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I’ve enjoyed this crazy industry for almost 5 years now. Things have changed, and changed again, and they continue to change on a day to day basis. It’s what keeps things interesting. This post is here to just go over several small, and large changes that I’ve witnessed first hand in the internet advertising industry over the last 4-5 years. It’s one hell of an industry, that’s for sure!
When I first got into the affiliate marketing game I learned my online fundamentals with various blackhat techniques. Back in the day spamming a social network was easy cash and nobody seemed to care, until users on sites started complaining to the sites, advertisers, and even CPA networks. I watched networks, and spammers face the wrath of fox and myspace and I got out of that game very quickly. Following this I had my first legitimate run at Affiliate Marketing, promoting ringtones on Google AdWords, MSN AdCenter, and Overture. When I started running these campaigns using the word “Free” in your advertisements (Example: Get Some Free Ringtones) was completely acceptable, even encouraged by some advertisers. Slowly that became “Illegal” and I watched people work there ways around these regulations using words like “Gratis” and “Complimentary” or “Get Your Bonus Ringtones.” Nobody seemed to have a problem with “Complimentary” for over a year. Time passed, now when we promote ringtones the pricing information is plastered all over the landing page, you cannot mention Free, Bonus, anything really regarding getting ringtones and a deal. The only real sales pitch is “Get Some Ringtones, They Are Cool.”
In the mobile world people continued to get more and more creative, I remember buying media promoting “Crush” and “IQ Tests” initially these offers only mentioned the $9.99 per month pricetag on the very bottom in the page in hard to read text. I don’t know the exact chain of events in the Quiz/Contest type mobile offers but now these offers display the pricetag on each and every page of the simple “quiz” as well as on the confirmation page (A user receives a text with a pin, they have to confirm it on the website) there is a huge check box requiring users who wish to subscribe to check which states they understand the charges. Surprisingly to this day at EWA we continue to subscribe thousands and thousands of people each day on those IQ offers.
Promoting Dating campaigns on Pay-Per-Click used to be the easy thing to do, it racked in a ton of cash for me.. I remember promoting Singlesnet, Fling, and tons of other sites using Chat Keywords . These advertisers wanted my traffic so badly, They continued to beg for it. Than one day singlesnet and true told me to Pull all of my chat traffic (which was all of my traffic). I remember for months getting hounded by Affiliate Managers about running dating traffic again, when it was virtually impossible for me to get any traffic on Non-Chat Keywords. Now Dating is thriving once again, and is one of the most consistent verticals out there. When I go Google “Dating Chat” I see no affiliate ads which in my eyes is a crazy loss of opportunity, too bad the advertisers hate it so much!
Im going to keep on going, discussing the changes of Rebills, Credit Reports, Debt Consolidation, and tons of other changes I’ve seen in this industry soon. There are simply too many topics, verticals, and changes that I’ve seen to discuss in one post!
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