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Posts Tagged ‘affiliate marketing tips’

Affiliate Marketing Tips #8: How to Be A Successful CPA Affiliate

One of the most common questions new affiliates will ask “How do I become successful?” Specifically, a recent discussion at the WickedFire affiliate marketing forum triggered a somewhat heated and vigorous discussion. Although you may not get any definite answers, you might move closer to your goal by the end of this post.

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This is a continuing series of “Affiliate Marketing Tips” posts to share marketing and promotion strategies for affiliate marketers. If you’re new to the series, you might like to check out the first in the series “The Industry and Getting Accepted

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cash

A WickedFire thread polled forum members about how much they were making in CPA marketing (primarily lead generation based offers). Some members were making $500/month in affiliate commissions a couple of months in the industry. While others were making $5,000 – $10,000 about 2 months in. Still others were making much more than that.

Soon, some of the members who’d been stuck at the $500-1,000 per month level were expressing doubt that (more…)

Affiliate Marketing Tips #7: Should You Work Harder or Smarter

It takes effort to build and operate an online business, while some marketers will spend nearly all their working hours focused on building their business, others will be looking at ways to run their business more effectively. The question is whether it’s possible to reduce the number of hours you’re working on your business AND increase profits at the same time?

work harder or smarter

This is a continuing series of “Affiliate Marketing Tips” posts to share marketing and promotion strategies for affiliate marketers. If you’re new to the series, you might like to check out the first in the series “The Industry and Getting Accepted

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In a recent post, Brandon Adcock (AKA MajorBTA) wrote about how he’s reduced the number of hours he’s worked on his business and yet increase his income.

Some of the ways he’s achieved this:

  • Shift his traffic generation to less time intensive methods – specifically to media buying, from search engine optimization before. Media buying is more macro in scope, compared to the resources that SEO typically requires
  • Consolidation to focus on 1-2 verticals vs 4-6 before
  • More focus on his own campaign, compared to a broad “knowing what everyone else is running” approach to competitive intelligence

While it’s worked for Brandon, will it work (more…)

Affiliate Marketing Tips #6: Understanding Lead Generation Business Models

This is a continuing series of “Affiliate Marketing Tips” posts to share marketing and promotion strategies for affiliate marketers. If you’re new to the series, you might like to check out the first in the series “The Industry and Getting Accepted

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money

Knowing how to promote a lead generation (ie CPA) offer effectively means knowing how the advertiser/merchant generates income from the lead offer. By matching the advertisers business model with your own, you have a higher chance of monetizing the traffic and leads you’re generating.

Here’re a couple:

Zip/email submit offers: Typically in the $0.50 – $2 range, these offers require a name and email address or zip code. Some form of bait is usually involved, such as a gas card, gift card, xbox, iphone or other item. Although it sounds like almost any lead will be able to get the prize, do note that they’ll have to complete the offer conditions to receive the prize. This might involve filling in a series of other CPA or pay-per-sale offers.

If you’re familiar with (more…)

Affiliate Marketing Tips #4: Successful Affiliate Marketing with Convert2Media’s Ruck

As mentioned before, Convert2Media goes beyond just being just another affiliate network because it’s founders and affiliates take the time to provide guidance (note: this is not the same as handholding) to optimize and refine your affiliate campaigns. To give a boost to newer affiliates, C2M’s head boss Ruck got in front of his webcam last Saturday to answer questions affiliates had sent in.

You can check out the recording from the hour long session: (Note: the volume was increased after a few minutes)

I mailed Ruck a bunch of the most common questions I receive on the blog and he answered all of them during the session.

Some highlights from the session:

  • PPV (pay per view) traffic: The majority of users are targeting on a domain level. If you spend some time thinking through, a keyword-based bidding strategy might work. (Especially since some affiliates are doing $1 million off of that approach)
  • Getting started with PPC (pay per click): Go with Yahoo Search Marketing (YSM), Microsoft Adcenter if you’re new. Use features like YSM’s bulk upload and Adcenter’s upload features to save time. Also look at image ads, as the competition is lower in most cases
  • Keep at your campaigns: Unless you’re lucky, most affiliates will lose money on a campaign before it breaks even or turns a profit. Then again 95% of affiliates quit before their campaign becomes profitable. The difference is at C2M, the affiliate managers are ex-affiliates themselves, so they can give you feedback on refining/optimizing your campaigns. (note: you should have worked on your own campaign and brought it as far as you’re able to before talking to your affiliate manager. Going to your AM and asking them to handhold you from start-to-finish is likely to get you yelled at or labelled a “noob” in their books)

Becoming a sucessful affiliate is a process and you need to work your way there. Although you may hear the advice to test 3-5 offers, note that these should be within the same niche (ie: dating, weight loss, biz op). Trying to cross into too many verticals at the same time is likely to burn through your budget.

Focusing on a single vertical and testing/rotating multiple offers within the same vertical will give you a better idea of the performance/behavior of the vertical and move you towards building a proftable campaign.

There’re more coaching sessions scheduled this month and possibly a couple of “spur-of-the-moment” sessions coming up.

In addition, C2M maintains an active coaching forum and the affiliate managers are available for consults over instant messenger.

Their compliance efforts to weed out fraud affiliates also means that new affiliates might have a hard time getting in.

You can check out:

Ruck’s next webinar is scheduled for 8pm CST today (NOW)

You can also check out the Affiliate Marketing Tips series.

Affiliate Marketing Tips #3: Direct Linking vs Landing Pages

Now that you’ve conducted your research into your niche, narrowed down some offers, the next stage is deciding whether to direct link to the offer or drive the traffic to your own page. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each approach.

Note: This is a continuing series of affiliate marketing educational posts, if you haven’t yet, you can start at the beginning of the series.

landing page

Direct Linking: Involves linking to the merchant/advertisers page.

I’ve known some new affiliates who literally link to the merchant’s signup page (without going through their affiliate URL). Think about this for a moment, if you’re sending traffic to the offer signup page, and it’s not being tracked to your affiliate account, how’re you going to get paid?

The one key you need to figure out is make sure your affiliate ID is embedded in the URL you’re sending traffic to.

Having said that, some experienced marketers frown on direct linking. The reason being that you:

  • Aren’t fully utilising the traffic you’re generating
  • Not building an asset (an email database/list)

Here’s the arguments:

  1. Not fully utilising traffic: If you’re getting a 1% conversion on leads sent to the list with the one-time exposure to the offer, would a second exposure generate another 1% conversion? Or even a 0.5% conversion? In which case your net profit has gone up by another 50% or 100% (1.5% conversion or 2% conversion compared to the 1% baseline conversion sending them direct).
  2. You’re not building an asset: One of the reasons why the heavy hitters are able to reduce their cost of business is because they’ve built up lists of 100,000 or 200,000 prospects in some niches. Think of the list as your leads or prospects who haven’t found the right affiliate offer yet. There are a couple of additional ingredients you need to make the emailing strategy work (this can be highly profitable and will be covered in more detail in a later session), you need “bait” (an incentive to get them to sign up – a report, a book, a video, a consult session, etc), and you need to keep the list “warm” (you need to keep the list alive by engaging the members, continuing to send them more information, incentives, etc). Sending an occasional alert to the list, telling them to sign up for an affiliate offer is a good way to irritate them, and get them to quit the list, or even worse, hit the “Report as Spam” button on their email provider, and drive your email deliverability rates into the dumps.

With those negative points, why bother direct linking. Here’re some possible (more…)

Affiliate Marketing Tips 2: Researching Winning Niches and Offers

If you’ve read through the first part in this series “Affiliate Marketing Tips: The Industry and Getting Accepted“, you’re ready to look at the thousands of affiliate/CPA offers available and do your research on finding a winner.

“Everybody Knows” – Leonard Cohen

So everybody knows the high paying niches – payday loans, credit repair, weight loss, grant information, programs with a continuity/rebilling element to the customer (ie: the “Google” money making CPA offers). But just because you know an offer pays a larger upfront commission, doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to convert it into a winning campaign.

Just looking at the street (standard/baseline) payout doesn’t give you an idea of how well it will do, unless you have the offer conversion data.

Most affiliate networks will list their top offers, like Market Leverage does within their affiliate interface:

market leverage

Picking an offer based on the highest payout is probably one of the worst ways to pick an offer – because there’re many more variables that affect the success of any campaign.

You might also look at the EPC (earnings per 100 clicks), which is in the form of a dollar value. Eg: $0.50 EPC or you might see $50 EPC. That means out of every 100 clicks sent to the offer, the average commission generated is the amount you see.

Take note though, these figures aggregate commissions generated across the network – you’ll have earnings data from PPC marketers, emailers, SEO affiliates, social media affiliates aggregated into a single figure. To have EPC be more useful, you should ask your affiliate manager for the breakdown and look at the average EPC for the type of traffic you’re generating.

As you’re looking at different offers, you might like to shortlist at least 5 to 10 different offers to research.

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Researching Your Niche

Although you might have a rough idea about what your niche is about (dating has something to do with people joining a dating service and the service provider pays you a commission for the lead), you should go a step further to look at the niches in greater detail.

Google News

One good place to start is Google News.

Google has an editorial review team that reviews news sources (including blogs) and includes them in the list of content providers for the Google News service. By checking out news coverage within the last 3 months (perferably within the last year), it’ll give you a sense of how well the niche is doing, and if it’s a niche with affiliate/CPA offers with a short lifespan, how long it’s been in the marketplace.

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Google Trends is a way to graphically see how the niche/offer has been performing over a period of time.

For example:

college grants

For a niche like college grants/grant information, the peaks for search volume (more…)