Ok – I hope you’re ready. I’m about to unload a new affiliate marketing game plan on you guys from start to finish that can take you from newbie to monster affiliate status this year.
A lot of people are out there right now making $40 or $50 a day online, which is better than nothing. But it’s not enough to quit your job and live a dream life.To do that you need to get bigger. And to get bigger you need a plan.
This is the plan.
This post was originally going to be about the similar characteristics of successful online marketers. I was supposed to be writing about that. But that’s actually a pretty hard nut to crack.
Sure, I could have written about how we have “determination” and “drive to succeed” and all that BS. But the truth is I can’t see a pattern there yet – (other than the fact that we’re all kinda nuts).
However – I was able to see a pattern shared by almost all of the people who fail.
Lack of Patience.
As I’ve said before, one of the most common reasons people fail at affiliate marketing is because they jump in too hungry and burn out too fast. They come in, lose a few thousand dollars and run for their lives for fear that they’ll go broke.
So let’s talk about patience – and a conversation I had recently with an affiliate manager.
30 Sales A Day
We were talking about campaign inconsistencies and how frustrating it is when campaigns crash. Most of his affiliates had campaigns that went up and down all year. One day they were sending him 100s of sales, two days later – nothing. At one point he said:
“We have this guy… he promotes one of our offers and sends 30 sales a day. Every day. All year long. At the end of the year he’s one of our biggest revenue earners – because his traffic never stops.”
Now I should mention that in the world of high volume affiliates 30 sales a day isn’t a lot. Large campaigns can drive 1000s of sales per day, but they don’t always last a long time. It’s very common to hear guys say they’re making huge profits one day and zero dollars a few days later.
But this guy is sending 30 sales a day, every day of the year without fail. Interesting.
Let’s do the math:
An average payout for a CPA offer is $35 – so his daily revenue is $1050, a figure most super affiliates would laugh at that. But if he keeps it up for the entire year, his revenue goes up to $383,250. And suddenly, his “little” campaign is no laughing matter.
As I mentioned before larger campaigns can bring in hundreds or even thousands of sales a day resulting in massive daily profits. But they rarely last longer than a few months, or even weeks before something happens.
- Product owners run out of products
- Campaigns get slapped (stopped)
- Accounts get banned
- Servers go down
- Or, they simply run out of new people to show their ads to (banner blindness)
The high level of maintenance mixed with the emotional roller coaster that comes with these larger campaigns going up and down can be hard on your soul.
So to save myself (and you) some heart ache this year – I’d like to propose an alternate route.
The 50×52 Method
How to Get Rich With $50 a Week
Consider the power of Compound Interest and how invested money builds up over long periods of time.
If a person is patient and starts investing and earning compound interest from the moment they get their first paycheck (normally age 18) then by the age of 65 they can have millions of dollars in the bank – even if they never make more than an average salary per year.
With that kind of slow, steady growth in mind I broke out a spreadsheet. I wanted to see how this concept could apply to my own campaigns and online marketing in general. And you might be surprised by what I found.
Result: If you can get a campaign to make $50/day profit and then increase profits by $50/day each week for a year, you would earn $482,300 in profit in one year.
How It Works: Slow Progression
Let’s say you have a campaign that is currently earning $50 a day. You can stick with that – or you can try to grow it and make a lot more money. If you want to grow – you have to scale.
To “Scale” a campaign simply means to make a small campaign work on a larger “scale”.
The problem is – scaling doesn’t always work. Sometimes when you try to go big – things fall apart. It’s very common to have a small campaign making 200% return on investment (ROI) but when you try to go big with it – it starts losing money. Happens all the time.
But what if, instead of going big – you went slow and focused on improving your campaign just a little bit each week? In this case you try to make $50 more per day – every week – for a year.
Here’s what happens:
- Week 1: You’re making $50/day
- Week 2: $100/day
- Week 4: $200/day
- Week 8: $400/day
- Week 26: $1300/day (1/2 way mark)
By The End of The Year:
Week 52: $2600/day
Total Profit for that Year: $482,300
All you did was focus on making $50/day more each week for 52 weeks.
As you can see, making small, consistent improvements to your campaign each week makes a huge difference over time. By going slow – you can earn an incredible amount of money without the emotional ups and downs associated with chasing gigantic short term campaigns.
Now Here’s The Really Good News
Now we have a pretty big campaign. If you’ve done it correctly and can keep it running at that rate, you have the opportunity in the next 12 months to make:
Congratulations my friend. You’re a millionaire.
How To Make it Happen
Making your first million sounds great, I’m sure – but we have to set this thing up and that’s going to be really hard – right?
Wrong, Here’s exactly how you do it.
The following information assumes you have at least an intermediate understanding of affiliate marketing. You know how to setup a campaign, talk to ad networks and have access to offers.
Think Long Term From The Start
One of the most important things about going this route is that you set the campaign up correctly from the beginning. Don’t want to get caught with your pants down.
Choose a campaign and a traffic source that can handle your growth over time or you’ll be dead in the water by the end of your first month.
Choosing a Long Term Offer
Think about offers and niches that have been around for a long time. If they have a long history, there’s a good chance they have a long future ahead. Some financial offers and even some digital products have been around for a decade and aren’t going anywhere. Ask affiliate managers for offers that don’t go away.
- Don’t do low payout lead generation.
These things just don’t seem to last. And if your leads are deemed low quality for any reason you’ll lose the offer.
- Have back up options.
If for some reason your affiliate network loses the offer you’re promoting you’ll need to have something similar you can put in it’s place.
- Avoid “hot offers” or “the next big thing”.
Trends diet out. Fads don’t last. Look for something with long term opportunity.
Create Your Own Product or Offer
Have an idea that you know will sell? Selling your own product is a much more stable way to make money online. If you know what you’re doing this might be the road to go down.
If you don’t know how to sell your own thing – stick with affiliate offers that are known to convert.
Choose a High Volume Traffic Source
Look for a traffic source that will allow you to grow. A lot of newer affiliates start on tiny networks to learn the ropes. But if you want this to work you need a traffic source with some serious volume potential.
When you speak to a traffic source ask them “How much volume are your biggest guys getting?” If they say their biggest advertiser is spending $200 a week, don’t waste your time.
Find a Traffic Source that Loves You
This is important. A lot of affiliates spend an insane amount of time trying to run campaigns on ad networks that do not want them there. They spend weeks setting up ways to beat the system, then they run the campaign, make some money but get banned a few weeks, or even days later.
Don’t do that. There are a lot of traffic sources out there that want to work with you. For me – a good traffic source means they have the following:
- A metric ton of traffic
- A strong desire to take my money
- A smart rep i can talk to on the phone
- An office I can walk into and have coffee
How To Increase Your Profits 52 Times
Now that you have an offer and a traffic source you’ll set up your campaign. It shouldn’t take too long to figure out a way to make it earn a profit of $50/day.
But remember those $50/day increases we talked about? We have to make those happen 52 times. Sounds like a lot right?
Wrong. Here’s exactly how you do it.
Ask for a Bump (Pay Raise)
As your campaign grows you will become more high priority to the company or affiliate network you’re sending sales to.
Let’s say you’re doing 5 sales a day now and you can increase that to 15 sales a day. Ask your contact if they can help you grow by giving you $5 more per sale. If they agree, you just added an extra $50 a day profit to your campaign.
And if they say no – don’t give up. Ask them how many sales you would have to send them per day to get a pay increase. You’d be surprised how much an affiliate manager will help you if it means getting more sales. You just have to ask.
Add a Second Offer
Let’s say you’re have a site about Auto Insurance. Why not test adding a Credit Report offer to your pages and offer them as a package? If some of your visitors decide they’d like to check their credit score before applying for auto insurance, your profits increase.
Improve Ad CTR
On many traffic networks your CPC (cost per click) is determined by your CTR (click through rate). For example, on Facebook if your ad CTR is .005% you could pay a CPC as high as $4. If you’re ad CTR is 2.5% your CPC can drop to as low as .10 cents.
If you can find an ad/copy combination that gets a high CTR you can instantly cut your costs and sky rocket your profits. Be relentless with your ad testing.
Get Ad Network Discounts
I can’t say this enough: Get to know your reps.
Many display networks offer discounted CPM rates (the amount you pay per impression) if you prepay. Ask your ad rep what kind of discount they can offer you if you prepay for your campaign and cut your costs that way.
There are major affiliates that run campaigns that break even. To make a profit they work a deal with the ad network to prepay for a ton of traffic in exchange for a 10% discount on costs. They can then run the campaign for years making just that 10% margin as their only profit.
Optimize Your Landing Pages
One easy way to make more money on your campaign is to improve your own landing page. You have full control over this element of the campaign and if you’re willing to the do the work you can make changes to titles, body copy, images and CTA (call to action) buttons that will all work to drive your profits through the roof.
I split test my landing pages with CPVLab. I’m testing things at all times. It is very rare that I’ll have a campaign running and not be split testing at least one element on the page.
When I come up with a landing page I’ll test it as-is for the first week. Then I’ll start making changes. CPVLab lets me add each new version of the page to the system in seconds and then rotates them as new visitors come to my site.
CPVLab records all kinds of stuff about your visitors:
- The date and time they visited
- The keywords they searched
- The site that they came from
- Their location
- Their IP address
- The page they saw
- The offer they clicked
- Whether they bought something or not
Review all the data and figure out what kind of pages work best for your visitors. If you can master this you can make constant improvements to your pages that will increase profits week after week.
Remember, most of my campaigns start out losing money but by testing new page elements with CPVLab I am able to quickly turn loser campaigns into winners.
Add an Upsell
If you sell your own product you have the option to upsell your customers at checkout.
Let’s say you sell a book that teaches men how to pick up women. Your buyers may also be interested in a book on how to dress well and how to buy shoes and how to dance and how to order wine and… and… and… (you get the idea)
Turn Some Things Off
The easiest way to add money to your bottom line is to stop wasting money testing new campaigns. My new rule is that my test budget can’t exceed 10% of my daily profits (20% max).
So if profit = $1000/day
Test budget = $100/day max
It’s great to have some tests out there sometimes to diversify your revenue streams. But you’ve got to be careful or you’ll zero out your profits because you’re losing money on the tests.
Don’t be that guy. That guy goes broke fast.
Turn off tests and focus on your long term campaign. Your daily profits will instantly go up.
Add an Email List
This can be a powerful way to boost a campaign’s profits and if you do it right it can become a long-term money making asset.
Add Traffic Sources
If you get to the point where you’ve maxed out your traffic source you can always add another one.
For example if you’re getting all the traffic Adwords has to offer, you can take the campaign and replicate it on Bing Ads. You may need to make some changes to make it work on the new source but this is a great way to get more traffic.
A lot of affiliate campaigns and offers are US only. But there traffic available all over the world. If your offer is accepted outside of America you can launch it in other countries, get more traffic and make more money.
Changing Your Inner Game
When you flip the switch and go from frantically chasing the next big thing to taking slow, steady steps towards a year or multi-year goal you’re going to notice a big change in the way you feel inside.
Thinking long term like this allows you (and me) to relax, even during bad times.
Because now you understand that today’s profits or this week’s losses don’t matter so much in the big picture. As long as the needle moves up throughout the year – you’re going to be fine.
You’re Matthew McConaughey – wearing shorts and no shirt – kicking sand on the beach.
That’s It – The Whole Thing Broken Down
I realize this is a lot to digest at once. And to be quite honest I can’t believe I just put it all out there like this. Why? Because this is what I am doing right now and it’s working. Most affiliate marketing blogs post things they were doing 2 years ago that don’t work anymore.
This isn’t that.
You can do this right now.
But let’s be honest – not everyone is going to do the entire thing. But even if you’re not up for implementing the entire system you can use this as a reference guide for any campaign.
I just taught you the basics of:
- How to Choose an Offer
- How to Pick a Traffic Source
- How to scale a campaign
- How to get a pay bump on an affiliate offer
- How to Couple offers together as a package
- How to lower your costs by improving your CTR
- How to get CPM discounts at ad networks
- How to use CPVLab to optimize landing pages
- Why you should add a newsletter signup to your campaigns
If you can’t find something useful in this post you may need to stick with finding a 9-5. Because this post is affiliate gold.
The Bottom Line:
If you’re running giant campaigns that make lots of money quickly and then burn out and you don’t mind the ups and downs, this plan probably isn’t for you. Run that sh#t until the wheels fall off.
But if the ups and downs of huge campaigns and account bans are getting you down – or if you’re just looking for a lower stress way to manage your business – I hope this helps you.
Use this as a blueprint for your next year. Decide what you’re going to do and don’t change your mind too quickly. There will be ups and downs. There will be profits and losses. There will be distractions. But if you stick with your plan – over time you can make something incredible happen.
The profits are out there waiting – now go get them.
Post your questions in the comments below. That way our conversation can serve as a reference for anyone who may also have the same question in the future.