Name.com Affiliate Program Shutting Down

By Adam Yamada-Hanff

Yesterday I got an email that informed me that the Name.com Affiliate Program was shutting down at the end of the month.  Here is what the email said;

Dear Name.com Affiliate, 

After careful consideration, Name.com has decided to suspend the Affiliate Program. We have a busy roadmap for the year ahead as we keep up with customer requests and unveil new products. We will revisit the Affiliate Program at a later date. We genuinely appreciate your participation, and thank you for helping to promote Name.com.

Suspension dates

  • We will continue to record referrals and issue commissions through April 30, 2014. We will cease to record commissions on May 1, 2014.
  • Payments will be made as scheduled to eligible affiliates. Please note that to receive payment we need a W-9 form on file.
  • aff.name.com will be shut down on April 30, 2014.

If you have any questions, please contact us at affiliates@name.com. Sincerely, The Name.com Team

I thought this was a bit weird since I've never seen any company shutdown a large affiliate program on fairly short notice.  (Especially a company who's products are digitally based.)  The email went out on April 23rd which is only a 9-day window.  This means a Name.com affiliate could easily miss the news. Since I wasn't sure about this and I wanted to confirm this was actually happening I emailed Caroline Temple, Name.com's affiliate program manager, but… the email bounced shortly after sending it.  I realized that was not a good sign and probably the Name.com affiliate program was in fact closing for good.  I then wrote to Steve Donatelli who is part of the Name.com customer support team.  This is the email I wrote by the way;

Hi Steve,

I got this email yesterday afternoon that Name.com was shutting down the affiliate program. Looks legit but just wanted to double check with you to confirm.

If you could provide me with any reasons why Name.com has decided to do this, that would be helpful.

Best,

Adam

I then called Name.com and waited a few minutes to get connected to a support representative.  I explained that I got this email that the Name.com affiliate program was shutting down and I just wanted to confirm this was accurate information.  I was told that the affiliate program was in fact being suspended but the Name.com support team wasn't really given any other information outside of that by managers.  I was told they could possibly be revisiting an affiliate scheme in the future.  I was also told they had been receiving a lot of inquiries from affiliates about the Name.com affiliate program shutdown today, which was not surprising.

A few hours later I got a reply from Steve Donatelli;

Hello,

Thank you for your email. Sorry for the delay in responding. I don't often check my personal inbox queue. Unfortunately, we are currently in the process of sunsetting our Affiliate program at the end of the month. At this time, they haven't provided us with any information as to how the powers that be came to this decision. I am terribly sorry for the inconvenience. If you have anymore questions, please do not hesitate to shoot me an email and I will be happy assist wherever I can!

Sincerely,

Steve

This news kind of sucks for me since I have utilized the Name.com affiliate program on my Name.com Review.  While I won't be retiring in the Caribbean on my Name.com affiliate earnings it was a nice steady stream of money here and there.  For a small time blogger like myself these affiliate payouts can really add up across the board.

I imagine the affiliates who will be most annoyed and affected by the sudden shutdown of the Name.com affiliate program will people who build and run domain name generators.  You know someone like Mohit Aggrawal who created NameMesh and other domain generator operators and domain finding tools.  Affiliate links to domain registrars is how these sites make money.

What's odd to me is that the Name.com affiliate dashboard was updated last month to a much cleaner look.  It was also a lot less confusing than the older dashboard user interface they had.  I was happy with the changed and updated design.

name.com affiliate program

I assume Rightside, Name.com's parent company, wants to put as much money as they can into marketing New gTLDs (generic top level domains) and releasing them over the next few months.  At least I am pretty sure “unveil new products.” probably means New gTLDs.  They'll want to offer new gTLDs at below registry pricing to encourage people to buy and Name.com has been heavily promoting these new domain extensions.  Paying out affiliate commissions is probably something upper level management deemed a waste of money.  Why pay people who link to us and send us business?  🙂

It will be interesting to see if the Name.com affiliate program shutdown will be permanent or if they will bring it back eventually.  Since I like and recommend them as a domain registrar I hope they do.  I'd imagine in the long run Name.com will lose business as affiliates and websites will stop linking which in turn makes Name.com lose traffic and business.

If you are someone who will be negatively impacted by the Name.com affiliate program shutdown please share your thoughts below.  Did you earn a lot through the Name.com affiliate program?  What will you do make-up the lost affiliate revenue?  What if you didn't earn a lot of money?  Will you just recommend another domain name registrar now?

I’m Heading to Affiliate Summit East

affiliate summit east

I thought I would let all my readers know that I will be heading to Affiliate Summit East 2013 taking place in Philadelphia from August 18th-20th.  I was fortunate enough to win a Network Plus Pass courtesy of eBay.  They had a contest on the eBay Partner Network Blog, which is their affiliate network, and I gave the best answer to the question, “What is the biggest opportunity in Affiliating Marketing today?”

Here is my response using the username CarNewsCafe, which is my new auto news site that you should totally check if you haven't.

This might sound strange to some but I think the best opportunity in affiliate marketing is educating people about it. I've met a number of successful bloggers that surprisingly don't know what affiliate links are. Someone I know with a successful photography blog and YouTube channel didn't know that eBay had an affiliate program. I recommended he check it out since his audience buys a lot of gear on eBay.

I thought my answer was the best and pretty well thought out.  What do you think?  Have another answer to that question you think is better?  Leave a comment below and prove me wrong.

The reason I said this is I recently recommended the eBay Partner Network to my uncle who runs a successful photography blog and has a Youtube channel with almost 2 millions views.  People that are into Lo-Fi photography buy a lot of stuff on eBay and he didn't even know they had an affiliate program.

The ironic thing to me is that eBay and other affiliate marketing programs ‘preach to the choir' but don't to people, like my uncle, who could really benefit from these affiliate programs.  I've met a number of bloggers who are quite successful and have a lot of traffic and large social media following and they don't do affiliate marketing.  They mainly do paid ads or sponsorships which always surprises me.

Anyway, I am excited to be going to Affiliate Summit East and learn about affiliate marketing which is something I know how to do but not that well.  Hopefully I can pickup some advice and tips at Affiliate Summit East this year from expert affiliate marketers to help grow and take my online businesses and websites to the next level.   I will share my thoughts about Affiliate Summit and some of the tips and tricks I learned on this blog, so stay tuned for those posts.

If you will be attending Affiliate Summit please send me an email – cool AT adamyamada.com – or catch me on Twitter @AdamYamada.  I'd love to meet and connect with you if you are a blogger, publisher, advertiser network, or just want to talk.

If you have been to Affiliate Summit East in the past please let me know what I should do to maximize my time and get the most out of the conference.  With a Networking Plus Pass I can only attend 1 session per day but I still think I should get a lot out of the conference.  Partying included! 🙂

[Source – eBay Partner Network Blog]

4 Easy Ways to Monetize a Blog

monetize a blog

If you are looking for ways to monetize a blog or website there are tons of different affiliate programs, advertising networks, and other options you could look into.  Just because there are a lot of options for blog monetization doesn't mean you should use them all though.  My believe is that you should find what works for your blog or online business and stick with that.

Having been online for awhile these are 4 good programs to monetize a blog which I think meet a wide variety of needs for your blog or website.

  1. Amazon AssociatesHave you bought something on Amazon?  I assume you probably have since they are known as “Wal-Mart online.”  Amazon stocks a huge inventory and with their third party shipping programs offer a huge selection of products that no other online retailer can match.  This includes their massive Kindle self-publishing platform as well as MP3 and video downloads.  Chances are if you want to review a product or recommend something on your blog Amazon sells it or you can find it.  You can use Amazon Associates and link up to those products or display banner ads.  Amazon Associates also lets you built “stores” on your website.  I've found Amazon Associates has worked well for all of my blogs but especially Adam's Auto Advice.  (It seems auto products are something a lot of people order online.)  I've been happy with the Amazon Associates program and have been pleased with my reasonable earnings I have received which is why I recommend it.
  2. eBay Partner Network:  I have not had as much success with the eBay Partner Network but it is still worth a mention.  Why?  eBay is the world's largest online auction site and there a lot of different ways to use this affiliate program which could benefit your blog.  You can get paid just for sending qualified traffic to eBay and obviously get paid when users buy products through eBay.  If you have a specific hobby niche the eBay Partner Network is probably most ideal for you.  Ebay only accepts publishers with high quality content and decent traffic though.  Keep that in mind if you apply to the eBay Partner Network.
  3. Google AdSense:  Google wouldn't be the huge company it is today if it wasn't for Google AdSense and contextual advertising.  (Well technically Google AdWords, the counterpart to AdSense.)   Google AdSense allows online publishers big and small to display relevant ads to site visitors.  This means a better experience for your visitors and a higher Click-Through-Rates (CTR) for online publishers and Google, which means more moolah for everyone.  AdSense also allows you to monetize Youtube videos with contextual advertising.  Unfortunately I was kicked out of Google AdSense last year and I have no idea why.  So I would be careful of how you use AdSense and what sites you display ads on.  (Google only likes sites that are family safe.)  Since Google recently celebrated 10 Years of Google AdSense you don't need to worry about this program going anywhere.
  4. Media.net: Media.net is a Yahoo and Bing's contextual advertising program.  I won't pull any punches, it is not as good and will not earn you as much money as Google AdSense.  I was invited into this program though and feel that it is good alternative those who were booted from Google AdSense.  There is a large advertising pool bidding for keywords and you can really fine tune the colors and look of ad units.  I'd recommend giving Media.net a shot if you have decent traffic to your blog or website.  However do not rely on it for your advertising income.

Be aware any affiliate program you sign-up for you should understand the terms and conditions clearly.  I recommend reading the entire affiliate contract even though this is time consuming, painful, and probably a big hassle with all that legal jargon.  You really should if you want to avoid what happened to me with Google AdSense.

Like I mentioned before there are a ton of different advertising and affiliates programs you can choose from and these are just 4 popular ones that a lot of bloggers and webmasters use.  If you have found a way to monetize a blog that works better for you please leave a comment below and let me know.