Category Archives: Affiliate Marketing

Promote Your Own Product

For some reason, a lot of affiliate marketers do not bother to dabble in delivering their own product. I am not sure if it’s the cost involved and that they make it much bigger than it actually is, or a simple dodge of any kind of responsibility. Whatever the reason, once you have a system in place, you should take a simple product of your own and try and market it. Track everything, and see what you learn from it.

One thing to keep in mind here is, it does not need to be something grand. You could do a simple ebook as an example. We see them all over the web, you can either purchase one with resale rights, or you could do your own. What I have found is, the hardest part is working out the landing page. But that is for a different discussion.

I have done this experiment with a few local girls who had a tangible product to sell. One was selling foot jewelry and another stripper shoes. I have also done a few different ebooks as experiments. Each one had a different level of interest, success, or failures in learning how best to target those products to their buyer base. The fulfillment of orders was easy enough. If you can find something that will sell, the next step is to see if you can scale it.

Do not think of this lightly, as there can be a lot of work involved depending on which avenue you go. But keep this in mind, once you have developed your traffic trading network, your ads rotating through 100 blogs, or your email list of 200k, the hard part is done. You have people you can now try and sell additional products and services too. If you have something that can strike a cord with those eyeballs, you can turn a pretty penny.

I would recommend you start with something small and inexpensive. From there, tinker with it and the landing pages. See if you peek and interest. Track your click throughs and those that hit the buy page. Internet marketing at times can be a lot of work, and you spend the bulk of your time testing creatives, subject lines, offers, and trying to get something that works. Once that part is done, I find the rest to be a cakewalk.

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How to Pick an Ad Network

So you have decided that you want to join the ranks of internet marketing and make some money. Where do you begin? Well, one of the first things would be looking for products you plan to peddle. The list is large from porn membership, or pay sites. You could always do dating or webcam. Then there is mainstream, where you can peddle the latest Dr Oz fad, or ASOTV offers. The choices are limitless.

When it comes to picking an ad network, not all of them will take an unknown. Some will want a website or a track record, and others are more or less restricted. This can help in narrowing down the search. You want to do a little research on what you want to peddle first and foremost. What do you think you can sell? What are you passionate about?

When I look for ad networks, this is what I consider.

* Paid Net7 (i.e. weekly)
* Variety and Volume of Offers
* Ease of Use, Especially on the Back End
* Relationship with Account Rep/Owners

PAYMENTS:
I refuse to push a network that pays net14, net30-45. I am simply not going to do it, nor wait for my money. If you are just starting out with no proven track record, this may not be an option for you initially. However, once you have a track record of consistent sales, you can then negotiate down the a net7 pay day.

Lastly on this topic, this is mainly talking about mainstream networks versus adult. Adult will typically pay you based on some sort of “minimum”. They may process payments ever 2 weeks, but you have to hit a minimum in that time to actually be paid. It used to be fairly low minimums, but over the past few years those have went to $100 – $500.00 before you get paid. That is ridiculous, so I do not push a lot of those sort of programs.

OFFERS:
I like to try a lot of different offers to my lists. I would love to tell you that it’s easy to simply send any diet offer to a health or recipes newsletter and it converting like hotcakes, but that is simply not the case at all. You will find that often times there is a lot of testing, split testing, and trial/error to find what converts. You can’t give up on any one offer without trying a few different versions of the creatives, subject lines, or however you are peddling it. But at the same time, you do not want to waste too much time on any one offer. You will learn this as time goes on.

For me, I simply prefer networks that have a lot of offers versus those who might have a couple of dozen. It doesn’t mean I exclude these completely if they pay weekly, but they are second tier for me.

EASE OF USE:
There are some different affiliate software out there, and not all of it easy to use. With some of them, it also gets overly complicated on who is hosting what, them or you, and having to deal with hyperlinks and all of that yoke. I simply prefer to be able to cut and paste a created, test it, and be off to the races. No muss, no fuss. You will find some where you have to download the creative, change out the links so images load correctly, and all of this other time waster stuff. It’s not to say I will never ever do it, but I prefer not too when I can find the same offer at a network that is easy to work with.

RELATIONSHIPS:
This is something that comes in time, but it’s nice to be able to get on campaigns that not EVERYONE is running. Or you can get access to a CPC of an offer not everyone has. These will come through relationships you have with the network, owner, and account rep once you have established yourself. You can ask for them, but often times they will be offered assuming you are pushing the volumes of conversions. If your point of contact does not care to help you be more successful, try and get a new rep, or move to another network.

While these are my main sticking points, others may have something that works for them. I am a fairly straight forward and simple guy. I just want to get paid, and have offers that I can install or use fast and easy. I do not want a lot of grief, or to chase down my payments. Good luck!

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Controlling Your Own Lists

As mentioned in my previous blog post, The Power of Email Discovered (Part 2), we essentially end on an issue that should concern you as an affiliate marketer, or website owner, and that is who controls your email or members lists. Over time, this will be the pure gold that keeps you in business as you have a well of buyers to go back too time and again to sell them something else. I will pick up where I left off giving you a real world example of this.

As my previous posts have mentioned, C4S would allow you a newsletter feature or function when they had first started out. You could see the past buyers, and access those emails to send your own when you wanted. Or you could use the C4S newsletter system, and that was fine as well. However, over time they took away those privileges, and added restrictions on mailing and what would or could be in them.

* Newsletters had to be Reviewed and Approved by Staff
* You Could No Longer Link to Websites Outside of C4S
* You Could No Longer Access Past Patrons Email

For some, you’re probably thinking, “Big deal, who cares. Money flowing like wine. You can still send out newsletters so it doesn’t matter.” Well, actually that is a huge problem. While you can still send out a newsletter on your store, you could no longer link to your main pay site without a link back to C4S. Additionally, the bigger problem was, that you could no longer access your past patrons emails.

Why is this a problem?

Well let’s say that you launch a new pay site and you feel that some of your patrons would like this content because it’s yours. The only way you would be able to send an email to them, via C4S, would be if you opened up a new clip store, with that content, and developed a new list from scratch. While this is very do-able, this is the long way of launching a websites when you have 1000 previous patrons who seem to like your content where you could just send out an email blast announcing the new site, offering a discount membership option, and launching out of the gates both barrels blazing.

As you can see, that is where you start to run into trouble. They bought your clips. You feel they are your patrons and you should be able to mail to them any time you want, about anything you want, related to your clips, pay sites, models, or alike. However, that is not an option as they control the lists.

This is but one example I am going to touch on for this blog post, but I can give you additional examples over time in the future. It is something you need to think about regardless of whether you run a clip store, blog, pay site, or even as an affiliate whether adult or mainstream. You want to be able to go back to that well time and time again, and you need to have access to those members, data, and email. If you do not, you will want to change that immediately.

Same Offer, Different Networks

This talking point ties into the previous post to some degree.

When you are doing affiliate marketing, especially in the mainstream space, you want to work with multiple ad networks. Preferably those that have your same top converting offers and here is why. A lot of offers will burn through their budgets around the half way mark of the month. This happens consistently, and it’s easily one of the most frustrating things I deal with. You have a good offer(s) that consistently convert, but you only have it for a part of the month and then you have to scramble to find something else to put in it’s place. Which is not always easy.

What I have found that will work sometimes is simply pushing the traffic to a different network for that last week or two of the month for that same offer. You then get to push an offer that you know converts, assuming results around the same (see previous post), and you do not have to waste time sending to junk that you do not know.

When it comes to offers, a lot of people make it more complicated than it needs to be. I push the same offers today I pushed 18 months ago. They simply keep converting. With one particular diet offer, I consistently lead the network pushing it. I probably could go direct and cut out the network to be honest potentially getting a better pay day. That being said, sure, I mix in some new offers and they make up 30-40% of the daily rotation, but I have a core group for different verticals that convert consistently. Finding replacements that convert consistently in the tail end of the month is not as easy.

All the same, this is a work around for a problem that I know for a fact will happen to you on a monthly basis for any good offer. Good offers will almost always burn out their monthly budgets, so plan accordingly to keep your affiliate dollars rolling in.

Split Testing Offers

Regardless of the offers you are peddling, and how you’re doing them, you need to always always be split testing and tracking them. I have found even split testing offers on different ad networks is key sometimes as you will find one giving you better conversion ratios than the other. Now, I am not saying they are shaving per se, it could be any number of things. However, I always find this odd, especially when an offer one place is converting 2 to 1 over another. I’ll give you a quick example.

I have a mailing list that was generated from a health blog. The list is not super large by comparison to others, but it does have a lot of diet or health conscious individuals trickling in. I send them offers from the ad networks that I feel might be of some interest, or that I have used myself with a short story of my experience newsletter style.

Anyway, there is a particular offer I really like that converts with a decent pay day. Historically I have always sent with one ad network that pays me like clockwork net7. I do not push networks that pay longer than net7, but that is for a different post. Getting back on topic, so I do pretty well with this particular diet offer. This other network keeps begging me to push it with them, and give me a higher pay out on it than my current network if I would send the traffic there. It was a $50.00 difference, so I was ok sure I will give it a go.

Imagine my surprise when it converted significantly better at the 2nd ad network. The subject line was the same, the creative was similar, but the conversions where dramatically different. I found this odd, and continued to split test over the course of 3 months. This behavior continued. When I confronted the ad network, I was given a series of excuses from pixel firings, or some other nonsense. Needless to say, I started pushing most of that diet offer traffic to the 2nd ad network because of it.

Since then, I have noticed the same at other networks on different offers. If I working with 3 networks, and they all have the same offer, I will demo it with all 3 and see which one converts the best and then go with that. If it converts better, but pays less, sometimes I can get that bumped up depending on sales.

However, on those big ticket offers like I was pushing to my blog newsletter list, that added up to THOUSANDS of dollars in difference over those months of split testing. It converted better, and it paid more per sale. You obviously want to make sure that you are not being lazy, and you’re cashing in on those types of traffic and conversion differences as it has the potential to cost you a lot of money otherwise.

* Same Offer with Different Creatives, & Subject Lines @ Same Network
* Same Offer with Similar Creatives & Subject Lines @ Different Networks

When possible, if you work with multiple networks, and have an offer that you know converts. Track the results between them. Demo it different networks, same subject lines, and similar creatives and track those results. You should be able to do this easily enough. In the end, you will thank me if you’re not already doing it.