First Amazon EU Affiliate Check Came – 2 Years in the Making

I have been a global Amazon affiliate for about two years which means I own affiliate accounts in global Amazon stores not just Amazon.com but Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.ca…etc basically all of them that I could register for and though it takes a lot of time to setup and you benefit from using services that take advantage of Global Amazon stores you can gain extra income from your Amazon affiliate if you globalize your product links instead of only relying on the U.S. Amazon.com affiliate linking.

So after 2 years my Amazon.eu payment came from Amazon.co.uk and it was for $50.40 pounds.  Now though I say it took 2 years, actually most of the earnings were gained since using the Prourls.com tool since January 2016 and I had more earnings in the six months using that tool than the 18 months using manual link building methods or even EasyAzon plugin for WordPress.

The reason why is most of my views and clicks are coming from my YouTube videos now, not from my blog and with the EasyAzon plugin you are limited to only globalizing WordPress hosted products and links.  So I needed a service to create globalized affiliate links in YouTube, Social Media and more.

Two services I used, GeniusLink and Prourls and both have their pros and cons, but Prourls is the one I use most often because it has the least cost involved. GeniusLink is expensive and at $10 per month it really can drain your earnings before you have a chance to collect them in my opinion so is a better option if your site is already making over $80-$100+ in Affiliate earnings because you don’t want 10%+ of your earnings going to having to pay for GeniusLink.

ProURLS focuses on the Amazon stores and has search for product functionality built into the engine but it lacks iTunes affiliate integration which GeniusLink can also do if you affiliate iTunes apps, music and games as well.    With ProURLs I was able to show with absolute proof how my non-US Amazon affiliate earnings dramatically increased clicks and purchases, and I have income growing in quite a few of my global Amazon affiliate stores.  I won’t say it is a lot of income, we are talking about $10-$20 per month average but this is still money that would just not exist and it can only keep growing.  There is an inconvenient fact that when collecting payments from global Amazon affiliate stores you have to get a paper check in the mail, there is no direct deposit or PayPal option and I often forget to check my global affiliate stores to see how they are earning.

But hey, it’s a start and it is another way to make passive income when running a technology blog online.  I still recommend EasyAzon if you do most of your linking in your blog as it automates the process but Prourls is fairly simple and recommended as well.

Pokemon Go and the Future of AR Gaming

So I was heavily into Pokemon GO like so many when came out a few weeks ago but this kind of tapered off a little as the distraction was taking time away from doing blogging and product reviews after hours.  Though I did enjoy clocking the 40KM of walking in 6 days which is way above my normal run/jogging distances for such a short time frame.  I have seen all of the media frenzy around Nintendo stock skyrocketing and then plummeting as people realize that Nintendo doesn’t make the game (never did, don’t even have a logo on it) and only a small share of the profits go to Nintendo from microtransactions.  The frenzy however behind the game has fueled everything from conspiracies (government agencies using it to track and catch people) to agencies or companies wanting to turn Pokemon GO players into Sheeple.

In truth, Augmented Reality games are on the verge of breaking out along with Virtual Reality games, this one just happened to hit on the niche of that explosion of interest.  It is likely to be that AR is going to come out and be a big hit with casual players like the Nintendo Wii was and then after a few years the market may become so saturated with AR games that the buzz and hype just die down.  One thing I did appreciate about Pokemon GO and see potential for is that there is a real desire for casual gamers (especially on mobile devices) to congregate and connect in person.  People are social creatures and sometimes just socializing online on chats isn’t enough to really bring that closeness.  This is why I personally have always loved couch co-op play where a split screen side by side with 4 people where you can be in the moment instead of just hearing someone.  Being able to share a drink, pizza and just game together in person harks back to my days playing Dungeons and Dragons and the connection of friends playing together in person is lacking in the online MMO space in my opinion still.  This is one reason why I don’t like consoles reducing the number of co-op gaming forcing online only copies, and I miss the days where all PC games had local co-op or LAN Play modes where you only needed to connect the PC’s on your local network to get friends over for a LAN Party.  Warcraft 3 was the last such game where I had engaged in local LAN parties and there were some great times.

So Virtual Reality gaming with headsets like the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and such will create more immersive virtual worlds where people are still at home gaming and only connecting in the virtual/digital space.  However, AR is where I believe the interaction with real people and the real world begin to blur and getting people together to meet up and play an activity in person yet augmented in some way can be amazing.  Imagine if Pokemon GO were played on something like Google Glasses where you see them in front of you at all times while you are chatting with friends and you can all point and go chasing them together in a park, simply tossing your arm or pretending to or actually throwing a softball to catch them.  The one thing I don’t like is having to hold the phone up in front of my eyes to augment the reality around me, once we have the display moved into thin glasses that are comfortable and virtually indistinguisable from regular glasses we will usher an era into new interactive environments.  Of course the catch is the era of distraction, ensuring that people’s tendency to multi-task and get distracted pull them away from properly driving, or even walking across roads in many cases.  Can we learn to have limits, or have technology that is aware enough to put a pause when an unsafe situation is encountered?

I would love to hear your thoughts, feel free to visit our Facebook Page and share your thoughts on AR and where you think it will be headed, good, bad or just stupid?

Pokebracelet

The Killer SEO Checklist [INFOGRAPHIC]

SEO can be a brutally complicated thing to understand if you are just getting involved in working with online properties or CMS systems.  For WordPress bloggers many who just start out have no thought put into how to optimize their content to maximize the chances their content will be found on Google Search and other Search Engines.  This little (understatement) SEO Checklist does a great job showing 75+ steps involved in helping optimize your content for SEO.

For the uninitiated

  • SEO = Search Engine Optimization
  • SERP = Search Engine Results Page

Killer SEO Checklist [Infographic] by the team at Capsicum Mediaworks, LLP

Killer SEO Checklist

You can read full article here.

T-Shirts and Art on Mountain of Strength

One thing I love doing is showcasing artwork and this is especially true of Fantasy/Sci-Fi art that I run across in doing my normal product reviews.  So recently  I was contacted by an artist named Aaron Hover who provides artwork services as well as sells some of his artwork over at MountainofStrength.net and I asked him to send me some examples of his work and I would be happy to share it with my friends and fans.

Well, Aaron provided me with a few T-Shirts, one for my oldest son and one for myself.  Which I will showcase below, but more than just selling some artwork on his store which includes T-Shirts, Posters, Pillows, Mugs, phone cases…etc.

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mountainofstrength (4)

So my son received the Let’s Get Kraken T-shirt Blue, and I received the Little Dragon 2 T-Shirt Red.  I have to tell you that not only is the artwork fun and creative, the T-Shirt material is incredibly soft and comfortable so whichever T-Shirt supplier he is using behind the scenes make comfortable T-Shirts.

dragonkrakenshirts

I bought my son some Jinx T-Shirts for World of Warcraft and he says these shirts from Mountain of Strength are more comfortable and prefers them.

But it isn’t just Aaron’s store I wanted to showcase, you can actually hire Aaron to do artwork, graphics design or illustrations for any project you have and this can be for things like Book Cover illustrations, Game Design, Board Game or Trading Card artwork and more.  I have wished I had artistic talent and you really should check out some of his portfolio work if you want to see the types of images, design and artwork he comes up with.

 

Honestly, I was impressed with all the illustrations by Aaron Hover and I encourage you to take a look at his stuff over at Mountain of Strength.

You can also Follow Mountain of Strength on Facebook and Twitter.

A Gaming Dad’s Sunday

Sunday was a rather interesting one and started with a long drive back from Ensenada, Mexico where my wife and I spent our 20th Anniversary of the day we met together celebrating.  We left at 2:30am to arrive at the border by 5am’ish and crossed into US and was back home in Encinitas by 6am.  Lack of sleep didn’t stop me, and Sunday turned into an epic gaming day with the boys.

Some Fallout 4 Far Harbor Play

In between doing laundry, and grocery shopping since my wife was feeling a bit ill.  I kicked off the day Live Streaming Fallout 4 Far Harbor, then my son and I dove into The Elder Scrolls Online for about 3 hours together, while my other son and I went on to play Uncharted 4 for about an hour and a half before we all culminated in some PS4 Sports Friends gameplay to cap off the evening.

Some Uncharted 4 Play

A spectacular gaming Sunday in where it was spread across 4 games, and I am looking forward to a Memorial Gaming Weekend with Overwatch releasing today, and finishing Far Harbor and more of Uncharted 4.  Gaming Times, Gaming Times.