Reddit Self Serve Advertising Review

I’ve decided to do a brief review on Reddit self serve advertising, which allows you to create your own sponsored link and get it published at the top of Reddit.com or on sub reddits. The ability to post on subreddits only, allows for extremely targeted traffic. For example, posting in the Technology subreddit would be a great place to advertise computer components or anything tech related you are interested in selling.  However, for my first self serve ad, I choose for it to be ran site wide.

I chose to advertise my Auto News site, in an attempt to increase readership and more importantly RSS subscribers.  I was not selling anything directly, so I can’t quite recommend Reddit as a place to get sales…yet.  However, I did find that I got some fairly cheap visitors to my site, who were generally interested in my content, using bounce rates as a gauge of interest.

Setting Up Your Self Serve Ad on Reddit

For starters, getting an ad setup is very easy and probably requires less than 5 mins of work.  The ad buyer simply needs to choose where they want their sponsored link placed, add a thumbnail image (not required), and add a link Title.  The buyer is then allowed to choose whether they want to allow for comments, which could possible make or break certain types of ads on this social bookmarking site.  I chose to not allow comments.

After your sponsored link has been created, simply input the amount of money you are willing to spend per day on that Ad being shown.  One downside is that sponsored link placements can only be placed 24 hours in advance, no immediate gratification.  Then you chose how long you want your self-served ad to run, allowing for the budget you entered previously.

How Reddit Self Serve Advertising Works

Buying a sponsored link on Reddit does not guarantee a certain number of clicks or views.  Reddit will take the total amount of self serve ads for the specified day, then break it down by who bid the most.  The link views are then shown based on the amount you are spending.  For example, if two advertisers picked the same day and both bid $100, each persons sponsored link will be shown 50% of the time.  If one buyer would spend just $30 per day and the other spend $70, the first person’s ad will only be shown 30% of the time, regardless of how many click sit actually generates.

Reddit does a good job of showing you how popular certain days are, so it’s possible to get a ton of views for next to nothing on low self-serve ad traffic days.  I choose a day through the week which had little advertising, so I feel I got a good value for my money.

My Experience With Reddit Self Serve Ads

I ran my ad for 3 days and spent a total of $60, which obviously equals the minimum $20 per day budget.  This self serve ad campaign resulted in 25,708 unique views of my sponsored link and 722 unique clicks through to my site.  Again, I wasn’t selling anything direct, so it’s hard to gauge, other than bounce rate, how well these visitors would convert.  However, I think it does a good job of showing the potential traffic from such a small investment.

Ultimately I ended up with an extra 40 RSS subscribers and I’ve received return visits from people who most likely bookmarked my site after clicking on my sponsored link.  I was happy with the pittance of an advertising investment and look forward to testing out some new landing pages, seeing what converts, and finding out what Redditors are actually buying.

The Future Of Reddit Self-Serve Advertising

My guess is that self-serve advertising on Reddit won’t be around for much longer.  Recently they posted on their official blog that they are hurting for money and while the self-serve advertising is nice, it’s not enough to pay the bills and expand Reddit.  To be honest, it’s a bit insulting that the engineers of Reddit are holding on their hands for money, instead of going after other viable advertising opportunities.  Hell, we already provide all the content, now they want some of our money?

Again, I’m going to try and start another sponsored link campaign, this time with a product for sale.  I’ll be back soon to post the results.

Reddit Self Serve Advertising Results
Reddit Self Serve Advertising Results

eStore Theme For WordPress

ElegantThemes.com is about to release a new theme called eStore, that will transform your WordPress blog into a full blown store front.  The theme focuses on nested menu’s, price listing on each posts thumbnail, and a design that will keep visitors coming back.  Unlimited access to the eStore Theme and the rest of their catalog can be had for just $19.95.

Theme Value

All of the themes I’ve been using from ElegantThemes.com have been coded beautifully and easily customized to fit your site’s niche or needs.  Although the initial cost of $19.95 gets you access to all the themes for 1 year, even if you decide to cancel your subscription, you are free to use the downloaded themes forever and on as many sites as you want.  Bar none, this is possibly the best money I’ve ever spent on my websites, which contributes to the sites marketing and conversion.

Theme Options

Each theme from Elegant Themes comes jam packed with easily configurable options.  All themes also include an ePanel that allows you to configure each and every aspect of the wordpress theme.  In addition, included in each download, are PSD files, which can easily be modified and tweaked.

Elegant Themes also includes WP themes for product websites, business sites, and even personal blogs.  All are beautiful, are updated to work with the latest wordpress releases, and include the latest blog technology.

WordPress Theme Uses

As soon as the eStore WordPress theme is released later this month, I plan on putting it to good use.  I have a number of websites running phpBay that will benefit from having a professional store layout.  Furthermore, with the release of phpZon and other affiliate plugins, it will be simple to produce a quality and high converting wordpress store front.

Sign Up To Elegant Themes Now

I’d recommend signing up to ElegantThemes.com for the price, value, and support.  Included in your yearly subscription is a support forum, where the designers and coders are readily on hand to answer any questions.  What few I’ve had, have been answered within 24 hours.  No doubt as the inventory of themes increases, the price will go up, so by signing up now you are locking in the value.

eStore WordPress Theme

How To Find A Niche Market

The first problem that needs answering for affiliates is how to find a niche market.  Sure, there may be plenty of affiliate programs out there, but finding a niche market, accessing it’s ability to generate revenue, and then contemplating how much traffic you can generate stems from just one thing.  Which niche market you choose.

What’s Important

Traffic is probably number one on the list of requirements for finding a niche market.  Whether you are looking for a high traffic niche or focus on building sites around a lot of low traffic niche’s, traffic is your concern and how it molds your website.  The amount of traffic you intend on receiving will dictate if you build a store, blog, forum, or combination of all.  Furthermore, depending the niche market you find, developing a thin site just might not cut the mustard.

Competition is the next point to access.  It doesn’t matter how broad the niche market is if there are thousands of competitors.  Any piece of the pie will eventually be divided up, but a low competition niche will allow you to control a bigger market share.  Of course this is assuming you know how to properly market, promote, and then convert that traffic.

Are search visitors in this specific niche looking to buy or just browse.  Some niche markets have a lot of traffic, but the majority of hits are just people looking for info on an item they will never buy.  This typically will apply to very high dollar items or products that need a lot of tire kicking before being purchased locally.  To find a profitable niche market, try to find that widget that people are actually buying online or at least stem off side products to support the primary niche.

Find A Niche Market

The first place I start when looking for a market I’d like to compete in is eBay Pulse.   eBay Pulse will provide the top 10 watched items on eBay, broken down by category.  eBay is the largest online auction website in the world, so it’s a safe consider these results relative to what people are searching for on Google and other search engines.

Next, take this information to the Google Keyword Tool, which can even be used if you don’t have an Adwords account.  Here you can enter the general popular product you found on eBay Pulse and be given a mess of similar searched phrases and keywords.  More importantly the keyword tool will also give you the estimated amount of searches done Globally for the month and even Local searches.  This is the most important tool for judging traffic.  In addition, a rough estimate is given on ad competition, which does not necessarily represent the competition in the SERPs.

I regularly utilize the Google Keyword tool to find a niche market.  Usually I’ll enter a broad niche keyword, then follow the lower searched keywords and phrases to find a market I may not have previously been aware of.  Then I give a lot of attention to searching the keywords and phrases on the actual Google search engine.  After accessing the competition on the first page of results, I see if I judge if I’ll actually be able to compete.

Usually I’ll shy away from a niche market if I don’t already have a website with some sort of authority in the field.  Not a stead fast rule, but it allows me to jump right into a niche market and start competing immediately, but building off links from my already popular website.  Of course, my portfolio of websites would never grow unless I ventured out of my comfort zone, but still provides a good starting point.

Online tools to convert the traffic you receive from your Niche Market:

Associate-O-Matic – Recently updated Amazon store builder.

eMotive Interactive – Affiliate network that focuses on CPA commissions.

Niche Site Platform – Store builder that pulls products from Commission Junction, eBay, Amazon, and more.

Setting Up New Theme

Well, I feel as though I’m far behind in the social networking scene.  My blog is officially the fat kid in dodge ball, nobody wants him on their team…or facebook, or twitter, or myspace.  Are people still using myspace?  At any rate, it’s time that Nails Blog V2.0 goes through a change, starting with it’s theme, which I went ahead and activated tonight.

Throughout the weekend I will be updating thumbnail images, making pretty, and making functional.  Right now my Twitter and RSS feeds are setup, but it will probably be tomorrow night before I get the Facebook account rolling, although I will most likely just delete the MySpace link.

Perhaps you’ve noticed the increase in postings?  I promised a few weeks ago that efforts would be made to update the world on my progress through affiliate marketing.  Also updates on what products I’m using, not using, and have folded since I’ve spent money.  Thankfully the latter are few and far between and we all should have seen the name BANS coming at us.  Hello!?

At any rate, yes I’m aware some functionality of the site is down.  All the structure is here, reading articles is fine, so don’t get your nuts twisted and things will be better than normal soon.

Unlimited Income From Referrals

Have you been looking for an affiliate network that would pay you a percentage of commission based off the revenue earnings of your referral?  Motive Interactive is one of the leading edge affiliate networks that focuses on CPA programs.  Imagine, being paid a commission because a referred visitor entered their zip code into single field submit website and BAM you earn a whopping $3.75.  These types of programs exist on the Motive Interactive network and most importantly they pay handsomely for referred publishers.

How it works is, for every publisher you refer to Motive Interactive, you will earn a 2% commission off of their revenue.  For example, if you refer a publisher that earns $100, you will net $2 for doing nothing.  As you can see, the more you refer, the more you earn for setting on your bum.  These are life time commissions, no end date like other affiliate networks.

It’s a win-win referral.  You help someone find a quality affiliate network to start generating revenue off of and Motive Interactive pays you for your efforts.  Start earning money with Motive Interactive now and as usual I wouldn’t bother with a positive review and affiliate link if I didn’t use the program myself.

Motive Interactive Affiliate

Associate-O-Matic Update, The Amazon Store Builder

Perhaps you have forgot about the affiliate tool known as Associate-O-Matic or AOM, but it hasn’t forgot about you.  The creators of the once popular Amazon store builder software has continued to update their software and offer some great new features.  Since I started using this affiliate script 2 years ago it’s gone through a number of updates and everyone has improved usability, features, and opportunities for commissions.

If you are not familiar with Associate-O-Matic, it’s a script that automates building a store from Amazon products based on your keywords.  AOM features a number of customization options, from design, searches, home page listings, and even custom pages.  The software itself is very diverse and can allow for unique niche store pages to be built.

On May 25th the Associate-O-Matic team released an update which enabled parts searching through Amazon automotive.  I’ve personally experienced an increase in conversions from this little widget that I enable on all my store pages.  You can see an example of the Parts Finder feature in Associate-O-Matic in my Key Ring Store.

Yesterday, on June 11th the AOM released yet another update which squashed a few bugs and enabled a new design function.  The AOM update allows options for rounded corners in your store.  But it’s not just cosmetic updates this time around, AOM version 4.4.1 also utilizes the latest Amazon API.

I’d recommend anyone download Associate-O-Matic and add it to your arsenal of affiliate site building tools.  There is a free version available, but 10% of your clicks will use the AOM Amazon affiliate ID.  The paid version of AOM is just $99 for the first year, then $20 thereafter, which includes all updates and added features.


Associate-O-Matic

Persons Unknown Forum Launch

I’ll admit, I was a Lostie and since that show as went off the air I’ve been left wanting, perhaps that hole can now be filled with the show Persons Unknown.  I was late to the game with LOST, having not seen episode one until 3 years after it started.  Thank God for Netflix, because I was able to get caught up and watch the series finale live.

This time I decided to jump in head first, so to speak, and create my own Persons Unknown forum to stay on top of the show.  I lucked out and got an awesome domain name and built the forum off of the phpBB forum software.

I’m still trying to decide if I want to use phpBB SEO or leave the default links in place.  For the most part, the most popular TV show forums on the web, dont’ even bother with SEO friendly urls.  I’ll have to do some thinking about this one and the time/cost benefit of keeping things updated and fixed.

The show itself, Persons Unknown, debuted last night with the first Episode.  I have to say I was pleasantly surprised, albeit an obvious rip off of elements from LOST.  I’m just hoping that Persons Unknown has just as long as longevity as LOST.

Visit my Persons Unknown Forum

List of 365 Social Bookmarking Sites

Burhan Khan has offered a great service by building a list of 365 Social Bookmarking sites to submit your content to.  Although not a big deal, you must download the XLS file and then open it in your spreadsheet reader of choice.  However, with advancements in Google Doc technology since the last time this was updated I decided to publish it online, so no download is necessary.

List of Social Bookmarking Sites

To view the link list of social bookmarking sites, simply follow this link: http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=0AgBfK31o2BjUdHM5OUJWVG5VWkFkSTYxMy0yWFV3UHc&gid=0

To use simply click on the links within the spreadsheet document.

Updating Social Bookmarking List

Throughout the next couple of days I’ll be combing through the list and removing sites that are no longer available.  Furthermore, I intend to update the social bookmarking list with other sites that I’ve found to keep the number high.  I am well aware that a lot has changed in since 2008, but I felt this was a solid building block for building a list and modifying to fit my present needs.  As I update the spreadsheet the link above will automatically be updated within 5 minutes of my edit.  So, bookmarking the Google Document link above will be suffiicient to stay up to date.

If you are looking to download the original XLS file, please visit Burhan Khans website.

Benefits Of Submitting To Social Bookmarking Sites

The number one benefit of submitting links to social bookmarking sites is traffic.  There is also a side benefit to SEO, which includes receiving  a backlink to your webpage.  Google and other search engines recognize this link as a type of ‘vote’ for your page and will help in raising your site’s visibility in the search engine results pages.

Niche Site Platform $15 Coupon

September Coupon Code Update: WIZARDSPECIAL

Simply enter ‘WIZARDSPECIAL‘ into the coupon code section at purchase to receive $20 Off.

Still haven’t had a chance to review the new piece of affiliate software I purchased a few weeks ago, but Niche Site Platform has released another coupon code.  This Niche Site Platform coupon is good for $15 off.

In addition, buy the product and become an affiliate, because Ben Johnson is paying out an amazing 50% commission on all of his products.  Which also means, do me a favor and buy this alternative to BANS, so I can earn up to $43.50.  Consider it a thank you for turning you onto this coupon code.

$15 Niche Site Platform Coupon Code : E47C6846F0

As mentioned in my previous post with a working $10 NSP coupon code, there will be a full review coming soon.  I’m just working out how I want to approach such a diverse, multi-use, tool.

Also, keep in mind I do not refer any product that I don’t personally use to make money.  So thank you in advance for using my affiliate link to purchase the Niche Site Platform product.

About Niche Site Platform

Niche Site Platform ExampleNiche Site Platform (NSP) is an all-in-one store building solution for multiple affiliate networks.  NSP is able to build stores based on keywords you enter to automatically link to products from Amazon, eBay, Commission Junction, Link Share, and more.  If you used Build A Niche Store, then you will be familiar with the layout and the method to build store pages.  It’s a great replacement for BANS, since it allows you to build off of other networks, instead of putting all your eggs in the eBay Partner Network basket.

In addition, the NSP script is installed as easily as any WordPress blog and comes complete with an administrator panel back end.  No experience is necessary to start building professional looking affiliate stores.

That’s the short and the sweet, expect a full Nails Blog review soon.