Affiliate advice that’s “by the book”

December 16, 2009 Lammo

Frostie recently wrote into Affiliate Doctors to ask:

“Whenever I’ve developed a new website, or had one developed for me, I’ve either left it to obtain traffic purely through search engines, cross promoted it via newsletter subscribers of my other websites, or headed straight down the PPC route.

Over the coming weeks I’ll be launching three new websites that aim to do what they say on the tin, nothing more, nothing less – Buy Cheap Books.  This time however, I am stumped as to how best to promote them and would welcome any suggestions people may have.”

The sites are:

Buy Cheap Books (live)
Buy Cheap Films (now live, but wasn’t at the time of review)
Buy Cheap Music (coming soon)


Here’s what some of the Doctors had to say…


elaine-thumbThat’s a great easy to use site, which I think is it’s main attraction.  I think I’d be tempted to contact as many book related forums, book clubs, women’s interest groups and ask for feedback and offer a free prize draw for those who respond.

I’d also try doing a competition for some free books, I used to do this with Allkids in the early days, and usually got a great response – just ensure they have to visit the site to get the answer – ask them to forecast the next weeks/months top 5 books to win them – that way you’ll probably get only those who are interested in reading!

Send some books to relevant bloggers – they don’t come much cheaper than that, and ask for a review.

Good luck with the site Chris.


LammoHiya Frostie, How about running competitions?

Let’s say you stump up for a first edition book by John Grisham… (A First Edition of his first novel will set you back around $150)… Then give that away as a prize with a qualifying question into the draw:

“What is the name of the lead character in Grisham’s latest legal thriller ‘The Associate’?” (together with a link to your sales page for this book where they can find the answer from the spiel and maybe buy the book if they like).

Make sure you capture their email address, and on the “thanks for entering” page, link to all the John Grisham books they can buy.  You’re going to get two things out of this: Lots of traffic and links from the competition and freebie sites (you should of course link back to them as a thank you), and a fairly large mailing list of people who like John Grisham books who you can email every time he brings out a new book, with your link to pre-order (as well as perhaps putting them in a “crime/legal thriller” mailing list once a month/fortnight/week.. all with their opt-in permission of course).

If you find this works, then simply repeat with different authors/genres etc.. and of course that can work for the Films (signed memorabilia from the actors/directors) and Music (gig tickets, signed albums from each artist) sites too – Just rinse and repeat!


Dan Barker

Hiya Chris

I like the site you’ve launched.  Good luck with the others!  Here are 10 ideas – I hope at least one’s useful.

Short-term promotion ideas:

1. Send a book to each of your blogger friends & cheekily ask for a link/site review.  Could be a funny book related to them, could be something they’d like, etc.
2. Send 5 questions to a bunch of high profile authors/actors/musicians, publish them as interviews, & promote the interviews (e.g. on facebook/twitter, link to them from wikipedia, email their fan club, etc.).
3. You have twitter/facebook/delicious icons on there, but they feel like an afterthought.  Encourage people to post ‘I’m about to buy [….] via !’ to their various profiles.
4. Post a question to a site that’s read by a bunch of people in the affiliate industry ;)

Medium-term promotion ideas:

5. Build widgets around popular books/films (e.g. the usual ‘Which character are you?’ widget)
6. Run a series of competitions.  For example, ‘design your own poster for the new Twilight film’.  Use a good prize, ask a bunch of ‘twilight’ bloggers to judge the competition (hence they’ll all blog about you multiple times), post the entries to flickr, etc.
7. Slightly odd idea: Try hiding the merchant info of the cheapest price when someone searches.  Include an ‘email me this price’ button.  Get a newsletter signup in return (& have an ‘email to a friend’ option?).  Lastminute sort of vaguely do something similar with their “This hotel owner won’t let us publish their name they’re so cheap!” thing.

Long-term promotion ideas:

8. Donate x% of your profit to ‘Book Aid’, make a point of this, ask for links to help you, ask for book aid to promote you.  You could even extend this to other charities.  Rev share with the charities for the traffic they provide?
9. Allow readers/listeners/etc. to stick up their own fan pages on your site?  Give them a cut for doing so? (a la squidoo)
10. Set up your own affiliate scheme.  A version of ‘Amazon Associates’, allowing other people to promote buying individual books, films, music, etc. via your site (worked well for Amazon after all!)

Hope something there helps!


Editors note – It’s interesting to see that all three Doctors are singing from the same page (excuse the pun) about running competitions – we didn’t compare notes honest!  Everyone has their own take on it though, so lots of different ideas for you there Frostie – hopefully plenty you can run with – Please keep us updated with how the sites progress!

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3 Responses to “Affiliate advice that’s “by the book””

  1. Love the sites, look very nice.

    Only gripe was when I did a search for ‘my friend leonard’ there were multiple results returned for the same title. I’m guessing the different books where different editions etc but it would be nice to select all of them and then just see the cheapest rather then clicking on one looking at the prices, clicking on the next one looking at the prices over and over.

    They are all essentially the same book so nothing would be lost by letting users compare all of them rather than one by one.

  2. All:
    Many thanks for the review – certainly looks like a competition of sorts will help drum up some interest and I like the idea of either first edition or maybe a signed copy.

    Like the idea of sending some books to bloggers, as a way to tempt them to review and link to the site. Something I will look in to next year for sure.

    You’ve certainly given me enough suggestions to keep me busy throughout 2010! The Twitter functions etc, weren’t a last minute, but I agree they serve no purpose as such just yet. Maybe incorporate a tweet with a #tag and that gets an entry into a competition?

    I hear you, and yes although many do appear the same, they are different and have different ISBN. These could be due to a reprint, hardback vs softback or some other slight variation. Definately worth looking at possibly introducing something in the future that would remove the multiple options.

  3. Oh my. I just checked out these sites and had one of those moments where you think to yourself – “why didn’t I think of that”. I love the simplicity of the sites.

    I have bookmarked them and will be using them from now on.

    I hope they’re stay around for a long time.



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