Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Protect Your Affilate Ids!

I know some your affiliate marketers out there are working hard to get those referrals! From joe bucks to ppp audio ads, there is one thing you must know:

Cloak your affiliate links!!

Cloak my links? But Why?

Well because don’t you know if you do not “cloak” your links, you can lose up to 30% of your commission income?

Thirty percent!! Why is this so?

Well…… it has to do with because people really don’t want anyone to make an ‘honest buck’ off any of their purchases. Is that very selfish! You know people have to earn money to live!

Yes it is very selfish, because we live in a very selfish society, and that is how allot people act. They have a “coded procedure” in their subconscious minds that make them avoid affiliate links. You can not change the way people think and act, but you CAN and definitely SHOULD do something to protect your affiliate commissions!

That is were affiliate link cloaking comes in!

First Method-Directory Redirect (does not cost a thing)

1)Connect to your web server

2) Create a properly named directory

3) Create a single index htm (or index.htm), use notepad if you don’t have a HTML editor.

4) Edit that file, so it contains this exact code:



frame src=”your affiliate URL”



It is generally ok to copy your merchant’s page title(the one that appears on top of your browser’s window when you go through your affiliate link, and double check your affiliate URL and make sure it has no typos!

5) Place the new index HTML file in your new directory.

And that is it! Your affiliate link is now cloaked.



Looks and sounds better.

Second Method-Sub-domain Redirect

and then com ending is the main advantage of a sub-domain redirect)

It really depends on a web-host’s individual rules and configuration. In general you have to create a directory (sometimes specific location) and then use the host’s browser tools to set a sub-domain in that directory. Then you will place the index.html (or .htm) file in the directory your new sub-domain points to. The HTML code does not change.

Sub-domain redirects are allot more effective than regular directory redirects, they generally provide better results.

Okay Drum roll please……..

Third Method Separate Cloaking Domain


The standard separate domain now covers a sub-domain or a directory (That again depends on the web host’s rules)

The good thing it does not look like an affiliate link anymore! 100% effective promotions! Woohoo! Your visitors don’t feel pitched with URLs anymore. Their “mind breaks” are off, and that results in an open buy mindset.

Better Click Through Rates! (CTR)

Better Conversion Rates! (CR)

More sales and higher commissions!

Now, you do not want to do it manually. I do recommend a FREE website that does directory redirect for you.

Just go to and sign as a FREE member to start protecting your affiliate URLS.

And just sit and pat yourself on the back .:)

December 23, 2007

Making Money Thru Micro Stock Photography, The Second Income Stream While You Improve Your Photo Quality

So you submitted all your best photos to each microstock site for them to be reviewed. So what happens if they are rejected? What happens if only one of two sites only approve your photos? So what do you do when you are only a novice photographer starting out? You do not have the right equipment to start out with. (That was my problem) I going to tell you how to make a second income stream through affilaite marketing, while you save up for that digital SRL!

Start Out With Micro Stock Affilate Marketing
I feel your pain! I going through it right now. I have the photography skills, but I do not have the right equipment. All I have right now for a digital cam is a cobra DC8500 and it has a f stop range of 5.8-17.4mm. Not good at all for the close up details or far off clarity. Now that I am in a catch 22, I tried several different methods of breaking it:

Borrowing the camera from my mother: She does not have a digital SRL.

Borrowing one from a neighbor:No one is going to lead me that!! DUH!!

Saving up money to buy one-Have to wait on Income Taxes for that to happen!!

Ok not all is in vain. I have manage to break the cycle by signing up for Photo Stock Affiliate Marketing Programs.

Affiliate Marketing Programs?
Yes affiliate marketing programs, they do wonders for you if you work hard and post as many sites as you can (Your blog, your website, and they even have email templates you can send to people! Wow!)

What are you are doing is your referring potential photographers and/or buyers to different micro stock websites. When you sign up for them, you give your an unique affiliate id. If that person is interested, and clicks on your link to the website under your id, you will get a percentage of commission every time that particular photographer sells a photo or if that buyer buys a photo package.
Professional photographers do it all the time, and this is what is call their downtime income, and it is almost 50% of a photographer's income in some cases.

Signing up for micro stock photography affiliate program are easy. Usually they are at the bottom on the web page under "affiliate" or referral programs". When you sign under a referral program, you will get a URL locator address of their website and an id number like this:

For Example: (They are not usually this long!)

Why do agencies use referral programs? It increases sales for agencies. If you want to have a long duration of income, it is your best bet to refer a photographer. They will be your best sources of making affilate income for a long time. Buyers can just stop buying after the first package!

A good referral program is one that pays for a long time. If the referral program only lasts for a couple of months, you can forget it.

Referral Programs to get started with:

(20% Designer/Buyer-only 1 sale)
(10% Seller-permanent)

(15% Designer/Buyer-5 years)
(10% Photographer/Seller-5 years)

(10% Designer/Buyer-3 years)
(10% Photographer/Seller-3 years)

(15% Designer/Buyer-1 year)
(10% Photographer/Seller-6 months)

(5.00 for first sellers Buyers none for the first sale)

(35% for Designer/Seller
($5.00 for 15 approved photos-Photographers)
(Duration for 60 days, but is really worth it)

(10% Designers/Buyers-6 months)
($15.00 for every photo sold/Sellers-6 months)

(10% Designers/Buyers-1 year)
(10% Photographers-1 year)

(25% photographers-permanent)

Here is some other sites that have referral programs, but I really have not been with them long enough to have any real results.
I Stock Photo
New Darkroom
Photo Stock Plus

Cookies and Testing Links

Be sure to test your links to make sure that they are working properly! You never know when the referral id will break. Cookies are small pieces of information stored on a computer that is used by a website to hold data. The longer a cookie is active, the more time a buyer or photographer has to take your advice and sign up with the agency. Cookies usually expire around 2-3 months.

You can install FireFox to test your referral links.

To do this( Drum Roll Please)

1)Install Fire Fox
2)Use fire fox to track down a plugin called
"Live Headers" Live headers will give you a look
of what is going on behind your web page.
Go to

3) Open Fire Fox, go to the website/blog where your
referral link is active.
4) Open Live Headers in the tools menu and move the
window to the side.
5) Click the banner or the other link and wait for
the agency page to load.
6) Alot of information in the Live Headers window
will come up, but what you want to look for
is a line that starts with "Sets cookie and has
your referral code in it.

And there you go!

Where to look for referrals, well hook as many affilates to your My space pages, Hi five pages,
etc. etc.
If you have photographer friends, use some of the email templates that each micro stock site has. Send them out to any photographer rings you maybe a member of. Be creative! The possibilities are endless.

If you have any questions regarding this lens,
feel free to email me at

Please feel free to visit my other sites:

or my poetry at Helium:

Thank you for your support!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Income With Stock Photography,How To Make it Happen Part I


Love taking photos? Need some part time income to get through the month?
Then consider the possibilities of micro stock photography. I have been an amateur photographer since I graduated from the New York Institute of photography in February 2002. I did not have the time nor the proper equipment to set up a professional studio. So I have been taking photos of just family gatherings until I stumbled upon a micro photography web site, and the I so the possibility of earning some pretty good income. But before I go into explaining, let me give the definition of what stock photography is, according to Wikipedia:

Micro stock photography is an offshoot of traditional stock photography company is that (1) the source of the images are almost exclusively via the internet,(2) do so from a wider range of photographers than traditional stock agencies. (including the willingness to accept images fro amateur and hobbyists) and (3) sell their images at a very low rate (any where from a $0.20 to a $1.00 for a royalty free image.

In addition to that, micro stock sites will also sell vector art, flash animations, and video.

In a short version, micro stock agencies are the companies that store or stock uploaded photos, and pays the photographer whenever someone downloads the photo from the micro stock site. Most micro stock companies pays the photographer less than a $1.00 for each royalty free image sold.

Procedures on how this done

The main factor in micro stock photography is to sell a large number of photos at a cheap prices.
The important thing I stress that you need to invest a good digital SLR (singles lens reflex) camera. Since you will be taking a large amount of photos, a digital SRL is imprtant to invest, because if you use a less expensive 35mm SRL, you will be accuring unnecessary expenses like film and processing costs. One other thing, you can take your picture one then and there, and look at the digital screen if the image is of good quality or not. Most micro stock agencies are very strict on image quality,contrast, and composition. A new one costs about 400.00-500.00 dollars. If you cannot afford a new Digital SRL, buy one used on Ebay or go to your local pawn shop.

But before you say I do not have the proper equipment to shoot pictures right now, do not despair there is another way to make a income with micro stock sites until you can afford a digital SRL.
I will explain this later in another article.

Okay without further to do, here are the following steps to get started:

1) Take lots of photos
2) Get a photo editor program like photoshop, and make your photos as good quality as possible. A professional look makes them sale!
3) Upload them
4) Give the photo a title and assign them with key words.
5) Submit the photos to be accepted or rejected. This the approval process.
6) If your photos are accepted they will appear in the micro stock phography website immediately.
7) If rejected, do not get discourage ( I did plenty of times). Taking good photos takes time and practice! Just keep taking more photos.

How Microstock Pays You

Microstock companies pay by commission for every photo sold.The photographer receives a certain percentage of photo. Different microstock sites pay different commission percentages. Here is a few for an example:

Pays 0.25 for every image dowload.
Pays 0.33 credits (which are later converted to dollars) for every image downloaded. The percentage
increased when the downloaded images reach a certain level on the website.

The level of income you make will vary. Most amateur photographers report that they start out making $50.00 to $100.00 per month. For me so far I have made about close to 75.00 from 2 above micro stock sites, Shutter Stock and Fotolia. I have not made any money from the other sites I joined because I have not been registered long enough. Please if anyone has made money from any other microstock sites, please feel free to post any comments.

Other Sites To Try Out

Other sites I suggest to try out are
i Stockphoto,
BigStock Photo
Lucky Oliver

Please if you have any other suggestions about making income with microstock photography. Please email me at

Thank You for Reading!
Gina Taylor
Byron, Ga.