Managing Monetization at Scale

illmasterj

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Lots of you have multiple sites, obviously with multiple pages. These often have multiple affiliate partners.

How do you:
  • keep track of partners that are online/actually paying out?
  • ensure the products are in stock?
  • stay sane?
Are there tools to use for this?

Do you have SOPs for content maintenance that involves clicking through to product pages and insuring links are valid/up to date?

I want to delegate these things to someone but can't get my head around how to hire for it.
 

eliquid

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You start with 1 task at a time.

When the person has the task down and good, you give them the 2nd task. Them doing just the 1st task might take a week or more to get down pat. That's when you give them the 2nd task, when the 1st one is getting done good and known like the back of their hand.

You also have them create and update the SOPs.

When the next person comes in, they get the SOPs and then they update them as they go along.
 

Ryuzaki

お前はもう死んでいる
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This isn't the answer you're seeking, but it's truthfully how I dealt with this situation: I stopped having multiple affiliate partners.

I actually spent a month and a few grand recently building out a site. I managed to get most of the affiliate programs under three roofs: Commission Junction and Awin and ShareaSale.

Getting approved and waiting on slow managers to get back to me was bad enough. Then they all started not refunding their accounts, dropping their commissions to 1¢ instead of shutting down, then changing their terms again and again.

Then a couple started their own affiliate programs I had to join. Then some of them started shutting down. Then they'd change their lander URLs without redirects. Then this. Then that.

It drove me bonkers to the point where I abandoned the whole project. It's just sitting on a server collecting dust and a little Adsense money (I did have the sense to throw Adsense on it before erasing it from my brain).

I can hate Amazon and their program for many reasons, but all of the variables came together for them to have the perfect program template: all products on one site, with one cookie that drops even if the product URL goes down, etc. It's much easier to deal with, and with a little extra effort on your own end you can hot swap groups of URLs all at once if you want to manage product links that went down.

These days, I'm giving very little effort or consideration to affiliate programs and moved back to display advertising. I slap Amazon in where I can for some extra maintenance-free monies.

I just can't be assed to have a review written and include a program in a "best thingamajigs" post, spend money and effort getting that post ranking, only for them to shut down their program or not refill the coffers at CJ and get shut down, and then find a suitable replacement for it to happen again and again. The on-going maintenance of projects like that do my head in.

I'm devolving back into what we used to call ourselves, which was Adsense Farmers, but without Adsense. I like planting my perennial seeds, feeding my field some nutrients, and sitting back and reaping the harvest over and over.

Of course the answer is is that I could train someone to do it for me, as eliquid points out. But I'm too salty about it.
 
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Are there tools to use for this?
It's called Excel.

Here's a half filled out example. You'd also create a sheet for the payment dates of each affiliate partner too. Then you'd create a SOP to explain to the worker on how to read the .xlsx, how to fill it out, and how often to update certain rows. You'd need to mentor the worker to fill this out correctly. To do this, you gotta create the .xlsx yourself and the SOP yourself. It's really just organizing all the data and telling the worker what he needs to do and how often. If you're like me, I'd have the worker send me an email every month with a summary of all items so that I'll know what's going on and if there's any problems. I might not even check the .xlsx if it's not needed.

For this type of work, you'd want someone who's diligent, well paid, and obedient. You don't want someone who'll take shortcuts, as a wrong deviation from the SOP can result in several weeks of lost work and several weeks of re-doing the work, if the .xlsx has many, many rows and columns.

Maybe, one day, you'll reach this level. No one's going to do a task like this unless you're also providing health insurance, vacations, Christmas bonus, and retirement. Good luck.

SiteNamePartnerNamePostTitleURLAffiliateLink1AffiliateLink2AffiliateLink31Dec2020 Check1Jan2021 Check1Feb2021 Check
Site1All good
Site1All good
Site2Link 3 was down, replaced with X.

Site2
Site3
Site3
Site3
 

illmasterj

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My core take away here is to keep it simple.

For how the sites are built, how the checks are completed and how the training is done.
 

secretagentdad

American Dad is the best show of all time.
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Adsense with full opt in on letting them format ur page.

They have market power.

Use it.
 
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My core take away here is to keep it simple.

For how the sites are built, how the checks are completed and how the training is done.
It starts like that but doing anything at scale turns into a major operation in itself. Also, once you have a good thing going, you should do CRO, which would turn simple things complex.

I mean, at my company, there's a team of 3 editors whose job it is to re-write top performing posts to see if the edit performs better than the original and figure out a pattern for posts of that type and then do that change for other blog posts of that nature. In a site with a few thousand blog posts, that's a huge endeavor in itself but it can increase the CRO of the blog post from 1% to 2%, which doubles the ROI of the blog post.

So, yeah, when you start, keep it simple. Once you're in the growth phase, hire experts to do the complex stuff.
Adsense with full opt in on letting them format ur page.

They have market power.

Use it.
This is a solution that is 80% effective and only requires 20% of the work needed to fully optimize the page. I totally support this solution. I myself like having the skyscraper ad blog on the top left of the page, where a reader of a right-to-left language would usually begin to read an article.