Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Don't use Google AdSense in South Africa

As stated in previous posts, I had Google AdSense clocking up some Rands and Cents in the background, not paying much attention to it. I even received the little postcard with my confirmation code which one receives after a couple of months.

Without any real in-depth explanation, my AdSense account was suspended just before I reached my payment threshold of R1000. they basically said they discovered irregularities that pose a risk to their clients advertising. Now, with irregularities I would presume they mean click fraud which, with making between R1.50 and R4 per day with AdSense seemed highly unlikely.

This is particularly annoying, as I put up with their ads on my websites for over 9 months. I didn't particularly like their ads, but thought I would have gotten rid of it as soon I received my first payment. I contacted them to explain themselves and they basically gave me the same answer.

This has happened before, as I had an AdSense account that was not that active, as I only really started experimenting with affiliate advertising in January this year. I had made a couple of Rands and the AdSense account became inactive. Together with the new account that was closed, I probably lost on on R1000.

Who knows how many people's accounts are closed daily before they reach payment threshold? AdSense is not really worth the hassle. Programs like TrafficSynergy and AdDynamo also run locally and pay almost at the same ratio. The difference is that their payment thresholds are lower, so you get paid more frequent - thus problems would be pointed out earlier, should they arise, and probably with a proper explanation.

I will probably update some more payment figures and screen shots soon. A new affiliate was added in the place of AdSense - AdDynamo. More on that later.

Go delete your AdSense account. It's not worth it.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

PC Mall - Not such a great South African affiliate program

The PC Mall affiliate program seems to be not working at all and its freaking me out a bit. With 213477 impressions since January I generated 423 clicks through to their site and there was not one single sale. Over 200k impressions is really a shitload of traffic. I really don't get it. They have brilliant banners and their website seems user friendly and secure enough to use. Not one single sale of computer gadgetty things. What is even weirder is that some of my sales through Kalahari.net were PC-related sales. Stuff like LCD screens and flash disks! Kalahari is consistently making me more than R500 per month.

I will just leave the PC Mall banners until the end of the year and maybe I will get one lucky sale. After that I will take it down and make space for something else. Even Google AdSense at around R3 - R4 per day will eventually see me getting my R1000 payment around the end of the year. Out of all the affiliate programs I am trying out, PC Mall is really doing the worst. I even mad R12 on Silver Sands Casino - on which I am pulling the plug totally. Its just not worth it...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Linking to this blog

Someone e-mailed me and asked to link to this blog. Could that person please e-mail me again? I deleted the e-mail by accident.

Of course we can exchange links. Just leave a comment in the comments section and I will get your details.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My first six months of affiliate marketing earnings

Right, it's that time of the year where I do my second assessment and have a look at how the second quarter compares to how I did in my first quarter (Jan 2009 - March 2009). It will also be interesting to see how I did, compared to the expectations I laid out for myself in the beginning of the year.

I short, I was on an earning average of R950 for the first three months and was hoping to increase my earnings to an average of R1500 for the next three months. Did I manage to get it right?

Lets have a look at my totals for Jan 1 to June 30. I have included screenshots as proof at the end as well.

Google AdSense
Total: R1563.50

Traffic Synergy:


R 3492.30

Rhythm Records:

All these give me a total R7929.28 earned for the first 6 months. That gives me an average R1321.55 per month for the first 6 months. This is on average R178.45 per month short of the goal I set for myself to earn an average of R1500 per month three months ago, but we have to keep in mind that I joined Mantality at the end of January and Rhythm records towards the end of April.

I stated from the beginning that I believe that it's possible for the average South African blogger to earn between R1000 and R1500 per month on the internet and here is your proof.

I reckon I would be able to get my earnings up to an average of R1700 per month within the next three months and hopefully up to an average of R1900 per month by the end of the year. Let's revisit the figures then and see how close I managed to get.

In the meantime, keep popping in over here as I try out new programs, drop others and try new things on the internet. I have a cool idea to make some extra cash on the web that I am working on. Not wheelbarrows full of cash. Maybe an extra R300 to R500 per month which requires some work in the beginning and virtually no maintenance thereafter. All the small amounts add up in the end. If I didn't start playing around with affiliate earnings, I wouldn't have had the extra R8000 that I earned from January to June. Double it up to get an estimated year-end total of R16000, without taking growth into consideration. It is starting to look more and more like a 13th cheque to me, so keep visiting this blog to track my progress and share my thoughts.

Some screenshots of some of my money earners:

Friday, June 26, 2009

RIP Michael Jackson

Some interesting trivia:

  • # Billie Jean was the first video by a black artist to air on MTV.
  • # Jackson’s waxwork features in five Madame Tussauds museums across the world. Only Elvis Presley and Madonna have more Tussaud figures. They each have six.
  • # Jackson’s total lifetime earnings from royalties, solo recordings and music videos, revenue from concerts and endorsements have been estimated at $500 million.
  • # Jackson received a Presidential Humanitarian Award from Ronald Reagan in 1984 for his support of charities helping people overcome alcohol and drug abuse.
  • # Jackson fought fellow 50 year old Madonna on MTV’s Celebrity Deathmatch. He lost.
  • # MC Hammer once challenged Jackson to a dance-off. He was told to Beat It. Jackson reportedly responded, “I’ve seen your videos and every single dance move you use, you got off of me.”
  • # An obsessed French Jackson superfan committed suicide in 1984 after his mother refused to allow him to undergo surgery to look like the star.
  • # In 1984, a U.S. library accused Jackson of owing it over $1 million in overdue book fines. Officials said they would scrap the fines if he returned the books autographed.
  • # Jackson is was a vegetarian.
  • # Jackson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Jackson 5 on May 6, 1997. He was inducted as a solo artist on March 19, 2001.
  • # Jackson’s music video for Thriller was voted the greatest music video of all time in a recent Channel 4 (UK) poll.
  • # Jackson’s double album HIStory is the biggest selling double album ever released in the U.S.
  • # Jackson’s Blood on the Dance Floor is the biggest selling re-mix album of all time.
  • # Movie star Macauley Culkin is godfather to Jackson’s two eldest children, Paris and Prince Michael.
  • # Jackson shares the record for the most Grammy Awards won in one year with Carlos Santana and Norah Jones - they each won eight
  • # Jackson’s performance during the 1993 SuperBowl half-time show drew the largest TV audience in American history.
  • # Jackson provided a voiceover on The Simpsons - but it remained a secret for 12 years. He voiced a character in a mental institution in the Stark Raving Dad episode, which aired in 1991, but, because of a contractual problem, Jackson had to be credited as John Jay Smith. His contribution to the classic cartoon series remained a rumour among fans until The Simpsons creator Matt Groening confirmed it really was Jackson when the episode was released on DVD in 2003.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Why you should join Mantality, a South African men shop's affiliate program

Back in February 2009 (roughly a month after I started messing around with online affiliate awards programs) I discovered Mantality, an online shop for men, chockablock with gadgets, gifts and lifestyle products.

After only 3 sales I was standing on just over R200, including the R30 they gave me for just signing up with them. I was quiet for a month or so and I had to wait for the sales commission to get above the payout threshold of R470.

In April I was sent a shaving balm by post with the understanding that I write a short summary of the product. I wrote my little report, posted it on one of my websites and more or less 2 weeks after that, I had more sales, all of a sudden pushing my commission over R1400. Becasue of that my commission level also went up. Just over R1500 was promptly paid into my ABSA account.

So, after getting paid, I am just over R200 again and the cycle continues. Here is s screenshot from all my earnings to date (Feb 2000 - June 2009)

Mantality is now my second biggest earner next to Kalahari

Something you could start implementing straight away once you have joined Mantality's affiliate program is their free online men's magazine. It actually has useful information plus it is free.

I would suggest that you get in there as quick as you can. A lot of you guys have already missed out on AdGator, as they don't take any new bloggers on board for now (there is a waiting list). Another example is the online casino affiliate programs. If you did not join them two years ago, there is almost no need to join them now - but more about this at a later stage.

Mantality does not have that many bloggers signed up with them yet. Join now and get a big slice of the pie before too many people discover this and leave crumbs for the rest.

O, and as a last point - Mantality does not sell crap. Take some time and browse through their site. I am sure you will find someting that will interest you.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Google PSA's (public service ads) showing on webpage in stead of normal ads

For those of you who dabble in Google's AdSense program and discovered that your Google ads all of a sudden started displaying PSA's (public service ads), here are some tips and general pointers from personal experience:

* Google only requests your banking details for your profile once you have reached the $10 mark
* You are then required to enter a PIN number that Google will send to you by snail mail for reasons only know to Google. This PIN number will be valid for 6 weeks or so.
* If you have not received this pin (like in my case - thank you very much SA Postal Services), you can request it to mailed to you again. The pin can be requested twice, after which you will have to contact Google if you have not received it.
* There is no mystery as how to contact Google Ad-Sense support. Simply e-mail them at adsense-support@google.com with your AdSense code in as the subject. You will get an auto responder telling you how to fix the problem. Simply reply to this e-mail (and remember to replace the to address with adsense-support@google.com again) and tell them that their help-page does not help with your problem, although you have tried all their suggestions.
* In my case, my websites started showing PSA's because I have not updated my pin yet (becasue I have not received it). Google support responded to my e-mail and re-instated my normal AdSense with another 3 months, while I wait for my PIN to arrive in the post.

Example of Google's PSA:

Monday, June 22, 2009

Extra cash for selling your photos online

As mentioned in the previous post, I bought a very nice SLR-like digital camera - the Canon S10. See its review on Cnet here.

R3000 (or two thirds) of the R4500 I spent on the camera came from May's total earnings off the internet. I have been planning on getting a new digital camera for some time now. The extra cash came in very handy at the right moment!

The plan is to get a proper Canon SLR at some stage, but in the meantime I am experimenting with photography and trying out some free courses available online. Check out the Morguefile for an excellent free photography course divided into 10 very helpful lessons. They start off with the basics and go through everything you will probably need to know about photography.

It is strange how things work out sometimes. Buying my new camera mostly with money I got for free, got me into thinking if I could possibly make some money with my new hobby, photography, on the net. I Googled for a bit and came across a blog post of some lady making around $3000 per month selling her photographs on various sites of which Fotolia seems to be her biggest cash cow. I must add that she has over 1200 photos uploaded to her profile.

Fotolia basically pay you whenever someone downloads your photo and they take a small commission on every sale. The service is totally free. There are many of these sites out there but I decided to just check out Fotolia for now. There is a banner on the right-hand side on this blog that will take you trhough to their site if you are interested. I am not going to try and explain how they work in full.

I am not expecting any money at all from Fotolia, but it would be an indication to me as to how good or bad a photographer I am. So far I have uploaded 15 of (what I think are) my best photos to Fotolia and 5 of them have already being declined. I am yet to find out if the remaining 10 will be good enough. And yes, so far it seems that I am a crappy photographer (according to their standards), haha. Being strict on the quality of photos they choose is a good thing. People get paid for good photos. If you read some of their reader's comments in forums, you will see that some of them uplaod up to 200 photos per day. Hence the strict quality control. You've probably seen the crap some people (read: your friends) load onto their Facebook profiles and albums - please don't tell them about Fotolia.

There are many more sites like Fotolia out there. If you manage to be successful with any of them, I'd like to hear about it. If you come across something else that really works great, I'd like to hear about it too.

Happy snapping!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I crossed the R3000 mark this month with online revenue!

- before we go on just a quick note. I received a total amount of just over R3000 commission in total this month from all the affiliate programs I joined. I have not reached my long term average goal of R3k per month yet, I still need to get to the short-term goal of R1500 average per month...

Right, so it possible to make some bucks on the internet and every other month one does get a nice total when all the nice payments fall within the same month.

Let's have a look at the money I made on interwebs this month:

Mantality R1542.09
Kalahari R1205.96
Traffic Synergy R268.80
Rhytm Records R69.83

Total for June 2009: R3086.68

Not kak at all hey? I used the bucks to help pay towards a new Canon S10 camera of around R4500. Very naughty of me, seeing that in these economic times I should be putting more bucks towards my bond. Sheesh! I will start behaving beetter next month.

I am still aiming for an average of around R1500 per month by the end of the year. Check back at the end of June to find out if I am still on track to achieve this goal.

I have also decided to go for a new template for this blog for various reasons. One of them being the new affiliate programs I am following and old ones I gave to boot. The new template will have all sorts of bells and whistles attached to it - adouble feature really: It makes for better reading or viewing and it will also illustrate some plugins and features I have discovered aling the way that for instance imporves adsense etc.

Check back later this week for the new features.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

See it as a 13th cheque?

Let's have a look at earnings that I recevied for the first quarter of 2009.

First a breakdown of all the programs I am experimenting with (the ones that paid):

Kalahari earnings (total from 1 January until current)
A total of R1888.66

AdGator (January to End Feb earnings)
January 2009 Earnings Earnings R206.31
February 2009 Earnings Earnings R104.22
March 2009 Earnings R180.26
A total of R490.79

AdSense (January until current)
More or less a total of R200 (if you work on the current total of almost $25 and work on today's Rand / Dollar exchange rate)

Mantality (I've only been trying it out for little over 1 month, but let's pretend I joined in January):
A total of R370.

Traffic Synergy:
Just over R100.

AdSense only pays out once a threshold of $100 is reached, so I assume that I will reach it by the end of the year at least.

Traffic Synergy pays out once R250 is reached, so I assume it will at least happen twice a year.

If I add everything up for the first quarter I get a grand total of R2849.45 or an average of R950 per month. If you conservatively pretend that its a total for 6 months you can have a projected total of at least R5700 earnings for the year.

Mulitply R2850 by 4 and you get an annual total of R11400 - presuming you stay on your averages.

Can you regard this as an average 13th cheque? That depends on your definition of a 13th cheque and for someone who earns an entry level to average salary, this might as well seem like a 13th cheque. Remember that this assumed amount of R11400 is accumulated over a year and received in small payments, so it virtually does not get taxed.

If you had to add tax of let's say 25% in a normal working scenario, you are looking at a "13th checque" of around R14250. Now it looks more like an entry level to average salary amount, doesn't it?

Not bad for hardly doing anything, right?

I am planning on opening a separate savings account to pay these small amounts into and see where I end up, come December.

Hopefully I will have enough cash to help towards a small holiday in Cape Town or something.

From this first quarter "report", you can see that I am close to one of my first statements I made around 3 months ago on this blog - that it is possible to make a little cash on the internet, but not to get all starry eyed and carried away. If I remember correctly, I think I mentioned that between R1000 and R1500 per month is possible. Well, I am standing on an average of R950 per month, so I am close enough to my own predictions. I would like to get the average up to R1500 per month in the next three months.

How is your moneymaking on the internet doing?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Giving Loot the boot. I am going gambling.

I've decided to remove Loot from all the affiliates I am trying out at the end of Feb. There's been absolutely zero cents generated from them. At the same time Take2 has made me just over R20. It's not much but its better than a kick in the balls, so I will keep them on for now.

The main reason why Loot is doing badly could possibly be due to their own website. The site is a bit bland and doesn't really appeal to me. I've never bought from them and I am sure their service is excellent. I will probably try and buy my next batch of Xbox games through them (if pricing is better than Kalahari or Loot) just to be fair and report back here.

In Loot's place I've decided to give Silver Sands Casino a go. The long and short of it: They pay you a 25% of the net revenue for each client that you bring in. NET REVENUE=NET WIN-FREE BONUS. For example if someone buys 1000 credits in chips, they give him 200 credits FREE BONUS. If he wagers 1100 credits and withdraws the rest, the commission is calculated as follows: NET REVENUE=1100 credits-200 credits. They will split 900 credits with you. If he wagers 1200 credits you are entitled to 300 credits commission.

I actually installed their casino software tonight to give it a bash. At first I played with "fake" money and soon enough went over to playing with R500 real cash. I used my credit card to play. Soon enough I was down to a below R10 and miraculously won some cash twice in a row bringing me to just over R550. Now, the thing with gambling (or the way I approach it anyway) is to make peace with yourself that you are going to loose whatever you plan to play with. In my case I made my R500 back with an extra R50. Did I cash it in? Nope. I went and lost R150 again. I cashed out the R400 that was left. Did I have fun? Of course. It beats driving the 4km to Monte Casino, sitting in a crowded casino, ending up playing some slot machine you don't wanna play because some wrinkle-faced geriatric is hogging two machines. I sit at home, drink my own cheap beer and watch TV at the same time. It's also much better to sit at home and cry when you part with your money after a couple of beers.

I came across Silver Sands Casino's affiliate links by chance (after landing on some fake sites).

The only URL you should visit to sign up for an affiliate program is this one. If you hover your mouse over the link, have a look at the bottom of your browser. The link ends with ?paffid=4127

That is my referral ID for when people click through. In other words, I will get a little % as well when you sign up as an affiliate. You can remove that last bit if you want to. It just means Silver Sands won't pay me for referring you, that's all. Trust me, sites like Progressiveaffliates.com and the rest are bullshit links. They actually contacted me by phone last year sometime to advertise a banner on one of my big websites and offered something like R600 per month. I sort of expressed interest but never gave it any second thoughts. I happened to read about other people that got scammed. Google it if you don't believe me. The only proper way of signing up is through the link I posted above, or going to www.silversandscasino.com and signing up under the "Webmaster" section. That's the way I did it.

To get back to my own gambling tonight. I've submitted my withdrawal and will probably see how they handle it by next week Tuesday. Personally I enjoy gambling over at Piggspeak Casino. They also take credit cards. The difference there is that I've learned to part with R200 over a playing time of around 5 hours. I don't play big. I dont play cards or roulette. I play the small slots and I do it maybe twice a month. Also, they refund you straight back to your credit card right away, which is cool. I probably enjoy Piggs Peak more, because I am more used to it and have been playing for years. It would be really cool if they had an affiliate program though.

I just thought I'd join the Silver Sands program because of the 25% payouts. If it will work is another question. I came across a woman's website where she claims she made R20k per month. She is probably talking out of the wrong end, so we will see. As stated before, this blog's purpose is to get real info, real stats and real results.

A last note on Silver Sands - if you want to link their banners, you don't have to save it to your PC to FTP it to your site. Do as I did in this example and reference the images from their site:

If you don't understand how to do it, leave contact details in the (moderated) comments section and I will try and explain.

On a different note - my unpaid balance at Kalahari now stands at R 2,305.96. This covers the period of December, January and February so far. I have not yet received a payment. I've made around R600 in February so far. I suspect the non-payment has something to do with February being the financial year-end, so hopefully I will get the full amount at the end of Feb or early March. If not, I will just give them a call.

AdSense is still doing pathetic at somewhere over $12 but what the hell, it just needs to get to $100, hopefully before we host the world cup soccer. I will post some screen shots of the smaller generating stuff sometime.

Which programs are you finding useful? Feel free to leave comments and your e-mail address if you want to. If you don't want comments published but would like me to get back to you, just indicate so. I moderate comments, so they don't go live straight after hitting enter.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Mantality of it

You were expecting the riveting AdSense story, weren't you? The long and short of it is that I am on $8, so it will have to roll over to the next post when I am on $15. Also, someone at work asked me to explain AdSense to him (probably because he is too lazy to read up on in). OK, I will explain AdSense to those lazy okes next time. Just not today. Being a smoker and drinker, $8 doesn't sound like much, especially after Trevor's budget speech today.

So you might have noticed another little square banner I added at the top for Mantality. They give you R30 just for signing up and pay out once you've reached R300 worth of sales commission. I thought mmmkay, I'd give it a month and then can it, but it is actually starting to pay off. And now I might decide to can the Loot banners in stead, as I am on R0, but I'd give it another couple of weeks and then give you my honest opinion of why it worked or did not work. Obviously, if it starts generating a couple of cents in the next 2 weeks or so, I will give strangle it a bit slower. Then can it.

Mantality is an online South African shop that sells products and gadgets that appeal to men. Products that I am interested for instance, is a waterproof wireless Ipod speaker. That's right, you gooi it your pool. It floats. You drink beer. You listen to your tunes. Another nifty product is a flint-like lighter that can start your braai even in the Amazon while its pissing down with rain, snakes and flu virusses. I actually saw it on some survival program on Discovery the other night before seeing it on the Mantality website. I am definitely interested in these two products but won't buy it for now. I will buy it from Mantality with the money they give me for selling (in my sleep) the same kak that I want. So far I am not doing too kak for three sales:

Doing some quick maths in my head, I am probably standing on around R2500 for the month for money made on the interwebs, but I'd rather give you a proper breakdown at the end of Feb with a start and finish date for all programs, so take it with a lump of salt.

In a totally unrelated event, a friend and I received our first AdSense cheque of just over R1000. We decided to buy beer with all the money. After all, we waited a whole fucking year to reach $100. See, its not that easy...

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Buying a second property with internet money? Haha!

You get this plastered all over the internet. People who claim to have yachts and all sorts of kak they made by working from home. And for R250 a pop they will sell you the secret. Like they would really need that extra cash. Usually its just a scheme where they basically tell you in a round-about way to fuck over the next guy for R250, using the same lies.
For normal people, buying a second property with internet money is highly unlikely buy this is not entirely impossible. This depends on lot of factors. I am going to sketch a little scenario showing the possibility of buying property generated from money on the internet alone (sort of) followed by some factors that will determine the possibility. By the way, I don't own cars and shit bought with quick-rich money. Everything (or the little) I have, I worked for the good old fashioned way, but let's move on...

Everything I mention for this proposed scenario is not 100% factual but rather relies on personal experience, as I am a home owner myself, paid for by my hard earned salary I get from a normal day job.

Have a look at this property in Centurion after reading this post. I am going to use this as an example with some calculations. In now way does this place belong to me, nor do I know the owner. I just went to Private Property's website and searched for a property under R500 in an area which I am familiar with - it is close to where I work.

According to the bond calculator on the website, it will set you back around R6100 per month. You could probably add another R500 per month (if you're lucky) for levies which will bring your total to R6600. If you are already a home owner, like I am, chances are quite small that you will be able to secure another property on a 20 year bond and be totally happy about it at the same time. Let's face it - you would rather stick that extra R6600 into your existing bond. Chances are you don't have that money anyway.

Let me just sketch some background to support the argument:

If you could qualify for a second bond for some reason (maybe your salary is not too kak) there might be a slight chance. In my case, I bought a house together with my girlfriend. Our bond comes to around R14k per month (I am including levy as well). That sets us each back around R7k per month. She however already has a smaller property just around the corner from us that she bought a couple of years ago. When we moved in together she started renting it out at around R4k per month. Her bond and levy amounts to around R6k per month, so there is a shortfall of R2k every month. This fine, as her car is paid off. Had this not been the case and she had to pay off an average priced car of around R2k per month, she shortfall would be R4k per month - if you are following my train of thought.

If you apply for a second bond you could qualify for it if you for instance state that you will get X amount for rental income and if you can prove that you can pay the difference. They will cross-check it with your bank details and salary slips anyway. Back to the example on Private Property. Let's assume you could get a rental income of around R3600 per month for a 2 bedroom place it will leave you with a shortfall of R3000 per month. Money you will need to make online for the purpose of this blog entry.

Is it possible? Yes but only if:

  • You are able to generate R3000 per month on the internet and this happens constantly. It doesn't help if you had one lucky month over December and the rest of the months look dreary.
  • You actually qualify for a second bond.
  • You are close to freeing up other expenses (such as paying off a car that you are happy with and don't need a new one)
  • You are secure in your current job
  • You are actually generating that kind of money on the net right now and the housing market doesn't skyrocket.
  • The repo rate stays fairly stable - its been kind of a hurricane out there the last couple of months.
  • You are very realistic and have a clear understanding of your own finances and possibilities.

Would I do it?
Probably not. I am generating around R1000 per month for the last three months if I average it out. I did make around R2k in January, but it is not a constant. For the moment I am happy covering my hosting and internet bandwidth and I do enjoy buying the odd Xbox game or ten. I am not that disciplined when it comes to spending the extra I get, but I am also not foolish enough to spend more than that little extra.

I probably left out some other factors. If you could think of any, or would like to give your 2 cents, I would like to hear from you. Just gooi it under the comments.

For the next post I will finally tell you the awsome tale of how I made $5 since joining AdSense on the 19th of January. It is riveting stuff!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Kalahari - not as dry as the region

As mentioned in my previous post, Kalahari is currently the most lucrative of all the programs I am experimenting with. Signing up with them is quick and easy, and I made a telephone call to confirm that you are actually not limited to one website. The way I see it, a sale is a sale and commission should be paid where it is due, which seems to be the case with them. As stated earlier on this blog, I prefer to market companies that I find useful myself. I started buying online from Kalahari in October 2006 but only joined their affiliate program around September / October 2008. Similar to AdSense and AdGator, you need to reach a certain threshold before you get paid out. If memory serves right, I think this threshold is a minimum of R100 and it can roll over until reached. The cool thing about it is that is paid directly into your bank account through internet banking. No hassles.

To give some perspective, I will place some screen shots of money spent with them vs money earned through them. Remember, I would have kept on purchasing online from them anyway, even if I was not aware of their affiliate program. Finding out about the rewards was only a great bonus.

Money I spent so far on Kalahari products (click to enlarge):

A total of R4560.06 spent at Kalahari from 2006 to 2009.

What Kalahari paid out to me so far, from November 2008 to January 2009:

And lastly my unpaid balance Kalahari still needs to pay out, presumably early in February 2009:

You can average these payments out over 5 months since I got paid, but in all fairness, it takes about a month or two to get things rolling, depending of your website's traffic and your users / reader getting used to it, so lets average it out over 7 months.

A total of R2365.33 conservatively averaging to R337.90 per month. If you do average it out over 5 months, it gives me R473.07 per month.

If you subtract the total earned from the total spent at Kalahari I get a total of R2194.73. More than a 50% discount!

I suspect that Kalahari store cookies on people's web browsers, so that when they click to buy something through one of your links for the first time, they become your "customer" for quite a considerable time.

It is definitely worth your while to sign up and try it out for yourself. For the next post, I will probably share some info with you on the less profitable pay-per-click affiliates such as AdSense and Synergy before moving on to other online shops such as Take2, Loot and PC Mall. All four of these are very new to me and I hardly have any stats or money to show for them. I will however put it up here with some screen shots and frequently update on them to see if there is any improvement at all. I would like to do a similar post to this one for Take2, as this is the place on the internet where most my cash went when I still owned a DVD rental shop. I hope I will have some figures ready for you. For now I am on R0 earning.

Until next time...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Make some money in Rands with AdGator on your website

For some reason, I forgot to mention AdGator as one of the banners I use on one of my websites to generate extra cash - so I am actually using 8 companies and not 7 as previously mentioned. It could be because there is virtually no maintenance involved - you just stick it somewhere on your website and it generates cash.

The cool thing about AdGator is that no-one needs to click on any of the banners. They pay for impressions or views on your website. To quote from their website:

"Unlike Google and Affiliate Networks we serve ads on a Cost Per Thousand (CPM) basis and share this revenue with you 50/50. This means that for every impression served on your blog you will earn money."

They further tell you to check out how much you potentially could make by using their calculator. More about this just now - with some proper stats and proof.

I signed up with AdGator around the middle of December 2008 and have made some cash with them. You need to make at least R150 before they pay the bucks into your account, which is no biggie. If you don't reach that target, it just rolls over to the next month.

Have a look at some real proof that AdGator does work. My earnings for December 2008:
As you can see, I made close to R130 without having to do squat. It's enough to pay for all 5 of my smaller website hosting every month.

My January stats so far are a little more detailed and look as follows:

Again,almost R130 for doing f-all. You will see some dots on the graph line. Those are the actual days when AdGator clients are advertising on their banners, so you will only generate paid hits / impressions when a client advertises with them.

Now, on the AdGator website they have acalculator like I mentioned a bit earlier in this post. If you look at my January stats, you will see a total of 19298 ads served. If I had to use their calculator to calculate (their stats) what my site is worth in paid advertising, I get to a total of R2315.76. What is even greater is that those stats will normally be around 25% higher. January is a slow month, seeing that people in general only get back to their computers and the workplace from the 2nd week onwards.

Sounds awesome, doesn't it? Something that I leave alone could possibly cover a monthly car repayment? Too good to be true? Well, yes and no.

Remember that you only generate income when AdGator's clients have active campaigns with them, otherwise earnings for the days that companies don't advertise will reflect earnigns of R0.

Be that as it may, I added all my hits/impressions according to the stats I was provided with from AdGator for December 2008 and January 2009. I only added the "active" campaign dates that generated cash and came to a total of 9714 impressions (or Ads served as they like to call it).

Check out the screenshot:

So for the period of December and January, according to the calculator they use to entice bloggers to sign up with them, I could possible make R1165.68

In reality, if you add my December earnings to what I've earned in January so far, my total comes to R250.45, a far cry from the projected, calculatedR1165.68. It is almost a fifth of what they suggest you could make. Don't get me wrong, it is still good money for virtually doing nothing, but I think they need to take a more realistic approach. That said, we have to bear in mind that this program has only been running for just under 2 months and they are still signing up customers.

It is still totally worth your while to sign up with them and I suggest you get in there early. They might at some point decide to serve a limited amount of bloggers. Also remember that you need to have a decent website* with proper content to be considered at all. You also need to update regularly with decent content.

There is a huge potential here and AdGator is my second highest cash generator. The most lucrative income-generator out of the 8 companies that I am experimenting with is Kalahari.

I will probably post some real info and screen shots from them quite soon and then move on the smaller ones to show you how much moolah I managed to rake up, if any at all.

You are welcome to share your own experiences or discuss or disagree with me on these programs. Just leave a comment and I will respond promtly.

* All stats I post on this blog comes from another proper website that I run. I do not have any links on this blog to that site, as I don't really need the traffic from here to there. It is a specialised website that has nothing to do with get-noticed.blogspot.com. I run this blog as a guideline to others, giving some perspective and totally free advice on websites generating cash in South-Africa. The website in question is well-read and generates huge amounts of traffic in South Africe, thus allowing me to post qualified statistics and statements. I post on this blog to give South Africans a reality check as far as the whole "working from home" dream / scam is concerned.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Reality check - make R500 to R1000 p/m extra in your spare time

You will notice that I added a couple of banners on the right-hand side. These are the affiliates in South Africa that I am trying out. Some of them I started trying out recently, some of them I've been trying for a couple of months. I mainly use them on my websites that generate proper traffic, but stuck them on here for the purpose of this blog - to inform others and to show the income (if any) they generate.

For now I am only trying out 7 or so different companies. I don't really intend using more than that and I have several reasons:

  • I don't want to clutter my websites with kak, as the info on my websites are more important than something that looks shitty and just shouts "CLICK ON ME!". That will drive people away faster than Pirates fan at a Blue Bulls game, rendering my website useless and taking away the main purposes of my website, which in my case is having fun doing a hobby whilst entertaining others.
  • I want to promote companies that I frequently use myself and find useful, not pyramid schemes.
  • This is experimental and a hobby - I don't want to use too much time administrating something that will bring in a few couple of Rands. Obviously if it starts bringing in a little more bucks I will spend a little more time on it, but its not something I am losing sleep over, and you should approach it in a similar way, unless you sit at home and have absolutely nothing to do but scrathc your balls or smoke dagga. Remember that there is a world outside there as well. Do you know what the sun looks like?

Lets go through the list quickly:

  • Take2 is an online shop, much like Kalahari . They offer a wide range of books, electronics, DVDs and games. To sign up with them, you need to e-mail them and request to be an affiliate partner. They will mail you back in a day or two to inform you if your application was succesful, ie, if you have a decent website and not Google Ads surrounded by white spaces. I found them to have lots of scarce movies and more recently a wide range of Xbox 360 games (since I only bought my Xbox recently). Service is excellent and delivery prompt and affordable. I added them as an affilaite today, actually, so we will see how that side of things go.
  • Lottofun is a South African online lottery service and they have a referral system for any member who signs up with them. I use them on a weekly basis to order my lotto tickets online, check results or get informed via SMS. I added them as a referral partner today. They offer R15 per paid signed up customer, so nothing really to lose. Some people reckon they are pricey, but I just find it convenient, not queueing at an Engen on a Saturday night. I am a lazy bastard. Also I only order when I really feel like I have some money to burn.
  • Next up is PC Mall, an online South-African IT superstore. I added them this week, partly because I have an interest in IT products and frequently shop around for bargains, be it laptops, hard drives, PC components etc. I also found a nice section on their site selling Xbox games and they compare well to Kalahari and Take2. Their USB sticks also seem not too pricey. I am yet to place an order with them, but on the surface it looks good. I will hopefully report back soon, once I've placed an order and received my goods.
  • I read about Synergy on another blog and thought I'd give it try as well. They seem to be similar to Google's AdSense although they also cater for South Africans and they pay in rands. You will sometimes see rotating banners on websites such as News24 advertising Dial Direct, Outsurance, NetFlorist and so forth. Those are done through Synergy and they aparently pay you per click or a percentage of sales that go through your referrals, depending on the campaign you choose and deploy. Set-up is fairly quickly and painless. You can get started within 30 minutes or so. I added them today.
  • Loot is similar to Kalahari and Take2 - an online shop with books, CDs, DVDs etc. If I remeber correctly, they pay a percentage of total sales on a quarterly basis. Visit their site for more info regarding this. It seems more like a long-term thing, so I will let them run for a while and see how that works out. If it doesn't, I'll can it and look for something else, or just keep my affiliate links donw to six. Applying for an affiliate ID is as easy as becoming a regular customer by opening a normal, free user account. They also seem innovative as far as their banners and links go. You can for instacne easily set up an HTML link in your outgoing mail if you feel like it, not that I would do it - my e-mail is still my e-mail and I dont like "selling" it. I've seen worse though - people with smiley faces and other kak scattered at the bottom of their e-mails. If you are one of those people, you might as well replace it with a banner from Loot. At least you will get a couple of cents. I am yet to order DVDs or music through them, but pricing seems fair.
  • The first ever affiliate program I joined (roughly around 4 months ago) and so far most "lucrative" one is Kalahari. As with the other online bookstores like Loot and Take2, they pay a percentage, Kalahari's being on a monthly basis. Since I started using them, I've made around an average of R400 per month - enough to cover the hosting of all my websites or to order a new Xbox game per month. Applying online is easy and if I remember correctly you will be ready to roll within 48 hours or so. Definitely worthwhile checking them out. I've been using them for a couple of years now, almost on a monthly basis, so the extra cash I make from them, I regard as a discount towards my purchases. Also, buying items through your own affiliate link gets you a further 6% discount, so even if you're not into affiliate marketing, you can save yourself some cash if you use them as frequently as I do.
  • Google's AdSense could be a source of income, although I am not a big fan of it. Personally, the text adlinks plastered all over websites is an eyesore, often advertising kak that you yourself will never be interested in. Have a look at the links on the right for instance. Interested? I didn't think so. Go read up on it if you want - there are many different aspects to it if you really want to get into it. The only reason why I stuck one of their ads up is because you can just leave it there for a year or so, as they pay out once you've reached a $100 threshold. With the current R/$ rate it would pay out close to R1000 once reached. Not too bad if you consider that you can just leave it there and possibly have a R1000 payment at the end of the year to spend on petrol, booze or condoms - whatever you do over the festive season. One of my friends reached the $100 mark this month with a South African website (after about 8 or 9 months), so I will report back here as to how easy/painfull/at all the payout was. I also added it yesterday to see if there will be any activity or click-throughs.
You are welcome to leave questions or comments or share your experiences if you've also just started or tried it out. Within the next week or so I will post screen shots of the little income that I've made from the list mentioned above.

Like I said, there is no such thing as easy, quick money, unfortunately. My aim here is to give people reality checks with some concrete proof. Do it part-time for fun as part of your existing websites to fill empty spaces strategically and don't get all hung up on something that could possibly waste your time. The best way to make money is still through an honest day's work.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Try easy and free ways of getting traffic to your site

I sort of lost interest in doing the whole online guide thing, but I will periodically try and update some findings here, time permitting.

Last time I mentioned some tips to get more traffic to your website. Its kind of easy and you just need to think about it logically. Its impossbible to name all the tips, but here we go anyway:

1. Change your e-mail signature so it contains a URL to your website

2. Set up RSS feeds so people can get automatic updates to your blog / website

3. Join free websites such as Youtube , StumbleUpon and Facebook and have your website's URL in your profile.

A note on StumbleUpon for those who are not familiar with it:

"StumbleUpon discovers web sites based on your interests. Whether it's a web page, photo or video, our personalized recommendation engine learns what you like, and brings you more."

Its easy as just clicking on an icon and it takes you to your next website of interests that you set up according to personal taste. Its a great way to get to know the internet if you are bored or just looking for something interesting to browse. Also, when looking to increase traffic to your website, its probably the easisest way to come across site with interseting discussions, funny pictures or videos or just straight our weird shit. Most sites have a comments section and more often than not you dont even need to register - just choose a handle / nic and leave a comment together with your website's URL. Also dont post bullshit or spam them. Try and contribute something short & sweet or interesting. If you contribute something meaningful, chances are that people will click on the website link you left with your comment.

Try it for yourself. Note the amount of hits / unique visitors you have had to your site the last week or two. Now try and leave around 10 comments on 10 different sites per day for a week long. Remember to at least update your site with content as well halfway during that week.

Make a note of the sites you visited or stumbled across and check your stats after a week. You should have some increased traffic from those sources.

If you contribute someting useful (ie original) to Youtube, you can do more or less the same. Create your own channel and make your URL to your site part of your profile. Respond with videos / comments to other users. Posting stuff like "Amy Whinehouse as a fucked-up coke whore" under an Amy Whinehouse video might me slightly amusing, but it won't neccesarily draw traffic to your profile and then to your website.

4. Find websites with similar content or complimentary content and politely ask for link exchanges. Those are usually free.

After increasing traffic to your website, join some affiliate marketing groups.

Because I do this part time and as part of an experiment, I am not really interested in the international stuff (apart from Adsense and Synergy). I want to see if its possible to make some reasonable money in South Africa passively. You will probably come across some banners of stuff that I am trying out. In the next post I will share with you how to join these programs and some stats and figures of my personal earning, if any.

PS: The sad part is (as far as Google AdSense is concerned) that because I am adressing issues such as AdSense itself and against working from home scams - AdSense will probably pick up and advertise click-through links for SEO and Google optimization. If you see stuff like that or links that try to capitalize on you its easy to avoid: don't click on it. You dont need to pay anoyne a cent for any information. The internet is full of true, free, no-obligation info.