I remember when I first started, I was so overwhelmed with so many offers and traffic sources. I really had no idea where to start, I went the route of throwing more money at information and not taking any action, don't make the same mistakes I made, pick an offer, pick a traffic source, and take action, you need to learn by doing in this business -Brian
Over time you'll realize, there's a big difference between the guys who make $100 a day, $1,000 a day, and $10,000 a day.
If you want to take your game to the next level, you will need to learn how to focus on the big picture.
Let's talk about some high-level strategies.
Picking The Right Offer
When I first started in affiliate marketing, I was overwhelmed with the number of offers on traffic networks and affiliate networks that I honestly just put up a block in my head. There is a quote: "A confused mind does nothing."
That is true for me anyway; when I don't 100 percent understand how to do something, it's a lot easier for me to procrastinate and find something else to do.When I first started, I had a minimal budget of approximately $1,000.I remember talking to some other affiliates at a meet-up to get an idea of what they were running.I thought high payout was the way to go, but then I remember my first successful campaign was around a $10 payout.See, these affiliate managers may tell you the most popular offer on the network, but that offer could be a little bit more advanced than your skill level.It's also possible if it's a $50 payout, and you happen to break even on the offer from the start, you're only getting 20 conversions; it's tough to optimize at that level.
Is this making sense?
I'd like to go back and put myself in the shoes of when I was a newbie. I try to think about how you must be feeling at this point.
- Keep in mind that every offer isn’t perfect for your level of skill and knowledge. There's a pretty good chance that the top Affiliates that are getting the top results have access to tools, manpower, and the traffic sources that a newbie affiliate might not.
- In the above example, the offer payout doesn't matter as much as you think. I have made close the 10K profit in a day with an offer that paid out $10 before. If you're getting cheap clicks and the traffic's converting then you can make profit at a lower payout.
The best thing to do a split test offers and let the numbers speak for themselves.
The main idea here is you can really learn affiliate marketing.
Let me give a real-world example from the data above:
If you run an offer at the pace of $50 payout and you have $1,000 to spend and you happen to break even on conversions.
A total of 20 conversions will not be enough even to do a single split test.
Your budget is a thousand, and you run an offer that has a $0.50 payout.
How many conversions is that? 2000. We mentioned statistical significance earlier. Two Thousand is a lot more conversions, and you can get an excellent split test.
Just like any professional sport, there are different levels of Affiliate Marketing.
The more you practice, the better you become.
Are you catching my drift?In the beginning, I would recommend you aim for a low payout offer so you can get a lot of data for your budget.
Some ideas are:
- Simple Lead Generation Offers
- App installs
You're not going to want to swim with the affiliate sharks!!!
Have you ever heard the saying, "if you're sitting at a poker table and within fifteen minutes if you don't know who the fool at the table is, then you're the fool"? In this world, just like in any world, there are multiple tables you can sit at in a casino, but the last thing you want to do is sit down with Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, or Doyle Brunson.
You want to sit down at a table with many amateurs who have a lot of money and might be drinking.
You can see my point here if you're trying to make money.
Russell Brunson first introduced the red versus blue ocean strategy in one of his books.
Here is great video on this Red vs Blue Ocean Strategy.
So how is this concept relevant to affiliate marketing?
If you go into a market saturated that is ultra-competitive in the GEOs and verticals you go after, then you're setting yourself up for a challenging ride.
I love running in the competitive world because I have a huge budget to test with, and I know once I figure it out with my team, we're going to crush it.
But that's not where I started. I started with Mobile Traffic on app installations.
Don't get me wrong, in the game of poker, you play probabilities, and every once in awhile, you get that card on a lower likelihood and win.
But in the long run, that's not a winning strategy.
This chart gives you an idea about the cost of a click around the world.
So why are so many newbies going for the verticals, the countries, and the traffic sources where all the big boys play?
Here are a couple reasons:
- They hear people are hitting it big in those areas.
- They just don't know any better, you don't know what you don't know.
By now you're probably wondering what you should focus on?
I would start in less competitive GEOs on Facebook Traffic.
The big dogs want to do the USA, UK, Canada, and Australia, etc.
These countries have the most high-quality conversion buyers.
The thing is there's plenty of volume in other countries and weigh less competition.
We did well with solar in France and funeral insurance in the UK on Facebook!
I've had some success in parts of South America and Europe as well.The map below will give you some ideas on where you can start.
There are tons of offers out there not nearly as much competition.
People think it's more work to run International it's really easy to translate ads and landing pages.
Typically use one hour translation
What do you think is more work?
- Translating your creative.
- Wasting a bunch of money campaign in too competitive of a market.
One of my favorite things to talk about is finding mentors and masterminding with other people.
Imagine if you want to get buff and look good for the ladies.
The quickest way to learn this would be to hire a personal trainer who is already buff or has a history of getting people buff.
This trainer or mentor not only will be able to speed up the process of gaining muscle mass but likely they can also give you great advice on a diet and a sleep schedule that will catapult your results.
Most of the gyms I've been to, there's plenty of buff guys, and you can tell they know what they're doing. Now, it may cost a bunch of money to get mentored by Jay Cutler, the four-time Mr. Olympia winner, and if you email him, he will probably not respond. He has a lot going on with his own supplement company, sponsor deals, appearances, etc.
But there's a pretty good chance if you find a local show winner or competitor who knows his stuff, and you reach out to them, they may be willing to help you for a more reasonable cost. Like my situation, I have seven companies that I run, and I have three media buyers working full-time at the time of this writing.It's just not realistic for me to go out there and mentor people one-on-one.But there may be other successful affiliates out there who are willing to teach you, or one of my programs might be a good option.
Let's talk about a real-life example of free mentoring.
Carlos, one of my buddies in my affiliate circle, started out working for free for a big affiliate.
After about six months of learning the ropes with this affiliate, he went off and became his own entity.
Now he has a media-buying team and a multimillion-dollar company because he started working for free for a successful affiliate.
Some people might think Carlos was lucky because he knew the right person at the right time in his career, and maybe he was, but I found that over the years, that when I take action, the laws of the universe tend to guide me in the right direction. When I bought my way to the top tier of mentorship, it has typically paid off ten-fold.
I can say for sure that my network is my net worth, and building that network takes time.
You have to give value first. That's a golden nugget.
Laser focus on the vertical and traffic source you pick.
There are so many choices when it comes to affiliate networks offers, and of course, traffic sources.
I mentioned earlier that you need to focus on one traffic source Facebook or mobile.
Then pick a vertical you know works but maybe isn't quite as competitive.
Let's say fifty people are making money off an offer; you will have to be as good or better than the fiftieth to make money.
Let's talk about the typical of affiliate journey as a newbie:
- Start out on Facebook doesn't get a conversion and possibly gets your account banned
- Then jump over to native spends $200 and still doesn't get a conversion
- At this point you've made very little progress in your affiliate marketing journey
- The newbie hears about an offer killing it on Snapchat or Pinterest and tries that out without a working offer
- Still at this point no conversions and no ads approved on Pinterest
- He's ready to quit because affiliate marketing doesn't work
What if you take this journey, instead of taking one good offer and test against a couple of other similar offers?
If you spend all your time trying to get conversions on one traffic source like Facebook. Where do you think you will be in three months?If you keep jumping around with shiny object syndrome, you are never going to get good at Affiliate Marketing.
- In the example above, you stick to one traffic source, the newbie would understand the traffic source.
- By now they would have created a couple of killer angles that work.
- They would have made an effort by now to meet a like-minded affiliate locally or online running traffic similar to them.
- They are getting a few profitable campaigns because they have been spying and pretty much know most of the vertical affiliates.
- They tested a bunch of ads and landing pages and set up a bunch of campaigns. They knew what was going to work before they even uploaded them.
The misled newbie affiliate is still jumping around, trying to figure things out.
I know you're thinking, "What if I don't pick the right offer from the start?"
Here's some advice:
Don't try to reinvent the wheel. Stick with what worksIf you don't have a plan as far as budget goes, your plan is to fail.
My first real Facebook campaign was a student loan pay per call campaign, back when student loans were allowed on Facebook. In the beginning, it was a lot of work to get profitable because we were targeting school-by-school, but I became good at it, and hired someone to help me do it. Eventually, we caught a whiff that broad targeting was working on Facebook for this campaign.
So, since we knew so much about that particular vertical, we could take our knowledge and almost immediately become profitable to a much broader audience.
That was my first 100K month!! It takes time to become an expert.
Make Your Circle Smaller.
The landscape has been changing since I first started in affiliate marketing.
The amount of information that's available and coming across everyday becomes more overwhelming.
I can't imagine being a newbie at this stage of the game so let me try to put myself in your shoes and give you some advice that will help you get off to a good start.
Last year, I came up with many goals for my business. For the first time in my life, I wrote them all down and made a video about them and put it up online, so I was accountable.
It was knowing that I didn't want to let down my audience and myself. I started the year working on one goal at a time until it was complete. It worked out to where I completed about one goal per month that entire year, and at the end of the year, I'd accomplished a lot.
Now had I tried to complete all twelve goals scattered throughout the year without direction or accountability, I can promise you not all goals would have been completed.
Think of each goal in my example as the small circle.
- Make sure you set up proper tracking repeatedly until you don't even have to think about it. One of my biggest things was that I was not a coder, and the lack of knowledge of the technology caused me to procrastinate and not launch.
- The next circle I would work on would be your angles in your ads. These typically can have the most significant impact on your business. Launching an angle, plus new ads daily and understanding copywriting, will help you tremendously.
- Finally, circle number three would be landing pages. Study your competition, model their success, and make your pages better.
Your first step is committing to improving your skills.
Your second step should be your game plan
Setting up a game plan
Let's talk about the difference between a goal and a game plan.
- I want to lose five pounds in January.
Game plan example:
- I'm going to sleep 8 hours a night.
- I'm going to drink a gallon of water per day.
- I'm going to do cardio 5 days a week.
- I'm going to workout in the gym each body part weekly for a total of 4 workouts a week.
- I'm going to keep my calories below 3500 with at least 50% protein.
This is a hypothetical example of a game plan, but it is undoubtedly a strategic attempt to lose five pounds in January.
It would be best if you came up with an actionable plan for each day.
If you're doing this part-time, you need to set aside a certain amount of time and execute that plan every day.
Here's an example of a game plan that we use:
- Ask our affiliate manager for the top offers, and decide on three offers to test
- Brainstorm at least two angles, and create 4 ads for each angle
- Use a spy tool to research landing pages from competitors
- Model two landing pages from competitors, and design at least two of our own
Now that is a solid affiliate game plan!
When the next day comes, you will have another action list.
You are taking action daily!
- Find an offer with a low payout
- Run campaigns in less saturated GEOS.
- Get a mentor or find a mastermind you can join.
- Decide on a single traffic source and vertical to master.
- We talked about making those circles smaller focusing on mastering a couple of concepts.
- Make sure you have a daily game plan and launch campaigns regularly.