Categories
Affiliate Programs Internet Tools Microsoft Windows PDF Tips & Tutorials

Software to Convert PDF to MS Word Format

PDFZillaOne of my friends has created a very useful piece of software to do PDF to Word conversions. I find his product a breeze to use so I’m recommending it to my fellow readers. Hopefully it would be of some use to you guys.

Differences between PDF and Word

PDF (.pdf) and MS Word (.docx, .doc) are probably two of the most popular digital file formats for readable documents that are intended for humans. The major difference between the two is that MS Word can be easily edited while PDF is a finalized container of postscript data that are essentially non-editable vector information. Although you can read text in a PDF document, they are actually vector graphics rather than plain text such as those in a MS Word document.

This difference explains why people would want to convert a PDF document to a Word one as they can then make changes to the content and make further use of it. A lot of online tools and desktop applications exist for this purpose, such as PDFZilla, which provides easy procedures to imitate an OCR process to scan and analyze the supplied PDF document and convert it into high quality editable Word, in just 3 clicks. A batch mode is also available for people who want to convert a large number of PDF documents.

How to convert PDF to Word?

This is as simple as 3 clicks. Here are the steps:

  1. Head to http://www.pdfzilla.com and download the latest version of the PDF to Word software.
  2. Run PDFZilla.
  3. Add a PDF file by clicking the big green plus / add button.
  4. Choose the destination format as Word Files (*.doc).
  5. Click “Start Converting Now” button.

Okay, that’s like 8 clicks, but you got have some clicks…😉

Selling PDFZilla for 75% Commission

Lots of my readers are webmasters, so I’m also thinking this might be a good chance to earn some bucks by promoting this software as it’s rather generous of my friend’s offer – 75% affiliate commission. It’s very rare to come by a product of such usability yet of such high commission rate. Definitely much better than those ClickBank hit and run. Think about it.

Categories
Affiliate Programs

A few Amazon affiliate tips and my earnings of Mar. 2011

amazon affiliate earning stats screenshot I’ve been a happy Amazon affiliate for over a year now and the monthly revenues have been steadily climbing up ever since I started promoting their products galore. The most recent month, Mar. 2011 has ended up making me over $400 in commissions or advertising fees. Attached on the right is the screenshot. Considering I didn’t do much work, it’s really awesome to have a nice side income that’s gonna last for a while – which is the beauty of SEO! Once you done the hard work the right way, it’s gonna last for at least a few years and even grow by itself!

So I’ve got a few tips to share with you if you just started on Amazon to make money.

If you’ve got a blog:

These are tips for people who aren’t technically oriented but blog a lot.

  1. Don’t promote a product or widget on a site-wide level. My experience is it almost never works out. Go article level.
  2. Add a relevant product at the end of every blog post. It takes extra minutes for a post but it would definitely yield great results. Relevance is the key here. Find the most reviewed and best received product such as a book that carries the information relevant to your blog post. Find the product that best complements your post.
  3. Write articles in the mind of promoting one or more of the popular products at Amazon. Do not write to hype how good the product is, instead, write in your genuine tone to solve the readers’ or visitors’ problem and drop your Amazon affiliate links in-between the helpful words, naturally leading them to purchase the products.
  4. If you’ve used a product, write a genuine review! People love personal writings. Write a review and be personal. Then link to Amazon page under your affiliate ID.
  5. Target micro-niches and go long tail. The smallest product (in terms of price) would make you the most money. Most people who fail in Internet marketing fail to realize this. Small is big.

If you know how to build a website all by yourself:

These are tips for people who develop websites by themselves.

  1. Create a comparison shopping site / search engine that integrates a lot of different vendors. Visitors arrive on your page to compare the prices and terms of each vendor (including Amazon’s) and decide where to spend the money – by clicking your affiliate links. This is the mogul approach. It is great but you have to dedicate a lot of time and energy to make and maintain it. I built Dante Books off this ISBN database which is essentially a books directory site with limited price comparison. For now, it leads only to Amazon. 😉
  2. Add relevant products to your existing sites. For example, the traffic of a golf courses directory would be very much interested in the golf equipment.
  3. Create a review club of certain products. People can come to share their reviews. An online book club would be very fun to create and maintain!
  4. Create a rebate site. When customers order under your name and you earn 7% of the deal, give 3% rebate to the customer.

To make the most of Amazon Associate Program or any other affiliate programs:

Some general guidelines in making affiliate programs work.

  1. Use a clean, white design with minimum images unless it’s for the sale / conversion.
  2. Put content the first thing. Do NOT distract the readers from the content for any reason. Get rid of other ads. Less is more.
  3. Blend your affiliate links in the content as if it’s a very helpful and indispensable resource to compensate your point.
  4. Write the content within 2-minutes reading time’s length. Use at least one list, ordered or unordered, in each article. Plant at least one affiliate link in the list.

There could be more, but I’ve got to find something to eat now.

Categories
Affiliate Programs

How to hide and force the visitor to click your referral or affiliate link?

There are primarily 2 ways for merchants to set up an affiliate program, one is to offer coupons that are assigned to the affiliates and can be spread out. When someone uses that coupon, the merchant knows it’s a referral by that affiliate. The other is to create dedicated links with the affiliate ID in it. So when someone clicks through the affiliate link, the merchant can identify the affiliate.

For the latter, it’s sometimes tricky to make sure that your visitors or readers do click through your affiliate link rather than visiting the merchant site directly. One can easily search for the official site by business name in Google. While it is impossible to have a bullet-proof solution that makes 100% of the readers you refer click through your referral link, you can do it as much as possible.

One approach is to hide the affiliate link by a redirection in PHP. A better approach, however, is to create a clickable form button that submits a cloaked post or get request to the merchant site, as used by my WiredTree coupon site:

<form method="get" action="http://www.example.com/affiliate.php?aff=123"> <button type="submit">Activate Coupon Code</button> </form>

This way, the visitors would feel compelled to click on the button because there’s something good for them AND it’s relatively harder to find the original URL. Better yet, use the cloaked affiliate URL of your own in the action attributes.

WordPress Way

If you are posting affiliate links or coupons on your WordPress blog, try the DRP Coupon plugin, it’d also help cover up your affiliate link and force the visitor to click on the link to claim the discount.

Categories
Affiliate Programs

Amazon Associate (Affiliate) Program Review: Why I love them

Go to Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com

There are tens of thousands of different affiliate programs out there you can use to monetize your traffic. A few of the biggest players are ClickBank, eBay, Amazon, CJ and Google Affiliate Network. Unlike CJ and Google Affiliate Network who are simply brokers of merchants and affiliates, Amazon and eBay are independent merchants. I tried CJ with no luck at all – when I say at all, I mean it. Maybe it’s because I’m not an AdWords type of marketer. Never tried Google Affiliate Network though, but we’ll soon find out how that goes. I’ll keep you updated on what I’m doing. ClickBank has too many information products that require strong marketing skills or generous AdWords spending to get ahead. eBay doesn’t let me sign up in the first place because of my location.

I’m currently averaging around $100 bucks per month (Update: as of Mar. 2011, I’m making about $400 / month. ) via the Amazon Associate Program. It’s not much but believe it or not, I’m really enjoying it. It’s terrific products they have there and the money is easy because what I did was just a few posts on Kavoir.com that recommends good development books to my readers. They end up buying more than what I recommended, 70% of the time I’ll say. Although they started on books, Amazon is such a huge independent merchant with such a massive inventory of almost everything you can name that you need in the daily life. So they are a rather easy start for novice affiliate marketers. All right, here goes my review of the Amazon affiliate program.

What are great?

  1. amazon associate program earning statsAmazon is a globally recognized brand. And because of this, the conversion rate is pretty high when you are sending traffic to them. Chances are the visitors you refer to Amazon used to shop there or at least heard of / known them for some time. Take my earning stats of the first 10 days of August for example, over the 622 clicks I sent to them, I have an overall conversion rate of 4.66% – that’s not bad for casual, non-targeted traffic (as opposed to traffic gathered from AdWords). Roughly speaking, 1 sale was made in every 21 people who visited Amazon via my link.
  2. People are already familiar with the products at Amazon because they are all recognized brands. It just makes the sales even easier to make. People follow and trust brands. It takes tremendous time and commitment to build a brand, but once you establish it in the market, your products and services will sell themselves. With other affiliate networks, the hard part is the pre-sale. With Amazon, you don’t even have to do that at all. The only thing you need to do is to send them to the product pages at Amazon. They are already optimized to attract the maximum sales possible.
  3. Amazon has such a diversity and abundance of products you can sell. It has a huge selection of almost everything you can think of that you may want to sell online. It covers almost all the niches that you ever have the time to build. No matter what you are interested in and the topic of your website, you are certainly to find something at Amazon that fits into it. In fact, Amazon itself has inspired me to build more niche websites in the months to come. For a start, yesterday I launched Standing Desks and Military Fiction Books. Will keep you posted on how they are doing and how I’m doing them.
  4. Many people I refer to Amazon end up purchasing much more than what I recommended. They may not buy the things on the landing page (the referral link you give them to arrive at Amazon), but the Amazon Associate Program will always credit you for anything else they purchase, even on partner sites. As long as they make the purchase(s) within 24 hours of clicking your referral link, they are are going into your affiliate credits.
  5. Amazon has a rather sophisticated and usable associate / affiliate platform. I don’t need to even start counting the number of ways you can put Amazon affiliate links up on your site: product links, banners, pages (any page on Amazon can be linked and attributed to you) and widgets (product search, Carousel, deals, mp3 clips, favorites, slideshows, auto part finders, blog updates, product cloud, wish list, Omakase and so forth) in a variety of different forms. You can also create an aStore to exhibit and sell a selected set of products to a targeted group. However, the best stuff in their arsenal is the Product Advertising API by which you can have a niche site up in minutes. You can do mass queries to get any kind of information regarding a specific product or a group of similar ones, the title, price, manufacturer, brand, publisher, description, features, availability, customer reviews, you name it. I’m going to create a script to do just that, or perhaps a WordPress plug-in to do the dirty work for you.
  6. Amazon products are rarely returned and customer payments rarely refunded. In all the sales I made until now since I started the associate membership, over 400 of them in total, only 1 return happened. It goes without saying that this is a very good sign that you will be guaranteed of the reward for your referral efforts. You certainly don’t want to recommend products that are frequently returned to your visitors and readers.
  7. Amazon Associates is absolutely the best program for beginning Internet marketers. They are easy to use and easy to get started. Sign up, visit any page on Amazon.com and you can build a referral link in 10 seconds. Post the link on your website or blog and write a genuine review. You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to get your first sale. Stuff on it are needed by many people and you have ocean-broad options. Best of all, for reasons I put forth above, they are really easy to sell, especially the books. For example, you can quickly start a books website with millions of pages by these books ISBN databases and link to Amazon sales page in this manner. These sites are not pretty but believe me, they are pulling adorable figures of monthly income via Amazon affiliate sales and Google AdSense.
  8. 5 times higher eCPM than AdSense. I can’t disclose any eCPM information of my AdSense performance as per the TOS, but I’m having 5 – 10 times the average eCPM with Amazon products (mostly books) than with Google AdSense. I’m not saying AdSense is inferior to Amazon associate program in this regard but you have to do it right. AdSense is a perfect money maker on large traffic that is not quite optimized and targeted, but on products sites, Amazon program rocks way better!

What are not so great?

  1. The commission rate is pretty much the lowest across the industry. They have a performance structure of variable commission rates (they call it advertising fee rates) that as the number of items you sold increase, the commission rate increases. Starting at 4.00%, the highest possible rate you can achieve is 8.50%. Some affiliate program such as those from ClickBank offers 75% or more commission rates.
  2. The cookie lifespan sucks too. It’s just 24 hours. What this means is that if the person you refer to Amazon doesn’t purchase anything within 24 hours of clicking through you referral link, you earn nothing and the referral is history. You get nothing neither even if he orders something after the 24 hours period. Other affiliate network / merchants typically have a much longer cookie period such as 60 days.
  3. Pain for foreign marketers. Amazon provides direct deposit to American residential marketers who receive their earnings almost instantly, but for foreign residents who live outside of US, check becomes the only venue to get the money. And it usually takes more than a month to arrive. It sucks. Sometimes it can really kill the motivation of foreign associates, me included. I guess they just don’t quite care about this. I would be very much glad to see them offer wire transfer as an additional approach to send the affiliate rewards.

So what do you say? I’m certainly going to create more Amazon niche websites soon! Subscribe to this blog to read more tips on making money online with the Amazon Associate Program. I’ll keep you updated on how I’m doing.

Categories
Affiliate Programs Make Money Online

How to change CJ password? (of Commission Junction)

This question has been asked a thousand times on the web and Commission Junction has apparently decided to make it harder for the affiliate publishers to find out how to change the password of their account.

To change your CJ account password,

  1. Log into the account area or control panel,
  2. Click “Account” of the top menu,
  3. In the “User Settings” fieldset at the bottom of the page, you must have a user that’s the Superuser of the current CJ account, edit this user account by clicking “Edit”,
  4. A small window should pop up, asking the you for the current password to continue,
  5. Enter your current CJ account password and click “OK”,
  6. The subsequent screen should look like this,
    change cj password
  7. Click “Create new” and the password changing fields should appear,
  8. Type in a new password and click “Save”.

Kind of elusive, huh?

Categories
Affiliate Programs Make Money Online PHP Tips & Tutorials

Best way to hide and cloak your affiliate links?

One may first think of using JavaScript to do this by dynamically changing the windows status bar URL, but unfortunately this trick doesn’t work across Firefox browsers.

The truth is the visitor or clicker will eventually find out that they’ve been referred to the affiliate merchant by you from the ultimate landing URL – sometimes this may be totally redirected to the clean home page of the merchant, but many’s the time it’s not.

So the one thing you can make sure is the reader of your site must click through your affiliate link to get to the merchant. And the following snippet will help you achieve this. Start a index.php file and put this in:

<?php
header("Location: http://www.example.com/referral.php?aff=12345");
?>

In which http://www.example.com/referral.php?aff=12345 is your referral link. Save this file somewhere in your domain such as /go/example. The next time you want hide and cloak the real affiliate URL, or at least make it look more neat, just point your readers to /go/example and they will be automatically redirected to the affiliate link.

Another good way – via Javascript, to hide or cloak the status bar URL

Another way of doing this is to rely on JavaScript for changing the href property of the a tag when the visitor clicks on the affliate link:

<a onclick="javascript:document.location='http://www.example.com/referral.php?aff=12345';return false;" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.example.com">Example</a>

The potential problem of this approach is that if the visitor browser’s Javascript capabilities are turned off, you will not be credited for your referral because they will be using the plain href link.

Categories
Affiliate Programs Make Money Online My Personal Reviews

T-shirt Affiliate Program

tshirt affiliate program:  tshirt hell Custom design and printing is what characterizes online T-shirt businesses that have come into boom since a few years back. A lot of people are making good money selling custom design tshirt. To tap into this niche, you can either come out with your own designs and promote the merchandise at Cafe Press, or you can earn good money by marketing others’ tshirts, that is, by the tshirt affiliate program.

Tshirt Hell makes a perfect example of what an online tshirt business should do in order to achieve success financially.

  1. Make an affiliate program – not only has there to be one but it also has to be an attractive one. In a market as open and free as the Internet, marketing ain’t easy. So it is only fair for marketers to earn a good cut of the profit. Tshirt Hell generously offers $4 affiliate reward for each and every sale, no exceptions on size or price: whether it’s a $15 sale or a $7 one, you get $4, no questions asked. Compare and you shall know, $4 commission per tshirt sale is a rather steep one that few tshirt sites can come up with.
  2. Let there be a 2-tier cut – 2-tier affiliate program means another affiliate marketer can sign up with the program under your name, and you will keep receiving a share of the profit whenever your referred affiliate makes a sale. Tshirt Hell again makes their program an appeal for all tshirt marketers with $1 per 2-tier affiliate sale forever for you. That means, every sale your referred affiliate makes, you will receive $1 reward for it. This is obviously a clever move as it instantly increases the possibility that their business and your earnings both go viral.
  3. Tshirts should be impulse buysTshirt Hell distinctly distinguishes themselves from other Tshirt designers and providers. A black sheep if you will. If you go and take a look at their unique designs, you will have no problem understanding why their products sell so well.

It’s all about the bad tshirts.

Categories
Affiliate Programs Domains My Personal Reviews

Dynadot Affiliate Program Review – Not Worth the While

I joined Dynadot at the commencement of .tel domains and tried my luck to get some domainers to register a domain with them.

Maybe it’s because they just don’t care about expanding via affiliates, the system might be a little buggy or not so affiliate friendly in that once the referred friend signed up an account with them, even if they have clicked through your affiliate link to register the domains at Dynadot, the newly registered domain and its commission will not be credited to you at all.

Therefore, make sure you send your friend or site visitors the affiliate link before they register the account with Dynadot. So, basically, they should register their account through your affiliate link. The other way won’t work for sure, but still I’m not sure if it works in this way.

Feels a little fishy with Dynadot domain registration affiliate program and totally not worth the while.

Categories
Affiliate Programs Make Money Online

Build Simple Amazon Affiliate Text Links with just ASIN (10 digit ISBN) and Your Amazon Associate Tracking ID

Amazon Affiliate system does a great job presenting you a variety of ways to make associate affiliate links so that you can take credit of their products that you have referred to others. Today I messed around a little bit with their generators and finally come to a simple solution to generate affiliate links dynamically and simply with server side programming.

The simplest way to link to an Amazon product and take the referral credit is to use this link:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0470633956?tag=maawe-20

Wherein 0029724600 is the ASIN (equally the 10-digit ISBN) of the product (books!) and maawe-20 is my amazon affiliate tracking ID.

Or this:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0470633956?tag=maawe-20

These would come quite handy when you build a book site with thousands of theme books, possibly on the same subject, and, you have a database of the books that contain the exact ISBN number for each of the book records. Now that you know amazon affiliate links can be built this way, it’s nothing more than a breeze to just insert the 10-digit ISBN number as ASIN into the URL template with your own affiliate ID.