Sunday, September 23, 2007

Mpire: Alternative to AdSense: Testing

I am retired and loved blogging, in fact spend practically all my awake hours online. I also have to support a son through college (used to be 2 sons) with my pension, and I need to supplement my pension to meet all the expenses of putting children through colleges. Google AdSense just fit in nicely as I love to blog, I enjoyed participating in Google AdSense plus they put ads RELEVANT to the content of my blogs, and they practically automate the whole process for me.

I have a blog AdSense Alert which had AdSense products on it for a long time, that is, until they contacted me and told me I can't put AdSense products on that site because it contained the trademarked "AdSense" in it. The answer is still no even after I changed the title of the blog to Earning Online because "adsense" is in the URL and I didn't want to change the URL. That started me on a search for alternatives to Google AdSense.

Recently, came across one more - Mpire: Everything you need to find the best deals online. This site is not only for people looking for ways to earn some income online, but also for those who want to search for products, compare prices online, seek trends, and get the best deals.

Testing earning as a Mpire affiliate

We will deal with the first part first, that is, earning some income online by becoming an affiliate of Mpire. On that site, if you want to join as an affiliate, you can click on the "Widget" button and you will be taken to Mpire: Make money on your site page where you will see an example of the types of widgets you can install on your site. The example I saw was an Mpire Trend Watch widget

where you can see the product names, the price trends, buy new (retail) prices and auction prices. There are other widgets you can install. Just click on the "See more Mpire Widgets" See more Mpire Widgets link link and you will see more examples of the kind of widgets you can install. I saw 4 - the one shown above plus "Mpire Price Check", "eBay Movers and Shakers" and "eBay Top Searches". To install the widget, you can either click on the "Add to your webpage" button below any of the 4 example widgets or click the "Register" link at the top of the page. Depending on which one you click, you will be take to a page where you will be asked for information like eMail address (optional) and password. Apparently, registration is optional and you can chose to "Skip registration", but the site explained that by registering, you can track how many people view your widgets, easily modify your widgets and be notified of updates and new widget skins. I was surprised that you can chose not to register, for in my mind, without registering, how are you going to be paid? The answer I found out later is that you can register later, or depending on which widget you chose, you will be required to give your eBay affiliate PID: (Optional) and/or Amazon Associates ID: (Optional). It is optional because you can add that later when you have it.

Anyway, since I want to test how one can earn via Mpire, I registered and I gave my Amazon Associates ID as I already have it. I did not want to install eBay widgets because eBay affiliate program work through Commission Junction, and the CJ terms state that if you do not get a commissionable click within a 6 months period, there will be a charge (forgot how much). I don't like that. What if I become indisposed and unable to manage my sites and thus become inactive? I don't want to become indebted to Commission Junction. Anyway, I installed 2 test widgets at Natural Remedies ("Mpire Price Check" near the bottom of the left sidebar) and Computer, Internet and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) ("Mpire Trend Watch" near the bottom of the left sidebar). There will be a graph or arrow showing the price trend at the top and the categories you selected when you generated the script for the widgets at the bottom. Try clicking on one of the categories and see what happen. I tried clicking on "Search Engine Optimization" category with the FireFox browser with pop-up enabled. A bar at the top gave the message that pop-up was blocked and I had to click "Option" and then select to allow pop-up for that site. When I next click on the category again, and this time a new tab opened (I had chosen to make the page open in a new window when generating the script, but in Firefox, I had set it to open in new tab instead) displaying the Amazon page with a long list of products related to SEO.

Let us see if these two Mpire widgets will generate any income and it it is a viable alternative and/or addition to Google AdSense

Searching (shopping) online for products with Mpire

At Mpire: Everything you need to find the best deals online, near the top, there is a search box where you can shop for things online:

empire shop for search box

I tried searching for "computer" and found 28 items, out of which 6 are actually computers and the rest are computer related products. But just quoting the number of items found is deceptive, for at the right side of the items would be displayed a price range plus a button to click to "See All Stores". A search for "digital camera" got me 823 items. If you want to see the actual search result page, click on mpire search result page for digital camera. The number of items you will I would suppose will be time dependent, so you may see more or less than 823 items. In any case, if you are really searching for digital cameras, and you add in the number of choices you will get by clicking on "See All Stores", that would be a huge range of choices for you.

Searching (shopping) for products using the search box is not the only option. Below, that is a constantly changing display of products with accompanying price chart beside it, and below that chart, a link which may read "Price check iPhones", depending on what product is being displayed, and a list of products will be displayed, the number of products depending on the item being displayed.

And below this are a huge range of categories, with the panel of categories constantly changing from Panel 1 to Panel 7 (there is a button to pause it). Click on Computer hardware and a page of computer hardware related stuff will be displayed.

Below that again is a section displaying "Shop Popular Products" and if those lists of products is not enough for you, below the list is a link that may perhaps say "See more digital cameras". In that list, if a particular item interest you, say Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT, clicking on it will display a list of that item from eBay or from other online merchants.

That is not the end. Right at the the bottom of the page, you will also see a section "Get the Best Deals and Coupons". If you want to try your luck, go ahead and click on something that interest you and you may get a real bargain.

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