This post is meant for those of you who have been on the fence about getting into affiliate marketing. It’s also meant for those of you who may have tried it in the past, but essentially gave up.
No, it’s not going to be another long-winded verbal lecture on perseverance and not giving-up.
Instead, I’m going to try to light a fire under your ass by showing you exactly what happened to me today.
Today I woke up, made some tea (which is rather unusual for me as I usually drink coffee), and started my stopwatch to track my morning 3-hour work session, just as I do everyday.
I did my usual routine of analyzing and optimizing my previous day’s campaigns and looking at my overall numbers, and then proceeded to tend to my e-mails. One of my e-mails was from one of my affiliate managers announcing a new offer on their network. Just as I always do if the offer piques my interest, I checked it out in more detail to see if it was something I would want to run.
At first, I almost did, but then I decided to run 2 different offers instead, simply because I loved the angle opportunities for them.
Due to the simplicity and speed of launching campaigns, I actually find it kind of fun sometimes, and not work or a chore. In fact, while I was setting them up, I thought to myself how it is almost relaxing (especially the image sourcing part).
This isn’t always the case. Sometimes it’s a real pain to set up a new campaign (landing pages and foreign-language offers can be annoying). But generally, setting up a new campaign is really quite quick and easy to do – and I’m including all tracking and initial split-testing set-up as well.
Anyhow, it probably took me around 30-minutes to set these 2 campaigns up. They were each using offers from different networks, and I set them up on Facebook, direct linking.
5-minutes later, all my ads were approved and now I was just waiting for traffic to start. There is usually a bit of a delay when a new Facebook ad is approved or unpaused. For me, it tends to take between 30-45 minutes.
To this day, I’ve had a 99% ad approval rate. Run legitimate ads and offers, and you should never have a problem.
One hour later, I was pumped up. BOTH campaigns had already brought in conversions and were profitable right off the bat.
This is without any optimization or adjustments of any kind.
From that point on, you can be sure that I kept refreshing my stats constantly throughout the day.
Whenever you find a new profitable campaign – no matter what size the campaign is at, it’s always a huge endorphin rush and a real high.
Okay, so here’s how the campaigns did.
Before I continue, please note that these are essentially "raw" campaigns. That is, they are completely unoptimized and have not been tested (for example, I only used 1 angle per campaign).
They also only ran since around 1-2pm, so approximately half the day.
Taking these things into consideration should show why I was so excited despite these not being the hugest of numbers – there is definite scaling and optimization potential.
Okay, so this one actually peaked around dinner time and then started to drop off.
This could be due to dayparting or a number of different factors, but here’s how it fared:
It’s definitely not the greatest ROI at first glance, but considering that it’s a "raw" campaign, these are actually awesome!
I mean, if all I did was simply pause 6 of the ads and keep #2 up, my profit on my $245.10 spend would have been $134.90, since the ad performed at a 55% ROI with a decent conversion sample.
That’s a 3-second adjustment right there. See the potential now?
The only issue with this campaign is that the potential reach is not the greatest, but it’s enough to where the campaign should make some decent coin before it potentially fizzles out and needs to be paused (and rejuvenated again later!)
This second campaign is kind of crazy because it was so casual in how I came about it.
When I saw the campaign, I casually told my AM "Hmmm… that could do well on Facebook", and didn’t think much of it.
Then this morning, after I had set up Campaign #1 I remembered what I had said about this campaign, and thought to myself "What the hell – it only takes 20-minutes to set up, why not try it?".
And it’s a good thing I did, because here are the results. First, the Facebook data for this afternoon:
Not the best CTR’s (I’ve NEVER been great at obtaining high CTR’s on Facebook…), but slightly better than the Facebook average of 0.035% – 0.04%.
Where I make up in poor-mediocre CTR though is in the "quality" of my ads, which yield higher conversion rates.
Although, I should mention that earlier in the day, my CTR’s were awesome. Obviously this changes as the sample size increase and due to other factors such as dayparting and Frequency, but it gives me hope that I can improve upon this in the future.
And of course, I only tested 5 ads!
The potential reach on this campaign is a fair bit larger than Campaign #1, so it should last a good while before starting to fizzle out. My targeting on it is also a lot tighter, and can easily be opened up.
Here’s how Campaign #2 fared:
Without ANY optimization, it generated $214.50 profit in less than half a day (from around 1-2pm to 10:30pm). That’s an average of around $24 profit/hour.
"Potential" is such an easy word to throw around in affiliate marketing, and although I have only 1 day’s worth of data on a somewhat limited Reach, I do have a good sample size of data already and I do believe that the following is a realistic expectation:
With some basic optimization, Campaign #1 should be able to average at least $50 a day profit. I mean, it did $40 today on its first day with no optimization and only running half a day.
Campaign #2 has even more potential, as I can open up the age range, and some other angles might work on it as well to a degree (although I actually consider each angle to be a separate campaign). Considering that it did $214.50 profit today in 9 hours without any optimization, I think it’s fair to say that this campaign could be averaging $300 a day profit with super basic optimization.
Now, take those two numbers: $50/day and $300/day, and average that over 1 month. That works out to $10,500 a month profit.
The Moral of the Story
These 2 campaigns took me 30-minutes to set up from start to finish, only ran for half the day, and already brought me in over $260 in profit.
With some basic optimization, it is not unreasonable to estimate that these 2 campaigns will yield a monthly profit of $10,500 a month.
Obviously not all campaigns will be successful off the bat. In fact, most won’t. But that’s not the point. The point is how simple it is to actually get a profitable campaign going. You just need to keep at it.
Again, I direct linked, and set up extremely basic and "obvious" campaigns, doing completely 100% whitehat methods as I always do. It’s not rocket science.
Yes, the campaigns could die at any point due to the offers going down, competition (unlikely), and traffic eventually dying out, but the money you make during this time will be more than enough to keep you going to find new profitable campaigns.
Personally, I am still busy with tackling my e-mail inbox (making great progress!) and having to take care of a number of tasks such as getting my corporate taxes done and selling off more of my websites, but once I take care of those things, I’ll definitely be working hard on growing my affiliate marketing income.
My "big" goal now is to hit $100,000 profit a month. I know I can do it – I just gotta keep at it. In July of 2011 I did $0 in affiliate marketing, and last month I did $52,000 profit, so I know it’s possible.
Just like when I used to dream of one day hitting 6-figures gross in a month, I now set my eyes on one day doing 6-figures profit in a month. The difference now is, I actually think it is just a matter of time before I hit that goal, whereas before it was more just a dream.
KEEP AT IT. It’s not rocket science. It’s just perseverance.
You’ll thank me later. In fact, when you’re making 6-figures a month, I expect a nice gift basket