how it looks. If it's all good, then you're ready to roll!

Now you need to join the Amazon Associates Program, in the case that you aren't already enrolled. Once you're all set up and are approved into the program, it's time to find the content you are going to use for your "tweets". Amazon has several blogs each with rss feeds you can use with twitter. Simply subscribe to the rss feeds for these blogs, then go to this site - twitter feed.

To create an account at Twitter Feed, the best bet it to use an OpenID. If you have a account with Blogger, Yahoo!, AOL, or Google, then you're all set (I think this includes about 90% of the online market or better!). You can log in to OpenID by clicking where it says "Sign in with OpenID", then follow the instructions to either create an OpenID, or log in with your chosen OpenID credentials.

Note: You will need to be patient when using this site because it is very slow - it is likely overloaded with too many tweeter bloggers and such. Your patience will pay off big time in the long run though, I promise you that.

How To Use Amazon Daily Blog and Amazon Associates Blog with Twitter Feed

So now that you have a Twitter Feed account, you're an official Associate, and your Twitter profile is all pimped out, it's time to start tweeting!

Go to and click the link at the top right (under the toolbar) of the page which says "Amazon Daily Blog", then when you're there click on the rss icon on the right. When the page comes up, right click the url in the address bar and copy it. Go to your Twitter Feed account and paste in the rss feed for the amazon blog, title it appropriately, and allow access to your Twitter account. All set! Now, every time the blog is updated, it will be posted automatically to your new Twitter as a "tweet"! Pretty cool, huh?

If I were you, I would do the same thing with the Amazon Associates blog rss feed, and every 10 rss-tweets or so post an Amazon affiliate link on your Twitter representing a bargain or deal of the day. You may be pleasantly surprised at your earnings results over time.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

How To Write Effective AdWords Ads in 5 Simple Steps

If you've tried Google AdWords, one thing comes to mind; steep learning curve. There's nothing wrong with learning, but sometimes, time is of the essence.

The number one key to successful AdWords campaigns is, not surprisingly, the ad itself. Well written ads will draw more clicks and a higher CTR (click-through-rate) than a poorly written ad, regardless of the keywords chosen for the ads. The good ad will yield a higher ROI as well, since CTR will be strong. The question is, what makes for a great AdWords ad? Is there a secret formula used by the AdWords masters? Well, quite frankly, yes.

You will be hard pressed to find these 5 simple tips to mastering great Google AdWords ads from any of the true gurus. You see, they don't want you to know these 5 steps because if you did, they might have to forfeit some of their obscene profits to their true competitors. God forbid!

Grab your cup of hot coffee, turn off the TV, and if you must be subjected to noisy distractions, get a pair of earplugs and put them in. You will want to pay very close attention to what I am about to reveal. Are you ready? Alright then, here we go.


Step 1 - Include Your Main Keyword in the Ad Headline

Keywords are the very important, as you likely know. This is no exception when it comes to writing effective AdWords headlines.

You want your target audience to click through your ad based on the keyword in the headline because they will be much more likely to convert into a sale for you. Including your major keyword wisely in the headline of your ad will not only convert better, but also outrank much of the competition who have bid on the same keywords you're bidding on.

Step 2 - Put the Main Benefit in the Second Line of Your Ad

Ads perform better when the benefits come first. It is important that you place the main benefit of your product (what do the people searching for my keywords really want to find?) directly below the ad headline. CTR will suffer if you don't.

Step 3 - The Third Line of Your Ad Should be Your Product's Feature

Your third line should be a primary feature of the product or package you are offering. If you sell collector's coins for example, you would want something like "Special 25% Discount Available Through September!"


Step 4 - Line four should be your display URL, Capitalized, with the included subdirectory

Ideally you want your display URL to draw the attention of the searcher, and capitalization is the most effective means of accomplishing this. You do not want to capitalize the entire URL, but rather, only the first letter after http or www.

Always include a subdirectory with the display URL indicating the word "Free". This word will really boost your CTR because people are looking for freebies now more than ever!

Your display URL must resolve to an actual page on your site, so keep this in mind above all else.

Step 5 - The fifth line, your destination URL, needs to land the visitor exactly on the download page for their free trial sign up

Never resolve your destination URL to your offer website's home page, in hopes that they will stumble upon the free trial page eventually. Trust me, most people will lose interest way before they find the free trial link!

You want to direct the customer to your goal for them, so to speak. When free and easy come together, success is the result!


There you have it folks. Simply follow these 5 simple steps each and every time you write a new AdWords ad, and you will be on your way to "AdWords Qualified Individual" before you know it!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

How To Promote Amazon Associates Program with Twitter (Part 1)

If you haven't heard of Twitter, you must be from some other planet! Using the service is one thing, earning income from it is another story altogether. In this tutorial I will break down the Amazon Associates Program and how to effectively use Twitter to promote products and services. In the process, you will potentially earn a substantial online income.

The first thing you will need to do is create a Twitter profile, that is if you don't already have one. If you need to make one up real quick, go to Twitter and click the "Get Started - Join". Fill out the required information, and make sure to choose a username which is highly relevant to the niche market. For example, something like "amazonbargainking" or "superamazondealsfinder" would work well.

Note: Notice the word amazon is in the username - make sure you follow this example because your followers (and subsequent traffic) will be laser targeted to the service you will be offering, and more likely to buy through your affiliate links!


Who else wants to make $100,000 per year - working from home ?

Once you have created your Twitter account, the next step is to spruce your profile up a bit. First click on the default thumbnail icon (black background with blue digits) to change it to something more relevant to your niche - bargains/deals. Now do an image search for something to use for your thumbnail logo, such as an deals icon (don't plagiarize, but rather, design your own custom logo instead at gr-sites). When you're satisfied with your design, save it to your computer, then upload it to Twitter as your new thumbnail. The best thumbnails are small and square, 700k max.

The next step is to choose a good sub-domain name. Click on 'Settings' at the top of the page on the right. 'Account' will be shown by default, so first enter your real name, then fill in a 'username' related to; for example, "dealsonamazoncom" or "amazonbargainguru". The username you choose will serve as the main key to like-minded Twitter users finding you, so make sure you have the word 'amazon' in there somehow!

Enter your desired email address, change your timezone appropriately, then move down to the 'More Info Url'. Enter your website, blog, myspace, facebook, amazon affiliate page, or anything relevant to your twitter amazon niche.

The 'One Line Bio' is extremely important, so be sure to insert key phrases related to deals and bargains. Emphasize your expertise in this area, this way you will be followed by those wanting to learn from you. Aspiring internet marketers and entrepreneurs are hungry for great information, and since Amazon is full of that, there is a good chance to sell relevant informational products to them down the road.

sponsored link

This concludes part 1 of this 2-part tutorial on how to successfully promote Amazon Associates Program with Twitter. Part 2 will soon follow, so be sure to subscribe to my rss feed for the latest news and updates!

Monday, May 11, 2009

How To Use Yahoo! Answers To Dominate Your Niche Market

It seems that no matter how hard the successful internet marketer works their tail off, learning and mastering new skills, niche internet marketing (especially affiliate marketing) is one tough gig. As the old adage goes though, knowledge is power. If you are looking to get an edge on the ever increasing competition in your niche area of expertise, and in turn make more money online, you might want to consider becoming a regular, frequent contributor to Yahoo! Answers.

Let's face it guys, the global economy is in the toilet. Is it any wonder so many people are turning to the awesome power of the internet, in order to make ends meet? Not only do we (internet marketers) have to compete with aspiring internet entrepreneurs of all shapes and sizes, but we must now also consider the unsuccessful job hunter, the laid off factory worker, the disgruntled bank teller, the ambitious housewife, etc. - all of whom are taking the plunge into internet entrepreneurship and online money making endeavors at a breakneck pace. In this uncertain economy, building an online business requires every tool at your disposal.


Openings at $75K to $500K+

If you plan to utilize Yahoo! Answers to your inevitable financial advantage, do not make the common mistake made by so many over-eager internet marketers. You must not sign into your Yahoo Account, hop over to Yahoo! Answers, answer a question or two, then begin promoting affiliate offers left and right. If you do that, you are going to be blackballed by the community right out of the gate.

In order to use Yahoo! Answers to your traffic boosting advantage, simply follow these four basic steps:

1. Use the Advanced search feature to find topics that have more that 1200 questions to answer.

2. For the first 10 questions answered use short and to the point answers, preferably a couple of lines.

3. On your 11th question, make sure that you give an answer that is more in depth, this is where you can and should answer a question related to your product or service, and leave your website back link or ad.

Hint: The best products to affiliate/promote through Yahoo! Answers are definitely CPA (Cost-Per-Action) programs. You can literally make a fortune from scratch if you do this right!

Here's how the "Big Guns" are currently doing it with CPA programs.

4. Simply rinse and repeat.

Use this strategy diligently and delicately, and you will be on your way to building trust and rapport within the entire Yahoo user community. In the long run, this relationship building will pay off, helping you to make more money online.