After a long cold winter, spring is finally here! With that comes baseball season!
There is a lot of hype here in Kansas City from the Royals making an unbelievable run last year to the World Series. I’ve never been a big baseball fan, but I really started to take an interest last season as it was amazing how our entire city came together to cheer on the team.
None-the-less I found myself buying a lot of tickets and plan on hitting the affiliate programs hard this year and have some tips for everyone to get a piece of the pie.
When I start pushing an affiliate program I like to reverse engineer the process to see how visitors are going to interact. Using myself as an example we can easily get a clear picture about how people purchase baseball tickets online.
First, I used my iPhone to purchase every single ticket last year. Since I live close to Kauffman Stadium, I wait until the last minute to buy my tickets, which saves me money. As I mentioned in a post last week, a great way to monetize mobile traffic is to find people that need what you’re offering RIGHT NOW. That works perfectly in this case.
Build Out Your Property
There is one thing I’ve preached and preached to Grinders over the years – build out your own property! I know it’s not near as much fun as just grabbing a link and sending traffic to it, but you’re going to create a much more sustainable campaign. If you plan on running traffic from Google and Facebook that’s going to be a requirement. Even if you don’t know squat about programming or HTML you can still get a property online pretty fast.
The easiest way to get started is setup a WordPress blog on a domain name related to ticket selling (i.e. buycheapbaseballtickets.com). Make sure to find a good responsive theme. Even if your cheap like me you can find good ones for free.
Populate Your Ticket Data
Once you have all this setup, you need to populate your site with ticket data.
If you have some money to spend, I recommend finding a developer to integrate your site with SeatGeek’s API [assuming you’re not a developer yourself]. They pay an awesome 50% commission per sale and can even geo-locate via IP address.
If you don’t have money to spend, you need to find a ticket merchant with a data feed. Using my Share A Sale account I see abctickets.com has a campaign with over 60,000 links in their feed:
By using a simple WordPress data feed plugin you can import their data and instantly have listings live on your site.
The most attractive thing to the abctickets.com affiliate program is they offer a year long cookie (meaning you have 12 months for that visitor to convert) as well as $35 per sale. It doesn’t take a bunch of those to start really making a nice income. I do however, suggest placing banners for other ticket affiliate programs through the site (such as SeatGeek) so you’re diversified. Remember it’s never good to have all your eggs in one basket.
Once you spend some time and have your website online – you’re then ready to develop your own mobile application. Once again, last week, I said when you’re running mobile traffic you need to focus both on the mobile web as well as in-app.
Develop Your Mobile App
Those of you that have capital to spend or are developers yourself, I would go back over to the SeatGeek API and hack something nice up.
If that’s not an option, then refer back to Helpful Resources To Create Your Own Mobile Apps. In my opinion, your best bet is to use Como.com, as for under $40/month [IMGrind visitors get 30% off] you can use your WordPress RSS feeds to make your app with all your data. Simple!
By having your own mobile app you can better take advantage of all the mobile traffic by retaining people that click your ads. If you have a “cheap seat” ticket app and offer value to your users, you’re going to find them coming back for more and more tickets over the season greatly increasing your bottom line.
Integrate Pay Per Call Campaigns
It’s 2015 bros. We need to make sure we take advantage of every monetization route possible. Especially if you plan on buying traffic, expect to go up against some people who have their stuff together. Right off the bat I see Ticket Liquidator has a campaign live over at CJ.com:
Even though the payout is only 8% of the total sale, it’s still going to make you SOMETHING. Make sure to read over their terms but implement your unique phone number across your property.
Setup Your Tracking
Obviously when you start running traffic you need to know where your conversions are coming from so you can begin to optimize. The simple solution to that is using our iMobiTrax software. We make setup a breeze and have a lot of documentation on how to implement your campaigns. Additionally, Bill is available to ensure you’re able to get all your links setup with ease.
I would also throw Google Analytics on your pages so you can monitor other important things such as where people are clicking on your website.
Let The Traffic Flow
The last piece of the puzzle is starting up traffic. Since you’ve now created your own property with a mobile app your options are endless. Even if you just plan on buying traffic, you should go ahead and focus on some simple SEO. There are plenty of SEO WordPress plugins that can effectively do that for you. Then you just need to setup social accounts (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and start getting some followers.
It’s all marketing from there on out. Even those with very limited experience creating websites can have this up and running this week. Make sure to shop around different ticket affiliate offers as the ones I mentioned in this post are just the first ones that came to mind. There are a lot of programs out there and you should find the one that converts the best with your traffic.
I’ve got to get to work on my stuff, but feel free to comment below and let me know how you’re doing!
Ryan Gray is the founder and CEO of NameHero, one of the fastest growing independent web hosts in the United States. Ryan has been working online since 1998 and has over two-decades experience in Internet Entrepreneurship.