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Affiliate Monitoring Software

One of the keys to generating revenue from your websites as a domainer is affiliate sales. Especially now that Pay Per Click (PPC) revenues have plummeted. It's always best to have multiple sources of income, and affiliate networks like Commission Junction and ClickBank offer tons of offers for you to link to, and whenever those result in sales (or even just free sign ups or whatever promotional options the advertiser makes available), you get a cut. Let me give you an example of how affiliate sales work.

This site is still fairly new despite the number of posts :) ... and until I develop a larger base of content, I'm not going to heavily advertise and promote the site. It just doesn't make financial sense to drive customers to a site that they will immediately leave. But I do get traffic and I've recently started monetizing it, if for no other reason than to see what promotions work and which don't. It's like my little play ground. One of the most effective things I've done is include text based links to affiliate URLs. What that means is that inside the text of these blog posts are scattered affiliate links that are relevant to what I'm talking about. When you, my precious users, click these links, and subsequently take an action like buying a domain name or purchasing a piece of software from the website I sent you to, I get a percentage paid to me through my affiliate network - such as Commission Junction. If I had placed PPC ads on this site, the number and quality of payouts from those clicks would be in the range of about $0.30 cents so far, based on past experience. With text based affiliate links, I've made over $30 from just one link that has been clicked only 5 times so far. And that's just one link with very minimal views/clicks. 

How did I get such a high return? Well, because affiliates like Dotster will track you for not only your browser session when you clicked on a link like this:

Low cost domain registration. Buy one domain, get one free!

But they also remember that I sent you to them for 7, 14, 30 or even 60 days, depending on the advertiser. Any purchases you make then from Dotster in that timeframe are tracked and I get paid.

So affiliate marketing is a great way to monetize your sites... but it can be crazy trying to manage all of the different affiliate networks, each with their own account info, their own update schedules and interfaces for running reports. It's difficult to know, for example, if a specific ad is working and opportunities get lost. And once you start seeing revenue, you'll be checking your balances every hour on the hour to see if you've made any more money! Affiliate Marketing can be a huge time sink.

Well, there's a handy utility called Affmeter that handles aggregating all that affiliate data, adsense spends and much more into one convenient interface. I've been impressed with it so far, but I wish they had a free trial. The good news is that it's very low cost to get started - just $14.95 a month and they have a pretty iron clad 60 day money back guarantee if you don't like it. Other programs I looked at wanted to charge a percentage of your revenues/ad spend with minimum monthly charges in the hundreds of dollars. Affmeter gets the job done and saves you more money per day in time saved than you'll spend on it for a month. As I said there's not a free trial, but there are a number of demo videos you can check out here.

I'll have future posts on how to best monetize your site using affiliate links and even how to profit as an Affiliate Advertiser. So stay tuned! And in the mean, save yourself some time and consolidate your affiliate reporting today by downloading Affmeter. Use the time you save to make more money from your websites!

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