Archive for the ‘Basics’ category

Tax Season! Here’s Where to Get Tax Offers

February 7th, 2014

As much as we all hate taxes, tax season in the USA is pretty nice for affiliates. Why you ask? Because at this time of year TWO extremely solid offers pop up: TurboTax and TaxAct (among others). These are not your average CPA offers – they’re actually good and they provide a real service that adults need.

Where do you find these offers? They will probably pop up on a few networks in the coming weeks, but I noticed that W4 has them already! I’ve written about W4 previously in my post about what I think are the best CPA networks, but the bottom line is that they really do have the best assortment of offers of any CPA network. I highly suggest joining if you haven’t. CJ.com also has them too, but their payment terms are pretty long.

Why Tax Offers are Good

Scale and how easy they are to convert! Every adult in the US needs to file by the April 15 deadline. Of course not all do, but the responsible portion of the USA does, which is a massive number of people. With a tax offer, you don’t have to ‘sell’ them all that much. It’s mandatory they file, so it’s pretty awesome for us :D Even the crappiest landing page ever will probably still convert.

When I think of the size of a market, I envision a line of 100 people and try to estimate the percentage of people that would say ‘yes’ when asked if they are interested in [niche]. Take eCigs for example. Not all people are smokers, probably only 10-20%. So in a line of 100 people, you’d get 10% or so of people that would like to try an eCig. 10% sounds small, but a market that big is absolutely HUGE. It’s common knowledge that cigarette companies make billions of dollars. But taxes? It’s gotta be a lot higher. It’s a HUGE HUGE market.

Another example of the ’100 people in a line’ test is fitness. Most people would probably respond with a ‘yes’ when asked if they’re concerned with their health and would like to become more fit/attractive. This is why health/fitness/beauty is the single biggest market for affiliates to play in. You can run ads on a general news website (high volume websites) and still, a significant portion of the people are interested. Running an ad on a general news site for something super niche Adobe After Effects tutorials? Probably way less than 1% of the population is into that, so it wouldn’t work. I find the ’100 people in a line’ test pretty helpful for my own personal purposes.

As far as these tax offers go, I’d run these on Facebook, especially as the deadline approaches! And sign up to W4 if you haven’t, they are excellent!

The Absolute Biggest Mistake That New Affiliates Make

June 21st, 2012

…is writing adcopy off the top of their head when they come to the ad creation screen in their traffic source. In other words, totally wingin’ it!

Don’t throw hail mary’s when you start campaigns

Adcopy is the most part of your campaign and should be your #1 priority in getting right. If you just make something up with no real thought behind it, chances are you won’t produce something powerful and compelling enough that will actually perform. Once you have a good control ad you can start testing more spur-of-the-moment ideas.

I suggest getting organized and writing as much copy as you can before you even launch a campaign. It will make split testing easier (and more fun) since you know what you are going to test next and will keep you from spinning your tires!

Great Tip on Writing Adcopy

May 14th, 2012

After reading Mike Geary’s Super Affiliate newsletter, I thought he put the topic of writing effective adcopy into really simple English so I figured I’d cite it here for everyone!

Why Ad Wording is so Important

To explain why the wording of your ad is so important to whether you’ll make any money as an affiliate, let’s look at the psychology of the web surfer who is clicking on your ad…

First, let’s look at a generic type of ad for the Truth about Abs product.

Ok, here’s the main problem with this ad, and why it won’t result in as many sales as a more strategically worded ad…

For one, it looks too much like an ad, and many surfers will click on it out of curiosity, but are already on the defensive of being “sold” something. Another problem is that it simply looks exactly like what everybody else is saying.

Now let’s look at a type of ad wording that will get a much higher response rate, possibly even tripling the amount of sales you get from it.

So why in the world does this type of ad wording result in me tripling my money, whereas the other ad hardly gets any sales at all even for the exact same keywords?

The reason is that this type of ad wording has piqued the readers curiosity by mentioning something about 1 specific secret. Do you see what this is going to do when they click-through?

They’re going to hit the sales letter and be searching the page for this one specific secret that the ad mentioned, so they have a much higher chance of actually getting into reading the sales letter, and letting the sales letter do it’s work in converting them to a sale!

——————–

Full article here.

Well said!

Truth About Abs is a monster offer – you should definitely test it out. Mike also did a really awesome interview on Tim Ferris’ blog awhile back that is definitely worth reading. Good stuff!

Here’s A Campaign You Can Run With…

May 3rd, 2012

This is a campaign that I’m not going to pursue because I’m trying to focus on my main projects at the moment. The idea occurred to me when I was actually using the product. The offer is called Lumosity, which is a website that allows you to play brain games that improve your memory and focus.

When I was using it, I couldn’t believe how much it woke me up! A few minutes of doing the brain exercises seriously works better than coffee does. The next time you wake up in the morning and you’re slogging, play a few of the games and see how awake you feel afterwards. The games really turn your brain on.

After realizing this, I thought to myself “Hey, this is a great solution to a problem.” The problem, of course, is feeling mentally tired. There is a huge market for this because we all know how well those “5 hour energy” and other energy drinks sell :D

So that’s the campaign. Your audience is people who feel tired all the time, and you pitch them Lumosity. You frame it as a solution to feeling tired.

No doubt you will have to split test a number of ads and landing pages, but I’m confident this campaign could work great once dialed in. The offer can be found on CJ.com ($12/trial) and at W4 ($1.25 per free registration).

If you aren’t signed up to W4 yet, you definitely should by signing up here. Tons of CPA networks these days just broker all their offers from other networks. W4 on the other hand has a ton of quality offers that you can’t find on other networks. They also credit you with leads that were undertracked at the end of the month which helps the bottom-line of your campaigns.

Hopefully one of you can blast this one out of the park.

Campaigns Almost Never Work the First Time

April 10th, 2012

In my affiliate career, I can only count a couple campaigns that were “near perfect” out of the gate. I ALWAYS ALWAYS have to tweak things around before a campaign starts performing.

I usually have to split test a few different offers (even same offer, different network).
I usually have to re-write my landing page copy a few times.
I always have to test a bunch of ads when I’m buying traffic.

Ya know, it’s pretty disappointing when you put a ton of research into your campaigns and they don’t perform well initially. But that’s the thing… people just aren’t willing to tweak things around until they work. They scrap campaigns when they don’t immediately deliver a 100% ROI.

Here’s a quick example of how dramatic the difference can be. I had a site that was getting a lot of organic traffic, and was getting 1 or 2 conversions per month on my “first try”. I had to split test FOUR different offers before I found the right one, and I had to rewrite the opening paragraph on my lander a few times before the thing finally started converting. That dumbass site went from $100/month to $40 per day. A pretty substantial improvement indeed.

I wish campaigns would work on the first try, but they rarely do. It would definitely make our lives easier. But on the other hand, that’s where you have a huge competitive advantage. Most people simply are too lazy to split test their way to profitability. Like Diorex says, testing is for the rich!

129 Big Money Niches and Markets

February 5th, 2012

Recently, Aaron Wall of SEOBook.com posted a list of 129 big money niches on his Google+ profile. The keywords were taken from a calculation of search volume x adwords cpc.

You can’t go wrong if you decide to build sites/campaigns in any of those markets.

Then once you have a market in mind, the next step is to put together a strong keyword list. Awhile ago, I wrote a post called Highest Volume Keywords by Category, which is about using Google Insights for Search to locate popular keywords by niche. When I wrote that, the Google keyword tool was not returning results when you searched in the same fashion (using no keyword), but today it is.

A pic of the Google Keyword Tool

Side note: On Thanksgiving, when asked was I was thankful for, I said the Google Keyword tool :D

Check out Aaron’s list here to find markets, then use the category selection on the keyword tool to find the top keywords in that market. Simple.

A Great Way to Find Affiliate Offers…

February 3rd, 2012

Just look at the most popular sites on the web using the Quantcast top sites list. It’s time consuming to manually look at thousands of different websites, but on the flip side you can gain a lot if you keep your eyes out for things like…

one-does-not-simply-become-a-top-5000-website

  • sites with affiliate programs
  • which ad networks are on what sites
  • sites that have self-serve advertising systems
  • what advertisers are running ads
  • etc…

You’re looking exactly where the traffic already is. Think about it: if a website is in the top 5,000 most popular on the entire internet, they’re probably doing something right, right?

Popularity is a crude measurement of quality, but it’s good when you’re looking for affiliate programs. The more popular a website is, the more you can be sure they have something that people actually want and the more you can be sure their offer actually converts.

Check out the Quantcast list and start investigating. Hopefully you can find yourself some new offers to promote and think about niches that you never knew were so popular. Just watch out for all the disturbing sex fetish porn sites that you will encounter in your research if you’re scared of that kind of thing :o

Adwords Bidding Strategy

January 5th, 2012

google adwordsStart off bidding high while you’re gathering data and just to get the ball rolling. Always pay closest attention to which adcopy converts best in your testing phase.

Then lower your CPC bid every other day or so until your position starts suffering. If you don’t lower your bids over time, which is most beginner PPC advertisers, then you’re overpaying for clicks plain and simple.

A hypothetical example

You start your campaign and you’re bidding $3/click, but your clicks are actually costing you $2.32. After a day or two, you lower your CPC bid to $2.30 (a couple ¢ under what you’re paying) and then wait for some more traffic to flow. Then check on it a day or two later. Now you may see that your clicks are actually costing you $1.83, so you then lower your CPC bid to $1.81.

When you keep repeating this process of lowering your bids over time, at some point you’ll reach the lower bid floor and your position will start suffering. Obviously you don’t want to trade cheap clicks for shitty position, so raise your bid a little bit until you find a happy balance between position and CPC price.

Update:

I decided to update this post real quick and try to explain the “reason why” a little bit more thoroughly. I always seem to hit the publish button a little too soon :)

CTR matters to Google because that is what makes them money. They want to put the ads that make the most money in the best positions, obviously. If your ad has the highest CTR, you’re able to pay a lower CPC than all your competitors if your CTR makes up for it. Consider this scenario…

You are paying $0.20/click and have a 8% CTR. With that math, we can deduce that Google will make $16 per 1,000 impressions of your ad (CPM).

1000 imp X 0.08 = 80 clicks
80 clicks X $0.20 = $16 CPM

Now let’s say your next best competitor is getting a 5% CTR and is paying $0.30/click

1000 imp X 0.05 = 50 clicks
50 clicks X $0.30 = $15 CPM

As you can see, Google would give your ad a better position even though competitor #2 is paying a higher CPC than you. Competitor #2 would have to raise their bid or increase their CTR to beat you.

The most IDEAL situation is when your best converting ad is also the one with the highest CTR, but that is usually not the case. Usually, your best performing ad is NOT the one with the highest CTR.

Are Your Ads Believable?

January 1st, 2012

Ask anyone what they think about the ads they see on the internet and the majority will say… SPAM! And frankly, it’s not hard to see why…

unbelievable adcopy

$90 dollar per hour at-home job? YEA FUCKING RIGHT. Only a small percentage of people would believe that shit (ie extremely desperate suckers). That ad very well may get a high CTR… but a high CTR is completely pointless if you are getting a shitty conversion rate!

Here’s another I just saw on Reddit.

not believable

/facepalm.

It’s been said that there are 3 reasons why people don’t buy.

  • Don’t want what you’re selling
  • Can’t afford it
  • DON’T BELIEVE AND/OR TRUST YOU

People will take action if they believe it can be done.

One way to make your stuff more believable is to show the flaws in the product. If we’re talking about those survey offers from the first example, tell them upfront that the most frustrating aspect of taking surveys is that they won’t be eligible to take every survey they come across.

That little bit of honesty right there goes a long way in building trust. Furthermore, it sets up expectations for the offer so people don’t refund it right away.

You don’t need to make your offer seem like the best thing since sliced bread because that comes off as desperate (<-- make sure to read that some time).

Gary Halbert talks about believability in a few of his newsletters. Use this link to find them via Google:

http://www.google.com/search?q=site:thegaryhalbertletter.com+believability

The other issue is Trust. Once people believe you (or WANT to believe you) you need them to trust you. By far the easiest “thing” to do is to add contact info on your landers. As Gary Halbert says… “people want to know they can reach out and get ya!”.

Moving on… I wanted to do a quick poll of all my readers so I can understand you guys better. 2012 is now here and I want to write stuff that is actually relevant for you.

Firstly, do you do SEO, paid traffic, or both?

[polldaddy poll=4888799]

[polldaddy poll=5524067]

If there is anything you want to me to write about, leave a comment. If you want a certain kind of landing page template, let me know and I’ll add it to the landing page templates page.

How to Bypass a Clickbank Sales Page

December 20th, 2011

It’s really easy. All you do is drop your affiliate cookie and then redirect to the order page. Since you dropped your tracking cookie before redirecting to the order form, Clickbank will track fine and see you as the referring affiliate.

Doing this enables you to control and split test your own sales pages for any Clickbank offer and gives you amazing flexibility when it comes to promoting offers.

courage wolf affiliate advice

Can’t direct link because it’s got a fucking exit pop? Re-create it yourself without the exit-pop.

Is the owner shamelessly building an email list off your traffic and diverting the sale? Build your own (better) page without the optin box.

Seriously, how many sales pages on Clickbank are complete shit? How many need to be split tested? How many would you be embarrassed to show people in real life if they were your own? A huge percentage of them.

How to Drop the Cookie

All you do is put your affiliate link in an <img > tag and drop it on your page somewhere. Like this….

<img src="http://yourafflink.com" width="1" height="1" />

Whenever somebody loads a page that has that code, your affiliate cookie gets set – it acts as if somebody actually clicked your affiliate link. This is referred to as “cookie stuffing” and there is a right and wrong way to go about it.

The wrong way is to stuff cookies on your sales page (index.html) and drop a cookie on every single visitor. If you get caught, chances are you will get kicked out because you’d be getting sales that you really don’t deserve.

The right legit way is to drop the cookie on the redirect page (order.php) and then send people straight to the order form. Here is a code example of what your order.php page would look like.

<html>
<head>
<title>Processing</title>
<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="2;url=http://3.mikegeary1.pay.clickbank.net/" />
</head>
<body>
<img src="http://yourafflink.com" width="1" height="1" />
</body>
</html>

By doing a meta refresh set to 2 on order.php, the browser gets an extra second to completely load the page which is just to ensure that the cookie gets dropped. Just know that the meta refresh must be set to at least 1 so the cookie actually drops. You could add a little loading icon in there for effect if you wanted as well. It would probably be smart to add some tracking code in there as well (Clicky FTW).

Redirect to the Order Form

The format for order form links on CB is http://ProductNumber.VendorID.pay.clickbank.net/. Inspect the merchants sales page and hover your mouse over the “Add to Cart” button. That’s the link that goes straight to the order form and where you redirect people to after you drop the cookie.

Check out my demo page if you’d like to see a working example. When you click on the order button, it will drop my cookie and redirect you to the Clickbank order page. On the bottom of that page, you should see my example affiliate id: funkyslut

Why Do This At All?

Because most sales pages don’t convert well with cold traffic and being able to split test the merchants sales page yourself gives you a huge advantage when it comes to monetizing your traffic.

Fucking sales pages these days. They all take that standard formula that hasn’t changed since 1995: Centered text, big red headline, ugly graphics and hype-fueled adcopy. I can tell a sales page just by glancing at the template, and chances are your vistors can too.

Don’t you think the template alone might create some buyer resistance? We all know that people don’t like being sold to. Why not split test a page that looks like a sales page with a page that looks more like an article? And then split test headlines and openers until you find that magical appeal that blows everything else out of the water.