Archive for July, 2010
Winning Affiliate Marketing Strategies
Affiliate marketing is by far the fastest way to get started earning a living online. What “affiliate marketing” means is that you just send traffic to someone else’s website, they do everything else! (make the product, design the sale page, handle the billing and support, etc.), and you earn at least a 50% commission
Here’s just a few benefits
- You can get started really quickly because you don’t have to develop a product, craft a sales letter, design the website, come up with support tools, or do support, billing and maintenance.
- It’s completely hands-freefor you because you don’t have to do the customer support or deal with billing or technical issues.
- You have nearly zero risk because you already know the product sells, because the product owner has already made sure the product sells. So you know that your traffic will result in sales.
Looking at these benefits, it’s clear that affiliate marketing is the way to go!
OK, but it’s not all rosy…
You work hard to send the traffic to the product owner’s website, but once you do that you will never see those visitors again. Unfortunately, the majority of those visitors (at least 90%) will not buy on their first visit. The 10% or less that make a purchase now belong to the product owner. She can sell them additional products, but you can never sell to them again.
What’s the solution?
It’s simple: You must get your visitors’ email addresses before you send them to the product owner’s website. By getting their contact info, you can follow up increase your odds of making the sale by sending them back to the product owner’s website multiple times. And if you’re really on top of your game, you’ll then send to a content mini-site in between.
Here are the benefits of doing affiliate marketing like this:
- Owning a list of potential buyers gives you the ability to market additional products at the push of a button.
- You’re generating good will by giving them high-quality content. This way, they are much more likely to make a purchase when you send them to the sales page.
If you want to create an affiliate marketing system like this, you’ll need the following:
- A Video Squeeze Page (with video)
- Several high-quality content pages
- A multi-part email series with at least 5 emails in it
The video squeeze page is where you’ll direct your traffic instead of directly to the product sales page. Your squeeze page adds your visitors to you autoresponder. This is how you start building your list, and at the same time begin sending them useful information. After subscribing them to your email list, it redirects them to your content mini-site.
You content mini-site builds the good will, so that when you send them to the product sales page, they are in a buying mood. While they’re reading the content you’ve provided, your email system is already following up with them to send them back to the product website again and again.
All of this together increases your chances of making the sale by up to 500% so it’s well worth the effort of setting it up. And once it’s set up, it runs automatically – you just send visitors to the squeeze page, instead of the product website.
Setting it all up yourself requires some skill, and if you’re not up to it, you can use a service like Affiliate Silver Bullet. With a service like that, you don’t have to do anything. They make the video, build the squeeze page, write the email series, develop the content mini-site, etc. And then just give you a finished package. On the plus side, you’ll save a ton of time and money vs. trying to build this yourself. Plus you can get started instantly. The drawback is that you won’t be the only one using these affiliate tools. But the internet is huge, so this shouldn’t really affect you.
The other route you can take is to hire people on Elance to create and implement the various aspects for you. Either way, it’s an important step that you need to take if you’re going to be serious about your affiliate marketing.
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Many serious sports bettors consider the futures wager the province of rank amateurs trying to go for the big killing. They’re the sports betting equivalent of the wanna-be stock investor who always gripes if only I had bought Microsoft when they went public. They’re not the type who’ll do the work to grind out profits in the market, nor are they forward thinking enough to find the next big company to go public. They’d rather lay some money on a high priced dog and hope for the best, which seldom (if ever) occurs. Right now at some sportsbooks a $100 bet on the Cincinnati Bengals to win the 2010 Superbowl will pay back $10,000. The problem is that the true odds of Cincinnati winning the Superbowl are probably in the range of 50,000 to 1 which makes the +10000 you’re getting in this bet a bad value from the get-go.
For the more serious bettor, there’s a number of obvious problems with futures wagers. They require that your wagering ‘capital’ be tied up for months. Furthermore, once you’ve placed your bet you’re at the mercy of injuries, suspensions, trades and the other numerous factors that can spell defeat for a sports team. It’s no simple task keeping up with these variables on a day to day basis, and predicting them over a longer term is the province of psychics and not sports handicappers.
So why bet futures at all? More so than anything else, its essential to think of sports wagering not in terms of who wins or loses, but in terms of value. Properly utilized, future book wagers are often a great source of value. Below are some of the ways I like to use future wagers:
Futures can be a good way to leverage value on propositions where your knowledge is greater than the bookmaker’s. For example, many sports books offer betting propositions on entertainment oriented events like the Academy Awards. A handicapper who pays close attention to the movie industry and Hollywood news can stay one step ahead of the linesmaker.
With many books taking bets on awards like ‘Best Picture’ before nominations are even announced, a bettor has a great opportunity to find overlay situations. By staying on top of the entertainment news and accurately predicting which films will be nominated, its often possible to get substantially better prices than will be available after their announcement.
The nature of the film industry makes using a future wager in this manner very attractive. The release schedule of films is established in advance and is publicly known. The cut off date for award consideration is the end of the calendar year, so nothing can pop up and become a surprise after that. Of the hundreds of films that are released each year only a handful are legit Oscar contenders and with some work its easy to narrow those down further. After that its just a matter of finding the value.
Futures wagers are also effective for finding value in a sports betting paradigm. By its very nature, sports presents more variables to deal with than does the movie industry. The top teams are well known by both the linesmakers and general public, and seldom can be found at a value price. For example, you can already bet that the New England Patriots will win the 2010 Superbowl but you can be sure that you’re not going to get a good value price on such a well known ‘public’ team.
The place to find value in this sort of proposition is to look at the less obvious teams. A few years ago an associate of mine took positions on several teams NHL that started slowly, including the Calgary Flames at 40/1. By the end of the regular season they were down to prices as low as 5/1 or 6/1.
This play wasn’t based on any sort of certainty that this team would win the Stanley Cup, but rather on the value they presented. In other words, the true odds of this dark horse Cup win is more in the range of the current price so the 40/1 is a clear overlay. Once the playoffs begin, this sort of positional play offers a lot of options to hedge and to lock in a profit.
Also, don’t forget to consider ‘the field’. Many futures wagers lump a number of teams or competitors together as ‘the field’ and offer a single price to bet them all. Occasionally, the quick thinking handicapper can find unique value situations. For example, after Dale Earnhardt’s tragic death in 2001 some sportsbooks continued to offer a ‘field’ position on rookie of the year. A bettor who followed NASCAR closely would have quickly realized that Kevin Harvick–who replaced Earnhardt in his Richard Childress racing Chevy–qualified for the ‘rookie of the year’ award and could have bet the field at prices as high as 15/1. After he won his first race, the price for ‘the field’ dropped to 2/1 and by midseason ‘the field’ was a -250 favorite.
Clearly the Harvick play was a ‘best case scenario’ but there are other instances where value can be had on ‘the field’. While sportsbooks have learned a lot about NASCAR in recent years, up until a few years ago it was frequently possible to find a ‘field’ bet on road course races that included the ‘specialists’ that teams frequently hire for these events. In other words, it was possible to bet a group of road course ‘ringers’ such as Ron Fellows, Scott Pruett and Robbie Gordon with one wager. Again, you have to keep your eyes open and be ready to act quickly to take advantage of these rare opportunities.
Don’t forget to shop around for the best wagering value. This is true with any sports bet, but particularly so with futures wagers as the prices you find will vary much more than a typical pointspread. A little bit of effort can easily reveal a more advantageous price, meaning greater line value.
Ross Everett is a well known writer specializing in sports handicapping, drag racing, travel and fencing. He is a staff handicapper for Anatta Sports where he is in charge of providing daily free sports picks to a number of websites and broadcast media outlets. He lives in Southern Nevada with three Jack Russell Terriers and a wombat.
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On a cold, gray morning in late January 2000, the historic Mapes Hotel in Reno was imploded by 75 pounds of explosives tucked into the art-deco structures support columns. The controlled demolition came despite years of effort by a number of groups within the community and nationally to preserve the building with lawsuits, redevelopment proposals, and grass roots lobbying efforts.
While the logic and necessity of demolishing the Mapes is very questionable, one thing that is certain is that the hotel was an important part of Northern Nevada history. The opening of the Mapes in’47 ushered in a new era in casino gambling, and changed the economy and way of life in Nevada forever. The Mapes was actually the first property in the country to combine a hotel, casino and live entertainment under the same roof. It also became the hotel of choice for celebrities staying in Northern Nevada. Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe stayed at The Mapes during the filming of ‘The Misfits’. Joseph McCarthy, America’s famed anti-Communist crusader, admitted to a reporter over cocktails in the Mapes Lounge that he really didn’t have a list of Communists in the US despite his frequent and vitriolic insistence to the contrary.
In the 50s and 60s it became, along with Lake Tahoes Cal-Neva Lodge the place to be seen in Northern Nevada. The top floor, window-walled Sky Room showcased performances by the legends: Sinatra, Louis Prima, Mae West, Milton Berle, Sammy Davis, Jr., and the Marx Brothers among others. Subsequent years were not kind to downtown Reno but the Mapes prospered during the 60’s and 70’s. The hotel finally closed in’82, due more to financial difficulties experienced by the Mapes family caused by one of their other Northern Nevada gaming properties than anything else.
Reno never experienced the massive growth that occurred in Las Vegas and southern Nevada, and for that reason the destruction of the Mapes is more open to debate than the hotel demolitions to the south. Even the demolition of The Sands–perhaps the most historically significant casino in the state–is hard to argue against given the inability of such a small property to compete in the current Las Vegas marketplace and in light of the value of the mid-strip real estate. The old properties may have historic value to pop culture historians, but their survival doesn’t make economic sense. They’re simply ‘analog players in a digital world’.
This is not the case in Reno, where land and buildings for development in virtually every casino area are abundant. The official reason that the Mapes had to come down was that the city needed the land–which sits along the banks of the Truckee River–to expand its riverside district of art galleries, restaurants and shops. The revitalization of downtown Reno is definitely needed and a legitimate goal, but at the same time it is hard to think that the Mapes was a barrier to this. Indeed, a number of proposals for redevelopment including office space, artists lofts and upscale senior housing would have probably served to enhance the livability of the downtown area. For whatever reason, the City Redevelopment Authority wouldn’t approve any of the proposals and the fate of the Mapes was sealed.
The role of the City Redevelopment Authority was questioned throughout the process. Overlooking the Truckee River, the hotel was on a prime location between the downtown casino area and the riverfront district. A number of sound financial proposals were presented that would preserve the integrity of the structure including condominiums, office space, and perhaps most viable, upscale senior apartments. Oddly, all of these proposals were turned down by the citys Redevelopment Agency which continued to maintain that demolition was the only viable option despite copious evidence to the contrary.
Following the 2000 demolition, the lot remained vacant for over a year until a temporary ice skating rink was hastily constructed the following winter. The property has been improved and the rink is now permanent which, while not in itself a bad use for the land, further calls into question the efficacy of demolishing the structure. It would appear that the city had no clue what to do with the land, but for whatever reason wanted the building brought down. This has led to all sorts of conspiracy theories, from the City Development Agency having financial incentive to raze the hotel to rumors that the building was haunted and was destroyed to keep the Reno area from being overrun with paranormal activity. Whatever the reason for the decision, the city of Reno has lost a beautiful art deco treasure that played a significant part in the economic growth of the state.
Ross Everett is a freelance sports writer and noted authority on World Series betting. His writing has appeared on a variety of sports sites including sports news and sportsbook review sites. He lives in Southern Nevada with three Jack Russell Terriers and a kangaroo. He is currently working on an autobiography of former interior secretary James Watt.
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