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A-M-A Finally Made a Breakthrough - Affiliate Marketing (From Broke to 6 Figures)

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Eskil

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I can't help but feel as though I'm building a sandcastle right next to the shore. Yeah, I might do 45k again next month, but these offers have a shelf like. There's no building upon this to do 100k in 3 months, then 300k, and so on. Well, technically you can. But realistically offers will go down and you'll have to rebuild that lost profit....
I need to have more control over my business, and not be at the expense of offer owners pausing their offers, lowering their payouts, or other regulations that I can't control being imposed on the offers I'm running.

Welcome to affiliate marketing. :) These reasons are why most people eventually leave it in favor of building something they can own and control.

Are you considering moving on to building your own business / product ?
 
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seamles

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Thanks for all that info! I'll keep moving slowly. I've got a decent system with outsourcing and writing, just need to get traction on the brand and more sales.
 

Matt33

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Hey, thanks for the AMA!

1. What kind of mobile offers are you promoting (SMS Subscription, Adult, Apps, etc)?
2. What traffic sources do you recommend?
3. What mobile CPA networks do you recommend?
 

integrity

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Welcome to affiliate marketing. :) These reasons are why most people eventually leave it in favor of building something they can own and control.

Are you considering moving on to building your own business / product ?

Hey @Eskil,

That's the direction I'm heading in as well. Control is a big think I overlooked in the beginning, and it's something I definitely want more of.

Just got access to the Inside and have been reading the threads about starting a supplement company -- namely yours and Zendonplin's threads. Both of you guys have dropped a lot of gold in there, so huge thanks. I'm still in the idea phase, but this one has really piqued my interest. I never thought something like this would be attainable without jumping through a million hurdles, and although it isn't a walk in the park either I think it's definitely doable.
 

integrity

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Hey, thanks for the AMA!

1. What kind of mobile offers are you promoting (SMS Subscription, Adult, Apps, etc)?
2. What traffic sources do you recommend?
3. What mobile CPA networks do you recommend?

1. Mainly mobile subscription offers and apps. No adult offers.

2. Personally, I like search traffic a lot. It's what has converted the best for me for pretty much everything.

3. Mundo Media, Clickdealer, and Avazu have gotten the majority of my traffic in the last few months, so I'd recommend those.
 

Matt33

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1. Mainly mobile subscription offers and apps. No adult offers.

2. Personally, I like search traffic a lot. It's what has converted the best for me for pretty much everything.

3. Mundo Media, Clickdealer, and Avazu have gotten the majority of my traffic in the last few months, so I'd recommend those.

Thanks! I've been getting started in mobile CPA the past few weeks with meh success but just have to keep pushing, thanks for the info!
P.S. I brought your rep up to $999 :)
 

integrity

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Thanks! I've been getting started in mobile CPA the past few weeks with meh success but just have to keep pushing, thanks for the info!
P.S. I brought your rep up to $999 :)

Thanks @Matt33, I appreciate that.

Things have been getting a bit tougher in the mobile subscriptions space, as mobile operators and their maintenance/changing regulations have been increasingly affecting conversions across the board.

As far as app installs go, I haven't hit really significant numbers here yet, like I know others are doing. But at least in this area, I feel it is best to shift focus onto your own apps and promote those instead. Being able to consistently earn money from your users sure beats a one time payout of $0.25, give or take.

Looking at the apps generating the most installs on these networks or that are trending in App Annie should be some good ones to try and emulate.
 
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Lauryn

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Thank you for this informative thread. I've dabbled in AM and it's cool but like you said, offers change and there's no control. I have a site with a decent niche that has traffic and no strong focus. The program I want to promote - well brand - is solid and has paid me, so I'm going to focus on them more strongly - with other monetization methods - over the next few
 

tak

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The traffic part about your thread is whats piqued my interest.
Seo is a constant headache with all these changes, and it seems like a profitable return to focus on ppc for traffic.

I'm about to hire a guy to do our marketing for my ecommerce store and personally I'm a bit lost when it comes to paid advertising.
He's worked for a few larger companies, espiecally with facebook and adwords.

Anyways,
From what your saying a site that sells physical products would be a lot better off focusing on adwords with a search network.


This line stumped me
"Since users searching for stuff are more engaged and interested in the ads.....that also translate into higher CPCs for coveted keywords. The trick is in getting creative. "


Creative as in finding keywords? or creative in increasing the click through rate?

Is their a place or site you'd recommend someone to go to, to learn more about this? Like I said im new to all of this, but it seems like a good idea to understand this to apply it to an online store.
 

integrity

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This line stumped me
"Since users searching for stuff are more engaged and interested in the ads.....that also translate into higher CPCs for coveted keywords. The trick is in getting creative. "


Creative as in finding keywords? or creative in increasing the click through rate?

I'll give you an example to illustrate my point.

Let's say you're promoting an auto insurance offer and your goal is for someone to fill out a 2 page form.

Chances are you're going to have a much higher conversion rate running search ads for related keywords like "online auto insurance quotes" as opposed to running ads to your target demo on Facebook, while the last thing on their mind is probably how to save money on their car insurance.

On the flipside, bidding on auto insurance keywords is going to be MUCH more expensive than targeting people who fit your demo on Facebook. Same goes for media buys on related sites.

And what I meant about getting creative with keywords, is that sometimes you can get away with bidding on seemingly unrelated keywords and still get a good response from the visitors. An example of this would be bidding on "grocery coupons" with an offer to save money on their car insurance. This person is interested in saving money, and you're offering them a way to do it -- even if they weren't looking for your specific product or service. You could also go with more related terms like "toyota camry parts" or something that you can use as an "angle" to sell your product.

Keep in mind that doing this on a source like Adwords will likely get you a low quality score if you decide to link "grocery coupons" keywords to an auto insurance offer, so you'll need to have relevant landing pages in places for this to work on there.

And again, this is just an example to illustrate how you can get creative with search traffic. Obviously it won't work for every niche, but it's definitely worth testing.

Is their a place or site you'd recommend someone to go to, to learn more about this? Like I said im new to all of this, but it seems like a good idea to understand this to apply it to an online store.

What really helped me was getting on some paid forums related to affiliate marketing and learning from the guys on there. IMGrind was one of them (although it has closed down now) and STM was another that I've been on.
 

Coalission

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I've been in your shoes, and while I'm working on building some brands as we speak, I'm not sure why successful affiliates who hit some speed bumps end up wanting to go the product/offer route. You can build a brand and an asset, plus build value, while focusing on what you're already good at, which is distribution.

There's a reason RetailMeNot isn't looking to write a book, or TripAdvisor isn't trying to build their own product, and Kayak isn't worried about owning their own offer. These are glorified affiliate sites that found a hole in the market where they can provide value, but they don't sell any of their own products, they just drive a ton of traffic. You can look for the valuation these companies have, but just know that it's huge.

Not saying building your own offer is a bad idea, especially if it's related to a niche you were already having success promoting in, but it doesn't need to be the natural next step, especially when in a lot of cases it's a whole different animal and will present its own greater set of headaches.
 
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integrity

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I've been in your shoes, and while I'm working on building some brands as we speak, I'm not sure why successful affiliates who hit some speed bumps end up wanting to go the product/offer route. You can build a brand and an asset, plus build value, while focusing on what you're already good at, which is distribution.

There's a reason RetailMeNot isn't looking to write a book, or TripAdvisor isn't trying to build their own product, and Kayak isn't worried about owning their own offer. These are glorified affiliate sites that found a hole in the market where they can provide value, but they don't sell any of their own products, they just drive a ton of traffic. You can look for the valuation these companies have, but just know that it's huge.

Not saying building your own offer is a bad idea, especially if it's related to a niche you were already having success promoting in, but it doesn't need to be the natural next step, especially when in a lot of cases it's a whole different animal and will present its own greater set of headaches.

Thanks @Coalission, you bring up some very valid points.

I think there's definitely ways to leverage being an affiliate while still building your own brand. Like you just stated, Kayak, TripAdvisor and RetailMeNot are all perfect examples of that. As affiliates, our business is driving traffic. And if we're serious about building a real business out of this, we need to structure what we do in a way that allows us to build our brand while we're at it. In my case, I was direct linking affiliate offers. Not much of a chance to do that unless I built something like Kayak, TripAdvisor, ect.. That's what I was referring to when I said I wanted to have more control and "own" my own product/offer/brand.

To elaborate a bit further, the transition I want to make is from the "run n' gun" approach which just goes after the hottest offers in any niche and riding those waves as long as possible, as opposed to getting established in a specific market or niche (like the brands you mentioned) and building the brand.

Although I'm also entertaining the idea of actually owning the product or service myself. It wasn't something I had originally intended on doing, but reading a lot of the threads on here about guys launching their own products has really opened my eyes. I see it in a completely different light now and would love to give it a try now that I've been able to see some success on the traffic buying side of things.

Anyways, you brought up a great point on illustrating how you can build a fastlane business while not actually owning the products or services being sold yourself; simply the distribution.
 

integrity

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Thanks for the great ama.

Where you point people who want to get started in this space? Do you think it is worth going to a paid forum like STM straight away?

Cheers.

If it's something you can afford, go for it.

Just like joining the insiders on here, even just one post or one tidbit of information could make a big difference. But a lot of the learning comes from getting dirty and taking action, as well as looking around you to see what others are doing. No need to reinvent the wheel; just find a way to make things better.
 

liquidglass

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With Google/Bing did you primarily use Content or PPC advertising or a combo of both?

thanks for all the great information!
 

integrity

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With Google/Bing did you primarily use Content or PPC advertising or a combo of both?

thanks for all the great information!

I've personally had better results disabling the content network and sticking with search only.

Although I would still test it on new campaigns as you never know what the results will be. One campaign for search only and another for content only. That way you can properly track which one is performing and which isn't.
 

RazorCut

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@integrity and everyone else that might be interested IMGrind is now back up and running (since Feb) though it is a fraction of what it once was.

If you still have your account log-in details from before Ruck and Ryan pulled it down they will still work.
 

RazorCut

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Hope you are still caning it @integrity. Hey @eliquid Got any recommendations for quality affiliate information for startups? Forums geared to Facebook marketing etc.?

Where should the budding newbie head for up to date info?
 

Joseph Wilson

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I've noticed that a few of the bigger CPA/Affiliate marketers seem to rely heavily on international offers, I've bought a spanish speaking course and am gonna be working my way through it (I've wanted to learn spanish for a while anyways...) but in the meantime I'm wondering if there's a good resource for getting landing pages translated?

I know I've seen them listed before in other AM related posts but after ten minutes of searching I still can't seem to find any of those posts...
 

Gsuz

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I've noticed that a few of the bigger CPA/Affiliate marketers seem to rely heavily on international offers, I've bought a spanish speaking course and am gonna be working my way through it (I've wanted to learn spanish for a while anyways...) but in the meantime I'm wondering if there's a good resource for getting landing pages translated?

I know I've seen them listed before in other AM related posts but after ten minutes of searching I still can't seem to find any of those posts...

https://www.onehourtranslation.com/
 
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RazorCut

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Gerry

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Clear the cookies, get a new IP, use a different name and a different CC.
However, be careful with the new account. If you make the same mistake you may lose it, too. First, see why your previous account was banned and then avoid making the same mistake.
 

Joseph Wilson

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Clear the cookies, get a new IP, use a different name and a different CC.
However, be careful with the new account. If you make the same mistake you may lose it, too. First, see why your previous account was banned and then avoid making the same mistake.

The account was suspended over an affiliate products sales page that I tried to link to in 2013 because obviously I can't change that page as it's not mine and they know that but don't give a shit.

I had been promoting a site that they have said is well within their policies and would like to continue promoting it with the new account but now I'm wondering if I can promote that site on a new account or if promoting a site that's linked to a suspended account will get the new account banned as well?

Maybe I should sign up under a fake name and tell them the site owner hired me to run his PPC traffic and I wanted to make sure it was ok before taking the job or something like that to keep from losing the new account as well?
 
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Joseph Wilson

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So after a few weeks of editing and literally about 50 emails AdWords finally told me to f*ck off. My suspicion is that their team is incentivized to suspend accounts. They were busting my balls about a site I linked to in 2013 though the campaign never even ran and I hadn't edited or even looked at in since then. I didn't even know the campaign was still on the account. The site was way out of adwords compliance because it was a sales page for a spammy info product and it was an affiliate site that I obviously couldn't make any edits to.

Despite all that they wouldn't lift the suspension. Now when I call their support number it goes through a series of what seem like affiliate offers before automatically hanging up on me. I'm starting to understand why most of the people successfully advertising over there are using cloakers and have dozens of accounts.

I just created another account with bing ads though, by tomorrow I'll know if it's going to stick. I've already had the support team give me some advice to make sure my content is compliant with their policies before I get the campaigns up and running.

I had to create the account in someone elses name, address and CC after reseting my ip, and clearing my cookies. Bing ads works best with internet explorer so I uninstalled and reinstalled it to be sure it wasn't linked to my old info. somehow. I'll only be using that browser for bing ads. HOpefully the browsers don't communicate. Also, I had to reinstall my tracking software on a different domain.
 

ZeroTo100

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Hey thanks for sharing this.

I have a question - I noticed you mentioned that some of your ad campaigns got banned or paused. How? Why wouldn't you use your pod traffic to build a list(asset) so that you maintain that traffic and use it to sell to over and over again.

Sorry for the questions but I've used this method for launches before (physical products).

The more important question I have is what do you consider a great offer and what kind of products were you promoting. How were you promoting them?(from a content site, newsletter, or something else).

If you were going to own the product and let others promote it for you, what kind of offer would you provide and would the product be something digital? Kind of like the truth about abs guy?

Thanks man,

I'd love to hear your answers.

I've been involved with a number of ventures - some failures and some successes. I've learned a lot and have a lot of experience in both on and offline business. Now, I'm at that point where Im looking for my next move and have no choice but to find something that I'm going to stick with and make it successful. AMA seems to be a great way to get an inside perspective at what people are doing and how they are doing it.

Thanks
 

Perrots

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I too am currently getting into affiliate marketing as one of my projects, currently have two websites, working on a third. Must say hardest part is generating traffic however this post has given me some good ideas... thanks!
 

Carlitos

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Definitely a lot of golden advice in here! Thank you OP for sharing, and we hope you are doing well, so that you can share more advice!
 

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