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 won a ticket to Affiliate Summit West, but I won’t be Attending

affiliate summit westSome of my regular readers might remember that I won a ticket to Affiliate Summit East this past Summer.  Well, guess what?  I won a Networking Plus Pass to Affiliate Summit West in Las Vegas coming up in January.  This marks the second time I've won a free ticket to an Affiliate Summit conference.  🙂  However, I won't be attending Affiliate Summit West since I have other projects I'm working on and honestly… it's not worth and I just don't feel like going.

If you read my Affiliate Summit Review detailing the conference then you will obviously know why I will not be attending again.  Probably some of you reading this that have gone to past Affiliate Summit's will understand as well.  Why do I mean?  There are tons of useless annoying fuckers that attend.

Heres's the the thing, most internet focused conferences I've attended usually these different groups of people attending;

  1. People that are genuinely helpful.
  2. People that don't know anything and shouldn't have shown up.
  3. Companies looking for marketing opportunities or to expand, sell, partner, etc.
  4. Assholes that are trying to get you to buy “whatever” they are selling under any circumstance even if it's shit.

I didn't write about this in my Affiliate Summit Review but there were lots of people in the #4 category.  When I say a lot I'm talking about 60%+ of the people who were not from companies.  Most of the time there are 2 or 3 of these people at a conference, not a majority.  Talking with fraction of the people that showed up to Affiliate Summit that were not trying to sell me useless shit this clearly wasn't a fluke as they felt the same way.

One guy I ran into who supposedly is an expert at driving social media traffic wouldn't give me any real world examples of what he does.  He also wouldn't give me any social media advice or tips on the spot.  However, he did try to get me to buy his rather costly book and webinar series, which I declined.

I made a real effort to try to meet a wide range of people to engage and learn.  What I found was most of them gave me the same song and dance as this social media scam artist.  They wanted me to buy their books, pay for consulting, or you know screw me out of my money.  I remember one guy that had some BS private forum and was telling me how great his conversions were like 70% percent or some ridiculously high number.  I asked, “How do you get such high conversions.” his response, “Pay to join my private forum.” my reply, “Hell no!” and I walked away.

This was a similar conversation I had with people in all sorts of fields. Why would I buy anything from you if you don't want want to share knowledge?  For most attendees you already paid the entrance fee, paid for a hotel, and showed the hell up.  If I can't take anything away useful from you it is very unlikely I'm going to consider using buying anything from you in the future whether it be a book or consulting.  I guess the hard up-sells must work on some people.

Last conference I attended there was a blogger I met that didn't know about Google Webmaster Tools and didn't have it installed on her blog.  I just got out my laptop and set it up for her on the spot.  I don't mind helping pope when I know they put in effort to come to these events.

Most beginners, people who have only had a website up for a few months, looked somewhat confused by everything at Affiliate Summit honestly.  From talking with a lot of people about I doubt they felt they got a lot out of the conference.  Also  I was kind of surprised at the advice I was giving people there.

Keep this in mind, I could take the free pass to Affiliate Summit West and go have tax-deductible fun in Las Vegas (aka Sin City) for several days.  Flights to Las Vegas are ridiculously inexpensive from most major cities since casinos subsidize airline tickets.  You can find a reasonably priced hotel if you play your cards right.  (Yup, pun intended.)  Affiliate Summit parties have open bars which a lot of people will readily use… but it's still not worth going.  That's saying a lot.

I'll have other chances to go to Las Vegas since there are plenty of web conferences held there throughout the year.  It's not like I'm missing out on anything I can't go experience another time you know.

I did send a request to the Affiliate Summit people asking if they could at least give me the Virtual Pass, which shows the videos of the sessions afterwards, in exchange for the Networking Plus Pass.  I figured at least I won the pass and they should give me a Virtual Pass.  Besides out of ALL the sessions I only found 2 useful from Affiliate Summit in Philadelphia.  (Luckily they were the 2 I went to.  I'm good at cherry picking good sessions at conferences.)  Here was their reply;

 “Unfortunately, the pass is not transferable in any matter, so we cannot replace it with a virtual pass.”

So not only is Affiliate Summit a waste of time but the organizers are inflexible.  It's their conference and their rules though.  Of course the video player in the backend for the Affiliate Summit Videos was a freeze monkey, so I guess I should be glad they are saving me the hassle of dealing with that and not having to watch and skip a lot of badly recorded sessions.

Even though I am not attending people are probably curios to know how I won both tickets to two different Affiliate Summit conferences.  The first ticket was provided courtesy of an eBay contest which was posted on the eBay Partner Network blog.  (That's eBay's affiliate program.)  All I did was leave a valuable comment about what I thought the best opportunity was in Affiliate Marketing.  eBay provided me with a Networking Plus Pass since I was an awesome commenter.  This ticket to Affiliate Summit West I won from actually attending Affiliate Summit East.  They have people fill out forms after sessions and keynote speakers to let us know what we thought about them.  They randomly pick 5 cards each day and one of the feedback forms I filled out was one.

Are you planning on attending Affiliate Summit West in Las Vegas?  If you haven't ponied up the money to go, did this article change your mind? Let me know in the comments below.

If you are looking at any other conferences remember to checkout my tips for attending a conference inexpensively.  There's some good advice I've complied there.

If you've got questions you want to ask me privately about Affiliate Summit feel free to contact me by the way.  I'd be happy to answer any questions you have about it.

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.