Home > Elephant, Flotsam, Potential, Uncategorized > How to get banned from your affiliate program

How to get banned from your affiliate program

(or how to make money from firefox plugins for the self-hating internet marketer)

(or in fact, what your grandma doesn’t know about internet marketing part II)

You have become a self-hating internet marketer and to alleviate the oppressive guilt, you need a way to get yourself banned from your affiliate program don’t you? Well, you’ve come to the right place. This one is in the key of Gm. Watch me for the chord changes, and try to keep up.

I know what you’re thinking you big-shot successful internet marketer. You’re thinking

Brrrrrrrr It’s cold out there and I’m feeling guilty about all those people I eagerly directed into buying a diet product that I know nothing about, have not used and indeed do not need. How can I pay back some of the karmic debt I have incurred upon my wretched soul?

Fear not my child, for I offer absolution. A way in which you can and will eventually get banned from your affiliate program. “Only if they find out”, you cry as you continue on your quest to make money with little traffic. But I know you want to get caught. All criminal do. Once you have this up and running you will inevitably use one of your other internet identities to report yourself in a bizarre Tyler-Durden-like-you-hit-me-in-the-ear twist. And so I say, pull up your rosary beads and write yourself a firefox plugin. What the software does “front of house” is irrelevant.  All that you really need is for it to be downloaded. A Lot (yes it is two words!!). So maybe you do a page 3 girl of the day thumbnail that would sit in the top corner of firefox instead of the little whirly circle that tells you when you are loading a page. Now listen closely. Here is the devil in your ear. You code up that plugin so that every time someone visits amazon or other affiliate of your choice using the now infected firefox, you stuff their cookie* with your affiliate code, or rewrite the url dynamically to use your aff code.  (I’ve not looked into writing firefox extensions, but I imagine you could do this – someone correct me if I’m wrong?)

The evil plan unfolds as all those horny little desk jockeys who think they are bucking the system and shoving it to the man by looking at page 3 girls embedded in their browser’s skin while they are at work now earn you a tidy piece of pie when they order from amazon. And they are bound to order from amazon at some point. O yes they are. But you won’t stop there will you? You are an evil internet marketing whore and you want more.

more.

more.

You have no scruples. You are the kind of marketer who would sell your own grandma’s cookies if you could only get her to bloody well bake them up, the lazy cow. So you infiltrate your family and friends’ computers with this nasty little piece of code under the guise of

“oh, I’m a computer geek, why don’t I tune your computer for you….you know give it a defrag, speed up your browsing, fix the old flux capacitor.”
“Nonono don’t worry, I love doing it…….(mwahahaha f’ing simpletons)……”
“Eh? Wassat you say? O, no nothing, Um I said I would love a cup of tea, ta very much. Hey…..have you seen amazon’s new christmas home page?”.

The evil is more insidious because the first time you walk the path of no-scruples, it erodes the little scrupulous cogs in your mind that would act as a brake just a little. Every time you perpetuate a little online wrong doing, the cogs get ground down a little more until they no longer touch and cannot brake the evil internet marketing monkey in your head who can spin his wheels as fast as he likes. And spin he does. As fast as his monkey legs can pedal. The voices come so fast now, you almost can’t type the ideas down fast enough.  So you buy a bunch of usb keys on the cheap and you make a custom firefox install which you autorun on the usb keys. Then one day, while you are out shopping, you just happen to drop a bunch of them in the parking lot by accident. O what tired and weary christmas shopper can resist the lure of free storage as they sneakily pretend to tie their yowling snot faced younger-one’s shoelace and pocket the scattered treasure? And how many of them have disabled autorun?

The moral of the story is……be careful what plugins you install.

* Let us teach grandma about affiliate codes.  An affiliate is simply someone who earns commission for recommending a product. A middle man if you like. How do they do this? Well say you click a link on my website that takes you to amazon. That link has information stored in it. One of those pieces of information is an affiliate id which is the tracking code which will tell amazon that I referred you to them. If you purchase something from amazon through my link, I get a percentage of the sale.

Wow you say. My nan never knew that!

It gets more interesting because most affiliate links include a time period so anytime you purchase anything from amazon for x days after you’ve clicked my link, I still get commission.

Wow you say, My nan definitely never knew that! How do they do it?

Most affiliate programs use cookies to store an affiliate’s id on your computer. So say you click on my link because you really need some website hosting, a cookie is stored on your computer by said hosting company. This cookie is timed and includes my affiliate id. If you go back to the hosting company (through my link or directly, it doesn’t matter) any time within a specific period, my affiliate id is still there and if you chose to sign up with them, I will still get commission. The cookie expires eventually though, so I don’t get commission indefinitely.

So now the moral of this story is twofold. Be careful what extensions and plugins you install, and be careful what links you click.

See a tinyurl link? You think it is there simply for your convenience so you don’t have to see a long-ass url? Ha! The cunning and suspicious among you will immediately think “affiliate link”. So, why would anyone click an affiliate link? Well, many people don’t know what they are and are oblivious to the fact that such things exist. I’m sure at some point in my browsing history, I’ve inadvertently scored an internet marketer some commission. Some people do know what affiliate links are though (like your nan for instance because she has read this brilliant scree on what your grandma doesn’t know about internet marketing) and they chose to click anyway, to reward the website owner, you know because they appreciate the rather eloquent writing and all.

Now go tell your nan all about affiliate links and plugins. And if she doesn’t understand, well I’m happy to come round and explain it to her while I give her computer a tune up……..ooh a cup of tea? yes please! ta very much.

“down mighty internet marketing devil”

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  1. December 12, 2008 at 14:25

    Holy cow! this is the best story I’ve ever read about affiliate marketing. How on earth you could come up with an article like this?

    Anyway, it’s indeed a joy to read while not losing the core message you are trying put across. I’ve never given much thought about url shortening, hmmm, I guess I need to now.

    Yan

  2. Dan
    December 15, 2008 at 09:12

    Haha, once again another genuis post. I’m quite upset I didnt think of that USB pen trick myself 😛

    I’m always very suspiscous of tiny-url links myself, but I know I’ve clicked on them before – they arent just limited to the ‘tiny url’ website, but can be found on peoples sites when they add re-directs, such as

    underdogblog.wordpress.com/tinylinkhahafools.php

    Which would redirect them to some spam site (which of course you would NEVER do 😛 )

    …on a side note, the snow no longer stacks up :O It melts instantly, like urine on snow…

  3. underdogblogger
    December 15, 2008 at 10:09

    @Yan – thanks! I don’t know, seems to me there are so many opportunities for the slightly shady marketer in our current age of computing. Everything is extendible and customisable these days and with the freedom it affords us, there are real dangers that people usually don’t think about. Especially people who aren’t very tech-savvy.

    @Dan – hehehe the usb pen idea isn’t originally mine – i read about a virus getting perpetuated that way once and thought it would be a great cheap way of getting software onto people’s computers. Sadly, on the free wordpress hosted platform I can’t cloak my links properly ’cause I don’t have access to the code :(……not that I would even if I could…..ahem.
    Damn snow – I’ll have to write to the wordpress peeps and tell ’em I don’t like their new “urine” function in tho snow code… 🙂

  4. Dan
    December 17, 2008 at 10:52

    Haha, I must admit, I do like how the snow drifts depending on where your mouse cursor is.

  1. December 31, 2008 at 10:36
  2. September 30, 2009 at 15:12

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