Highlights from LeadsCon Las Vegas [Exclusive Video Interviews]

As promised, the entire LeadsCon video interview series has been posted as of today. Click here to check out interviews with all the key attendees, exhibitors, speakers and partners — and hear their exclusive tips on lead generation, and what they took away from the conference.

A few of our favorites are below.

Oliver Roup, VigLink Founder & CEO, chats with Steve Hall of AdRants.

Oliver Roup, VigLink Founder & CEO, chats with Natasha Aronov of Leadnomics.

Oliver Roup, Founder & CEO of VigLink, chats with Mike Rosenberg of Trafficvance.

Join Us at the 2012 Affiliate Marketing Awards

It’s that time of the year again – The Affiliate Marketing Awards are almost here!

And we’re excited that this year the event’s organizer, Murray Newlands, has opened submissions up to international as weel as U.S.-based affiliate marketers. If you or your company have exhibited excellence in the field of affiliate marketing this past year, take a few minutes to share what you’ve done and be considered for an award in one of 20 categories (up from 15 last year) including Best Use of Social Media, Best Affiliate Marketing Blog, and Best Third Party Tool.

Meet the Judges

  1. Steve Hall, Founder of AdRants and MarketingVox
  2. Tanya Alvarez, Founder & CEO of BlinkAds
  3. Curtis Fullmer, Vice-President of Affiliate Marketing at Adknowledge
  4. Peter Bordes, Founder & CEO of MediaTrust
  5. Firuze Gokce, Co-Founder & CEO of Affmeter, LLC.

For a Limited Time, Get a Free Ticket

This year’s awards will be taking place in San Francisco the week of Ad:Tech, on Tuesday April 3rd at 111 Minna Gallery. If you are local to SF, or will be in town for Ad:Tech, we hope you’ll join us for the awards ceremony and cocktail hour.

VigLink is proud to once again being serving as an event sponsor, and for a limited time, attendees can receive a free ticket using the promotional code VIGLINK upon registration (note that you’ll enter the code before clicking the “order now” button on the registration page).

Click here to RSVP – hope to see many of you there!

March Spotlight on the Merchants: Get Ready for Spring Break & March Madness

Each month, we take a look at a few of our favorite VigLink merchants as part of our Spotlight on the Merchants series. In our March edition, we share a few of our favorite spring break suppliers, as well as gear for March Madness and summer concert season.

Each of these merchants is an eligible VigLink merchant, which means if you are a VigLink user and send traffic to any of these sites that results in a sale, you’ll get paid!  When you are creating content centered around themes like Spring Break and March Madness, consider linking to these merchants when you reference products and services.

GlassesUSA.com

For those of us that wear glasses or contacts, the right pair of prescription sunglasses can be difficult to find. GlassesUSA makes it easy to find just the right pair — right in time for a spring getaway.

Travelocity.com

If your readers, like us, are starting to get tired of the cold weather, consider sharing some of Travelocity’s amazing deals on your site — and help visitors plan just the right escape to warmer weather!

RealCyclist.com

As the weather warms up, your readers will be looking for ways to get outside more often. A bike can be an inexpensive / easy way to get ready for summer. Help your readers find just the right one this March using RealCyclist.com.

IrvsLugguage.com

When you’re sharing or creating content around spring break and summer travel, it makes sense to include an option for luggage. Irv’s Luggage offers a low-price guarantee, free shipping, and carries all the major luggage brands including Tumi, The North Face, and Samsonite.

TicketNetwork.com

The spring and summer concert season is almost upon us! As your readers begin to fill up their calendars, help them find great seats at all their favorite shows using TicketNetwork.

eCampus.com

Help your readers score their favorite sweatshirt, t-shirt, or cap from their favorite university at eCampus. Choose from 100+ schools and hundreds of items — just in time for March Madness!

Future of Publishing TV: Watch Episode 1 in It’s Entirety

If you missed January’s live-broadcast of the inaugural episode of Future of Publishing, you can check out the episode in it’s entirety below. In this episode, Oliver Roup, VigLink Founder and CEO, along with Murray Newlands, sat down with Pirouz Nilforoush, President and Co-Founder of NetShelter; Yulia Smirnova, SEO Expert; and Paul Edmondson, CEO of HubPages.

Check out the discussion…

Learn more about the Future of Publishing by visiting our Facebook page.

What’s the Value of a Hyperlink? Try $58,000.

This post originally appeared on MissyWard.com as a guest feature by Oliver Roup, VigLink founder & CEO.  You can check out the article here.

One morning this past November, as my team was reviewing highlights from the previous days’ customer metrics, something caught our eye: a purchase for $58,000.  After a few minutes of digging, we found that on an evening earlier in the week, an individual browsing an automotive site had come across a post that discussed a particular pontoon boat — complete with floating bar and tiki torches.  The visitor had clicked the link the site owner provided and ultimately purchased the item for a hefty $58,000.

We know that links within content have an intrinsic value, particularly from an SEO perspective.  They convey authority, build relationships, and generate traffic.  But, we often don’t pay enough attention to the revenue opportunity they present.  In the case of the automotive site owner, he generated tens of thousands of dollars in revenue for an online merchant.  In return (he was monetizing his content’s outbound links using VigLink), he saw his revenue on a per-click basis triple post-sale, soaring to over $1.20 per click.  And while a $58,000 purchase is certainly substantial, it isn’t as uncommon as one might think; we regularly see publishers generating sales for computers, cars, and pricey collector items from $1k to $100k+.

It begs the question: if a single link can generate tens of thousands of dollars in business, why aren’t we giving more thought to the links we include on our sites? We obviously want to maximize a reader’s time on our site, and for links to enhance a reader’s experience, but why can’t they also be sensibly integrated into a broader monetization strategy?

Here are three areas publishers can invest their time in order to get more out of the hyperlinks they include on their site.

Tracking Outbound Links

The first step to incorporating outbound links into your monetization strategy is to understand where you are sending traffic. And what value is created after a reader leaves your site.

Omniture (paid) and Google Analytics (free — but requires a modification to the standard Analytics code you add to your site) both offer tools to help you understand what happens when a reader leaves your site.

Practicing “Sensible” Linking

Think before you link.  Once you know where your readers are going when they leave your site (and even better, what they are doing), you are in a much better decision to decide what words to link and where to link them to.

A couple examples of what I mean by this:

  • If traffic sent to a particular retailer produces more actions (e.g. sales) than a comparable retailer, focus links on the former.
  • Links that never get clicked are just noise. Replace them with alternative text or remove them altogether and focus on adding links to other areas of the page.

When in Doubt, Link

It’s time consuming to determine what pieces of content on your site would benefit from an added link, but it’s well worth it.  When speaking with publishers, I recommend that they air on the side of generosity when linking.  If content references a product, service or brand, always include a link. And similarly, look for areas that indirectly reference these same products and consider weaving sensible links into those sections as well.

As long as you are careful not to rely on a link insertion service that adds only tangentially related links (which can negatively impact user experience), you’ll rarely encounter a reader that is turned-off by an additional link.

What’s Next for the Hyperlink?

In the near future, I wouldn’t be surprised to see links within content go the way of banner advertisements, with links being dynamically selected based on reader behavior and advertiser preferences. In the long-run, the shift will be a win for readers (fewer irrelevant links), advertisers (who will enjoy better targeting), and publishers (who will have better content and see a new revenue stream from their content). But first, publishers must realize the value they are creating with each hyperlink they add to their site.

[Live Broadcast] The Future of Publishing

This morning, VigLink Founder and CEO, Oliver Roup, will be teaming up with Murray Newlands, blogger and online marketing consultant, to kick off their brand new TV series, Future of Publishing.

They’ll be kicking things off at 12 noon Pacific Time (-8 GMT) and you can tune in to the live broadcast below.  The hour-long show will feature some of the sharpest minds in the publishing world today, including:

  • Pirouz Nilforoush, President & Co-Founder NetShelter
  • Yulia Smirnova, SEO & Site Optimization Marketer, blogs at memesponge.com
  • Paul Edmondson, CEO of HubPages.

This week only: Playkast will be giving away an Amazon Kindle post-show!  Make sure you are in the running by heading over to the Future of Publishing Facebook page after the show to participate in a short quiz.  Viewers who score well will be entered into the drawing.

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Watch live video from futureofpublishing on www.justin.tv

 

[SF Blog Club] Email Marketing Do’s and Don’ts for Bloggers

At this month’s San Francisco Blog Club, we talked about email marketing, specifically how to manage your blog’s email subscriber list. A few of the key takeaways Lydia Sugarman’s shared…

DO find a way to sum up the point of your email in less than three sentences.

If you are sending blog subscribers a summary of recent blog posts, ensure that the first few sentences of the post get straight to the point. If not, be sure to include concise introductory text.

DO build an editorial calendar.

Similar to how you would plan out blog entries for any given week or month, it is crucial that you plan in advance how frequently, and with what content, you’ll be reaching out to blog subscribers.

DO offer an incentive to subscribe.

While some will surely subscribe to your blog for the daily (or weekly) updates alone, you will generate a greater number of subscribers if you sweeten the deal.  Consider offering new subscribers an eBook or other guide that directly relates to your blog’s content.

DON’T overwhelm subscribers.

Be careful not to inundate subscribers with a high volume of email. When you do send an email to subscribers, ensure that the content is relevant / timely / helpful.  Recipients will quickly unsubscribe (or worse — simply start ignoring your emails), if they perceive them to be “fluff.”

DON’T forget to measure results.

Like any other marketing initiative, track your results!  Measure open rates, as well as click-through rates — and be sure to test different email creatives and send times to find what works best for you.

Check out Lydia’s slides below for even more details on how to maximize ROI on email marketing.

Looking forward to next time!

Anna Cunningham | Social Media Manager | VigLink

3 Content Tips to Jump-start your January Revenue

December was a record month for online shopping, so you may be wondering how to keep your January sales strong.

Here are a few tips you can implement now to ensure your January revenue measures up!

Jump-start your Revenue

Tip 1: Help Readers Reach their Resolutions

Many of your readers have set New Years Resolutions for 2012 and many of those resolutions center around fitness and financial goals.

Help your readers achieve their goals by building content and sharing product tips that center around health and fitness, as well as financial planning.  A few easy ways to do this:

  • Share deals on gym memberships (as an example, 24 Hour Fitness, with locations across the country, is an eligible VigLink merchant).
  • Ask readers what their favorite ways to get in shape are — and the equipment they use to do so (this will encourage links to be shared).
  • Share your favorite financial planning books, and ask readers to do the same (be sure to include a link where readers can purchase each one).

Tip 2: Help Readers Keep up with their Favorite Teams

Weekends in January (in the U.S.) will be dominated by football in many homes. If your readers are some of the millions of Americans whose weekends will revolve around watching NFL playoff games, help them get the most out of it by building content around the following themes:

  • Gear for fans. NFL.com is a VigLink merchant and has fan gear for all your favorite teams. Share your favorite jerseys and other gear with your readers to generate additional clicks and revenue.
  • Memorabilia. eBay (also a VigLink merchant) has some great finds on sports memorabilia. Share your favorites with readers, and ask them to share their favorites as well.
  • Sporting equipment.  Why just watch when you can play? Share content that includes information on sporting equipment — special deals and favorite picks. DicksSportingGoods.com and SportsAuthority.com are both eligible VigLink merchants.

Tip 3: Test, Test … and then Test Some More!

Finally, be sure to use this month to A/B test content, landing pages, design, and ad options.  The risk of running an A/B test this month versus a month like December will be lower — and your wallet will thank you come the next holiday shopping season when your site is better optimized for engagement and revenue generation.

Here’s to a profitable January to each of our VigLink publishers!

Access Top Affiliate Marketing Programs

Ever find the process of enrolling in, or getting approved by, a new affiliate marketing program painful?  It can mean endless emails, follow-up and hoops to jump through. Not to mention that there are literally thousands of merchants with affiliate programs, and it is frankly impossible to manually enroll in all of them.

VigLink can help. We streamline the process of accessing new affiliate programs:

  1. When you create an account with VigLink you automatically have access to over 12,500 affiliate programs. Yes, AUTOMATICALLY. This includes all the big guys (Amazon, eBay, Overstock, Zappos, etc.).  If you install VigLink on your site and start sending traffic to one of these 12,500 advertisers, you will be immediately eligible to be compensated for that traffic.
  2. For those few merchants and advertisers that wish to approve which publishers send them traffic, we do the work of getting you approved. You send us an email, and we’ll contact the advertiser to get you approved by their program.

The end result: you maximize your affiliate revenue AND save time.  You’ll avoid the scenario where you add a link to an online merchant only to realize you haven’t been approved by their program yet, and you will never have to worry about having a link that is out-of-date or expired. Plus, with VigLink’s top-tier payouts, you’ll earn more as well.

Click here to get started — and then tell us what you think!

Holiday Top 10 List: The Best Gifts for Grown-ups

This is the seventh in a series of weekly blog posts centered around the holiday products your readers are buying, based on actual VigLink sales data.

This week, we’re focusing on the best gifts for those that can be the most difficult to buy for: the grown-ups. What do you get for those that say they “don’t want anything” or seemingly already have it all? Here is VigLink’s list of the Top Gifts for Grown-ups, with items at all price points.

The goal of each list is to help you understand what your readers are shopping for this holiday season, so you can create content and links around each item.

How to Use the List

Here’s how to use each list to increase your site’s revenue:

  • Create a blog entry, forum thread or webpage that features the list, a short explanation of each item, and a link where readers can find out more and purchase the item.

OR

  • If you don’t think the entire list would be relevant to your particular set of readers, select the most relevant items from the list to post in a blog entry or forum thread. Provide a short explanation for each one and a link where readers can purchase it.

Note: copy and paste each link exactly as it appears below into your site. Modified links may not receive credit for clicks or purchases.

Without further ado…

TOP 10 GIFTS FOR GROWN-UPS

1. Amazon Kindle Fire

The top selling item across the network for the past 30 days! Movies, apps, games, music, reading and more — plus Amazon’s cloud-accelerated web browser.

http://www.amazon.com/Kindle-Fire-Amazon-Tablet/dp/B0051VVOB2


2. Ultimate Ears TripleFi 10 Noise Isolating

High-quality earphones are especially popular this holiday season, in particular, this pair by Ultimate Ears. Give the gift of great sound.

http://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Ears-TripleFi-Isolating-Earphones/dp/B0019RBJOE


3. Watches

A stylish and practical gift. Popular brands include Casio, Seiko and even a GPS enabled watch, the Garmin Forerunner model.

http://www.amazon.com/Watches-Mens-Womens-Kids-Accessories/b?ie=UTF8&node=377110011


4. 3D HDTV

Lots of last minute shoppers are picking up HDTV’s for loved ones, with the 3D HDTV made by LG being one of the most popular picks.

http://www.amazon.com/LG-Infinia-47LW6500-47-Inch-LED-LCD/dp/B004OVEVO2/


5. Sony Cybershot

Combining a variety of intelligent, easy-to-use features, the Cybershot digital camera makes it a breeze to shoot life as it happens.

http://www.ebay.com/ctg/Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-W530-14-1-MP-Digital-Camera-Silver-/100113431


6. Just Dance 3 (Wii / Playstation 3 / Xbox 360)

This is the most popular game overall this month, and its great for kids of all ages! It features more than 40 tracks across a wide range of musical genres, including pop, hip-hop, rock, R&B, country, disco and funk.

http://www.amazon.com/Just-Dance-3-Nintendo-Wii/dp/B0053BG26C


7. Panasonic DMP-BDT210 Blu-Ray Player

Our top-selling Blu-Ray player.  Features Wi-Fi and 3D capability!

http://www.ebay.com/ctg/Panasonic-DMP-BDT210-Blu-ray-Player-HD-DVD-Player-/101735454


8. Harry Potter: The Complete 8-Film Collection

Top movies this season include the complete Harry Potter collection, Inception, and X-Men: First Class. Pick each of them up via one of the links below!

http://www.ebay.com/ctg/Harry-Potter-Complete-8-Film-Collection-DVD-2011-8-Disc-Set-/110258144

http://www.ebay.com/ctg/Inception-Blu-ray-DVD-2010-2-Disc-Set-Includes-Digital-Copy-/96903884

http://www.ebay.com/ctg/X-Men-First-Class-Blu-ray-Disc-2011-2-Disc-Set-Includes-Digital-Copy-/108812110


9. Scrabble Slam Cards

Our top-selling game is a great, inexpensive gift ($3.49) for all the Scrabble lovers in your life!

http://www.amazon.com/Parker-Brothers-05890-Scrabble-Cards/dp/B001FVPS0K


10. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Steve Jobs’ biography by Walter Isaacson has been selected by Amazon as one of the “Best Books of 2011″ and continues to top bestseller lists.

http://www.amazon.com/Steve-Jobs-Walter-Isaacson/dp/1451648537