In this month’s installment of “Barman reads the news so you don’t have to…,” or as some people call it, “a Glorified AffBuzz,” we take a look at new developments on the internet. Well, not really, just a lot of useful resources for copy writing, affiliates, and people stepping up their entrepreneur and start-up game. Don’t forget to read last month’s “issue” or even the month before that – some of the links are timeless.
A little over a year ago, I wrote a post about LotsofAds.com, the super secret agent ads spy tool used by James Bond, Batman, and even Lebron James (Dear FTC: the last bit there is obviously a joke.)
Since then, there have been a number updates and improvements to the Lots of Ads service which I’ll discuss shortly. But to refresh your memory, LotsofAds.com is database of … well, lots of ads, from a certain, very large social network. LotsofAds constantly monitors this social network and records the ads it sees through various “user accounts” broken up into different demographics. Over time, LotsofAds has managed to scrape data on hundreds of thousands of ads all over the world.
Lots of Improvements
Now Supporting 25 Countries – It’s no secret that advertising internationally is a great, wide open frontier for many affiliates located in 1st world countries where competition has ramped up. In the US and other English-speaking countries, you’re not only competing with affiliates, but with big brands with near-limitless budgets that have no concern for ROI.
With LotsofAds.com, you can see what’s being promoted in non-English countries.
On the flip side of seeing “what’s working,” you can also get insight into “what hasn’t even been tried.” Don’t see any dating ads in Papua New Guinea? Well, what the hell are you waiting for? Translate them shits and go! (assuming you can find a Papua New Guinea BBW dating offer…)
Check out Adsimilis for a ton of international offers (games and dating) and tell Mama Eleah that Barman sent you.
Advertising affiliate offers, internationally, isn’t that hard on a large social network platform. Millions of new users each day across the world – don’t worry about competition. There’s plenty for everyone.
It’s just work – setup, translation, and ad submission is grunt work but worth it when you can get sub-penny clicks. Don’t make it harder on yourself! See which images and copy are working in the US and UK (hint: Use the LotsofAds Frequency setting), then translate that stuff to another, less-competitive language and country. Submit the ads, cross your fingers, then submit 20 more. The most-eye catching ads that get stupid click-thru-rates are the ones that will make you money.
Lots of Spying – LotsofAds.com improved on their data by providing a whole “Ad Destinations” section which lends itself to some creative spying…
1. Find ads using your favorite affiliate networks by entering their tracking domain in the “Redirect URL” field.
2. Find ads running on popular affiliate tracking platforms.
3. Find all ads ran by a particular affiliate by plugging in their tracking domain.
4. View any campaign’s exact targeting by analyzing the subids being passed in the URLs.
5. Show only ads that have more than one redirect since these ads are more likely to belong to affiliates (select “>1 Redirects”)
Seriously, that is some next-level spy shit. This kind of data is good to have and fun to look at, but not a solid game plan. Don’t go around copying campaigns word for word. That’s amateur hour. If you do, the Son of Zeus will shit on you. Use the data create your own campaigns, or take the creatives and go do some media buying with it.
If LotsofAds.com sounds like Lots of Profit to you, definitely check it out. I rarely review stuff on this blog without shitting on it, but LotsofAds.com has continually improved since it came out. There isn’t really anything bad to say about it. What the shit are you waiting for?!
Use Coupon Code “PPCBZ” for 10% OFF of LotsofAds.com!
So it looks like I might actually finish a wrap-up post on time for once. It’s only July 4th, whereas most of the time these posts are finished halfway through the month. Happy Freedom Day Americuh FUCK YEARRRRHHHH!
Let’s begin with all things interesting on the internet…
Affiliate, Copywriting, Traffic, and other Online Marketing Goodies
Some chick on Shoemoney posts 11 Things to Make You Look Like a Conference Douche. While I agree industry conferences are filled with some of the lowest of low life degenerates, I think this chick is out of line a little here. You’re an 8 at industry conferences because they’re giant sausage parties. In real life you’re a 5 at best. You get +3 just for being there and having tits. AND I’ll stare at your tits if I want to WHY ARE YOU WEARING THAT LOW CUT SHIRT THEN?!
But seriously, all joking aside ( i respect women in real life), seobitch ( If that’s your real name…) makes some valid points. Mr. No Tipper – That turns ME off, and I am a guy. I fucking HATE this. Broke asses can’t even toss a bartender a $1. Shit is just mind-boggling.
/end rant. Down to business.
I always forgot to holler at Bevo Media’s Blog, run by the ever so sexy Ryan Buke ( Richboro repping ), but NO MORE! How to become a millionaire in affiliate marketing, with pros and cons for each. 1 Simple Trick to saving your Facebook campaign. And finally, how to really research a niche, funk proper.
Still using the same “copy + paste” method in affiliate marketing? No wonder you suck! Read this good post by Mr. Green over at POF – Stop Ignoring Angles! A lot of great advice on how to bring up good campaigns – focus on the copy and angle. Once you’re profitable, then you can fuck around with small stuff like button color.
Frank Schilling has a few words on Google’s future. In other domaining news, Conan launches Conan.xxx, the best use of the new .XXX extension since dullspace.xxx.
There is now an “Alliance to Fight Bad Ads” or something. What is this shit I DON’T EVEN
Real Time Bidding is growing like a mothafucka. Every impression on sale!
Why do people leave online reviews? Because it makes them feel cool? Yes, but no. Usually it’s just to be helpful (duh).
Shock Marketer writes about David Ogilvy, advertising legend.
What is this? Something useful from SEOMoz? How to Hack a Domain Name for your Website.
How to write the perfect blog post. The irony is that the post is an infographic.
HasOffers has some tips for marketing with video.
Whats the best day to launch a Facebook campaign? DM Confidential reports.
8 Quick ways to improve your Adwords CTR (although these tips can apply to almost any ppc traffic source.)
Aaron Wall of SEOBook writes a long, in-depth post berating Google and their bullshit. I. Love. It.
Better than link building. An interesting post on gaining traffic by becoming an authority source. Another article that repeats some of the same things along with some more SEO stuff..
5 Awesome psychological studies on pricing, from Kissmetrics. Really good read – I love that kind of psychology selling stuff. FBAdsLab has 13 attention grabbing headlines. And then, how to incorporate benefits into your ad copy for more clicks.
PPCHero looks at effective calls to action. Learn more! And then – how to port your desktop search ads over to mobile.
Some sexy Keyword Modifiers for better ROI.
How to make your images Pin-worthy. OH YEAH BABY PIN ME!
9 Ways to shit on the user experience and make them leave your website.
E-Commerce websites are still too damn slow. You’re losing sales, people! Once you get that site faster, here are conversion rate optimization tips from 10 great online retailers.
Great post from LukeW – Evolving E-commerce Checkout. What be the future of digital shopping?
GetListed.org is a handy way to list local businesses on various local properties.
Check out some newer mobile and social media traffic sources.
39 Affiliate APIs. Excellent stuff.
While we’re talking about APIs – APIS.io is an open source directory of APIs. So very juicy.
Trello is a cool app for organizing and collaborating via boards. Kind of like visual Basecamp.
Do you need icons? IconsGuide.com BAM!!
And Now More Facebook and Social News
SocialMouths – Analyzing a whole bunch of Facebook engagement data in handy infographic form.
SocialFresh says “Never underestimate a puppy photo.” Interesting data on the effectiveness of puppies. I didn’t even read this article: Content Marketing is Not As Simple As Writing a Ton of Posts, but I’m linking to it because it has Bofu all over the post.
SocialCam has blown up. But are their marketing techniques shady or smart? If they’re making money… the answer is: Smart.
Mobile News and Goodies
Mobile affiliates – driving more clicks but conversions are down. Can’t blame the affiliates when the merchants don’t know what they are doing half the time. Case in point – 45% of consumers WANT to be marketed to on their mobile device.
Also, I heard you liked infographics about mobile so here are 10 of them.
Mira mira!! Turns out, Hispanics and Blacks are very responsive to mobile advertising and are the fastest adapters of mobile shopping.
The Good and Bad in mobile landing pages, from hotels to restaurants to clothing shopping.
Someone is finding out that phone calls are worth more than clicks. Really innovative what Datalot is doing.
Creating a responsive, mobile first WordPress theme from Smashing Magazine. Why should you care about responsive design? Because Google, other search engines, and more importantly – your users, will love it.
Mobile is going to be local – so here are 88 Local APIs.
The Mobile Mindmap from iMobiTrax. Lot of good stuff I ain’t even seen before.
Mobile Stats everywhere…
Why mobile will dominate the future of media and advertising. Just wait till your device is controlling all of the electronics in your house.
This Business Insider chart shows you just how much $$$ is in the app economy. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry now.
MobyAffiliates has some good posts. An Introduction to the Mobile Social Gaming Market. Can’t remember if I posted this before, but World’s Top Mobile Advertising Platforms.
Using real world mobile behavior to get results. Interesting read which brain-farted me some ideas.
Mobile users are more serious shoppers than regular web surfers. How can this be, Leadsmob?! And now, 5 tips for increasing Mobile E-commerce ROI.
The debate still continues: What’s better, a web app, or a native app? Stats are showing that people are actually more loyal to native apps.
Perhaps you have some Phonegap questions or maybe heard some myths?
Really cool app called My Data Manager to show you how much data you use on your mobile device in detail.
Internet Trends for 2012. Not necessarily stuff to monetize on, but a look at the “then-and-now” of technology (then being like 2 years ago ). Looking for a trend to capitalize on? The Olympics will be huge … on mobile!
7 Things learned while making an iPad web app. Great tricks.
Promoting a Mobile App
This here is a collection of posts that are about marketing a mobile app and the cut-throat App Store game.
Figures and stats from the App Store on iOS from the GameBakers. This is a massive post that analyzes some of the myths people have about the store and then lays down a shit ton of data on what actually happens.
160+ iOS review sites. That is a lot of review sites… someone automate this.
MobyAffiliates has a great guide called the Mobile App Marketing Guide. 43 Pages of very helpful goodness.
How to maximize the lifetime value of users in a mobile app.
The low-down on the Chomp Update. This is iOS App Store related… basically the Penguin of the App Store ( I am really starting to hate these algorithm change names.) No worries though, here’s an article on How to Write a Great App description.
Startups, Productivity, APIs, and other Internet Stuff.
A great post from Sir dchuck called 12 Rules for Building Your First Profitable Startup. Very good insight and so many delicious stock photos. And if you’re wondering what happens when a post gets popular, check out the follow up post.
On the flip side – Here is Why Starts Fail, infographic-a-licious.
Shopify has a great read – Your Passion is Stupid. How to Find Products that Sell. Follow Your Passion is easily the worst advice you could ever give or get. -Mark Cuban
Infographic alert – Who’s an Entrepreneur Now?
A collection of the best growth hacks from Kissmetrics, explained in detail. Here are more growth hacks inspired by Groupon. Great articles, but the term “growth hacks” is almost as gay as “social media expert.”
2012 Roundup of API Providers. You can check out the companies listed here, then browse their customer / clients lists to find APIs you can mess around with.
Some Aussies build a $1 Billion company …. in the cloud! Core Peer Groups: How I Found a Co-Founder, Built a Prototype, and Raised $5M in Less Than 4 Weeks.
Lot of people unhappy with the Affordable Healthcare Act being upheld. Here are 11 options for health care so you can avoid the tax penalty. But expect more competition – entrepreneurship should go up once the ACA is in full-effect. Also, mobile is changing the future of healthcare.
A list of must-read books for startups and entrepreneurs. This can keep you busy for a long time. Daymond John (of Shark Tank fame) also has a book list. To be honest, I fucking hate “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” and am sick of people recommending to.
The Seth MacFarlane School of Productivity. He makes cartoons all day and is now a billionaire. I <3 Capitalism.
Here’s what the most successful people do before breakfast. Great read and great tips. The Power of Consistency.
Old school video from Napoleon Hill. Old school wisdom that still applies today. Here are some of the smartest things ever said about Getting Things Done.
10 Simple Mind Hacks. I dislike people adding “hack” to everything, but this is a good article.
Interview: Do More in Less Time from a guy who wrote Your Best Just Got Better.
How 30 Days without Social Media Changed My Life. This is something I am going to try at some point.
Need to get creative? Noise helps creativity.
A great article on income inequality in America, and how each “tier” feels about it. Here’s an expect from a multi-millionare…
And the biggest nonsense of all, he says, “is the idea that because the rich are the smartest, and because we’re the job creators, the richer we get, the better it is for everyone. So taxes on the rich should be very, very low because we’re essentially the center of the economic universe, the font of productivity.” Nick pauses. “If there were a shred of truth to the claim that the rich are our nation’s job creators, then given how rich the rich have gotten, America should be drowning in jobs!”
And we end with some Asian Efficiency. Even if you’re not asian, these articles are good. Goal Frameworks explains how to really break out the process of goal setting, and achieving said goals. How to set better outcomes.
May I haz a post about all the interesting stuff that’s happened online plz?
No offense (OK, maybe some offense) but affiliate blogs keep getting shittier and shittier. People worth reading like Mr. Green and the like are posting less or stopping all together. The blogs that I’m left with keep posting about SEO and Pandas and other shit I don’t really care about. Affiliate marketing is dead and I’m pretty sure Andrew Wee killed it.
You can’t blame the people writing the blogs though. The industry is changing – probably for the better. The “too big too fail” affiliate networks have done just that – Epic / Azoogle is not paying people anymore, Copeac has shut its doors after getting bitch slapped by the FTC, and the last remaining “big network” Neverblue is rumored to be in trouble.
Everyone (who knows whats good for them … even 14 year olds are getting the picture) is changing their business model around to something more long-term. Something they can sell off in the future. A startup. A service. Whatever. Sure, it’s more work, but at least your entire business won’t be wiped out overnight when your favorite offer / network / traffic source gimmick goes down.
Anyway, this is going to be the last “wrap up” post that gets this big or in-depth. They just take way too long and I get the funny feeling no one is actually reading this shit. In the future, posts will be shorter but more frequent, and have a lot less to do with affiliate marketing.
You’re better off following me on twitter, and checking out my favorites because that’s where I store these goodies before curating them into posts like these. Although I do clear them out every time I write a post so what’s there right now might not be too useful.
Of course, the biggest news is that Facebook finally launched their IPO. Since then, the original stock price of $38 has been dropping and dropping as each day passes (although it’s seem to have stabilized now.) This may bode very well for advertisers, as Facebook might have to open the revenue floodgates.
Since Facebook hasn’t figured out how to monetize their mobile users yet, perhaps they will get more lax with what they allow on their advertising platform (will we ever see muffin tops again?) I mean, they are trying to monetize mobile users, but it’s not really bad ass. You can’t even separate out Android and iOS from each other, or traffic from Blackberry or feature phones. STUPID. (Unless I’m stupid and can’t find the setting)
They’ve gotten very strict over the years, but now the pressure from shareholders to boost revenue and profit might turn that all around. Word on the street is that some accounts are getting unbanned and spending limits are being bumped for no reason. Also, it appears that Facebook is plotting some sort of retargetting exchange.
Oh Mark, it is very enjoyable watching your high-and-mighty approach to monetization slip through your hands like grains of sand.
Affiliate and Other Online Marketing Stuff
You are now allowed to apply for your own domain extension. So if you wanted to apply for a .barman, you could send ICANN about 5-6 figures (I forget the exact amount) and they will decide if you get said extension. I don’t know what this means for the internet but certain companies and people are going balls to the wall with this. Google applies for 101 new TLDs, and Frank Shilling applies for over 50.
I feel like this will cause nothing but confusion for the feeble-minded users of the internet, but if Frank’s spending $60 Million then these new TLD’s must have some value.
How to find problems with your Quality in a Google AdWords account. This is a very indepth video I’ve watched twice and still have no idea what’s going on. Why do I suck with pivot tables so much!!!
Google has made it possible to see the exact URLs of people you are competing against. In more G news, AdWords has made it possible to target mobile apps directly. So what’s going to happen to Admob?
Finch writes about Four processes that make money for affiliates. Also good is this article about Finding a Good, Unique Marketing Angle – or how to come up with unique ways to pitch your wares. If your enjoy reading Finch’s posts, then you will definitely enjoy Finch’s Premium Posts.
Socialmouths shows you how to curate and distribute content from your smartphone. A Facebook for WordPress plugin has been released.
How to increase your blog visibility with social sharing. I do none of these.
DirectResponse has some good information on how to run a skin care offer that pleases the Federal Trade Commission.
Unbounce gives you four ways to stop your landing page from becoming a giant fail. The usual suspects – no blocks of text, strong headline, testimonials, and call to action. What 99% of online marketers do wrong. Emotion sells… not lists of neat shit.
KissMetrics looks at some cool Google tools for marketers. You probably know about most of these, but there are some decent tips and tricks here and there. More from Kiss – using “gamificiation” for better results. Can be applied to almost anything.
Do you send direct psychical mail? Here are some cheap split tests you can do.
Can’t get people to believe your shitty sales copy? ConversionXL has an article for that – How to get People to Believe What You Write. Unrelated but also good – 8 universal design principles you need to know.
Dealing with local search? Here are the updated ranking factors for local search search in the great year of 2012.
11 Ways to Drive Lots of Traffic to your Website. Unlike most generic posts regarding “ways to get traffic,” this one is actually backed up with stats.
Bing is offering a free link graph. Not a lot of Google hate from SEOBook this month, unfortunately.
Most video content being consumed now is of the long-form variety, thanks to the growth of tablets.
Apps and APIs to Check out
A new section for SaaS / APIs / Whatever that can make your life easier.
Google updates its API Explorer. So many possibilities.
Want open-source mobile analytics? Shit son, then you probably want to check out count.ly.
Stripe looks like a good payments solution for developers. Basically an easier way to accept credit card payments.
The Daily Practice – Make yourself better everyday.
Because knowledge is easier to digest in infographic form. Fuck reading!
- The Bootstrapper’s Guide to the Mobile Web Infographic
- Peeping the Social Local Mobile landscape. This seems to be where mobile really shines – people research shit then visit a store or business.
- The Power and Growth of Mobile Marketing
- Small businesses need to go mobile. Is anyone else sensing a theme here?
- At the same time, there are a few reasons why you might not want to go mobile just yet.
- Some international mobile commerce stats from zanox
- It did take a while for people to start trusting online e-commerce. The same is going to happen with mobile, but people are actually buying shit from their mobile phones, says ComScore
- Bounce Rate Demystified from Kissmetrics
- Invesp looks shopping cart abandonment rates.
- Google Display Network vs Facebook. Can’t remember if i posted this before but it’s pretty good.
- The growing dangers of Free Wifi
- Formstack has a bunch of generic stats regarding the small biz marketing cycle.
- And finally, some completely random infographics from freshtiltedsoil.
Check this shit out… a kickstartr for mobile apps. Haven’t looked too close at it yet, but looks like a great place to steal ideas if you’re developing apps. I kid, i kid! (It’s all about execution, not your stupid ideas)
Some new data emerges on how many downloads it really takes to get into the Top Free / Top Paid categories of the Apple Store.
App marketing tips from some experts. Also a very good read on the HTML5 vs Native code mobile app debate. The winner? There’s no right or wrong answer yet, and probably won’t be for years. Trigger.io also has a whitepaper trying to make sense of it all.
Your App name has a huge impact on rankings. I can confirm this even more true on Android, which is highly search-driven.
Make sure you have a sweet ass app icon (its important to app store optimization) too – Here is some app icon inspiration. Then read the beginner’s guide to mobile app marketing, which I can’t remember if I posted before. Either way, it’s got good solid tips.
ConversionXL tells you what you need to know about mobile internet users and their shopping behavior. Lot of good information.
Getting search ads to work for mobile ads. Pro-tip … there is very little competition and traffic can be significantly cheaper and more targeted over display / cost-per-install campaigns. The circle of liiiiiffffeee.
Before you launch that app though, read up and avoid these 7 reasons your app will suck on the App store.
Beyond Affiliate Marketing – Startups, Tech News, and Productivity
First and foremost: STOP GOING TO COLLEGE. Start a business. Start a lean start-up. Start a fat start-up. Whatever you do, don’t rack up 5 to 6 figures of debt to get a degree which won’t help you get a job. Only go to college if you want to be a specialist of some sort, like a doctor, lawyer, or engineering. Anything else can be learned from the giant cesspool of information known as the internet. Fuck what your parents tell you. “But you won’t be able to succeed in life without a degree” This is a lie. That dream is dead. Don’t become another debt-ridden statistic like a lot of people I know. Learn to solve problems instead. Seriously, you can start a six-figure business with less than $100.
With that out of the way…
Kissmetrics takes a look at what start-ups can learn from Instagram. Lot of good stuff, especially point number 1 which ties back to the advice laid out in Getting Real. No really… what is the one thing your product going to be really good at?
While we are on the subject of more… or less… check how this ebook from LessEverything.
Kissmetrics also takes a look at how Dropbox became such a huge company and how you can too!
If you log in to Facebook at all, you have probably seen some videos from SocialCam popup in your news feed. Here’s how SocialCam exploded to 75 Million Users in 15 Months.
Slides on how WooThemes went from $0 to 7 Figures in 13 months. Unfortunately not too much detail, but you get the gist.
The Psychological Difference Between Freemium & Free Trial Plans. There’s a difference between letting someone try something for free, and providing a limited ‘free version.’ Find out what it is!
Shark Tanks Accidental Entrepenuer – Robert Herjavec.
Lessons from the World’s Most Ruthless Competitor. Basically a company who knocks off popular or emerging websites. Sneaky fucking Russians.
On the opposite end of the success spectrum – 10 Millionaires and Billionaires who lost it all. Addicted2Success is a great blog so subscribe if you enjoyed that article.
How to Plan Your Week like Tony Robbins. Really in-depth read. Tony Robbins is the shit!
Life is short, but there are enough hours in a day. Don’t waste a single moment.
So I stumbled upon this book called “Getting Real” the other day. This is one of those, “if I knew then what I know now” moments where I am greatly saddened that I did not have this information before.
“Getting Real” is from the 37Signals guys who have developed some incredibly successful products that I know many of you use. The company is a handful of guys and they bust out services that people love (because they’re effective and useful) and they pull in millions a year in revenue.
This book will open your eyes to a lot of mistakes people make during development of web properties and services. As I read the book, I smacked myself for every mistake I found myself doing. Now I have two black eyes and a broken nose.
No huge development teams. No unachievable timeframes. No meetings about meetings. Cut the bullshit and start getting shit live. Learn how to say no to stuff that wastes time.
“Ignore it at your own peril” – Seth Godin.
Not only is the book short, concise and awesome- it’s free 99. I know we tend to put less value on free stuff, but trust me, this book is invaluable.
Who Should Read “Getting Real”?
You are building a web app. You are building a mobile app. You manage developers who build web apps or mobile apps. You sell and outsource website services. You do e-commerce. It doesn’t matter. As long as you develop shit, or work with people who develop shit, stop what you’re doing and read this book now.
Who Should Not Read “Getting Real”
You do not like free information that can make your life significantly easier.
This is a quickie post about Media Buying.
If you’ve forgotten what What Runs Where is, check out this recent review of WhatRunsWhere. WRW is essentially a spying tool for display advertising. There are some decent tips in that review, if you’re still wondering what to do with that intelligence.
Speaking of which, BlueHatSEO seems to be back online, so check out the “How to Start Your First Media Buy” Post.
The PDF explains the difference between “direct site” buys, where you buy ads directly on a single site or group of sites, and “exchanges,” where you have the ability to buy media on a huge network of websites. At this point you should be fairly grounded in what media buying is all about.
Lean.com RTB Exchange and More Buzzwords
Now that you got your shit together with media buying, you should check out LeanMarket, which makes a mockery of all the other aggregate DSP / RTB platforms out there.
For the foreseeable future, LeanMarket isn’t open for public registrations. But if you know the secret password, you can get your foot in the door. $500 is the minimum depsoit, which is respectable. It keeps the newbies out and it’s lower than other traffic platforms like TrafficVance. I wouldn’t worry about newbies either. LeanMarket has access to so much traffic you could spent millions of dollars a day, and there would still be plenty left over for everyone.
The secret password is “dullspace.” ( That is not a joke either. I know we have some “boy who cried wolf” shit going on with the word “dullspace,” but you better recognize the seriousness of the situation here. Like many great mysteries that have plagued mankind before, “dullspace” is the answer. Trust me. )
This post has nothing to do with internet marketing, but everything to do with the demographic (young males 18-30.) Also, this is one of the more honest posts I’ll ever write.
When I was a young lad many years ago, a new revolution in computing had begun. Computers were affordable for families of almost any means. I think I was in 5th grade when my parents got me and my siblings a computer for Christmas. It was a Compaq Persario 25 or something. Some weird contraption that had the monitor and computer components in one box.
Well, like any self-respecting 11 year old, the first thing I did was try and find some titties. Oh, and titties I did find. Sweet, illustrious pornography.
Porn is what powers in the internet. The demand for naked females is the reason why the internet is what it is today. Back in the early days, “porn” was the #1 searched term for many years running. It’s why broadband exists. Porn paved the way for profiting on the internet. Online pornographers invented affiliate marketing. It’s the reason nginx exploded as a web server recently.
Besides trillions upon trillions of wasted sperm, porn does have its place in technology. Demand for porn sparked a lot of innovation. We’ve all benefited from it in one way or another.
But if there’s so much Porn available, then surely it must be normal behavior?
Read that post entirely for my post to make sense. Trust me, it’s good.
After reading that article, I got to thinking – Wait, am I watching too much porn?
Porn has been a part of my life ever since I stopped shooting blanks (someone needs to edit that word a little better to describe having an orgasm before reaching puberty.)
Was I watching porn all day and all night? Was I watching porn for hours at a time? Was I as bad as some of these dudes? No. God, no.
But could I go 72 hours without checking out some naked titties and rubbing one out? Rarely. Not in recent memory. Oh fuck, maybe I am addicted to the dopamine drip caused by looking at porn…
The only time I have no desire to look at porn is when I’m in a relationship. The chemicals your brain releases when you’re with a person are completely different from chemicals you receive while watching porn.
The Great Dopamine Drip
After reading the article by Asian Efficiency, I decided to stop looking at porn with a conscience effort. The primary reason was to see its affect on my productivity. I became aware of any desire to look at porn, and realized it was just my brain yearning for the dopamine drip. Must… resist … fapping…
Then I stumble upon this TEDTalk video which really brought the point home.
Edit: More Good No-Masturbating Stuff
Friend linked me to this blog post, “How to Stop Masturbating”. Great funny read which touches on some benefits not mentioned in the other stuff I linked. And of course, more “How-to” tips then the other links.
Why Did I Stop Watching Porn?
Did I Even Feel Bad About Watching Porn? Most of the time, no. But every guy has that moment (or moments) in their life when they bust a messy nut with 12 downloads going and 32 tabs open. At that point, you just think, “What the fuck am I doing? What the FUCK is wrong with you, you piece of shit?!” and feel the worst shame you possibly can.
Was I getting erectile dysfunction? No, all appears to be in working order. But apparently this is a problem in some people as stated in the video above.
Was I getting into kinkier and kinkier shit? No, I could still get off to softcore porn. Hell, I still can’t watch anal sex and still can’t understand the appeal (Why is it always a top category on porn tube sites?)
Was I lowering my view of women? No, I still love women for the beautiful yet confusing creatures they are. We’re cool, right ladies?
I stopped watching porn because of its affect on the brain and productivity, and especially to shift my desire to seeking out real women for sexual gratification. It was just too easy to get distracted with work and think, “ah fuck it, maybe I’ll look at some internet titties for a few minutes.”
I decided I’d rather be addicted to sex and fucking random and not-so-random slags (safely, of course) then be addicted to porn and self-stimulation. It’s a mental challenge – replacing porn with real women is difficult. You have to like, talk to them and shit. And say stuff so they like you and touch your penis.
I think I just got to the point where trying to bang real women was not a top priority anymore. That is not OK or healthy. As a single, tall, sexy male, this should priority #2, right behind getting filthy money. Even though fucking real girls was always on my mind, I made very little actual effort to make it happen these past few years. I blame this on a number of things, with porn likely having some contribution to my lack of effort.
Why Should You?
Has porn been proven to have a negative affect on our brain? Not exactly, but the preliminary studies aren’t looking good. Modern day porn is just not a part of our history or evolution. I am not trying to start a crusade against porn. I think porn is awesome. It’s just too fucking much.
My main concern is people younger than me. I worry about some of you. At least I can remember a time when there were only like 50 nude pictures on the entire internet, and getting them was a hassle. But now, there are tube sites. Video porn for every kinky niche available. Midgets, ebony, milfs, you name it. So many tube sites… As far as the eye can see!
I don’t consider myself a porn addict. I don’t consider myself a social or emotional retard. But some of you are. So maybe give it a shot and see what happens?
My only goal here is to make people aware of the issue. Porn affects productivity. The effects of porn on the brain is still being studied and understood. Then read “How to Stop Masturbating”. Just the facts… You make your own decision. You filthy pervert.
El Cinco De Fincho Premiumo.
So you see this Finch character posting Premium Reading products, and you’re wondering “Should I buy that?” The short answer is Yes. Warning! Affiliate links located inside this post.
In a sea of shitty affiliate marketing products, 98% provide absolutely zero value. The other 1.9% actually provide value, and there’s about .1% left over for really high quality material.
The problem is sorting out the shit from the gold. Luckily for you, barman, semi-world famous blogger extraordinaire, usually gets free review copies plz of many affiliate marketing products. I give honest reviews, so if it’s something is shit, I will say its shit, even if I got it free. If something is good, I will praise its goodness. I don’t gas up shit just because I get it free or at a discount. Finch’s Premium Posts are one of the few such product that I like a lot and consider worth your monies.
Volume 5 Maximum ROI Marketing
The main reason why I like Finch’s Premium posts is that they’re written by an affiliate, for affiliates. If you’re just starting out, you will get a ton of value from Finch’s Premium Posts. If you’re a seasoned marketer, you will still pick up some great tips and tricks.
Volume 5 is 100+ pages of quality reading material. Sure, it’s double-spaced and the font is kind of big, but that never stopped you when you were in high school writing English papers trying to reach that 6 page minimum.
I think this Volume 5 is especially good for new or struggling affiliates. There are a lot of low-cost marketing ideas in this volume that you can put to use right away.
With Finch’s writing style, you’ll laugh (If I were running a ‘Work at Home Mom’ blog [Note: I’m not. My tits are too hairy.]), you’ll cry ( “Why didn’t I think of that!”) and most importantly, you’ll make money. So let’s have a looksie at the highlights from Volume 5.
Testing Profitability on a Budget – How can you tell the bad offers from the good before you even test them? Finch drops some quality tips on how to spot trouble before you’re scrubbed and shaved to the bone. Why is this offer paying so high? Why is this offer paying so low but converting so well? And how to spot a brokered brokered and more brokered offer, and what it means for conversions.
Brainstorming and Testing Angles and Landing Pages – Honestly I don’t know how Finch comes up with some of the angle and copy ideas he writes about. Truly, this is a gentlemen that either mastered knowing what people want, or has some William Shakespeare in his bloodline. Either or, you will have some ‘ah ha!’ moments throughout Volume 5.
One of the strongest parts of this Volume is how Finch lays out his landing page plan. Landing pages are excellent for shoe-string budgets because you’re not playing a ‘spend money then optimize’ game.
“You can’t rely on a one-size-fits-all concept.”
Your landing pages should be optimized for your ‘angle’ from the start. The goal here is to not “lose the scent” (I forget which book it was where I picked up that analogy.) If you have a creative ad that gets really specific, you’re going to kill conversions if your landing page is not directly related to that creative, or if you’re direct linking. Like a bloodhound (in this case, an obese single mom), the customer clicked your ad for a reason. If you don’t elaborate on that initial click in your landing page, you’re going to lose. If you don’t pre-sell the offer on your landing page correctly, you’re going to lose again because the person will either not click thru to the offer at all, or not be sold completely and leave when they get to the offer page.
“But, this is more work!” you whine. Well, no shit! The affiliate space just keeps getting more and more competitive, so if you do what everyone else is doing, then no fucking shit you keep losing money.
“Set and Forget” Campaigns on Plenty of Fish – I’m not going to go into details on this part, but it’s pretty amazing insight on using various demographic data to generate long-lasting highly-targeted campaigns.
And More – The rest of Volume 5 covers some really good stuff, including advertising on Facebook successfully (and unsuccessfully), How to promote gaming offers, how to get into international markets the right way (and the wrong way), and a slew of more “pockets of gold” on the internets. Also I enjoy the section on monetizing trends because there are a few trend sites I have never even heard of before.
Overall, I can’t recommend the work Finch is doing enough. His writing style is awesome and the information he provides is invaluable. If only… there were some sort of legitimate rating system for affiliate marketing products, then Finch Sells Premium Posts would deserve nothing less than 5 fish heads.
Oh shit it’s May. That means there’s probably some interesting news that happened since the last wrap-up post. I started this post a few days ago… finishing it up on a Monday, which is rather difficult because blogs keep updating with new posts.
In “This Makes Me Feel Old News,” Wolfenstien turns 20. Some of you were barely a glint in your father’s nutsack when that game came out.
Online and Affiliate Marketing News
Some of the biggest non-news last month and this month, has been the recent updates to the Google algorithm. SEO is dead and Google killed some pandas or something. I don’t know, I don’t follow this shit. Although I used to care back in the day, the idea of building your whole ‘business model’ around trying to outsmart Google with spam and crap is no longer appealing, and it’s no longer a viable business model. Shoemoney has a laugh at these fools in this post. You can also get more LOLz by visiting the WickedFire forum SEO section, where countless retards are complaining that their entire livelihood vanished into thin air.
The bottom line is that you’re going to have to get off your ass and build an actual, long-term business. This is nothing new. Even if it’s SEO, the days of spamming your way to the top are gone (unless they’re not gone, in which case you’re probably smart enough to not spill the beans), so commit your time to something that isn’t dependent on Google. Something worth sharing so you can actually take advantage of all that social media goodness, so people drive your traffic and not a search engine.
Now read this massive shit of a post from ViperChill. It’s huge. It set a world record for the longest blog post in recorded history. There is a lot of good information there. A LOT.
Aaron Wall of SEOBook takes a look at the penguin update too. This is one guy who’s opinion on the subject you want to read. Also, on Negative SEO and outing.
And if you’re wondering, here are the “official” changes to improve Google’s Search quality the past few weeks.
When you’re done with that, Microsite Masters has a huge write up on what to do about that Penguin update. SEO is dead. Long live SEO.
To add insult to injury, Google is now putting some value into something called AuthorRank. Finch takes a look at what it means for affiliates. If you do decide to come out of hiding and author something, KissMetrics shows you how to really take advantage of Authorship markup. 150% increase in CTR you say? Better hit the portrait studio.
Fuck it. Let’s just fire Matt Cutts. The celebrity has gone to his head.
Back to the non-SEO news…
Plenty of Fish getting sued for someone using an image they weren’t supposed to in a true.com ad. Ben links to a legitimate case study that looks at the CPM vs Volume relationship on pof ads. Also some more pof advertising stats.
This concludes our PlentyofFish news for the day.
MIT nerd builds a $10 Million “Sugar Daddy” empire from BusinessInsider.com. Compete Blog investigates where people are looking for love online. In other trend news, people are trying to get that body ready for the beach.
What is affiliate marketing? This infographic from Pepperjam explains in a racist way. Andy runs a Hate Store. He sells cross burning materials and KKK masks. Not an affiliate program I want to be a part of!
Yahoo explains how to market effectively to African American consumers with a link to a new AdAge report.
Decent post from DirectResponse on monopolizing a vertical. Apparently, you’re going to need a lot of indians.
Negbox writes a post about a video talking about bounded rationality… whatever that is. KissMetrics analyzes some “power words” ( imagine, you, because … not so powerful out of context.) Uber Affiliate comes out of hibernation and writes Researching Affiliate Niches in 2012.
What’s the state of online marketing in 2012? This infographic bears all!
Ogilvy’s Rory Sutherland on human behavior and innovation.
ConversionXL takes a look at what to call your call-to-action button. Also, ridiculously effective techniques for offline lead generation. And if you’re on twitter – here are 30 conversion rate experts you can follow.
Another interesting read from hasOffers – How to make an affiliate marketing calendar.
Facebook merges the “publish_stream” with “publish_action”. Relevant if you’re messing around with the Open Graph.
Check out how Weather.com is integrating Open Graph. Notice the “Love” and “Ugh!” buttons on the left? Just another unique implementation of the Open Graph to get those gears turning.
Why moms are a hot market on a Facebook. MILC = Mom I’d Like to Convert.
IMGrind has this good writeup on How to Dominate Facebook Ads. Also, have you noticed “Trending Articles” showing up in your Facebook feed? InsideFacebook explains those Trending Articles. It looks like Facebook is doing everything it can to load the news feed with commercial intent, rather than a stream of musings from your friends.
And now back to online marketing…
Getting 80,000 some clicks to a blog post with a bunch of twitter tools.
Really good write-up on the free analytics tools out there, by KissMetrics. Market research 101. Know them and use them daily.
A thorough guide on how to do trademarked bidding in Adwords. From PPCHero – How does Adwords assign a Quality Score even before a campaign is live?
An hour of your time well spent: Best Practices from 30,000 A/B and multivariate split tests.
Good data from Royal Pingdom: No US City is in the top 50 worldwide when it comes to internet. No shit, when you have monopolies like Comcast. I fucking hate you Comcast. Rot in a fire. [ this rant removed for another blog post ]
Speaking of monopolies, mobile carriers are killing it by overselling data plans.
Also, how does that $1 Billion buyout of Pinterest stack up to other asinine buyouts? It looks like Mark Cuban is still the king. Props for getting filthy rich before that tech bubble burst.
JP Morgan buys a 7% stake in the toolbar company Conduit. Got eight figures chillin in JP Morgan Chase…
And finally, Ad:Tech gets some harsh words from Hitler. “I thought RTB was the future!!!” “Mein Fuher….”
Mobile Web and Apps
Mobile affiliate tracking sucks for many merchants. High-end devices like Android and iThings are cookie-capable, but if the merchant’s website sucks on a device it will kill conversions.
Some mobile facts and stats from 2011 in infographic form. A collection of links about the future of mobile from BD Conference.
IMGrind takes a look at the sad state of Mobile App development. Those are some seriously depressing stats. In my experience, if you’re going to spend time building an app, you better make it good. Make it unique. Make it useful. It’s a huge time investment, so if you’re going to do it, go balls-to-the-wall and build something that actually provides value. Especially true since you’re competing against established companies.
Can you build the next Instagram? 4 Hour Work Week thinks its possible. Although, its not all fun and games. The popularity of Draw Something has been dropping since Zynga bought out OMGPOP.
So if you wanted to do that … If you need a mobile developer here is a giant list of mobile developers from all countries. If you have an app, here is a good readup on how to promote Android and iOS apps. Some overlap here, but even more mobile app promotion networks and agencies. This article explains how to do ASO, the new SEO?, aka App Store Optimization. All very handy tips.
Sure why not… one more article with tips on iOS store optimization.
Google just made it a whole lot easier to advertise mobile apps. Good news!
Randomness on Productivity, Design, Startups, and the Nerdy
Great read: Going from $0 to $500,000 in recurring revenue in a year with no VC money. And if you’re running a start-up, or starting a start up, you should check out this tumblr page for start-ups.
On a serious note, 10 Rules for Web Startups.
(1) Simple trick to increasing productivity. And by productivity, they mean avoiding wasting time on shit that doesn’t make $$.
Asian Efficiency has a surprisingly long writeup on pornography, masturbation, and productivity. Read it, it’s interesting. The whole series on Sex and Productivity is interesting. Goodbye, myfreecams :(
Also, a good article on Don’t Break the Chain (You know, that Jerry Sienfeld productivity tip.) This is one productivity tip I really want to implement.
Tongue-in-cheek article on How to Murder Your Productivity. Stop doing these things. NOW!
FreelanceSwitch does a bit on Dealing with procrastination. That morning alertness one is key. Be productive. You can also check out My Head in the Morning, a look at how that gray matter in your head functions after you wake up.
That socialist pig Obama is trying to redistribute the wealth to people who could potentially make good use of it. Why we don’t need anti-trust laws and how they actually cause monopolies.
James Altucher writes “How I Lost 100 Pounds”
Your idea is stupid. Execution is all that matters.
Removing complexity when coding is the key to being a good programmer. When you think something through before writing, instead of just typing away -> run code to see if it works, you tend to write better code. This isn’t something that you can pick up overnight, and its definitely something i have to work on all the time, but its hugely helpful to even be aware of the problem.
If you do anything related to websites, these cheat sheets could come in handy. Digging into WordPress looks at how to use Apache Bench to measure latency. Also, another way to speed up your site is with DNS pre-fetching. Useful if your media is stored on another domain or you’re sourcing files from a CDN (like Google’s jQuery CDN.) I did not know about this.
And finally, a ton of good HTML5 / CSS3 articles.
That’s all for now. READ UP!
So you want to up your A game and blow up traffic till your server catches fire? That’s what media buys are for, fool!
Almost a year to this day, I sold out a little bit and wrote this WhatRunsWhere review.
If you’re not familiar with What Runs Where, it’s a service from two internet pros. One of them is shady, slightly, and the other is a goat named mattaw. Mattaw ( or Max ) has been so kind as to do a few “ask me anything” posts on Wickedfire, so if you want a primer on media buying along with some pro tips, check out Media buying Ask me anything Part 1. I enjoy Part 2 because dullspace makes an appearance.
Also Max wrote an epic guest post on BlueHatSEO called How to Start Your Own Media Buy (Linking to cached version because BlueHatSeo is down at the moment, oh noes!!)
What Runs Where Gets All Shiny and Stuff
When I wrote about What Runs Where in the past, my main complaint was the fairly confusing and slightly ugly user interface. But just in the past week or so, the entire UI has been redesigned and streamlined, so lets take a look.
The interface has been narrowed down to 3 main parts. It’s more along the lines of MixRank, which is a competing service that focuses on scraping Google Adwords data. Although it’s only Adwords data, their interface was a lot more user-friendly than What Runs Where… BUT NO MORE!
Before diving into that, one thing I’ve noticed is that What Runs Where is significantly faster than it was before. Searches only take a second or two, which is pretty surprising based on how much data they have to sift through.
Search By Advertiser
Simple enough. Enter a domain name and find out more then you ever wanted to know about an advertiser.
Warning: a search for “domain.com” and “www.domain.com” will yield different results. I’m being told this is being worked on, but if you keep getting “No Results” then this is why.
AdStrength™ – When you search by Advertiser, you can sort ads by “Most Recent” and “AdStrength” (not sure if really trademarked… or just being clever).
The formula is simple: (Times Seen x Frequency x Days Running) = AdStrength. The higher the score, the more likely it is that this is a successful ad.
Be careful of Brand advertisers though. Some companies could give a fuck about ROI, so their media teams spend the company’s money like its their job (.. it is) If you’re a performance advertiser, or affiliate marketer, you actually care about ROI. Just because an Ad Strength score is high, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a profitable ad. If it’s a brand, chances are they’re spending money to build the brand by getting the most impressions possible. For example, Google Chrome ads are everyyyywhere.
Placement Suggestions – A really neat feature when searching by advertisers. This tab will show you potential placements you can try for your campaigns. DEAR GOD, WHY IS IT SO SIMPLE?!
Search By Publisher
Let’s say you build a media plan with something like Google Adplanner. You can use the “Search By Publisher” feature to look up specific domains and see what kinds of ads are working for that Publisher. Are their more leaderboards than square? Then spend more time on leaderboard ads, lest you wonder why your 300×250 ads are getting no impressions.
On the other hand, if you’re just fishing for campaign ideas, you can look up a popular website for a demographic you’re familiar with to see what companies are advertising there. You can then find some related affiliate campaigns to promote. Better yet, you’d build up your own lead gen funnel so you can collect that juicy user data and promote several types of offers to them.
Search By Keyword
Self-explanatory when you search for Text ads. It’s gets a little trickier when searching for banner ads. Either way, you can get a little clever here and search for random stuff – “HDTV” yields results where Quibids is absolutely dominating.
Useful Ideas and Tips
Let me preface this by saying I’m not an expert media buyer by any means. I dabble, but most stuff has been in the ‘self-serve’ category, versus signing insertion orders and shit like that. They are basically the same thing apart from how the money is spent.
PPV Targets Galore – One of the best uses for What Runs Where and other ad spying tools is the ability to generate a huge list of relevant PPV targets. If you’re running some dating on PPV, you can look up a bunch a of dating advertisers, see where they’re advertising, and pop those placements into your PPV target list. Simple as that. This applies to any niche.
This is far more efficient and effective than something like Google Ad Planner (although, you can never have too many targets) because you already know that this type of offer is already working on these publishers.
We Goin’ International Baby – What Runs Where added a few more international countries to its data. International markets are far less competitive then the US and other English-speaking countries. It is what it is because 95% of marketers won’t take the time to translate ads to another language, despite how easy it is.
The obvious thing to do is find popular Advertisers or Publishers in other countries then look-up what kinds of ads are being served there. Also, you can search by Keyword with a foreign word. For example, even though France is not listed as a country in their database, you can do a keyword search for “rencontre” to bring up a ton of French dating ads.
Hybrid Ads – Some companies like AdSonar and Pulse 360 have creatives known as hybrid ads, which is a text+image combo. Sound familiar? That’s basically what many social media ads are.
You can use the hybrid ad data from What Runs Where in a number of ways (hint: Copy pasting the ads then running them on the same ad network is not one of them). Since we know image accounts for roughly 70% of the CTR, you can easily see what kinds of images are grabbing attention.
You can port these hybrid ads to other traffic sources that support hybrid ads. Facebook and Plenty of Fish come to mind. Of course, some preliminary demographic research is needed here.
You can use the similar images and copy (or be a dick and rip them 100%) to create banner ads that look just like hybrid ads. Make IAB banners that look like hybrid ads, but run them on a banner display network where hybrid ads aren’t supported.
Or you can use the hybrid copy+image to use as a base for catchy PPV landers. Just expand that bit of text and image to a ~700×500 px window and you got yourself a landing page that’s likely to work.
What’s Really Working – You hear about those $10,000+ media buy days that people brag about. Are they bullshitting you or what? For the most part, no. ( Unless you’re selling $50,000 media buy coaching, then yeah, probably bullshitting. )
If you spend enough time digging around What Runs Where, you find little golden nuggets of valuable information. “Why are these Warren Buffet ads showing up on every financial website?” “Why does Quibids have a 50,000+ Ad Strength Rank?” “I thought flogs and farticles were dead?! Why are they all over the sites like MSBNC and Fox News?”
When you start seeing patterns of certain advertisers and types of advertisements showing up on some of the biggest websites in the world, you really get an understanding of where those $50,000 Fridays come from.
Where can What Runs Where Improve?
Export Domains – Right now I don’t see any feature for exporting a CSV of domains when you’re on a “Traffic Sources” tab. Copy and pasting the list, then cleaning it up in Excel is kind of a pain compared to exporting a ready-made CSV.
AdStrength in Keyword Search – It would be nice if doing keyword searches could be sorted by AdStrength or some other factors. I’m just nitpicking here really..
WHY U NO TRY FOR A $1
Do you have $1? Then you can try What Runs Where for 7 days.
Overall, I have to say that WRW stepped its game up. The user interface is a lot better then what it was before. The searches don’t hang like they used to. This really is a tool you want to have in your arsenal if you know the value of competitive research.
As I finish writing this post, Finch beats me to the punch with his own What Runs Where re-review. No need to go there, my review is better. SUCK IT BRITAIN!