The CurrCon Java Applet displays prices on this
web page converted with today’s exchange rates into your local international currency,
e.g. Euros, US dollars, Canadian dollars, British Pounds, Indian Rupees…
CurrCon requires an up-to-date browser
and Java version 1.6 or later, preferably 1.7.0_51.
If you can’t see the prices in your local currency,
Many companies offer you a financial incentive to put links to their
website on your web pages. You may get
Just for having the link.
For displaying a banner ad on your site.
For displaying a slowly changing banner ad on your site.
For displaying an animated banner ad on your site.
For displaying annoying large banner ads on your site.
For displaying highly annoying popup banner ads on your site. I
consider these really tacky.
When people click through to the
When the people buy something at that site.
Most commonly you don’t get any money unless they buy something.
Usually there are restrictions on you
website. For example, many companies don’t want their banners
associated with sex.
cj.com and Google Affiliate Network use this term to mean the
manufacturer of some product, the one who
accepts money from customers, the merchant, or software publisher,
the publisher of the software or books.
Confusingly, the advertiser is not the website that places referral
ads for the product. The terminology makes
utterly no sense The advertiser places no ads. As far as I can see,
they have it backwards. I asked them to
pick less confusing terminology but they ignored me.
When I agree to sell vendors’ products via my website, I am
called the affiliate sometimes called an
associate or partner.
eSellerate uses the term affiliate.
A proposed database software run by the affiliate to help manage
the links in his websites to sell products
and collect royalties.
affiliate service bureau
The company that tracks the hits and sales on behalf of the
vendor, companies like LinkShare
When a visitor to your site clicks on an ad banner but does not
necessarily buy anything. Sometimes you get
revenue for clicks, e.g. with Google Ad Sense, and but usually you
only get royalties for actual sales. These
are sometimes called leads.
A URL that generates an image or some text, or a search box that
the viewer can click to learn more about
or buy some product.
EPC (Earnings Per Click).
How much money
you get when visitors click an ad, whether they buy something or
Every time a visitor views a page containing an ad, even if he
does not click it, that is called an
impression. The service bureau tracks this by displaying a one pixel
gif, even for text links. It counts how
many times this gif is downloaded. When a search engine spider goes
looking for page it does not download the
gifs, therefore it avoid making false impressions. It does however
make click-thrus. If the affiliate service
bureau sees a click-through without a corresponding download of the
impression gif, it assumes it was just a
spider and the click-thru does not count as an actual sales lead.
This is why you need impression gifs in your
html if you are being paid per impression, per click-thru, not per
sale. Some programs offer you the option of
getting a commission per impression, per click-thru or per-sale. You
have to choose just one. I found that per
click generates most revenue.
I think this refers to the seller’s profits, not the
inline text link
a word in the text that when you hover the cursor over it pops up
a text box ad relevant to that word.
does this sort of ad.
The advantage is it takes up no space most of the time. The
disadvantage is it is distracting to the user
trying to read the text. It is somewhat dishonest since it confuses
links with ads.
cj.com and Google Affiliate Network uses the to mean someone who
puts ads on their side to refer sales to
someone else. I can’t think of any way to make sense of the
terminology. People who place ads are in no
sense publishers. I asked them to pick less confusing terminology
but they ignored me. Others use it for the
reverse, the merchant, or software publisher, whose products I sell
on my website, the publisher of the
software or books. eSellerate uses the term for someone who
Someone who resells products. The customer pays the reseller and
the reseller buys product at wholesale.
With an affiliate, the customer gives no money to the affiliate, but
pays the publisher directly. The advantage
of being a reseller is you can set your own markup and price and can
thus create a competitive advantage over
other sellers. The disadvantage is you have to handle money and
tracking sales. You also have to provide all
the product descriptions on your own website. If you link to ones on
some other website, the sale will likely
go through that website. Normally you would sign up as a reseller
only for an expensive or high volume product.
I have signed up as a reseller for Excelsior
JET Java Optimising
SKU (Stock Keeping Unit).
product. If a program came in several languages, standard and pro,
electronic and CD delivery, each combination
would have its own
SKUs (Stock Keeping Units)
is what eSellerate calls its product ids.
A URL that takes you to a page where you can get more detail about
a product and/or buy it.
The merchant whose products I sell on my website, sometimes
confusingly called by the client.
As an affiliate, you select a set of the vendor’s products to
display on your website. You may do this
A large chunk of generated inline
HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)
you insert on your web page. This is how art.com
Via a short chunk of
containing an iframe. The vendor generates your virtual store on
each time someone views your webpage. To the end user, the store
appears embedded in one of your web pages.
This is how allposters.com
Via a text or banner link to the vendor’s website.
How It Works
To be eligible for the benefits, you must sign up as an affiliate,
an associate with a service
bureau who manages the affiliate
program for the merchant. Large companies
like Amazon manage their own affiliate
programs. You also must put some complex
on your web pages to enable them to track where the traffic came
cookies and CGI. This means
to get your commissions.
Here is some typical
to link to an advertiser’s website:
Don’t be shy. Click the image or the buy button to see how it
works. You can always back out.
The service bureau tracks hits aka impressions (viewings of the
banner), click-thrus to the merchant site, and
sales. The commissions can be based on any combination of all three,
usually just sales. However, the service
bureau usually tracks all three for the edification of merchant and
affiliate. They often use a dummy
1 × 1 image loaded from the service
bureau website for tracking hits. These can
drastically slow down web page loading, so I suggest removing them. If
you do, you will still get commissions for
click-thrus and sales, but not for simple impressions.
Affiliates Roedy Green Endorses
I have registered with as an affiliate with the following companies, all
of which I was happy to endorse. I would
have done it free. This is an incomplete list.
If you want to find out about affiliate programs to add to your website
ask the merchant or company you want to
advertise, or check with one of the following affiliate service bureaus
that handle thousands of companies in a
very organised and automated way. bCentral/ClickTrade went out of
business in 2001-09.
aka linksynergy.com. The
LinkShare people have the best organised affiliate
program in my opinion. It is by far the easiest for affiliates
to use. It has no mechanism to consolidate
duplicate accounts. Bafflingly, they call people who place
affiliate ads on their websites publishers,
and people who actually manufacture and sell the goods advertisers.
This is exactly backwards to what you might expect. You have to
from each vendor before you can sell their products. If you
don’t produce they revoke that
permission. Here is what a typical link looks like this:
They handle Hallmark, match.com,
Affiliates like Barnes & Noble, or Tiger Direct don’t
officially have a way to like to a specific project given its
ISBN (International Standard Book Number)
or part number.
However, if you examine a number of links, you can see the
pattern. For example you can like to a specific product on TigerDirrect.ca
Some vendors offer deep
linking that let you create a link to any web page on
the vendor site.
The main thing wrong with LinkShare is banner serving is spotty.
Starting about 2013-03-01 it often
stops working for no reason. It works one minute,
then stops then works the next without apparent pattern. I now
serve LinkShare banners
locally to get around this problem. Also banners are dropped
entirely without notification.
Their banner server ad.linkserver.com is flaky and keeps disappearing from DNS (Domain Name Service). I get around this by downloading the banners and serving them
off my own website.
They handle collecting money for a 16%
fee, with a $2.00 minimum. You
thus need no merchant accounts with the credit card companies.
of Digital River. It is primarily designed to sell software. You
compose PAD files, an
XML-format to describe your products and the pricing. They can
licence branding and serving demo copies. The advantage of
RegNow over PayPal to sell your software is
RegNow affiliates will post links to your products on their
websites in return for a commission on sales.
Here is what a typical link looks like:
It looks easier than most to set up from the merchant’s
perspective. Australian. Somewhat confusing
for the affiliate since merchant features abound on all menus.
You must get approval from vendors before
you can link to them. Here is what a typical link looks like:
Clicksor is a similar system to Google AdSense, where you put
a generic ad on your website that turns
into a specific ad from some advertiser, roughly matched to your
web content perhaps looking like
The big problem with them is they insert pop-under
ads, linking words on your
page outside the ads to ads, which is downright dishonest, not
to mention highly irritating to your
disappeared for a while, but have resurfaced. aka Commission
Junction. The affiliate domains bfree.com,
and reporting.net and Partner
Gateway were all bought up by ValueClick and now operate under
the name cj.com.
you insert is quite terse. It consists of a single number that
internally indexes the vendor,
the affiliate, the product, the banner and the target
URL (Uniform Resource Locator).
Here is what a typical link looks like:
CJ (Commission Junction)
terminology advertisers are merchants who actually
accept money for goods and ship them,
in other words the creators of the products, where publishers
publish links on their websites to
refer sales of those products. This is backwards to what you
might expect where publishers are the
creators of the software advertised. They handle Chapters
Indigo. They now have an optional house scheme where the
names the vendor’s website instead
of theirs. They sometimes confusingly refer to the vendors as
Also known as Kolimo, My Affiliate, MyAP, Think Partnership
and Kowabunga. These are different
software/subsidiaries. I found its software unusually easy to
use. Its website is much more responsive
than the others. You run your own custom version of their
software on your own servers.
Kowabunga is the company that built the MYAP software. It
provides the MYAP software to merchants to
allow them to run their own affiliate programs. Along with
the MYAP software, they place these
merchants in our Kolimbo network. They also offer affiliate
Program aka MYAP
is the name of the actual software for use in
running an affiliate program. It is what we would integrate
with your website and ordering system in
order to allow you to run your own affiliate program. There
are about 600-700 merchants using the MYAP
software. These merchants include some smaller sites, as
well as very large clients like MGM/Mirage,
Microsoft, Yahoo!, CNET, Carfax and QuickBooks. There is an
initial setup fee of
for the software, and a monthly fee equal to 30%
commissions earned or
(whichever is greater). Included with the setup fee is
having the Kowabunga team do all of the
integration for the merchant, as well as branding the admin
area to their company. Once the software is
set up and tested, Kowabunga launch the merchant’s
program on the Kolimbo network of over
50,000 active affiliates.
affiliate network. By using the My Affiliate Program (MYAP)
software to run your affiliate program, you
will be listed as a merchant within the network of over 50,000
affiliates. The affiliates can then sign up to join your
program from your listing in the network, or
through a signup page.
Seems to be a subsidiary of Digital-River/Element 5. I have
not been able to log into it yet to learn
more about how it works.
Of course many companies don’t use a service bureau. They run
their own affiliate program, perhaps using
someone else’s software. See theHubPeople.com
Becoming an Affiliate
To become an affiliate, to sell other people’s goods and services,
you will have to do the following:
Register with the affiliate service bureau giving your name,
address, company, tax number, phone number,
where to send the cheques, who to make them out to etc. You must
assign yourself a user id and password. Make
doubly sure you get the address right. If cheques are undeliverable
they will not inform you.
In past I found each service bureau works best with only one
browser, though recently I have had much less
trouble of that sort. If you have troubles, try a different browser.
Select the merchants whose products you want to advertise. It is
just a matter of looking through the huge
catalog of merchants and ticking off the ones you like. The service
bureaus have search engines, alphabetical
lists and lists by category to help you find suitable companies.
The merchants you select will have a look over your website, and
will decide if they are willing to let you
advertise them. You can track whether they have said yes in the
service bureau database.
When you have been approved by a merchant, cut and paste the
they provide onto your web pages.
is inscrutable. You can’t tell just by looking at it what
product it sells or easily even
which service bureau provided it. It is good to insert into your web
page a comment naming the product, service
bureau, and the date the html code was last refreshed. I am
around all such links to make them easier to find with Funduc
search and replace for update or special formatting.
I usually modify the
slightly to pick up the graphics from my webserver instead of theirs
to speed up
Check in periodically to the service bureau website to see how
much money is they owe you. They won’t
actually send you a cheque until it reaches a threshold.
Keep your eye out for new affiliate programs that mesh logically
with your website.
Look in your mailbox for a cheque.
Before you sign up as an affiliate at a website, check if that vendor is
already handled by one of the affiliate
schemes you are already signed up with. Otherwise, you will end up with
duplicate accounts with the affiliate
scheme. Only the Reporting.net people, now defunct, offered a way to
It looks a little tacky to have animated *.gif’s
on your website.
Ads distract users from the primary purpose of your website.
Ads for products you don’t endorse or that are not directly
related to the purpose of your website
make you look sleazy.
The *.gifs slow down page loading,
especially if you load them from the service
If the service bureau server goes down, you pages cannot load
It is a lot of work to set up for very little monetary return.
Normally the affiliate bureau insists you not cache the text or
images for the banners and links. They must
be served from the affiliate’s server. This allows them to
replace the ad with one you may not approve of
on aesthetic, taste, political correctness, size, colours…
grounds without your knowledge. They often
simply discontinue a banner without informing you.
they ask you to insert usually fails validation. They insist you not
change it, but in practice no
one has complained when I corrected the syntax errors.
Advertising Your Own Company’s
Becoming an advertiser is somewhat more complicated. You must prepare a
set of *.png,
*.gif or *.jpg banner
ads. You must decide on how your royalty
scheme will work, how much you will pay for what. You have to decide who
will handle what money. You may have to
put up a deposit to pay out royalties. Basically it amounts to filling
out a number of online forms. Once you
have done that, you need to beat the bushes to ask people to sign up as
affiliates. Which service bureau should
you pick? Consider these factors:
Size of deposit required.
Ease of use for affiliates.
Likelihood of getting more affiliates via the service
bureau’s promotion to its other affiliates,
from people who would otherwise have never heard of you.
You have to assign all your products a category ID. The
at the affiliate site can insert additional
detailed information, e.g.
size, colour… and the service bureau will just pass those
through to you without examining them. That way you can set up search
boxes, or put huge inventories instantly
online without registering all your individual products with the
service bureau. However, the category ID usually
has to be sufficient to calculate the commission paid to the
affiliate. It also has to be sufficient to compute
the price if the service bureau handles payments for you.
There is a cheaper way to become an advertiser, banner
trading. You put up a
variable banner on your site that randomly selects other companies to
advertise. In return, those companies will
advertise your website. The problem with this approach is you have
little control over who you advertise on who
Roll Your Own
If you already sell your product via your website, and have already set
up a custom system to accept orders, and
process money, it is not much extra work to roll your own affiliate
program. This is what myfonts.com
does. It can be as simple as this: You look at the referrer
URL of all incoming transactions.
If one of them belongs to one of your
affiliates, you tag the incoming
IP (Internet Protocol)
as belonging to that affiliate. Any orders that IP
makes in the next 20 days (or whatever limit
you choose) give a cut to
that affiliate. This is very convenient for the affiliate since there is
They can link anywhere
they please into your website with any type of transaction they please.
The processing of payments to affiliates
can be tacked on as a batch process run monthly. It does not need to
affect online processing in the least,
though of course your affiliates would prefer timely balances.
That scheme relies on the browser to provide the referring
a feature which some people disable for
privacy. To deal with that eventuality, have your affiliates add a
parameter &affid=xxxx to all their
URLs (Uniform Resource Locators)
referencing your site. Your server has to capture these affiliate
ids and the corresponding
whenever it serves a web page.
If you sell or buy, the affiliate service bureau is taking a cut charged
to the seller.
I thought you would like to see the prices on this webpage in ,
but you can change that instantly,
thanks to the Canadian Mind Products CurrCon
Applet that you too could use on your
own website to display prices in any world currency using today’s exchange
width="468" alt="The Gay and Black Glossary"></a>
They worked very well, doubling my traffic for the time they were
placed, however the traffic dropped off back
to normal after they stopped. This implies the banners were attracting
people who were idly curious, not people
who would become regular visitors. This highlights the problem with
banner advertising. It does not target your
You could download the *.png image to your
own site and modify the
If you leave it as it is, my site will bear the burden of downloading.
You will also automatically get any
improved *.gif I post. That may or may not
be a Good Thing™. You might not like my
If you sign up specially for the right to use the Amazon
APIs (Application Programming Interfaces)
you will be overwhelmed with details, which
Amazon admits almost nobody uses and which they are gradually
withdrawing, I think, because they offered too many
options. One simple technique is you can send ordinary http:
GET request that
include a digital signature field. Amazon sends you back an
XML-formatted response to your query. These are
easier to parse than raw
If you set up an affiliate program, exploiters will sign up just to
get a discount on their own purchase, that they would have
made anyway, then never be heard of again. Even if an affiliate make
an honest effort to bring you some sales, but does not succeed, it is
still going to cost you something to carry him. So you have to decide
which applicants are likely to be profitable.
I personally have received a number of rejection letters from
They are often worded in an impolite way that implies there is
something malodorous or substandard about my site without specifying
the problem. Just tell the truth, It costs us to
carry you as
an affiliate, and it looks as though there won’t likely be
enough sales to justify that. Thank you so much for applying.
Perhaps in future that could change. or give the reason We like to avoid the political controversy that
defines your site.
We don’t want to make it look as if we are taking sides.
If you are rude, you turn a potential booster to a detractor.
Click through to the service bureaus mentioned. They have extensive
online documentation on how their schemes
work. They also have help desks who actually answer email. Amazing!
Most affliate links never generate a penny in revenue, even after
years. I ordered $300 worth of
equipment for myself
from Tiger.ca through LinkShare through one of my affiliate links. No
record of the sale showed up. I wrote both Tiger and Linkshare twice
and they just ignored me. I suspect the industry norm is only to pay
royalties to those generating substantial sales.
In contrast, Amazon, Google and SexToys all pay.
The Bottom Line
None of the many affiliates I signed up for paid anything except three.
I can speculate on why affiliates
don’t usually pay:
I sometimes correct
errors that HTMLValidator finds. Perhaps that quietly disqualifies
For faster image loading and to allow me to be responsible for all
images displayed on my web pages, I
usually arrange for banner to be downloaded from my own website.
Perhaps that quietly disqualifies my
Perhaps nobody every bought anything through my site except Amazon
books, yet I myself bought books from
Chapters. Perhaps there were too few such sales to meet some minimum
to cut a cheque.
Perhaps all the cheques got lost in the mail. Yet no one has
contacted me to find out why I did not cash my
Affiliates quietly drop you if don’t logon every month or so to
keep your email address and links up to
date. They will also drop you if you don’t generate any sales.
They drop products, drop vendors, break
links, retire link code, change link code, totally change the software
or go out of business all without telling
you. It is particularly important to keep your address up to date so
cheques arrive and your email address up to
date so that notices arrive. Put your affiliates in a bookmark folder
and make a habit to just login and check
things out every month or two.
Affiliates often refuse my site because of the Gay glossary, or links
in it to condom sales sites. Some
vendors such as McAfee are quite puritanical wanting to offend in the
slightest not even the most rabid
Christian. At some point I will split off the Java section as a
separate website to avoid this and the problem of
various net nanny programs that block the mindprod.com
site in its entirety.
Please email your
feedback for publication,
letters to the editor, errors, omissions, typos, formatting errors, ambiguities, unclear
wording, broken/redirected link reports, suggestions to improve this page or comments to
Roedy Green :
If you want your message, your name or email kept confidential,
not considered for public posting, please explicitly specify that.
Unless you state otherwise,
I will treat your message as a letter to the editor that I may or may not publish
After that, it will be too late to retract it.
If you disagree with something I said, especially when sending an ad-hominem attack,
a rant composed mainly of obscenities or a death threat, please quote the offending passage
and cite the web page where you found it, tell me why you think it is wrong,
and, if possible, provide some supporting evidence.
I can’t very well fix erroneous or ambiguous text if I can’t find it.