Before I begin, I’d like to remind everyone of the Affiliate Marketing Challenge I launched two days ago. There is an 8GB iPod Touch, Mino Flip Video Camera, $200 Market Leverage Rewards Amex Card, and a 2.0GB USB Pen up for grabs, so this contest shouldn’t be ignored.
MarketLeverage has been phoning all of the applicants to the competition who signed up under my blog to introduce themselves and to find out a bit more information about you so they can hook you up with related offers. While not everybody got their application accepted, most did, and some applications are still pending approval (which should be taken care of tomorrow).
So far, 16 publishers have registered and are competing in the competition. Currently, only two publishers have generating any sales (it’s only been a day, after all) which means that at this point, all you need to do is earn $0.01 to be in 3rd place. Participant CD8065 takes an early lead with $7.00 in sales, we’ll have to see how long he can secure 1st place.
For E-mail and RSS subscribers to my blog, you should know that I’ve added a ranking list to the top right of my blog which shows the current standings. Only the top four will be listed, but will give you a good idea on what you need to hit in order to stay in contention for one of the great prizes.
It’s not too late to enter.. in fact, the contest doesn’t end until July 11th so you still have plenty of time to participate. Full competition details of the Affiliate Marketing Challenge can be found here.
My Plunge, Take II
Long-time readers of my blog may remember how a year ago (13 months to be exact) I tried my hand at PPC affiliate marketing for the first time.
For two weeks I struggled to make things work but in the end I failed miserably, losing $927.70 with an ROI of negative 78.21%. It was a good learning experience though, and I don’t regret my trying it.
Last week, I decided to try my hand at PPC affiliate marketing again. It’s amazing how much time it takes… although a lot of it is spent on reading up on everything.
There is sooooooo much to learn to this game that it isn’t funny. And a lot has changed in the 13 months since I last tried my hand at it.
I started by opening up a subscription at WordZe. WordZe is a great keyword analysis and generation tool, and costs $35 a month.
I then created landing pages for offers I chose. I decided to choose completely different niches from the ones I tried last year. Last year I jumped into the most competitive and saturated markets possible… I knew I was at the time but wanted to see what would happen… it was my first time after all so I really just wanted to get into the routine of how the whole thing worked anyway.
I actually created landing pages out of my forums custom skins. I then customized vBulletin code so that I can split-test various landing pages and to send out multiple tracking variables (network, keyword, landing page, ad copy, etc.). It’s pretty powerful as I can create a basic template, add it into the queue, and my system will rotate it around with the other landing pages and dynamically fill in the offers and tracking variables. I’m surprised I was able to fiddle enough with PHP to make my little custom set-up as I have absolutely zero knowledge about PHP.
The benefit of my idea of using my existing related forums for landing page versus creating a custom landing site or “blank” landing page template is that PPC traffic I drive over who don’t end up turning into leads may end up registering on my forums or clicking one of the other related ads. However, the landing page on the forums is certainly designed to pre-sell them onto the main offer I’m promoting.
Anyhow, I started by promoting my first offer, which didn’t do well at all, not making a single conversion. I paused it for a while then resumed it last night after lowing my bids and taking it off the content network on AdWords.
I tried running another offer which had 1 conversion, but it didn’t do too well either.
My 3rd offer is the one I’m concentrating on at the moment. As of yesterday, I made $178.50 with it, but spent a lot more overall, putting me in the red. However, you’ll notice how yesterday was my first day in the green ever!
Last year, I finished with an average ROI of -78.21%, and so my goal this time around is to improve on that – preferably break even. I know that sounds like a ludicrous goal, but it’s a big improvement over such a negative ROI.
After my first week time time around, I’m now at -57.12% ROI, which is already an improvement over last year. I also had my first day in the green yesterday which makes me very optimistic.
How did I achieve that? Basically, I removed the content network on my campaign for my 3rd offer and lowered the bids by around 50%.
I’ve been keeping a close eye on what keywords are generating conversions and today I found a possible goldmine keyword. Check this out:
$7.65 EPC! Now, granted 10 clicks is a very small sample size, but it leaves my very optimistic because this keyword is a pretty generic 2-word that is of a site/related-niche of my campaign. This means I can now break down this keyword into a bunch of related keywords and see what those bring me.
My landing page is also not built for that keyword, meaning I can definitely improve on the conversion rate.
Stay tuned to see if I can turn my overall profit into the green!