Campaigns Almost Never Work the First Time

April 10th, 2012 by admin 2 comments »

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 by admin 2 comments »

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 by admin 1 comment »

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

New Lander Templates Added

January 28th, 2012 by admin 6 comments »

I’ve added a few landing page templates in the past few weeks, including this one just today…

minisite lander template

I saw the design on another site so I just recoded it and made it not look cheesy. You could put an optin form where the About section is if you wanted to very easily. Overall just a really simple template that is extremely lightweight. I hate templates with extra weight on them. I need my shit to load instantly! Check out the demo here or download.

I’m thinking about converting it into a WordPress theme – leave a comment if you’d like me to.

Tested Advertising Methods 4th Edition is Available at Alibris.com Right Now

January 25th, 2012 by admin No comments »

Tested Advertising Methods, 4th Edition by John Caples

I know a lot of people have had trouble tracking down the 4th edition of “Tested Advertising Methods” by John Caples, so I just wanted to let everyone know that there are some used copies available right now at Alibris.com.

Unfortunately, I left my copy out in the sun and the glue that held the pages together at the spine came undone. Not to mention the wind must’ve blown away the first 20 pages or so, heh :D

I just got my new copy in the mail yesterday and figured some people would appreciate knowing that it is indeed available. For awhile this book was tough to track down. Better hurry though, some copies are going for over $100.

 

Adwords Bidding Strategy

January 5th, 2012 by admin 4 comments »

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 by admin No comments »

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.

Need Coding Help? StackOverflow FTW

December 29th, 2011 by admin No comments »

stackoverflow.com logo

From basic HTML/CSS to advanced programming, StackOverflow.com is THE best place to get coding help on the entire internet bar none! Shit, just take a look at some of the response times…

stackoverflow response time

Questions answered in under 1 minute! They’ve got an Alexa rank of 156 so pretty much every serious programmer is on there. This place has saved my ass a few times now.

All the talented people on StackOverlow are extremely helpful and will help out when you’re in a bind. If some coding problem is keeping you from making teh monies, now you know where to go! Best website ever and I had to post about it because it’s so damn useful.

How to Bypass a Clickbank Sales Page

December 20th, 2011 by admin 11 comments »

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.

TheGaryHalbertLetter.com Organized

November 25th, 2011 by admin 56 comments »

gary halbert

If you want to learn how to write high-converting adcopy then you need to study Gary Halbert, one of the greatest copywriters who ever lived. The thing is, if you’ve ever been to his site at TheGaryHalbertLetter.com, you know that the website is terribly organized. The content is amazing but all the newsletters are completely out of order.

You’ll be reading one where he refers to the last newsletter and you’ll be like damn, I haven’t read that one yet. So I did my best to organize it a bit. I did this for myself but then figured it would benefit everybody so I posted the links here.

For the most part, everything is pretty organized from 1986 (the year the newsletter started) to the 2000’s. All the misc. stuff at the bottom was taken directly off the website, but since there are no dates posted, is impossible to organize.

Note: Since some of the newsletters seem to be missing from the website (or just not indexed in Google) I uploaded the PDF here where you can read the missing pages. If you also hate reading 1,000 page .pdf documents, here are the links so you can read them online.

Read More: TheGaryHalbertLetter.com Organized