An Update on My Affiliate Marketing Campaigns

October 8, 2012 Posted by Tyler Cruz
Paid Advertisement

While I’ve been publishing exclusively affiliate marketing related posts on my blog for a while now, I haven’t actually given an update on how my actual campaigns are going, at least in terms of profit. So here’s an update for you.

Some of you readers regularly leave negative comments on how I always talk about my gross numbers and never about net profit. I can understand your frustration, as gross numbers really don’t mean all that much because anyone can, after all, spend $100,000 to make $100,000, resulting in a net profit of $0.

But you need to realize that I DO and HAVE posted my net profit numbers on many occasions.

For example, somebody whined how I never post my net numbers again in my most recent blog post, but if they actually bothered to read the post, they’ll know that it’s littered with what my net profit numbers were.

Then there are posts such as this one, in which I have an entire section of the blog post (with a big heading of "I could care less about gross, Tyler. How much of that was actual PROFIT?") in which I go into detail what my profit and ROI was for the day.

I actually share what my net profits are quite a lot. Not as much as what my gross numbers are though, and that’s for a simple reason: time.

Even with proper tracking, the fact is that I cannot easily find out what my net numbers are due to having such a large number of traffic sources – some of which don’t have live reporting, or even any reporting at all (such as media buys with IO’s, for example).

It can be done, of course, but it’s just a hassle to go through all my campaigns’ traffic and then go into the reporting and issue reports and all that. I don’t want to spend 15+ minutes every single time I mention a gross number on my blog.

It’s FAR easier for me to just post what my gross earnings are.

Anyhow, on with the post…

Things Not As Good as They Were…

You know how affiliate marketing has its ups and downs? Well, I’ve been in a "down phase" for the past 2-3 months. Well, the downward spiral has plateaued, but things definitely are not as good now as they were back in June/July in which my average (gross) across the 60 day period was $2,500 a day.

This is due to three reasons:

#1 – Offers Paused

The number one reason why my campaigns are not doing nearly as well as they were in the summer is because some of the offers I had been running got paused (some temporarily, some indefinitely).

This sucked/sucks, because one of them I had invested heavily in on Facebook in order to scale and run it long term. I was pushing $1,500+ a day to it at one point (gross, folks), but after a bunch of optimization and running it for a while, I reduced that and right before it got paused I was netting around $100-$150 a day from it (roughly, as best I can recall).

I guess that’s the gamble you take when you heavily invest in a campaign in order to get a ton of data for "statistically significant" optimization purposes – the offer can go down at any time.

It’s just a bit frustrating because I basically rode out the negative ROI phase for a long time with a lot of optimization (a lot of it being simple price adjustments), and was just beginning to reap the rewards of my hard work by letting it run on auto-pilot once it started to profit when it got shut down…

Holy crap. I just checked Facebook, and I guess I spent around $35,000 just on this one offer alone.

There are other offers as well which got paused (or killed entirely), but this was the most notable due to the time and money I put into it.

There’s a decent chance that it will return though – at which point I can just flick my campaigns back on.

#2 – Increased Competition

I’ve had increased competition on two of my traffic sources which have really eaten into my profits – dramatically so, actually.

There’s not really anything I can do about this though, so I can’t comment too much on this other than the fact that on one of those sources, the prices have recently been coming down again.

#3 – My Laziness

Even though this past summer was the best and most exciting summer of my life in terms of affiliate marketing, I think I may have actually worked a bit too much on my campaigns during that time.

All my stuff was booming and skyrocketing like I’ve never seen it before, so I was on a rush and just pumping out campaigns and optimizing things left and right.

So when I got the inevitable turn of events which slowed my campaigns down, it was quite discouraging and I didn’t feel like cracking down and working even harder on my stuff. Instead, I did minimal work on them (although I did try some new traffic sources and offers, as well as basic optimization) and played a lot of video games. And when I say a lot of gaming, I mean a lot Smile

I’ve always been a gamer though and I do need my entertainment, but it’s time to get back to business! So I’ve put away my games and am ready to go full speed ahead on my campaigns again.

New Potential

I tried a new traffic source in September which overall had poor conversion rates.

However, on September 21st, 2012, I actually spent $200 on this particular source to make $2,000 (net profit, folks). But that doesn’t really count as they screwed up on their end and gave me more traffic for a couple days than they were supposed to Smile with tongue out – but it was double beneficial to me because I got a lot of data as a result.

I am now working with them on ways to improve conversion rates, so this traffic source has some potential if I can get it to work. There’s certainly a ton of traffic on it available if I want to scale things up.

There are also a lot of new offers I want (and need) to test, as well as various affiliate marketing-related services and tools that I think could have a beneficial effect on my campaigns.

Lastly, there’s a particular offer I’m waiting to be "fixed". The advertisers who run it are insanely slow to respond though. But if it gets fixed, this particular offer on a particular traffic source has a ton of potential (like $1,000 gross a day potential, with maybe $150-$200 net).

My Numbers for October So Far…

It’s number time!

Okay, so as I say, my campaigns have not been too great lately. Here are my numbers for October so far (October 1st, 2012 – October 7th, 2012):

Expenses

Traffic Source #1: $3,324
Traffic Source #2: $1,930
Traffic Source #3: $117
Traffic Source #4: $100
Traffic Source #5: $106

Total: $5,577

Income

Total: $7,326

Net Profit

Income: $7,326
Expenses: $5,577

Total: $1,749

That works out to $250 a day or $7,500 a month.

But things change so quick in this game that you can’t really predict how all of October will go.

But if things do stay at $250 net profit a day, I can’t complain about $7,500 net profit a month. I mean, that’s $90,000 a year (Okay, now I’m REALLY assuming here).

Looking back at these recent numbers right now, things have actually been going a lot better than I had thought. Although, to be fair, things were worse a few weeks ago – they’ve only recently gotten a little bit better.

While $250 net profit a day is good, it’s still hard to forget about those great days in the summer when I was profiting as much as $1,800+ a day.

It’s not good to live in the past, but it does act as fuel for me because I know that I can get back to those numbers, and hopefully surpass them with new records.

If I can get back to work and focus, I hope it will be sooner rather than later.

Wish me luck!

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Posted: October 8th, 2012 under Affiliate Marketing  

43 Responses to “An Update on My Affiliate Marketing Campaigns”

  1. Jason Parker says:

    Hey Tyler,

    I’m new to your blog.

    I found your feed on AffBuzz and added it to my reader.

    I’m looking forward to following you.

    I love reading these kind of posts that talk about what you learned from direct experience.

    It’s almost like getting the experience myself, without paying for all the data :)

    Since I’m new to your blog, do you mind if I ask…

    1. What type of offers are you running and in what vertical?

    2. Are you only direct linking or sending to a lander they have to click-through on? (Any listbuilding?)

    No worries if you don’t have time to answer my couple questions.

    I’m not a fan of people who waste my time either…

    Just trying to get up to speed on your blog.

    Looking forward to your next installment.

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      #1. I don’t reveal any details about stuff like this, sorry!
      #2. I’m direct linking. I’ve used landing pages in the past, but they just took up far too much time that I always try to direct link if I can. That being said, I’m going to try using some landing pages again soon for my Facebook campaigns.

      • Scott says:

        Oh wow, you are direct linking. I just made a comment in another post asking about landing pages, so I guess I just answered my own question. From what I’ve read, finding ways to direct traffic to your own landing page that has split testing software enabled has done wonders for people to triple their profits. The way to maximize profit is to try going direct to these companies with your own form data collection that sends to the company directly. I think that’s what some are doing anyway.

        At least that way you KNOW you aren’t being shaved because you know exactly how many leads you’ve sent.

  2. Colin says:

    Thanks for this Tyler. I love seeing other people stats. Currently re-reading Ca$hvertising at the moment. I got a few campaigns that need to be made profitable again.

  3. thok says:

    okey, i am fairly new to aff marketing. but am making websites for years.

    found your blog, liked it. good stuff. you are keeping it real. unlike some other people with big mouths.

    i would like to get your opinion about tracking tools. which one you use and recommend?

    and secondly, i am currently advertising through adwords and bingads. now i can either jump in to facebook ads or PPV. which one would you recommend considering that i will promoting regular CPA offers from maxbounty and peerfly.

    thanks.

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      I have a very comprehensive screencast post on which tracking platform I now recommend planned – hopefully it will be up within 1-2 weeks.

      As for Facebook vs. PPV – what’s stopping you from trying both simultaneously? If you could only pick one though, I’d definitely recommend Facebook. Then again, it depends on what exact offers you’re running. You’ll want to run submit offers on PPV, for example.

      • thok says:

        i am one of those people who have their head full of ideas. and focusing is very hard for me. i have immense urge to keep switiching .. now, i am kinda forcing my self into focus on one thing a time.

        I can get in PPV, ‘looks’ kinda easier. but then again, I dont want to spend my energies where returns can be limited in long run. advertising platforms like facebook, adwords, bingads provide tremendous reach and hence virtually unlimited opportunities. that’s what i was thinking.

        and for tracking so far i was thinking about going with bevomedia, hosting platform and they pull in the network stats too. prosper use to be cranky back in the time. didnt like it then, dont know what kind of improvement they had in last 2 years.

        • Tyler Cruz says:

          Okay, I really wanted to wait for my screencast review of it before I mentioned it to anyone, but I HIGHLY recommend CPVLab as a tracking platform. I’ve also used Tracking 202 (as well as Prosper 202 and Tracking 202 Pro) and while the guys over at t202 are great guys, I have to say that you can’t even compare it to CPVLab.

  4. Caleb says:

    the fact is that I cannot easily find out what my net numbers are due to having such a large number of traffic sources

    So you’re not sure about what you net :?

    Can’t you just at least just subtract total amount you spent from the total gross within maybe a month and post that?

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      Yes, which is what I did in this post (for the month so far, anyway). It’s just a pain to log into each traffic and income source, especially in the cases in which there are no live reporting / self-serve platforms like Facebook available.

      It’s a lot easier for me to find out how much I net in a single day than it is for an entire month, as in the span of a month I might have tried 15-20 different traffic sources and 5-6 different income sources, while in a day it is more likely to be 4-5 different traffic sources.

      Anyhow, I just posted my net numbers yet again in this post, so not quite sure what you want from me. How many other affiliate marketing blogs even post their gross numbers anymore?

      • Caleb says:

        O.k. I understand what you’re saying… do you think you’ll ever give the details on what the “new potential” is and have you ever tried the often overlooked classified ads esp those at Nationwide Advertising :?:

  5. Blex says:

    I’m also planning to venture into affiliate marketing, and the figures you showed on this post gave me an inspiration. I just hope you can share some of your methods in your future posts. Just to give more insight about affiliate marketing.

  6. thok says:

    Ok, one more questions. I hope you can help me out there.
    I am looking for good facebook ad manager. So far couldn’t decide which would suit my needs and budget. What do you recommend for facebook ads management?

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      There used to be some out there, but most have been discontinued due to Facebook not liking them. There are probably still some out there, but I personally don’t use them.

      It’s a little too risky to get your account banned, as using any automated scripts within Facebook ads is against the TOS AFAIK, and it really doesn’t take all that much time to do manually anyway.

  7. artesanato says:

    I am always kind of impress when i read your details about your income. Even your net income is very impressive! Are you a clickbank affiliate?

  8. Michael says:

    Which video games were you playing?

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      I was playing TF2 and *gulp*… Magic: The Gathering… oh so embarrasing! But one of my affiliate managers plays it and got me interested enough to try it… I’m going to try to wait for Dragon Age 3 to come out before I play another video game though… we’ll see. Doubt I’ll last that long.

  9. James says:

    Thanks for sharing your progress Tyler. Looks like things have been going down a bit lately but I am sure you can bounce back and get back to the glory days of the summer.

    Even though you have a downwards trend you are still looking pretty good in my mind though. You aren’t running into the negatives so that’s a win in my books overall!

  10. Nice job Tyler, very impressive. You are inspiration to me to continue to grow http://www.StocksonWallStreet.com and make more money through affiliate marketing. Thanks and keep up the good work!

  11. That’s the problem with solely relying on affiliate marketing for your income. The offers and performance fluctuates a lot

  12. Keep up the great work you’re making lots of money, very impressive and inspirational Tyler!

  13. Sonia says:

    Thank you Tyler…I always keep reading your blog and I do not understand why people complaing you.
    You rever so many details that many others don’t and give an inside look to affiliate marketing!

    Keep it up!

  14. It does really suck when a campaign you are running gets nixed. You were really riding the affiliate wave for a second there. I still think you have got a good base of sales and aren’t doing bad.

  15. Dr_Ngo says:

    It’s definitely lazy to not keep track daily of your profits. It’s the first thing I do in the morning and it probably takes me around 30 minutes to aggregate all the data. With the data I’m able to keep track of trends, what day of the week campaigns perform the best, etc.

    I can feel you on gaming as I was a gaming addict in the past, and I just started gaming with Torchlight 2. Basically I make it a rule of no video games until my work’s done. I find having that incentive at the end of the night makes me work harder during the day.

  16. More Idiots says:

    You can tell that’s 100% sincere and nothing to do with gaining a (no follow) backlink.

  17. Jasmine says:

    Finally some real numbers. Your profits look pretty inspiring. I need to work harder and smarter… learning from sifu like you, Tyler.

  18. Kashif says:

    Excellent Numbers, you are still doing good no doubt in it and I am sure that with the power of your experience and dedication you will superpass your previous records of summer..Best wishes

  19. $7500 is still pretty damn good although not as good as your best months

  20. Very impressive Tyler, keep it up man!

  21. political sign says:

    I’m also planning to venture into website marketing, and the figures you showed on this post gave me an inspiration. I just hope you can share some of your methods in your future posts. Just to give more insight about web web portal promotion.

  22. All great advice, thanks has been very helpful.

  23. thank you for sharing your progress Tyler. Looks like things have been going down a bit lately but I am sure you can bounce back and get back to the glory days of the summer.

  24. Vince says:

    Tyler you’re talking about making $250/day PROFIT in October, but
    your PROFIT is $1749, so that a little under $60/DAY PROFIT…. :)

  25. Vince says:

    sorry my mistake, didn’t realize that was for the first week :)

  26. Finally some real numbers. Your profits look pretty inspiring. I would like to work harder and smarter… learning from sifu like you, Tyler.

  27. Great advice, thanks for sharing with us!

PeerFly

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