Affiliate marketing is the other major way to generate "passive income." Integrating affiliate links into your PREselling content - what works? What doesn't? Which programs work best for travel sites? Not getting paid? What is the best way to use your Solo Build It!! site to PREsell SBI! itself? If it's affiliate-related, it's here!
#1382074 by Judith from Minnesota
Sat Sep 23, 2017 4:48 pm
I've been used Commission Junction affiliate programs for all of the years I have my websites. In recent months, they are crediting my account less and less though my sites traffic increases.

There are some forums (not SBI Forums) that disparage CJ and allude to less than honest practices.

I've replaced a few of my CJ links/banners.etc. with Link Share options.

I would be interested in the experiences of other SBIers with either/both of these affiliate programs

Judith
#1382098 by Christine from Swifton
Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:08 pm
Hi Judith,

I've used both aggregators and am frustrated with both.

CJ used to work well for me, but closed my account about two years ago because of inactivity. I found their platform difficult; I had trouble finding products and also making sense of their reporting.

I still use LinkShare, but several companies have left, including 1800flowers, which did well for me. I wait for months between payouts.

All that's working for me now is Amazon. Even with their one-day cookie, I'm making at least a few dollars every day. I don't know if that suits your site or not. I thought I'd add my 2 cents.

Christine
#1382100 by Dee from Cape Cod
Sat Sep 23, 2017 10:28 pm
Hi Judith -

I've used both CJ and Linkshare and never had any problems with either, that I know of.

The reason I use both programs is because each affiliate operates through its own aggregator, so I normally don't have any choice. For example, HomeAway is a vacation rental site that I use a lot on my site. HomeAway operates through CJ - not Linkshare. If I want to be an affiliate of HA, then CJ is it.

I'd venture to guess that I've been using CJ for about 6 years. In all that time, I've never had a monthly payment delayed. They're "johnny on the spot" and always have my check to me before the end of each month. (Sure, now I've probably jinxed that! :lol: )

On the rare occasion that I have had a "glitch" working with CJ, it's been because of the affiliate itself, not CJ. For example, Trip Advisor is notorious for not posting their transactions to CJ in a timely manner. (I can't blame CJ for that - it's TA's fault.) Every time that's happened, TA has eventually posted and CJ credits my account.

I've also found CJ's customer service pretty decent to work with. If I message them with a question or issue, it might take a day or two to hear back. But once I do hear from them, the customer service person sticks with me until my question/issue is fully resolved.

My experience with LinkShare/Rakuten is much more limited. I used to use them when Enterprise car rental operated through them. When Enterprise left LinkShare and moved their affiliate program to ImpactRadius, I followed Enterprise. At this point, I don't think I have any affiliates through LinkShare.

When you say that CJ is "crediting [your] account less and less", what do you mean? That you're making less money than you used to make? Or that CJ is only crediting your earnings to your account every few months? :?

Also, I'm curious to know ... what have you read about CJ that suggests they're less than honest?

Best Regards,

Dee
#1382104 by Judith from Minnesota
Sat Sep 23, 2017 11:43 pm
Hi Christine and Dee,

Here's some of what is informing my post:

I’ve done several searches using the term “Commission Junction Reviews.” The negative reviews I’ve read have been on LinkTrackr and Digital Point. I don't want to post specifics but some have been kind of "harsh."

Several years ago when my sites were smaller and I had fewer affiliate links, I was making more than I am now primarily through my CJ links. 10.00 - 20.00 a day was not unusual. Now if I make 2.00 - 4.00 it is a good day. :-(

Today I made .36

Several times I’ve emailed CJ customer service to comment about lack of sales showing up in my account. In each instance there has suddenly been a credit (larger than is usual).

Then I can go many days with no sales at all credited.

I used to do quite well with Trip Advisor through CJ. I still have all the same links and, in many cases, more traffic to the pages where I have TA links and far more pages on my site where I link to Trip Advisor and other CJ affiliates. . Again, I am not getting the income I used to.

I have Home Away and VRBO vacation rentals and, when someone books one of the those, the commission is great.

I also do have Amazon links. I’ve pondered making them my primary affiliate (more product recommendations and fewer other types of affiliate links for hotels, etc.)

It's discouraging to continue to add to my sites and not see income increase.

Judith
#1382107 by Dee from Cape Cod
Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:12 am
Hi Judith
Judith from Minnesota wrote:Several years ago when my sites were smaller and I had fewer affiliate links, I was making more than I am now primarily through my CJ links. 10.00 - 20.00 a day was not unusual. Now if I make 2.00 - 4.00 it is a good day. :-(

Today I made .36

Several times I’ve emailed CJ customer service to comment about lack of sales showing up in my account. In each instance there has suddenly been a credit (larger than is usual).

Then I can go many days with no sales at all credited.

I used to do quite well with Trip Advisor through CJ. I still have all the same links and, in many cases, more traffic to the pages where I have TA links and far more pages on my site where I link to Trip Advisor and other CJ affiliates. . Again, I am not getting the income I used to.

I'm pretty sure your major issue is TA, not CJ.

Sometime last year ( :?: ) TA changed their definition of a "commerce click".
(Commerce clicks are the clicks for which TA pays us a commission.) Since that change, clicks that used to earn us a commission no longer do. :(

Like you, my TA earnings have gone down despite traffic to my hotel/motel pages staying steady/increasing. Still, my TA earnings are enough that I don't want to jettison it ... until I find a better-paying hotel/motel affiliate program, which I haven't (yet).
Judith from Minnesota wrote:Several times I’ve emailed CJ customer service to comment about lack of sales showing up in my account. In each instance there has suddenly been a credit (larger than is usual).

Yep, that sounds like TA. CJ can't post to our accounts until they get the numbers from TA. And as I said earlier, it seems that TA isn't always on top of things. :roll:

Dee
#1382108 by Dee from Cape Cod
Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:25 am
Judith from Minnesota wrote:I have Home Away and VRBO vacation rentals and, when someone books one of the those, the commission is great.
...

It's discouraging to continue to add to my sites and not see income increase.

HA and VRBO commissions are pretty sweet, aren't they?!!

If you haven't already done it, I'd recommend that you steer your visitors to a vacation rental (versus a hotel/motel) on every page you can. Those nice HA/VRBO commissions do take a little of the "sting" out of the TA commissions going into the tank. :wink:
#1382111 by Judith from Minnesota
Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:58 am
Thanks again for the insights and tips. Time to get busy with changing many of my my affiliates and how I promote them.

Judith
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