Affiliate Marketing And Music

Lately I’ve been focusing a lot of my energy on music.

Before I started doing affiliate marketing, music was really all I cared about. I started playing in bands when I was 11 years old. By 14 I was playing clubs and bars.

That went on for 20 years.

Then, affiliate marketing hit and for the first time, I found something I like as much as playing and singing songs.

That has been going on for 9–10 years.

Now, all this time later – I’m finding that without music, there is a hole in my soul. So, very soon I’m going to need to fill it.

So I’ve been doing some research…

In this post, I’ll show you a similarity that I see in my research on music and the way most people are researching affiliate marketing.

Out On The Scene

For the last few weeks I’ve been going out to see bands and singer/songwriters. So far, I’ve come across two artists that were really (really) good.

My first thought when I heard each of them was that I needed to switch gears to do something more like what they’re doing.

He’s singing in a soft, high falsetto? I need to start singing in a soft, high falsetto.

She’s singing like Ella Fitzgerald? I need to start singing like Ella Fitzgerald.

When I got caught up in this kind of thinking…

All my progress stopped. I felt like I needed to scrap all the songs I’d been working on and do music like these guys were doing.

If you’re a new affiliate marketer – this might sound familiar to you.

Your Research

Instead of going out to shows, you’re reading blogs, watching Youtube videos, reading books and talking in forums.

You’re seeing different styles, methods, structures and approaches being talked about by each person.

  • First, you watch a video about building a team and think “Okay so I need to build a team…”.
  • Then you read a blog post about being a ‘1-Man Army’ and you think “Wait a minute! The other guy said team… hmmm… Okay, no team for me! I’m going to be a 1-Man Army!”
  • Then you read about a guy making a million dollars on mobile so you switch to mobile.
  • Then you hear someone throwing big numbers around on Native so you stop doing mobile and switch to Native Ads.

At the end of the year, you’ve switched styles, approaches and traffic sources so many times that you’ve never really gotten good at any of them.

Your focus is all over the place and you have no “voice” of your own.

It happens to all of us.

And it can destroy your chances of “making it”.

Do This Instead

If what you just read sounds familiar I have some good news for you. All you really need to change are a few things to get you back on track.

Here are 3 things you can do to turn things around:

I. Make a decision.

For starters, you need to plant your feet in something. Take all of the info you’ve digested and figure out a single direction to go.

Your best bet is to go wherever the biggest opportunity is.

In other words, don’t pick a 3rd Tier traffic source that can only spend $100/day for an offer that will go out of business in a week.

You will die a slow death there. Even if you do find something that works, you won’t be able to scale it.

I like offers that have been around for at least 6 months and have had no signs of problems. (i.e. banking issues, pixels not firing, non-payments)

So when you choose what you’re going to do, pick traffic sources and offers with big, giant and massive potential.

II. Limit your influences.

There is nothing wrong with reading blogs and watching videos. Some people can shortcut your path to success by dropping some insights or knowledge.

Just limit the number of voices your listening to.

Almost every online marketer has their own way of doing things.

  • Affiliate A says “you have to build a team and run 100 campaigns
  • Affiliate B says “you should do it yourself and run 1 big campaign
  • Affiliate C says “mobile is dead, you have to do Native
  • Affiliate D says “Native is dead, you need to be doing Mobile
  • Affiliate X says“I’m doing $1Mil a month selling t-shirts!

Sound familiar?

Remember – none of those affiliates are right or wrong. They’re just sharing their personal experience and opinion.

Will it work for you?
Who knows.

Pick one or two people and stick with them.

If you pick a few people who are experienced, trustworthy and respected, you won’t need to read the 100 other affiliate marketing blogs run by small time affiliates who can’t make money running campaigns.

*Tip: Most affiliate blogs are run by small affiliates who can’t make money running campaigns.

If you follow 25 different blogs and read/watch all their stuff at once, you have to admit that you’re doing it for entertainment and are wasting your time.

You may as well just go watch Netflix.

III. Stick with your decisions

One of the worst habits in the online marketing game is changing gears too often. If you constantly bounce around between campaigns, traffic sources and offers you’re going to go nowhere.

Your best bet is to:

  • Do some research.
  • Take all the info you’ve read into account.
  • Decide what you’re going to do.

And then stick to your decision.

If you see a huge trend going on and you want to try it, make a commitment to stick with it.

Focus all your energy and time on that single area. Stay there for weeks, months if you have to.

  • Amazing campaigns make a profit from Day 1.
  • Good campaigns make a profit on Day 7.
  • Average campaigns make a profit on Day 14.
  • Bad campaigns never make a profit.

When you do your proper research and make your decision, stick with it 100% until you’ve exhausted the option.

Don’t move on until you’ve tried everything possible to make it work.

Initial Scattered Focus

So what if there are multiple big opportunities that you want to investigate?

No problem, you can do that too.

What I like to do in the beginning of a new push is to initially try multiple “hot” offers at once to see which one does best FOR ME.

Remember, just because “Affiliate X” says that he’s killing it on t-shirts, doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you.

Campaigns can be successfully copied, but many times a traffic source and offer will act differently for each individual person.

To give yourself the best shot:

  • Research 2–4 offers
  • Launch them all at once
  • Run for a few days and see which does best
  • Pause all the others and run the best one

This is a great way to take the avalanche of info that you’re getting and make it useful for you.

It’s really the only way to know for sure.

It definitely takes extra work and time, and that’s great news for you… because most people won’t do it.

Everyone is throwing offers at the wall hoping to make accidental millions.

But the extra effort needed to test more than one campaign in the beginning is worth it.

Get To Work

I’ve gotta go. So I’ll leave you with some simple bullet points to sum this all up.

  • Pick one or two people to listen to and forget everyone else
  • Do proper research on giant traffic sources and offers
  • Take existing ideas and test multiple campaigns at the same time
  • Pick the one campaign that does the best, pause the rest.
  • Run the one campaign with all of your focus and energy.

Once you’re running the campaign – you don’t need to look to others for answers to your questions. Now your answers will come from your campaign.

The answer to most of your questions is: “Test and find out” [tweet this]

No more guessing or trying to decode what Affiliate X is talking about.

The problems and answers will be looking you straight in the face.

  • Ahmad Kaifi

    Great article Malan. How approachable are Affiliate Managers by less experienced marketers, trying to gain “inside information”? Thanks.

    • Malan Darras

      unfortunately they’re not very approachable these days. they definitely prefer giving info to people who send them sales.

      • lenstrom

        That’s only because of the DNB’s (Do Nothing Bitches). I mean, shit, an AM can see if you are doing anything with the info they give you via the #’s on their end.

    • lenstrom

      There is no “inside information”. Get your ear to “street”, good sir. Pick up a spy tool or two, get in some FB groups and forums. You’ll have all the pertinent info you need.

  • Darrel Tenter

    Another knowledge bomb Malan! Great article. It’s like you’re writing this for me. Good to know I’m not alone experiencing all of this stuff.

    • Malan Darras


  • Ryan

    Hi Malan,

    I have been wolfing down your blog since I first got here. Want to check with you on one aspect of the steps you mentioned here. After rounding up 2-4 offers, do you advise to launch them with direct linking first and weed out the non-performing ones? Or do you create x number of landing pages right away to promote these 2-4 offers?

    • Malan Darras

      I copy the current trend.

      If other people are DL’ing. I DL
      If other people are using LPs, I use LPs

      You don’t need multiple LPs at this phase, because you’re just throwing it up there to see what it does. Not optimizing. Keep it simple.

  • Goyllo

    Great post Malan 🙂 Any CPA ad network you want to recommend?

    Neither you, charles or attila, not talking about that. Sites like mThink posted cpa ad network based on votes which does not make sense to me. Looking forward to see your next blog post about choosing CPA ad network, and with whom you’re currently working.

    • Malan Darras