Affiliate Marketing Update: December 2nd, 2012

December 2, 2012 Posted by Tyler Cruz

It’s been nearly a month since the last update on my affiliate marketing campaigns, so here’s an update on what has happened during the past month.

I’ve been continuing to plug away on my campaigns and keep my focus on affiliate marketing. I’ll check the stats and condition of my campaigns constantly throughout the day, which isn’t the most productive thing I could be doing, but I also believe that constantly checking your stats has been criticised a little bit too much.

I like to know exactly what is going on with my campaigns and how they are behaving, and it actually has really helped me to understand my traffic sources better. And, of course, it’s extremely beneficial in catching whenever something goes awry such as an offer having loading issues or a traffic source reducing the traffic it’s giving you.

While I do spend a lot of time checking up on my existing campaigns, I also make sure to constantly test NEW things, whether it be new offers, traffic sources, campaign angles, ad copy, etc. I am all too aware that my campaigns can die at any second, and so I want to get as many successful campaigns running as I can.

Here are some of these new things I’ve been doing:

More Facebook Campaign Angles

I’ve been continuing to really struggle with Facebook. It’s hard for me to give up on it because it delivers quality targeted traffic and I can start getting craploads of traffic within 1 hour of launching a campaign.

The major downside of it is price, and it seems that pricing has really skyrocketed recently too. I’m assuming it’s from it being Q4 and all the big brand advertisers spending blindly for the Christmas and year-end rush, but the fact is that it has always been fairly expensive.

I know, I know – I need to get my CTR’s up. The thing is, I’ve always have notoriously low CTR’s on FB.

The first campaign I ran on FB earlier this year did really well, but that offer was paused months ago, and I’ve been struggling to find a profitable campaign on FB ever since.

Recently, I tried launching a bunch of new ‘angles’, but my CTR’s are still really poor, despite split-testing a lot of ad images and having pretty good targeting.

I’ll average around 0.03%-0.04% CTR, which is really bad, especially for well-targeted ads. I could make them even more targeted, but then I run into the problem of having too small a demographic, which would leave me with no volume.

I really have no idea how guys are getting such better CTR’s and in turn, CPC rates on Facebook. I’ve already done a lot of testing, but I guess I just have to keep at it.

It’s just so damn expensive!

Hello Again AdWords

AdWords used to be my main traffic source when I was working on my campaigns from around 2007-2009.

I would use the search network and had mixed results with it. The campaign I was running at the time really bounced all over the place; I’d be at –$250 one day and then +$300 the next.

Ultimately, I couldn’t scale it and basically ended up breaking even on it. Anyway, my point is that I used to use AdWords a lot. However, that was search. I did very little on the content-network side.

So, I decided to give the content network another shot recently. I really have no idea what I’m doing, as AdWords has really changed a ton since I last used it, especially the content network side of it. It’s a lot to take in, and it’s rather confusing.

I mean, I know how to set up a campaign obviously, but I don’t really know exactly what is going on like I do on other traffic sources where I know them inside and out.

The first and main campaign I ran on it gave me the tiniest bit of traffic to start, as in a few clicks per day, and I just let it run as is. I raised the CPC bid a tiny bit to see what happened, but nothing immediately changed (over the next 12-16, hours anyway).

However, each day progressively brought in more and more traffic. My eCPC price rose as well, but not by much. My campaigns were profiting slightly to start, and so I was happy to receive more traffic. Then, as traffic rose, my campaigns were basically breaking even.

10

Here you can see the steady rate that traffic was increasing. Within 4 days I went from spending $2-3 per day to spending a few hundred per day.

Traffic then really started to climb and all of a sudden my EPC dropped dramatically.

This could be due to any number of things such as: AdWords quality, day/week-parting, or the offer having loading or tracking issues.

The EPC was so bad though and the traffic was climbing so fast that I just decided to pause the campaign and try something else instead.

So, I created another campaign on another offer, this time trying out their "new" (new to me, anyway) interest targeting system, which appears to basically be like Facebook’s broad interest category feature.

I chose 3 interests and let it run. It was approved a couple of days ago, but has only received a few clicks so far. I’m wondering if I just need to sit and wait for traffic to increase like it did for the other campaign.

I’ll have to wait and see.

Offers – Gotta Test Them All!

Following my mantra of "test every offer" (in the niches you run anyway), I spent a few days launching and testing a bunch of new offers that recently came to market.

One of them did phenomenally well, but crashed and burned within 48 hours of launching and won’t be coming back.

The rest all sucked. And by sucked, I mean that I personally wasn’t able to do anything with them. I also ran an older offer that I had actually forgotten to test before, and it did better than I had thought, which is good because it can now act as a backup to two other offers I’m pushing.

It has half the ROI, but that’s still better than nothing. It always feels good to add another offer to your arsenal of backup offers. It’s like having extra batteries on hand that you can grab when your main batteries eventually die out. You don’t need them now, but eventually you will.

Other than that one back-up offer and the offer that died out quickly, I lost a good chunk of change on the other offers. The funny thing is, it was still worth it to gain that back-up offer.

No Landing Page Testing

In October, my focus had been on landing page split-testing and optimization, and I was trying hard to obtain a 1.3% CR on one of my campaigns.

Well, I ended up doing virtually no landing page work last month as the direct link was still performing best statistically over the long term, and I wanted to maximize profit on that campaign for a while so that I could actually make a half decent amount for the month.

That’s the main reason I didn’t work on my landing pages for the month. And when you see my overall month numbers further down in this post, you’ll see why this was not a bad idea Smile

This isn’t to say that I’m done with landing page split-testing though. In fact, I have a lot of plans to run landing page split-testing on that and other campaigns again very soon. I’ve actually always enjoyed split-testing in general. It just hurts to know that I’m intentionally taking a hit on ROI and profit in the attempt to find even better ROI and profit.

New Traffic Source

I won’t discuss this too much because I hope to blog about this in its own dedicated post, but last month I also started working with a new traffic source (which I’ll reveal when I publish that post).

It has a lot of traffic, but quality on it for me has been very poor. I ended up with an overall ROI of –65% on the network’s traffic.

It has potential, for sure, but this network is filled with big-budget advertisers and affiliates so competition is fierce on it. However, I didn’t do all that much testing on it – just a few hundred – so there’s still a lot more testing I need to do on it before I can conclude anything.

Potential Awesomeness

This post is already getting too long so I’ll try to keep this section as short as possible.

There was a traffic source, which is essentially a media buy, that I tried in October with very mixed success. I did three buys on it.

The first buy was for $250 and did pretty well, if I recall correctly. The second buy was for $200 but they messed up and sent me $2,000 worth of traffic instead. However, if I would have paid for all that traffic, it still would have been very profitable.

And so, I went ahead and purchased a $1,000 buy. Unfortunately, this time, the traffic was horrible! I made $200 and lost $800 on it. Weird.

I am now working with them again to do another test. I am very optimistic even though the last test was a disaster for a number of reasons, the main two being: I’m getting a cheaper rate, and I have an offer that would do scarily well with them.

I should start receiving traffic from my 4th buy by Tuesday or Wednesday.

I’m crossing my fingers on this one so wish me luck. There’s potential for $1,000+ day net profit from this source alone.

Affiliate Campaign Income: November 2012

I’ve saved the best for last – the overall numbers breakdown from my affiliate marketing campaigns from last month.

Some of you have requested that I give the numbers from an entire month instead of a daily breakdown, so here you go:

November Affiliate Campaign Income:

$38,926.01

Expenses:

$27,898.92

Here’s the expense breakdown by traffic source:

Traffic Source Cost
#1 $19,867.25
#2 $5,221.00
#3 $1,115.35
#4 $643.71
#5 $415.50
#6 $308.62
#7 $232.49
#8 $95.00
Total: $27,898.92

Net Profit:

$11,027.09

 

So, my net profit for the month of November ended up being $11,027.09, which works out to an average of $367/day.

Again, this includes the cost of constantly testing new offers and traffic sources in the attempt to grow and find backup offers and sources. If I were to simply maximize the current campaigns, my profit would be more.

However not that much more. Maybe $15,000. As you can see, it’s totally worth it take a little dip in your profits in exchange for trying to grow even further, and to find backup options in case for when your winning campaigns inevitably die out.

If my "4th media buy" which I mentioned earlier goes as well as I’m hoping it will, I might be posting a crazy net profit for December when I do another update on my monthly campaign progress a month from now.

Just thinking about it makes me excited.

Anyhow, we’ll see what happens.

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Posted: December 2nd, 2012 under Affiliate Marketing  

34 Responses to “Affiliate Marketing Update: December 2nd, 2012”

  1. Great write up Tyler. Congratulations on the 5 figure month!

  2. artesanatos says:

    I always get quite amazed when i see how much you spent on paid traffic. Dont you ever get scared that sometimes that traffic doesnt convert more than you spend and you end up having big loss? I admire your courage and intelligent mind to be able to have such a sane net income.
    About adword… i never had a very good conversion on trying to sell products using adwords. It is expensive…and hard to convert on sales, in my experience.

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      It’s not hard to convert with AdWords, it’s just expensive. Those are two different things!

      As for my paid traffic costs – well obviously I’m not just spending $20K-$70K a month at a shot and hoping it converts. I spend on a day-to-day basis. I have some media buys and prepaid deposits here and there, but I worked my way up slowly with them in most cases so I know it’s safe.

  3. Geiger says:

    Hey Tyler. Would you mind explaining what to the masses by what you mean by “Media Buy”?

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      I believe the term “media buy” is a pretty loose term… the same way that “display” is. I usually use it when I am describing a paid traffic source in which is not ad ad network. If it IS a network, then I still use it sometimes if it means having to sign an IO and prepay for a full campaign in advance of receiving traffic (and therefore agreeing to a certain rate and amount of traffic) and if it is fairly “untargeted” traffic as well – such as RON, for example.

      That’s how I see the term “media buy” anyway.

      • Geiger says:

        Thanks for the clarification. You basically find sites in you niche and negotiate with their owners directly. I thought you may have been buying TV or Magazine ad space which I would have no idea how to track unless you had a unique URL or promo code associated with it.

        • Tyler Cruz says:

          Well for specific websites I refer to that as direct buy or direct/site buy. But yeah, I don’t run offline campaigns – seems a bit pointless to me unless you are promoting your own product (or have an exclusive contract on an offer).

  4. Congrats Tyler. I’m not normally a fan of making money through these techniques as I get bored checking stats etc, but $11k is a fantastic month whatever you look at it.

    Keep it up. Have you ever thought about sharing your techniques through an ebook or course?

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      I feel that I have not been succesful with affiliate marketing long and consistently enough to justify writing a guide on it.

      The other thing is that I’m really not doing anything “secretive” or out-of-the-box. I’m just doing the most basic things that every other blog and forum talks about, and that is basically running traffic, testing left and right, and not giving up.

      It’s kind of silly, really, because there are guys out there doing the most basic stuff (just like me) who are pushing 5 figures a DAY.

  5. gordon says:

    I really like to follow your post Tyler. Every second day I check if you posted something new. You sure give me the will to try this out. Just imagine where you are right now & only after a year or so.

    Cheers

  6. Wow, Tyler, you’ve got some nice numbers there.

    It’s interesting to see that you also have trouble getting Facebook campaigns to be profitable. I’ve tried it before, but it turned out horrible. Oh well.

    Keep up the great work!

  7. Jayden Smith says:

    Hello Tyler,

    Are you running CPA offers or paid offers? I can’t seem to get CPA offers to convert, but I’ve been reasonably successful with paid offers.

    Is the new traffic source you’re talking about SiteScout? It fits the description perfectly.

    Cheers

  8. Jayden Smith says:

    Oh, I mean Email/Zip submit type offers etc

  9. Jayden Smith says:

    Yeah, most people refer to Lead Gen as CPA…

    Can you answer the original question?

  10. John S C says:

    One thing that sure as hell doesn’t help with Google Adwords is that they give away free Adwords all the time. Industries I’m in, I see influxes of PPC newbies coming in and going just as quick, that blatantly have no idea what they’re doing (and don’t care because a) it’s free money and b) if it wasn’t free, they wouldn’t use it – thus, you’re probably seeing the same… new players coming and going that drastically changes things.

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      Good point, and stuff like that does bother me too, but really I think that all of the free vouchers they give away put together don’t even make a small ripple in the vast ocean of AdWords advertisers – it’s really the big brand advertisers that don’t even evaluate their advertising ROI that drive up prices.

  11. Jacko says:

    congrats bro freaking awesome. Thanks for sharing very inspirational #BlogSoHard

  12. I’m just learning about affiliate marketing but am still confused about something. I know if I was to create my own product I would buy a domain name and drive the traffice to a landing page on that domain. What I don’t understand is that if I’m selling a product I am an affiliate for, is the process still the same? Can you give an example of a landing page you would be pointing one of your google or media buy ads to for a product you are an affiliate for?

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      Having your own product vs. promoting an affiliate offer/product is basically the same thing except you cut out two middle-men in the process (if you’re using a network) by promoting your own creation. It also gives you a lot more options in how you promote it as you don’t have any restrictions and have full control over the final landing page.

      It can also create more headaches though as not only do you have to create the product, but you have to worry about shipping and/or customer complaints and support and refunds, etc.

  13. Tech Blog says:

    Thanks for that latest affiliate marketing updates Tyler, Nice on i read today,

  14. Karan says:

    nice post Tyler. Keep Sharing

  15. Hi Tyler,
    It is good that you try different things all the time and find the best sites for your products, but why do you insist on trying on Facebook all the time? Everyone I know in the business say the same thing – we have tried and it did no good results – no more facebook. Save your money and try to find some other way.

  16. Your December earnings are great and I hope it will be in double figure in coming new year 2013.Wishing you best of luck.keep the momentum up…

  17. Super Robin says:

    Nice net profit ;) I wish I can make it with organic traffic…

  18. Tyler Cruz says:

    Heh, makes me happy that you think I’m making them up.

  19. sab says:

    how can you be direct lnking CPA offers on adwords….

PeerFly

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