Free Dr. Pepper for everyone!

I was just made aware that Dr. Pepper will be giving away a free 20-ounce soda to anyone that wants one. This according to their promise to give a free soda to everyone in America if the Guns N’ Roses album, “Chinese Democracy” was released in 2008. The album goes on sale Sunday.
Beginning Sunday at 12:01 a.m. coupons for your free soda will be available on Dr. Pepper’s website.

Original news story here
I’m not much of a Dr. Pepper fan (I’m more of a Dew man), but I’ll take a free soda. Thank you very much.

Increase your ad campaign ROI 5% guaranteed!

PutterYes, it’s true. You can get a guaranteed 5% increase of your ad campaign ROI.
While I’m not currently running any ad campaigns, I was reminded today that Yahoo! Search Marketing has teamed up with American Express (Open For Business) and is giving you 5% back on money you spend on ads. All you need to do is make your payments to Yahoo! with your American Express Business Card. What a deal!
(…time to queue up “Money for nothing“…)

Quit Your Day Job forums now open (and free)

My good friend Jeremy just opened up his forums so that anybody may now participate.  Previously, you had to buy his ebook to gain access to the forums.  There is so much information in there about affiliate marketing, networks, advertising and SEO that it’s definitely worth your time to go check things out.

You can browse the forums without registering, but will need to register (for free) to post messages to the forums.

Link building Spam

I’ve been getting a ton of scam spam recently. You know the kind, “Let us transfer millions to your account and you can keep a percentage”

Today, I started getting new spam (in my view) from someone trying to buy advertising on my sites. At first I thought the email was legit, but when I got a few regarding a few different sites (and some duplicates) I realized that it’s someone I don’t want to communicate with…

Here’s a sample of the text:

“Hello,

Browsing on the Internet I came upon your website (mydomainhere.com) and I find it very interesting and useful.
My name is Daniel Lee and the reason I am contacting you is my interest in purchasing advertising spot on your site.
I will be very thankful if you tell me how much a text link or banner 120×60 / 125×125 on your home page or all pages will cost.Thank you in advance!

Daniel Lee”

Thankfully, it will only take Thunderbird a couple of clicks to start marking all of these as spam and I won’t have to see them in my inbox anymore.

Credit Card – Declined

Train picI recently made a laptop purchase from Circuit City online. During the checkout process, my business American Express (AmEx) card was declined. I tried my personal AmEx card and got the same result. I actually tried each of them a few times just to be sure I didn’t make a mistake when I entered the numbers on the payment page. I ended up making the purchase with my Visa and thought they might just be having trouble processing AmEx transactions at the time.
Later that day, I got a call From AmEx about suspicious transaction attempts. It turns out that the transactions were declined by AmEx because they were suspicious. I guess my card had been locked as a result.

I have mixed feelings about this. The consumer side of me thought, “wow, AmEx is really looking out for me.” I’m a patient shopper, so little inconveniences don’t bother me too much. I’m sure there are others that would be totally frustrated with any sort of inconvenience while ordering online. I’d rather have to jump through a hoop or two if it means stopping someone else from making unauthorized purchases on my account.

The online marketer in me thought, “How many sales are lost due to these false alerts?” In affiliate marketing, this is something that is far out of our control. It’s even out of the merchant’s control if the CC company decides to decline a transaction based on suspicion. I guess it’s a good thing that most merchants offer many methods of payment.

By contrast, when I made my first purchase from Amazon’s MP3 store things went a little too quickly. I clicked on “Buy this album” and my computer was instantly downloading the new MP3s without any warning. It made me uneasy that it was so simple to make a purchase. I didn’t even have to enter in my credit card information, Amazon had that all stored for me since I had purchased from them previously. I’ve since enabled an option in my account so that I get a confirmation page prior to MP3 orders being placed.

Cyber Monday – B.S.

leaves & woodpileB.S., Marketing B.S. That’s what comes to mind when I hear mention of Cyber Monday. When I hear that term, it makes my stomach churn because it’s all made up. Marketing hype says this is the biggest day of the year for online shopping. Lies, all lies I tell ya. Let me share my experience-based reasoning with you.

I’ve been promoting things as an affiliate for years now and I’ve never seen the Monday following Thanksgiving be anything out of the ordinary. I helped sell over $1 million in goods online last year. I know it’s a tiny drop in the huge pond of online sales, but I’m pretty sure others’ experience match mine.

I’ve found that holiday based spending online peaks between 7 and 10 days prior to the actual holiday. I’ve also found that Mondays are typically the biggest sales day of the week. This is followed by Wednesday, for some reason. If you’re set on choosing a Monday, combine these two to get your pick for the biggest day.

In reality, I’d pick a day in the 7-10 day range prior to Christmas to be the overall best day and place low priority to whether it’s a Monday or not. I’ll bet on the 19th this year.

I think that the trend over the next few years will be more online purchases even closer to Christmas. More and more online merchants are offering overnight shipping and as consumers get more comfortable with this, they’re going to be ordering more and more at the last minute instead of heading into brick and mortar stores to make their purchases in the last days before Christmas.

Try googling “cyber monday hoax” and you’ll find that there are others that agree with this point of view.

Why you won’t see a “more” link in my posts anymore

Little Cottonwood Canyon PicIn the past, I’ve put a brief teaser in my posts followed by a “more” link. I did this so that my main page (htttp://alt-j.com) wouldn’t be a mile long and also so that the search engines wouldn’t see a ton of duplicate content on my blog.
Now I say, “To heck with search engines.” Here’s why:

  • I’m lazy
  • My blog is for people, not search engines
  • It’s more RSS friendly

I’ve been hooked on RSS feeds for a while now and recently switched to Google Reader from Thunderbird to check in on all my favorite blogs. As a result, I can easily read most of these feeds on my phone. I say most because some people do not publish their entire post in their RSS feed. As a result, I’ve started filtering out those that don’t from my subscription list. I have one left that does (Guy Kawasaki), and I’m not sure how much longer I’ll keep it in there.

To answer GrayWolf’s question, Yes, I do subscribe to my own feed and feel that my blog is now easier to read because of it.

Vonage call quality

Well, I’ve got to vent a little about the Vonage commercials. I first must admit that overall, I have enjoyed their service. But I found it funny when in one of their commercials a guy says, referring to their quality, “I’ve never had anybody ask, ‘are you using V-O-I-P?'” (I really chuckle that the actor works hard to force that acronym out on the commercial.) I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the main reason nobody asks that is that hardly anybody knows what VoIP is (it stands for Voice over Internet Protocol.

I thought I’d share with you a few things my wife and I have heard from people as we were using Vonage:

Continue reading Vonage call quality

www or no www in your URL?

Here’s a quick howto on sending visitors to your preferred hostname. The primary reason for this is so that the search engines don’t see www.domainname.com and domainname.com as two identical sites. If they do, one of them will be “penalized” as containing duplicate content. The penalty is that one of the sites will be moved to the supplemental results. This also helps with incoming links so that all of your pages get their deserved “link juice.” Continue reading www or no www in your URL?