Getting the Hang of Affiliate Programs

My post-blog migration clean-up is still ongoing. It's amazing how many dead links I've been discovering or missing video links. Updating every single blog post I've made since 2005 is a HUGE undertaking. However, in addition to it being a fun trip down memory lane, it has been a great opportunity to explore affiliate marketing.

As I mentioned in an earlier in Sheet Music Plus and Passive Income Streams, I've waded into the pool of affiliate marketing. Simply put, whenever I review or recommend a product, as an affiliate or associate, I get my own personal URL to that product. I don't believe in endorsing products I'm not keen on, so I will share with you materials that either my students, fellow teachers and I have found useful. Or in the case of album reviews, my aim is to introduce you to music you may not be familiar with and to promote local musicians.

Hopefully, you find them useful, or at least intriguing. If you do, then click on the link and then order away. Yes, affiliate marketers get a small commission for each completed sale. However, that all adds up in the long run.

One thing I have noticed as I clean up and update my blog posts is that there's an open field of opportunity. Each time I share a great performance with my students and readers or each time I reflect upon interesting pieces, I can share with you a link to make it easier for you to hunt down the music. It's a win-win situation.

How has it been working? Well, as with any passive income stream, it takes time to build and I've only been at it for a couple of weeks. However, I'm pleased to report that at least two people have purchased music I recommended just this week via .

I leave you with a funny blog post that I updated this morning, called "Angry Piano Music". I had a good chuckle remembering my female students who came in a string, asking specifically for "angry music" to play. It was a huge stress reliever for them!

Looking for the Perfect Messenger Bag - Otaku Style

Last weekend, I had to retire my Fullmetal Alchemist messenger bag. The plastic shoulder strap adjuster thingie broke enough to poke me. いったい! This is my messenger bag:

I was really sad to hear that Mythwear closed its doors in 2007. Great quality bags! Photo by R-M Arca.

So I've started to look for the perfect anime messenger bag. So many choices. My criteria is as follows:

  • ample pockets
  • design: cool enough that otaku would say "Sugoi", safe enough for my students to see and grown up enough that other adults wouldn't say, "Aren't you a little old for this?"
  • sturdy design
  • from a show I like
  • decent price
  • decent shipping

Pockets and more pockets make for a great messenger bag. Photo by R-M Arca.

I could simply replace my FMA bag with the FullMetal Alchemist Brotherhood: Flamel Cross Messenger Bag:

It's not as nice as my retired one though. This Soul Eater: Meisters Anime Messenger Bag is a serious contender. It has the entire gang: Maka & Soul, Death the Kid with Liz & Patty and let's not forget Black Star & Tsubaki:

Oh yay - there's also the The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya: SOS Anime Messenger Bag:

However, the Code Geass: Lelouch Geass Symbol Anime Messenger Bag is pretty cool - and it doesn't look childish:

Choices. Choices. I've only just begun. I'd like to see if there are messenger bag designs for some of the more current anime, such as Hyouka, Accel World, and Sword Art Online. One that's for the ladies. Lyfa and Asuna are cool characters, but I'd much prefer to have a bag with Kirito on it - or the main cast.

I'll have to check out my other main places for otaku gear: Right Stuf, CD Japan and JList. I've been meaning to check out AmiAmi too. See what I mean about so many choices?

Sheet Music Plus and Passive Income Streams

I like to shop locally whenever possible. However, sometimes it's just much more economical and just gosh darn convenient to shop online. Digital orders are just a couple of clicks away. You see with the ads on the side that I'm affiliated with Amazon. If you check out the ads, you'll see that I'm actually able to tailor them so that you will see music related items. Teachers, you can do this on your studio website and/or your blog, providing that your account allows you to host ads (for instance, blogs don't allow ads but blogs do).

Now, there is another joint in town though that sells a great selection of print and digital sheet music, learning aids and other musical goodies - , This is the place that Rideau Music directed their customers to when Gill brothers closed their doors last year.

One of the cool things is that music teachers can create music lists for their students. Anything to make it easier for our busy piano parents to buy the right materials, I say. Some of my piano parents already shop online for sheet music.

Here are my lists:

Fellow music teachers, if you sign up for a teacher account, you can register for their Easy Rebates for Music Teachers program. You can earn 8% cash back on your sheet music purchases. Not only that, by creating music lists and sharing them with your students, family and friends, you will earn a little bit with every sale.

If you're looking for an additional income stream that requires very little effort, check this out. Just bear in mind that as with any passive income stream online, it does take time to build up your presence. You will need to go in an occasionally tweak the keywords and update your lists. You will also need to remember to periodically share the lists with your network of family, friends and students via print, email, your website and/or social networking.

Good luck and happy shopping!

Friday Fun Links #30 - 33

Lately, I've been on an ethnic music kick. For those interested in exploring world music, here are some sites that I frequent (although, I haven't lately since I'm trying to cut down on my spending):

  • CD Japan: an excellent site for JPop, anime, game and traditional Japanese music
  • You'd be amazed at the wide selection on Amazon

(c) 2006 by Musespeak(tm), Calgary, AB, Canada. All rights reserved.

Fun Music Ideas

Around this time, it's a big push to keep students focussed and motivated to practice. Several of my students are exploring other genres to keep their interest or to simply give them a break from their main pieces. Here are just a few, which may serve as ideas for other musicians:

Check out the links, or your local music store. Happy exploring!

(c) 2006 by Musespeak(tm), Calgary, AB, Canada. All rights reserved.