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A-M-A AMA - Affiliate Marketing + Guide "How I Made $5K w/ 1 Campaign"

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Nosferatu

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Hey Guys -- Figured it's time to share any bit of knowledge i can, since this forum has already paid me back generously in information.

I got into Affiliate Marketing in late 2011 - Buying traffic and creating ads promoting all sorts of offers. I've successfully compiled campaigns that enabled me to generate $600-800 (sometimes even more) a day on autopilot.

Attached to this post is a step by step guide i used to generate $5K in just 4 short weeks. Originally, this content was meant for my blog so disregard any mention of the site moniker or domains. Otherwise, the information is legit.

AMA about Affiliate Marketing, Getting Into CPA Networks, starting campaigns, Media Buys, Information Marketing, etc

ATTENTION:
Please do NOT PM me with your questions. Post them here in this thread for all to benefit from. Thank you.

PS. I hate Affiliate Marketing -- I know this sounds crazy, but it's true. Too much micro management, and hoops for my liking. Anyway, ask whatever! maybe i can help!

Mini $5k in 1 Month Guide:
View attachment CASESTUDYHOWIBANKED5103.20OFFPLENTYOFFISH.pdf



EDITx2 :


I got a few asking about the traffic sources. Decided to let some more goodies out of the bag.

Download my Rolodex of Traffic sources and tools all in one fugly PDF. Enjoy.

View attachment TRAFFIC SHEET.pdf
 

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Alex Barboza

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Jul 27, 2011
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How do you decide where to buy ads? Do you use an advertising network or go and negotiate directly with site owners? How do you check the accuracy of sites stats? usually, site owners claim they get x amount of isitors and many times is not true.

Thanks
 

kyled427

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Jun 19, 2013
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As someone who is making a sprint as far away from Affiliate Marketing, I second your notion about hating it.

I've spent the entire day today chasing someone who owes me data for e-mail marketing, someone who owes me a website, and someone who owes me $5,000.

Enough is enough. Can't wait for my startup in 4 more weeks.
 

LightHouse

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Can you go through your lead gen process. So you get an offer, and you have your end set up. How do you pick the best ad outlet or method? What's your method for creating ads and testing them?

I think that portion of AM is always the most helpful to everyone, I know when I got out, it was the most valuable thing I had learned and still want to learn about.
 
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Nosferatu

Nosferatu

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How do you decide where to buy ads? Do you use an advertising network or go and negotiate directly with site owners? How do you check the accuracy of sites stats? usually, site owners claim they get x amount of isitors and many times is not true.

Thanks
As to how i decide to purchase my ads.. Demographics.

Demographics Literally determine who i'm targeting.

So what i do is match the demographic to the offer. Then you find all of the websites match your demographic and also offers display ads.
You can find this kind demographic info for almost every website at Alexa.com & Quantcast.com.
Quantcast even gives you a list of all the sites that accept ads for money too.

Then once you have a list, you find the ones that have the best intent, in regards to the offer.

For example, dating ads can work on any website. But the chances of you clicking on a dating ad, when you're not looking for that kind of thing is going to be pretty small. But if you place a dating ad, within a dating network -- People are already there, interested in dating - so the chances of what you have to offer, is a lot higher, therefor your successes will be more frequent.


There are networks for pretty much every website out there. I got a list of dozens of websites you can buy adspace from. Everything ranging from MSN.com to Excite, Yahoo.. l mean, pretty much everything. Sitescout.com is pretty badass too. Good RTB Network. (real-time buy) -- PoF (plentyoffish.com) - Has a sick ad platform.

PM me if you want me to send you a big list.

There are also going to be websites that don't participate in Ads -- those are a little bit trickier because it involves communicating with the site owner.
This is accomplished by simply using Whois , get the administrative contact, and shoot them an email to see if they can make a deal.

Hope that answers your question.


*** Late EDIT ***

i use Compete.com for traffic details too. If you want to know how much traffic a site gets, just go to compete.com , sign up for a free account and use thier tool to get an idea of how big that site owners market really is.


As someone who is making a sprint as far away from Affiliate Marketing, I second your notion about hating it.

I've spent the entire day today chasing someone who owes me data for e-mail marketing, someone who owes me a website, and someone who owes me $5,000.

Enough is enough. Can't wait for my startup in 4 more weeks.

Ouch.


I personally love Marketing in itself. I just realized it's a lot more lucrative to do it for me, instead of running other peoples products, and only getting a small commission.




Can you go through your lead gen process. So you get an offer, and you have your end set up. How do you pick the best ad outlet or method? What's your method for creating ads and testing them?

I think that portion of AM is always the most helpful to everyone, I know when I got out, it was the most valuable thing I had learned and still want to learn about.


In regards to setting it up, read above at Alex's post.

For the graphics, i do them myself using Photoshop CS5. PS does pretty much everything you could need. From shading to animations. It's awesome.

You can also outsource them. But the truth is, it's a lot easier to just learn how to do them properly. Because you can burn a lot of money paying people to make images that might not even convert.

For testing, you really have to know about your market. What drives them -- then project a mental image on to an ad as best you can. For me the process is a lot of psychological back and forth.

I usually test 5 to 10 different "Angles" at a time, Then i see which people clicked on the most. I then use that as my control , and then do a lot of A/B testing, changing fonts, phrases, colors and see which out of those makes it to the next round or improves CTR (click through rate)

I usually test for 5-7k Impressions before i kill an ad (if it sucks and doesn't get clicks)
Hope this helps.
 

Hong King Kong

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How do you increase the quality of your leads? Also, what is your take on the dating vertical where everybody just spies, scrapes, and modifies everyone stuff?
 

MJ DeMarco

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Hey Guys -- Figured it's time to share any bit of knowledge i can, since this forum has already paid me back generously in information.
Thank you so much for providing value to the forum -- Ill share the links tomorrow -- hope you're ready! :D:p
 
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Nosferatu

Nosferatu

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How do you increase the quality of your campaigns? Also, what is your take on the dating vertical where everybody just spies, scrapes, and modifies everyone stuff?

Hey Mate,


This is a weird question to answer.


Improve the quality how? -- Click Through rates? , Conversions? Ads? Be slightly more specific.


As to your question with dating ads, remember these words.


S.D.I. Swipe, Deploy, & Improve.


I'm a complete fan of jacking someone elses work and then modifying it to my own needs. I got a whole C: drive full of landers and opt in pages. :)


This is the name of the game. The fastest and most efficient marketer wins.

It's easier to take something that is existing and modify, then outsourcing a new Landing every time you want to test something.

If you ever do this, make sure you strip out any affiliate links from the guys Lander, otherwise you'll be sending traffic to his/her links, and get no conversions!


If you read my PDF up above, that campaign got pulled from under me at the end. Someone took my work and implemented better then i did. As it so happens, they were able to drive more volume, and the advertiser ended working with them directly.

That's the Shark like momentum of the CPA business.
 

tamo42

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Jan 9, 2013
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Since you have highlighted some of the problems with affiliate advertising, are you going to create your own products to profit using the same techniques?

If so, are you going the route of personal passion or outsource whatever has the highest profit potential?
 
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Nosferatu

Nosferatu

Marketing Wizard
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Since you have highlighted some of the problems with affiliate advertising, are you going to create your own products to profit using the same techniques?

If so, are you going the route of personal passion or outsource whatever has the highest profit potential?
Yes. Basically.

That's my current path.

Affiliate marketing is great if your pretty saavy. My background is in IT -- so this stuff is in my blood. I handle all aspects of my campaign. From Management to setting it up, images , landers, coding. etc

I'm current using these skills to build something long term.
 

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tamo42

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I really like the facebook (or twitter) login. Any tips on how to search for those offers?
 
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Nosferatu

Nosferatu

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I really like the facebook (or twitter) login. Any tips on how to search for those offers?

A lot of offers have them. There aren't any search filters in CPA networks (at least the ones i'm a part of) that let you search by that. You just have to go through some of them and see how they look.

Look at all them yourself and determine if it's easy enough for somebody to fill it out -- i posted my criteria because thats what works for me. but it's not something to be set in stone of course. Also, don't let that be your limitation -- i've made offers with no fbconnect work as well.

I was promoting an australian offer at one time that was a plain jane opt-in form and was getting 50$ a day from it like clockwork. it was uglier than sin, but it converted. And thats all that matters in this game.
 

onmission

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Jul 27, 2009
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Can you detail how brst to "swipe" a successful campaign. For example on PoF how do I find out if the campaign is doing well and worth swiping?

Thanks for the PDF case study, it demystifies the basics.
 
OP
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Nosferatu

Nosferatu

Marketing Wizard
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Can you detail how brst to "swipe" a successful campaign. For example on PoF how do I find out if the campaign is doing well and worth swiping?

Thanks for the PDF case study, it demystifies the basics.

Good Question!

This is pretty easy. There are a few ways, The easy but paid way is by being a member of STM (stackthatmoney) they have a members tool section which has a POF spy tool. I think it tells you how long any ad has been running, and you can filter by demo. Obviously if it runs for more than a few days - it means it's profitable if they keep paying for ads.

Then you simply click the ad and follow through to the lander. Once you have their lander, you have a winning combo ad + lander - then you just copy the lander modify it to suit your needs and swap your aff link to it.

Sounds Pretty sleazy right? -- well it happens to everyone, even me. A good idea isn't kept a secret for long in CPA Marketing especially If you're competing for eyeballs.


The FREE way to do it, is by simply making a POF profile on POF that matches the offer you're promoting. Then log in and keep notes on the ads you see.

Refresh the page 10 times and keep record of which ads are being shown the most.

For example, on my ads -- i would never show the user my ad more than 3 times in a single 24 hour period. - that's why i say refresh up to 10 times because then you can see who's putting down cash for a lot of views for your sample demographic -- once you figure out who the shark is, repeat the step above -- click through their lander, copy it and modify it in your own way. Put it up and test.


Hope this helps.

Cheers,
Nos
 

Solution

PARKED
Jul 22, 2013
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I was completely clueless on the subject prior to reading this thread and guide a few days ago, but since then have read a lot on the subject. Did you make most of the money from direct marketing? I keep reading everywhere, everyone saying "build your list, build your list".

Also is it hard getting accepted into those networks, like Convert2Media? I was signing up as a publisher and read that they required at least one site live,, what do they look for in your site?
 
OP
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Nosferatu

Nosferatu

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I was completely clueless on the subject prior to reading this thread and guide a few days ago, but since then have read a lot on the subject. Did you make most of the money from direct marketing? I keep reading everywhere, everyone saying "build your list, build your list".

Also is it hard getting accepted into those networks, like Convert2Media? I was signing up as a publisher and read that they required at least one site live,, what do they look for in your site?

Build your list is excellent advice. What they don't tell you is the context of why you should be building a list.

Building a list is nothing more than free marketing combined with the recipes of forming a lasting relationship with your customer. But in order to have a customer, you need to have a product to sell. This is why building a list is important. It lets you re-market to those customers that you already spent dollars in acquiring.


You could also rent email lists for a fee to run ads. Usually these lists are niche based. You can find a lot of email lists out there by doing a google search.
--

The best way to get into a CPA Network is literally to submit an application and then call them for instant approval. They're going to grill you, they want to know you're not wasting their time, most networks don't want to deal with newbies. I think on most networks, you have 10-15% of people who do the most volume, then another 10 who do okay, then another 5-10 percent who do small volume. The other 70-75% are time wasters. This is why they put people through the ringer via interview. It's also why they put so many requirements in their application.


If i were you, i would hit up as many networks as you can, and call them up. Be straight with them, tell them you want to learn how to run traffic to offers and that you are dedicated to running traffic. Learn the lingo, these guys want traffic. Don't be afraid either because you got to understand that, these guys make their money off you. They need you. Once you have an account you can run stuff whenever you want.


Id also recommend talking with your account manager a lot, they can tell you what's hot and performing well. Then it's your job to find those conversions.
 

100k

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Great giveaway. I'm doing something similar but on FB. I saw pretty sweet ROI there too, but there is still space for improvement on the optimization.

Cheers and good luck, send me a PM if you are into FB and want to bounce ideas or whatever.
 

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mentalic

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Great info. Thank you very much. Do be honest I was pretty amazed by PoF targetting. I did tried one campaign, but it didn't go so well (my fault about it). Are you aware of any other ad platforms that let you target audience and are near to PoF? I am looking into Sitescout now.
 
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Nosferatu

Nosferatu

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Great info. Thank you very much. Do be honest I was pretty amazed by PoF targetting. I did tried one campaign, but it didn't go so well (my fault about it). Are you aware of any other ad platforms that let you target audience and are near to PoF? I am looking into Sitescout now.
Sitescout has similar options. $500 initial deposit though. I wouldn't mess with sitescout as it's a media buy platform. I'd play with Google Search, and Display Networks. You can target those sites that don't offer advertising, but still run google ads. Then you can show up in those nooks and cranies (competitor websites). You can even pick exactly what page to show up on. It just takes a little bit more work.
 

hobokook

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So let's say you find a winning ad that has a high CTR.

What is the typical "lifespan" of these ads? If you have an ad bringing you in a couple hundred bucks a day, will it continue to do so indefinitely or do you always have to change it up?

Thanks.
 
OP
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Nosferatu

Nosferatu

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So let's say you find a winning ad that has a high CTR.

What is the typical "lifespan" of these ads? If you have an ad bringing you in a couple hundred bucks a day, will it continue to do so indefinitely or do you always have to change it up?

Thanks.
That depends on the Pool size of the user base of the website you're targeting.

If a website converts for you, but only has 1 million visitors a month, theres only so much you can do to capture all of those 1 million visitors - you need to expand to other websites to gain bigger shares of bites.

Think of it as fishing on a Lake or at the Ocean. You can catch fish on a lake, but you're going to catch a lot more in the ocean.
 

mentalic

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I would like to ask you a couple of questions related to affiliate marketing:
1. Can you recommend any resources with help about creating banners? The best I have managed with PoF is 0.10%. I am thinking of finding someone from fiverr to do so.
2. Facebook does not allow direct affiliate links, so I have to create an intermediate sales page, have you tested such a strategy?
3. What is your normal conversion rate for CPA offers? Assuming that the registration page etc is normal

Thanks
 

biggeemac

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Nosferatu, thanks for doing this.

Can you comment on finding great offers? If I want to find a great offer to promote, how would I do that? Are there sites that you use that have pretty good offers available?
 
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Nosferatu

Nosferatu

Marketing Wizard
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Mar 7, 2013
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I would like to ask you a couple of questions related to affiliate marketing:
1. Can you recommend any resources with help about creating banners? The best I have managed with PoF is 0.10%. I am thinking of finding someone from fiverr to do so.
2. Facebook does not allow direct affiliate links, so I have to create an intermediate sales page, have you tested such a strategy?
3. What is your normal conversion rate for CPA offers? Assuming that the registration page etc is normal

Thanks

1. Here's my take on this. Affiliate Marketing is business run on margins. The more margin you can keep, the faster you can test, and the faster you can scale. So the truth is, i invested time in learning the very basics of photoshop. You can learn for free on youtube.com and search photoshop tutorial for basic things like: "making a 3d effect on photoshop" " -- even learning how to make simple shapes helps.

The other side of this is to pay someone, but the thing is you cant just tell the guy "Hey make me a high converting banner" -- it doesn't work this way. you have to test the response of the banners yourself and tweak it by adding colors, text and a strong call to action.

So heres my best advice , learn the very basics of photoshop. spend like 60 minutes a day, or 30 minutes a day - until you grasp the core concepts of it. even if its to make fugly banners. because your going to spend a fortune paying people to make them for you. and the whole point of the game is to make money, not lose it.

The positive side to this is that fugly banners work alot better then the ones with nice graphics. Ive literally made $5K with a pic of 4 words and 4 pics of guys with no borders. (read my guide and see my winning ad) So thats that.


PS. i made that $5K profit on a .10 CTR - but the offer was killer! and converted great! imagine if i had gotten a .15 CTR ?


2. Yes, Facebook is baller if you have a good image. It's a bit tricker to make it work because of the magnitude of FB, but its not impossible. Ive successfully built a few campaigns on FB traffic. The best advice i can give you here is try linking internally to a page with a clear call to action. For some reason pages leading to fb usually have better CTR ( in my experience)


3.Conversion Rate is subjective. Each offer can have a different conversion rate - what it's important is whether or not your making profit.
 
OP
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Nosferatu

Nosferatu

Marketing Wizard
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Mar 7, 2013
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Long Island, New York
Nosferatu, thanks for doing this.

Can you comment on finding great offers? If I want to find a great offer to promote, how would I do that? Are there sites that you use that have pretty good offers available?
There are offers everywhere. The guide on the first page outlines my process for choosing an offer. You can go to offervault.com and see all the offers out there on a particular network.

If you see something you like, apply at the network and run traffic.


The best advice i can give is to pick up the phone and call the network and speak to an affiliate manager about running the offer.

It took me a while to learn that, while everything is online, the fastest way from point A to point B is a straight line. Call them and ask about sending them traffic.
 

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